The Complete Guide To Why Babies Cry

Right, so you’re just about ready to pull your hair out in pure frustration. You’ve tried it all, as in everything, and nothing seems to be working. If only this child could talk, you wish longingly. But did you know that your bundle of love is, in fact, communicating with you already? It may just sound like screaming and wailing, but this screaming is the beginning of a long and beautiful career in letting you know what he wants.

Your job now is to figure out what he wants. Luckily, that comes with experience and time. As you and your little one become familiar with each other, you’ll both send out cues and you’ll both pick up on those cues.

Here’s a good list of reasons why babies cry

  • Your pumpkin is hungry

“Impossible!” you say. “I just fed him 30 minutes ago”. Well, some children need more nourishment than others. It may just be that your little one prefers to eat smaller meals (or drink smaller portions of breast milk) more frequently during the day. There’s nothing wrong with this. Tip: make a note of your little one’s feeding habits, how often, and how much (in the case of a breastfeeding baby, note the duration of the feed.) This will help you get a good understanding of your little ones routine.

Extra tip: Check to see if your baby is thirsty. Your little one will still need water, even if you’re breastfeeding him. Be sure to give him a few sips of water if feeding your little one doesn’t stop the crying.

  • Diaper mom, it’s the diaper!

Even just a wet diaper can irritate your little one. Some diaper brands tend to get very heavy and don’t allow for baby’s skin to breathe well. The wet feeling could irritate your little one. Urine can also sting if it’s a little high in acidity. A product that many people find valuable in order to remove irritation and rash is the baby diaper rash cream from Weleda.

  • Your little one is not feeling 100% up to scratch

Feeling ill could definitely cause your little one to cry. After all, he has to let you know somehow that he’s not feeling well. Sometimes your little one may be feeling uncomfortable or feeling lonely too. He’ll be sure to tell you.

  • Too much or too little stimulation

Right, you just can’t seem to get the balance of this one right. First your cheese stick is overwhelmed, then he is bored. “What is it he wants from me?” You ask frantically. If you’re struggling with a crying toddler, it’s likely he doesn’t know what he wants himself, that’s what you’re there for mom. Tip: Try putting on some (gentle) music to dance to. This should keep your little one happy and occupied, without over-stimulating him.

  • He could be getting too hot, or too cold

Your child sounds a bit like a parrot being squeezed through a keyhole, but if you were to translate it, he could simply be saying: mom, sunscreen and play trunks are all I need for the beach next time, not fleece wear and winter booties, please.

  • He could have tummy troubles, or needs to burp.

Trapped air in a small body can be quite agonizing. Colic is usually a big factor with consistent crying. Tip: give your little one a small dose of gripe water, it will help with the winds, and it can also help to settle the tummy a bit. For both younger and older children, you can rub the tummy a little in a clockwise motion. This is comforting to your little one, plus it helps the tummy. Be sure to always rub gently, pressure on the tummy can worsen the symptoms.

  • Oh, is vas a tooth?

Teething can be quite uncomfortable and can certainly be a reason for crying. Not only are the gums generally quite raw during teething, your little one might experience a runny tummy or even a fever. All-in-all, it can be a trying time for both baby and mom.

  • Yawn!

Oh! It looks like it’s been a long day for your little one. It might be time for him to sleep if you’ve tried the above.

Here are a few of the best tell-tale signs that your newborn is tired:

  1. He’s pulling at his ears
  2. Arching backwards
  3. Sucking on his fingers
  4. Yawning
  5. Fluttering eyelids and difficulty focusing

And the signs that your toddler is tired:

  1. Clingy behavior
  2. Sudden bouts of tantrums or overly sensitive
  3. Fussy, doesn’t want to eat or drink properly
  4. Crying, of course, and wants your attention, good or bad.
  5. He has become generally difficult
  • He wants to be held

So if you’ve exhausted all your options and you’re not sure why your little one is still crying, it could just be that he needs a hug, or a little cuddle with you, mom. He had 9 months of glorious bonding with you, and now he finds himself lying alone in his cot, which is definitely not as warm or as soft as he had it previously. He’s not complaining, what’s a baby to do right? He’s just asking you to hold him, please. In the case of a toddler, don’t forget they also need constant reminders and loving touch that mom and dad still care for them.

Great, now that you know why your baby is crying, it’s time to work on the how to soothe your little one. You can work your way through the list. If your first instinct is correct, then great, if not, keep going until you find just the right solution for you both.

