Category Archives for Parenting

Debunking the “To Leash or Not to Leash Your Baby” Issue

One of the most talked about and controversial issues when it comes to parenting is the issue of using a child leash on children. These type of leashes are attached to the child like a harness and is connected to a leash where the parent gets to hold and control. This device is originally meant for child safety and protection.leash-lian

But as time passes by, more and more issues tend to hover over this device that it caused a stir in the parenting community. That instead of promotion safety to the child, the device unknowingly prohibits the kid’s innate childhood development without us knowing it. But is it truly a no-to-leash judgement? Let’s delve into this issue more by weighing our pros and cons.

Props for the Leash

Manufacturers indeed have carefully studied the use of the child leash and had good intention of creating it. It does indeed help out parents in so many ways while providing safety to the kid. Here are the most common pros that a child leash can give.

  • It offers a sense of security and relief to the parents

This is the main goal of the leash, to provide utmost safety and security of the child. This is done by providing the parents a means to control where their child goes and how far they can walk around.

  • It allows the child to wander within the acceptable boundaries

Children loves to roam around and wonder. With the help of the child leash, they are able to do so within a specified ground area where their parents can easily see and observe them.

  • It can greatly assist children with special needs

Child harness is a great assistance for kids with special needs. They can be guided more and at the same time protected from things that might and can harm them.

  • It has a multipurpose function

The new versions of the child leash now comes with a backpack as well. It can go from a child leash to a fully usable backpack just by removing the leash.

Cons That the Leash Gives

With pros also comes the cons that we have to consider as well. Here are the most common cons that you can experience when using a child leash.

  • It hinders the child’s curiosity and total freedomleash-lian

Yes it provides freedom for you child. But it is only limited to as far as the leash can offer you. This means that your child will have a limited space to venture in and explore with.

  • It attracts negative attention

People who see kids on leash usually give off a negative vibe for it. They say that “leashes are for dog, not kids” and that “you are using a leash because you cannot control your kid.”

  • It prevents the child to practice self-control

Since your child is hooked to the leash, you are in control of what they will and will not do. This deprives them of their own conception and understanding of self-control.

  • Using a harness causes parents to become too lax in child care

Since the child leash provides the utmost protection for the child, sometime the parents forget that they still need to keep an eye on their kid at all times. They become too complacent with the use of the leash that they forget that the original protection duty should be from them.

The Final Verdict

In my own personal opinion, it is okay to use the child leash but during certain situations only. I personally use the leash but not all the time. I only use it when we are walking in a crowded place or when we need to cross busy streets. But if we are around the park or in the grocery or whatnot, I do not use it at all.

In addition, I believe that the leash has did a great job in keeping up with their promise of safety and security. There is really no good or bad in this if I may say so myself. It is just all up to you and how your parenting skills apply to it. As long as it benefits your child greatly, then there is not argument in your decision.

10 Tips in Keeping Your Head On While Your Kid is Throwing a Tantrum

Nothing is more frustrating that seeing your little ones go from complete angels to full blown tantrum makers in just seconds. The worst part is that sometimes, you tend to snap and give into their fit and either give them what they and or scold them. Hey, it happens to everyone, don’t worry.tantrum I have had my fair share of screaming, crying, kicking, punching and rolling moment with my little one. What I have learned is that you need to be prepared with methods to keep you calm and collected during each tantrum episode. You have to be ready EVERYDAY with these technique because you will never know when your child’s next outburst will happen.

Tips to Keep Yourself in Control

Tantrums are inevitable and they will happen sooner or later. So better keep these few tips that I have learned and am continuously mastering up until now. These advices will help you keep you mind in a calm and relaxed phase.

  1. Let them have their tantrums

Allow the tantrum to burst out. Let you kid wear themselves out with it. Just make sure that they are in safe and danger free area. Allowing them to let out their frustration is a healthy way for them to ease out their “unfamiliar” emotions that has been bottled up inside them.

  1. Do not try to “out-anger” them

It’s basically your loss when you go head to head with them. Anger will never solve anger and frustration will never be addressed with frustration. Remember that you can control your emotion, your child does not have that kind of leisure.

  1. Always remember that they are still emotionally unstable

The reason that they have their tantrums is because they are unfamiliar with the extreme emotions that they are feeling. In addition, they do not know how to cope with it other than to scream, kick, punch and cry. Just let them literally “cry it out”.

  1. Keep in mind that they will eventually tire themselves out

Keep on repeating this mantra in your head every time a tantrum happens: “it will be over soon”. Tantrums will only happen for a few minutes and won’t last for hours. So just bear with it until you child gets tired out.

  1. Always have a gentle and calm aura

Never give off a negative vibe or a commanding or angry tone. Kids are smarter than what we give them credit for. One they feel your negative vibe, they will return it with an even greater tantrum meltdown.

  1. If you cannot stand it, keep a few distance away

If you are also in bad mood and you cannot handle the tantrum that is currently happening, you can stand back. Get a few feet away from your child, or even leave them in the room after you have assured their safety. Catch a breath and calm down before you return back to your child. tantrum

  1. Do calming exercises

There are several calming exercise that you can do in order to compose yourself. You can count one to a hundred or even sing your favorite upbeat song. You can also do deep breathing exercise or close your eyes and imagine you are somewhere peaceful and relaxing.

  1. Only approach them if you see that they want you to comfort them

Never approach your child while they are on their “tantrum lockdown”. Wait for them to finish and totally stop their fits. You will notice that after the meltdown, they will be lying down, tired and with a blank stare. Afterwards, they will look for you and stare at you with calmer eyes. This is the time you go to them and acknowledge their frustration and anger and console them.

  1. Don’t mind the onlookers

Tantrums can happen even in a public place. Do not fret and do not pay attention to the passersby’s that are witnessing it. Do not let their judgment towards you cloud your parenting method. Trust me, they have encountered the same ordeal but are too ashamed to admit it.

  1. Keep praising yourself for a job well done

After everything has subsided and finally ended give yourself a pat in the back for a job well done. It is definitely not easy to keep calm and collected all throughout a tantrum episode, but you did it anyway. Do not forget to congratulate yourself and reward yourself with your favorite snack or chocolate. Tantrum episodes happen to all kids, so do not be alarmed whenever you kid is currently blowing one out of proportion. Just always remember to keep a calm perspective and a positive attitude each and every fit your kid will have. Showering them with understanding will help aid in lesser tantrum issues and episodes in the future.

