Saturday, March 31, 2012

Recommended Blog: KellyMom


This is definitely a site for new parents, especially those who want their baby to breastfeed. It covers topics such as premature infants, newborns, infant reflux, nighttime parenting, baby's health, growth, and development, and mom's health. It has breastfeeding basics, can I breastfeed if, what is normal, common concerns, exercise and breastfeeding, pumping and employment, breastfeeding and alcohol. It has mother to mother forums with thousands of posts organized for easy access, and a place to ask questions such as “Are green stools normal?”. This site is devoted to new parents!!

I happened onto when my adult daughter worried if her stored breastmilk—that had separated—was safe. I searched many websites, but was the most useful. I was pleased that the information was researched and referenced. It explained why some mothers' milk breaks down due to an extra lipase enzyme which is healthy but digests the milk for quicker breakdown when stored ( Lawrence & Lawrence, 2005 as cited on Kelly).

I wondered if Kelly had been a Family Life Educator, psychology major, or medical student because her profile said, “At, our goal is to provide support & evidence-based information on breastfeeding, sleep and parenting”. This website links to sources such as the Yale Medical School on pyloric stenosis (forceful vomiting), an article by the American Academy of Pediatrics on the benefits of nursing and how pediatricians can help new mothers succeed (American, 2005), several links to the La Leche League, hospital sites, and articles written by doctors and nurses.

Don't let the research/reference quality of this website scare you away. Most of the posts are down to earth, easy reads. There is a KellyMom Parenting Community where mothers connect to other mothers. Lisa and MAsmom set up the topic "Newborn to 6 months", which had 17,450 threads and 128,247 posts. Wildflower and Hot Dog moderate the topic" 6-12 month", and they had 9,842 threads and 73, 892 posts. There was a "Diet and Health Chat" with 7,544 threads and 45,383 posts; the last post was today about ear infections. Some of the questions were very open, things you might be afraid to ask your mom or the doctor. The largest group I located was called Coffee Talk by Timothysmama and Konurs Mom, which said “Want to talk about something that doesn't fit any of the other boards: Come on in!”; it had 17,545 threads and 227,995 posts! WOW!!! You get to this community forum from almost any Kelly web page by clicking the large blue rectangle near the top right that says. “Do you have breastfeeding or parenting questions? Visit Our Forums!”

KellyMom was relatively easy to navigate, which was restful. It had a box in the upper right corner which said “enter text and click to search”. I typed in the question that had brought me to KellyMom in the first place, and the internal search engine worked! Some websites have such poor search engines that I must step outside the site, write the question and the name of the website in google search, in order to find information within the site.

Who would think that a website named KellyMom would be so diversified and far-reaching. I recommend KellyMom to new parents for its evidence-based information, for its mother to mother forums, and its relative ease of use. is definitely pro breastfeeding, and has some of the best information on how to succeed in any situation, but if you are squeamish, you might be turned off by such articles as tandem nursing.

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2005). Breastfeeding and the use of human milk.
Pediatrics 2005; 115; 496 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2004-2491. Retrieved online March 31, 2012
Larson, R, & Lawrence, R. Breastfeeding: A guide for the medical profession, 6th ed, as cited on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Mosby, 2005: 781)

Book Review! The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding [Book]

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is a wonderful book for mothers who need guidance with the idea of breastfeeding their infant.  Written by an ever-changing group of mothers who call themselves the “La Leche League International” who have strived for the last 56 years to develop and refine all the information contained in this book.  Since they’ve had so much time to refine their work, the La Lech League has a vast amount of information which aligns with the research on breastfeeding and because it is “The leading source of breastfeeding support and information” for mothers and soon-be-mothers the quality of application is evident.  I have a friend who recently had her first baby and recommended this book to me telling me that it helped her understand more about breast feeding and what to expect as a new mother to the area.  The reason this book was so helpful to my “new parent” friend was because of all the real life experiences this book shares as well as the vast amounts of topics it explores.

