How to use the Cry it Out Method

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 02:41pm
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If you're going to attempt to have your baby sleep through the night, you need a good plan! If you're ot sure how to proceed with this approach, we can help.

If you're going to attempt to have your baby sleep through the night, you need a good plan! If you’ve done night weaning, have a good going to sleep routine and you feel like your child will respond well to Cry it Out, it’s a good idea to have a plan for how to start using the method.

Not sure how to proceed with this approach? This is where we can help. In the link below, we have outlined specific steps for you to follow. Remember that if you encounter too much resistance, wait a few weeks and then try again. The timing of this approach can vary so much—depending on your individual child and yourselves.


Be prepared. This method requires a large amount of groundwork. The success of this method depends on both parents preparing themselves emotionally and planning their steps carefully in advance. To begin, if you don’t have a stable bedtime routine for your baby, give yourself at least two weeks to get that firmly established. Take whatever time you need to discuss together and agree on your Cry It Out plan. 


Put your baby in his crib when he's drowsy but not quite asleep.


Whisper your comfort words to your child—something like “night, night” or “sh-sh-sh”—and leave the room. If she cries when you leave, let her cry for your predetermined wait period


If your baby is still crying at the end of your predetermined wait period, return, but leave the light off. Keep your voice quiet and reassuring. Don’t pick him up. Instead, pat him and reassure him for no more than a minute or two. If possible, lay him down and pat his tummy or massage his temples. Leave again while he's still awake—even if he's crying.


If your baby is still crying, follow your plan, and stay out of the room a little longer than the first time. Follow the same routine. Stay out of the room for gradually longer periods. Each time, return for only a minute or two to pat and reassure your baby. Then, leave while she's still awake.


Follow this routine until your baby falls asleep—with you out of the room.


If your baby wakes up again later, follow the same routine. Begin with the minimum waiting time for that night and gradually increase the intervals between visits. Do this until you reach the maximum for that night.


Increase the amount of wait time before responding each night.


Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate. Each day, ask yourself how things are going for you, for your relationship and for your family. During stressful times, it’s critical for you to stay open and honest with your partner. Let your combined creativity adapt this approach to your particular needs and desires.


Decide whether to continue. The Cry It Out method doesn’t always work. For some families, it works just the way it is supposed to. After a few nights and a few tears, their child sleeps contentedly through the night. For other families, the tears continue and the promised sleep doesn't come. When this happens, you need to try something else.


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Emergence of Will (4-10 months)

by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 09:30pm
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Were you warned? Many new parents are. Often, grandparents and other experienced parents pass on solemn warnings to new parents like you about the challenges of dealing with your baby's willful misbehaviour. But, what is the truth and what is fiction? Is it possible that your baby is capable of defying you? Of being manipulative?

It's hard to believe but, as your baby's mind develops, it can happen: Your little angel demands to be picked up or refuses to nap. Our experts have put together some tips to help you find out when this behaviour starts and what you can do about it.

The Beginnings of Will

Let’s take a closer look at your baby’s will. What does “will” look like in the beginning?

You will begin to see glimmers of your baby’s will during the period from 4 to 6 months. By 4 months of age, your baby may begin to cry in an attempt to have you come and play with her. This behaviour doesn’t usually become regular or really purposeful until the end of the sixth month or later.

The onset of your baby’s deliberate crying to call for you indicates that she has trust in your relationship, because you have reliably met her needs when she has cried in the past.

This type of crying is different from regular fussy periods, which often appear at the end of the day. The fussy periods are more related to your baby’s adjustments to her nervous system, along with her ever changing sleeping, eating and activity levels. 

What triggers will?
Your baby’s newfound ability to crawl around independently fuels his developing sense of separateness. From 7 to 10 months, your baby experiences a rapid growth in his awareness of what he can control or cause to happen. What a stage! Babies become accomplished at asserting themselves in both delightful and exasperating ways.

What is will?

At about 9 months of age, willful behaviours tend to emerge. Your baby will begin showing that she has an opinion that doesn’t always correspond with yours. 

There is an important distinction you need to make regarding what it means for your baby to “mind.” Often, what distresses parents is the fact that their baby refuses to have the same mind set as they do. If your baby doesn’t mind, it’s because she’s following her own will rather than listening to you. With a 6- to 12-month-old, this rarely stands for real defiance (as in, “I won’t”).  At this stage, it almost always means that she is simply stating her wishes (such as, “I don’t want to,” or even, “I really, really don’t want to.”) 

