I’ve been diligently putting Elliot down for tummy time every day since coming back from the hospital and he has diligently been crying at me every single time. Today, he decided that he was going to roll from back to tummy by his merry self and is happy as a clam 🙄.
My eldest, Charles, is going to be 4 years old in about a week. My daughter, Amélie, just turned 2 about a couple of months ago. My littlest one, Elliot, is going to be 5 months old in a few days. My days can get pretty darned hectic (or downright crazy), luckily, I’ve found ways to maintain my sanity.
- Elliot sucks at tummy time and I don’t care. He’s going to be 5 months old in under a week and he still struggles to lift that big ol’ head of his off the ground. Sure I try to get him to exercise his muscles at least once a day (most days I manage), but it’s usually propped up over his nursing pillow, or doing the airplane or some of the other methods I use. But “pure” tummy-on-blanket-straight-on-the-floor tummy time is not one of his strengths.
- I don’t care what my toddlers look like when they get out of the house – as long as they are dressed in weather-appropriate clothing. I want you to picture something in your heads. Imagine an almost 4-year-old toddler with dark grey sweatpants (that are the wrong side around), a blue plaid button-up shirt, a yellow patterned bow tie and missmatching socks. Now I want you to imagine this almost 4 year old putting on a red fleece coat with a blue poncho (with tassels) over top and completing the look with fingerless gloves, fireman rain boots and a bright orange earflap beanie. That was Charles recently. Unfortunately, he didn’t let me take a picture of him.
- I don’t bathe my kids every day. In fact, sometimes I skip a day or two or three and then bring them in the shower with me the next morning to give them a quick wash before bringing them to daycare. And speaking of showers…
- I don’t shower every day. I used to shower every day. I used to love showers. Then, I had kids. Nowadays showers usually include one to three kiddos in the washroom with me. These days, a shower is a luxury. A shower where I can be completely alone is almost a Haley’s comet sighting type event.
- You never know what you’re going to walk into when you come through the door of my house. Sometimes, it looks like it’s run by someone who has her sh*t together, sometimes it looks like freaking Tornado Alley. I may not have a Pinterest Perfect house, but I’m okay with that, because what I have works for me.
- I sometimes bring Elliot in bed with me. Recently the little one went through a wonder week, a growth spurt and teething (yup, he cut his first pearly white a couple of weeks ago) and I had a supply drop due to the onset of my period. These were not happy days (and horrible nights). To save my sanity, I brought the kid in bed with me to nurse a couple of times so that I could get a bit of shut-eye.
So, there you have it. These are six of the things that I have let go of to keep my sanity. What kinds of concessions have you made since becoming a parent?
My partner brought both kids with him this morning for grocery shopping. This means that I got almost an hour and a half alone in the house to get some cleaning/washing done. I was amazed at all that I was able to accomplish and realized that there was a very simple way to represent how children affect the amount of time it take to clean a house.
I remember when I first read about EASY about the time when my son was 6 weeks old, I fell in love with the idea. I am a creature of habit and do well in a routine so it just seemed natural to get my son into a routine.
I got that under the age of 4 months, we were aiming to feed about every 3 hours and that the awake time that the baby could handle (awake time = from the time they wake up to the time they are back asleep) became greater as the baby got older (for instance, a two week old baby can maybe handle 45 minutes of awake time whereas a 3 month old can stay awake for twice that amount of time).
The one thing I was rather uninspired about is what kind of activities I could do with my newborn. I mean, they’re tiny and can’t do much.
It turns out, “A” time doesn’t have to be complicated. (Side note: “A” time only happens during the day).
After burping and changing my baby’s diaper, here are a few of the activities that you can do with a newborn baby:
- Get her down for some tummy time (try different techniques if your baby hates it – heck, try them even if your baby doesn’t hate it 😉 )
- Stick out your tongue and make different sounds with your mouth (a “pop” with your lips, clicking your tongue…)
- Put baby in his gym (like this cool piano gym)
- Let baby look at herself in the mirror
- Give him a bath (I do this during the lase “A” time before bed)
- Sing songs with movements like “the itsy bitsy spider” and “this little piggy”
- Show her some simple black and white patterns like these
- Put him under a mobile
- Give her a massage
- “Bicycle” his legs
- Use sensory toys on her like this vibrating dragon, these spiky balls or this musical turtle.
- Attach a wrist rattle to his wrist
- Hang a toy over her within reach and encourage her to reach and grab hold of some of the dangling toys (I use this cute elephant)
- Just talk to him
- Let her chill out on his/her back on a blanket on the floor or in a high chair/swing… as you take care of things in the house
What are some of the things you do with your 0-3 month old?