How to Teach Babies to Crawl – Signs If Your Little Ones Are Ready

Crawling is one of the many milestones that your little ones will encounter as they grow older. I have to admit that at first, I was really terrified when I saw my daughter starting to crawl. I was more scared that excited because I was too paranoid in thinking that she might get hurt if she crawls too fast or crawl on the floor and so on.

What I did in order to overcome my paranoia was that I told myself to TRUST my daughter. If she falls or gets hurt, it’s fine. I kept on reminding myself that she needs to do this on her own in order for her to become independent and smart at the same time.

Looking back on those moment, I also realized that even though I was scared of her crawling, I also set some tricks and exercises to her prepare for this huge breakthrough of hers. I guess, our mommy instincts will take over us and help us teach babies how to crawl. I hope that by sharing this with you can also use it to prepare your little ones for their crawling phase.

Signs that Your Baby is Ready to Crawl

First thing that you need to take note of when you are planning for your child’s “crawling” moment is their age. For me, my daughter started to show signs of crawling while she was around six to seven months old. Other babies tend to show these signs around the age of ten months or so. So when do babies typically start crawling? All in all, babies usually learn how to crawl before they reach their first birthday.How to teach babies to crawl

Another helpful milestone in determining of your baby is preparing for crawling is their ability to sit properly. It also helps if you notice that they are starting to shift around. This is done by either dragging their body using their arms or buttocks or even slithering around while they are on their tummy. The list is endless. The only thing you need to check is their willingness and eagerness to move around on their own.

Exercises to Teach Your Baby to Crawl

Exercises are important if you want to help you baby crawl more easily. You might even be surprised that your usual routine when caring for your newborn is actually an exercise for crawling. Here are some of the simple exercise you can do for your baby.

  1. Have adequate amount of “Tummy Time”

“Tummy Time” is a phrase we use when we let our tiny tots lie on their belly and do whatever they want. It can be done as early as they can. Just make sure that constant supervision is present. Start with just a few minutes during the first month.  “Tummy Time” can be a little uncomfortable for your baby at first. So make a keen observation as to when they want more or when they want to stop.

  1. Limit the Use of Walkers, Strollers, Car Seats and Carriers

Babies are smart. So when they figure out that there is a “device” that lets them move freely and easily without having to move, they WILL use it. This can be a big hindrance to their crawling abilities and might prolong the progress. Better let them move on their own at all times. Just make sure to baby proof everything that your baby can reach.

  1. Use “Objects” of Their Interest to Motivate them

The “Objects” that I am referring to are the things that your baby takes a liking on. It can be toys to help baby crawl and walk or little foodie treats that they would love nibble. I even used a mirror to help my daughter while she is starting to crawl.

What I did was I placed the mirror a few feet away but just enough for my baby to see her own reflection. She became curious and started to wobble and crawl towards it. Just make sure that the area where your baby will crawl is safe.

  1. Teach Your Baby to Crawl with a Towel

The famous “Towel Method” has been used for a long time in aiding soon to be crawling babies. What you do is you place a bath towel on the floor but do not spread it out. Then you place your baby with their tummy in contact with the towel. Finally, you pull the towel up and guide your child as the start to crawl.

Basically, you will use the towel as a harness and safety bind for your baby as they learn to crawl. This will also help in strengthening the arm and leg muscles of your little ones.

  1. Use Colorful Toys and Environment for Crawling

Toys are probably the one of the best things to use to encourage your child to crawl. It also helps if you have a colorful floor mat as well. I bought two sets of floor mats for our bedroom and made sure that they have different colors and even has the letters on them. Up until now that she is three, she uses those mats to recite the alphabet and colors

I always made sure that the toys that she tried to reach is just an arms length away from her. As she crawled towards it I slowly pulled it backward making her crawl even more. Just make sure you do not tire them out too much.

  1. YOU

When mommy or daddy is there in front of their baby and encouraging them to “Come here”, toys will just be second best. You will be amazed when you see your baby all giddy and excited to crawl towards you. I remember my daughter shrieking as she giggled and tried her best to crawl fast towards me.

Always keep in mind that each and every child has their own particular and fixed milestone moment. Do no fret if your child’s development is too fast or too slow. Let them figure things out on their own. Do not force them to crawl, walk or talk just because you want to. Patience is the key to each and every milestone your baby will encounter.

When Do Babies Know Their Names – A Guide to Your Little One’s Development

Sponsored Post – One of the earliest words that your child can remember and familiarize with will probably be their names. It can either be in a form of their real full first name or their nickname in which we affectionately call them. But nevertheless, this will be their first word familiarization.

That is why it is crucial that you introduce their name to them as early as possible. You can start as soon as they are still in your womb. I personally started calling my dacute babyughter by her nickname as soon as I started feeling her move inside me. Since I learned that babies can hear what their mothers are saying, I make it a point to call her name and talk to her as much as I can.

To my surprise, my daughter reacts to her name while she is still in my tummy. Every time I call her name or sing her my personalized lullaby (which has her name on it), she either moves very mildly or shifts very considerably as if she is “jumping with excitement.”

So when I am asked when do babies know their names, I would probably sound weird to them but I will say, as early as conception. I don’t know if it was my hormones just acting up due to coincidental situation, but I could feel the mother-daughter bond each time I say her name and she reacts.

When Do Babies Know Their Names

I bet that any parent would ask themselves when do babies know their names. No one knows the exact time or age that your child will know their names. I believe that it will differ from one child to another. It will all depend on how fast they would understand the concept of their name and that the name that they are hearing is, well, theirs.

One thing is for sure. You will get to see ACTUAL response of your child to their names around four to six months. When my daughter was in that particular age group, she would turn her head towards my voice as I call her and she usually smiles as a response.

When Should a Child Recognize Letters of the Alphabet?

It is only common for the second question of parents after their child has reached the “know their name” milestone is when should a child recognize letters of the alphabet. Once again, I will remind you that each child differs from another. This means that not all children can learn the alphabet at age one and a half. Some may be delayed or early, but rest assures that with proper teaching and guidance, they will learn it.

