Kyan’s First Year

Kyan’s First Year Of Life Calendar By Ivillage.com

( mereka pake kata ganti ‘she’ untuk mewakili bayi yang dimaksud. Mungkin karena web ini emang sangat feminim hehehe… ini sengaja Eca copy paste karena pengalaman pas hamil kemarin, record nya ilang setelah due datenya lewat. ya mungkin kalo nanti punya anak kedua dibikiin gini bakal sama analisanya, tapi ga papa… sapa tau beda, bisa aja kan? )

February 2006 :

KYAN HAS BEEN BORN

8/ At long last, your baby is here! And, let’s be honest, she may not look exactly as you expected. At birth, of course, she was very likely covered with bits of the vernix caseosa, the cheesy coating that protected her skin. Now, one week later, her head may be cone-shaped and perhaps a bit too large for her body. Her thin skin might appear pink. Or she may be jaundiced. Newborn jaundice is a condition caused by increased levels of bilirubin (a byproduct of the normal breakdown of red blood cells by the liver), which gives an infants’ skin and eyeballs a yellowish tinge. She may even look a lot like an old woman you know, with that scrunched newborn face. You may also notice little bumps on her face. These are called milia and they usually go away within two weeks. On her tummy, the last remnant of umbilical cord may be turning black, before it falls off within the next few weeks. And like many newborns, male and female, your child might have swollen breasts or genitals due to an infusion of female hormones from the placenta just before birth.

Still, like most parents, you’re madly in love, and you’ll probably feel like staring at your baby for hours at a time. This is a good thing: Newborns prefer to look at human faces for the first month, so all that mooning over her serves a purpose.

9/ Did you know : Don’t be alarmed if your baby drops a bit below birth weight this week; post-delivery fluid loss is normal. By the end of the week, your baby will stop losing weight, and by the time she’s two weeks old, she will have regained or surpassed her birth weight. If she drops more than 10 percent below birth weight, though, call her pediatrician.

10/Changing Fables
How many college degrees does it take to change a baby? Apparently, at least two, as many parents find out as soon as they get home from the hospital and the maternity ward nurse isn’t there to whip on and off that diaper. If you haven’t diapered a baby since your teenage baby-sitting days, the truth is, it’s not exactly a snap. At least not at first. And, hello, it’s nothing like the plastic doll you practiced on in your parenting prep class. Because now your “doll” squirms… and cries… and seems oh-so-fragile. And if your little angel is a boy, better have a few changes of clothes on hand, because you will get peed on… a lot. But diapering really does get easier. So while taking off and putting on those first diapers may take time and dexterity you never dreamed you’d need, you’ll get better at it. Soon you’ll be winging that tiny tushy in and out of those diapers like a pro.

11/. It’s never too early to start reading to your baby. Yes, even at one week old. Perhaps you began this practice when you were pregnant. It’s still reassuring for her to hear your voice often. In fact, studies show that newborns enjoy hearing the same books and songs they heard in the womb. It’s also wonderfully soothing for both of you to snuggle during story time. While there’s no “best” time of day for reading to a baby, here are some conditions that will make it easier to hold her attention: Choose a comfortable seat in a quiet location, away from distractions like TV and radio. Select very basic books with simple faces in a black-and-white motif, which are very easy for your baby to see at this stage. You might even find that your baby prefers to just listen to the sound of your voice rather than look at pictures.

12/ You’ve probably already examined your crib to be certain that it meets Consumer Product Safety Commission standards (make sure those bars are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart). But have you also checked out your baby’s bassinet or cradle? Similar to the standards for a crib, the bassinet/cradle mattress should be firm and the base should be stable and of adequate size to hold your child. Place it in a low-traffic area so no one bumps into it during a midnight bathroom run.

13/Postpartum Depression
Approximately 50 percent of all new mothers feel sad, weepy, anxious or experience mood swings during the first few days or weeks after the birth of their baby, most likely due to the drastic decline in estrogen and progesterone levels after childbirth. True postpartum depression affects about 25 percent of first-time mothers (20 percent in subsequent pregnancies) and, in some cases, can last for months. If you think you have postpartum depression, contact your health-care provider to get the help you need.

14/ “When you’re up at 3am, frustrated because baby won’t sleep, just rock her and think of the mothers around the world who are doing the exact same thing at that moment in time.”

15/Your baby’s range of vision is about 8 to 15 inches — which is just perfect, since that’s the distance he is from your face when you’re holding or breastfeeding him. At this stage, he may enjoy being cradled in a sling. He can probably move his head from side to side now and may be able to lift it for short periods of time when lying on his tummy. If you’re nursing and thinking about introducing a pacifier, try holding off for several weeks, until your milk supply is well established. Right now, your baby has an intense sucking need, so let him satisfy it at your breast.

16/Now is the perfect time to hang that mobile above your baby’s crib. Place it within his range of sight and a little off center to make it easier for him to see. Stick to a simple black-and-white mobile since your baby is too young to distinguish between complex designs and colors. Make sure you hang it within your baby’s range of vision but far enough out of reach so that your his jerky arm movements don’t accidentally knock it down.

17/ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is the sudden, unexpected and inexplicable death of an apparently healthy infant. Since the launch of the “Back to Sleep” campaign in 1994, the number of SIDS-related deaths has dropped dramatically. The major thrust of the campaign is to persuade parents to place their children to sleep on their backs during the first year of life, as this has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of SIDS.

In addition to putting your baby to sleep on her back, these suggestions may help to prevent SIDS:

Put your baby to sleep on a firm, flat mattress.
Do not place soft bedding or toys in your baby’s crib.
Provide a smoke-free environment for your baby.
Be sure that your baby does not get too warm while sleeping.
Breastfeed your baby.

18/ Can I Hold My Baby, Please?
The visitors, they don’t seem to stop coming. Who knew you had so many friends? They flow in the door each day, bestowing gifts, filling your fridge, commenting on how great you look. And then they go right for the baby. You can’t seem to stop them, and man, have you tried. Somehow they sneak over and grab her when your back is turned (putting the food away, no doubt — aha, it’s a trick!). On the one hand, they’ve solved a problem for you, since much of the time when you’re holding the baby, you’re panicking that you’re not doing it right. On the flip side, it’s your baby (dammit!), and someone better hand him over pronto!

19/ If your baby’s head looks scaly or is flaking, he doesn’t have dandruff. More likely, he has cradle cap, a skin condition that commonly occurs on the scalp of an infant. The medical term is seborrheic dermatitis, which is just a fancy name for irritation around the oil-producing sebaceous glands of the skin. It usually shows up in the first month, and generally goes away on its own within a few months. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s caused by poor care or hygiene. It’s not. In fact, the cause isn’t completely understood.

20/How Long to Nurse
Most babies vary the length of time they spend on the breast. Allow your baby to finish the first breast before offering the second breast. You’ll know your baby is finished with one breast when he comes off spontaneously or has an extended period, longer than about a minute, of no sucking. It’s normal for babies to take brief pauses in sucking lasting about 10 to 30 seconds, after which they will spontaneously begin to suck again. These brief pauses are not an indication that the baby is finished. Allow the baby to take these pauses. You can encourage your baby to suck again if needed after a rest of about 10 to 30 seconds. After your baby has finished the first breast you may want to burp him, diaper him and then offer the second breast.

21/ “Giving birth was an empowering experience. My waist is thicker, but my confidence has improved 100 percent.”

22/ You’ll probably notice that your baby’s leg and arm movements are becoming a bit less jerky. While she’s no prima ballerina just yet, as she gets more control of her muscles, she’ll seem a lot more coordinated than she did at birth.

Feel like your baby is becoming more predictable when it comes to eating and sleeping? It’s possible for babies to develop patterns this early, but don’t get too used to those between-meal stretches and regular naps — your baby is anything but predictable at this stage, and irregular behavior is certain to rear its head.

23/Have you noticed that your baby startles after she hears a loud noise? That’s the Moro reflex kicking in. It can be startling to you, but it’s completely normal — just like the rooting reflex (which causes your baby to turn as if nursing when her cheek is stroked) and the walking reflex (she’ll seem to take steps if held upright on a flat surface).

24/You know your baby loves the sound of your voice. And you know you could probably use a bit of a physical and mental workout. Forget jogging. Pop in your favorite CD and belt out a tune or two to your adoring, one-baby fan club. Cradle her in your arms and dance her around the room as you sing. It’ll be good for both of you!

25/ Instead of using talcum powder when treating diaper rash, opt for ointment, such as A&D, Balmex or Desitin. Talcum powder can be inhaled by your baby. (There have been numerous reports of life-threatening episodes, even deaths, from powder inhalation.) Plus, talcum powder doesn’t seem to have an advantage over ointment in the treatment of diaper rash. Why risk it when there are suitable alternatives?

26/Colic
Ever wonder why your healthy baby cries inconsolably for hours on end, particularly in the evenings and into the night? It could be that she has colic. Colic usually surfaces during the first month of life, peaks around week six and disappears by the end of the third month. There is no consensus on the cause or, unfortunately, the cure. But, thank goodness, colic doesn’t last forever. Of course, when you’re pacing the house for hours trying to calm your crying baby, knowing there’s light at the end of a tunnel that seems thousands of miles long may not help much. Hang in there.

27/Bath Time for Baby
Once the umbilical cord falls off, gone are the days of simply caressing your baby with a damp sponge and calling it a bath. It’s time for baby to get wet! Sure, it sounds exciting (baby’s first bath — grab the video recorder!), but it’s really more like a test of speed and hand-eye coordination. The challenge: to clean a squealing, squirming, possibly crying creature without drowning her, hitting her head or flooding the entire room. Good luck, and have fun.

28/ “Stretch marks are not scars — they’re badges of courage. You’ve earned them.”

March 2006

1/As your baby approaches the end of his first month, he may turn toward familiar voices (like yours, of course) or sounds (like the bark of the family dog). If your baby doesn’t seem to react to such noises, it may just be that he’s already used to your dog barking wildly at the postman each day. But if you have a concern about his hearing, check with his pediatrician.

2/Is He Breathing?!
Tell us if this sounds familiar: It takes you 30 minutes, maybe a good deal more, to get your baby to sleep. Then you check, and check and recheck to make sure his little chest is rising and falling. The tenth time you check, you put your finger in front of his nose to make sure you feel air. Twenty minutes later, breathing check number 20, you accidentally startle your baby and he jolts awake. And you’re back at square one.

3/Going Out with Baby
If you’re ready for a trip outdoors with your baby, by all means pack up your new diaper bag and enjoy! (Do avoid going outdoors, though, when it’s especially hot and humid or wet and chilly.) To keep him appropriately cool or warm, depending on the weather, dress him as you would dress yourself (just remember that you heat up from pushing the stroller; your baby isn’t exerting himself). He’ll tell you (by fussing or crying) whether he’s uncomfortable, and you can feel his tummy or the nape of his neck to tell if he’s cold or too warm. Don’t rely on your baby’s hands or feet as a temperature gauge, though, as his immature circulation system may be the reason he seems chilly. Check with your pediatrician before bringing your baby to malls, crowded restaurants and other enclosed spaces where airborne germs may be dangerous to your baby’s health.

4/While you’re fantasizing about going for your own much-needed professional massage, let someone — your baby — enjoy the pleasure of touch. According to researchers at the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine and Nova Southeastern University, touch therapy the gentle stroking of a child, can trigger physiological changes that help infants and children grow and develop. It can aid in normal weight gain, help an infant or child sleep well and lower stress-hormone levels, which can improve immune function. If you’re interested in massaging your baby, look for a course in your area

5/Most injuries and deaths from car accidents can be prevented using car safety seats, but you must make sure your baby’s seat is installed correctly. Before using the seat, read the car-seat instruction manual and the section on child safety seats in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. The seat and the vehicle have to work together to safeguard your baby. Use the seat every time you take your baby out for a drive, whether it’s in your own car or someone else’s. The safest place for an infant is the back seat in a rear-facing car seat. Never put your baby in the front seat of a car with a passenger-side air bag.

6/Most children hear and listen from birth. They learn to talk by imitating the sounds around them and the voices of their parents and caregivers. But that’s not true for all children. In fact, about two or three out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born deaf or hard of hearing. About as many will lose their hearing later during childhood. Many of these children may need to learn speech and language differently, so it’s important to detect deafness or hearing loss as early as possible. Your baby should have a hearing screening within the first month of life. If hearing loss is suspected, make sure a hearing expert, called an audiologist, tests your baby’s hearing by three months of age. If hearing loss is confirmed, it’s important to consider the use of hearing devices and other communication options by six months of age.

7/”My obstetrician of 25 years has a saying I love: ‘Don’t stand when you can sit. Don’t sit when you can lie down. Don’t stay awake if you can be asleep.'”

8/Whoever came up with the phrase “sleeping like a baby” clearly never had one. Sure, there are some nice, quiet babies who seem to always doze, but many of us seem to have newborns of the more wakeful sort. Got a perky one? Make it fun for both of you (or at least a little less exhausting for you) by exploring different ways of interacting with each other — talk to her while you get things done around the house, give her safe and interesting objects to look at (by now, she may prefer more complex designs, colors and shapes), and carry her with you in a sling as you go about your day.

9/Record Keeping
It’s important to keep track of your baby’s vaccinations (the word vaccination and immunization mean the same thing). Believe us, they’re way too complicated to remember without a written record. The first time your baby gets a shot, ask the pediatrician for a record card with the date and types of shots. Then bring it with you to each subsequent visit and have it updated. Note: Many times, vaccines are combined to reduce the number of injections.

10/Babies love to feel different textures. Introduce them by rubbing your baby’s skin with satin, cotton, wool, velvet or fur, and let her feel their varying sensations. She may not be interested in playing with stuffed animals yet, but she’ll like the way they feel against her skin. You can also lay her on different surfaces, like a soft bath towel, chenille throw or shag carpet. There are endless possibilities, but you may want to avoid the cold tile floor and scratchy sisal rug for now.

11/To help protect your family from house fires, be sure you have a working smoke alarm on each floor in your home. Test the batteries every month to make sure they work. A good way to remember to change the batteries: Do it annually on your baby’s birthday.

12/Someone Take My Baby, Please!
You love your baby. Of course you do. But when she’s crying for hours every night (doctors call it colic; they might as well call it hell), you begin to understand that old threat about children being sold to the gypsies. You feel helpless, pissed (yes, at your baby) and guilty. No, you are not a lousy mother. Here is where Lamaze breathing might help. Like it did so much for you in the delivery room — ha.

13/Why is it so important for you to pick up your baby when she cries? To be by her side when she’s calling for you? Or for you to stay calm and loving when she’s kicking and screaming on the changing table? At this tender young age, you can’t spoil your baby. Your baby needs to learn that the world is a trustworthy and reliable place. Your responsive, unconditional love is what she needs to thrive. Her sense of trust in the world is an essential building block for all other learning she will do.

14/”Take care of yourself at least half as well as you’re taking care of your baby, and you’ll make it through.”

15/Finally, when people comment that your baby’s smile is “just gas,” you can set them straight: At six weeks, your baby is probably flashing you a very real, toothless grin! These smiles should appear different from the earlier smiles. You’ll notice that now your baby uses her whole face to smile. Pretty gratifying, huh? Hold him in front of a mirror and watch his expression. He’ll be thrilled by the “other baby” he sees, and may even share a little smile with him as well.

16/Nighttime Wakings
Feel like it’s playtime in your home 24/7? While it’s very common for babies of this age to continue to wake during the night, you can help your baby learn that nighttime is quiet time. Follow a relaxing bedtime ritual –without stimulating activities –to help him calm down for bed. When he wakes at night, don’t turn on the overhead light to change a diaper or feed him; try a small night-light instead. Use a soft voice when talking to your baby and interact less than you would during the day. In this way, you’ll teach him the skills he’ll need to give you a full night’s rest… one of these days!

17/”I Am Not a Cow”
You swear you love nurturing your baby with sustenance from your own body (miracle of miracles!), and most days you really believe that. And then there are the days when breastfeeding is the bane of your existence. It’s not even the leaky breasts, the three-inch nipples, the battle-ready bras. It’s the “is this kid ever going to finish nursing ’cause I really have to use the bathroom!” moments. The mornings where you’re operating on two hours of sleep and can’t have a cup of coffee as it’ll have the bundle of joy’s colic acting up. But dare you admit this to the league of moms you’ve met who all seem to breastfeed with orgasmic delight? Yes! Yes! Yes! We dare you. We promise, you’ll have the herd on your side.

