How Do I Cure My Child of a Bad Habit?

I bit my nails as a kid. Even now, when I get stressed I find myself drawn to this old habit without even thinking. Habits are such a bother! Like a dysfunctional relationship, you don’t want them around and yet you indulge them again and again. Habits with kids are another level of infuriation for the diligent Mama. You might have a thumbsucker, biter, hitter, liplicker or teeth grinder. Or, if your child is older you may be dealing with yelling, bad language, a phone addiction or blatant rude behavior. Here are some practical ideas for moms asking, how do I cure my child of a bad habit? Every Child is Unique Every single one of my babies was an avid thumbsucker. I LOVED this at first. It meant more sleep for baby, as they were self-soothing. However, once they were past that baby phase, this habit was simply no longer useful. I had to wield a variety of strategies for my kiddos. My 2nd child developed an infection because of the excessive sucking, so we had to wrap her thumb in a bandage. She was only 10 months old, and I decided to just keep wrapping that thumb and VOILA,

How Do I Wean My Toddler?

I was six months pregnant when I decided to wean my fifteen-month old. I knew the time was coming. Nursing was going wonderfully, and I loved it, but even so nursing two at a time sounded like too much for me!  Suddenly at six months pregnant, nursing started to cause me intense contractions. In a moment my intentions for a slow, gradual weaning went out the window, and I found myself weaning a toddler as fast as possible. So, for all of you moms asking the question “How do I wean my toddler?”, here is what worked for me.  Take heart, especially those of you who are first-time moms -- weaning a toddler won’t be as bad as you think! If I had know this I would have been much less emotional about weaning! Eliminate One Nursing Session at a Time Beginning with the Least Favorite Rank your baby’s nursing sessions in order starting with the one they are most emotionally attached to, often right before bed, and ending with the one that can be given up most easily. Next, eliminate the least favorite or important session. The First Key to making weaning go smoothly is to avoid having

What Do You Do When Your Newborn Only Sleeps in a Carrier or Sling?

A baby carrier or sling is a very natural place for a newborn to like to sleep. Before birth, a newborn baby is used to being inside the womb. After birth, he loves sleeping how he has been accustomed to sleep – warm and cozy, smelling Mom, feeling Mom, and listening to Mom’s heartbeat. Some newborns, however, seem to ONLY want to sleep in a sling. Interestingly, newborns can develop surprisingly strong sleep habits in just a few days! So. What do you do when your newborn only sleeps in a carrier or sling? First, there is nothing wrong with your newborn sleeping in a carrier or sling during the daytime if you are enjoying it and following basic safety precautions. It is a precious time of bonding, both for your baby and for you. So if you’re feeling guilty, feel guilty no more! In fact, the more hours you can spend in physical contact with your baby, the better. And, you simply can’t spoil a newborn. Eventually the time does come for your little on to learn to sleep on his own.  I remember the day well when it dawned on me that I needed to learn how to

Why is My Baby Suddenly Waking Up at Night Again? (Part 2)

Why is My Baby Suddenly Waking Up at Night Again? (Part 2) I am usually caught by surprise when my son suddenly starts waking up at all hours of the night again. Haven’t you ever wished you had advance notice when another round of sleep training is coming?  In part one, we discussed why is my baby suddenly waking up at night again?  In this post, we are talking about what to do when you’ve discovered there is nothing physically wrong with your baby, but he simply doesn’t want to sleep. Perhaps he has fallen out of the habit because of an illness, a vacation, a growth spurt or another reason. Below are the basic steps to follow for successful sleep training.   Establish a Bedtime and a Bedtime Routine - Pick a realistic bedtime that you will be able to stick to, and start adjusting naptime so your baby will be sleepy on time.  Create a simple bedtime routine that your baby can begin to use as his cue to settle down for bed.  The exact components are not nearly as important as the fact that they become a consistent, recognizable routine and are not energizing. Possible components include putting

Why is My Baby Suddenly Waking up at Night Again? (Part 1)

Why is My Baby Suddenly Waking up at Night Again? (Part 1)

Why is My Baby Suddenly Waking up at Night Again? (Part 1) Nothing makes you feel like a detective faster than trying to figure out why your baby is suddenly not sleeping through the night after weeks or months of sleeping peacefully. I blissfully thought that once my son was sleeping through the night the first time, I had successfully completed the sleep training step forever or at least until he was old enough for a toddler bed. Guess what? A few months later I found out that sleep training, like so many aspects of child training, is cyclical in nature. We’ve been through this cycle maybe six or seven times now over the last year and a half. Each time I have to start at the same point: Why is my baby suddenly waking up at night again? Here are five easy questions I ask myself now and some detective strategies I use to discover the answer as quickly as possible. Don’t forget to use your mommy instincts when sorting through the possibilities; they really do help! Is My Baby Hungry or Thirsty? Detective Action – This one is easy. Just pick up your little one when they cry and offer food

How Do I Get My Toddler to Eat Fruits and Veggies??