But you must also remember that when you plan to teach your child, you must not pressure them to learn immediately. Let them learn using their own pace. Another tip is to make learning fun for them. You can use brightly colored and big sized letters so that your child can easily remember it. Or you can introduce the alphabet using a song, like what I did (thank you Sesame Street).

What is the Best Way to Introduce Letters to Your Child?when do babies know their names

There is a lot of ways that you can introduce the alphabet to your child. You can use flash cards, drawings and even let them watch some videos that has a song and dance number all dedicated to the letters of the alphabet. But personally, I believe that nothing will ever beat the classic method.

For me, the best technique that you can use while teaching your child is to use baby books.  There are a lot of baby books that have brightly colored pages and vivid letters. One of these is the book entitled “My Very Own Name.”

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What I loved about this book is how it creatively incorporates letters, animals and imagination to spell out your child’s name. It is brilliantly created and imaginatively executed. Plus, it will be a beautiful memoire for you child since it will be personally made just for them.

The book “My Very Own Name” will also allow you to make a specialized dedication for you child. Once you are able to finish the book and spell out the name of your child with the help of letters and animals, the last part is reserved especially for you and your message to your little ones. That is such a great way to end any book if you ask me.

Must Have Baby Items Checklist for New Moms – The Best and Most Practical Baby Needs for New Mothers

Finding the most practical baby items checklist for new moms are really hard to plan especially now that there are millions of items in the market that tells us that they are a “must buy.” But do not be overwhelmed by all these options.

Always remember that the main things that you should prioritize in every practical baby items checklist for new moms must always answer the question between “needs” and “wants.” It is similar to us adults, we have a set of items under our needs and wants. Basically, we try to focus more on the needs rather than the wants. The same principal applies to your baby.

To keep you started with your checklist, we should start from the very beginning and that is at birth. There are three major things that you need to remember when making a checklist. That is food, clothing and baby care.

Food to Include in the Baby Items Checklist for New Moms

Newborn babies have no problem when it comes to food. Since they will solely rely on your breastmilk, this will save you money. But you must prepare items that will aid you in giving enough milk for your child. So these needs to be included in the must have baby items checklist.

Invest on comfortable yet affordable breast pumps. It can be mechanical or manual depending on your preference and of course, budget. Since newborn babies tend to consume around two to three ounces per feeding every two hours or so, there will definitely be extra milk left and it needs to be expelled in order for your body to create a new batch of breastmilk.

When I was still breastfeeding, I opted to go with the manual breast pump. The reason behind this is because, I myself, have gauged that I don’t need a machine to help me pump my excess milk. Since I was gifted and lucky enough to produce a large amount of milk during my first few months after birth, expressing breastmilk was not hard for me.

But majority of mothers have a hard time expressing their breast milks which leads them to mechanical breast pumps. Since I worked at a hospital before, I had the privilege to use the top two breast pumps that are competing right now in the market. These are the Avent and the Medella breast pumps.

Personally, I preferred the Medella pump more that the Avent because of their additional features. The Medella pump offers several cup sizes that mothers can choose from. Unlike Avent which has only one cup size, the Medella cup sizes greatly helps mothers in terms of milk expression and comfort. This is what Medella offered that instantly won me, plus the fact that they also have ababy items checklist for new moms rubber cushion that fits in the cup for added comfort, it was heavenly when used.

Of course, you also need to think of bottles and breastmilk storage plastics if you plan to breastfeed in the long run. In addition, it is also a good investment to buy a portable bottle/milk warmer. This can help you a lot and can prevent you from using the microwave for boiling water to thaw your baby’s milk in the wee hours of the night.

Clothing that are Necessary to Include in the Baby Items Checklist for New Moms

The best tip that I can probably give to you when it comes to clothing is to buy you baby’s clothes a size or two bigger than them. So what if it’s a tad big for them, it will save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.

I got this tip form my mother who had a mistake when she was pregnant for the first time. She bought clothes which are just my size when I was still a newborn. She did not thought that I would outgrow the clothes in just a span of two months. So she advised me to purchase bigger clothing sizes.

Also, do not buy too much clothes and if possible, buy an all-white set for the first months of your baby. Before you can react to what I suggested, hear me out first.

  • Less is preeminent

Like what I have said, your child will outgrow their clothes as fast as a blink of an eye. Buying too much will lead you to storing baby clothes in the attic that has never been used by your child. Since you will be (for sure) washing your child’s clothing almost every day, it is safe to by seven to ten pieces per clothing.

What are the basic clothes? Simple, have a seven to ten set for your child’s top, pants and booties. For mittens, you can opt to buy around twelve to thirteen pieces since these are usually the clothes that gets soiled easily. For bonnets, you can buy around three to five pieces since you will only use it when you go out with your child.

For outdoor clothing, best to purchase mix and match clothes that can be used interchangeably with other outfits. Buy around the same pieces as stated above. My tip is to try to look for plain clothes with no patters and go for pants/bottoms with the color black or dark blue. These type of clothes can be worn as many times as you want by just simply swapping them.

  • White is the best color

There are two main reasons why I said to go for white clothes especially for your baby’s everyday outfit. First is that it can be used again in the future. Since white is a unisex color, you do not need to buy a new set of clothes if you are expecting your second baby.

The second, and most important reason why white is my preference is because I can observe my child’s health. How? By simply examining her clothes that has been soiled by either their vomit, pee, stool or even mucus from their nose or mouth.

In my own experience, if ever she breast feeds and after a few minutes after burping and lying down the bed she vomits, you can easily see what she vomited. Since her clothes are white, I could see if she vomits yellowish milk, or greenish acid or even see if there is a tinge of blood in it. This is also the reason why hospitals use white clothes for babies in the neonatal ICU.

Baby Care Musts to Include in the Baby Items Checklist for New Moms

These are the so called “plus” items that you will be needing. These includes your baby’s bathing needs like shampoo, soap bathing tub, lotion and oil. For your baby care we have soaps for both clothing and bottles, sterilizer and brushes for your bottle care. It will also include other baby linens such as crib covers, pillow cases, towels, blankets and receiving blankets, which I suggest to also be white in color.

