How to Potty Train Your Child

otty training your toddler can be a stressful task, especially when you have an unwilling party. Here are some tips to ease some of the stress associated with potty training.

Make Sure They Are Ready

There is nothing worse than trying to potty train a child who isn’t physically or emotionally ready.

A child is typically ready between 18 to 36 months. Some signs of readiness may include :

can identify by gestures or words that their
diaper is soiled or when they about to soil their diaper

stays dry for longer periods

has bowel movements at a predictable time of the day (usually in the morning)

knows the difference between urinating and having a bowel movement

can pull down pants

isn’t afraid of the potty

The important thing to remember is to work at your child’s pace. Don’t allow others to predict when your child is ready.

Use Visual Aids

One of the best ways to introduce your toddler to the potty is by example. Allow them to watch you use the potty.

Purchase a potty chair and place it in the bathroom. Allow them to sit on the potty fully clothed to become familiar with it.

Buy or check out books from the library on the subject. If there is an older sibling, allow them to serve as a “mentor” during the process. (Like in the Pull-ups commercial)

Have A Dress Rehearsal

Allow your child to sit on the potty with their clothes on.

Then maybe it won’t be intimidating. If they show any interest in pulling off their diaper and giving it a try, then by all means allow them to.

Let your child be in control of the situation, not you. This will help them in feeling independent.

Practice Makes Perfect

After your child is familiar and comfortable with the potty, go for a trial run. Offer to allow them to use the potty without a diaper.

If they perform, offer a subtle praise. If not, don’t make a big deal about it. Continue to offer the potty periodically throughout the day and so on.

If your child becomes agitated about using the potty, then give it a break for a few days. Once everything is settled, start over again until they become comfortable and able to go on their own. Potty training is an ongoing process.

Whether or not it is better to start toilet training with disposable or cloth training pants is totally up to you and your child.

Some children may prefer the cloth over disposable because the look and feel like underwear.

Of course, parents may prefer disposable because its easier to clean up. Try both and see what works.

There are many parents who swear by no training pants at all. If the weather is nice, allow your child to walk around bare. Again, with this method clean-up can be messy.

Final Note

Other tips include dressing your child in clothing that is easy for them to pull down. And remember that accidents can and will happen.

Don’t make your child feel bad about having an accident. Always have a spare change of clothing available while on outings.

It may take weeks or even months before your child is fully potty trained. Just remember to continue showing your love and have patience during the process.

EARLY PREGNANCY: I AM 12 WEEKS

So happy about that! This week has been so much better than the past three weeks. The last two days before weekend started I have got my energy back. And my appetite!

I am still careful about what I eat and don’t go for sugar, caffeine or anything too persevered.

I’ve also had my maternity exemption card, first appointment with my midwife and dates for my first scan confirmed.

It feels like I have nothing but exciting times ahead. I am very happy!

ANOMALY SCAN – 20-21 WEEK PREGNANT

It has been an emotional week, least to say but I have made it to the other side in one piece and with a little bit more strength than the week before.

Today is a exciting day for one precious thing that I have been counting down to since I was between week 12-13. It is the day of my anomaly scan.

There is just one dominant emotion running in me and that is joy, today I will see my precious little baby again 

And I will find out the sex, which I want to know because I am ready to start planning and getting some sort of a wardrobe going.

I feel like everything is fine with the baby, it is just a feeling and I trust it because there is no point in focusing on anything else.

Only time will reveal all the information I am meant to be made aware off.

PREGNANT BELLY CASTING – HOW TO

Creating a pregnant belly cast is a great way for moms to be to create a lasting memory of the baby bump.

Daddy W suggested we create a belly cast at start of my maternity leave to capture my pregnant body in a way photos and videos can’t and to create a keepsake that we can show our baby later showing what I looked like when he was inside.

To create your pregnant belly cast you can buy a kit for around £8 – £25. These kits are available on eBay, John Lewis and even some TK Maxx shops.

If you want to buy a kit just Google ‘pregnancy belly cast kit’ and click on the ‘shopping’ option to view what is available.

Daddy W and I decided to order the mod rock bandages directly from eBay and use that along with some PVA glue we already had in the shed to make our cast without the kit.

That worked cheaper at around £4 which is half what the cheapest kit we found was available for.

Best time to make your pregnant belly cast is when you are around 36 to 38 weeks pregnant.

I made mine when I was 37 weeks pregnant which was perfect as I was still able to lie down flat while Daddy W put the cast bandages on me.

You can do this while you are standing up or sitting down on a covered chair too if laying down is not comfortable.

Here is what you need to make your own pregnant belly cast:

  1. 5 rolls of mod rock plaster (of Paris bandage) (I got 8cm X 3m rolls from this retailer on eBay. The cost when I purchased mine was 3 for £2.88)
  2. A good pair of scissors
  3. Warm water
  4. PVA glue (you only need a small amount that you mix in the water to strengthen the cast and prevent it from going crumbly)
  5. A tub of Vaseline (to cover any hairy areas unless you want to have a painful waxing experience)
  6. A few old towels (or anything else you have around like a yoga mat to cover the floor or shower curtains to cover a chair if you are doing this seated)
  7. Old newspaper or magazine (to dry your mould on when it’s done)

(You need your partner or a friend to help you do the belly cast on you. This is something that would be quite hard to do on your self).

When you’ve covered the area you’ll be working on (chair or floor) and covered any hairy bits with layers of Vaseline, here are the steps to create your own pregnant belly cast:

Step one: Cut the bandages into strips to cover your baby bump.

We cut ours in smaller pieces (one inch) which meant we could shape them along the bump, breasts, nipples and belly button and smooth any edges along the way.

Step two: Mix a big table spoon of PVA glue in a large bowl of warm water. Dip one bandage at a time in the mix before laying it on the belly to start creating your cast.

We did 4 layers in total with 5 layers on the belly to give the bump some extra strength.

