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Man’s idea of raising babies

Let me preference this post by saying, I love my husband and I am so thankful that he is the man he is. Kind, loving, sincere, a good provider but I would love it if he and I could switch places. I previously wrote a post that men have it so easy and I still very much feel that way.

Now that KoKo is 9 months it is a given that I am the primary caregiver. Believe it or not my husband still gripes about me not cleaning or cooking. In the beginning I use to argue with him but now I just ignore him. I figure if he wants something cleaned then he should clean it. If he is hungry then he should fix him something to eat. Now don’t get me wrong on my off days I will cook – sometimes but not every off day. KoKo is at the point now where it is hard to cook if I am at home by myself. She won’t sit in her bouncer, forget trying to put her in a playpen and we don’t have any gates. Which means when I am in the kitchen she is right beside me crawling around getting into everything. It is very hard trying to cook when you have a miniature human pulling on your pants legs or pulling everything out of the dishwasher as you are trying to put the dishes in.

Honestly, I feel like my husband should do all of the cooking and cleaning. The reason I say this is because he works from 6p – 2a. So everyday five days a week, he is at home by himself from 10a until he goes to work. Isn’t that enough time to cook and clean? I do not get days by myself. If I am not at work I am with KoKo. If I am not with KoKo then that means I had an appointment or went to the grocery store so I am still not just lounging. My husband gets to lounge all the time and yet when I get home the kitchen is a mess, the living room is a mess, the bathroom is a mess, the bedroom is a mess. I think to myself, what has he been doing all day.

On top of that on the days that I am off and he gets off earlier in the day like around 5ish or so (in the evening) he comes home and takes a shower and goes straight to sleep. OMG! I wish I could just come home from work take a shower and go to sleep. Even on the days that I work and he is off and KoKo stays home with him, when I walk in the door he hands KoKo to me and I don’t see him anymore because he is hiding out in his man cave. Mind you the house isn’t clean or any food cooked.  So if he doesn’t do it why does he think I am going to do it? I don’t get the leisure time he gets but he doesn’t understand that and I am at my wits end trying to make him.

When KoKo cries in the middle of the night I wake up turn towards her and put her back to sleep. What does my husband do? Turn away from her like she is disturbing his sleep. Uh, the nerve.

I guess I just needed to get some of this stuff off of my chest before I pop. Tell me the truth fellow moms, are all dads like this or do I just have a special case?

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Thumb/Finger Sucking

Found this article on askdrsears.com

Thumbs naturally find their way into the mouths of babes and often stay there for years. Thumbsucking is a boon to babies but bothers onlookers and dentists. So what’s a poor thumbsucker to do? Can a baby and her thumb find happiness together without public censure?

WHEN THUMBSUCKING IS HELPFUL

Some babies are born thumbsuckers. Ultrasound pictures show babies sucking their thumbs in the privacy of the womb. In many babies, the need to suck is not satisfied by bottle-feeding or breastfeeding alone, and they learn to suck on the ever- present thumb for comfort. In the early months, even tiny infants discover that one of life’s little pleasures is right in their hands and under their noses. We consider the ability of babies’ to use their own body parts for comfort as a sign of emotional health, not psychological disturbance. In fact, some veteran baby comforters even help their babies find their thumbs to self-quiet. What’s all the fuss about? Whose thumb is it anyway?

Some babies seem unsatisfied after bottle-feeding. They’ve had enough milk, but not enough sucking. One advantage of the breast is that it can still be sucked on even after the feeding is over, so baby can get the sucking he needs without over-filling his tummy. But there are times when the breasts’ owner has had enough and a few babies still need pacifying. If you don’t feel you can handle letting baby pacify on your breast, let him suck on your finger, and eventually, if he doesn’t discover them on his own, you can direct his thumb or fingers into his mouth. The seemingly insatiable desire to suck is there for a reason.

