Shifting Schedules – When to Change from Two Naps to One Nap
By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of The No-Cry Nap Solution
During the early years of life, nap schedules are in a continuous state of change. After a newborn period of all-day napping, babies eventually settle into a regular two-nap-a-day routine. Most children switch from these two daily naps to one nap sometime between the ages of 12 and 24 months. However, that year of difference is a very long span of time. This shows that age alone is not the only factor to consider when changing your baby’s nap routine.
Changing your baby from two daily naps to one nap isn’t about what your child thinks he wants, nor is it about the schedule you’d like to have. It’s about the biological need for two naps versus one. Naps at different times of the day serve different purposes in mind and body development at different ages. For example, morning naps have more dreaming, or REM sleep, which makes them important for young babies who require it for early brain development. You don’t want to rush the process if your child is still benefiting from this important sleep time.
There is another consideration when deciding to make a schedule change: The length of time that your child is awake from one sleep period to the next has an effect on his mood and behavior. No matter how well your baby sleeps at night naps are still very important. The older your child is, the longer he can go between sleep breaks without getting cranky. The biology behind this reason dictates that young babies need to divide their day up with two naps, but older babies can handle a full day with only one nap.
Since there is a wide range of what’s normal it’s important to study each child’s behavior to see when he is ready to transition to one nap a day. Use the following lists as a guide.
Signs That your Child Needs TWO NAPS Daily.
• Your child is under 12 months old
• When you put your child down for a nap he plays, resists, or fusses for a while but always ends up sleeping for an hour or more
• When you take your child for car rides during the day he usually falls asleep
• If your child misses a nap he is fussy or acts tired until the next nap or bedtime
• Your child is dealing with a change in his life (such as a new sibling, sickness, or starting daycare) that disrupts his nap schedule
• Your child misses naps when you’re on the go, but when you are at home he takes two good naps
Signs That Your Child Is Ready to Change to ONE DAILY NAP.
• When you put your child down for a nap he plays or fusses before falling asleep, and then takes only a short nap, or never falls asleep at all
• Your child can go for car rides early in the day and not fall asleep in the car
• When your child misses a nap he is cheerful and energetic until the next nap or bedtime
• Your child naps well for one of his naps, but totally resists the other nap
How to Make the Transition When Signs Point to Change
Instead of thinking in terms of dropping a nap it’s better to think in terms of a schedule change. The change from two
naps to one nap is rarely a one-day occurrence. Most often there will be a transition period of several months when your child clearly needs two naps on some days, but one nap on others. You have a number of options during this
complicated transition time:
• Watch for your child’s sleepy signs, and put your child down for a nap when indications first appear.
• Keep two naps, but don’t require that your child sleep at both times, allow quiet resting instead.
• Choose a single naptime that is later than the usual morning nap, but not as late as the afternoon nap. Keep your child active (and outside if possible) until about 30 minutes before the time you have chosen.
• On days when a nap occurs early in the day, move bedtime earlier by 30 minutes to an hour to minimize the length of time between nap and bedtime.
The Danger of Dropping a Nap Too Soon
It’s my belief that the reputation that toddlers have which is known as the “Terrible Twos,” is very likely caused by inappropriate napping schedules. There are a great number of toddlers who switch from two naps a day to one nap, or – heaven forbid! – drop naps altogether, many months before they are biologically ready. This can result in a devastating effect on their mood and behavior: the dreaded and horrible“Terrible Twos.”
For those parents whose children suffer the “Trying Threes” or the “Fearsome Fours,” it’s likely your child is misbehaving for the same reason: an inappropriate nap schedule may be the culprit. The good news is that a modification of your
child’s napping routine can make a wonderful and dramatic difference in his day – and yours.
From The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems by Elizabeth Pantley (McGraw-Hill, January 2009). Here is the link for information and more excerpts: http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth/
There are two great upcoming events with West Falmouth Preschool that our Cape Cod Moms should be aware of:
Open Registration for the Preschool: Open Registration for the 2012-2013 school year will be Friday, March 2,
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM at the school. There are only a few spots open soit will probably fill up on this night, if parents are wanting to sign up their child for WFPS, youshould plan on attending the Open registration!
