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Flat Head

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 09:52am
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Placing babies on their backs to sleep can decrease the risk of SIDS. However, some babies who sleep on their backs develop flat spots on the backs of their heads. 

This does not affect brain development, but the flat spot can develop over several weeks and become permanent over time. This is often called Flat Head. 

By alternating the way you position your baby in the crib or infant seat, you can help to prevent flat head. For example, one day place your baby with his head pointing toward the headboard of the crib; the next day, place him with his head pointing toward the footboard of the crib. Babies can turn their heads and will do this, especially if they have something interesting to look at, like a brightly-coloured toy or mobile. Make sure you place it close enough for your baby to see—about 10 to 15 inches away.

The other way to help prevent flat head is to be sure to give your baby some tummy time several times every day while your baby is awake.  Tummy time not only takes the pressure off the back of your baby’s head it also helps the muscles in your baby’s neck, to develop further.  You can do this in a variety of ways

  • Lay on your back and place your awake baby on your chest;
  • Place a blanket on the floor and place your baby on their tummy - you can even lay beside them and talk or sing to them;
  • If you have an exercise or birth ball you can rest your baby tummy-side down on the ball, hold the baby in this position and gently move the ball.

Some babies may not like being on their tummy, listen to your baby’s cues and try again at another time.  Begin with short periods of time at first and gradually increase the amount of time they are on their tummy.

Have you dealt with the issue of flat head? Didyou make sure your baby had enough "tummy time"? Let us know in the comments section below.
 

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Cry it Out - What We Believe

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 01:56pm
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There are valid reasons for parents to use either the Attachment Parenting approach or the Cry It Out approach. Let’s continue to look at what we believe:

The success of either approach depends on:

  • Is the approach done well? (For example, do it gradually for the Cry It Out method; avoid smothering your baby with attention with the Attachment Parenting approach.)
  • Are there other factors in your baby’s life? (For example: Did Mom go back to work? Is your baby teething? Is your baby ill? Is she having a growth spurt? This happens at around 6 months for some babies.)
  • Are you emotionally prepared for it? (For example, the amount of crying in Cry It Out; the amount of dependency in Attachment Parenting.)

Can you tolerate waking up in the night?
Not every parent can tolerate waking up in the middle of the night. When you respond to your baby out of frustration, anger or stress, your baby can pick up on your emotions.  If this is the case, the Cry It Out method may be more helpful. If any of the following apply to you, consider using the Cry It Out method: 

  • Do you become sleep-deprived easily when your baby interrupts your sleep at night? Sleep deprivation may leave you unable to parent well during the day.
  • Can you control your emotions in the middle of the night? Some parents always feel anger when their baby wakes them up. They just can’t stop these feelings.
  • Do you need to conserve your energy and alertness for your daytime job? For some parents, their co-workers, patients, customers, students or clients count on their alertness, creativity and courteousness—even though these parents have a baby at home.

When it doesn’t work.
The Cry It Out method doesn’t always work! For some families it works just the way it’s supposed to. After a few nights and a few tears, their child sleeps contentedly through the night. However, for other families, the tears continue and the promised sleep does not come. When this happens, parents need to try something else.

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The Role of Routines – Establishing Routines

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 07:35pm
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Both new and seasoned parents strive to help create some order out of the possible chaos of the few first months and routines are a great way to achieve that.

Here are some some common routines you might establish with your little one.

Bedtime Routines

Did you know that a nightly routine can help your baby learn to go to sleep and to sleep better? Now, what parent would turn that down? So how do you do it?

Watch your baby for signs of sleepiness; closing his eyes, squinting, rubbing his eyes or face, yawning, etc. Those signs present an opportunity to start a bedtime routine. If your baby likes water and relaxes in it, this would be a good time for a quiet bath, if instead a bath wakes him up or dries out his skin, perhaps soft music will help him relax. Once he’s dressed for bed, cuddle up together and read a few books. Help him to learn the difference between day and night by making his surroundings quiet, dark and cool when putting him to bed.

The same goes for naps. Creating a predictable routine to ease into a nap will help him learn to do this for himself. On another note, some babies have a very difficult time waking up, especially from naps. They rise totally disoriented and many cry very hard. A wake-up routine that provides them with the comfort they require is very important for these babies.

To learn even more about bedtime routines check out our articles on Sleeping Through the Night and

 

Eating Routines

Until your baby is 12 weeks or 3 months old, she should be eating on demand and she may still be feeding during the night. After that, you may notice that your baby feeds about five times a day at fairly predictable times. This pattern is actually the beginning of her future eating routine.

By the time she’s 6-months-old, her eating patterns will be more noticeable and predictable. This is also the time that you’ll start to feed her solids, iron rich foods, such as iron-fortified rice cereal and meats. Some experts feel this helps to establish mealtime routines. You can start your baby’s mealtime routine at this time, perhaps feeding her on your lap at the dinner table or using a high chair pulled up to the table, and using a baby spoon or plate.

Watch our Infant Mealtime Video for Comfort, Play & Teach® mealtime strategies and tips!

 

Play Routines

Talk to your baby from the beginning of his life, even though he can’t hold up his end of the conversation. Sometime during these first 6 months, he’ll start making the beginning sounds of talking, maybe even responding to your chatter. Now that’s exciting! Talking to your baby about what you see, what you’re doing, about everything, helps him to learn language and communicate.

Playing is the work of babies. It’s how they learn about themselves, others and the world around them. By the time your baby is 3 months old, set aside regular play time every day.

While playing with your baby, teach him about his world—the textures of items, the different sounds you can make with your voice, the different shapes and colours of objects. Everyday activities, such as diaper changing, bathing or helping your baby to wake up, all provide opportunities for the Comfort, Play & Teach® approach.

 

What role did routines play in your first few months with your baby? What routines have you established and how have they helped? Share your story with other parents just like you by leaving a comment below!

 

 

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Verbal Child Abuse

by Maxine
Posted August 27 2010 01:58pm
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Verbal abuse is repeatedly insulting a child; or calling a child names. When telling a child he is stupid, fat, lazy, useless or whatever, it can be just as harmful as hitting a child, because it makes her feel as if she is no good.

Children in these situations come to believe they're worthless or stupid, and feel it's hopeless to try to be anything different. A child needs to feel loved, wanted and safe in order to feel worthwhile.

Any type of abuse can lead to a whole range of behavioural, emotional and physical problems.

If you or your partner is using verbal abuse with each other or with your child your child will not be able to thrive and you should speak to your doctor or a counselor in your area.

In Canada, anyone who believes a child is being abused is required to report it to the police or child protection authorities.

 

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