MyCuteName articles

You can see all kinds of new and beautiful content related to children and naming them in this section.

Birth of a Baby, Birth of a Parent
Birth of a Baby, Birth of a Parent

Having a baby? At home, in a birthing center, or in a hospital? Delivered by a doctor or a midwife? What will your birth plan be? Will you have one? And how do you decide all these things anyway?!

So you're pregnant? Congratulations! Your life is about to change in ways you might find unthinkable (and we're not even talking about the surrender of your once slim waistline to proportions most comparable to that of a Dr. Suess character). Pregnancy is the beginning of a new life for a baby, but also a new life for you as a parent. If this is your first baby, you may be filled with an endless list of questions and concerns. If you're a veteran of the labor and delivery room, you've got a better idea of what to expect, yet every pregnancy, like every mother and child, is different.

Making Choices

While pregnancy and birth have physiologically been the same since the beginning of time, your options as a pregnant woman today are greater than at any previous time in history. After confirming your pregnancy, your first (and arguably most important) decision to be made is the choice of caregiver. While traditionally in the U.S., maternal care has been provided through obstetrical physicians and hospital births, there is a growing movement towards a return to low-intervention, midwife-assisted births. How do you know which is right for you? Consider what is most important to your birth experience (always remembering that birth is anything but predictable and flexibility is vital). Are you interested in birthing naturally, without the aid of drugs or invasive procedures? Would you rather give birth at home or in a birthing center as opposed to a hospital? A midwife may be the right choice for you. Conversely, if you know upfront you'll want an epidural at the first sign of labor pain you'll probably find the anesthesiologist at your local hospital to be your best friend. Keep in mind, each choice has its pros and cons and it's up to you to weigh which option is the best for your needs. If you give birth at home and have complications, you'll need to be transported to the hospital. Epidurals may provide excellent pain relief (or not), but have potentially serious, although rare, side effects. Some birthing centers will not accept a mother attempting vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC). Being an educated consumer in your pregnancy will allow you the best possible birth experience and beginning for your new baby.

Planning for Baby

Somewhere around middle to late pregnancy (usually about the time you can no longer see your toes because of your protruding middle), you'll want to start making accommodations at home for your baby's expected arrival. If this is your first, trust yourself to the care of an experienced mommy friend who can prevent New Mother Shopping Syndrome, i.e., going to Babies ‘R Us and spending an exorbitant amount of money on baby paraphernalia that, not only do you not need, but you will never use. Yes, the mommy bear that emits the sounds of the womb is cute. No, your baby will not be fooled. This is the time to cultivate self-control, which will particularly come in handy when your precious baby has become a 16-year-old who has just wrecked the family car.

Babies actually need very little in the way of gear for the first few months of life. If you're planning to family bed, you can skip the nursery furniture altogether. Some good choices of useful items include a five-point harness infant car seat, a quality hospital-grade breast pump if you're planning to breastfeed (Medela is the gold star standard), and plenty of Onesies for sleep and play. A baby sling is also useful for helping mom get things done around the house while still meeting the baby's need to be held, and also for discreet public breastfeeding. Skip the infant carrier, which can only be used for about six months, at which point you'll have to purchase a regular car seat anyway. Also unnecessary are baby toys, gyms, etc., which will not be of interest to the infant until they are at least six months.

Delivering the Goods

Prepare for labor and delivery by compiling a plan for your caregiver to share your wishes for birth. Discuss your feelings on all types of medical intervention including the use of epidurals, IVs, artificial rupture of the membranes, fetal monitors, episiotomy, etc. Remember that a birth plan is simply that, a plan. Since no one knows exactly how any given birth will proceed, it is not a guarantee of any kind. While the mother's experience with birth is important, the ultimate goal is a healthy baby, whatever it takes to achieve it. A birth plan is simply helpful in communicating the type of birth experience you would like to have, and if you have made a wise selection in a caregiver, you will have someone who will work with you to honor these wishes to the extent they are possible. You may want to hire a doula to assist during labor. A doula's purpose is to support and be an advocate for the mother and can be helpful in achieving the mother's goals towards birth.

Surviving the First Weeks

After nine months of waiting and planning, your baby is finally in your arms. What next? Despite that you might feel you've gotten away with something when the hospital staff actually allows you to leave with your baby (whom you think you have no idea how to care for), remembering a few simple tips can help things go more smoothly.

Feed your baby on demand. Don't try to schedule feeding sessions, which can be detrimental to establishing a proper milk supply if breastfeeding, and simply isn't good for the baby. Keep a record of wet and soiled diapers for the first few weeks to ensure the baby is taking in enough breast milk or formula.

Hold the baby as often as possible. Contrary to popular opinion, he can't be spoiled.

Always remember to place your baby on his back to sleep and tummy to play, to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Call your pediatrician if your baby develops a fever, or if you have any questions or concerns.

Most importantly, remember motherhood is a work in progress and cut yourself some slack. You will make mistakes, learn, grow and change. Both babies and parents are born, and neither reaches their full potential overnight.



Breast Feeding Babies - Mother's Milk is the Best
Breast Feeding Babies - Mother's Milk is the Best

These days, many mothers are feeding their babies with formula, but experts say that mother’s milk is best for the baby.Experts around the world say that breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby. There are many advantages of breastfeeding, and breastfeeding babies grow up to be healthy, smart and happy.

Human breast milk contains all the nutrients a baby needs, and it also contains many substances that help it grow strong and healthy. The antibodies in breast milk protect the baby from disease. Breastfed babies are less affected by allergies and other problems, and they show better bone, muscle and speech development.
Breastfeeding mothers are also benefited by breastfeeding their babies. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer. And unlike formula, you do not have to worry about the market availability of breast milk. Breast milk is also beneficial to the environment because it comes without harmful packaging or processing which usually harms the environment.

You should breastfeed your baby till it is at least twelve months old, and experts say that ideally, you should not wean your baby till about twenty-four months. Breastfeeding makes your baby feel secure and cared for, and weaning too early can lead to personality problems in later life, which breastfed babies do not have.
There are many myths about breastfeeding, and mothers should ignore these. Breastfeeding is not usually painful, and you do not have to worry about that if you are hesitating because of it. In fact, as I said, breastfeeding makes you healthier.

But if you are having any problems breastfeeding, or if you have any questions about it be sure to contact your doctor, and clear any doubts you have. It always pays to be well-informed, and breastfeeding is so important that you definitely should not be ignorant about it.

A Top Ten Baby Name Or Something More Original
A Top Ten Baby Name Or Something More Original

Deciding what to name your baby can start off as an exciting aspect of pregnancy but after trawling through thousands of baby names it can all start to become rather daunting. However, as you near your baby’s birth, you have to make that final decision and make your choice. Going for one of the top ten baby names can often seem a sensible way to go, after all, lots of people like them so why shouldn’t it be a good choice for your child? But what you have to remember is because lots of people like the top ten baby names there are an awful lot of

children with the same name.
There are no half measures in finding that ideal baby name that will become an intrinsic part of your child’s very identity. People will judge your child by their name if you get your baby’s name wrong you could be saddling them with years of bullying or could prevent them from reaching their full potential. With such a responsibility resting on your shoulders, it is very easy to take the easy way out and choose a name from the top ten baby names list.
You may have very strong views as to whether your baby should be given a name from the top 10 baby names list or if you should call your baby something more unusual but you must take care in not forcing your opinions on your partner and pushing them down a route that they don’t like.

Look for a name where you can reach some common ground even if the both of you have to reach some kind of compromise but don’t ever forget the fact that it’s your baby and your baby alone who has to live with the name you choose for their whole life. You have to make that decision as to whether your child will be happy being one of a crowd with one of the ten most popular names of the time or whether they would prefer to appear more unique or unusual with a name that is a little different. The top ten baby names are a safe bet, there is little to dislike about them other than their popularity but they have a very great downside in that so many people will bear the same name.
If you are finding it difficult to make the decision then don’t try and make it alone, involve your family to see what kind of names they would go for and test some favorite names out on family and friends to gauge their reaction. If you don’t want
to select a top ten baby name and really want to go with a more unusual baby name perhaps consider one that can be shortened to something more common.
If unusual or unique is the way you decide to go try and avoid ‘fad’ names and always consider possible nicknames. Take into consideration how a name might be perceived by others, check initials and make sure your chosen baby name is a good fit with your surname. Don’t go for a name just to keep the family happy, names of parents, grandparents or great aunt ‘whoever’ aren’t necessarily in keeping with modern times.
At the end of the day whatever baby name you choose, unusual, unique or top 10 it will bring special meaning to your very special unborn child.

Aromatherapy for Labor and Childbirth
Aromatherapy for Labor and Childbirth

More and more women are turning to aromatherapy during their labor to help them cope with the emotional issues facing them. Check out these easy aromatic blends to work into your birth plan to aid the emotional stresses of labor and delivery.

With all the access we have to information about pregnancy--from websites, to books, to childbirth classes--labor itself remains a mystery in many ways. What we do know is that labor is likely the hardest work a woman will endure in her lifetime. It also holds all the beauty, magic and infinite power of life itself.
But it is the unknown that causes most expectant mothers to be scared and apprehensive as the due date nears. More and more women are turning to aromatherapy during their labor to help them cope with the emotional issues facing them.

Resources usually divide labor neatly into three phases, but it's important to recognize that each childbirth experience is unique. Depending on your emotional needs, consider incorporating no more than two of the following aromatic blends into your childbirth plan.

