Monthly Archives: November 2006

51 Ways a Labour Partner Can Help

As the arrival of baby #2 becomes imminent, I thought I would share the following list with other Dad (or partner) to be’s.

Thanks to our doula, Heather at Birth and Beyond, for the following information.

In early labour, you can:

  1. Help her get ready for labour
  2. Encourage her; say that she’s strong and ready
  3. Make her tea or broth to drink
  4. Make her something light to eat
  5. Play cards or watch TV with her
  6. Suggest a shower
  7. Suggest a nap
  8. Remind her to relax and focus

If she is having trouble keeping focused, you can:

  1. Reassure and praise her
  2. Give her an object or picture to look at during contractions
  3. Remind her of the reason she’s here (baby)
  4. Suggest a walk or position change
  5. Ask extra people to leave the room
  6. P lace your hands on her face and breath with her

If her belly hurts, you can:

  1. Remind her to go to the bathroom often
  2. H elp her change positions
  3. With a light touch, massage her lower belly and thighs
  4. If she is having trouble relaxing you can:
  5. Place a hand over her hand
  6. Have her shake both hands in the air
  7. Touch her and remind her to relax
  8. Talk about a relaxing time
  9. Play music that helps her relax
  10. Read to her
  11. Rub her back

If she is too hot, you can:

  1. Wash her face and neck with a cool, wet cloth
  2. Give her ice chips
  3. Fan her face and body
  4. Open a window

If her back hurts, you can:

  1. H elp her change positions
  2. Put a warm cloth or heat pack on her back
  3. Put a cold cloth or ice pack on her back
  4. Apply counter pressure with hands or tennis ball
  5. Sit back to back with her so your backs can press together
  6. Have her lean against the hurt with her own fists
  7. H elp her stand and lean against the wall
  8. Help her get on her hands and knees and rock back and forth

If her legs and arms shake, you can:

  1. Hold her steady so she feel more in control
  2. Use a soft touch or long, firm stroking on her legs and arms
  3. Rub her feet and hands
  4. Put a warm blanket on her

If her contractions stop, you can:

  1. Talk about labour and encourage rest and relaxation
  2. Help her with nipple stimulation
  3. Kiss her
  4. Tell her how strong she is
  5. Make sure she’s drinking water
  6. Suggest a hot shower
  7. Help her take a walk
  8. Rub her back
  9. Take her outside
  10. Make her la ugh

The Tooth Fairy Has Been Banished

If you come to our house, please disregard the letter to the Tooth Fairy posted on the front door.

Last night, The Girl got terrified the Tooth Fairy was going to come to our house. I’m not sure where this latest fear has come from, but she went to sleep last night saying she didn’t want to dream about the Tooth Fairy and woke up this morning almost crying, upset the Tooth Fairy was going to come.

I can’t say I blame her. The whole idea of some mythical creature sneaking into your room in the middle of the night and sticking their hands under your pillow without you waking up is a bit creepy (as I have posted about before).

So, this morning, to help alleviate a 3 year olds fear, we wrote and posted the following letter on our front door. It says:

Dear Tooth Fairy,

Please do not come to our house. There are no teeth here for you. Perhaps you could try the next house?

Thank you

I’m sure the postal worker and newspaper delivery people think we are looney, but it worked and calmed The Girl down.

Tips for Toddler Bedtime

Further to my last post about bedtime battles, I found this good video on the Parentcentre website. It has some good ideas on how to avoid the bedtime power struggles.

Also, tonight during our routine I flipped The Girl upside down while Mom brushed her teeth. The Girl got a big kick out of upside down brushing and we had the easiest tooth brushing we’ve had in many weeks. The rest of the night wasn’t quite so smooth, but it’s a start!

The Stalling Toddler

Is there a more frustrating event with a toddler than bedtime? No matter how entrenched the routine is, The Girl is quickly becoming a master of “The Stall”. And oh, she’s getting veeeeery good at it.

For example, she is getting close to being potty trained, so she knows that if she says she has to go pee, that’ll be a few minutes more as we make our way down to the bathroom, stop on the stairs to pick up a wayward stuffy, linger at the bottom of the stairs to examine a dust particle, mosey on into the bathroom, with one quick pause to admire the collected stickers on her cooperation chart (which has been unused for the past few nights).

Once inside the bathroom, a few more moments are wasted while her pj’s and night-time diaper are removed. Then the big decision – potty or toilet. She examines the toilet, then moves over to the potty…then back to the toilet and continues moving indecisively between the two until my voice, lowering in frustration, growls “pick one.”

And so it goes, for the next 10 minutes, until we are back in bed …. and she declares that she is hungry. But we were prepared for this since she has tried this one before. We have been warning her in the evening, before bath, that if she is hungry to have the snack we are offering her now because there will be no more food until morning. So, we tell her this.

Let the wailing begin.

What was once a very pleasant part of our day – a time when we snuggled in warm towels after a hot bath and cuddled under blankets reading The Cat in The Hat – has become The Mother of All Toddler Battles, usually ending in tears, threats, warnings and toddler screams of “NO!”

What is even worse is the toll these night-time battles are taking on her Mom, myself and our relationship. We’re usually okay when we are in the heat of the moment staying relatively calm and working together (never let them see a crack is my motto), but once The Girl is down for the night and we do our post-tantrum analysis, I’ve noticed there seems to be a bit more of “well, if you wouldn’t have…” and “well, maybe you should have…”‘s entering into the discussion.

Fortunately, we are both good at recognizing this, usually the next day, after we are well rested and have had a night to think about what happened. But these past few weeks have been very tough, and I have a feeling it will only get tougher when the new baby arrives any day now.

In the meantime, I’m off to do more research on bedtime strategies and how best to cope with “The Stall”. And continue talking with Mom about our strategy and the importance of presenting a united front to The Girl.

6 Strategies to Reduce TV Time

We all know watching excessive amounts of television is not good for ourselves or our kids. But how exactly do you go about reducing the number of hours your family spends in front of the box? That is challenge many parents in the U.S. are facing, according to a recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which outlines 6 strategies for parents to get their kids watching less TV.

The study showed that kids are watching 3 hours of TV per day, considerably more than the AAP recommendation of 1-2 hours for children over 2 and that families have, on average 4 TV sets in their house. Most kids (63%) have TV’s in their bedrooms and almost half the families (46%) have TV’s in their eating area.

According to the study, many parents agree in principle with the 2 hour rule, but do not seem to have any concrete strategies on how to reduce screen time so the researches devised 6 strategies to help parents.

  1. Pay Attention to How Much Time Children Spend Using All Screen Media.
  2. Do Not Put a Television Set in a Child’s Bedroom. Children with a television in their bedroom watch more television and have fewer rules about television than children without a television in their bedroom.
  3. Eliminate Background Television. An easy starting point for many families may be to turn the television off when it is on in the background or when it is not considered the primary activity.
  4. Limit Television on School Days.
  5. Identify Nonscreen, In-Home Activities That Are Pleasurable to Children. This one was tough for a lot of parents – they simply could not think of other things for kids to do at home. Many feared that they would have to become their child’s entertainment if they shut off the TV. If you are stumped, here are some ideas and some more and yet more.
  6. Do Not Put a Television in Household Eating Areas and Do Not Connect Television Viewing With Eating of Any Sort, Including Snacks and Meals. The study suggests that there may be a link between eating more energy-dense and less nutritious food when you eat in front of the TV.