18/Play airplane with your baby by lying on your back and pulling your knees to your chest so your shins are level with the ground. Place your baby on his tummy on top of your shins. While holding on to his body, slowly lift your legs, keeping baby parallel to the floor. He’ll enjoy his bird’s eye view, and you’ll manage to fit at least a little exercise into your day. Hey, every bit counts!

19/Carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless and toxic gas, is often called the silent killer because it can sneak up on your family without your knowledge. It’s produced by the incomplete combustion of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels, and any appliances fueled with gas, oil, kerosene or wood can emit it. Protect your family: Get a qualified service technician to check your home appliances annually, follow manufacturer’s directions for safe operation of those appliances, and install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

20/Despite the related products on the market that imply otherwise ($70 sterilizer anyone?), you don’t need to sterilize your baby’s bottles, nipples or formula, depending on where you live. Formula prepared with city-treated tap water in the U.S. is as safe as sterilized formula, which means that babies can be safely fed formula made with tap water and clean (not sterile) bottles and nipples. In the United States, water from wells, cisterns or other sources should probably be sterilized by boiling for at least ten minutes, plus one additional minute for every 1,000 feet of your city’s elevation.

21/”Take five minutes every day to do something that’s just for you — even if it’s only sitting and doing nothing. Then add another five minutes, and keep adding.”

22/Think you have an audience? You probably do. As your baby tunes in to you more and more, you’ll notice that she may stop what she’s doing (feeding, sucking) to listen to you. It’s a great time to talk to your baby. Make aah and ooh sounds, repeat her coos and screeches. And while you’re diapering, changing clothes or getting her ready for a ride in the stroller, narrate your actions. Your captive audience awaits.

23/Who, Me, Have Sex?
Just what you wanted to hear: You’ve finally been given your doctor’s blessing to go ahead and make love for the first time since your baby’s birth — perhaps even for the first time in many months. Your husband is all smiles (he seems not to notice that you haven’t washed your hair in three days and that your right shoulder sports spit-up 24/7). You, most likely, are not. You are feeling about as sexy and sensual as a pig knee-deep in poop (you have some of that on your clothes, too, no doubt), not to mention your fleshy thighs, stretch marks and leaky boobs. And let’s not forget the utter exhaustion. Just when does your husband think you’re going to squeeze in some nooky anyway? You might have a free nanosecond between the fifth feeding of the day and the three piles of laundry that await you. How romantic.

24/In case you haven’t played patty-cake in a while, here’s a refresher: Play patty-cake with your baby’s feet while she’s lying on her back. Patting her feet together sing: “Patty-cake, patty-cake, baker man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can.” While rolling baby’s feet around each other sing: “Roll ’em and pat ’em and mark ’em with a B and put ’em in the oven for baby and me.” On the last note, bring baby’s feet up to her face. You just might be rewarded with a big smile!

25/Carefully read the directions on any medication you might give your baby and consult with the pharmacist or your baby’s pediatrician for the proper dosage. Because your baby is so small and tends to keep medicine in her system longer than an adult, even the slightest amount above the prescribed dosage could result in an overdose. It’s important to keep a record of your baby’s medication schedule — just in case you forget.

26/Children need vitamin D to help their bodies develop strong bones. Even if you’re breastfeeding, your baby may not be getting enough vitamin D, as human milk doesn’t contain enough of it to prevent rickets (a disorder involving softening and weakening of the bones). Sunlight is the usual source of vitamin D production in the skin, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants stay out of direct sunlight when they’re outside. So how do you provide your baby with enough vitamin D? If she’s bottle-fed, her formula will have a sufficient amount. If she’s breastfed, ask your pediatrician about liquid multivitamin drops with vitamin D. Start during the first two months of life. If you give your baby the recommended amount, she’ll get all the vitamin D she needs to prevent rickets.

27/Baby Spew
Almost all babies spit up occasionally (okay, sometimes a lot), and it’s usually nothing to be alarmed about. Babies spit up for different reasons. When a baby has received more milk than she needs, spitting up allows her to get rid of the excess. Fussy, colicky babies tend to swallow more air and seem to be more prone to spitting up. If a baby is jostled or vigorously burped following a feeding, she may easily lose some of her meal. Usually the amount of spit up looks like more than it actually is. It can help to feed your baby in a more upright position. Following the feeding, gently handle your baby, keeping her upright about 20 minutes

28/”Don’t stress over naps and sleep. You will, but I’m telling you, it’s needless. Baby will learn to sleep eventually. Their sleep changes about 100 times over the first year. Just when you think you have it figured out, they change it on you.”

29/I spy Mommy!
No, you’re not imagining it. At eight weeks, your baby may begin watching your movements and tracking you across the room. He’s becoming more aware of his surroundings and definitely can recognize the faces he knows, even from a distance. Make sure he has plenty of stimulating objects to gaze at, like bright pictures, mobiles and toys. Try a little experiment: Move an object in front of your baby and watch him follow it.

30/Now is a perfect opportunity to spend some quality time in front of a mirror — with your baby, of course. Sit on the floor in front of a mirror with your baby on your lap. Make eye contact with him in the mirror so that your baby focuses on you (otherwise, the mirror frame is apt to get all of his attention). Then make faces and watch his reaction. Smile, frown, look surprised — your baby will enjoy the show!

31/Check around your house to make sure it’s free from lead paint, particularly if it was built before 1950. Lead poisoning can lead to irreversible brain damage in children. Potential hazards include chipping paint on walls or furniture, vinyl mini blinds that were imported from other countries and lead in your drinking water. Now is the time to be sure that your house is lead free.

April 2006

1/Newborn Test Results
All states require certain blood tests to look for treatable diseases that would otherwise go undiagnosed until significant damage is done. This collection of tests is often referred to as the newborn metabolic screen and would have been done within the first few days of your baby’s life. At his two-month well-baby visit, confirm that his pediatrician received these results from the state and that they were normal.

2/Baby’s First Manicure
Those tiny fingers. That tiny nail clipper. Who’s kidding who? You’re supposed to hold a baby finger firmly and cut the talon growing there — which threatens to either tear up your baby’s lovely face or inflict some red welts on your own? Yes, indeedy, you are. Do yourself a favor and do it when your baby is sleeping soundly. Do yourself another favor and don’t act like you’re a danger to society when you clip your baby’s finger by accident. Seriously, it happens to everyone… well, almost everyone.

3/Contrary to popular belief, iron in formula does not cause constipation. While babies who were born at full term have enough iron — it passed through the placenta during the final trimester to last four to six months — putting babies on low-iron formulas isn’t recommended. The concern is that parents will forget to switch to the full-strength iron formula after four to six months. Then the child is at risk for significant anemia over the next several months. If you’re breastfeeding, your baby is getting the iron he needs from your breast milk.

4/”If you have feelings of depression or anxiety, talk to someone –mom, sister, minister, doctor, someone. Postpartum depression is a real condition. It’s not all in your head.”

5/As your baby becomes more alert, she’ll spend more time awake during the day (as much as ten hours). Daytime naps will get longer, and at night, she’ll go for longer sleep stretches without waking for a feeding, possibly up to six hours. If your baby is already sleeping through the night, you’re one of the lucky few! Try not to rub it in.

6/At this age your baby is particularly interested in circular and spiral patterns. Show her a few items with these characteristics, such as a telephone cord, a piece of paper on which you’ve drawn several circles within each other and a few round butter-tub lids. Amazing what works as a toy, isn’t it?

7/Between 25 and 30 percent of American parents routinely sleep with their children, either for part or all of the night. If you decide to bring your baby into bed, keep these simple safety tips in mind:

Never sleep with your baby if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including nighttime cold medication.
Do not sleep with your baby on a waterbed.
Avoid placing pillows and blankets around your baby’s face.

8/No Doze? No-Doz!
Absolutely everyone told you, before the baby was born, to “get your sleep now.” You ignored them for two reasons: (1) You know perfectly well that no one can hoard sleep for a much later date, and (2) you were beyond clueless about the exhaustion you would experience once you became a mom. In fact, exhaustion doesn’t really do it justice. You are beyond wrecked, tired beyond sanity. You feel like thin glass, like you might shatter. You’re so tired you could easily sleep until your baby’s first birthday, maybe even first-grade graduation. And you have never in your life felt so stupid from fatigue. But even with your plummeting IQ, you know this: It is impossible to sleep when the baby sleeps, as everyone advises. Who then will wash, cook, clean, buy diapers and keep the house from falling down?

9/Storing Breast Milk
Wondering how long breast milk lasts (after you’ve pumped it, that is)? Studies have shown that freshly expressed breast milk can be stored at room temperature, (79 degrees F), for up to six hours, or at 66 to 72 degrees for up to 10 hours. If you’re not going to use breast milk within four hours after pumping, refrigerate or freeze it as soon as possible. If the milk is refrigerated at 32 to 39 degrees, it can be stored for up to eight days. Frozen breast milk can be stored three to six months, depending on the temperature of the freezer and frequency of freezer-door openings. Deep freezers, or chest freezers, afford the longest freezing time because they usually have lower and more consistent temperatures. Do not store breast milk on a freezer or refrigerator door, since that’s where the widest temperature variations occur.

10/Feel silly talking to your baby? Don’t! Verbal stimulation is important, especially during the first year of life. According to research, the more words your baby hears during infancy, the higher his intelligence will be. So, go ahead, ramble on!

11/”To help my husband bond with our baby, I encouraged him to take over bath time so that he has a ritual that’s all his own. He gets time with our baby –and I get the hour off!”

12/He’s becoming a little powerhouse! Your baby is gaining greater control over his body every day. He can now kick his legs energetically, and straighten them when he’s on his back. You may be surprised by his strength. He can now grasp at dangling objects, so make sure that mobile is out of arm’s reach! He can also clutch and shake hand toys. His verbal skills are developing as well, as he begins to imitate sounds. Say a few vowel sounds and see the response you get.

13/Let the toy obsession begin! You’ll notice that your baby loves rattles and other toys. He is amazed by his ability to pick them up and he revels in their different textures and noises. Bear in mind that your baby will “taste” all toys, so make sure they’re safe for him. Put him in the center of a blanket with a few choice toys he can grab and, watch him go to town!

14/Be very careful of your baby’s newfound ability to grasp an object that he wants. He could easily reach for, say, a cup of coffee and burn himself. Never hold him while drinking a hot liquid, cooking or smoking (ahem, you shouldn’t be smoking anyway, let alone around your baby). He is sure to be interested in what you’re doing — and he doesn’t understand the concept of “hot” yet. To protect your baby from tap water scalds, reduce the temperature of your hot water heater to between 120 and 130 degrees F. If your baby should be burned, immediately put the burned area in cold water and keep it there until he stops crying. Then cover the burn loosely with a clean cloth or bandage and call your baby’s pediatrician.

15/While most moms in the United States breastfeed their babies at some point, few keep it up exclusively (without formula supplementation) for at least six months, which is the duration recommended by health experts. Sixty-four percent of new moms breastfeed in the early postpartum period, according to a report published in the American Journal of Public Health. However, that number drops to 36 percent at six months of age, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control.

16/Co-Sleeping
If you share your bed with your baby, ideally, both parents should agree and feel comfortable with the decision, and both bed-sharers should agree that they are equally responsible for the infant. Since contact with other bodies increases the infant’s skin temperature, babies should be wrapped lightly in the co-sleeping environment. A good test is to consider whether you are comfortable; if you are, then the baby probably is as well. Anyone taking sedatives, medications or drugs or who is intoxicated or excessively difficult to arouse should not sleep on the same surface with your baby. Toddlers or other little children should not be permitted to sleep in the adult bed next to an infant, as toddlers are unaware of the dangers of suffocation.

17/Spot Ain’t Smiling
Your (fill in: cat, dog, bird) is pissed at you. You’ve been so busy and distracted that you’ve been trying to ignore this truth. But it has become impossible not to notice the looks and, oh, the attitude. Your pet is horrified and not a little bit annoyed. To your beloved pet, you’ve brought home a noisy, pooping, wriggling little fiend who just happens to be getting an awful lot of the attention once reserved for inhabitants of the nonhuman variety. The other day, during a particularly colicky moment, the look on your pet’s face clearly said: “What on Earth were you thinking?”

18/”When your baby naps, if you can, take a nap too!”

19/You’re amazed by the tiny details and beauty of your baby’s hands, and she is getting busy watching her hands, too. If you show her a toy, she may very well take a swipe at it. She still needs a lot of practice to perfect her hand-eye coordination. You can help by placing her on her back on a blanket on the floor, while you suspend a safe toy on a string — perhaps a rattle that makes a bit of noise — and let her try to grab it. She’ll probably use a closed fist to swipe at objects, but you’ll notice her bringing her hands together and opening her fingers too.

20/Going Back to Work
If you’re heading back to the office soon, it’s time to begin to prepare your baby for the transition. If you haven’t done so already, allow your partner or your baby’s caregiver to offer your baby a bottle each day beginning at least two weeks before you are scheduled to return to work. Start relaying all of your feelings about parenting to your baby’s caregiver; if it helps, write them down and share them with her. It’s also wise to begin building (or augmenting) your frozen milk supply. Freeze your milk in two- to four-ounce quantities to avoid waste when the milk is thawed for your baby. Save this frozen milk as backup. Use freshly expressed refrigerated milk for your baby whenever possible. At work, plan on expressing every three hours. Remember: Regular stimulation of your breasts is important to maintaining your milk supply.

21/Your baby will love to watch things move. Let her watch kids playing in the park, leaves falling from trees, cars whizzing by. Take a trip to the pet store and hold her in front of a fish tank. Watch her eyes move with every swish of a tail!

22/If your baby is exposed to secondhand smoke in her home during her first three years, her risk of frequent or persistent middle-ear infections is nearly doubled, according to researchers from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, as reported in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Middle-ear infections cause fluctuating hearing loss, which could place young children at risk for developmental problems in language, cognition and motor skills.

23/The only way to diagnose whether your child has an ear infection is for her to be evaluated by her pediatrician. Obviously, your baby can’t tell you that her ear hurts. Signs such as fever, fussiness, tugging at ears, cold symptoms, head shaking and unwillingness to nurse are not clear-cut indicators of an ear infection — although they may be symptoms you want checked out by your child’s doctor.

24/Date Night
You did it. You booked a babysitter. It only took 17 phone calls, four interviews and several in-house visits, but you’ve worked up the nerve to leave your child with… your sister. It’s okay. Put that house party she threw when you were teenagers out of your mind. Breathe deeply and walk out of the house, hand in hand with your hubby. Why isn’t the baby crying? Oh, no, the baby likes my sister better than me. I’ve ruptured the fragile mother-child bond. I must turn back now and… Your husband keeps a firm grip on your hand. He points out that the baby isn’t crying because you rocked the child to sleep before your sister even arrived. You have your cell phone with you. You are just going out for pizza. You’ll be back in less than two hours. You can do this, really.

25/”Try to get those healthy snacks in… and if you’re breastfeeding, make sure you have a glass of water when you sit down to nurse your child.”

26/Although he reserves most of his enthusiasm for his mom and dad, your baby may be quite the social butterfly now. Don’t be surprised if he becomes especially alert when guests visit, flashing a grin when they say hello to him. He’ll also respond with coos to oohs and aahs received from strangers. What a flirt!

27/As you change your baby’s clothes and diapers, you may notice his new delight in being naked. Why not give him some time to enjoy it? Let your baby play sans clothes — ah, the freedom! He will enjoy the feeling of different textures on his body. Of course, keep him warm and safe –try letting him play on a beach towel or cozy blanket in a sunny room, with you by his side on the floor.

28/Don’t let your guard down when your baby is on the changing table. He may not have rolled over on his own yet, but before you know it he will be reaching for objects that he sees, and he could easily propel himself over the side. Always keep one hand on your baby while he’s on the table, regardless of whether your table has a railing or a restraint strap. It might help to focus his attention by hanging a mobile directly above.

29/Most women who aren’t nursing get their first menstrual period within 12 weeks of their baby’s birth. For nursing mothers, the timing varies widely. A survey of women who breastfed exclusively –meeting all their baby’s nutritional and sucking needs at the breast –revealed that the menstrual cycle normally resumed at 14.6 months postpartum. Although exclusive breastfeeding often delays the return of your menstrual period and fertility, this is not always the case. The many factors involved in maintaining lactational infertility include the number of feedings per day, duration of feedings and longest interval between feedings.

