RaddestMom Giveaway!

It’s that time again! Who doesn’t love free stuff?

This giveaway is super simple. All ya have to do is share this page with someone on Facebook. I will go through my comments under the post and check all the shares. A winner will be randomly selected from the list! I’m giving away a great Homedics air purifier as well as a MamaRoo Infant Tub. It’s pretty fancy. Both items together retail for over $275!!! Winner will be chosen next week & items will ship immediately.

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Here is where the share button is located on Facebook:

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If you don’t win this time, don’t worry! I will be doing lots more fun giveaways this year. Cheers to amazing, free products!

XO

Lisa O


How To Get Rid Of Your Toddler’s Pacifier

I never thought I’d be in a position to discuss a topic like this and actually know what I was talking about. For the last year or so, I’ve struggled with taking away my daughter’s most favorite possession: The Pacifier.

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Just over a month ago, I made the decision on a random Thursday morning to take it away for good. After many failed attempts at regulating its use, I decided it was best to completely do away with it, cold turkey. I REALLY don’t recommend just taking it and throwing it in the trash. This can be really traumatizing for a toddler, as a pacifier is more than a piece of plastic with rubber attached to it, for them. I am fully aware that this thing was a major source of comfort, self soothing, and security for her. I knew I had to come up with a specific plan where she would be the one to give it away, instead of me taking it. I also knew I’d have to stick to said plan, or it wouldn’t work. Here is what I did:

For 24 hours all I talked about was how binkies are for babies, and she is a big girl now, and she doesn’t need one anymore.  I kept telling her how proud I was of her that she was a big girl now for moving on without it. I told her we would get all the paci’s in the house (ALL OF THEM, DON’T LEAVE AN EMERGENCY ONE, BECAUSE YOU WILL CAVE!) and put them in a baggy. Then, we would go to the store and buy lots of toys and treats. The plan was to pay for these goods with the bag of pacifiers. Used pacifiers have zero monetary value, but kids don’t know that, which works out great for you as a parent.

I chose the dollar store specifically because I wanted her to go in with a basket and pick up anything she wanted. I wanted to say YES to every single thing she picked up, and I knew the only way to do that without spending a ton of money would be the dollar store. For a kid, this is the greatest thing ever. She went down the toy aisle and was so amazed that I was saying yes to every single thing she wanted. I just kept repeating to her that this was a BIG and special ordeal, and she was getting lots and lots of cool things for being such a BIG girl. I also reminded her several times during the trip that we were going to hand over the bag of pacifiers to the cashier in order to get these toys. I made it sound like it was going to be a really cool thing.

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Guess what? It WAS. She was so eager to get all of these new things she would have handed over ten bags of nunees. It ended up costing me $17 dollars for over a dozen new toys and trinkets. She really felt like she had just won the lottery. Here is a picture of her at the moment of truth:

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As it turns out, handing over the pacifiers was the easy part. I was terrified that night of putting her to bed. I thought it was going to be really awful & had prepared myself for a sleepless night. When we got into bed, she asked where her pacifier was, and I gently reminded her of where they were. She said, “oh….” and then turned over and closed her eyes. SHOCKED, I was. It took her about 30 mins, and she asked a couple more times about it, but then she fell asleep. She woke once in the night, fussed for a minute (never asking for it), then went back to sleep.

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This same routine happened for the first week or so at bed time. Anytime she asked about it, I would just remind her, tell her how proud we were, and next thing ya know, she was telling everyone at school & at the park that she was a big girl and binkies are for babies.

She’s even chattier than she was before. Her annunciation of words is amazing. She even took her infant cousin’s pacifier away in the car the other day and said, “You don’t need this, nunees are for babies”, as she handed it to my sister.

Here are some tips for making the first week post- separation easier for both of you:

  • Pick your battles: Avoid tantrums and crying at all cost. Give into the cookie and tv requests more than you normally would. The more the toddler cries, the more he will want his binky. To avoid this, it’s best to just avoid conflict for that first week.
  • Encourage your child by telling them how proud you are and giving lots of kisses and hugs, even more than you normally do. Really shower them with praise.
  • Offer a stuffed animal or small blanket as a replacement at night.
  • Spend more time in bed with them at night if it’s become harder to fall asleep. Don’t expect them to be able to just get through the night without any comfort, instantly.
  • Be sensitive to their feelings and new emotions that are arising from their loss.
  • Doing lots of tiring activities during the day can be helpful for them to fall asleep quicker at night without the pacifier.
  • Offer a treat in the morning when they’ve made it through the night without it. It doesn’t have to be an edible treat, it can be stickers, a small toy, or a fun activity.

I hope this has inspired some of you who are on the fence, but are having a hard time pulling the trigger. Let me know in the comments how you’ve done it, and what worked for you!

XO

Lisa O


How the Television Temporarily Stole My Kid, and How I Got Her Back

Who else is guilty of using the TV as a babysitter? I’ll admit, over the last year, the TV has been on a lot, and my two year old is an iPhone pro. We’ve used to to pacify her in a restaurant when she became too cranky, in the car when she wanted to get out, and pretty much any other time of the day when she would ask for it.

