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Comments Off on 37 – Baby Massage and its Connection to Sleeping and Thinking

37 – Baby Massage and its Connection to Sleeping and Thinking

| Articles | April 30, 2008

The task of developing a regular and restful sleep pattern for a new baby is often an exercise in frustration and confusion for many parents. Research has shown that hospitalized infants grow more rapidly when correctly massaged. This is due in large part to the fact that massaged babies actually spent more time being quiet and calm, yet alert, and that when they did sleep, it was deep and very restful. This resulted in a more structured sleep pattern, as well as longer sleeping periods at night.

Doing a massage right after getting home from work will help a parent reconnect with baby after a hard day, and will help both baby and parent relax and unwind. Once you and the baby have developed a routine you will have a skill that will calm and quiet your upset child. There will be times when this is just what is needed; not food, not a fresh diaper, but soothing, relaxing touch that a parent can give their little one. Even when circumstances cause a change in their routine or environment, a daily massage can be the hub of your baby’s nighttime routine and the element that helps them prepare to fall into a deep, restful, restorative sleep. In addition, learning to relax in our busy world is a skill parents need to nurture for themselves as well as for their children. Studies indicate that the positive effects of practicing infant massage are just as profound on the parent’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being as they are for baby.

Infant massage has also been shown to positively benefit those infants with eating, gastrointestinal, bonding, attachment, weight gain, overall development challenges, which can also affect a baby’s overall sleeping patterns. Massage also helps infants learn about their body and stimulates brain function, and the interaction between parent and child during the massage can stimulate the child’s mental faculties as well, resulting in increased mental capacity.

Comments Off on 36 – The Benefits of Baby Massage

36 – The Benefits of Baby Massage

| Articles | April 29, 2008

Many cultures have used massage as part of baby care for centuries, and research shows it can have many benefits. Not only does massage enable you to learn about and respond to your baby’s body language. But it is also a wonderful way to make your baby feel safe and secure by showing that he or she is loved and cared for. There are no hard and fast rules for baby massage, other than to ensure you are doing it safely. Your baby and you will discover together what works best for you both. Please bear in mind that massage is something you do with your infant, not to your infant. It is strongly suggested you seek guidance and education on massage techniques from a qualified baby massage therapist, midwife, or other healthcare professional to ensure you are doing it safely. A ten minute massage, two or three times a week assists in strengthening the parent-infant relationship, babies love it and it can assist in alleviating baby ailments too.

In today’s society, parents have heavy workloads and both their jobs and at home which can directly affect quality time spent with children. Infant massage, an age old tradition, is simple, free, can be administered almost anywhere and has a host of emotional and physical benefits for both parents and baby. A child with a strong sense of attachment is more likely to grow up confident, assured and happy. The parent-infant attachment is rooted in the very early months of life, so by its very definition infant massage has a deep effect on the emotional well-being of the infant and can be used to attain a sense of security for the growing child. The emotional benefits of infant massage, such as quality, one-to-one loving touch, can also be experienced by fathers.

Comments Off on 35 – Attachment Parenting Tools

35 – Attachment Parenting Tools

| Articles | April 28, 2008

Attachment parenting (AP), a phrase coined by pediatrician William Sears, is a parenting philosophy based on the principles of the attachment theory in developmental psychology. According to attachment theory, a strong emotional bond with parents during childhood, also known as a secure attachment, is a precursor of secure, empathic relationships in adulthood.

Attachment parenting describes a parenting approach rooted in attachment theory. Attachment theory proposes that the infant has a tendency to seek closeness to another person and feel secure when that person is present. In attachment theory, children attach to their parents because they are social beings, not just because they need other people to satisfy drives and attachment is part of normal child development.

Dr. Sears’ attachment tools, also known as the seven B’s, is a style of caring for your infant that brings out the best in the baby and the best in the parents. The B’s include birth bonding, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, bedding close to baby, belief in the language value of your baby’s cry, beware of baby trainers and balance.