                The wonderful thing about this book is that it not only focuses on breastfeeding an infant but explores other topics as well!  And it applies to new mothers or returning mothers alike; walking the reader through the steps of having a baby.  It starts out with the first part labeled “New Beginnings”- where the reader learns about breast feeding and if it is right for them.  Other topics this book covers are birth (with areas of how to cope with a difficult birth), weight watchers, emotional roller coaster (dealing with your out of “whack” hormones), nursing schedule, concerns you may have with your baby through their growing stages, sexual life with partner (labeled: “Is This the End of Sex?”), sleep routines for baby, working mothers, pumping, weaning, dealing with a baby’s death, and technical support during breastfeeding (ex: Blebs, Blood in your milk, Colic, Eating Disorders, ect.).

                This book was a great easy read that was designed so that anyone can use it.  The stories in it will make you laugh and cry, but also learn.  I’ve loved having this book in my home, it has helped me feel more comfortable with my body and my future decisions of breast feeding my own infants.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to breastfeed their child or who even has questions of breastfeeding! Highly Recommended

As we have discussed throughout this blog, becoming a new parent can be and usually is stressful! When it comes to babies, there are so many unknowns and unpredictable events that make it hard for new parents to completely prepare themselves. I, like many parents, read several parenting and baby books and took classes while I was pregnant. Once my son was born, I had a lot of questions that my books and classes hadn’t answered. So, where can new parents go (other than this blog, of course!) to find answers to their many questions and concerns? I recommend the blog

New parents need answers, research, and to hear of others’ experiences. This is what has to offer. I was very impressed with the variety of topics that have been written about and discussed on this blog, as well as additional features offered that many other blogs do not. Parents who are expecting can sign up for a week-by-week newsletter that sends updated images, professional advice, weekly to-do lists, and nutritious recipes to their email. Parents can also sign up for the “Daily Babble” which sends daily parenting news, recipes, and celebrity mom and baby news. The blog even offers a fertility tracker app for those who are trying to become pregnant. My favorite part of this blog is the “Dad” section. I feel that dads often get neglected in the blogging world and I love that offers a section specifically for them that has posts and discussions of topics unique to dads. Since the blog discusses so many different topics, some readers may be overwhelmed by the abundance of posts, but I believe this is needed to try to answer all possible questions and to meet the needs of all parents.  

Many of the posts do not reference specific research. Some of the posts I read that were written by professionals, used the writers’ education and professional experience to support their claims. One post I read about co-sleeping did not use research, but what was said did align with current studies. The article “To Co-Sleep or Not?” (Turgeon, 2012) gave both reasons to co-sleep and reasons not to co-sleep. One reason that was given to co-sleep was to bond through touch and time together. Burns found that “Co-sleeping is common and seen as a healthy bonding experience in many cultures worldwide; warmth, protection, and a sense of well-being are factors suspected as being incentives to co-sleep (Sobralske & Gruber, 2009)”. One of the reasons given not to co-sleep was because of safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend bed-sharing because they have found that having your baby sleep in his or her own bed decreases the risk of SIDS (Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, 2011). Although not a lot of research is referenced in the blog posts, it does appear that the information shared is accurate and current.

The posts and information provided on this blog are very applicable for new and experienced parents. There are general topics such as feeding and sleeping, as well as more specific topics such as diaper rash, anti-depressants and diaper pails. I searched several topics that I have not been able to find on other blogs and was excited when my search came back with several posts for each topic. One of my favorite posts that I read was “Baby Colds: Symptoms, Treatment, and When to Call the Doctor (Capewell, 2011)”. As a fairly new mother, I found this post to be very applicable for parents. I find it stressful trying to decide whether or not to take my son to the doctor and this post will help me to better make that decision in the future.

Many writers contribute posts to this blog. Some of the writers have Ph.D.’s while others are stay-at-home moms. All of the posts that I read were well written and easy to understand. I was able to see the writers’ personalities in their posts and this helped me to be able to relate to them and to enjoy reading their posts.

Overall, I found to be an extremely helpful blog to parents and I highly recommend it!


