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Parenting in the Loop Weekend Pics

 

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Pics

Mindful Parenting

The Fourth of July Weekend is upon us. So how about some outdoor play. The New York Times has this wonderful suggestion from its pages with a great reference to “Mindful Parenting” by my friend Kristin Race.

Why be intentional about this most relaxed of times? Summer goes by so fast. One minute, it’s June, and we have all the time in the world for ice cream, drive-in movies and bike rides. The next, it’s August, and too often, we’re left wondering where it went. We want to avoid regrets over missed opportunities. Every week, we’ll offer research-based suggestions for ways to set this season apart from the rest of the year.

“Kids who are used to more structured activities may not know how to create these things on their own,” said Kristen Race, a psychologist and the author of “Mindful Parenting.”

Source: The ‘Intentional Summer’ Challenge: Play an Outdoor Game – The New York Times

weekend summer fun

 

Questions about sunscreen for kids of all ages ….check out this link to help you decide what is best for your kiddos.

The skin is the largest organ of the body, proportionally larger in the smallest children, and protecting it properly needs our care and attention.
Source: Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Children’s Summer Skin Care – The New York Times

 

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Getting enough sleep these days as parents? Probably not!

What are your baby’s sleep onset associations? Check out this post from the NYT and set yourself up for success when getting your baby to sleep on his own. Why not start this weekend?

Dr. Judith Owens, a pediatrician who is the director of sleep medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, told me that she would focus here on what she termed “sleep onset associations.” That is, on helping the children learn how to fall asleep independently at bedtime, which should then generalize to an ability to fall asleep when they wake in the night. So it’s lovely to use the song at bedtime as a going-to-bed routine, but it’s important that the actual moment of going to sleep should be after the bottle (and ideally, after brushing teeth after the bottle) and after the song.
Source: Ask Well: The Best Way to Put Babies to Sleep – The New York Times

Nothing like a three day weekend to mark the beginning of summer.

Make it a safe one!

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New parents never sleep…really!

 

 

 

Sleep like a baby but not when you have a baby!

sweet baby sleep

 

Sleep has become an obsession since the last trimester of pregnancy according to my daughter, who now has a three month old.

Tired is how she describes herself

Fortunately my grandson is a decent sleeper and has been since about 5 weeks old.

Some how that does not ease the new parent fatigue…feeding, diaper changing, napping, feeding, changing, tummy time…more feeding and changing.

It seems that rest escapes many parents from the birthday of their first baby.

I wish I could say that this changes as baby gets older…

But really…

It does not get better

At times It actually gets worse

randomly waxing  and waning.

Here is how sleep goes…

  • Sleep becomes difficult during the third trimester of pregnancy, probably to get you ready for the parenting road ahead.
  • After the baby is born, you will initially be up peeing and then feeding and changing your newborn every 2 to 4 hours. It will seem like a never ending cycle.

Sleep deprivation really begins to take hold now so you might as well get used to it.

 

  • If you go to bed late because you want to watch a movie or even read a book that will definitely be the night your little one (no matter the age) will wake up screaming for whatever reason at around 3 am.

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  •  Have no fear the teen years provide no relief because then you will be worrying about your kids being out till curfew or later.

You might as well face it you might sleep again when your kids go to college

It is a plus for the “empty nest”.

Many have traveled this foggy road of sleep deprivation which is little consolation.

What are some of the ways you deal with sleep deprivation?

Do you have empathy for sleep deprived parents?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baby Development: 2 months and 3 weeks

 

 

 

Baby Development-2 Months & 3 Weeks

 

CJ two months

 

Our grandson is almost three months old and although he changes each day, overall there have been big changes since his birth especially in his movements and sleeping patterns.

Movement

  • James’ movements are much smoother these days. He moves both arms and legs almost in a dance of excitement when he is watching his mom and dad or his jungle friends from his little rocker seat. You can palpate his excitement in the morning when he sees his mom or dad come into his room when he wakes up.
  • Fun floor time seems to also be a favorite although tummy time tires him out more rapidly. Pushing off with his legs and holding his head up is a big deal at this point but his tummy time excitement wears off quickly. His muscles are clearly strengthening and toning which will prepare him for crawling in the few months ahead. Baby development is amazing!