Dr. Sears reminds the parents of his patients that AP is a starter style, and that there could be medical, environmental, or family circumstances that could prevent parents from practicing each of the seven B’s, and that they are to be a tool to get parents off on the right start. It’s not to be considered a strict set of rules, but encourages responsive parents by recognizing their baby’s cues and level of needs.

He again emphasizes the phrase “tool” over “steps.” A tool can be individually chosen based on its usefulness, whereas a step implies that each must be used in a correct order to get the job done. He encourages parents to stick with what’s working and adjust those tools that aren’t. This process will help parents design their own parenting style unique to them that helps baby and parents plug into one another.

Comments Off on 34 – What to Expect Your First Year as a Parent

34 – What to Expect Your First Year as a Parent

| Articles | April 27, 2008

America’s bestselling guide to caring for a baby is now better than ever since authors Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg and Sandee Hathaway, B.S.N. have released their two-years-in-the-making, cover-to-cover, line-by-line revision and update of the 6.9-million-copy “What to Expect the First Year,” considered the parent’s bible for taking care of a newborn through their first year of life.

This daughter/mother/sister team has included the most recent developments in pediatric medicine. Every question and answer has been revisited, and in response to letters from readers, dozens of new questions and answers have been added. The book is more reader-friendly than ever, with updated cultural references, and the new material brings more in-depth coverage to issues such as newborn screening, home births and the resulting at-home newborn care, vitamins and vaccines, milk allergies, causes of colic, sleep problems, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), returning to work, dealing with siblings, weaning, sippy cups, the expanded role of the father, and much more. Chapters focus on month-by-month development, and there are additional chapters that focus on other broader subjects, such as health issues, special needs children, and postpartum recovery. The authors also ingeniously include comprehensive information on developmental milestones. Information empowers a new parent, the authors surmise, and though too much information or conflicting information can cause confusion and frustration, having a reference book such as theirs to consult whenever the need arises alleviates insecurity and worry.

The authors encourage parents to utilize their most valuable resource – their instincts – and learn to trust in them, and remind readers that there is no such thing as a “perfect parent” and that we will all continue to make mistakes through our journey as parents. The trick is to learn from them, thereby coming ever closer to the ideal of the perfect parent.

Comments Off on 33 – The Four Ancient Principles to a Happy Baby

33 – The Four Ancient Principles to a Happy Baby

| Articles | April 26, 2008

Dr. Harvey Karp is a nationally renowned pediatrician and child development specialist. He is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine. Over the past 20 years, he has taught thousands of parents his secrets for making children happy.

When he began to study medicine in the 1970’s, he was dismayed that a sophisticated, medical system didn’t have one good solution for babies with colic, a terribly disturbing but common malady. He read everything possible about colic, and was determined to discover whatever clues possible to clarify why so many children and their parents were overwhelmed by this mysterious condition.

He first learned there are fundamental differences between the brain of a 3-month-old baby and that of a newborn. During the first few months of life, babies make massive developmental leaps. These disparities, he theorized, account for the huge gap between how parents in our society expect new babies to look, and act, and their true behavior and nature.

His second pivotal discovery came when he learned the colicky screaming that troubled so many of his patients and their parents was nonexistent in the babies of several cultures across the globe. He decided to investigate further to find out exactly why that was the case. He realized that, in many ways, the peoples living in primitive cultures are ignorant and backward. Though, in some areas their wisdom is great and our culture is actually the “primitive.” By combining past trusted information with modern techniques and research as well as his own observations from his years of practice in the medical field, he theorized four ancient principles – the missing “fourth” trimester, the “calming” reflex, the five “S’s” and the cuddle cure – are crucial to fully comprehending babies and developing the ability to comfort them and help them develop healthy and restful sleeping patterns early in life.

Comments Off on 33. Why go “raw”?