Sucking mellows the fussy baby, helping to organize the otherwise disorganized bio-rhythms of a newborn. Some babies need more mellowing than others. Our high-need baby was the only one of ours to suck her thumb. We thought it was sweet to see her snuggled up with her thumb while she slept. She started at three months and quit on her own at five months – a very uneventful thumb weaning. Martha was careful to breastfeed her frequently so that the thumb did not become a substitute for the breast. Sucking at the breast is more than eating to a baby or toddler. They learn that the comforting they get helps them relax. A child who has gotten attached to her thumb will tell you she needs it to help her relax.

WHEN THUMBSUCKING CAN BE HARMFUL

While most mothers, for practical reasons, give infant thumbsucking their thumbs-up approval, some dentists vote thumbs down. While this harmless habit subsides without concern or intervention in most infants by the age of two, some children increase their thumbsucking to such frequency and intensity that it becomes a social and dental problem.

Thumbs in push teeth out. In the first two to four years, don’t worry about thumb and teeth not getting along. Seldom does thumbsucking harm teeth in the child under four, and it usually subsides by this age anyway. But habitual thumbsucking at age three or four or older is a reason to start putting money aside for the orthodontist, especially if the child already has a hereditary overbite or protruding upper gum. Or, you can start thinking of ways to get that offending thumb out of the child’s mouth and into his pocket. Because of the way the thumb is forced against the inside of the upper front teeth, thumbsucking can cause overbite (buck teeth) and other dental malocclusions. If neither your child’s doctor nor his dentist are worried about the thumbsucking, you shouldn’t worry either.

Oversucked thumbs get sore. Habitual sucking is hard on the skin of the thumb. Spending too much time between the moisture of the tongue and the pressure of the teeth causes oversucked thumbs to look like one long callus; others crack and bleed. Some get infected (there is a red, swollen tender area where the thumb nail joins the skin).

Sucking becomes socially unacceptable. Toddlers don’t ridicule their thumbsucking peers because thumbsucking is standard operating procedure for children under two. But the older the sucker the more likely she’ll get teased about her thumb-in-mouth “disease.” In most children, the fact is that thumbsucking, like bedwetting, doesn’t reflect a psychological disorder. It’s just a habit — though unsightly to some older children and adults. Don’t fret about a happy thumbsucker who is gregarious and has a good self-image — this thumb will soon leave the mouth. But some suckers never show an unobstructed view of their smile; it’s as if their nose has grown a fist. They prefer sucking their thumbs to relating to peers. This scene is socially unacceptable and the thumb and its owner may be teased continually about being a “baby.”

THUMBSUCKING: 12 WAYS TO STOP IT

Like most normal but bothersome behaviors, if you did nothing but accept and ignore it the thumb would eventually find its way into other occupations. But if the habit persists and is harming the child’s teeth, try these tips:

1. Satiate sucking needs. Sucking satisfies the need for attachment. A need that is filled goes away; a need that is not filled stays as a habit. If you have a “sucky baby,” let her suck to her heart’s content during early infancy. Breastfeed on cue as long as possible. Let your baby suck your fingers. Allow non-nutritive sucking (sucking on an “empty” breast, finger or pacifier, collapsible bottle nipple) after the baby’s hunger is satisfied. An interesting study confirmed that babies who get their sucking needs met seldom become habitual thumbsuckers. In 1977 researchers studied fifty children between ages one and seven who were habitual thumbsuckers, and compared these with children who did not suck their thumb. The studies showed that thumbsuckers tended to be bottle- fed rather than breastfed. The later the child was weaned, the less likely he was to suck his thumb. The thumbsucking children tended to have been fed on schedule rather than on cue. And 96 percent of the thumbsuckers had been left to fall asleep alone after being fed. But not one of the non-thumbsuckers was left alone to fall asleep. Researchers theorize that during sleep persons return to primitive reflexes, such as sucking and hand-to-mouth actions. In our own pediatric practice we have noticed that babies who are nursed down to sleep and not weaned until they are ready are much less likely to become habitual thumbsuckers. Consider breastfeeding as a suck of prevention for habitual thumbsucking.

