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Welcoming Baby to the Family

A facet of Babywise that most people who use it love is that baby is a part of the family rather than being the center of it. You welcome baby into the family. The family doesn't stop life completely because there is now a baby.

There are many benefits to this. One is that your child will have less risk of being self-centered. Another is that as the parent, you still get to have your other relationships. You still get to be a sister, a daughter, and a friend. You can still join that choir. You can still do the service activities you enjoy. You can still exercise. Most importantly, you and your spouse can maintain a strong relationship. Looking down the road, you can imagine the difficulty that would arise if you plan to have more than one child. It is hard to have more than one center of the universe. You want your children to all be a part of a family.

I want to offer a word of caution with this idea, though. When welcoming baby to the family, be sure you welcome baby to the family. What do I mean by this? If this is your first child, you welcome baby to the family, not to the "couple." The idea of welcoming to the family does not mean that you as the other family members do not have to make any sacrifices. It simply means the world does not revolve around the baby.

There will be many sacrifices to make. At first, you might go all day without getting out of your pajamas. You might get to lunch, or dinner, and realize you have yet to brush your teeth that day. These are sacrifices that come as you get used to juggling your time. Just as the world does not revolve around baby, it does not revolve around you.

You will still be able to entertain friends and go places, but you might cut your evening short in order to care for your child. Life cannot continue on as it was before baby came. Things must change. This is true even when you are welcoming a second or third child (etc) into your home. Everyone sacrifices. Everyone gives a little. Some times call for more sacrifice from some than others. A newborn benefits greatly from consistency to get things established. During the weeks it takes to get established, others might need to sacrifice more. Once baby is established, less sacrifice will be necessary from the other family members.

As you welcome your new baby into your home, be sure the world revolves around the family as a whole rather than around an individual member. Life changes with a baby, just as it changed when you got married. Adding a person to the mix will always change things. Through implementing the principles of Babywise, you can make these changes easier on the entire family unit.

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Baby McKenna Here

My sweet baby McKenna is here and all is well! Everything is great with both her and me. She is a very sweet baby and very good nurser, which is always nice. Thank you to everyone for your prayers; I really can feel the strength of them. More to come in the future as I get to know this new person and figure out life with three children!

More Than Making it Through the Day: 15-18 Months

This is not a time to pat yourself on the back and stop working toward goals. You still have about 17 good years of training your child to put in, so keep working at it! Your toddler might be eating and sleeping well, but that is only a small portion of what you want for your child. The eating and sleeping well are good stepping stones for working on the bigger picture, they are not THE picture.

These three months can be really easy or a bit of a challenge. They might be really easy if your toddler sticks to two naps a day. If your toddler moves to three, however, you might find yourself wondering what to do with your child during all of this extra time.

By 15 months old, most toddlers are walking and can say at least one word. I personally love toddlers. They are so fun. Everything around them is so fascinating, and as you spend time with them, you come to see and hear things you hadn't paid attention to in years.

Much of the advice for 15-18 months is the same as 12-15 months. After listing the different activities for the day and special considerations for each activity, I am going to delve into the whys behind the activities to help you keep a focus in mind while you do it. Having a goal to work toward is a big difference between making it through the day and more than making it through the day.

