Category Archives for Parenting Tips

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.

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.

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

Factors That Affect Your Parenting Progress

Factors That Might Affect Your Parenting

Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world, and you’re doing it all for free. Sometimes it consumes you in all aspects of life (physically, mentally, emotionally, financially). But it is also the most rewarding of all. How would you know if your parenting is on-track? How do you know if your personal relationships, your job, and your overall situation are affecting your parenting?

 

Post-Partum Depression

It will always be a beautiful expectation that after giving birth, everything is just rainbows and hearts. No one will see your battle scars, no one will know what you really feel inside. The only people that will understand you are the people who went through the same, exact thing.

My Story

When I found out that I was pregnant, I was the happiest person in the world. Who wouldn’t be? This was my dream. This was everything I’ve ever wanted. Everything I lived for is having a baby of my own, someone to take care of and give all my love. This was the only thing that I was certain of. But what hit me after giving birth is something that I will never forget.

They said it was hormones. Yes, it was, partly. Everything is a blur after you get that little human out of you. But was it supposed to be like this? A heartbreaking, emotionally consuming sadness that will eat you up even though you try to fight it. “I was prepared”, I told myself over and over again as if it would make a difference. But that was the whole point. I was prepared for everything but this. The constant screaming during diaper changes, crying during dressing, basically he’s crying every time he’s awake. Waking hours are screaming hours.

Way back, I remember thinking to myself, is having a newborn really this hard? I just gave birth via C-section and yet I’m rocking my baby endlessly to sleep, and I can’t put him down because he doesn’t want to. I can’t sit down because he doesn’t want me to. These occurrences made me search online for whatever it was that he was screaming about, asking every mom I know, because I was really feeling that I suck at parenting. But guess what? I’m not doing anything wrong. It was just my baby’s personality.

How I Fought

This even pushed me down to a more miserable feeling: “So I have to put up with this until God knows when?” Minutes seem like hours, days seem like weeks, weeks seem like months. I always catch myself counting the seconds until he falls asleep, only to be startled by his screaming because apparently, I didn’t rock him in the position he likes, or the speed he prefers. This feeling sucked me in like a black hole. I was so stuck in this feeling that I didn’t know how or when I will recover.

Right at the beginning, I knew I was depressed. I just didn’t want to believe it, because I know that I’m a strong woman. For months, I denied this illness even though I constantly have suicidal thoughts. Most of the time, I want to give my baby up for adoption. I didn’t have the money for a psychiatrist, too, so I just kept it all to myself. Sharing my feelings was not an option because I had no one. I tried to look for other moms going through the same thing as me. But I just can’t seem to find my perfect match.

No one understands me completely, even my family. I only have myself to help me, and I did. “Fake it ‘til you make it” actually works in this situation. I faked my happiness at first until I really began to see the joy in everything. I prayed my way into recovery because I know that only God and myself can help me at this point.

Why I’m Sharing My Story With You

I am pretty sure that I’m one of the worse ones. If I can recover, then so can you. First, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Second, no one can ever be prepared for this. This is a condition that either you will have or you won’t. Having your mind set on pure happiness can be of help, but not always.Make sure that you have a lot of positive people around you, to spread some positive vibes. Prepare yourself a steady support group that can help you in any way possible, like doing chores in the house that you can’t do yourself, taking care of the baby for a while by doing the diaper changing, feeding, bathing, playing.

Make sure that you have a lot of positive people around you, to spread some positive vibes. Prepare yourself a steady support group that can help you in any way possible, like doing chores in the house that you can’t do yourself, taking care of the baby for a while by doing the diaper changing, feeding, bathing, playing. Get help if you need help. You should never be afraid of asking for help especially when you need it. Pride will only pull you deeper into agony. Also, never doubt yourself that you can get out of this situation. All women recover at some point but just have patience. After everything that has happened, you will be proud to say that you are a true survivor.

Working full-time

We all know the sacrifice parents make when they choose to work full-time:

  • Loss of time – Their time and attention are divided in half. Some are working in 8-hour shifts, some up to 12 hours. Depending on the time of their shift, they may be working through the morning, afternoon or night. Any of these three you will be assigned to, you are sacrificing something, either loss of sleep or loss of time for your baby.
  • Your child will be closer to his/her caretaker – Because your baby’s time is more with his/her caretaker, they will bond much more. It is more appropriate that the caretaker you choose to be with your baby is someone very close to you, too, like your partner, your mother/father or a relative.
  • You dont want to, but you have too – You can’t help but feel guilty about what you’re doing, but you have no choice but to accept it. You are actually working and committing full-time to give your children a better life, the same time you are not being with them when you need to be. It’s a difficult choice, but this is a choice that parents have to take when they absolutely have to.