30/Flying with Your Baby
You can travel by plane with your three-month-old… but why would you want to? Just kidding. The truth is that the prep and packing for a flight is often more trying than the flight itself. On the flight, do take the following precautions: Try to keep the overhead storage bin free of heavy objects; keep your seatbelt on while holding your baby; avoid drinking hot tea or coffee anywhere near your baby; and carry on enough diapers, formula (if not breastfeeding) and clothes to last two days, just in case the airline loses your luggage.

May 2006

1/Office Angst
Your first day back at work after maternity leave. You’re a wreck. It’s not the angst of leaving your little dumpling behind after 12 weeks of blissful bonding (okay, okay, and spit-up-stained tees and infrequent showers) that gets you. It’s what you’ll wear. What fits? Aha, the selection has been severely narrowed down. You leave yourself an exorbitant amount of time to get ready — just like the first day of high school all over again. Except that on the first day of high school a 12-pound dwarf didn’t barf on your suit right before you walked out the door.

2/”Take your little one into the bathroom in a carrier or a bouncy seat so you can grab a quick shower!”

3/Your baby is ready to talk! Okay, not really. But if you’re lucky, your baby is probably happily cooing much of the time she’s awake. To enjoy a “conversation” with her, talk when she pauses and then pause while she responds.

Her hand-eye coordination is getting better too. If you watch her closely, you’ll notice that she’s very pleased with the realization that she is lifting an object, shaking a toy or touching her toes.

4/Make ’em laugh! Your baby may begin to find great amusement in playing peek-a-boo. You can play it while changing her diaper, in line at the grocery store or down on the floor lying together on a blanket. Use your hands or a diaper to cover your face. Then uncover it and say, “peek-a-boo,” smiling at your baby. Though it will still be several months before she initiates this game, she will find great joy now in watching you act so silly!

5/Many parents hear about toy and baby gear recalls from other moms. It’s a good start, but it’s not the most effective alert system. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has found that despite recall notices and public warnings, many products with the potential to seriously injure or kill are still being used by consumers. The CPSC’s toll-free telephone hotline (800-638-2772) and Web site provide information about recalled products and information on what to look for when buying products.

To get a list of all toy recalls from the past year, send a postcard to “Toy Recall List,” CPSC, Washington, D.C. 20207.

6/Babies are born wanting to suck. Some even suck their thumb or fingers in the womb. The debate rages about which is better — a pacifier or a thumb. Some experts say a pacifier is better because it causes fewer problems with future tooth development and that a parent can control the use of a pacifier while thumb sucking is harder to control. On the flip side, other experts say that babies who suck their thumbs can soothe themselves better than pacifier suckers. If you’re a mom who spends nights continually reinserting your baby’s pacifier, you can relate!

7/Bathing
Your baby doesn’t need a daily bath, although she probably enjoys a chance to splash in the water. Many pediatricians feel that bathing two or three times a week is enough for the first year. More frequent baths may dry out the skin, especially during the winter. If your baby feels dry all over, cut her baths down to twice a week. Keep her clean by washing all traces of food from her face and hands, and wash the diaper area thoroughly during changes.

8/PDB: Public Displays of Boob
If you’re ever going to have a life, you’re going to have to nurse in public one of these days. Relax. Janet Jackson showed her boob to hundreds of millions of people.

9/”Try not to worry so much over the little things! ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff,’ as they say. Babies grow up fast, so just enjoy them!”

10/Watch out! Your little one is on his way to being mobile. It may shock him (and you!) the first time he rolls from his stomach to his back, as he doesn’t understand how he performed the feat. But soon he’ll realize that he can roll over to grab the toy he wants, rather than just cry for it. He may also be capable of making a more dangerous move — rolling from his back to his side. You’ll have to be more watchful now than ever when your baby is on the changing table, playing on your bed or even lying on your lap. You don’t want him to take a tumble!

11/All through the Night
It’s just past midnight. Your darling child is awake. Baby’s not fussy, or hungry, or sick, or in need of a change. The kid’s just AWAKE. And expects you to be, too. Once upon a time, midnight seemed a great time to start a term paper. Or to head out to that hip new dance club. Or to sit up and dish with your girlfriends. Now, however, it seems (to you, at least) to be the perfect time to be asleep. Only your child doesn’t share that opinion. You snuggle baby down into that cosleeper thing you bought. This, you think, will work. The books say so. You coo a little lullaby in one ear. Baby reaches over and pulls your nose. And then pokes you in the eye. And laughs. It’s gonna be a long night.

12/Let your baby practice his most recent skill –rolling over. Place him on a quilt, lay him on his tummy, and show him a favorite toy just out of his reach. If he tries to roll, help him out so he begins to understand the cause and effect of rolling.

13/You may have heard some parents talk about starting solids at three or four months of age, with the hopes that it will help their baby sleep through the night. Well, there’s no research to back this up. The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “Exclusive breastfeeding is ideal nutrition and sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first six months” of a baby’s life.

If you have a family history of allergies, deciding when to introduce solids to your baby’s diet can be particularly important. Discuss this issue with your baby’s pediatrician.

14/There seems to be a link between breastfeeding and a child’s IQ. According to one study, babies who were fed their mother’s milk had higher IQs (by as much as 8.3 points) at seven and eight years of age than those who were formula-fed.

15/Child Care
Finding the most reliable caregivers for your baby requires that you do your research and ask the right questions. For an outside child-care facility, you want to ask about licensing, the ratio of providers to babies (one for every three infants is ideal, even if state requirements allow more infants per provider), emergency and early childhood development training, the size of the space (including if there is a crib for each baby), discipline techniques, outdoor time, playtime and frequency of feedings and diaper changes. For an in-home caregiver, ask about previous experience (and be sure to ask for and call references), any certifications (such as infant CPR), her health and habits (for example, does she smoke?), her approach to soothing a crying baby and what a typical day for the baby in her care would be like.

16/”Eat, eat and eat… even if you aren’t breastfeeding. You’ll end up spending a lot more energy than you had planned on.”

17/Ever wonder why everything that comes within your baby’s reach goes straight into her mouth? Because she’s curious! She’ll try everything –from her toys to her clothes to your fingers. It’s wonderful to let her taste her world; just be careful that she’s trying out safe items. At this stage, your baby can see all colors and shades. It’s a great time to introduce her to picture books with vibrant hues.

18/It’s as if a magnet is pulling you, against your will, to the nearest toy store. Okay, so it’s not really against your will. The truth is, now that your baby is showing an interest in objects around her, you’re bound to find yourself drawn to toy shopping (yes, it really does start this early). Remember, your baby doesn’t know which cartoon character is popular, so there’s no need to get into a scuffle over a must-have-product-of-the-moment –just about anything will please her. (You, we know, are another story.) Make sure all toys are washable — in the machine or by hand. Of course, avoid potentially harmful items and materials small enough for your baby to swallow.

19/When purchasing a toy, make sure it’s age-appropriate for your child. Read all instructions, and toss out the plastic wrapping and anything else that could be harmful. A baby’s toys should not have sharp edges to threaten little fingers, contain small parts that can be swallowed or produce loud noises damaging to ears. Watch out for hidden hazards, such as wire in stuffed animals, lead paint on older wooden toys and long cords. Crib gyms should be removed when your baby can get up on her hands and knees.

20/Breast milk is better for babies than formula, but a new study says it loses some of its best properties once it’s refrigerated. While breast milk has more antioxidants than formula, fresh breast milk boasts a higher level of antioxidants than refrigerated or frozen breast milk, according to the study appearing in the Fetal and Neonatal edition of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

21/Asthma
This disease, which tends to run in families, affects nearly five million children under the age of 18 in the United States, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. To help prevent asthma and allergies, they suggest that you:
Introduce solids after six months of age.
Limit exposure to indoor pets early in life.
Eliminate smoke from the home.
Avoid day care for very young children.
Use protective covers on bedding to control mites.

22/And you thought women’s clothing sizes were a pain (you’re buying 9 mos clothes for your adorable 4-mos-old…)

23/”Breastfeeding didn’t work out for us. I felt guilty –until I noticed how much happier my baby was after I weaned her. Now I look back and wonder why I stood it so long.”

24/Have a seat! While he can’t sit up by himself yet, your baby will enjoy being put into a sitting position. It’ll give him a whole new perspective on his world. Let him experiment with this new view; use pillows to firmly prop him up on the floor or in his stroller. Watch for signs of toppling: If he’s not well supported, you can be sure he’ll be doing his Leaning Tower of Pisa impression within seconds. Allowing your baby to practice sitting up for short periods of time will build the muscles necessary for him to sit by himself, and that’s probably still a few months off.

At this stage, your baby may also recognize the breast or a bottle — and he may break into a toothless grin when it comes into view.

25/Put some entertaining mitts on your baby’s hands and watch her wiggle away. You can buy the mitts or sew silly faces and bells to some her of socks. The new sensations of sound and touch allow her to further expand her world. When her hands get tired, move them to her feet!

26/Choosing a Breast Pump
A breast pump is a breast pump is a breast pump? Not so. If you plan to return to work in the near future and will continue to nurse or want others (like your partner) to feed the baby breast milk, you’ll want to begin expressing your milk. For that you’ll obviously need a pump. And choosing the appropriate one for you is important, so you’ll want to think it through. How fast do you need to be? How much privacy will you have? Will you be pumping often or only occasionally? Do you have concerns about your milk supply? Are you experiencing any difficulties breastfeeding?

27/If you put your child to bed with a bottle, he’s at risk for developing serious tooth decay caused by frequent and long-term exposure to liquids containing sugars. This includes milk, formula and juices, as well as sodas and other sweetened drinks. The sugars in the liquid pool around your baby’s teeth and gums, feeding the bacteria that cause plaque. According to the California Dental Association, you should avoid giving an infant liquids containing sugar before a nap or bedtime. As he sleeps, the amount of saliva increases, allowing the sugary substances to pool around the baby’s teeth for an extended amount of time.

28/In 1960, a moderate-income family spent about $146,800 (in 2000 dollars) to raise a child to age 18. Forty years later, that amount had spiked 13 percent, to $165,600. Hello, that’s not even including college costs!

29/Strollerwise
The world is not fair. This is something you will have to teach your child one day, when he has matured beyond stuffing absolutely everything that is not a piece of furniture into his mouth. For now, you will have to bear the burden of this knowledge alone. You’ve seen this unfairness with your own eyes, quite recently actually. When you or your husband take the baby out in his stroller, you receive disdainful glares if the baby so much as squeaks. When your younger brother takes the kid out for a walk, he’s immediately surrounded by supermodel wanna-bes who coo over what a great guy he is as he ineptly tries to change a diaper in the park while the baby howls.

30/”Remember to ask for what you need. We get so worried about what our babies need that we forget we still have needs as mommies too.”

31/Your baby’s world is really expanding. She can now see across the room, and is starting to notice small objects, perhaps staring at them intently. She hasn’t perfected her pincer grasp, so she can’t pick up tiny things — but that won’t stop her from trying!

She is able to grasp her feet, though — at least for a few minutes at a time. They’re great playthings: always available and an endless source of wonder!

June 2006

1/What You Eat
Although there’s no specific diet you must follow when you breastfeed, it’s worth remembering that what you eat influences your milk and therefore affects your baby. Remember that the typical American diet is likely to be deficient in only seven nutrients: iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin E and folic acid. All but iron are easy to take care of by choosing your foods strategically. You’re probably getting vitamin D and calcium from drinking low-fat milk. Zinc is in meats, eggs and whole grains. Magnesium is in whole grains, beans and nuts. Vitamin E is in wheat germ, nuts, many oils and whole grains. While your health-care provider may have prescribed an iron supplement, good natural sources of the essential mineral are liver and spinach.

2/Right now play for your baby is all about exploring, and the focus of his fascination can be as simple as a clean diaper. Hand one over and watch him hold it, shake it and suck on it. Hey, that can take several minutes! A rattle can also be a source of fun: Your baby will love the sound!

3/Never use a baby walker. Your child could fall out, tip it over or tumble down the stairs in it. A walker also allows your baby access to places where she could pull heavy objects or hot food onto herself. A stationary activity center is a good alternative. Make sure you place it away from stairs, hot appliances, window blinds and drapery cords. And never leave your baby unattended, even in a stationary center.

4/Placing your baby on a blanket on the floor is one of the best ways to support both physical skills and the development of a baby’s sense of competence. Babies who spend time on open, flat surfaces, free of infant seats or other restrictive carriers, have the opportunity to learn about their bodies in space. They get to learn what positions they can get themselves into and out of. They develop the muscles they need for their next developmental challenge. Babies who are playing on the floor are strengthening all of the muscles they will later need to roll over, sit up and crawl. Be aware of the amount of time your baby spends in car seats, infant carriers, swings, chairs and other restrictive containers.

5/What We Talk about When We Talk about Love
“She threw up all over me at the mall.”
“He burped so loudly today, he scared himself.”
“She didn’t poop today — do you think anything’s wrong?”

Pediatrician-parent conversation? No, everyday dinner table talk between you and your husband. Welcome to parenthood.

6/”Trust your partner to care for your baby, and don’t second-guess everything he does. He may not do it perfectly, but odds are that he’ll be good enough. Your baby won’t care!”

7/Your baby may now start reaching for toys by using a raking motion with his hands. Watch out –he’s indiscriminate about what he grabs. At this stage, some babies may even be ready to pull themselves to a sitting position, so remove your baby’s crib mobile if you think he’s on the verge of demonstrating this newfound ability.

8/Silly songs? They’re part of childhood. So you might as well start getting used to them now. Sit your baby on your lap and sing:
“This is the way the lady rides, trit-trot, trit-trot, trit-trot.” (Bounce baby very lightly.)
“This is the way the gentleman rides, a-gallop, a-gallop, a-gallop.” (Move alternate legs.)
“This is the way the farmer rides, hobbledy-hoy, hobbledy-hoy, hobbledy-hoy.” (Bounce unevenly.)
“And down into a ditch!” (Very gently, bounce baby down on your lap.)

9/Now — before your baby starts crawling — is the perfect time to babyproof your house. You don’t have to do the whole house at once. Try one room at a time. Start with the bathroom, where hazardous products are often stored. Get down on your baby’s level and assess the dangers from his perspective. Babyproofing, coupled with close supervision, makes for a safer baby.

10/More than one-third of all medications ingested accidentally by children involve a grandparent’s prescription. Be sure to familiarize yourself with first-aid procedures — and review the contents of your cabinets with the poison lookout checklist. And remind your visiting parents or in-laws to stow their medications out of reach of the kids.

11/Photo Opps
Since your baby changes so dramatically during his first year of life, you may head to the photo studio more than once (especially if you’re a long, long, long way from snapping Anne Geddes-quality pics). When you do, avoid trying to photograph a sleepy or fussy baby by planning your outing for a time when your baby is most alert and happy. Right after lunch is a good time, when baby’s tummy is full and he’s ready for play. Think ahead about the type of picture you’d like, and plan your baby’s outfit accordingly. Make sure you aren’t hurried, as your baby can tell when you’re stressed and will be affected. Take an extra change of clothes in case of an accident, bring along a couple of his favorite toys and don’t forget a snack. No one ever said modeling was easy!

12/Chow’s On!
You were once known for your exquisite Moroccan chicken and inspired table settings. Your husband, word has it, could quote the Wine Spectator review of any bottle, verbatim. And yet, here are you both, brimming with glee over… rice cereal. In a melamine bowl (okay, you got it at the MoMA store). Is it thick enough? Thin enough? Warm enough? Cool enough? Will… the baby like it? And there’s your little cherub, as of yet innocent of any solid food (if one could call rice mush “solid”) and completely free of any of the anticipation you two feel. But finally, in goes the spoon to the little rosebud mouth, and — oops. Out comes the cereal, sputtered right back at you. A few more tries, and baby gets some down and rewards you with a grin. You grin back, and hope the kid masters this swallowing thing before it’s time for the pureed peas.

13/”I felt like such a failure when I had problems breastfeeding, until my lactation consultant pointed out that it’s a learned behavior, one that requires instruction and support.”

14/No, you do not live in a zoo. Though it may sound like one as your baby practices her favorite new sound — the squeal. She’ll be delighted when she figures out how to repeat it, and, as with other newly developed skills, she’ll likely repeat (and repeat and repeat) it until she finds something else of interest. Around this time, she may also begin teething. To help her through this often difficult process, give her many different, safe objects on which she can gnaw. Beware! Nearly everything, including you, is fair game.

