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Learning Posts

I have decided to start adding some educational learning posts in addition to my baby and toddler posts. These posts will contain activities that you can do with your infant or toddler at home. As parents, we are our children’s first teacher and it is so important that we are “teaching” them before they enter Kindergarten. I hope to include activities that will be enriching and fun for you and your little ones. My personal philosophy on teaching young children is to include as many senses into an activity as possible- touching, feeling, seeing, hearing, moving, and maybe tasting. Multisensory learning is one of the best ways for young children to learn while also making it fun.

A Little About My Educational Background
All of my education and training stems from my own personal struggle with learning as a child. I struggled in school as a young child. It was not until my senior year in high school that I was diagnosised as having a reading disorder known as dyslexia. My hope as an educator was to help children learn without having to struggle like I did as a young child.  Before I became a stay-at-home-mom, I was a reading specialist. I worked with children in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. Previously, I was also a 3rd grade teacher. The last half of my teaching career, I worked mostly with children who had learning-differences such as reading disorders, attention deficit (ADHD), and other related disorders. I have my Bachelors of Science from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland in Psychology and Elementary Education (K-8) and my Master’s in Education (Reading Specialist) from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. I also have several certificates and trainings that are specifically designed for children who have language-based learning disorders, such as dyslexia. Some of these programs and trainings include Orton-Gillingham, Lindamood-Bell, Phonograpix, and Framing Your Thoughts.

So check back soon for some learning posts!

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I am gearing up to write some new post in 2011, but I wanted some suggestions from people who read my blog. Are there any specific topics that you would like me to address that I have not already covered? I am open to suggestions! Just leave a comment with a suggestion. Thanks 🙂

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CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF SCHEDULES KEPT EVERY MONTH WITH MY TWINS:
https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/infant-schedules-by-month-updated/

My twin are a few days shy of 8 months old. I have been doing a lot of reflecting back on their schedules that I have maintained and kept with them since they were born. I know for many twin moms that having your two babies on the same schedule is kind of a necessity so that you can have some down time to get things done around the house and even to grab a shower and eat yourself.

I think what I have learned with twins is that you CANNOT have a perfect schedule. You are trying to raise two different individuals and they will need different things and different times. This is especially true of fraternal twins. Identical twins tend to fall into a more similar sleeping/ eating schedule than fraternal twins do. I think it is best to have an “ideal” schedule for your day, but allow room for variation. YOU CANNOT HYPER SCHEDULE twins. Please remember that they are individuals and you need to feed them if they are hungry. If you want to keep them on the same schedule, just wake the sleeping twin up and then feed them together. The same goes for sleep, please watch for their sleepy cues. Don’t try to keep one of your twins up longer if they are tired in hopes they will nap at the same time. Babies nap better when they go to sleep when they start to first show signs of tiredness. Please read my post called, “Sleep Windows” which explains this concept in more detail. https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/sleep-windows-get-them-to-bed-before-its-too-late/

I thought I would share my reflections on my experience with trying to keep my twins on a similar schedule:

1 Month old:
The girls basically slept a ton and it was easy to keep them on the same sleeping and eating schedule. I was tandem nursing so I really wanted them to eat at the same time. I felt like it was breeze during those first 4 months- with such sleepy heads.

2/3 Months old:
They hit two growth spurt during the time and make it very challenging to keep them on the same schedule. They started to wake early from naps. In order to still keep them on the same eating schedule, if one twin woke up hungry from a nap, I just woke the other twin up to nurse them together. They were able to stay awake about the same amount of time, give or take 5 or so minutes, so it was pretty easy to put them down for their naps around the same time.

4 Months old:
They were on a solid schedule during this time. I would say that in terms of schedule, this was a sweet time for us. They were on a very consistent 3 hour schedule. They would eat, play, and sleep about the same time with about 5-10 minute difference, but I always feed them at the same time.

5 Months Old:
The girls pretty much napped starting at the same time, they may wake a little early from one another, but at this age, they were able to wait until the other woke up to be breastfeed. This was nice and gave me a little more flexibility with allowing them to sleep longer if they needed it. However, at this age the girls had different bedtimes. My daughter Molly just needed to go to sleep sooner than his sister Anna. I was okay with this, because it made bedtime more manageable for me. I would nurse and put Molly down while Daddy got Anna ready for bedtime. By the time I was done feeding Molly, I feed Anna and put her down. I liked the one-on-one time I got with Anna this way.