I’m being completely honest when I say the last 5 months had been hell. Her temper tantrums were rampant. Nothing interested her other than snacks and TV. Sophia the First & Octonauts became her BFF’s. I felt insecure when I saw my other friends’ kids doing things, like, coloring, playing with dolls, and building legos. Even though she is outdoors for a minimum of 3 hours a day, I would try every day to get her interested in something fun like an art or science project, and it was usually met with 60 seconds of interest, followed by 30 minutes of defiance, crying, and purposeful naughty behavior. I convinced myself that my child was just going through her terrible 2 phase & that this would pass. She wouldn’t always act like this, and she would eventually get to the point where she wanted to do something imaginative indoors.

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In the beginning of December, after increasingly concerning behavior regarding her attention span, I sought out advice from some other mom friends & asked questions like, “Is your toddler interested in toys? Do they play and entertain themselves? Are they interested in crafts & other fun sensory things?” Some of their answers were yes, some were no. I was ashamed to admit that my 2 1/2 year old had absolutely no interest in doing most of these.

After a horrible 2 weeks of some of the worst temper tantrums and crying fits our household had ever seen, a lightbulb went off. We had attempted several fun holiday outings that most children would be delighted to get to do. We went to see Christmas lights, made s’mores, and hung Christmas decorations. All of these things should be super fun for a toddler. Not for her. She put on a spectacular show of defiance & made sure nobody had any fun at any point. It was there in the car, listening to her crying & screaming in the backseat over christmas music on the radio that my husband and I began to talk about this behavior she’d been displaying over the past few months. We went over her diet and routine a bit before realizing a correlation between the behavior and days she watched the most TV, or when she’d watch TV first thing in the morning. It quickly became apparent that the television had taken our sweet, intelligent, fun little girl hostage & was holding her there in Disney Jr. land until we demanded her back.

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At that point, my husband and I decided we were ditching the TV and phones, effective immediately. I started doing some research on toddlers & what science is saying about the impact of TV on their little brains. In short, toddlers are supposed to be highly sensory, imaginative, curious, and job oriented. Think of their brain as a spark plug. The second they spark it with something imaginative such as building lego’s, the brain ignites & the imagination quickly leads to other things. This is why a healthy toddler can go into a room full of toys, start playing with something, and then pick up another toy and incorporate it into their play. The imagination is like wildfire for them.

The television stunts this process. When a toddler stares at a TV screen for too long, all of these wonderful sparks of imagination come to a complete halt. It causes them to be irritable, confused, angry, unsatisfiable, sleepless, etc. I witnessed literally all of these in my own offspring. When she was at the height of her TV watching, it was only for collectively 1 1/2-2 hours a day. This was enough to send her into an induced state of attention deficit. She never wanted to entertain herself, play with her toys, or do any fun crafts with me…and may I note that this is a kid who goes to the park or some other outdoor activity for 3 hours a day, nearly every day. It doesn’t matter how much outdoor time your kid gets, the TV cancels it out.

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I hear parents say things like, “The tv is so educational these days, it’s good for them.” This is a lie, people. The TV shuts off every avenue of true cognitive learning for a toddler. You have more of an ability to teach your kid something in 60 seconds than the TV has in an hour.

When the TV was no longer used as a source of entertainment for her, in two days time, after many tantrums, I saw a miraculous change. For the first time in her entire 2 1/2 years of existence, my sweet little angel woke up, went straight into her playroom, and started playing with her toys without asking to watch TV, not even once. I saw her pick up a doll & put it in the dollhouse and play with it. She then went over to her play kitchen & started cooking breakfast for me. She started talking more. She started spending over 30 minutes at a time with her toys. Instead of becoming disinterested in an art project after 2 minutes, she now sits for 15 minutes. She asks for her coloring book & colors. She draws me pictures. These are all simple things toddlers should be doing that mine wasn’t doing before. She is now.

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I’m not ashamed of this process. Being a parent means learning through trial and error. I knew the TV wasn’t great for her, but I didn’t realize how much pain and suffering I was causing MYSELF by letting her watch so much. As parents, we think the TV makes our lives easier, and sometimes it does…for a minute. But, the after-effects from it can be catastrophic & cause a major strain in the parent-child relationship. I saw this first hand.

You can undo the temporary attention deficit behavior by simply turning off the TV. I recommend shutting it off cold turkey for one week before even letting them watch at all, later, when they aren’t dependent on it anymore.

Watching TV now is a treat for my daughter, and she is completely aware of it. It is only used when she is sick, and on some nights when it’s late and we have 30 minutes before bed, she asks for “one episode”…because she knows she’s only allowed to watch for a short period of time at the end of the day when she’s played hard. I have seen a significant decrease in temper tantrums. I now have a toddler who has the appropriate attention span for her age. She still does all of the little toddler things that are completely annoying yet totally acceptable for her age, but I no longer see that rearing dragon that is only summoned by excessive TV watching.