15/Make your baby her own picture book using a mini photo album, any extra pictures you have and clippings from magazines. Include family members, other babies, favorite objects, animals and different shapes. As time goes by, you can change or add pictures to reflect your baby’s current interests. You can begin to develop name and face recognition with friends and family members by pointing to the pictures and saying their names.

16/Leaving your baby with a new sitter? Be sure to leave her the following information: where you will be, with a contact number (if you’re relying on your cell phone, be sure you’ll have good reception); the name and number of a nearby friend or relative; your pediatrician’s name and phone number; and the numbers for the fire department, police department, poison control center and nearest hospital.

17/Breastfeeding a baby for at least six months can help prevent eczema during her first three years of life, according to a study published in The Lancet.

18/Antibiotic Use
Acute otitis media (AOM), or middle-ear infection, is the most common bacterial illness in children and the one most commonly treated with antibiotics. But it’s important to make sure your baby has an ear infection before administering antibiotics. Allan Lieberthal, MD, FAAP, cochair of the guideline panel, states, “If a child is given an antibiotic and doesn’t need it, he or she may build up an antibiotic resistance and not respond to them when needed for a more serious infection, such as pneumonia or meningitis.” The guideline recommends observing your child and starting antibiotic treatment only if symptoms have not improved in 48 to 72 hours. The guideline also notes that 80 percent of children whose ear infections are not treated immediately with antibiotics get better on their own and have no increased risk of a serious infection.

19/Got Wipes?
You thought you had it all together, didn’t you? You packed that bag with 10 diapers, three changes of clothes and an entire box of wipes — all for an afternoon at the mall. And then it happened. The poop fest. The first few changes you handled with aplomb — switching out diapers and keeping the outfit pristine. And then went the next diaper, and the outfit with it. And the next, and the next, and there’s no more clothes and no more wipes… and heaven knows what that baby (or you, if you’re still breastfeeding) ate to make this all happen. Now you’re driving home with baby wrapped up in your fleece hoodie, praying harder than you’ve ever prayed before that that your burp-cloth-turned-diaper holds out until you reach home, where, thank goodness, the full supply of clothes and diapers awaits. As you pull into the driveway, you remind yourself it isn’t the end of the world. Although it is the end of that cute yellow jumpsuit your baby was wearing.

20/”Take as many pictures as you can. Your baby will be growing so fast, and you should try and capture everyday moments.”

21/Have a little power monger on your hands? Your baby’s a little young for that, thank goodness, but he is starting to realize that he has control over things that happen around him, and he’s experimenting with cause and effect. He’ll begin to notice what happens when he drops a rattle or pushes a toy that makes a sound. Soon, he’ll start dropping objects just to see your reaction. It can be frustrating when you’re constantly picking up toys flung around the room (be sure to duck!), but try to remember: It’s all part of your baby’s learning process.

22/As you know by now, babies love to play with their feet — and who can resist those cute little toes? Playing “This Little Piggy” will be great amusement for both you and your baby. Just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s one version. Start with the big toe and wiggle each in succession as you say the following lines:

This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy went home.
This little piggy ate roast beef.
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy cried wee-wee-wee all the way home!

23/Avoid exposing your baby to direct sunlight during his first year — and especially when he is under six months of age. Until recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised against the use of sunblock for babies under six months of age. Now they recommend, “For babies under six months of age, sunscreen may be used on small areas of the body such as the face and the back of the hands if adequate clothing and shade are not available. For older children, test the sunscreen on the baby’s back for a reaction before applying it all over. Apply carefully around the eyes, avoiding the eyelids. If your baby rubs sunscreen into her eyes, wipe the eyes and hands clean with a damp cloth. If the sunscreen burns her eyes, try a different brand or try a sunscreen stick or sunblock with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. If a rash develops, talk to your pediatrician.”

24/Keeping Baby Home Sick
How do you know when your child is too sick to attend her regular day care? Check for the following symptoms:

Fever and sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, earache, irritability or confusion. Fever is defined as a temperature of 100 or higher taken under the arm, 101 taken orally or 102 taken rectally. For children four months or younger, a rectal temperature of 101 is considered a fever threshold.
Diarrhea (runny, watery or bloody stools).
Vomiting (twice or more within 24 hours).
Sore throat (with fever and swollen glands).
Severe coughing (baby turns red or blue in the face or makes high-pitched whooping sounds after coughing).
Pinkeye or eye discharge (thick mucus or pus draining from the eye).
Yellowish skin or eyes.
Extreme irritability, continuous crying.

25/New research demonstrates that teaching sign language to hearing babies improves their language, vocabulary and reading skills as they develop. Dr. Marilyn Daniels, a professor of speech communication at Pennsylvania State University and author of the book Dancing with Words: Signing for Hearing Children’s Literacy, is at the forefront of this research. Dr. Daniels is one of the few researchers working in this field who promotes having babies learn a national sign language instead of invented gestures or “home signs.” She prefers to teach hearing babies American Sign Language (ASL) because it is a recognized language. Sign language in general seems tailor-made for young children, notes Daniels. “The motor areas of the body mature sooner than the mouth and other language articulators,” she says. This means that it is easier for children to learn and remember signs than it is for them to acquire fluency in either spoken or written language. “Children like to use sign,” she adds. “They pay more attention because of the movement; they become more involved. They are involved in the process of learning and are interested in it.” In general, most babies are ready to learn to sign at around seven months. But remember, all babies are different. Some babies aren’t ready until nine or ten months.

26/Wake-Up Call
It’s 7:00 in the morning, and you’re awake. Not that unusual in and of itself, except that up until 6:59, you — and your husband — were asleep. Both of you. Sound asleep, in fact, ever since you, he and the baby went to bed at about 11:30 last night. You’re disoriented. Did I get up and just not remember? Then the panic sets in. Is the baby okay? You rush to her crib, and there she is — soundly, angelically sleeping. And then it hits you: She slept through the night. You slept through the night. You’re so hopped up on adequate sleep that you contemplate taking a morning jog. You do a little victory dance around the room. Which, of course, wakes up the baby.

27/”Always trust your intuition — even if you’re a first-time mom. You know your baby best. Do what you feel is right.”

28/Your baby is becoming much more vocal; she’s beginning to make two-syllable sounds, including some vowel-consonant combinations. She’s also getting stronger and can now hold her head level when pulled to a sitting position. Go, baby, go.

29/Play a game of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Sit on the floor with your legs together and straight out in front of you. Lay your baby on your legs with her head at your feet, and her feet close to your knees. Hold her hands and pull her toward you as you lean back. As you lean forward, lower her again to your legs. While you are rocking, sing:

“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.”
30/Approximately two percent of juice sold in the United States is not pasteurized, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Unpasteurized juice could contain bacteria harmful to some people, especially children. It is usually stored in the refrigerated sections of grocery stores or at cider mills and farmers’ markets. Juice that is not pasteurized should have warning information on the label or on a sign nearby.

July 2006

1/Women are 50 percent more likely than men to suffer from insomnia, according to a study by the National Sleep Foundation. This same study also found that menstruation, pregnancy and menopause disrupt the sleep of many women. Gee, they didn’t mention motherhood!

2/Fountain of Youth
It seems impossible that so much fluid could come from a person so small. But the saliva stream is endless, like a river after the spring thaw. You spend most of each day just trying to mop it up, off of your baby’s face and clothes, and the floor, and the furniture. The goo drips from his tiny hands (for the few seconds when he removes them from his mouth), as if he has dunked them in a vat of glue. It cascades from pacifiers and teething rings. From the frozen bagels you hope will ease the pain. Yes, your baby is teething. As you mop up after him, you consider affixing one of those suction tubes from your dentist’s office to him permanently. You ponder why so many of life’s great events — birth, teething, first romances — must involve so much pain and suffering. You wonder why the Tooth Fairy only comes when a kid loses a tooth. The baby’s drooling more. As you watch the latest tide rising from his mouth, you realize it’s quite possible that Noah’s deluge was caused by a child such as this. Perhaps now is a good time to build an ark.

3/Saving Time in the Kitchen
As your baby begins to expand her food repertoire, you might feel like you spend too much time in the kitchen preparing special items. Nix the daily blending and prepare those mushy meals ahead of time. Purée steamed vegetables or fresh fruits and freeze the mixture in clean ice-cube trays. When frozen, place the cubes in Ziploc-style freezer bags. Simply thaw the cubes when your baby is hungry.

4/Saying ‘I love you’ can get lost in the chaos of the day, but I make sure I say it aloud (whether my baby understands or not). Every day.”

5/Your baby can probably roll over… and back! Soon he’ll discover that he can roll to get where he wants to go. He’s also capable of copying some facial expressions. Smile, crinkle your nose and stick out your tongue, and see what he does in response!

6/Let your baby practice rolling back and forth across paper or magazines — the crinkly noise will encourage him to roll more. (Don’t use newsprint, as it could contain chemicals harmful to your baby.)

7/Not all moms enjoy motherhood. Yes, you read that right. While the majority of moms love their babies, that doesn’t mean women savor every moment of motherhood. Let’s face it, paying constant attention to your baby, worrying about her safety and running endless baby-related errands (when was the last time you bought yourself new clothes?) takes a toll. Don’t deny your feelings. Just because Mrs. Mom-Next-Door seems all smiles all the time doesn’t mean (a) she really is, and (b) you have to be.

If you feel like motherhood is taking too great a toll on you, and you feel like you never smile anymore, talk to your doctor. You may be suffering from postpartum depression.

8/In some parts of the country, beets, carrots, collard greens and turnips contain large amounts of nitrates, which can cause a type of anemia, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Because you can’t test the vegetables in your area yourself, and because baby-food companies take precautions not to use vegetables high in nitrates, it is safest to buy commercially prepared jars of these vegetables.

9/Choosing Formula
And you thought choosing crib bedding was difficult! If you’re switching from breast milk to formula, you’ll notice a variety of commercially prepared formulas on the market. Choosing the right one for your baby isn’t always easy. Enfamil, Similac, Carnation and Isomil are just a few of the most popular, and each brand has several versions, from milk-based to lactose-free, powdered, ready-to-feed and concentrated. Whichever you select, be sure to choose an iron-fortified formula. Many pediatricians have free samples you can try.

10/Stretch Marks
By now you’ve discovered that even the most exotic and expensive lotions and salves aren’t going to make the most indelible of stretch marks go away. You try consoling yourself with the thought that they’re a badge of honor, knowing full well that you can hide them under modest one-piece bathing suits and non-belly-baring shirts. You also consider taking another approach, such as covering them with black and white body paint to resemble zebra stripes (hey, animal prints are in), going for the punk-rock look by adorning them with piercings, or just taking a big red marker, drawing an arrow pointing to said stretch marks and writing “I had a BABY, OKAY?” Then again, maybe that one-piece bathing suit doesn’t sound so bad.

11/If you make a mistake, relax. And realize it’s not the end of the world.”

12/You’ll be amazed when your baby holds her bottle by herself for the first time. What a big girl! When she reaches this marvelous milestone, remember that cuddle time is important. It happens naturally when nursing, but can be easily skipped with bottle-holding babies. At this stage, your baby can also eat from a spoon and reach for and grab an object of her choice. Will wonders never cease!

13/If your baby hasn’t been spending time with other babies, now is a great time to form a playgroup with other parents and babies around the same age as yours. It doesn’t need to be formal, but you should establish a regular meeting schedule — once a week or twice a month, for example. Many playgroups meet in a nearby park during nice weather, then switch off hosting duties when the inclement weather hits. The time spent with other babies will allow your child the opportunity to work on her people skills. And your time with other parents can provide you with a sounding board for any, um, concerns you might have. Let the venting begin!

14/Your baby may be able to crawl as early as six months. (She’s brilliant, of course. Get out that Harvard application!) Be sure to use gates on stairways and close doors to keep her out of rooms where she might get hurt.

15/Starting Solid Foods
When is it time to start solid foods? To know if your baby is ready, watch for these signs:

Your baby can sit up unsupported
Your baby can pick up small items
Your baby shows interest in the food on your plate!

16/If you’re working outside the home, research shows that your stress level has probably increased since your baby’s birth. According to a study at Duke University Medical Center, stress-hormone levels in moms working outside the home rise each morning and remain elevated until bedtime. This phenomenon occurs regardless of marital status. Like you needed a research study to tell you that.

17/Lock Down
Gates blocking every staircase. Covers over all electrical outlets. Locks on cabinets, drawers and toilet seats. Your baby cannot go down the stairs, access an outlet, open a cabinet or drawer, or lift a toilet seat. And neither can you.

18/”If your baby is not sleeping through the night, nap with her during the day and don’t worry about the laundry piling up.”

19/At about six months of age, your baby’s lower central incisors (front teeth, bottom jaw) will probably erupt. Yes, it’s teething time. And teething can cause pain, which leads to fussiness. By the end of the first year, your child will likely have eight incisors in total, as the first teeth are followed by the upper incisors and both maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) back teeth.

Your baby can now sit with minimal support, and he’s learning to drink from a cup with your help.

20/Take a splash with your baby this week. It’s fun for both of you — and it’s good exercise! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you not begin formal swimming lessons until kids are at least four years old (that’s the age children are thought to be “developmentally ready” for swim lessons), but that doesn’t mean that babies can’t be taught to enjoy being in the water.

21/Teething babies love to chew on chilled teething rings. The coldness provides a numbing effect. Once the tooth erupts, avoid using liquid-filled teething rings, as the new teeth can puncture them.

22/Food poisoning and food-related illness is always a serious concern. (The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology estimates that between 6.5 and 33 million cases occur each year.)

23/Rotavirus
This common virus causes diarrhea, especially in young children. It usually occurs in the winter months, lasts four to six days, is highly contagious, and is passed along by direct contact with the feces of an infected child. To help prevent rotavirus from infecting your family, wash your hands and your baby’s hands after each diaper change. Disinfect toys, diaper changing surfaces, bathrooms, food preparation surfaces and other items that might come in contact with dirty hands. If your baby spends time in the care of another, make sure the caregiver adheres to these guidelines and doesn’t let children infected with the virus return until they are past the contagious stage.

24/Disorderly Conduct
Now that your little darling is six months old, the concept of peace and quiet is as foreign to you as an email inbox without spam. Instead, your home, Chez Chaos, sounds like FAO Schwarz at Christmastime. The constant commotion, the disarray, the deafening din. All produced by a person the size of a cocker spaniel. Who runs on Energizer batteries. And has yet to learn cause and effect. Just wait till she can talk.

25/”Record your baby when he starts making those little singsong babble sounds. What an adorable sound, and all too soon it’s gone and you never hear it again.”

26/Your baby is probably interested in feeding herself some finger foods, so you’re free to do what you want during feedings, right? Nice try. She still needs supervision, of course. While you’re watching the food fly, try to calm your inner clean-it queen. Your baby may not be adept yet at getting all of the food into her mouth, but she’ll have a ton of fun exercising her independence. Plus, she’ll get better at it in time. Spread a cloth or mat underneath her high chair and let her go at it. When your baby is putting more on the floor than in her mouth, you know that she has probably satisfied her hunger and is ready to be hosed down.

27/Forming a Baby-Sitting Co-op
Even if you have ready and willing baby-sitters in the wings, you should start thinking ahead, as there may come a time when you’ve exhausted your list of available resources. Consider forming a baby-sitting co-op, where parents trade sitting services with each other. Look for other parents in your neighborhood, at work, at school or at your place of worship. The important thing is to locate parents with whom you would like your child to spend time, and babies for whom you would enjoy sitting.

28/Your baby is ready for a game of hide and seek. Hide a few of your baby’s favorite toys inside an overturned basket or plastic bowl. At this stage, he can remember that the objects are present, even though he can’t see them — provided you show him a few times where they are. Once he catches on, you might leave the objects hidden overnight to see if he discovers them the next day.

29/Because your baby is likely to swallow without chewing, do not offer raw carrots, nuts, whole grapes, popcorn, raisins, chips, uncooked peas, celery, hard candies or other hard, round foods. If offering hot dogs or other similarly shaped meats, they should be cut lengthwise and then into smaller pieces.

30/Asthma is 26 percent more prevalent in African-American children than in white children, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. However, most doctors do not diagnose asthma in babies until after 12 months of age, once the muscles around the airways in the lungs have matured. They may, however, test to see if medication can help relieve the symptoms before the baby reaches one year of age.

