Saturday, February 16, 2013

3 Things You Can Do To Help Baby Fall Asleep

Sleeping baby
Sleeping baby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you have a baby who keeps waking up a night, you probably think whoever came up with the phrase "sleeping like a baby" must be crazy.

Well, the fact is some babies are better sleepers than others. However, you should be aware that it is normal for newborn babies to be waking up every two to three hours at night as they usually are hungry or wake due to a wet diaper. This phase should last only up to three months, but it can be longer for other babies.

Having a baby sleep throughout the night is one problem. Having them fall asleep in the first place is another problem. Some babies can just fall asleep on their own easily.  Others need a bit of coaxing.  

If you find that your baby is waking during the night or having a hard time falling asleep, here are a few tips that may help smooth the transition from wakefulness to sleep time.

Shorten Naps During the Day

If you find that your four month or older baby is having a difficult time falling asleep or is waking every two to three hours during the night, but sleeps for four to five hours during a day nap, it's time to shorten the napping period. Switch the sleep and wake clock on your baby.

Put your baby down for his or her nap at the same time each day, if possible. Slowly and gently wake your baby after two or three hours of sleep. This may cause crying in the beginning, but keep your baby occupied so he or she does not fall back asleep. This process will help your baby get down to sleep in the evening.

Soothing Bath Before Bedtime

Begin to settle down in the evening with a soothing warm bath for your baby. Sometimes a lavender baby bath will do the trick to calm the baby. Don’t get into playing during bath time. Talk softly and gently wash your baby enticing his or her senses with the lavender. Some parents like to use Babo Botanicals Lavender Meadowsweet 3 in 1 Bubble Bath Shampoo Wash because it has a plant based formula. In other words, it doesn't have all that harmful chemicals like sulfates, parabens and artificial fragrances. The smell is not too strong. Instead it is very soothing and calming.

After the bath, rub your baby down with some baby lavender lotion, gently massaging his or her feet, legs, arms, and hands, all the time keeping the noise level low. I like to put baby powder on my babies. You should consider using Johnson's Baby Powder, Pure Cornstarch, Lavender and Chamomile. It feels great on the body and it uses cornstarch instead of talc, which is safer. Gently clean your baby’s gums or teeth, still keeping your voice soft. Over time, this will begin to signal to your baby that this is quiet time and time to sleep.

Reading a Bedtime Story

In your baby’s room, have a dim light on while you complete the dressing after bath time. Swaddle your baby and sit in a rocking chair or other comfortable chair and begin to read a short bedtime story.

As you are reading, hold your baby snug to your body, gently rocking him or her, and reading in a soft, gentle tone. After the story, place your baby in his or her crib, set the mobile music, a few rubs on the back, say goodnight, and walk out of the room.

Have you heard about Cloud b Sleep Sheep On The Go Travel Sound Machine with Four Soothing Sounds? It is a soft toy in the shape of a sheep that plays soothing sounds like a gentle stream, spring showers, ocean waves and harmonious whale sounds. It has won some awards from the National Parenting Council's Seal of Approval and the iParenting Media Award. Many parents love it because it is soft, cuddly and helps lull their kids to sleep.


It is important to understand that this is a process. These tips are to set a routine that occurs each night at the same time so your child will automatically start to wind down and want to sleep at a certain time. Your baby may fuss for about a week, but this should soon dissipate. Don’t respond to the little fussy cries and before you know it your baby will be sleeping through the night. Video baby monitors is a great tool to have at this time. That way, you can check on your baby through the video monitor to see if they are just fussing or really need your attention. You don't have to go in and out of the room. That might disturb your baby even more.

Oh yes, one more thing to note is that waking during the night more frequently than normal can be a sign that your baby is uncomfortable. If your baby is teething, have colic, wind or skin rashes, you can expect restless nights. Other than that, just keep up your bedtime routine.

Place this nightlight on the floor in the center of the room, and it will project a starry night sky onto the ceiling and walls. Lying there watching the night lights will slowly lull your children to sleep. Awesome!
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Make Your Own Party Favor Box

Kids always expect party favors when they attend a party. The next time you throw a party, you can make your very own party favor fry box. Fill it with candy, chocolates, crayons or whatever you can think of.

This is very simple to make if you have the MyMemories Suite scrapbook software. Here's the digital papers, elements and quick pages that you can download to easily make it ...... FRY BOX FREEBIE

I've been using MyMemories Suite for a while now and I find it so easy to use. I've already created 2 photobooks with it. Here is a page that I did.

