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Confessions of a Disorganized Mom

When my oldest daughter (now age 7) was a baby, my friend asked me what time she normally took a nap. I was clueless. “Whenever she falls asleep,” was my likely answer.

I’m often regarded by clients and associates as the Queen of Organization. As the creator of such a detailed time-management system like the Baby Love Carebook, how could I be anything but a type-A, Martha Stewart-like mother with all her ducks in a very straight row?

The truth is, I’ve always hated routines. I’ve always been very laid back and flexible. I like to do things when I feel like it. I’ve never had a designated “laundry day” or “grocery day.” My professional life has always revolved around deadlines and details. I’ve developed my own method of paying attention to the smallest detail in an organized fashion, but waiting until the last minute to get anything accomplished.

Imagine my anxiety as a new mom when I realized that babies don’t enjoy such a leisurely approach to living. In fact, babies can be downright crabby when they are expected to eat at 10 a.m. one day, and 10:30 a.m. the next. Try to put them down for a nap at 1 p.m. some days, 2 p.m. on others and they cry … a lot!

Now that I’m raising three children, I know better. I firmly believe that children are happier with a consistent routine. However, I also know that all children are unique. My oldest daughter loves a big breakfast, my middle girl prefers to wait a few hours in the morning before she will eat anything. It’s up to you as parents to discover and nurture the best routines for your children.

Routines did not come naturally to me, that’s why the Baby Love Carebook was invented. I found it was the only way to keep myself on track. Writing down my baby’s ideal routine helped ensure that I would stick to it. And keeping all our information in one place made me more likely to reach out to others for help when I needed a break. Please visit www.babylovecarebook.com for new products and promotions, including the Doctor Diary for tracking all your doctor visits. You’ll love this helpful addition to your Carebook! Make this the year you become an organized parent, and take advantage of our new, lower prices for 2010.

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U.S. Babies and Children Allergic to Our Food Supply

I’ve just listened to a webcast on Parenting Unplugged Radio featuring Robyn O’Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth: How our food is making us sick – and what we can do about it. It sheds new light on the prevalence of allergies in our children, specifically milk allergies, and the processed, artificial food supply we subject them to. Listen here: http://parentingunpluggedradio.com/?p=274

If you’re struggling with discovering a food allergy, intolerance or unexplained behavior in your child (such as ADD or ADHD), please look at your food supply. How many labels do you have to read to get through your dinner? How much high fructose corn syrup, hydrolyzed soy protein, msg, hormone-laden milk or hydrogenated oils do you consume? If you’ve never thought about or checked labels, you are likely supplying your family with a toxic diet (even if you are simply breastfeeding your infant).

This is one of the most succinct and well-researched resources I’ve found on the subject of food allergies and gave me reason to pause and reflect on my own struggles with dairy intolerance in all three of my children. (Read previous post Is My Baby Allergic to Me? for common reactions.) I thought I knew it all on the subject of toxic food, but she educated me further. I’m anxious to read the book just to see what more I can learn. Check out her web site at www.allergykids.com for more information.

Oh, and here’s a funny aside if you’ve listened to the segment where Robyn describes weaning her children off of neon orange mac and cheese. I had my own experience with this when my oldest daughter was finally able to digest cow’s milk and became obsessed with the gooey orange junk. I began buying the natural mac and cheese, which is usually white or slightly yellow, and added pureed organic winter squash to beef up the orange color. She can’t taste it, gets a nice helping of beta carotene and none of the toxins associated with the red and yellow food dyes. I slowly switched to flax seed pasta and ACTUAL CHEESE (gasp!) instead of packaged powder, but continue to add squash. To this day, she has no idea and insists that I make the best mac and cheese in the world. Maybe it’s a baby step, but still one worth taking. Try it!

 
 

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New Baby? Won’t Stop Crying? Ten Easy Steps to Happiness.

Falling in love with your baby is easy, taking care of a fussy baby… not so easy. All that crying really is your baby’s way of communicating. Now, what on earth is he or she trying to say? And why didn’t anyone warn you about this before you had children? Don’t be tempted to call it colic just yet. You can discover what is wrong.

As a first-time mom, I wrote these instructions for my husband so I could take a break. He was always able to figure out our babies cries by using this as a checklist. Once your baby is on a consistent routine, you will eliminate a lot of crying and fussiness by meeting needs before they become urgent. In the meantime – when you’re at your wits end – take a deep breath and try each of these until you find the right one.

Happiness Routine (what your baby is really trying to tell you)

  1. Change my position. Or change your position; stand, bounce or sway.
  2. Burp me. Try different positions, not just on your shoulder.
  3. Feed me. If I’m really hungry, I may resist a bottle at first. Be gentle but persistent. For breastfed babies who are not used to a bottle, try a wide-mouth nipple with medium or fast flow. (Fussy babies are often fussy because we are unable to digest cow’s milk in any form; whether in mom’s diet passed through the breast milk or in dairy-based formula… please try eliminating cow’s milk.)
  4. Talk to me. Let me know you love me.
  5. Help me sleep. If I won’t look you in the eye, I may be really tired. Take me to a dark, quiet room and rock me to sleep.
  6. Hold me in the “pooping position.” When I’m semi-reclined in your lap, gently push my knees to my chest or rub my belly. Gas drops or Gripe Water may help relieve gas pains.
  7. Check my diaper. Cloth diapers may need to be changed more often than disposables, but disposables are more likely to irritate the skin. If diaper rash is severe and not related to a food allergy; try switching to cloth.
  8. See if I’m too hot or too cold. I probably don’t need a hat, jacket, booties and gloves inside the house.
  9. Swaddle me. I feel more secure when I’m wrapped snug in a blanket.
  10. Hold me. It’s what I love most, and I even produce growth hormones when held. Carry me in a sling or other carrier to make both of us happy.

You will know when you’ve been stricken with baby love. One touch of silky-soft baby skin and suddenly, your life is worth so much more. Your heart melts at the sight of one tiny grin and the weight of the world seems to lift at the sound of a contented baby sigh. Caring for a baby is exhausting, sometimes frustrating work, but baby love is fierce … and can inspire you to accomplish anything you can imagine. Keep up the great work, you really can do this, and all these challenging stages will pass before you know it. For more help setting up your routine, try www.babylovecarebook.com.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2009 in The Baby Years

 

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