I understand that sometimes you need the TV on for 30 minutes while you get that important thing done. The goal is to be able to have your toddler play and entertain himself while you do that, without the TV being on. We are nearly there, and it feels good.

Here are some interesting facts from articles written about this very subject:

  • “Baby Einstein” and “Brainy Baby” series, researchers find that these products may be doing more harm than good. And they may actually delay language development in toddlers.
  • Every hour per day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants learned six to eight fewer new vocabulary words than babies who never watched the videos.
  • Babies learn faster and better from a native speaker of a language when they are interacting with that speaker instead of watching the same speaker talk on a video screen. “Even watching a live person speak to you via television is not the same thing as having that person in front of you,” says Christakis.
  • The more television children watch, the shorter their attention spans later in life. “Their minds come to expect a high level of stimulation, and view that as normal,” says Christakis, “and by comparison, reality is boring.”
  •  “The evidence is suggesting that there’s a whole syndrome of different outcomes related to television viewing, ranging from attention and learning problems to problems related to obesity, aggression, and sleep problems,” he says.
  • Youths who watched three or more hours of television a day were twice as likely to develop attention difficulties than those who watched less than one hour.
  •  “For every hour of television toddlers watch a day, they are ten percent more likely to develop attention problems at school,”
  • Some activities, such as reading together, going to museums, and singing help support a child’s brain development in these critical years, watching television can have the opposite effect.

And here, the most impactful of all the words on this page, the reason why TV causes ADD and ADHD like behavior is because:

“The reason? Most television programming, even some of the educational variety, features quick edits, flashing images and rapid sequences, as opposed to the slower pace of “real life.” “Our attention is broken up because we biologically have a tendency to shift our attention to changing stimuli, so television tends to take advantage of that,” says Johnson. In other words, the rapid pace plays off our instincts to track fast movements, and serves to “hook us” into the program. “But if viewers get dependent on these rapid changes,”says Johnson, “when they turn their attention to something else, like reading a book, their brain might have difficulty staying focused.” Christakis observed a similar tendency in his study of young children. After prolonged exposure to television, which conditions the mind to expect rapid-fire stimulation, he says that “in contrast, reality is boring.”

 

http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1650352,00.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/19/tv-guidelines-for-babies-_n_1019815.html

http://www.education.com/magazine/article/TV_ADHD/

What do you make of all of this? Please share your insights and experiences in the comments!

XO

Lisa O


Could Use of Tylenol in Pregnancy be the Culprit for ADHD & Autism in Children?

Something that has been on my mind lately is the question, “what causes kids to have ADHD or Autism?” I think it can be a number of things. I personally think that what we put in our bodies during pregnancy has a huge effect on our fetus and future child. People tend to forget that during the first trimester, the brain stem is developing. All of the nerves and synapses are firing and trying to make their way into existence, and when we throw chemicals at them, well, it could cause some wires to cross improperly. It seems like common sense to me. On the other hand, I also think certain behavior issues come from what we let our children do & what we feed them as infants and small children.

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 12.17.53 PMA recent study found that women who used Tylenol frequently during pregnancy had a WAY higher change of having a child with ADHD or Autism. It certainly is interesting and does fit into my theory that what we put in our bodies during pregnancy can absolutely have a major effect on the baby. I understand that pregnancy can be difficult with lots of aches and pains, so ultimately, one must decide if the risk outweighs the benefits. I took tylenol a few times during my pregnancy with Pearl, but didn’t continue because I think Tylenol is crap & doesn’t work for me. I’m an ibuprofen kind of gal, but we know pregnant women can’t use it. So, I was pretty much screwed.

Here is a summary of what the study showed:

  •  Moms who used the pain reliever to treat things like headaches or to reduce fevers saw a 37% increased risk in their kids receiving an ADHD diagnosis and a 29% increased risk in the chances that their kids needed ADHD medications compared with moms who didn’t use the over-the-counter medication at all.
  •  The participants included mothers and singleton children born in Denmark between 1996 and 2002 and registered in the Danish National Birth Cohort, so it included a diverse group of mothers from different social and environmental backgrounds.
  • The latest investigations from the neuroscientists studying developmental and behavioral disorders like autism and ADHD suggest that problems in the connection between different brain regions may contribute to the symptoms of these conditions, and hormone disruptions in utero, triggered by acetaminophen, may unbalance the brain enough to make certain children more vulnerable to autism or hyperactivity later in life.
  • The more often a woman took the drug during pregnancy, the higher the child’s ADHD risk was. Children of women who reported using acetaminophen for 20 or more weeks during pregnancy had almost double the risk of hyperkinetic disorders, the researchers said.

-information sourced from below articles

http://time.com/9961/tylenol-during-pregnancy-linked-to-higher-risk-of-adhd/
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/too-much-tylenol-pregnancy-could-affect-childs-development-study-finds-f2D11644164
http://www.livescience.com/43657-tylenol-pregnancy-adhd-risk.html
So, what do you think? Any truth to this, or do you completely reject this information?
XO
Lisa O