We asked our Sage Mamas and Papas to share one piece of advice out of their experience that they would like to share with others. Here are some excerpts — Enjoy !
• I’m a sage mama and my piece of advice to expecting sage mamas is to enjoy every minute of that pregnancy. Those 40 weeks feel like they take forever but it’s such a blessed time and it may be your only time feeling it!
• Cherish every moment as they are learning experiences for both Mom & babies that you’ll never forget.
• Savor every moment while baby is still a baby. Time flies and baby grows fast!
• I am the mama of 2 baby boys who are 13 months apart. Aaron is now 22 months and Hunter is almost 9 months. One thing I have learned with having 2 babies so close in age is that when they are both having a break down – always go to your older one first. They will remember if you ignore them and they will get jealous of the little one.
Talk to other mamas, they often can give the best advice from an experience standpoint. Nothing is ever “by the book” so it helps to get advice, opinions and ideas from others who have been there. But remember that every baby is unique in their own way.
Always listen to your inner wisdom, but be open to the wisdom that others have to share.
With this in mind, we asked our Sage Mamas and Papas to share one piece of advice out of their experience that they would like to share with others.
I have put together a lovely online booklet, with these quotes, along with some very cute photos and a rainbow of colors. I am happy to share them with you (for FREE of course) and I hope they are a source of inspiration and support on your parenting journey
To Get Your FREE Copy – Just Post a comment on this Blog – so I can see your email address.
With much gratitude to all who took the time to care and share,
“I’m expecting my second child in May and my first will be about 20 months when the baby is born. I’m looking for creative ideas to celebrate him being a big brother to minimize the jealousy he will feel over the new baby. Thank you, I’m really looking forward to the feedback since my son is so used to getting all my attention since we are together 24/7, and also my husband is currently deployed in Afghanistan so he won’t have daddy to keep him busy when the new baby comes. It’s going to be interesting getting him to adjust.”
I received this thoughtful email from Michelle M. Although her situation is more challenging than many of us experienced with the birth of our second child , her concerns are universal.
Welcoming our First Born into Sibling-hood. Please join in and share your experiences and helpful suggestions.
I think you have taken the first important step, which is realizing that the excitement we as parents and grandparents feel over the birth of a second child is not exactly the same emotions that the big brother might experience. This kind of sensitivity , in the midst of all that you are carrying (literally) is a profound realization that will lead you to support your little boy in so many wonderful ways. So Congratulations !
As a mother of three I got to celebrate “big brother and big sister” twice. Here are some of the ideas that helped me (not in any specific order). There were four years between my first and second child, so there were some things that I could do with a four year old that isn’t possible with a 20 month old — so I don’t include those.
1) Grandparents can be a great help here. Mine were very careful to embrace the big brother and give him lots of attention instead of just running to gush over our newborn little girl.
2) We made a special little baby shower for the big brother / big sister . Kind of like the baby shower Mom would get only much simpler, with a few special games and of course a few presents for the them (don’t go overboard on the presents).
3) After baby was born, we made sure there was a simple activity that he could do for the baby. It could be handing you a diaper or holding baby’s hand , etc.
4) Try to make going to bed for the big brother a little more special. If you don’t already sing them a song or recite some favorite nursery rhymes or say a prayer together, then you can add one or all of these to your nightly routine.
5) If there are any changes you need to make , such as where the big brother will be sleeping, do it before the baby is born. But if possible, keep changes to a minimum.
And of course, Patience and Understanding go a long way to helping big brother adjust to the big changes.
Ask any parent of a baby or a young child; and it is likely they have had at least one bad experience taking their child on a simple shopping errand. Â How many times have you been in a store and observed a frazzled parent trying to get a handle on a temper tantrum from an overtired and overstimulated baby or child?
We live in a world that tends to rush and operate at a hurried pace; and that presents big challenges to new parents.Â What ifÂ a simple shopping excursion can be turned into an opportunity to teach your child about the world outside our home?Â I came across this article by Jan Hunt, founder of the popular parenting site: Natural Child- and felt this is something parents everywhere will appreciate.
Though it is 20 years old, this article gives very practical and sage advice for any parent of families of all sizes and ages.Â It is very much in line with Rachael and Abraham’s approach to patient parenting.Â Enjoy!
1. Remember that children have limits. If you are shopping with children, be alert to their needs: are they tired, hungry, overexcited by the noise and confusion, or simply in need of fresh air and exercise, or a reassuring hug?
2. Remember that children are naturally curious. Children are naturally curious; this is how they learn about the world around them. If they want to examine an attractive item, please don’t scold them. Instead, help them to hold the item safely, or let them know that it can be viewed but not touched. You might say “This is breakable, so let’s just look at it together.” Even if an item cannot be purchased, it can be helpful to share the child’s enthusiasm and interest in it.