Don't get the wrong idea that this software is just for scrapbooking. You can do crafts too (like the party favor fry box ) and the MMS team is always coming up with new craft ideas.

Currently, thereis an offer of a FREE professionally published 20 page softcover 6x6 photo book along with full license purchase of the newest version of the MyMemories Suite v.4 Scrapbooking and more software. Go check it out. It's time to do something nice with all those photos collecting on your harddrive.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Are You An Overprotective Parent?

I was reading an article with this title: Why Parents Need to Let Their Children Fail

It was written by a teacher and she was sharing some examples of how parents overprotect their children. She starts off with a story of how she encountered a student who had submitted a plagiarized paper. She was going to give that student a zero for the paper plus disciplinary action. Then the student's mother calls and admits that she was the one that wrote her daughter's paper. She did her daughter's homework because her daughter was stressed out.
Homework Time

I know some of you are shaking your head going 'tsk, tsk, how can the mother do that?" Let's not be quick to judge others. I'll be first to admit that I sometimes do things to "pick up my children's slack". Just the other day my daughter called me from school to say she left a book behind. I wanted to be a good mom and so took the book to her. Anyway, this article was a good reminder that helping our children isn't always helpful.

Here are some excerpts from that article: 
This is what we teachers see most often: what the authors term "high responsiveness and low demandingness" parents." These parents are highly responsive to the perceived needs and issues of their children, and don't give their children the chance to solve their own problems. These parents "rush to school at the whim of a phone call from their child to deliver items such as forgotten lunches, forgotten assignments, forgotten uniforms" and "demand better grades on the final semester reports or threaten withdrawal from school." One study participant described the problem this way:

I have worked with quite a number of parents who are so overprotective of their children that the children do not learn to take responsibility (and the natural consequences) of their actions. The children may develop a sense of entitlement and the parents then find it difficult to work with the school in a trusting, cooperative and solution focused manner, which would benefit both child and school....
But children make mistakes, and when they do, it's vital that parents remember that the educational benefits of consequences are a gift, not a dereliction of duty. Year after year, my "best" students -- the ones who are happiest and successful in their lives -- are the students who were allowed to fail, held responsible for missteps, and challenged to be the best people they could be in the face of their mistakes.
 I think many times we have the misconception that we are a bad parent if we do not help our children. Let us take a moment to reflect upon the consequences of our actions. Are we crippling our children or helping them stand on their own 2 feet?

We must remember that failure and mistakes are stepping stones to success. We must teach this to our children too. When talking about failures, Thomas Edison comes to my mind. How many times did he fail before he invented the light bulb? Some say 1000, some say 10 000. Don't know which one but it is still a lot of failures. However, he didn't see them as failures. He learned something from each experiment.


  • We all want our children to succeed. However, failure is part of the formula to success. 
  • Encourage your children to solve their own problems. Let them know you have confidence in them. 
  • Do not underestimate your child's ability.
  • Helping doesn't always make you a good parent. Not helping doesn't always mean you are a bad parent.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff.
  • It's not about you, it's about them.
  • Love doesn't mean doing everything for them, solving all their problems or shielding them from bad choices. 
  • I'm not saying don't help your children at all. I'm saying be wise in how we help our children.
So, are you an overprotective parent? Do you agree that we should let our children fail sometimes?

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Saturday, February 02, 2013

What You Can Do When Reading With Little Kids

I came across an article that shared 10 tips on how you can make reading with your children more enjoyable. Here is the article: Early Literacy Strategies

 2 tips that I particularly like are "‘Plant’ words during the ‘preview’" and "Make connections". Read the article for further explanation.


  • My kids always enjoy our reading session more when I use funny voices for the different characters.
  • It is okay to skim through the book without reading it word for word. Some young kids do not have the patience sit through the entire book. Or they have yet to learn how to enjoy reading books. So you can keep your reading session short by just flipping through the pages and talking about the pictures. Summarize the story in your own words or change the story in a way that you know will catch their attention. For example, instead of focusing on the story, you could flip through the pages and ask your child to point out certain things in the picture e.g. "where's the dog in this page?" or "can you find the blue flower in this page?"
  • Interactive books are fun for young children. As you read, they get to lift the flaps or press buttons.
  • Don't push your child to read. If they don't want to read anymore, let them go even if you're in the middle of the story. Try to find another time to read. Maybe they don't want to read because it is not interesting to them. After a while, you should get an idea of what kind of books they like.
  • It shouldn't just be about learning to read. Be careful not to ask too many questions while you're reading. Sometimes you just need to enjoy the book together. Remember, education happens when you make it fun.
Here are some books that I've enjoyed reading with my kids.