First Stage: Early Phase
During the early phase of labor, contractions begin. While the intensity varies from woman to woman, you will begin to see a pattern in frequency emerging. You should take it easy, relax, take a bath, or even a nap if possible.
You may be feeling a little apprehensive, and the following aromatic blend can help you relax your mind and release your fears.
In a 10-ml bottle, pour the following essential oils and then add organic vegetable oil to fill:
• 4 drops Lavender
• 2 drops Neroli
Massage your temples, forehead, chest and solar plexus. Take deep breaths.
First Stage: Active Phase
During the active phase, contractions become more intense and frequent. It is at this point that your doctors will likely tell you to go to the hospital. The key is to relax in order to gain enough strength for the delivery. A good birth coach is essential to help you with your breathing and relaxation exercises. Try the following aromatherapy blend to bring you peace and harmony.
In a 10-ml bottle, pour the following essential oils and then add organic vegetable oil to fill:
• 6 drops Lavender
• 1 drop Neroli
• 1 drop Rose
Massage your solar plexus, heart chakra, chest and neck. Inhale the blend deeply while resting.

First Stage: Transitional Phase
During this phase, contractions will come hard and fast, and symptoms might include shaking, shivering, and nausea. It is important that your birth coach provide you with all the emotional care and attention you need. Once you are done with this phase, you will be fully dilated and ready to begin pushing.
You may be feeling scared and exhausted. Inhale the following blend between the contractions to help you endure this phase, and give you an added boost of strength for the delivery.
In a 10-ml bottle, pour the following essential oils and then add organic vegetable oil to fill:
• 4 drops Lavender
• 4 drops Sage
• 4 drops Peppermint
Massage the lower back, with emphasis on the sacrum.

Second Stage
Now that your body has prepared itself for childbirth, you're likely feeling relieved that the end is finally in sight. And yet you still have a big job ahead of you. Pushing is an exhaustive process, and during this stage, you will use all your reserved energy and strength. Many women feel the desire to give up, as the labor thus far has left them emotionally drained.
Inhale the following aromatic blend before you begin pushing to help you gain the needed courage and emotional strength for this stage.
In a 10-ml bottle, pour the following essential oils and then add organic vegetable oil to fill:
• 4 drops Peppermint
• 4 drops Rosemary
In Good Health,

Helping Your Child Say Bye-bye to Ba-Ba
Helping Your Child Say Bye-bye to Ba-Ba

Mommeeeeeee! Baba!

It's the third bottle already today for your two-year-old, and it isn't even lunch time yet. Did you wait too long to take the bottle away? Is she ready to give it up? Will she ever be?

There are so many questions and concerns regarding toddlers, bottles, tooth decay and nutrition. Many pediatricians recommend that you take your baby off of the bottle by 12 months of age. At 12 months, it is nutritionally safe to take a child off of formula or breast milk and put him/her on whole milk (not 2% or less). While many parents have stopped feeding formula or breast milk, their toddlers are still drinking their whole milk from a bottle.

If you feel it's time to help your child let go of the bottle, here are a few tips and ideas to help the transition go as smoothly as possible. Keep in mind that each child is different and some will react strongly while others will barely notice the change. (The cold turkey method assumes that your child is already drinking other liquids from a cup.)

Cold Turkey

In many cases, parents can remove the bottle from a child's life with little or no fuss at all. Perhaps a few crabby days and nothing more. Here are a couple of ideas for removing the bottle cold turkey:

Hint: Plan to do this on garbage day.

+ A few days beforehand, tell your toddler that bottles will be going "bye-bye". Prepare him by reminding him each time he gets a new bottle. "A few more days and bottles are going bye-bye!" Smile and hand him the bottle.

+ The night before, have your toddler help you put all of the bottles into a plastic trash bag. "Bye-bye ba-ba!" Smile. Hug. Reassure your toddler if he appears upset. Put him to bed with one last bottle.

+ The next morning, give your toddler a cup with his favorite juice. You could even be his hero and give him a cookie for breakfast on this special "growing up" day.

+ Just before the garbage truck arrives, head outside with your toddler and the bag of bottles. (If you are still worried about throwing all of the bottles away, keep one hidden completely out of sight, just in case.) Have your toddler help you put the bag on the curb and sit on the step with your little man, his cookie and his juice, and wait for the garbage truck. Wave "bye-bye" to the bottles and the garbage truck. Smile. Hug.

With this method, your child knows that the bottles are gone. He may ask for a bottle several times over the next few days. Smile, be sympathetic, but not pathetic, and say "Baba went bye-bye, remember?" Divert his attention by playing a game, going to the park, reading a story or enjoying a cuddle and tickle session.

Tiring your toddler out is a good idea over these next couple of days. Go to the park, play tag in the yard, play with your family pet, whatever you can do to expend as much energy as possible. Let him stay up later than usual for the next two or three nights until he is used to lying down without his bottle. There may be a little crying, but not much if he's too pooped to peep.

Gradual Weaning

Some children may be more steadfast than others and will require a gradual weaning off of the bottle. Here are some ideas for you to start with:

+ Reduce bottles to only nighttime and/or naptime. During the day, offer your child her milk in a toddler or no-spill sippy cup. If she refuses to drink milk from the cup, add some chocolate syrup and make chocolate milk. There is a wonderful and fun recipe for homemade chocolate syrup here that you can make with your child:

+ In the morning or when your child wakes from her nap, do not allow her to take the bottle out of her bed/crib. If she objects, tell her she has to stay in bed to drink her bottle because bottles are only for bedtime. Be consistent. Doing otherwise will only confuse her.

+ Start putting water in the bottle at naptime. Eventually, start doing the same at bedtime, until she is no longer drinking milk from a bottle at all.

Special note: One of the most common causes of ear infections is the build-up of fluid in the ear canal. This is caused by the child lying on her back while the milk from the bottle slowly drips into the child's mouth. The fluid collects while the child sleeps.

+ Start using smaller bottles at nighttime. Use the four-ounce bottles as opposed to the eight-ounce bottles. Eliminate the naptime bottle completely. Again, tire your child out so that falling asleep is as quick and quiet as possible.

+ Eventually you will remove the nighttime bottle. If this is still difficult, try enlarging the hole in the tip of the nipple a little. Not too much, we don't want to gag the child! Enlarging the hole in the nipple will cause the water to drip a little faster, making the comfort of sucking now a task and no longer as enjoyable as it once was.

Remember, each child is different and each will react and respond in a unique way. Some are easier than others, some are more resilient. Here are a few quick tips that you may find helpful to aid you in one of the methods outlined above.

Quick Tips

+ Buy fun and colorful sipper cups, and let your toddler help pick them out.
+ Supplement her diet with cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.
+ Encourage him to drink a sipper cup of milk before bed with dinner, or both.
+ Offer a no-drip sipper cup to satisfy your child's natural need to suckle.
+ Be sure she eats enough, remember she was filling up on milk before!
+ Encourage the use of small straws for drinking with, get the fun curly kind.
+ Give him
 a children's vitamin each day.


The Advantages of Being an Older Parent
The Advantages of Being an Older Parent

A child who is brought into a secure and loving environment by a middle-aged couple is more likely to thrive than a child brought into an unstable home by young parents.
When I first published my light-hearted and inspirational account of pregnancy and birth at the age of 40, I received tremendous feedback from older women (and men) from all over the world. Indeed, even now, I receive many wonderful e-mails every week from women over the age of 35 who are either planning a family, are already pregnant, or have had a baby over the age of 40. The article offered hope, encouragement and reassurance in a world that seems otherwise to be filled with negative statistics and horror stories about being an older mother. It also highlighted the fact that far from being unusual, tens of thousands of women across the globe are becoming, what is affectionately known as, older parents.

Currently, one out of every five women worldwide is delaying having her first baby until the age of 35, a number that is rising steadily, together with the growing trend for middle-aged women to add to their existing family. There are many reasons why a woman chooses to have a baby in her forties; the establishment of a career before embarking on parenthood, for example, or a woman who has re-married and wishes to have a child with her new partner. Despite this, there still seems to be very little optimistic information available that is specific to midlife mothers. The focus definitely needs to shift towards the positive aspects of midlife parenting, particularly since medical studies have established that there is little added risk for a healthy woman in her forties embarking on motherhood.

In my communications with other older mothers, several questions were raised, one of the most common being, Will my child object to having older parents? I think that this question highlighted the assumption of many that old age goes hand-in-hand with ill health and incapacity and yet this is not necessarily so. You can be an unhealthy 25-year-old parent and a vital, energetic 75-year-old grandparent. You can also become sick at any age, so don't assume that just because you don't have a child until you are in your 40s, you won't be around to see your son or daughter when he or she grows up. Besides, it is quality of time and not quantity that is the most important and a child who is brought into a secure and loving environment by a middle-aged couple, is more likely to thrive than a child brought into an unstable home by young parents.

I interviewed several people who were raised by older parents, one of whom is an older parent herself and all of whom kindly allowed me to share their stories with you.
Jacqueline's mother was 43 and her father was 48 when Jacqueline was born. Jacqueline, now 42, says, I never once regretted having older parents. Whilst they were really strict, they were also very fair and because they were older and wiser they had a greater sense of the important values in life. Younger people are often still too self-obsessed and unsure of their path in life, so it can be difficult for them to offer a true sense of security or to give their all to a child because they are still so vulnerable themselves. I didn't follow in my mother's footsteps because I was only 26 when I had my son, and yet in retrospect I don't really think that I was prepared for motherhood. Don't misunderstand me, I love my son to bits and don't ever regret having him, but if I could turn back time and have the opportunity to make different choices, I think that I would have waited until at least my mid-thirties before starting a family. Oddly enough, my husband and I have recently been discussing the possibility of having another child and having had an older mother myself makes me feel so much more comfortable about midlife parenting.

