elevating child care

Sleep

Essential Elements of a Baby Bedtime Routine

Peaceful. Participatory. Predictable. These three P’s characterize an infant environment that builds self-confidence and a sense of security. Bedtime is one of the most obvious and important times in an infant’s day to employ these three P’s. Settling a child down for an afternoon nap or a good night’s sleep can be one of the most difficult and elusive processes in parenting. Establishing consistency is key,...

How I Helped My Baby Learn to Sleep (Guest Post by Alice Callahan, PhD)

Sleep topics tend to be a hotbed for firmly held opinions and blanket judgments. Even experts make pronouncements like: “Babies can’t ____,” “All infants need ___,” “Parents should always ___ and must never, ever ___.” The problem with these staunch views is that they dismiss the one expert who can truly show us the way, the person we need to tune in to and learn from… our uniquely capable baby....

4 Eye-Opening Things Science Tells Us About Infant Sleep (Guest Post by Alice Callahan, PhD)

Respectful parenting is a learning process that requires us to keep an open mind so that we can perceive our children, ourselves, and the relationship dynamics between us with more clarity.  As parents, we’ll probably always be guided by our intuitive hearts, but it can be helpful to entertain the scientist in us as well. While sensitive observation is our most powerful tool for gaining insights about our...

The Answer to Sleep Might Be as Simple as…

With their high awareness, sensitivity, and fresh take on the world, young children tend to see differently than we adults. That can be easy for us to forget. For example, while we might be happy and excited about the arrival of our second baby, a move to a new home, taking a trip, or switching our toddler into his Big Boy Bed, children tend to feel the disruption and loss in these changes. And it shows in their...

How to Bond with Your Baby (Beautifully)

“Imagine a giant comes who is much taller, stronger, bigger, and grabs you and you don’t even know what will happen to you. It’s scary. So, slow down. Give yourself time. Tell your child what you are going to do. Wait for a little response.”                                            – Magda Gerber, Your Self-Confident Baby A major goal of every new parent is bonding. (Wrangling...

The Powerful Effect of Respectful Parenting for Children With Special Needs (Case Studies from Sandra Hallman)

I’m often asked by parents of children with special needs whether respectful care practices, which are based on trust in our children as competent whole people at birth, can possibly work for them. And if so, how? Based on the feedback I have received from parents and professionals in the field, the answer is a resounding “yes!” But since my own work with families has not included many of these children, I...

What To Do Instead of Rocking

There’s an old fashioned type of rocking that I appreciate but don’t hear much about these days. It is slow, gentle, and relaxing for both parent and child. There might be quiet conversation or singing, but there is no goal or purpose other than mutual contentment in just being together. A languid journey to nowhere. These days I’m mostly hearing about the purposeful kind of rocking some experts advise for...

Helping Your Baby Learn to Sleep (Guest Post by Eileen Henry)

“Sleep is not always a problem to fix. There is a large part that remains a mystery.” That comment from sleep specialist Eileen Henry nails the reason I find it far more challenging to help parents with sleep issues than I do all other aspects of parenting. Sleep is deceptive and ambiguous, and I am infinitely more comfortable with clarity. This is also the reason I often ask Eileen -– always fearless and...

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