by on September 30, 2021
Home Remedies for Babies that Actually Work Or Grandma’s Emergency Checklist Keeping a pharmacopeia of common items or over-the-counter items that can bring relief for ordinary day-to-day ills is just plain common sense. With that said, this list is not intended to replace advice from a doctor, nor is the writer in any way qualified as a medical person. This is for-your-information, one parent to another. Diaper Rash Prevention is your number one arsenal for this one. It begins with changing the diaper as soon as it is wet or dirty. Don’t count on that “wicking moisture away from baby’s skin” bit that some disposable diaper companies use as a selling point. Use cloth diapers and place the baby on a rubberized mat instead of using leak-proof covers. The covers trap moisture, which is part of the cause for diaper rash. Use detergents that are scent and additive free to wash cloth diapers, and the rest of baby’s clothes. Rinse with vinegar, not bleach. Relief after established – A & D Ointment for most babies. – Aloe for babies with extra sensitive skin. – For babies with super sensitive skin, clean with warm water and place child on a rubberized mat covered with a receiving blanket and leave unclothed. Change blanket and mat as needed. Fussy Baby Countdown Check the diaper. Offer food – formula or breast milk for infants. Baby food, drinks or finger food for older babies. Cuddle and sing or talk to the baby. Sometimes it really is a desire for attention. Watch body language. Does the baby flail arms or draw knees up to stomach? These are signs of distress, and possibly pain. Check clothing for anything that could be irritating or painful Offer food again, if accepted, burp by placing infant over shoulder and rubbing or gently patting back. If refused, check for fever. For babies younger than 2 months, call your physician right away if fever is over 100. Three months and older, call the physician if the fever is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, persists more than three days or is exceptionally high Fever helps: children’s liquid Tylenol if approved by your pediatrician Tepid sponge bath Sips of distilled water Check gums. Hard, swollen areas might indicate new teeth erupting. Teething helps include: Rubbing the gums gently with a clean finger Giving baby something cool to chew on Baby Tylenol in doctor approved dosage Nubbly teething toy – it massages and sooths the gums while encouraging the teeth to break through If you haven’t found the problem, start again at the top to see if you’ve missed anything. Things not to do with a fussy baby: Shake the baby or respond in any aggressive physical way toward your infant. If you are out of control, gently place your baby in a secure area, such as a crib, and walk away.Get a drink of water, take three slow deep breaths and let them out slowly. When you are under control check your baby. Leave the baby to “cry it out.” Crying is a distress signal and can indicate something is wrong. Dose with adult medicines or herbal preparations of any kind Administer an alcoholic beverage Minor cuts and scrapes Wash the area with warm, soapy water, then rinse well. Stop the bleeding by placing a clean cloth or even clean toilet paper over the cut Apply a soothing protective ointment such as petroleum jelly or aloe vera gel If the cut or scrape is large, cover with a protective bandage. If it is small, leave it open air Burns Place under cold running water Apply ice Sooth the area with aloe vera gel – from the fresh plant, if you have it, from a bottle without additives such as alcohol if you don’t Open air if possible Upset Stomach A tummy that doesn’t feel well can come to anyone at any age. Since it can have multiple causes, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Gassy tummy Walking or movement. If the baby has the gassy tummy, walk around with the baby over your shoulder, gently patting or rubbing the back Ask mommy, if the baby is breastfed, what she ate last. Chocolate is a big culprit for a baby upset tummy. Pepperoni pizza can also create problems for some people. For older babies, sips of a clear, carbonated soft drink. The bubbles help with burping Constipation Doesn’t usually happen with breast fed babies For bottle babies older than 1 month, try a little apple juice If the problem persists, talk to your pediatrician about a formula change Ease up on feeding solids until the problem resolves Bee stings and insect bites For minor stings and bites, make a paste of baking soda and apply it to the area Avoid bathing in baking soda as it can sometimes irritate Use an over-the-counter ointment that contains Benedryl Apply ice to bring down swelling and stop spread of poison.   Be alert for signs of an allergic reaction: Difficulty breathing Severe swelling or painful itching When in doubt, go to the emergency room. Better to feel silly and have an unnecessary bill than to make a mistake in the other direction. For some types of bites, such as spider bites, use a drawing ointment Don’t hesitate to get medical help if you suspect a spider bite Prid is an otc drawing ointment that works very well Cover to keep Baby from eating the ointment Use bread and milk mixed into a paste if nibbling the poultice is a problem. Plant Allergies Begin with prevention. Do not encourage your child to run through tall grass or to come in contact with a lawn. Many children will develop something commonly called “grass itch” which is a moderate rash that often goes away in a few minutes. A bigger problem in our modern world might be the insecticide or herbicide sprayed on the lawn. If a rash develops, try washing the area with a  solution of baking soda or tea. Caladryl is a good over the counter remedy. It is a combination of calamine and Benadryl lotion. Animal Bites As with many things, begin with prevention. Never leave your infant alone with the family pet and avoid introducing your baby to other people’s large dog or cat. If you have a large snake or exoticas pet, keep a closed, locked door between that animal and your baby. Teach older children how to behave respectfully around animals. Always supervise child/animal interactions, especially initial ones. If your child is bitten by a cat, dog or other creature here are the immediate steps: Remove child to safe place Check extent and nature of injury Minor injury, clean with soap and water Call pediatrician Moderate injury, clean with soap and water Call pediatrician Might need emergency room visit Severe injury, call 911 – don’t hesitate Catch and confine the animal Consider the circumstances Call vet to examine animal if it has been acting strangely Pediatrician might want to administer a tetanus shot and prescribe antibiotics A grandmother who has seven grandchildren and numerous pets remarked, “Children have incomplete thinking, and animals behave according to their natures. While many dogs and cats are nurturing toward human babies, they are still animals and might respond to the child in the same way they respond to their own young. When it comes to kids, it is a good idea to err on the side of caution. That goes for puppies, kittens, and other young, as well.” Injuries When babies become toddlers, accidents happen, especially if your little one is a climber. For some kids it seems as if “up” is far better than down, but down can happen quickly with painful results. Prevention is always