I respected my parents enormously and they respected me, something that I noticed was lacking in some of my friends' homes. If I was not permitted to do something, my parents would clearly explain why not, whereas many of my friends with younger parents would simply be told, Because I said so, that's why.

With a twenty-year marriage behind them, my parents had managed to resolve any of their differences early on. Many of my school friends lived in homes where it was commonplace for the parents to be at each other's throats constantly and to think nothing of openly belittling each other in front of the children. What sort of message does that pass on to children about love and marriage?

Although I sadly lost my father seven years ago, I feel eternally grateful that I had the benefit of his love for 35 good years and that my son had a wonderful grandpa for nine years. That's more than a lot of my friends can say, some of whom have very little contact with their parents now that they have flown the nest to lead their own lives and probably live by the same mistakes Sarah, 38, agrees with Jacqueline. My mother was 46 when she had me and my father had just celebrated his 52nd birthday. They didn't have a lot of money, but what they gave to me in love was priceless. How can you put a value on that?

Youth isn't always connected to good health either. One of my closest friends lost her mother to bowel cancer at the age of 34. Having young parents doesn't always mean that they will be there for you when you are older, either physically or emotionally. There are many people who are distanced from their parents and in some ways that can be worse than losing someone with whom you've had the benefit of a close relationship. To know that your parents are alive but not there for you emotionally must be devastating.

It was not a difficult decision for me to delay starting a family of my own, partly because having been the child of older parents, it was not really an issue for me. I witnessed many childless friends around me panicking when they hit thirty, conscious that their biological clocks were ticking away. My only concern was declining fertility, but when my husband and I decided to try for a baby two years ago, I became pregnant within a couple of months. Hopefully, our baby daughter will have a brother or sister at some point in the future, but I still feel that I have plenty of time on my side.

In a few months' time, my father will celebrate his 91st birthday and apart from an arthritic hip and, as he puts it, ‘needing to be jump-started in the mornings he's just as sprightly as he ever was, with the same wicked sense of humor. My mother is now 84 and many people think that she is at least 15 years younger! A lot of it comes down to attitude and both of my parents certainly have plenty of that!

Gavin, 26, says that he never once thought of his mother as being any different from the younger mothers of his classmates, particularly since his father was also much younger. Gavin was conceived when his mother, now aged 70, embarked on a second marriage with a man 14 years her junior. At the time of Gavin's birth, his mother was 44 and his father was just 30. Despite disapproval from other family members and jibes that the relationship would never last, his parents are still happily married.
Gavin jokes I used to get a kick out of telling people that my mum was 14 years older than my dad and I'm sure that some mates wanted to come round to my house just to gawp. The funny thing is that a couple of them actually had a crush on my mum and I must admit, she did look pretty good for her age – and still does! Despite the chronological age gap, biologically there are no discernible differences between my parents.

Many people think of older parents as being out of touch with younger generations and maybe enforcing stricter rules and regulations, but that was absolutely not the case with my mother. I suppose that having a younger husband meant that she was herself young at heart and she was a lot more up-to-date than some of my friends' mothers. In my view, it's not the number of years that you've been on this earth that is important, but the way you think and feel and your attitude in general.

I had a wonderful upbringing in a house full of love and laughter. That may sound like the stuff from an impossibly romantic movie, but it's true. My mother was the stabilizing influence in both my life and my father's; she still is. She was older, wiser and more self-assured, and she certainly had a lot more patience than many of my friend's mothers. She has always remained active and when I was little she thought nothing of joining me on the slides and climbing frames at the local park. You should have seen the looks on some of the other parents' faces! Naturally, my mates thought she was fantastic and would often say how they wished their mothers were as wacky and fun as my mother!

I think the important thing to remember is that you're never too old to play with kids' toys. I know it's been said many times before, but age really is just a state of mind. In my eyes, my mother will never be old. She's still like a six-year-old inside but is able to combine that with being mature and supportive, all the ingredients that matter.

I never once wished that my mother was younger in years. Why should I? After all, what she gave to me could not have been surpassed by knocking twenty years off of her age. In fact, I believe that it was her age that made her such a good mother. She had a wealth of experience and had already learned a lot of life's lessons by the time she had me, for which I shall be eternally grateful.

Vicky is just 18 and her mother, now 59, was 41 when Vicky was born. Vicky's father is 54. Her parents are now divorced and Vicky lives with her mother and her mother's partner, Graham, although she sees her father every week. Vicky has an older brother of 25, who lives in Germany with his wife and two children.
Vicky says, My mother is one of the trendiest middle-aged women you'll ever meet. She's more conscious of the latest fashion trends than I am, but at the same time she doesn't try to dress like a twenty-year-old. She's very stylish and when she accompanies me to nightclubs (when Graham lets her out!), she gets chatted up more than I do! To say that having older parents means that they must be fuddy-duddy is nonsense. Maybe some parents are, but you don't have to be old to have a narrow-minded attitude, do you? Some of my friends' parents, most of them in fact, wouldn't dream of going out in the evenings with their daughters, which is sad really. I mean, why should you stop having fun just because you hit a certain age?

When my mum was expecting me, she said that she came up against a lot of negative reactions from her family and friends. They did their best to convince her that I was going to be born with some disorder, like Down's Syndrome or something, but she said that her intuition told her that I was going to be a healthy, bonny baby – and she was right. Although other people say that they are just concerned when they give unwanted advice, I think that they should mind their own business and give encouragement, rather than make someone feel awful, especially at a time when they need the most support.

My mum really is my soul mate and I can't even imagine life without her. However, if I were to lose her tomorrow, at least I would be thankful for the 18 years of love, support, security and companionship that she has given me. It's the quality of time that is important, is it not? I'd rather have a few good years with a mother like mine, than a lifetime with a mother who didn't really connect with me.
I'd like to have children myself one day, but there's no hurry. I'm beginning university this year, following which I hope to establish a career, so starting a family is not on my agenda for at least ten or fifteen years, maybe more. I have to find a partner first! Who knows, maybe I won't start a family until I'm in my forties. Do I feel comfortable with that? Yes, definitely, and I have my mother to thank for that.

After transcribing these interviews, I found it difficult to think of any disadvantages of being an older parent. Any of the negative issues that one might raise in the argument against having a baby later in life could be immediately quashed by many of the comments made by my interviewees. Not many older people enter into parenthood lightly. It is generally a well-thought-out decision and, consequently, if the parents concerned did not think that they would be able to cope with the emotional, physical and even financial strain of having a child, then they wouldn't proceed would they?
When I was expecting my daughter at the age of 39, someone with a grown family asked me, Why would you want another baby at your age? to which I replied, For the same reasons that someone would want a baby at any age? 

Breast Feeding: Why Nursing is Essential for You and Your Baby
Breast Feeding: Why Nursing is Essential for You and Your Baby

 Why nursing gives a child the best possible start and satisfies much more than physical hunger. Tips on breastfeeding in public and dealing with the reactions you will get from different types of people.
Breastfeeding is essential for a healthy start. In addition to providing essential fats and nutrients that a newborn cannot get from the formula, nursing nurtures the bond on which all other relationships are based—the mother-child bond.

This bond is essential to a child's ability to thrive and cannot be underestimated. Unfortunately in our society, a mother who nurses in public is often scorned. When I was nursing, I acknowledged the puritanical roots of our society and did my best to anticipate my child's needs and feed him before I left the house. However, there were times I had to breastfeed in public. When I did, I learned quickly that people generally reacted in three ways: some people flashed me a knowing smile, some pretended I wasn't there and others curled their lips in disgust as though had personally offended them.

People react to nursing in different ways, depending on their upbringing and their tendency to confuse intimacy with sexuality. I remember a friend who had her first baby two weeks after I had mine and refused to nurse because she insisted it was "gross." Although she didn't realize it, she had revealed her fear of intimacy and her hang-ups about sex. It's tragic that some people (even mothers) confuse nursing with sexuality. Breastfeeding is about responding to a child's dependency needs—the need for a satisfied tummy and the need for physical and emotional closeness in a loud, over-stimulating and often frightening world.
Although the rare woman may take advantage of newly swollen breasts and flaunt them in a way that makes even the most accepting among us feel uncomfortable, most nursing mothers are discreet.

Below are some tips for breastfeeding in public:
• Take some deep breaths and relax. When you are relaxed, your milk flows readily and your baby is able to relax and feed. (Babies will often mirror their mother's physical/emotional state. A tense mother makes for a tense baby which can cause indigestion.)

• Find a spot to nurse that affords you the most privacy. Do not attempt to nurse in high-traffic areas where people are rushing by. Do your best to find a place that allows you to create a mini sanctuary, even if you have to nurse in your car.

• Buy a nursing blanket that is easy to use and allows you to drape yourself and your baby for privacy. A nursing blanket will shield your baby from harsh lights, sounds and the reactions of others.

• If someone scowls at you, do not respond to them. Doing so will only upset you and your baby. If someone makes a comment, do your best to leave the comment hanging in the air. If you must reply, say something like, "Breastfeeding is natural and it is in the best interests of the baby." Say it as though you were simply stating a fact.

• After this person has left the scene, take deep belly breaths to calm your nerves. People can be very opinionated when it comes to breastfeeding in public. Remind yourself that you are not going to let an ignorant or insensitive person ruin your day or spoil your child's feeding. Think of all the people in your life who support your choice to nurse and let it go.

• If you simply don't feel comfortable nursing in public, pump your milk and take it with you when you go out in public. Although bottle feeding lacks the intimate connection that breastfeeding affords, your baby is still getting Mother Nature's best. When you return home, make sure your baby's next feeding is at the breast.