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  • James sleeps in his crib most of the time. He is not a co-sleeper…although sometimes he catches a nap in someone’s arms. I don’t think there is anything more relaxing than a baby sleeping in my arms. I cherish these moments and know that they don’t last and I will long for them when he is a preschooler.
  • Fortunately at this stage of his baby development, he has a predictable bed time routine which makes mom and dad happy to finally be getting some real sleep.
  • It is now a great time to begin a bedtime ritual that can set the tone for a quiet settling in to a good night’s sleep for everyone. Rocking, a bedtime bath, cuddling with a transitional object, music and or a board book story are great in their calming effects.
Transitional object baby development

Moo…The Cow

  • These rituals will change slightly over time but they are important over the long term so it is not too early to begin them and remember it is important to do the ones that work for your individual baby and family.

Smiles

  • Oh this is just my favorite baby development, smiling! Your baby can even begin to hold out his arms to you! How could anyone resist not wanting to hold a cute cuddly little one?
  • Remember he/she may not be all too friendly and welcoming just yet…this takes time to develop but some little ones remain skeptical for quite awhile, so be patient.

Child development is extremely individual and unique to each and every child. Milestones are to be used as guidelines. If you have any questions about your child at any time you should consult your pediatrician for more information.

 

Source: Your 2-month-old’s development: Week 3 | BabyCenter

 

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Weekend from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Reading from Parenting in the Loop

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Welcome to the weekend. If you are like many, this is the time to catch up on some zzz’s, right? Well perhaps not, especially if you are a new parent. Sleep is something we all need to function but many of us simple do not get enough of it for so many different reasons and excuses.

So it really is no surprise that baby sleep habits are such a topic of discussion. If your baby does not sleep chances are you do not either. You then join the ranks of the sleep deprived and depraved.

Co-sleeping is something many families practice and enjoy. There are guidelines if you co-sleep with your baby in order to keep your infant safe and sound.

If you’re one of the 22 percent of BabyCenter moms who share a bed with their baby, you can reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS by following a few basic guidelines Find out more about sleeping in a family bed.

And even though your baby can’t yet safely sleep under that gorgeous quilt you received as a baby gift, you can still get plenty of use out of it. Hang it on the nursery wall, drape it over the back of your rocking chair, or let your baby spend tummy time on it during the day.

Five things you didn’t know about newborn sleep

I simple cannot say enough about safe sleep for your baby. It truly is about balance…the three S’s: Sleep, Safety and Sanity.

 

There is no doubt that having a new baby changes everything about sleep. Between fussing, feeding, diapering, and soothing, it is broken into fragments, and the sum of all of those pieces doesn’t usually feel like enough. There’s also your baby’s safety to consider. Nobody likes to think about SIDS, but it is the most common cause of death in babies beyond the newborn period (1), and we want to do everything we can to prevent it. If we could, we might sit awake and watch our babies breathe all night, but of course, we need to sleep, too.

Source: Should Your Baby Sleep in Your Room? For How Long? Balancing Sleep, Safety, and Sanity | Science of Mom

A weekend is a time when you can look at the world from your own perspective at least for a few moments of the day.

I found this a particularly interesting discussion about where your focus is at different time periods in your life.

Are you a planner? That is, you know step by step what is coming next in the scheme of your life.

Or are you vulnerable and daring, facing the horizon head on and open to the vagaries of the dailies?

Personally, I am more of a head up person myself although at times my head is physically down so as not to stumble and fall into my horizon…it is one of the passages of aging.

Which one are you?

When your head is down, focusing on a step-by-step or gig-by-gig plan, two things happen:The world can’t connect to you fully. Your eyes are down. You are unable to see the big picture, random opportunities, or how you are connected to your world right now, in this moment.Your identity feels like it is at the whim of each step or gig because that is where you are putting all your focus. The current job defines you.

When your head is up, focusing on that magnet of a horizon, the opposite occurs:The world sees you fully. It is a vulnerable and daring posture to stand fully present in this moment. You are available. You are open.You have the consistency of that horizon. You will probably take and release multiple identities along the way (student, teacher, director, actor, parent…) but the horizon is your constant.

 

When other opportunities pan out or spark beyond your imagination, your spot on the horizon keeps you from loosing all perspective. Take a ballet class, learn how to spot, and you’ll be well on your way.

 

When you claim your horizon, you are crafting a calling, a beacon, a rallying cry to explore.Be inspired by your horizon.

