Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Poll Results: How many hours total did baby sleep in a 24 hour period for ages 5-6 months (22-26 weeks)? (approximate)
18-20 hours: 7 votes (10%)
16-17 hours: 26 votes (38%)
14-15 hours: 24 votes (34%)
12-13 hours: 10 votes (14%)
less than 12 hours: 2 votes (3%)
Total of 69 votes
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I have been working on answering questions, but I am about a week and a half behind. I am getting to them, so please be patient. Luckily there were a lot fewer questions over the last week, so I should be able to catch up relatively quickly. Rest assured I am working on it and will soon get to your questions.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
REQUESTS FOR POSTS:
- Salina said...
Can you desribe how you move from a 4 hour schedule to align feeding times with the rest of the families lunch and dinner? Other things I'm interested in: offering snack when/how; offering juice vs. water; learning how to use a sippy; learning how to eat finger foods (not just playing with it)Thanks!
January 4, 2008 9:15 AM
You bet. I will do separate posts on those topics! Thanks for asking!
January 4, 2008 10:09 AM
- John and Amanda said... I have an idea for an article for you... that is IF it is something you do.. In babywise they talk about "couch time"- My husband and I were talking about implementing this in our family and I was wondering if you do this particular aspect of BW and if so, how does this look for your family? Another question that I have, that is not completely BW related, but you give such good advice i was wondering what your "take" on it would be... how did/do you introduce the word/idea of "no" to your baby. I saw your article on BW II freedoms and you talked about it a little... but with my 6.5 month old (which I realize he is too young to really understand it yet) he laughs at me when I give a stern look or say "no" to him. I don't expect him to really understand it at 6.5 months old, but then I know I also need to START somewhere... he's grabbing for things like my necklace, the food bowl, and even the servers watch when we went out to eat this weekend! He's also starting to "cry" out when I take things away so I know the time is approaching when this will become an issue....I was curous when you started to see your children understand what "no" is... Like I said I know that 6.5 months is too young, but I was curious what your experiences were with introducing some form of discipline or the "it's a no" idea... I don't want to miss the boat on it and start too late! Sorry for the long questions!! :)Thanks! ~Amanda
January 27, 2008 6:09 PM
- Krystal said...
My son is 3 (dec. 20) and he is a BW baby. When he was young he was very obedient, but now he is definently obstinent. It doesn't matter what I say, a tatrum will follow. I could say do you want a peice of candy, and he would throw a fit. He is a reverse puppet as well, but only at his convenience. Does anyone have some dicipline suggestions? We have taken toys, timeout, spankings, sending him to his room, threatening to leave him home if he doesn't get his shoes on, etc. I am at the end of my rope!! Taking a toy used to work, but now when I ask him to do something, and he says no, and I tell him that he can do it, or I will take a toy away, he tells me to take one away!! Yeah, that backfired!! When I put him in timeout he just screams and kicks and punches the wall. Man, I have not painted a very nice picture of my son have I? Really, he is a sweet child, but the tantrums are starting to happen more often then the sweet child thing. SO HELP!
January 31, 2008 8:16 PM
Krystal, I will be posting a toddler discipline post...perhaps sooner than I planned :)
February 1, 2008 10:07 AM
- Kate said...
Is there a blog on 4 month problems? I thought I remember you talking about that, but I couldn't find it in the blog index.
May 18, 2008 6:04 PM
There isn't a post on it, there is only a poll. I am contemplating doing one, though there really isn't much to say about it other than that it exists. :)
May 19, 2008 10:50 AM
- Emily said...
I love your post on building character - especially the part about not living day by day which I feel I've sort of gotten into a rut of doing. Do you have tips for different stages? I know there is more I could be doing but just not sure what to do with a 7 month old.
August 22, 2008 3:13 PM
Emily, I will think it over and dedicate a post to it.
August 28, 2008 10:04 AM
- Christie said...
Great post, I am a first born and my husband is an only child, so these characteristics describe us well [see Birth Order: First Borns ]. I was wondering if you could possibly do a post in the future on behavior out in public, and tips you would have in places such as the grocery store and dining out...sometimes my little girl is so unpredictable in these places! thanks!
October 17, 2008 7:12 PM
Christie, I will! I will add it to my list.
October 21, 2008 11:49 AM
- Rachael said...
I am curious if you could give some of your tips for training you kids on how to act in a restaraunt. I have a 9 month old and i want to make sure that I am laying the foundation now for beavior expectations when he is older. Right now, he sits in the high chair until everyone is finished with their meal and only then can he get out and be held. (this is when we are with family). I don't want to start something now that i will have to readdress later. If he is making loud noises at dinner, we put a finger to his mouth and say "No, sir". Do you have any other helpful suggestions. This is something that is really important to me. we have several neices and nephews and their parents let them get down from their seats and roam around and I am just not cool with that.
November 15, 2008 8:02 PM
Rachael, I will add it to my list of posts to do!
November 19, 2008 3:05 PM
GENERAL INFORMATION REQUESTS:
- AquaNet said...
Hello Val,I really enjoy your blog on babywise. Thanks for taking time to share your experience.Incidentally, if you don't mind sharing, how old are Brayden & Kaitlyn? It helps to relate your experiences knowing their respective ages.
