10 Baby Tips I Learned from my Mom, Sister, Books and Baby

1. Babies Know - these little laughter-inducing, saliva-spewing bundles know stuff. They know how to mark their territory by peeing, vomiting or burping on the target. They know how to keep you alert by making sure they wake up in the precise moment you are about to fall asleep. They know when you’ve had too much, they then give you a smile, a giggle and other cute infectious antics that just make your heart swell with joy!

2. Babies Like Routine – they are creatures of habit, babies like to have things done in order, of course, they usually disrupt order in ones home, but they do like order. Having meals, snacks, bathing and sleeping scheduled does not only help the baby; it helps you get your own stuff done. My toddler bed time routine with my daughter includes reading, I’ve been reading Beauty and the Beast for 5 weeks now and I can recite it in my sleep, but hey it works! (I’m trying to make her switch to Cat in the Hat by alternating, this only works when the routine is well established.)

3. Babies Faces Absorbs Food – Of course that’s not true but it works. My baby refuses to drink her vitamins, during a battle I smeared some on her cheeks and chin. She simply licked them off her face! This is not a suggested method, you may want to try other conventional ways before the smear maneuver.

4. Babies Stand Their Ground – You know those times when you’re tired and in a hurry to get things done and your baby just wouldn’t budge. You get irritated, your baby cries louder and louder and becomes more difficult. They do this on crazy days because they know they can make you crazier. The trick is to not pressure them into doing anything. Instead show them how fun it is to do stuff. They love to imitate grown-ups. One time my toddler just refuses to take a bath out of the blue, she just wouldn’t. I then came up with an upbeat action song not to be done in public “ wash your hair, wash your hair, wash your ears, wash your ears, wash your “kili-kili” (armpits)” . Now she sings this every time I give her a bath, oh and once in the grocery store. You may want to keep things wholesome cause some things just stick.

5. Babies Remember Stuff – When we make mistakes or say bad words in front of children we shrug it off and say, “Oh, he doesn’t understand that!”. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t, but they sure do remember! I once made the mistake of singing the strip-tease chant, “take it off, take it off!!!” to make my daughter change her clothes. One time we were out, she blurted out “ Mommy, take it off, take it off!” Imagine the horrified look on my husbands face!

6. Babies Understand the Killer Look – This is achieved by making your eyes pop out of their sockets and raising an eyebrow or two. This worked on me as a child. When ever I misbehaved or got too rowdy my mother would give me this stern “killer look”. A look that promised a whole lot of pain, it made me stop in my tracks. It may not work for everyone but it can be a good warning sign, instead of pulling, grabbing or shouting that is bound to elicit a louder reaction from your kid. My daughter already knows this look, whenever we are out and she has an impulse to touch something she looks at me and checks if I have the “killer look” or “okay to touch look”. Sometimes she looks at me AFTER she’s done a boo-boo. She looks so cute it’s hard for me to get mad. I guess she has her own “killer look”.

7. Petroleum Jelly VS. Baby Powder – Maybe it’s because of a certain baby powder commercial , our moms have learned to put baby powder on our sweet cheeks to prevent having diaper rash. The result, a cake filled wet butt. I never used baby powder in the diaper area, instead after drying I put some petroleum jelly, it keeps wetness away and makes it easier to get rid of sticky poop. And my baby never got rashes on her behind. No rashes equal quiet nights, most of the time.

8. Carrying is Not the Only Sign of Love – When babies are new, we are compelled to carry them around all the time and enjoy the new baby scent. A few months and 15 pounds later it’s a spinal disc herniation. The baby cries when you put them down and needs to be carried while you’re eating, cooking and doing the laundry. Not safe for baby and it sucks for you! I was advised by our doctor to carry her EVERYTIME we feed, burp her then put her down. Carrying during feeding lets the baby associate you with comfort and prevents ear infections. When she cries in her crib and you just fed, burped, changed the diaper and doesn’t look sick, she is just bored and needs a toy or conversation. Be creative!

9. Mommy Needs to Learn First Aid – Whether you get the information from a book or feel the need to take a class, this needs to be done by you and whoever is taking care of your child. In movies we often see moms screaming their lungs out while their kid is suffering from a terrible accident. Life is not a movie and baby’s best defense is YOU! You do not need to know how to do all-weather, all terrain rescues. Just the basics like treating a burn, a baby Heimlich maneuver and CPR. A good source would be the “What to Expect” series whether on paperback or online http://www.whattoexpect.com/.

10. Babies Don’t Want Toys – Okay, so maybe they do! The thing is we sometimes overcompensate and we buy the most expensive toys. Then our feelings get hurt when baby dunks the robot in the tub, or paints the baby laptop with peanut butter. We think that baby doesn’t care and we are right! They don’t! They do not have a concept of money. What they want to play with is YOU! A few minutes a day just to cuddle or tickle is enough to go a long way and much more enjoyable than a creepy talking Elmo toy!

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