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Posts Tagged ‘babywise’

My son Haydon just turned 4 months old today! Yippy! I am finally out of the land of newborn-hood and on to baby land! Along with Haydon’s 4 month birthday, he also dropped his 4th nap. I knew it was time to adjust his schedule because his 3rd of 4th nap of the day were just brief catnaps and no longer than 45 minutes each.

From 9 weeks- 15 weeks, Haydon’s schedule looked like this:
7:00Nurse
8:20-10:00 Nap
1o:00 Nurse
11:30-1:00 Nap
1:00 Nurse
2:30-4:00 Nap***
4:00 Nurse
5:30-6:15 Catnap***
6:15 Nurse
7:30 Bottle of expressed milk, followed by bedtime

***However, from 15-16 weeks his 3rd nap of the day went from being 1.5 hours long to only 45 minutes long. I played around with his waketime, but that still did not fix the nap length. I also noticed that Haydon was not nursing as much every 3 hours so I thought it might be good to try and extend his schedule to eat every 3.5-4 hours, except in the evening when I cluster feed. Extending the schedule worked. It got rid of the 4th nap and he is nursing better. Also, by extending the scheduled feedings, Haydon started taking a longer nap!

Haydon’s new schedule at 4 months (17 weeks old)
7am Nurse
8:30-10:30 Nap
10:30 Nurse
12:15/20-2:15 Nap
2:15 Nurse
4:00-5:00 Nap
5:00 Nurse
7:00 Nurse +Bottle of Expressed milk, followed by bedtime

 

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I realize it has been a while since I updated the schedules I have kept with my Son, now 3 years-old, and my twins, now 18 months-old. So here are the updated schedules. These schedules are just the bare bone schedules which include, eating, sleeping, and waking times. For a more detailed schedule that consists of a break down of various activities, please see the other posts below.

Babywise Schedules by Month (Version 1: My Son)
Babywise Schedules by Month (Version 2: My Twin Girls)

Structuring Your Toddler’s Day When Taking Two Naps A Day
Structuring Your Toddler’s Day When Taking One Nap A Day

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I am a firm believer in blanket time. I am so glad that I did blanket time with all 3 of kids. It has taught my kids respect for boundaries, discipline, and allowed me time to get things done around the house without having all 3 of my kids under my foot. I wrote a longer post, entitled Blanket Time, about the benefits of blanket time and for a further explanation on how to start blanket time.

Here is a short video clip of my 13 month old twin girls during blanket time. Currently they do blanket time for 30 minutes in the morning while I do circle time (learning activities) with their older 2.5 year old brother. When I recorded this video, their older brother was visiting his grandparents (which is why I had a chance to capture this short video clip).

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I thought it might be helpful to share what I have been putting on the girls’ blanket for blanket time. The girls are able to stay on the blanket for 30 minutes. I typically do blanket time in the afternoon after they wake up nurse and have a snack. They are nice and rested and ready to play on their blankets without too much fussing. These toys seem to really hold their attention. What I have found to be good blanket time toys are toys that are easy to stack, open and shut, and small objects they can put inside various containers. I also have a few electronic toys that I throw into the rotation.

On a typical blanket I usually put: 1 nesting cup toy, 1 electronic toy, books, and some other toy. There are days when all I put on their blanket is the sensory tub and give them some cups and containers to place things from the sensory tub inside. These toys always work very good for independent playtime.