Six Simple Rules to Come Up With the Perfect Name for Your Baby
Six Simple Rules to Come Up With the Perfect Name for Your Baby

Choosing a name for your baby is the most crucial decision you have to consider. It is very exciting and quite difficult at the same time. During the pregnancy, you will spend many hours trying to decide on the baby's name. You have to choose and select from a huge names list and consider suggestions from family, friends and other relatives...

In fact, you are going to face a big challenge, really.
In this article, I will help you to manage all those factors and give you important ideas to come up with the perfect and ideal name! And then I will show you an easy yet powerful software that you can use to make advanced and personalized searches into a huge names database easily. This tool will literally make naming your baby a very enjoyable task!

But before that, there are 6 important aspects you have to be aware of before we can go any further. And that's what we will discuss right now.
Important Note:
You can apply the following simple tips whatever the origin of the name you are considering. Feel free to apply them if you wish to invent a new name, use a place name, or honor a family member...
The 6 Simple Rules to Keep in Mind:

Rule #1. Uniqueness: Having a unique name, may make your child stand out of the crowd. It is always good to feel "special"... Not being one of the several "Johns" or "Taylors" in the classroom. The downside is that "invented" or unusual names may be mispronounced or misspelled by others most of the time. And this could be frustrating for the child.
To resolve this dilemma, you can balance an unusual surname with a more popular first name. For example, a name like "Kyle Minkowsky" may be preferable to "Regenweald Minkowsky".
On the other hand, you could balance a common surname with a creative first name, say, "Eleonora Smith" rather than "Jessica Smith".

Rule #2. The Rhythm of a Name: How your baby's name sounds is very important. Before you go any further, try to say it aloud with the middle name you are considering and your surname too. The full name should be sweet to the ears with no harshness. Please, don't get me wrong, what I am trying to say here, is that your baby's name should be fluent. You can achieve that if you keep in mind the following tips:
* Balance a short surname with a longer first name, and vice versa. There is no good if it takes your child five minutes to write out their full name! e.g. "Jake Huntington" or "Elisabeth Wood" are fine examples.
* Avoid names that end with the same letter as your surname begins. I will try to illustrate this second rule here: The following names tend to merge together: "Alexis Smith", "Erik Kramer" or "Jarod Deals"
...Do you get my point?

Rule #3. Alliteration: Alliteration brings a kind of fine "decoration" to the baby's name. If used properly, it is a combination of letters that make the name easier to say and to remember. e.g. "Len Livingstone", "Opal Ohara" or "Jerry Johnson".
Rule #4. Meaning of the Name: At this level of the search, you should find out the meaning of the name you are considering. It is always gratifying to know that your baby's name means: Love, hope, joy, life, tolerance, peace...

Rule #5. Check the Initials: Once you have an idea for the baby's name, always check the initials! While the full name may sound pretty, the initials may bring some surprise! Imagine the feeling of a child who grows up and realizes that their initials are: "N.I.L.", "Z.I.P." or "S.A.D."
In order to avoid such embarrassment for the child, check the initials before you make your decision. You will be glad you did.
Rule #6. Nickname: Make sure you like the pet forms of your baby's name. e.g. If you plan to name your baby boy: Richard, then expect him to be called also: Rick. So, if you don't like this shortened name, you may reconsider your decision.
Now you have all the elements to come up with the perfect name!
The challenge is that you have to combine ALL these factors and apply them to EACH of the thousands of names available! Do you really think it's too much work?

Travel and Pregnancy-A Summertime Guide
Travel and Pregnancy-A Summertime Guide

Pregnant? Thinking about a summertime getaway? In most cases, traveling in the summertime is completely safe. However, there are some important things for expectant moms to consider.

Assuming your pregnancy is uncomplicated, keep this in mind:

1. Drink and eat to comfort. Because of the summertime heat, drinking plenty of water is especially important. As a labor and delivery nurse, I often see women in the summertime having problems with pre-term contractions simply because they don't drink enough fluids. At least 8-10 glasses of water a day will help keep you well hydrated.

2. Dress comfortably and move frequently. Be sure to empty your bladder every few hours to keep you comfortable and avoid a urinary tract infection.

3. Take along a pillow.

4. Bring some snacks to nibble on.

5. Carry a copy of your prenatal record from your prenatal care provider with you. Be sure to check with your provider before taking any vaccinations or taking any medications.

6. If you are traveling by air, avoid non-pressurized high-altitude flights and avoid the smoking section of the aircraft. Travel in the last few weeks of pregnancy is prohibited by airlines. Check with your airline carrier and prenatal care provider for more information about when it is safe to travel by air.

7. If you are traveling by car, be sure to wear your seat belt with the bottom strap across your hips, not over your abdomen. Stop and stretch and go to the bathroom every few hours.

Travel in pregnancy is completely safe and sometimes unavoidable. By using these helpful tips, you should be able to enjoy the ride!

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offers a free brochure on travel during pregnancy. To obtain your free copy, send a SASE to:
"Travel During Pregnancy" ACOG Resource Center 409 12th St. SW Washington, DC 20023-2188

Six Proven Steps To Get Your Baby Crawling In No Time
Six Proven Steps To Get Your Baby Crawling In No Time

Very few parents realize how powerful child development
benefits can be unlocked by encouraging their baby to crawl
at an earlier age.

You may not be aware that encouraging your baby to crawl
holds an important key to better future performance. But
whether you're aware of it or not, the fact is... you should
seriously consider persuading a baby to crawl at an earlier

Crawling is one of the very basic child activities that must
be carried out to get every bit of stimulation needed for
optimum development.

Crawling helps your baby to:
- become stronger
- develop vital motor skills
- learn the surroundings faster
- improve visual skills
- boost physical abilities

Given enough time, baby crawling may happen instinctively.
But crawling may also not happen naturally if your child
doesn't endure lying on his/her stomach.

In fact, babies with poor head control often don't like
lying on their stomachs. Just ask yourself what you will do
if you're looking at the carpet the whole time.
What this means is that even at this early age Baby may then
be developing at a slower rate than normal.

Now, there is an easy yet powerful and proven technique to
stimulate baby crawling. In fact, it's so powerful it will
surely speed up any baby to crawl. In essence, this technique
makes the Baby more tolerable to stomach lying.
Best of all, you can safely use it on babies as young as 3
months old.

Here's the exact technique to get your baby crawling in six
easy steps;
Step 1. Place your baby on his/her stomach on a
carpet on the floor.

Step 2. Gently hold Baby by the elbows and draw
both elbows towards Baby's body as if Baby wants to lie on
his/her elbows. Continue to provide support.

Step 3. Measure, or try to get some measure of the
distance between the floor and the Baby's upper body in the
supported position.

Step 4. Get a roller with approximately the same
diameter as you've just measured. Rollers are soft
cylindrical shaped toys... preferably solid. You do get
inflatable ones, but solid ones normally last much longer
and can also be a valuable aid to get Baby to sit and walk.
The roller will be placed underneath Baby's upper body for
support. It's important that you don't buy the roller too
big. Baby's elbows must still reach the floor when lying on
the roller.

Step 5. Put the roller underneath Baby's upper
body... arms hanging over the front of the roller. This
supported position also allows Baby to lift his/her head and
discover the surroundings.

Step 6. Get down on the floor directly in front of
Baby, face towards Baby. Now, let Baby look at your face
while you talk to, amuse and encourage Baby.
Step 6 is definitely the most important step of this
activity. And... Baby will surely endure longer sessions and
crawl sooner if you do it well.

Remember, Baby should focus on you and naturally develop a
sense of using both legs for support. In no time you'll see
Baby supporting the body on both knees and straight arms...
ready to crawl.
The power of this roller lies in helping to raise Baby's
upper body and to look at the surroundings... all while
lying down.

And guess what?
You only need to spend 3-5 minutes daily to get results. But
better still... results will come even faster if you can do
more than one session per day.
The trouble is, that many parents are reluctant to buy any
educational toys or aids such as rollers. Too expensive is
often the criticism. But, the trick is really to ask how
many other uses can you find for the roller. In this case,
you can definitely use a roller to speed up sitting and

The bottom line is... getting your baby crawling is easy,
and critically important... yet, often neglected. But with this
easy, affordable method it's a breeze.

Mother's Day For All Caregivers
Mother's Day For All Caregivers

Mother's Day is for anyone who has mothered someone and for anyone who has carried a child, Although Mother's Day is traditionally for recognising and pampering mums, it can be a trying time for many people; those who have lost their mothers and mothers who have lost children for example. What a wrench it must be also, for those women who have never had the benefit of a loving, caring relationship with their mothers.

However, most of us have someone in our lives to whom we have turned in times of crisis, friends and relatives upon whose shoulders we have cried and those who have shone a ray of hope upon us in desperate times. Those are the people who should be remembered on Mother's Day, irrespective of their gender or their biological connection to us.

Mother's Day is for anyone who has mothered someone and for anyone who has carried a child, whether that applies to biological mothers, adoptive mothers, stepmothers, foster mothers, care providers, childminders, mothers who've lost a child, single mothers, single dads, grandmothers, aunties, sisters or close friends.

Mothers Who Have Lost a Child
In January 1990, a friend of mine tragically lost her first baby a few hours following the birth, due to an incurable heart condition. On Mother's Day, two months later, she should have received her first Mother's Day card. None came. Does it mean that I'm not a mother, just because my baby has died? she asked me. Of course it doesn't I said, but I too felt guilty for not having had the forethought to recognize the fact by sending her a card. The love for her son was still there, but no acknowledgment that she had ever given birth. Her husband, who was still grieving himself, felt that it would have been cruel to give his wife a card under such tragic circumstances and I presume that her parents felt the same way.
Two years later, my friend gave birth to a healthy baby girl. The following Mother's Day, she received a card from her mother that said, Take it easy on your very first Mother's Day. Her mother wasn't consciously being insensitive and yet my friend was mortified. It was not her first Mother's Day, but her second. It was as though her son had never existed.

