Keeping the Word “No” Out of Your Child’s Life

When you have a child, you probably have all sorts of ideas about what life will be like.  Your child will never act up in the store, throw fits at home, or cry for no reason at all, right?  Wrong!  If there is one thing any child will do, it is test his boundaries.  Because of that, many parents quickly find that the word they hate to hear their child say to them is the word they say the most themselves…no!  If you do not want to be one of those parents who always hears a defiant “no!” from their children, make a few goals for yourself early on in your child’s life.  Here are a few samples of things you could do other than say “no!”  That way, with any luck, you will not hear the word shot back at you as much from your child.

-Distraction
When the child is young and does not really understand the difference between right and wrong, the best thing you can do to stop a particular behavior is to distract the child from it.  Instead of yelling no when he pulls the dog’s tail, give him a stuffed dog and let him pull its tail all he wants.  Distract your child from the wrong behavior with another game that is okay.  Children at young ages do not have long attention spans and will easily be directed to something else.

-Alternative phrases
There are plenty of ways you can say, “no” without actually saying the word.  If you see your child doing something wrong, you can say, “please do not do that,” or “could you do it this way instead?”  Get creative and you’ll be amazed at how many ways you can say no without actually using the word.  When you use these other phrases, your child gets language skills along with new forms of understanding.

-Use No Selectively
There are times when the word “no” is really the only way to go.  Use it in danger situations to shock your child out of the behavior so that he does not get hurt.  If he is about to step out into the street alone, touch a hot pan, or do something else that would hurt him, yell “no” loudly.  If it is not a word he hears very often, he will stop because of the tone in your voice and because of the force behind the word.  If you use it only in danger situations, it will have more effect than if you use it all day everyday.

No matter what you do, your child will eventually learn the word “no” and use it on you.  When she is young and you can influence her, however, teach her how to use it properly so that it does not become her favorite word in moments of defiance.  Keep in mind that your child is watching everything you do at all times and learning from your words and actions.  If all you do is say “no” all of the time, it is eventually all you are going to hear.

 

How to Transition Out of Night Feedings

infant eating How to Transition Out of Night FeedingsFor the first few months of life, babies are too little to go for very long without eating. Whether this means you are up at night nursing or preparing a bottle, get ready for several weeks (okay, months) of exhausted night feedings. However, by the time that little one is around six months old, she is ready to start sleeping through the night without eating.

Be forewarned, your little one is more than likely to disagree with this statement, especially if she is particularly fond of being awake and eating at night. However, there comes a time when you both need the sleep and she does not need those extra calories any more, which means the time has come for a little sleep training.

Start by checking with your pediatrician to make sure it is okay to stop feeding at night. Babies younger than five or six months are not physically ready and some babies are just too small at that age to proceed. However, once you get permission to move forward, get ready to transition into the next stage of life (i.e., sleep!).

There is no need to go cold turkey, especially since that will be hard on you and downright traumatic for a certain little someone who is used to a certain routine and does not know how to do anything else. Going slowly will help your baby (and your body, if you are nursing) transition slowly.

Start cutting down the time you nurse at night. For example, start by nursing a few minutes less on each side the first night and then decrease it slightly again the next night. Within a few nights, keep it to one side and then slowly reduce the amount of time you nurse until the magical night when you wake up and realize that your baby is sound asleep and didn’t wake up to eat as usual.

For bottle-fed infants, the same idea works by simply cutting back on the amount of time he gets to eat by a few minutes each night until that feeding is non-existent.
infant feeding How to Transition Out of Night Feedings
Be aware that while most babies transition to a snooze fest during the night in about a week or less, your little one might wake up a little earlier than usual to eat in the morning. Set a time that is officially “too early,” such as anything earlier than 5:00am and stick with that as the official time it is okay to wake up and eat. Anything earlier and you are simply moving that night feeding to later in the night instead of teaching her how to sleep until morning.

If you are nursing, remember that transitioning slowly out of the feeding is necessary for your body as well, so that you do not end up engorged and miserable at night. Cutting down gradually will prevent this problem. If it does happen, do not pump – your body reads this as a signal that you still need to have milk at night, so you will have too much milk the next night again.

Moreover, as with everything else related to parenting, be consistent. When you decide to night wean and the doctor endorses it, pick a date and go for it. You and your baby deserve a full night’s sleep!