Be sure to see this post for schedule ideas: Sample Schedules: One Year and Up

  • Self-Feeding: The biggest concern with mealtimes during this time will be your toddler learning to eat from a spoon. Expect things to be messy as he learns. He can't be perfect. See this post for more: Toddlers and Spoons
  • Throwing/Dropping Food: Your toddler might start to throw or drop food from the highchair as he now has more control over his food. See this post: Throwing/Dropping Food off of the Tray
  • Food Amounts: Just because he is now a toddler does not mean you will worry less about his food intake. See Food Amounts for Toddlers for guidance.
NAPTIMESThere is a good chance your toddler will be ready to drop the morning nap during this period. Most drop it around 18 months, though there is a wide range around that.
INDEPENDENT PLAYTIMEBy the end of this range, most will be ready to move to roomtime for independent play rather than playpen time if they haven't already. And it still isn't too late to start this if you haven't already.
FREE PLAYTIMEYou allow your child to choose the activity he plays with. That is why it is "free." He doesn't get to jump from activity to activity; you want him to learn to have a sustained attention span. But he can have more than one toy available to him during this time. Free playtime can really be any activity the child chooses. Your toddler still needs to be supervised during this playtime. See free playtime (blog label) for more.
STRUCTURED PLAYTIMEStructured playtime is when Mom decides the activity. This is a good thing for your toddler to learn to accept; in educational settings (and life), we don't always get to choose what we do. This time can be art, music, puzzles, or other learning activities. The child can work alone or with a parent or sibling (see below). See structured playtime (blog label) for more.
SIBLING PLAYTIMEIf your toddler has siblings, you can have sibling playtime. This can overlap with other activities if needed. For example, the siblings can both color at the table together for structured playtime. Or maybe they will go outside to play together for outside time.
Keep in mind that most 15-18 month olds are not interactive players. They play in tandem. They won't necessarily play with the older sibling. However, some will. Kaitlyn is very social and would actually play with Brayden during this time. From what I read, it is common for younger siblings to be more socially interactive at an earlier age than the oldest who was an only child.
The importance of this activity never diminishes. Continue to be sure to incorporate one-on-one time with each parent each day. This can overlap with structured playtime. Mommy or Daddy can sit at the table with the toddler while he colors and join in the coloring. It can also overlap with other appropriate playtime activities.
FRIEND TIMEThe older your toddler gets, the more he will enjoy playing with friends. At this age, play is still very much in tandem; they don't really interactively play with each other. But being in each other's presence is fun. Be sure you take things at the pace of your individual child. Some toddlers will love jumping in with a bunch of other rowdy toddlers. Others will need some time to get used to the activity and might prefer starting with just one other toddler.
It is fun to do activities together as a family. You might go for walks, read books, work in the yard, go out to dinner, take a vacation, go to a museum...the possibilities are endless.
Bath time can be a fun time to get water play in. It is a good opportunity for your child to fulfill that curiosity with water. What happens when I dump a cup of water out? Your child can figure that out in the tub. It will also stimulate the sense of touch. Best Toys for Baby: Bath Toys
LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENTAs your toddler starts to speak more, it will be easier for this to be a focus for you. Your toddler will demonstrate more and more the vast amount that he understands. You will most likely be quite shocked. We were even shocked with Kaitlyn. Continue to work on language development.
  • Sign Language: It isn't too late to start this. Watch for words that would help your child avoid tantrums or words that your child seems to try to communicate but can't say yet. It can also come in handy for those words that sound the same. Many toddlers pronounce words very similarly. If you have signs to turn to, you can help have more effective communication. If you have been doing this for a while, you can most likely do a new word each day, or at least several per week. Sign Language
  • Reading: Reading is a fun activity to have as one-on-one time with a parent. Be sure to point to the objects in the book and name them for your toddler. Non-BW: The Value of Reading:
  • Talk Back: When your child talks to you, listen and talk back. Keep in mind the principles from the previous making it through the day post for ages 9-12 months old.
    Language Development
TIME OUTSIDE You can continue the activities you have been doing outside (walks, hikes, etc.). Here are some other ideas:
  • Sledding: You can still spend time outside if there is snow. Be sure to dress your child appropriately. I have heard it is a good idea to not allow a child to be out in the cold for longer than 15 minutes at a time, though I have nothing to back that up with.
  • Sandbox: The sandbox is a fun place to play.
  • Mimic: Toddlers love to mimic their parents. If you garden, you might get some gardening toys for your toddler. If you have a lawn to mow, a lawnmower.
  • Bubbles: This is always fascinating for the toddler.
  • Outside Toys: See this post for outside toy ideas: Baby Stuff I Love: Outdoor Toys
ARTSYou can add some time for the arts. You might dance, sing, and/or draw. It is wonderful to pass on your passion to your children, but also be sure you expose them to arts that aren't necessarily your interest. For example, I love to sing and I love to dance. It is quite natural for me to expose my children to these items. I am not an artist when it comes to drawing, painting, etc. These are activities I have to make a conscious effort to add to our day because it isn't a natural interest of mine.
Your child's interests and abilities will continue to mature as he gets older. See this post: Best Toys for Baby: 12-18 Months
You might be especially interested in learning activities now. Keep in mind that your child can't learn things he isn't taught, so this is up to you. See these posts:
GOAL SETTINGWe want to really focus on why we are doing what we are doing (see Why vs. How ). To do more than make it through the day, it requires structure, organizing, and planning. All of the categories listed above serve more purpose than simply giving you and your toddler something to do all day. On Becoming Toddlerwise discusses three major categories you want to focus on (page 45):
  • Moral Training: You teach self-control, obedience, manners, patience, sitting, focusing, concentrating, and relationship with peers, siblings, and adults. Independent playtime, free playtime, structured playtime, sibling playtime, friend playtime, and one-on-one time with parents all contribute to meeting these goals. See also:
    "Yes Mom"
    Training in Times of Non-Conflict
    Hand Folding: Establishing Self-Control:
    Creating a "Good Helper"
  • Academic Skills: This is teaching ABCs, mathematics, language, reading, and more. Structured playtime and one-on-one time with parents are both excellent points in the day to teach academic skills. You can also learn to work these things in throughout the day. When you are on a walk, you can count how many cars, cats, birds, etc. you see. You can get foam letters for the bathtub and sing the ABCs during bathtime. These skills can always be incorporated into your activities. Remember that people learn line upon line. Teach your child in steps (see learning section above for more about learning).
  • Spiritual Training: This involves anything spiritual that is appropriate to teach your child. This can be teaching to say prayers, which at first is done by the parent showing the example of how to do things. You can read scripture stories and teach about important people in your faith.
You want to set age appropriate goals for these areas. Don't do too many at once; you will only stress yourself and your toddler out. Think of where you want your toddler to be in a few months and work toward that. Your toddler needs direction to get there. For more on goal-setting, see Beliefs and Goals (Toddlerwise) .
Also, On Becoming Toddlerwise is written for ages 1-2 years old. Be sure to read it. On Becoming Toddlerwise
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The Happiest Baby on the Block: Conclusion

The Happiest Baby on the Block finishes up with a conclusion, medical reasons to call the doctor, and a new parent's survival guide.

Overall, this is not a book I would recommend to anyone to read. If you have a baby who has colic and you need ideas on how to soothe him, the book might be of use to you. As many readers have told me, the 5 S's can really help. I have said it many times and will say it again, if you are only interested in the 5 S's, you might prefer the DVD.

I have started to read The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems, and there have been a couple of statements by Hogg that have stood out to me in light of this book. One thing found in chapter one is that Hogg briefly mentions mimicking the womb for baby, but describes the womb differently. She describes it as dark and quiet, which is different from Karp. She does, however, advocate swaddling in order to mimick the womb.

Hogg also says, "We know, for example, babies of depressed mothers tend to cry more themselves" (page 32). This is something Karp states as not being true. I tend to agree with Hogg. The saying, "If Mama ain't happyn, ain't nobody happy" is a saying for a reason. Mom really sets the tone for the mood in the home.

If your baby is a Babywise baby and does not have colic or extreme fussiness, I doubt you would find any enjoyment from this book.

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Poll Results: How many hours total did baby sleep in a 24 hour period for ages 6-7 months? (approximate)


18-20 hours: 4 votes (4%)
16-17 hours: 43 votes (40%)
14-15 hours: 45 votes (42%)
12-13 hours: 10 votes (9%)
less than 12 hours: 5 votes (5%)

Total of 107 votes

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Reminder: You can leave comments on poll results posts if you would like to add to the poll after it has closed. This would be helpful for those who have more than one child, those whose children have reached certain ages after a poll closed, and those who didn't visit the blog while that poll was open. To find closed polls, click on the poll results link above.