January 16, 2008 8:52 PM
Thanks! Brayden is two years and seven months (2.5 years.Kaitlyn is 9 months.I will try to remember in each post--especially since they are always getting older!
January 16, 2008 9:14 PM
- Jennifer said... When did you allow Brayden and Kaitlyn to start feeding themselves...other than finger foods? When did you introduce the spoon? I know BW mentions to let them play with the spoon other than in the highchair. Just wondering what you did and when you started. Thanks!
April 30, 2008 5:57 AM
Plowmanators said... This is a great question, and a topic I am planning on posting on. I will do it this week :)
April 30, 2008 10:23 AM
Jennifer said... Thanks so much!!
April 30, 2008 10:51 AM
- MomsTheWord said... I am so glad to find your blog. (I linked over from growingkids.org I'm a Contact Mom with GFI and answer some of these questions quite often. Are you OK with me sharing the address to other moms?
January 26, 2008 7:12 PM
Plowmanators said... of course! That is just fine.
January 26, 2008 8:18 PM
- Jessica said...
Me again- Still really enjoying your tips & enjoying sending links to my friends who are new at the BS stuff. I am the one w/ the question about a subscription to your blog. I am not sure how the Post Atoms thing works unless I use another site that keeps all my blogs in one place- which I'm not good at understanding. Anyhow, my blog has a subscription- it's a family blog & sends an email to the subscribers when I post- so they just read it in their email, etc. I think you just sign up at some where like feedburner and then you have to copy the code into your blog. Maybe I'm being obnoxious- and I totally apologize; but I feel like your blog is such a huge service to people that I love getting all the tips & being reminded that they are there. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I live in Charleston, SC (and yes, get to go to church w/ the Ezzos!! Yeah!)
March 8, 2008 12:31 PM
Jessica,I think it is a great idea. I will look into it and see what I can do. If not, I will happily do the email notification to anyone who wants it.
March 9, 2008 4:13 PM
- The Pinnt's said...
I was wondering if you could do this poll again [When you moved to a four hour schedule]? Now that there are so many people who read your blog I'd love to see a larger poll. If you don't want to do it twice though, I'd understand =)Great Blog BTW!
February 15, 2008 10:33 AM
Thanks! I think that is a great idea. I have thought I should re-do polls now that there are more people to respond. It would offer more accurate results. The more responders, the more accurate the averages.
February 15, 2008 10:37 AM
- aquanetor said...
Welcome Back! It's good to read you blog again.It is interesting to know the poll results of "what age did baby drop 3rd nap?" My son dropped his 3rd nap between 4.5 & 5th month and I was a bit concerned how far it differed from Babywise's benchmark of 8 months.
Also, I wonder if you can help set up a poll of baby dropping their 2nd nap and down to 1 nap? My son seems to drop to one nap at 12mths and I have been trying to fix it up for 2 naps a day without success for the past month.
Unfortunately his one nap a day after lunch last only 1.5 hours usually. And if he does go down for his 1st nap for 2 hours (10:00-12:o0, he always refuses to take his 2nd nap at 3:30pm until bed time when I put him to sleep at 7pm. So I am somehow at a loss right now. I don't mind him down to one nap a day but am wondering why his nap is not extended to more than 2 hours each nap. Look forward to your sharing.
April 23, 2008 1:55 AM
Aquanetor,I will do that poll next week.
It sounds to me like he isn't truely ready to drop that nap. If he were, he should sleep at least as well as he did with the two naps. Many kids have a period of a week where they don't sleep a long period, but the still sleep 1.5-2 hours. You want to drop the morning nap when you go down to one nap. You could shorten the morning nap to see if the afternoon nap goes better (but likely move the time of afternoon nap up). Once you go down to one nap a day, it will be around 1ish. Many find they need to move it even up to 11-12ish at first. It sounds like he is early in his nap-dropping schedule. BW says 14-22 months for dropping the morning nap, so if he is continuing his early pattern, it sounds like it would be on schedule. I would first try shortening the morning nap to see if that allows for an afternoon nap. Have you read through the dropping the morning nap post?
April 23, 2008 10:57 AM
Hi Val,Thanks for prompt and helpful advice!I will try shorten his morning nap first and see if he takes his afternoon nap.I re-read your post on dropping morning nap and found some helpful answers esp. the Q&A between Angela & you. It seems that I am now experiencing exactly what she went through with her 15-month old except mine is happening at 12 months.
Thanks for agreeing to do a poll on that topic. Many many thanks to you!
April 24, 2008 12:34 AM
- Christina said...
Have you done a poll on "waketime" before to see what the average time is between naps?
June 8, 2008 10:50 AM
I haven't, but that is a good idea. I think I will have to break the polls up into age groups since the waketime of a 3 month old is very different from a 9 month old. Thanks for the idea!
June 9, 2008 10:50 AM
- emily said...
Is there a way to see when new comments have been added?
March 31, 2008 10:43 AM
Emily,When you post a comment, you can check the box to receive an email notification of all comments on that post, but there isn't a way for you to see every comment that gets added other than looking through the site. As the blog owner, I get email notifications of each post that is put up (though that doesn't always happen).You might be able to see all new comments if you sign up for RSS feeds, though.