Capewell, J. (2011, February 15). Baby colds: Symptoms, treatment, and when to call the doctor. Retrieved from

Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. (2011). SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths: Expansion of recommendations for a safe infant sleeping environment. Pediatrics, 128(5), 1341-1367. Retrieved from

Sobralske, M. H., & Gruber, M. E. (2009). Risks and benefits of parent/child bed sharing. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 21(9), 474-479. Retrieved from

Turgeon, H. (2012, March 28). To Co-sleep or Not?: Finding the right sleep strategy for baby. Retrieved from

Shaken Baby Syndrome

This is something that we have all heard about and know it has negative consequences but what exactly is Baby Shaken Syndrome and why is it so detrimental? Shaken Baby Syndrome is “a type of inflicted traumatic brain injury that happens when a baby is violently shaken” (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2010). Shaking a baby causes their brain to bounce back and forth inside the skull. This causes bruising, swelling, and bleeding of the brain which leads to permanent, severe damage and even death.
Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome include:
·         Extreme irritability
·         Lethargy
·         Poor feeding
·         Breathing problems
·         Convulsions/seizures
·         Vomiting
·         Pale or bluish skin

Shaken Baby Syndrome injuries usually occur in children younger than 2 years old. However, injuries may be seen in children up to 5 years old. Some injuries of Shaken Baby Syndrome include:
·         Bleeding in the brain
·         Bleeding in the retina
·         Damage to the spinal cord and neck
·         Fractures of the ribs and bones

These injuries can lead to blindness, neurological or mental disabilities that can require lifelong medical care.

Remember Baby Shaken Syndrome is something that can be easily prevented. It is not the baby’s crying that is the problem it is how the parents or caregivers respond to the crying. Here are some helpful tips you can use if you ever find yourself in this situation:
·         Cuddle or stroke your baby
·         Hold your baby close and rock your baby in your arms
·         Wrap your baby snugly in a blanket to prevent arms and legs from swinging and kicking
·         Give your baby something to suck – a pacifier or a clean finger
·         Give your baby something pleasant to look at or listen to such as music, a baby rattle, or a mobile above their crib
·         Give your baby a warm bath

A crying baby can be stressful and exhausting. Remember losing your temper, shouting, or getting rough with your baby will only make things worse. Whatever the situation is, NEVER SHAKE YOUR BABY. If you have reached the end of your rope you could:
·         Put the baby down safely and comfortably in the crib and leave the room for a few minutes
·         Ask someone else to look after your baby for an hour or so

I have posted a link below to my video that demonstrates what happens to a baby’s brain when they are shaken.


Center For Disease Control. (2010, July 07). Heas up:prevent shaken baby syndrome. Retrieved from
Coping with crying babies. (2011). Retrieved from
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2010, may 06). Ninds shaken baby syndrome information page. Retrieved from

Friday, March 30, 2012

How To Babyproof Your Home

Having a baby is definitely fun, but there is a lot of work that goes into raising your little one as well.  Moms and dads have to make a great deal of preparations when readying themselves into parenthood, and one such task is to make your home safe for your baby.  Posted below is a video link that will help you start taking the necessary measures to babyproof your home. Hope you find it helpful!


Curtis, G.B, Schuler, J. (2000).  Your Baby's First Year Week By Week (4th ed.) De Capo Press, MA.  Perseus Book Group.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality.

This book was very informative. The authors Dr. Laura A. Jana and DR. Jennifer Shu are both pediatricians as well as mothers. The authors seem to cover everything (and I mean just about everything) that you need to know about taking care of a baby during the first year. When I was reading this I found it to be very interesting and very educational. This book covers the basics like breastfeeding, bathing, sleeping and crying. In addition they even go over ways to take care of yourself, the art and science of diapering (yes there is one), car safety, choosing correct toys and even flying on an airplane with a baby.
I love the layout of this book, the table of contents is well organized by sections, then by chapter titles and it even goes further by including the subheadings for everything else that is covered in the chapter. In the end of the book they have a thorough index so it is easy to find a topic you are wondering about. This book has thirty three chapters and is 350 pages. It does not feel like 350 pages as it is an easy read and the added humor makes it fun.  At times I felt like the information was common sense. For instance, there was a section about not leaving a baby in the car when you run into the store. It does seem like something that should not be done, but not everyone may feel the same way (in fact I have seen babies left in the car a couple times in the grocery store parking lot….eeek!). Therefore, I am glad that it is included in the book. 
One chapter that I enjoyed was on clothing and accessories. This chapter covers everything from socks to undershirt onesies and baby gowns. They also state to purchase clothing that is practical and not just because it looks “so cute”—which is hard to do. In this chapter, they also have pictures and details for beginners on how to dress a newborn—remember to support the head and the back. My friend, the stay at home dad, was not around babies growing up and was an only child. He was worried and stressed about being the caretaker while his wife was at work. He said that this book has been very helpful. He really liked the chapter on changing a diaper correctly; I know it sounds silly but if you haven’t changed a diaper before it can actually cause some anxiety. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has a new baby.  