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When parents are moving from playpen time to roomtime (both forms of independent playtime ), they often have questions. Roomtime is essentially the same thing as independent playtime, just with larger boundaries (a room rather than a playpen).

On Becoming Babywise II says you will move to roomtime between 18-22 months (page 76). With both of my children, I moved much earlier. Brayden started roomtime around 14-15 months. Kaitlyn started it at 12 months. Exactly when you move your child to roomtime is up to you. Base it on the child's ability to handle the freedom.

Roomtime is a structured activity. Mom decides when it starts, not the child. If your child is the type to wander into his room and play on his own for 45 minutes, this is not roomtime. Roomtime is when mom decides that it is time for roomtime and the child willingly complies.

Roomtime is not a free-for-all. The child doesn't get to do whatever he wants to. If he is doing things in his room that you find inappropriate, you should stop it. What is inappropriate? That is up to you. You are the parent.

A common question I get is about a gate or shutting the door. I shut the door at first for roomtime. If you don't want the door shut, you can do a child safety gate. Once your child is able to handle the door being open, you can leave it open. He can handle it if he stays in his room with it open. Brayden (3.5) will happily play in his room with the door open, but still to this day he usually prefers it to be shut. Brayden and Kaitlyn have roomtime at the same time, and their rooms are right next to each other, so it is better for the doors to be shut. Then they don't have the temptation and distraction of playing with each other during this independent playtime. You want this to be a time when your child can "focus and play independently without having someone or something there to 'entertain' him" (On Becoming Toddlerwise, page 48).

Roomtime can be in a location other than the child's bedroom (Babywise II, page 76). Remember, it is just playpen time with extended boundaries, so it can be anywhere you deem appropriate.

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Discipline Foundations for Your Baby

As your baby starts to show need for discipline, there are certain key points that are good for you to keep in mind. It is important for you to learn how to discipline effectively. On Becoming Babywise II explains that if parents set the right course, the baby is less likely to stray and will learn more quickly (page 69).

To discipline is to train your child. When Brayden was a matter of a few days old, my Mom told me that I needed to realize that each day my job was to prepare him to leave me some day. I needed to teach him how to become self-sufficient. I needed to teach him the life skills necessary to become independent of me. Some might find that a sad notion, but that is our job as parents. Our children will have influences of teachers and friends, but for the most part, the world will not take a vested interest in training our children, though the world will apply all consequences even if our children are not prepared to face them.

You might be thinking your baby can't possibly do anything wrong. It is important to take note of what discipline means. Discipline is training. " a process of training and learning that fosters self-control and moral development" (On Becoming Babywise II, page 83). You are realigning your baby to make sure she stays on the right path. We read in Babywise II that discipline and the need for correction doesn't necessarily mean the baby did something wrong (page 84).

There are three areas you train child in:

  • Life Skills
  • Heart Issues
  • Health and Safety
Consistency is very important when it comes to discipline. "Immediate and consistent consequences speed up the learning process" (On Becoming Babywise II, page 64). The more consistent you are, the faster your baby will learn and the less over-all correction you will need to apply. It is difficult for your baby to know your expectations if you are inconsistent.

Before your baby reaches the age for the need of discipline, it would be wise for you to think through possible actions your baby could do that would not be okay with you. Then think through what your reaction will be. Yes, it is hard to look to the future and see what your child will do. Start practicing now; it is a skill that will come in useful to you throughout the life of your child. You will definitely miss some, even if this isn't your first child. But you can get an idea in your head.

Be sure that in your quest for consistency, you don't overlook the need to modify your approach. You can be consistent in your rules while still modifying your course of action with correction.

Have you heard the phrase that people live up to the expectations placed on them? "True obedience is often more difficult for the parent than for the child, for children always respond to parental resolve and expectations..." (On Becoming Babywise II, page 88).

Think about your own reservations. Do you really expect your baby to obey you? If not, why would your baby do so? Don't underestimate the ability of your child to read you, now and in the future. Every so often, I find myself giving an instruction to one of my children and realizing that I didn't really expect compliance with it. The child does not respond. I will do a quick pep talk in my head and gather my resolve and repeat. It is amazing the difference simply changing my expectations makes.

Another problem if you have improper expectations is that you likely will not apply correction if you didn't mean it in the first place. Are you really going to correct your child for not doing something you didn't expect to happen in the first place? If you don't expect it, you are better off not instructing it.

You must provide boundaries. If your child has too much freedom, she will get into trouble. You want to give freedom in manageable limits. To set boundaries is to limit activities and freedoms, but not to abolish them all together. For more on boundaries, see the blog label boundaries .

You want to avoid power struggles with your child. Parenting is not about being the "top wolf." If you have a dog, you probably know that if you want to be "top dog," you need to look away last. This isn't your goal with your child.

A power-struggle will happen if you and your baby go head to head and you basically stand over him and stare him down until he relents. A better option is to allow him to surrender with dignity. See Discipline Strategy: Surrender with Dignity.

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Progress is a Spiral: Illustration

I have often talked about the idea of progress is a spiral (see progress is a spiral ). This is a concept discussed in On Becoming Pottywise. I love it because it describes so well the parenting process. I often hear it described as "one step forward, two back" or something similar. Progress with children can really seem that way, but I think the spiral is so much more accurate. The idea of the spiral is that you are moving up the spiral. As you move up, from your vantage point it can often look like you are moving further from your goal, but in reality you are always moving toward it.

As my husband and I are preparing to welcome our next little baby into our home, I am naturally experiencing major nesting instinct. This is when you feel like you must deep clean and organize every square inch of your home. One Saturday not long ago, our house was all clean. We decided to pull out some totes we have stored in our garage and go through them. My husband loves to de-clutter and takes full advantage of nesting instinct time.

We pulled the totes out and then pulled every item out of the totes. We then made piles of keep, throw away, give to charity, and undecided. Soon, our family room was a mess. As we discussed the mess and how it was necessary to have it in order to reach our goal of re-organizing the totes, it occurred to me that this was an excellent illustration of how progress is a spiral.

