Posts Tagged ‘meltdowns’

How to Keep Your Baby on a Schedule When You Go Home for the Holidays

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

How to Keep Your Baby on a Schedule When You Go Home for the HolidaysGetting a baby on a schedule is an accomplishment in itself. For me, schedules are essential. I need to have order and some kind of routine in my life with my kids. This is especially important when we go home for the holidays. Our family is 6 hours away, and it can be a challenge to maintain normalcy while we are enjoying the company of our loved ones. Here are some ways you can keep your little one on a schedule and yourself sane during the holidays.

Sleep–It’s a beautiful thing

We all know how important naps are. When my daughter, who is now 3, didn’t take a nap, there was this strange phenomena that occurred around 5 p.m. She became a different child. She would either go crazy, stop listening, and run around like a crazy toddler, or she would fall asleep wherever we were.

When you are visiting family during the holidays, don’t neglect nap time. Little ones need it. Moms need it. Try to establish a place of comfort for your child to sleep if you staying with family. When we visit, I always bring Johanna’s blanket, pillow, and lovey, “Teddy.” This way, it feels like she is sleeping in her own bed, even though it isn’t. It’s tempting to go out and about and just forget about naps and regular bedtimes when there are presents to buy, programs to attend, and endless gatherings to share in. However, you will be thankful you let your baby get some much needed rest. It will make your trip so much better–promise.

Meals, Snacks, and Nursing

The holidays are a time when there is so much to eat, and often so much that is bad for you to eat. It’s important to still be the mom while you are around your family. Sure, grandma may want to feed your little one a sugar cookie, How to Keep Your Baby on a Schedule When You Go Home for the Holidaysbut remember you are mom. Try to keep mealtime normal. Bring your high chair, bibs, and table wear. Use the same cups you use at home. Keep meals consistent. If your little one likes to eat veggies for lunch, serve veggies no matter where you are. Of course, it is okay to break out of the routine some, but it is important to keep some normalcy.

I always pack a huge bag of snacks for my two little ones when we go home for the holidays. I know what they like, so we make a trip to the grocery store prior to leaving. While there are snacks at Grammy’s house, they aren’t what they are used to, which can cause tantrums and belly aches.

As far as nursing is concerned, remember to do what works for you and your baby. If you usually nurse before naps and bedtime, continue to do so. Don’t worry about family’s opinions or who is around. Take care of you and your baby.

Playtime and Fun with Family

My favorite part about going home for the holidays is all of the fun my children get to have with loved ones. I have great memories of taking my daughter home when she was 4 months old by myself and heading to see Santa, heading to the pumpkin patch, and attending her first parade.

While there are so many amazing memories to be made, remember to try to stick to some routine. I always bring a laundry basket full of my children’s toys. I let them pick out some of them and then we bring things they maybe have forgotten about. Once again, remember you are mom. If you don’t want your child to participate in something, speak up. For example, if you don’t want older children to put your little one on a trampoline, stop it before it happens. Trust your instincts.

So mom, how do you enjoy the holidays with family and keep your kids sane?

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2 in Northeast Indiana. She can’t wait for the holidays and time with family again!

Taming Tantrums

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

011Your child’s first birthday has just passed, and you just love all of the smiles and giggles you get from them. All of a sudden, your child starts showing that they have an opinion, in this a voice–a very loud voice. Tantrums begin.

I can remember the moment when my daughter had her first tantrum. Walmart. August ’13. Checkout lane 14. I was so confused. I thought tantrums started at the “terrible twos.” No one told me that a 1-year-old was capable of such drama.

What to Expect at This Age

Little ones 12-18 months old mostly just want to please mommy and daddy. However, they are starting to realize that sometimes you are pleased with their behavior and choices, and other times you are not. Cue meltdowns. Little ones at this age have a wide range of emotions, and they are still too small to understand to express them. Ever been hit, bit, or publicly shamed by your little one? It’s normal. This was not easy for me to accept. I viewed my daughter as an angel. She couldn’t possibly hit her mommy. Then, one day, when mommy didn’t give into what she wanted, she hit me.

The good news is that this too shall pass. As children grow older, they gain the interpersonal skills they need to deal with the little challenges of everyday life—delay of gratification, negotiating, impulse control, communication, and the ability to self-soothe. Tantrums are not done on purpose. They are the only way your child can express themselves when they lack the skills necessary to say what’s wrong.

Practical Tips on Taming Tantrums:

  • Remember your child is trying to tell you something. When little ones can’t express themselves verbally, they act out. Sometimes just acknowledging out loud that they are angry or sad or ready to go can be helpful.
  • Sometimes you just have to ignore the behavior. Crying in Target because mommy won’t buy a certain toy? Ignore. Don’t give into the need for attention. Let your little one know that this is not how you get rewarded.
  • Distract, distract, distract! It’s amazing how easily you can change their focus. Find a new toy. Pick a safer place to play. Cry with them. Make them laugh!
  • Give them a say. Give them some choices and include them in your activity.
  • Reward good behavior. When your child is acting appropriately, praise them. Let them see how much fun it is to make good choices.
  • Keep them safe. Grab their hand while walking. Stop physical behaviors like hitting and biting and have zero tolerance for dangerous behavior towards others. Show them how to touch gently.

And now, the real stuff…

Remember….

  • Don’t make eye contact with strangers during a tantrum—just focus on your child. Retreat if necessary. Chances are you won’t bump into that lady in Walmart ever again, so who cares if she disapproves of your child’s behavior or how you are handling it?
  • It’s okay to just leave if you want. Take your child to the car and leave that shopping cart full of groceries. Moms do it all the time. Kroger will understand.
  • Don’t laugh at your child’s behavior. Just remember that you are supermom. Your cape may have a few snags and wrinkles in it today, but tomorrow is a fresh start.
  • Stop at Starbucks on the way home or your favorite drive-thru for a treat if you need it. It’s okay to take a mommy break. Baristas understand.

Remember moms, you can tame those tantrums! They’re a normal part of growing up, and our kiddos need us to guide them in the right direction.

What’s worked for you?

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of a 23 month old and a brand-new baby boy. She is still figuring it all out and often eats a cookie or two during naptime.