April 1, 2008 11:03 AM
- bethers21 said...
Val, is there a way to subscribe to each post or be notified of comments without posting a comment?
May 18, 2008 12:55 PM
I am not sure. I think if you were to sign up for feeds from the site, you could do that. If you use Internet Explorer, you can click on the feed button (it is redish-orange with white curved lines and a white dot). Many email services will also allow you do to that (I know yahoo does).
May 19, 2008 10:42 AM
NOTE: You can now view new comments. Go to the Subscribe section on the left side of the page. Click on All Comments. A drop-down menu will appear. Choose the method you want to use to view comments. If you are on the home page (babywisemom.blogspot.com), you will view all comments for the entire blog. If you are on a particular post, you will view all comments for that post.
- david, blair, and sadie beth said... Hi Valerie, I'm sure you are very busy, so this is not meant to be pushy AT ALL. I just wanted to let you that I posted a question under your "mini-fit" post a few days ago. I wasn't sure if you had seen it or not. Hope you are doing well. Thanks for taking the time to do your blog. It is much appreciated!Blair
August 1, 2008 6:37 AM
Plowmanators said... Hi Blair, I am guessing you saw my response by now. If not, I responded. I think it was yesterday? The days are all a blur to me right now because I have a nasty cold.
August 3, 2008 4:15 PM
- Brian and chelsea said... Why have all the previous comments been deleted?? I dont understand.... August 1, 2008 7:41 AM
Plowmanators said... Chelsea,To try to make a long story short...they are deleted because I am "cleaning up" the comments. I am moving all comments either into the bod of the post if applicable or into an all new post. Comments that are deleted here are going into a post that has not been published yet. Once they are, they will be viewable on the blog and I will delete them completely. Right now they are "half" deleted because I can still bring them back.Welcome to Babywise! August 3, 2008 4:27 PM
- Lindsey and Nick's mommy said...
I am not sure if I am doing this right. I have left a question on the last two days comments but I am not seeing any responses. Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong. Sorry, I am a first timer. Thanks!
August 12, 2008 10:44 AM
Lindsey and nicks mommy, you aren't doing anything wrong; it typically takes me about 3 days before I get to a question that has been asked. The reason for this is the high volume of questions asked each day. Today I am not getting notified of new questions, so I just looked at new posts because there are always comments on them. I did answer you question on the first post you posted it.
August 12, 2008 2:35 PM
- Lucie said...
Hi! I just wanted to let you know I posted a comment a few days ago under the blog label "CIO" and the post titled "when does it get better?"I can't wait to hear your wise words of wisdom! You are a fantastic resource!Thanks,Lucie
September 20, 2008 6:34 AM
Thanks Lucie! I am on my way!
September 22, 2008 1:52 PM
- Chavela said...
I have left two comments under "Dropping the Dreamfeed" Am I doing something wrong? Can anyone read what I left? I would REALLY appreciate some help.Thanks, Chavela
November 8, 2008 6:00 PM
Chavela, I answered it.
November 10, 2008 4:56 PM
- Lindsay said...
I am new to this blog,.... well kinda i have been reading for three months now...anyway i left a comment somewhere on the 29th and I am not sure I left it in the right place??? I had a few questions about feeding and schedules.. THAnks
January 5, 2009 7:31 PM
Lindsay, it should be answered by now. Has it been? If not, can you tell me where it is?
January 9, 2009 3:49 PM
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Poll Results: How many hours total did baby sleep in a 24 hour period for ages 4-5 months (17-22 weeks)? (approximate)
18-20 hours: 7 votes (7%)
16-17 hours: 41 votes (44%)
14-15 hours: 37 votes (39%)
12-13 hours: 6 votes (6%)
less than 12 hours: 2 votes (2%)
Total of 93 votes
Monday, December 22, 2008
The toddler can handle more information than the baby. For baby, everything is a new sensation. Toddlers are still taking in a lot of new sights, sounds, smells, etc., but they can handle more than the baby can. Toddlers have the ability to defend themselves from overstimulation. The toddler can wiggle out of his great-aunt's arms when she has become too much for him. He can go find a quiet room to play in when the large crowd assembled is just too noisy for him.
Here are some common causes of overstimulation in the toddler. You will find the list to be similar to that of the baby:
- Too Little Sleep: Maybe your toddler got to bed the night before because you were at a family party. Perhaps his one nap of the day was cut short because you had a doctor appointment that cut into it. These things happen, but they do cause your toddler to become overstimulated. He can't handle as much when he is overly tired.
- Too Much Activity: The holiday parties, family reunions, etc. can cause your toddler to become overstimulated.
- Routine Disrupted: This is not only naps and mealtimes, but regular activities like independent playtime. Again, disruption to routine is a part of life, but it is a cause of overtimulation for your toddler.
