Is Your Baby Spoiled?Alison Wood | 2, November 2012
He cries in the morning. He cries in the day. He cries at night. In fact, it is hard for you to recall the times he isn't crying, except for the times he is getting his ZZZs. Babies that have passed the "colic" zone of three or four months and are habitually discontent need some evaluation from mommy. Take this quick test to see if your little one needs some extra help in the happiness area of life.
- Is your baby demanding?
- Are you unable to take him on outings because of his behavior?
- Have people labeled your baby "the screaming baby"?
- Is your baby crying if he is not in a snugli, being held, being rocked or eating?
If your honest answers to most of these questions is yes, here are some quick tips to get your little one smiling and cooing -- and to get you some well-deserved peace on earth.
Create a Happy Baby
Take one full week out of your busy schedule and devote it to creating a happy baby. It takes work, time, consistency and dedication. Once you have cleared your calendar, start with naps. When a baby learns to fall asleep on his own, it has a major, positive effect on his overall countenance. Babies that depend on self-soothing become more independent and secure. Teaching your bundle of joy to fall asleep on his own is going to have major positive effects on his future. This is not about your happiness, but his. But, as he learns to comfort himself, he will bring a serene atmosphere to your home, and your entire family will reap the positive results.
Instead of rocking or feeding your little one to sleep, lay him in his bed. Tuck him in and assure him that he still has your undying love. Check his diaper to make sure it is clean. Also, ensure that he has been properly burped after his feeding. Create a soothing, quiet, calm atmosphere in his room, and quietly walk away. He may cry in protest at the beginning, but don't give up hope. Hard work pays off, and though he may not realize it now, you as the loving mommy, know what is best for your little one. Just like you know it is best if he gets his diaper changed, even though he may fuss, scream or cry in protest. After he fusses, cries and kicks for about 10 minutes, return to the room. Tuck him in again, and leave the room. Be prepared for many re-tucks. A scream-it-out for hours on end, is not the method being suggested, but rather a training method. By returning to the room periodically and checking on your baby, you are reassuring him that mommy is still here and loves him very much. Do not give up. As long as there are no visible problems, and no signs of sickness, do not pick him up. Reassure him of your love ever so often, but make it clear he is going to take a nap. Within days, you will see many positive changes in your baby's behaviour -- ust by changing this one aspect of sleep routines.
Start a Routine
A routine is a little different than a schedule. If you are not the super-organized, extremely disciplined mother, then don't feel intimidated by the word routine. Your routine is your regular course of activities. Adults have them and become quite accustomed to them. They get up in the morning, shower, eat breakfast, drink coffee, check email, watch morning news and head out for work. If something changes in their routine, they feel a little "off" for the majority of the day. The same is true for infants and children. A routine causes them to feel secure in the predictability of the future. It is especially important that bedtimes are followed to ensure adequate rest for the growing infant. Design a simple routine that you can stick with on most days. Here's an example:
- Wake up
- Diaper change
- Dress for the day
- Activity time (baby swing, gym, tummy time, etc.)
- Morning Nap
- Mommy and baby book time
- Outside time
- Diaper change
- Playtime with daddy
- Bath time
Routines should be designed to fit your family's needs. Figure out a plan that works best for you and your baby and try to stick to it faithfully.
Spend One-on-one Time with your Bundle.
This may seem contrary to any "unspoiling" techniques you have read, but many discontent babies are unhappy because their mother is busy with everything and everyone else. Try not to get too involved with the busyness of motherhood that you forget to experience the joys of motherhood found in your child. Little ones always profit from an outward expression of their mother's love and affection. So play, cuddle, kiss and love that bundle of sweet-smelling softness!
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