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?

Why Caucasian Dads are Superior…REVISITED…

Noteworthy Wednesday!

This is my most read post in 2011…since “Tiger Mom” is now published in paperback and it is the one year anniversary of the commotion that it set off I am reposting this for you perusal.

Enjoy.

Why Caucasian fathers are superior.

“So it should come as no surprise that I am better at parenting than most humans (and all animals, except bison and unicorns). The reason? I’m a Caucasian male.

The Caucasian culture does not accept mediocrity. You name it, we excel at it. Whether it’s playing hockey, or watching hockey, or dancing (the polka), or finishing last in 100-metre races, or suppressing the civil rights of minorities, Caucasian males do it best. We also raise the brightest children.”

Seriously, this is such an amusing piece that responds to the “Tiger Mom”  uproar. I thought we had read just about everything but apparently not so.

Given all the commotion that Tiger Mom has generated, I think that it is time to consider some balance. Parenting is something that is too important to actually laugh about.

It seems there are as many beliefs about the right way to parent as there are parents. It is my belief that anything taken to extremes is never really a good thing. There are exceptions to almost any “rule”. To be excessively rigid in your parenting style could pass this rigidity on to your child or create the opposite stance on your child’s part. Neither of these responses is what I personally would want.

There are many aspects of attachment parenting that I like and I probably was an attached parent and am an attached grandparent although I did not “co-sleep” nor did I breast feed.

My personal parenting guidelines came from Erik Erikson’s stages of development. I tried to parent so that my children successfully completed Erikson’s  stages of development.

I also tried to model behavior for my children. They experienced how important it was for both their grandmothers to die having completed their final stage of life at age 89. They both died with integrity and dignity.

Parenting never really ends.

For me, it is about teaching your children how to have love and empathy and be able to develop their own skills to live each stage of life.

With that said please read this “caucasian father’s” editorial reaction to “Tiger Mom” and laugh if you like…it is pretty humorous!

Safe Sleep for Your Baby

NOTEWORTHY WEDNESDAY1

This week I have seen this PSA (Public Service Announcement) and three media discussions associated with it. The consensus of what I have read  and heard is that this PSA is inappropriate and uses “shock” value to relate an important message to parents concerning “co-sleeping“.

Do we really need this type of photo to make a statement against co-sleeping?

What do you think?

Well, I visited Milwaukee‘s website and found some helpful “safe sleep” resources and information related to infant deaths in Milwaukee.

It is my opinion that Milwaukee is trying desperately to reduce infant mortality but are they trying too hard? Will they lose the attention of the very group that they are aiming to help educate with this poster.

The City has had a Safe Sleep Sabbath this past October 11th, where churches participated in a safe sleep for baby program to educate parents about the danger of not putting baby to sleep in an appropriate environment but more importantly it provided information about what was appropriate and safe for infants.

Safe Sleep Sabbath – Sunday, October 9, 2011 Act now to overcome one major problem that is killing our babies: infant sleep death. Infant mortality: The number of infants who die before their first birthday.

Okay …great…now what what else could be done to decrease infant mortality due to poor and unsafe sleeping conditions?

Since we know that in Milwaukee, SES  (socio-economic status) is also related to infant mortality it might be helpful to have culturally sensitive educational materials and discussions about safe sleep for infants.

It would also be advantageous if this discussion did not confuse co-sleeping with unsafe sleep environments for babies.

Let’s keep the discussion going but in a more positive format.

Social workers are doing what they can in Milwaukee as evidenced in this piece from the Sentinel.

Lets here it for  education…education…education…rather than scare tactics and scapegoating “co-sleeping”.

This is a very multifaceted problem that needs to be combatted with a multifaceted action plan.

 

In Milwaukee around 20% of infant mortality is attributable to a combination of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS),  and Sudden Unexplained Death in infancy (SUDI).  Of these deaths the majority die in an unsafe sleep environment.

The City of Milwaukee Health Department strongly advises parents NOT to share a bed with their infant. This is based on an American Academy of Pediatrics 2011 Policy Statement which states that the risk of SIDS has been shown to be reduced when the infant sleeps in the same room as the mother, but the AAP recommends that infants not share a bed with parents or anyone else, due to increased risk.

Co-Sleeping Defined

The term “co-sleeping” can be confusing, as it is used both to refer to sharing a bed and sharing a room. To clarify the distinction, many pediatric experts now refer to “bed-sharing” (referring to a infant who is sleeping in the same bed, couch, or other surface where parents or others are sleeping), and “room-sharing” (referring to a infant who is sleeping in the parents’ room, but in their own crib or bassinet).


Safe Sleep Guidelines

Parents should:

  • Put baby to sleep on their back. Babies who sleep on their backs are safer.
  • Provide a separate but nearby sleeping environment, meaning: babies should share a room with their parents, but not a bed. The risk of SIDS is reduced when the infant sleeps in the same room as the mother.
  • Never put a baby to sleep on a couch or a chair. A crib, bassinette or cradle that conforms to the safety standards is recommended.
  • Make sure that the only item in the crib is a mattress, covered by a tight-fitting sheet. No bumper pads, blankets or toys.
  • Never lay a baby down on or next to a pillow.  Pillows are extremely dangerous for infants as they can cause suffocation.
  • Do not ever use infant sleep positioners.  The FDA says there have been 12 known deaths associated with these products. 
  • Dress the baby in a one-piece sleeper to keep them warm in winter.
  • Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for the whole family. But the house should not be too warm.
  • Never smoke in a house where an infant or child lives.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force has found that rates of bed-sharing are increasing, especially as we encourage breastfeeding. But the conclusion of the task force is that bed-sharing, as practiced in the US and other Western countries is more hazardous than the infant sleeping on a separate sleep surface. It is recommended that infants not share a bed with adults.  Infants may be brought into bed for nursing or comforting, but should be returned to their own safe space to sleep when the parent is ready to return to sleep.


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