Step Three: The cast dried very quickly but I stayed laying down with all the layers on me for 15 minutes before Daddy W lifted it off me and put it on top of some old newspapers to let it dry some more.

That’s all you need to do to create your own pregnant belly cast. I would let it dry for at least 72 hours before starting to do any further work on it.

We’ve not made up our mind yet on how we will decorate ours. As soon as we have i’ll share the pictures on here with an update.

After the cast you’ll need a warm shower or a bath to get bits of the plaster off your skin and not to mention the Vaseline.

EARLY PREGNANCY

I’ve been feeling off food since yesterday. I can’t stomach anything, but know I have to eat. I am hungry.

Then I finally thought about one thing I could think about stomaching…milkshake.

I got one banana and mango and went off to make a tasty milkshake for my hubby and myself.

But in the midst of hunger and crazy hormones I accidentally put lots of salt instead of sugar. I don’t normally have sugar but as I am low on energy I need it.

I didn’t notice until I’d taken the first big gallup of the milkshake that there was salt in there not sugar…yuk

Now back to the thinking board to see what else I can stomach.

EARLY PREGNANCY: WORK STRESS

Although I only work in marketing things can get really serious and stressful at times.

It doesn’t help that I have got a line manager that I just don’t get along with. He doesn’t know I am pregnant yet, but I swear even if he knew it feels as though all he comes to work to do is to make my life harder.

The past few weeks he has been on me more that usual. For every achievement I master he seems to find something new that I didn’t do.

Needless to say he is a prick and I can’t wait to stop working with him soon.

Throughout my 1st trimester I have been extra mindful of this and impact this has me.

This has been important because I don’t want get overly stressful at work, emotional or worst of all loose my temper.

Not that I have bad moods but some days he does get on my nerves.

There are a few things I’ve picked up that really seem to help me. These are:

  • Take a breather – I make sure to take 5 mins break every hour. During that break I must leave my desk and move around.
  • Eat small regular meals – Feeding times are a priority. I make sure to eat regularly, small meals that I prepare the night before and eat throughout the day.
  • Reach out to extended support network – I am lucky to have some amazing colleagues that I can reach out to. I don’t go to them to vent, but to get my mind onto other things and readjust my focus when needed.
  • Over communicate – this has never been more important than now. I make sure to keep my line manager extra informed about everything. I provide detailed insight into what I’ve done, where I am on projects and what is outstanding and why.

I am sure I will learn more things as I progress into my pregnancy and as I tackle more things my line manager throws at me.

I am planning to tell him and HR as soon as I have completed the 1st trimester.

EARLY PREGNANCY: COPING WITH COMMUTING WHILE PREGNANT

My daily commute to work is 1 hour and 20 mins during the weekdays to work and then around the same on my way back.

It is a extremely crowded train with a lot of pushing to get through the door, especially in the morning.

Even before I got pregnant I was looking for tips to see how to best cope with commuting. I didn’t find anything, I’ve had to test and try a few things to see what works best.

Here is what I’ve discovered:

  1. Eat something and drink water before I leave the house. Obvious stuff but I usually eat when I get to work. Eating before you leave is important during pregnancy.
  2. The trains get packed and hot, having something in the stomach helps by keeping your energy up and not to mention lighten the mood slightly.
  3. If I can’t get a seat, always look for and find positions where my stomach is free from people. Standing on the entrance is not a good idea especially as people do not hesitate to push to get into the train.
  4. They need to go to work, I understand their reasons but also learnt that to protect myself and the growing baby in me I must find positions where no one is able to push my stomach.
  5. Last, find a aromatherapy scent you like and spray that on a cloth that you keep close to your face OR spray some on your sleeves.
  6. There are some very smelly people on the train as it is, with extra sensitive pregnancy sensing the smells can get overbearing. I find lemon and lime smells really help.
  7. I instantly feel more energy and focus on the nice smell over fellow passengers that have forgotten to shower OR those that have sprayed way to much perfume on themselves.

That it really. This is what I’ve learnt to help make my daily commutes bearable. This might not work for everyone, but it did for me and I am sharing as I want to remember this as part of my pregnancy journey many years from now…. 

GRANTS AND BENEFITS UK FOR WORKING MOMS

Money

Grants and benefits you are entitled to as a working mom.

Having worked my whole life this subject was completely new to me. A close friend mentioned I should look into this as although I work, there are some funds available to support.

Not much but just a little to get the family started.

So, I did some digging and here is what I have found so far:

1. Sure start maternity grant: This is basically a one-off payment of £500 to help cover the cost of having a child. It is only available for people that qualify some set criteria, but still worth exploring.

2. Work start maternity grant: Availability of this grant depends on your workplace. Having examined my maternity rights, I’ve found that I can claim £200 as a one-off payment to help cover the cost of having a child.

This is available for moms and dads to be at my work – obviously whether this is available at your workplace or not depends on your work package, so worth exploring as every little helps.

3. Child benefits: Available for anyone responsible for a child

4. Free prescriptions and dental (NHS) treatment: Available for all pregnant moms throughout pregnancy, ending a year after the baby is born.

5. Child Tax credit: Available for anyone responsible for a child, how much you get will depend on your combined household income.

Breastfeeding – Why Milk Breast Feeding is So Important?

As we feed our newborn babies with breast we make the foundation of his future health because breastfeeding guarantees many benefits for mothers and their kids.

It is able to protect the child from gastrointestinal problems, infections and respiratory troubles. The baby is less inclined to have allergies if he was fed with breast.

The studies revealed that breast feeding contributes to the intellectual development. Such kids learn and master new skills better and quicker. Milk Breastfeeding is a good protection against obesity in the future.

Who would have thought that feeding in the first month of life can be so important and determine the whole life. It is beneficial for moms as well.

Breastfeeding problem is often discussed in the Internet and what is more important celebrities paid attention to this problem as well. First of all, it is known that breastfeeding contributes to the calories burning.

