I remember when my eldest daughter turned three, I was so happy and relieved – “Wow, the terrible twos are over and they weren’t even awful. Things will be so easy from now on!” I thought smugly as she blew out her candles. The twos were actually a very sweet, snuggly time. There were some tantrums but nothing I, Super Mama, couldn’t handle. Then the reality of three started settling in. And the universe laughed at me and my smug birthday smile.
I didn’t know this at the time, but apparently when a child turns three their brain connections go hay wire. They turn into insane dictators that expect you to telepathically understand their crazy world views (which change by the minute) and then anticipate their unspoken and unexplainable needs, desires, and judgments and act accordingly. Woe betides the parent unable to do this, or who dares, DARES, to set boundaries, rules, or go against the wishes of the tiny dictators. Hell hath no fury like a three year old scorned.
After living through this once, you would think I would be well prepared for my youngest’s recent transition from two to three. However, much like childbirth, my brain expunged most of this traumatic time period. It’s all coming back to me now, the crazy demands, the hysteria, the epic tantrums, the rush of adrenaline I experience when her crazy kicks in and so does my fight or flight defense. Seriously, sometimes I think, maybe I should just go along with her crazy idea just so I don’t have to deal with the inevitable freak out. But really, there’s no avoiding it, the freak out is coming. So now, I’m just trying to ride the crazy wave, like the surfers at Coast Guard Beach, and hope eventually we’ll land in calm waters again.
Here is a short list of tonight’s freak outs, occurring in the small time period between dinner and bedtime:
1) She wasn’t able to slurp her spaghetti in exactly the same way as her sister.
2) She didn’t look beautiful in her pajamas.
3) I wiped her after she went potty.
What in the hell is a mama to do? We are living in crazy town and I know we’ll be here for at least a year. However, there are moments that make our residence there worthwhile. When she asked her daddy upon his return home this evening “How was your day Daddy?” and really wanted to know. When she asked me today to buy red tights to wear with my red dress, just like she does, so we can match and be the “red girls.” The sweetness can make my heart ache and burst, especially when it’s in stark relief to the terror the rest of the day. It makes me see where we’re headed and it looks like a nice place. Now, we just need to get through the reign of the tiny insane empress!
Tell me your strategies to get through the Terrorizing Threes? What craziness has your three year old brought forth recently? Tell me your stories so I know I’m not alone!
You ask our Advisors questions, they give you the Answer!
Today we are featuring 3 Questions to Cape Cod Mom Advisor: Heidi Ingram If you have questions for Heidi or ANY of our Cape Cod Mom Advisors, please e-mail them to: email@example.com and we will get them answered.
1.) I find myself struggling to eat healthy. The chip, soda, candy diet is not working. What are some easy and quick nutritious meals to keep me energized enough to chase after my toddler? ~ Katie, Falmouth
I would suggest planning ahead and making small baggies of celery sticks stuffed with peanut butter, carrot sticks with slices of Swiss cheese, almond’s with dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins and apricots. You could also make
small Tupperware containers of yogurt with slices of fresh fruit such as apples, pineapple, cantaloupe and blueberries.
If yogurt isn’t one of your favorites, you could try cottage cheese. Essentially you want to create small, fresh packages of nutritionally sound meals. The less processed the better!!!
2.) I feel like my son is not getting enough vegetables in his diet. How much should he get a day or per week? What are some creative ways to incorporate them so he will eat them? ~ Lauren, Harwich
Toddlers should have (3) servings of veggies per day. A serving is one half of a cup of cooked diced vegetables – a half cup of tomato sauce also constitutes a serving of vegetables. Make sure your toddler’s veggie servings amount to a rainbow of color each day so that he or she gets a variety of vitamins and antioxidants. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes are all nutritional powerhouses. Any vegetable diced can be placed in scrambled eggs, in a dish of pasta
and on top of a pizza. Any vegetable covered with cheese is usually enticing and inviting to a toddler. I have even diced up butternut squash and added it to some macaroni noodles with some grated cheese at the daycare and the children never even guessed there was a vegetable lurking in their meal!!!