33. Why go “raw”?

| Articles | April 25, 2008

So, now that you know what a raw food diet is all about, you need to decide, is it right for you? Well you do not need to incorporate raw food 100% of the time. You can just eat more fruits and vegetables and no processed foods. Try drinking fruit juices until lunch time and then eating a healthy veggie sandwich. For dinner, eat some blanched vegetables with a cooked meal with no meats. When you gradually detoxify your body, you will see dramatic results. First, you will go through the detoxify process, where you will feel tired, have headaches, skin eruptions, etc. Once you are over this tough time, you will feel light, not dragged down, energetic, vitality, and conscious, among other things. You will have more mental clarity and therefore be more productive. Your body will feel cleansed, you will be able to treat disease and prevent new ones from forming. You will see a dramatic weight loss, for instance five pounds a week. You will also notice that you do not seem weighed down with colds or sicknesses because your immune system is much stronger. You will be saving money because you can either grow your vegetables or buy them at a farmers market. Buying organic food will save the earth and provide agricultural support, which is much needed. You will also save time and money because you will not be in the kitchen cooking up a storm. You will not be eating animals, because these animals have been pumped with high hormones and that wouldn’t benefit you anyway, but instead toxify you. This in turn, puts an end to the torture in animal farming. You will not be plagued with depression, pms, or acne. In fact, your skin will be absolutely glowing, you will feel rejuvenated. This type of eating also slows the aging process. Your senses will be enhanced; you will be more flexible and fertile. You will be more creative, motivated, and also relaxed. You will focus more on relationships and be more environmentally attuned and inwardly attuned. What you will notice is an amazing spiritual awakening that you have never experienced before because you have changed your vibrations to a higher level capable of clearer thought patterns.

Comments Off on 32 – The No Cry Sleep Solution for Babies and their Parents

32 – The No Cry Sleep Solution for Babies and their Parents

| Articles | April 24, 2008

Parenting educator Elizabeth Pantley is president of Better Beginnings, Inc., a family resource and education company. Elizabeth frequently speaks to parents in schools, hospitals, and parent groups, and her presentations are received with enthusiasm and praise. Her newest book, The No Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep through the Night offers a variety of sleep-inducing tips parents can use to develop an individual sleep program for their baby. Pantley’s methods are a gentler and more welcome option for those sleep-deprived parents who just can’t bear to let their child cry it out on their own, and find that approach too unfeeling or uncaring for their baby.

Probably the most important step to the overall success of developing a working solution is documenting the child’s sleeping and waking patterns each night on a “sleep chart.” This can be a difficult task for a sleep-deprived parent in the middle of the night, but is a crucial step and must be completed diligently. Pantley herself states her “solution” is certainly no overnight cure, or a one-size-fits-all method, but a gradual progression for educating your child to fall and stay asleep without constant intervention and assistance from the parent.

The successful program requires dedication and consistency from the parent. It could take a month or longer for your child to make the full transition to sleeping through the night, but one that will save a parent many sleepless nights in the long run. After the month is over, everyone who’s participated in the process will benefit from a more restful night, and the baby will learn how to sleep independently without the need for continual, repetitive comforting.

Comments Off on 31 – Several Steps to a Sweet Slumber

31 – Several Steps to a Sweet Slumber

| Articles | April 23, 2008

Dr. William Sears, father of eight and a practicing pediatrician for over 30 years, has developed a comprehensive checklist for parents so they can get their baby on a solid sleep schedule that will enable them to sleep for longer periods of time, thereby allowing mom and dad more restful nights as well.

Initially, he advises parents to develop a realistic attitude about nighttime parenting, and to develop a long-term plan that will teach your baby a restful attitude about sleep. He reminds parents that no single approach will work with all babies, and that it’s very important to keep an open mind and remain flexible during this process. If your baby’s sleep plan just isn’t working, then drop it.

Also be flexible in the method which you use in order to lull your baby to sleep. Don’t rely on just rocking or just nursing in order to entice your infant to sleep, but get them used to several different routines that can be associated with sleep time. In addition, consistent bedtimes and rituals are key to a successful transition to sleep, and help your little one stay asleep longer. Any changes in their sleep time routine can be a stressful and confusing thing, thereby causing everyone to lose sleep as a result.