That experience taught me that even when someone has lost a child, they have a right to celebrate the fact that they have been a parent and this should be recognized by everyone close to them. Whilst it may not be prudent to send them a card that says, Happy Mother's Day there is no harm in sending an innocuous blank card, inside which you can write your own special message to let them know that you are thinking of them. They might even appreciate a bunch of flowers or other gifts that makes them feel acknowledged, included and respected.

Motherless Parents
When I use the term, motherless I don't just mean those whose mothers are no longer alive, but those who have never been lucky enough to have a close bond with their mothers.
Although I had an unhappy childhood, I still used to buy my mother a card and a gift each year to acknowledge that she had still fed and clothed me and provided a roof over my head. The Mother's Day that I remember most was the one when I was ten years old, the one where my mother threw back at me the gift I had presented to her, saying, What would I want with this? You might as well keep it Maybe she didn't mean it nastily and maybe she hadn't intended to deliver her words in such a hurtful manner but, nevertheless, I was mortified. When she had left my room, I curled up into a ball and sobbed. I wanted my Gran, the one with whom I had a real mother-daughter relationship and the one to whom I then felt I should be giving gifts and making thank-you gestures.

I no longer focus on the negative, but the positive. As a mother myself, I derive pleasure from the love that my children and I give to each other and the appreciation that I am able to show to my stepmother, my father and all the other people in my life who have never failed to show that they care.
The word Mother means to nurture, protect, care for, nurse or tend. It doesn't just mean a woman in relation to a child to whom she has given birth Whilst it must be tremendously painful for a son or daughter to lose their mother, especially if they have had a close, nurturing relationship, there are many other people who are deserving of the accolade Mother Mothers who've passed on can be recognized posthumously year after year, but this shows how important it is to also appreciate those existing people in your life whom you care deeply about and who have supported you in the maternal sense.

Single Mums and Dads
I'm sure that most of us know a single mum or dad who deserves to be treated and shown appreciation. Single parents, particularly those who aren't fortunate enough to have family living close by, do not often have anyone to whom they can hand over the demanding task of childcare in the evenings when they are sick, when they work or when they have any other pressing engagement or appointment. Whilst there is no such a thing as a non-working parent, single parents often have a raw deal when it comes to calling for assistance in times of need.

If you know of a single parent whose children are too young to be able to initiate a surprise themselves, why not help them to organize something special for their mum or dad? Sometimes, older children may need prompting too! If you have time on your hands and don't have a huge family to cater for yourself, why not arrange to take the children off of the parent's hands for a few hours or invite the family over to spend the day with you?

Sometimes, these parents may feel too proud, or may not have the courage to ask for help. Offering your support on Mother's Day is a way of letting them know that you are available to rally around if necessary, without making them feel that you are intruding or implying that they can't cope.

Recognizing those you love and those who have loved you is not a difficult task. Sometimes the simplest of gestures can mean so much more than the most expensive gift; a few words of comfort, a hug and a listening ear, for example. For those who have lost mothers and children, although it may be painful, spend time remembering happy moments of love and joy. Their love lives on in you and is what gives you the strength to give love to others.
Finally, pamper yourself and allow yourself to be pampered!

How To Cope With Expressing Milk
How To Cope With Expressing Milk

Let's think carefully about this. You've been breastfeeding now for a little while and you are now about to return to work. How do I get around the logistics of this you ask yourself?

Let's think carefully about this. You've been breastfeeding now for a little while and you are now about to return to work. How do I get around the logistics of this you ask yourself? You've made arrangements at work so that there will be a private lactation area and a fridge to store your milk, you've prepared a feeding schedule with a bit of research, and you've expressed and frozen enough milk to feed your baby in the weeks ahead. If you haven't then you'd better. Next, you'll need to identify the busy demands that lay ahead. Well don't worry, there's lots of information around and I've some tips for you below.

1. A straightforward approach in the workplace is always the best. You may be concerned about how a colleague or client will react to your pumping at the office. Explain that you're trying to breastfeed your baby for as long as you can and you would appreciate it if they could direct you to a place where you could pump and store your milk. It's always smart to ask about an area for expressing or pumping milk prior to going back. That way they're prepared for your needs. It also helps to let people know what you're doing.

2. Plan to express or pump your milk. Put aside 30 minutes of private time twice a day, and let your co-workers know what you'll be doing, so they don't walk in on you. Avoid scheduling meetings too close to your "pumping time," as you'll need time to clean up and mentally prepare yourself for the next item on your agenda.
3. Ensure our pumping environment is as comfortable as possible, so you don't feel deterred from continuing breastfeeding. Try a baby-safe nipple cream to heal cracked nipples. If you're experiencing breast soreness, MaterniMates soothing gel discs (from can be refrigerated and applied to the breast for quick relief.

4. Ensure you have a reserve pump. To avoid forgetting your pump at home or misplacing it in transit, get another pump to use at the office and on business trips. Many mothers like Medela pumps because they are portable, efficient, and nicely packaged in inconspicuous little totes. They also note that the Avent Isis hand pump, which is compact, is great for relieving engorgement when there's no outlet in sight. If you're daunted by the expense of a second pump, consider renting one: Many breast pump manufacturers and medical equipment suppliers supply rental pumps for very little.

5. Many smart moms dress in layers. Your breasts may leak during the day, layering can help avoid embarrassing stains on your outer clothing. Always keep an extra blouse at work, and take a cardigan or jacket with you when you're out of the office just in case you have to go somewhere unexpected.

6. To stimulate milk production when you're apart from your baby, try this: On trips away, bring along a photo or an audio recording of your baby to make you feel closer to her. Drink lots of water. Always dump your expressed milk if you have doubts about its freshness. Preserving it on the trip home can prove to be difficult, and keeping up your milk supply by pumping regularly is more important than how much you bring home.
Here's one last tip: Be adventurous about pumping, and don't feel embarrassed about expressing milk whenever or wherever you are. It's a courtesy of course not to embarrass others who may be uncomfortable with all of this but if you ask or warn people, they are most often supportive.


Baby Names And Destiny
Baby Names And Destiny

The belief that baby names shape destiny has been around for thousands of years. In many cultures, the baby names have the power and influence the destiny of the baby. By discovering the true meaning of the baby names, you can discover the potential of the baby names.

Destiny is a baby name in itself. The baby name is an old French or English baby name which means fate or fortune. The most common variations are Destanee, Destina, Destinia, Destine, Destinee, Destiney, Destini, and Destinie.

Destiny is more popular for female baby names. However, there are male baby names that sound similar. For example, Destin, Dustin, Dustyn, and Dustan sound similar.

In African countries, the baby is given two names. The first baby's name is for public use, while the second baby's name is kept secret. It is to ward off the evil. Since the evil spirits are unable to find the secret name, the evil spirits are unable to harm the baby.

For Romans, Names are destiny. In fact, there is a popular saying. It is Nomen est omen which literally means Names are destiny. During ancient Roman times, the soldiers with victorious baby names were chosen to be the leaders.

In ancient times, Europeans used the Runic Systems to understand the personality and attributes of the baby names. Runic Systems consist of a Runic Alphabet or Symbol. Each symbol has a hidden meaning. First, the baby name is converted into a set of Runic symbols which tells a deep understanding of the personality and attributes of the baby name.

In scientific research, a baby with a terrible baby name experiences low self-confidence, lower school grades, and emotional problems in life. Scientifically, Robert, John, and Steve are more successful in life. However, there were unusual and unique baby names that gained great success. Nowadays, celebrities pick unusual and unique baby names. Their babies may be as successful as them.

The destiny number can be extracted from the full birth name through numerology. Based on the chart, you can get the numerical value for each letter. All the numerical values for each letter are added to form the total numerical values. For example, the total numerical value for Dennis is 29 (4 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 9 + 1). Next, you reduce the total numerical until you get a single digit. For example, the next total numerical value is 11 (2 + 9). As you can see, 11 is still a double-digit. So, we repeat the step. And, we get 2 (1 + 1). Therefore, the destiny number is 2.

The baby with Destiny number 2 needs a great understanding of the people and surroundings. The baby will grow up as a people person, great communicator, and peacemaker. They know how to deal with other people. The sensitivity to others' feelings is a great asset to be a great philosopher, visionary, advisor, counselor, teacher, and coordinator.

The holy bible speaks of the importance of the spiritual meaning of baby names. Particularly, chapter 22 and verse 1 of Proverbs state that spirituality is better than great wealth. In short, the baby names are chosen for spiritual meaning rather than literal meaning. For example, Ariel literally means lion of God. Spiritually, Ariel means powerful leader.

Using Kabbalah, the Jewish analyzes the baby's name to discover a deep understanding of the personality and spirituality. The Jewish religion is based on an ancient mystical philosophy called Kabbalah. Knowing the importance of the baby's name, you can discover fate and fortune.


An alternative to IVF. It's natural, smarter and much more effective
An alternative to IVF. It's natural, smarter and much more effective

Discusses the reasons for the high incidence of problems with IVF pregnancies and considers the logical, natural alternatives.

