Same Family, Different Rules

Posted 03-26-2015 at 04:40 PM by Matrivine

Haters

When you live in the same area as your huge family the idea that there is a family way of raising children can rear its ugly head. The idea that certain behaviors are okay as long as it’s among cousins or that you need to back down on discipline because other family members would do things differently become holiday dinner topics. Here are a few ways to tell your family to butt out of your child rearing without using those exact words.

Keep A Copy Of The Rules

Your family has rules. Perhaps not a lot of rules, but they are definitely set in place. So are the consequences. Both are publicly displayed on the wall or on a chart you carry in your purse. These are rules that both you and your spouse agree on in raising your children. That’s exactly what you tell Auntie or Grandma when your child acts up and they come rushing to correct your way of dealing with your child. It does not matter if they believe you need to be more flexible or if they think you need to be stricter. What matters is the consistency of consequence to action for your child.

With My Child…

Diaper Swapers

The Confident Toddler

Posted 03-6-2015 at 09:06 PM by Matrivine

mother and toddler

No one wants their child to grow up feeling insecure. We want them to feel like they own the world. Confident children are more likely to create and use opportunities available to them. So, how do we build confidence in toddlers?

Example

How do I feel about myself? Well, it seems that no matter how much I exercise or how healthy I eat I haven’t lost weight. I should wear makeup more often. I am not a fan of my skin and I hate my nose.

Imagine how surprised my two year old would be if I told him all that. To him I’m beautiful. I know because he tells me daily. Now imagine how he would feel if I told him everything wrong with me. Best case scenario he would feel mommy is sad and try to comfort me.

Worst case scenario is a much darker road to go down. The person he thinks is beautiful and perfect as she is has flaws. These flaws, she says, makes her not pretty. How many flaws does he have? What does he need to change about himself to be cute? Did he get mommy’s nose? Mommy is always saying she hopes he didn’t get her nose! What if he did?

The Bedtime Blues

Posted 03-5-2015 at 06:18 PM by Matrivine

Two Kids

Woe to the mother that tries to put young children to bed. This is particularly true of mothers putting multiple young children to bed. How do you keep them from ganging up on you? How do you keep them in bed? Here are a few tips.

Ritual

Each child should have their own bedtime ritual. This means they have their own special songs, special blanket, and special stuffed animal. Have a spoken checklist of before bed activities. This could include prayers, turning on the night light, and getting a drink of water. Let each child know they are loved and safe. After the ritual of bedtime give them a kiss goodnight and walk out of the room.

Two In A Room

When children are young they often share a room. This means double the trouble at bedtime. They seem to have a tendency to feed off of each other in bedtime defiance. The trick to turn this pair into dueling snorers it by separating them as best you can.

Helping Little Ones Meet Milestones

Posted 03-4-2015 at 06:06 PM by Matrivine

Reading to children as a family

Our children meeting developmental milestones is a big concern for many parents. We notice other people’s children progressing at a faster or slower rate and often judge how our children should be progressing based on that. We know that each child progresses differently. Some are advanced in motor skills. Others have excelled in language skills. We often see in other children the skills that we worry about our child doesn’t seem focused on.

Wellness Visits

The best way to know for us to know if our children are progress developmentally is to keep up with the wellness visits with our pediatrician. These visits help measure the mental growth our toddlers are experiencing. It’s nice to hear a pediatrician tell us that our worries are unfounded. Sometimes, however, worries aren’t unfounded and need to be addressed quickly with tools such as speech therapy or a hearing test.

During the visit our pediatrician usually gives us a sheet with all the upcoming milestone in our little one’s life. It give us the opportunity to work with our children with a goal in sight.

Toddler Snack Tray Ideas

Posted 02-18-2015 at 03:56 PM by Banana Cat

Toddler Snacks Featured

I mean, not to brag or anything, but my daughter used to eat everything.

And do I mean EVERYTHING. Pickles? Steak? Mango? Yes. She’d eat half a bag of steamed green beans for dinner. Her favorite food for the longest time was pickled ginger, something that even me with my Asian taste buds could only eat in tiny bites, but she scarfed it down by the spoonful. I was super proud of my amazing kid. Chicken nuggets and French fries never saw the inside of our kitchen.

