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55 posts tagged Kids

the newbie: Sleep Changes

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

Oh boy. I thought we had it down. I thought we were the golden family of sleep. I thought people who complained about restless babies were just missing nap cues or somehow timing things wrong.

I’m eating my words. While the night is still pretty solid (11-ish hours, knock on wood) June is now shifting from one nap to two—we think—and she’s absolutely tired and cranky. She does this head rocking thing that just breaks my heart. I can almost see the thought bubble above her head that reads “Soooooo tired,” but she fights it like a champ.

She really needs her morning nap, but WILL NOT take it. And the afternoon nap? It’s getting shorter and shorter. Meanwhile, she’s not well rested at all—she’s spacey and whiney and generally not in a good mood.

Everyone says “this is a phase,” but if you have any advice on how to make it through this one, I’ll take it!

the newbie: Saying “No”

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

I think we’ve entered a whole new realm with June since she turned one (this week!). Discipline. Now that she’s crawling and cruising at high speeds (well, pretty high for a baby anyway), she’s getting into all kinds of things. Current favorite activities include: unspooling the toilet paper, pulling on the refrigerator door, and splashing in the cats’ water dish.

I like to let her move freely in the apartment—it’s small, so I can always see her, and we’re pretty baby-proofed (stair gate, outlet covers, door latches)—but I also need to start telling her “no” at some point, right? At the moment, I say “No” calmly but firmly, and then I move her to another area so she, ideally, gets distracted.

That water bowl proves to be too much of a splish-splashy good time, though- -she races for it as soon as I put her down. I don’t want to begrudge her some summertime water fun, but I’ve got to keep her out of the cats’ eating area! I’ll find a way to rope it off, but the larger question is: Is she old enough to understand the word “no”? She certainly stops and looks my way when I say it, but then there’s a grin and she pays me no mind.

Is it too early for discipline? Time for me to start stepping in calmly but firmly? If anyone has tips, I’m all ears!

the newbie: Baby’s First Birthday

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

Miss June will be turning a year old at the end of this month. I can hardly believe it! I remember those first few days at home after she was born—how scared and in love and tired and hurt and overwhelmed and overjoyed and on-the-edge I felt.

The daunting task of giving birth is well behind me, but now I have to face… the First Birthday Party. The expectations—from grandma and other mom friends and even co-workers—seem high. Too high, maybe, for a party that the guest of honor won’t remember. I mean, have you ever been to a first birthday party where the celebrated baby didn’t burst into tears at some point? The whole thing is overwhelming. Wrapping paper! Toys! Cake! Flashbulbs! Everyone is looking at you, kid.

We’re planning a backyard gathering, something simple. I’m thinking picnic blankets and cake and bubbles for everyone to play with. But… is that not enough?

I’d love to hear what others did for a first birthday. I want it to be low-key, enjoyable, and not too overwhelming for baby June. Any ideas?

the newbie: Tips for Traveling Overseas with a Baby

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

We’re back from a 10-day trip overseas with June! It was intense, but awesome. Here are a few tricks I tested (I’ll leave out the ones that didn’t quite work!):

  1. Flight attendants are your friends. Find the nicest one and share a “What can you do?” smile when the baby cries, because she will! Our lovely attendant (the same one on both flights!) brought us airline-themed toys and games to distract June, and they worked, for at least half an hour.

  2. Let go of the first day. When you change time zones, babies get all kinds of kooky. We let June sleep at will on that first day, then got her back on wake-up and nap schedules on day two. By day three, we were all set!

  3. Be sensitive to her perceptions of this “new place.” We noticed that June was having fun, but there were times when she looked a little freaked out or worried while meeting someone new—she met LOTS of new people on this trip. Her dad and I made a point to spend at least half an hour each day where it was just the three of us hanging out as a family, to help her feel more secure.

  4. Bring familiar items. We brought her pacifier, sheets from her pack-n-play (they smell like her detergent), her white noise machine and her favorite sleep sack. Bedtime felt like home, and that made everyone happy!

We had a really fun trip, and hope for more (though I may go for a shorter flight next time).

Share your best tips for traveling with your little ones on the zulily Facebook page

the newbie: Should I Worry?

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

So now that I have this little 10-month-old crawling around everywhere and getting into all kinds of situations that I never thought of as dangerous (Pulling on drawers! Opening closets! Climbing onto a step!), I find myself wondering what I should truly worry about and what’s just part of being a baby.

For example, June regularly bangs her head… On the top of a chair she’s decided to perch underneath, on the floor when she loses her balance trying to stand, on the side of the couch as she pulls herself up. Sometimes these little bumps lead to a few tears, other times she just muscles through. Still, a daily head bump. Is that okay? Or should I be padding everything and keep her sitting on the ground so she’s always safe?

Also, my daughter eats grass. We spend a lot of time in the park and though I spread out a lovely blanket, she likes to crawl to its edge and pick clovers. Eventually, they go into her mouth. I fish out as much as I can, but let’s be honest—some of that greenery is getting digested. Is that okay?

Finally, I wonder if I should talk to June more. It’s really a one-way conversation at this point, and sometimes I get tired of my own chatter. “There’s a bird! Did you see the bus? Isn’t the grass pretty?” Scintillating. So I sit in silence with her. She doesn’t seem to mind, and I love our quiet moments. But then I’ll hear another mom reciting the Pythagorean Theorem or something, and I get nervous that I’m missing a teaching moment.

So: Head banging, grass eating, moments of silence. Are these normal parts of babyhood?

the newbie: Childproofing

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

June is officially crawling! She’s still a little wobbly but she gets where she needs to go. It’s a lot of fun to see her exploring the world, though she seems mostly interested in power cords at the moment. It’s amazing, right? You buy a ton of colorful and educational toys with lights and sounds and literal bells and whistles, and all the baby wants to play with is the lamp cord.

Anyway, now that she’s out and about, we’re going to have to childproof the apartment a little bit. We’ve got the outlet covers, but that’s pretty much the extent of our efforts so far. I know there are fancy “childproof experts” who’ll come over and analyze your space, but I don’t think we want to go that far.

So I’m wondering: What are some basic childproofing tips and tricks that worked for you? Do we need to lock all the drawers? Pad the edges of our table? Hide the remote control? Help!

the newbie: I Need to Sleep Train Myself

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

I’m a night owl, always have been. Even in elementary school, I begged to stay up for late night talk shows. I liked to remain tucked in bed until after most of the Saturday morning cartoons were over, much to the chagrin of my sleepover friends. I was late to bed, late to rise! I would make a terrible farmer.

And now that I have a baby, this must change. I’ve made it through nearly 10 months of June’s life feeling sleep-deprived daily. Why? I still stay up until midnight, but now—instead of an 8am wakeup—we’re up at 6.

I know that some go-getters and CEOs and athletes and other super-driven types say that they don’t need much sleep, but let me make this clear: That is not the case for me. I need eight hours, preferably nine. Six is not in the realm of acceptable.

I thought that when I had a baby, my schedule would adjust. I’d fall asleep earlier and become one of those chipper, up-with-the-sun types. And yet… I can’t seem to put myself to bed at night. June doesn’t need sleep training—I do!

I’d love to hear any advice about how to shift my internal clock a bit. Are there any night-owls-turned-morning-birds out there?