Jana, Laura A., & Shu, Jennifer (2011). Heading Home with Your Newborn From Birth to Reality (2nd ed.). Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Review: The baby sleep book: The complete guide...

One of the biggest challenges for new parents is getting adequate sleep! The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night's Rest for the Whole Family by William Sears, M.D., Robert Sears, M.D., James Sears, M. D., and Martha Sears, R. N., talks about the importance, tools and attitudes for the whole family to get a good night's sleep with their baby.

It is interesting that this book is written by a family of medical professionals: Dr “Bill” who received his pediatric training at Harvard Medical School's Children's Hospital in Boston and is presently an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine; his wife Martha,

a mother of eight children, a registered nurse, a former childbirth educator, a La Leche League leader, and a lactation consultant; and two of their sons who are also pediatricians. I like the way this book has referenced research along with insights from the authors' professional and personal lives.

All four doctor authors have experience with their own children and children in their pediatric practice. They emphasize that this book is a book of options and not “shoulds”, and that new parents need to find solutions that they are both comfortable with and that allow adequate sleep. Parents should not become martyrs, and be so sleepy during the day that they can not have fun and interact with their baby. In chapter 1 they quickly get into strategies for improving sleep for the whole family, but before I mention them I want to tell Dr. Bill's and Martha's own personal experience.

Dr. Bill and Martha's first three children were easy sleepers and did not come into their parents bed except to snuggle in the mornings. Their fourth child, Hayden, was fine for the first six months in her cradle right next to Martha, but when she graduated to the crib she woke more and more often until one night, out of sheer exhaustion from being wakened every hour, Martha brought Hadyn to bed and they both slept for hours. For years Dr. Bill and Martha had believed the books that said no co-sleeping, but now Martha said, “I don't care what the books say, I'm tired and I need some sleep!” (ch 5, Our Co-Sleeping Experiences, ¶ 1 & 2).

Being a researcher, Dr. Bill did an experiment on another newborn daughter, Lauren. Lauren was wired to a computer to monitor her heart, breathing, and oxygen levels while she was sleeping with her mother and while she was sleeping alone. Baby Lauren's “breathing and heart rate were more regular during shared sleep, and she experienced fewer 'dips'—low points in respiration and blood oxygen from slower breathing episodes. On the night Lauren slept with Martha, there were no dips in her blood oxygen, where on the night Lauren slept alone, there were 132 dips” (ch 5, Our Co-Sleeping Experiments, ¶ 2). Other research shows that both human and animal babies who co-sleep with their mothers had more balanced levels of cortisol, higher levels of growth hormones which are essential for brain and heart growth (ch 5, Science says: Co-sleeping is healthful, ¶ 2, 5).

They also refer to some recent studies that suggest the risk of SIDS increased with co-sleeping, but they were not comfortable with the way the data was collected. They explained that researchers looked at death certificates in the United States for the years 1990 through 1997 and found 515 cases in which a child under two had died in an adult bed. Of these deaths, 394 were caused by entrapment in the bed structure, and the other 121 deaths were reported to be due to overlying of the child by the parent, another adult, or a sibling. The study failed to use matched controls nor explain other studies that show co-sleeping decreased the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), except for smokers, and that countries with the highest levels of co-sleeping usually have the lowest levels of SIDS. “The fact is that many more infants die when sleeping alone in a crib than when sleeping in their parents' bed” (ch 5, co-sleeping is safer, ¶ 6, 7).

As a reader, I wasn't able to sort out the contradictions without further research, but I do believe they show that co-sleeping is a viable option. It does require safety precautions, such as preventing the child from sleeping on too soft a surface, soft pillows, piles of blankets, or near an edge where they could be wedged between the bed and a wall, etc. Also, parents who smoke, drink alcohol, take sleeping pills, or anything that could impair consciousness, should not co-sleep.