List of Toys I use for Blanket Time Rotation
Play food

Nesting Cups (Iplay Nesting Cups, Munckin Caterpiller Nesting Cups, and Green Sprout Stacking Cups)
Stacking Rings (Fisher-Price Star Stacker, Melissa & Doug Wooden Stacker, Rattling Stacker)
Shape sorter (Fisher Price Shape Sorter, Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorter)
Small plastic animals (Farm Animals, Zoo Animals, Dinasour Animals)
Laugh & Learn Tea Cup Set
Leap Frog Birthday Cake
Alligator Piano
Old Plastic Containers (large yogurt containers, butter containers)
Large Pom-poms & Shoe box with wholes cut out in the lid to place pom-poms in and out
Clothes pins & Formula container with a whole in the top to place clothes pins through
Sensory Tub
V-Tech Helicopter
V-Tech Laptop
Leap Frog Picnic Basket
Shoe Box with Laminated Photos of Family Members
Touch & Feel Books (DK Touch & Feel, That’s Not My…. Books)
Touch & Feel Flash Cards
Shoe Box with Textured Cards (Glued different fabrics to thick laminated card stock)
Yogurt Container with milk tops to push through a slot in the lid
6 plastic bowls from the dollar tree (They use these to stack and put things inside)
Board Books

For more information about Blanket Time, please see my post entitled “Blanket Time

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When it comes to schedules, I love them. I cannot say enough about them. So what’s so good about a schedule?

1. Children thrive off routine. They like to know what is coming. It helps to them to feel secure and safe when things follow a routine and pattern.
2. Schedules help parents (especially mom) know when to schedule doctors visits, appointments, and outings because they know when their child is going to nap or eat.
3. Schedules help to ensure your infant/ toddler gets the proper rest with regular nap and sleep times.
4. Schedules also help to ensure that you are feeding your infant frequently to ensure proper nutrition and growth.
5. If you have multiple children, schedules are a must! They keep you from going nuts. You are able to juggle your children’s various needs and ensure they are not just roaming the house all day long. It keeps the kids happier and it keeps mom sane! The structure also helps cut down the bad behavior.
6. Schedules also help to vary the days activities up with a good mix of different types of play and learning.

I have written several posts about schedules- Check them out!

The following two links contain babywise schedules from birth-toddler:
Babywise Schedules by Month (Version 1: My Son)

Babywise Schedules by Month (Version 2: My Twin Girls)
2-3-4 Nap Schedule for Older Babies

The following two links contain schedules and toddlerwise schedules that are appropriate for an older infant and toddlers:
Structuring a Toddler’s Day (when on one nap a day)
Structuring Your Toddler’s Day (when on two naps a day)

The following two links contain schedule suggestions for how to juggle multiple children of different ages:
Newborn & Toddler Combo Schedule & Juggling A Newborn with a Toddler

The following link contains an average amount of sleep that infants and toddlers should get. Please keep in mind these are averages. Some will sleep more while others will sleep less:
Sleep Requirements for Infants & Toddlers

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I have to say, I feel like I have a pretty good schedule running for my kids every day. I like the balance of activities and it keeps them from getting bored and having too many discipline issues. See my post Structuring a Toddler’s Day for some ideas on how to create a balanced schedule for your older infant and toddler.

Where the day falls apart or does not run as smoothly is at times of transition or when we move from one activity to the next. For instance, the time in between breakfast and Independent Playtime or Structured Learning was not going very well. I was just letting the kids play in the kitchen or playroom while I cleaned up breakfast, but I found that was allowing them too much free play and often that “unstructured” time led to fights or discipline issues. I also did not want them pulling out a lot of toys and creating a mess while I was trying to clean up the kitchen and get them ready to move to the next activity. I just did not want to create more mess to clean up. I am sure you can appreciate that as a mom.

I asked my Baby Center Babywise Group how to handle these times of transition, and one mom gave me such a good idea. She told me to give them an activity to keep then occupied at the table while I clean up from the meal we just ate or while they wait to go outside and play, etc. What a simple solution, right? Well, sort of. I needed to come up with some activities that would hold my one-year old twins and my 2.5 year-old’s attention for 5-10 minutes while they stayed in their highchairs or seated at the table.

