One question I got from a lot of people while I was pregnant was, "Are you going to keep your dogs?" I was shocked the first time I was asked the question, then I realized so many people asked the question and to them it was a normal thing to get rid of dogs before having a baby. That made me so sad.
Here is the issue as I see it: When you take on any pet, you make a commitment to caring for another living thing. One of the best lessons that I can teach my children is to honor their commitments and responsibilities. What kind of message would it send to just get rid of my dogs? It would send one of irresponsibility and one of not valuing living things.
I have heard people make all sorts of excuses like the dogs are crazy, they require too much attention, the bird screams too much. No matter the excuse, it isn't valid. You made a commitment. Honor it.
If you are worried, get to training your dogs or other animals before the baby comes! Remember to keep up training after the baby comes too. One of the best methods I have found with mine is to use a really high quality food as training treats. I know they are getting good food instead of the corn meal they try to pass off as dog treats, but they still enjoy it because it is different than their regular food. To keep treats readily accessible I used one of my rice cereal containers and filled it with the dog food. This allowed me to keep it on the counter without it being stinky and still readily available. (For other animals, using novel healthy food appropriate for the animal also works.)
Now for the most difficult part, catch them doing something good! That's right, any time you see good behavior that you want them to keep doing, give them a treat. Since you are giving them actual food, and small single pieces, you don't have to be worried about empty calories or unnecessarily high in sugar/fat treats. They will learn quickly the behavior you want. Ignore the behavior you don't want. When the kiddos do come, hopefully you will have such a great relationship with your animals that you kids can enjoy having them as part of the family too. All this being said, no matter how good your relationship is with your pets, do not leave your children unattended with any pet.
Keep your commitments and your kids too!
First, my apologies for being out of the blog world for a bit ... we have had some recent health challenges in our family. BUT, this is how I re-discovered the best fever reducer ever and added a Mommy McD twist. The awesome part is that you already have this at home and you never have to go out to the store to reduce a fever.
I remember my mom throwing me in ice cold baths when I had a temperature and HATING it! Well I didn't want to do that to my 10 month old ... he sure can't understand why he is shivering and freezing. So I did some research and found that a cool bath is still the best, but ice cold ones, no bueno! You want the bath cool enough to reduce the temp but not cold enough to make their body try to compensate by raising their temp even more (always check with your doctor first on any medical treatments).
My 10 month old had been running a fever of 102 and higher for over a week (we did have him checked by the doc and they said it was just a virus, so to keep the fever down if he becomes uncomfortable.) He already had to be on lots of medication for a bacterial infection earlier in the week and I didn't want to keep loading him with medicines ... so it was time for a bath!
1. Use the kitchen sink. It is small and cozy and you can be right there without having to bend or stoop uncomfortably yourself.
2. Make the water tolerable. I have been starting with the "average" body temp of 98.6 degrees.
3. Bring out all sorts of things they don't normally get to play with. I brought out spoons, measuring cups, plastic cups and the best toy ever ... I actually let him play with the handles on the water (BUT TAKE NOTICE THE FAUCET IS NOT RUNNING INTO HIS BATH. MAKE SURE YOU ARE WATCHING CAREFULLY TO PREVENT ANY BURNS OR SCALDS). The point of bringing out new toys is to keep them distracted.
4. I keep him on the right side of the sink so he has access to turning on and off the cold water. I take one of the cups he is playing with, fill it with cold water and dump it in the bath one slow cup at a time, continually reducing the water temperature.
5. Keep checking your water temp on a thermometer and keep a steady hand and eye on your child at ALL times to prevent any falls/injury.
Be sure to ask your doctor to approve any medical advice regarding care of your little one.
This little trick allows me to get the water nice and cool to reduce his fever and he is so distracted with the faucet and novel toys that he doesn't even notice the temp slowly going down!
Best of luck with your fevers and colds as we get closer to winter.
Oh the dreaded giving up pacifiers and bottles. There is that magical age that our mothers, doctors, friends, and strangers on the street tell us we are supposed to get our kids off of bottles and pacifiers. I hear stories of poor kids screaming through the day and night and poor parents hearts wrenching for doing what they think they have to do to make their child give up a bottle or pacifier. Well I am not doing that to mine!
Look, every bit of research I have found shows that the only problem with the bottle is if you are giving it to them with juice or milk - you could rot those baby teeth (which are going to fall out anyway). My recently 3 year old drinks only water in his bottle ... that is all. Problem solved.
I remember in 3rd grade a couple of the "popular" kids brought bottles to school because they had a younger brother or sister. It actually started a bizarre 3rd grade bottle craze in my school, I was begging my mom to get one for me. Ok so I doubt that is normal and most likely my kid is not going to want other kids to see him drink from a bottle when he is 8 or 9, but it isn't like I would rat him out to other kids. And when he gets old enough to succumb to peer pressure or get made fun of for having a bottle we could switch him to this kind:
Wow! Can you believe there is a market for these weird bottles which look like replacement bottles for grown ups? So all you people sucking the nipples of these drink bottles to get your hydration … maybe your mom should have let you have a pacifier or bottle a little longer too!
Ok but back to being less snarky, why do we really care? Is it because people will judge us if we let our kid drink out of a bottle or suck on a pacifier longer than the “They” people out there tell us? I have so many more things on the top of my list, like teaching empathy and kindness to my kiddos … who cares about a bottle?
Have any of you all let your little one keep a bottle or paci longer than “They” say you should?
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