Finally, you need storage for both child’s dirty and clean clothes. A baby bag is a must for you on-the-go trips. When you take your baby out for a stroll a diaper changing pad is a lifesaver, so better buy one. Also you need a bin for your child’s dirty clothes. Tryst me when I say it usually gets full every day.

These are basically the top “must haves” in every practical baby items checklist for new moms. Of course this is still not a complete list, but I wanted to focus on the main items that you need to focus on. These items will be used by your child every day and all throughout the day.

When Do Babies Start Sleeping Through The Night – Tips on How to Let Your Child Sleep Soundly

One of the most dreaded issues parents like us would usually encounter during the first months with our newborn child is the lack of rest/sleep we will have. When you start to be sleep deprived and tired, you would count the days until the time when your baby will start sleeping through the night. But when does this usually happen? The time-frame when babies will sleep through the night really depends on your child and how you introduce it to them. Always take into consideration that not all children develop the same. Each of them has their own unique pattern and progress that we should support and guide instead of rush and hasten.

Based on my own experience, the first five months of my firstborn daughter were literally sleepless nights. Either I had to feed her or I have to pump for the excess breastmilk I had. Regardless of what I do, once I am able to finish one task and start to relax, my daughter will start to wake up and look for her next meal. As I have observed, the first five months would only allow my baby to sleep for two to three hours maximum. When she reached her sixth month, I started to notice that her sleeping time slowly expanded from four to six then finally a solid eight hours of sleep at night. At first I was worried because I was thinking that she might not get the adequate nutrition that she needs, but when I researched about it further, I learned that there is a thing called “elimination of nighttime feeding.”

Nighttime Feeding Elimination is a Must When Babies Start Sleeping Through the Night

This is the time when your baby is ready to sleep throughout the night without the need to feed them. Trust me when I say that it will come naturally. If it does, do not worry because it is a natural process for them. Just make sure that you are still ready to feed them if ever they would wake up. While they sleep, this is the time you recuperate from your month’s long sleepless nights. Of course, it pays to prepare them for the long sleep that they will soon encounter. Listed below are some tips and tricks to let your little ones sleep peacefully throughout the night.

Set a Designated Time for Sleep

You must have a specific time as to when your baby will sleep every night. The best time is around seven in the evening after they have been fully dressed with diaper changed and a full stomach. Always remember that this time-frame should always be observed religiously. This is done to train your baby to sleep on a designated time so that there will be a set routine that both of you can follow. when do babies start sleeping through the night

Find the Perfect Sleeping Method for You and Your Baby

There are a lot of methods that you can choose from based on what you think is best for your child and their sleeping issues. Some parents opt to go with the Ferber method where they let their child “cry it out” until they fall asleep. Others decide to go with the Fading method where you let your presence be available to your child but only to some extent. For me, I chose the No-Cry Method. This means that I am beside my baby all the time. I do not let her cry for milk or change of diaper. Basically, I anticipate what she needs in order to prevent her from crying. Maybe it is because I was taught during my Nursing days that “a child’s cry is the last sign they will give for help, attention or hunger.” It worked well for my daughter, thank goodness. But take not that this method may not work as smoothly with your child like it did with mine. Best thing to do is to experiment on the best method your child adapts to.

Lessen Triggers that Might Cause the Baby to Wake Up

I always had a rule that whenever sleep time is up, no one should enter the room unless it is me or my husband. Also, I make sure that all the gadgets are on silent or vibrate mode. I also push the crib a little bit farther from me so as not to have any accidental bumping of it if ever I would walk around the room. I always do this to prevent her from being startled and awoken while she is fast asleep.

Dry diapers, Warm Clothes and a Soothing Environment Helps a Lot

I remember when it was time for my daughter to sleep, I have a ritual that I always do. First is I bathe her with warm water to make her feel refreshed before she sleeps. Next is I feed her and change her diaper once she soils it. Finally, I put on the night lamp, turn on her “sleepy time playlist” and let her fall asleep on her own.

Consistency is the Key

Like what I have always repeated when babies start to sleep at night, you must always be consistent in everything that you will do to them. It will not only help your baby have a set routine for their sleeping pattern but will also help you and your family to adjust accordingly. Following these simple tips can have a huge impact on you and your baby. But the best advice that I can give is to have a ton of patience and have creative ways to add to your baby’s eight hour sleep transition. Remember that when babies start to sleep through the night, it is up to us parents to keep them comfortable and slumbering for as long as possible.

Early Stages of Parenting: A Quick Guide for First Time Moms

I have had my fair share of ups and downs during the first three years of my daughters’ life. Thankfully, I have brushed up and read some helpful tips (both scientific and experience based) as to how I should care for my child starting from day one. Since I am still in the process of learning more about how to care for my child, I can share my past experiences and knowledge with you starting on what to do after childbirth up to their toddler years which is  under the three to four years old bracket.

In order to give the best possible parenting strategy to your child, you should familiarize yourself with the different parenting stages that your kid will go through as they grow older. Knowing what they need, how they act, their capabilities and limitations while they are in a particular age group will be your key factors in choosing the correct parenting approach to be used.

 

Ages 0 to 2 Years

Children that fall under these categories are more commonly known as “infants.” They are our new born babies that cannot survive on their own without your help. They are the fragile little ones that will “leech” on to you for everything that they need, in a good way.

The first two years you will share with your child’s life will literally be a “give and give” type of relationship. This means that we, as parents, are responsible for giving everything that our children needs, all throughout the day (even at night). There is no exemption to this rule. That is why the first stage of parenting is called “Catering.”

Newborn

Your newborn baby will solely depend on your for all that they will need. So be prepared to feed, change diapers, burp, clean, sterilize, pump milk, bathe and send your child to sleep “round the clock.”  This is the first major change that you need to undergo as a mother.

During those times, I realized that you must be attentive not only to your child’s needs but as well as your own. In order to give the best to your child, you should be mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally in check first. Remember that a healthy mommy equals a healthy baby.

Know The Most Common Signs of Post-Partum Depression

Since you have just given birth, you will still feel tired, worn out and eventually stressed. When you succumb to these negative factors, it will result in your post-partum depression.

Believe me when I say that post-partum depression happens to all mothers. The only difference is the type of gravity the depression will take on a person. I for one did not realize that I was having post-partum blues until I forgot the bottles I was sterilizing causing them to completely melt. I broke down and cried for several hours non-stop.