 

Be a little scared. Be daring.What’s your horizon? How are you stepping towards it today?

 

Source: You Don’t Need a Five- or Ten-Year Plan. You Need A Horizon. | HowlRound

Weekend sunset bristol

At sunset on Sunday, will you wonder where the weekend went?

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Daylight Savings and Kids’ Sleep

Finally Daylight Savings is here!

daylight savings

This popped up in my email today from Jen and Jill at Sleepy Planet. They are two of the best people I know to help parents and kids with sleep and Daylight Savings is one of those times.

 

Spring Ahead Without

Falling Behind on Sleep

 

Daylight Savings this Sunday, March 8

 

Before bed, turn clocks ahead 1 hour.  If your child normally sleeps till 6:30 AM, the next morning she will likely sleep till 7:30 AM.  Her entire schedule – naps and bedtime – will then shift one hour later.

If you’re happy about this change, great!  Just protect her room from too much light in the early morning (use room-darkening shades if necessary), and use white noise so she won’t wake with the birds.

If you’d rather help your child get back to her usual schedule, try the following:

1.  Put your child down at her regular bedtime, say 7:30 PM, on Saturday night.

2. Set your alarm for 6:30 AM (according to the new clock) and wake your child at this time.  To her, it will feel like it’s 5:30 AM, but don’t worry.  She’ll be tired, but she’ll adjust.

3.  If your child naps, put her down at her normal nap time according to the new clock and resume a normal schedule from there.  Don’t allow her to nap longer than usual.

4.  On Sunday night, put her down at her usual bedtime according to the new time.

 

Excerpt from The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep — from Birth to Age 5.

 

Happy Daylight Savings!

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Weekend Review: Fallen Soldier’s Final Flight…Party Politics…Fall Back

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Time change can wreak havoc with children’s sleep schedules. Sleepy Planet’s Jill and Jen have some suggestions to help navigate this challenge.

This weekend, it’s time to move clocks back one hour. This is the time change that we loved in college, but we hate as parents – especially if you’ve got young children who are already early risers. Whipping up breakfast at 4:30 a.m. is not exactly a solution. Armed with a game plan and a little patience, though, your child should adjust to the new time change after three or four days.

via sleepyplanet.com.

 

Party Politics is a right of passage…why should a child’s birthday create such crazy chaos? I have very strong feeling about the “birthday party dilemmas” and have done several posts about alternatives to huge celebrations with tons of presents and horribly  put together “goody” crappy bags.

 

Today begins November…we celebrate Veterans Day this month.

This is how a “fallen” soldier is welcomed home to Los Angeles. It is touching.

Water canon salute brings tears to passengers’ eyes, as tears of water run down the windowpanes.

A few minutes after touchdown, we did indeed have a water canon salute, which I’d previously only experienced on happy occasions like inaugural flights. This time, the water glistening on the windowpanes looked like tears.

 

via Flight turns unforgettable when passengers learn of fallen soldier – Yahoo Travel.

 

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Bedtime Rituals for Kids

Madeline

I sort of love rituals…it makes me feel somewhat secure to know that I do a certain thing  almost all the time and that some things are therefore predictable.

In the morning, my ritual is a cup of coffee, I am not the same person if I skip this ritual.

Orange juice at breakfast has also been a ritual for me since childhood as has been breakfast. My grandmother was a firm believer in breakfast. She made it every morning, whether we wanted it or not.

My morning ritual of coffee and breakfast is comforting and I rarely change it, I almost never skip breakfast of some sort and I never skip my coffee.

For children, rituals are also comforting and help to settle them when life hands them a chaotic moment.

A kiss from us when they fall down or a hug from us when they are crying is something that they rely on for comfort.

Bedtime rituals provide comfort at the end of a busy day. It can be very calming for a child to have us join in their bedtime routine of a bath, quiet time and reading. It is a time to help them settle down and quiet themselves. It can also be a time for us to talk with them about whatever is going on in their little heads.

The bedtime ritual of reading with my grandchild is one that I cherish.  Children’s books are wonderful and they generate such an opportunity to interact, whether it is about school, play, friends, or family. Even fairy tales have lessons to teach. The classics like Madeline and Winnie the Pooh bring back so many memories.

