Colic Help

I was a frazzled first time mother. My daughter almost never stopped crying. She had her content moments during the day, but she was unpredictable and very demanding. I was insecure and worried because of so much fear instilled from baby ‘experts.’

My first child cried every night starting at 7 pm until 1pm. It was like clockwork. We tried every comfort mechanism we could find and were usually left wondering why everything we did was wrong. Here are a handful of the soothing methods that have been successful for us:

1. Football hold. Not the nursing football position, but close. The baby’s head goes over your elbow like the picture below. This helps for a gassy baby, but in our case it helps the baby see as we are walking around.

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2. Walking/Dancing. Babies love movement, but my babies are not content with just a rocking chair. They prefer to be up high and moving quick-ish.

3. Talking. Both my girls are social. They want eye contact, and they want you to vocalize. It can be awkward to talk to a baby (you run out of things to say!), but it helps them develop emotionally, and socially anyway so you might as well use it to appease ;)

4. Going outside. This eliminates indoor, stressful stimuli (TV, radio, other people, microwave, water facet, animals, vacuum, drips, fans, and movement all amount to a stressful child). It is especially helpful if you are near a river, beach, or where you can hear crickets or wind in the trees. My first would calm down within seconds of walking out of the door and you could feel her body to relax the muscles.

5. Water therapy. While listening to the shower is a bit soothing, the best water therapy for my children was to fill the tub up and let them float. When you hold their head up, their plum bodies float pretty well and they can move freely (hold carefully!). My girls like to move! You could see their desire to sit up, crawl and scoot well before they had the ability. Being in deep water gave them the ability to use their arms and legs and to wiggle to their hearts content. I had to be careful not to over exhaust them in water though!

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This was just for swimming but how I held her in the tub. I had to watch out for flipping, she wanted to flip over so I held one hand close to her bottom while still maintaining her freedom

You Can Do It

My daughter trailed her hand as she walked by her bed, unraveling the nicely made hotel bed. “Could you please straighten that? I like it neat for when Daddy arrives.”

Adelle looked at hit and threw her arms up, “I can’t, its too hard.” We have had a long week and you could hear her exhaustion in her whiny tone. I can brush it off, and keep folding my laundry peacefully, or I can get up and risk having my two year old roll over in my folded laundry (its not just mine that does that, is it?).

There is always that moment when a parent has to decide if it is worth the battle. I take a deep breath and decide.

It is worth it.

Truth is, that I would rather fold the same load 10 times then to have my daughter think she cannot do something. I want my children to always know that they can do anything. I want them to seek to be everything God made them to be, and I believe He made them very capable. Although I want them to be satisfied with who they are, and the way God made them, I also want them to always be extending just beyond their current capabilities. I would prefer they they always be learning, always trying, and ever enjoying the possibilities around them.

We are not allowed to say “I can’t” in our household. Any time we hear a child say that, we give them other options to say and have them rephrase.

“I can do this,” “I can try,” “I will try,” “Mommy will you please help,” “This is hard,” are all optional phrases. And then the children must try.

I knew my 3.5 year old was capable of straightening a blanket, so this instance was no different. I had to talk to her, and tell her that we are not allowed to say I can’t, and explain how it is always best to try. I asked her to try again, and she immediately asked for help. I gave my presence, and I gave her all my attention, but I told her that it was best to at least try before giving up. I admitted that I would always help if she needed me, but again emphasized her capabilities.

After she tried, I showed her what she was looking to accomplish. I then held one side of the blanket and she followed my example and did a perfect job straightening it out.

She was THRILLED. Adelle jumped up and down exclaiming, “I don’t need you! I can do it by myself!”

As a mother, it is nice to be needed, but it is so much better for my children to realize their capabilities. It is such a blessing to see my children build a self worth that they earn by accomplishing difficult tasks.

I could have left it alone. I could have fixed the problem myself and been ahead on my chores. I could have let her secede to defeat.

Instead, we accomplished something together and we both ended with smiles.

It was worth the battle.

Beautiful Pumpkin

I love picking pumpkins! Our family does not celebrate Halloween, but we certainly enjoy our fall festivities. Every year we have gone out and picked our own pumpkins to carve. I excel at spotting the perfect pumpkin. I like my pumpkin to be a deeper orange, a tad squat, round, and perfectly symmetrical, with no brown patches or sunken spots. It is an art, really. Like thrift store shopping.

My three year old on the other hand….She loves pumpkins. She loves all of them. Adelle is not limited to any preconceived idea of beauty.

I could not help but think of myself as a pumpkin. I’m not as spiritually tall as I should be. I have been through some rough spots. Sometimes my attitude can be a bit, well, bumpy.

But God just picks me up, smiles and says, “Hey! Look what I got!”

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