Archive for September, 2008

Parenting Tips to Cope with Your Newly Crawling Baby

Your baby has started crawling!  As if shot out of a cannon, she now takes off for anywhere she can, whenever she can.  You’ve hurriedly secured your house; you’ve put up cabinet locks, gates, and electric outlet covers.  You’re assured she can’t hurt herself in the obvious places.  Yet there are still times when your baby will take off for places you’d rather she not.

That area of bare floor where, if she pulled herself up and fell, she could hurt herself?  The section of the hallway that you haven’t vacuumed yet?   The eggs on your kitchen floor that your other child just spilled?  These are the places she’s headed first.  She wants to get into everything she hasn’t explored yet, no matter how dangerous.  No exceptions.

Your desperate “get-back-here-right-now”s are a hilarious game to her, not a command.  She doesn’t understand yet that there are some places she should not go.  Your “Stop!” makes her halt once, look back at you, grin, and then redouble her zoom-here-zoom-there-zoom-everywhere behavior.

She’s not trying to make trouble, but it sure feels like it when you have to chase after her and snatch her up all the time.  Sometimes your hands are full, like when you’re rolling out piecrust or holding another child.  Maybe you’ve got a sore back and can’t pick her up easily.

You can’t keep her locked in her play yard all day, but boy, are you tempted!  Luckily, there’s another solution to getting her back that perhaps you haven’t tried yet.

Lure her back!  Yes, that baby in a crawling frenzy will sometimes go where you want her to of her own free will.  The trick is to get her to want to, too.

Try these tips on your adventurous baby:

Lure her back with a ball. 
Keep a ball that’s soft and light enough for her to bat around on the hallway floor.  When your baby zips off down the hallway, call her name and tap it with your foot so it goes toward her.  She’ll stop, look around, and turn around to play with the ball.  With enough practice manipulating the ball, she’ll quickly get the hang of the baby version of “catch.” This is a very effective way to move your unsuspecting baby along in the direction you choose—rather than her own.

Lure her back with a song, dance, or other performance. 
This lure to get a baby into her bedroom (or any other room) requires some finesse.  When you start yodeling, often the baby will stop, stare at you, grin with delight—and turn around and dash off again.  The secret to getting your baby to come is to back up slowly until you’re no longer visible—ideally ending up in her bedroom—while continuing to perform for her listening pleasure.  If she likes the show enough, she may just follow you into the room for an encore.

Lure her back with a “What’s this?”
“What’s this?” will get any baby’s attention right quick.  Say, “What’s this,” and she’ll make a dash your way to investigate.  Here’s how it works:  Make a quick grab for the nearest interesting, safe and new object.  Remember, new is the key.  The familiar toy won’t earn more than a contemptuous glance.   So “What’s this?  Your favorite fluffy bunny?” will have her looking at you like you’re insane.  “Me?  Return for that?  But I haven’t explored the dusty vacuum cleaner yet.  See you later!”

“What’s this?  Your father’s favorite baseball cap?” will do, or “What’s this? Oh, boy, is it an oven mitt?  Is that what it is?” or even “What’s this?  What’s this, baby?  Is it the half-torn return reply envelope for the telephone bill that I just paid online?  Wow!  You’ve got to see this!  That’s right.  Come to Mama.”"

The benefit of these “lure the baby” games is more than just saving you the trouble of hauling your baby everywhere.  It teaches your baby how to manipulate new toys and objects and that doing what you want gets her rewarded.  And it saves your aching back, so instead of chasing her around twenty times an hour, you only have to do it ten times an hour.

Even ten times an hour can put a strain on your back.  But don’t worry; the crawling stage will soon be over.  Before you know it, your baby will be standing on her own.  And walking.  Everywhere.  But that is another parenting adventure.

See Child n’Parent Parenting Tips for Soothing Your Baby to Sleep and Car Seat Safety.

By Karen Proctor

Add comment September 17th, 2008

Vitamin D for Babies

Rickets are back. Not in a big way, but enough to raise questions among doctors. Rickets are caused by vitamin D deficiency and were once considered the bane of children.  By the 1930s, however, the sickness was considered a thing of the past, with few children experiencing its symptoms.

Unfortunately, the disease made an unexpected comeback in the 1970s and ever since then, it has been a cause for concern among pediatricians and parents. The possible reasons why the disease has resurfaced are many. People are not getting as much sun as they used to, the modern diet is unhealthy. Not only that, but breast feeding has become more common, so more babies are getting their food from mothers with poor nutrition.

Vitamin D is important for maintaining the shape and strength of growing bones. Without it, a growing child may develop severe skeletal deformities. It also helps keep the calcium levels where they should be.  The human skin absorbs vitamin D from the ultraviolet rays of the sun . The nutrient is also found in some foods, like cow’s milk. Human milk is deficient in iron, vitamin K and vitamin D.

Doctors recommend 200-400 IU/day of vitamin D for infants but, the levels of concentration in the milk of African-American women is usually only 35 IU/L and 68 IU/L in white women.  Darker skin pigment makes it harder to absorb vitamin D from the sun, so deficiencies are more common in African-Americans.

When the mother takes supplements in order to enrich her milk, the vitamin levels do not rise enough to make up for the deficiency. Doctors recommend supplements for the infant, not the mother, as the best way to prevent  malnutrition.

Many parents remain unaware that their baby might need supplements with their breast milk. The common belief that breast milk is ‘the perfect food’ for babies, does not help to enlighten the public. Nor are pediatricians eager to point out the few drawbacks to breast feeding, thinking it will scare others into using the bottle instead of the breast.

Controversy about the amount of vitamin D a baby should get and where they should get it from is rife within the medical community. Some doctors advocate supplements, some don’t so there is no consensus about the most likely treatment. Concerned parents should talk to their babies’ doctor. The next best thing a nursing mother can do for her baby is to ask questions. The best thing is to eat well and get a little sunlight.

For happy, healthy babies use our parenting tips at Child N Parent.

By:  Stephanie Moore

Add comment September 5th, 2008


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