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  • The Reality of Parenting

    Everywhere you turn there are resources to help expecting parents plan for their soon-to-be bundle of joy.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being a mom. Hands down, bringing two lives into this world have been my biggest accomplishments.  H O W E V E R, there are some things that I wasn’t prepared for that I wish I knew beforehand. 

     

    There will be no sugar coating here.  So, grab your favorite notepad because I’m sharing the raw and uncut version of what to really expect from parenthood. (more…)

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  • 5 Tips: Keeping Your Child Safe on the Internet

    I don’t know about you, but as a busy mother of two children, two years apart, life was nothing short of insane when they were preschool and elementary school age.  That was absolutely the most chaotic time of my life. I was in graduate school for educational psychology while pregnant with my oldest child and held a Master’s Degree and a graduate student in the School Psychology program when I was pregnant with my second child.  In other words, I spent both of my pregnancies being drilled about theories related to parenting, education, psychology. The dangers of overusing and even abusing technology to substitute active parenting were interwoven throughout most, if not all, of my graduate courses.  As a pregnant mom, my plan was to incorporate all that I learned in school with all that I learned from reading every parenting book I could get my hands on. (more…)

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  • Sleeping Solo

    We’ve all been there – curled up in our warmest comforter, dreaming of a world without responsibility, when all of a sudden your child creeps in – looming over you at the edge of your bed like a scene straight out of Paranormal Activity. You pull the covers aside and allow them to sleep in your bed because you’re too tired to go tuck them back into their own. You then proceed to get kicked, elbowed and rolled over on. All. Night. Long. A true horror movie.

    Preparation

    First things first – according to parenting.com, you need to decide on the appropriate time to start the process of helping your child sleep solo. The best time to begin is when your schedule is fairly regular. For example – no vacation coming up, no new baby popping out – nothing. Just a solid routine that you do every day.

    Throughout the morning and afternoon, make sure to explain to your child the expectations that you have for them during night time. Go out of your way to show your child where mommies and daddies sleep compared to where big kids sleep and make sure to explain the difference. This will help prepare them, and you, for this daunting task.

    Parents who do not co-sleep

    Your job is a bit easier. If your kid wakes you up wanting to snuggle in your bed, walk them back to theirs. The frustrating and tiring part is that you have to stick with it. Is your child coming to you three times a night? Walk them back and tuck them in. What about twenty times a night? Walk them back and tuck them in. Do it as long as it takes until they give up.

    If your child is scared to sleep in their room because of nightmares or monsters, check the room with them and show them that there is nothing to worry about. You can even give them a spray bottle with water mixed with a little essential oil and name it “Monster Away Spray” to be able to get rid of any lingering under-the-bed monsters.

    Co-sleeping Parents

    Your job will be harder. Parenting.com suggests sleeping in the child’s room with them, but not in the bed. Yup, that’s right – you’re going to be spending some time on the nice cold floor, so get comfy down there!

    Start off sleeping next to their bed all night long. That way, when your kid wakes up in the middle of the night they can look over and not be horrified that you’ve disappeared into thin air.

    After a few nights – move a little farther away from your child. You want to keep moving farther and farther away every few nights until you end up by the door and then back into your own bedroom. If your kid wakes up and comes to your room – calmly walk them back to theirs. Continue this as long as it takes until they give up.

    Encouragement

    Praise good behavior and let them know how proud of them you are even if they got up a few times during the night. Reinforce their effort and go over the rules again by showing them where they sleep and where you sleep. After all, kids love to please their parents.

    They also love rewards! Rewards are a great way to let kids know that they are doing a great job. After a good night – give them a prize! Allow them to pick a piece of candy out of a “Sleep Treat” bag, watch their favorite movie, or even take a trip with your kiddo to the nearby park or beach on a nice day.

    It is a long and tiring process, but it will eventually work. Because, hey, what teenager do you know that still wants to sleep in their parent’s bed?

    Let us know in the comments what helped you to get your child sleeping in their own bed!

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  • Breastfeeding Battle

    It’s a well-known fact that breastfeeding is great for your newborn baby. Although that is highly talked about, something that is a little less discussed is women who struggle to produce milk.

    Lactation Struggles

    According to fitpregnncy.com – the number one reason mothers stop breastfeeding is because they believe that they simply can’t produce enough milk for their babies’ health.

    While some women are empowered by watching their bodies nourish their babies, others lose confidence. If you perceive that you are not producing enough milk and therefore not allowing your baby to grow as fast as he or she can – the mother can lose confidence in herself very quickly.

    How can I re-gain my confidence in breastfeeding?

    Gaining confidence comes from proving to yourself that you are in fact producing enough milk. Two ways to prove this would be to –

    1. Weigh your baby before and after feeding to see if your baby is receiving the proper amount of nourishment or not.
    2. Keep track of the amount of diapers your baby wets throughout the day. According to babycenter.com it should be about six diapers.

    How can I produce more breast milk?

    If you notice your baby is not satisfied and your breasts are not softer after feeding you can try the following to produce more milk.

    1. Nurse and nurse frequently. Kellymom.com states that if the removal of breast milk does not take place every few hours, mom’s supply will begin to decrease.
    2. Avoid pacifiers so that all of the latching and sucking is done during feeding.
    3. Between feedings, pumping helps support the natural flow of milk all throughout the day so that there is a steady flow.

    When to stop –

    There is no age restriction. When it is too emotionally or physically painful for you to continue breastfeeding is when you should stop. Do not feel guilty moms. You are incredible, your body is incredible and your baby will be absolutely fine. Formula exists for this reason!

     

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