Extra 500 calories will disappear thanks to breast feeding to be more exact. It is so good to burn the passive calories. Among the celebs moms who discovered the benefits of quick weight loss are.

For instance, Foster continued to lose weight in spite of the fact that she ate much. Debra Messing said the same about her experience, in addition to Kate Hudson, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Catherine-Zeta Jones and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

But Gisele Bundchen became the most noteworthy in this question. She was a bit strict saying that all mothers should feed with breast for half a year, which the special law must be accepted for it.

Later she admitted that she expressed her thoughts too harsh, but passionate attitude to the problem is clearly seen.

Baby Gender Prediction – Why Do We Need It?

Today most of people prefer to find out the gender of their future baby. First of all because it’s easier for parents as they want to be prepared morally, they have to understand all the aspects and to learn all the peculiarities of each gender.

Often when a future mom finds out about the baby’s gender, she starts thinking about her child as personality and looking for an appropriate name.

She may read a lot of books about differences between parenting and raising of every gender to know how to behave with the child, what to allow and what to prohibit, what to say in different situations so that the child could always feel love and support.

Knowing the baby’s gender gives the parents a chance to plan their future life, to imagine their baby in few years, to think about what it will be, what personal qualities they want their baby to have and what principles they will bring up to him or her.

If the future baby is the second or the third child and there are other small children in the family it will be better for them to know whether they’ll have a little brother of sister.

Giving them such information you’ll give them time to get used to the fact that soon a new member will appear in your family.

Except the moral and psychological aspect there is a material aspect, which means you can start buying some clothes, toys and different stuffs depending on the baby’s gender.

If you decided to decorate the child’s room you definitely should know the gender in order to make sure that chosen decorations and the design of the room are suitable for your future baby.

But on the other hand there can be negative sides of baby gender prediction. Sometimes a future mom before she got pregnant has a strict preference in baby’s gender she wants to have.

For example, when a woman experiences her first months of pregnancy she may be obsessed with the idea to have a son.

And when she finds out that she’ll have a daughter, she may get stress and create emotional imbalance between her and her child, which can bring damage to baby’s health.

Get Pregnant during Period – Is It Possible?

Many women still prefer to use calendar method as a way of protection from unwanted pregnancy.

However, this method proved to fail often, since there are hundreds or ever thousands of babies, born by women, who tried to keep to the calendar method of protection.

That’s why nowadays many girls and women wonder whether they can get pregnant during period?

Quite often gynecologists agree that it is possible. Though the chances to get pregnant after sex during period are sufficiently small and largely depend on the individual peculiarities of the woman’s body, they still exist and mustn’t be neglected by women, who try to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

Gynecologists have been repeatedly emphasizing the fact that unprotected sex during period may not only lead to unplanned pregnancy, but also greatly increase the probability to catch an infection from the partner and get various sexually transmitted diseases as well as the risk to contract different inflammatory diseases.

It happens because during the period the mucus plug that covers the cervix becomes almost invisible and can’t adequately protect it from various infections. That’s why you should think about protecting yourself during period.

It is believed that women, who noticed sudden changes in their menstrual cycle, should be exceptionally careful.

If your period started much earlier than expected or it lasted longer than usual and caused the changes in ovulation period it means that you have irregular menstrual cycle and as the result a high possibility to get pregnant during period.

In the course of the researches it was found that sperm cells can live for several days. It was even mentioned that they can maintain their ability to fertilize up to 5-7 days.

In the case when the egg cell matured earlier than usual, and the sperm cell is still active, it becomes possible to get pregnant during period.

You can have sex during period but the process of conception will happen only in few days after it and cause unintended pregnancy.

Baby and Parents Have Different Rh factor

Blood-type test should be done by pregnant women by a few reasons. This test is necessary to determine Rh factor and blood type. As for the blood types there are A, AB, B, O types.

There is also a protein in red blood cells indicating Rh factor. People who don’t carry it are Rh negative. Most people are Rh positive.

Why is it so important to know Rh of parents and a baby? If parents have different Rh factors, the baby may have health problems, especially if the mother and the baby have different Rh factors.

In case of the first pregnancy such incompatibility is not a problem. But if during delivery blood of the baby and mother intermingles, the mother’s body may produce antibodies to protect itself from invaders.

Antibody production can also be caused by tubal pregnancy and miscarriage. That is why the second pregnancy can be harmless for her. Antibodies of the pregnant woman having Rh negative factor will be able to recognize Rh-positive baby and attack his or her blood cells.

It may result in Rh disease. In turn it can cause jaundice, anemia, heart failure and cerebral damage in the newborn baby. If too many red blood cells were destroyed by antibodies the fetus can die.

How to Prevent Rh Disease?

Present-day medicine can cope with this problem. If the pregnant woman is suspected to have Rh incompatibility with her baby and she is pregnant for the first time, the doctor administers a few Rh immune-globulin shots – on the 28th week and during 72 hours after delivery.

If Rh antibodies have been developed by the body of pregnant woman, she should be monitored to determine if the level of Rh antibodies high or not. Blood transfusions are often performed after delivery in case if the level of Rh antibodies is high.

To prevent development of antibodies doctors often give pregnant women an injection of RhoGAM. Pregnant women having different Rh factors with their babies are also recommended to take it in case of bleeding, intra-abdominal injuries, and amniocentesis and in case of tubal pregnancy.

Pregnancy Announcements Tips –How to Tell Your Boss

You and your boss are in the same team, but when it comes to pregnancy both of you appear to be on the different sides of the question.

You think only about saving and normal development of your baby, while your boss may consider your pregnancy as the harm to his business and company, because everybody knows that pregnancy means frequent work absences on the days when you have to consult a doctor or feel sick.

It means that sometimes you won’t be able to perform your work in the proper way because of the qualms and even ask your boss to permit doing your work at home, while the time strictly before and after labor you’ll be absent and then have a right to ask for maternity leave.