Test-tube time bomb 'Birth defects and genetic problems in IVF children are causing concern. Just a statistical blip, or is there something wrong with the process?'
A not so immaculate conception Debate over birth defects in artificially conceived children is growing.'
These were the headlines in Australia's leading broadsheets on February 1 2003. But the issue of birth defects in IVF children should hardly come as a surprise, for it seems that Nature in her infinite wisdom confers sub-optimal fertility on those couples not healthy enough to bear healthy children. So when underlying health problems in prospective parents are not addressed before IVF procedures are carried out, and the natural protective mechanisms are by-passed, the inevitable, unfortunate results ensue.
With increasing numbers of couples in the West turning to IVF procedures, it is worth considering the issues that need to be addressed to optimise the health of both prospective mother and father to ensure a truly healthy baby. And while vital for couples committed to a high-tech approach to conception, the same issues should also be addressed by couples attempting to conceive by tried and true methods.

The idea of providing optimal conditions for conception is hardly a new one. The Ancient Greeks and Romans banned young women and newlyweds from drinking alcohol. Many tribal societies feed special diets to young women and men of childbearing age. And long practiced by farmers, veterinarians and stockbreeders, preconception health care, practised by both prospective parents, is now well recognised as the best way to improve fertility, prevent miscarriage, premature or stillbirth and foster optimal physical and mental health in the baby. In fact, many experts now consider the four-month period immediately preceding the union of sperm and egg as the most critical stage in the whole reproductive process.

Factors such as nutritional, environmental, emotional and lifestyle issues must all be taken into consideration, along with the treatment of any chronic conditions or hidden infections, with both partners equally involved in the preparation. Ideally practiced for a minimum period of 4 months before conception, this approach means a nutritious wholefood diet, no smoking, no caffeine or alcohol, a clean environment, a regular exercise program, reduced stress levels and a comprehensive, balanced program of vitamin and mineral supplementation.But along with attending to all those diet, lifestyle and environmental issues, mums-to-be taking a low-tech approach to getting pregnant, might like to know that simply having an orgasm at each baby-making attempt also means an improved chance of conceiving. Orgasm increases the blood flow to the reproductive organs helping them to function better and the contractions that accompany orgasm help carry sperm further into the cervix. And just as nutritional supplements can support all your other preconception efforts, there are also specific products such as feminine pleasure gels* that can increase the ease with which you achieve orgasm.
Finally, if it's an infertility issue that's leading you towards IVF for the answer, be assured that the success rate with the simple, natural approach of preconception health care is significantly better than that of any IVF program. Studies carried out by UK-based Foresight (The Association for the Promotion of preconceptual Care) and Surrey University demonstrate an 80% success rate in couples with infertility of up to 10 years duration.

Boxing it Up for Christmas
Boxing it Up for Christmas

If there's one thing your introverted child would like for Christmas more than anything else in the whole world, it's a room with a door that closes. It's not as simple as asking for one. And by the way, a closet will do and even a big box as you'll see. That's how strong the need is for an introvert to have a place of their own. Introverts are territorial because of their great need for personal space. It's important to their sense of well being, their mental and emotional health.

If a child wants to go into their room and close the door, extroverted parents may interpret this behavior as rejection, or worse, being secretive and anti-social. They wonder, 'What's she hiding? What's wrong with him? Why doesn't s/he want to be part of the family?' These are legitimate concerns and since your child may not be able to answer, I'd like to explain to them.

There are two reasons, both healthy. One of the reasons is something few people know. Introverts give energy and extroverts receive energy. When introverts are out in the world, because they give energy to other people, they can be drained during the day.

That person you see over there who's the life of the party? He's an extrovert and he would be drained if he had to be by himself tonight. The attention he's getting nurtures him. He thrives on it. It fills him up and makes him feel he's alive.

And who's giving him that attention? Likely it's an introvert.

Whenever you see a crowd of people, extroverts are receiving energy and introverts are giving energy. Introverts need to spend about half their time alone, to fill back up again. It's not that we don't love people!

However, there are many introverts who withdraw later in life because they have had such difficulty being understood and getting their needs met, they find it easier to 'do without'. With your help, your introverted child can learn to identify his or her needs and ask for them. But first, you must understand in order to give them the support they need.

Let's think for a moment about your child's school day. As much as fifty percent of the learning that's done in lower school is how to become part of society, part of the group. Kids learn how to raise their hands, take turns, line up properly, wait their turn, sit still, use good manners, ask politely for what they want, and listen to and follow instructions. These are social skills. They require interaction.

In addition, your child's day can consist of walking to school with others, watching out for a younger sibling, riding a noisy crowded bus, classroom interaction with 20 to 40 other children, figuring out the omnipotent teacher and principal (in middle school, more than one), eating lunch in a big noisy cafeteria, dressing for a gym in a crowded noisy locker room, participating in 'teams' and getting the team spirit. After school, there are other activities that require socializing, including private music lessons, Brownies and Cub Scouts and sports practice. Socializing is stressful to introverts and they receive no inherent rewards from it.

As your child gets older, there is pressure to join clubs, take part in extracurricular activities, become part of a clique or group, get dates, go to dances, volunteer or sing in the choir in spare time, join the church car wash on the weekends, spend time caring for aging relatives, etc.

Many children are warned that they will not be successful in life if they don't get into the right college. They are told that this requires a resume full of activities that show 'leadership ability'.

The activities I've mentioned are hard-wired for the pleasure and satisfaction of extroverts, who make up 60 to 75% of the school population (indeed of American society). They can be deadly to introverts. [See on the cost of falsifying type]

If your child is introverted, he or she is in the minority and has the added stress of coping with a world set up by aliens! The ratio of extroverts to introverts is about three to one. It might help if you're an extrovert to imagine yourself forced to spend a vacation on an island with no modern conveniences, no TV, no other people or animals, no electric lights, radios or passive entertainment. Does the thought drive you crazy? Then imagine being made to feel like there was something wrong with you because you couldn't 'cope' with this environment. Imagine being forced to learn 'skills' to 'succeed' on this island world, as if this were 'the' world. Imagine having to do this for at least ten hours a day for the rest of your life.

A hermit's existence is actually something that could make an introvert smile. 'What so horrible about that?' we wonder. Extroverted babies move toward sound, light, objects and people. Introverted babies move away from them. As they grow older, introverts are attracted to stress-free environments such as '¦ a room of their own where they can minimize the things they find distracting -- i.e., you guessed it, close the door!

Lest you think for a moment that your child can't succeed in this world being introverted, being just the way they are, here is a list of introverts who have made tremendous contributions and achieved great things by any standards, during many different time periods: Warren Buffett (the world's richest man or greatest investor), Mother Theresa, Queen Elizabeth II, Jackie Kennedy, Michael Jordan, Michael Douglas, Steven Spielberg, Katherine Hepburn, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton and Peter the Great. If you would like to learn more, please visit my website. I have many inspirational articles about introverts who took the world on their own terms and were successful.

I'm afraid none of the activities I've mentioned for a typical school day are of any intrinsic value to introverts, although your child may very much enjoy learning subjects, playing a musical instrument or engaging in sports as an individual. Being required to give enormous amounts of energy to the socialization process, trying to be something s/he isn't, leaves them little time for the things they do find valuable, such as quiet times, reading, walking, collecting things, becoming an expert at something, watching a video or DVD, browsing on the internet (the internet is an introvert's heaven) or playing with pets.

The second reason for the closed door is because introverts focus and concentrate. That's why we consider small talk, unnecessary socializing and group activities such a waste of time. We don't benefit from the social aspect and on the other hand, it destroys our focus and concentration.

Some of us remember being forced by a teacher or by peer pressure to join a study group only to agonize through the hour of wasted chitchat before going home and beginning to 'really study'. It's like double jeopardy. To an introvert, most 'group activities' and 'study groups' are a mystery, if not to say a form of Medieval torture and we are doubly penalized by the time it wastes when we could be studying and the time we have to spend afterward to make sure we learn the stuff our way.

I run polls on my website to gather information from real people about their introverted experiences. Most of them comment on the exhaustion and hopelessness they felt during their school years. They found it almost impossible to keep up with the social demands of school and accomplish other things that they valued. It seemed they were working twice as hard just to stay in place. When your introverted child or teen returns home after days like this, they are exhausted.

If there is one symbol I could pick for the difference between extroverts and introverts, it is the closed door. This is something near and dear to the heart of every introvert that seems to strike terror in the heart of every extrovert.

What are we doing behind closed doors? We're filling up with energy. You may find us lying on the bed staring at the ceiling, listening to the kind of music we like, thumbing through picture albums or collections, writing in our journals, browsing the internet or just rearranging and cleaning our room. We are enjoying some quiet time to ourselves. If we are interrupted, this adds more stress to the stress we're trying to recover from because even when we're relaxing, we are intense and focused. To an introvert, interruptions are stressful. We learn to cope with them as a reality but when we are exhausted, we need to set some limits. Children can't do this without your help and support.

When I wrote about this on an introverts' forum, Shelley responded quickly, 'Funny that you should mention [personal space]. I recall moving into a big closet in the room that my older sister and I shared so that I could have my own private place. I had a bed made on the floor inside there with all the extra blankets and pillows in the house and then I'd go in there and shut the door. Sometimes I'd draw, sometimes I'd just take a nap. By the way, this was when I was grade school age.'

Another forum member, Alexia, replied, 'I have closet envy We moved quite frequently when I was young, and not usually to places where I had a room of my own (really a room at all) until I was a teenager. The couch is my usual bed, you see. But I remember with delight dragging home a refrigerator box, cutting a little door and window, and hanging a night light on an extension cord through the "ceiling." My Mother, an introvert herself, must have understood, letting me keep the box for as long as we lived in that location.'

This Christmas, heck, this weekend, give your introverted kid the gift that keeps on giving -- personal space. Be it a room of their own with a door that closes, a closet or a box, it's the kindest thing you could do for the little one you love.