3.) What are some healthy snacks that I can share with my child? ~ Ashley, Mashpee
I suggest making snacks a fun time with your child to explore new tastes and textures. Make the event an opportunity for the both of you to discover different types of produce together… make it fun!!!!
About 1 cup each of fresh fruits: Watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, banana, pineapple, and strawberries.
Wash and cut fruit into ½ inch thick slices. Discard rinds and peels. Press cookie cutters into the melon and pineapple slices to make different shapes. Peel the banana and cut it into chunks with a butter knife. Put all the pieces of fruit in their own small bowls so they are easy to reach. Hold up a skewer so you can see the pointy end, and very carefully, start sliding fruit onto the skewer in any order you like. Lay the filled skewers
on the serving plate. Repeat until all the fruit is gone.
Tuscan Bean Dip
1 can or 15.5 ounces cannellini beans, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 garlic cloves (peeled), veggies, chips and crackers for serving.
Open the can of beans and pour them into the bowl of the food processor. Add the olive oil and garlic. Process until the mixture is smooth. Remove the blade in the processor and use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture into a serving bowl. Serve with your favorite veggies, chips, or crackers.
Tropical Celery Boats
1 can or 8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained; 4 celery stalks (washed and patted dry); 3 tablespoons soft cream cheese.
Open the can of pineapple and drain it through a strainer over a bowl. Save the juice to drink or use later. Trim the ends and any leafy parts off the celery stalks. Cut the stalks in half across the middle. Put the cream cheese in a bowl and add pineapple. With a rubber spatula mix the two together until even. Use a butter knife to spread the mixture into the hollows of the celery stalk halves. Place the filled stalks on the plate and cover in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
Most toddlers are ready to transition from two naps to one around 15-18 months. That said, if your toddler’s naps are going well, leave them alone! But when things start to get funky on the nap front, it might be a sign that she is preparing to consolidate her naps. Your toddler is ready to transition to one nap when she:
- Consistently gets 10-11 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night (if she’s not, work on improving her nighttime sleep before tackling naps).
- Consistently takes longer and longer to fall asleep for her morning nap.
- Consistently takes shorter morning naps or sleeps too long in the morning then refuses her afternoon nap
If your toddler’s afternoon nap isn't going well, try shortening her morning nap – don't let her sleep longer than an hour. Maybe even 20-30 minutes. Think of the morning nap as a catnap to take the edge off, so she isn't overtired for the more important afternoon nap. Eventually she will drop the morning nap altogether. But catnaps can be a really good stopgap measure, buying her body a few more weeks/months to adjust.
When the time has truly come to kiss the morning nap goodbye, brace for a 7-10 day process. Gradually push her morning nap later – 11am for 2 days, 11:30am for a few days, then noon, etc. Don’t let the nap get stuck in the late morning. Your goal is for her nap to start between 12:30-1pm and last at least 2 hours.
Some children adapt quickly to an “after noon” naptime, while others really struggle. I found that keeping my toddler out of the house from 9-11am made a big difference. Keep her busy at the playground, library, or a friend’s house before bringing her home for lunch and then nap. Just don’t let her fall asleep in the stroller or car ride home!
If your sleepy toddler wakes up from her nap after only an hour, try to encourage her back to sleep using whatever method works best for her and you. If all else fails, you can always let her crash in the car or stroller so that she isn’t falling apart by 5pm.
Bear in mind: this is a significant transition that can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. It often leads to short-term sleep deprivation since toddlers typically go through a "two naps are two many but one is not enough" stage. During that time, put her to bed earlier than usual and be open to an occasional two-nap day if you sense she is getting over-tired.
(Some excerpts from The Good Night Sleep Tight Workbook ©2010 Kim West LCSW-C, The Sleep Lady ®)
Welcome to our Hidden Freebies Series! Each week we will bring you a new hidden freebie located on Cape Cod & the Islands that you can bring the kids to for some great photo ops and a good time!
