Archive for the ‘Gretchen Latham’ Category

M is For Mom!

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

M is for MomApril showers bring May flowers and Mother’s Day. Whether you are a new mom, an old pro, prefer to spend the day with your kiddos, or want some peace and quiet, this is the day for you. Sometimes though, figuring out what to do for mom can be hard.

So, for a unique perspective on Mother’s Day suggestions, let’s look at it from dad’s point of view. A popular website gives advice and ideas on how to please moms of all walks. A few ideas include:

  • Flowers. But not just flowers in a vase with a bow. We’re talking flowers to plant, the gloves to wear when planting them, digging tools, mulch, soil, big floppy hats, knee cushions, and a comfy chair to sit in and relax once the work is done.
  • Perfumes and lotions. This can include a pre-built boxed set, or do a mix and match at the local dollar store. You might find a really cool distressed basket at a local thrift shop and then fill it with a variety of lotions and bath gels from the dollar store. Top it off with a candle, put the kids to bed early and run the water!
  • Food. Who doesn’t love a good meal, and for the mom that loves to prepare it, kitchen gadgets are a perfect gift. You don’t have to go for something big here, maybe the ingredients of her favorite dessert complete with the recipe reprinted on parchment paper and signed by the family.
  • Help mom save the planet. Today’s moms are environmentally conscious. If this is your mom’s thing, go for products made from recycled materials, or have the kids pick up the neighborhood trash and take it to the recycling center. Make a family trip out of it, and use the day to pass on your values to your little ones.

Whatever your mom likes, and whatever your budget, there are endless possibilities to make her feel special on this day. You really can’t go wrong, as long as you put thought into what you do, and show mom how much you care. Most importantly, give your time. The one thing they aren’t making more of, or that can’t be reproduced is time. I promise you, your time is the best gift you can give and she wants it more than a new shirt, massage, pair of jeans or piece of chocolate. Well, maybe not the chocolate….

Gretchen Latham is a mom of one who lives and writes in Oklahoma City.

What’s Normal? 6-9 Month Development

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

By now your little one is laughing, smiling and becoming more aware of the world around him or her. Your baby is nearly halfway to being a toddler, and the level of engagement is increased. You will see much more movement as inching along turns to full-fledged crawling, and if you have one of those vintage farm animal sound games, pull the string and watch as your bundle of joy delights in trying to mimic the sounds heard.

Because we all want to keep track of development, a good yardstick for measuring typical developmental milestones at this age includes the following:

Mobility: Babies start becoming mobile in the 6 to 9 month period, starting with scooting, then sitting on their own, and eventually crawling.

Verbal: Gentle coos turn to babbles and imitations.

Six to Nine Month Development

Social/emotional: Peeking out from behind a blanket or other object may become a favorite pastime somewhere around 6 to 7 months.

Fine motor skills: Your baby will start grasping, reaching and picking up objects, so keeps those small items out of reach because most end up in the mouth.

For many parents, this is the time most look forward to because bits and pieces of those little personalities start showing. This is also when most babies start moving around and exploring, so be careful to keep harmful objects out of the way and out of reach. And when your peg-leg crawler wears out the knees in their favorite footed pajamas, turn them into a cute romper for the summer!

Don’t worry if scooting doesn’t progress to crawling right away, or if your floor isn’t clean enough to eat off of. Just enjoy the progress, and unless you see significantly delayed activities, sit back and try to relax. Walking, running, and tantrums are just around the corner.

Remember, every baby develops at their own pace and the above are just general guides. It’s a safe bet the over/under on these milestones is a month or two. If you are concerned, tap the endless resources available to you by reaching out to your pediatrician, friends, other moms, and maybe even your own mother.

Gretchen Latham is a mother of one and lives and writes in Oklahoma City.

Put that Stroller in Park

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
Put the Stroller in Park

This baby is small enough to face forward in what’s known as the “Buddha carry” with legs cris-crossed and pulled up toward the belly.

Giving up your stroller frees you from the hassle of collapsing it to put in your trunk, and eliminates the ever-present possibility of pinched fingers in those pesky joints.

Proponents of baby wearing know the closeness provided by this act is one you can’t duplicate by other forms of transport. Studies that show carried babies cry less than other babies aren’t restricted to babies in strollers vs. babies in carriers. The results show wearing your baby for three hours a day decreases the overall rate of crying.

Baby carriers promote a special bonding opportunity for mom and baby, as well as for dad and baby, and allow you the opportunity to keep doing the things you love with your baby right along with you. Here are five activities you may never have thought you could do with an infant—until you ditch the stroller.

  • Hiking/Walking. Hiking is great exercise and can help you fight the baby blues by getting some sunlight and getting your heart rate up and your blood pumping. Don’t try this with a stroller! Seek out trails with gentle elevations and even footing.
  • Clothes shopping. If you’ve ever tried to maneuver a stroller around any store except for the grocery store, you know it’s clumsy and awkward. Carrying baby also means you’re largely free from crying while you shop, since baby can feel and smell you. So strap baby on and go find a replacement for those maternity jeans.
  • Sporting events. Navigating a stadium with a stroller is close to impossible, and security regulations mean that you practically have to agree to a strip search to bring it in. Sporting events are great new-parent date nights because it’s noisy and there’s plenty of space to walk around if baby gets fussy.
  • Festivals. It’s really hard wheeling a stroller around festivals where there’s dirt or gravel, or street festivals where you may be constantly forced on and off the curb. These are great things to take baby to because he or she can nap in the carrier while you enjoy yourself. You can even walk around covertly nursing in the carrier when you get more experienced.
  • Sightseeing. When you’re on vacation, many older historical venues and national monuments can be tricky to navigate with a stroller. Be ready for anything by wearing baby so you can go anywhere and get the full experience.

New moms and dads can use carriers as a way to include dad in the bonding experience, and this helps create harmony within the family and confident parents.

When searching for a carrier, be sure to get one that fits and feels comfortable. You should try on several types of carriers to figure out which is best suited for your lifestyle, body type and baby’s temperament. So get moving, put that stroller in park, and swaddle your most precious possession close to your heart while you get out from behind the stroller and live!

Gretchen Latham is a mom of two who lives and writes in Oklahoma City.