I was at a crazy, child-filled, Chuckie Cheese lunch today with some good friends, when I was asked a great question: "My 3 month old isn't rolling over completely yet, but I worried about her sleeping during the night. She moves away from the wedges we put her in and I concerned that she's going to roll over, get stuck on her belly, and not be able to turn her head. What should I do?"
Kennedy at 4 months, when she first learned to roll over.
That is a huge concern! When you your baby to bed, instead of laying her in the wedges, put her up against the side or the back of the crib (facing the way she typically likes to roll), then put a wedge on the other side of her. If you don't have a wedge, use a long folded blanket up against her. This will act as a barrier if she tries to roll. Swaddling her tightly will help her feel secure and she won't move around as much.
When the baby learns to roll over on her own, she'll chose to sleep on her back or roll over to her belly. Remember to remove all wedges, blankets, pillows, comforters and plush from the bed.
If you are still worried about the baby, remember if the baby rolls over during the night for the first time, she will fuss. It's not a comfortable or familiar place for her. I would give her more tummy time each day. She'll gradually build her muscles and learn how to support herself while she's on her stomach. Once you see her doing that, it'll ease your mind.
Kennedy slept on her belly from that day on.
My final thought on this is: If you are REALLY stressing and having anxiety about this situation, put the baby in a pack and play in your room so you can keep and eye and ear on her. When you feel better about her abilities to roll over, return her to her bed in her room. This is your child, that you are determined to keep safe and healthy. You have to do what you're comfortable with and what feels right to you. Trust your instincts. You are being a great, attentive mom.
Why should Mom be stuck cleaning up all the mess???
Everyday, my playroom is cleaned up by the teamwork of 3-4 toddlers, so one of the most popular questions I get is: How do I get my child to clean up their mess?
1. Give a warning that clean up time is approaching about 5-10 minutes ahead of time.
2. Stay in one room and give them a specific job. For example: Colton you clean up the blocks. Kennedy, you put the books back on the shelf. Mommy should have a job too. I believe it's important to teach team work. If your child wants to chose their job, that's great. Go with it. They're more likely to do it if they feel they have some power in making the decision on what they want to clean up.
3. Set a time limit 5-15 minutes at max. The longer you drag it on, the less likely the kids are to continue to help.
4. Make it a game or a race. Play music, have fun. Keep the mood light. You're kids will want to participate with you.
5. Lots of praise. Remember, these are young children. It's not going to be a perfect clean up like mom would do. Give them lots of "great jobs" and "at a boys" to boost their self confidence.
6. Rewards for doing the right things. Since she's a little older, Kennedy gets time on our computer to play games. Colton gets stickers, a piece of candy, or an extra book read to him, etc.
Remember, there are tons of other things you can integrate cleaning habits in your everyday life, such as having your little one put their plate in the sink after they finish eating and throwing their laundry into the hamper while they're getting dressed. Starting cleaning habits early will help reduce the mess in your house, as well as, teach your kid's responsibility.
If there's one thing I hate, it's the fact that I can't clean the mildew out of my kids' bath toys. YUCK! After throwing tons of money down the drain on bath toys, I came up with a simple and effective solution...use what you have on hand!
My kids have a blast using things like measuring cups, bowls, and empty shampoo or soap bottles. (Just make sure to rinse them out before using in the tub.) Travel size containers are perfect for little hands to grab, and they're pretty easy to replace once your little one wears them out. Most plastic toys (like Little People) can join in the bathtime fun as well.
This is a great way to keep bathtime fun and interesting without emptying your wallet!
Pictures of my sweet Kennedy in the tub - it's hard to believe she was ever so little!
All right, readers! I'm ready for the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Haven't we all had a day when we've felt like this:
Well, if you need some advice on a situation involving your child (or children), send me an email!
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include as much information as you can so I have a thorough understanding of your issue. Also, please let me know whether it's okay for me to use your name or whether you'd prefer to remain anonymous.
Remember, all of my advice comes from a place of L-O-V-E, not judgment. It's a safe bet that I've been in your situation before, so bring on the questions!
What mom isn’t tired of the kiddie music that you end up playing over, and over, and over again? The wheels on the bus go round and round. Old McDonald had a noisy farm. The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout - story at 11. I get it already!
Well, guess what? You don’t have to make it all about your little ones when it comes to music. One of our family’s favorite things to do is turn up the radio…and dance! Yesterday, I was busting a move with three two-year-olds and a five-year-old. They were all jumping around and laughing their cute little booties off. You might even pick up some new moves from them. It’s also a great way to sneak in some exercise and burn off a little energy. Don’t be shy – your kids will love to see you acting silly and having fun. They won’t care about the music. From Elvis to Bon Jovi, Diana Ross to Beyonce, as long as the language is appropriate, turn up the music and have your own family dance party.
But wait! Don’t toss that kiddie music in the trash just yet. Save it for their bedroom. Use it when everyone is cleaning up or winding down for bedtime. If the music is soft, let them listen as they drift off to sleep. You can still fit in their music, and this way, you won’t find yourself discussing the wheels on the bus unless you’re driving down the highway.
So why did I start a blog?Who in the world decided I should be the one to give parenting advice?
Well, let’s start at the beginning:
When Mike and I started dating in 2005, we had been coworkers and friends for a while.I knew he had 2 children – Kathryn, age 4, and Rachael, 9 months.After we had been dating for a few months, he decided it was time we attempted our first date as a foursome.We trekked to a large McDonald’s near our apartment and I thought to myself, “I’ve got this in the bag – I’m great with kids.”
And then panic set in.
As we chomped on our cheeseburgers, the realization hit that if I continued my relationship with Mike, I would be pushed into a parental role with these girls.I was 21 at the time, and what the hell did I know about being a mom?I was scared to death and overcome with a million questions and fears.
Time went on and I realized that I had fallen deeply in love with Mike... he was the one for me.I decided that I could learn how to me a mom as I went along, and made sure to focus on giving the girls love and acceptance.Looking back, I think that Kathryn and Rachael let me practice how to be a mother before I had children of my own.
Kennedy’s birth brought on a flood of emotions for me.There was a profound, unexplainable happiness in my heart that I had never before experienced.She taught me how to love unconditionally.She helped heal the parts of me that were closed off because of past pain.She was my sunshine and I knew I wanted to be the best parent I could for her.
When Kennedy was 7 months old, I opened my home childcare business.Like so many other women, I did it so I could be home with her while still contributing to our family’s income; allowing her to interact with other children was an added bonus.
I quickly realized that my business was not about babysitting other people’s children – it was about forming a bond with my charges and their parents, and building a team focused on providing the best childhood possible.I wanted to focus my time and help shape the children into good human beings.
Over the past 5 years, I have provided care to over 30 children from newborn to 5 years old.My interactions with them have taught me so much.The principles I truly believe about children are:
· Every child is different.One solution is not going to work for every child.
· Children learn what they live, meaning they can only give what they get.
· Every child has a good heart.
To come full circle, my reason for starting this blog is to answer any questions you have about your children and parenthood.I have had so many people reach out to me, and I would like to create a community where you can ask questions and get feedback from me as well as other parents.I am not an expert, but I do have a lot of everyday experience working with young children.
My goal is to develop this blog into an uplifting source of support for parents.We have the toughest job in the world.I am on this journey with you, and am still learning every day.