First try to identify what the problem could be. Make a note of how your little one is crying so that you can map the solution back to the particular sound later on.

Here’s a quick list of things that can help soothe your baby when he’s ready to break glass with his constant crying.

  1. Soothing sounds

Music is not the only soothing sound you can provide your baby. Use gentle tones in your voice when you talk or sing. Open a window and let your little one listen to the sounds of your garden (if you have one). If you live in the city you can consider getting a soothing sound machine.

 

  1. Gripe Water

You don’t need to give a lot of gripe water for it to be effective. And it works rather well. After feeds, give your baby a little bit of water with some gripe water mixed in.

  1. Mellow Motion

Gently rock your little one as you hold him, or take him for a drive, this is sure to soothe him as the vibrations of the car can be very comforting, some have likened it to the movements a baby feels when still in your womb.

  1. Comforting contact

Touch is such a vital part of the relationship between a parent and a baby. Your loving touch can comfort and reassure your little one that you love him and you are still near. 

  1. Different feeding position

Try laying baby on a pillow while you breastfeed. A baby’s body can also get sore from being held all the time. Alternatively, it may be that your little one is trapping air in the body as he feeds. Adjusting the position can alleviate some of the pressure, but also allow for air to escape properly.

  1. Let him suck on something

Now, mom, we know you can’t be holding your baby 24/7. At some point in time, you’ll need to do something too, like work, run errands or just have a rest maybe. It’s ok to give your baby something to suck. A pacifier works great for this as your little one’s natural sucking motion is an intrinsic instinct. It’s also not as dangerous as loose objects. Be sure to choose an orthodontic pacifier.

  1. Warm Bath

Who doesn’t love a good bath? The warmth and gentle touch of the water can really help to calm baby down. Add a few drops of Lavender oil (NOT A LOT as the scent is very strong) to your little one’s bath or to a humidifier that you let run while your little one is bathing. Lavender oil has been known to promote calmness.

  1. Good sleep routine

Sleep is so important, especially for a baby who still needs to sleep every 3-4 hours or so. Don’t worry so much about the erratic sleep patterns early on in your little one’s life, they tend to straighten out as your child grows.

  1. Change dairy products

Not every little body is suited to dairy products. If you see your baby or toddler is not doing so well with dairy (this could definitely cause tummy problems).

  1. Get some good old fresh air

Give your little one some time outside. The sounds, the sunlight and the fresh air will do him only good. Also, there is so much for a little one to take in, like feeling a blade of grass, seeing the color of the sky, it will be a great learning experience for your little one (hopefully he’ll have a good nap after an outing outdoors too).

  1. Get dad involved

We know how much you put into your little one mom, but every now and then he wants to be with his dad too. Encourage this bond. Dad’s can also be soothing and comforting. Plus, it’s likely dad won’t feel like breaking down every time your baby starts to cry. He’s fresh help, so-to-say

  1. Give baby a fresh set of clothes

It could very well be that your little one’s clothes are too tight, too warm or too cold for him. It may also just be uncomfortable material for your little one. A baby’s skin is extremely sensitive, some materials irritate their skin.

  1. Skin to skin (wear me, I’m yours)

Skin to skin is a concept that has really grown over the last few years, so much so, that certain hospitals advocate it too. There are studies that have been conducted to validate the importance of skin-to-skin contact between mother and child. Plus it builds a super awesome bond with your child. 

Here is a super quick list for more ideas to soothe your little one:

  1. Reflux could be a problem, check that this is not the underlying issue.
  2. Give your baby a massage
  3. Dim lights and shut off extra noise (you don’t want to overwhelm your little one)
  4. Entertain the baby. Sing a song

Your Health is important

Make a point of taking care of yourself too. Your child does come first, but if you don’t take care of yourself today, tomorrow you’ll be able to give only 50% to your child. So when you see to your own health and well-being too, you are ensuring that your child gets the best care possible. Ask your family and friends to help out with little one and get dad actively involved. After all, it took both of you to make him so it takes both of you to raise him.

Time outs are important for you too mom. Be sure to do something that lifts your spirits, provides rest and replenishes your energy reserves. This won’t always mean sleep, but a quick diversion in your routine can keep you from falling into a (mindless) pattern. At the end of the day, you want to be at your best for your family. This means having the energy to perform your daily tasks and keeping emotionally strong.