31/Meeting the Momzillas
You’d think you had several years until you had to deal with those crazily competitive parents who are all about getting their kids into the best schools, gloating over their children’s developmental milestones and looking askance at any mom who doesn’t have her six-year-old in a Harvard class of 2018 sweatshirt. Well, you would be wrong. Such momzillas pop up earlier than you can imagine. How strong is his finger grip? My Sammy’s is like a vice. Are her eyes focusing on you? My little Debbie’s baby blues just bore right into me. Does he turn over? Oh, well, little Timmy could do that at 2 1/2 months. (Yeah, right.) Don’t play the game. There’ll be plenty of time to be competitive when you really do have to worry about getting your kid into a good school, whether for you that means first grade or freshman year at college. For now, give those moms your best I-am-so-laid-back-you-could-knock-me-right-over grin, and say: “How wonderful for you.” Then quietly revel in the fact that your child is going to have far fewer therapist bills in her future.

August 2006

1/”Shake it off when someone tries to give you unsolicited parenting advice. You do actually know what you’re doing, even if you’ve never done it before. Say thanks and move on.”

2/Continue the hiding games this week. Your baby can’t get enough of them, plus they’re educational: Playing peek-a-boo with toys and people will help him understand that just because something isn’t visible doesn’t mean it has disappeared permanently. Try a game of peek-a-boo with you hiding behind objects in the room or around a corner and then popping out to surprise your baby. Be prepared for lots of grins and giggles!

3/Introduce your baby to the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” song. While he faces you, sing the song and follow the finger play:

“The itsy bitsy spider went up the waterspout (walk your fingers up his tummy)
Down came the rain (tap your fingers lightly on his chest)
And washed the spider out (wave your hands in front of his face)
Up came the sun (form a circle with your hands and move it upward)
And dried up all the rain (tap your fingers lightly on his chest, as before)
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.” (Walk your fingers up his tummy again)

4/Babies are notorious for tasting everything. Take the time right now to be sure that all cleaners, chemicals and medicines are locked up and out of sight. If you suspect that your baby has ingested something poisonous, call your local poison control center immediately.

5/According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, walkers were involved in an estimated 14,300 injuries to babies under 15 months of age, resulting in treatment in hospital emergency rooms. How do these injuries occur? According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, an infant in a walker can move as quickly as four feet per second!

6/Fitting Play into Your Day
Given your baby’s love of toys and games, it’s likely you have no choice but to have playtime several times a day. That’s a good thing, as play is vital to your child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development.

7/Hats Off
Okay, you acknowledge that it’s a bit blustery today. But if one more person walks up to you and insists that your baby should have a hat on, you’re gonna smack her. Of course your baby should be wearing a hat. You know that. And if any of these well-meaning strangers could convince your child to leave the hat you brought on her head, you’d owe them a big one. Short of gluing the thing to her head, you’ve not found a way to keep a lid on her. Bonnets, crushers, beanies — nothing works, even when your husband the fisherman ties her earflap hat strings in a knot strong enough to hold a struggling 25-pound fish on a line. Give her time. She’ll probably develop a fondness for headwear just when you think the styles are perfectly atrocious.

8/”Just because something works great for one mom doesn’t mean it will for you. It doesn’t mean you failed or did something wrong. It just means your baby responds differently.”

9/Your baby is now taking great delight in her ability to make “razzing” sounds. In fact, she is likely imitating lots of noises. Repeat a sound and see if she begins to mimic you. If you then repeat the sound back to her, she’ll probably intensify her effort! Before you know it, she will start mimicking your words.

10/You can reinforce your baby’s growing understanding of cause and effect while she’s in the bathtub. Show her that a cup can be filled with water and then emptied, and then demonstrate how several small cups can be filled from one bigger one. Once she’s hooked on this activity, you may have a budding chemist on your hands!

11/As your baby becomes stronger and more active, bath time may become more challenging. Be sure to keep it safe. When a baby is unsupervised in a bathtub seat, she can tip the seat over, slide into the water through the leg openings and climb out or become trapped. The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that children can drown quickly and silently in a small amount of water (as little as a few inches) — often with no screaming or splashing.

12/According to one study, pregnancies that occur less than six months apart are associated with higher rates of illness and death among infants. The study included 375 low-birth-weight infants whose mothers had a previous pregnancy. The children were evaluated at two years of age and approximately nine percent were found to have disabling cerebral palsy. When all other factors were accounted for, the common denominator among the moms was an interval between pregnancies of less than six months. It may be that the nutritional stores of the moms were depleted as they entered the second pregnancy, though more research is needed to fully understand the connection

13/Giving Baby Juice
If you add juice to your baby’s diet, be very conservative as to the amount you allow daily. Too much can fill her up and leave her with no room for other foods with important nutrients that she needs. Four ounces a day is plenty. If you want to offer her more during the day, dilute it 50/50 to cut the sweetness. Don’t use juice in a bottle as a pacifier. It can lead to poor nutritional and dental habits that become hard to break.

14/Mom, I’ve Got Nothing to Wear!
All those outfits you got when baby was a newborn sure seemed like a dream. People were even nice enough to give you clothes in three- and six-month sizes, “for when the baby grows.” Wow, you thought, we’ve got enough to last us a year! And then several growth spurts kicked in, and you now realize: A) over 50 percent of the outfits were never worn before becoming “too small”; B) another 25 percent of them are for the wrong season; and C) your baby has nothing to wear at this very moment. There are two courses of action: raiding the college-tuition fund for the dough to keep her looking as smart as she did in all the “gifted” outfits, or resorting to the tried-and-true white onesies route. College, schmollege. She can work her way through, just like you did.

15/”Make sure you continue to take vitamins, especially if you’re breastfeeding. That way you and your baby stay healthy all year round!”

16/Say something to your baby, and he’ll turn toward you in response. He can also distinguish emotions from tone of voice. If someone yells in anger, he might respond by crying. But if you speak lovingly to him, he may very well reward you with a big smile.

17/Introduce your baby to the “Sooo Big” game. Sit facing each other, holding hands. Ask him, “How big is baby?” Then, take his arms and extend them out to each side and say, “Sooo big!” He’ll be thrilled to play this game over and over and will progress to putting his arms out on his own before you know it.

18/Watch out for radiators that aren’t covered. To protect your baby from burns, make sure his bed and other furniture are not positioned so that he could get caught between the furniture and the radiator. Also, cover the pipes with insulated sleeves, and make sure all radiator covers fit properly.

19/The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that approximately 50 infants and toddlers drown annually in buckets containing liquid used for household chores. Most of the victims are between 8 and 14 months old. Of all buckets, the five-gallon size presents the greatest hazard to young children because of its tall, straight sides and weight — even if it only contains a small amount of liquid.

20/Feedings before Sleep
To help prevent potential rotting teeth, doctors advise never putting your baby to bed with a bottle or allowing him to fall asleep while feeding. When formula or breast milk is not swallowed, it pools in the mouth, bathing the teeth with lots of food for bacteria to feed on. These bacteria then produce acid as a waste product, and that acid can cause damage to baby’s teeth.

21/Baby’s Eye View
You took that babyproofing advice of “get down to baby’s level” to heart. You’ve crawled around your living room for a few hours, removing Grandma’s prized knickknacks and such from shelves, covering electrical outlets, wrapping padding around the coffee table legs. Now you’re down on your stomach, looking under the couch. Hey, that’s where the rattle went! Do dust balls represent a choking hazard? Hmm. It hits you that you’re laying down. This might be a good time for a nap.

22/”Let the dishes pile up once in a while. They can wait. Your baby cannot. You’ll have plenty of time to keep a spotless house when baby has gone off to college!”

23/She’s beginning to express her opinions when it comes to mealtimes — reaching for the spoon as you feed her and turning her head away when she’s full. Her skill for throwing some of her food overboard could be an expression of her culinary preferences or simply a tactic to see how you will respond. You’ll figure out the difference eventually.

24/Cleaning Shortcuts
Feel like you’re spending more time in the laundry room than playing with your baby? Minimize the amount of time you spend cleaning with these shortcuts:

Keep a stain-removal stick high on a shelf near your baby’s changing table and wipe it on stains as you remove her clothes.
Put your baby’s socks in a mesh lingerie bag so they don’t get lost in the wash.
Wash everything you can in the dishwasher instead of by hand, including dishwasher-safe toys.

25/Play “Pop Goes the Weasel.” Sit your baby on your lap and sing:

“All around the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel
The monkey thought it was all in fun… pop goes the weasel!”

Throughout the song rock your little one back and forth, and when you reach the end, bounce her gently on the word “pop.” You can also try this holding your baby all the way up, if she can support some of her weight on her legs.

26/West Nile Virus is a concern to many families. Luckily, children appear to be at low risk for the disease. One of the most effective ways to protect against mosquito bites is by using insect repellent with DEET. However, these products should be used with caution. Be sure to read the product label when applying an insect repellant, don’t apply to babies under two months of age, never use baby’s hands or near eyes or mouth, and use only enough to cover exposed skin and clothing.

27/Better start saving now for your baby’s higher education! The cost of a college education is 50 percent higher than a decade ago. The cost of private school, at both primary and secondary levels, is also increasing.

28/Mother of Invention
Too bad your high school science days are oh so far behind you. If you had to enter an experiment in a science fair now, you know exactly what you’d do create: The Snot-o-Maker. It’d be so easy. All you’d have to do is wear your best black clothing and carry a small child. Within seconds, baby’s nose would run and — the pièce de résistance — he’d wipe it on your shoulder. Brilliant! Do they have a baby wipe that sufficiently cleans snot off black clothes? You haven’t seen it. Time to put on your inventor’s hat.

29/Trust those mommy instincts! Never be afraid to call the doctor if you feel something isn’t right with your little one.”

30/All those stuffed bears and dogs and bunnies your baby got when he was first born? Finally, he’s showing some interest in them. Most likely, he’ll find one he favors over all the others. He’ll show his adoration by chewing and drooling on it and carrying it absolutely everywhere.

Your baby is also becoming increasingly verbal — babbling enthusiastically when he’s excited. Just like his dad.

31/You may have read that the average baby this age sleeps between 11 and 13 hours a night and takes two or three naps a day. Remember that there is no such thing as an average baby, so it is very likely that your little one falls outside these parameters.

September 2006

1/Get together with other parents who have babies the same age as yours and arrange a toy swap. If you belong to a playgroup, you already have the perfect setup for a trade. Your baby will love exploring and playing with new toys — and they won’t cost you a penny, or a trip to the toy store.

2/Babies younger than one year of age should not eat products containing honey — either raw or cooked — because the honey may contain botulism spores. These spores are very heat-resistant and can survive oven temperatures. If your baby ingests them, they may be life threatening.

3/Diaper Rash
Yeast infections, the second stage of diaper rash that comes after irritation, usually looks like a large reddened patch with much smaller “satellite” areas around it. When an infection with yeast occurs, no amount of diaper rash ointment will make it go away. An antifungal medication (like the stuff used for “jock itch” and athlete’s foot!) must be used to kill the yeast. In addition, a steroid cream may occasionally be prescribed. This decreases the irritation of the skin and helps with the healing. Generally, a yeast diaper rash goes away after about seven days of antifungal medication.

4/Soapy Water, Anyone?
Your baby loves bath time, and you know you should be happy about this. Plenty of babies scream bloody murder when plopped in the tub. But your baby’s love of bathwater isn’t exactly… well, normal. It’s not the fun of splashing or the feel of warm water on her skin that she loves. Like a dog hovering over the toilet bowl, your baby is in her glory when she can tip forward and drink the bathwater! You suppose a little soap never hurt anyone.

5/”Be patient, enjoy every moment and don’t forget that you can’t spoil a baby.”

6/Your baby is probably very close to sitting all on her own, if she’s not already doing it. This is a major achievement! She may also be crawling or moving about by scooting around on her tush. Your baby can also get on her hands and knees in a crawling position. Put an enticing toy in front of her to encourage her to move forward.

7/Help your baby develop her newly acquired sitting skill. Sit on the floor to play games and talk with her. (Hint: Place pillows around her in case she goes over.) Roll a ball back and forth between the two of you and, when you need a break, let her bang pots and pans together. Ah, the sweet clamor of child’s play!

8/If you have water damage in your home from a burst pipe or hole in the roof, clean it up immediately. Though rare, black mold that grows in water-damaged homes has been linked to pulmonary hemorrhage in babies.

9/Your baby may begin to crawl between seven and ten months of age. However, if she does not start crawling at this time, it may be that she has found another method of locomotion or that she will skip this stage entirely and go right to walking. Many babies develop their own unique methods of getting around. Of course, if you’re at all concerned, schedule a visit with your baby’s doctor.

10/Dental Care
Once your baby’s teeth erupt, it’s time to brush. Use just a matchstick head’s worth of toothpaste and discourage your baby from swallowing it. And don’t forget to floss: Flossing should be initiated as soon as your baby has two teeth next to one another.

Those nifty “fingertip” brushes are much easier to use than regular brushes — and letting Mommy put her finger in baby’s mouth is something baby will more likely permit.

11/Frat Party
You never knew food could land in so many places at once. No matter how neatly it heads toward your baby’s mouth, it manages to come back a total mess. Her hair is covered in strained carrot. The highchair wears a layer of mashed peas. And the floor is a pattern of Cheerios. You remember a scene from Animal House when John Belushi yells, “Food fight!” and pandemonium ensues. Lately your kitchen is the Delta House reborn.

12/”You know your baby best. If you think there’s something wrong, there probably is, and it’s up to you to make those doctors listen to you — even if they think you’re crazy.”

13/No more “Hey, baby.” Now your baby recognizes his name! He’s also beginning to distinguish family members and has different reactions for each. Of course, you and your partner are still tops in his eyes, and he’ll probably show some anxiety when he’s away from either of you. In the physical realm, your baby may weigh approximately two and a half times what he did at birth. Remember, though, what he weighs is not as important as the pattern of his weight gain.

14/Separation Anxiety
No, not yours — your baby’s! Yes, this is when your baby may start to experience separation anxiety. He may not like it when you leave him, and when you’re out of sight and not with him, he might become upset. Although you may be tempted to stay close by his side to avoid tears, he needs to get used to your comings and goings in order to develop trust, as well as the ability to be with other people.

Always take a little time to soothe him if he grows upset when you try to leave. Tell him you’ll be back and give him a big hug.

15/Set up an obstacle course so your baby can test his mobility skills. Try a couple of pillows from the couch, an empty cereal box, a paper-towel tube and a few stuffed animals. If he becomes frustrated or stuck, gently help him along.

16/All dogs are prone to aggression when provoked. Take the following precautions to ensure the safety of your baby around your family dog:

Teach your dog a new command — “gentle.” Work with your dog to accept gentle squeezing and pulling of paws, ears and hair.
Never play tug-of-war with your dog, as it encourages aggressive behavior.
Teach your baby not to bother the dog while he’s sleeping or eating.
Do not allow your baby to tug on, hit or tease your dog.
Never let your dog play with your baby’s toys or your baby play with your dog’s toys.

17/Researchers at Indiana University in Indianapolis have discovered that intense exercise may suppress immunoglobulin A, an antibody that fights viruses and bacteria. Immunoglobulin A is a component of breast milk and helps protect babies from illness. If you frequently take part in a demanding workout session, the researchers suggest that you might want to consider nursing your baby or expressing milk prior to exercising.

18/Give & Take
Gimme, gimme, gimme. It’s your baby’s mantra. He’s desperately needy. You understand it intellectually — he’s a baby, after all. He only just learned that he has hands, so how on Earth can you expect him to actually use them productively? But what you wouldn’t give for a break. What you wouldn’t do for a little take to go with all that giving. You could kick back and maybe read a paragraph or two of the newspaper (or maybe just pretend to catch up on current events with your eyes closed) while baby tosses in a load of laundry and picks up some diapers at the store.

19/”Treasure every moment with your little one. The housework will always be there, but the precious moments you have now, rocking and cuddling your baby, won’t.”

20/When your baby drops something from her highchair, she’ll look for it. Don’t be surprised if she revels in tossing things off her tray and watching you pick them up (hey, it’s good exercise). She doesn’t do it to annoy you — she finds the whole process extremely interesting. She will now also reach for her toys — she’s gaining control over her environment. Better get used to it.

21/Help your baby develop her abilities. Place a toy just out of her reach and let her try to get it. She may become frustrated when she can’t quite reach it. Let her keep trying. Succeeding at this game will help her build confidence.

