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Parenting 101

A Beginner Course in Creative Parenting

Formula-Feeding Class
hi everyone.
so, here's the thing: I'm writing a college paper. if anyone is interested, it's a proposal to a college committee... that will never be read by the committee, but I need a good grade anyway. I need to propose a college class. my choice among such gems as "alien sex" and "how to win a beauty pageant" (yes, those are real college courses) fell on formula-feeding. there is a bunch of breastfeeding classes out there, and I found none that would talk about bottle- and/or formula-feeding. so that was something new to write a paper on.

anyway, I just wanted to conduct a survey here among parents to see if anyone would be even remotely interested in taking a class like that. I don't really need to know who you are or why you chose the answer you chose. I just need to get the answers.

Would you be interested in taking a college course on bottle-feeding infants using commercial baby formula?


to anyone participating, thank you.

to moderators, I hope I didn't break any rules (I did read them very carefully twice before posting).

School issues
up down pooh
My 8 year old, 3rd grade, daughter has always had an easy time in school. She picks up on everything easily, and has breezed through everything, until recently. She has always had issues with being a social butterfly and not paying attention, but they have never affected her grades.

Towards the end of last school year I started getting emails about her "fact fluency" which is simply doing simple math facts, fast. She was not picking up speed as they required. It wasn't that she didn't know her facts, or how to come up with the answers, her brain was on overload and she could not just simply commit the fact to memory and spew them out on paper when tested. I was annoyed that such a huge deal was being made about this, but I worked on it with her, to little avail. She ended the school year with a "below grade average" on her report card for fact fluency and above grade average in all other math areas.

They also started giving her extra help in reading.... because she was reading to slow. Her comprehension was fine, her reading level was a whole grade and a half ahead of her grade level. She was just reading too slow. This special attention took her out of class at reading time and caused her to not meet her reading goal for the semester, which required her to bust her butt at home and read several chapter books in a weeks time to meet her goal at the last minute.

So this year, right after school started, I got a letter stating that she was eligible for Title I (special education) services for math. I was shocked, how is a child that performs above average in most ares a special education candidate? I called and talked to the title I teacher (who was her Kindergarten teacher) and she informed me that it was based on her fact fluency scores from last year, as well as a 65% on a math assessment test she had taken in the spring. We decided that we should decline the services because she is performing at grade level without a problem. I discussed this with the teacher and she agreed that it wasn't needed, but did express her concern about her Fact Fluency difficulties and her attention and focus. We agreed to keep in touch about her performance.

A couple weeks later I get a letter that she is on the Title I "watch list" for Math. I talked to the teacher she said it wasn't anything to worry about, and it was because of fact fluency.

The next week I got a letter saying she was on the "watch list" for reading. Again, because of her speed.

Why are the so concerned with speed!? I am the slowest reader, and I managed, I did quite well in school. And I understand doing fact fast is beneficial when you get into harder math, but if a kid can tell you "8+6... take 2 from 6 to make the 8 a ten, and then add the 4 left from the 6 after you take the 2 from it to the 10... it's 14" she obviously is not struggling with her facts!

So my annoyance with the schools focus on speed is one part of concern...

The next concern is that a lot of these problems could be stemming from possible ADD/ADHD. I started wondering if she had ADD or ADHD in first grade. Comments from her teacher like "she never pays attention, but she's learning everything, I don't know how, because every time I look at her she's distracted" or her forgetfulness, inability to ever bring papers home and/or return them to school, and other crazy impulsive things she does. I haven't addressed it because, until now it hasn't affected her schooling. But now I'm starting to wonder if this is an underlying issue that is affecting her performance and testing in school.

I'm really not looking to have her pop a pill and be healed. I'm wondering if a diagnosis would lead the school to make better accommodations for her, or work with us on the testing issues... or something...anything other than sticking her in Title I classes. I'm just at my wits end for what to do for her. She obviously isn't testing as well as she can, and her speed.... I'm just beyond caring about her speed, but apparently the school is quite concerned about it.

I should add that I have absolutely no opposition to special education services. If I had a child that was struggling, I would welcome them with open arms.

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome!