Annual Comedy Night: Last year was showstoppingingly funny, this year will exceed your expectations! Get your sweetie or grab a friend and take a night out and enjoy some laughs with other moms and dads! Check out the flyer below!
Recently, I've been thinking a lot about the benifits of letting go. Why? Well, I've noticed that there are quite a few things in my life that need to be set free. These include (but are not limited to) the ridiculous amount of clutter in one of my closets; the dust that has accumulated on my furniture over the past couple of weeks; the pile of old books, CDs and DVDs in the trunk of my car, waiting to be donated to the library; the fabulous piece of theater I just finished working on with a whole bunch of talented new friends; the box hiding in a dark corner full of my ex-boyfriend's shadows; and last but not least, my Buddha belly! *sigh*
Why do I need to let these things go? Well, to be honest I see letting go as a sort of cleansing exercise. And I believe that letting go will help to clear space in my life for new projects, new inspiration, a breath of fresh air. Besides, I don't want to end up the subject of a "Hoarders" episode... Yikes, have you SEEN that show? Freaky.
In any case, letting go is very different from giving up. Giving up means stopping in the middle of something, not following through, walking away. Giving up happens when we are fearful or frustrated or overwhelmed or just plain done.
But letting go is something else entirely. Letting go involves a certain amount of trust that we don't need to cling to something any longer. Letting go happens when something is finished, ended, no longer necessary. Letting go makes me
think of openness, willingness, lightness.
Some people have to let go all the time: Think of parachute jumpers or hang gliders! Imagine the amount of letting go they have to practice each time they push off. Then there are the tightrope walkers and trapeze artists: They must have to let go of tremendous amounts of fear, stress and limiting negativity each time they perform. And don't forget about actors: They spend their time bonding with group after group of fellow actors, moving from show to show, memorizing lines and cues for each show and then letting all of it go after each final performance and strike party.
As for me, I've decided to imitate a trapeze artist: Flexible, fearless, strong, adaptable, willing and able to let go as often as needed in order to reach my goals. Right now, my immediate goal is to let go of (at least some of) those items listed above before the end of February... Wish me luck.
How about you? What do you want or need to let go of? Old clothes that don't fit you or your style anymore? Out-dated appliances, TVs, computers or cell phones that could be donated to a needy organization? A worn-out relationship or friendship that takes more than you can give? A hairstyle that you know needs an update?
Whatever it is, I KNOW you have something hanging around that needs to be let go. You can't fool me! 0_O
So here's what you can do: Let. It. Go.
Seriously. What have you got to lose?
=) Change Coach Pam
Pamela Wills, CPC
Elasticity Change Coaching
Change is GOOD!
Please remember that
referrals make me very happy!
By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of the “No-Cry Solution” book series
Learn about it
A baby’s first tantrum can take you by surprise. Your baby can really shock you by shrieking, stamping, hitting, or making his whole body go stiff. But don’t take it personally; baby tantrums aren’t about anything you’ve done wrong, and they aren’t really about temper, either – your baby isn’t old enough for that. The ways you’ll respond to your baby’s behavior when he is older are different than how you should respond now.
Why babies have tantrums and what you can do about it
A baby tantrum is an abrupt and sudden loss of emotional control. Various factors bring tantrums on, and if you can identify the trigger, then you can help him calm down ¾ and perhaps even avoid the tantrum in the first place. Here are the common reasons and ways to solve the problem:
How to prevent baby tantrums
Often, you can prevent a baby from losing control of his emotions if you prevent the situations that lead up to this. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- When baby is tired, put him down for a nap or to sleep.
- Feed your baby frequently. Babies have small tummies and need regular nourishment.
- Give your baby toys that are geared to his age and ability level.
- Warn your baby before changing activities (One more swing, then we're going home.)
- Be patient when putting your baby in an unfamiliar environment or when introducing him to new people.
