As parents, we care for our children in different ways. We show our love and care through many languages. There’s no manuscript, no set of instructions, no connect-the-dots guide……simply a heart that leads the way as we instruct, protect and direct our children through the journey of life. When I think of my baby boy, I am reminded daily on the privileges of being a mom. I never thought that I could experience the joy that I feel when I play with him, watch him sleep, hear his voice as he says, “mommy” or “mama” or “mom”. The experience is priceless and is worth every ounce of energy I have. I don’t ever want to feel guilty for how I feel for him because being his mother is the best gift that I could have ever gotten. He is truly a gift from above and I am forever thankful.

How to Steer Independence in Your Child

Now, that my son is two years old, he is full of excitement and independence. Every day is a new day! I never know what the day will entail. He adds new words to his vocabulary every day. One of his favorite phrases that he’s heard from me is “Are you serious?” It is too adorable when he says it. It’s almost as if he knows when to apply the phrase. We were recently watching, “Toys Story 4” and there were times he would say in a very subtle tone “Are you serious?” It was hilarious! Words can’t describe the overwhelming of emotions and along with this excitement comes with his level of independence.

My son is at the “no” stage. His sense of independence is displayed every chance he gets. He says, “No thank you,” “No, No and No, I don’t want it” at every request to sit down, have a meal, take a bath, take a nap or put away a toy. He expresses himself from the first waking moment until he goes to bed at the end of the evening. He definitely keeps me on my toes at every waking moment. And yet, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Celebrate little wins when they do something on their own. For example: putting a toy back in its place or finishing their meal or simply taking one bite. Let them know they’re doing something good by either clapping with a big smile or shouting, “good job.” I sometimes dance around the room or do a silly jump to show my level of excitement. Find what works for you and/or your level of energy and build on it.

Allow your child the freedom to do things. My two year knows where his cup is and so during the day when he asks for water, I simply ask him to go get his cup. Yes, he always comes back with it. They are smart little people and allowing them to exercise their independence is very important to their growth. It’s one of the ways to build a self-confidence child. These are some of the tips in building self-confidence.

Tips on Feeding Your Baby

Is your baby independent? No worries! If your baby is able to eat what’s considered to be stage 1 foods, then it’s time to incorporate a meal plan. When trying new foods, observe and wait to see. When you introduce any new foods to your baby for the first time, wait for about 3 days before trying something else. Keep an eye out for signs that your baby is not having a reaction to the food. There are a few signs to look out for if there’s a reaction, for example: rashes, vomiting and diarrhea. If any of those signs appear, get in touch with your pediatrician immediately.

On the other hand, if there are no signs of allergy or problems for about 3 days, then you can introduce another new food.

What are the Health Benefits of Breastfeeding?

I will summarize the benefits of breastfeeding in a few lines, although the health benefits are many.

Your baby will experience less upset stomach, diarrhea and constipation

It reduces the risk of viruses, inflammatory bowel disease, urinary tract infections, ear infections, gastroenteritis and respiratory infections.

Although it’s not a clear cut connection to SIDS but the number of breastfed babies account for about half as many SIDS cases as formula-fed babies do.

Disadvantage of Bottle Feeding for Your Baby

If you are able to breastfeed, then stretch it as long as you can. Some parents breastfeed until their child is around five or six years old. We don’t all have that ability and that’s ok, too.

If formula is the only way to care for your baby(ies), then research which brand is the best out there for your little one(s). Again, follow the 3-day rule to see if there are any allergic reactions to the formula. If none, then continue with the formula. Any indication of problems, then contact your pediatrician and change the formula immediately.

Once baby is ready for real foods, bottle feeding can present some disadvantages.

A couple of the disadvantages to keep in mind are the following:

  • Infant formula takes twice as long to digest than breast milk.
  • Bowel movements could be formed and have a noticeable odor.
  • Gas discomfort (excessive burping) due to baby swallowing too much air from feeding.
  • Spitting up which is typically normal, can also be an indication of gas build up.

Bottle and Feeding

A few quick tips to help your baby overcome discomfort after bottle feeding:

  • Burp your baby after each feeding
  • Search and choose the right kind of bottle and nipple for your baby.
  • Tummy time can help ease out the trapped gas.
  • Massaging your baby’s tummy can help relieve gas pressure.
  • Bicycling your baby’s legs in a circular motion can help release gas trapped lower in the abdominal track.
  • Last but not least – gas drops can help break down the gas bubbles in the stomach – consult with your pediatrician, first.

As a parent, friend, sister, I encourage you to observe what works best for your child and go with your gut feeling. You and only you can know what’s best for your child as you spend time with them and learn their ways. Enjoy the journey as you help them to grow into stable, confident and happy people.

Whether you have one or many little lives to impact, you only get to do it once, so give it all you’ve got. No regrets!

Here’s to you!!


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6 thoughts on “What is Caring for Your children?”

  1. Hi Grace

    I like your post. I think the subject of breastfeeding is very important, mothers today do not want their breast to go down. So, they opt for bottle feeding. But all the study shows that bottle feeding is not good for the infant’s health. In my europe, there was another study that showed that babies who were breastfed exclusively for one year were more intelligent than others. So, doctors recommended exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months.

    We all do the best we can with what we have but aiming for the best solution should always be the goal.

    Thanks

    1. Thank you for your comments!  

      Thanks for sharing the findings of the study. I wasn’t aware of the benefits of exclusively breastfed children but that’s great to hear. 

      I promote breastfeeding wholeheartedly. Ultimately, it’s the right choice if your body is able to provide milk.  There are ways to exercise to elevate saggy breasts, if that’s ever a parent’s main concern.  https://www.livestrong.com/article/106238-exercises-tone-saggy-breasts/

  2. Hi, your post is very unique because you are discussing about the cutest creatures on earth. Every old man or woman has been in this age bracket. Children are the joy of every parent, right from the time of talking, crawling and walking; the joy that comes on any parent can not be explained which is why I said your post is very unique and thanks for the research. 

    We need to make sure we give everything to our baby because they can’t talk or complain about what they are going through. As an upcoming parent, I have learned from your post. I am going to share your post on my social media so that upcoming parents like me and already seasoned parents can also benefit from your post.

  3. Hello Grace, 

    Your love for your son radiates from your post.  I commend you for taking your role as a mother so seriously; and that you consider being a mother a true blessing.  If only more people in this world felt the same way about their children as you do about yours…

    I agree with you that we have to allow our children to figure things out for themselves.  As you mention, they are very smart and allowing them to be independent will help them to learn and to grow.  

    The main take-away that I got from reading your post is that there are no rules set in stone when it comes to raising our children.  And that we need to take each day with our children as it comes, cherish it, and do whatever we think is best for the particular situation.  If we act with genuine love for our children, then we can’t go wrong.  

    All the best to you and your son.  

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words; I’m glad to hear that you walked away with a take-away.  I hope this post will continue to speak to others as well. 

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