22/Dining Out
Gone are the days when your baby slept in her infant seat while you ate out at a restaurant. As she becomes more active, eating out will become more, well, active. Try the following tips for a more enjoyable dining experience:

Pack the essentials: a sippy cup or bottle of expressed breast milk or formula, a bib, a quiet toy and a baby spoon.
Choose restaurants that have a kid-friendly environment. Your baby will be happier with more bustling about her and your dining companions won’t be annoyed be the commotion your baby may create. But do ask for an out-of-the-way table.
Choose restaurants with kid-friendly food or tote along something just for her. You may love Thai food, but your baby may find little there to eat. (Of course, some babies relish such tastes, so you might give it a try — but bring along an alternative just in case.)
Don’t be afraid to order off the menu. Most “full service” restaurants have whole-grain bread, applesauce, cheese and plain rice in their kitchens.
Invest in a portable baby chair that attaches to tables.
Sit with one parent facing your baby, the other next to her.

23/As your baby becomes more mobile, she’ll be able to act on her curiosity. Because she doesn’t know better, her travels will take her to all parts of the house. Plants are definitely tempting. Be sure to keep her away from any that may be poisonous. Some of the common poisonous plants are:

Azalea
Bird of paradise flower
Lily of the valley
Caladium
Mistletoe
Morning glory
Daffodil
Philodendron
English ivy
Holly
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Iris
Wisteria

Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous plants, although they can cause some skin irritations.

24/Using canned or jarred baby food once the expiration date has passed probably won’t make your baby ill, but it will result in your baby getting fewer nutrients. Expiration dates on cans and bottles are there mainly for quality purposes, not for safety. Nutrition and flavor will deteriorate over time. Baby food companies perform what they call shelf-life testing to find out how long a product can maintain the best nutrition and flavor, and then date the product conservatively.

25/Pokey Man
Voodoo doll. Pin cushion. Pulley toy. That’s pretty much what you feel like these days. When your baby’s fingers aren’t shoved in his mouth, they’re either poking your eyes, pulling your hair or trying to go up your nose. And you’re not the only one being poked and prodded — the dog can’t seem to protect himself, either. He sees those tiny fingers coming toward him and all he can manage is a whimper and a pleading look in your direction. Hey, just remind your canine companion of all the alligator pumps he chewed up as a puppy. It’s karma, baby.

26/”Go out to eat. It’s not as hard as you might think. My baby was so fascinated with the people and different things to see, he didn’t make a peep.”

27/It’s like having a crab in the house! Your baby is developing his pincer-grasp ability. This will serve him well as he begins to feed himself the little morsels you place on his highchair tray. However, remember that this technique will also allow him to pick up even the tiniest speck of food or dirt around the house!

Your baby is also showing interest in grabbing the spoon while you feed him. Good for him, but maybe not so great for you — no doubt his grabbing action is getting in the way of getting the food in his mouth. Tip: Try giving him a second spoon to hold during mealtimes.

28/Stack a tower of blocks and show your baby what happens when you knock them down (away from him, of course). If you stack them up again, he will quickly learn to destroy your tower. For even more fun, stack the blocks out of your baby’s reach. If he can crawl or find another way to reach the intended destination, he’s sure to power over there quickly. And if he’s not yet that mobile, a cool tower just out of his reach is certainly motivation for him to get moving!

29/The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) used to advise parents to administer syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting if their child swallowed a poisonous substance. The AAP now recommends against it. It seems there has never been any evidence that vomiting removes poison from a child’s body. And emergency rooms have stopped using ipecac in favor of activated charcoal, which binds to poisons in the stomach and prevents them from entering the bloodstream. Plus, continued vomiting caused by syrup of ipecac may later result in an inability to tolerate activated charcoal or other poison treatments. You should dispose of syrup of ipecac safely by flushing it down the toilet. And remember that the best defense against poisoning is prevention. Keep potential poisons out of site and out of reach. Replace child-resistant caps after use, keep products in their original containers, discard old medications, and refer to medicine by its correct name –don’t call pills “candy.”

30/According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, hot tap water is the cause for nearly one-fourth of all scald burns among children and is associated with more fatalities and hospitalizations than other hot liquid burns. Generally a burn of this sort happens in the bathroom, and tends to be more severe and cover a larger portion of the body than other liquid burns. A child exposed to hot tap water at 140 degrees F for three seconds will sustain a third-degree burn — an injury necessitating hospitalization and skin grafts.
October 2006

1/Bedtime Rituals
Establishing routines now will help your baby through daily activities –babies love consistency. Bedtime is an especially important time to get a schedule going. For example, choose a particular bedtime and stick with it each night. Prepare for bed by giving your baby a relaxing bath, or spend a few minutes each evening reading a book together. Other nightly routines include simple procedures such as saying “bye-bye” to each person when it’s time to leave or to favorite toys as you put them away –a routine made immortal with the bedtime classic Goodnight Moon. Simple steps such as these help him anticipate and accept the next event — sleep.

2/Whoopie
There you are, in a music class with all the other moms and babies, on a morning bus filled with passengers in their personal states of reverie or in silent prayer at church or temple. And there’s your baby, right there with you, making the loudest farting noises you’ve ever heard. It’s as if he has a sensor attached to his bottom that lets him know precisely when it would be the most inappropriate or embarrassing…  and there he goes. You just pray everyone knows it’s not you.

3/”If you want family time and work time, friendships will suffer. So I devote time to three women I really like, and I don’t feel guilty about the rest.”

4/As you head off to your little one’s ninth month checkup this month, expect to be questioned about her development. Most children this age are able to wave “bye-bye,” although chances are she won’t “perform” for the doctor when you want her to.

5/The music myth has been debunked! Think playing all that classical music for your baby will make her smarter? Hate to break it to you, but researchers at Appalachian State University say the “Mozart Effect,” a temporary increase in intelligence experienced after listening to a piano sonata written by the famed composer, isn’t real. So if you’d rather play Norah Jones for your baby, go right ahead.

6/Now that your baby better understands how objects relate to one another, let her spend some time sorting toys. Put a pile of different-sized blocks in front of her and see if she’ll sort them by size. Or perhaps she’ll choose to do it by color. Either way, you’re helping her build important skills while having fun!

7/Your baby should never be left unattended in her stroller, even when she’s asleep. It may seem harmless enough, but the truth is that it’s possible for her to slip into a leg opening, become entrapped and suffocate. Several deaths have resulted when babies slid down into stroller leg openings, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

8/Transitioning from Work to Home
Do you have a difficult time switching into family gear when you leave work each day? Here are a few ideas to help you walk through the front door in peace:

Let music soothe your soul during your commute, on your car radio, Discman or iPod.
Mentally plan what truly needs to get done that evening and in what order, so that you’re ready with a plan before you get home.
Plan meals ahead — perhaps freezing a few meals on weekends — so you are not faced with the decision of what to eat at the end of a long day.

9/To Do Today
You’ve spent so many months now thinking wild, desperate fantasies that they’ve begun to feel real — like items you could rationally add to your wish list. Soon they’ll be topping your to-do list, as if you could run right out and make them actually happen:

1.Get more money for lifetime supply of diapers and formula
2. Get live-in maid
3. Get personal chef
4. Buy bigger house
5. Find someone who will do my sleeping for me

10/”Take advantage of the fact that you can make them wear whatever you want. Before you know it, they’ll have tastes of their own!”

11/He’s been smiling at that baby in the mirror for months now, but now he’s actually starting to recognize that baby as himself! Play peek-a-boo with him while standing together in front of a mirror — and get ready for some big giggles and grins.

Your baby’s sharpened awareness of his surroundings may have some drawbacks: he may have started waking up again in the middle of the night when he had been sleeping through it.

12/Reducing Nursery Clutter
Feel like you’re being swallowed up by toys, books and stuffed animals? Minimize some of the clutter in your baby’s room by rotating the collection. Leave out one or two of each type for his playtime, then swap them for a new assortment the next week. Too many toys can cause overstimulation, confusion and frustration — for your baby and for you! Your baby will be much happier when he can focus on one toy at a time, and your life will be easier if you have less to put away when your baby is finished playing.

13/If you have stairs, you probably already know how irresistible they are to babies. Teach him how to navigate them safely. As an added incentive, place a toy a few steps above your baby. And don’t forget to help him learn how to crawl back down. If you don’t have stairs, practice while visiting a friend or relative.

14/At this stage, don’t be tempted to turn your baby’s car seat around to face forward  — even if he weighs more than 20 pounds. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies remain in rear-facing car seats until they are one year of age and weigh 20 pounds. This will help to prevent cervical spine injury in the event of a crash.

15/Your baby’s vision — previously about 20/40 at best — is now almost adult-like. Your baby’s short-range vision is still best, but his long-range vision is getting better, and is now good enough to recognize people and objects across a room. So if he crows with joy when a favorite relative walks in, it’s not just coincidence!

16/This Is NOT Jerry Springer
In this age of kiss-and-tell, everyone seems to feel that everything is fair game, including your body, your breasts and even the genesis of your child. These are some of the topics of the amazingly invasive questions you get asked now that you’re a mom. We like to pretend that the askers mean well — you could say they’re showing interest. But there are some things you don’t feel like sharing, talking about or worrying over with others. What to do? Practice the art of silent disregard or get ready with some snappy comebacks…

They say: “How much weight do you still need to lose?”
You say: “A bit. What about you?”

They say: “Oh, you’re nursing. Do your breasts leak?
You say: “Yes, so you’d better stand back.”

They say: “Is that baby yours? How old are you?”
You say: “Old enough to know that’s a rude question.”

They say: “Do you still have sex?”
You say: “Oh sure, those quickies between diaper changes are the best!”
17/”If you don’t already have TiVo, get it!”

18/If you’ve tried to take a toy away from your baby when she’s not ready to give it up, you probably got a fiercely negative reaction. Although it can be unnerving to parents, this is a step forward in your baby’s ability to communicate with you. When you absolutely must take a toy or extract her from a situation, and she’s unwilling to cooperate, try distracting her with another object or venue.

19/According to the National Safe Kids Coalition, an estimated 1.7 million children, age five and under, have lead levels in their blood high enough to affect intelligence and development. Children between the ages of one and three are at the greatest risk from lead poisoning. The most common cause of lead poisoning among children is the ingestion of dust from deteriorating lead-based paint — and more than 80 percent of public and privately owned housing units built before 1980 contain some lead-based paint.

20/While “child’s play” actually builds and reinforces many skills, you don’t have to make every bit of playtime a learning experience. Playtime is as much about creating an emotional bond with your child and enjoying each other’s presence as anything else. So if you just want to tickle her until she giggles with glee or make silly faces just because it’s fun, go ahead!

21/Be extremely wary of any whirlpools, hot tubs or spas when your baby is near. The biggest threat these bodies of water pose, of course, is drowning, but body parts can become entrapped and hair can get entangled in drains. Drains draw water, creating suction. If something blocks the drain, the amount of suction is increased as the pump draws water past the obstruction. To reduce the risk of entrapment and drowning, current safety standards require that spas have two outlets for each pump, decreasing the amount of suction at any single outlet.

22/According to researchers at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, parental smoking results in $4.6 billion in medical costs annually for children under 17. Nearly 15,000 babies under 18 months are hospitalized each year due to respiratory infections linked to smoke.

23/Taking Baby’s Temperature
With so many different types of thermometers on the market and different ideas about what’s best to use, checking to see if your baby has a temperature may seem complicated. In children, the rectal temperature is the standard by which all other methods are judged. A properly done oral temperature should be the same as a rectal one; however, as any parent knows, getting a good oral temperature in younger children is challenging at best. The axillary (underarm) temperature is the least accurate.

Normally, human body temperature is around 98.6 degrees F, or 37 degrees C. The technical definition of fever is a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees F, or 38 degrees C.

24/I Don’t Want It, You Take It
You’re sick, your baby is well. You’re well, your baby is sick. Both you and your baby are well, your husband is sick. It feels like a game, but it’s definitely not funny. Germs have become the hot potato tossed back and forth in your household like… well, like a hot potato. And they fly absolutely everywhere but away. Perhaps it’s time to invest in a set of those biohazard suits used by Ebola researchers.

25/Your baby can now transfer objects from one hand to another. You can experiment with this new ability by tempting him with a favorite toy while he’s holding something else. Hold the new offering next to the hand that’s already occupied.

26/Start teaching your baby the parts of his body. It’s educational and it reinforces his sense of identity. Point out and name his body parts while looking in the mirror. You also can play peek-a-boo with him in the mirror to teach him about his reflection.

27/Don’t turn your back on your baby while he’s in a shopping cart — even for a moment. After all, what could be more tempting than, say, a bright bunch of yellow bananas ready for the picking?  And even with a “seat belt” around his middle, your baby could propel himself over the edge of the cart while reaching for them.

28/At the nine-month well-baby visit, your health-care provider might give your baby a test looking for anemia (hematocrit or hemoglobin), which is usually done either at the nine month or twelve month visit. He might also get his hepatitis B vaccine, if it wasn’t completed at the six-month visit.

29/Adding New Foods
As your baby starts to show interest in table foods, you may wonder what to feed him. Now is a great time to introduce him to a wider variety of foods. Stage-three foods will provide him with more textural stimulation, and are of a thicker and thus more appropriate consistency. However, some stage-two foods will still serve him for a long time to come. You may be giving way to soft cooked diced carrots from the dinner table and abandoning the pureed carrots in a jar, but he’ll still enjoy applesauce and other fruit purees. Note that it’s important for you to continue with the iron-fortified baby cereal well into the second year of life. The iron fortification is critical for proper brain development and baby cereal provides the most bioavailable form of fortification iron.

30/Monkey Business
“Eeeeeeaaaaaaeeeeee!” Either your house has become the refuge for primates from the local zoo or your baby is the best animal impersonator you have ever heard. Your home is filled with shrieks of pleasure and screeches of excitement. And while you’re delighted with your baby’s evident happiness and joie de vivre, you, your hubby and at times even your neighbors could use some earplugs — and some aspirin.

31/”Is your baby gaining weight? Is your pediatrician pleased with the way your baby is growing? Is your baby mostly content? If the answer is yes, relax already!”

November 2006

1/Your baby has a whole new perspective on her world as she learns to stand and walk, holding your hand. Now is a good time to walk around your house at your baby’s new eye level and look for hazards as you did when she was crawling.

2/Life Insurance
If you haven’t already done so, take a critical look at the life insurance you have for you and your partner (and if you don’t have life insurance yet, you should!). No one wants to think of the possibility of a young parent dying, but it’s far wiser to be prepared, should the unthinkable occur. Take a look at your living expenses, salary and so on and make sure you’ll have enough money should a tragedy occur. Discuss these issues with your financial planner.

3/Think of it as Pilates with your baby: Sit on the floor with your legs extended and hold your baby on your thighs, facing you. Begin the song, bouncing your legs –and baby –until directions change):

The noble Duke of York (bounce, bounce)
He had ten thousand men (bounce, bounce)
He marched them up the side of a hill (draw knees up, with baby)
And he marched them down again (lower knees, with baby)
He marched them to the left (swing body to the left, with baby)
He marched them to the right (swing body to the right, with baby)
He marched them until they were upside down (roll backwards, bringing your back to the floor, holding baby so she’s over you)
What a silly sight! (go ahead, roll back up, we dare you!)

4/Make sure your baby’s highchair has both a waist belt and a crotch strap to prevent her from sliding down in the chair’s seat. This can result in injury and even strangling. Never leave her unattended.

5/Theodore Wachs, a Purdue University professor of psychological sciences, has determined that children from highly noisy or chaotic homes experience less cognitive growth, delayed language skills, increased anxiety and have difficulty mastering their environment. To tone down the level of noise in your house, don’t use the TV as background noise, and establish a quiet place where you can read to your child and where she can be by herself.

6/What a Whiz
She crawls. She really moves. Like a lizard across the floor, she zips and zooms from here to there before you even realize that she moved at all. You can see in her face the newfound pleasure of such power. As she whizzes by, she wears a grin of such glee you think they should use it to market toothpaste or antidepressants. And with her glee comes a newfound feeling for you too — pure terror. How will you keep her safe now?

7/”Don’t try to be perfect. Just try to organize a little, laugh a lot and reach out for help if you need it.”

8/Your baby is continuing to exercise his muscles and learn the balance necessary for standing alone. Around this time he will have progressed to pulling himself up by himself. Watch him carefully during this period to make sure he doesn’t try to use an unstable piece of furniture as leverage.