Great going mom, you’ll soon get the hang of your little one’s wailing. Think of it less as noise and more as a communication tool, you’ll feel the stress of the crying literally lift off your shoulders. Not long from now, you’ll be Googling “how to help my child talk” and after that, “how to encourage my child to calm down and speak quietly.” Each new phase has a milestone for your little one’s development; don’t rush through the phases too quickly.

Raising Boys – A mom’s parenting advice

I didn’t grow up with a brother or a close male friend, so when it came to boys, I was pretty clueless. This isn’t to say that I’m a girly-girl – I’m not – but when it comes to how males think and why, I am often confused. This confusion was increased by the belief that I held: gender may exist, but differences between them did not. When the book
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus came out, I still didn’t buy the idea that men are fundamentally different from women in how they think about things and how they behave. I thought those differences were mostly an act of socialization, not of biology. Boy, was I wrong.

When I had my baby boy, one of the first things I noticed is that unlike the little baby girls in playgroup who mewed their dissatisfaction, mine howled like a warrior. He didn’t as much cry as yell. This was my first clue that boys are actually in fact different. From that point on I have been on a journey of discovering that boys are actually different, and that those differences are not only okay, they’re lovely. To support my learning, I’ve been reading about boys. There are three things that I’ve learned that have helped me parent my son and stepson through tumultuous times and even just the normal transitions of growing up.

1.    Boys need a “tribe”
Just like parents need lots of support, so do boys. In The Wonder of Boys, by Michael Gurian, the author talks about the three families that can and should help raise a boy: the family at home; the extended family of relatives, teachers and friends; and, the culture and community that the boy lives within. “Together,” Gurian writes, “these three families comprise a boy’s tribe.” All three influence a boy, and these influences need to be taken into account by the parents. Providing access to a wide group of people, especially in the first and second “families,” shares the parenting work and allows boys to feel part of a loving, educating tribe.

In my son’s life his second family – the extended family and friends – play a larger role. He spends a lot of time with his grandfather doing science experiments, and enjoys the symphony with his grandmother. My son also spends a significant amount of time with his father’s parents and sister when he visits Japan each summer. My son, now seven, sees a number of circles of “family:” one is Luke and me; another is Luke and me plus his stepfather and step-siblings; a third is his Japanese family; yet another is my parents and sister. I like to think that his families are like the rings in the Olympic flag: overlapping and connected, but different and equal.

2.    Boys need to be taught self-management skills
I was surprised at how early my boys have needed to be taught, explicitly, the skills of self-management. My son has a chart to help him get ready on his own in the morning; my stepson, fourteen, has worked with me to develop an after-school and evening schedule to help him stay on top of his laundry and homework while still having time to relax and have fun. According to Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer, author of Raising Confident Boys, parents may “unconsciously feel uncomfortable teaching boys to use the washing machine, cook or iron. Boys can be so clumsy, too. We’d rather do the job for him than see him struggle, ruin it or go out looking scruffy or without something because he’s forgotten to think ahead.” This is definitely true for me: I remind the boys to pack their lunch, brush their teeth, and wear clean clothes. Reminding them may help them that particular day, but because I do it every day, I’m not teaching independence.  This lesson has been, and will likely continue to be, the hardest one for me to learn.

3.    Boys need to know how to tap into their “boy power”
When I was a single mom – part of the “single mom syndicate,” as my ex would refer to it – I was given a book called Raising Boys Without Men, by Peggy Drexler. The idea that I found most captivating in this book is “boy power.” The author describes this power as the “artful combination of physicality and sensitivity.” Encouraging boy power includes fostering sensitivity and good communication, but not at the expense of time spent in rough-and-tumble play. I like to think of it as a kind of yin-yang thing.

As crazy as it sounds, I shied away from my son’s displays of sensitivity. His father didn’t like that my son picked out of someone’s “free pile” a doll house for his action figures, nor did he like the hand-me-down toy kitchen my son was given, and my son adored. “You’re encouraging him to be a girl,” he said – and although I stood my ground on the kitchen and doll house, there was a niggling worry that I was in fact making my son into what he was not, rather than supporting my son’s natural instincts and interests.

Now that I’ve read about boy power, I feel more confident in parenting my boy’s sensitive side. Although I can’t provide a baby brother or sister for my son to be gentle with, I was able to provide him with a daycare that focused on fostering sensitivity and with multiple opportunities to interact with other people’s babies. Having pets has helped, too: together we care for the animals and consider what their needs are.