So what does overstimulation look like for the toddler? Well, it isn't pretty. The overstimulated baby cries and has a hard time falling asleep. Most people take pity on the overstimulated baby and think he just looks so cute when his lip quivers like that. The toddler doesn't receive the same sympathy, and many disapproving looks can be cast on the parents as people assume the parent has a raised a spoiled brat. Most -wise children who are overstimulated act "normal" to the world, so much of the disappointment is felt by the parents since that is not how their little angel usually behaves. Here are some signs your toddler is overstimulated:
- Obedience Dwindles: The other night we took dinner to some friends who just had a baby. At first both children were polite and well behaved. As the night progressed, the obedience digressed, especially in Kaitlyn (20 months) since she is less able to handle being overly tired than Brayden (3.5 years). I didn't realize the time. When we got out to the car, I saw that it was 30 minutes past Kaitlyn's bedtime. No wonder she had stopped listening. Toddlerwise talks about these situations and says, "It is not discipline that the child needs, but rest" (page 103). For some kids, it is as simple as not obeying as well as usual. For others, a tantrum is the symptom of this problem.
- Irrationality Appears: Your toddler can become very irrational. Rules are no longer acceptable. He will not wait for what he wants. The normal expectations of parents suddenly seem very unreasonable.
- Crying Reigns: Your child might cry. Crying usually accompanies a tantrum, but some will just cry.
- Manners Depart: This is more obvious in the older toddler than the younger one; younger toddlers don't really have manners yet (though they might forget their please and thank yous). For Brayden, this can be a lack of hugs and kisses when departing from the grandparents or refusal to answer the questions of adults.
There are some things you can do to minimize the impact of these disruptions. You don't have to be as drastic as you did with your baby, but there are some strategies you can follow.
- Adjust Your Expectations: Prepare yourself with extra measure of understanding and patience for your child. As stated above, this is not the time for discipline but for remedying the cause of the problem. The cause is being overly tired or overstimulated. When he doesn't respond to your instruction, patiently help him to do what is needed rather than getting flustered that he isn't listening to you. You need to carry this extra patience with you beyond just the day of disruption; give your toddler time to get back on track.
- Maintain Routine As Possible: When Brayden was younger, independent play was very important to his overall level of obedience that day. I would try to have independent play before we went to visit people. This wasn't always possible, but I did it when I could. Sometimes when we are at a family party, he will remove himself from the large gathering to a room alone. I allow him to do this and have his time to himself. Often in these situations, we let our toddler wander at will. This is a prime opportunity for our toddler to get into mischief, so keeping some structure as possible will prevent discipline issues.
- Maintain Sleep as Possible: While Brayden can now skip a nap while out, I still make sure Kaitlyn gets one. I take her pack and play and put her where I can. She will usually get a shorter nap than usual, but it is better than nothing.
- Maintain Meals: It seems our family meals are always around 1 PM, which is 1.5 hours past the normal lunch time for our kids. I will either just feed them lunch at the normal time or give them at least a snack to hold them over. This works out because children often don't eat as well when there are a lot of things to do and people to see.
- Have Breaks: I always try to have breaks between days of disruption. This isn't always possible, but I make every effort. So if Sunday is going to be disrupted, then on Saturday I keep naps, bedtime, meals, and other play activities consistent. I will do the same for Monday, watching for possible need of longer naps or earlier bedtime.
- Dealing With Disruptions To Your Routine: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/dealing-with-disruptions-in-your.html
- Let Your Schedule Serve You, You Don't Serve Your Schedule: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/let-your-schedule-serve-you-you-dont.html
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Here are a few common causes of overstimulation in the baby:
- Awake Too Long: Keeping your baby awake too long causes overstimulation, and is probably the number one cause of it in the younger months. Make every effort to keep your child's waketime at her optimal length. See Waketime: Length, Extending, and Calculating: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/waketime-length-extending-and.html and Optimal Waketime Lengths.
- Held Too Long: "Too long" is going to be different for every baby. It is up to you to figure out how long is too long for your baby. This is less likely to be a problem when it is just you and baby at home. This is more of a problem when you are at a large gathering with many different people wanting to hold your baby. It also seems to be more of a problem for a baby older than 6 weeks than those younger. When you have a family or social function, watch your baby and intervene if you see the passing around from person to person is getting to be too much for her.
- Too Much Activity: This can be too much noise, too much visual stimulation, too many new smells, etc. This is most likely to happen in the evening when the whole family is home and, again, at social functions. This can also happen if baby is at a certain toy too long. For example, our bouncer that we have is a kick and play bouncer. When baby kicks, it lights up and plays music. If a baby is in the bouncer too long, she becomes overstimulated.
- Routine Disrupted: This is a capstone of all other reasons I listed. Baby isn't getting naps as regular, baby's meals might be off, baby isn't getting any quiet time to herself, there are several cousins running around having a great time, etc. Things are different from usual and baby has a lot to take in.
Unless you hide yourself in your house for several months, overstimulation is bound to happen. With my babies, I try to avoid overstimulation as much as possible, but sometimes you have something important to be at. You might have a graduation, a wedding, a Christmas party, or something as simple as family here to see the baby. We can't avoid these situations, nor do we really want to. Here are some ideas for avoiding overstimulation in such situations:
- Give Baby a Break: Whenever I am at a social function like this, I take advantage of a diaper change or feeding to give my baby a break for a bit. I nurse my babies, so I will take them to a room where it is just the two of us. I will keep it quiet. After they are done nursing, I will change the diaper and then just let her lay for a moment. She can lay there in quiet without being held and just get a breather from everyone.
