January 2012

The Plague of the Picky Toddler

How to Get Them to Eat

Toddlers are all different.  Some will eat anything you put in front of them, while others refuse to go near anything new.  My 3 year old is the pickiest eater I have ever met.  She only likes a handful of fruits and will not eat vegetables at all (except at school they tell me she eats carrots).  She is also not a big meat eater, which is tough because she needs her protein. Everyday is a struggle, but I make sure she gets her nutrients through Pediasure and vitamins.  I know I am not alone with this problem.  I am told this is fairly common with toddlers and young children. After all, I was a very picky eater as a kid and I still am, to an extent.  At her 3 year well check-up, I discussed her lack of wanting to eat anything healthy or new with her pediatrician.  Below, I have listed her suggestions, as well as one of my own that you may find helpful if you are dealing with a similar situation.

To Cry It Out or Not?

When Getting Your Baby to Sleep is a Problem

To Cry It Out (CIO) or not? That is the question.  I know many of us moms have had issues getting our babies to sleep at one point or another, but is there a time when you should and should not not use this method?  This is a topic that certainly gets blood boiling and moms up in arms about parenting methods, as it is quite a touchy topic. I would like to share my own personal perspective without attacking one side or another.

Many experts warn that letting your baby cry will damage their trust with you, as a parent.  This is because your baby needs to trust that you will be there to take care of them when they are in need.  After all, up until a certain age, crying is the only way in which they know how to communicate.  Experts also warn that letting a baby cry too much can damage neurons in their brains, as well as affect their personality later in life, making them much less self assured children and adults. 

I myself believe that some people who warn against CIO "dangers" do not know what it is.  This method is certainly not one where you let your child cry for hours on end.  It is simply a way of letting your baby cry for fixed periods of time and then soothing them for short periods of time in between.  For example,  you can let your baby cry for 2 minutes, then soothe them, and then bump that time to 4 minutes and then soothe them.  You would continue to increase the time that you let your child cry until they finally fall asleep on their own.  My personal threshold is 5 minutes.  This seems to work for me.  Once I get to 5 minutes, my son seems to be tired enough to go to sleep on his own.  I believe the recommended time to work up to is 15 minutes.  Doctors advise you to never let your baby cry for more than 30 minutes at a time.

I personally think that CIO is appropriate when your baby is being clingy for no reason or simply wants to be held.  I have this issue with my son.  He will sleep fine until I put him down and then he cries and cries.  He screams in a manner that would make you think that he was being hurt, when in fact, he just wants mommy to be there holding him.  This is a time when I think CIO is appropriate.  The clingy habits need to be broken.  I think babies should be able to self-soothe to a point; however, they should not have to do so completely. After all, why should a baby have to "toughen up"?

Pamper Yourself Once in a While....You Deserve It!

A Mom's Guide to Relaxation

Let's face it, being a mom is a stressful job.  After all, everyone depends on YOU.  I take pride in doing things for myself so that I can be rewarded for my hard work. If I do not pamper myself once in a while, I think I would go insane.  Below are a variety of different ways in which you can spoil yourself too.  No excuses, you deserve it!

When Your Kids Won't Stop Crying: Making an Awkward Situation More Awkward

A Comedic Take on What To Do When Strangers Won't Stop Staring

If you are a mom or dad, you have been there.  Your kid or kids are having a fit in the middle of the store and people are staring at you like you are an unfit parent.  I have been there many times, primarily in the grocery store.  I am lucky if I can get out of a store without at least one of my kids having a meltdown and some old lady giving me the evil eye.  My son, who is now 9 months, used to scream and cry everywhere we went for the first 5 months of his life.  It was a nightmare to go anywhere.  Little did people know, he has reflux (I did not even know back then).  My daughter, who is almost 3, has fits of her own.  If any of you have toddlers, you are very familiar with their temper tantrums.  They are worse than a baby crying, because you know people are thinking, "Control your kid for God's sake".  Little do they know!  Below, I have compiled a list of funny, yet semi-mean responses when people are staring at you coldly which are sure to make them feel awkward.   Enjoy!