How Do I Help My Child with the Transition to Kindergarten? Change is just plain hard. I still remember sobbing as a child when my parents sold our big, beautiful, brown 1975 Volvo Van. Then, when we moved away from our old, yellow farmhouse as a teenager, I shed a few more tender tears. Even as an adult, I still struggle with the changing seasons in my life. When something is good, you just want to hold on. Ironically, sometimes good turns to better with a life transition. Or, if not better...it is just a different version of really good. Case in point. Kids are so darn cute when they are little. So innocent and beautiful. Then, one day they turn big. Just like that. Big kids with big opinions and big mouths. Not so cute anymore. It took me several years to just START getting comfortable with having big kids. I longed and longed for them to stay little and cute. Now mine are no longer babies. No longer even toddlers. My youngest is in Kindy and my oldest is twelve. Major life transitions for us. Lots of emotional adjustment for Mom. One unexpectedly bumpy transition for us has been my
How Do I Handle My Emotions as a Mom? Today was the first day of Kindergarten. I cried when I saw that my little kindergartner was the first up in our family and had her uniform on before the crack of dawn — her jumper twisted over her shoulder, with one blouse collar up and one collar down. One was sock pulled high, and one sock barely on. I cried when her teacher simply greeted me in the morning. I cried when my baby got in line to go to class, with her big brave eyes and a wave goodbye. She was fine. I was a wet mess. I did feel better when my friend, Jessica, admitted that she shed a tear when her baby ate her first bit of solid food this week. Sigh. This is what we do. As moms, we cry. We deeply sense every transition, and we feel it somewhere deep in our heart, our spirit. This is how we are made. In fact, this lovely, awful pang is what makes us so able to connect with our kids, with our friends, with our own moms. And, however emotional it is...however heart-wrenching and beautiful it is to navigate...
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,
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
I'm going back to work and not pumping enough milk. Help! Recently, Mommy Medicine received a question from a new mama going back to work and trying to pump enough breast milk to keep her wee one full and happy: “I'm at about a 5 oz. pumping deficit each day. Any recommendations on supplementing with formula? What do you use? When do you give it to them?” Oh, how we can relate to this frustration. It's no fun to sit holding that undignified pump sucking on us for fifteen minutes only to see less and less drops of milk going down into the bottle. We reached out to Mommy Medicine's wonderful doctor on call, Dr. Auxier of Gilbert Pediatrics in Gilbert, Arizona. We think he had some great and creative suggestions. Make sure you are staying well hydrated! Find a place at work where you can relax. Turn the lights off and put your feet up. Use a double electric pump- it empties you out a lot faster. Make a recording of your baby's “I'm hungry!” cry and listen to it as you begin to pump. Also record your baby's latching, sucking, and drinking sounds and listen to them while you are pumping.
What Are Some Great Spring Break Ideas for My Kids? We adventured from Phoenix to Santa Fe for Spring Break. We are used to the 5-6 hour San Diego drive, so road-tripping the 8-9 hours to New Mexico posed some extra challenges to our van full of giggly girls. Of course, by now we are used to our days being a compilation of hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments followed by shrieks of horror and outbursts of anger, then back to happy and harmonious play. This is life with children. And yes...this was our van ride. Breath-taking pink and orange sunset views of Tonto Rim that even my three-year-old marveled at, followed by two children in tears because I refused to skip one of the Wiggles songs that was playing, followed by energetic storytelling rounds that ended up with everyone in stitches (mostly because the only phrase our youngest kept adding to the story was…"and then he pooped in a shoe"). Here are some fun Spring Break ideas we came up with: Go on a road trip to a new city & while on the road... Sing songs. Tell stories one word at a time or one phrase at a time, going in rounds. Give
How Do I Get My Kids to School on Time? This morning I was woken up far too early, by my 10-year-old looking for her school uniform. Of course, it wasn’t in her drawer where she should have put it the night before. And of course she assumed that her sister had “stolen it” from her. Oh boy. Can I just please sleep a few more minutes? The next 45 minutes were taken up waking the 1st grader, finding missing shoes under the sofa, pottying the 3-year-old, filling water bottles--with ice cubes flying everywhere, signing homework forms and searching every drawer in the house for one surviving hair band. After several years of this early-morning routine, I find we are finally adjusting to it. Some mornings are pull-my-hair-out stressful and others are surprisingly calm and filled with laughter around the breakfast table. This morning, thankfully... was topped off by some comic relief. I had managed to get the kids into the van before our oh-no-we-are-going-to-be-tardy-again cut-off time. I was actually dressed and NOT wearing slippers. Backpacks: check. Water bottles: check. Baby buckled: check. I rested my head against the car seat, waiting for all the kids to climb in the van. This
Can I Potty Train my Child at 18 Months? Yes, yes, and yes! Those sphincter muscles are fully developed at around 18 months of age, which means your little one can be potty trained successfully. My kiddos all sported fancy Dora, Elmo or Princess undies at 18 months. Now, I started potty training all my kids earlier than most because I was not a big fan of changing poopy diapers. However, you can be just as successful if you begin potty training around the 18 month mark. Neeley Dosdall, mother of 5, started her kids out at 18 months and never looked back! Here are some fantastic potty training tips from Neeley: Once you start potty training, never go back to a diaper except for night time. Start potty training your child at 18 months. Never look back! Avoid potty training during life-changing seasons or events, like the holidays, moving, travel...etc. Use a splash guard potty seat for boys and make sure it doesn’t pinch them! Have them sit for only 7 minutes at a time. Then try again later. For boys between 18-24 months, you can pour warm water over their little boy parts and “kaboom” it makes them go! Use stickers
One way to ensure that your child is potty-trained by age 2 to start young-- very young. Younger than you would really even think is normal or accepted. In many countries around the world this is common practice. Traditionally, even in the US...this was the case. My grandmother used to boast that her children were already using the “pot” when they turned 1! I had my reservations. Until, that is... I had my own kiddos. I began researching elimination communication, which is the practice of watching infant cues for elimination and getting them to the potty as young as 6 weeks old! So, I decided to potty train my girls quite young. I started putting my babies on the potty around 8 months of age. Crazy, I know! Obsessed? Perhaps. I simply couldn’t bear the thought of changing those diapers that had transitioned from breast-milk only to pureed chicken and green beans. Here’s the thing. It worked! My babies began pooping and peeing on the potty. Not just once in a blue moon, either. Every single day! My friend Nakeisha Thrash did the same with her little boy. She had him on the potty at 8 months of age. She does claim
How do I Survive a Road Trip with my Kids? I can barely remember the days when it was just me and my husband in my car. In those days we would be cruising along on a summer evening, a quaint, mid-western landscape dancing by and I would ask him what he was thinking about. He'd answer with something profoundly male, like. "I'm thinking about those yellow markings on the road, Aimee." Really? You can think about those? Yes, our life today is very different. 4 kids, a mini-van and never a dull moment during a road trip. Here is a quick list of ideas to answer the question: How Do I Survive a Road Trip With my Kids? 1) The iPads. I have a friend, who one summer only let her kids use electronics ONLY while on the road. The rest of the time they were forced to run, play and climb trees. When it was time to hop in the car to their next destination on their summer trip, the kids were perfect angels and she had a peaceful few hours to herself. It's brilliant! 2) The Bag of Toys I will often give my kids a 15 minute warning before the car is