We are kicking off this series highlighting the Sandwich Fish Hatchery, a facility of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the oldest hatchery in the country. Located at 164 Rte 6A near Dewey Ave, this year the hatchery is celebrating 100 years! Open year round, 365 days a year from 9-3pm, the Fish Hatchery is a well kept secret! Guests can come and see the trout run and even feed the fish for 25 cents, which provides amazing entertainment for children and adults!
We had a great time exploring the Hatchery, running from stream to stream, feeding the fish and watching them flip and jump! They have brook, brown, and rainbow, trout; which are raised here before they are used to stock the ponds. Its amazing to watch and if you have a child with you, I would fill up a cup with food and go crazy! An added benefit of this hidden freebie is not only is it fun and free, but it is educational! Great topics include: life cycles of the fish, the environmental impact of the hatchery, why being a responsible fisher is important, to name only a few. For kids, pair this with a book like Lightning's Tale: The Story of a Wild Trout by Hugh Campbell. Your local Cape Library may have it or you can get it from Amazon here!
Tip: Bring hand sanitizer with you, as they have no public restrooms to wash your hands after.
Call for more info: (508) 888-0008 or read more about the Sandwich Fish Hatchery here!
If you know of any hidden freebies on Cape Cod & the Islands that you want to share with other Cape Cod Moms email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Does your little one leak through his diapers? Like to strip down before falling asleep? Wake up whenever you cover him? If so, here are some practical tips to avoid these common sleep interruptions.
There are a number of simple solutions for a baby or toddler struggling with leaky nighttime diapers. Use diapers one size larger than his regular, daytime diapers. Or try an extra absorbent nighttime diaper. My children wear Seventh Generation by day, Huggies Overnights by night. If you find yourself without a nighttime diaper, consider placing a maxi pad inside his regular one.
Yes, you will certainly look back at these moments and laugh. But, when your toddler decides to strip as part of his falling asleep routine, it can wreak havoc on his (and your!) nights. My advice is to head him off at the pass. A strip of electrical tape, strategically placed across the top of his diaper (covering both tabs), can work wonders for keeping a diaper intact. Try placing his zippered pajamas on backwards (zipper up the back).
Summer is around the corner, but on the Cape and Islands, evenings are almost always cool. If you are losing sleep wondering if your baby has rolled out from under his blanket again or he wakes every time you cover him, it’s time to try a new approach. Layer up with two sets of pajamas or a onesy underneath his pajamas. Use a sleep sack over his
regular pajamas. It will keep his body and toes warm without impeding his movement. And it has the added benefit of preventing a would-be crib climber from making his escape (at least until he figures out how to work the zipper!).
There are many on the market, but my children use this one in the summer and this one for the rest of the year.
Thank you so much for welcoming me as an Advisor. I’m excited to be a part of the Cape Cod Mommies group and hope my insights will help you through your young family’s sleep challenges. Since Amy mentioned early rising, a very common sleep issue, I thought I would make that the focus of my first blog.
If your adorable little alarm clock wakes up at 6:15am refreshed and ready for action – though it may feel like the middle of the night to us parents – you may have to just go with the flow. 6-7am is a biologically appropriate time for babies to wake. However, if she is groggy, falling apart by 7am, or consistently waking before 6am, you’ll want to tackle the early rising once and for all.
Here’s a look at the most common reasons for early rising…
Too late of a bedtime.
I know this doesn’t seem logical. We tend to think that if our children stay up late, they will crash hard and sleep in the following morning. Alas, this is rarely the case. Depending on their age, most babies and young children naturally want to fall asleep (not start bedtime routine) between 7-8pm. Missing their “sleep window” triggers the release of cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone, which can make for a harder bedtime, more wakeful night, and early rising.
Nap deprivation in general.