I came up with some activities that have worked so I thought I would share them with you. All the activities must be activities that your child can complete without any assistance otherwise, you will spend more time helping your child than getting ready to move to the next activity. So here are some ideas:

  • File Folder Games: Just google free preschool file folder games. You will find a ton you can print. From matching colors to counting from 1-10. Just make sure your child is able to complete these games on his or her own. You may have to play the file folder game a few times prior to using this as a transition activity so your child is familiar with how to play the game and able to complete or his own.
  • Puzzles: These are great transition activities. They are little mess, fun, and are easy to complete at the table.
  • Books: Give your child a small box of 4-5 books to look at the table during transition time.
  • Photo Album: Put pictures of your family and extended family in a photo album for your child to look at while you are moving from one activity to the next.
  • Sorting Activity: Give your child a few objects to sort into different bowls. You can use pompoms, fruitloops, different colored blocks, etc.
  • Book on Tape/CD: This is a great activity for transitions. You can rent books on tape at your local library or you can record your own voice reading a book for your child to listen to. You will need to teach your child how to turn the pages along with the read-aloud prior to using this as a transition activity.
  • Flash Cards: I bought some flash cards at the dollar store and at target’s dollar bin and punch a whole in the corner and put them on a key ring. They kids love to flip through and look at the various pictures on the flash cards. I also own some touch and feel flash cards that my kids LOVE so much!
  • Texture Box: This works well for younger toddlers. Take various different materials and textures and glue them on some index cards and store them in a shoe box. You toddler will enjoy taking them out and feeling the different textures.
  • Quiet Book: Google quiet book for different ideas on how to put together your own quiet book for your child. I have not actually made my own quiet book yet, but I have a binder with some quick activities that my 2.5 year old can do on his own, which is similar to a quiet book.
  • Matching: Give your child some cards you can do some matching activities with. There are tons of free matching games out there that you can print off the internet- just google free preschool matching games.

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It seems that taking care of Cooper got pretty difficult from about 9-12 months. This is really mostly my fault. I lacked structure to our day. Other than I knew what time he was suppose to eat and sleep, the rest of the day was a free-for-all. I had all his toys in random boxes and bins on the floor in his playroom. He could basically grab any toy he wanted to play with at any point. The result from my lack of structure in his day and his toys laying around at his disposal- a clingy child who did not know how to self-play or entertain himself for long. He also lacked discipline because I was not trying to create boundaries and guidelines to his day.

When Cooper was a baby, I had done Babywise with him to train him to sleep through the night. He slept through the night, 7-8 hours stretch, from about 9 weeks old. He slowly increase his sleep. By the time he was 5 months old he was sleeping 10 hours at night and by 6 months old he was sleeping 12 hours at night. He had regular nap times and things ran smoothly. Thank you Babywise! Babywise is a book meant for parents of infants 0-5 months old. Then the next book in the series is Babywise II. I bought the book and read it, but decided that I really did not need to implement all the things that the book suggested. One of the recommendations was that you put your 5-15 months old in a pack n play daily for a short period of time with a few toys. This structured time was suppose to teach a child how to play on his own and to develop mental focus since there are not a lot of toys. However, I decided not to follow this recommendation, because Cooper hated to be in his play pen or pack n play. Man did I pay the price for this later!

So anyways, I found myself with a cranky, clingy, can’t play by himself, undisciplined child and it was about to be the end of me. I decided that perhaps I should revisit Babywise II (5-15 month olds) and buy the next couple of books in the series, Pre-Toddlerwise (12-18 months), and Toddlerwise (14 months through 3 years-old). I also stumbled into a group on http://www.babycenter.com for mom’s who are currently implementing the babywise and other wise programs with their children. Between the books and the group I joined on babycenter.com, I have learned so much about how to structure Cooper’s day and disciplining him. Cooper is doing such a better job playing independently, he minds Chris and I much better now, he does not cling to me as much, and he seems to be in a better mood and happier!

