Parenting advice from the “experts”

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Don’t make eye contact with a child playing happily. As soon as they see you looking, they are no longer content unless they’re on your lap. Betsy, mother of 3

Nurse while clipping baby’s finger and toe nails. When that stops working, having him or her distracted by a cartoon or funny cats on Youtube works well, too. Betsy, mother of 3

When your baby hurts him or herself, nursing works like a charm to stop the tears. When your child is older and is hurt or just plain throwing a fit, grab his favorite blanket or stuffed animal, take him to the room with the rocking chair, shut the door behind you, leave the light off, and rock with him, holding him tight, rubbing his back, and speaking soothingly. At first he’ll probably fight you and try to get away, but hold tight, eventually he’ll give in and relax. Then hold him there, rocking quietly for another minute to two, and all is right with the world again. ~Betsy, mother of 3

“When my three boys eat a meal, the dining room floor looks like that of a cafeteria after the entire school has eaten lunch. To anyone who has children like mine, I highly recommend one of those dustpans with a tall handle so you can sweep the floor without having to bend over. Your back will thank you.” Anne, mother of 3

“The people who wrote the books, the doctors and the nurses may know A LOT about babies because they have known A LOT of babies. But none of them know YOUR BABY better than you. Trust your instincts.” Martin, father of 4

“Discipline your children.  Don’t  fall into the “I want my child to like me/be my friend” syndrome.  They need and deserve boundaries.  It is your duty, out of love, to teach your children how to behave, what is acceptable and not acceptable, and to be consistent.  Always remember that you are the parent; not a peer.  One day, they will thank you for it.” Anita, mother of 5

“Tag team. It’s 2 against 1. Use it to your advantage, even if the 1 is stronger and louder than both of you combined.” Darren, father of 1

“Make sure that you don’t attempt to be a superhero during the sleepless night hours. Ask for help.” Darren, father of 1

“Disregard all of the advice you’ve been given by parenting books, your friends and your own parents.  Just as no two families are the same and no two parents are the same, no two children will be the same.  Your precious little bundle(s) of joy will have his or her own personality.  He or she will sleep through the night, roll-over, walk, talk, and potty-train in their own time.  Some will be quieter than others.  Some will have the hand-eye coordination to shoot a 3-point jump-shot right out of the womb.  There is no hand book, no magic formula.  Enjoy each day with the appreciation that your children are unique individuals, made special-order for your family by God himself.  Treat every “disaster” as a learning opportunity and learn to laugh at the absurd situations we parents find ourselves in on a daily basis.  Above all, love God, love your spouse, love yourself and love your children – everything else will fall into place.” Alicia, mother of 4

“When my son had colic and he would need to be held a lot, but I was so tired and needed to sleep I thought to myself, “I need to hang in there and not get frustrated because this time with him, comforting him in his stomach pain, is laying the foundation for a lifetime of his knowing I’m there for him and he can trust me.” Colette, mother of 4 adopted children

“Laughter goes a long way. Enjoy every moment as a parent. These are the good ol’ days! A soul is for eternity; parenting is short.” Nicole, mother of 8

“Plan to nurse though age 2 because a 10-second nursing solves most ‘terrible two’ frustrations.” Sue, mother of 3

“Always bring a change of clothes up to age 4.” Janet, mother of 3

“Relax–we all make mistakes, and our kids survive them. Don’t stress over being a ‘perfect parent.’ Just be a loving one. Ginny, mother of 3

“Use your mother’s intuition. Sometimes you don’t really need others’ opinions. Go with your gut!” Mary, mother of 4

“You’ll never be as prepared as you want to be. Know how to improvise. Think McGyver.” Dalita, mother of 4

“Make sure you make time for your marriage. Your relationship, your love for each other, is the foundation of your children’s lives. Jenny, mother of 2, former foster parent of many
My advice: when you bend over to pick something up, grab everything else within reach while you’re down there. Bending over three dozen times a day gets tiring after a while. Make each time count. Or better yet, make like a monkey and pick stuff up with your toes. Betsy, mother of 3

“Enjoy every day because tomorrow life will be more complicated. Today, as tired as you may feel, is really the best day. Attitude is everything.” Paula, mother of 3

“Have an experienced support group. Don’t isolate yourself. Be patient and forgiving with yourself.” Heidi, mother of 2

“Explore Bradley Method, and have a midwife deliver or consult with you. The difference in home birth vs. hospital birth is amazing.” Martha, mother of 5

“Use a warm rice sock to help the baby sleep. Take a tube sock and fill it with white rice, not instant rice. Then tie the end. Just heat for 1 minute in the microwave and place it near the baby’s stomach. You will all sleep better.” Christine, mother of 6

“Moms, take a daily nap when your baby sleeps.” Pia, mother of 7

“Ask for advice only from those who have experience. Too many ideas of what to do can leave us confused.” Pia, mother of 7

“Get together with other couples with small children.” Pia, mother of 7

“Have your mother or mother-in-law take care of your household for a minimum of two weeks post- partum! The household will run smoother, especially if there are other children in the home.” Shirley, mother of 4

“Take heart when your youngest child has a hard time adjusting to the new baby. In my experience it takes three months for them to get used to the new kid in town. It will go by quickly; then all will be well again!” Mary, mother of 8

“Remember, these are the best years of your life: pregnant, the two-year-old in the stroller, and the four-year-old in tow. Cherish each moment.” Mary Jo, mother of 8

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