- Allow for Sleep: If you can, have your baby take naps when she normally would. Most newborns will fall asleep in people's arms. If that happens, allow it. Most babies will outgrow sleeping in people's arms somewhere around 2-3 months. If your baby is at a point where she just won't sleep in arms anymore, take her and put her somewhere she will sleep. It might be the carseat. It might be a bed in a room somewhere. Maybe a swing.
Of course, even with our best intentions, baby can get overstimulated. Often times a newborn will basically shut down before overstimulation happens. They will appear to be asleep, but be more of in a neurological shut down. Not all newborns do this though. Brayden was 6 weeks old for his first Independence Day. We went to the parade where he screamed and screamed. It was all too much for him. A nice lady told me I could go up on her porch to get further away from the parade, but he just wouldn't calm down. I finally just took him home where he fell right asleep. For Kaitlyn's first Independence Day, she was close to 3 months old. She just went right to sleep for the entire parade.
What do you do once overstimulation has happened? How do you deal with it? At this point, baby is usually fussy if not fully crying.
- Remove Baby From Stimulation: The first thing to do is remove baby from the situation that has her so stimulated. Take her to a quiet and possibly dark place.
- Let Baby Cry: Babies blow off steam by crying. If she needs to cry, let her cry so she can get it out. You can hold her and just let her cry. When Brayden was a baby, we found it was good to lay him on our bed, hold his arms so he couldn't startle himself with his reflex, and just let him cry. He would get his cry out, then look into our eyes and calm down. He has never been cuddly, so holding him was a bad idea when he was overstimulated--it just made it worse for him.
- Learn Soothing Tricks for Baby: All babies are different. Perhaps when your baby is upset, a certain song is what will calm him best. Maybe he really needs a pacifier. He might like to be bounced. He might prefer to be swayed or rocked. Try tricks out to see what works for him.
- Sleep: Baby most likely needs sleep. Get baby to sleep as fast as possible. Don't expect baby to fall asleep on her own, either. This is a situation where you put baby in the swing or something to get her to fall asleep. When Kaitlyn was 2.5 months old, we went to a birthday party for my brother in law. Kaitlyn missed a nap altogether. I didn't have her take the nap while there because Grandma was enjoying holding her, and Kaitlyn was beyond the point of sleeping in arms. When we got home that night, I put Kaitlyn in her bed. By that age, she didn't ever cry before falling asleep. That night, she did. At first I thought she would just need to blow off some steam. We soon realized she was not going to fall asleep on her own. We moved her to the swing, which usually knocked her right out. In the swing, she cried for 20 minutes before falling asleep. It gets hard for them to fall asleep once they are overstimulated, which is why I caution you against expecting her to do it. You can always try, but if it isn't working, don't force it. For church, Kaitlyn always missed a nap. She wouldn't sleep in arms and wouldn't sleep in the carseat at all. Up until about 6 months old or so, we would get home and put her right in the swing to sleep. At some point, they are old enough and experienced enough to go to sleep after being overstimulated, but be mindful in the early months.
- Return to Schedule: Once baby has the sleep she needs, get her back on the schedule she needs. Also, watch her during following waketimes to see if he needs a shorter than usual waketime.
Please feel free to share any tips you have found to work for helping with overstimulation.
- Playtime: Don't Over Stimulate
- Baby Whisperer: Respecting Baby
- Establishing Consistency--Make Sacrifices: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/establish-consistencymake-sacrifices.html
- Dealing With Disruptions To Your Routine: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/dealing-with-disruptions-in-your.html
- Let Your Schedule Serve You, You Don't Serve Your Schedule: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/let-your-schedule-serve-you-you-dont.html
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
"...certain behaviors will always be followed by disappointing consequences, and other behaviors will be followed by praise and encouragement" (Toddlerwise, page 96). Perhaps some of you are like me. When your child first starts doing what you tell him to, you offer praise and encouragement. As he continues to be good and obedient, however, you start to become lax in the encouragement department. You start to take this obedience and good behavior for granted. As you do this, you continue to offer the consequences and punishments for poor behavior.
Is that a problem? I absolutely think it is a problem. People operate best with positive reinforcement. When you take the encouragement from your child and maintain the punishments, there are not positive words to keep him going. He can become frustrated and feel like he can never be good enough no matter how hard he tries.
Think of yourself. Chances are you can think of plenty of things you do that seem un- or under- appreciated. Those thank yous and kind words from friends, family, co-workers, strangers, etc. keep you going.
Some of you are better at giving compliments and encouragement than others. I am one who is not as good at giving compliments and encouragement. I think them, but I don't verbalize them like I should. Every so often Brayden will say to me, "That is a good boy to XYZ, huh." I chuckle. He reminds me when he is in need of encouragement.
