life advice from a pediatric therapist turned stay at home dad
so much to tell
Instead my poor Anabel had a whooping cough last night. It broke my heart, and had me scared.
She woke up around 10:30 with that cough I hope parents do not have to hear. It is a cross between a chain smoker, a duck, and a nagging mother in law.
Not good. First thing, we took her to the bathroom and turned on the shower for some steam action. It helped. Then it was off to bed with her between the two of us. She was not having it so I put her in the pack and play next to our bed. My poor angel was hacking all night but was able to sleep.
Of course she woke up with all smiles.
It was off to the pediatrician who has a new 4 carat emerald cut engagement ring. If I wasn’t so preoccupied, I would of asked for details. Anyway, clear lungs heard and a prescription for a steroid to help at night.
It amazes me the effect I have on men is now channeled into my son. He does not want me to leave him. When daddy needs his time at the gym, my kids get to hang in the playroom with other kids. I put my daughter on the floor, she is off like the wind. I put my son down, he cries. Even though, I love that he needs me and I would love to baby bjorn him when I am in spin class, however as an experience OT and a gym freak. Tough cookies. He needs to self soothe himself in order to have more confidence and to acquire better socialization skills. FYI, as soon as I leave, he’s stops crying and puts a toy in his mouth. Typical man
Before kids, the only playdates I would pick up at the gym would have be 6 foot with hair in their chest. Now, I tend to attract mid 30′s , size 2, and just recovering from a c- section. Times have changed. I take my kids to the gym (2 hours of babysitting for $20….which means 3o min cardio , 30 min weight training and 1 hour long hot shower with the water hitting my back and my ears taking a rest from the baby monitor–BLISS). Occasionally , I get asked by moms for a playdate. I feel like I am on a blind date. Let’s face it, it’s not about the kids getting along. My kids are a year old, they would get along with a blender. Do I really want to sit at a cafe or even worse at your house and watch our kids ignore each other while you talk about yourself? . One of the first playmates I picked up is where I used to pick up my men. A restaurant. I was sitting outside with a friend having lunch and cocktails while my 3 month olds were sleeping in the stroller. Next to me was a mom with a baby about the same age. With cocktail in hand, she asked about my kids, vice versa. Turns out we had friends in common and for the next few months( she moved away) we would hang out and just talk( yes wine was involved). It was natural and organic.
Lesson learned here. When you have a baby under 6 months, enjoy your liquid lunches. Because you have to start chugging your drink once they get all fidgety.
IT WAS BAD ENOUGH THAT MY WHITNEY PASSED AWAY. SO OFF TO BED AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT….. THE BABY MONITOR (OF COURSE ON MY SIDE OF THE BED) STARTS RELAYING MY SON’S SCREAMS. AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW….. MICHAEL SLEEPS THROUGH THE EBTIRE FERBER METHOD. MY SON SLEEPING, 2 SLICES OF GINGERBREAD CAKE, AND 40 MINUTES OF COMPUTER TIME LATER. I GET BACK INTO BED. OF COURSE MICHAEL IS IN THE SAME SLEEPING POSITION.
NOW I COULD OF AWOKEN HIM TO HANDLE THIS BUT IN REALITY I WILL USE THIS AS A BARGAINING CHIP TO SNEAK A NAP IN TODAY WHILE HE CAN WATCH THE KIDS.
THE SAD THING IS I WAS ON MY 1ST PIECE OF GINGERBREAD CAKE WHEN THADEUS STARTED CRYING. THAT IS THE BEAUTY OF HAVING A NARCOLEPTIC PARTNER. ANYTHING GOES …….AND GETTING TO WATCH EVERYTHING YOU WANT ON TV BECAUSE HE FALLS ASLEEP BEFORE THE 1ST COMMERCIAL.
I am pissed. We were over a friends house and a couple stopped by with their kids. Everything was fine until I heard a cough from their children that sounded they have been smoking Marlboro Reds since birth. At this point, I look at Michael and think I am screwed. Because one of the kids has already baby handled both of my kids. My instinct was to pick up my kids and say I have to go home and prepare my taxes. The joke with that is I am not filing for the past year unless there is a national organization that pays stay at home parents. Anyway , I realized I am screwed. We stayed and played. And guess what 36 hours later, it sounds like my daughter finished a pack of Virginia slims. And after that, Thadeus polished off his last Winston. Of course it does not end there. Now my son has an ear infection because of the cold. It has been a week of hell and does not help that my partner is in Europe “working” for the week. A week later they are still sick.