Teaching a Baby How to Sleep

Good Night Teaching a Baby How to SleepEveryone has heard about the sleep deprivation that comes with having a baby, but until you have gone through it yourself, you really have no idea what it is like to be that tired. For the first few weeks, the whole sleep loss thing is novel, funny even, but after a few months of no consistent sleep, things are starting to get a little old.

The good news is that most babies are ready to learn how to go to sleep on their own around six months of age. Of course, some of us are blessed with babies who start sleeping through the night at six weeks – or at least we’ve heard of such mystical creatures – but most of us have a baby who likes to wake up at night. After all, he has woken up every few hours his entire life be held, snag a clean diaper and then eat until he falls asleep, so why stop now?

Well, little one, it is time to stop now so that you can learn that invaluable lesson of how to go to sleep, through the night and let your exhausted parents get a little rest too.

There are innumerable ways techniques when it comes to teaching your baby to sleep and you must decide which one works best for you. Here is one way that incorporates a gentle but effective method to send the message that it is time to sleep:

- Start a bedtime routine if you do not have one already. This may include a last feeding – but do not let him fall asleep while eating – followed by a clean diaper, pajamas and then a book or two.

- Lay him down, kiss him good night and then gently leave the room.

- Let him cry for 5 minutes (it may feel like forever) and then go in, kiss him again, say good night and leave quietly again. However, do not pick him up. A gentle pat and a kiss is all you need.

- Allow another 5 minutes to pass if he is still crying and then go in to repeat the routine.

- Let the time stretch to 10 minutes and continue until he realizes that it is just not going to work this time and he might as well go to sleep. Sleeping Teaching a Baby How to Sleep

Repeat this pattern every time you put that little one down to sleep and within a week at most, you will find that you can lay him down without a peep. Or at least some happy, “Okay, I’ll just hang out and talk to myself for awhile until I get sleepy” peeps, which means he is learning the oh-so-essential skill of going to sleep by himself.

Oh, and one more thing – whatever path you choose to take to get that little one to sleep on their own, be consistent. Nothing is more confusing to a baby than a new system that starts and stops, starts again, and stops again. You will only drag out the process and make it worse for everyone. So make the commitment to help your baby learn to sleep, do the work and before you know it, you will all be slumbering happily.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Breast Feeding

baby bottle Advantages and Disadvantages of Breast FeedingIf you are pregnant and wondering how your life will change once the baby arrives, the answer is: plenty.  You will go through a total life change and if you are considering breastfeeding your baby, that change will only heighten.  Breastfeeding is one of the hardest, but most rewarding experiences any mother can have with her child.  If you are considering going for it, here are some things to consider.

First, there are numerous advantages to both you and your baby when you choose to breastfeed.  The baby is automatically protected from many different illnesses because of the antibodies in the breastmilk.  That means he will have lower amounts of ear infections and many other viruses.  He is also less likely to develop allergies as he ages.  He will have a lower risk of SIDS, a heightened amount of intelligence, and a reduced chance of getting cancer.  Breast milk is an unmatched form of nutrition that can help any baby grow and thrive.

The baby is not the only one that benefits.  You as the mother may see several advantages as well.  Breastfeeding can reduce stress levels and many mothers are at a lower risk for issues like postpartum depression because of it.  Not only that, but moms who want to lose their extra baby weight fast will find that burning the extra calories by making and expelling the breast milk greatly helps that process.
happy baby Advantages and Disadvantages of Breast Feeding
Breastfeeding is not all sunshine and roses.  In fact, there are many disadvantages to the situation.  Sometimes, breastfeeding can just plain hurt.  If the baby does not attach correctly, you can end up with welts and other painful side effects.  Breastfeeding also often leads to engorgement when the baby drops a feeding or does not eat as much as normal and this is also very painful.  One of the biggest complaints nursing moms have is the fact that no one can feed the baby but them.  That means no matter what time of the night it might be, mom is the one that has to tend to the baby because mom is the only one with the feeding devices attached to her.  Breastfeeding can also be hard to do for those who are uncomfortable with it in public situations.