Babies and young children who are not getting adequate naps on a regular basis tend to wake early in the morning. It’s important to know approximately how many hours of naps your child needs based on their age (understanding that these are averages – some children will need more, others slightly less). For example, a six month old needs approximately 3.5 hours of naps spread out over 2-3 naps, whereas a two year old needs approximately 2 hours of sleep during their afternoon nap. For more information on how much sleep your child needs, click here.
Too big of a wakeful window
Too long of a wakeful window prior to bedtime means that your child is going to bed overtired, with cortisol running through their body. This means we need to base bedtime partly on when our baby woke up from their last (or only) nap. For babies under 6 months, the maximum wakeful window is about 2 hours. As babies approach one year, the window extends to about 3 hours. Some well-rested toddlers and preschoolers can handle a 4-hour window, max. It’s important to watch for your child’s sleepy cues and tinker with bedtime to find out what works best for them.
Too drowsy at bedtime
Bedtime is the easiest time to get to sleep. If we act as our child’s sleeping pill, getting them to sleep at bedtime by holding, rocking, feeding, or patting them down, then how can we ask them to do it themselves when they stir at 5am,
the hardest time of the day to get to sleep?
If none of these ring a bell, take a look at your child’s sleep environment and make sure that there’s nothing external contributing to the early rising. Perhaps the birds chirp in the tree near their bedroom window or the morning light is streaming in through their curtains. White noise or blackout shades can make a big difference during the early morning hours, when babies are feeling relatively well rested after 9-10 hours of sleep.
Wishing you and your little ones many happy mornings together!
Visit Rebekah at:
Counting Sheep Pediatric Sleep Coaching
I love finding simple, healthy recipes for my toddler. I've posted many recipes before that incorporate sneaking veggies, protein and fruit into meals. I thought I would share some yummy breakfast ideas that are always a hit in my house. I swear, these recipes are super simple and easy to make.
Sweet Potato - Banana Pancakes
-Pancake Mix - I like Trader Joes's Multigrain Mix - Following directions on the box to make the mixture. ***I usually use a less liquid due to the purees being added
-1/2 cup Sweet Potato Puree
-1/2 cup Banana Puree
-1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (any kind you like)
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix all ingredients. Use a non stick spray to make perfect pancakes that don't stick! Cook pancakes over medium heat for best results. You can even use fun cookie cutter shapes as well!
Oatmeal with Sweet Potatoes and Peanut Butter
1 package of instant oats - I like Trader Joe's Oats and Flax
1/4 cup of Sweet Potato Puree
1/4 tsp of ground flaxseed
1 Tsp Peanut Butter
1/4 cup of Milk - Use whichever kind you enjoy. I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 small handful of raisins
Stir instant oats, flaxseed and sweet potato puree together with water - usually enough to cover oats. Place in microwave for 90 seconds. Stir in peanut butter. When everything is nicely blended add your milk. Top off with a handful
Cheesy Green Eggs with Toast Bites
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup spinach puree
1 slice whole wheat bread
Scramble 3 eggs, add spinach puree and cheese. Cook over medium heat.
- Toast Bites make a great side for the eggs. Add your child favorite topping - jelly, butter, cream cheese or peanut butter.
Making healthy meals takes some planning. But that can be difficult for working parents struggling to get home in time to pick their kids up from their latest extracurricular activity, or trying to feed a child that only wants processed foods like macaroni and cheese or pizza at every meal. Do not fret. Small changes in daily routine, nutritional understanding and fitness awareness can make huge differences in your family’s overall health. Incorporating healthy and nutritious foods into your family’s bellies can be done, but it may take a little work.
We all have heard the harsh statistics about the growing obesity and diabetes rates in the developed countries, especially in America. Our children will live a two- to five-years' shorter life span than us . . . if healthy eating and
physical habits are not adopted at an early age. Eat fresh, live, organic and green foods with your child/ren to show them how to be healthy. They will mirror your behavior and feel positive about food. Have your child/ren help select their favorite fresh produce at the grocery store or farmers market, and prepare meals with you in the kitchen. Even washing the vegetables before cutting them up will allow them to be a part of the cooking process. Children love to taste foods they helped select and make. It might encourage them to try a new food!