In all, parenting boys has been a huge adventure with a steep learning curve. I sometimes envy my friends’ ability to comb a daughter’s hair and pick out cute clothes for them, but in all, I’d have to say that the kids I have are a lot of fun. It turns out, the three pieces of wisdom above –have a wide circle of support, master self-management, and recognize our internal yin-yang – can be applied to almost anyone, regardless of gender. I know that I can use a little more self-management! The first thing I need to work on: managing myself to not over-manage my boys’ lives.

6 Reasons Video Games Can Help Your Child with Studying

One of the first things you’ll hear some parents say with regard to video games is that they’re not good. In fact, with more and more children playing video games for extended periods of time these days, it can certainly be a major point of contention (and concern) for parents from all walks of life.

While moderation should always be a word in every parent’s vocabulary, it can be difficult to find that ideal level considered ‘moderate,’ especially when it comes to video games. A child playing 4-5 hours of video games every day is not good for many reasons, but playing 1 hour isn’t a bad thing, either. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why playing video games can actually help your child with his or her studying.

Reason #1: Video games can teach problem solving skills.

Any parent who has played video games in the past will probably be able to easily understand this point. Not every game will require problem solving skills, but there are a growing number that require players to solve problems, think through solutions, and determine the best path (or course) to take.

That can definitely help with certain homework assignments.

Reason #2: Video games can actually inspire creativity.

Minecraft was one of those games that when it came out, few parents understood it. It seemed so basic and dull that it could have been a joke, a satire on games parents once played in their youth. However, kids can learn how to collect items they’ll need, build with them, and stay ‘safe’ in their own little Minecraft worlds.

When children learn to be creative, it taps into vital portions of the brain that help boost memory skills.

Reason #3: Video games instill interest in history.

Depending on the type of video game a child plays, it could actually lead him or her to have a vested interest in learning more about history. Numerous adults have reported discovering great wonders and a newfound desire to learn about history after they graduated high school, commonly because of channels like History and Discovery.

Think of video games as your child’s History and Discovery Channels; avenues to spark new interest in these topics.

Reason #4: Video games help kids make friends.

When children are socially connected, they actually feel better about themselves. It’s not so much about quantity as quality, of course, but that is certainly an important component for some.

When children feel better about themselves socially, it can actually inspire them to work harder in school, which usually requires more dedication to their studying habits.

Reason #5: Video games inspire exercise.

There are plenty of video game consoles that get kids up and moving. Whether it’s a dance video game or a skateboarding competition or anything else, when children are moving they are actually increasing the amount of oxygen flowing throughout their body. Oxygen is essential for positive brain health and function.

All of that exercise helps to strengthen the brain, thus leading to better retention, analytical skills, and recall.

Reason #6: Video games give kids an opportunity to LEAD.

When children are relegated to the back of the pack, so to speak, they don’t get a chance to lead. When children aren’t given an opportunity to lead others, they have an increased tendency to give less effort to those things they’re working on than if they were leading others.

Some video games provide great opportunities for kids to become leaders, either to other gamers or with friends who enjoy the same types of games. With these benefits of playing video games when it comes to studying and getting better grades, always keep in mind that moderation is essential.

REVIEW: Baby wipes effective (despite complicated instructions)

“Remove a Facial Cleansing Cloth and gently cleanse your baby’s face. No need to rinse.”

No, no, don’t help me. I think I can handle this. Just let me read those instructions one more time.

Removing a Facial Cleansing Cloth and gently cleansing a baby’s face is not generally my bailiwick, but having been given these new Mustela Facial Cleansing Cloths to try out, I thought I would give it a whirl.

By golly, the instructions were right. No rinsing was necessary and it wiped that creamed corn right off the baby’s drooling mouth. OK, so it wasn’t exactly a baby. It was me.

What can I say? I qualify for AARP. I looove my creamed corn.

After a successful experiment on myself, I tried it out on my newborn niece Beatrix. I am pleased to report that Mustela Facial Cleansing Cloths work just as well on newborn babies as they do on 51-year-old men.

And I must say I appreciate that new baby smell it leaves behind.

The folks at Mustela must appreciate that smell too. They tell me their products feature ingredients for delicate baby (and middle-aged) skins. These ingredients have been tested under dermatological and pediatric supervision.