Life can feel so frenzied…it bothers me to see little ones lose out on story time before going off to sleep…it is a ritual that just might stay with them long into adulthood. Reading before bed can be relaxing and a way to self soothe as they did when as infants they watched their mobiles in their cribs. Soothing music goes well with bedtime too.

Honestly, after reading and music listening, I am ready for bed myself but many nights my computer beckons me to finish the business at hand. On those nights when “home” work has to get done…I feel robbed…just as I would if I did not have my coffee waiting for me in the morning.

What are some of your favorites to read with your children?

 

 

The benefits of parents reading to children are numerous, everything from stimulating a child’s cognitive, social and emotional development, to exposing them to language and storytelling, Zuckerman said. Bedtime stories also provide a special opportunity for parents and kids to interact, and create a “quieting tradition” as the child gets ready to go to sleep, he added.“Most family rituals – from families eating together to doing a variety of activities together – are declining because adults are busy and because everyone is on their machines,” Zuckerman said.

via Sweet dreams, bedtime story? Many parents skip nightly ritual – TODAY.com.

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Postpartum Depression & Breast Feeding, Infant Sleep, Children & Allergies….

 heart drops

Sleep is so important and so many of us crave it…makes me wonder if it doesn’t start right at the beginning of our lives when we are infants. After all it is one of the topics so hotly discussed among parenting experts.

So how do we manage to get our newborns to sleep thus giving ourselves much needed time to sleep?

 

Nothing can prepare you for the changes in your sleep when you welcome a newborn baby into your family. Experienced parents will issue dire warnings and tell you to sleep while you can during the last few weeks of pregnancy. (And you will think, yeah right, there’s a large boulder resting on my bladder, and sometimes it kicks for good measure.)

 

 

If you breast feed do you have less of a chance of developing PPD (Postpartum Depression)? Here is some interesting facts from FFF (Fearless Formula Feeder) that questions this premise.

The same question holds for the connection between breastfeeding and postpartum depression. Some researchers have found a correlation between lack of breastfeeding and higher incidence of depression; however, the majority of these studies don’t factor in why the mother isn’t breastfeeding in the first place. A 2009 study found that women who exhibited pregnancy-related anxiety or prenatal depressive symptoms were roughly two times more likely than women without these mood disorders to plan to formula feed. (12) “Prenatal mood disorders may affect a woman’s plans to breastfeed and may be early risk factors for failure to breastfeed,” the researchers point out. And even if the intention to breastfeed is there, multiple factors inform infant-feeding choices once a woman leaves the hospital.

Feeling like a failure, dealing with pain, frustration, and exhaustion, and having a baby who screams at the sight of her, could make any mother feel overwhelmed, let alone one who’s already on the brink of actual PPD. Maybe for those of us more prone to anxiety or depression, the stress of breastfeeding struggles is just the camel’s dreaded straw.

 

Are there allergies in your family, if so, there is a community online for Moms of Allergic Children.  I have also included a link to a mom’s story of her son who has asthma.

 

Moms of kids with allergies have to do double duty to keep their bundles of joy safe, happy, and healthy. In the Moms of Allergic Children community, moms are sharing their concerns and questions about allergies. Here are some quick tips from Dr. Oz for them and others on how to treat — and prevent — some common allergies.

 

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Week In Review…

A few of my favorite reads this week…

Parenting can be so damn stressful. Kids push boundaries and buttons, and it’s a parent’s job to stay calm and steady in the face of it all. But most of us don’t perform this job with absolute perfection. We sometimes and say things to our kids we wish we could stuff back inside our mouths.

The Safety of Sleepovers: I Dont Trust Other Parents | BlogHer

This headline really caught my eye because I really did not trust other parents with my children…it was something left with me long ago from my grandmother ,who raised me along with my mother. She was so wise. For as long as I remember, I knew this fact and never denied it and rarely argued it.

 Bedtime is always a challenge…I truly have never heard so many reasons why it is necessary to get out of bed once the routine is done, the goodnights are said and the lights are out save for the nightlight. I always feel super guilty if the reason given for getting out of bed is “I’m hungry, Neena” Quick and Healthy bedtime snacks will do away my guilt…take a look. Any other suggestions for keeping kids in bed after the “final good night kiss”.

I hope you have a nice weekend…we are staying close to home and away from the NATO Summit here in Chicago!