Even if you are ready to start working at once after labor your baby will be the only thing you can think of, you’ll be looking forward to the end of working day to go home as soon as possible and see your newborn child.

All these facts can bring the damage to the work of the whole team and your boss understands it more than anyone else.

Definitely you have to tell your boss about your pregnancy even if you’re afraid of his reaction.

Choose The Perfect Time

But you should choose the perfect time for it. It’s better to announce everybody that you’re pregnant after the end of the first trimester, when you can be sure that there’s no danger of having miscarriage but give your boss enough time to get used to this situation.

Don’t let your boss find out it from someone else, because this will worsen your relations and make your boss think that you deliberately hid your status from him. Don’t wait till the time when your belly gets bigger, since there will be no excuses for you anymore.

Also you have to choose the right moment, when your boss is alone in his office and has a good mood; it would be simply the best if you tell him right after some profitable deal or successful bargain. Speak calmly discussing your pregnancy like it is another business project.

Don’t talk about future maternity leave and possible work absence. Show him that you are ready to work with the same productivity, say that there’s no way your pregnancy can influence your work and prove that you’re a responsible worker. Don’t say you’re sorry and speak optimistically!

Create Good Marriage – It is All About Growing

Celebrities often marry and divorce and all is left for us is to follow the headlines. It happens so quickly and seems that nothing of the kind takes place in lives of common people but this is a mistake.

According to statistics a high rate of divorces is found among non-famous people too. But there are always possibilities to prevent that.

The committed relationship requires much time and effort. With lots of attempts you can overcome different troubles and find understanding with your second half.

Being on common ground with your half is the main thing. In spite of many obstacles people have, despite increasing rates of infidelity, domestic violence and divorce, people are still excited about it greatly.

We are all different and all have disagreements, but this is not a problem. It is all about how we manage them to have a smart marriage. That is normal to look differently at things.

Therefore much depends in life on perception of things. The way we feel about that is the key thing. It determines the way we handle interpersonal relationships and the amount of trust to the partner. How should one make better decisions to build a good marriage?

One should understand that this is normal that we may be less satisfied with marriage when the child is born.

The desire for closeness fades too, but there are tides alongside with the period when closeness subsides, and there can be peaks too. You can enjoy these peaks for your smarter marriage.

Remember The Good Moments

Remember the moments when you did not know each other when you were in the process of building your communication. This adds flavor usually.

Every argument the couple has should be finished with makeup. Making up is important to repair the relationship to make it last longer. Do not neglect the therapy contributing to your smart marriage.

You care about car maintenance, don’t you? Why do you think that marriage is different? Besides, it will let you avoid the worst – the divorce.

We often underestimate the importance of marriage calling it private life and thinking that it does not affect your professional sphere but this is a mistake.

it determines all sides of your life in fact: health, wealth, children and one should prioritize in view of that.

Toddler Sleep Training – No Cry Solution

Using a no cry sleep solution can take more time than controlled crying but there’s less distress for both you and your child. Choosing how to solve your toddler sleep problems and help your toddler and you get a better night’s sleep is always tricky and what works for one person might not work for someone else – you need to do what’s right for you.

The key to any sleep training approach is to plan it, be consistent, remain calm at all times and Keep Going! A no cry sleep solution can work but it will take time and you’ll need to be patient.

The no cry sleep solution approach described here avoids the use of controlled crying and goes at the speed you and your child are happy with.

No cry sleep solution: There are of course different toddler sleep problems but for this example let’s assume that you normally lie down with your child for him to go to sleep and so now your child is unable to go to sleep on his own. He wakes up in the night and needs you to lie down with him in order to sleep again.

If this is not your problem then move onto the next step where you are at. Also, before you start any sleep training program you need to look at your toddler’s whole day – he needs a routine during the day so that he is getting sufficient nap time and activity so that he has not had too much sleep in the day nor is overtired at the end of the day.

Before you start a no cry sleep solution you also need to have established a consistent bedtime routine. If you do not have a consistent bedtime routine then plan it today and start it! Let your toddler get used to this new routine for a few days before changing the way he goes to sleep. Remember that the key thing with the bedtime is not rigid timings – it’s the activities being in the same order. You’re getting the building blocks in place.

Secondly, make sure his bedroom is a lovely place for him to be. His bed and bedding are what HE likes and feels good about. The curtains are lined so the light doesn’t disturb him in the morning, you have a night light in place so it’s not completely dark (other programs may disagree with this – remember it’s a personal decision).

Your little one has to have good associations with his bedroom before you change the way he sleeps. Going to sleep on his own is a big step for him so he needs to feel safe and secure where he sleeps. Take time to do this and you can do this with him.

Thirdly, let’s confirm that you want your toddler to be able to go to sleep by himself so that when he has light periods in his sleep cycles and wakes up he can settle himself without waking you up. You want to solve your toddler sleep problems. Here we go! Feel positive – you’re here because you want to make a positive change! Let’s go for the no cry sleep solution because that’s what feels right for you.

Stage 1: Preparation for the no cry sleep solution

Explain to your child that he is getting so big now that he is going to learn how to sleep by himself, just like mommy and daddy! Make it a positive step for your child – similar to potty training. Talk to him about this during the day.

If you lie down with your child, explain to him that you will start lying down with your child and after a few minutes you’ll sit up and read your book whilst he lies down and goes to sleep – sleep time for him and reading time for Mommy. And then tell him you’ll stay there whilst he goes to sleep.

Ask him whether he wants to have a sleep buddy to sleep with like his favorite teddy or you could buy a new one especially – choose it with him if you do. He has to love it. If he says, no, I want you to be my sleep buddy, you need to say no, I’m your Mommy not your sleep buddy!

You need to choose a book for yourself and have a tiny torch – just bright enough for you to read with but not bright enough for you to disturb your child going to sleep.