(no subject)
The little girl I nanny for will be 2 next month. I've been with her since she was almost 10 months. I want to get her something she will love, plus an outfit for the cooler months (We're San Diego, so by cooler I mean high 50s/low 60s). I've spent a few hours on Amazon and nothing is really jumping out as a WOW or that would hold her attention for more then a handful of uses.

She loves cell phones (What a surprise, right?), and can work her parents cells pretty well, as far as tapping and swiping. She already has a lot of the kid style electronic ones though. Plus a few baby type electronic gadgets, featuring Violet. As well as a kid style TV remote. She is well covered on books, crayons, and crayola color wonder products. She loves gadgets, music and dancing. She is not really talking much at this point. She can repeat back a lot of things to you, but rarely initiates on her own. Well, aside from "no" and "more" which she uses rather well, all day long.

I'd love to find something that engages her, as well as helps with development/education. That she can enjoy alone, when I need to do dishes, etc, but that possibly her parents and I can also interact with her using it as well. A volume control would be lovely! :P Puzzles don't do much for her, aside from things she can scatter all over the house. She has two sets of blocks, a baby doll and some accessories for the doll, plus all the usual small toys they seem to collect over time.

what does/did your newly 2 year old love? Please point me to your fave toy sites. :) As well as sites I can find a cute outfit, that won't force me to sell my cats to buy.


ETA - My budget is $50, but less is always better. :)

Swaddle or not to swaddle?
`So my little dude is almost 4mo and I'm genuinely curious when I should probably stop swaddling while he sleeps. Biggest issues with him is he is the WIGGLIEST baby I have ever met. He jerks himself awake so easily I think the swaddle really helps him stay asleep longer. Also when he is inconsolable swaddling really helps to calm him down as well. Lately he has been busting out of his swaddle. I actually had to double swaddle him but now he is just growing right out of the top of it.
Should I stop swaddling soon or is it still ok for a while and anyone has a suggestion of larger swaddles for older babies?
I'd hate to swaddle him the entire first year of his life haha.
Also he sleeps through the night in his swing. Laying in his crib/bassinet doesn't keep him down long. Does anyone have any ideas for helping to transition babies out of a swing? I just feel like I have a few bad habits to help keep him asleep so I don't go insane for lack of my own sleep.

Thanks guys.

Nail problems
Girl Umbrella
Hi team,

Sorry this isn't a parenting specific post but since it relates to my daughter (19months) and Google isn't telling me much, I thought someone here might have some insight.

When my daughter was born I noticed that her nails scooped up, like a spoon at the top. I asked the Dr's about it, they just shrugged and said no major issue, she's a newborn, it'll go away. She's 19months and I keep her finger nails quite short but I can tell they are still a bit strange in formation. Basically, her nails curve the opposite way to most nails: there is a slight dip in the middle (of the tip) but the edges sit up like a spoon.
I've mentioned this at her health check ups but haven't been given any insight.

Earlier this week I noticed that her thumb nails (both) have now broken/torn just above the cuticle and the moon has bubbled (for lack of a better word). This is such a strange place, right? It doesn't appear to be hurting her but it looks uncomfortable and certainly abnormal. I don't recall her getting her fingers stuck in anything (and even if she did, surely this wouldn't happen to both thumbs and no other fingers)

Does anyone have any ideas what this could be?
October011014 (4)

Car Seat with widely spaced shoulder straps?
My daughter is 4.5, 43" tall and 42 lbs. She's currently in a Safety 1st Alpha Elite, which she fits in fine, except the shoulder straps are too close together. With the chest clip, they dig into her neck very badly, even when she's perfectly positioned. Are there any seats out there that have more widely spaced straps?

Car seat question
I am traveling with my 90 percentile big 7.5 month old and 3.5 year old from London to Arizona. We will be staying for 6 weeks. Currently the baby is still in a resurfacing bucket seat but he is soon to outgrow it and my 3.5 year old is in a stage 2 seat that she is soon to outgrow for a highbacked booster.

I need to arrange for car seats to be there before we arrive so my dad can pick us up from the airport. I'm not flying with my husband so I really don't want to lug car seats there and back so I'm thinking buying a safe, but not too expensive set of seats there would be best. Can anyone recommend a good seat that isn't too expensive but has a good safety rating? Maybe even a convertible isn't a bad idea so we can get use out of next time we travel to the US too? Sorry I'm not really familiar with any American car seat brands so hoping you all can help me out. Thanks in advance!