best, but if “oweys” happen, there are steps to take after. Prevention Retire the crib and provide your toddler with a  Big Kid bed that is low to the ground. Avoid placing tall dressers in baby’s room. Wait until school age for those fancy playroom bunkbeds. Supervise! Supervise! Supervise! Ignore comments about helicopter parent. Those only apply to older children. Intervention – the worst has happened. Your ambitious 18-month-old climbed out of his high chair (don’t ask—you don’t want to know) and followed the cat to the top of the refrigerator. Once there, the cat made a leap, and the baby tried to follow. OUCH! Check your child. Look for: Blood Bones at odd angles Broken skin Large immediate swelling – especially on the head If your child is unresponsive and there are no screams and crying, call 911. Calm your child. (And yourself. Goodness! How did the baby get on the refrigerator?) When the initial sobbing and wails of terror are over: Try to use a small penlight to check pupils. They should dilate and contract at a similar rate. If they don’t, call your pediatrician. Mop up any blood. Clean scrapes, cuts, etc. with soapy water and assess the damage. If there is a cut that won’t stop bleeding, call 911. If a bump in forming on the head, check the scalp for softness. Place ice on bumps or bruises. If you don’t have ice, a frozen bag of peas works really well. Don’t hesitate to get your pediatrician in on the action. Falls from a height can have unforeseen consequences. Better to be seen as a bad parent than to have something happen to your baby. Respiratory From a snuffly, runny nose to feverish difficulty breathing, respiratory illnesses range from aggravating to scary for just about anyone. When you are a tiny person who must depend on others for just about everything, not being able to breathe properly is really upsetting. There are so many causes for the respiratory problems that it can be really difficult to make blanket statements for all of them. But here are some tips for snuffly nose days: – Use an ear/nose syringe to remove mucous from baby’s nose. Wash the syringe with soapy water and dry well between uses. – Have a box of the really soft facial/nose tissues on hand. – A tiny bit of cooking oil can be used to treat chapped nostrils. Dampen your finger with it, and gently wipe over the affected area. – Moisten the air with a cool-air humidifier – use with caution if your child has asthma – Give sips of distilled water to moisten mouth between feedings – Keep comfortably warm, but not overly hot – Babies over age six months can have a little juice to help break up phlegm – Check temperature periodically; consult your pediatrician if it begins to climb Remember, the common cold will generally last two weeks if you medicate it, and fourteen days if you don’t. (Yes, that does work out to the same amount of time.) That can seem like a very long time with a fussy, grumpy baby that is having trouble breathing, but as long as it doesn’t progress much beyond a runny nose, waiting and relieving symptoms is often the best medicine. Herbs and Babies Babies are delicate. It might seem tempting to dose your infant with peppermint or chamomile, but these herbs can cause young babies some real problems. Keep in mind that even the mildest of herbs is real medicine and should be treated with the same respect as an over the counter drug. Honey Honey is a natural, unpasteurized product. It has the potential to cause infant botulism, which is potentially fatal. Although it works well as a cough syrup for older children, it isn’t a good idea for infants. Pedialyte Ice Pops Pour Pedialyte into a popsicle mold and freeze. Good for sore throats, hydration, and teething. Bored Baby in a High Chair Sometimes it seems as if your not-quite-mobile infant demands a lot of attention. To gain a few minutes to wash the dishes try placing a few dots of pureed baby food on a clean high chair tray. Encourage Baby to explore the texture and the way it smears around – think of it as early finger painting.    
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by on September 25, 2021
Two car seats rested against a large, ornamental rock at the bottom of the Walmart parking lot. It wasn’t a place anyone would expect to see a car seat. No sign announced why they were there. They weren’t labeled “free to new home.” They just sat there, mute testimony to some event in their plastic and acrylic past. As a fitting embellishment for the scene, the sun was setting in a thin, red line of last light, just before the city streetlamps began to turn on. Importance of Car Seats Car seats are important equipment for today’s busy families. A best-case scenario for these seats is that they were out-grown, old, cracked or otherwise damaged and no longer able to do their job of protecting children. Perhaps the family that had owned them had set the seats out of their car and left them there so as to avoid the irritation of recycling them or throwing them away.   Keeping up With Child Growth Children outgrow car seats at an alarming rate. That is why many hospitals and baby resource, such as Baby.com, make it possible to sell or trade old car seats for new ones. With car seat prices starting at around $50 and going up from there, it can be one of the biggest expenses for bringing baby home. It is an expense rivaled only by the cost of a crib or bassinet. For your child’s comfort, a car seat must be properly sized. Seats intended for an older child will not properly support an infant’s head, neck and back. An infant seat might cramp an older baby, causing back and neck discomfort. Therefore, purchasing a new car seat could be an important step for a young family, even if they owned previously serviceable seats. Car Seats, Joint Custody, and Similar Considerations Few women would be willing to go back to the bad old times when the only way out of an unsuitable or even dangerous marriage was death. Furthermore, in the not so very distant past, a woman fleeing an abusive marriage might have been forced to leave her children behind “Till death do you part” might have a romantic ring to it, but for some wives marriage was “a fate worse than death.” Better by far to be able to tell a judge or file some papers that declare the marriage to be null and void than to resort to extreme measures. Failed marriages in historical times make good fiction, but a poor reality in which to live. But that still leaves the children. Some youngsters are fortunate enough to simply have two loving families who manage to communicate and function in ways best for the children. Others, might have one good family and one in not-so-good. And then, there is the third scenario where the custodial parent reluctantly releases their precious child to the other parent. What does that have to do with car seats left in a parking lot? They might have belonged to a disgruntled parent who was denied custody or visitation rights. Those two aged and broken seats might be a social commentary. Car Theft and Car Seats Nothing telegraphs “not my car” quite like a safety or booster seat hanging out in a vehicle occupied by a group of rowdy teens, or even by a person who is clearly driving alone. While certainly not conclusive (see above situations where a child might need to go from one family vehicle to another), it could raise a flag with an officer of the law. Solution? Ditch the car seats.  
