The holidays are a magical time for children, and the temptations run high. The flickering candles on the table, the blinking lights everywhere, not to mention all the colorful ornaments and tasty looking tinsel. Or even the edible popcorn and cranberry garlands that are perfect for snacking.
Like my parents, I’m sure I will try my hardest to baby proof the house for the holidays, and then overlook one essential detail. I mean, there are just so many ways to be thwarted! Even if we erect a corral around the Christmas tree, there are still plenty of other decorations around the house. Aren’t poinsettias pretty poisonous?
How do you make sure your space is ready for your curious tots?
I’ve never been that interested in Black Friday, my self. I’ve been an off-peak shopper for years, since I have no patience for lines and I like to get my errands done as quickly as possible. I find the whole concept pretty fascinating, and I’d love to hear what you consider to be the pros and cons of Black Friday shopping.
How do you feel about Black Friday? Are you boycotting the stores or are you trying to be the first in line to get the best deals?
Now that we’re approaching our first holiday season with Frances, I’ve been thinking a lot about family traditions. What rituals did I relish as a kid? What yearly activities do we want to incorporate into our celebrations? Is it time to re-imagine some of our current traditions?
Quite a few years back we decided to have a Greek-themed Thanksgiving for once. No, we’re not Greek. I wasn’t looking forward to cooking for three days, by myself, only to sit down to a meal I was tired of eating. I think the year before we had turkey for Thanksgivig and Christmas, and I was still burnt out on it. Plus, it’s such a rich and heavy meal! I wanted a menu that incorporated a few more fresh and raw ingredients, and that was a little more vegetarian-friendly. Thus, Greek Thanksgiving was created.
I haven’t looked back since. I love lamb, hummus, tzatiki, tabboleh, greek salad and, most of all, baklava for dessert. Plus, almost everything is made ahead of time. No sweating over the gravy as guests salivate over their wine glasses. It didn’t occur to me that I would ever do another turkey Thanksgiving until my husband brought it up. Didn’t I want Frances to experience what every other American child does? To relate to the tastes and smells of a “traditional” feast?
No family celebrates the holidays in exactly the same way, but a Turkey on T-Day is pretty much assumed. So maybe we’ll have to alter our family tradition just a little. Maybe next year we’ll have a turkey, or a goose the year after that. Or maybe Franci will just end up with those crazy parents that don’t have a turkey on Thanksgiving??
Even 9 months in, Frances spends the first 15 minutes after eating in a reclined position. Although she spits up less than she used to, it’s still a threat after each meal. As a result, nothing has gotten quite as much use in our household as Franci’s bouncy seat. She has spent hours sitting in it, on the back porch in the shade, in front of the fireplace, next to me while I type up blog posts.
There are a lot of choices out there for bouncy seats and, to be honest, we hardly ever turned on the music or vibration. Bouncy seats are pretty easy to come by used or borrowed. Still, we’ve loved our Fisher-Price Little SnugaMonkey. It’s soft, easy to wash, gender neutral and the colors don’t make the living room look like a daycare. From the beginning, Frances has loved staring at the dangling monkeys overhead and, more recently, grabbing for them.
Sadly, I think it’s about time to graduate her to a different seat. Although she’s still 8 pounds away from the maximum capacity, it’s starting to seem a little small. The real question is, what sort of lounger comes next? She really does need to be reclined after eating, so a straight-back chair isn’t going to cut it. I’ve done some searching, but aside from bean bags I haven’t found anything worth spending money on.
I’m hoping some of you have suggestions on what sort of lounging chair is appropriate for a 9 month old!
Taking her to the dentist now seems drastic, but it’s probably time to think about brushing. A quick Amazon search for Infant Toothbrush returns so many different types of teeth-cleaning devices, I don’t know where to begin. Do we start with a finger toothbrush? Or a silicone toothbrush? Or should we start right away with a toothbrush with bristles, since that’s what she’ll use eventually?
And what about training toothpaste? Is it good enough to just use water at this point?
Frances can no longer sleep through the sound of a single dog bark, but doesn’t wake up after vomiting all over herself? Motherhood is full of surprises!