Your end goal is to organize your totes. In order to do so, you must pull everything out and make several piles around your room. Your room soon looks like a disaster. It can seem like your desire for cleanliness and organization is farther away than ever. In reality, however, this mess you have created is moving you closer to your end goal. You will soon re-pack the tote, throw away items, and take items to good will. The room will be back to clean and your totes will be freshly organized.

While parenting, you often will feel like you are only moving backwards or treading water at best. Always remember that progress is a spiral. Sometimes it takes a mess to get you closer to your end goal.

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The Happiest Baby on the Block: Sleep

Chapter 16 in The Happiest Baby on the Block is all about sleep. Karp talks about sleep transitions. He says sleep transitions happen every 60 minutes (page 219). I have always read it is every 40-45 minutes; whatever it is for your baby, Karp points out that a poor self-calmer will usually wake up at this transition (see this post for more on transitions: Baby Whisperer: Sleep Transitions). Here are some things Karp recommends to help baby sleep better (these are his 5 S's):

  • Swaddle
  • White noise
  • Swing

Karp points out to only have baby sleep on back and that a pacifier can help baby fall asleep, but not stay asleep (page 217). Karp recommends you only use these S's until three months of age, then it is time to wean baby and put him to bed awake.

Karp recommends you first wean the sucking (page 218). Second is swinging. Third is swaddling. Finally, the Shh... (white noise).

Karp continues this chapter with information on scheduling and co-sleeping. I figure that information is not of interest to most readers here, so if it is of interest to you, you can read the book :).

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Sisterhood Award

My thanks to Meg from The Closet Seamstress ( for nominating me for this blogging award!

Poll Results: What was the average length of naps for baby ages 10-11 months? (approximate)


45 minutes: 5 votes (5%)
1 hour: 9 votes (9%)
1 hour 15 minutes: 31 votes (32%)
2 hours: 47 votes (48%)
More than 2 hours: 5 votes (5%)

Total of 98 votes

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Reminder: You can leave comments on poll results posts if you would like to add to the poll after it has closed. This would be helpful for those who have more than one child, those whose children have reached certain ages after a poll closed, and those who didn't visit the blog while that poll was open. To find closed polls, click on the poll results link above.

In Action: Moving to a Toddler Bed

A little over a week ago, we moved Kaitlyn to a toddler bed. I wasn't really sure how it would go overall. In most ways, Kaitlyn has been easier than Brayden was overall, especially with 'babyhood.' When it comes to discipline, I am not sure who is easier. Brayden tested limits earlier and tested limits more often, but he was overall more obedient just for the sake of being obedient. He is a rule follower by nature. Kaitlyn doesn't test limits often and started testing them at a much later age than average, but I am not really sure what her motivation is for following rules. Brayden is like me in that respect, so I totally get him. For her, I am not sure what it is.

As she has with discipline issues, Kaitlyn went through her "rebellious stage" later than most kids. Around 18 months old, most toddlers seem to really test their limits in a big way. Kaitlyn waited until she was 21 months old to do this. So we were sure to wait until that was over before we moved her over.

We then had issues with her toddler bed being broken when we opened the box, so we had to wait for replacement (by the way, Jardine Enterprises was awesome with this. They sent us the replacement part right away with no questions asked and all for free. Fisher-Price is the same way with their stuff). With these two factors, she was moved a little later than I would have liked. I like there to be more time before a new baby to work through any kinks, but it has worked out okay.

In most ways, Kaitlyn was really good. I wasn't sure what to expect from her. She has always been the type to not so much as sit up after you lay her down for bed. She also loves to sleep, so I knew we had that in our favor, but you never know what the new opportunity of freedom will do.

Kaitlyn loved her new bed and was not sad to see the crib go in the least. When we put her down for naps and at night, she went right to sleep with no problem and slept her normal times.

When moving my children to big beds, I haven't ever stressed that they need to stay in bed. I don't really want to put it in their heads that it is even an option. They always stayed in the crib, so why would the bed be any different? With Brayden, this was never a problem until he started potty training. At that point, I had to tell him he could get out of bed to use the potty if needed. A look of interest crossed his face and he spent much time figuring out if there were any other acceptable scenarios for getting out of bed (see Toddler/Child Getting Out of Bed), but this problem has since been solved. With Kaitlyn, I didn't tell her to stay in bed either.

As I said, she went to sleep great. After her nap was over, she would wake up, get out of bed, get a toy or book, and go back into her bed. Ideally, I think you should rush in the moment your child wakes to praise them for doing a great job. The problem is Kaitlyn is really, really quiet when she wakes up. You don't know if she is awake or not.

So I walked into her room to find her with some books on her bed that were across her room before the nap started. I told her she needed to stay in her bed. She didn't really understand what I was saying and thought I was telling her it was still time for a nap, so she put her head back down to go to sleep.

The next day, I did catch her as soon as she woke up and before she got out of bed. I praised her for staying in bed, but she still wasn't understanding exactly what I was trying to communicate to her. The next day I had my husband go get her up because I was sure she was still asleep. He found her out of bed gathering her toys.

Several nights after moving to her new bed, I woke at 3 AM to the sound of footsteps (I am a really light sleeper). I then heard little clinking noises. I looked at Kaitlyn's monitor and saw the lights moving, telling me the sounds was coming from her room. My husband went to her room to find her in bed playing with her Legos (currently her absolute favorite toy). He told her it was time to sleep, took her Legos, hid them, and left the room. He came down and told me he hid the Legos. He must have forgotten in his sleepy state that Kaitlyn misses nothing. Sure enough, a minute later we heard the clinking of the Legos again. He went up and as soon as he walked in, she handed over her Legos. This time he took them out of the room ;).

I found this situation odd (and admittedly quite funny). We never had this issue with Brayden, and he doesn't like to sleep. The next day, I found that she had her final K-9 tooth coming in. These have been painful for her, so I assumed the pain was making it hard for her to sleep. So before bed, we gave her Tylenol. She slept just fine that night.