Advice for new parents
Advice for new parents

My brother-in-law and his wife are expecting their first baby in the fall. I've been thinking about what to get them for the baby shower. I'm also trying to think of some important words of parenting wisdom to pass along.
A particularly useful gift I received at my baby shower was a bouncy seat. My daughter was not a good sleeper, and I praised the heavens when she'd fall asleep in that seafoam-green bouncy. She had reflux, so having her sleep semi-upright was encouraged. Visitors, however, would cast confused glances at me when they saw her sleeping in the seat in the corner of the room. I knew they were thinking..."new mothers, aren't they a hoot!"
But it was important to me to be seen as a competent mother, so I'd trip all over myself making excuses for the superiority of sleeping in a bouncy seat. "Studies have proven that babies sleep more soundly in the semi-upright position," "The pediatrician highly recommends napping in bouncy seats," and so on.

Meanwhile, to my closest friends, I'd admit to letting her sleep wherever in creation she'd like if it meant she would sleep. The precious little girl has a hankering for her carriage. I'd stay up all night to stroll her around the house. Heck, I was up all night anyway. Adorable, big-eyed daughter of mine wants to sleep in her swing? Well, why not? If I could fit, I'd hop in it with her!
Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't compromise my daughter's health or safety in the name of sleep, but if she refused to sleep in her cradle or crib, I had to get creative. Babies need their sleep, as much as they need sustenance and love.

And as I quickly discovered, parents need their sleep just as much. Nothing prepares for you the interrupted sleep of parenthood. I think the world population would dwindle in a nanosecond if people knew beforehand what havoc tiny little babies wreak on your life, night and day.
Sure, everyone knows someone who has an enviable infant who sleeps through the night right away. But that's hardly the norm. The euphemism, "she sleeps like a baby," is pure propaganda. But most new parents are too exhausted to step up to the plate and demand this truth be revealed to unsuspecting parents-to-be. "If we'd only known," we utter helplessly into thin air.

The funny thing is, in the beginning, being sleep-deprived is actually okay. You're so excited to finally be able to see and hold your baby that feeding and cuddling at all hours of the night is a welcomed event. Who needs sleep when you've finally got your baby in your arms?
The problem is that euphoria doesn't last nearly long enough. Sleep deprivation does catch up with you. You'll find yourself doing cartwheels and backflips to get your baby to sleep. You think, "If the world could only see me now!" as you try to sing, rock, dance and bounce at the same time.
Oh, and those sleep books people recommend and sometimes swear by? If you're lucky, you have a 50-50 chance of success with them. My husband and I went so far as to meet with the author of one particularly popular sleep book, and even he couldn't solve her sleep problems.

If I knew then that we'd still be dealing with sleep issues seven years later, I think I would have thrown in the towel. While it has certainly gotten better over the years, the mere fact that her sleep problems were not solved in three weeks (as promised), three years, or even double that amount of time, makes me realize that I have something pretty important to share with the new parents-to-be in our family:
"Dan and Katie, get some sleep. Before it's too late. Double up if you can. Appreciate the uninterrupted hours in dreamland. Before you know it, your precious little bundle will be here, demanding your attention at all hours of the day and night. Take heart in the knowledge that your intense love for this child will supersede all.

And for goodness sake, if your baby won't sleep in his/her crib, don't hesitate to use the bouncy seat. The baby will sleep, you can sleep, and before you know it, these sleepless days and nights will pass."
Okay, so it might take seven years, but there's no sense frightening them with that kind of information. I'll just gift-wrap the bouncy and hand it over with a smile.


46 reasons to Breastfeed Your Baby
46 reasons to Breastfeed Your Baby

Today, we hear so much about how breastfeeding is the best food for babies, but no one ever really elaborates on why it's best. I've listed only 46 reasons-I'm sure there are more! Today, we hear so much about how breastfeeding is the best food for babies, but no one ever really elaborates on why it's best. I've listed only ۴۶ reasons-I'm sure there are more!

Best for Baby
۱. Breastfeeding is the most natural source of nourishment and security for your baby.

۲. The baby gets about half of its newborn immunities from colostrum...this is a baby's main defense against infection.

۳. Colostrum has a laxative effect helping your baby pass meconium, in turn increases hunger and stimulates the mother's milk supply. This also decreases the chances of the baby becoming jaundiced.

۴. It is the most easily digested form of infant food. No constipation and fewer tummy upsets.

۵. Breast milk provides antibodies to the illnesses that the mother has been exposed to.

۶. It helps protect the baby from infections.

۷. Prolongs the period of natural immunities to mumps, measles, polio and other infectious diseases.

۸. Decreases predisposition to future diseases.

۹. During illness, it helps keep the baby well hydrated and speeds recovery. *Mother milk is considered a Clear fluid*

۱۰. Reduces the risk of allergies.

۱۱. Reduces the risk of obesity later in life.

۱۲. When a baby nurses from both breasts, the baby's hand-eye coordination is automatically enhanced by being switched from side to side.

۱۳. Breastfeeding promotes proper jaw, dental, and speech development.

۱۴. Reduces frustration by satisfying the baby immediately.

۱۵. It brings mom and baby close, building strong attachments.

۱۶. It provides close physical contact.

۱۷. Baby makes a connection between Mom and Milk. The connection enhances love.

۱۸. Suckling at the breast is soothing for a baby who is upset or ill.

۱۹. The baby knows Mom through all its senses.

۲۰. A baby grows and all its needs are met, such as closeness and security. This affects the Mother/Child bond in a positive way.

۲۱. It lessens the chances of getting Crohn’s Disease, Diabetes, Ulcerative Colitis, and Celiac Disease.

۲۲. The baby will be ۵ to ۸ times less likely to get childhood lymphoma if breastfed for ۶ months or longer!

۲۳. The longer the child is nursed, the higher their IQ is likely to be.

۲۴. A breastfed baby takes in ۱۰۰ million live cells per day. Many of these live ۴۸ hours or longer!

۲۵. Better brain and eye development! They are nursed on both sides and don't favor one eye.

۲۶. Less waste, both solid (whether you care about the environment, or you just want to take out the trash less often), and energy (don't have to heat formula and baby food, and wash the dishes you dirty to make and serve them) And Guess What...It's beneficial for the Mother too...

۲۶. Continues the natural reproductive cycle of conception, pregnancy, and childbirth.

۲۷. Reduces the risk of hemorrhaging after the birth.

۲۸. Aids in natural WEIGHT LOSS.

۲۹. Night feedings are easier.

۳۰. The hormone Prolactin relaxes mom, making mothering easier.

۳۱. Reduces the chance of pre-menopausal Breast Cancer.

۳۲. Saves time and money (۴۰ hours a year and over $۱۰۰۰)

۳۳. Trips away from home are easier, no worry about food.

۳۴. Delays the return of fertility.

۳۵. Feels good, adding to the enjoyment of becoming a Mother.

۳۶. Comforting a sick or unhappy baby through breastfeeding is easier.

۳۷. A breastfed baby is physically different. Softer skin, sweeter smelling, BM's don't stink, Breast Milk doesn't smell or stain. This increases the mother's good feelings toward the baby.

۳۸. Being able to meet the needs of the baby increases the mother self confidence.

۳۹. Bring the mother and baby closer.

۴۰. Greater closeness increases a mother's perception of her baby's needs, enhancing the feeling of ‘‘oneness’‘ between them.

۴۱. Breastfeeding throughout a lifetime for more than ۲۵ months will reduce your chances of getting Breast cancer by ۱/۳!!!

۴۲. Breastfeeding increases the self-esteem of the mother. It is empowering! What the Fathers see as the Advantages of Breastfeeding:

۴۲. SHE has to feed the baby in the middle of the night.

۴۳. SHE can't leave the baby with me unless SHE wants to pump.

۴۴. I don't have to worry about running to the store to get formula in the middle of the night when it's ۳۰ below zero.

۴۵. I don't have to worry about warming the bottles at all hours of the day and night.

۴۶. I get to SLEEP.

Why breastfeed? Perhaps a better question is why not?

Baby Names Numerology
Baby Names Numerology

The baby name numerology reduces the full birth name into a single digit. It is more commonly known as the destiny number. Knowing the destiny number, anyone can tell the true deep meaning of the name and destiny waiting for the beholder. This method is also known as Astrology Numerology.

Based on the chart, each letter of the baby's name represents a number. The number of each letter is summed up. Then, each digit of the total number is added until we get a single digit. Hence, there are nine destiny numbers.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
S T U V W X Y Z 

For example, Animesh and Ronak are Indian baby names which mean brightens the surrounding. The total number for Animesh is 33 (1 + 5 + 9 + 4 + 5 + 1 + 8), while the total number for Ronak is 23 (9 + 6 + 5 + 1 + 2). The destiny number for Animesh is 6, while the destiny number for Ronak is 5.

Destiny number 1 strives to become an excellent leader and acquire great independence. The baby names with this destiny number gain leading, managing, problem-solving, and initiating skills. Instinctively, they will develop innovations, achieve rewards, accomplish goals, show courage, run businesses, and lead organizations.

Destiny number 2 gains a high understanding of people and spirituality. The unique baby names with this destiny number gain mediator, peacemaker, coordinator, communicator, and diplomatic skills. They have a natural ability to inspire, motivate, teach, or advise. The emotional sensitivity helps to easily deal with people.

Destiny number 3 is naturally creative and inspirational. With ease, they spread positive thinking, help others, raise spirits, entertain everybody, and brighten surroundings. Because they are lovable, friendly, and social people, they can easily make friends anywhere. The friendly nature is perfect for presentation, sales, and speech.