Do not have a magazine as they’re too noisy when you turn the pages and have too many pictures which might attract your child. It needs to be unattractive to them. You have your book and torch ready in his bedroom near his bed – he’ll see that that book is for you, ready for you to read.

Stage 2 of the no cry sleep solution: Lying and sitting

Lie down as you do do normally for a few minutes and then slowly sit up so you are next to him. If he protests, tell him, it’s okay, I’m sitting here with you. You can hold his hand – or keep a hand on his back, but do not lie down again.

You could say, it’s sleep time for you and Mommy/Daddy time for Mommy/Daddy. If he wants to engage in conversation, do not engage in conversation, repeat that it’s sleep time for you now, we’ll talk tomorrow. And say your good night phrase.

Repeat this for 3 or 4 nights or until this is easy. He’s making a big step, so congratulate him every morning and tell your friends so that they congratulate him too.

You could also make a reward chart or give him a treat specifically for his new sleeping success. Make each small step a reason to celebrate his success – and yours! Remember YOU are in the process of solving your toddler sleep problems. Give yourself a treat too!

Stage 3 of the no cry sleep solution: Short cuddle and sitting next to him

Now instead of lying down you are going to give him a goodnight cuddle (you just bending over) and are going to sit as before. This is still cosy for him and he knows you are there, but he is getting used to gradually being more on his own.

Again, as before, repeat this until this is easy. You need to be consistent, calm and firm. If he protests you can sing a quiet lullaby to him, but do not give in to any lying down. End with your good night phrase.

If this is hard, then your partner can do this on alternative nights so that you both have support and are doing it together. The more support everyone has the easier it is.

And remember to make sure that you’ve had lots of cuddles during the day and a nice, unhurried bedtime. Also, be sure that your toddler is sleepy but not overtired.

Always congratulate your child in the morning even if it wasn’t perfect. He’ll feel good and you will too.

Stage 4 of the no cry sleep solution: Sitting at the end of the bed

You might not need to do this stage. But if you do, you do, no worries! You need to move to the end of the bed so that you are not holding his hand or touching him. Give him a little cuddle as before as you say goodnight and then move to the end of the bed, read your book whilst he goes to sleep.

If your child wants to talk to you you need to say, “shh, sleep time for you now” and your good night phrase.

Repeat this until this is comfortable and easy. Do not revert to lying down – even if you’re tired, and know you would fall asleep yourself, don’t lie down with your toddler!

Stage 5 of the no cry sleep solution: Sitting in a chair

Now you need to move off the bed. So have a chair in your child’s bedroom and instead of sitting on the bed, sit in the chair, again, reading – you’re there but you’re separate. Or have a nap yourself with your book on your lap!

Your child is now going to sleep on their own.

Stage 6 of the no cry sleep solution: Leaving the room

Since it’s sleep time for your toddler and Mommy/Daddy time for you, you can start going out of the room. You can say, goodnight and your goodnight phrase, and say I’m just going to check on something and I’ll be back in a few minutes just to check on you. DO come back in a minute – don’t be longer than you say. Again, you may not need to do this – ideally not, as then your child might not go to sleep because he’s waiting for your check. But go with the flow.

Your toddler is not only learning how to go to sleep by himself but he’s also learning that he’s safe to go to sleep by himself.

Stage 7 of the no cry sleep solution: Moving on

Your child is going to sleep by himself without you there all the time. Say goodnight and tell him that it’s sleep time for him and you’re just getting on with something and will check him after he’s asleep.

He knows you will because that’s what you’ve done in Stage 6. Confirm with him in the morning that you checked him when he’s asleep. He’ll like that idea and can go to sleep knowing that he’ll be okay.

And there you have it. You can solve your toddler sleep problems without distress. But the downside is that it’s slow and takes time – there are no promised times or limits – you go at your own pace. But your child has learnt how to go to sleep by himself with a no cry sleep solution and he should have only happy associations with sleep time.

When he wakes in the night, he will find it easier to go back to sleep by himself. If he wakes you, then sit on his bed until he goes to sleep and repeat the process as above. It won’t take long as he knows how to sleep by himself.

Do not start lying down with him again as you’ll then need to start all over. “Ssh, sleep time for you” is better in the long run!

Your toddler sleep problems can be solved. This no cry sleep solution approach takes time but is relatively stress free. Use a sleep diary to monitor your progress so that you can chart how long each stage takes. We also recommend No Cry Sleep Solution book which you might find helpful. It also helps you to remain focused on the task and to keep going!

And if you start this program to solve your toddler sleep problems, keep going – your child will soon know what to expect and you will too.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea in Kids

Kids snoring is fairly common and about 7-12% of kids under 16 snore. Perhaps you hear your toddler snoring just when he has a cold or the flu. If the snoring is just occasional like this then you probably need not worry. But if doubt, always see your doctor.

If your toddler needs help with snoring then you can try moving him to a different position whilst he is asleep. You can try lying him on his side or stomach. You may need to put a rolled up towel behind him to stop him for going back onto his back.

Toddler snoring is easy just to dismiss as a sweet little habit. However, if your toddler is snoring then it actually means that he is having difficulty breathing and you need to check it out with the doctor in case it is sleep apnea (sleep apnea).

You can find sleep apnea pillows specially designed to reduce snoring caused by sleep apnea.

Kids Snoring and Sleep Apnea

If your toddler’s snoring is persistent rather than just occasional then you need to check with your doctor in case your child as sleep apnea.

Around half a million of children in the US are affected by sleep apnea. As well as snoring you might notice are that your toddler will seem to stop breathing for around 10 seconds in their sleep, their breathing will be irregular, he may be gasping for breathe and may be sweaty (because he is working hard to breathe).

Sleep apnea is likely to cause your toddler to wake up several times during the night. He won’t have slept well and as a result he’ll be tired and cranky the the next day or overtired and hyperactive.

Types of Sleep Apnea

The most common type is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and this is caused by an anatomical blockage of airflow to the lungs. This could be enlarged adenoids which are the throat glands on the roof of the palate or enlarged tonsils.