Good Marriage vs Bad Marriage

Couples who have a good relationship with each other reflects on their children. When a relationship is smooth sailing, both the mother and the father are in a bliss and are secure. It would show within their actions and how they converse that they are happy and in love. There will also be fewer arguments, therefore, less negativity inside the house. Studies show that babies as young as 3 months can pick up vibes, emotionally and verbally, so they know if something is not right.

Being in-tune with each other helps especially when you have a baby because babies magnify any weakness that couples have in their relationship. If you two have problems in compromising, then most likely, you will argue even at the tiniest thing, like deciding on what your baby should wear. Broken families are a big deal, and is one of the biggest influences in an individual’s personality. As much as possible, never settle in a relationship that you know will not be a good foundation for starting a family.

Being in-tune with each other helps especially when you have a baby because babies magnify any weakness that couples have in their relationship. If you two have problems in compromising, then most likely, you will argue even at the tiniest thing, like deciding on what your baby should wear. Broken families are a big deal, and is one of the biggest influences in an individual’s personality. As much as possible, never settle in a relationship that you know will not be a good foundation for starting a family.

Father figure/Dad’s role

Having a present father figure has all its perks in every aspect of parenting:

  • Emotionally – A child looks up to his/her father as a model of strength and willfulness, someone who can make a decision and command attention and respect. For a male child, this is almost like a basic need. Although a male child thrives normally in his mother’s care, having a father figure helps in the sense of having a model of emotional expressions that a child benefits from when growing up and facing new challenges in life.
  • Academically – Having a present father figure affects a child’s academic abilities because there are other subjects or learning that a father naturally knows better than the mother. Fathers also have different teaching styles that can impact a child’s learning strategy.
  • Socially – By having a present father figure, a child will learn gender stereotypes and norms. Though they will learn in the future that these should be avoided, at least they have a basic sense of what socially acceptable behaviors are.
  • Father-son bond – Fathers bond with their sons in ways that a mother cannot. They have a special relationship that only them can understand and it is just between the two of them. Sons look up to their father as what a man should be, and he becomes the guide that the son follows as he goes through life. A special father-son bond influences aspects such as friendships, romantic involvement, and work ethic.
  • Father-daughter bond – Daughters have a very special love for their fathers. Some call them their first love, their heroes, and they become their daughter’s guide when looking for ideal partners in life. Girls also have more self-worth and self-confidence when they have a father figure who appreciates them and takes care of them as they are growing up.

Being a single parent

How being single affects your parenting depends on a lot of factors. Some single parents have other people to support and help them in raising a child. Some still have their families, some have their friends, some are completely alone. Whatever situation they may be in, a single dad/mom has his/her choice to be an ideal parent or not. Being a single parent is hard work, sometimes emotions come in as to why they are single in the first place, but they have a child to prioritize before themselves. It may become overwhelming because they are the only ones that their child depends on, physically and emotionally, but one benefit of being a single parent is that there is no one to fight with about who’s going to do what. It is emotionally tiring and rewarding at the same time.

 

Source:

http://www.happeningsmagazinepa.com/2014/06/18/benefits-present-father-figure/

http://www.parenting.com/article/the-marriage-factor

https://ifstudies.org/blog/how-marriage-decisions-affect-parenting-the-case-of-depression/

Help Your Babies Grow Into The Best They Can Be

What babies need to thrive

So you already know the essentials, the parenting 101, the basics. You already researched how to feed your baby, what to clothe, what beddings to choose. You already watched hundreds of how-to’s on your baby’s each and every need. But are these enough?

Parenting is more than just instructions off a book. It’s more than just guidelines you see as you surf the web. It’s more than the advice you hear and the experiences of other people you watch on TV. Being a parent is instinct and love combined.

Cater to their needs

  • From changing diapers to feeding to comforting your baby, you always have to be there to give what they need. Being prepared from A-Z cover the basics, and it’s a good structure for you when you’re doing your routine. But the truth is, babies are unpredictable. They may be comfortable today, but fussy the next day. They may want to be carried today but doesn’t want to be held the next day. Some babies are calm and relaxed, while some are high-needs, but it’s all normal. Know that not all babies are alike. Some are more sensitive than others and need more assurance that they are safe. Be extra sensitive to your child’s needs. It may be the tiniest thing that makes them uncomfortable, like a little hair wrapped around their toe, or an ant bite.
  • Whether you feed them by the breast or by the bottle, baby cereal or organic foods, what matters is that they are fed, they are healthy, and they are thriving. Never beat yourself up for what you should have done, instead, praise yourself for what you’re doing is what you know best. No parent would want anything bad to happen to their own child.