We must be conscious of encouragement. We must let our children know when they have made a right decision. We must let them know that we notice and appreciate how hard they are working. Be complimentary of them. This will give them the fuel to keep working at improving themselves.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Poll Results: How many hours total did baby sleep in a 24 hour period for ages 3-4 months (13-16 weeks)? (approximate)
18-20 hours: 17 votes (14%)
16-17 hours: 43 votes (37%)
14-15 hours: 33 votes (28%)
12-13 hours: 20 votes (17%)
less than 12 hours: 3 votes (2%)
Total of 116 votes
Monday, December 15, 2008
- Easter Eggs: Both of my kids were in this age range at Easter, so Easter eggs became a favorite. I would put little Gerber Rice puffs in the egg or something else fun for them to find once they opened the egg.
- Balls: Your baby could easily be interested in balls before this age range, but it is during this age range that your baby will likely start to try to roll the ball to you. When choosing what ball to get your baby, consider your baby's habits. I had thought of a nerf ball for Brayden, but then had visions of him biting chunks out of it since he was a baby and put things in his mouth (though he didn't do it a lot). There are other soft balls out there such as Baby GUND - Playsets - MVB My First Sports Bag. You can also get soft balls that rattle Gund Mini Pros Rattling Balls Soft Toys. We ended up getting mini balls that were made from the same material as the larger versions. He still plays with them to this day. Spalding NBA Game Ball Mini
- Ball Pit: I have a friend with a daughter a few months younger than Kaitlyn. I remember her daughter liked to play in a ball pit. I thought it looked fun: Ball Pits
- Trucks/Cars/Tractors/etc.: This is another toy category that your child may have shown interest in the past, but is just now starting to play with them appropriately. My favorite vehicles for a baby in this age range are made by Playskool. Here is a sample: Playskool Wheel Pals Tricked Out Fleet. They have a variety of sizes of vehicles and variety of types of vehicles. They are soft for baby and easy to clean slobber off of.
- Wheels On the Bus: One of Brayden's favorite songs was Wheels on the Bus. My great-aunt got this toy for him: Playskool Wheels on the Bus Music Toy. It has different things the child can do to make it sing the song. For example, they can open the door and the songs starts, "The doors on the bus go open and shut..." I know other brands also make Wheels On the Bus.
- Little People: Your child won't be playing using her imagination yet, but there are Little People toys that will be safe for her to play with and she can have interest in. Some examples are the garage, the farm, and the home: Little People
- Pop-up Toys: This is another toy baby could be interested in before this age range, but now starting to be able to really play with it. There are many different kinds out there, from Sesame Street to Thomas. We have a Leap Frog brand. I think the one we have is more difficult for younger babies, but more interesting to them as they get older. Here is a link to a classic one: Playskool Busy Poppin' Pals (Colors May Vary)
- Toys to Mimic: As each day passes, your child will want to be more and more like you. This is a fun time to get some toys for your child to mimic you. What you get will depend on interest and ability. Some ideas for this age are phones (some cell phones will be too old for this age range) Cell Phones and Phones. Another idea is brooms Brooms and this is a vacuum Brayden received for his birthday and loved: Hasbro Playskool Crew Dusty The Talking Vacuum. We got a stroller for Kaitlyn for her first birthday. We got her this one: Fisher-Price Little Mommy Newborn Stroller, then a couple of months ago I discovered this package for only $10 more: Tollytots Fisher-Price All-in-One Newborn Set - Sparkle Butterfly. Depending on the weather where you are at the time of year, there will also be outside toys to mimic. There is the lawnmower for example. See this post for more ideas: Baby Stuff I Love: Outdoor Toys.
- Music: Your baby will love to listen to music now (if she didn't already). We have a lot of different music CDs for kids, and our favorite by far are the Fisher Price ones. Fisher Price CDs
- Activity Walker: In this age range, your child is most likely interested in walking. Some will start on their own in this age, some won't. This has been a favorite of my children and every child who enters our home: Musical Activity Walker
- Bath Toys: By this age, your baby most likely enjoys playing in the tub. This can be a good time to get some toys for the tub: Bath Toys. See also this post for more details on bath time stuff and toys: Baby Stuff I Love: Bathtime
- Books: Along with books previously recommended (Best Toys for Baby ), Vtech has great books for your little one. This is our favorite: Vtech - Rhyme & Discover Book
- Best Toys for Baby
- baby stuff I love
- Best Toys for Baby: Bath Toys:http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2009/01/best-toys-for-baby-bath-toys.html
- Best Toys for Baby: Ages 0-3 Months :http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/11/best-toys-for-baby-ages-0-3-months.html
- Best Toys for Baby: Ages 4-6 Months :http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/12/best-toys-for-baby-ages-4-6-months.html
- Best Toys for Baby: Ages 7-9 Months :http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/12/best-toys-for-baby-ages-7-9-months.html
- Best Toys for Baby: Ages 10-12 Months :http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/12/best-toys-for-baby-ages-10-12-months.html
Friday, December 12, 2008
It helps me to think of learning as a staircase. With each step, you add knowledge. You can't take on several steps at once; you just aren't physically capable. After one concept is understood, you can move on and add to that concept to expand that knowledge. "Too much stimulation used to enhance a child's intelligence pushes the child too fast and does not allow sufficient integration time. Knowledge is piling up because it has no where to go" (page 33).
