12 doula tips when visiting new parents

12 doula tips when visiting new parents

Do you have the perfect family and friends who know (or knew) just how to support you after your birth? They realize that recovering from childbirth, whether natural or otherwise, takes time, and that the new baby (or babies) need time to adjust to the world and bond with their new family. They understand how to nurture the new or growing family with food, household help and space. 

Oh, that’s not how it was/is for you? Then we can help. It’s called Tips From the Doula and was written by our own doula extraordinaire, Erica Aday. It works well posted in plain view or distributed to well-meaning friends and family in advance of visits. Here’s how it goes:  ...

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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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