My mama said...

This is the cutest thing I've ever seen. I wish all kids "argued" like this. haha.

Update : Planes, Oh, Planes!
Update on my recent trip. My kid loves flying!

On the way there I made sure to feed her during take off and after that she just sat in our laps and played with her new toys. I cried.

On the way home she passed out during take off and slept about 70% of the way. Woke up and played and we fed her towards nearing the end of the flight. TONS of turbulence descending into Baltimore. I had a panic attack. YES. With medicine. I'm sad, I know.

Thanks for all the help and advice everyone!!!! Hopefully it'll be easier for our next trip too.

Some pictures of my little BeauBerry on the planeCollapse )

Quick question: "Are you feeding her cereal yet?" comes up...like...literally all the time. So much so I feel like I should ask ya'll. Should I be feeding her cereal? She's 90% for height, weight and head circumference so she's already big for her age and we feed her the following:

630am: 6 ounces of formula, 1 jar of fruits
930am: 8 ounces of formula
1230pm: 6 ounces of formula, 1 jar of vegetables
330pm: 8 ounces of formula
630pm: 6 ounces of formula, 1 jar of vegetables

7pm she's asleep.

This varies slightly, sometimes she's not hungry exactly every three hours etc. So is there a reason everyone is all over cereal and always ask me why I'm not feeding her cereal?

Confronting your own mortality as a parent
This may be a triggering post, so I'm going to put it under a cut.

Read more...Collapse )

Opinions please!
[stock] gummi worms
Thoughts on teachers using walking laps as a punishment?

Does your opinion change:

1) The age of the child/children in question? For instance, is it okay for 5th graders but not okay for kindergarteners?

2) The amount of laps? One is okay, 5 excessive?

3) The weather?

4) The reasoning?

5) What about mass punishment? Little Timmy acts crazy in the library, so the whole class has to walk laps.


ETA: I posted a couple of weeks ago about one of my children's bathroom issues. Post is here: http://parenting101.livejournal.com/7632745.html

Just wanted to say thank you for all the responses. Turns out it was a large polyp, and she is now free of issues! :)

weaning from wake up nursing
I have a 16 month old who is night weaned but still nurses countless times during the day. She wakes up between 6:30 and 7am and immediately screams bloody murder until I come in to take her to bed to nurse with me. I am pregnant and really have next to no milk left, so she switches sides often, climbs all over me and the bed, and is basically a tyrant. And it is very obvious that she is starving, so we get up and get her breakfast which she inhales. I am so ready to wean her from the wake up nursing, but what worked for my other kids is not working for her. With the other kids we just had dad go in when they woke up and give them a zippy cup of water/milk/hemp milk, whatever was each kids favorite. They would chug it and then go back to sleep or play in their crib quietly for about 20minutes or so. But with this child, she refuses to take a drink of anything, either out of her sippy cup or a regular cup when she wants to nurse. The moment she see dad walk in she flies into hysterics, screams herself silly and wakes up the entire house. Hubby says we should just wean her all the way by just stopping cold turkey. I would hate to do that, but without any other ideas, I am at a loss.

Ryun - FNAF
Starting to get to the point where little guy likes listining to music. I was curious about other's stance on just listening to what the parents like? I sure didn't grow up listaning to 'Wheels on the bus' or 'clasical music' when I was young. We jammed to Red Hot Chilli Peppers, etc. Obviously we don't listen to hard core stuff blatantly talking about sex/drugs etc, but we like listaning to the radio.  Atm I'm making some CD's for him with My Little Pony remixed music and some Videogame music from games I like. (Like Animal Crossing and Pokemon etc) or we just put on Pandora in the car.

What do you guys think?

Party Food?
Okay parents, I need help (obviously). My three year old is having his a birthday party coming up and I'm wondering what type of food to serve? There we be adults and toddlers/preschool age kids. It is at lunch time, so we're getting pizzas and juice boxes for the kids. (There will be cake and ice cream). What should I offer for the adults or should I not offer anything different?