When I had my second Post-partum check-up with my doctor he gave me a heart to heart talk regarding my sudden outburst. He said that most mothers are unaware that they are experiencing this depression. Because we usually say to ourselves “I’m just tired” or “I just didn’t have enough sleep” without knowing that these small issues are greatly affecting us.

So take note of those little issues that you are experiencing because these can be trigger factors that can lead to depression. Also bear in mind that post-partum blues can happen to anyone as early as day one after giving birth all the way to a year or two or even longer.

Make Time For Yourself

My advice is to have as much rest as you can. I know this is hard to do, but it is also not impossible to achieve. For example, when you are able have your child go to sleep, sleep with them. This can regenerate you before your next task is up.

Also, bear in mind that your doctor will know the best advice for you. Don’t be afraid to ask or open up anything that causes you to feel tired, worn out, sad, angry and the likes. Because these are the most common signs of post-partum blues.

Ask For Help If You Need It, Have A Strong Support Group

I cannot stress this any further but sometimes we mothers tend to hoard all the responsibilities to ourselves. Well, this is the normal reaction we get once we become moms, but if you think you can’t commit to all of your mommy duties, ask for help.

Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Keep in mind that you are still recovering from the first nine months of carrying the baby, then labor and finally childbirth. You have the right and the privilege to ask for any assistance.

Since I had a difficult pregnancy, I was not allowed to give birth to my child normally. Instead, I had no choice but to undergo a Caesarian Section (CS) which caused a longer period of recovery. I had to ask for help when it comes to taking care of my child for the first two to three months.

I and my mother split the workload in half when it comes to my child and her things. I was responsible for feeding, changing, burping and everything that basically has to do with child care except for bathing her. My mother, on the other hand, gives her a bath, sterilizes her bottles, does the laundries for my baby and other heavy workloads that I know I still cannot do as of that moment.

When I was able to get stronger and became accustomed with the basic duties I need to do for my child, I slowly started to take one workload at a time from my mother. I did this gradually until I was able to adjust to all of these tasks. Just make sure you don’t rush yourself and take time to completely adjust before taking another task.

Bond With Your Child As Much As Possible

Nothing can be more rewarding for a mother than to see your child in your arms. Bonding is also the best therapy you can do to relax yourself and keep you focused on giving the best care you can for your child.

Talking to them, holding them tight, cuddling them and keeping them near you will provide them with the safety and security that they need. When they cry, do not take it as their way of manipulating you. It is their way of communicating with you.Early Stages of Parenting

When I was able to set a fixed routine when it comes to my daughter’s care, I observed that she became less fussy and her crying episodes lessened as well. Remember that a child’s cry is her last way of reaching out to you. So observe for prior signs that your child will give off before they get really hungry. Some examples includes rooting reflexes when your brush your finger on their cheeks, they eyes look around as if searching for something and many more.

For example, I remembered that she usually gets hungry around two hours after she had her last feeding. Once she finishes her milk, she will instantly soil her diaper. What I do is as soon as I see her move and start to wake up, I feed her. Once she finishes on feeding, I burp her. Finally, I change her diaper so that she can have a comfortable sleep.

  • One To Two Years of Age

This is the time when your child starts to understand things and are able to start to communicate with you. Of course, it all depends on the way that they would want to reach out to you. This can change from one child to another, so do not expect that your child can do what the other kids his/her age are doing.

This is also the start of the “Conforming” stage of parenting. This is the time when we inculcate the morals, attitudes and values that we want our child to harness and cherish as they grow. This is also the stage that my daughter is in at the moment. Soon, she will be turning three and I will once again shift my parenting strategy in order to accommodate her holistic growth.

Communicate And Interact With Them Properly

Some kids would be able to verbally start to tell you what they want. Others, like my daughter, tend to point, or drag you to what they want. Nevertheless, you should treat them the same way as you treat any person. Do not, shall we say, “dumb-down” your conversation with them by using baby talk.

Converse with them the way you talk with any adult. The only adjustment that you need to do is to choose simple words that your child will understand. Make sure that you choose the simplest forms of words as possible. When I talk with my child, especially when I converse with her after she did something wrong, I kneel down to make our eye contact at level.

It gives her the expression that I am willing to go down to her level so that I can listen to why she did what she did without any aura of authority. It also prevents her from thinking that I am looking down on her as if she is being belittled.

Another is to change the tone of your voice to a calmer, friendlier and soother tone. Having a sound voice tone will allow your child to converse with the same manner. Remember that during these times, your child’s brain is like a sponge that will mimic anything that they see do and hear you say.

Start To Introduce Mental, Social, Emotional and Spiritual Morals And Values

Mental (Educational) Preparation

This is the best time to start being your child’s first teacher. Academically, you can teach your child the basics such as ABC, 123, shapes and colors. That’s what I did with my daughter. Having several teaching materials available also helped me in educating her.

Since kids of this age tend to get bored easily, having interactive toys of different kinds can keep the busy and collaborative at the same time. My daughter might still not be able to communicate verbally very well but she can recite the whole alphabet, count one to ten, distinguish basic shapes and even recite different colors even those that are found on a rainbow.

Spiritual Groundwork

Being a Catholic, I am very strongly devoted to my religion. This is what I wanted my daughter to have as well. So I also started to teach her how to make the sign of the cross and guide her with a simple prayer. We also take her with us every time we hear mass once a week.

Having a strong religious support can help you child to further appreciate life, the environment and everything that God has created as she grows older and more mature. They will also have a sense of responsibility to care for whatever the Lord has given to them.

Social Interaction

During these times, you need to have your child interact with other children of the same age. This will allow you to see how he/she will converse, get along and react with other children. This is also the best time to correct them if ever they misbehave or act violently against other kids, which is unavoidable.

Just make sure that whenever you correct them, do not use aggression or anger. Instead, calmly explain that what they did is wrong and that they should say “sorry” for what they did. Also make sure to praise them if ever they say the magic words like “sorry,” ”thank you,” “please,” and the likes.

Emotional Preparation

Children at this age group tend to have emotional outbursts known as tantrums. Since they do not know how to properly address and handle these emotions, they let it all out in their fits. You should always remember that a child’s tantrum is the result of your child’s inability to express and control their anger, pain, aggression, frustration and irritability.

