Swaddle. Soothe. Sleep. Repeat. By Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN, co-founder of Moms on Call What began as two Atlanta-based pediatric nurses taking after-hours calls for a busy pediatric practice has since grown into an international parenting brand. My dear friend Laura and I founded Moms on Call in 2003, and when we started taking house calls to teach new parents when and when not to worry about their little one, we had no idea our practical parenting advice would find its way into homes all over the globe. Since then, we’ve served nearly 200,000 families with our proven, common-sense parenting resources, and our advice has been well received because it works—so consistently, in fact, that even Laura and I were a little surprised at first—and because it comes from the hearts of moms who have been there. Laura and I have eight children between our two families, and we remember fondly the smell of their little heads, the first time they smiled and what it felt like to finally get that first full night of sleep. The feeling when you finally soothe your crying baby is indescribable As nurses, we realized something that few parents knew: the swaddle technique used in the hospital works wonders for a newborn’s first three to four days, but then the baby’s strength and development renders that miracle swaddling technique ineffective. We’ve spent the last 15 years equipping families with the tools necessary to get much needed rest for the long haul, we’ve taught thousands of parents how to swaddle like a pro with our tried and true method. Watch our Moms on Call video tutorial to learn for yourself!
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The three keys to producing that elusive yet satisfying burp involves: Timing Positioning Expectations Timing The natural timing of the perfect burp is ¾ of the way through a feeding and at the end. Breastfeeding specific- in between sides and at the end. Burping sessions last 2-3 minutes tops (this is a sprint – not a marathon). Positioning Over the shoulder with some light pats that go from the middle of the back upwards. Our fav – “the waffle iron” – see momsoncall.com/videos (not a real appliance – just a description of how to position a baby so their legs actually put a little pressure on that sweet spot right under the rib cage that helps the bigger air bubble get to the top) Repositioning - Just like a coke bottle that has an air bubble at the bottom, in order to get it to the top – you reposition. Recline the baby and then place them in a seated position a bit more over their thighs and then pat the back from middle to upper area x 1 min then repeat – recline/sit up/ pat-pat-pat. Do that three times and the third time may produce a burp upon sitting up! Expectations If that burp does not appear within about 3 minutes… then we manage expectations. Not all babies are designed to burp well. What does not come out the attic will come out the basement – so it is not essential to burp with every feeding. It is OK to move on.
Having a baby in the house does not mean you’ll never sleep again. But there are few things you can do for yourself (and for your baby when he/she arrives!) that will positively affect nighttime sleep. Here are our top five tips: 1. Keep a consistent wake time. Did you know that a consistent wake time plays a role in your nighttime hormones? Remaining consistent with both bedtime and wake time will help you achieve those natural bedtime hormone levels. (And these days, ANYTHING to wrangle those hormones, right?! This will help!) 2. Daytime sleep affects nighttime sleep. Of course, we want to ensure that our babies have consistent nap opportunities. But the biggest thing is to not let those naps last too long or too late. Think about it. If you nap too long or too late, do you have trouble going to sleep at night? Of course you do! Sweet babies are no different. Generally, naps should be under two hours and end by 4pm. 3. Light is for shorter stretches of sleep, and darkness is for longer stretches. We want to create a sleep environment that allows our body to know that it is nighttime. Our hormones respond to light, whether it is the sun or artificial light. Keep the room as dark as possible. (Bonus tip: Turn off all electronics 30 minutes before bedtime. NO ONE needs to google “butt rash” at 10 pm anyway. THAT will never make you sleep easier – trust us!) 4. Movement matters. You may not feel like you have tons of extra energy these days. (After all, you ARE growing a human!) But just
Q: Can I teach my toddler about “Honesty?” A: Let’s talk about the unique way that a toddler learns. They are pretty concrete thinkers and learn by repetition and example. A child between the ages of 15 months and three years has a very concrete understanding of the world around them. Because actual toddlers are concrete thinkers, the abstract nature of honesty is a difficult concept for them to grasp. They typically function based on how they “feel” – happy, sad, confused. It is typically at preschool age, around four years (although all children progress a bit differently) that a child can appreciate the difference between a “lie” and the “truth.” However, we can still use repetition and example to help set the groundwork for our toddlers. We mentioned that toddlers learn by example and are more likely to associate things with how they “feel.” That means that the best way to set the groundwork for honesty is to be a trustworthy parent. It helps toddlers to feel ‘safe.’ Do what you say you will do – even when in the midst of discipline. If you say that your toddler will have simmer time if they scream at the top of their lungs – then put them in simmer time. Show yourself to be trustworthy. In the same way, if you say that you will get ice cream after dinner, then get ice cream after dinner. The best way to communicate honesty to your toddler is to “Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no.” This is a powerful tool in setting up a child’s understanding of honesty. A parent who makes
(Excerpt from the Moms on Call Toddler Book) Often in our households, we have so many rules that the toddler cannot remember and categorize them all. Don’t touch the stove. Don’t disturb anyone when they are on the phone. Don’t run into the road. Don’t throw your toys. Don’t pee in the Home Depot parking lot. (And just for parents of boys like ours) Don’t hit your own self in your own head with your own foot! (Long car ride—enough said.) There are just too many rules. We can keep track, but they cannot. They are just trying to sort out a few colors and put together a sentence! So we want to narrow the list to three rules that they can understand and those are: Obey Daddy and Mommy Do not hurt yourself Do not hurt others This is simple and all of the other rules can fit into one of these categories. The time that we place this in the heart of our child is right before bed or what we like to call “between awake and asleep.” We like to say it like this: “We have three rules in this house and they are: Obey Daddy and Mommy, do not hurt yourself and do not hurt others because we are Walkers and Walkers are good to people.” Insert your own name into that scenario and choose a character trait that defines your family. Go over these rules each night, right before bed. This is not the time to go over the history of good behavior, just the three household rules, short and simple. And before you know it, you have placed
At Moms On Call; we know babies and we know reflux. We know that meds alone will not take away the symptoms of reflux. We know that following these simple suggestions will help you and your newborn: Follow the recommendations and medications given by your pediatrician that come with the diagnosis of reflux. Remember that many babies have “reflux”. However, there are different degrees ranging from mild to severe. Try to keep at least 2 ½-3 hours between feedings. This allows the digestive system to rest and reset (to be ready for more food). Whether nursing or using bottles, keep the feedings to a maximum of 30 minutes. Healthy babies are capable of getting what they need in 30 minutess. This will help with the normal rhythm of the gastrointestinal tract. (Bulk feeding, digest, rest, reset) When nursing, make sure to empty the first breast completely. Then offer the second breast as dessert. Do not force the second breast. When using bottles, make sure to use the old-fashioned shaped nipple. Here at Moms On Call, we have found that the shape of these nipples (used in every hospital coast to coast) are very effective in reducing reflux symptoms, helping with difficult feeders and reducing gas in infants. Do not spend half of the feeding time on burping. It will come out the attic or the basement. Some babies are great burpers and others are not – it's most often design, not method, that makes good burpers. Because the initial suck produces the most gas, pulling off too often to burp can actually cause more gas. After a feeding it is helpful to have that