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by on October 4, 2021
In early autumn it has become common to walk through your department store, especially if it contains a pharmacy, and see signs advertising flu shots. Regarding the immunizations for your baby, please visit your pediatrician, and you will be given a schedule of vaccinations recommended for your child. Pick up almost any popular magazine about health, and you might see an article about how immunizations are responsible for causing this, that, or the other condition. You want the best for your baby, and the choices you make could have long-term consequences, especially those concerning health. To get those shots or not…that is the question. A Little Background on Immunization It all began with a country doctor who overheard a milkmaid say, “I’ll never have smallpox because I’ve had cowpox. No ugly pockmarked face for me.” Dr. Edward Jenner, a recognized physician and scientist, tested the veracity of her statement, and the smallpox vaccine was born. Thanks to that insight, a little-known folk artist in the late 1900s was able to sing almost truthfully, “Old king plague is dead, the smallpox plague is dead.” No new cases of smallpox have been reported since 1977, but a few laboratories have maintained samples of the smallpox virus.   Next Louis Pasteur, who developed the concept of germs, developed a vaccine for rabies, formerly a dire disease from which no one, human or beast, successfully recovered. This was followed up by Emile Roux developing the diphtheria vaccine. Diphtheria is a serious disease associated with lack of sanitation. It can cause obstruction of the respiratory system and subsequent death. Cholera and typhoid vaccines were also developed, two more diseases often spread through poor sanitation. For centuries there were illnesses considered to be common childhood diseases, measles, chickenpox, whooping cough and mumps. For many youngsters, contracting these diseases simply meant a week or two in bed followed by recovering and subsequent immunity. But not all were so lucky, and even those who made a textbook recovery will tell you that none of these diseases were any fun at all. A woman who is old enough to have had all of these except mumps commented, “I was twelve when I got measles. My head hurt, I was nauseous, I was hot and cold all over and I itched unbearably. It was a relief when I finally broke out. Chickenpox I had with my children, the oldest brought it home from school. We got off lightly but having had chickenpox leaves you open to the possibility of hives later in life. I think the worst, however, was whooping cough. I was seven when I caught it, and it lasted all winter long. There are medicines for it now, but not back then. The name comes from the distinctive sound made from the coughing that goes with the disease, a deep, raw “whoop” that feels as if your lungs would tear right out of your body. You whoop until you throw up. Too much heat, you whoop. Too much cold, you whoop. I learned to read silently because talking, even in a whisper, would start the fatal tickle in the back of my throat.” Sound like fun? No so much, I think.   Those flu shots? Well, let’s take a look at those. In 1918 the “Spanish flu” was responsible for at least 50 million deaths worldwide, and about 675,000 deaths in the United States. It is estimated that at least 1/3 of the world’s population was infected. The young were the hardest hit. It wasn’t smallpox, but it certainly took its toll. Are Immunizations 100% effective? Sadly, they are not. People who are exposed to those infamous “childhood” diseases, to unsanitary living conditions, or to unclean water can still get sick. The vaccines do mitigate the effects, and better understanding of the diseases and their causes make providing relief easier. Tuberculosis is one of the diseases that has not responded well to vaccines. HIV, the precursor to AIDS, has no vaccine, although efforts have been made to develop one. Modern medicine can do a lot of things that could not be done in the past, but it doesn’t have the answer for everything.   Are There Side Effects from Immunizations? The sobering answer is that there can be side effects. As a general rule, these are limited to a little bit of soreness at the injection site, and maybe a little fever or malaise for a day or two after receiving it. Different kinds of immunizations can have different effects. With very rare exceptions, the reaction to the vaccine is far milder than even the mildest form of the disease. However, because there is always the chance that an individual might have an unusual reaction, recipients are always cautioned to call the doctor or health official if they are feeling ill afterward. Can Vaccines Cause Autism? No. This question has been thoroughly researched and completely debunked. Without going into it deeply, it was based on some very questionable “facts”. Researchers were unable to find any connection between getting vaccines and developing autism. Should Your Baby Have the Accepted Course of Immunizations? The writers and publishers of this article are not medically qualified to answer that question. But our feeling is that yes, you should take the advice of your doctor, and follow his or her recommendations for immunizations. If you’ve ever coughed until it felt as if your lungs were turning inside out, if you’ve ever mittened the hands of an unhappy baby who is covered with chicken pox scabs, if you’ve walked the floor with a feverish toddler and wondered whether it is emergency room time or if you and your baby can wait until the doctor’s office opens in the morning, then you will want those immunizations. They aren’t perfect, but they could give your baby that necessary edge for good health. Immunizations Are a Part of Your Well-Baby Regimen Unless you or members of your family are prone to some unusual condition, immunizations should be part of your well-baby doctor visits. Your pediatrician will advise you as to any reactions that might require bringing your baby back for another visit. In today’s world where babies are often in daycare situations from infancy, vaccines help boost your little one’s immunity to the germs that kids seem to love to share. What did you think of our blog?
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by on October 2, 2021
Discipline is often a stressful subject for parents, no matter what age their children might be. Discipline too little, you are perceived as a neglectful or indulgent parent who is raising a wild hooligan. Discipline too much and you are seen as cruel and uncaring. There is a happy medium between these extremes, but it is not necessarily an easy road. No caring parent is ever completely satisfied with his or her actions as a disciplinarian. Let’s face it: it just isn’t the most enjoyable part of parenting. But there are some considerations and guidelines that can help. Age Appropriate All normal children pass through various stages of growth. An infant is essentially helpless, an older baby might become frustrated when unable to move from place to place. A toddler is fearless and impulsive. A preschool child between the ages of three and five, is just beginning to learn self-discipline. Children generally between the ages of five and ten begin to develop understanding, recrimination for wrong-doing, and a degree of self-discipline. This becomes strained during adolescence as the tween or teen copes with the onslaught of hormonal change. By age twenty-five, we expect most young people to have achieved a modicum of self-control and social responsibility. But they don’t get there without some direction along the way. The reason these stages are significant is that discipline, which should never be confused with punishment, needs to be appropriate to the age and development level of the child. There is really no point, for example, to punishing a baby that is less than