3. Shopping with infants…Shopping with an infant will be far easier if the trip is made after they are rested and have been fed. Babies and small children can become dehydrated in the dry air of shopping malls, so be sure to take frequent nursing or juice breaks.
Babies are almost always happier when carried. A sling or carrier worn by the parent provides far more comfort and emotional security than a stroller or grocery cart. A small child-proof toy can help a baby to cope with the inevitably lessened attention from the parent, but remember to stop as often as possible and take a moment for gentle words, eye contact, and hugs.
4. Shopping with toddlers…Toddlers can begin to be included in shopping decisions. Involving the child with questions such as “which of these peaches looks better to you?” can turn a boring, frustrating experience into a more pleasurable one, for both parent and child. Children of all ages enjoy and appreciate being able to make some of the product choices themselves. Bringing along juice, a favorite snack, and a well-loved picture book, or a newly-borrowed one from the library, can also be very helpful.
Being surrounded by a crowd of adults can be intimidating to small children, especially when stores are busy. Using a backpack can be one way of bringing toddlers up to a height where they are more contented. It can also prevent the common, frightening experience of losing a toddler in a crowd.
5. Shopping with older children…An older child can be a great help in shopping, if approached in a spirit of fun and appreciation. If the parent brings along clipped-out pictures of food from the newspaper grocery ads, the child can help to locate the item. Children mature enough to shop by themselves can help shorten the trip by finding items alone, returning periodically to put items into the cart.
6. Avoid the crowds. Shopping just before dinner, when stores are crowded, and parents and children are tired and hungry, can be very stressful. Try shopping in the morning or early afternoon on weekdays, or move dinner up and shop during the quiet early-evening time between 6 and 7 PM. When we can avoid the stress of crowded stores and long check-out lines, we can have more energy and creativity for responding to our child’s needs.
7. The check-out lane can be a challenge…Check-out lanes which have colorful, enticing gum and candy packages can be a real challenge, especially as they are encountered at the end of shopping, when both parent and child are most fatigued and hungry. Bringing a favorite healthful snack from home can allow an easy alternative: “That package looks pretty, but candy isn’t very nutritious. Here’s the oatmeal cookie and juice we brought.” Shopping at stores which have “child-proof” check-outs without candy can be well worth a longer drive. If there is no local store with such a check-out, you might suggest this feature to a store manager, promising to shop regularly if this option is made available.
8. When you need to say “no”…The most important part of saying “no” is conveying to the child that we are on his or her side, even if we can’t satisfy all desires immediately. It might help to say, “That is nice, isn’t it? Take a good look and when we get home, we’ll add it to your wish list.” As the educator John Holt once said, “There is no reason why we cannot say ‘No’ to children in just as kind a way as we say ‘Yes’.” And remember that smiles, hugs, and cuddles are all free!
9. If you reach your limit…If you reach the limit of your patience and energy, try to show by example positive ways of handling anger and fatigue. You might try saying, “I’m starting to lose my patience. I think I need a break from shopping for a bit. Let’s go outside for a few minutes so we can both get refreshed.” Even a few moments of fresh air away from the crowds can make a big difference for both parent and child.
10. If your children reach their limit…If, after trying some of the above suggestions, your children have simply reached the end of their ability to handle any more errands, please respect that. Shopping can wait; an exhausted, hungry, or overly-excited child cannot
Remember that all children behave as well as they are treated. A child who is regularly given our time, undivided attention, patience, and understanding will have more tolerance for a shopping trip – and any other challenging situation – than the child who must face stressful situations without this emotional support.
I have devoted my time and efforts to advocating a cloth diapering system because I believe the diaper choice you make will have a lasting effect on your baby and the future of our planet.Â Here are 10 reasons why cloth diapering is more sustainable than disposables and better for the environment:
1. Disposable diapers use 2x as much water as cotton diapers.
2. Disposable diapers use 3x as much energy as cotton diapers.
3. Disposable diapers generate 60x more solid waste than cotton diapers.
4. Disposable diapers use 20x as much raw materials as cotton diapers
5. 1 billion trees per year are destroyed to make disposable diapers—approximately 4.5 for each baby who uses them
6. It takes between 200-500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose.
7. Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent 30% of non-biodegradable waste
8. 1 ton of garbage is created for each baby who uses disposable diapers
9. 1 cup of crude oil is used for the plastic in 1 disposable diaper
10. 18 billion disposalbe diapers are used in the U.S. each year Â enough to stretch to the moon and back 9 times
The sources for the facts listed above are the following: Sierra Club, Californians Against Waste, Rhode Island Solid Waste Management Agency, Lehrberguer Report on the Impact of Diapers on the Environment, Greenpeace, Environmental Defense Fund, Center for Policy Alternatives