As you consider the options, take a look at both sides alongside your lifestyle and comfort level and figure out what you want to do.  Breastfeeding is hands down the best thing for a baby.  That does not mean, however, that it will fit into your lifestyle.  Many babies are raised healthfully on formula as well.  A mom who is planning to stay home with her child, however, should seriously consider nursing her child to give him the best shot at a healthy life from early on in his childhood.

If you decide to breastfeed and find yourself quickly exhausted and dismayed by your choice, remind yourself that this stage will not last forever.  After the first year of your child’s life, he will likely be done with it and you can look back on the time and smile at the memories you made with him…even at 3 in the morning.

Transition your baby into their crib

napping baby Transition your baby into their cribWhen you first bring your new baby home, you may not have that many issues with her sleeping patterns.  After all, newborns sleep quite a bit.  But after a little bit of time, the novelty of getting up every few hours wears off and all you really want to do is get a little sleep on your own.  If you have a child that will only sleep in your arms, you feel lucky at first, but eventually, all you feel is tired.  Dealing with the habit can be tough for both of you but here are a few ideas to help you make the transition.

-Keep Perspective
First of all, you will want to keep in mind that your baby is only going to be a baby for a short amount of time.  Eventually, she will grow into a teenager and she will no longer want to have anything to do with you.  The fact that she wants to hold her now at all times will not last.  It is a phase and she will grow out of it.  When you think of it that way, you might just be able to survive the time until she’s ready.

-Transitioning
If you are not sure your baby will ever want to sleep alone, or at least that it will never be her idea, you might have to do a few things to help the transition occur.  Try rocking her to sleep and then dumping her into her bed, her swing, or wherever else you want her to try to sleep.  This will take some trial and error and plenty of finesse but once she wakes up in her new location a few times, she will feel secure being there alone without you.

-Consistency
Try to do things surrounding her nap and bed time in the same order.  When she is little, repetition is not boring, it actually helps her feel secure.  Look at the same book with her and turn on the same music CD to help sooth her.  Rock in the same chair and sing the same lullaby.  These things might get rather old to you, but to her, they will become cues that it is time to settled in and rest.  Eventually, when she is older, she can pick her own routine and vary things a little when she wants.  sleeping baby1 Transition your baby into their crib

-Schedules
Because babies feel secure when things are the same, do your best to keep a schedule alongside the nap and bedtime routine.  Do not expect her to take her first nap at 10 in the morning one day and then wait until noon the rest.  Figure out what schedule works best for her and then stick to it, no matter what you have to do to work around it.  Napping can really mess with an adult’s life including getting errands and other out of the house ventures complete.  But sticking to that schedule will only help your baby feel safe and secure about sleeping on her own and once you establish the schedule, you can create a few more flexibilities.

Babies are only small for a short amount of time, but sometimes even that short length can seem too long when you are not getting restful sleep yourself.  Stick to these steps and your baby will sleep alone so you can rest as well.

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22 Aug 2012

Keeping the Word “No” Out of Your Child’s Life

When you have a child, you probably have all sorts of ideas about what life will be like.  Your child will never act up in the store, throw fits at home, or cry for no reason at all, right?  Wrong!  If there is one thing any child will do, it is test his boundaries.  Because […]

Category: Blog | Comments: none | Tags: , ,

20 Aug 2012

How to Transition Out of Night Feedings

For the first few months of life, babies are too little to go for very long without eating. Whether this means you are up at night nursing or preparing a bottle, get ready for several weeks (okay, months) of exhausted night feedings. However, by the time that little one is around six months old, she […]


17 Aug 2012

Teaching a Baby How to Sleep

Everyone has heard about the sleep deprivation that comes with having a baby, but until you have gone through it yourself, you really have no idea what it is like to be that tired. For the first few weeks, the whole sleep loss thing is novel, funny even, but after a few months of no […]


15 Aug 2012

Advantages and Disadvantages of Breast Feeding

If you are pregnant and wondering how your life will change once the baby arrives, the answer is: plenty.  You will go through a total life change and if you are considering breastfeeding your baby, that change will only heighten.  Breastfeeding is one of the hardest, but most rewarding experiences any mother can have with […]


13 Aug 2012

Transition your baby into their crib

When you first bring your new baby home, you may not have that many issues with her sleeping patterns.  After all, newborns sleep quite a bit.  But after a little bit of time, the novelty of getting up every few hours wears off and all you really want to do is get a little sleep […]








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