It is our job as parents to help them and guide them to properly handle their emotions. We should also be able to be patient enough to ask them why they are having tantrums so that we can address each fit depending on the trigger that caused it.

Honestly speaking, I am still continuing this type of training with my daughter. Since there are a lot of trigger factors that can cause her tantrum, this task can be a handful at times. But consistency with this strategy and a lot of patience will surely yield positive results.

  • Ages Two to Five

Once your child reaches the age of three or four, or when they start to go to school, you will be able to see the fruit of your labor during the conforming stage. The “Coaching” stage is the time when you start to let them decide, act and understand on their own and pray that they have instilled in their hearts and minds the values and moral that you have taught them.

The only thing we need to remind ourselves in this stage is to trust and believe that our child will be able to be socially, mentally, emotionally and spiritually ready for the “big world” that they will venture on. There will still be issues and problems that your child will encounter along the way. If you have successfully taught them to trust you, they will not be ashamed or afraid to share their problems with you.

Guidance from us must not stop just because our child is already in school. Always remember that we are their lifelong teachers. Even if they are already adults, we must always be there to help, guide and support them with whatever they do.

Most Common Tantrums Of A Child And How To Overcome It

Children are surely very mischievous, cunning smart and unpredictable during the first few years of their lives. That was what I have learned these past two (going to three) years of my life that I share with my daughter. These traits can go either way for us parents. It can be as rewarding as seeing them learn new skills out of nowhere. Or it can be as troublesome as realizing that they can be a handful at times to the point that you would want to give up. One good example for this is your child’s tantrums.

Bad Days

I have dozens of experiences that almost made me reach my limit and break down with my child’s tantrums. But having a never ending amount of patience, understanding and love has saved me every time. Keep on telling yourself “this too shall pass.” You should always keep this mantra in mind whenever you have a “bad day” with your child.

Tantrum Days

Tantrum days are probably the days that I dread the most when it comes to my daughter. I am sure you would agree with me as well. But remember this fact, tantrums are our child’s way of venting out their strong emotions that they have yet to understand. This is the result of our child not being able to properly handle their strong emotions be it anger, jealousy, irritability and the likes which are usually triggered by something or someone.

Public Tantrums

Recently, I had my first ever experience with my daughter’s public tantrum. This happened after we finished our grocery shopping and was waiting for our car to pick us up. During the whole time she was well-behaved and being her usual “good-girl” self. Well, that was what I thought.

While waiting, she suddenly ran towards a closed grocery counter and sat in front of it (good thing I had her in her walking rope). When I tried to pull her away she screamed and went back to the same spot and was staring at something. When I took a closer look, I saw that on the bottom shelf was a row of “kinder-surprise eggs” which she (for some reason I don’t understand) is obsessed with. Since I read that there was a recent study with Kinder chocolates being harmful, I never bought them.

I told my daughter that we needed to go, but she insisted on staying in that particular place. That was the time she had her first ever public tantrum. Nothing I did pacified her. Good thing I had her favorite snack in her baby bag. As soon as she saw it, she calmed down and ate it.

Day Long Tantrums

Another example of her tantrums was when she was throwing a fit almost half of the day. This was probably her longest tantrum episode so far. It stated when I did not let her go out of our house because it was already noontime and the sun was blazing hot.

Even if I let her tire herself out with it, she would just rest for a couple of minutes then would go back to screaming, kicking, crying and “air punching.” When I was about to give up and loose my temper, she suddenly calmed down and kept quiet.

I waited for several minutes until she makes eye contact with me. I waited for her to approach me and I hugged her back after she kissed me. Up until now, I am still clueless of what caused her to stop her fit and make a complete 360 change of her behavior from angry and destructive to sweet and loving. Now I have to keep reminding myself even more to have longer patience, because being patient will yield positive results.

Always Keep in Mind…

The thing that I always keep reminding myself of is that these young ones are very unique and special in their own little ways. I have also concluded that they have their own timeframe when it comes to mental, emotional and spiritual development. So my advice to you is to never, ever compare your child with another child.

Allow your child to grow, learn and mature on their own given pace. Do not rush or pressure them to talk or force them to be able to potty train just because another child his or her age has already mastered it. Instead, wait for them to show signs of interest and slowly guide them with what they want to do. That was what I did to my daughter.

I know that I am not the only one that have had these types of experiences. I know you have your fair shares of “moody days” with your child as well. Just keep in mind that your child’s tantrums must not be, and never be countered with aggression, anger and punishment from your side. Instead, try your best to stay calm, and keep them safe during their outbursts. After which, shower your child with love, compassion and understanding.  If they can already talk, ask them why they were upset and allow them to verbalize their emotions.

Ember’s First Pentavalent Vaccine

What Immunizations Are

Babies, in their first two years of life, are needed to have their immunizations completed to protect them from vaccine-preventable diseases. These diseases, when not prevented or treated, can be life-threatening. Immunizations are lifesavers and have been saving the lives of babies and children for the last 50 years.

Ember’s First Pentavalent Vaccine

Ember, my youngest, was scheduled for her Pentavalent Vaccine and Oral Polio last week, which is her second time to be vaccinated (her first vaccine was right after birth). I’ve always dreaded for that “pentavalent moment” because I’ve heard from other moms that this particular vaccine has the worst side effects of all vaccines. Magnus, my eldest, didn’t have pentavalent or the 6-in-1 vaccine because it was not available during his time so I didn’t witness the side effects first-hand. Let me share with you a little trivia about this vaccine.

What Pentavalent Vaccine Is

Because this is a 5-in-1 vaccine, all 5 individual vaccines are combined into one shot. These individual vaccines are for the prevention of:

  • Diphtheria – Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that causes the formation of a thick, gray coating in the mouth, nose, throat and airway.
  • Pertussis – Pertussis, also known as a “whooping cough”, is a highly contagious respiratory disease.
  • Tetanus – This infection is not contagious, but it is caused by a bacterium that enters an open wound that will then produce a toxin that would lead to stiffness of the muscles. This bacterium is commonly found in saliva or feces. An individual shot of this can cause muscle pain in the area of vaccination.
  • Haemophilus Influenza B – This is a bacterium that causes meningitis and acute respiratory infections, mostly in babies and children.
  • Hepatitis B – This a viral infection that affects the liver and can cause acute and chronic diseases.

