Archive for the Newborn Category

Oh baby, oh baby! It’s Cold Outside!

Let’s be honest, baby oh baby it’s cold outside! Winter is this amazing time of year that brings food, fun and family together, but the temperatures are dropping. Dressing a baby, or toddler, in the winter can be quite the task. Are the clothes too tight? Are they comfortable?! Are they sweating under here?! Can the cold air still get to them?!

 

So many questions right!? Well here are five tips to keep your bundle of joy warm in the winter time.

 

  1. Layer! Layer! Layer!

This trick will be your best friend and save you time and time again. Let’s start with the basics, a onesie or t-shirt, then a one-piece of leggings and an outer shirt. Pair that with socks and boots and you’re in for a treat, and your little one will be all cozy.

 

  1. What’s one more item!?

One of the good rules to follow is plus one. So you dress your baby, or toddler, in a similar outfit to what you’re wearing and just add an extra piece on top of that. Simple right?! Here’s an example. If you have on a button up, jeans, socks, boots and a jacket, simply dress your child the same and just add a hat.

 

  1. Let’s cover that gorgeous head of hair!

Your child’s head should always be safe from the cold. So why not get a cute beanie or hat with a chin-strap to ensure your child’s warmth?

 

  1. Check the feet and stomach!

When checking the temperature, always make sure it’s not too hot or too cold. A good way to check on this is check for the toes, if the toes are cool (not cold) and check the belly for warmth. It’s an age old trick that works every time!

 

  1. Breathe!

It’s going to be okay and you’re going to have questions, after all that’s what blogs, forums, mom and dad groups, and other sources of information are for. Everything is going to be alright and you’ll get through this winter just fine.

Helping Your Child Recognize Their Feelings

Not too long ago it was thought that the conventional wisdom was that babies were pretty much blobs who didn’t think or feel much before they could speak in words around the age of two.  Such an idea that a six-month-old could feel fear or anger, no less sadness and grief, was preposterous.  But thanks to an explosion in research on infancy in the last 30 years, we now know that babies and toddlers do feel deeply. Starting in the earliest months of life, well before they can use words to express themselves, babies have the capacity to experience peaks of joy, excitement and elation. They also feel fear, grief, sadness, hopelessness and anger—emotions that many adults understandably still find it hard to believe, or accept, that very young children can experience. Research has also shown that children’s ability to effectively manage their full range of emotions—also known as self-regulation—is one of the most important factors for success in school, work and relationships into the long-term.So the critical first step in helping your child learn to cope with her feelings is not to fear the feelings, but embrace them—all of them. Feelings aren’t right or wrong, they just are what they are. Sadness and joy, anger and love, can co-exist and are all part of the collection of emotions children experience. When you help your child understand his feelings, he is better equipped to manage them effectively.

One major obstacle in doing this which I see quite often in my work with parents is that they are operating under the assumption that having a happy child means he needs to be happy all the time. Muscling through difficult experiences, mastering struggles, and coping with sadness and grief builds strength and resilience, and is ultimately what brings children a sense of contentedness and well-being.

What can parents do?

  • Starting in the earliest months, tune in to babies’ cues—their sounds, facial expressions and gestures—and respond sensitively, which lets babies know their feelings are recognized and important. This might mean stopping a tickling game with a four-month-old when she arches her back and looks away, signaling she needs a break. Or taking a nine-month-old to the window to wave good-bye to Mom when he is sad to see her leave for work.
  • Label and help toddlers cope with feelings. Emotions like anger, sadness, frustration and disappointment can be overwhelming for young children. Naming these feelings is the first step in helping children learn to identify them and communicates to children that these feelings are normal. This might mean acknowledging an 18-month-old’s anger at having to leave the playground, validating a two-year-old’s frustration at his block tower repeatedly falling or empathizing with a three-year-old’s sadness that his grandparents are leaving after a long visit.
  • Don’t fear the feelings. Feelings are not the problem. It’s what we do—or don’t do—with them that can be problematic. Listen openly and calmly when your child shares difficult feelings. When you ask about and acknowledge feelings, you are sending the important message that feelings are valued and important. Recognizing and naming feelings is the first step toward learning to manage them in healthy, acceptable ways over time.
  • Avoid minimizing or talking children out of their feelings. This is a natural reaction—we just want to make the bad feelings go away. “Don’t be sad. You’ll see Joey another day.” But feelings don’t go away; they need to be expressed one way or another. Acknowledging a child’s strong feelings opens the door to helping her learn how to cope with them. “You are sad Joey has to leave. You love playing with him.  Let’s go to the window to wave goodbye and make a plan to see him again soon.” When feelings are minimized or ignored, they often get expressed through aggressive words and actions, or by turning them inward, which can ultimately make children anxious or depressed.
  • Teach tools for coping. If your 18-month-old is angry that playtime is over, guide her to stamp her feet as hard as she can or to draw how angry she is with a red crayon. Help a two-year-old who is frustrated at not being able to get the ball into the basket brainstorm other ways to solve the problem. Take a three-year-old who is fearful about starting a new school to visit his classroom beforehand to meet the teachers and play on the playground so that the unfamiliar can become familiar.