- Help your baby learn new skills (such as climbing stairs or working puzzles).
- Keep your expectations realistic; don't expect more than your baby is capable of.
- As much as possible, keep a regular and predictable schedule.
- When your baby is overly emotional, keep yourself as calm as possible.
- Use a soothing tone of voice and gentle touch to help your baby calm down. He can't do it on his own, he needs your help.
by permission of Elizabeth Pantley, author of the “No-Cry Solution” book
Dependents and Exemptions: 6 Important Facts
~Cape Cod Mommies Advisor-Gary DellaPosta, CPA~
Even though each individual tax return is different, some tax rules affect every person who may have to file a federal income tax return. These rules include dependents and exemptions. The IRS has six important facts about dependents and exemptions that will help you file your 2011 tax return.
1. Exemptions reduce your taxable income. There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. For each exemption you can deduct $3,700 on your 2011 tax return.
2. Your spouse is never considered your dependent. On a joint return, you may claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. If you're filing a separate return, you may claim the exemption for your spouse only if they had no
gross income, are not filing a joint return, and were not the dependent of another taxpayer.
3. Exemptions for dependents. You generally can take an exemption for each of your dependents. A dependent is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. You must list the Social Security number of any dependent for whom you claim an
4. If someone else claims you as a dependent, you may still be required to file your own tax return. Whether you must file a return depends on several factors including the amount of your unearned, earned or gross income, your marital status and any special taxes you owe.
5. If you are a dependent, you may not claim an exemption. If someone else -- such as your parent -- claims you as a dependent, you may not claim your personal exemption on your own tax return.
6. Some people cannot be claimed as your dependent. Generally, you may not claim a married person as a dependent if they file a joint return with their spouse. Also, to claim someone as a dependent, that person must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national or resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the year. There is an exception to this rule for certain adopted children.
If you need help determining who you can claim as a dependent and how much you can deduct for each exemption you claim, don't hesitate to call. We're here to help!
I had seen a article about making your own laundry detergent and it got me thinking, Can I really do that? It sounded like a dream when it came to how much money I could save. But I have sensitive skin and so does my child, who has eczema too and this made me very hesitant. But after some research I found that there were several people who switched to homemade detergent because of their skin allergies. I decided to give it a try and so far, I am very happy with the results! Together all the ingredients cost me $7.46, which would make 3 batches of detergent.
1 Bar Fels Naptha or Ivory soap (I used Ivory)
1 cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
I found all of the above in the laundry detergent aisle at Walmart, except the Ivory. I found that in a 3 pack in the beauty aisle.
Grate the bar of soap into fine pieces. I did not want to use my cheese grater (I had thoughts of future soap flavored
quesadillas) so I used an old vegetable peeler. A zester would work also. The smaller the pieces the better they will dissolve in your washer. You can run your fingers gently through the soap pieces to break them up more.
I mixed in the washing soda and Borax with the grated soap. But it was still a little too chunky for my liking, so I pulled out an old food processor that I never use and ground up the ingredients in small batches using short pulses.
Now the mixture is a fine powder. I used a Tupperware container to store the mixture with a 1/2 tbsp scoop. The powder smells very strong like Ivory, but that may just be me because I am so used to everything having no scent at all. I was concerned that my clothes would smell like Ivory too, but they don't. You can add a few drops of essential oils if you want to add a smell but I'm not sure when you would add it - to the powder or to the wash.
Here are the measurements I have used for my laundry:
Small: ½ tbsp
Large: 2 tbsp
I have a smaller stacked washer and dryer, not a full size side by side so I found that I needed to reduce the amount of detergent I used. For a medium load I used 1/2 tbsp and for a full load I used 1 tbsp.
You can also make liquid detergent, I chose not to because it needs to be stored in a 5 gallon bucket (which you can get at Home Depot) but I don't have room for that. However, if you would like to try the liquid variety you can find
several recipes HERE.