Common Side Effects of Pentavalent

  • Fever
  • Pain and swelling in the injection area
  • Abnormal crying
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

How Ember and I Fought

My 3 month-old daughter is usually an angel. Sure, she needs rocking every time for her to fall asleep, she needs my warmth to reassure her that she’s safe, but she is not a crier, unlike her older brother who screams his lungs out when he feels uncomfortable. But after this vaccination, she obviously feels threatened.

Immediately after her vaccination, I gave her paracetamol drops to prevent her fever. An hour after her shot, she seems fine and happy, almost too happy, because she was giggling loudly and kicking her legs out like nothing happened. She started yawning so I took her and rocked her for a few minutes and before I know it, she’s already sleeping soundly while leaning on me. So I lay her down gently on her bed to not wake her up. I left her with my mom so that I can attend to Magnus upstairs.

An hour passed and she woke up crying like someone has pinched her. I can even hear her from our bedroom. My mother cannot comfort her even though she’s rocking her and soothing her. Ember would NOT. STOP. CRYING. I took Magnus downstairs quickly so that I can go to Ember. I already knew that she’s feeling pain in her left thigh so I cuddled her and secured her legs tightly in my arms and rocked her. She stopped crying and eventually fell asleep. I was panicking the whole time because she doesn’t have breath-holding spells like what happened that day. She would also just sleep when I’m carrying her because she feels pain when her legs move. So I was carrying her the whole day just so she would get her much needed sleep especially because I woke her up very early in the morning for her immunization.

How She Recovered

The pain subsided at sunset, as I noticed that she’s not very irritable like before and she is already in her normal state (not crying like she’s being tortured). It was a first for us but it definitely was not a bad experience. I became aware of what would happen the next times (because there’s still Penta2 and Penta3), and I think by then, I can still handle her like I did the first time. Ember and I, thankfully, handled her immunization like a pro. 🙂

 

Sources:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/5-in-1-vaccine-side-effects.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/5-in-1-infant-dtapipvhib-vaccine.aspx

The Most Common Parenting Problems – A Thorough Review with Helpful Advices

For a total of three years, I have experienced several issues that not only affected me, but my child and my husband as well. But all in all, these so called problems can be avoided as long as you have the ample knowledge and support system to help you through it.

For now, all I can attest to is the past and current problems that I have had experiences with and how I was able to overcome them. So for those mothers who have children at the age range of new born to three years, you can more or less relate with what I will be sharing as you continue to read.

Post-Partum Depression and Stress

A lot of mothers tend to forget about themselves once they have their child to take care of. Believe me when I say that post-partum depression is a silent enemy. During the first few months after I gave birth, I solely focused on my child. This includes dressing her, bathing her, feeding her round the clock, changing her diapers, cleaning and sterilizing her bottles and so much more.

First time mothers like me become too busy caring for their babies that they forget that they need rest too. When I visited my OB, he asked me how I was, I said I was fine. But he repeated the question “No. How are YOU coping?” All of a sudden I started to burst into tears and told my doctor that I was having a hard time but I was not aware of it.

He told me that there are two things that I need to do. First is to cry it all out and the next is to take a long rest. He said that mothers usually don’t realize that they are experiencing post-partum blues and thinks that they are just really tired. But what they don’t know is that prolonging this will result in a mental, emotional and physical state that would hinder you from taking proper care of your child.

All in all having yourselves equipped with the right amount of knowledge about parenting and child care and development are the most essential factors to help harness your child into a productive and well-rounded adult. Also remember that parenting coincides with teamwork. In order to have a harmonious parenting style, see to it that your child will have the ample amount of discipline they need to develop. But also allow them to have enough space for their own growth and development.

Fussy or Crying Babies and Uncertainties in Child Care

A Child’s Cry is Your Cue

The only way that your new-born child can communicate with you is through crying, always remember that. They do not cry for the sake of manipulating their parents. They cry because they need something or they are uncomfortable or worse, if they are in pain.young girl is crying

Based on my experience each cry has different meanings. At first, I just assumed that all of my daughter’s cries were the same. But when I listened closely, I found out that she gives off different cries depending on what she needs. All you need to do is to trust your “motherly instinct” and you will start to familiarize yourselves with the different cries your child gives off.

Mother Knows Best

This so called “instinct” is also a mother’s best weapon for child care, especially if your young one is sick. Whatever your gut feeling tells you, it would probably be right. So if you happen to have that unshakable feeling that concerns your child, always address it. It is better to be too careful that careless.

These two are probably the most common and difficult issues any mother will ever encounter. I, for one, have had my fair share of emotional breakdowns and physical exhaustion. But these roadblocks did not waver me into continuing my unconditional care and support for my little one.

But now that she is entering her toddler years, a.k.a. the “terrible twos,” I, along with my husband and our support group, am slowly transitioning our parenting methods in order to compensate her development. We are also continuously adjusting based on the possible issues that we might encounter in relation to our parenting strategies.

Teething and Feeding Problems

Teeth Eruption

Teething is one of the most difficult issues your child will encounter as they grow up. It does not only cause discomfort and pain for your child but at the same time, there is only little help you can do for them.

What I did when I first encountered this problem is that I bought a soft teether that can be placed in the freezer so that when she chews it, the cold sensation will help soothe her gums. Aside from the teether, I was also given a specialized numbing gel that is meant for kids who are teething by my mother-in-law. So far, this combination was effective for the first few teeth but when another two started to erupt at the same time, it was a totally different story.

I still continued using my previous remedy but added additional measures to try to elevate or at least lessen her pain. I made ice chips so that she can nibble or suck on it so that the cold sensation will numb her gums. I also did variations of ice chips like different fruit flavors so that she would still be curious to taste it and would continue her sucking and biting. At the same time, these fruit flavored ice chips will help me introduce the different fruity tastes so I would have lesser difficulties when it’s time to start feeding her with solid food.

Starting Solid Food

Since your baby was used to just milk through the first few months she will, at the start, would not be thrilled to taste new flavors. The key to solving this problem is to introduce solids slowly and gradually. Another factor that can greatly help you with this difficult situation is your imagination accompanied by massive knowledge on different baby food recipes.

