Offbeat Parenting Milestones

Offbeat Parenting Milestones

We cover a variety of serious topics on our blog, but every once in a while it is nice to lighten the mood. Today we are exploring the humorous and real side of parenting. It is wonderful when you hear your baby giggle for the first time, when she takes her first step, or utters her first words, but here are 12 milestones that you never knew you would LOVE: 

  1. When he wipes his own bottom. Sure, it is exciting when your little guy shows interest in the potty, and even better when he starts using it consistently, but did you realize you’d continue to accompany him on those trips for a long time to come? The day he can successfully tackle that task independently from start to finish is party-worthy.
  2. When she learns to pump on the swing. When this clicks for your little one, you get to say goodbye to hours of standing there pushing her back and forth, over and over and over. You just may hear music from the heavens and feel like jumping onto your own swing beside her to celebrate.
  3. When he can buckle and unbuckle his own seat belt. You’ll recall how fun it is to mess with straps and buckles (sometimes for two or three kids) every single time you stop to run into the store, or post office, or library. And then do it all over again when you get back out. Well, no more! He’s got this now! Your errand-running just became a thousand times easier.
  4. When she can get her own breakfast without waking you. Even though you are thrilled to wake up to: “Moooom! Daaaaaad! I’m huuuuuungry!” the day will come when you’ll wake up all on your own, rub your eyes, and wonder why she is sleeping in, only to find her happily munching on breakfast that she got all by herself. Yes, there may be some cereal scattered on the floor or some milk on the counter, but you’ll still want to do a cartwheel.
  5. When he can get across the monkey bars all by himself. No more holding his weight as he struggles, trying not to get kicked in the stomach. Your little monkey is growing up!
  6. When life no longer depends on the blankie. Or pacifier, or beloved stuffed animal. She has that one thing that is her lifeline, and if you’ve ever misplaced it, you know you’re in a world of trouble, and there will be no peace until it is found. The day will come when it is still loved, but it’s not critical.
  7. When she can handle her own bath or shower, and actually get clean, including washing her hair. Yes, she may flood the bathroom for the first little while, but eventually, she’ll be able to get the water started, suds up, rinse off, get a towel and dry off without any help from anyone. Oh the rejoicing!
  8. When he gets up in the middle of the night to go potty without waking you. The night will come when you’ll half-way wake up and think you hear feet, then hear a flush and little steps heading back to bed. In the morning, when the fog clears and you realize what happened, give that kid a high-five and some stickers.  
  9. kid painting self portrait messTheir first self portrait. You have never seen a more perfect and beautiful stick figure in your life. Your heart will melt when you see her fingers are as long as their arms, her smiling face has no nose and her spaghetti string hair looks almost like hers does when she wakes up on the morning.
  10. When he realizes the toilet is not a garbage can or useful for storing toys. It’ll suddenly dawn on you one day that you haven’t fished anything out of there for some time. At last, the phase has passed. Breathe easier.
  11. When she names her first boyfriend. There are fewer things cuter than a 3-year-old preschooler letting you know she has a boyfriend, or better yet, pointing out the boy she plans to marry (in about 30 years, your brain will add). Of course, the next day she may want to marry her grandpa, but it’s still a fun day. 
  12. When he shows you that he is clearly growing up. This can come in many forms: his first basket, goal, cartwheel, the first time he sounds out a word, or the first time he writes his complete name and it is readable. Perhaps he will reach out to a friend who is hurting, or stand up for someone at school who is being picked on. He may show you that he can be trusted alone for a while, or get up and let the dog out without being asked. Whatever this looks like, you’ll have a moment when you realize your baby isn’t a baby any more. When that happens, cry, laugh, and give him a big hug (while he will still let you).

We could go on and on, but you get the idea. Now it is your turn: what are some of your favorite parenting milestones?

Copyright 2012 © All Rights Reserved

Plumtree Baby, LLC

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Why do I even need to take a Childbirth class? I’m just going to get an epidural...

Why do I even need to take a Childbirth class? I’m just going to get an epidural...

do i need a childbirth class plan epidural birthWe know that the majority of parents do not take a childbirth preparation course and there are many possible reasons for this (too costly, too time-consuming), but overall, the general consensus is that mothers-to-be are just planning to check into the hospital, let their doctor or midwife “get them through it” and to have an anesthesiologist at the ready to ensure a pain-free birthing experience. With this being a common view on birth, why even bother with a childbirth education class?

Well, we can suggest several reasons that pregnant women and their partners should take a childbirth preparation course.

  1. To become aware of the processes, whether medicated or not, that a woman’s body will go through in the course of labor and birth. Learning about the anatomy and physiology of birth makes a woman more aware, and thus more in-tune, with what her body is doing and how she may feel while her labor starts and progresses. Her understanding will help her feel calmer, more in control and less frightened.
  2. A woman that spontaneously goes into labor is going to have to manage her labor, at the very least, until she can get to the hospital, get through triage, be admitted, be examined and then have the anesthesiologist called (which can take 30-60 minutes or more depending on the time of day and how busy the labor and delivery ward is). She may also be advised to wait to get an epidural until her labor has progressed further. A mother (and her support partner) who has no idea of what is occurring in her body or how to cope with and mentally process her sensations is likely to experience a heightened sense of fear, tension and pain. This is something that is rarely discussed during the course of prenatal visits with care providers and can often come as a shock to mothers when labor begins and they find themselves without resources or coping techniques.
  3. Pain levels have little to do with a woman’s satisfaction with her birth! As stated in this article, “Remember that labor pain is more than a physiological process; coping with labor pain is emotional and complex and results in feelings of fulfillment and achievement for women. Therefore, satisfaction with labor is not necessarily related to the efficacy of pain relief.” A woman is more likely to feel satisfied with her labor if she is supported, feels “in control,” respected and cared for, regardless of the pain she may experience during the process.
  4. To understand what interventions may be suggested or administered and to become aware of the benefits and drawbacks of each one. Even if a woman fully intends to have an epidural, it (as with all other interventions) does not happen in a bubble. There are IV’s to be administered, continuous fetal monitoring for the remainder of labor, the loss of mobility, an injection into the spine to be considered, and several side effects that could, and commonly do, occur. It is not simply the skilled anesthesiologist that will breeze into the room to rescue a woman from her discomfort, or the possibility of experiencing it.

We don’t expect that all women who take a childbirth course and learn about their options will choose to have an unmedicated, natural birth, but we do believe that helping them become aware and informed, will help them feel powerful and more satisfied with their birth experience regardless of their choice of pain management. And we know that this information, and so much more, can be conveyed and discussed during thoughtful, evidence-based childbirth education classes.

Now it’s your turn...

Should expectant women and their partners take a childbirth preparation course? If no, why not? What are the benefits of a childbirth class? Share your comments below and if you would like to share this article with parents, pin the image about on Pinterest.

Copyright 2011 © All Rights Reserved

Plumtree Baby, LLC

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