How to build a secure attachment with your baby

I remember being struck by how my son, David, looked at me – really looked at me. He took in my facial expressions, my words, the tunes I sang, and responded with his own changes in facial expression, babbling and body movements. Wow! Wasn’t he just the brightest, most wonderful baby ever! Of course that’s how every parent feels!

Having a good relationship with your child by responding to his cues and meeting his needs in a warm, caring way creates a close emotional bond referred to as “secure attachment”. By “cues”, I mean signals such as little frowns, wrinkled forehead, turning his face away, crying, smiling, imitating our expressions, rubbing his eyes, rooting, arching his back, cooing and laughing.

Why is this important?

When a child feels safe and secure, he’s more likely to explore his surroundings.  Knowing his parents are close by if he needs them, he may try new things, be more likely to interact with other children and adults, and develop confidence. Continue reading

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Kids in the kitchen: Independence is the main ingredient

When my three kids were younger my day would start at 5:30 am with breastfeeding the baby, getting the 2 year-old out of his diaper and figuring out what yogurt needed to be fed to the two and four year-old before it expired.

When I had at least five hours of sleep, I had a positive attitude and could even predict the colour cup ‘du jour.’ But when I woke up exhausted after a not-so-great night, I fantasized about the day when my kids would be more independent in the kitchen and I could drink my morning coffee HOT. Well, that day has arrived and now I’m faced with the challenge of giving up a bit (I mean, A LOT) of control over my tidy kitchen! I want my kids to be more independent without making it harder on me. I’ve started off by placing some apples, bananas and homemade snack mixes (read: Cheerios and sliced almonds in containers) on the table the night before. In the morning my eldest pours milk in cups for all three of them. Voila! A breakfast with four food groups and I don’t have to re-heat my coffee once. This is a major win! Continue reading

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So much to do at the library with your baby

If your baby is fussing and you need a break, maybe it’s time to head to the library!

Are you surprised?  Libraries are not what they used to be. Erase any mental images of furrowed brows and steel-like stares; things have changed! Libraries are a hub of activity for guests of all ages, and they want to get to know YOU.  Yes, you.

When I had my first baby I hadn’t visited the local library in years.  My Mom encouraged me to go after seeing a poster geared to new parents.  After weeks of putting it off, I shelved my worries and went.  Honestly, I shouldn’t have fretted so much, they had everything there: change tables, stroller parking, and quiet spots to settle and breastfeed my baby.

The children’s area at Burlington Public Library –New Appleby

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The Sandwich Generation: 7 Tips for How to Survive!

Yipee! Our two boys were becoming more independent, so my husband and I could now reconnect and perhaps have a bit of time for ourselves!

But that was not to be. One after another our aging parents’ health deteriorated. They’d been there for us and for our children. Now we needed to be there for them and we were the only family living in the same town.Three women, Senior woman, daughter and granddaughter sitting and embracing

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You are never too old to choke!

Have you ever choked on something? Have you ever had to perform abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver) on someone or have it done to you? It doesn’t matter how old you are – anyone can choke! With little ones we worry when they start eating solids. We stay close by as they eat in the early years to monitor them. As our children grow, sometimes choking isn’t on our mind as much.candy 2

We went out for a lovely dinner as a family. We were with grandparents, cousins, aunt and uncle. As we were paying for our meal, our children were sifting through the very exciting bowl of hard candies at the front desk. I think you know where I’m going with this story! Continue reading

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Baby you can drive my car… I think

Handing the car keys over to my 16 year-old is one of the most difficult parenting moments I have yet to encounter.

Putting her on a 10 hour flight as an unaccompanied minor had caused me angst and kept me awake until she set foot back on familiar soil but this is different.

young smiling woman sitting in car taking key

When I was almost 17 I took my driver’s test in my small hometown. The test was thorough and incorporated the skills required by the Ministry – this was all accomplished by approaching the single traffic light in town from different angles.  No joke. I passed. My parents set one expectation: no night driving for two weeks. Beyond that it was full speed ahead (no pun intended).

The rules are different now. Continue reading

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Top 10 tips when you are outnumbered by your kids

When I was pregnant with my third, and I had a two and four year-old, I wasn’t worried about how I would adjust going from two kids to three. After all, I survived the intense and chronic sleep deprivation when I had my first kid. I survived the wrath of kid #1 when his nose was out of joint when kid #2 was born (and fortunately, kid #2 survived too). It wasn’t until a friend of mine said, “Going from two to three kids is a game-changer because now the parents are outnumbered!” I laughed. I doubted I had to prepare for being overtaken by an unruly child mob, but it did make me think. How would my husband and I fare going from ‘man-to-man’ to ‘zone defence’? Four years later, here are my top 10 tips when you are outnumbered by your kids.

2 pairs of adult rainboots and 3 pairs of children's rainboots with caption: Top 10 Tips when you are outnumbered by your kids Continue reading

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