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the newbie: Volunteering with Kids

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

Our beloved New York City got hit very hard with Hurricane Sandy, but luckily we live on high ground in Brooklyn and our neighborhood was spared the brunt of the storm. We feel so lucky to have power, water and dry floors, and we’re looking for ways to help our neighbors deal with the destruction they’ve faced.

This particular moment has caused me to look for opportunities to volunteer with baby June. Surely there are things we can do together—cleanup in the park, visiting nursing home patients, caring for animals in a shelter. But what I’ve found is that kids aren’t allowed to come with their parents to volunteer. I’ve applied to a few places, asked around, and searched online to no avail.

I will try to find time to help out when she’s with her dad, but does anyone have any tips on how to volunteer with kids in tow? Or do I just have to wait until she’s a little older?

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: Swimming!

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

June’s first summer means something very fun: Her first pool days! She’s got a cute little bathing suit, complete with daisies and ruffle, and she enjoys the bath now, so we didn’t think she’d fear the water much.

But… she does. Maybe she senses the danger that a pool can pose, maybe she doesn’t like the water temperature, or maybe she just needs to get used to it, but she cries quite a bit when we put her in (holding her, of course). She’s only 11 months old, so the floatie arm things won’t work yet, but we’re thinking of trying to find some sort of floating bathing suit.

Of course, one day soon we’ll want to sign her up for some swim lessons, but maybe that’s next summer, when she’s two? I have no idea what age is right for this!

I would love to hear from any parents who have a great way to introduce a baby to swimming. It will be fun to see her turn into a little fish with no fear.