I hated tummy time with Charles. Probably not as much as him (he would always spend the whole time giving me a look of total loathing and screaming at me), but I still hated it. Amélie is much more easygoing. Perhaps she just likes being on her tummy, or perhaps the fact that she actually likes tummy time has to do with the fact that she started much earlier than Charles (I started doing tummy time with her as soon as her umbilical stump fell off – so at about 6 days whereas I started Charles off when he was a month old).
I did use different ways to get my son (and still use them with my daughter) to do tummy time though.
Here is what tummy time looks like around our house.
How did tummy time go with your littles?
I know that you have spent the better part of your existence inside the womb and that the outside can be confusing, so allow me to give you a few pointers on how things work out here.
- When I swaddle you, it’s not for you to attempt Houdini-like escapes only to get pissed off when you’re unsuccessful (which, admittedly, doesn’t happen very often). In fact, it’s to help contain your Moro reflex so that you (and I) can sleep.
- Speaking of sleep, being rocked isn’t supposed to be an overstimulating activity that keeps you awake and a brightly lit living room with a toddler screaming (from joy or anger) and running around isn’t supposed to be conductive to sleep (though I’m certainly not going to complain that you manage to fall asleep in that environment).
- Nursing time isn’t supposed to be guzzle-down-my-milk-ASAP-and-then-proceed-to-spit-up-and-have-the-hiccups-for-15-minutes.
- When I put you up against my shoulder, it isn’t an invitation to work out you neck muscles. It’s to burp you so that we might skip the spitting up part of your nursing routine.
- Alternatively, the whole point of putting you on your tummy after diaper changes is
- By the way, you are allowed to poop in a wet diaper. Seriously, you really don’t have to wait until the moment where I have just finished swaddling you after changing your diaper to poop.
- I don’t mind that you prefer to sleep on your side or tummy and am happy to indulge your preferences during your daytime naps because I can keep an eye on you, but during the night, I would really, really like it if you could stay on your back.
There, I hope that clears up a few things for you.
Love you to bits,
I’m really happy to present yet another guest post. This time, it is from Sarah from babyflathead.org. Sarah is a 40-something mom to a 21 month old boy who had flat head syndrome. She ended up using a helmet to treat his condition when it was continuing to worsen at 8 months, but her blog advocates trying natural methods such as repositioning and tummy time as a first option. Unfortunately not all babies respond to repositioning. She has a full time day job in technology marketing, and this blog is a side project and a real passion of hers since there isn’t enough good information available for parents about this problem.
Normal is a relative term. As our children grow, we notice every little detail about them, and marvel at the little person who came from our hearts and wombs into the world. Sometimes, the little differences we notice are medically important, however. One thing we may notice that distinguishes our child from other children is head shape. There are many ‘normal’ head shapes, but symmetry is a defining feature of them all.
How do you know if your baby’s head shape is normal?
A normal baby’s head shape can vary widely across a range of measurements. In fact, there are even special instruments that are designed to help a physician measure your little one’s head shape. They assess factors like the cranial vault symmetry and index. One of the most popular devices in use is a craniometer.
If your child’s pediatrician is concerned about your baby’s head shape, he or she will tell you. The standard head shape evaluation is a part of the 2 or 3 month well-baby visit for most infants. You may not even notice when your doctor conducts the exam, unless a variation from the range of normal head shapes is detected.
Normal head shape is generally symmetrical, although often not perfectly so. Premature infants are often closely monitored for altered head shape, but other babies are also at risk. Males, first borns, multiples (twins,triplets, etc), and babies with limited room to move around in the uterus are especially prone to abnormal head shape.
Why does head shape matter?
Many babies who are diagnosed with plagiocephaly or brachycpehaly – cranial deformities – are often also diagnosed with reflux or torticollis. A normal head shape indicates healthy growth of both the skull and brain. Deviation from normal head shape can signal the presence of other, more serious, problems – such as craniosynostosis.
Craniosynostosis occurs when the bones of the skull fuse before they are supposed to, resulting in a deformed head shape. Most cranial deformities are related to position, and occasionally to torticollis, however. These tend to resolve with treatment, and in mild cases may disappear on their own.
What is Flat Head Syndrome?
Some babies develop a flat spot on the rear or side of their skull, and are diagnosed with Flat Head Syndrome, which includes plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and sometimes two other conditions – scaphocephaly and torticollis. If your child is diagnosed with this syndrome, you might not be sure where to turn. There are numerous resources available, however. Treatment can be fairly simple, and isn’t invasive. It is important, however. Without treatment, this condition may lead to developmental delays, scoliosis, and possibly even visual and auditory problems.
For more information on Flat Head Syndrome, as well as resources for parents, check out my website:http://www.babyflathead.org. The site includes product reviews, tips, stories from other families, and general information that can help you and your child cope with this syndrome.
Thank you Sarah for sharing this post with us! I agree that there is very little information on the subject (no one not even doctors or nurses ever talked about it when I was pregnant or when I gave birth, I found out about this by accident by snooping around on the Web).