Pets and babies: Making it work!

Pets and babies: Making it work!

Here's question I got from a past client after coming home with their newborn.  

I am thinking of getting rid of my dog and cat. I just can’t handle them with our new baby. Have you had other parents who felt the same way during these early weeks and then things got better?

My answer: I appreciate your honesty. A new baby in the house is a huge adjustment for everyone, including our pets!

I worked with a family and their 3-week-old recently, and it was obvious how much their family dog means to them. The house is decorated with professional photos of the dog, comfy pet beds fill the corners and soft blankets cover special chairs. The dog had still not eaten her breakfast by the time I arrived at noon, causing angst in the mom. …

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Plan ahead for smooth summer travel with children

Plan ahead for smooth summer travel with children

Summertime is almost here and that means many of you will be traveling with your little ones. Some of my clients get nervous about traveling with their babies and toddlers for fear of upsetting well-established eating and sleeping routines, which is certainly understandable. My phone tends to ring a bit more than usual after holiday or summer travel with families at their wit’s end from lack of sleep. 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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We were all thumbs, or, what to do about thumbsucking

We were all thumbs, or, what to do about thumbsucking

Q. My baby used to love her pacifier, but now she’s found her thumb and there’s no looking back. Should I worry about the problems we’ll have breaking her of this habit in the future?

You’ve certainly asked the right person - I had a thumb-sucker myself. (Notice the emphasis on “had.”)

Sucking is one of the most common ways babies and toddlers comfort and settle themselves. Many – like my daughter, Olivia, for instance – start in the womb. According to Cary lactation consultant Cindi Freeman, “Sucking is a normal and necessary biological activity for young children that can last well beyond their weaning from the breast and bottle.”  And sucking on a thumb has several advantages over a pacifier. ...

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What to hand a hungry toddler

What to hand a hungry toddler

My kids are great eaters. Foodies, you might say. We raised them that way from the get go. Instead of chicken nuggets and french fries, we offered miso soup loaded with tofu as an early staple. Now 23 and 19, I could have paid for their college education with all the sushi they’ve eaten over the years. 

My daughter makes French macarons to die for. My son has a whole science project going on in his kitchen with all kinds of homemade fermenting vegetables, kimchi and kombucha. He even got me making my own sauerkraut and it's delicious. But I digress. ...

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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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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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