At least 92 percent of the ingredients are of natural origin and include parabens, phenoxyethanol and phthalates. I guess this is a good thing. To be honest, I never really knew what parabens were before I got the cleansing cloths.

You could have told me parabens were a group of eight-fingered gnomes in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and I would have nodded like I knew what the deuce you were talking about.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know that, “Parabens is a term used within the vernacular of the specialty chemicals industry to describe a series of parahydroxybenzoates or esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid (also known as four-hydroxybenzoic acid).”

Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place?

Phthalates — or phthalate esters — are esters of phthalic acid. (Stands to reason.) Beornings, on the other hand, are a group in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and having nothing to do with cleansing cloths for babies.

My point here (and I do have one) is that none of these esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid mean anything to us mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, who just want to wipe the schmutz from the baby’s face.

What we want is a cleansing cloth that gently cleansing the baby’s face, smells nice, and doesn’t involve a whole lot of rinsing. And if all this can be done with 92 percent natural ingredients, so much the better.

Mustela Facial Cleansing Cloths do the job.

Oh, by the way, Mustela also has a PhysiObebe, which sounds like something you can treat with medication, but it’s really a no-rinse cleanser billed as “the perfect one-step clean-up after a long day outdoors enjoying the warmer weather.”

There’s also Mustela Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen.

All these things reportedly use gentle sufactants (no relation to the beornings) to clean without stripping the natural oils of the skin while minimizing the risk of allergic reactions.

This is good. It will leave your baby as soft and nice smelling as a newborn baby Numenorean (while I will get some kind of prize for the most non sequiters about “Lord of the Rings” ever to appear in a review of baby wipes).

7 Ways to Avoid Spoiling Your Kids

You want your kids to have the best life possible. When your baby is first born, you may have a certain vision about how her life is going to turn out. You want her to laugh, sing, and dance all the time.

While that’s not practical or realistic, she can certainly have a wonderful life, as long as you avoid making some significant mistakes, including spoiling your children.

Spoiled children have a tendency to be less respectful to their peers and elders, they have a difficult time accepting failure, and they may not fully understand the value of material possessions or money.

There are many different ways people spoil their children, often without even realizing it. Here are seven ways you can help avoid spoiling your children, thus giving them a better foundation for the rest of their life.

Require effort before reward.

If your child wants to go over to a friend’s house, for example, but he hasn’t finished cleaning the dishes or taking out the garbage, if you let him go once, he may expect to get away with that the next time.

Too many parents today are trying to be friends to their children and will accept the half done chores in order to avoid grief in trying to get them to do it completely. The best thing is to require effort before the child receives the reward.

Ignore begging.

When you say no, stand by it. No matter how much your child begs, once you made up your mind, it’s time to end the discussion.

Children learn early on that they can manipulate their parents into getting what they want. The longer a child has been spoiled for, the more difficult it’s going to be for the parents to break that habit. You begin by ignoring their begging.

Set limits.

Make limits as clear and simple to understand as possible. You want to make sure there is no room for misinterpretation or manipulation. For example, if a child is asking for a sweet snack, you can certainly allow them to have one, but make it clear that they are only entitled to one. If they ask for a second one, you may need to reevaluate giving them that snack the next time around.

Be firm with those limits.

Once you set limits, it’s absolutely essential that you avoid exceeding or breaking those limits. It’s fine if your child is behaving well and you want to reward them, but if that reward is going to exceed the limits you’ve already established, don’t do it.

There are other ways to reward positive behavior rather than spoiling them and breaking your limits.

Have your child explain why she should get a certain privilege.

Whether it’s going over to a friend’s house for the weekend, being able to watch a certain television program, or using her allowance to purchase an item you’re not thrilled she wants (as long as you don’t have any other objections to it), make her convince you through a qualified explanation why she deserves this.

That will help your child take accountability for her actions.

Put them to work.

When children work, whether it’s doing chores around the house or something else, they can be earning money or benefits to do things they want in the future.

When they begin working for the things they want rather than getting them whenever they ask, it teaches them the value of work and earning those things.

Be a parent, not a friend.

Your child is going to be disappointed, upset, and even angry with you when you don’t give into them. If you try to be their friend and coddle them, giving them whatever they want, you’re going to end up with the spoiled child.

Make sure you remain a parent throughout their life rather than a friend. If you want your child to become your friend, once they reach their adult years, that’s something that can certainly happen, if you both choose.