Co-sleeping was not the only method they recommended. They said if the child was doing well in a crib, and was thriving, that was fine. They also recommended room sharing, or a bed next to the parents bed. Five steps to improving infant's sleep are: 1. find out where you and your baby sleep best; 2. Learn baby's tired times; 3. Create a safe and comfortable environment conducive to sleep; 4. Create a variety of bedtime rituals; 5. Help baby sleep for longer stretches. They warned “If your baby is a newborn (less than two months old), do not jump into this sleep plan or any other sleep plan. Newborn babies are not ready to learn more mature sleep patterns (ch. 1, preview, ¶ 4).

Being a devoted father, Dr. Bill

gave fathering Tips. He asked, “What is the biggest contributor to mother burnout? Father walk-out!” (ch 8, ¶7) and gave these suggestions among many others: 1. Understand the switch to mother mode: respect the wife's desires to nurture the baby and herself, which will increase her romantic feelings; 2. Keep the nest tidy: Take Inventory Daily Yourself. Don't wait to be asked; 3. Be sensitive: Notice that the wife is trying to be the perfect mother and homemaker. Intervene before she begins to feel overwhelmed and depressed. Have a willing attitude. Resentment won't help the Dad feel more rested and it won't earn points with the wife. This goes along with research that parents need to be proactive in their parenting. They need to be invested and feel empowered. That is why fathers need to be involved. (Bredehoft & Walcheski,2009).  Chapter 8 of The Baby Sleep Book gives Dads a total of 23 nighttime fathering tips to help with this proactive process!

Though the authors are open to ways to make it so parents will be able to get their sleep and maintain intimacy, they had great concerns about the Let Them Cry It Out (CIO) philosophy. As a physician, Dr. Bill could often sense when parents began to use the method. When they came in for check-ups, they seemed to be less sensitive to their baby, sometimes leaving the baby in the car seat as they talked. One couple's baby, who had been previously thriving, began what Dr. Bill called "shutdown syndrome". The baby only gained a few ounces in a couple of weeks, had lost the sparkle in his eyes, and had poor muscle tone. When he pointed this out to the parents, they changed back to their former ways and the baby began to gain healthy weight and muscle tone in the next few weeks, although the parents admitted he wasn't as "good" when it came to sleeping (ch, 4, Baby training, ¶ 3-5).

The authors admitted Crying It Out (CIO) may work for some easy babies without harming the child. It is important for the parent to remain sensitive to signals from the baby. Watch for signs of distress and detachment during the day. Also, if crying goes on too long, the baby may be going through a growth spurt and need more nutrition during the night, which could lead to learning disabilities later on. Studies show that infants who have been left to Cry It Out are ten times more likely to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (Wolke, 2002 as cited in Sears, (2005) chapter 10, Science says..., ¶ 4) . Extended crying may signal that this baby is overwhelmed with fear and needs nurturing. Babies do not have object permanence, and when parents leave the room, babies believe they are all alone. They may stop crying, but not because they have soothed themselves, but because they have given up sending the signal, which may affect their intelligence. Dr M. R. Rao and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health showed that infants with prolonged unattended-to crying in the first three months of life had an average IQ of 9 points lower than average at five years of age (Rao as quoted in Sears, 2005).

Nature has made a mother's biology to respond to a crying infant. There is an increased blood flow to the breasts and blood samples show a sharp increase in oxytocin. This is because these attachment behaviors increase the survival rate of infants by provoking a response from the parents, especially the mother. The authors say the baby is not trying to manipulate, they are trying to communicate (ch 10, What crying “it” out really means). A mother does not need to feel guilt, or think she is weak, or worry about her baby's adjustment if she wants to respond to her baby's cries. It is biological and healthy, claim the authors.

The topic of getting enough sleep with a baby is very current and controversial, getting over 900 comments on Amazon for this book and other books on the subject. Good sleep is essential to good emotional and physical health, so anything that helps new parents and their babies sleep well is valuable. I believe this authors presented a reasonable and persuasive argument for their point of view, and I recommend this book to all parents to try if it will solve their family sleep issues.

