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Go BB Go

i-love-meBB has a burst of vocabulary recently and his short little sentences are wicked cute. “I eat rice-beans.” or his favorite “I rip.” However, his greatest use of words is when he copies LTD singing a rock and roll song. When LTD announces he is going to sing rock and roll. He starts reading a book and after each line will add, yeah baby rock and roll. This in turn allows BB to run around screaming simply, “yeah baby rock-roll.” Finally, we drive past a Peruvian deli every day with with name Go Chicken Go giving us all an opportunity to scream Go Chicken Go. BB takes this one step further by screaming, Go LTD, Go Daddy, Go Mommy, Go Me. That’s right he says a whole bunch of stuff but won’t say his own name. He is simply Me.

Ups & Downs

stair3BB’s latest developmental milestone ties nicely in with his terrible twoing. Of course he wants to do everything himself. This behavior manifests itself mostly when he is being carried as he wants to walk. I battle him outside as I won’t let him walk in the cold snow as his gate is leisurely and it’s freezing out. However, he makes a valid point when indoors and now demands to go down the stairs by himself. I’m cool with that, but he won’t let me hold his other, non railing, hand. I figure no big deal he seems to have it. Yet, he also won’t let me stand anywhere near him so I have to go to the bottom of the staircase and play catch. I forgive him all the tsuris he causes me because he has yet to walk down the stairs without sporting an ear to ear grin filled with pride.

4 Reasons to Resolve to Make Your Child’s Sleep a Priority in 2015

toddler soeep
Certified Pediatric Sleep Expert Amy Lage of Well Rested Baby, shares 4 concrete reasons why your New Years’ resolution should be improving your child’s sleep, which will in turn improve yours.
1. Babies and Toddlers Need Quality Sleep for Healthy Body and Brain Growth and Development

Gazing at your beautiful baby as he sleeps you wouldn’t guess that internally his body is anything but at rest. While your baby sleeps his reduced physical activity enables his brain to carry out vital jobs that cannot be as efficiently accomplished during wakefulness. Sleep gives his brain a chance to turn its attention to the important job of consolidating memory and learning. Making sure your child gets good, sound sleep ensures he or she will have a sound foundation for proper mind and body development. The American Academy of Pediatrics has linked babies’ insufficient sleep to everything from future obesity to behavior problems in kids. As Marc Weissbluth, MD, the author of “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child,” explains, children who don’t get enough consolidated REM sleep have shorter attention spans, so they don’t learn as well. These babies also release more of the stress hormone cortisol, setting them up for frequent night wakings and stunted naps. In short, sleep = brain power and nourishment for the body.

2. Children Who Get the Sleep they Need, Behave Better and are Generally More Enjoyable

This statement is true for children of all ages and is one that most of us have observed. A baby who has skipped a nap is usually quite fussy and unpleasant. And imagine the toddler who has not gotten in his needed sleep for the day – phew tantrums ensue, watch out! This is because when we don’t get the sleep we need, our body and brain are stressed and for a child it is easy to see how that can lead to poor behavior. While this relationship between lack of sleep and crankiness is generally accepted as true, there have recently been many studies on the topic that offer further proof. For example, this study from the University of Colorado Boulder measured the sleep patterns of toddlers aged two to three and found that for toddlers “missing even a single nap causes them to be less positive, more negative and have decreased cognitive engagement.” I think this quote from the study’s author Professor Monique LeBourgeois sums it all up: “Just like good nutrition, adequate sleep is a basic need that gives children the best chance of getting what is most important from the people and things they experience each day.” Another recent study published in the journal of Pediatrics (authored by Reut Gruber, director of the attention behavior and sleep lab at the Douglas Institute at McGill University, in Quebec) looked at children ages 7-11. One group of children went to bed earlier and got about 27 extra minutes of sleep a night while the other group stayed up later than their bedtime and lost about 54 minutes of sleep each night. “Students who were sleep-deprived not only seemed overly tired, but were more impulsive and irritable than their well-rested classmates. They were quick to cry, lose their tempers or get frustrated.” Yet another study, (this one from researchers in the United Kingdom) discusses the importance of regular bedtimes in ensuring our kids are emotionally at their best. “While all of us are crankier and less pleasant when we don’t get enough sleep, this has a particular importance for children, because experts believe that sleep is important for the development of parts of the brain that regulate behavior” explains Dr. Claire McCarthy. But the really exciting part of this study: this is reversible!  Children who started having set bedtime routines caught up and behavioral issues improved.

3. Sleep = Brain Power

Did you know that the higher ones IQ is the more they sleep? Definitely an interesting fact, and one that points out the importance of sleep in intelligence and academic achievement. While the amount of sleep your child gets does not automatically predict their IQ, it is certainly important for them to preform at their best. Dr. Avi Sadeh of Tel Aviv University, conducted a study where at random a group of 4th-6th graders were instructed to sleep either more or less. The results were astonishing. “A loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to [the loss of] two years of cognitive maturation and development,” Sadeh explains. This is like a 6th grader performing at a 4th graders level after just three nights of poor sleep! Further, studies have shown that lack of sleep cannot allow a child to concentrate in class and therefore they often miss out on new material. If this happens day after day a child can certainly fall behind. Sleep has even been correlated to academic success for the littlest of students. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that naptime for preschoolers allows them to better process and remember the information they learn in school. One group of students napped after a memory game while the other group was kept awake following the game. The children who slept approximately 77 minutes were able to remember 75% of what they learned – a full 10% more than the children who did not nap. So it appears, sleep is critical to learning no matter your age.

