Archive for the 'zero to three' Category

daylight savings sleep tips (falling back)

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Do you remember when you used to get so excited to be gaining an extra hour of sleep with the time change? Now, this is often the dreaded time change as parents anticipate early risers will awaken even earlier. Worry not, these simple tips for babies (**6 months and older), toddlers and preschoolers will help you stay on track with your good sleep habits. Give your children a few days to settle in to the new time.

1. Put your child(ren) to bed on Saturday night (11/6) at the regular time.

2. Wake up with your child(ren) at the normal wake up time on Sunday morning (11/7).

3. Set your clocks back one hour. This is where you stretch.

4. Put your child(ren) down for the first nap at the regular time per the clock.** This will mean that s/he has been awake a full hour longer during this window and may need some help to stretch. Going outside and getting lots of sunlight and fresh air is a great way to keep kids awake when you’re stretching them.

5. Follow the clock for naps and bedtime from here forward. It can take a few days for your child to fully adjust, so be patient and consistent.

**Younger children may have a harder time stretching a full hour without becoming overtired. In this case it may be better to stretch them 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon or to stretch them slowly over several days. For babies under six months I recommend pulling the entire day’s schedule earlier by 15 minutes for the four days leading up to daylight savings.

swellbeing on chicago’s 190 north

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Our in-home consultation services were just featured on ABC7 Chicago’s 190 North program. If you fast-forward to minute 18 you will see our clip!

190 north clip

spring ahead – daylight savings tips

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

On Saturday night at midnight we spring ahead (this means we lose an hour overnight). What does this mean in terms of your child’s sleep schedule? See my tips below and decide which plan is best for your wee one.

Plan A:

1. Put your child to bed on Saturday night at the usual bedtime.

2. Change your clocks so they are one hour ahead.

3. Set your alarm to get you up at the usual wake up time and wake your child up to start the day (this means one less hour of sleep for your child).

4. Put your child down for naps and bedtime according to the time on the clock.

Plan B:

For those early risers, don’t change anything but your clocks.  This means that if they normally nap at 9 am, the clock will now ready 10 am, and so on.  They will be going to bed one hour later and will wake up one hour later… Remember that there is more daylight as we get closer to June so you’ll also want to ensure that you have a good blackout system, otherwise your early riser will be back!

help needed: send diapers now!

Monday, December 21st, 2009

I was reading my Daily Candy emails this morning and was reminded of tremendous need many impoverished mothers have: diapers for their babies.  Help a Mother Out is an organization in San Francisco who collects diapers and distributes them to those in need.

Early in my career I worked for a non-profit program in the inner city of Milwaukee.  There I worked with many teen mothers and saw firsthand how hard some people work to stretch a diaper or two…some for an entire day.  It was heartbreaking to see, and with two little ones myself, I can’t imagine not being able to put a clean diaper on them whenever the need arises.

Fortunately, there are great people and organizations (such as Help a Mother Out) throughout the US, as well as virtual diaper drives who are collecting diapers to distribute to these very needy families. Spread some diaper cheer!

best sunscreen

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

I know I seem like I’m on a bit of a kick here, but it seems that my confusion about sunscreen has a basis.  According to the Enviornmental Working Group’s most recent research on the industry, there has been a product explosion over the past two years.  Thanks to pressure from the EWG, the number of sunsreens containing any of the 4 recommended UVA/UVB blockers jumped to 70% from just 29% last year.  Most notably, the number of sunscreens protecting from harmful UVA rays has more than doubled.  Their 2009 sunscreen guide has a best of list with comprehensive pros and cons on each sunsreen.

wonder bumpers

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

bump.jpg

Wonder bumpers, by Go Mama Go Designs, are a lovely solution for parents who are aware of the dangers of traditional crib bumpers, but would like to soften the sleeping environment for those active infants and toddlers who are all over the crib.  Like so many other great products created in the parenting market, wonder bumpers were created by moms.

daylight savings sleep tips – spring ahead!