My husband started to tell her to stay in her bed when he put her down for bed or a nap. Telling her at the beginning of the nap rather than after the nap seems to have communicated what we were trying to tell her. She now waits until I go in to get out of bed. As soon as I walk in, she sits up and slides out of bed. I give her lots of praise and kisses for being such a good girl and staying in her bed until Mommy gets there.

What was the solution to her getting out of bed? One was helping her to understand the expectations we had. That was most of the battle. We explained the problem when she was out of bed early. We explained what we expected. Finally, we explained expectations before the problem happened. This was the most beneficial for her. We were then able to praise her and tell her all she had done right, which makes her happy and want to repeat the correct action.

Another part of the solution was simply time and consistency. After several days of repeating expectations and being consistent about what was okay and what wasn't, she was doing what we wanted. We never had to use any sort of punishment at all. She hadn't been properly trained in the right way yet. If she starts getting out of bed again in a year (similar to Brayden), that is when we would evaluate what form of punishment would be appropriate. For now, her stage of discipline is simply to lead her in the right way.

Some people might wonder why I cared about her getting out of bed at all once the nap was over. It is true that the highest priority is for the child to stay in bed and sleep. Once the nap is over, I can see parents deciding it is no problem if he gets out of bed to play, especially in a situation like Kaitlyn's where she was getting out of bed, getting something she wanted, and getting back into bed.

I think the issue goes back to the funnel. This is not a freedom an 18-24 month old is equipped to handle yet. At this age, most children are still in great need for the nap, so going to sleep right away might not be a problem. But what about when the child is older and isn't necessarily as tired at naptime? Or he finds other activities of more interest? He could get out of bed at the beginning of nap, get his toys, and get back into bed for the "nap."

There will come a day that I will allow Kaitlyn to get out of bed after a nap on her own. Brayden does. But that is a freedom to earn. The child must demonstrate an ability to handle that freedom. For now, she will stay in bed and wait for me to come get her.

For all of my tips as well as the tips found in Toddlerwise for moving to a bed, see this post:
Transitioning from a Crib to a Bed

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Childishness vs. Foolishness

On Becoming Babywise II discusses the difference between childishness and foolishness on page 86. Childishness is on accident. It happens because your child doesn't know or understand the rules. It is not because your child is directly disobeying you. Foolishness is on purpose. Your child knows the rules and disobeys anyway. It is important to evaluate if actions are out of childishness or foolishness because your response should be different in each case.

BW II explains it this way: Foolishness is a heart problem while Childishness is a head problem (page 87). The head problem simply needs information. The heart problem is a bigger deal because your child is choosing to do the wrong thing--choosing to disobey. Both require correction, but different methods of correction.

This might seem simple to determine, but if you have a child who makes both childish and foolish decisions, you know that you as the parent often evaluate the situation incorrectly. Usually you are wrong in that you assume a childish action was done in foolishness. This can happen if you assume your child knows rules that haven't been explained. You might assume your child should make connections that he just isn't capable of connecting. Or you might be telling your child to do or don't do something and he just doesn't understand what you are saying. He lacks the vocabulary.

For example, you might tell your child to not run. First, does your child know exactly what running is? Even if he is running at the moment you instruct him not to, you can't assume he will know what running is. He will think through what he was doing and try to figure out what you meant by "run." Many will try to reenact things they were doing when they were told to not run in order to figure that out, especially if they don't know how to say, "What does run mean?" Your toddler will be in the preschool years before he really can use words to clarify something like that. So be sure your child knows what it is you are asking of him.

You will see a lot more of the misunderstandings in the younger months. When your six month old blows a raspberry and splatters food all over you during lunch for the first time, you might touch his lips and tell him "That's a no, you keep your food in your mouth." The look on your face and tone in your voice will tell your baby he has done something wrong, but he won't necessarily know what it was. Some might get it right away while others won't. Those who don't will usually repeat the action like a little scientist, trying to figure out exactly what wasn't okay about what he just did. If you stay consistent, he will figure out more quickly what he did wrong. Your child will continue to be a scientist throughout his life as he grows up and tries to figure out exactly what is expected of him.

One morning we were in our church hurrying to our meeting. Our son Brayden was trying to hurry also, and started to run. I instructed him to not run. He was at an age where he knew just what I was talking about, so he didn't run. He walked really quickly--you know that pace where they are so close to the run--, which wasn't what I considered to be reverent enough for the church either. I might be able to expect an older child to know that if I tell him not to run that means he must also not walk quickly, but definitely not of a child this young. Also, I had made the mistake of telling him simply what not to do rather than adding in what to do. Further explanation helped him to know what it was I was asking of him. His quick walking in this situation was not a defiant action. He didn't think, "I'll show her; I'll just walk quickly then." His quick walking was a childish action. He did not yet know exactly what was appropriate and what wasn't appropriate in the church.

Sometimes you will assume an action that is neither childish nor foolish was foolish. For example, a few days ago my daughter Kaitlyn (22 Months) was sitting on the potty. She reached out and unrolled some toilet paper. This is not something I have ever addressed with her. Brayden never touched it, so it hasn't occurred to me to talk to Kaitlyn about it. This action was childishness. I told her we don't play with the toilet paper. She told me "okay Mommy" then immediately reached up to it again. I started to give her my Mommy Glare and tell her that was a no when I realized she wasn't reaching to play with it; rather she was rolling it back up as it was before she unrolled it in the first place. She was attempting to correct her wrong action. . It is good to wait a moment to know exactly what your child is doing before you jump to your conclusion and start to discipline and correct.

In general, a childish act should get a verbal response from the parent. Tell the child no, explain what was done wrong, then instruct on what to do instead: "That's a no. We don't touch the toilet paper. Keep your hands in your lap." You can certainly add things. If the child made a mess, you can have the child help clean it up. You can have the child correct any wrong that may have been done. Even if something is an accident, it still needs to be corrected. People don't just get to walk away and say, "Oops."