As a parent, you want to provide foods that nourish your child while promoting brain and body development. Super foods contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy amounts of fats, carbs and proteins. Since such foods are nutrient-dense, even small servings pack a big punch, and with their minds and bodies growing at amazing exponential rates, they need the most nutritionally dense foods to help them develop optimally!
Below are the top SUPERFOODS for babies and toddlers:
This superfood is loaded with fiber, calcium, and plenty of vitamins and minerals, which helps child's eyesight and ward off cell damage. Eating it raw is the best way to ensure that your child gets all those nutrients, but that may be a tough sell to the little ones. Steam them for about five to eight minutes and drizzle parmesan cheese and olive oil or a little butter over the top. Let them dip them into salad dressing for fun.
2: Greek-Style Yogurt
Yogurt contains healthy live probiotic bacteria, which boosts your child's immunity and aids in digestion. Greek-style yogurt has two to three times more protein than regular yogurt--it also contains less sugar. To sweeten, add fruit, maple syrup or agave. Add a little honey if your child is older than 1.
3: Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder contains high concentrations of flavonoids, which improve blood pressure, as well as heart and oral health.
Flavonoids also may protect your child's skin from sun damage. Look for at least 70 percent pure cocoa--avoid products processed with alkali, which removes most of the flavonoids. Sprinkle cocoa on pancakes, waffles or French toast. Mix a
little cocoa with milk to create a chocolate drink.
4: Black Beans, Lentils or Garbonzo Beans
Beans are full of protein, fiber and calcium. They also help guard against heart disease and high cholesterol. Add black beans to quesadillas or salsa and lentils to soup. Mash the beans with salsa or olive oil to create a black bean dip for crackers or chips.
Blueberries are packed with brain boosting antioxidants. This small fruit may improve brain function and protect against
heart disease. Because of their size, blueberries are a natural finger food, and children may enjoy eating them plain. Use blueberries in oatmeal or cereal as well. Mix the fruit with yogurt and granola or put blueberries and yogurt in a blender to make a healthy smoothie.
6: Whole Grains
Whole grains can be found in bread, cereal and crackers -- all foods kids usually enjoy. They're rich in folic acid,
iron, zinc and B vitamins and some are fortified with vitamin D and calcium as well. Start your kids on whole grains, especially sprouted breads and pastas early, to give them a head start against heart disease. Avoid the pre-packaged products that contain unsaturated fats, better known as trans-fats. Read the nutritional information on the labels carefully.
Avocados are the only fruit laced with monounsaturated "good" fats that may lower "bad" LDL cholesterol, which can harm the heart. The avocado is also a super source of soluble fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar. And it's full of vitamin E, which protects your cells from free radicals. Mash avocado with a little lime or lemon juice and yogurt and using it on quesadillas or tacos — or as a dip for raw vegetables.
8: Wild Salmon
This cold-water fish contains healthful fats known as omega-3s that can lower the risk of heart disease. These nutrients
may also help improve mood and prevent memory loss. Choose wild salmon to reduce your child's exposure to toxic substances such as PCBs and mercury. Lightly crumb thin strips of salmon and bake them for healthy fish sticks.
9: Cage Free Eggs
Eggs are a clean protein. The protein in eggs is so beneficial that all other foods use it as the gold standard. Aside
from protein, eggs are full of more than a dozen necessary vitamins and minerals, and contain a huge concentration of choline -- a nutrient vital for brain development in young children. To boot, eggs are one of the most versatile foods on the planet. You can cook eggs many ways, but chances are your child has a favorite, whether it's scrambled or fried.
Walnuts make a great protein snack, and you can add them easily to your child's lunchbox. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help brain function, fend off disease and lift depression. Chop up walnuts and add them to salad, baked goods or cereal.
