During your pregnancy, it is important to relax and enjoy getting to know your baby. All babies are different so, why not get to know some things about your baby, before he/she arrives? You can start to learn some things about your baby when you take notice of the little things. Here are a few things to take note of:
1. Is the baby moving around a lot or quite passive and barely noticeable?
2. Are there specific times of activity such as night times or afternoons and when are the quiet times?
3. When did you first feel the baby move (this often feels like air bubbles or the flutter of butterfly wings)?
4. Are there certain foods you eat that change the activity level of the baby?
5. When you are very calm does this seem to calm the baby down?
6. Does the baby interact with you when you rub your stomach?
7. Sometimes when the baby is moving, different body parts become visible so when this happens, rub them. Does the baby respond?
8. Is the baby quiet when there is a lot of noise or, does that make the baby more active?
These are just a few things you can observe about your baby even before the arrival date. With this knowledge you will be more prepared for what comes next, which is, the baby. So, remember gather information, relax, and enjoy the quiet freedom of pregnancy, because soon, you will be confronted with a tiny individual.
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Sleep peaceful sleep. Nothing compares to the warm gushy feelings you get when you see a child sleeping. They look like little angels, so peaceful and quiet lying there in a complete state of calm. During sleep the body grows and the brain is busy organizing the information attained from the day. It is essential for children so, we want to make sure that we provide an environment that promotes calm, peaceful sleep. Bedtime rituals are a great way to prepare a child for a peaceful night’s sleep. Put a schedule in place that the child can follow such as, dinner, time spent participating in quiet activities, a bath, pajamas, possibly a light snack and then a bedtime story. The order is not important it is the consistency that will set the stage for success.
- If the child has difficulty with the dark give them a night-light. A small light that gives a child a sense of security in the night is useful in calming the fears that come from the dark. Don’t tell a child they are being silly and to go back to sleep. This can cause them to become stressful about bedtime so the ritual you have set in place becomes the stress-er for the child. They fear bedtime because bedtime means dark.
- Give the child a snack and a drink if they require it but, try not to give it right before bedtime. If the child drinks too much they may need to go to the bathroom just as they are settling in to a good night’s sleep. Once they get up from their bed it can be difficult to get them back into that quiet, calm state.
- Don’t discourage a child from having a blanket, stuffed animal or any other article that gives them comfort at night. The beauty of this is that if the child wakes up and they have something to give them a sense of security in their bed, they will likely roll over and go back to sleep. This is always the goal, the less adult intervention required for a good night sleep the better.
Ensuring a child gets a full night’s sleep, which I might add is fantastic for you as the adult is not always easy, but, it is worth it. The physical and cognitive benefits to you and your child make this part of child rearing so valuable. Trying to put into place a set of rituals to give a child the cues required to get a good night sleep is a great place to start. Remember a sleeping child gives you peace of mind and body. Don’t you just love parenting?
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March Break is going to be here soon so be prepared. The idea of March break is to give children, families and teachers a little break from a long winter of short days and long nights. This is an opportunity to jump-start the system into action. The problem is, that it can be a long week if the children are all fired up with no place to go. So, I thought I would discuss a few ways to make everyone excited about a week of family togetherness. 1. Have friends come over where they all play together. Friends need to know, that this is the rule in this house, and if that is not something they are willing to go along with, then it is not a problem, I can take you home. Now this needs to be set up ahead of time with your friend’s parents because a child choosing to go home should not be punishment. It is a decision made by the child because they prefer to be at home than at your house. The chance of a child making this decision is highly unlikely but the option should always be made available. Tells your children and their friends that this is about having a good time, and that it has to be fun for everyone.
- If it is in the budget take the kids to a family friendly hotel for the night. Be sure it has a pool, a family friendly restaurant nearby, and something for them to walk around and see outdoors. The pool will burn them out so be sure to save that for later in the day to ensure you all get some sleep at night.
- Try to let go of some of the rules set up for school nights in order to help the children feel like they are taking a break from the normal routine. The main goal is to make them responsible for their own behaviour the next day. If they wake up tired and grumpy they need to be reminded they stayed up late which was their choice so being grumpy is not okay. Children learn a lot from this because what you are teaching them is that this was your choice so these are your consequences. You stayed up really late because you were having so much fun and now you are miserable so, what are you going to do to make your day better. (A nice quiet day would be a great decision to suggest, especially for you as the adult.) Have fun and enjoy your time together the beauty of this holiday is that having fun, getting along and managing your own behaviour is the learning that is taking place. Doesn’t get much better than that.
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Letting your child make some of the decisions about themselves builds self esteem. When they make a decision to dress a certain way even if you feel it is awful it does not reflect on your parenting. It actually is a parenting style that is highly effective because it helps children to be proud of their choices. Let’s take getting dressed in the morning. Your child has taken the initiative to go and pick out clothing that they want to wear for the day and dressed them self in those clothes. After they have succeeded in this task they present them self to you and your response is that they need to go and change because they look ridiculous. The impact of that statement will have a lasting negative impact on your child’s self-esteem. Let them wear the clothes they chose, chances are they are going to their day care and the first thing a Child Care worker will say to the child is that it looks like somebody got them self dressed today, Wow! That statement fills the child with joy and pride not embarrassment as we would expect These tiny decisions build a a little person willing to make their own choices and show pride in the results. This sounds like a productive adult in the making and it does not get much better than that.
Any Questions Just Ask Mary’s Advice.