Turn a Bad Day AroundEvery day with your baby won't be rosy. Here, 31 ways to sail through the rough spots.
Not feeling like Mary Poppins today? Whether you work or stay at home, you're bound to have days alone with your baby that start off bad and quickly get worse. When it happens, first remind yourself that you can't do it all perfectly and won't always be in a good mood, says psychologist Patricia Farrell, Ph.D., author of How to Be Your Own Therapist. "Life isn't a straight highway -- your baby needs to learn this, too." Then try a few of the following solutions to U-turn a day that's headed south.
When you're exhausted...
If you were up all hours with a crying baby, stop burning the candle at both ends and take it easy today.
Fake some floor time Do as many activities as you can while lying down next to your baby as she plays, suggests Paige Babcock, a mom of two in New Milford, Connecticut. Your baby will enjoy having you nearby as she plays with a toy or rattle, and you'll sneak in some rest.
Meter your java dose "Having more or less than your usual amount of coffee can lead to irritability and extreme fatigue," says Cynthia Sass, R.D., national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and coauthor of Your Diet Is Driving Me Crazy.
Enforce naptime for everyone Sure, you're supposed to sleep when the baby sleeps, but giving up your only time to check e-mail can be a tough sacrifice. Just for today, try to take a nap -- you'll probably surprise yourself by dozing off.
Stop skipping meals Even the simplest of lunches -- a peanut butter and jelly sandwich -- can be an afternoon mood-booster. Made with whole-grain bread using fruit spread, it supplies complex carbohydrates that boost brain serotonin levels and help you feel happier and more focused, according to Andrew Packard, M.D., author of The Packard Weight Health Plan.
Slash the to-do list Instead of feeling badly that you're too tired to get anything done, give yourself an extension on everything that doesn't need to be done immediately.
Have a pajama day Hanging out in your jammies isn't just comfortable, it's a great opportunity to connect with your inner child, says Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D., an L.A.-based psychologist.
Increase your water intake Dehydration can cause headache and exhaustion, leaving you feeling even more tired than you already are. Aim to drink about eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
Sleep tweak Move everyone's bedtime earlier tonight. "Your baby will likely sleep until the same time tomorrow, and you'll all feel refreshed," says sleep expert Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia and the author of Sleeping Through the Night.
Save sweets for last There's nothing wrong with having a treat, but eating sugary foods (like soda, brownies, candy, or even a large glass of juice) on an empty stomach can cause a huge energy crash, says Sass.
News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads
When it comes to holiday giving, it's the thought that counts, which is why homemade gifts from kids are so treasured by their mothers. Children might not have money to spend on an expensive piece of jewelry or designer handbag, but they do have the time to DIY something special for their number one fan. If you're in charge of helping the little ones think of presents, check out the above list of homemade gifts for mom. From a custom vase to Instagram coasters to Warhol-inspired wall art, we have something for every taste and skill level.
At our household, we have a large, diverse collection of toys. While I’m not as uptight as my husband on what enters our kids’ toy chest, my husband must approve all toy acquisitions mostly because of aesthetics (appearance is important). In our search for functional and stylish toys, the sustainable ones often have the best design, and appeal to the visual and tactile senses or improve fine motor skills such as dexterity and hand coordination. Here are a few of our family favorites that intrigue and hold our little ones’ attention—and look good, too.
Worried that a violent video game might sneak its way into your shopping cart during the holidays? Before you make it to the register, make sure you're armed with all the information you need regarding your child's games. Just because your well-meaning thirteen-year-old promises you that the game he's about to buy with the gift card from Uncle Mike is totally chill, doesn't mean it's good for kids. Do your research ahead of time to avoid any game store drama. And have a chat with your offspring before the big day; let them know that you're going to have to green light their choices before they get their hearts set on any particular item. At the end of the day, you're just being a good parent. Some of the games on the market now may look OK at first glance, but are actually quite objectionable. Trust us: We've done our homework and we're here to give you the ultimate low-down. Check out this slideshow for all the games to steer clear of this season. Don't say we didn't warn you.
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