Does Music really make a difference?

From the moment I found out I was pregnant I started reading articles on fetal development through music. I had read a few different articles on how a fetus in the second and third trimester can hear music and sound. I also read that classical music can help develop brain cells and stimulate your unborn baby as well. I thought what’s the harm in it? Can a baby really have a higher IQ and enhance their development by listening to music? Well when I got in to my second trimester I purchased a few baby classical CD’s and also a few nursery rhyme CD’s, a pair of large earphones and a small CD player. I sat in bed the first night and thought for a few minutes, asking myself if this was silly and even worth trying? I remember the first few nights I didn’t really notice anything different with my son, as far as movement was concerned. Then after the first week I remember feeling a little more movement, soft kicks and pokes! I thought to myself, “Is he really hearing this and is it bothering him or is he enjoying this?” How can you really know if they are kicking you because they want it to stop or they are kicking out of enjoyment, well I just went with the enjoyment because he never really kicked me that hard and in a way it calmed him, he would actually fall asleep. So I continued to play my classical music for him, as well as the nursery rhymes during the day and I still got my little kicks and light punches. Then I thought why I don’t try some other kinds of music, nothing loud and obnoxious but something else I find soothing. I played one of my favorite artists ever, Frank Sinatra. I would play it at home and I would also play it in the car on the way to work. I’ve heard they can hear quite well even without the earphones. So I played music, read to my son and talked to him every day in hopes that this was actually “stimulating” him and enhancing his development. I read that In-utero fetal acoustic stimulation has been shown to improve pregnancy outcomes as well as benefit the growing fetus. Dr. Thomas Verny M.D., Author of The Second Life of the Unborn Child (Dell 1994) says “When your baby hears the soothing sounds of music, it does two things. First, it stimulates her ear, brain, and body to begin preparation for sound and language comprehension. Secondly, it lulls her into a calm, meditative state.”

When my son was born I continued to play his classical music while in his crib and I noticed certain songs would help soothe him, almost as if he remembered them. One thing I was completely amazed at was one night when I was trying to put him to sleep my husband and I decided to play him some Frank Sinatra in hopes it would help, my son stopped crying and peacefully fell asleep and slept half the night. I was in shock just thinking to myself that he remembered the music and that he was comforted by it. My son is now 10 months old and still to this day I play music for him, every night and every day. It soothes him at night and cheers him up during the day. So when people ask me, “Do you think music really makes a difference?” I have to say YES! It does.

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How early can you teach your baby to swim?

Is there a good time to start teaching your baby to swim? Does it benefit them if you start off early rather than later? I think so. Some infants have started to swim lessons as young as six months. Younger babies seem to feel more comfortable in water than older kids do. There isn’t such a fear for the water as there would be for maybe a three year old. I have my son enrolled in a swim class, he is a year old and loves to take baths and play outside with water toys but when we get in to the pool for lessons he seems so scared. There is a seven month old baby in the class and he seems so relaxed in the water, like he remembers how it was when he was in utero. My son on the other hand wants nothing to do with swimming, going under water or even playing in the pool. As a parent, it’s so important for me to know that my son can swim. So many babies and children drown each year and I want to make sure my son knows what to do when he’s in the water. With that said I feel like the earlier I would have started him in lessons the more comfortable it would have been for him. It is said that small babies know to close their mouth when they go under water; it’s a reflex for them. My son has a wide open mouth and tends to swallow water, which in turn he coughs and then cries which scares him even more. The seven month old in the class seems to know when he’s going under water, he closes his mouth and goes under with ease, not choking one bit! Back when I was a baby my mother took me to swim class, she said I was about six months old and at that time to teach a baby to swim the parents would stand in a pool and let go of their babies and that it would be almost second nature for them to try and swim, she said for me it was. Today things are a little different, there are different techniques used that aren’t so harsh. Now they have floats to help babies learn to kick, games to play to make swim time fun and all these things still seem to scare my son. I often wonder if I waited too long and if he will ever want to go back in to a pool again. I guess I will continue to try and see if he will become a little swimmer and not turn off the idea that swimming can be fun! So yes, I think teaching your babies to swim at an early age makes it easier for them and for you. My mind will be put at ease when I know my son can swim safely on his own.

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Child Harness….Good Idea or Bad Idea?

I’ve always had this idea that a parent that uses a harness with a leash is treating their child like a dog. Only dogs should wear leashes!  I would pass them in crowded places and just think to myself “How could that mom tie up her child like that?!”  I never knew what it would feel like to be out in public shopping with my son and to turn around and find that he is gone, nowhere to be found.  I can’t imagine the absolute fear that mothers and fathers go through when their child has gone missing.

 Then I had my son.  I understand there are those children out there who actually listen, try not to get themselves in to trouble or wander off; my son is NOT one of those children.  Once my son is placed down on the floor he just takes off!  He runs for the most unsafe thing he could find and runs off again.  He feels the need to be so independent and doesn’t even like to hold my hand.  We visit many theme parks, we do a lot of shopping and it’s usually just me and my son.  Because he is so active I have a hard time keeping him close by, he always needs to be in the action and know what’s going on and when he’s in a stroller he even tries to climb out of that! The world today is not a safe place what so ever, someone could just come up beside me and snatch him away from me!  So I thought recently about using a harness.  Would I be able to handle the rude comments from other people?  Would I even be able to use it?   I did some research and spoke to other moms.  I went through the pros and cons of the harness and came up with these.

Pros:

*Comfort, a child’s arms isn’t stretched up to hold your and you’re not having to bend over to hold their hand.

*Safety, you will always be 3 feet away from your child, they will also have their independence to walk on their own.  Plus they won’t be running in front of a moving car!

*Exercise, they will be able to burn off more energy by walking.  They won’t get that sitting in a stroller.

*Your sanity!  Imagine losing your child, it could have been avoided by using a harness.

And then I went through the cons, there weren’t many.  Some of the people I talked to thought it was inhumane and cruel.  Some of these parents are also against disciplining their child in any way as well.  I’m trying to be my child’s parent, not their best friend; I need to keep them safe at all times.

Cons:

*Cruel, leashes are for dogs.

*You look like a lazy parent, why can’t you just chase your child around?

*Unhealthy to their growth

 

So after asking some people and doing some research I decided having a harness would be in my favor…and my son’s.  He is the most important thing to me and when you hold something like that so dear you will go to any extreme to keep them safe.  As far as what I would do if someone made a rude comment?  To be honest I don’t know what I would do, I don’t know what I would say.  I’m sure my first thought would be to say something rude back but I think I would let them know that this harness could mean the safety of my son and keep him from becoming another statistic. 

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