OK, here’s my situation. My Mommy has had me for almost 7 months. The first few months were great – I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, day or night. Then something happened.Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep through the night). At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I’ve talked to other babies, and it seems like it’s pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 6 months.
Here’s the thing: these Mommies don’t really need to sleep. It’s just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep–they just don’t need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle. It goes like this:
Night 1–cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it’s hard. It’s hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it’s for her own good.
Night 2–cry every 2 hours until you get fed.
Night 3–every hour.
Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights. Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don’t give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night. I KNOW IT’S HARD! But she really doesn’t need the sleep, she’s just resisting the change. If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it.
Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with. My sleep sack tickled my foot. I felt a wrinkle under the sheet. My mobile made a shadow on the wall. I burped, and it tasted like pears. I hadn’t eaten pears since lunch, what’s up with that? The cat said “meow”. I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL. Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room. Too hot, toocold, just right–doesn’t matter! Keep crying!!
It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies’ internal clocks.
Sometimes my Mommy will call for reinforcements by sending in Daddy. Don’t worry Daddies are not set up for not needing sleep the way Mommies are. They can only handle a few pats and shhing before they declare defeat and send in the Mommy.
Also, be wary of the sleep sheep with rain noises. I like to give Mommy false hope that listening to the rain puts me to sleep sometimes I pretend to close my eyes and be asleep and then wait until I know Mommy is settling back to sleep to spring a surprise cry attack. If she doesn’t get to me fast enough I follow up with my fake cough and gag noise that always has her running to the crib. At some point I am positive she will start to realize that she really doesn’t really need sleep.
P.S. Don’t let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. Trust me.
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Doulas/PNSW's can offer guidance, insight and support during labor and delivery in a calm and nurturing way. Doula is a Greek term meaning "woman who serves," and it has been used to describe the women who serve birthing mothers. It is normal to have apprehension and many questions/concerns when going through pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal stages... it is really fantastic that there are resources available to see you through the process!
Pre-birth appointments provide you with an opportunity to talk about your fears and hopes as you prepare for delivery. Postnatal appointments often include a debrief about how things went for you and address any of the concerns you may have caring for your newborn. For those with previous birth trauma or a pregnancy complication, it can be really beneficial to have a non-medical professional and a non-family member with you during your birth. A doula/PNSW can provide birth support and a listening ear without having to make clinical decisions, and without the emotional difficulties a family member may experience from your previous birth experience. A doula/PNSW will also provide emotional encouragement, explanations and support to your partner and family members if they are there with you. To read more
A doula/PNSW supports the birthing parents in all the stages of labour. That means for all of those hours of “pre labour” you would have someone continuously with you, explaining things, telling you this is normal, and offering positioning suggestions to help baby move down and offer reassurance that will help keep you calm and focused . A birth doula/PNSW is equally knowledgeable as your doctors and nurses about what’s happening and what you are feeling; and are with you every second during labor and delivery. She keeps the love high and the fear low, so when it is time for your doctor or midwife to arrive you are feeling empowered… not full of fear and exhaustion.
Childbirth is a very special time in a women’s life. But let’s be honest, it can also be a scary and overwhelming time from both a physical and emotional perspective. Having the right support system during pregnancy, postpartum and throughout your parenting journey can help families thrive through vs. survive through even the most challenging times.
Thanks to Wonderwear Modern Diaper Service for this guest blog
Tummy Time will help your baby develop the neck, back, and shoulder muscles needed to meet milestones. It may also help prevent early motor delays and conditions such as flat head syndrome.
Tummy Time can begin as soon as your baby comes home from the hospital. Beginning with a minute or two several times a day and slowly working up to an hour of Tummy Time per day by 3 months of age.
There are 3 simple ways to do Tummy Time with your baby:
Preparing for, and returning from, a maternity leave can be a stressful, confusing and an uncertain time.
Although it seems like a complicated time, moms should be reassured that any job-protected leave, such as pregnancy and maternity leave, is covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) and the Ontario Human Rights Code in Ontario for non-unionized employees.
The most important thing to remember is that an employee returning from a maternity leave is entitled to her own job back, and if that job is no longer available (due to a reorganization, etc), then the employee returning from the maternity leave is entitled to a comparable position within the organization with similar compensation, benefits, etc.
Another key point that many employees are not aware of is that an employee’s dental and health benefits (if provided), seniority and vacation all accrue during the maternity leave time period. So, for most purposes, an employee is viewed as an employee during her/his maternity leave for seniority/benefit/vacation accruals, etc. For instance, if all employees are granted a salary increase, the employee on maternity leave should also be eligible for the same salary increase. That said, regard must be had to the employment agreement, if any, that the employee signed upon hire – that contract may change certain terms with respect to a number of issues, but the employment contract can never contain terms that are less than the minimum standards as set out in the ESA. For instance, an employee on maternity leave may not be eligible for a performance-based bonus while on maternity leave.
Returning from maternity leave also brings up a host of other issues such as the right of the mother to be accommodated in terms of nursing and related maternal issues. It is important that the new mom returning from maternity leave speak with human resources and/or their direct report if no human resources department exists well in advance of the return date. For example, if the mother is still nursing, the employer should provide a locked office in which the mother can pump breast milk as needed. Because pregnancy and family status (I.e. having children) are protected under the Human Rights Code (Ontario), the employer has an obligation to accommodate the employee returning from maternity leave up to the point of undue hardship (this legal test of undue hardship is beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say that the employer has a burden to prove that any accommodation made for the returning employee is practically impossible).