Baby Nursing Pillows

I have only about 12 weeks before my baby is here and I need a new nursing pillow. I for one loved my boppy. I got rid of it a while back when I wasn’t sure whether or not I would have any more babies. Well, now I am and I need a new nursing pillow. I saw one on Craigslist but I was in the middle of moving and I didn’t get a chance to go get it. Sigh. When I first got my nursing pillow, it was a blue boppy and it was about 7 years ago. Back then they came in about 3 colors, all solid and got kinda gross after a while. You could wash the whole pillow but that was about it. Now they make boppies in all colors and make removable covers you can wash! Woo hoo!

While you might think that any old pillow will do to support your baby during feedings, a proper nursing pillow is actually quite useful. It offers a supportive surface for baby, yes, but it also allows moms to maintain proper posture while nursing, which is essential for their health and comfort.

Benefits of Feeding Pillows

While you might be able to lift your baby to the breast so he can make a proper latch, it can be hard to hold this position for the duration of breastfeeding. That’s why pillows like the Bobby are good idea to purchase. They allow you to rest your arms on the pillow so you’re not supporting all of baby’s weight and helps to keep at least one hand free so you can more easily guide your little one to the breast and to make adjustments if necessary.

Sitting up straight is essential for good back health, but stooping over due to a lack of support during breastfeeding could even put extra strain on your nipples, causing pain and cracking.

Types of Pillows

For nursing, there are several different kinds of pillows available. Some are shaped like a “U” and bend around your waist during nursing. Others are intended to be placed beneath the breast so you can better hold your baby. No matter what kind of pillow you get, you should be able to remove it from your body quickly and easily with one hand. Much of the time, babies fall asleep while nursing and the last thing you want to have happen is to fumble around with the pillow and accidentally wake him up.

You will need a different kind of pillow if you’re nursing twins or a preemie. Always look for pillows that fulfill your specific needs.

Some pillows also come with a washable cover, which can come in extremely handy due to the likelihood of spillage and general mess accumulated over time.

Other Pillows

Often found near nursing pillows are a variety of other items you might need to bolster your baby. For instance, there are anti roll pillows that help to keep your baby in one position all night so he doesn’t accidentally roll over onto his stomach. There are also pillows for babies with acid reflux. They allow the baby sleep on an incline so he doesn’t experience uncomfortable reflux in the middle of the night.

There are even pillows designed to prevent a baby from getting a flat spot on his head. It’s common knowledge that you’re supposed to turn your baby over to prevent the head from forming lopsided. But this kind of pillow can take some of the emphasis off of this by providing a stable, yet not too firm surface for him to lie on.

Pillows for babies, nursing or otherwise, come in every color and pattern under the sun, so you’re certain to find one that matches your nursery and the decorative theme of your home. Most importantly, you’ll be sure to get the support you and baby need.

How To Breastfeed – Tips & Help for Breastfeeding Women

Breastfeeding is a vital component of raising a healthy and happy newborn. The process allows you to bond with your baby and provides him or her with nutrition unavailable from formula. That being said, nursing newborns isn’t always intuitive and may require some level of guidance to perform properly to ensure your little one gets enough to eat, you don’t hurt yourself, and you make the experience as pleasant for the both of you as possible. Here are a few guidelines to follow that should help you learn how to breastfeed. While you might find variations of these instructions more advantageous to you, it’s best to stick with the tried and true methods at first to ensure you’re doing it right. After that, feel free to experience with different positions and techniques to find the best ones for you and baby.

Selecting a Position

One of the first things you need to do when learning how to breastfeed is to pick a comfortable position to nurse in. It should be comfortable for you, allow the baby to get a proper latch, and ensure he’s getting enough to eat. Really, anything that works qualifies as a legitimate position, but if you want some guidance, you might want to try:

  • Football Hold: This position allows you to hold the baby like a football so you can properly guide the breast into her mouth or keep her off of your belly if you had a caesarean. You might need to employ the use of a nursing pillow to make sure the baby is completely supported. Bend baby’s knees slightly for a better fit along your arm.
  • Cradle Hold: This is probably the most popular nursing position, because it can be relaxing and offers a significant way to hold baby very close and promote skin to skin contact. Simply cradle baby in your arms and offer him your breast.
  • Lying on Your Side: Whether you’re exhausted and need to lie down or you don’t want the baby to press on your abdomen, the side-lying nursing position is an excellent way to ensure baby is fed without putting strain on your cesarean scar. Just lie on your side and place baby on front of your breast, facing you. You’ll have a hand free to offer your breast as well.