SO WHY THE F$%^ WOULD YOU NOT TELL ME YOUR KIDS WERE SICK BEFORE YOU CAME OVER
For the 1st year of life, my kids took after me. I love a liquid lunch. I never gave my kids lunch. It was much easier giving a bottle.
They are in the 75th – 90th for weight.
I loaded them up for breakfast and dinner.
In all reality, I would rather them to have formula than to nosh on a few pieces of fruit and a carb.
Selfish .. a little
Once they are eating the cereal, it is on to other foods right? Yes and no. I had all intentions of making my own baby food with that baby food making machine (still new in the box). What a fool I was, I have twins and the last thing I was going to do was shop. prepare and cook for 8 ounces food that may end up on the floor. So I did the next best thing. Target, Whole Foods, Babies R Us. They carry organic food in all flavors
I am all about Nutrition, I made a conscience effort to not give my kids with a lot of sugar. So that means I limited most fruits until they were 11 months. If you look at the nutritional info on the labels, it is amazing that a container of banana has like 18g of sugar. So my rule was to keep anything under 8g per each container. Organic Earth’s best has more of a low sugar selection ( unfortunately they taste nasty). Organic Gerber tastes better but you have to be careful of sugar content.
My favorites are
Organic Gerber — Apple harvest squash, mixed vegetables, peas, apple cinnamon oatmeal,
Earth’s Best– Squash medley, tomato pastina, chicken stars
When we went to the pediatricians for the 6 month visit, she said we can give yogurt. I was thrown off by that because I knew that dairy was to start after a year, so I did my own research and found out that it is OK. So I bought Stoneyfield PLAIN FULL FAT yogurt . They did not like at first but after many tries they took it. They love it now. So I added some formula powder to it, to give it a kick of nutrients.
This really is a superfood with healthy fat, protein, probiotics, and vitamins from the formula powder.
For each 2 tablespoons of yogurt put once scoop of formula
It is great for breakfast and dinner
It is funny, as a gay man with an eating disorder, I love getting babies plump and fat because I know that fat babies are healthy babies and we all know that once they start crawling, getting sick, picky and so on —- they start losing the chubbs.
Having said that, 6 months is the magic number start feeding. I don’t care what your pediatrician, mom, neighbor, or priest says. It is a fact that babies are anatomically ready to start to eat at 6 months:
1. Their anatomy lines up (breathing/ feeding tube are in proper alignment)
2. They are sitting more and have the postural control and strength
Having said that, I will be honest bottle feeding is easier. It is faster, easier, intimate, and mobile. you can give a bottle anywhere. So why shave off 2 months and start feeding at 4 months?
Also, I would rather have my kids have a protein/ vitamin fortified meal (formula) than a sugary nutritional deficient applesauce. Who care if little Henry likes to eat pear sauce at 4 months. I would rather have little Mary polish off an 8 ounce bottle of formula
So now we are ready for solids, it is up to you to chose what yo want to give. In general you want to give cereal mixed with formula.
Here are some tips:
Have a glass of wine before you start. It can be stressful especially when they spit it out and you feel like an ass
1. Unless your child has a mouth as big as Julia Roberts, use small spoons ( I like the munchkin and gerber ones)
2. Go straight in with the spoon and place food on the tongue. Don’t do side feeds with the spoon as if the child is drinking soup.
3. The cereal should really be runny and not thick. It will be hard for them to swallow
I am going to add a video to show proper feeding once I figure out plug ins
Throughout my years of home visits in the New York City, I have had my fair share of experiences with nannies. Before I tell my stories of the motley crew of babysitters, parents with babysitters/ nannies must read and follow my instructions. Every nanny has a gripe (as you probably do with your boss). I guarantee if you follow these guidelines, you will have a happy nanny. And a happy nanny is someone that is NOT going to trash you in front of your kids (yes, they do that)
For every parent that is going to hire or has a nanny I want you to listen closely.YOUR CHILD IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU . Having said that, treat the person that is watching your pride and joy with respect.You get what you pay for. Most nannies here in the city work 60 hour weeks. With no break, no sick time, and if they are lucky 1 week vacation that is to be taken when the family goes away. It amazes me how cheap people can be with their nannies. Do not nickel and dime your caregiver. They get pissed and will not be happy. From my experience, 98% of the parents in NYC with nannies were awful to them. (even worse, parents were completely oblivious to the way they treat them.)Here is a list of don’ts.