Stimulate Their Senses

Read them a book, sing them a song, converse with them every day. By this, you are setting their abilities and talents. Keep a close observation on their developments every day so that you will know how to guide them. Remember, how they see the world will always be how you showed the world to them. Every new interaction opens up their eyes more to what life is and how fun it could be. Teach them what you know in creative ways so that you will catch their attention and interest, but also give them time and space for them to reflect on what they learned and developed.

 

Off to Neverland

     Sleep is a basic need to everyone. Every living being needs time to relax and reboot for them to function normally. Babies, on the other hand, sometimes doesn’t know when – or even how – to sleep. It is our responsibility as parents to provide for them an environment fit for sleeping.

Baby Sleep Basics

  • Newborns have 16-18 hours of sleep per day which is broken up into 2 to 4-hour fragments.
  • When babies hit their first month, they start to sleep longer at night, sometimes to a stretch of 6 hours (if you’re one of the lucky ones).
  • At 3 months, babies only take cat naps of 2-3 hours during the day. They have longer waking hours by now, which means that their sleeping time is greatly reduced. Babies at this point can stay awake for 1-2 hours of playtime before they go to sleep again.
  • When they reach 6 months (which is also the time they start to take solids), they sleep for longer but in reduced frequency. Some babies still nap three times during the day, but other more active babies only nap twice, for 2-3 hours. At nighttime, your little one may sleep for the entire night straight, if, again, you’re one of the lucky ones. But in total, babies now sleep at night for 10-12 hours.
  • At the 9th month, because they are much more active during the day (crawling endlessly, some are already walking), their waking hours are longer. They take only two naps during the day and sleep for 10-12 hours during the night.
  • As they hit the 1st year, babies only nap for 1 hour and 30 minutes, twice a day.
  • When they hit the toddler stage, waking hours during the day becomes longer and longer. Nap time will only become once during the day, lasting for 1-2 hours.

Establish good sleeping habits

Newborns still can’t distinguish day and night, but when they reach the 6th week, they start to have sleeping patterns. Provide for them an environment where they can sense if it is awake time or sleeping time. For example, during the day, open up curtains and windows to let the sunshine in. Don’t be cautious and quiet when doing household chores. Don’t tiptoe when walking past by the baby. It’s okay to be loud so that the baby will know that it is time for people to be awake.

When it’s time for nighttime, dim the lights. Dim lights trigger the sleep hormone Melatonin, which sends signals to the brain to become sleepy. Play relaxing and soothing music the whole time. Some parents give their babies a bath after a day full of activities to help them calm down. During this time, converse with your baby quietly. Tell them a bedtime story or sing them a lullaby. Some babies need to be rocked to sleep, and it’s okay, too, but it’s your choice to continue with this method or try to condition them to sleep without rocking. Whatever it is that you prefer, your baby is still taken care of.

Sleep is a very tricky subject

That person who coined the phrase “sleep like a baby”, I think, didn’t have a fussy baby. Not all babies are the same. Some can’t fall asleep by themselves and need lots of comforting. Babies are accustomed to what they have been experiencing in the womb: warm, tight, constant movement, loud sounds of the internal organs. So tired and overwhelmed parents use methods to recreate these sensations. Other tips to help your baby, and you, to finally have a peaceful sleep:

  • Do not let your baby become overstimulated – Babies get caught up in their waking times, having too much fun during activities that they forget that they’re sleepy. Look for signs of sleepiness, then put them down before they become too much awake. Overstimulated babies cannot go to sleep easily, just like adults when they are overexcited.
  • Observe his nap times – Sometimes babies go overboard while napping. Keep your baby’s sleeping time under control because oversleeping robs time from the important nighttime sleep. If you notice that your baby is not yet sleepy when it’s already time for bed, then maybe he overslept during his daytime naps.
  • Follow your instincts, but depend your instincts on your baby – Every baby has different sleeping pattern and style. Know your baby before planning his sleep routine so that it will not be a hassle for the both of you.

A good dose of TLC

What is more thriving than a baby showered with all the love and care that he needs? Don’t give in when someone judges you for “spoiling” your baby too much. Babies are made for the cuddles and kisses you give them. Carry them when they want to be carried, nestle them in your arms when they get cold. This is the perfect time for you to be one with your child because time flies very fast and before you know it, they are already their own person. Touch therapy also is really a wonderful thing. Give your baby massages from time to time. This helps their blood circulation going and helps them relax when they are feeling uncomfortable. This is also a bonding experience for the both of you.

Nothing is better than love. With love comes everything you need to become the best parent you can be: the care, the concern, the passion, the attention, the dreams and all the determination to put those dreams into reality. Give everything and all that you can give. Trust me, it’s all worth it.

 

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