Thoughts on discipline:

Before I reread Babywise II and picked up Pre-Toddler Wise. My main form of discipline was telling him “no.” If that did not work, I usually would look him in the eyes and gentle squeeze his hand to get his attention (not to the point of pain). The gentle hand squeeze did come from babywise. If that form of correction did not work, we did time out in his mini-pack n play for 30 sec to a minute. That would usually do the trick. I will say, even with all of those strategies in place, my discipline was still not working effectively. The problem was with saying, “no” over and over again. After reading through Pre-Toddlerwise and Toddlerwise, they speak about first time obedience. I am not going to get into that topic to much, but I will say that if Cooper does not respond after the first no, and I give him time to comply, then he get a brief time out. This quick and easy discipline strategy has saved me and Chris from saying, no over and over. He will 70% of the time obey us with the first no. He knows that certain things are off limits in our house too, such as the tv buttons, the stairs, and outlet plugs. He is usually good about not touching them! This is saving me a lot of piece of mind so I don’t feel like I am running around disciplining him all day long.

Thoughts on Structure:

As I mentioned earlier in this post, the only part of my schedule that I had down was the time Cooper ate and slept, the rest was free and open to whatever happened. The lack of structure created many discipline problems because he was allowed to roam around the house too much, and touch too many things. Pre-toddler and Toddlerwise would call this- allowing your child too many freedoms. I also had way too many toys out which was over simulating and he was not able to concentrate and just play with one toy. After reading the three -wise books, I made some adjustments. The first was, get all the toys off the floor and into bins. I only allow Cooper to play with a select few toys at a time. I also rotate the toys he is allowed to play with so he does not easily get board with his toys. The next thing I did was structure his day better. To fill in the times between eating and sleeping, I created the following activities: independent playtime, outdoor playtime/ walks, blanket time, table time (which is done in his highchair), TV time, story time, structured play/ learning time, family play time, free play time, bath time, and time to run errands. I have been following this schedule for about a month now, maybe a little longer, and it is great! Keeps Cooper from getting board, keeps me from going nuts trying to entertain him all day long, and has taught Cooper how to self-play and respect boundaries.

The two actives I cannot live without:

Independent play time and blanket time have been a wonderful addition to our schedule and have helped Cooper learn to self-play, develop better mental focus, and respect boundaries and my authority. Cooper plays in his playard every morning for an hour, I select the toys he plays with and rotate them so he is not bored every day. For the first week he cried a lot during independent play time. The crying slowly decrease and I am happy to report that this is the first week where I can put him in the playard and he happily starts to play with his toys! I think he even looks forward to this time. Blanket time I have only been doing for two weeks, but I think it is great! Cooper is told stay on a blanket that is no bigger than 3×4 and I give him very few toys. He started with 10 minutes of play and now we are up to 20 minutes of play on the blanket. It only took 2 days of me picking him up and telling him to stay on the blanket for him to stay put. He cried for about a week, but now no more tears and just play! I went to a restaurant last week and sat him on the ground while I was paying the check. I told him to stay put and Cooper did not move for 5 minutes. It was a very crowded restaurant with lots of temptations to allure Cooper, but he was able to resist them and obey me. I owe this to blanket time.

Final Thoughts:

I am glad I decided to crack down on discipline and structure his day! With twins on the way, I wanted to make sure that Cooper was a happy, compliant child. I did not want to chase Cooper around or having him cling to me throughout the day while I was busy with the twins at various points. I am able to get more done around the house such as laundry, cleaning, and kitchen stuff now because I do not have Cooper constantly clinging to my pant legs and wining or me running after him telling him “no” all the time! So thank you to the -wise series. You have saved my sanity and helped Cooper to be a happier child!

Books:
Babywise
(0-5 months)
Babywise II (5-15 months)
Pre-Toddlerwise (12-18 months)
Toddlerwise (14 months – 3 years)

Related Posts that may be of interest:
Structuring Your Toddler’s Day

Blanket Time
Independent Play Time
Free Play Time

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