You can be sure an act was foolish when your child has already demonstrated an understanding for expected behavior in that situation. A foolish action will require more discipline. Exactly what you do and how you do it is dependent on the child. The child's age, frequency of the offense, situational context, and the child's overall behavior all factor in to deciding what to do (page 87)--more to come on these factors in a future post. As the parent, it is for you to decide what to do. Be sure to see the many discipline posts for ideas.

Life with children is never cut and dry. Here is a story to illustrate. Brayden loves certain types of blankets. As he has gotten older,we have restricted where the blankets were allowed to be. At one point, they were allowed upstairs, but not on the main level. Then we decided it was time that they must remain in his room. I told him his blanket must stay in his room. He had a day where he left his room with it several times. This might seem foolish, but it was actually childish. He wasn't leaving the room with it having decided to disobey, he just was in the habit and wasn't thinking. The next morning, he left his room with it again. I told him that if he left his room with his blanket one more time, he was going to lose the blanket. I asked him if he understood, he said yes. I told him to leave his blanket in his room, he said "yes Mommy." About 60 seconds later, he declared he needed a tissue and ran out of the room with his blanket in tow.

I knew that this was again a childish action. He wasn't willfully defying me. But I also knew that something extreme needed to happen for him to have reason to remember the new blanket rule. I took the blanket as promised. I have never seen him so upset. He didn't throw a fit, he was just emotionally upset at the prospect of losing his blanket. After a couple of minutes, he calmed down. He knew he had messed up and he was ready to take the consequence.

Later that day, I gave his blanket back. He was very grateful and told me he wouldn't leave his room with his blanket any more. And he didn't. So you can see from this story that childish actions still need correction. And just because the child understands something doesn't mean it is automatically a foolish action.

Make the effort to figure out if your child is being childish or foolish. As you get to know your child, you will recognize cues like a certain glint in the eye when the child is knowingly disobeying. You will continue to misjudge. You aren't perfect. I still misjudge Brayden, who is almost 4. But you will get better at it. Keep these things in mind as you determine if an action is childish or foolish:

  • Don't assume your child knows rules. Explain things to your child as age appropriate.
  • Don't assume your child will realize that if something is wrong, similar things are also wrong.
  • Be sure your child understands what you are telling him.
  • Be sure you tell your child not only what not to do, but what to do.
  • Observe your child for a moment before assuming he is being disobedient.
This originally appeared on Childishness vs. Foolishness.

Related Posts:

Index: Preschoolers

Discipline (see also Discipline Index)
Moral Training
Preschooler Summary
Rest Time
See Also Preschoolwise Index