This morning Franci awoke at her usual time with her usual smile and giggle, accompanied by a little surprise for her dad: a huge pile of dry vomit. At some point in the night, she had puked in the crook of her arm while on her stomach. The dried chunks covered her face and hair, and her sleep sack and pajamas were cold and damp. Whatever made her sick worked it’s way out of both ends, because her diaper was in a similar state of affairs.
An infant getting sick in the middle of the night isn’t big news, I’m just incredulous that she slept that way for hours! And that she didn’t even notice upon waking up. The smell alone was enough to make me cry. That and the thought that my poor baby slept in her own barf. Maybe she wasn’t upset because whatever made her stomach turn was short-lived. Her temperature and temperment are completely normal and if you ignore the load of bedding tumbling in the dryer, it’s like none of it even happened.
Every parent has at least one good vomit story in his or her repetroire, so let’s commiserate. What’s your best tale of puke?
In an attempt to empty our deep freeze enough to defrost it, and because of my stockpiling reduction quest, we’ve been putting off a trip to Costco for months. It’s been so hard watching the coupon books come and go and to NOT jump in the car to stock up on coconut water or ziplock bags, but until this weekend I remained strong.
Finally, we could wait no longer. Well, the dogs couldn’t anyway, since their food comes from Costco. So we made a family trip to our favorite warehouse store and filled not one, but TWO carts! So now the fridge is full and the one empty freezer shelf was filled. I just couldn’t help myself! The holidays are coming, and I am determined not to run out of butter or pecans this year.
The only upside is that we managed to avoid buying even one package of meat, which is a personal best. I couldn’t avoid stocking up on parchment paper, however, since like Christmas, it only comes around once a year.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was planning to pick up the pace on using baby sign language. I finally found the book I was looking for when I cleaned house, and I’m glad I did!
The Baby Signing Book by Sara Bingham is a great resource that I’d recommend to anyone wanting to use ASL with their kids. The book starts out with instructions on how to introduce sign language to your baby. The following sections are geared toward young babies, older babies and toddlers.
Bingham includes strategies and “teaching moments” as well as “Notes from a signing parent”. All of these additions helped me get excited about signing with Frances. She encourages you to use as few, or as many, signs as you’re comfortable with, and I appreciated her low-stress approach.
There is a pretty good sized selection of baby signs included. It covers most of the signs we’ll be using, but doesn’t include a few I was interested in, like patient and poop. Overall, there are plenty of signs worth learning. I especially appreciated the “memory aids” she includes with each sign to help you remember them.
The last section includes several songs and the signs that accompany them. I like the idea of signing while singing, and I’ve already committed a few to memory.
If you’re only going to buy one book about Baby Sign Language, I’d check out The Baby Signing Book.
Frances’ “bad behavior” started off with hair pulling and nipple biting. A stern “NO” and forcing her to release the hair (or nipple) still results in a giggle and a big smile.
Like all babies, she loves computers. If she’s sitting on my lap while I type, she struggles in my arms to reach for the keyboard. Moving her farther away, or removing the keyboard from her path, results in a meltdown.
Now that Frances is crawling, she’s getting herself into a lot more trouble. We’re more into “house-proofing” the baby than “baby-proofing” the house, but parenting books don’t seem to get into the “how-to’s” of accomplishing that. I’ve read different ideas on correcting “wrong” behavior, and I’m curious to hear what our readers have found to be successful.
What do you use as an age-appropriate “punishment” for your infant? How do you discourage “wrong” behavior?
As I mentioned in last week’s post, we’ve been having success with infant potty training. One of the best investments we made when starting out was the BabyBjorn Smart Potty. At $15, it’s paid for itself in saved diapers and loads of laundry.
As you can see, Frances loves to sit on it. I think some times she holds it in, just so she can sit there longer playing patty cake and looking around. Before she could sit on her own, I would hold Frances over it, one hand on her back and the other holding her feet. We even bought one to keep over at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
I know we could try holding her over the toilet, or over a bowl or whatever else, but I’m really glad we’ve had this from the beginning. The inside comes right out for easy rinsing in the toilet with our diaper sprayer.
If you’re thinking of trying infant potty training, I’d give this model a try. Even if you don’t end up doing infant potty training, it will be easy for your toddler to use when it’s time.