three months of age for crying. Crying is, in fact, a healthy response and the child’s way of communicating hunger or discomfort. Frankly, child discipline begins with the parent having self-discipline. The behavior you model is the behavior your child will imitate. Children learn far more from what you do than from what you say. Age 0 to Three Months Discipline really is not an issue during these months. Growth and maturation will take care of most possible variables. One of the biggest considerations during this time for most parents is simply, “When will my little darling sleep soundly through the night?” The answer, of course, is when your little one’s system is sufficiently mature to take in enough nourishment to be able to comfortably sleep for more than three or four hours at a time. There are things you can do to encourage night-time, or on your schedule sleeping: Dim the lights in the room during sleep time Feed, change and cuddle, but do not play with your child at this time. Model sleeping, not playing video games, talking loudly or other activities Three Months to Six Months Your baby begins to develop self-will. He or she will develop likes and dislikes, demand attention as well as food and comfort, and toward the end of this time begin to develop a dislike of being stuck in one place. There aren’t very many things that can’t be coped with by simply letting the youngster have preferences, but one of the biggest is biting while nursing. It is probably one of the first disciplinary measures the mother will need to address, and with good reason: it hurts. The corrective measure is simple. If your baby decides to try out those shiny new teeth on mama’s nipple, stop nursing immediately. Say “No,” in a firm, calm voice and put your baby back in his crib or a similarly safe place and walk away. If he has broken the skin, clean the area and put a cleansing, baby safe ointment on the bite. Give yourself some time to calm down. Being bitten invokes primitive responses in anyone, even a parent. Finish nursing your infant, if you believe he or she is still hungry, after several minutes have passed. One correction is often enough. Some youngsters are a little more stubborn or perhaps a little less coordinated, but usually two or three repetitions of this procedure will usually end the behavior, and your little one can and will learn to nurse without inflicting pain. Rolling over, Crawling, Pulling Up and Walking During this phase your baby will have no idea which things in his or her world can cause bodily harm. It is the age of frantically baby proofing your world, thinking you have it proofed, only to discover that your little angel is an ingenious little demon who is bent on breaking, tearing and destroying your precious things. Furthermore, he or she has an affinity for forks and light sockets, tasting or chewing the indigestible, inspecting toilets and mop buckets, and climbing into places where you have no idea how he or she managed to scale the heights. Things Not to Do Here is a news bulletin: no matter how upsetting your infant’s activities might be, shaking, smacking hands, or spanking really are not your best responses. Yelling will produce absolutely nothing except that your child will learn early-on how to ignore your voice. What to Do Your best approach is to say, “No!” in a firm, moderately loud voice, remove your child from the hazardous situation, and place your baby dearest in a secure place, such as a deep walled playpen. You can even relieve your feelings by saying firmly, “That is something you should never, never do. You are now in Time Out!” There is a good chance that temper crying and possibly even some tears will ensue but hold your ground. Go clean up whatever it was that broke or got torn up. Allow about three to five minutes of tearful protests before you comfort your now very upset baby. After a few repeats of this, your “No!” should cause your child to at least hesitate before plunging into whatever mischief has been found. Won’t He or She Just do It Again? That really depends on the child. Some youngsters are more strong-willed than others. Some have shorter memories. It also depends on the activity. Some things are just a lot more fun than others. The more enjoyable the activity, the harder it is going to be to prevent the behaviour. If you can, after the disciplinary action, offer an alternative that is more fun, you will have a better chance for success. Sometimes you just have to be more stubborn than your child. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency Consistency is the key to good discipline. If it is wrong today, it is wrong tomorrow. If it is forbidden today, it is forbidden tomorrow. If you have to eat your vegetables and protein before having an apple today, then that rule should apply tomorrow. No amount of saying no or setting your child in time out will work if today he or she is in trouble for playing with the china tea set, and tomorrow you bring it out and encourage playing with it. All Siblings Abide by the Same Rules While you might make allowances for age, every child in your household should have to abide by the same set of rules. These might include things like “Hands to self,” “Respect other people’s stuff,” “Eat your vegetables,” “Do your chores,” and “Refrain from self-destructive behaviour.” Keep your rules few and keep them reasonable. Hold “Because I said so,” for the absolute last-ditch argument. Eventually, you are likely to have to use it – but remember, like salt, it should be applied sparingly. A Last Word About Time Out Time out not only gives your child time to realize he or she has misbehaved, but also gives you time to cool down. Being placed in a crib or playpen works for the littlest ones. A special chair in a special place works for older children who understand that they are to remain in that spot for a specific amount of time. For school age children, being sent to their room is a reasonable response. Do they have toys and other things there? Perhaps. But it is still a time for both parties to reflect on what has just happened. Role Modelling The example you set is the most important part of disciplining your child. Under pressure, humans tend to lash out. If you have a rule against hitting, but you spank your child or smack hands, you are setting a “do as I say, not as I do” example. Redirecting behaviour is essential for the well-being of your child. Hearing your firm, “No!” and obeying could be lifesaving. Setting a good example is essential. He or she who would discipline others, must first discipline him or herself. Rational Argument from Older Children Consistency is important in child rearing, but you can allow rational argument from older children. This is not to be confused with whining or temper tantrums. But even though you are the parent, there are times when you realize that you have made a mistake. Discussion should be allowable, as long as it does not endanger your child, yourself or others. Your “no,” however, should always create a time-out in whatever activity is underway. You can always say no first then listen afterward. Parenting is Not an Exact Science Parenting is not an exact science. Every child is different, every parent is different. What works for one might not work for another. But there are some things that work better than others. Therefore, keep these things in mind: When you discipline, do it for the sake of the child’s well-being. - Model the behavior you expect. - Be firm. - Be consistent. - Listen. Allow yourself room to change your mind but be sure to explain why you are relenting. - If you have to fall back on, “Because I am the parent and I said so,” try not to do it often. It is a feeble crutch but might sometimes be the only explanation you are free to offer. Love isn’t all you need to be a good parent or a firm, reasonable disciplinarian. But it is a good place to start. What did you think of our blog?