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Wohoo!  It’s time for more day light!  I know this means one less hour of sleep on Saturday night, BUT it could mean little junior sleeps in an “extra” hour too!  Here are my tips on handling this transition (which is MUCH easier than the fall time change).

1. Put your child to bed on Saturday night at the usual bedtime.

2. Change your clocks so they are one hour ahead.

3. Set your alarm to get you up at the usual wake up time and wake your child up to start the day (this means one less hour of sleep for your child).  OR, for those early risers, let them sleep in and take this opportunity to get them on a slightly later schedule.

4. Put your child down for naps and bedtime according to the time on the clock.

great toys for tots

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

With my daughter’s second birthday just around the corner – and a couple of her friends also turning two – I have begun to hunt for some great toys.  Oompa is one of my favorite places to shop for kids’ toys.  They have everything organized in various ways: brand, age, type, so you can search any number of ways.  They offer great discounts and have a great selection of European brands.  Fawn & Forest is a new e-commerce website I just came across and they have well curated selection and offer free shipping for orders over $50.  A local favorite toy store of mine in the village is Kid O.  They just started their own brand of toys (montessori in style) that can be found many places.  And last, an East Village store that has a nice assortment of clothing and toys for wee ones is Sons + Daughters.  Now go help to stimulate the economy and shop!

daylight savings sleep tips

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

I know, I know.  Daylight savings time again.  It always comes too soon.  Fret not, these simple tips for babies (6 months and older) and toddlers will help you stay on track with your good sleep habits.  Give your children a few days to settle in to the new time.  After they adjust to the new clock, the only thing left to dread is the sun setting at 4 p.m.  Ugh.

1. Put your child(ren) to bed on Saturday night (11/1) at the regular time.

2. Wake up with your child(ren) at the normal wake up time on Sunday morning (11/2).

3. Set your clocks back one hour.  This is where you stretch.

4. Put your child(ren) down for the first nap at the regular time per the clock.**  This will mean that s/he has been awake a full hour longer during this window and may need some help to stretch.  Going outside and getting lots of sunlight and fresh air is a great way to keep kids awake when you’re stretching them.

5. Follow the clock for naps and bedtime from here forward. It can take a few days for your child to fully adjust, so be patient and consistent.

**Younger children may have a harder time stretching a full hour without becoming overtired.  In this case it may be better to stretch them 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon or to stretch them slowly over several days.

spanking doesn’t work!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Parents must know that while spanking may work in the very near term to stop a child from misbehaving, it ultimately backfires.  For starters, spanking teaches your child that the bigger, stronger person in a disagreement always wins.  And that in order to make your point, you must strike another person.  The irony is that children are often spanked for hitting or kicking another child.

An article by Lisa Belkin in this morning’s New York Times Magazine Blog, “When Is Spanking Chid Abuse?” shares the findings of Alan E, Kazdin research.  Mr. Kazdin is the Director of the Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic at Yale and reports that 63 percent of parents physically discipline their 1-to 2-year-olds.  I find this statistic staggering and alarming.  In a piece Mr Kazdin wrote for Slate, he says there’s “a strong natural tendency to escalate the frequency and severity of punishment.”  Here is the part of what he says that I wish every parent would understand.

“The negative effects on children include increased aggression and noncompliance—the very misbehaviors that most often inspire parents to hit in the first place—as well as poor academic achievement, poor quality of parent-child relationships, and increased risk of a mental-health problem (depression or anxiety, for instance). High levels of corporal punishment are also associated with problems that crop up later in life, including diminished ability to control one’s impulses and poor physical-health outcomes (cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease). Plus, there’s the effect of increasing parents’ aggression, and don’t forget the consistent finding that physical punishment is a weak strategy for permanently changing behavior.”

I have to believe that if parents really knew what was at risk with corporal punishment, they would work harder to seek an effective solution.  Stay posted for a seminar on this very topic.