Experiment with the different nursing positions to find the best one or ones suited to you and your baby. Of course, different positions might work at different times. Don’t be afraid to change it up. For instance, the cradle hold is effective for newborns that need a lot of support, but it might not be so good for larger babies.

Don’t be afraid to use a nursing pillow on which to rest your baby while nursing. Otherwise, holding your baby through every nursing session is bound to strain your arms, neck and back. You can also use the pillow to rest your arms on, so you can relax more during the feeding process.

The Latch

One thing you absolutely must master in breastfeeding your child is the latch. Your baby needs to learn how to latch properly or you could cause yourself some serious pain and it could prevent your little one from getting a full meal. To start, your newborn should be facing you with his chin in line with your breast. Lift your breast with one hand and offer it to him. A good latch means baby will open his mouth wide and take in a large portion of the areola into the mouth. Pull the baby close to you and he will begin to nurse.

If he only gets a small part of the areola, it could cause you significant pain. Don’t allow this to continue. Remove your baby from your breast and offer it to him again. Truly, this will likely be the most difficult part to master in the first few hours or days after giving birth. But once he catches on, the latch should become second nature to him.

Nursing

While nursing, you’ll want to watch for a few certain key characteristics that indicate baby is feeding successfully. First, her lips should be puckered out slightly, meaning the insides of them are laying flat against the breast. Her tongue should be pressed against your breast. Look at your baby’s face. Her ears will likely wiggle. You should be able to hear her swallowing. If she stops nursing, give her a bit of a break. Just slip your finger into the side of her mouth to pull her from your breast. The last thing you want to do is yank her from the breast because this will cause you a ton of pain.

If baby still seems hungry, offer her your breast again, or switch to your other breast performing the same positioning and latching techniques described above. Once she’s done feeding, gently remove her from the breast again and follow the feeding up with some burping. You don’t want that meal to end up on the back of your shirt!

Many people think breastfeeding is just something you pick up. And sure, that’s true to some extent, but it’s also something that’s learned. And I’m not just talking about you. Your baby needs to learn how to nurse properly, too. It’s brand new territory for the both of you, so it’s going to take some patience and dedication to get it right. For some, the process might be easy. For others, it might involve a lot of trial and error and frustration. But if you stick it out, you’ll end up nursing your newborn, which helps him become healthier than babies that don’t receive breast milk. In fact, breastfeeding can increase immunity, prevent disease, and even improve the health of the mother. With all of these perks on your side, there’s really no reason not to at least attempt to breastfeed. And with these guidelines, you should be well equipped to make the first steps toward exclusively breastfeeding your baby.

6 Secrets To Unlocking Your Child’s Talent

Everyone has talent. From children to adults, talent generally exists, even when those same people don’t realize it. If you’re looking for ways to help your child unlock their talent, here are six secrets that can be instrumental in helping you do just that.

Whether or not you know your child has a penchant for singing, art, or even sports, and even though they may already be excelling in certain aspects of those endeavors, there are a number of things that can be done to help them unleash their full potential early, rather than waiting too long.

Here are six secrets that can help you unlock your child full potential.

Focus on the effort.

Natural ability is one thing, but no one really excels at anything without effort. Even the most naturally gifted men and women in this world have put in hundreds and even thousands upon thousands of hours into their craft to become as good as they are at it.

For your child, make sure you focus on their effort, not the results or their natural ability. When you praise the child for their natural ability, you take away the impact that their effort has had on getting to that level of skill.

Look for the passion.

It’s one thing to have a seemingly natural talent about something and not have any passion for it. For children who don’t seem very interested in something, it can be difficult for the parent to watch them ‘throw it all away.’

But what are they throwing away? If they don’t really have the desire to do it, forcing them isn’t going to accomplish much at all. Some parents have the belief that if they force their child to do things because they notice a talent in them, they may appreciate it much later on in life. Sure, that’s possible, but it’s also far more likely they end up hating it all together and never get a chance to enjoy it.

Encourage them to accept mistakes.

Mistakes and failures are what help people excel in just about anything. Research now indicates that people who practice on the edge of their abilities, essentially pushing themselves to the limit, end up excelling much more than those who stay within their comfort zone.

