One minute we’re unhappy, the next we’re happy. Which is it?

A month or so back I did a post about the latest study showing that parents are less happy, more depressed, and have less satisfying relationships than childless couples. Turns out, though, that the results of that study–and many others that reached similar conclusions over the past few decades–may have been wrong. So it looks like we’re actually happier than people without kids. Hmm.

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Your Husband and Breastfeeding

I’m breastfeeding our baby and I know my husband is 100 percent supportive. But sometimes I can tell that he’s feeling a little left out. Is there anything I can do to help him? How can he be involved in raising our child when so much of it depends on me and breastfeeding?

You know all about how great breastfeeding is, right? That it’s free, that it never runs out, and that breastfed babies’ diapers don’t stink are major advantages. But there’s a lot more. It gives you and your child a great opportunity to bond. It’s also the perfect blend of nutrients for the baby. Breastfed kids have a much lower chance than formula-fed kids of developing food allergies, respiratory- and gastrointestinal illnesses, or of becoming obese as adults. It may also transmit your immunity to certain diseases on to the baby. Pretty much everyone agrees that you should breastfeed for at least a year if you can.
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Sign Language for Babies

I’ve been hearing a lot about teaching children sign language. What’s the deal? Supposedly baby signing teaches the child to communicate. But can’t my child communicate in other ways? Is teaching my baby to communicate while she is so young pushing her too hard? Is it worth doing or is it some kind of scam?

A few decades ago, researchers began to notice that children whose parents were hearing impaired and who taught their children to sign, were able to communicate before they were nine months old. Children with two hearing parents don’t usually have much to say until after their first birthday. If you think about it, using the hands to communicate makes a lot of sense. After all, babies have a lot more control over their fingers and hands than they do over their tongue and mouth.
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Childproofing

Our baby isn’t crawling yet, but he will be pretty soon. Basically he goes for anything within his reach. I’m assuming he’ll be the same way when he starts crawling. What should we do to childproof our house?

Once your baby realizes that he’s able to move around by himself, his mission in life will be to locate–and race you to–the most dangerous, life-threatening things in your home. So if you haven’t already begun the never-ending process of child-proofing your house, better start now.

The first thing to do is get down on your hands and knees and check things out from your baby’s perspective. Taking care of those pesky wires and covering up your outlets is only the beginning, so start with the basics:
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Sleeping Arrangements

Some friends of ours share their king-sized bed with their two children. They say that families all over the world sleep in the same “family bed” that it’s good for everyone. “Co-Sleeping” as they call it, still seems weird to me. Doesn’t it interfere with mom and dad’s relationship to sleep with the kids in the bed? It also seems pretty unsafe to me. What do you think?

Most pediatricians will probably tell you that your baby should get used to sleeping by him- or herself as soon after birth as possible. The reasoning is that in American culture we emphasize early independence, so babies should adapt quickly to being away from their parents-especially if both parents work and the children are in day care.
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Finding Day Care

My wife and I are shopping around for day care. How can we tell if the facility will offer the proper care? Are there qualifications and credentials I should look for to make sure our child is safe and well cared for?

Finding a quality daycare center or provider can be incredibly stressful. Here are just a few things to look for in a day-care center:
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