It’s also imperative to teach your baby that daytime is for playing and eating, and that nighttime is for sleeping. Sometimes older babies and toddlers are so busy playing during the day that they forget to eat enough, which can result in hunger pangs at night, so be sure to feed your baby sufficiently through the course of the day.

And don’t forget to create an environment that’s conducive to sleeping, eliminating as much noise and light from the room as possible. Some soft soothing music can help drown out outside noises and help baby sleep more soundly.

Comments Off on 30 Year Home Loans

30 Year Home Loans

| Articles | April 22, 2008

It used to be the first choice of most borrowers, because since the total payments are spread over a longer period of time with the interest rate set for the entire time of the mortgage. 30 year home loan rates are an industry standard but is it the right choice for you?

The 30 year home loan is an industry standard, but is it the right choice for you? Because the total payments are spread over a longer period of time and the interest rate set for the entire time of the mortgage. This was the first choice of most home owners.

As we mentioned, the plus side for a 30 year home loan is lower monthly payments. This attraction is somewhat dimmed by the fact that you pay thousands extra in interest. But, your interest is 100% tax deductible which does lower your after tax cost. It offers you some flexibility so that if your financial situation changes and you have more money you can pay it off in less than 30 years, this while keeping the low monthly payments. Your payments are smaller so in reality you can purchase a larger roomier home.

To show an example of the interest difference between 30 year home loan rates and one of the other rates. On a 30 year, 100,000 dollar loan using 7% interest rate your monthly payment of interest and principle would be $665.30 dollars. Over the next 30 years you will have paid $139,511.04 in interest alone. Now with a 15 year home loan rate on the same amount you will pay $871.11 per month and over the next 15 years, you would pay $56,799 in interest. This would save you $82,712 dollars.

If you have the will power to invest the savings from the monthly payments, it still could be a good choice to go with the 30 year mortgage. Especially if you can find an investment that the long term payoff matches or exceeds what you would save in a 15 year mortgage. Another factor to consider is how fast you want to accrue equity in your home or to own it out right. 30 year home loan rates take much longer to build equity.

30 year home loan rates are certainly attractive and the vast majority of home buyers get 30-year loans because that is the longest home loan available today. Experts agree if they could get a 35- or 40-year loan, they probably would. There are many other options to consider. Probably the biggest question you have to ask yourself when considering a loan is what are your financial goals? What loan plan will help you the most to reach that goal? It is clearly to your advantage to look into other loan options for the best loan available for you and your financial goals. It may surprise you that because of your personal situation there may be other plans more suitable for you.

Comments Off on 30 – Ferberizing your Fussy Baby to Sleep

30 – Ferberizing your Fussy Baby to Sleep

| Articles | April 21, 2008

Richard Ferber is director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital in Boston who believes in a “progressive” approach to helping your child fall – and stay – asleep.

Ferber has developed a forward-thinking plan of action to instill consistent and regular sleep patterns in your child. Briefly, he suggests that after a warm, loving pre-bedtime routine such as singing, rocking, or reading a book, you put your child to bed while she’s still awake. According to Ferber, putting your child to bed while still awake is crucial to successfully teaching her to go to sleep on her own.

Once you put her in bed, leave the room. If she cries, don’t check on her until after a specified amount of time has passed. Once you do return to her room, soothe her with your voice but don’t pick her up, rock her, or feed her. Gradually increase the length of time that passes between checks. After about one week, your infant will learn that crying earns nothing more than a brief check from you, and isn’t worth the effort. She’ll learn to fall asleep on her own, without your help.

Ferber says that there are a number of things that may interfere with your child’s sleep. Before you “Ferberize,” you should make sure that feeding habits, pain, stress, or medications are not causing or contributing to your baby’s sleep problems.

Ferber recommends using his method if your baby is 6 months or older. Like most sleep experts, he says that by the time most normal, full-term infants are 3 months old, they no longer need a nighttime feeding. And at 6 months, none do.

Ferber’s method can be modified if you feel it’s too rigid. Stretch out Ferber’s seven-day program over 14 days so that you increase the wait between checks every other night rather than every night.

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