9/Calming Your Baby’s Fears
Don’t be surprised if your baby suddenly seems frightened of things that didn’t distress him just a few weeks ago. Babies develop fear about things they can’t understand, like loud, sudden noises (a gunshot on TV) and movements (the dog racing into the room). Be sure to comfort your baby when this happens, reassuring him that everything is fine and that you’re there for him.

10/To encourage communication, bring out your baby’s play telephone. He’s seen you talking on the real phone repeatedly and knows what he should do, even if he can’t talk yet. By holding the phone up to his ear and then up to yours as if in conversation, your child will gain greater understanding of a telephone’s purpose. And he’ll delight in imitating you on the real phone. You’ll be surprised at how soon your baby will say “hello” when he puts the phone to his ear! And since he now has his own phone, yours might not be as attractive — but don’t count on it!

11/A hidden hazard in your home is furniture. It can tip over onto your child when he falls against it or climbs on it. Babies often try to pull themselves up using chests of drawers, TV carts, stands or bookcase shelves. To protect him from this danger, place your TV on low, stable furniture, secured and as far back as possible. Use angle braces or anchors to secure furniture to the wall, and keep all drawers closed.

12/A child who drinks as little as 12 ounces of juice a day is three times more likely tobe overweight or shorter than a child who drinks less than that, according to researchers at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Growth problems apparently occur when a child who drinks a lot of juice eats an unbalanced diet.

13/Pick It Up
Baby’s got a new game. It was fun at first, wasn’t it? She sits in her highchair, burbling at you, and drops a toy over the edge. She looks expectantly at you. You pick it up. She giggles. Drops toy again. You pick it up again. A few more rounds, and you’re telling her, “Now, don’t do that again. Mommy’s done with this game” Ha! The wailing starts. You try bribery by Cheerios. Doesn’t work; she wants that toy. So you pick it up again. And again, and again. This will go on for at least, oh, 18 more years. You’re being trained.  Get used to it.

14/”My husband works long hours, but at night we lie down together and I nurse the baby as he reads Goodnight Moon. It helps my husband feel connected to us even when he’s on the go.”

15/At this age, your baby may surprise you by saying “mama.” The sounds “mama” and “dada” are no longer repeated indiscriminately. Now your baby understands the connection.

16/You don’t always have to buy educational and interesting toys. Take a cylinder, such as an empty paper-towel tube, and show your baby how objects can pass through it. Place it upright on the floor and fill it with several objects and then let her pick the tube up. Watch her delight when they all fall out! Of course, it’s always important to stay with your baby when playing, especially with small objects.

17/The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advises parents to throw away plastic baby rattles, teethers, bottle nipples and pacifiers containing the chemical diisononyl phthalate. Until the exact level of health risk posed by the chemical is known, the CPSC advises caution for parents of young children who mouth these products for long periods of time. At high levels of ingestion, diisononyl phthalate has been found to trigger kidney, liver or other organ damage (including tumors) in mice and rats.

18/Iron is the most common cause of pediatric poisoning deaths, accounting for 30 percent of all poisoning deaths from medications, according to the U.S. Poison Control Centers. You can protect your baby from accidental ingestion of any iron supplements in your home by closing childproof packages and keeping the product out of her reach.

19/Baby Fat
Sure, the whole country seems to be obsessed with low-fat eating and weight loss. But when it comes to babies, know that they’re supposed to appear chubby. In fact, they have a much larger percentage of body fat than they will later in life. This is the way it is supposed to be. Babies require fat and cholesterol for proper growth and development, not only because they need the concentrated source of calories to meet their high energy demands, but because the fat and cholesterol are necessary for proper nerve-cell development. Studies have also shown that children on low-fat diets (less than 30 percent of calories consumed as fat) failed more than half the time to get the recommended dietary allowances of vitamins B12, E, thiamin and niacin.

20/Gender Programming
You’re too darned enlightened to believe that boys must be boys, or that girls are all sugar and spice. “Environment!” you cry. “Nurture!” That is, until you watch a small lad (perhaps your own), hitherto exposed to only soft squishy animals and learning-oriented multicolored thingy-ma-bobs, pick up a perfectly good shoe from the floor (a nice kitten-heeled slide you were known to wear in your pre-mom days), and begin driving it around the floor like a car. Making “vroom-vroom” noises (and he hasn’t even said your name yet!). You call the child’s father to relay this event. “That’s my boy!” he responds. Which, you’re realizing, is the heart of the issue.

21/”If your mother-in-law is intrusive, put her to work. Mine watches the baby once a week so my husband and I can go on dates. Now I’m thankful for her presence!”

22/When you say “no,” your baby will now understand that you don’t want him to do something. Unfortunately, understanding doesn’t mean that he will comply. “No” should be used sparingly  –when it’s really necessary — so your baby will learn its importance.

23/Let your little speed demon loose! Have crawling races (yes, that means you too), from bookcase to crib, couch to TV, one stuffed animal to the next. Choose soft surfaces, keep the distances short, and have fun!

24/Don’t forget to regularly provide your baby with some quiet time. According to a survey of 1,000 parents, 87 percent believed that the more physical and verbal stimulation a baby receives, the more he’ll learn in the long run. In reality, too much stimulation can make your baby fussy. Watch for cues from your baby to determine whether he’s receptive to interaction or would prefer some time on his own.

25/Window cords pose a serious threat to your baby’s health. To protect your little one from strangulation, follow these strategies:

Cut looped cords to form two separate cords and place a safety tassel on each. Then keep them out of a child’s reach by winding them around a cleat mounted high on the wall.
Attach long, continuous cords to a tension or tie-down device on the wall or floor.
Move cribs and other furniture away from windows.

26/TV Watching
It’s easy for the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend that parents of children under two not allow their kids any television. They’re not the ones trying to keep a busy baby entertained 24/7! If you’re going to turn on the tube, do it wisely:
Break TV viewing into 15-minute increments.
Avoid programs that are too loud, visually chaotic or scary. Instead, opt for shows with a slow pace and slow images.
Watch with your child whenever possible, rather than using TV as a babysitter.
Carry the theme of your child’s shows into the rest of the day. Discuss what he watched and what he can learn from it.

27/”I Have a Name!”
And it isn’t (as everyone’s been introducing you lately) “Sophie/Jacob/Emma/Brian’s Mom.” It’s the lovely moniker that your own parents spent months agonizing over before bestowing upon you. And you’re wondering why everyone has suddenly stopped using it. No matter where you go –playgroup, your postnatal yoga class, the grocery store –every introduction seems to be phrased in reference to your child.  For crying out loud (which you feel like doing), the other day your own mom introduced you to a friend of hers as “my grandchild’s mother”! Eventually, folks will get around to using your name again. In the meantime, we suggest pointedly addressing all other mothers you meet by their own first names (and inquiring after it if it isn’t provided) and sporting a “Hello, My Name Is…” sticker on your shirt.

28/”Rekindle the romance with an in-house date on Saturday nights. When baby goes to sleep, light candles, dress up, eat together, talk, hold hands, kiss, cuddle.”

29/When she’s happy, you know it! She’s got new ways of communicating joy, and now, when you clap your hands, your baby will join in with you. Soon, she’ll be initiating the applause when she does something she deems noteworthy.

30/Sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” with your baby:

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap, clap)
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap, clap)
If you’re happy and you know it then your face will really show it
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap, clap)

Then try other refrains:
If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet (stomp, stomp)
If you’re happy and you know it, raise your arms (up, up)
If you’re happy and you know it, turn around! (spin around)

Just use your imagination and have fun. Your baby sure will.

December 2006

1/Make sure your baby’s toy box is safe. Use a toy chest that has a lid that will stay open in any position when raised and will not fall unexpectedly. If your toy box does not have a safe lid, you can purchase a spring-loaded lid-support device that will keep your baby safe. For added precaution, make sure there are ventilation holes for fresh air, in case your baby ever decides to crawl inside for fun. Also beware of sharp edges that could cut and hinges that could pinch little fingers. Don’t think you have to run out and buy an official toy box, though. A laundry basket will do the trick.

2/Healthy teeth should be all one color. Check your baby’s teeth; if you see spots or stains, take her to your dentist. Clean her teeth as soon as they come in, at least once a day, with a clean, soft cloth or a baby’s toothbrush. It’s best to clean them right before bedtime.

3/Picky Eating
Have a picky eater at home? If your baby seems to show no interest in fruits and vegetables, don’t worry. Eventually he’ll come around –he’ll just do it at his own pace. The less an issue is made of it, the more it’s apt to happen. One way of subtly getting him to eat fruits and vegetables is to mix them in other foods. Have you tried serving him banana bread? You can also mix ground or grated vegetables into ground beef or turkey and make a meatloaf and serve him small pieces of it.

4/Mmm, Mmm, Good?
Why they bother creating cherry-flavored infant medicine is beyond you. Or packaging it with that seemingly helpful dropper. All you know is that every time you attempt to give your baby the fever reducer/antibiotic per your pediatrician’s instructions, she behaves as if you’re trying to poison her. You carefully aim the dropper in her mouth and — arg! — she turns her head, and the pink stuff is all over her clothes. Or yours. One time, you actually got it into her mouth, and — whoops — she spit it back out at you. Again with the pink stuff on your clothes. You’re beginning to think the whole “pink” trend in fashion was developed by a bunch of moms with sick kids. Well, necessity is supposed to be the mother of invention.

5/”After interviewing child care providers, I asked their references, ‘Would you choose them to watch your child if you were doing it over?’ That elicited good, honest responses.”

6/Got a little talker on your hands? Your baby is able to babble up a storm now. You won’t understand much, but he’s very focused on “talking” in his baby gibberish.The more you keep talking to him (always naming objects, people and actions), the faster his vocabulary will grow.

7/Act out this little ditty with your baby this week:

Open, shut them (open and shut your hands)
Open, shut them
Clap, clap, clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Place them in your lap
Slide them, slide them
Slide them, slide them
Right up to your chin
Open wide your little mouth
But do not let them in!

8/Do not place a child of any age in a shopping cart, even if your car safety seats lock into the cart. Injuries can still occur if the cart tips over. The weight of an baby in an infant seat placed high in a shopping cart may make the cart top-heavy and more likely to tip over. This is true even for shopping carts with built-in infant seats.

9/Immunizations
Even if you’re breastfeeding, your child will need all his immunizations. While breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby, it doesn’t prevent infections the way vaccines do. He may have fewer colds, but breast milk won’t protect against serious illnesses such as whooping cough, polio and diphtheria like immunizations will. Reactions to vaccines may occur, but they’re usually mild. Severe reactions are very rare; symptoms include:
Very high fever.
Generalized rash.
Large amount of swelling at the point of injection.
If your child experiences any side effects after a vaccination, talk to your pediatrician.

10/Caring for twins? Watch their language development carefully. Twins may develop their own special language, called idioglossia or autonomous language. This happens as they begin to use sounds and words. They may pattern for each other, repeating the sounds until the words become distorted to all except the two of them. To help their language development, be sure to always correct mispronounced words and to repeat the correct words. Also make an effort to speak to each baby individually to increase their opportunities to model the way you speak.

11/Magic Marker
You have carefully written your baby’s name on all the tags of his clothing, blankets and stuffed animals so that they will be identifiable at day care. And, yet, after just a few days, every tag is blank — wiped clean! Where has your child’s name gone? Into his mouth, you realize. With his love of tags –chewing tags, licking tags, sucking tags — he’s eaten the marker right off. So much for indelible ink.

12/”If you have the money, hire someone to clean your house. You work hard even if you never leave home, and you deserve it. Think of the time it will free up.”

13/At this stage, your child’s daytime sleeping and eating patterns are probably becoming more predictable. Many babies take one or two naps a day.

Your baby also can now voluntarily let go of objects, which will be good thing when she has a firm grip on your hair!

14/Make some homemade Play-Doh for your baby this week. Be sure to use safe ingredients in case your baby decides to eat some. You can even add a little food coloring to the mixture to vary your batches. Here’s a recipe to get you started:

Play-Doh Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 cups very cold water
4 teaspoons food coloring

Instructions:
Mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar in a saucepan over high to medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients. Stir until boiling, three to five minutes, and make sure it does not scorch. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in sealed plastic container.

15/Pesticides pose a major threat to your baby. Make sure you read the label on all pesticides that you purchase and follow the directions and specifications for use exactly. Store them away from food, in their original containers and out of the reach of children. Upon using the pesticides, keep your baby away from the sprayed area to ensure her safety. When disposing of unused pesticides, wrap single containers in several layers of newspaper, tie securely and place in a covered trashcan. Never burn a pesticide or pour it down the drain.

16/Food Allergies
Now that your baby is weeks away from her first birthday, you may be considering introducing foods you’d been avoiding for fear of allergies. If you or your partner is prone to allergies or if you’re worried that your baby may be prone to allergies, it’s wise to hold off another year or two. Common allergens include peanuts, soy, corn, berries and chocolate, and of course any foods to which either of you is allergic. You may also want to hold off on citrus, egg whites, shellfish and tree nuts like pecans and walnuts. Talk to your child’s pediatrician to help you decide what foods to introduce when.

17/Baby still not sleeping through the night? She may be doing you a favor. Night suckling is known to decrease maternal fertility. This is nature’s way of helping to ensure that the mother’s body has time to rest before the next pregnancy and that the infant has a period of individual nurturing.

18/Your Stroller Is Not an SUV
Somewhere back in the recesses of your mind, you remember an old Glamour “don’t” featuring a young woman weighed down with multiple bags. This image has been called to conscious memory in a bit of déjà vu at the park, where you’re watching the other moms arrive with strollers that look like they were outfitted for a Himalayan adventure, not an afternoon on the playground bench. Activity bars, cup holders, bag hangers (and multiple bags) cascade from their strollers. You first felt a little underequipped, having come with just your child in the stroller and the necessary changing stuff in your backpack. Then you watch one of them remove her child from his seat, and the whole stroller — freed of the baby’s ballast — goes over backward. And you realize that advice your great-aunt gave you about getting dressed up — put all your accessories on, and then remove one — could equally apply to strollers.

19/”Tell your baby that you’ll try to be the best mommy you can be. It may sound silly, but just talking to their calm little faces really helps relieve the stress.”

20/Show your baby how to bang two cubes together, and he’ll most likely be able to imitate the action. At 46 weeks, he is becoming fascinated with putting objects into containers and taking them back out. This exercise will teach him about spatial relationships.

21/Collect several different-sized objects and a larger container such as a sand pail. Include objects of various materials and shapes, like smaller containers or lids, small baby-safe stuffed animals or rattles. Place them all around your baby and show him how to put them in the larger container. Then dump them out and do it again.

22/Check your closets for potential hazards to your baby. Mothballs, for example, are extremely toxic. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, almost 4,000 children under the age of six are poisoned each year from the toxic chemicals found in mothballs. If you need to repel moths, choose a nontoxic substance instead.

23/Children who swallow pennies minted after 1982 are at risk of developing a bleeding ulcer, according to a study by a Duke University researcher. The coins contain zinc, which can react with stomach acid to erode the stomach lining. This discovery may change the way health-care providers deal with children who’ve swallowed coins. They previously just let them pass, since pennies minted before 1982 did not have the same effect. However, a smart safety tip is to keep all coins out of reach of babies and toddlers, as they pose a choking hazard.

24/Spotting Ear Infections
A healthy baby may pull or grab his ear for no reason at all. A baby with an ear infection will do it because he’s in pain. Other signs to look for include change in mood, fever, diarrhea, reduced appetite, a foul odor coming from the ear and, less commonly, a yellow or whitish fluid draining from the ear.

25/Biting the Boob That Feeds Him
The joys of nursing your child. Closely nestling the babe to you, you nourish your child with your life-giving milk. Ah, the bonding! Ah, the satisfaction! Ah… OUCH, the pain when baby chomps down on your breast with his new teeth! You were planning to wean him when?

26/”All moms worry. Somehow babies can tell when we’re uptight, and it just gets them uptight as well. Try to relax. When it doesn’t go perfectly, it’s a great opportunity to learn.”

27/Around this time, your child will begin to understand simple commands such as “Hand Mommy the cup” and “Please come to Daddy.” However, your baby is also learning that she is an independent person and can express her own desires. So don’t be surprised if in response to a command she shakes her head no!

28/Hold your hand up high and say, “High five!” Then help your baby slap your hand.

Hold your hand near the ground and say, “Low five!” Again, show her how to slap your hand.