On the other hand, you don't want to just let your child set the pace either. Your child doesn't know what step is best to start with. He might jump to the middle of the staircase, in which he has missed several steps that can help him understand that middle of this staircase. It is also an inconsistent method of learning. One day your child might like the middle. The next, the top. The next, the bottom.
Toddlers are very curious. I love this stage where everything is absolutely fascinating to them. Curiosity is the "vehicle that takes him to the classroom environment of potential learning" (page 26). As parents, we can direct this curiosity to help our child get ready to move on to the next step in the learning process. Once the child's curiosity has brought him to the table, attention keeps him there. This is a situation where the fabulous attention span of a BW child is so great. This attention span keeps the child in place and focused, ready to learn and perfect this item that holds so much novelty for him.
I remember listening to a teach of mine describe his wife's talent of finding those teaching moments with their five children. Those teaching moments are informal times when your child's curiosity is peaked and he is ready to learn. As time has passed, I have found myself grasping those teaching moments. It is a skill that comes with time. I think the wise parent is also able to create moments they know will bring those teaching moments to the front.
For the older child, this might be sitting and talking with your child after school with snack you had ready. As she relates her day, you ask questions to perpetuate learning. For the toddler, this might be you pulling out some toy that will be of interest to her and helping her learn how to use it correctly and letting her explore it.
I recently found myself unexpectedly in one of those teaching moments with my children. With the Christmas season upon us, we have focused a lot of formal lessons and teachings on the story of the birth of Christ and the different characters. I believe these formal teaching times are good to have, but it is not necessarily a moment when the curiosity of your children is peaked.
Each morning, my children and I sit at the piano and sing songs. We sing songs from a children's hymn book. We started ending each session with a Christmas song from that book. As Brayden listened to the words to the songs, his curiosity was peaked and he started asking questions about what we were singing about. I explained and taught him the same things he had been learning in our formal lessons. He has grasped those concepts and is now more interested during the formal lessons. It has been interesting to see the process and has left me looking for more ways to introduce such activities to allow for such teaching moments.
I know the task of teaching our children all we want them to learn can seem ominous. There are so many things to teach, from the alphabet to morals. Try to take things one step at a time. Your child doesn't need to, and can't, learn all there is to learn in a couple of years. Build the foundation of knowledge now, and add to it over the years. Take it step by step. You can do it!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
It started after he was potty trained. A couple of weeks after I considered him to be potty trained (just over three), I went to get him from a nap. He was still asleep, but he had pooped in his underwear. I talked with him and told him if he needed to go potty, he could get out of bed and go. A little light went off in his eyes. He had obviously never considered this a possibility.
For a couple of days after that, he would come to me during his nap and tell me he had gone potty. He was going only a small amount, and only so he could get out of bed. We then had another talk and I told him that he could go potty if he needed to, but that he couldn't take advantage of that freedom and go potty whenever he wanted to get out of bed. We talked about it until he understood. He was good after that and no longer took advantage of the situation.
About a month and a half to two months ago (Brayden was about a month shy of 3.5), he again began to test the limits on this freedom. He no longer used going potty as the excuse; he hunted for every excuse he could think of. He would come to me with question after question. I taught him how to tell time and what time was acceptable to get up. At first that worked fine, but then he would just sit and stare at the clock instead of sleep at all. He went to taking maybe one nap a week. Something had to be done.
One thing I did was move certain privileges to after nap time, and those were conditional upon him staying in bed. For him, this was TV time. He didn't get TV time unless he stayed in bed for his nap. That worked for a while, but he again started to come up with excuses to get out of bed.
A big part of this I knew was a result of my being so sick for my first trimester. He had more freedom during that time and had started to become 'wise in his own eyes.' There was some retraining that needed to happen here.
I tried rewarding him for taking a nap rather than simply punishing him for getting out of bed. That didn't seem to make any impact on him. I started to wonder if he was ready for rest time rather than naptime. He didn't misbehave the days he didn't take a nap (other than not staying in bed). For whatever reason, I just didn't think he was ready for full rest time. I knew he didn't need a nap ever day, but he also wasn't ready for the expectation of a nap or two a week.
Over time, we re-established proper freedoms for his age. We also had one pivotal day where I finally found the currency that worked for him. I told him if he got out of bed, I was going to take his clock away. Well, he did, and so I did. He was very upset about this and started to cry. I told him he had made his decision. He cried for about thirty minutes before he finally just fell asleep.
Since that day a little over a month ago, he has stayed in his bed flawlessly. He is now sleeping most days of the week. He has his clock back without problem.
If you have a toddler or child getting out of bed, hopefully this story can help you with problem solving. The first thing to consider is your child's freedom level. He probably is being allowed more freedom than he can handle. Then, search out proper rewards/consequences for his actions. Good luck!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
- Household items: This is a good time to introduce things around the house that are safe and acceptable for baby to play with. Remember, everything is new so it doesn't take much to fascinate baby. A spoon you use to mix things with might be interesting to her. Measuring cups are a classic hit. You can set her on the floor with some pots and pans along with some spoons and let her play.
- Anything She Can Hold: Especially during the early part of this age range, baby will like anything she can just hold in her hand easily. This can be anything safe for her.
