Now that the weather is cooling down and the heat may be cranking up, it is time to put the humidifier in your baby’s room. Not does it only help make the air moist and therefore breathing easier, it helps with congestion too. Make sure that it is on a stable, safe surface; wires are out of baby’s reach, and that you clean the unit routinely. My personal favorite is the Safety First Humidifier.
So there are a lot of articles and websites on how to sleep train your baby… what age to start… what to do.. how to do it… where to do… who should do it… and that all is GREAT… but here are some basic tips to help you get your goals no matter what you choose to do!
1. Start early – By this I mean use the first month or two to get all your cuddling and rocking baby to sleep out of your system.. because then I want you to think about what you want your 6 month old to need to put themselves to sleep… A lot of parents develop habits for their kids, only to then want to do away with them a few months later.. that is NOT fair to your baby!!! Keep in mind from early on what you want and don’t want your baby to need to fall asleep… and be fair to them too!
2. Be consistent – that means mommy, daddy, grandparents and caretakers. For those of you who have my book, I stress this a lot, but consistency is key. As long as everyone is following the same routine before bedtime, our little ones start associating what will come next and there are no surprises. At first its hard, but believe me, it pays to be consistent!
3. Be patient – if you start sleep training and it’s a disaster.. take a couple of weeks off.. then try again. Maybe your baby isn’t ready, maybe your baby is having a growth spurt and it’s bad timing. Maybe…. It will take a few days to get your baby to catch on… so if he or she is not ready… just dust yourself off, wait a couple of weeks, and try again!
4. Be flexible – if you try one method and you hate it or daddy hates it or baby hates it… take a week off and try a new method… try to blend methods… make up your own method… Just because one method does not work for you, even though it worked for all your best friends and your mom and your sister, does not mean it has to work for you. Every baby is different, so keep trying until you succeed.
Happy sleeping babies to you all!!!
Ah.. the intense smells that seep out of those diaper pails are strong enough to make you pass out… at least that’s how I used to feel. Then I found these little balls of genius. They are the Munchkin Arm and Hammer Nursery Fresheners! I put on of these at the bottom of every diaper pail in my house, including the small garbage can that we use next to the potty, and voi la, no more smells when I walk past the diaper pail. And the best part is they are made of baking soda, so they are safe to have around baby! I highly recommend using these little nose savers!
One of the things that I came to realize is that consistency is KEY in the first year. All the associations we make with objects, places, and surroundings – our little babies are absorbing them quicker than we think. So my advice is BE consistent and BE practical. Highchairs are for eating = so always put baby in a high chair to eat. Bouncers can be used for bottle time = so always use them when giving your baby a bottle. Same goes for when you are creating sleep environments (at night, lights dim/off, quiet, whitenoise and in the same bassinet/crib for sleep). If you stick to consistency with these tasks, baby will come to anticipate them just the same, making your life and theirs much easier! It’s all about setting expectations, so just like you do with routine for sleep, change, eat, play, repeat = carry it to the next level for expected activity!
When my girls insisted on feeding themselves, I used to get very anxious at the thought of finding food in their diaper, hair, armpits, etc. So I went on a hunt to find something that would not only cover them up, but that would be easy to wash and fold and put away. These Ikea Long Sleeve Bibs were the answer to my prayers. They are soft; so even if baby has no clothes on, you can still use these without them being itchy or rough on the skin. They have long sleeves, WOOHOO! And they have the little catch pocket at the bottom for all those expected and unexpected spills. I love these bibs and still use them with my 21 month old when she wants to feed herself, especially in the morning before daycare – you know how tight those mornings are! The best part, I toss them in the wash whenever I do their load and they come out looking as new as day one! Give them a try when your little one insists on feeding themselves!