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excerpt from Elizabeth Pantley, The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution

Is your child unwilling to taste a new food? A picky eater often has to be

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exposed to something new as many as ten to fifteen times before even tasting it! Children trust familiar things in their lives and are often suspicious of something new and different—this applies to food too. A food that has an unusual appearance, color, smell, or texture can be off-putting to a young child. That’s why repeated exposure helps. Eventually the unusual food becomes familiar, and at that point, the child becomes open to the idea of tasting it and giving it a fair evaluation. Knowing these facts gives us insight into how to introduce new foods and what to expect when we do. Here are a few tips:

~Begin by putting a tiny bit of the new food—such as two chickpeas or one Brussels sprout—on your child’s plate along with regular favorites. Don’t expect him to eat it, and don’t make a comment if he pulls it apart, smells it, or smashes it. Allow the experimentation to occur—it’s the first step to acceptance. If you’ve displayed the new food on your child’s plate eight to ten times and he still hasn’t eaten any, then gently encourage him to take “just one bite.”

~Pick one or two new foods at a time and put one on your child’s plate three or four times per week for several months. When he sees it enough times he’ll eventually give it a taste.

~Let your child observe you eating the new food. Mention to your spouse or a friend that you enjoy the food so that your child’s hears your comment. Studies tell us that when children are certain their parents or other important people in their lives really like a food (not just eat it out of duty, but actually enjoy it, they decide it’s a good thing to try for themselves.


Melissa, mother of of five-year-old Brenna, four-year-old Gianni, two-year-old Giulio, and nine-month-old Brydie shares her idea: “To introduce my kids to some new foods, I create a food treasure hunt. I have the kids play in their room so I can put out the food and make a map to each place with clues to the next food spot. They don’t get the next clue unless they try the food at each spot. I try to have only two new or not-so-keen-on foods along with about three things they do like along the way. The treasure at the end is dessert!”

~If you are eating with another adult, offer that person a taste of the new food. Ask her in advance to try it willingly and declare it tasty. When a child sees someone else being adventurous, he may be more willing to do so himself.

~After your child has tried the food and found it at least minimally acceptable (meaning he doesn’t spit it out or gag on it!), try putting it out as an appetizer before dinner is served. If your child is hungry, and it’s the first thing offered, he may actually eat a bite or two.


Catherine, mother to eight-year-old Ben and four-year-old Birdy tells her tale: “I put kale on his plate and put kale on his plate and put kale on his plate. My son tried it and grimaced, and we praised him for trying it. Pages flew off the calendar, and his beard grew down to the floor, and then one day he ate it without comment. And then one day he ate it and said, ‘This is actually not as bad as I thought.’ After which a pair of bluebirds draped the banner of joy around my shoulders!”

This article is an excerpt from The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eat—and Eat Healthy by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2011)

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The Real Diaper Association, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, provides support and education to parents all across North America for the use of simple, reusable cloth diapers. The goal of the Real Diaper Association is to put more babies in cloth diapers. To do this we aim to create a cultural shift in understanding cloth diapers-their environmental impact, their ease of use, their accessibility, and their acceptability. The Association will help parents understand that cloth diapers are real diapers.

Members of the Real Diaper Association will support reliable scientific and demographic research into health and environmental benefits of cloth diapers. The Association will then distribute this research to members, local governments, health care providers, environmental organizations, and others.

The Real Diaper Resource Center supports our members and their local Real Diaper Circles with the information and tools they need to spread the use of cloth diapers. Through the Resource Center, RDA plans national campaigns, distributes educational information and sponsors research. Our members have access to the Resource Center through our website, through local Leaders, through our national convention, and through the information we distribute in pamphlets, email lists and other publications.

Through local Real Diaper Circles, the Association organizes members who advocate cloth diapers locally, meeting with new parents face-to-face to make their diapering choice easier.

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Question

We’re about to take our first airplane trip with our one-year-old. We flew quite a bit before she was born, but now we’re not sure what to pack or how to make this trip successful.

Learn about it

Even if you racked up your share of frequent flyer miles before your baby was born, forget what you know of travel so far. Flying with a little one is a whole different story.