More questions can be answered on the authors' website at "">

Bredehoft, D. J., Walcheski, M. J. (2009). Family life education: Integrating
      theory and practice. St. Paul, MN: Concordia University.

Rao, M. R. et al. (2004). Long-term cognitive development in children with prolonged crying.
     National Institutes of Health. Archives of Disease in Childhood 89:989-992 as quoted in Sears
     The baby sleep book: The complete guide to a good night's rest for the whole family.

Sears, W., Sears, R., Sears, J., Sears, M. (2005). The baby sleep book: The
     complete guide to a good night's rest for the whole family (Sears parenting
     library). New York: NY: Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group.
     Available in paperback and eBook Edition.

Wolke, D., et al. (2002) Persistant infant crying and hyperactivity problems in middle childhood.
     Pediatrics 109:1054-1060 as cited in Sears The baby sleep book: The complete guide to a
     good night's rest for the whole family chapter 10, heading Science says: Crying it out may
     harmful to your child's health, ¶ 4).

In case this blog isn't enough for you...

The internet is an amazing resource when it comes to getting information, and let’s face it, information is exactly what new parents need.  Countless Google searches must be made every day by parents looking for help and advice on how to raise their little bundles of joy, and the internet can be a great tool on how to do that.  However, not all information out there is the best, but I’m here to tell you about a great blog that offers accurate information that parents can really use.  The blog is called NewParent  and several authors help contribute sound advice to parents and parents-to- be.  Topics range from pregnancy all the way up to Toddlerhood and several subcategories exist within those. 

The target audience of the blog seems to be new moms in particular and I think the authors do a wonderful job of catering to these women.  The blog layout is charming and inviting, and visitors will find it easy to navigate through the links and topics.  Readers are encouraged to ask questions and are directed to other blogs that might be helpful to them as well.  I think the range of topics might be a bit overwhelming at first, but I believe visitors will appreciate the vast amount of information available to them.

The authors do a great job of submitting information that is both accurate and on par with the latest research.   In one particular post the author talks about ways parents might bring on tantrums in their children.  I was skeptical of the post at first because every child is so different, but I was pleasantly surprised by the author’s insights.  One example that the author mentioned was how adding to a child’s picture to make it “prettier” could cause a tantrum and curtail a child’s creativity, and this is precisely right. A child should be able to create freely, otherwise they might feel frustrated at themselves.  By telling a child how to be “creative”, a parent can potentially undermine a child’s creative abilities. (Mindham 2005)  My only frustration was that many posts did not include their references, but fortunately their information was still sound.

I also found the content to be very applicable and useful for moms and dads alike.  Topics are in no way obscure and the authors do a great job of giving actual advice that parents could implement into their own parenting styles.  I was also impressed with the way the blog answered many questions that I’m sure every parent asks.  One particular post was completely devoted to what a mother could expect in the delivery room.  This has always been something I’ve been interested in and I want to be prepared for when I choose to have kids of my own.  Another post focused on how moms could prepare before their babies were born.  I found tips such as stocking up on diapers and preparing big easy meals beforehand to be very helpful and I would encourage any expecting parent to use them.

The authors were funny, informative, and relatable which is why I think this blog is so successful.  One link titled “a mother’s story” has the narratives of several women as they tell their own stories about their experiences with motherhood.  The writing is intelligent, yet understandable, and this is a blog I will definitely keep up on when I become a parent myself.

Overall this was an excellent blog and I highly recommend any new parents to read it.  The information was accurate and helpful and the authors are fun and intelligent.  My only complaints are the lack of references and the fact that they seem to ignore dads a bit.  Other than that it was a fantastic find.


Minham, C. (2005). Creativity and the young child. Early Years,25 (1). P 81-84.

Reader Question Response: Jealousy Among Siblings

Queston: How can a mother of three children (one is a newborn) deal with jealousy of the other kids? Particularly the middle one who is lashing out by biting?