2. Offer early alternatives to sucking. If you are blessed with a baby with a strong sucking drive, instead of always automatically pacifying him by sucking, try alternatives: rocking, massage, playing animated games, and singing. The earlier baby learns that there are other ways to find comfort in addition to the breast, bottle, thumb, or pacifier, the more he will seek alternatives to oral gratification later.

3. Keep thumbs busy. Bored little thumbs often seek their friend, the mouth, when there is nothing better to do. Busy the bored child. When you see the thumb heading toward the mouth, distract and redirect the child into an activity that keeps both hands busy.

4. Keep life calm. As your toddler gets older he will use his thumb to help himself relax. This is good. You then do what you can to keep peaceful yourself, and that will flow over into a peaceful atmosphere in the home. Model relaxing ways and your child will learn from you; such as quiet times, long walks, music, and slow, deep breathing when you feel anxious.

5. Show and tell. If your child is old enough for thumbsucking to bother his teeth, he is old enough to understand why this habit harms his teeth. In front of a mirror let your child rub his index finger over the protruding upper teeth and put his fingertip into the gap between the upper and lower teeth during a bite. Imitate a buck teeth appearance (like Bugs Bunny), showing your child what can happen to thumbsucked teeth. Also, point out to your child that her sucked thumb does not look as nice as her other one.

6. Time your intervention. With thumbsucking, wait to intervene until your child is in a receptive mood. Trying to step between thumb and mouth when your child is not in a cooperative mood is likely to result in a power struggle. Your interference will be regarded as a threat to her independence.

7. Offer reminders. In the thumbsucker over four, try an adhesive bandage or tape on the thumb. A glove can remind and dissuade the nighttime thumbsucker. For the intensive night sucker who uses his thumb on his teeth like a crowbar, I’ve suggested a tongue-depressor taped to the thumb as a splint to keep the thumb from bending. If your child is older, talk with him about using a product that gets painted on the thumb and gives a stinging reminder when thumb meets lips. Encourage the child to paint it on himself – it’s his thumb and his habit.

8. Suggest a competing habit. With the child over four you can use the principle of a competing habit. Show your child how to fold his arms, squeeze his thumb, or some other gesture that he enjoys instead of sucking his thumb. A trick that I’ve used successfully in my office is the game of hide the thumb: “As soon as you feel like sucking your thumb, wrap your fingers over your thumb into a fist.” If it’s a bedtime habit, suggest hiding the thumb under the pillow.

9. Negotiate a milestone. If your child seems to be eager to meet goals you could give her a target date — “When you have your fourth birthday you can say goodbye to sucking your thumb!” Don’t hold your breath, though. On the big day she may smile sweetly at you and say “I’ve changed my mind.” Remember to smile sweetly back.

10. Consult your child’s dentist. When your compulsive thumbsucker is four years of age, and her teeth are starting to reflect the harmful habit, a dentist can fit a palatal appliance that keeps the thumb from pushing on the teeth.

11. Relate with people instead of the thumb. If you see your child withdrawing from group play and interacting with his thumb instead of other children, consider the possibility that your child may need a social boost. Rather than attack the thumbsucking, delve into the underlying self-esteem problem that may hamper his social interaction. If you need some help in this department, consult a professional.

12. Chart-a-thumb. Once peer pressure begins, the child over ages six or seven may want to stop thumb-sucking for her own reasons. Offer to help her design a chart that she can use on her own to mark down the number of times she sucks every day. She’ll be motivated to see the number get smaller and smaller. You do not have to watch her, or remind her, or check up on her charting.