I also found a recipe for washing cloth diapers in a comment. It seems that homemade detergent is okay for cloth diapers, but the grated soap type does not rinse well from the diapers. Here is a recipe that should work:
Cloth Diaper Powdered Laundry Detergent:
Mix it well and combine in a sealed container. Use 2 tablespoons for a small load, 1/4 cup for a large load.
TipNut has put together a great FAQ list HERE. There are also over 200 comments where I found a bunch of useful info too.
Here are a few tips from that list:
If you cannot find the supplies in your local Target or Walmart, they are available online. I checked on Amazon.com and all are available there.
The site also has a great article on using vinegar in your laundry as a fabric softener, color protector and more HERE.
If you do try out making your own detergent, let me know. I would love to hear how your experience went!
By Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Discipline Solution
Children resort to aggressive behaviors because of a lack of wisdom and self-control. It is not a sign that a child is hateful or mean. Kids are human beings and human beings will get angry, we can’t prevent that. What we can do is teach our children how to handle their frustration and anger in appropriate ways. If your child uses these physical acts to express her feelings, use some of the following tips to change her behavior.
Intercede before it happens
Watch your child during playtime. When you see her becoming frustrated or angry - intervene. Coach her through the issue. Teach her what to do, or model what to say to her friend. Or if she seems too upset to learn, redirect her attention to another activity until her emotions level out.
Teach and explain
It’s one thing to tell a child what not to do or to step into an argument and solve it yourself. It’s another thing entirely to teach her what to do in advance of the next problem. This can be done through role-play, discussion, and reading a few children’s books about angry emotions.
Examine hidden causes
Is your child hungry, tired, sick, jealous, frustrated, bored or scared? If you can identify any feelings driving your child’s actions you can address those along with the aggressive behavior.
Give more attention to the injured party.
Often the child who hits gets so much attention that the action becomes a way of gaining the spotlight. Instead, give more attention to the child who was hurt. After a brief statement, “No hitting!” turn and give attention to the child who was wronged, “Come here and Mommy will give you a hug and read you a book.”
Teach positive physical touches.
Show your child how to hold hands during a walk or how to give a back rub or foot massage. Teach a few physical games, like tag or cat’s cradle. Under direct supervision, children who are more physical can gain a positive outlet for their physical energy.
Teach the clapping method
Tell a child to clap his hands whenever he feels an urge to hit. This gives him an immediate outlet for his emotions and helps him learn to keep his hands to himself. An alternate is to teach him to put his hands in his pockets when he feels like hitting. Reward with praise anytime you see he’s successful.
Give your child a time out
To use Time Out when a child acts out aggressively, immediately and gently take the child by the shoulders, look him in the eye and say, “No hurting others, time out.” Guide the child to a chair and tell him, “You may get up when you can play without hitting.” By telling him that he can get up when he’s ready, you let him know that he is responsible for
controlling his own behavior. If the child gets up and hits again, say, “You are not ready to get up yet,” and direct him back to time out.
Avoid play hitting and wrestling
Young children who roughhouse with a parent or sibling during play time might then use these same actions during non-wrestling times. It can be hard for them to draw the line between the two. If you have a child who has trouble controlling his physical acts then avoid this kind of play.
Don’t lose control
When you see your child hurting another child it’s easy to get angry. This won’t teach your child what she needs to learn: how to control her emotions when others are making her mad. You are mad at her, so she’ll be watching how you handle your anger.
Don’t let your child watch violent TV
Children can become immune to the impact of violence, and they may copy what they see depicted on television. Avoid viewing shows that portray aggression as an appropriate way of handling anger.
Don’t assume your child can figure it out
If your child comes to you about a difficult situation, don’t send him away for tattling. But don’t step in and handle it for him, either. View his call for help as an invitation to teach him important social skills.
Don’t focus on punishment
More than anything your child needs instructions on how to treat other human beings, particularly during moments of anger or frustration.
Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill Publishing from The No-Cry Discipline Solution (McGraw-Hill 2007) http://www.nocrysolution.com
"Dooowwwn Dog!" I sing in my universal key of B Minor and suddenly my daughter, who is 11 months old, bends at the waist from a sitting position towards the floor, until her forehead is actually touching the carpet! She pops up with the most accomplished grin on her face. I melted. Again I sing "Dooowwwn Dog!" and there she goes, leaning towards the floor. This time I demonstrate. I sing "Dooowwwn Dog!" and come into Downward Facing dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana myself. I do it one or two times and as she watches me, she rises to her feet, bends at the waist and comes into the most perfect Down Dog I have ever seen.
Suddenly my life felt complete...as funny as that may sound to some. You see, I am an Itsy Bitsy Yoga instructor and a proud 1st time parent to my little Delaney Mae. There is a huge sense of pride when any of my students come into a pose knowingly for the first time on their own. It's a feeling of accomplishment, combined with the joy of seeing a parent's face when their little one not only masters a pose, but does it during class, for all to see!
As moms we know first hand how your perspective changes the minute you become a parent. There isn't an exact way to describe the change within yourself, but it happens, naturally and it feels good. It feels right. For me sharing yoga with other is natural. It feels good. It feels right.
My daughter and I began practicing Itsy Bitsy Yoga when she was just six weeks old. We went to class weekly and put the poses to use at home. We used Apana (In and Out) often for relief when she had those squirmmy moments of gas pains. Then we used Corkscrew to aid in digestion when she began to eat solids. Sure enough, not long after a few circular movements of her chunky monkey legs, a rumble in her diaper would bring a smile to my face, as well as hers'. I raved about Itsy Bitsy Yoga. We practiced almost daily, whether it was doing actual poses or singing a yoga song. It naturally became a part of our lives, almost as naturally as you will see a child "do yoga" in their everday movements! They are natural yogis and now I aim to bring it out in all of them! IBY opened the doors to a whole new array of tricks to use in everyday life, whether it was to calm and sooth, to get us through a long wait at the doctor's office or simply to get moving and be active on a cold, rainy day. In fact, I fell in love with Helen Garabedian's Itsy Bitsy Yoga program so much, that I knew shortly thereafter that I must share it with others.
This past summer I became trained in Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Babies, Tots and Tykes. I am able to offer yoga to children from the age of 3 weeks to 4 years old. I love this because I will be able to watch my students flourish over the years, not just as yogis, but as little humans! In a recent interview I did for a dance magazine I was reminded how special IBY is, as it is the one of the only programs where a child can begin at such a young age, which allows moms on maternity leave to participate in an activity with their newborn before returning to work, if that is the case.
Babies can begin IBY at just 3 weeks and modifications of the poses are made to accommodate their tiny, new bodies. I strive to be a healthy role model for my daughter and my students and I encourage a healthy and active lifestyle for children of all ages. A healthy baby equals a healthy tot, which equals a healthy tyke, a healthy adolescent, a healthy teenager and inevitably a healthy adult. So come join us, meet new friends, learn something new and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle for your little ones. It may even inspire you to practice.
by Pamela Wills, CPC
This week, as my first blog post on Cape Cod Mommies, I want to talk to you about setbacks. You know what I mean -- those pesky bumps in the road that we can either allow to throw us off course, make us more keenly focused on the task at hand or redirect us to a better path. Those bumps come up all the time, don't they? It's a fact of life. The key really is how we react to them.
So what can we do to take those setbacks and turn them into opportunities? Here is a short list of some of my favorite strategies, gathered from many smart sources over the years:
1) Don't take things so seriously. A bump is just that -- a bump, not a mountain.
2) Give yourself permission to make a mistake. Perfection is great to strive for but it's really
unattainable. I aim for "practically perfect" instead (thank you, Mary Poppins!).
3) Allow yourself time to rest and reflect. If you never stop to think about what went wrong, how will you figure out how to do it better next time?
4) Shift your perspective on that bump. There is always a way to re-frame that bump as an opportunity rather than a failure. What can you learn from the situation?
5) Get some exercise! Sometimes a simple walk in the fresh air is just what the doctor ordered.
6) Take charge of your emotions. Don't let your initial reactionto the bump cause you to steer off the road. Take a breath; get a grip. This too shall pass.
