When your baby cries – Pinpointing the problem

by Maxine
Posted June 21 2011 02:12pm
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When your new baby is crying, sometimes it seems impossible to figure out what she is trying to tell you.

She isn’t wet, she’s just been fed, what could be causing her so much stress? Don’t worry, it’s normal for babies to cry, sometimes for up to two hours a day, and you will soon start to understand your baby’s cues and be better able to determine what those cries means.

Here are some possibilities to consider:

  • Is she hungry or thirsty?
  • Is her diaper soiled?
  • Is she lonely? She might just need some comfort time with one of her parents.
  • Is she too hot or too cold?
  • Is she in pain?
  • Does she have gas?
  • Is she tired?
  • Is she bored?
  • Is she over-stimulated?
  • Is she sick?

Remember, sometimes baby’s cry for no apparent reason at all, but this checklist might help you pinpoint a problem.

Think about your own baby, what reasons have you found for your own baby to cry? What soothing techniques do you use? Leave us a comment below – your suggestion might help another parent who is going through this just like you did!

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Cry it Out - What We Believe

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 01:56pm
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There are valid reasons for parents to use either the Attachment Parenting approach or the Cry It Out approach. Let’s continue to look at what we believe:

The success of either approach depends on:

  • Is the approach done well? (For example, do it gradually for the Cry It Out method; avoid smothering your baby with attention with the Attachment Parenting approach.)
  • Are there other factors in your baby’s life? (For example: Did Mom go back to work? Is your baby teething? Is your baby ill? Is she having a growth spurt? This happens at around 6 months for some babies.)
  • Are you emotionally prepared for it? (For example, the amount of crying in Cry It Out; the amount of dependency in Attachment Parenting.)

Can you tolerate waking up in the night?
Not every parent can tolerate waking up in the middle of the night. When you respond to your baby out of frustration, anger or stress, your baby can pick up on your emotions.  If this is the case, the Cry It Out method may be more helpful. If any of the following apply to you, consider using the Cry It Out method: 

  • Do you become sleep-deprived easily when your baby interrupts your sleep at night? Sleep deprivation may leave you unable to parent well during the day.
  • Can you control your emotions in the middle of the night? Some parents always feel anger when their baby wakes them up. They just can’t stop these feelings.
  • Do you need to conserve your energy and alertness for your daytime job? For some parents, their co-workers, patients, customers, students or clients count on their alertness, creativity and courteousness—even though these parents have a baby at home.

When it doesn’t work.
The Cry It Out method doesn’t always work! For some families it works just the way it’s supposed to. After a few nights and a few tears, their child sleeps contentedly through the night. However, for other families, the tears continue and the promised sleep does not come. When this happens, parents need to try something else.

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The Role of Routines – Establishing Routines

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 07:35pm
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Both new and seasoned parents strive to help create some order out of the possible chaos of the few first months and routines are a great way to achieve that.

Here are some some common routines you might establish with your little one.

Bedtime Routines

Did you know that a nightly routine can help your baby learn to go to sleep and to sleep better? Now, what parent would turn that down? So how do you do it?

Watch your baby for signs of sleepiness; closing his eyes, squinting, rubbing his eyes or face, yawning, etc. Those signs present an opportunity to start a bedtime routine. If your baby likes water and relaxes in it, this would be a good time for a quiet bath, if instead a bath wakes him up or dries out his skin, perhaps soft music will help him relax. Once he’s dressed for bed, cuddle up together and read a few books. Help him to learn the difference between day and night by making his surroundings quiet, dark and cool when putting him to bed.

The same goes for naps. Creating a predictable routine to ease into a nap will help him learn to do this for himself. On another note, some babies have a very difficult time waking up, especially from naps. They rise totally disoriented and many cry very hard. A wake-up routine that provides them with the comfort they require is very important for these babies.

To learn even more about bedtime routines check out our articles on Sleeping Through the Night and


Eating Routines

Until your baby is 12 weeks or 3 months old, she should be eating on demand and she may still be feeding during the night. After that, you may notice that your baby feeds about five times a day at fairly predictable times. This pattern is actually the beginning of her future eating routine.

By the time she’s 6-months-old, her eating patterns will be more noticeable and predictable. This is also the time that you’ll start to feed her solids, iron rich foods, such as iron-fortified rice cereal and meats. Some experts feel this helps to establish mealtime routines. You can start your baby’s mealtime routine at this time, perhaps feeding her on your lap at the dinner table or using a high chair pulled up to the table, and using a baby spoon or plate.

Watch our Infant Mealtime Video for Comfort, Play & Teach® mealtime strategies and tips!


Play Routines

Talk to your baby from the beginning of his life, even though he can’t hold up his end of the conversation. Sometime during these first 6 months, he’ll start making the beginning sounds of talking, maybe even responding to your chatter. Now that’s exciting! Talking to your baby about what you see, what you’re doing, about everything, helps him to learn language and communicate.

Playing is the work of babies. It’s how they learn about themselves, others and the world around them. By the time your baby is 3 months old, set aside regular play time every day.

While playing with your baby, teach him about his world—the textures of items, the different sounds you can make with your voice, the different shapes and colours of objects. Everyday activities, such as diaper changing, bathing or helping your baby to wake up, all provide opportunities for the Comfort, Play & Teach® approach.


What role did routines play in your first few months with your baby? What routines have you established and how have they helped? Share your story with other parents just like you by leaving a comment below!



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What to expect at your baby’s check-ups

by Maxine
Posted September 5 2011 04:07pm
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When you have a new baby, doctor’s visits become a common occurrence. Knowing what to expect at these appointments can make things less stressful for you and help them run more smoothly. The following articles take you through typical visits to your health care provider from birth to six months.

Your child will likely have about nine routine check-ups between birth and two-years-old. These are timed to give parents and doctors the best assessment of how children are growing. This is also when you receive vaccinations to inoculate babies against diseases.

“Check-ups are a great opportunity for parents to ask their health care provider some of the questions they have,” says Karon Foster, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert. “For example, if you have travel plans coming up you might want to talk to your doctor about baby’s routine and anything you should be concerned about. Your health care provider can give you preventative guidance and let you know about any immunizations your baby might need to travel. “

At the appointment you will have to undress your baby, so be sure to take a lightweight blanket with you to keep your baby warm while waiting for the doctor or test results.

The other health care providers that your baby should see within the first year are a dentist and an optometrist.  The Ontario Association of Optometrists recommend that a baby have an eye examination at 6 months of age and then every 12-24 months.  Your baby should see a dentist when his first tooth appears or at least once before they reach their first birthday.  

What was your first visit to the doctor like with your child? What do you wish you knew before you went? Leave a comment below and share your experience with other parents just like you!


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