4. YOU!

If the information above isn’t enough to convince you to make your child’s sleep a priority, then what about your well being! To be a healthy well functioning adult, you need to get plenty of consolidated sleep. Remember that plan to exercise more this year to improve your health? Well adults who are not getting enough sleep have a much harder time motivating themselves to stick with a regular exercise regimen. Recent studies have linked poor quality sleep in older adults to a faster decline in the size of the frontal, temporal and parietal areas of the brain – the areas of the brain that are used in decision making and learning. What’s scarier? Too little sleep can lead to and speed up dementia in adult men. Wow, a good night sleep is more important that one may think! If your child is sleeping well, then chances are you will be too!

The Tip Take-Away: Make sleep a top priority and you will likely have a happier, self-assured, less demanding, and more sociable child. In turn, you will likely get some more sleep yourself enabling you to be a healthier adult and a better parent. It’s a win, win for all!

Just Picture It

shouphI love the thought of this straight laced guy doing what he did. Enjoy the holidays, click here.

The Tears of a Clown

baby cryingTurns out BB’s sign language lessons at preschool are working. Every time he hears a baby crying he lets out a chorus of “Baby Cry Cry” and then he puts his fingers on both sides of his nose, squeezes and laughs. All this is hysterical accept for the lack of empathy for the crying infant. After consulting his teachers, the sign for crying is to put your fingers under your eye and drag down. BB has interpreted this move as nose based instead of eye. Another side effect of hearing a baby sob is that BB says so few words that whenever he does it is akin to breaking news on CNN. The only problem that may be a slight concern is that he never says Baby Cry Cry without a huge grin on his face. Of course now the whole family is in on the action so babies beware if your tears are flowing you will hear a four people scream, Baby Cry Cry.

File Under “Cute”

stuffedRecently, BB has developed a new habit. Every time sees a plush or stuffed animal, especially teddy bears, he will hug it and squeeze it. I’m not talking Lennie from Mice and Men, but a pure sweet hug/squeeze of joy. Sometimes in his room he will do a dive hug into a larger stuffy and that is pretty damn cute. However, the cutest hug he does unfortunately is bittersweet.When he is crying pretty hard and in the throws of terrible twoing, he occasionally is comforted by a teddy and squeezes while still crying and it is enough to make one forget the headache his three hour crying jag has caused and go,”awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.”

Remember to ASK this Thanksgiving holiday

email_Brady-center-logoToday in America, one in every three households with children have guns. At the same time, nine children and teens are shot every day in gun accidents, often with a parent or relative’s gun.

This Thanksgiving, before you gather around the table with loved ones and friends, we at Brady encourage you to ASK the life-saving question — “Is there an unlocked gun where my child plays?”

This one simple question has the power to prevent unintentional shootings and is the centerpiece of Brady’s groundbreaking ASK (Asking Saves Kids) campaign which continues to gain momentum across the nation.

Through ASK, Brady is inspiring a new national conversation as we work to achieve a future where no child is killed by a gun in the home.

As we head home for the holidays, we should all be thankful that we have the power to keep our children safe from the dangers of unsafe access to guns.

Father sings to his dying newborn son

Good luck not rolling a tear on this one. here.

This Worksite has had 0 Days Without Accident

HYL-75101-5When LTD was around two we were told to get ready for a lot of bumps and bruises. This was under the umbrella of boys will be boys. However, LTD never really did get all that banged up and he wasn’t very physical in a way that would even result in the scraps of youth (telling him to be quiet was a whole other issue). Where LTD failed BB has taken on the challenge. Not only does that kid get a ton of bumps, scraps and bruises, but he seems to group them in spurts. At school we are asked to sign the incident report on a semi-daily basis, however a few of them are because another “friend” was at fault. You have to love picking him up and told that one of his friends bit him. BB’s favorite place, it seems, to get a nice bump is on his forehead or temple as he clocks himself on a table because of his near constant motion. He doesn’t really get all that banged up in the house or I would bubble wrap everything. Thankfully he hasn’t had any serious or even band-aid worthy bump, but it is sad to see how quickly his running laughter can turn to tears. 

You Know You Want To Push It

skullbttonFor BB’s first real Halloween at The Mommy’s office he took to it like a pro. Wearing the same lion costume that LTD donned at that age he ran everywhere without fear of the dark corners. He kept holding his plastic pumpkin candy holder and kept putting treats in it with precision (even if he won’t eat any of it, #IWon’tChew). However, all the cool things at the office party including the balloon room and Halloween movies might as well been invisible. Why? Because the only thing that he cared about was pressing the button on a skeleton in a casket that lit up and played spooky music. The good news is that we now have the answer to the question, does a toddler ever get tired of pressing a button to make a skeleton light up? Happy Halloween!