I started to introduce solids to my child as soon as she turned one. Of course, I asked permission from her Pediatrician before I started this food shift. The first thing I did was to buy baby food in several flavors. Knowing that I am clueless on what she would want, I prepared myself by creating different variations of the baby food, even mixing them to make a new flavor.

To avoid having spoilage of these baby food (because they are a little expensive), I started with just two to three spoons per feeding. I also made sure that each day, I introduce a different flavor each feeding so that she would not get tired of and loose interest in a particular flavor. Finally, I made sure that, if it is possible, I still add milk to her food all the time so she would have all the sustenance each feeding.

When she turned one and a half years old, I decided to start feeding her with real food. I once again mixed and match her baby food with pureed fruits and vegetables to see what combination and consistency she would like. Luckily, since I already introduced the fruity flavors when she was teething, she immediately accepted and enjoyed it.

Right now, I am once again slowly introducing meat, poultry, seafood and rice to her daily diet. At first she did not like the taste, since these food group tend to be less tasty than what she was used to. But I continued on introducing a wide array of cooking process and observed if she would accept these meals.

For example, I had a hard time feeding her protein, basically fish, beef, chicken or anything that is meat related. She only wanted to eat rice, and nothing more. What I did was first introduce steamed fish, but she immediately rejected it. The next thing I did was to try to change the dish to a fish filet. To my surprise, she loved it and even used her hands to much it down.

This method was the same thing I did with the other meats until I finally figured out what particular cooking style she wanted her food to be. Now, I have lesser hassle in giving her different varieties of dishes. All you just really need is innovation, imagination and a whole lot of patience.

Tantrums and Aggressive Behaviors

This is probably the hardest task a parent needs to overcome during their child’s first few year’s right before they enter school. Sometimes, if not handled properly, their so called “episodes” will even be carried over to school and other public areas.

But before you can address your child’s tantrums, you need to understand one critical factor. Kids during the age of two to five still do not know how to properly handle their anger, frustrations and other strong emotions. It is up to us to help them cope with these emotions and teach them how to resolve it.

Before my daughter had her first ever tantrum, I was already reading several blogs and studies that focused on how to handle kids with emotional outbursts and aggressive behaviors. Since I was really curious as to why children tend to have their “fits,” I learned as much as I could so that I can be prepared once that day would come.

Tantrum Solutions

During the span of her second year, true enough, she began to show signs of peevishness. The first thing that I learned and did was to try my best to remove all tantrum “triggers” that my daughter can see.

For example, I know that she will throw a fit if I stop her from playing just to have her eat her meal. What I do is I shift her attention from her toys to other activities. During this scenario, what I usually do is to have her play outdoors or even just walk outside our house while my husband cleans her toys and prepares her meal.

When my husband signals me that everything is all done, that is the time I ask my daughter is she is thirsty or hungry. I found this technique very useful because not only were we able to prevent a tantrum episode from our child but at the same time, we were able to clean her things, prepare our family meal and eat with each other without any outbursts from our daughter.

Of course, there are many variations that you can choose from when it comes to averting your kids attention to prevent a fit. As I have repeatedly mentioned, each and every child is unique and therefore requires personalized methods that can cater to their needs.

If ever my daughter has unavoidable tantrum episodes, I usually do a routine technique that works perfectly for me. Regardless if she has a mild fit or a massive outburst episode, I do three basic steps.

1.) Keep your child safe

Tantrums are accompanied with a sudden wave of your child’s physical energy that they tend to lash out without any concern for their own safety. What I do is that I carefully carry her into a safe place (either our bed or our bedroom floor that has those soft rubber tiles on it) and make sure that she won’t hurt herself even if she rolls around, kicks or arch her body.

2.) Let your child wear himself/herself down

This step sounds a bit off but trust me, this is the best way their fits can be handled. Regardless if her episode is just a couple of minutes or as long as almost more than half of the day, I let her tire herself out.

The reason why I decided to go with this method is because I want to let my daughter realize that not all that she wants she would get. Another reason is that, when you try to comfort them while their fits are still happening, there will be a great tendency that their fit will aggravate even more and there will be a possibility that your kid might get hurt.

During the time that they are having their “episode” make sure that you are present all throughout their fit. This is what I do to ensure my daughter that I am always there beside her even if she has her moody episodes.

I also do not tend to lecture or reprimand her during her fits. Well, not until she calms down that is. Another major no-no for me is to scold, punish or discipline her while she is having her episodes. It would just further elevate the situation and might have a psychological impact on her as she grows up.

3.) Comfort and Discuss With Her What Happened

Once she has finally calmed down, this is the time that I would comfort her, hug her and reassure her that I still love her even if she has her fits. This is also the time I explain to her why I needed to ignore or turn down what she wanted. Again, I try to speak to her as if I am conversing with an adult but the only difference is that I use the simplest words so that she can understand.

Furthermore, to avoid a repeat of the fit, I will divert her attention using her favorite toys or her favorite treats to help her forget her tantrums and allow her to focus on another thing. Finally, once she is already busy with the “bribe” I give her, I always check her from head to toe for any possible wounds or bruises that she might inflicted on herself due to her tantrum.

Parenting Methods Questioned by Others

Issues regarding child care is not just limited with you and your child. Believe me, you will have instances that your relatives, friends or other people tell you that what you are doing is wrong and the famous line “If I were you, I would do what I do” will be brought up.

I could not emphasize this more but DO NOT let them get to you. Your parenting skills must not waver just because someone tells you that you are doing it differently from what they did. Always remember that you are your child’s parents, not them. You know your child best and you know how to handle them accordingly.

Sure it’s fine if they give you tips and suggestions, especially when you feel the need to hear them out. But never let these other people dictate you on how you care, discipline and hone your children. That was what I did for my daughter, I stood firm with how I raise her and care for her. I did not let even my parents or my in-laws take over how I parent my kid.

These are just the beginning problems that we can encounter during the first five years of our child’s lives. In order to prepare myself for future endeavors with my daughter, I am starting to read, learn and educate myself as much as I could. But of course, I will always prioritize my motherly instinct when difficulties will arise in the future.

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