How I Get Stuff Done

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I get a lot of questions about how I get so much done in a day, not only on this blog, but among my family and friends around me each day. I have been asked so much, I thought I would try to formulate some thoughts on the topic and post it. First, here are some things that I do that I think contribute to being efficient:
  • Just Do It: I really have a just do it attitude. When I try to do something slowly or ease myself in, it seems to take longer and be harder. For example, when I was in my early years of college, I wanted to improve in my journal writing. I wanted to eventually be writing every day. At first I tried once a week and then working up from there. That just didn't work. I told myself to just do it, so I did. I wrote every day, even if there was nothing to say other than, "Nothing big to mention today."
  • Make and Keep a Habit: Whatever it is you are trying to do, make it a habit and keep it that way. The reason I wrote every day, even just to say basically nothing, was to maintain that habit in my life.
  • Make Lists: I make lists. I make a list of everything I want to get done from large scales down to daily tasks.
  • Manageable Goals: Make sure your lists and goals are manageable for you. There is no point in setting yourself up for failure. When you are successful, you can feel good about what you did and feel motivated for the next day. If you have a large goal, break it up into small goals. For example, I sew a lot. I have made all of the curtains, pillows, bedding, Halloween costumes, many clothes, etc. in our home. A recent project I did was my master bedroom. I made a list of all the things I wanted to make for the room, then broke those down into small goals. Looking at a goal of making a pillow is a lot less over-whelming than an entire bedroom set. If you over-whelm yourself, you are less likely to stick to the task.
  • Be Realistic: Acknowledge and accept your limitations. When I have a newborn, I get significantly less done in the day than when my children are older. Recognize your limitations. There is a season for all things. Life is never stagnant. Do what you can when you can, but don't beat yourself up for things you just can't get done at the time. I know that when my baby is born, I will not be able to do as much with this blog. Because of this, I am writing posts well into the future. While this particular post is scheduled for March 13, I am actually writing it February 18. I have every Thursday written into June. I am hoping that when my baby is born, I will have at least two solid months of posts written. Then I don't have to worry about it at a time that I know will be hard to fit it in, and I should then also be able to answer comments. I know to both write posts and answer questions would be more than I could do for at least a month, so I am doing what I can while I can.
  • Plan it Out: Think through what you are doing from start to finish. This way, you can be sure to have all supplies on hand. If you have to run to the store 5 times to complete one project, that isn't a very efficient use of your time. This can be applied down to the smallest cleaning project. When I am going to clean something, I take the time to think through everything I need so I am not walking back and forth over and over. It seems small, but every moment counts, especially when you have young children.
  • Dirty Work First: I always do the jobs I know I don't enjoy as much first. Each day, I do some cleaning. I also do some blogging at least five days of the week. I enjoy blogging more than cleaning. I am sure to get my cleaning done first. Then I don't lose myself in the Internet and not get my other things done. But, in my third trimester, I have found that I have to modify this. I can't just clean for hours. I have to clean for a bit, sit for a bit, clean for a bit. I have to put time limitations on my Internet time so I can give my body the rest it needs.
  • Don't Procrastinate: I know some people find they work well under pressure. My husband is one who thrives on procrastination. I used to be a procrastinator. In high school, I spent many all-nighters getting homework done. I finally decided it was not the best way to be. All through college, I never pulled an all-nighter. I was an English major with many papers to write. My emphasis was technical writing, which required a lot of projects. My minor was communications where I performed study after study and also wrote a lot of papers. I was in the presidency of several clubs and organizations; I rarely had a night that did not have some activity planned. But I always had my work completed with plenty of time to do several reviews of it before turning it in. I graduated named the most outstanding senior. Procrastination does not produce the best results you can give.
  • Prioritize: Prioritize your tasks. Some things need to be completed sooner than others. Some can wait. Some can be scratched all-together if you need to.
  • Put the Lord First: This is something that I think is the biggest contributor to what I can get done in a day. I am sure to say my prayers in the morning. I also read my scriptures each morning before I do anything else. I have found that when you put the Lord first and do what He has asked you to do before other things, everything else comes easier and is faster. If you are religious, give it a try.
  • Multi-task: Whenever possible, I multi-task.
Those are some general tips. Now for a glimpse at my life to see how I fit everything in.
This is probably one of the most noticeable difficulties once you have a baby. It is harder to find the time to clean. As baby gets older, baby contributes to the mess in the house, causing more to clean. There is a more laundry with each additional person. It is all just harder. Here are things I do to make it all easier:
  • Presentable: Something I try to do is keep my house in a position that if someone were to walk into it I would not be embarrassed. Granted, some days are better than others. Certain times of day are better than others. But this is what I strive for. This also helps me to look at things through fresh eyes so I don't over-look clutter (I hate clutter :) ).
  • Let Things Go: Evaluate the time you have and what you can realistically get done at the moment. I am one who loves everything to be clean and spotless. I have come to accept that just isn't possible in my current state. Everything has a season. My house is not as clean as I would like it, but I just have to realize the day will come when it can be.
  • Daily Task: I have a task for each day of the week. This really isn't my favorite way to do cleaning. I love the feeling of the entire house after it has been cleaned in one day. But doing it this way is a lot more manageable for me. Here is my schedule so you get an idea:
    Daily: Each day, there are certain things that must be done. I make my bed in the morning. I do the dishes each day (my husband helps). My husband and I pick up the house after the kids go to bed each night. I help the kids clean up their rooms after they have playtime.
    Monday: Laundry. I do all of the laundry this day.
    Tuesday: General pick up. I pick up every single thing that is out of place in the house and put it away.
    Wednesday: Dusting. I dust the house.
    Thursday: Sweep. I sweep my floors. I have an entire floor that is hardwood, so it is a big job.
    Friday: Bathrooms. I clean the Bathrooms.
    Saturday: Floors. I clean the floors. I mop and vacuum. I will also do a general pick up this day so things are nice and clean for Sunday.
    Sunday: None.
  • Deep Cleaning: I would love it if I could deep clean more than I do, but I just can't right now. I have a list saved on my computer where I have broken down deep cleaning tasks room by room. These tasks include reorganizing everything (where I take everything out of, say, the closet and put it all back, evaluating need for it. This helps you to remember what you have and helps you to organize things as you need them organized at the moment), cleaning floorboards, scrubbing grout, applying oil to wood, cleaning blinds and windows, washing all rugs and blankets, scrubbing garbage cans, etc. This doesn't mean I never do these tasks at other times, but I have them on my list to do as I go through the room. I systematically go through each room, crossing off each task as I go. When I am done, I print a new list and start over. My goal is to do at least one deep cleaning task each day. I often try to do certain tasks at the same time as daily tasks where applicable. For example, Wednesday is my dusting day. Today is Wednesday. I plan to polish and oil all of the wood in my master bedroom today.
  • Monthly Tasks: I also have tasks for each month of the year. These are seasonal. Some of them are the same as things on my deep cleaning tasks. For example, the month of March includes the task of cleaning all of the light fixtures in the house. Each room also has that task on its list for deep cleaning. Other examples for monthly tasks are scrubbing the deck, washing all windows inside and out, cleaning my jewelry, fixing all squeaky hinges in the house, and cleaning the driveway.
Those are some things I have done to make my cleaning life easier.
There is more to life than cleaning and working on projects. There are some things that are scheduled in each week. Here is what we have scheduled weekly:
  • Monday: Family Home Evening. Each Monday night, we have family home evening. We sing hymns, have a lesson, read scriptures, and have prayers. We also have an activity that can supplement the lesson topic.
  • Tuesday: Park Day. Each Tuesday during nice weather, a bunch of women and their children and me and my children get together at the park around lunch time. We bring our own lunches. The moms visit while the kids play. During bad weather, we will do other things on Tuesdays.
    Working With Youth. My husband and I both work with the youth in our church. He works with the young men, ages 14-16, and I work with the young women, ages 12-18. Each Tuesday night, we each have activities with the young men and young women.
  • Wednesday: Most Wednesdays of the month are free for us. Once night of the month I have a church activity with the other women in my church. Another night, we typically have other church service activities scheduled.
  • Thursday: This varies during the year. Currently, I have choir practice and my husband has basketball games.
  • Friday: Fridays are always busy, but with different things. We often go on a date night on Friday. Sometimes we get together with other couples and/or families.
  • Saturday: Saturdays are also busy with similar activities to that of Friday. If we are home during the day, we work on projects around the house.
  • Sunday: Church.
Here are some samples of my daily schedule and when I do what. This is obviously something that is very dynamic. I have to adjust with weather and also with what is going on. When I am in my first trimester, I sleep a lot more. When I have a newborn, not much else gets done :).
  • 6:00 AM: I typically wake up at 6:00 AM. When I am in my first trimester or when I have a newborn who is yet to STTN, this is not the case. When I am not pregnant, I wake up and shower, and read scriptures. When I am pregnant, I wake up, eat, and read scriptures. I then make my bed before I get the kids up. That seems to be something I don't do if I don't do it in the morning. If there is time before it is time to get the kids, I will then either clean or check email--this depends on the amount of time and my physical state. When I am pregnant, I need to sit still for a bit after I eat.
  • 7:30 AM: Right now, my kids get up at 7:30. In the summer, it is usually earlier, and when the new baby arrives, I currently plan on it being 7:00. They eat breakfast. Currently, while they do, I unload the dishwasher. Typically, I would eat breakfast with them. After breakfast, both children are required to help clean it up.
  • 8:00 AM: My next free time of the day is sibling playtime. I currently will do my deep cleaning task OR my daily cleaning task, whichever I feel like. If I have something noisy I want to do (like vacuum), I will do it here. I then shower. After that, I will do more cleaning or do computer stuff if there is time--it depends on if I am feeling the need to sit or not right now.
  • 9:00 AM: The kids take a bath. While they take a bath, I do my make-up and hair.
  • 10:00 AM: Independent play for both kids. This is when I will sit and write a post and other blog stuff. I will also do some cleaning if needed during this time.
  • 11:30 AM: Make lunch. While lunch is being made, I will pick up around the kitchen if needed. After lunch, we clean up lunch.
  • 12:45ish PM: I start getting the kids toward naps. They both have to go potty before naps and it takes some time to do that and tuck them both in.
  • 1:00 PM: Naptime starts. I then right now typically need to sit for a bit so I will do more computer things for a little bit. Then I start working on a project. It might be scrapbooking, it might be sewing, etc. Whatever I am working on at the time. I continue to work on things through the afternoon until all kids are up and my husband is home. I will make dinner in this time frame if I haven't started it earlier in the day. We then have our evening activities. After dinner, the family helps clean it up, including dishes.
That is a rough outline of how I do what I do each day. Hopefully that makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions!
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The Happiest Baby on the Block: Other Colic Remedies