- Leapfrog Music Table: If I could only buy, say, five toys for my child, this would be one of them. They love it starting young and continue to love it as they get older. Brayden, now 3.5, still plays with it from time to time. For Kaitlyn, 19 months, it is still a favorite. LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table
- Baby Einstein Neptune Activity Toy: This is a fun little toy I got for Kaitlyn's first Christmas. She was 8 months old. Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Activity Toy
- Fisher Price Stacking Rings: This toy is a classic. Your child won't be able to stack these correctly for a while, but she can practice. This is something that can be fun as they grow older, also. When Brayden was learning spacial relationships, I would tell him to get the biggest ring, or the smallest ring. When he was learning colors, I would tell him to find the yellow ring, etc. He really enjoyed these games. Fisher-Price Rock-A-Stack
- Nesting Cups: This toy was Kaitlyn's favorite toy from about 7 months until 17 months. As she got older, the way she played with it changed, but she just loved it. It was a great church toy because she would just sit on the floor and concentrate on it for about 45 minutes strait. Nesting Cups
- Shape Sorter: This is another toy baby isn't going to be able to master in this age, but he can start to play with it. If it is something that carries his interest, you will be surprised at how good he gets at it. Brayden was able to put shapes in holes between 7-8 months--though he wasn't able to distinguish which shapes to put in which holes yet. There are many different types of shape sorters available: Shape Sorter
- Fisher Price Roll-a-Rounds: These toys fascinate babies. The balls have things in them, then baby can put the ball into things and watch what happens. It is like a shape sorter, but with only one shape, which is realistically better for baby at this age. We have the Jungle and the Gumball machine, both of which are still of interest to both kids to this day. I have also heard of kids loving the Dinosaur. Fisher Price Roll-a-Rounds
- Stuffed Animals: By this age your child has likely shown an interest in certain animals. Brayden was in love with monkeys. For Kaitlyn, it was doggies. If your child has shown an interest in a certain animal, now might be a fun time to get that stuffed animal. Something random for each of my children is that they both have a favorite stuffed animal, and it is a giraffe. Neither has ever shown a particular interest in giraffes when reading books. They like to look at them at the zoo, but not so much that I would think the giraffe is the way to go. My mom got Brayden a Ty Beanie Baby giraffe when he was young. It comes in blue, pink, or brown. BABY TIPTOP (blue) - giraffe. Kaitlyn loved Brayden's so much that when my husband and I were in Washington DC this past spring, I got her a giraffe at the Museum of Natural History. It is The Petting Zoo brand and is the Bright Eyes collection. They are really cute: Bright Eyes Stuffed Animals
- Flap Books: In addition to the books listed in the previous two posts, I love flap books. They are great starting at this age because baby is really in that peek-a-boo mode. These books are of interest for a very long time. They really aren't the type of book you leave baby alone with, but they are fun for baby to look at. They are currently Kaitlyn's favorite type of book. Flap Books
- Teether Books: Kaitlyn also liked this book at this age. It crinkles, they can chew on it, what isn't to love :)Teether Books
- Keys: At this age, Kaitlyn really liked those inexpensive, plastic keys. Keys
- Piano: This is so simple, but fun for baby: Little Tikes Baby Tap A Tune Piano
- lsmith said...
These "baby's favourite toys" posts are great!At this age, my daughter's favourite toys were a bead roller coaster [Bead Roller Coaster] from IKEA http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80014041 and she loved board books, especially those featuring other babies. If we'd had a musical activity table, I'm sure she would have loved that too! But we didn't get it until her first birthday.
December 10, 2008 1:58 PM
Thanks for your additions lsmith! Those roller coasters are fun. We don't own any because my parents do and the doctor's office has them; I like to keep some things like that novelty items ;)
December 18, 2008 2:26 PM
- blessedwife_mom said...
I totally agree with the Stack a Ring toy's versatility and ability to engage a baby. While my baby is still too young to understand how to put the rings back, she has loved this toy from 5 months of age (which is when I purchased it). It's so easy to just take a few rings on the go, and when we're home she can play with the whole toy. The best thing is that it "grows" with the baby and it's affordable!
December 10, 2008 2:15 PM
Thanks for your "second" blessedwife_mom!
December 18, 2008 2:27 PM
- Nathan and Rachel Greenfield said...
Noah (just turned 7 months) is really into balls, I bought him the Leap Frog alphabet ball and he really enjoys pushing that around. He can't press the individual letters yet, but enjoys the music it makes whenever it's rolled. he also really likes:- tupperware- Fisher Price puppy (beware- it's super noisy and way sensitive to the touch so it NEVER finishes a song if you so much as breathe on it!) We don't bring it out too often because it's so obnoxious, BUT it's great every few days and his face just lights up- Johnny Jumper[Johnny Jumper]- he just LOVES this thing! I love it because it keeps my little mover stationary for a while.Yesterday, I showed him a youtube video of a baby laughing to see what he would do and he LOVED it. I thought it was pretty funny. I have loved every stage (even newborn) but now my interaction with him really makes me laugh. I love it!
December 11, 2008 9:28 AM
Thanks for your ideas Rachel. We have some toys we try to hide away also :)
December 18, 2008 2:29 PM