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by on September 30, 2021
Babies are in tune with mama’s voice. It is one of the first things that they hear, along with her heartbeat. They might hear other family voices, as well, helping them key in on the people who will care for them as they grow. Lullabies are a way to continue that focus, and to develop a warm relationship with your little one, a relationship that engenders trust and that will help carry you through the stormy years of developing independence. Sources for Lullabies If your mother and your mother’s mother sang to you and your siblings, then those songs become part of your memory bank. Even if you have to look them up to get all the words,  they are part of your heritage. If your family wasn’t focused on singing, you can still locate and learn lullabies. Walk into any music store,  go to the section that has music for children, and you are certain to find a recording or two of sleepy-time music. If your budget doesn’t run to buying music recordings, especially after purchasing all the “must-have” things for baby, your public library is like to have music recordings as well as a friendly librarian to point you toward some all-time favorites. If you have a device that plays sound, such as a phone, tablet or computer, YouTube has a wealth of lullabies, as well as background music for sleeping. Here are a few links and some ideas.   Hush Little Baby This is a classic lullaby, with a wide variety of lyrics. You can find a pretty recording of it here. This is an especially nice recording with sweet, gentle lyrics.  If you delve very deeply into lullabies you will discover that they, like nursery rhymes, often have hidden meanings and questionable pasts. But this one has all the earmarks of a perfect lullaby: a sweet, singsong tune that is easy to sing softly, multiple verses, and a tune to which you can add your own lyrics. Hush-a-Bye, or All the Pretty Horses All the Pretty Little Horses has an incredibly lovely melody. It is often suggested that it is of African-American origin, and that it might have been sung to the Master’s child, while the care-taker’s own child was left behind, untended. This recording is a sweetly sung version with one of the least jarring central verses. It might be noted that one version of the primary lyric runs, “…and when you wake, you shall have cake, and all the pretty little horses.” Brahms’s Lullaby No list of lullabies would be complete without the classic Brahm’s Lullabye. This pretty rendition from YouTube is complete with lyrics and two youngsters. Rock-a-bye Baby Here is a humorous rendition from Kids TV of this classic lullaby. The music is gentle and lovely, and the cartoon rendition is a loving recounting of this lullaby classic, as well as the classic frustration of a parent who is trying to get the youngest member of the family to sleep. What’ll We Do With the Baby-O This is another lullaby from the bad old days of the south. Clearly, care of this baby wasn’t high on anyone’s priority list! If you can find a copy of the lyrics from Suzette Haden Elgin’s filk song, it is much more fun and a lot more gentle – as was her explanation. It went something like this: back when people went to dances as a family, someone always got stuck watching the baby. You could sing mean lyrics to the baby, and he or she wouldn’t care as long as you bounced him or her (gently) on your knee. What would you do with the baby-o is a baby bouncing song designed to keep little ones entertained until the parents get off the dance floor. Elgin’s version started out, “What should we do with the baby-o? Send him off in a rocket-o…”   Sleepsong If you like your music a little more modern, here is a lovely one from Secret Garden’s album “Earth Songs.” It isn’t as easy to sing as some of the others, but if you squeak on some of the high notes, no one but you and the baby are likely to notice at 3:00 am. Irish Lullaby For sweetness you can scarcely surpass the Irish. This sweet and gentle lullaby is a wish for many good things for a little one.  It is also an acknowledgement that parents aren’t always able to fix all of the problems that will arise. But you can always wish. Lullabies don’t have to be traditional sleep songs for babies. They can be any song that has a repetitive rhythm, an easy tune and is something you can remember. For example, Janis Joplin’s song “of great social and political import,” the Mercedes Benz song makes a decent lullaby. Long mournful ballads with a lot of verses also work well. And we should not forget Arlo Guthrie’s Car Car song. The real point of a lullaby is to make soothing vocal noises that keep baby’s attention, then slowly lull the little … ah… sweetheart off to sleep. Hopefully the lulling part will be soon enough for a tired parent to get some sleep as well. Singing lullabies also gives the parent something to do while waiting for those little eyes to drift slowly closed. If some homemade lyrics get in there somewhere, well that’s the creative part of parenting. Just remember that if you sing something like, “Go to sleep, little creep…” it could come back to haunt you when your little one moves from preverbal into verbal. Just remember not to sing anything to your baby dearest that you don’t want to share with your mother-in-law, nursery school teacher, and any other handy adult. Babies do love to share, and they don’t discriminate. If you don’t have time or the voice to sing lullabies, there are long sections of sleepy-time songs available on YouTube, Amazon Prime, and many other sources. Just be careful that you don’t fall asleep along with your baby before you can get your little one tucked in for the night.
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by on October 4, 2021
There are many things you need to know as a new parent. Rearing a new baby is a tasking and you should be ready and prepared for the challenges ahead. In this article, we shall discuss the 10 basic things a new parent should know. 1. Sleep when the baby sleeps You must have heard this on a number of occasions. Don’t cook, clean or worry about your baby whenever the baby is sleeping. The best time for you to sleep is when your baby is sleeping. Although the sleep won’t last, you may regret if you don’t take the advantage. 2. Swaddle your baby Swaddling is an ancient way of wrapping babies in blankets or similar clothes in such a way that their limbs are tightly restricted. Although it is an old technique, it still works in keeping your baby quiet and content. Do this properly and you are sure to have a happy, sleeping baby. 3. Don’t worry about the home noise You don’t need to worry yourself about the noise level of your home. If you live in a noisy environment, your baby will adjust and adapt to it. 4. Don’t overbuy You cannot get everything you want for your new baby. Cloths, Poncho, Carriage, and Diapers etc. are good but you may regret buying everything in the end. Babies are quick to grow and can outgrow those clothes in a matter of months. 5. Wake a sleeping baby to eat This can sound strange but it is an obvious truth. You have to wake a sleeping baby to eat. While enough sleep is important for your baby, enough food is also essential. This will ensure that your baby stays healthy and hydrated always. 6. You cannot over-pamper a new baby Hold your baby close to you as much as possible and do everything to keep them happy. Of course, there are sometimes when you need to let them cry it out but at their early stage, it is more than okay to spoil them rotten! 7. Listen to your baby Every baby is unique and different from the other. The fact that your neighbour’s baby sleep throughout the morning does not mean yours must also do the same. Spend quality time with your baby and pay attention to their behaviour and attitude. You should be able to differentiate between their hunger cry, stress cry, and hold me cry. 8. Relax Don’t overburden yourself. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your baby will be. Simple formula! 9. Let Dad take over! Don’t be afraid to let dad takeover of the baby while you rest or do some other things. Dad also needs to be familiar with the baby’s routine as you do. Don’t stress yourself when dad asks to stay with the child for a while. He will come running for you when it’s time for mummy care. 10. Factor your baby in every plan When the time comes that you have to return to work or engage in your daily commitments, remember that you now have a baby. Thus, it is worthwhile to factor your baby into every plan. If you are preparing for work, you need to give yourself twice as much time as you used to. The same principle applies to commitments. Bottom line There is no singular rule for rearing babies. The best way is to understand your baby and follow your instinct. If things seem difficult, do not hesitate to visit your doctor for professional advice. Relax, listen and enjoy!
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by on September 29, 2021
5 easy ways to bond with your baby as a new mother, you might be wondering how you can bond with your baby. It is normal if you do not immediately feel a bond with your child after birth. This can be due to various reasons such as exhaustion from a long labor and delivery, or simply feeling overwhelmed by the heavy responsibility of motherhood. Even if you did not have the opportunity to enjoy physical closeness with your baby immediately after birth for whatever reason, there is still plenty of time for you to establish a close connection with your child. Read on for 5 easy ways to bond with your baby after birth. 1.Eye Contact Newborn babies can see objects at breastfeeding distance. When feeding your baby, be sure to maintain eye contact and you will be able to communicate your love to him or her.   2. Touch Your touch is very reassuring to your baby. Massaging your baby daily is a wonderful way to bond with your child. It is important to use good quality massage oil that is suitable for infants such as olive oil, sweet almond, or sunflower oil, and when massaging, make sure that your hands are open and relaxed. To learn more about infant massage techniques, you can take a class on it or read a book on the topic. You can also bond with your baby during bath time and enjoy the skin contact as you wash him or her. After bathing and patting your baby dry, you can also communicate your love by massaging your little one with a mild moisturizing lotion to prevent skin dryness. 3. Talk Your baby can recognize the sound of your voice and hearing your voice gives your child a sense of security. Talk to your baby whenever you can such as during bath time, nappy changes, or even when you leave the room. You can also read aloud to your baby regularly -- this is not only a great bonding opportunity, but also stimulates your child's language development.   4. Kiss Babies understand and respond to hugs and kisses. Take time to bond with your baby through cuddles and kisses and relax and enjoy every precious moment you spend with your little one.   5. Share favorite activities with your baby While it is good to take a break from your baby from time to time, you can bond with your baby by involving him or her in your favorite activities where possible. Even simple activities such as taking your baby with you for a walk in the park can be a bonding experience -- you can point interesting things out to your baby, while at the same time getting some fresh air together. All it requires is a little advance planning - for example, if you intend to take your baby with you for a shopping trip, be sure to pack diapers, an extra change of clothes and any other essential items your baby may need. What did you think of our blog? Let us know in the comments section below!
