Is it time for a big boy or big girl bed?

Is it time for a big boy or big girl bed?

One critical factor used to consider whether your child is ready for a “big girl” or “big boy” bed is if they are saying they want one. Often it seems it’s the parents driving the readiness train and not necessarily the children. It’s better to be a little late in the game than too early when it comes to sleeping in a bed. Why? Because if they are too young, they won’t have the cognitive ability to understand staying in their bed all night or all nap, which means Mom or Dad are now dealing with that issue.

I often hear from parents who moved their little ones into a bed hoping it would promote better sleep. ...

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Books for your babies

Books for your babies

As postpartum doulas and baby experts with close to a quarter of a century experience (for some of us) working with babies and young children, we have opinions about STUFF. You know, the stuff that takes over your home and changes it from DINK digs to something resembling an indoor playground. 

Let me quickly add, when it comes to stuff, we think less is more. More stuff does not make parenting easier or better. It doesn’t make children smarter or happier. In fact, too much stuff can overwhelm a baby, toddler or young child. (If you already have too many toys and books, learn about how to manage them and make playtime more fun here.) 

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Planning ahead makes for smoother summer travel

Planning ahead makes for smoother summer travel

Summer is almost here and that means many of you will be traveling with your little ones. Many parents find the idea of traveling with their babies, toddlers and preschoolers anxiety producing out of fear of upsetting well-established sleeping routines. This is understandable since children tend to do better with consistent routines. However, with a little forethought and planning, and some extra attention paid to your child’s needs, summer travels will yield treasured times with family and friends. 

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The "right" way to solve a sleep problem

The "right" way to solve a sleep problem

I’ve had two sleep support inquiries recently that were on opposite ends of the spectrum. Both were from parents with 10-month-old little girls. Both baby girls bed share and still breastfeed during the night.

One question went like this: “Is it okay that my 10-month-old still wakes during the night and nurses back to sleep? I don’t actually know how often she’s up because I pretty much sleep through it. I like having her with me but people keep telling me I shouldn’t be doing this.”

The other question went like this: “How can we get our daughter to sleep in her crib? She’s up all night crying and the only thing that gets her back to sleep is nursing her, and we’re exhausted and at our wits end. One of us always has to be in bed with her and we have no time together anymore for just the two of us.” ...

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What does the babysitter need to know?

What does the babysitter need to know?

One of my clients recently went out to get a hair cut while I stayed home with her baby. This is a fairly common occurrence. We like to give our clients time for themselves, including a little pampering. I have her and her husband’s cell phone numbers, but I got to thinking while she was gone about what information parents should leave their sitter. Though kids don’t come with operating instructions, leaving detailed information for the person in charge when you’re not home makes good sense.

Rather than posting the information on a sticky note each time you head out the door, put a little effort in up front and it will last you for years. Consider using a small binder (½ to 1 inch) with extra paper in it behind your details. ...

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Spring cleaning? Remember to clean the air, too!

Spring cleaning?  Remember to clean the air, too!

Breathing. Something most of us take for granted and yet, without it we perish. Many of us spend quite a bit of time thinking about the quality of the food and water we put into our bodies in order to achieve and support good health, but how often do we think about the quality of our air? Unlike some countries whose pollution levels force the citizens to think about it, our air quality isn’t something we typically need to consider. 

Until we have to. 

That’s what happened to us. Oh sure, I had dabbled in so-called air purifiers because of my seasonal allergies and the fact that we have pets indoors. But it wasn’t until my husband was hit with a debilitating sinus issue that we got serious about it. In fact, his ENT told him to get a high quality air purifier and use it. ...

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Eight Things To Do Before Baby Arrives

Eight Things To Do Before Baby Arrives

Q. I hear talk about “nesting” before the baby arrives. I’ll be working right up to the last minute. Is there anything I should do in the last weeks before my baby is born?

A. Yes. Hire a cleaning company. Get your house scrubbed clean from top to bottom. Let’s face it, scrubbing bathtubs, toilets and kitchen floors could be treacherous for a pregnant body with a wonky center of gravity. Let someone else do it instead. Then, consider having them come at least monthly after the baby is born. If that’s not in your budget, ask for it as a gift. I’d rather buy baby clothes from consignment shops and have my house cleaned, if I had to choose. And, you might find housecleaning deals through some of the online coupon sites though I prefer a word of mouth recommendation from someone you know and trust. 

I just learned of a great idea from one of my clients...

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How to fit in exercise after having a baby

How to fit in exercise after having a baby

Q: It’s hard enough to get myself fed now that I have a new baby. How do I fit in regular exercise?

A: We know that learning to take care of basic necessities like showering, preparing and eating food, and getting errands done can be challenging in the early months. It’s no wonder that exercise and self-care falls to the wayside. But just like eating and showering, regular exercise provides important benefits to you AND your baby. I’d like to see it placed toward the top of a new mother’s priority list.

To answer your question of “how,” I’ve turned to some of my clients who have mastered making exercise a part of their lives after having a baby – or babies in this case.

“After having my twins, much of my life seemed out of control. Exercise was a great way for me to regain control of my body and my health,” says Leslie Fox, a mom of three in Cary. “It was also an integral part of getting over the baby blues.”

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