Gemma had been the only child in her family for three years.  She loved her mommy and daddy and always loved spending time with them.  They would take her the Disney Land and Sea World on the weekends, and play in parks and at home on the weekdays.  One day Gemma’s parents took her to dinner at her favorite restaurant the Olive Garden. There, they told her that mommy was going to have another baby!  And the baby was going to be a girl!  Gemma was so excited to be a big sister.  The months leading up to when the baby was to be born were exciting. Gemma got to help mom decorate the baby’s new room and pick out new clothes for her.   When the time came for baby Mia to be born Gemma was so excited!  She had to go to her Grandparent’s house while her parents were at the hospital, but she couldn’t wait until it was her turn to see her.  The next morning she got to go and see baby Mia and hold her.  The next month was a lot different than what Gemma was expecting, with Mia crying at night and her mom’s attention more on the baby than Mia than herself.  Though she still liked Mia it was hard and she just wanted her old life back.  About a year later Gemma’s parents told her that she would be moving to a new state for her dad’s work.  After they moved Gemma started to become sad, she was in a new preschool trying to make new friends and her mom and dad were busy with work.  Mia had just started to walk and always wanted the toys Gemma wanted.  Gemma started to become angry with Mia and felt like she was the cause for everything.  She would often push Mia down, to make her cry. 
                Gemma’s parents were confused by her violent nature towards her younger sister; they wanted their kind sweet Gemma back. Fortunately for Gemma’s parents, Gemma isn’t the first and only child to have these jealousy emotions. Jealousy is a common emotion for children (Miller, L, Volling, & MEwain, 2000).  How do children become jealous? Children become jealous when they see their parent or caregiver giving their attention to another child other than themselves for extended amounts of time (Miller, L, Volling, & MEwain, 2000).  Gemma became jealous of her sister because there wasn’t enough attention given to her to make her feel validated and wanted (Thompson & Haberstadt, 2008), so she lashed out on the person who was getting that attention.  Gemma’s parents were distressed by her actions, but by giving Gemma the positive attention that she needed she became more loving and open to her sister Mia.  Gemma’s mom would take her on mommy daughter dates, with just the two of them, and she made an effort to give Gemma some special attention at home.  They started to see a change in Gemma over time, she would include Mia in her play and eventually there were no problems with Gemma being jealous.  Gemma’s parents made an effort to help her feel loved and validated, which helped Gemma realize that they still loved her too.

Works Cited

Miller, L, A., Volling, B. L., & MEwain. (2000). Sibling Jealousy in a Triadic Context with mothers and Fathers. Social Development , 433-457.
Thompson, J. A., & Haberstadt, A. G. (2008). Children's Accounts of Sibling Jealousy and Their Implicit Theories about Relationships. Social Development , 17 (3), p 488-511.

Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: Blog Review

I really enjoyed reviewing this blog because it was very informative. This blog is a positive place for parents to visit and find answers to their questions about Babywise. The overall layout of this blog is based on Babywise, a book about raising an infant, this book also presents an infant care program that will cause babies to sleep through the night beginning between seven and nine weeks of age. The overall layout of the blog was very organized and easy to navigate. I did find the content of the blog to be overwhelming at times because of all the information available. I also like how at the end of each post the author recommended other places to visit. My review of this blog includes: if the author met the needs of the audience, if research was aligned with the blog, the applicability of the blog, and the quality of the writing.

1.    The blogs author meets the needs of her audience. The author will publish posts on reader’s request or will answer questions within 2 weeks of being submitted. The author also has a section for reader’s comments or questions. The author does a great job keeping up with the questions and answering them.  

2.        I did not find a lot of research in this blog. It lacked scientific evidence and citations. However, what I found abundant in this blog was the author’s opinions, readers’ opinions, and their life experiences. I also noticed that the author made references to the Babywise book, other parenting books, and related blogs.

3.       The content in the blog is very applicable. New parents can relate to the content of the post and I found a lot of the information provided to be very helpful. The blog gives great advice to parents of a newborn about feeding times and sleeping times.

4.        Overall the writing in this blog is good quality because it is easy to understand. The writer of this blog has a lot of experience that adds to the quality of the writing. Since the author is likable it made me more inclined to actually try some of the things suggested in her blog.

In conclusion, this blog can be very helpful for parents who follow the Babywise theory. I found that this blog targets those parents the most. However, I think those who are unfamiliar with the Babywise theory can also learn a lot from this blog. Initially, I was unfamiliar with Babywise but after reviewing this blog and reading all the wonderful things about Babywise I decided to try it out.  