Our children’s emotional reactions trigger our own emotional reactions, which can lead to a knee-jerk need to rescue or “fix” whatever is causing our child distress. But it’s important that we manage our own feelings and avoid this temptation, as it creates a missed opportunity to help children learn strong coping skills. Instead, see these experiences as teachable moments to help your child learn to name and manage the emotions—positive and negative—that add depth and color to our lives.  Show your child that a full, rich life means experiencing both the ups and the downs. Feelings are not “good” or “bad”—they just are. You are your child’s guide in sharing the joys and coping with the challenges. And it starts on day one.

Working from Home With A Baby

Whenever I tell people I work from home, I get a variation of the same reaction. “That’s amazing!” they say. And, it’s true. It is amazing. After working my entire adult life in an office, the last few years of working from home (a few days per week or otherwise) have been great. I no longer have to deal with a horrendous commute that wipes me — and my wallet — out; I miss very little when it comes to my

1- and 3-year-olds; and, if I so choose, I could attend a meeting in sweatpants and a pit-stained t-shirt. Wins all around.

That said, as with many things in life, working from home isn’t without it’s own set of challenges…particularly when there’s a baby there at the same time!

Here are the six craziest things about working from home with a baby.

1. Naps are unpredictable. “I’m just going to send out all of my TPS reports during the baby’s nap, which always is exactly from 10 to 12:30!” If you can utter such words, I envy you. With my 1-year-old, naps are always a crap shoot. One day, he’ll sleep for three hours, the next, 45 minutes. Of course, I allot this time to get things done for work, but sometimes I don’t have the time to squeeze it all in during that period… which means more work for later.

2. Trying to email/type/think/read with a baby is, quite simply, Crazy Town. A few days a week, I have a babysitter come, and truth be told, that’s when a good chunk of my work gets done. But before she comes, I often try to sneak in a few things, such as answering emails or getting my day organized — try being the operative word. I don’t know too many 1-year-olds who are cool hanging out by themselves while their parents toil away on their laptops. So, pretty much, there’s no “working” that goes on when my son is awake or the sitter isn’t here (despite what many people think!).

3. The crying. When the babysitter is here, there’s naturally crying that happens sometimes, because babies. Trying to focus on a piece I’m writing or speaking on the phone with an editor isn’t the easiest when it’s against the backdrop of your baby’s vocal stylings.

4. The laughing. And then of course there’s the laughing. No doubt, a baby’s laugh is a brilliant, amazing thing to hear — the best sound in the world! But when you hear it and you’re locked away in your room trying to get things done, it’s a little sad. Womp-womp.

5. The guilt! Oh, Mom Guilt, why do you manage to rear your ugly head whatever the situation? When I worked out of the house, I felt guilty for working out of the house. And now that I work from home — where my son also happens to reside — I feel guilty for being home and not spending time with him. Something about being in the same place as him while working makes it almost feel like I’m lying about working. Please tell me Mom Guilt ends at some point. It’s maddening!

6. No one likes working in a big ol’ baby mess. I don’t know about you, but I think much better when I’m in a clean, organized space. And being that my “office” also happens to be my sweet baby’s, well, house, I often find myself trying to quickly tidy and clean up before hunkering down to work — which of course eats into my work day, tacking on more work time at the end of the night.

But, yes, I know: Things could be worse. And the fact that the little dude who often interrupts me is, in my opinion, ridiculously cute certainly helps.

Do you work from home with a baby?

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