Slice up some cabbage with carrots and broccoli bits and add a simple citrus vinaigrette dressing to make a healthy
coleslaw or boil them in some vegetable broth for a hearty soup. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, packed with phytonutrients to help with digestion and keep illness at bay. Kids will appreciate the crunch and relatively mild taste
that can be mixed into many dishes.
12: Kale, Asparagus, Chard, and other dark leafy greens
These leafy greens boast high amounts of iron and folate and are rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeazanthin protect the eye and aide in its development. These amazing leaves are top super foods because they contain a large amount of vitamin C and good amounts of calcium and vitamin K. Together the calcium and vitamin K are superb bone builders (studies show that vitamin K is needed to activate bone proteins) to help give your baby a strong skeleton.
An excellent source of iron, calcium, and folic acid, along with vitamins A and C, spinach is great for growing bones and
brains. This versatile vegetable has a mild flavor and cooks in a flash. It can be stirred into hot soups, toss it into tomato sauce or an omelet, and hidden into quesadillas.
14: Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes provide a great source of potassium, vitamin C, fiber, folate, vitamin A, calcium and iron. Treat sweet
potatoes just like you would any other potato. They can be mashed, grilled, roasted or made into a delicious sweet casserole. The best bet to get your kids to eat them may be to make oven-baked sweet potato French fries with a drizzle
of coconut oil, cinnamon, and agave on top.
This gluten free grain is a protein rich seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. In addition to being a complete protein (contains all 8 essential amino acids), quinoa is has a good amount of fiber and is high in nutrients such as manganese, magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also an amazing alternative to whole grain rice in many baby food recipes.
Good morning Moms! I wanted to share a great snack idea I found on Pinterest: using ice trays as snack trays! What I liked about this idea was that I could put a little bit of everything in the tray. My first try with the trays is shown in the pictures. I included the following foods: dried cranberries, cucumbers, 2 Nilla's, clementine slices, zucchini bites, raisins, cheerios, cut up string cheese, applie bites, puffs, grapes, and Sesame cheese crackers. I then used two of the compartments for dipping sauces: strawberry yogurt and squash puree. The example I saw on Pinterest (which you can find by clciking on the Pinterest link on the front page of Cape Cod Mommies), had additional other foods and suggestions. Avocado, banana's, almond butter, and other things would also be great additions to the tray. I found by offering mutliple choices, he seemed more interested and patient in trying all the different foods. I definitely recommend trying to find a nice balance in offering equal amounts of fruits, grains and veggies. Veggies are always tough which is why I snuck one in as a puree.
What I really enjoyed about this idea was that even though he didn't finish all the snacks in the morning, I was able to easily pop the tray back out for the afternoon. They are incredibly easy to prep and I decided to prep up a few of them (minus the dry goods so they wouldn't get soggy). If you have multiple children I would imagine this would be great time saver. I also incorporated a little learning into this activity by sitting with him while he snacked and we pointed to each snack and said the name and color of it. Next time I plan on trying to incorporate all the colors of the rainbow! Happy Snacking!
I wanted to share my experience as a "lay" yoga person with all of you. Many of you read Whitney Parker Marshall's first blog here on Cape Cod Mommies about her experience as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor at Turning Pointe Dance Studio. My son Ethan and I are about to begin our THIRD session this week with Whitney and we are so excited and I wanted to share why!
Whitney is such a fabulous, patient, passionate and energetic instructor! Every week she comes in with a smile on her face for the tots and babies, excited to share her passion with all of us. The engaging songs and movements she leads us all in every week are catchy and fun, we reap the benefits of both in the long and short term!
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/
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.
Osterville Family Dental is offering a complimentary back to school dental screening for kids for the month of September.
If you are interested, please call the office to schedule an
This would also be a good chance to get the little ones in
for their first visit to a dental office. If you would like peace of mind that
everything is healthy and developing normally, they offer a free infant/toddler
care program. They will be happy to answer any of your questions about baby
teeth, traumatic tooth loss and what to do if your child breaks or loses a
tooth, fluoride etc...Please call the office for further details.
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