Chapter 14 is all about other colic remedies you can turn to other than the 5 S's. The first of these is massage.

Karp discusses a 1986 study done by Tiffany Field. Field found that premature babies who were massaged for 15 minutes, three times a day gained 47% more weight than expected and were able to go home almost a full week earlier than babies who weren't massaged. I realize a week doesn't seem like a long time, but if you have ever had a baby in the NICU, you know how long a day is.

In a follow-up study, Field found these massaged babies had a higher IQ at one year than those who weren't massaged. She also found that full-term babies who were massaged for 15 minutes a day cried less, were more alert, were more socially engaged, gained weight faster, and had a lower level of stress hormones (page 195). See this label for more on massage: massage

The second colic remedy is walks outside (page 197). This is pretty self-explanatory.

The third colic remedy is warming your baby up. Here are some ideas of how to warm baby (pages 198-199):

  • Warm bath
  • Warm blanket
  • Warm hat
  • Warm hot-water bottle
  • Warm socks

If you choose to try to warm your baby, be sure to monitor baby so she doesn't get too hot. Watch her ears, fingers, and toes. If they are red and hot and her armpits are sweaty, she is probably too warm (page 199).

Karp goes on to say that 10-15% of colicky babies are colicky because of a tummy trouble (which I found odd considering that he stated tummy troubles were not the cause of colic earlier in his book...). The first is food allergies.

To test if your baby has a food allergy, you need to eliminate food from your diet, or if baby is formula fed, switch baby's formula. It takes 2-4 days of the change before you can expect the crying to get better, so be patient (page 200).

Many moms I know who are testing foods basically eliminate everything they thing could be the culprit. They then wait several days. If things have improved, they might start to slowly introduce foods one by one, waiting several days between each new food. Karp suggests you wait until your child has been less colicky for two weeks before re-introducing. Personally, if I were sure it was what I was eating, I would never reintroduce it just to see :). The most common food babies are allergic to is dairy (page 200). I will say that for sure at least 10% of the babies I know are allergic or have an aversion to dairy.

The second tummy problem that Karp lists as a cause of colic is constipation (page 201). If you suspect this with your baby, consult with your doctor for constipation cures.

The third tummy problem would be because baby isn't getting enough milk. Baby should be calm and relaxed after a feeding. Baby should be peeing enough and gaining weight normally. Babies typically gain 4-7 ounces per week (page 203).

If you are breastfeeding and have a milk supply problem:

  • First, find out the reason for this problem. It could be flat nipples, thyroid, fatigue, poor nutrition, or insufficient breast tissue. It could also be that your baby isn't sucking hard enough or is even tongue-tied (pages 203-204).
  • Second, increase your supply. Eat well, get enough rest (as much as you can :) ), empty your breasts at feedings, you can also pump after a feeding (though Karp recommends pumping before a feeding), get comfortable while nursing/pumping to increase production, use fenugreek or Mother's Milk, and/or talk to your doctor (pages 204-205).
  • Third, you can use an SNS system, which gives your baby supplemental formula. Consult with your doctor and/or lactation consultant first, though (page 205).

The fourth medical cause of colic is baby gets too much milk (page 205). Your baby might not know when to stop or you might have an over active letdown. If you bottlefeed, the nipple might be too soft of have holes that are too big. If your baby struggles, coughs, or pulls away when she starts to nurse, it might be wise to express a couple of ounces before the feeding (page 205). Also, there are many support groups online for moms with over active letdown, so that might be of use to you.

The fifth medical cause of colic is reflux. Karp says keeping a baby upright following a feeding is a "dead-end" treatment (page 206), but I have never heard a parent say that didn't work for their child.

He says laying on the stomach is a position that will help baby's reflux, though for Kaitlyn it made it worse. When I say that, I don't mean that every baby with reflux will not benefit from tummy position; I know many if not most do. But some do not. Karp said also the left side is a good position for a baby with reflux.

Be sure to burp a baby with reflux well and often. Also be sure your baby isn't overeating. If your baby has reflux, consider eliminating dairy from your diet since for some babies, reflux is a sign of a milk allergy (page 207). Your doctor might prescribe medication to help with the reflux. See this label for more on Reflux .

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Poll Results: What was the average length of naps for baby ages 9-10 months? (approximate)


45 minutes: 9 votes (7%)
1 hour: 11 votes (8%)
1 hour 15 minutes: 40 votes (31%)
2 hours: 59 votes (46%)
More than 2 hours: 11 votes (8%)

Total of 130 votes

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Reminder: You can leave comments on poll results posts if you would like to add to the poll after it has closed. This would be helpful for those who have more than one child, those whose children have reached certain ages after a poll closed, and those who didn't visit the blog while that poll was open. To find closed polls, click on the poll results link above.