Obstructive sleep apnea has 3 classifications: mild, moderate or severe, and this is measured on the number of times in an hour that breathing stops (apnea) or is shallow.

The two other types of sleep apnea are:

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) is when the brain does not stimulate the body to take a breath.

Mixed Sleep Apnea (MSA) is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

When you take your toddler to see the doctor, the doctor will examine your toddler’s throat and will be looking for enlarged tonsils and enlarged adenoids. He may recommend a sleep study or prescribe nasal steroid sprays which should reduce the size of the adenoids. Alternatively he may recommend surgery to remove the enlarged adenoids and/or enlarged tonsils.

Your doctor may recommend a nasal mask (called a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP mask) which brings a steady stream of air through the mask to keep the airways open. However success is not very likely as toddlers don’t want to wear any masks in bed and it could cause everyone a lot of stress and upset without helping the snoring problem.

Toddler snoring which then turns out to be sleep apnea can cause major problems if it is left un-diagnosed. Tiredness can lead to poor learning at school and bad behavior due to tiredness will in turn effect relationships with both teachers and friends.

Children can grow out of snoring but this could take years and therefore means that your toddler’s sleep will be badly effected for years – which will effect his overall development. If your toddler snores then you should seek help with snoring from your doctor.

Long Distance Parenting

Long distance parenting can be effective and you can still use lots of good parenting skills to help foster a healthy and happy relationship with your child.

Being a long distance parent can happen for a variety of reasons such as divorce, separation, job relocation, education away from home or illness in the family. However, don’t despair – you can still incorporate good parenting skills and have a loving, caring relationship with your child, be they a toddler or a teenager.

It’ll take time and care to maintain and develop a strong relationship from a distance but you can do it.

Here are some long distance parenting tips to help you:

  • Make the most of technology. Use texting and emails just to say hello or to share something of your day. If you have a toddler then send fun pictures, perhaps of where you are, or what you are doing. Send a message for your partner (or ex-partner) to read out to your toddler. Make an effort to take photos of you doing whatever you do in your day.
  • Keep in good contact with your child’s other parent (whether you are together or not!). Ask the other parent to send YOU pictures and messages. If the long distance is due to a separation then work together with your ex-partner for the sake of your children so that the children are the top priority.
  • Send postcards to your children. When a child gets something in the mail or post, it’s very exciting for them! It doesn’t take much time and they will love it. Sending a postcard or letter will make them feel special. You can set up a postcard club so that your child sends you cards too. It can be a really fun activity and enables your child to share their life with you and for you to share theirs. Even if you have a toddler, your partner can help your toddler choose a nice postcard when they are out, and pop it in the post.
  • Have a phone date – daily, weekly, twice-weekly, monthly – whatever is convenient and feels right for all parties. And keep this a priority. Do not miss it, or be late to call. Your child needs to feel valued and special and this date will be very important to her.
  • Make a family website where all parties can upload photos and information about what they are up to.
  • Make a video or an audio tape recording. You an upload videos onto your website. Or if you’re not that technologically inspired simply pop a cassette into the post or mail. And ask your partner to do the same so that you can have a tape of your child. Hearing each other’s voices will help maintain the bond on both sides.
  • Schedule in time to visit or go on holidays together. Ensure that the holiday will be of interest to your children and this will depend on their ages. Include them in the planning of a holiday so that you can listen to their input.
  • Be involved in your child’s schooling and ask the school to send you reports and information. If you child has a special event at school then be sure to put it in your diary so that you will remember to wish them luck beforehand and then ask them how it went after the event.
  • When you are sending emails, texts, or on the phone be sure to really listen to your child. Show them that you are listening and tell them that you love them. Try not to ask your child to pass messages to the other parent, nor ask questions about the parent. Just focus on your child.
  • Children need to know when they are next having contact with you. So after a phone call, be sure to tell them when you are next phoning them, even if it is always the same, just add in, for example, “I’ll speak to you next Wednesday at 7pm”.
  • If you have a toddler then send little fun gifts in the post e.g. stickers, little hats, a little teddy, a little book. Send a tape with you reading a story so that they an have a bedtime story almost with you. Send them lots of pictures of you.
  • You could also have a subscription to a kids magazine so that you both have the same. That gives you something in common and something to talk about. On the phone you could look at it together with the other parent. Or you could look at it whilst you use Webcam – make the most of the technology on offer.
  • You can play online games together today – even for toddlers!
  • If you have the same story book you could also read a book down the phone whilst your child sits with the other parent.
  • When you do see your child be prepared for changes and new likes and dislikes. Relax and go with the flow with a number of planned activities that you have planned together. With long distance parenting the time you have together will be very special – take photos, make a journal so that you can talk about it and refer back to it sometimes.
  • With a young child, use simple questions when you’re on the phone. Rather than ask, what did you do today? Ask something simple, did you go to the park? Have you seen your friends today? Children will love to listen to you about your day and involve things that they are likely to be interested in such as animals, funny stories, anything that they will know about.

Speak to your partner or ex-partner about the importance of both parents encouraging a good relationship with both parents and how you both can make long distance parenting work as well as possible.

This could involve joining in a child’s excitement about sending or receiving mail from the long distance parent, speaking positively about the other parent, letting the children know it’s great to look forward to seeing the other parent, talking about the children’s time with the other parent, etc. If both parents SHOW that your children can SHARE their excitement then this will help your children maintain an open and happy relationship with both parents.

Work together to make long distance parenting work – it’s the best thing you can do for your child, whatever the circumstances. You and your child will then develop a strong relationship which will last a lifetime.

Fitbit Blaze Giveaway

As parents it can be difficult managing everyone’s schedules. There are a lot of demands day to day from keeping the house organized to the kids’ extracurricular activities

Moms are a particular group that can be quite hard on themselves, which is why Flayk, a free, family/life management app now available for free download in both the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store is such a helpful tool.