7) Talk to a trusted friend that you know will be The Voice of Reason. If you don't have a friend like this already, I highly recommend making friends with someone who can give you kind but realistic straight talk when you really need it. This kind of friend can be a valuable support.
8) Don't make quitting a habit. That golden oldie about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and starting over again is golden because it works!
Remember what Thomas Edison said back in the day:
"I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work."
That Edison guy was a very smart man.
=) Change Coach Pam
Pamela Wills, CPC
Elasticity Change Coaching
Please remember that referrals make me very happy!
Get Your Toddler to Cooperate!
By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of Kid Cooperation and Perfect Parenting
Toddlers and preschoolers require finesse to gain their cooperation, because they have not yet reached the age at which they can see and understand the whole picture, so simply explaining what you want doesn’t always work. Robert Scotellaro is quoted in The
Funny Side of Parenthood as saying,“Reasoning with a two-year-old is about as productive as changing seats on the Titanic.” (He must have had a two-year-old at the time.)
You can get around this frustrating state of affairs by changing your approach. Let’s look at two situations – first the typical (Titanic) way:
Parent: David! Time to change your diaper.
David: No! (As he runs off)
Parent: Come on honey. It’s time to leave, I need to change you.
David: (Giggles and hides behind sofa)
Parent: David, this isn’t funny. It’s getting late. Come here.
David: (Doesn’t hear a word. Sits down to do a puzzle.)
Parent: Come here! (Gets up and approaches David)
David: (Giggles and runs)
Parent: (Picking up David) Now lie here. Stop squirming! Lie still. Will you stop this!
(As parent turns to pick up a new diaper, a little bare bottom is running away)
I’m sure you’ve all been there. Oh, and by the way, David is my son. And this was an actual scene recorded in his baby book. Like you, I got very tired of this. And then I discovered a better way:
Parent: (Picking up diaper and holding it like a puppet, making it talk in a silly, squeaky voice)
Hi David! I’m Dilly Diaper! Come here and play with me!
David: (Running over to Diaper) Hi Dilly!
Parent as Diaper: You’re such a nice boy. Will you give me a kiss?
David: Yes. (Gives diaper a kiss)
Parent as Diaper: How ‘bout a nice hug?
David: (Giggles and hugs Diaper)
Parent as Diaper: Lie right here next to me. Right here. Yup. Can I go on you? Oh yes?! Goody goody goody! (The diaper
chats with David while he’s being changed. Then it says, Oh, David! Listen, I hear your shoes calling you – David! David!
The most amazing thing about this trick is that it works over and over and over and over. You’ll keep thinking, “He’s not honestly going to fall for this again?” But he will! Probably the nicest by-product of this method is that it gets you in a good mood and you have a little fun time with your child.
When you’ve got a toddler this technique is a pure lifesaver. When my son David was little I used this all the time. (I then used it with my youngest child, Coleton, and it worked just as well.) Remembering back to one day, when David
was almost three, we were waiting in a long line at the grocery store and I was making my hand talk to him. It was asking him questions about the items in the cart. Suddenly, he hugged my hand, looked up at me and said, “Mommy, I love for you to pretend this hand is talking.”
Another parent reported that she called her toddler to the table for dinner a number of times, when he calmly looked up at her, chubby hands on padded hips and said, “Mommy, why don’t you have my dinner call to me?”
And suddenly, the peas on his plate came to life and called out to him; he ran over to join the family at the dinner table.
A variation on this technique, that also works very well, is to capitalize on a young child’s vivid imagination as a way to thwart negative emotions. Pretend to find a trail of caterpillars on the way to the store, hop to the car like a bunny, or pretend a carrot gives you magic powers as you eat it.
It’s delightful to see how a potentially negative situation can be turned into a fun experience by changing a child’s focus to fun and fantasy.
Excerpted with permission from Kid Cooperation, How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate by Elizabeth Pantley http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth, copyright 1996) Published by New Harbinger Publications, Inc. (http://www.newharbinger.com/)
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