How Do I Get My Toddler to Eat Fruits and Veggies

All us moms know our toddlers need balanced meals including fruits and veggies.  I have never heard a mom disagree with that statement; have you? Somehow, though, it gets so much more challenging in practice than in theory.   Nutrition was my major in college, and yet I found myself a few months back with a 13-month-old whose preferred fruits and veggies list had dwindled to bananas.  Yep, that’s it – bananas.  Suddenly, I discovered a whole new empathy for the moms of picky eaters.  I had ground up fruits and veggies for him since he started solid foods at six months, and he had enjoyed almost all of them.  I felt like I had followed the instructions only to discover I didn’t know as much as I thought about getting toddlers to eat and enjoy fruits and veggies.  So how do I get my toddler to eat fruits and veggies?  We’ve been working on it for several months at our house, and here are the best tips we’ve discovered.   The Practical Part 1. Keep Fruits and Veggies On-Hand. This seems obvious, but how often is this honestly a big piece of our problem? If there are no fruits and veggies handy, chances

How Does Mommy Medicine Work?

Mommy Answers

Providing Mommy Answers! So, I definitely have some OCD tendencies. And this in addition to being very, very Type A. Mix these two ingredients with being a new mom & well… let’s just say with every single new mom question I faced, I grit my teeth, dug in my heels a little farther and searched fervently for the answer. Looking back now, I see I was a bit animal in my behavior and certainly fear-driven. But, as new moms we simply have so many questions and we are hunting for oodles of answers. Why is my baby crying? Why is he not sleeping? What is that red thing on her forehead? Oh God, is she coughing or dying? Initially, I refused to give my firstborn any vaccines, as I had heard so many theories flying about. Her first 6 months I read countless books and websites...trying to make sense of everything. Do I vaccinate? If so, at what pace do I vaccinate my child? Do I give my child all of the vaccines or do I pick and choose? In the end, because of our frequent travel to Third World countries, we chose to do most of the vaccines but at a

Preparing for Your Postpartum Body: Incontinence, Constipation & More Fun

preparing for your postpartum body incontinence, constipation, and more

How to Prepare for Your Postpartum Body A friend was telling me about how a few months after she gave birth, she decided it was time to start an exercise routine and get fit again. She took her jump rope, went outside to do a little cardio, and was astonished to find that she immediately peed all over her shorts. I had this exact same experience when my first young toddler was invited to a party at Big Wild Bounce Crazy-Land and I decided to join him in some bouncing. Needless to say, I was embarrassed, and the worst part was I didn’t have anything to change into. I wasn’t really thinking before I left the house  “oh, I might wet my pants today, better throw another pair of jeans into my bag!” Today’s article is addressed to you moms pregnant with your first baby, from your sisters who have gone before, with some of the juicy details on the things you might not expect from your postpartum body. Those Sad Pelvic Floor Muscles: Incontinence! It’s not really a surprise that incontinence is a very common issue for moms. Obviously a LOT of stretching had to happen for a baby to come through the

Real Mom Talk: The Scoop on Poop

baby constipation tips and tricks

Real Mom Talk: The Scoop on Poop Baby Constipation Tips and Tricks for Little Ones I don’t think I ever used the word “poop” more than a few times a year before I had kids. Then suddenly I had babies and found myself telling my husband about the day’s poop as soon as he walked in the door at night. While my babies never suffered much with constipation, I’m rather familiar with constipation in the slightly older human form, having carried a screaming child clutching their tummy to get abdominal-rays at the ER and to a whole series of doctor’s appointments to get the problem cleared up. Turns out some mom had been letting her offspring eat too much refined junk food and not enough fiber. Yes, even I, your crunchy organic veggie-loving blogger, had given into the endless demands for things made with white flour. This week we got an inquiry from a mom about a new product on the market from Wellements® called “BabyMove.” She wanted to know if we’ve ever tried it and if we had any other tips about handling constipation in babies. I’m happy to say that we have on our team a pediatrician (Dr. Auxier of Gilbert

How Do I Turn my Foot-Dragging Child into a Real Hiker?

hiking with kids

When I was three years old, my parents took me on a camping trip in the mountains. We have lots of great memories from that trip: the yellow jackets swarming us while we tried to have pancakes for breakfast, hanging food from trees to keep them out of the reach of bears, and of course, me throwing up in the rental car from traveling around all those mountain curves on the way to the campsite. But the most legendary story of all is how I hiked seven miles on my own two feet and earned the nickname “Strong Legs.” We were a hiking family. That’s what we did on our weekends and vacations. I learned to be comfortable in and love the great outdoors. That’s still where I would rather be than anywhere else. But as for the hiking seven miles when I was three: I must have been some kind of hiking prodigy. Because none of my children, at age three, showed the slightest inclination to attempt anything like that. In fact, I have found that most three, four, and even ten or twelve-year-olds can spend an entire day running around the backyard but then acquire a melting leg disease

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