6 Months Old:
I really hit a hard spell with the girls are 6 months. They were trying to get rid of the 3rd catnap at this age. This effected their schedule a ton. Some nights they would take a catnap and other nights they did not need it. Molly end up needing it more than Anna. When Molly would catnap, I would try to keep Anna in the kitchen and give her some small toys to play with while I got dinner ready. But depending on if they took a catnap or not, it would effect bedtime, causing them to go to bed at different times. Late on the nights they took a catnap and earlier on the nights they did not take a catnap. So again the girls had different bedtimes from one another most evenings, but my husband and I juggled the two like we did when they were 5 months old and it worked out. I had to learn to be flexible during this time. It was not easy, especially with my 25 month old needing my attention too, but we got through it. Thankfully, they still went down for their morning and afternoon nap around the same time. They would wake up from their naps around the same time, but again they could wait until the other one woke up to nurse together.

7 & 8 Months Old
They both finally got rid of the catnap so I did not have that issue anymore, it was just that Anna and Molly required different amounts of sleep. Anna being the one who slept less. So I learned to put them down for their nap at the same time, and just get Anna up early and have her wait to nurse until Molly woke up. That worked and we are still doing that now at almost 8 months old. They also cut their first teeth while they were 7 months old. This did effect their naps and nighttime sleep. They would wake up and cry for a little and then go back to sleep. I tired not to intervein because I knew if I went in there, they would not go back to sleep easily. On days when the teething was the worst, I did get them some infant tylenol. The tylenol really helped them sleep a lot better.

9- 11 Months Old
I feel like the girls are starting to stabilize with their sleep. It is nice to have them fall into a very regular pattern of naps times and similar bedtimes. Molly, my sleepy head, still required a little more sleep, but I just put her down a little earlier and let her sleep a little longer. Anna does not seem to mind waiting to nurse a few extra minutes as long as I entertain her. We hit a growth spurt during 9 months, which required me to feed them a little more. I really wanted to stay on the same schedule and not mess up the nap times, so what I chose to do is nurse before their afternoon nap to fit in the extra feeding. I did that for about a week and then they seemed to get over the growth spurt.

 

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Car Crash Saftey

Nothing got accomplished today. I went to run some arends and I got in a car accident. Luckily all the kids were okay and so am I. I drive a Honda Pilot and I was hit by a very large F150 pick up truck. It was a side impact and the truck hit right were Cooper (20 months old) was sitting, on the passenger side middle row. All the air bags deployed, the glass windows all shattered on Cooper’s side of the car, and the door was totally crunched in. But by the miracle of God, Cooper only suffered a little seat belt burn from his carseat and he bit his tongue. My twin girls were safe and totally unharmed as well. The collision center that is trying to determine if it is totaled, which they think it is, was amazed at the amount of damage done to my car. The guy actually hugged me and said, “I am so glad you and your kids are okay. That was a really bad crash.”

I am writing this because I wanted to share what carseats I own. My son Cooper was in a Sunshine Radian carseat. That carseat did not budge and kept him completely secure and snug. The police on the scene and the EMTs were all raving about how well the Radiant handled the crash and were telling me that I made a great carseat purchase. The girls were in Chicco Key Fit 30 carseats and again I was told there were excellent carseats. They were amazed that the bases kept the girls snug and sustained the crash well. I will buy all new carseats because after a crash you are not suppose to reuse the carseats as the structural integrity of the carseats could be ruined.

I am just so thankful that I bought a safe car and safe carseats. I am glad we did our research up front!

My insurance company is going to replace all 3 carseats! But I thought I would pass this information on to you about the Sunshine Kids Randian carseat. They are willing to send me a replacement for free because the carseat was involved serious crash. Here is the link about the Crash Restraint Exchange by Sunshine www.skjp.com/crash_exchange.php

Here is some other helpful information about carseat replacement and insurance coverage check out this helpful link: www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=9…

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I just became the parent of two newborn twin girls on April 9th. I also have an 19 month old son. I knew this was going to present a challenge so I decided that I better sit down and devise a plan and schedule for how I would be able to best care and meet all three of my children’s needs. Here are something I took into consideration when creating a schedule.

1. I needed some personal down time away from the kids to check email, nap, shower, or just get some chores down around the house.
2. I needed to keep my son occupied when I was putting the twins down for their nap.
3. I also needed an activity for my son to do while I tandem nursed my twins.
4. I needed some one-on-one time with all three of my children so that I could bond with them.

Here is what I ended up creating. It is not a set in stone schedule, but it helps to guide my day. There may be days when the twins wake up early and need to eat sooner or my son needs my attention at different times. That is okay. The schedule should serve you and not the other way around.

I am able to have some alone time when the twins are sleeping and my son has independent play time at 11am-12pm and again when all three kids are napping from 2-3:30/4pm.