About Flayk

Flayk allows families to coordinate activities, assign responsibilities, share to-do and shopping lists and award points for completed actions in a single app that can be used by multiple families and groups.

One of the app’s core features is the ability for users to flayk events, which alerts the group in the event of an unexpected conflict – from car trouble to a meeting that runs long –and allows someone else to quickly pick up the task and keep the day moving smoothly.

As detailed in AdWeek, Flayk is the perfect solution for families looking to simplify life in 2016 as well as a technology “must have” for the new aged organized family. Flayk Basic is free, and for a limited time, Flayk Premium, a seamless, ad-free experience with expanded features, is free for the first month.

Premium Service Option

Flayk Premium is regularly priced at $1.99/month or $18.99/year. Flayk is the only family management app on the market to introduce an innovative rewards system that lets families assign point values to specific activities. Family members can earn points for completing tasks and redeem them for specific rewards of the family’s choosing, for example, a raise in allowance, a curfew extension, dinner at a favorite restaurant or a pass on a chore.

Save Flayk recognizes that diversity with its customizable, central hub to organize all kinds of families, whether they live under one roof or are in multiple locations.

In spirit of holding on to those 2020 Mom Resolutions and preparing for the spring season ahead, Flayk is offering a chance to win an all new Fitbit Blaze™ – Fitbit’s New Smart Fitness Watch including a breakthrough features such as PurePulse™ Heart Rate Monitor, Connected GPS, On-Screen Workouts and Color Touchscreen.

How to Tell if My Teen Has a Drinking Problem

How do I know if I have a drinking problem and if I have, what can I do about it?

First of all, you have to understand whereabouts you are in the complex picture of alcohol consumption. Be patient and read the paragraphs below before you answer the questions about your own drinking.

PLEASE note this is not a diagnostic article. We cannot diagnose over the Internet, but we can offer you an opportunity to think about your alcohol intake. It should answer any questions you may have. Read on.

For many of us, heavy drinking is something that develops gradually. It often has a social context; the Friday night drinking binge after a hard weeks work or the drinking to entertain potential or actual business customers.

Because alcohol is so much a part of our leisure culture, and the normal way most of us relieve tension and stress, you can forgive people for not recognizing the warning signs of creeping alcohol dependency.

All studies of alcohol consumption conclude that the higher the average consumption of alcohol in a population, the higher the population’s incidence of alcohol related problems and in the US the figure is going upwards.

But we have to make a distinction here; there are many problems caused by alcohol and in particular, binge drinking – violence between individuals and you only have to take a look at the casualty department of many hospitals to see the results of this; drink-driving, loss of working days and we could go on.

The distinction is that there is a difference between healthy drinking, heavy drinking and alcohol dependency, with the proviso that heavy drinking can develop into alcohol dependency syndrome.

It may be helpful to think of it as a continuum although the nature of the beast is complicated, so it is offered merely as a guideline.

We have chosen a couple of scenarios to illustrate this continuum. As you will see individuals have different patterns of drinking in the early days because the way in which different people drink is very influenced by culture, occupation, class, religion and family history.

Teen Drinking Scenario

First there is Pete. Pete is white, 43 years old and a self-employed builder. He has been married to Gill for 22 years and they have two children.

Pete grew up in the next street and has kept in touch with all his mates from school with the exception of one or two who moved away. Pete has earned good money from his trade and always paid his wife a good weekly sum for housekeeping costs. The care of the home and the kids has always been Gill’s responsibility and both feel this arrangement has worked well for them.

Pete had his first alcoholic drink at ten years old. His dad drank in the same pub and allowed Pete a sip or two when he popped in to tell his dad that Sunday dinner was ready. Pete’s father never kept alcohol in the house and Pete has followed this rule religiously. Pete’s dad died of a heart attack at the age of 59.

Pete started drinking on a Friday night with his mates at the age of 17. It was something they looked forward to all week. Saturday nights was kept for dates with girls. On a Friday, the lads would drink four to five pints to begin with and then with more experience they could put away more and often had competitions to see who could hold their booze and who couldn’t. The first one to throw up would buy two rounds the following week.

When marriage set in, the wives joined the husbands on a Saturday night and gradually over time the lads would meet in the pub during the week and then progressing to four or five nights a week. During his lunch break, Pete would often join a couple of his friends for a pint or two before going back to work. By the time Pete was 37 years old he was drinking between 8-10 pints a day and often 15 pints plus at the weekend. He was still holding down his job and earning money. His only bone of contention was his wife who made it clear she did not like his drinking.

When Pete hit his 40th birthday he had begun to notice that his hands were a little shaky in the morning, causing him a few problems with work. He started to call into the pub at 11am for a couple of pints to “sort me out”. Over the next two years the withdrawal symptoms got worse and he now wakes up feeling nauseous and vomits. He often has night sweats and bad dreams and can not stop his hands shaking until the first drink at 11am. Work has now completely disappeared and Pete and his family are on benefits although his wife works part time. It is at this point that Pete comes for treatment.

Parents Influence on Teen Drinking

A different story could be told for Sam, an executive Sales Director, 42 years old. Sam is of mixed race and neither of her parent’s ever drunk alcohol. Sam began drinking as a student and has always drunk wine. She is well paid and attends many business lunches where alcohol is freely drunk.

On the outside Sam is a confident assertive individual, but has actually always felt shy and quite anxious around large groups of people. She noticed that alcohol allowed her to be witty and funny. By the time she was twenty-two, her drinking was mainly at weekends and involved drinking two bottles a night over the weekend period.

As her affluence and success grew, she moved onto a couple of glasses a night and felt this relieved her tension levels. Over the next year or so, the amount progressed into a bottle of wine a night. If she was on the telephone talking to friends, she could dip into a second bottle and by the time she is thirty, two bottles a night is Sam’s normal consumption. By the time Sam approaches a counselor, she is drinking three to four bottles of wine a day and has begun to notice her hands are shaky in the mornings. She is seriously concerned.

