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Ways To Soothe A Crying Baby That Can Save Every Parent

Ways To Soothe A Crying Baby That Can Save Every Parent

As tiny little newborn humans who are unable to communicate, babies often cry when they are in need of care and comfort. There are multiple reasons babies cry, and most of them are completely normal and natural.

These reasons include:

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  • Hunger
  • Sleepiness
  • A dirty or wet nappy
  • Lack of cuddles
  • Wind
  • Overstimulation
  • Boredom
  • Being too hot
  • Being too cold

How To Comfort Your Crying Baby

Although there may be occasions where your baby cannot be comforted (we’ll discuss these later), more often than not one of the following solutions will help:

  • If you breastfeed your baby, let them suckle at your breast.
  • If your baby is bottle fed, give your baby a sterilized dummy.
  • Hold your baby close to you and gently sway or dance. You may also want to try talking to your baby in a soothing manner, or singing.
  • Rock your baby in their pram by gently rolling it back and forth.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Go for a drive.
  • Find something for your baby to listen to, such as music or the radio.
  • Find something for your baby to look at, like a rattle or other toy.
  • Stroke your baby’s back firmly and rhythmically.
  • See if a warm bath soothes them. (This may work for some babies but could make the crying worse for others.)
  • Ask a pharmacist, GP or health visitor for advice.

Is Your Baby Crying During Feeds?

One of the most common problems for new parents is crying during feeding. That is, the baby crying – although they may drive you to join them. If you breastfeed your baby, you may want to look into improving your baby’s attachment. Ensure that you are sitting in a comfortable position and check your baby’s body is in a straight line; otherwise, they may not be able to swallow. Hold your baby close to you whilst supporting their neck, back and shoulders – but make sure they can still tilt their head back to swallow. Lastly, make sure your baby’s nose is opposite your nipple; this will encourage them to open wide and attach.

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If your baby appears to attach but is still crying, something in the milk could be putting them off. Some foods and beverages that you consume will reach your milk within hours, so you may want to consider avoiding dairy, chocolate, fruit squash, diet drinks and caffeine.

Finally, your baby’s reaction to feeding may be due to reflux. This is a common condition where your baby will bring up milk after feeding, which can obviously be a bit upsetting.

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If you’re still unsure as to why your baby cries during feeding, note down when it occurs and see if you can distinguish a pattern.

Is Your Baby Crying Constantly?

If your baby cries constantly, there could be several causes. Colic is perhaps the most common cause; but whereas everyone agrees that colic exists, no definitive causes have been determined. Some doctors believe that colic could be the result of some sort of stomach pain, as crying will often stop and start, suggesting there could be waves of discomfort. Unfortunately, there are no specific remedies for colic, so you may have to wait it out.

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Conversely, your baby could also be ill if they are crying consistently, particularly if the cry sounds different to you. You should seek medical advice immediately if:

  • Your baby has a weak, high-pitched, constant cry
  • Your baby is floppy when picked up
  • They take less than a third of their usual daily fluids
  • They pass much less urine than usual
  • They vomit green fluid
  • Blood passes in their stool
  • If under three months they have a fever of 38 C or above
  • If between three and six months they have a fever of 39 C or above
  • They have a high-temperature but their extremities are cold
  • Your baby has a bulging fontanelle
  • Your baby has a fit
  • They turn blue, mottled or pale
  • They have a stiff neck
  • They have difficulty breathing
  • They are breathing faster than usual
  • They are grunting whilst breathing
  • They seem to working really hard to breathe
  • Your baby has a purple-red rash (this could be meningitis)

When Should You Seek Help To Soothe Your Crying Baby?

Caring for a baby can be extremely difficult, frustrating and tiring, so you should never be ashamed of asking for help. Your GP and health visitor will be more than happy to aid you in your time of need. Help them by simply noting down patterns of when and how often your baby cries.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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