Twins (2 week) Cooper (19 months)
7am Eat/ Activity

1-on-1 time with Mommy (Molly)

Sleep
8am Sleep Free Play
8:30/9am Breakfast, Potty
9am Outside Play
9:40am
10am Eat/ Activity Blanket Time
10:30am
Sibling Play & Story Time
Sibling Play & Story Time
11am Sleep Independent Play Time in Room
11:30am
12pm Lunch
12:40pm Potty, Get Ready for nap
1pm Eat/Activity

1-on-1 time with Mommy (Anna May)

Nap
2pm Sleep
3:30/4pm 1-on-1 time with Mommy in Bedroom
4pm Eat/ Activity Snack in highchair & watch DVD
5pm Sleep Continue DVD
5:10pm Structure Learning/ Play
5:30 Free Play (either outside or inside)
6/6:30pm Dinner
7pm Eat/Family Play Family Play
8pm Sleep Bath & Bedtime Routine
8:30pm Bedtime
10pm Eat/ Put Right back to sleep (Treat like dream feed)
??? Middle of the Night Feedings

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If you live somewhere where it gets cold in the fall and the winter and you have a young baby who is still in an infant carrier, than I highly recommend you buy this car seat cover!

The JJ Cole Bundle me is a zipper cover that lines the inside of the carseat and zips over the top, keeping your infant warm and snug without having to go through the trouble of putting a jacket on her. Have you tried putting a jacket on your infant and then placing them in their infant carriers? It is hard and your baby looks all smushed and uncomfortable.

The zipper makes it easy to unzip and remove if the weather becomes warmer, only leaving the bottom lining. I have also unzipped the top layer to use as a blanket to lay my son on when I forgot to bring a blanket to lay him on when visiting friends or traveling.

I really love this product! I give it 5 out of 5 because it is easy to use, keeps your baby warm, and not to expensive (under $40.00). You can find them even cheaper on Craigslist!

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2266846

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I have tried introducing a sippy cup to my son since he was 7 months old. My son is now 9.5 months old. We have tired pretty much every brand out there. The brand of sippy cup that we have finally found success with is the Nuby Cup with a soft straw and handles. and Take & Toss Straw Cup. My son has difficulty with sippy cups that have a spout because he does not know how to lift the cup up to tip the water/ juice in to his mouth. Have you tired sucking from a spout yourself? I have. It is difficult to get water to come out of those things. The straw is much easier.

My son is use to receiving his milk from me (breastfeeding) or a bottle. The only think that I have put in a sippy cup so far has been water or apple juice. Well the other day I decided to give him his milk in the sippy cup, since he seems to really have the whole drinking from the straw concept thing down. I handed him the sippy cup and he held it and took a few sips. Then he leaned his head on me while still trying to drink. I could tell he wanted me to hold him so I picked him up and sat him in my lap and helped him hold his cup. That was not what he wanted! He proceed to throw his first tantrum. He threw the sippy cup across the floor and started to wail, scream, and kick his legs and arms all over the place. I picked up the sippy cup and then picked him up. Calmly told him, “Sweetie, it is just a sippy cup. You can still have your milk and sit in my lap.” He would not accept this. He kept getting more and more angry. I knew what he wanted. He wanted ME to HOLD him and for ME to give him his milk from a BOTTLE. I believe that he made the association that milk is in a bottle or from mommy (breastfeed) and water and juice belong in a sippy cup. After 10 minutes of screaming, he finally calmed down. I did cave in and give him a bottle. I was afraid I was pushing the sippy cup on him to fast.

Well, I have had time to regain my thoughts and rethink that particular situation. First, I recogonize that my son was manipulating that situation. Second, I need to break the association that sippy cups are only for juice and water. Finally, I needed to give him a lot of affection, cuddle time, and snuggling at other times of the day and while he drinks his sippy cups so he does not think I am trying to “replace” our snuggles when I give him a bottle or breastfeed him with a sippy cup instead.

I have decided to try something out: I am going to give him 2/3 of his milk in a bottle and 1/3 to follow it in a sippy cup. Eventually, I will slowly put less in the bottle and more in the sippy cup. Until finally, one entire feeding will come out of the sippy cup. Once I have one feeding coming completely from the sippy cup, I will try to slowly wean him from the bottle/ breast to sippy cup at another feeding. I think this might be more of a gentle way to introduce the sippy cup than what I tried to do. I am also going to try and offer him some milk in a sippy cup during his snack when he is most happy because I am giving him his favorite food, Cherrieos.

Here are some other suggestions that I found on how to introduce a sippy cup: http://www.babycenter.com/0_sippy-cup-dos-and-donts_1439508.bc#articlesection2

Nuby Cup with Flip-It Straw Top http://www.amazon.com/Handle-8oz-Flip-Straw-Colors/dp/B0019MJZDG/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1247372158&sr=1-6

Take & Toss Straw Cup http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2799857

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