Destiny number 4 gets a great sense of order, service, and management skills. They are very patient and detail-oriented people. It is perfect for architecting, engineering, crafting, planning, organizing, and regulating tasks. The cool baby names with this destiny number are known as the master builder. They like to build things.

The Destiny number 5 gets multiple talents and skills. Thus, they are very versatile people. They will try to learn as much as possible. In return, they will be able to do many different things. And, they like to welcome change. Any form of change makes them happy. Their career fits a work environment with advertising, marketing, communicating, selling, and entertaining.

Destiny number 6 revolves around helping others and artistic talents. They will develop love to help the needy, old, sick, and handicapped. And, they are always preoccupied with improving the home and community. The attributes of this destiny number fit perfectly for healthcare, social work, education, arts, interior design, construction, and research careers.

Destiny number 7 develops investigative, logical, and analytical skills. Hence, they like solitude. Thereby, they can analyze, and observe. Often, they search for wisdom, knowledge, truth, and answers. By nature, they are perfectionist, and rational. They are perfect for careers in science, research, and technology.

Destiny number 8 tells about ambition and goals. They like to acquire wealth, achieve financial security, and climb social status. By nature, they are very determined, and reliable. They will excel in administrative roles, powerful positions, and management roles. The attributes of destiny numbers allow them to accumulate wealth.

Destiny number 9 is compassionate, artistic, creative, and imaginative in nature. There is an insatiable desire to attend to the needs and feelings of others. They will excel in advisory, legal, healthcare, artistic, religious, and diplomatic careers. They always maintain a high level of positive thought, compassion, and sympathy for people.


Dorothy and the Land of Infertility
Dorothy and the Land of Infertility

Dorothy learns from her journey to Oz some helpful ideas for women trying to conceive
When the Dorothy of our childhood went to sleep that fateful night, she felt comfortable and safe in her rather ordinary life in Kansas. She awoke to find that an unanticipated cyclone had cast her into the Land of Oz. She no longer was in familiar surroundings and none of the people she relied on were there to help and support her. Only Toto, her little puppy, was with her.
She was in a very unusual land where unexpected things were said to her and unforeseen things happened every minute. Life was no longer like that of anyone else she knew.

Dorothy heard that a wizard could help her but to get to him she would have to complete an arduous journey. As she followed the yellow brick road to Oz, she met new friends who weren't at all like the people she had known and counted on before when she was in Kansas.

I believe that the Land of Infertility is quite like the Land of Oz. Those who find themselves there do not expect to. Often the process of defining oneself as struggling to conceive feels as if one has been picked up out of familiar territory and cast by a fierce storm into uncharted lands. The arrival is jolting and suddenly you receive so much information and so many different suggestions for approaching the problem.

You question everything:
How can you find the yellow brick road? Can you trust the Wizard? What dangers are in the journey? How can you move forward in the face of obstacles? Can you ever get back to Kansas?
In her process, Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz has much to offer those in the Land of Infertility. Let's look at how she made it through her journey and what gave her the strength to get back to Kansas in the end.

Dorothy stayed open to new possibilities

Every action Dorothy took from her first arrival in Oz required her willingness to think outside of her previous experience. To survive and make her journey, she had to be open to new ways of doing things, new ways to get where she was going, and new ideas about how to make progress.
She had to be creative in her approach and open in her thinking. She was challenged to stay aware of her surroundings and to take advantage of her opportunities.

Dorothy had a support group

Dorothy did not make her journey alone. She was accompanied by the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto, her dog. Each member of her support group had different needs and each took a slightly different course in their journey to see the Wizard. However, they all wanted to get to the end of the Yellow Brick road and were able to help each other in the process of their travels.
As in most support groups, on some days one would be stronger and more resourceful than others. For example, at one point, Dorothy fell asleep in the poppy field and was in danger of losing her will to go on, but her friends picked her up and carried her until she could go under her own power.

Dorothy learned how to take risks from good models

When the group arrived at the Emerald City, the Wizard of Oz told them that they would have to tackle a very difficult task before he could help each of them. They had to get rid of the Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy's friends each took incredible risks as they went into the land of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Dorothy gained strength and wisdom from the group experiences. Although she became quite discouraged, she still took risks herself. In one of her biggest risks, she threw a pail of water onto the Wicked Witch of the West and found that the Wicked Witch simply melted away.

Dorothy had several coaches

Her first coach was an older wise woman, the Good Witch of the North, who started her on her journey and gave her the guidance that led her to the Yellow Brick Road. Several others coached her on her way toward her goal of getting back to Kansas. Finally, Dorothy found a coach who could work with her to get through the end of her journey. This coach was Glinda, the Good Witch of the South.
Glinda worked with Dorothy to encourage her to see her own strengths. She and the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion all reminded Dorothy of how she had moved through many challenges on the journey to the Emerald City. Dorothy began to value all of her own gifts and use them to get back to Kansas.

Dorothy used her own resources to get back to Kansas

Although Dorothy thought she needed lots of help, in fact, she herself had the resources needed to get her back to Kansas. Sometimes Dorothy would have a gift with her for quite some time before she realized its value in her journey to get what she wanted. Among these gifts were the magic cap from the Witch of the West and the magic shoes from the Witch of the East. Each gift she wore for a long time before she understood how to use it. Interestingly each of those gifts came from something/someone seen as "bad" in the story.

In the end, Dorothy said goodbye to her friends, clicked her heels together and returned to Kansas on her own power.
In the struggle to get a baby in your lives, Dorothy's journey offers a role model as a gift to those in the Land of Infertility:

1. Stay open to possibilities Your journey is unique and may include doing and trying some things that you would never imagine that you would do. Thinking outside the box is helpful in figuring out the steps to take. Being open to new possibilities may offer some new approaches to your challenge.

2. Get involved in a support group Don't do this alone. It's much easier when you can talk about it with others. There are chat groups on the Web. I offer frequent free and for-pay groups by telephone. RESOLVE offers support groups in many areas. PCOS support groups exist in many places as well.

3. Learn from others Read everything you can to get fully informed. Ask questions of others who have similar situations. Determine what helps others to take risks and try to model after them.

4. Work with a coach Sorting through your decision-making process, your stress management, and your communication goals with a coach can make the infertility journey much easier. Having another perspective always helps and sharing and putting your frustration into words with another person can result in better plans and decision making.

5. Value your own resources and determine their roles in your decision-making. For example: If you have a wonderful partner, work together to make this process less painful. If your insurance will cover some of your treatment, decide how to take the best advantage of this opportunity. If your strength is to take a positive approach, look at how to make this work to support you.


Get Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night
Get Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night

One of the hardest tasks in the first year of a baby's life is getting him to sleep through the night. When my husband and I brought our daughter, Cassi, home from the hospital we expected sleepless nights. Well, we lucked out. All she seemed to want to do was sleep. In fact, I couldn't keep her awake long enough to finish nursing her. But I'm sure you don't want to hear about how lucky we were. Cassi slept on my chest every night for the first month. I wouldn't have had it any other way. She was part of me for 9 months and I was not about to tell her to go sleep by herself.

The tough part was when it was time to move her to her own bed. As she became more comfortable with her new home and surroundings we tried to get her to sleep in her crib. Well, she didn't want anything to do with that! She was hurt. She felt abandoned. For all she knew, we just fell off the earth. Babies do not understand that the world is a big place. When Mommy and Daddy are not in sight, they do not realize that they are coming right back. It took a couple of days for her to accept this new arrangement. During that time, Scott and I read everything we could about getting a baby to sleep on her own.

Here's what we found:
1. Give Your Baby A Routine Babies learn best through routine. Every night, right before bed, we would conduct this little "going to bed" ritual. Scott gave Cassi a bath, I got her dressed in her jammies, We read her a story, and then I nursed her until she went to sleep. I would then place her in her crib. At first, she cried, so I continued nursing her until she was better and tried to put her down again.
As the months went by, I would end the nursing earlier and earlier until she was comfortable being put in her crib, before she was completely asleep. Cassi is now almost one year old. We continue this ritual every night, except she now tells me when she's ready to be put down.

2. Put Your Baby To Sleep In The Same Place Every Time This one is difficult for women who work, and put their babies in daycare. It is best to have your baby go to sleep in the same place. Including naps. This way when he is put down in his crib or bassinet he will understand that it is time to go to sleep. If he is sleeping in a variety of different places, he could get confused.

3. All Pre-bed Activities Should Be Spent In The Baby's Room As your baby gets older he will learn through association. If every night you go into her room to get ready for bed, she will understand that it's time to go to sleep. Her bedroom should be for sleeping only. The last thing you want is for your baby to associate her bedroom with playtime.

4. Tell Your Baby Every Night "When It's Time To Go To Sleep" Even in the early months if you say this every night, your baby will associate you saying "it's time to go to sleep" with sleeping. Of course, he won't understand right away, but when he does, he will not argue. Now when I tell Cassi, "It's time to go go to sleep", or "It's time to take a nap", she crawls up into my arms, puts her head down and waits for me to lay her in her crib.

Of course, every baby is different. Some babies need more sleep than others. Some babies need more attention than others. I do not agree with letting a baby cry themselves to sleep. Doing so may be interpreted by the baby as you are not there for him. If you are spending sleepless nights, rocking and carrying your baby - trying to get her to sleep, she is not ready to go to sleep on her own. Try letting her sleep with you and try again in a couple of months. Many parents are finding the concept of Attachment Parenting preferable. Attachment Parenting is a concept adopted by Dr. William and Martha Sears, who have had eight children together. They have found that this works best and eliminates some unnecessary sleepless nights.