Another hot topic for moms returning from maternity leave is sick days. No employer is required to provide paid sick days to employees, but if it does, sometimes companies will allow sick days to be used for days when the baby/child is ill and is unable to attend his or her regular day care. Working with human resources regarding these expectations is important.
The most important thing for new moms to do is to review their original employment agreement and the company’s policies and procedure manual to assess exactly what the company proposes to do while the mom is on maternity leave and what will occur upon the return after maternity leave. In addition, as mentioned above, the employee should contact the employer well before the end of her maternity leave to discuss re-integration.
This blog is not intended to, and does not provide, legal advice to any person in respect of any particular legal issue, and does not create a solicitor-client relationship with any readers, but rather provides general legal information. If you have a legal issue or possible legal issue, the best course is to contact a lawyer.
The author, Karie Ann Benham, is a lawyer practising exclusively in the areas of labour, employment and human rights law and civil litigation. If you need legal assistance, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or 647 515 9974.
Crafts, crafts and more crafts! By now your toddler will get very excited to make something - anything! Even if it's just using crayons and paper, the simple act of creating something is exciting to them! These creative moments will help fine tune their creative and imaginative play, as well as their fine motor skills. If messiness is unappealing, do not fret! There are are many ways to be creating without making (too much of) a mess. Things like play dough, painting with water, or building something out of empty toilet paper rolls are cleaner crafts. Try to allow them some messiness every once in a while.
The messiness leads into another fun activity - clean up! Most toddlers seem born to be our litre helpers. Embrace this! Give them cleaning cloths, allow them to bring their plates to the kitchen, etc. As they reach age 2 and older, show them how to put dishes (carefully) into the dishwasher, clean up small spills, etc. They will the think they are being your best helper, which is a huge self confidence booster. They are learning some life skills, and maybe a little independence.
Photo credit: med-8316 by aaron gilson via Flickr
This is a perfect time to introduce home made, edible play dough, and paints. Keep in mind it will be very messy, but being messy is very important when it comes to play (it also makes it more fun for your toddler). Get messy with them (as hard as that may be for you) - this will help bring you and your toddler together by building trust.
A fantastic activity to do at this age is taking an old bed sheet or large roll of paper outside, putting some paints on plates around the sheet, and stripping your toddler down to their diaper. Allow them to walk or crawl onto the paint, then move across the sheet. You'll get great hand prints, foot prints, and butt prints! Cut out sections and frame them for friends and family as they make great keepsakes.
You'll notice now that your young toddler is starting to favour particular toys - cars, dolls, airplanes, etc. Don't feel like that's all you can offer them - offer other types of toys to see if anything else peaks their interest. If you child isn't in daycare (where they get to experience more toys than at home), sign up for a play group. Usually playgroups and indoor play centres will have other toys that you don't. Watch your toddler and see what they gravitate to. It's a great way to see what else they may enjoy without spending too much money. It's also a great way to meet other parents/caregivers.
Photo credit: med-8315 by aaron gilson via Flickr
It's all about movement now - rolling, sitting, climbing, and crawling! Toys and play time should encourage movement.
Larger, soft rubber balls are great for chewing on as well as chasing.
Toys that can be used as "walkers" (the baby can hold onto while walking).
Jumpers and exersaucers are great for encouraging moving (and wearing out some energy!)
Food play is fun at this stage. Let them dip their fingers or a baby cracker into some apple sauce or yoghurt, then eat it. This will encourage independence, and fine motor skills. Just never leave your babies along when eating due to chocking hazards.
As baby reaches 12 months:
look for toys that will also encourage imaginative play - a doll house, big building blocks, baby dolls, puppets, etc
Sit on the floor with them and have some "pretend time" - create a puppet show, pretend to fix something, etc. Don't worry about looking or feeling silly. Your toddler will just enjoy your time together, and the more animated you are, the more they will enjoy it.
Music: music should be played around your baby from day one, but now is a good time to introduce a music class, or musical instruments (shakers seem to be very popular at this age). Encourage some movement as well for play time, or sit in a dimly lit room, for quiet room. Have "music time" or a "music circle" (sitting with your child singing songs together).
Photo credit: Reese Praying before Legos by Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr
Talk and smile to your baby during wake time and show baby that he/she can trust you.
Make sounds for your baby. Clap your hands, snap your fingers, make unusual sounds in different positions around your baby’s head, play soothing music.
Sing your baby simple lullabies like “Hush Little Baby” or "silent night".
Dangle a toy in front of baby and see if baby will follow as you move the toy.
Make your baby look. Use books with different textures and have baby touch and look at pictures.
Play peek a boo with baby. cover and uncover your eyes.
Babys love looking at themselves. Put a safety mirror on play mat.
Teach your baby to hold objects/toys. encourage baby to reach for objects/toys too.
after a 10 mins of stimulation of baby's brain. what better way to relax baby... giving baby infant massage.
Photo credit: Let's Do 52 :: 24/52 :: Pastel by latteda via Flickr
Dedicated blogs by our special guest bloggers speaking out about various topics focusing around parenthood, family and business.