Period of Purple Crying

One of the most challenging components of newborn parenting is the amount of time your new baby may spend crying. It is entirely normal for newborns to cry anywhere from 2-5 hours in a 24 hour period.

That combined crying time can include small crying sessions that add up throughout the day plus longer bouts of crying for an hour or more at a time. This is dubbed the Period of Purple Crying, and we are not the only mammals who engage in this.  Continue reading “Period of Purple Crying”

Learning to Sit

The process of learning how to sit is one of many milestones for infants, and it happens in stages.

Endurance Building

At first, babies gradually build their core strength by spending time on their backs and on their tummies. Play time that includes reaching, kicking, supporting their head, and stretching their limbs are all endurance building activities. As they grow stronger, you might even see some ab crunches!  This is all good preparation for sitting!  Continue reading “Learning to Sit”

Interacting with Newborns

Babies can be magical.  They can be SO cute.  So lovable.  And so…boring?  Yes, that’s right.  Babies are not always an entertainment powerhouse! Babies can be really boring!  They are basically still gestating for the first few months of life, their brains wired for survival.

They have very high sleep needs for rapid brain growth and development. They have very small tummies so they eat frequently. Their early communication is based on a series of reflexes, cues and crying. Add all of these up and you get a snoozing, pooping, wailing, sucking human…on repeat. Continue reading “Interacting with Newborns”

A Day with Your Newborn

During the first few months of a baby’s life, there is a seemingly endless cycle of caregiving. Between the diapers, feeds, and naps, how do you interact with a tiny baby? Babies don’t come with instructions and many parents worry that they don’t know how to spend time with their baby. Here are a few tips:  Continue reading “A Day with Your Newborn”

Distraction and Temperament

“Distraction” gets a bad rap–but it can be a very useful stress reduction and emotional regulation skill.

A dictionary definition of “distraction” is “a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.” (From Oxford Language dictionary).

But what if that “something else” is a worrying or angry thought? Wouldn’t it be a positive skill to be able to distract from that?

Distraction from frustration or worrying thoughts can be a successful strategy to help us calm, center and manage our emotions and behavior. As long as the distraction techniques don’t get in the way of actually dealing with difficult situations, they can be beneficial to learn.

Continue reading “Distraction and Temperament”

Physical Play and Self Control

Self-control is an important part of emotional development. It is what allows children to manage their feelings and regulate their behavior.

The University of Cambridge did an interesting review of 78 studies that had been conducted between 2007-2017. What they found was that children who had more playtime with their fathers had better self-control, were less likely to show hyperactivity, and were less likely to lash out at other children at school.

The study identified “quality play-time with father” as the connection to this positive area of child development. Continue reading “Physical Play and Self Control”