Which are better, thumbs or pacifiers? Babies would vote for thumbs. They are always available, taste familiar, don’t get lost in the night, and don’t fall on the floor. Dentists would vote for pacifiers. Children don’t use them like crowbars against their upper teeth, and they can be “lost” – permanently. Even for those who dislike the way “these things” obstruct the view of a baby’s face, it’s hard not to like the quieting effect of the silicone plug. All babies suck their thumbs at some time. Most outgrow it, and if their sucking needs are appropriately met in early infancy, they seldom carry the thumb-sucking habit into childhood.

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Random Thoughts of the Day

Why don’t public places have baby changing tables in the men’s bathrooms? Do they assume men will never go out alone with babies or that when they do babies won’t need changing? And why doesn’t all public places have a family bathroom for this same reason.

And why do places like Carter’s and Children’s Place have such heavy doors to get into their stores? For instance KoKo and I went to a Carter’s store at an outdoor mall outlet and KoKo was in her stroller. The doors were so freaking heavy I had the hardest time keeping them open while getting KoKo in. Why can’t they have automatic doors especially when they are a store for children? They know mothers will have strollers. Geesh.

Why don’t public places and employers create rooms for nursing moms to have some privacy? Since people seem to think something so natural and wonderful is vulgar why don’t they create safe, quiet, private spaces for nursing moms? I think everyone would appreciate that, what do you think?

Why do women only get 6 weeks off for maternity leave? It takes 6 weeks for your baby to bond with you and then its off to the daycare or nanny while mommy goes back to work. It’s awful! I had the hardest time coming back to work. Even though my daughter (Thank God) can stay with her grandparents while I am at work I still would much rather be at home with her doing mommy daughter things then fooling with these idiots I work with.

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Baby’s First Teeth: How to Care for Them

This article comes from http://www.fitpregnancy.com

By the time your child is 5, more than 30 percent of his classmates will have tooth decay, which can be well advanced even by age 3. “Early preventative care is the key to keeping your baby cavity-free,” says Elizabeth a. Shick, D.D.S., M.P.H., assistant professor of pediatric dentistry at the University of Colorado, Denver School of Dental Medicine.

Related: The New Mom’s Survival Guide

But the tips you’ve heard from your mom and your mom’s mom might not be the best plan of action today (like waiting until baby’s older to use fluoride toothpaste): the American Dental Association recently changed their guidelines. Read on to learn the latest in tooth-care, plus timeless tips that keep your baby’s teeth cavity-free.

Related: The Truth About Teething

Keep bacteria at bay. Before the first tooth erupts, wipe your baby’s gums with a wet washcloth after every feeding.  The Mam Oral Care Rabbit features soft rabbit “ears” that fit over your fingers so you can gently remove bacteria. ($6, amazon.com)

Brush early and often. Starting with the first tooth, begin a twice-daily routine using a soft infant brush. Place the soft rubber bristles of the NUK Grins & Giggles Infant Tooth & Gum Cleanser on your fingertip to “brush” your baby’steeth. ($7, amazon.com)

Use fluoride sooner than you think. Brush baby’s first teeth with a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste as soon as teeth surface (instead of waiting until baby’s older), according to the latest guidelines from the American Dental Association, which suggest an early start for optimal cavity prevention. The recommendation follows a new review published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, finding that fluoride toothpaste can reduce cavities in children under 6-years-old. Just make sure you use small amounts, to avoid ingestion.

Soothe sore gums. You can alleviate pain with teething rings, cold spoons or a cold wet washcloth or even a clean finger. One of the best teething rings that also doubles as a toothbrush is Baby Buddy Baby’s 1st Toothbrush. ($5, amazon.com)  This product was developed by a pediatric dentist. If you choose a teething medicine, reach for one that doesn’t contain the local anesthetic benzocaine; the Food and Drug administration recommends that parents not choose benzocaine products for children younger than 2 years old as its use can lead to methemoglobinemia, a rare but serious disorder in which the amount of oxygen in the blood stream is greatly reduced. Hylands Homeopathic Teething Tablets are free of benzocaine, dyes and parabens. ($7, amazon.com)

Even breast milk and formula can lead to tooth decay, so take your baby to a pediatric dentist shortly after she gets her first tooth (usually around 6 months) and no later than her first birthday.