Hold your hand with your palm down and say, “Backside!” Again, show her how to slap your hand.

Finally, hold your hand out level, palm up, and move it away when your baby tries to slap it and say “Too slow!”

Soon, she’ll expect the final action and will giggle with anticipation throughout the game.

29/Past statistics emphasize the dangers of typical household items. Watch out for the following hazards in your kitchen:

Knives. In 1993, there were 16,000 knife-related injuries to children under five, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Plastic bags. From 1980 to 1987, there were about 15 suffocation deaths due to plastic bags each year in children under five.
Matches. In 1992, there were approximately 10,200 fires, 120 fire deaths and 870 fire injuries from children playing with matches.

30/Each year, about 9,000 people are hospitalized for chickenpox, and about 100 people die. The chickenpox vaccine will protect most children from getting the disease. Since the vaccine was licensed in 1995, millions of doses have been given to kids in the U.S. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, each year the average American child misses 8.7 days of school, and the average adult misses up to 1.8 days of work, because of chicken pox. Research is being done to see how long protection from the vaccine lasts and whether a person will need a booster shot in the future.

31/Bumps on the Head
With a kid on the move, accidents happen. In fact, they happen very frequently! So what do you do when your little girl bumps her head? First, know that your baby’s head is built to withstand the bumps and bruises of childhood. (Phew.) In fact, most falls involve injury to the scalp only, not to the underlying brain. A scalp injury will bleed a lot and a bump will appear quickly. This is normal.

What to do:
Step 1: Apply ice (or a bag of frozen veggies) to the bump for 20 minutes to reduce swelling. If your child won’t stand for having ice held to her head, don’t push it — the injury won’t be any worse for it.
Step 2: Stop any bleeding. You can use the clean cloth the ice is wrapped in.
Step 3: Observe your child carefully for signs of concussion or large hematoma. Is she alert, walking, talking and playing like she was before the injury? Keep her awake for the first hour (at least), and then let her nap in 20-minute spurts only.
Step 4: Trust your gut. If your child is acting like she was before the fall but you have a feeling something’s wrong, call the pediatrician.

January 2007

1/Duck, Duck, Duck
Your baby is developing so quickly these days. His latest feat: He can drink from a cup by himself! And now it’s time to… take cover! Putting that cup down gently when he’s done drinking is unlikely. A better bet? Watching it sail across the room after being flung by your future Little Leaguer.

2/”If you’re not sure about a new babysitter, invite her to help you at home one day. Go out for coffee another day. Before you know it, you’ll be more comfortable with her.”

3/He’s a crawling machine — and he’s keeping you on your toes. If he’s not, though, be happy you aren’t running around madly after him yet, and don’t worry about it. Some babies never crawl, preferring to progress directly to walking.

Your child is also discovering that doors are great toys and will devote much attention to opening and closing them. If you haven’t already done so, install cabinet locks on all doors that present potential danger to your baby. And always supervise your baby when he’s playing with doors, to prevent tiny fingers from getting pinched.

4/Is cooking dinner becoming even more difficult with your little helper at your feet? Try designating a cabinet or drawer specifically for your baby. Equip it with baby-safe kitchen objects such as plastic containers, metal pots and pans, plastic and wooden spoons and plastic measuring cups. Sure, it’ll cause a racket, but it may just buy you enough time to whip up a quick meal –before he calls out for your attention again.

5/If you haven’t already done so, cover all electrical outlets in your home with safety covers. When traveling and visiting friends or relatives, carry an extra package of outlet covers with you.

6/The average child has eight to ten colds during the first two years of life. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, he visits a doctor 23 times during his first four years

7/Planning a First Birthday Party
Can you believe a year has passed? Your baby’s not a baby anymore! How do you celebrate this milestone? Simply put: simply! Seriously, we know you’re excited, but there will be many more birthday parties to come — birthdays your child will actually understand and care a great deal about. This year, focus on gathering together close friends and family who have been involved in his life. Use it as a time to reminisce about his first year and make predictions about his future — his personality, his interests. Keep the food kid-friendly and the gifts to a minimum. Be sure to capture the day with photos, documenting everyone who shared the celebration and, of course, your little one blowing out his first birthday candle.

8/Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Daddy
Your husband has the baby for the day — the whole day. You are headed off for a day of shopping (you finally lost the baby weight), pampering (haircut, highlights) and lunch with a friend. You tell yourself there’s nothing to worry about. Your daughter is now 11 months old, which means your husband has had plenty of practice daddying. What could possibly go wrong? When you arrive home, you get your answer. The baby is standing up in her crib, wearing nothing but a backward (albeit dry) diaper. She’s not crying. Instead, she looks rather… well, amazed. She is staring at your husband, who’s slumped in the rocking chair, baby’s breakfast and lunch spackled on his face and mashed into his hair, a pale pink party dress draped over his shoulder like a burp cloth. The Runaway Bunny lays open on his chest. He is snoring, loudly.

9/”When I went back to work, I found talking to other women with young children tremendously helpful. It helps to see that their kids are doing great and that it can be done.”

10/Your child is developing a greater sense of self-awareness as she discovers her place in the world. She’s becoming aware of the existence of strangers and may show fear around those unfamiliar to her. Don’t worry — it’s normal and it doesn’t mean that your child will be hiding under your skirt for the rest of her life. But you might want to take to wearing pants whenever you’re out, at least for now.

In the toy arena, she greatly enjoys pushing, pulling and dumping items. A push/pull toy and a bucket full of blocks will make her day!

11/When you turn on the music, you’ll find that your baby loves to dance. This is a great way for her to expend energy. Try out different types of music to see what your baby prefers. Don’t forget to check with your local library for children’s tunes — it’s a free source of entertainment for your baby

12/Be cautious on escalators. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that there are 6,000 escalator-associated injuries requiring emergency-room treatment each year. Seventy-five percent of these injuries are the result of falls and another 20 percent occur when hands, feet or shoes are trapped in escalators. The CPSC recommends the following to protect your family:

Remove drawstrings from your child’s clothing and be aware that loose shoelaces, scarves and mittens can get caught.
Always hold your child’s hand on escalators.
Do not take a stroller or cart on an escalator.
Always face forward.

13/Fathers today share more household responsibilities, according to a survey conducted by the Families and Work Institute, doing almost twice as much to help around the house than they did two decades ago. In addition, today’s fathers are spending a half-hour more each workday caring for their children.

14/Handling Choking Emergencies
Children have a knack for putting objects in their mouth, especially pieces of food too big to be swallowed. If your child is suddenly unable to cry, cough or speak, she probably has something blocking her airway. If she’s coughing or gagging, her airway is only partially blocked. Let her continue to cough –it’s the best way to free the blockage. If your child is conscious and cannot clear her airway on her own, you’ll need to administer the Heimlich maneuver. First clench one hand into a fist and rest it against her abdomen, just over her navel. Then put your other hand over the first one and quickly thrust upward several times. Continue until she starts to breathe or cough. If your child is unconscious, you’ll need to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). If you haven’t yet, sign up for a child CPR class to learn everything you need to know.

15/On Your Toes
Well, congratulations! Baby’s walking, if you can call those first little wobbles that. A step, a step, and boom! Down she goes. And up again. And down again. And so on. Hmm, how many times can you tell her to “Get up, you’re okay!” and really believe it? Oh, watch out, she’s gonna go into the coffee table. Move that briefcase! She’ll trip over the strap! Who left that toy there? Move it now! Padding the entire house suddenly seems appealing.

16/”If you decide to pump, pump every chance you get — even if nothing comes out. It’ll help build up your milk supply. Just pump, pump, pump. When you get tired, pump some more.”

17/As your baby continues to become more independent, he will show his distaste for something by pushing it away — whether it’s peas, a washcloth or his pajamas. Speaking of clothes, your baby will begin to extend an arm or leg when you dress him. Around this time, he will also share his toys, but don’t be surprised if he wants them back… immediately! Of course, sharing doesn’t apply to his blanket, teddy or some other all-important item to which many babies form an extreme attachment. Do yourself a huge favor and purchase two of whatever your baby has chosen, just in case one gets lost.

18/Recording Your Child’s Achievements
Feel like the first year flew by and you barely recorded anything about your baby’s development? Make things easier on yourself: Hang a calendar on the inside of his closet door. When he does something new, just write it on the calendar. Many calendars even come with stickers signifying various milestones. This way you can still record the many exciting events in your child’s second year of life while saving most of your energy for playing with your soon-to-be toddler!

19/As your baby approaches his first birthday, take some time to make a mold of his hands or feet. You can purchase a clay mold kit at your local hobby or toy store. It’s easy and fun, and you’ll have a cute memento of your baby at one year of age. While you’re at it, make a few more — they’re great gifts for grandparents!

20/If you use a curling or straightening iron, be sure to keep it away from your baby. You know it can burn, but you may not have realized that the threat has become even greater during the past few years. Irons have actually been designed to get hotter, potentially causing more severe injuries.

21/Relatives care for nearly half of children under the age of five who have mothers working outside the home. Seventeen percent of the caregivers are grandparents, according to a Census Bureau report.

22/Striptease
You could never understand those mothers who chose to use cloth diapers over simply grabbing a 50-pack of Huggies at the store. Yes, you know, cloth diapers are environmentally friendly. But they never seemed mom-friendly, what with all the laundering and, in the old days, the matter of constantly pinning and unpinning while baby wriggles wildly on the changing table. Until now. Now you know the real driving force behind previous generations of cloth diaper devotees: their kids couldn’t fling off their diapers anywhere and everywhere. Are cloth diapers in store for your little stripper? You may not go that far. But Pampers plus pins could be your salvation.

23/”If you’re pumping at work, do it at the same time every day, preferably coinciding with your baby’s feeding patterns so your supply and baby’s needs are in sync on weekends.”

24/Your child’s mobility is increasing, and she may now be able to “cruise” the furniture. It’s only a matter of time before she gains the balance, coordination and self-assurance to walk on her own.

Your baby may also express an increased interest in books and may even be able to identify some objects in the stories. Keep repeating the same words in the same books, and she’ll eventually recognize them — even if she can’t say them yet. As you turn the pages, ask her where certain animals or objects are on the pages. For example, ask, “Where’s the dog?” or, “Where’s the flower?” and pause before you point it out to her.

Your baby can probably also understand the use of certain commonly used objects, like the remote control and your car keys.

25/As your baby learns to walk, you can teach her to play “Ring around the Rosy.” Take both her hands in yours and sing:

Ring around the rosy
Pocket full of posies
Ashes, ashes
We all fall down!

On the last phrase, take your baby in your arms and gently fall down with her. She’ll enjoy this one –and she may even pick up a new word or two!

26/The jungle gym that your baby is becoming more and more interested in will hold great excitement for years to come. However, beware of the hazards that such play sets can bring. Thousands of children are injured each year on playground equipment. Nearly 60 percent are the result of falls from the equipment to the ground, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). To protect your baby as he expands his horizons on the playground, the CPSC suggests the following:

Install protective surfacing below the equipment and allow for an adequate-sized fall zone free of obstacles.
Space swings adequately apart from each other and from support structures.
Platforms more than 30 inches above the ground should have guardrails to prevent falls.
Close “S” hooks and eliminate protrusions or catch points on equipment to prevent entanglement of children’s clothing.
Eliminate exposed moving parts that may cause pinching or crushing.
Inspect playground equipment on a regular basis.

27/If your baby tends to sneeze when she’s suddenly exposed to bright sunlight, you probably think something’s wrong with her. In fact, it’s not uncommon and even has a name: autosomal dominant compelling helio-ophthalmic outburst, or ACHOO syndrome. (Would we make that up?) This sneeze reflex is inherited and thought to be prevalent in approximately 24 percent of the population. The cause of it is still unknown.

28/Your Own Wisdom
As a mom of an almost-one-year-old, the crop of new moms is turning to you as the “pro.” How time flies. Yes, you really do know what you’re doing. Trust your instincts. You know what’s best for your baby.

29/Decor Dysfunction
What was the point of painstakingly choosing your carpet and pouring over swatches for your couch? For months now, every surface in your home has been covered with obnoxiously colorful baby objects, none of which come close to matching your carefully chosen decor. In the beginning, it was the bouncy seat, the swing and the ExerSaucer. Now you’ve got orange trucks, neon green rag dolls and blocks in more colors than a 64-pack of Crayolas. Your mother is now “offering” to buy one of those big plastic playhouses for her grandchild’s first birthday. And, you wonder, is there any hope of coordinating one house with the other? Or maybe you should move some of your stuff into the playhouse so the baby can see how it feels to live with decor dysfunction…

30/”Staying at home with your child for a few years doesn’t mean giving up your career forever. Use the time at home to reevaluate how your career aspirations fit in with your new life.”

31/Your baby can probably walk with your help. He can also remove his hat and socks. Watch out –he will soon learn how to take off his shoes and will do so at every opportunity — especially when you are trying to leave the house!

Around this time, your baby will begin to experiment and watch for your response. He’ll open a door, see whether you stop him and then repeat this until you do.

At your baby’s one-year well-baby checkup, his pediatrician will probably discuss the chicken pox vaccine if he has not done so already. You can expect vaccines for MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and the flu shot. In addition, a test for lead exposure may be done if your child is at risk.

February 2007

1/This is a great game to play as your baby begins to imitate your actions. Sing:
Up and down (move hands up and down)
Round and round (roll hands around in a circle)
Pick a penny from the ground (pretend to pick up a penny)
Run with the horses (run in place)
Swim in the sea (pretend to swim)
Climb up a ladder (pretend to climb)
And buzz like a bee (buzz and fly around)

2/Almost 15,000 children age 10 and under are injured annually falling from open windows; around 18 children are killed. The National Safe Kids Campaign recommends that you install window guards on all windows (except fire exits) from the ground floor up. Also take the following precautions:
Keep unopened windows locked.
Don’t open a window more than five inches.
Never rely on a screen for safety.
Move furniture, especially beds and chairs, away from the windows.

3/When your child has a cold or an upper respiratory infection, moisture in the air can help ease his congestion and make him more comfortable. Opt for a cool-mist humidifier (vaporizer) over a warm-mist one: The lower the temperature of the water, the less mold and bacteria will develop. To further prevent bacterial or mold contamination, be sure to clean and dry the humidifier thoroughly each day. Another reason to avoid hot-water vaporizers: less risk of burns and scalding.

4/Weaning
Weaning is easiest when it’s gradual. At one year of age, you don’t need to substitute a bottle for the breast unless your baby enjoys that substitution. If he isn’t interested in a bottle, you can serve his drinks in a sippy cup. Most babies this age can do very well with a cup — with a few spills, of course. Make sure that as his feedings are decreased, he is getting the nutrition he needs from other sources. To wean your child, decide which feeding will be the easiest for him to let go of. Be firm in your resolve, and keep him busy, preferably out of the house, during that time. Go outside and take a walk together, visit the library, or a friend. If you and your baby are busy and having fun, he’ll be less likely to miss nursing. Cut out one feeding every four days or so.

Give him lots of your time and your love as he weans from your breast. Remind him with your hugs and your touch that you will always be there for him. Even though you’ll be weaning him, he will still need to be held, and cuddled and loved — maybe more than usual as he makes this transition.

5/Baby’s First Birthday Party
The homemade cake collapsed. It only took you two hours to bake it. The birthday boy got three of the same gift — from your best friend, your mother and your mother-in-law. None of them took it graciously. (Note to self: Next year, do a registry for the birthday.) Right after one wee guest flung his cake across the room and before another little girl spilled juice down the front of her party dress, your tiny man of honor had a meltdown. Hey, it still beats labor.

6/”Don’t compare your little one to others. It doesn’t matter if yours is the last to sit up or get teeth… each child develops at his own pace. And they all get there at some point.”

7/Congratulations, Mom. Your baby’s about to turn one!
Tomorrow you’ll celebrate that first year — and the exciting,
awe-inspiring, ever-changing little person at the center of your world.
Now that you’ve completed the very first leg of this wonderful journey called parenthood, we invite you to explore the next stage and join moms who’ve reached the same milestone at the One-Year-Olds message board. Happy parenting!

8/Happy Birthday My Little King 🙂

2 Responses

  1. Heya! I realize this is kind of off-topic
    but I had to ask. Does building a well-established website like yours take a lot of work?

    I’m brand new to operating a blog but I do write in my diary daily. I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips
    for brand new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

  2. There is definately a lot to find out about
    this issue. I like all the points you’ve made.

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