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by on September 29, 2021
Does feeding your baby solid foods earlier help in them sleeping more soundly? Does feeding your baby solid foods earlier help them sleep more soundly? Oh, my, is that ever a loaded question! First, let’s think about a few things. Is the baby breast fed? How early is “earlier”? Earlier than what? Does the child have food allergies? Are food allergies common in the family? Is the infant on special formula? Without knowing the real answer to these questions, the initial one is difficult to answer. Let’s go at this a different way. The Perfect Baby Food Under most circumstances, the milk of a healthy human mom is the best food for a human infant. It is perfectly balanced, calibrated to the child’s heritage and it is chock full of antigens and antibodies that can help keep a baby from catching every passing germ. More than that, it is convenient. It is always on tap, requires no heating, no bottles to wash. With minimal personal hygiene, the mom should not experience any of those horrible things that are described in many books such as chapped nipples, cracked or sore nipples, engorged breasts, etc., etc. That is not to say that these things cannot happen. But in most cases, the solutions are easy – a food grade moisturizer, making sure nipples are dry after a feeding, and similar common sense solutions. For a stay-at-home mom, breast feeding is the easiest, most economical way to feed a baby. Here a some tips on how to properly bottle feed your baby. In today’s economic environment, it is a lucky mom, indeed, who gets to stay at home with baby after the first six weeks. To maintain breastfeeding, she is likely to have to pump during the day, and that isn’t always easy to manage on the job. Being unable to allow the baby to nurse can cause some of the problems described above, and the sheer, unmitigated hassle of trying to deal with breast milk, daycare, breast pumps and the whole rest of it can lead to early weaning to a bottle at the very least.   One Tired Mama Working all day then caring for an infant half the night can lead to high stress and a sincere longing for the little darling to please, please sleep through the night. So by about the time Baby is eight weeks old, or two weeks after mom goes back to work, rice cereal gets mixed into formula or breastmilk at the eight or nine pm feeding in the sincere hope that Baby dearest will have a full tummy and will snooze until the alarm goes off, instead of being the 3:00 am alarm system. Sometimes, it works. But, sometimes, it backfires. Maturation and Digestion Prepared baby foods are, in a very real sense of the word, the result of commerce. The baby food business is big business. That doesn’t make it bad. Having food that is ready for Baby to eat without the extreme labor of cooking, mashing and straining is a true blessing. But here’s the real scoop: your baby has a perfectly sound biological clock that dictates when he or she is ready for solid food. Your best indicator that your infant is ready to taste-test solids is when he or she starts teething. Even then, for at least the first six months of life, your baby’s best nutrition is a healthy mama’s milk or the formula prescribed by your pediatrician. Your little mammal is hardwired to live on milk until he or she has chompers and hands that can hold and manipulate food. This will usually start to occur around age four months. What happens when you feed your baby solids before he or she can properly digest them? Just about what you might expect: a tummy ache. You can bet that you won’t be getting any extra sleep if you are up most of the night with a colicky baby! Taste Testing the World One way your baby signals that he or she is ready to try solids is by watching you eat or perhaps even grabbing at the spoon as you guide it toward your own mouth. This is when you can judiciously start allowing your little one to try a taste of this or that. Most pediatricians will recommend introducing one single food, then waiting a week or two. There are good, solid reasons for this. If your baby develops a reaction to a food, it is easier to track the cause of the problem if there has been only one small change in his or her diet, instead of dozens. Although a lot has been said (often loudly and long) about commercial baby foods, most go through much more stringent testing and care than regular foods. You can be pretty sure they are safe for your youngster to try. But babies have been introduced to gravy, ice cream, bananas, and even food pre-chewed by mom for centuries and often thrive on some pretty weird stuff. It probably doesn’t hurt to err on the side of caution, however. We do know about germs these days. Tiny Tank Needs Filled Often Babies are doing some pretty important stuff in those first weeks when it seems as if all they do is eat, make dirty diapers, sleep, eat and make more diapers. They are working hard at learning about their new world. They are listening to their mom, to people around them and getting a feel for how things are. They are learning to connect. And they are growing, body, brain, mind and soul, they are growing. All that growing takes a lot of fuel, and they don’t have a very big tank (tummy), so it needs filled up often. Breast milk digests quickly and well, so breast fed babies might need to top up a little more often than babies on formula. Don’t worry – they’ll catch up just fine. Levelling Out You don’t have to do anything special to get your baby sleeping on your schedule. Feed your little sweetie when that tummy is empty, cuddle briefly and tuck him or her back into bed. Take some time to talk and play during the daytime. Maturation is a wonderful thing. Soon you will both be able to sleep through the night. Hey, did we miss something? Comment below and let us know! 