If you fear turning into one of those families we’ve all met aboard planes — those with squalling, unruly, squirming children who tend to bring out the same traits in their fellow passengers — take heart. My oldest child, Angela was just 14 days old when she took her first flight, and since then, I’ve taken many more trips with my four children. I know that you can travel with your little ones and enjoy the process. Forethought and preparation are the keys.

Planning the trip

The details of your trip often can mean the difference between success and disaster. Keep these ideas in mind as you plan:

Examine all aspects of the journey when you book your flights. Aim for direct flights so that you can avoid changing planes. If you have to make a change, avoid short layovers that give you too little time to get from gate to gate, and conversely avoid long layovers that require lots of idle time in airports.

When you make your reservations, give the agent the ages of all passengers. You may learn some important rules such as:

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By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of Gentle Baby Care

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“Help! I’m getting so frustrated with the endless stream of advice I get from my mother-in-law and brother! No matter what I do, I’m doing it wrong. I love them both, but how do I get them to stop dispensing all this unwanted advice?”

Just as your baby is an important part of your life, he is also important to others. People who care about your baby are bonded to you and your child in a special way that invites their counsel. Knowing this may give you a reason to handle the interference gently, in a way that leaves everyone’s feelings intact.

Regardless of the advice, it is your baby, and in the end, you will raise your child the way that you think best. So it’s rarely worth creating a war over a well-meaning person’s comments. You can respond to unwanted advice in a variety of ways:

Listen first

It’s natural to be defensive if you feel that someone is judging you; but chances are you are not being criticized; rather, the other person is sharing what they feel to be valuable insight. Try to listen – you may just learn something valuable.

Disregard

If you know that there is no convincing the other person to change her mind, simply smile, nod, and make a non-committal response, such as, “Interesting!” Then go about your own business…your way.

Agree

You might find one part of the advice that you agree with. If you can, provide wholehearted agreement on that topic.

Pick your battles

If your mother-in-law insists that Baby wear a hat on your walk to the park, go ahead and pop one on his head. This won’t have any long-term effects except that of placating her. However, don’t capitulate on issues that are important to you or the health or well-being of your child.

Steer clear of the topic

If your brother is pressuring you to let your baby cry to sleep, but you would never do that, then don’t complain to him about your baby getting you up five times the night before. If he brings up the topic, then distraction is definitely in order, such as, “Would you like a cup of coffee?”

Educate yourself

Knowledge is power; protect yourself and your sanity by reading up on your parenting choices. Rely on the confidence that you are doing your best for your baby.

Educate the other person

If your “teacher” is imparting information that you know to be outdated or wrong, share what you’ve learned on the topic. You may be able to open the other person’s mind. Refer to a study, book, or report that you have read.

 

Quote a doctor

Many people accept a point of view if a professional has validated it. If your own pediatrician agrees with your position, say, “My doctor said to wait until she’s at least six months before starting solids.” If your own doctor doesn’t back your view on that issue, then refer to another doctor – perhaps the author of a baby care book.

Be vague

You can avoid confrontation with an elusive response. For example, if your sister asks if you’ve started potty training yet (but you are many months away from even starting the process), you can answer with, “We’re moving in that direction.”

Ask for advice!

Your friendly counselor is possibly an expert on a few issues that you can agree on. Search out these points and invite guidance. She’ll be happy that she is helping you, and you’ll be happy you have a way to avoid a showdown about topics that you don’t agree on.

Memorize a standard response

Here’s a comment that can be said in response to almost any piece of advice: “This may not be the right way for you, but it’s the right way for me.”

Be honest

Try being honest about your feelings. Pick a time free of distractions and choose your words carefully, such as, “I know how much you love Harry, and I’m glad you spend so much time with him. I know you think you’re helping me when you give me advice about this, but I’m comfortable with my own approach, and I’d really appreciate if you’d understand that.”

Find a mediator

If the situation is putting a strain on your relationship with the advice-giver, you may want to ask another person to step in for you.

Search out like-minded friends

Join a support group or on-line club with people who share your parenting philosophies. Talking with others who are raising their babies in a way that is similar to your own can give you the strength to face people who don’t understand your viewpoints.