And then one day—she didn’t eat everything. It was like the universe knew how smug I secretly felt about my Kid Who Ate Everything, and overnight turned her into the pickiest eater on earth. Mealtimes started becoming battles, and I didn’t want to be battling with my toddler over food.

Enter: The snack tray.

Preparing Kitty For A New Baby

Posted 02-13-2015 at 04:34 PM by Banana Cat

cat2

Everyone who has pets before having children may find themselves getting nervous as the day they need to introduce their pet to their new baby grows closer. The good news is that cats and babies can absolutely get along, even if your cat is suddenly angry to find out he or she is no longer the center of your world. There isn’t a way to sit down and tell your cat, “Look, soon, a tiny, screaming primate will move into your territory and it will be unlike anything either of us has ever experienced before,” but making a few preparations beforehand can hopefully smooth the transition for everyone.

Tutorial: How to Swaddle With an Actual Swaddle

Posted 01-28-2015 at 05:02 PM by Banana Cat

swaddle

Go down the swaddle aisle at any baby store, and there are countless styles and patterns to choose from—enough for stores to justify dedicating a whole aisle to swaddles.  You never know what your baby will tolerate before they are born, and some kids love certain swaddles and totally hate others. After trying nearly everything on the market between my two kids, I came to the conclusion that the good ol’ fashioned simple square-piece-of-fabric swaddle is the most versatile and easiest to care for. Learning to swaddle the old fashioned way can be a bit tricky at first, especially when you are sleep deprived at 3am, but with a little practice you will be a swaddling pro in no time.

Supplies

  • A Swaddle
  • A baby

Step One

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This swaddle is so big I couldn’t get it in the whole camera frame without becoming Spider-Woman and sticking myself to the ceiling. Just trust me that it’s diamond-shaped.

Healthy Snacks from Graze – Try Your First Box for Free!

Posted 12-15-2014 at 12:00 PM by Ellen

You do our best to provide your family with healthy food options. But with little ones and busy schedules, sometimes it’s easier to snack or “graze.” Fortunately, you can still eat healthy and it doesn’t have to be difficult either. You can have healthy snacks sent right to your home from Graze. Their products have no GMOs, no artificial flavors, and no artificial colors and the snacks are wholesome, real food. So if you need healthy snacks in your home but you’re short on time, this is an excellent solution. Best of all, you can try your first box from Graze for free! 

I Eventually Gave My Child Formula and Everything is Fine

Posted 12-8-2014 at 10:17 AM by Banana Cat

Bottle Fed Baby Featured

It’s no secret: I nursed both of my kids.

According to the Internet Moms of today, this is the Correct Way Of Doing Things. I don’t really care about the Correct Way Of Doing Things much (perhaps it’s the Catholic schoolgirl in me still being a bit rebellious), but I did find myself, over the past three years, having to defend my decision to nurse my kids. While I never got kicked off a plane or humiliated in public, I did have to deal with a family for whom breastfeeding was not “normal,” and the few disgusted looks occasionally thrown my way in public. Still, I nursed my eldest until she self-weaned at 19 months of age, and I intended to nurse my youngest until he weaned as well.

I was pretty certain he’d wean early. Already at 9 months he was an amazing eater of solid foods, cutting back on his milk feedings, and eating as much as his 2 year old sister at mealtimes (sometimes even more, if she were going through a spontaneous picky stage. Actually, he often finished her meals, too). What I wasn’t prepared for was for myself to be diagnosed with a condition for which medication was not nursing-safe when he was only 11 months old.

Bobbing with Baby: Tips for Taking Your Baby in the Pool

Posted 10-30-2014 at 08:19 AM by Ellen

baby in pool featured

Infants and toddlers love to swim, and today’s babies are introduced to the pool earlier and earlier. With all the kicking and splashing, it provides exercise that they wouldn’t be getting elsewhere. It also helps them develop a love for water and shows them when and how to be cautious around it.

Taking your baby for a swim can be a lot of fun, but there are a few things you need to know before you both get in the pool.

Age

The American Association of Pediatrics recommends that a baby should be taken into a pool no earlier than two months of age. A baby’s temp can change quickly, and a baby is not big enough to regulate her body temperature until she’s around a year old, therefore the pool needs to be on the warm side when you go in.