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by on September 29, 2021
In the early 1970’s, one of the first foods pediatricians would recommend for infants was rice cereal – usually Gerber’s rice cereal. Gerber’s rice cereal, for those of you who have not been introduced to the intricacies of baby food, is a dry flake that look very much like bran flour but are not. The translucent flakes can be mixed with cereal or breast milk and either placed in a bottle with an enlarged nipple hole or spoon fed with a little spoon cushioned with a plastic wrap. The rice cereal was and is vitamin fortified, including a healthy dose of iron. Prior to the 1920’s, solid food was rarely introduced before age one year. The Driving Force Behind Rice Cereal The idea of feeding solids at an earlier age was introduced by Helen Marion McPherson Mackay, a British pediatrician. Dr. Mackay was famous for a few other firsts, as well. She was a graduate of the Royal Free Hospital’s medical college and was the first female physician at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She was also one of the first women to be admitted to the Royal College of Physicians.   She was one of the first physicians to notice that between birth and age 2 months, babies seemed to decline in iron stores in their blood. After researching the problem, she recommended iron supplements for nursing mothers and an earlier feeding of solids to compensate for the loss of iron in very young infants. Of course, the recommendation caught the attention of commercial interests, and by 1931, a commercial baby food called Pablum was marketed by the Mead Johnson Company. The stuff could be made into a thin, watery gruel that could easily be fed to infants. Eventually, the company was bought out by H.J. Heinz.   Why Rice? The original Pablum was a mixture of farina (a wheat cereal), yellow corn meal, bone meal, dried brewer’s yeast, and alfalfa leaf. The mixture was fortified with iron. Eventually, wheat was outed as a potential trigger for several kinds of allergic reactions, and it was thought that by waiting until a child was older that these reactions could be avoided. This turned out not to be true. Allergies are one of those things that tend to be a permanent companion. Rice, unlike wheat, was found not to trigger allergies. Gerber, an American baby food company established in 1927, produces a line of “single grain cereals” including rice cereal. Gerber strained foods have been feeding more than three generations of Americans, so what is the current problem with rice cereal? Here is a useful video showing how to prepare Rice Cereal for babies. The Current Problem with Rice Cereal The problem with rice cereal in this twenty-first century is the rice. Or more precisely, where and how rice is grown. Rice, in the United States, is cultivated in California, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Mississippi. Many of the fields where rice is grown was also used to grow cotton and tobacco, crops that have had arsenic used as insecticides. Over time, the arsenic from the insecticides settled into the soil. Rice is grown in standing water and does an excellent job of wicking up inorganic arsenic, which is the harmful form of it, out of the soil. While this is good news in the long run for the environment, it is bad news for rice growers who would like to be able to sell their product. Can the Rice Grown on These Fields be Eaten? Fortunately, yes, the rice can be eaten. The arsenic content can be combatted by washing the rice and by cooking it in extra amounts of water and straining off the extra water. Some nutrients are lost this way, but the arsenic content is thus greatly reduced. But that brings us back to rice cereal. Since the dried flakes in Gerber cereals are intended to be mixed with a liquid and then consumed, it would be difficult or impossible to wash the cereal flakes. Fortunately, the Gerber company is aware of the problem and is taking steps to ensure that their baby cereals are safe. Here is a quotation from the company: “You carefully consider every bite your baby eats, and so do we. That’s why we monitor and test our rice ingredients and cereals for safety. We test for levels of substances like arsenic, which can occur naturally in soil and water and enter into crops, such as rice, as they grow. In 2017, all of our test results found arsenic levels for rice used in our infant rice cereals were below the proposed FDA guidance level of 100 ppb.”
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by on September 29, 2021
Going out in the open with your baby brings many benefits. Taking a walk, going to the park or just spending time on a park bench enjoying nature, are activities that every child and parent should enjoy as often as possible. In spring and summer, when the weather is good and the temperatures are warm and inviting. As well as during the autumn and winter months when outdoor activities can prove to be a little more challenging. Do not be discouraged by the weather conditions of the cold season! You can always go out with your baby, just take some precautions. The following, are tips for taking your baby outside in all types of weather.  Tips before taking your baby out for the first time Soon after leaving the hospital, mom and dad can go out with their newborn on a daily basis. However, it is necessary to cover your child’s head, as it is extremely sensitive and you must protect it. It is advisable to access quieter and less congested places. Thus avoiding your baby’s exposure to noise and pollution. Try to go to parks in the middle of the day, as they tend to be quieter places where you will also be able to enjoy the serenity of nature.   Visual, olfactory and auditory stimuli Spending time outdoors is very beneficial for the baby, as exposure to sunlight stimulates their production of vitamin D, which is very important for its growth. In addition, getting out of the house allows for your baby to breathe fresh air and enjoy the sights and sounds offered by nature. It is also good to let the baby discover the world around him. Be careful to always keep an eye out for your baby as at this age, everything can attract their attention. Body temperature of baby The core internal temperature of newborns are not as developed as that of adults. Therefore, your baby will be more sensitive to cold and heat. You will need to take certain precautions during seasons when temperatures are extreme. Thus, in summer, you will avoid going out during the hottest hours of the day; and in winter, only going out during the hours of which the sunshines the brightest. How to dress baby When you go out with your baby, the important thing is to dress appropriately, taking into account the temperature and weather conditions outside. In winter, dress in layers with clothes that allow your baby to perspire easily. Always protect their head by using a hat when it is cold because it is through this part of the body that the baby loses heat. Mittens and boots are also needed as well to protect their extremities for the cold. For those summer days keep an eye out for the UV index, if it’s elevated then there is a high risk of unprotected sun exposure. On those days you will want to keep your baby indoors. However, when the UV index is low make sure your baby wears a hat to protect them from the suns rays. As well, loose comfortable breathable clothing is recommended. Pediatricians recommend that you should apply special baby sunscreen to newborns to ensure that the baby is well protected from the sun. Watch out for sudden changes in temperature Temperature changes are dangerous for the baby’s health as it easily can catch a cold. It is therefore essential to dress according to the immediate temperature of your surroundings, whether you are indoors or outdoors, in direct sunlight or not. Packing along a change of weather appropriate clothing or accessories can help you be ready for whatever weather comes along. In closing taking the necessary precautions to protect your baby’s outdoor experience will ensure a fun and safe experience for both you and the baby. Comment below and let us know! 