This article is an excerpt from Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2003)

 

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By Karen Gehl, BS, ICCE

A client recently asked me, what do all those letters mean after your name, and what is the difference between being a “childbirth educator” and a “certified childbirth educator”?  This is a great question, and one many people have as they search the internet for resources and classes to help guide them through pregnancy, labor and delivery, and parenthood. If you have googled “pregnancy” lately, you already know there is an overwhelming amount of information to be obtained on the internet.  It can be very confusing, and unfortunately, often misleading.  It is important for expectant parents to really research the credentials of the people they hire to help them through this special process of bringing their baby into the world.  It is my belief that there is nothing more amazing, awe inspiring, and breathtaking than experiencing or witnessing the birth of a child.  We owe it to that tiny little being to provide him with the safest, most loving environment possible, both inside and outside of the womb.  This is why childbirth classes are so very important, and this is why I have dedicated myself to being the best childbirth educator I can be.  And this is why I welcomed this client’s question!

I explained to my client that I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Virginia Tech in 1987, which is why I have the initials B.S. following my name.  The ICCE initials stand for International Certified Childbirth Educator, which means that I have been certified to be a Childbirth Educator by the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA).  What does it mean to be certified through ICEA?  ICEA holds their instructors to a very high standard of knowledge and it has a very intense and rigorous certification process for childbirth educators.  From the time I decided to pursue a career in Childbirth Education to the time I actually received my certification, I had invested 2 full years to acquiring continuing education credits, attending conferences, completing the extensive list of required reading, observing classes, being observed, student teaching, and finally sitting for the 3 hour exam.  It was a very long and intense process, but I passed the test and was officially certified (and very relieved!) in spring of 2006.  That is when I earned the initials ‘ICCE’ after my name.

ICEA has achieved a reputation as one of the leaders in the field of childbirth education because of their strict standards for certification, which is also why they require ICCE’s to prove they are keeping current on childbirth issues!  How do they do this?  Well, in order to maintain the very highest quality of childbirth educators, ICEA requires recertification every 4 years.  I am required to keep up with all the latest research and information on pregnancy, labor and delivery, as well as breastfeeding and newborn care.  In order to recertify, I am required to prove that I am continuing my education and keeping current on all the available information in the field.

For example, July 2010 the ACOG (the American Congress of Obstreticions and Gynecologists) issued a new statement that a vaginal birth after a cesarean is “a safe and appropriate choice for most women . . . including for some women who have had two previous cesareans.”  You can read about it by following this link:   http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr07-21-10-1.cfm

I am very proud to say I have just recently completed my requirements for recertification!

But the studying doesn’t stop there, nor does my commitment to my clients!  The field of childbirth is always evolving and the information changes as new studies are done and new evidence based practices are implemented.  When I am not in the classroom teaching, I spend a great deal of time just keeping up to date on all the latest research and studies regarding pregnancy, labor, birth, newborn care and breastfeeding.  This is how I ensure that my clients will get the absolute best information, based on evidence and research, so they can make the very best choices for themselves, and for their babies and fully experience the life changing miracle of birth.

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Click Here to find one of Karen’s Childbirth/Lamaze Classes for you on our Event’s Calendar or call our office today at (434) 384-MAMA (6262).

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By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of Gentle Baby Care

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Babies love new places! There’s so much to investigate and new things to touch. But many people aren’t too happy to have your little one crawling or toddling freely about the house exploring everything in sight. While you think its adorable that Baby found the Tupperware, your host may not think it’s cute that her tidy cabinet has been rearranged by sticky baby hands. If your host has a big heart she’ll let you know that your baby’s exploring is okay. But even then, you run the risk of your baby breaking or losing something.

Bring toys!

The best thing you can do is bring along a bag of toys to seize your child’s attention. You can purchase new items, or dig through your baby’s toy box to put together a collection of forgotten favorites. Avoid bringing loud toys that may annoy others, and bring toys that will hold your baby’s attention for a long time.

Bring your own supplies

Think about things that keep your baby happy at home or in the car, and bring these with you, such as your sling, a favorite blanket, a Boppy pillow, or a special lovey. If you are prepared, then your baby will be more content.