Defiance is rare before your baby’s first birthday and is not very typical before 18 months of age. If you think you see an early onset of defiance, ask your baby’s physician for a referral to a child guidance clinic. This type of challenge is most successfully handled in the early stages.

A Helpful Strategy
Remember—a strong will is a sign of good health. Your baby need’s a strong will to achieve all the milestones in the following months and years of life! Don’t be afraid of it. When thinking about and working with your baby’s emerging will, there are two aspects of Positive Parenting that are particularly important.

1. Positive Parents are understanding of their baby’s temperament.

You are an understanding Positive Parent when you:

  • Understand your baby’s temperament and work with it.
  • Build on your baby’s strengths.
  • Are flexible with your baby.

2. Positive Parents are reasonable.

You are a reasonable Positive Parent when you:

  • Are consistent and predictable.
  • Set and communicate clear limits and expectations.
  • Construct consequences for irresponsible behaviour that are natural and reasonable, but not disciplinary.

When did you first notice your baby’s sense of will? What did you do about it? Share your story with parents just like you by leaving a comment below.

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Creating a Smoke Free Environment for Your Baby Video

by Maxine
Posted August 8 2012 11:09am
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We have all heard about the dangers if we choose to smoke.  What are the risks of second hand or third hand smoke for babies and children? This video talks about

the risks of second hand and third hand smoke for children.  It offers strategies to help you as parents create a smoke free environment for your child.


 Video - Creating A Smoke Free Environment for Your Children

Used with Permission of Best Start Resource Centre Health Nexus http://www.beststart.org

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Giving your baby a safe bath

by Maxine
Posted January 2 2012 02:18pm
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Bathtime is a great time to bond with your child while having fun doing it. Even the youngest of babies benefit from a bathtime routine. Below you’ll find out how you can prepare to give you baby a safe bath.

Safety Tips

  • For your baby's first bath at home, be sure to ask for help if you are not feeling confident. Call your child's doctor's office and ask for assistance if you are feeling at all unsure.
  • Never leave your baby unattended in the bath or on a table. Children can drown in as little as 4 cm (1 1/2 inches) of water.
  • Obtain instructions from your child's doctor for care of your child's umbilical cord and circumcision. Take the time when talking with your child's doctor or nurse to make sure you understand what is needed. Bath time or diaper change time is a good opportunity for regular cleaning of these areas.
  • If you are bathing your baby on a surface, make sure it is a comfortable height for you. Place a pad, blanket and towel next to the bath for a comfortable spot for your baby.
  • ALWAYS test the temperature of the water before placing your baby in the bath. You can test bath water by putting an elbow in the water to make sure the water is warm, not hot.
  • Always keep supplies, such as soap, within reach.
  • When reaching for anything, always keep one hand on your baby.


  • A bathtub may not be the right choice for your newborn. Wiping your baby with warm water using wash cloths on a soft towel is often enough in the first few days.

Before starting your baby's bath, organize all the supplies you need including:

  • 2 large soft towels;
  • diapers;
  • any creams or oils that you use;
  • clean clothes;
  • tub;
  • washcloths;
  • baby soap and shampoo; and
  • cotton balls.

You may find bath time more pleasurable if you remember that:

  • for many babies, bath time is fun - babies love to stretch and splash in warm water;
  • babies love skin-to-skin touch - massaging your baby during bath time is just one more chance for you and your baby to feel secure; and
  • babies feel relaxed after a bath - sometimes a bath is just what a fussy baby may need - everyone will feel relaxed.
  • Newborn babies require head support throughout their bath.

The best way to bath a baby is to start at the top and work down:

  • wash your baby's face first, gently with a fresh washcloth;
  • your baby's eyes should be wiped gently from nose to cheek with a soft washcloth, using a different corner for each wipe;
  • wash your baby's scalp using a mild baby shampoo - your baby's head will need to be raised and supported to wash off the shampoo;
  • wash your baby's abdomen, arms and legs next; and
  • wash the genital areas last.
  • Transfer your baby out of the tub to the towel on a pad, next to where you are giving your baby her bath.
  • Wrap your baby and gently pat him dry. Be sure to dry all of the folds and creases in his skin.
  • Once she is dry, diaper your baby first, being careful that the top of the diaper does not irritate the cord. Avoid the use of baby powder, talc and cornstarch because they get into the air and, if inhaled, could damage your baby's lungs.
  • Put your baby in a cozy sleeper.

After your baby's bath is the perfect time to cut his nails - preferably with blunt-ended scissors when he is asleep.

Video Alert!
Watch our Baby Bathtime video which will show you how to use Comfort, Play & Teach to make the most of bathtime, watch now.






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