Parental Picks

Aid of Uncomfortability

Sleep training may seem impossible at times, especially at 4 am when your waking up to a screaming teether. Sometimes they are looking for comfort from mom and dad. What if we weren't as comfortable as the bed they were just sleeping in. Instead of trying to rock him back to sleep I held my little guy sitting almost straight up until he started squirming for a more comfotable laying position. At this point I let him settle into a laying position but kept him slightly raised. Once he started to fuss from there, I gently laid him in his crib, stroked his back a couple times and with a quick whine, which usually erupts into standing screamer, he settled into stinkbug and went to bed.
I've now done this a handful of times and the majority of times it has worked with the same results. I save this one for the middle of the night as to maintain our childs faith in my comforting skills.

Keep It Moving

As your baby grows you may find it harder to keep them entertained. Designate seperate baby safe areas that you can move to. As baby gets tired of one area, switch them to the next. Try switching the toys between the play zones to keep it fresh. Hopefully you can keep them entertained a little longer with this.

Stack the Deck

If there is one thing common with most babies it's their unpredictability. When they are first learning to sit upright on their own, they may get the sudden urge to go head first right into the ground. To make the impact more forgiving, try layering a few blankets on the carpet and avoid playing on wood or stone floors during this time.  No matter how close you watch them they seem to find ways to constantly surprise us so be preapred. We even made a half circle perimeter with another bunched up blanket.

Oat Soak

With dry weather we've found it beneficial to baby's skin to throw a handfull of oats into his bath. No, not directly but in a small section of womens nylons cut into 4" pieces and tied off the ends. Squeeze and release the bag a few times before placing baby in. It's helped tremendously during the cold winter chapping.

Lighten the Load

Like it or not laundry is never in short supply when raising children. When drying bigger loads, try removing the lighter materials from the load about halfway through as they dry faster. We pull everything that we don't want wrinkled first (work clothes) and then continue drying the load. Sometimes you have very short windows to do chores and this will help eliminate the need to rerun the dryer to dewrinkle your cothes if you get sidetracked.

Nature's other little miracle

Now that baby is starting to show signs of teething these have become a lifesaver in the wee hours of the night when he suddenly wakes up screaming in pain. They kick in almost instantly and are all natural.

*Consult your physician before using any new product for your baby.

Saving Face

Sometimes your sleepy baby will insist on scratching their face. Mittens can be a choking hazard and/or limit their development according to our doctor. Try placing your thumb in one sleeve and your middle finger in the other and hold them together around their belly to limit their range of motion. It may frustrate them at first but it is worth a shot. The material should still allow your baby to move their arms just not bring them to their face.

Cleaning vs Sleeping

In the seemingly endless cycle of feeding, changing, cleaning and entertaining your baby you may find very little time for yourself or your household. Try to watch for routines in your baby's schedule like after feed napping to find some "me" time. As much as you may think that chore may need to be done, sometimes a cat nap may be the healthier choice for you and baby. We tend to get sloppy when we're tired so try to stay as fresh as possible. As they get older you clean and carry at the same time with carriers but be sure not to cook or use cleaning chemicals when carrying your child.

Silence is golden

Sometimes the hardest thing to do with a new baby is to get them to sleep so when you finally do get them into bed the key is to keep them there undisturbed. How many times have you put them down, backed away and slowly closed the door only to have the hinge squeak or door make enough of a noise to wake your baby. Be sure to oil the door hinges and try cutting some felt pads in half and putting them in door jams and on cabinet doors to soften the sounds that might ordinarily startle your little ones.

Better Together

Nobody ever said raising a baby would be easy because it's not. Whether it's growth spurts, teething, gas or any of the other million reasons a baby cries, it always helps to have some help from your partner, friends or family members. Nothing is more wearing then the constant crying of your helpless little one so it's good to be able to hand them off to somebody fresh. Many times walking your baby around is the most soothing thing for them but when you've been doing it all day it's more challenging. Hopefully somebody is available to help you through this challenging yet rewarding time. Stay strong.