Potty accidents
tenma drawing
My daughter turns four next month and had been potty trained since just before 2 years. She regressed a bit when her sister was born this last February but had gotten better. Now in the last three months she's started having accidents because she's waiting too long or just doesn't want to bother with going to the bathroom. Today we were all playing in her room and I notice her bouncing oddly on her bed I asked her if she needed to use the potty. She was adamant that she didn't need to.
Five minutes later she gets up and there's a huge wet spot on the bed. I asked her why she went potty in her pants and she said because she didn't want to stop playing. When she does this I give consequences. I make her go sit on the potty to make sure everything is out, change her and since she had the accident because she didn't want to stop playing we were done playing that particular game. She melted down over this and I ended up giving her an early bedtime.

I'm going nuts. She was awesome about using the potty for a year and a half and now we need to make her sit on the toilet every four hours if she doesn't go herself and it's turning into a battle. I'm at the point where I'm starting to react in anger and I don't want that so I need to take a huge step back and reassess how I'm handling this. I'd love advice from any parents who've been through this. What worked for you?

How To Entertain Your Little Dragon
Ryun - FNAF
My little guy is 13 weeks and I'm having a hard time recently trying to entertain him during the day. He doesn't really tolerate much of anything for more than 10-15min at a time and goes from chill to sounds like I'm killing him crying in 0 seconds flat. He also will not allow me to set him down for more than 10 min or so either. I'm lucky if I can leave the room and go to the bathroom while he wiggles on the floor.

Here's a list of things I've been through the day:
-Chill on changing station on floor for 20 min after waking up
-Talk to him on changing station (seems I get the best reaction from him while he's laying down or in his bouncer)
-Read books
-Swing in his swing with music and mobile
-Sing to
-Sit in bouncer and play with toy or rag (he has recently taken to chewing on the rags and towels)
-Play Mat (he seems to dislike this toy the most, he gets bored very easy 5min tops
-Rock in rocking chair and listen to music
-Walk around the house
-Walk to get the mail
-Sit outside while dog goes to the bathroom
-Watch a tiny bit of TV
-Bounce on knee
-Baby Dance with through the house

I am a stay at home mom (and work occasionally when he goes to bed at night or when my SIL takes care of him during the day). His nap times and feeding are still a bit too sparatic to pin down. I can usually tell when he's fussy and wants a nap. I just feel like I might be boring him to naps and don't want him to over sleep?? I've borrowed one of my SIL's carriers but again he doesn't tolerate them more than 10 min or so at a time and he absolutely abhors the two wraps I have.
Am I just expecting too much for him to be entertained for more than 10 min at a time? It's running me ragged. Is this just a phase or is he still too young? Any tips on what else I can do? What sort of toys or games I could play? This is my first one so I'm not fully sure what to do now that he's not 100% sleeping and eating all day.
Thanks in advance.

Many Allergies, How Do We Handle Them?
Or Maybe Midgets
So, my daughter is 15 months old. She's nearly always had some kind of rash, and was diagnosed with atopic eczema at 6 months.

Recently she was covered with hives two hours after eating part of an egg roll off my plate at a Chinese restaurant. A trip to the ER and eventually the allergist and some scratch tests gave us a list of things she's allergic to.

Peanuts (we called the restaurant, and found they fry egg rolls in peanut oil)
Tree nuts

The allergist told me to keep giving her meats, fruits, and vegetables. She drinks water and breastmilk, and he told me not to introduce any more beverages and keep nursing her as long as I can. I told him she loves toast, but he cautioned me that she might be allergic to certain breads. He said to go to the store and read labels on bread products to make sure they don't have eggs, dairy, or soy in them.

Trouble is, almost all the bread, crackers, and cereal have soy in them. For some reason, "100% Whole Wheat Bread" of any brand has soy flour in it. I found the artisan bread from the store bakery is the only bread that hasn't got soy, eggs, or milk in it. It also costs twice as much as the bread in the aisle, and there are never coupons for it.

Should I cut toast out of her diet? I don't want to, since there are so many things she can't eat already. But if I buy her bread she can eat, it means we have to cut some meat, fruit, and veggies out of the groceries since we won't have the money for them.

She tried rice cakes, and didn't like them. I'm unsure what to do.

Toilet training dilemma
ad_happylucille by musguita
My daughter is 27 months old and absolutely ready to potty train.  Yesterday she told us twice, once in the morning and once in the evening, that she needed to pee, and actually did both times.  She shows interest in the other kids at kindergarten and the carers agree she is ready.