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Sucky Fingers

KoKo got her first teeth when she turned 8 months. It was at this time that she began sucking the first two fingers on her right hand. At first I thought it was a passing phase but at 9 months she still sucks her fingers.

She sucks them all day long. She sucks them in the morning when she wakes up. When she is upset. When she is riding in the car. When she is hungry or sleepy. At night while she sleeps she will put her fingers in her mouth and all I hear are sucking noises. In the morning her fingers smell like vinegar because she has been sucking them all night long. All I know to do is wash her hands. She doesn’t like pacifiers, which I have tried to give her on numerous occasions.

She has sucked her fingers so much that now she has blister like sores on her fingers. It is driving me crazy and I don’t know what to do. When I try to pull her fingers out of her mouth she starts grunting at me and whining. And believe it or not she is really strong so it is not easy to pull her fingers out of her mouth. Once I get them out though she puts them right back in. The more I think about it though I did wean her off the breast when she was 8 months because she kept biting me. This was around the time she began sucking on her fingers. And now she has this habit of sucking on my breast for short periods of time even though there is not much if any milk left. Maybe her sucking her fingers could be a substitute for the breast. Should I try to let her nurse again or use the breast as a pacifier as an article I posted about finger sucking suggest.

My husband is mad because she has blister like sores on her fingers and he thinks I am not being stern enough but how am I suppose to keep a  9 month old from sucking her fingers?

Does anybody have any suggestions? I am worried not only about the skin on her fingers but I am also worried about her teeth. I have been wondering for a while how to care for her teeth. How do I keep her breath fresh? Am I suppose to brush her teeth? Is Fluoride or Non-Fluoride toothpaste the best?I know that sucking fingers or thumbs can cause teeth to stick out and I don’t want that to happen to her. There is no where in the mommy book that gives advice on how to deal with this problem.

Any advice anyone can offer will be greatly appreciated.

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Letting Go of Mommy Guilt

Mommy in Bonlee

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I love taking pictures of my kids on Instagram.  When we go somewhere or make something that I think is really cool, I snap a picture of them smiling and happy, edit it, and post it, sometimes forwarding it on to Facebook.  I think it’s a good way for family and friends who don’t live close by to keep up with the kids, and I also really enjoy the creative aspect of taking a great picture.

I don’t take pictures with the intention of getting compliments, but people sometimes comment with things like “Your kids are so lucky” or  “You’re such a good mom.”  You would think this would make me feel good, but when people make comments like this, I have a pretty standard stream of negative thoughts that run through my mind: Why would they say that? or Boy, have I got them fooled! or No, I’m not. …

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My experience with Co-Sleeping

So I did a post on co-sleeping and I have found a great article about co-sleeping that all new moms should read.

The article mentioned one thing that I thought was such a minute detail but extremely important. It talked about having a conversation with your partner about co-sleeping and it made me realize that the only conversation my husband and I ever had about co-sleeping is that we were not going to do it. But as I have revealed we did do it and at 9 months Ko-Ko is still in the bed with us and we don’t know when she is going to get out and she is such wild but light sleeper.

The problem we are having now is that when we get out of the bed she wakes up. When we want to stay up and watch tv or a movie she thinks she is suppose to stay up and watch tv and let’s not even begin to talk about our almost non-existent sex life. Before Ko-Ko we use to cuddle each other to sleep or find our way to one another in the middle of the night but now Ko-Ko is in the middle and we never get to touch each other.

I love my sweet baby but I am also a woman with needs and I want my bed back! She sleeps up under me and darn near pushes me off the bed. She needs her own bed like yesterday already.