Understand that slow practice can still be productive.

Some parents have a tendency to push their children to practice harder and faster. When they practice slower, though, it allows them to analyze mistakes, fix situations better, and become better at analyzing their own skill set.

Sometimes, slow practice is better than hard and fast.

Develop mental skills.

Research has indicated that imagining performing certain tasks, focusing on every little detail and doing it right, can actually improve the physical capabilities of an individual. Help your child learn to master these mental mimicry skills and it will pay off when they go out onto the field, settle in front of an easel, or sit down at their chosen instrument.

Learn to step back.

As a parent, you want to be involved in your child’s life. But sometimes it’s best to step back and allow the child to develop and grow, as well as practice, on their own. You can certainly offer guidance, but don’t push them too hard.

How Long Should I Nurse

This is a hard question to answer. Honestly, I believe any breast milk is better then none. Studies show that babies should be breastfed for the first six months. Babies can’t have cow’s milk until they are a year old. So, what do you do for the other six months? Why would you stop nursing at that point?

The bottom line is, it comes down to a personal choice you need to make. Only you and your baby will really be able to decide. I stopped with both of my girls at a year. By the time they get to be a year old, they want more independence. They are curious and want to see what the big kids are doing or the cat or whatever else is going on. It is a lot easier for them to grab their cups and go explore then it is to sit still and nurse. I did keep the bedtime feeding longer then the other feedings. It was my way of settling them down and feeling connected before bed. This time, I’m not sure if I will want to nurse a little longer or not. Seeing how this is my last baby, things might be different.

Anyway, there are people who nurse well into toddler hood. Personally, I think it is a bit of an overkill, at least during the day. On the same hand, seeing a two year old running around with a bottle seems weird to me too. I have no problem about wanting to feed your child the best, I just think every parent needs to start letting toddlers grow up a little.

The bottom line is, there is no right or wrong answer. Listen to yourself and your baby. Nurse for as long as you like, just try and stop before college. It might be a little weird to show up at the dorms every night for your child’s bedtime snack.

Moby Wrap UV 50+ SPF Cotton Baby Carrier Review

If you are a new mom or mother of a small toddler, you know just how difficult it can be to get anything done while carrying your baby. You also probably understand and want to fulfill your child’s desire to be close to you. Moby offers a solution to your lack of hands and need for baby to snuggle all in one wonderful product, the Moby Wrap UV 50+ SPF Baby Carrier. Available in a variety of colors, you are sure to find one that fits your needs as well as suits your sense of style.

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  • Sized for babies and young children weighing 8 to 35 pounds
  • Construction is 100% cotton
  • Can be hand or machine washed
  • Adjustable for petite and plus sized moms and dads
  • SPF 50+ with Rayosan Process

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  • SPF Protection – Your baby’s skin is very thin and delicate and may be sensitive to sunscreens. This Moby wrap protects him from the sun’s harmful rays without applying any chemicals to his skin.
  • Stylish – The Moby wrap comes in a variety of colors and patterns for the perfect compliment to any outfit. It also comes in neutral, “manly” colors for dads not wanting to wear something feminine.
  • Weight distribution – Many slings place all of the baby’s weight on one shoulder, making for a very uncomfortable day. This wrap, on the other hand, distributes weight across both shoulders and the entire back for better support and endurance for the long haul.
  • Safe, but not binding – Your baby will stay warm and snuggly while keeping both hands free to explore her world.
  • Helps with bonding – Babies need close, skin to skin bonding time with mom and dad for the best bonding experience. The Moby keeps you and baby close even while you are going about your daily routine.

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  • Very long – This product is made of a lot of material, and it can be a lot to deal with when wrapping baby up.
  • Stretchy – Some users may find that the fabric is stretchy, making it difficult to find the right tightness in order to balance security and freedom.
  • Hot – If you are hot natured, another layer of fabric may not be a great choice, especially in summer months.

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If you are looking to “wear your baby,” the Moby SPF Wrap is a great tool that keeps your child close and secure while fostering the bonding process. It takes a little practice and preparation, but once you get your baby in position, you will be so happy with the results, as will your little one. Your back will thank you at the end of the day if you choose this device over a sling, and you will not miss the Velcro, snaps, fasteners, or clips that other carrying devices use. Moby stands behind the quality of their products, and they are among the most well-known and respected makers of baby carriers on the market today.

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