Safety issues

Visits with a mobile baby are tricky, especially if you’re at a home that isn’t childproof. If you want to avoid physically shadowing your baby around the house, bring a few safety tools, such as outlet plugs and a folding baby gate to section off stairways. When you arrive, assess the area and ask if chemicals, medications, or fragile vases can be put away during your visit. Remember that you’re certain to miss some hazards, so keep a close eye on Baby during your entire visit.

Food and eating

Whether your baby is new to solid food or has been eating it for a while, bring along a few favorites. If you don’t bring snacks with you, your baby may not touch the dinner that’s served and may cry for her favorite crackers. In any case, don’t feel you must push your baby to try something new to the point of a temper tantrum. Politely requesting something simple like toast or cheese is perfectly okay and will be welcomed more than a loud and tense test of parent/child wills.

What if you’re breastfeeding and your baby is hungry?

Do what comes naturally: Feed him! Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed a baby. If your hosts aren’t used to seeing a mother breastfeed, then you’re doing our world a favor by introducing one more person to the beauty of baby feeding. Be thoughtful about other’s sensitivities. This doesn’t mean you need to hide, but your efforts to be discreet are a courtesy for those around you and may help others feel more comfortable about seeing you breastfeeding your baby. Using a sling, blanket or nursing shirt are easy ways to accomplish this.

Changing Diapers

Bring a changing pad; this will protect the surface you’re using. If you don’t have a pad, ask for a towel. Ask where your host prefers that you change the baby, or suggest a location: “Do you mind if I lay the towel on your bed to change the baby?”

Bring along (or ask to use) plastic bags to store messy diapers. Make sure that they are sealed so that they don’t create odors. If you use disposables, put used diapers in a sealed bag and offer to take them out to the trash. People don’t like stinky diapers in their bathroom trash.

Sleeping and napping

If your little one sleeps in a cradle or crib you may want to bring along a portable crib. If you don’t have one, or if you co-sleep at home, this is a time when “anything goes.” If your baby will sleep in your arms, then go ahead and enjoy an in-arms nap. If your baby is flexible, put a blanket on the floor and set up a sleeping nest. Don’t leave Baby alone, since the area probably isn’t childproof.

A great nap solution is to bring your car seat into the house and strap your baby in securely, or fashion a bed from a large box or an empty dresser drawer. Keep your baby close by or check on her frequently.

For co-sleepers, your first order of business is to create a safe sleeping place. Inspect the furniture placement in the bedroom. If you know that pushing the bed against the wall would make the situation safer for your baby, then politely explain to your host. Let her know that you’ll move it back before you leave (and then remember to do so).

Be prepared for anything

Life with a baby is filled with surprises. Take a deep breath, and do your best to keep your baby content….and if things don’t go as well as you’d hoped, remind yourself that “This too shall pass.”

Show your appreciation

If you’ve had an overnight stay, if your host is helpful, or if you made special requests during your stay, remember to send a thank you note that expresses your appreciation.

This article is an excerpt from Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2003)

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By Elizabeth Pantley, excerpt from her book: “Gentle Baby Care”

Click the Image to Purchase this Book in Our Online Bookstore!

You may not be sure what kind of toys, or how many, your baby should have. It’s likely that you hear conflicting advice that runs from one extreme to another! It’s either: “Don’t give your baby toys he’ll be spoiled,” to “Give your baby lots of toys they develop his brain.” So…which is it?

Both sides of this debate have valid points. A baby does indeed learn from the things she plays with, and the more things she has access to, the more she can learn. With this in mind, many parents spend a fortune buying toys; however, many toys hold a child’s attention for three or four days, only to be relegated to the bottom of the toybox or back of a shelf.

Babies learn about their world by using all five of their senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Toys engage and refine these senses by:

  • Helping your baby learn how to control his movements and body parts
  • Helping your baby figure out how things work
  • Showing your baby how he can control things in his world
  • Teaching your baby new ideas
  • Building your baby’s muscle control, coordination, and strength
  • Teaching your baby how to use his imagination
  • Showing your baby how to solve simple problems
  • Helping your baby learn how to play by himself
  • Setting the foundation for learning how to share and cooperate with others (more…)

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