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by on September 30, 2021
Some babies love car rides, here are 8 helpful tips to prepare your baby for their car ride that the whole family will appreciate. Putting your baby to sleep by placing them in their car seat and driving around the block is often a very effective way for them to go to bed. But other babies hate riding in a car, and they especially hate the car seat. If your infant gets carsick easily or has extreme separation anxiety, then you might have a bit of a problem on your hands. But handled correctly, car riding should be a pleasure for the whole family most of the time. Here are eight ways you can help make car riding more pleasant for your child. 1. Spread a towel or even one of those foil windshield screens over the car seat and the metal buckles that might touch your baby. Metal heats up quickly, especially in areas where outdoor temperatures can exceed 110 during the day. Always check the temperature of the metal before buckling your child into the seat, as some metals can become hot enough to cause burns. 2. Make sure the seat is the right size. The carrier or seat that seemed to be “just right” last week can become too small very quickly. Unfortunately, a good car seat is an expensive purchase. One way around this is to join a parent exchange where you can trade in your too-small seat for a sanitized hand-me-down from a slightly older baby. 3. Add a toy to the seat but do make sure that it is age appropriate and not likely to have any parts that can be pried off and swallowed. As with all toys, a choking hazard is not the goal. “Exercise” boards with things to pull, push and move around are ideal if there is some way to secure them to the car seat. Toddlers love having their own baby steering wheel, so they can play at driving. 4. Provide a small bottle or sippy cup. If the day is hot, give sips of distilled water rather than milk or juice. Snacks are an option for babies who can hold food but could be a choking hazard. 5. Play soothing music or sing songs. Babies have a very short attention span, and the anticipation of going to Grandma’s house just might not be enough to sustain patience with being forced to sit still for a long time. Interactive entertainment can make a difference. 6. Velcro or otherwise mount a small tablet on the back of the forward seat, just at eye level. Play soothing music or an age-appropriate video. Those videos with fish swimming can sometimes be enough. [bsa_pro_ad_space id=15] 7. Play something active with  your baby before getting into the car, then feed him or her just before the trip. With any luck, you’ll be able to enter the vehicle with a clean, well-fed, sleepy baby who will snooze out for several miles of the trip. 8. If the crying persists consistently every time you go for a car ride, talk with your pediatrician to see if there is a physical cause for your child’s discomfort. Riding in a car should be a pleasurable experience, and for many children, it is. Keep in mind that long road trips are very difficult for active youngsters. Even if your youngster decides to relieve his or her boredom by pelting the driver with snacks provided as part of the in-vehicle entertainment, try to hold on to your cool. Do, however, pull off the roadway at the first opportunity and relieve your young bombardier of any and all potential missiles. Not all children enjoy riding in a car, but most do. If your child begins crying as soon as you approach the car, try doing some detective work to learn what might be the problem. In many cases, the remedy can be simple. When the problem is complex, such as a child that has motion sickness, then you might need to consider getting your pediatrician’s help. What did you think of our blog? Let us know in the comments section below!
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by on September 30, 2021
Preparing your current child or children for a new sibling often depends upon the age and temperament of the child or children. Certainly, it is a good idea to prepare your son or daughter for the advent of another family member. Youngsters are often very excited about the prospect of having someone to play with, and are unworried about the finer points of childbirth – such as where do babies come from. The Announcement Be as upbeat, positive and excited about the new baby as you can possibly be, in a restrained sort of way. But don’t be too surprised if you don’t get a positive reaction when the idea is first brought up. Some children are quite excited about the prospect of a younger sibling, but many are not as thrilled as you might think. A new baby means having to share mom and dad, perhaps having to share a room. Play up having someone to play with as much as possible and gloss over some of the practical aspects, such as having to share a room or mom and dad having even less time for the “old baby” than usual. Peter Pan was a story about having to share – make no mistake about that.   Develop a collection of stories about becoming a big brother or a big sister. The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby is an excellent example of a good book about introducing a new child into a family. In the end, Brother Bear helps make a cradle for Sister Bear. This is only one example of many good books about being a big brother or big sister. For older children, My Rotten Red-Haired Older Brother is a great book about siblings and sibling rivalry – and about the protective role of older siblings. How Much Biology Does Your Child Need? Unless your current child is old enough to comprehend the broader points of biology, he or she isn’t likely to need to know the mechanics of how the baby got started or what happens as a baby grows inside the mother. For example, one precocious little girl asked her mama about an aunt who was expecting a baby. Her parents purchased a copy of “Where Did I Come From?” by Peter Mayle. The cover of the book shows a naked baby climbing through the first O in book. The little girl’s mama read the book aloud, and thought she had explained the pictures about babies and where they come from pretty thoroughly. At the end of the book, she then asked the child, “So where do babies come from?” The little girl looked thoughtfully at the cover illustration. “Out of the O,” she said. The point here is that we can explain many things to children, but some things are truly beyond their comprehension. Maturity is a factor in understanding. Helping Build Anticipation You can tell your preschool or school age child that mommy is growing a baby inside of her. It will explain why Mom is getting more rotund every day. Take your child shopping for things for the new baby – but don’t forget to buy a tidbit or two for the “old baby” to help with that feeling of being pushed out. When you begin to feel your baby kick, make listening to the baby or feeling the baby move a family affair, shared with dad and with siblings. A pregnancy is a special time for everyone. Do Other Things with Your Older Child Even though  you have a new baby on the way, your current child still has needs and wants. Take time to read books, watch television or play games with your older child or children. Attend his or her school presentations, and try very hard not to miss important things like T-ball or Scouts. Allow Dad to have some extra time with older siblings. This is a good time to bond over nature walks or building things in the garage. Whether your child is a daughter or a son, sharing time with dad helps give a balanced view of life. Don’t short girls on learning how to make things with Legos or how to clean a battery or change a tire; and remember to show boys that dads can cook, mend and clean just as well as moms. If you or your spouse don’t know how to do some of these things, this is a good time for everyone to get in some learning. Gender equality means everyone knowing how to shovel the snow off the walk or how to wash dishes. It also means letting Dad have a share of the parenting. Let Your Child Help As Mom becomes more ungainly, let your child do things like bring a drink of water. Encourage acts of responsibility, such as picking up his or her own toys or pouring a scoop of kibble in a pets food dish. Chores are a good way for children to prepare for having a place of their own. Develop Special Quiet Time Activities Children are not naturally quiet. They are built to run, romp, yell and have fun. When you bring home a baby to a small house or apartment, there will be times when this very natural behavior will not be acceptable. Forestall conflict in your family by developing ways for your current child to let off a little steam safely, and prepare him or her to play quietly alone some of the time. Collect some good books, coloring activity books, or even purchase a child friendly computer tablet and load it with educational games – but don’t forget to provide a set of headphones! Remember, it is so much easier to be still and quiet if you have something fun to do. A Little Homework for Mom and Dad What and how much you tell your child isn’t as important as it is reassuring him or her that they are still loved. Especially during the first six years of life, you are your child’s security. Show your child that you still love them as much as ever. And you can – because love is one of those elastic things where the more you give, the more you have to give. One way you can show your older child that you care is to help prepare ways to keep special things safe from the new younger sibling. Before you begin to think about it, a baby will begin to crawl and pull up on furniture. You can protect both your children by making sure that the model airplane is safely out of Baby’s reach and by providing older children with a secure place to keep items that are not baby safe. Putting It All Together The bottom line is to tell your child that a new family member is expected. Encourage your older child or children to anticipate the new baby as a joyous event, even if you might be struggling with the idea. And apply practical considerations such as making sure that the older children do not feel abandoned or left out. These things are much more important than explaining the mechanics of childbirth. That part will come along soon enough.      
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