Problem is, we are not ready.  I was going to do it with her when we both had two weeks at home together in July, and we were doing practices, got thematically appropriate books, bought her underpants, etc.  But then, on the advice of the dentist, losing the dummy (pacifier) became a higher priority, and we didn’t want to manage both together.  We thought, okay, she’s still young, we’ll do it at Christmas.  However, now because of a family emergency, we have to fly home over Christmas (long haul, major disruption, not at home, etc.).  So this really isn’t an ideal time to try either.  Easter would be our next chance at home!

Obviously the kindergarten can’t do hard core potty training either.  However, agreeing that she really seems to want to learn, the teacher suggested we could put our daughter in pull-up nappies, and then she could easily be placed on the toilet when other kids are going to see if she can essentially train herself.

Does this actually work? My concern is that if she is still essentially wearing a nappy, there is no real incentive to pre-empt the need to visit the bathroom, and then it will take forever to get her trained properly.

Any experience with gradual toilet training like this? I’m desperate!  

Shoe size help
Look out
We are likely adopting a little boy in the next month or two. He is in an orphanage in another country. The only size measurements I have are that he is 14 kg (30 lbs) and 90 cm (35.5 inches), and these measurements are from April. He's 3-4 years old, exact age is unknown.

When we arrive we have to go to court and have him dressed up. I'm thinking he will be in 3T clothes, but have no idea what size shoes. What shoe sizes were your kids wearing at this height/weight? How much "growing room" can you have in a shoe (i.e. how far off can I be)? Can a kid easily wear shoes that are a whole size off?

Worst case scenario we can get shoes there, but the thought of taking 2 kids (we are adopting a little girl as well) to a shopping mall, that we've known for less than 24 hours and can't communicate with, is a terrifying proposal to me.

Difficulty with moving
wistful lois
So, I will give the short version;

My family recently uprooted and moved across country from Atlanta to Chicago partly because of my husbands job, in the sense he hated his old one, and the new job in Chicago seems like the best choice. And also partly because we wanted to be near family, for our kids to grow up around family as my husband and I had when we were kids so we are moving to where I grew up.

Our house is still for sale in Atlanta so in the mean time, we are all staying at my dads house until the house sells and we can then purchase a new one here. About a month and a half ago me and my dd (3 yrs 8 mos old) and ds (just turned 9mos old) moved up here while my husband stayed down there to finish getting the house ready to put on the market and tie things up at his old job, and we figured it would be easier to put the house on the market without the kids and all of their kid stuff all over. A week ago my husband finally got up here.

My daughter has been having a very hard time with all of these changes, new state, being at grandma and grandpas, daddy not being there, new school for preschool, and relatively new baby...oh and before we moved, our dog was really sick and we had to put him down. Her temper tantrums have been off the charts horrible. I know it is because she is struggling with all of this, but I had hoped it would improve when my husband got up here and she could be near him again every day. And it has, to some extent, but it is still tough for her and still awful. Today was really bad.

She woke up from a nap and just howled and cried, full blown hysterical temper tantrum for an hour and 10 minutes straight, no stopping. Awful. Worst ever. We tried ignoring, we tried putting her in her room, we tried consoling, nothing worked. It started when she woke up and said she wanted milk and when we offered it to her in a big girl cup with a straw she melted down hysterical for a sippy cup to which we said no, because she can't behave that way and expect to get what she wanted.

Eventually she said she was frustrated about moving and wanted to be back home at the old house, she was pleading to go back and it just broke my heart.

My dad and step mom have put up princess and ballerina decor, put purple (her favorite color) linens and comforter on her bed and changed their guest room into her room. They tried to help by making it her room as much as possible.

They got us a pool membership, a membership to the local zoo here, we have taken her there multiple times, I'm between jobs so I am home with her every day and she goes to preschool twice a week in the mornings. There is a 6 year old boy next door who plays with her on a fairly regular basis, family members stop by to play with her, etc. When she has expressed before wanting to go back to the old house I have talked with her about it, snuggled with her, hugged her, etc.

Any suggestions on how to help her with this transition would be much appreciated. My husband and I are struggling and it just breaks our hearts to see her so upset and having a hard time with all of it.

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