Weaning. Ah, the joy of carrot puree up the walls and your baby sending projectile missiles of mush right into your coaxing face. Weaning’s a really exciting stage in parenting – your little one’s expression as he experiences new flavours! – but it’s also a whole new world: What foods to offer? How much? When? What about milk feeds? And allergies? And choking? Parents in the throes of weaning can find themselves floundering and anxious and suffering from ‘spaghetti bolognaise aversion’. So here are some top tips for weaning to make the whole process much easier – and much more enjoyable:
1. Arm yourself with info.
Read one or two childcare books or baby websites that include guidance on weaning to establish the basics of how it works, such as which foods to avoid for the first year and how to transition from smooth-mush to lumpy-mush. Note the words ‘one or two’ in the last sentence – no need to become a weaning expert, which simply leads to obsessing over each detail of weaning.
Not so long ago the playpen was a very common and ordinary part of a young child’s life. Ask your own parents or grandparents and there’s a good chance they not only used one, but did so without spending much time pondering over its evils or benefits. The playpen was as ubiquitous as the pram or the highchair.
But today it is far less common to see a playpen. Those who do use them often joke uncomfortably about “locking” their baby away, to buffer against the criticism of others. Forums are littered with parents questioning their pros and cons and asking for advice about whether a playpen will help or harm their baby and their family. Many feel the playpen has become a sort of anti-status symbol, where parents who use one believe they are looked down upon by those who do not.
Why the playpen has fallen from favour.
There are various websites and forum comments that allude to studies that show babies placed in playpens experience developmental delay and suffer long term mental and physical harm. But no one seems to be able to point to any such studies and Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology at University of California-Berkeley and author of The Philosophical Baby, says she ” [doesn’t] know of any systematic research on this.” What seems most likely is that advice about the importance of allowing a baby to move and explore their environment has been applied by concerned parents to playpens, though not intended to specifically warn against their use in their entirety. Continue reading →
The more time you spend around kids the less you can remember what you used to think about the things babies and toddlers do. Were you once more grossed-out by vomit? Was baby-babble cute or frustrating? Did you wonder why a parent would let their kid wear pyjamas to the supermarket?
It’s hard to tell whether others see your kid as the cutest, sweetest thing in the world, or mostly just a gross, creepy little weirdo.
It is quite common for boys to continue bed wetting for longer than girls. For example, most girls have broken this habit by the time they are 4 years old, it is more common for boys to be still bedwetting at this age.
My son continued bedwetting until he was over 7. It was as frustrating for him as it was for me,
It is easy to call into question your own parenting skills when a child suffers from bed wetting, although it’s important to remember that it’s rarely your fault. If your child has previously been dry then a visit to the Dr is advisable just to rule out any infections. Continue reading →
You read all the books and were totally prepared for the poo and the vomit and the crying and the soft spot in their head… but still you keep seeing things that make you wonder:
Is my child normal?
Probably. Put plainly, your child is more likely to be normal than not – and by ‘normal’ I mean displaying behaviours that are common and not cause for concern.
Here are ten weird, annoying, frustrating, confusing and totally normal things about your child.
1. She bites you on the shoulder when being carried and held.
This can be due to teething (have you noticed your baby gnawing on more than just your shoulder?), or it can be just an experimentation with cause and effect. This is a good sign as it shows your baby is learning more about the way the world works and testing what your response to a nip on the shoulder will be. To avoid getting chunks taken out of you, respond by putting her down without comment. Test completed! Soon with enough repetition she will probably decide the outcome isn’t worth the biting. Continue reading →