Teen Social Drinking

The continuum shows the progression: “OK” social drinking > alcohol becomes pleasure habit> tolerance increases>more consumption> more tolerance> alcohol still wanted for its tension relieving effects and pleasure but need more>drinking patterns may change, i.e. begin drinking at lunch time and not just in the evening> body begins to need alcohol>notice withdrawal symptoms>alcohol reduces symptoms>individual drinks to avoid symptoms>withdrawal symptoms worsen>drinking becomes more urgent and biggest priority>health deteriorates

So where are you. Answer the following questions honestly. Even if you decide that you do not want to talk to a counselor, it may help you think about your situation and whether you want to change it.

Has anybody ever told you that you drink too much?

Do other people have a different opinion about your drinking than you do?

(It is important to take into account others views of your drinking because often people close to you will notice the problem before you do) Do you sometimes think that alcohol or some other drug may be causing you problems in your life?

If you answered yes to this, it is a good idea to ask some questions and describe to an alcohol and drug counselor exactly what is going on for you. You may want to try the following two questionnaires. One is the DSM-1V test for individuals who are overusing alcohol or drugs and the second measures whether the individual has begun to develop dependency.

Is My Teen Drinking? Quiz

Answer the following questions quickly and honestly, without stopping to rationalize or split hairs. Go with your first response.

1) In the last 12 months, has using alcohol or other drugs occasionally caused you to miss work, college or perform poorly at work or college, neglect your children or fail to perform household duties?

2) In the last 12 months, while under the influence of alcohol or some other drug, have you occasionally driven a car, operated dangerous machinery or participated in potentially hazardous sports?

3) In the last 12 months, have you been arrested for driving while intoxicated, disorderly conduct or any other substance-related offense?

4) In the last 12 months, have you continued drinking or using drugs despite fights or arguments with people close to you expressing concern about your drug or alcohol use?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it suggests that you are misusing alcohol and/or drugs and need to do something about it. Do not be over-alarmed; sorting it out now is better than doing nothing.

The following questions determine whether there is some dependency. Answer quickly and honestly.

1) In the last 12 months, have you been consuming more alcohol or drugs than you originally intended to at a given time, or does your drinking and drug taking go on longer than you originally intended?

2) In the last 12 months, have you wanted to cut down, or have you tried to stop or cut down, and not been able to?

3) In the last 12 months, has your tolerance increased – does it take more alcohol or drugs than it used to get you high, or achieve the desired effect? Or does a given amount have less effect than it used to?

4) In the last 12 months, have you had any withdrawal symptoms for instance, have you felt shaky, sick or dizzy in the mornings after drinking, or thick-headed after smoking marijuana, or paranoid after using cocaine?

5) In the last 12 months, have you spent a significant amount of time procuring alcohol or drugs, using alcohol or drugs, or recovering from their effects?

6) In the last 12 months, have you been spending more time drinking or drugging and less time with your friends and family, in work or college/school related activities, or pursuing hobbies, sports, or other interests?

7) In the last 12 months, have you experienced any emotional or physical side effects – such as depression, anxiety, liver damage, or stomach trouble – but continued to use drugs or alcohol anyway?

If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, there is dependency present and it is a good idea to think through what you want to do about it.

Giving Teens the Benefit of the Doubt

I’ll be the first to admit that my teen is no angel. A live wire from birth, she has always possessed a “wiseguy” thread of larceny that she has employed from time to time to stack the proverbial odds in her favor.

But in general, she is a good kid, a chip off the old block (more like her dad than like me) and always seems to land on her feet, a trait some of us parents hope our children can somehow acquire in this mixed-up, live-by-your-wits society.

And, although this is a time I may have it the toughest when trying to make adult sense out of the methods teens use to exert their independence, I cannot, for the life of me, fathom how rude many adults are to teenagers in general.

Have you ever observed the treatment teenagers get when service personnel at stores and in restaurants don’t think their parents are around to observe it?

The negative body language is noticeable and the tone in their voice is oftentimes condescending, for starters. This mistrusting demeanor can persist even when the teens are not present to experience it!

Take, for example, a recent encounter I had with our health club’s staff member, when I found myself having to convince her that my daughter had not forged her signature onto a parental consent form; it was indeed my John Henry that appeared there.

My question is this. How are teens supposed to learn to treat others with respect when they are consistently regarded and treated like second class citizens?

True, many deserve to be ignored when they seek attention in all the wrong ways. But most I know are not worthy of such open disdain, even when they respond in single-syllable answers. These kids are not only future consumers, they are also a huge factor in today’s economy, with many of them possessing considerable spending power.

My beef is somewhat hypocritical, I’ll admit; I have been guilty of thinking the worst when seeing a purple-haired, nose-pierced humanoid with a squeaky voice try to act as if he or she were a normal part of the commercial landscape.

But most teens are baggily dressed, drab-colored sacks of adolescent confusion, trying to act as if they know it all so that they don’t give themselves away. 15-year old boys generally utter three-word sentences, and their female counterparts do nothing but “ooh and ahh” their friends to distraction, giving out false compliments to one another while giggling behind some else’s back.

The truth, in my humble opinion, is that there is no hidden agenda here. Just this batch of years where high schools, parents, cops, and motor vehicle departments are pre-disposed to become control freaks (albeit for some teens’ own good) as a last stab effort before these “Generation Z” members become a force with which to be reckoned.

Why not just try to give a teenager the benefit of the doubt? With as many teens being brought up in families where Mom and Dad have split and moved on to bigger and better things, many of them lack the social skills and domestic stability some of us Baby Boomers grew up with.

And if core family life is so disposable, what examples do these kids have to emulate? Let’s just try to treat them the way we would like to be treated, in Golden Rule fashion, until they give us a real reason to treat them otherwise.