Plowman, V. (2007). Chronicles of a babywise mom. Retrieved from

Reader Question: Bedsharing

Reader Question: How do you feel about infants sleeping in the same bed as their mother? What does the research say? Can this practice be dangerous?

This is a great question from Teresa and I too have wondered the same thing. When an infant sleeps with their parent or parents this is referred to as bedsharing or even cosleeping. The definition of cosleeping can differ. Some refer to it as sleeping in the same bed and others refer to it when the infant is in the same room but not sleeping in the same bed i.e. they would be in a bassinet next to their parent’s bed. For this blog, I am just going to refer to this practice as bedsharing so we are not confused.  I had a neighbor that would sleep in the same bed with her infants. She was from an Asian country and she said that it was tradition for the babies to sleep in the same bed. In fact, Asia has some of the lowest SIDS deaths in the world (Mckenna and Voyle, 2002). I also have known other people who have shared their bed with infants for generations and never had a problem (well one had a hard time getting her little boy to sleep in his own bed when he got older). On the other hand,  I have also heard of parents who have slept with their newborn and they rolled over and squished them, I am not sure if that was true of not but after hearing about that it scared me. I wanted to see what the research said about this practice in order to answer the question correctly.

According to studies there are different reasons why infants sleep in the same bed as their mothers. Many mothers breastfeed and like the convenience of being able to do so on command; therefore they have their baby sleep in their bed (Senter et. al, 2011). According to a recent research study on SIDS, researchers estimated that of the 88 SIDS cases they studied 66% were bedsharing at the time of death (Senter et. al, 2011). Senter also stated that most studies report the risk of death significantly higher for bedsharing infants compared to those sleeping in cribs. “Bedsharing itself can pose a serious risk due to the potential for overlay of the infant by the bedsharer or wedging of the infant between the wall and bed (Senter et. al, 2011).” It is best for the baby to sleep in their own crib. However, in some cases due to income, parents do not have a place to put their newborn, therefore, they end up sharing their bed (McKenna et and Volpe, 2007). In 2007, NYC adapted The Cribs for Kids national program to help prevent sleep-related deaths. In addition they provide safe sleep education and a safe crib to low income families. Since the program rolled out there has been 3,148 cribs distributed to those families in need. Further studies are being conducted to collect data on this prevention measure. (Senter et. al, 2011).  

SIDS is not the only reason to be concerned with bedsharing. According to Dr. Calvin A. Colarusso, as the infant learns to crawl, walk, and talk, they move away from their patents both physically and psychologically (Stein et. al, 2001). As they become toddlers they start to develop a sense of self that is distinct from their mothers or fathers. Colarusso continues by stating “bedsharing, particularly when it continues into the second year of life and beyond, impedes the development of this necessary movement toward autonomy and independence and encourages an unhealthy, exaggerated dependence on mother and father (Stein et. al, 2001).” Alternatively, Dr. James McKenna feels that when practiced SAFELY and by choice, mothers and infants sleeping side by side is potentially ideal for promoting breastfeeding and healthy social relationships among family members. McKenna states that infants need to respond to a mother’s night time smell, touch, sound and movements and bedsharing is alright when done properly (Stein et. al, 2001). After reading the research, it appears there are pros and cons. I could probably write ten more posts on this issue because it is very debatable. However, because I am such a cautious person, and I feel the negative outweighs the positive aspects, I personally would think twice before bedsharing with my infant.   


McKenna, J.J., & Volpe, L.E. (2007). Sleeping with baby: an internet-based sampling of parental experiences, choices, perceptions, and interpretations in a western industrialized context. Infant and Child Development, 16 (4), 359-385.

Senter, Lindsay, Sackoff, Judith, Landi, Kristen, & Boyd, Lorraine (2011). Studying Sudden and Unexpected Infant Deaths in a time of Changing Death Certification and Investigation Practices: Evaluating Sleep-Related Risk Factors for Infant Death in New York City. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 15(2), 242-248.

Stein, Martin T., Calarusso, Calvin A., McKenna, James J., &  Powers, Nancy G. (2001). Cosleeping (Bedsharing) Among Infants and Toddlers. Pediatrics, 107(4), 873-877.