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Cry Decoder: Why Exactly Is Your Baby Crying?

Cry Decoder: Why Exactly Is Your Baby Crying?

Why is your baby crying? This has to be the most frequently asked question amongst new parents. Although I’ve never had to take full-time care of an infant, as the eldest of three I am all too aware of how confusing a babies’ cries can be. It’d be incredible if they could simply tell you what’s wrong or hold up a cue card, but unfortunately that isn’t possible, as far as I’m aware. Thankfully, there is another way you can decipher what exactly your crying baby is trying to tell you: Baby Center’s Cry Decoder.

All you have to do is fill in the Cry Decoder test to gain a little extra perspective on what your baby could be crying over, and to give you an extra helping hand, we’ve collected everything you need to know in one handy guide:

Your Baby Is Hungry

Baby’s Cry is: Repetitive, loud and bordering on frantic.

“Your baby’s hunger cries are repetitive and don’t let up until he gets what he wants – the breast or a bottle. Then they’ll stop completely,” Seattle pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson tells Baby Center. “Parents get to know what this cry sounds like pretty quick.”

Occasionally, a crying baby can become so overwhelmed that when they attempt to nurse or take a bottle they take in air, which can lead to additional crying. Over time, you will be able to recognise your baby’s ‘hungry’ cry early on so they don’t get too irritable.

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Other Clues Your Baby Is Hungry:

  • Smacking lips
  • Rooting
  • Putting their hands up to their mouth

Your Baby Needs To Be Burped

Baby’s Cry: Piercing, intense screams after eating.

This one’s a little easier to decode. After eating, your baby may suffer from tummy pains, which will probably cause them – and you – some fuss. To burp your baby, simply give them small, repeated pats on the back but remember to place a cloth on your shoulder in case there’s spit-up.

If your baby is particularly difficult to burp or has frequent episodes, you may want to try some over-the-counter anti-gas drops. “There isn’t much data to support their use, but there’s no harm in using them as directed,” says Swanson. However, we recommend you check with your doctor beforehand.

Other Clues Your Baby Needs To Be Burped:

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  • Bringing their knees up to their chest

Your Baby Is Overstimulated

Baby’s Cry: Inconsistent, may include laughter.

Everything is a little overwhelming when we first come into the world. Noises, lights, and new people: they’re all enjoyable for a little while, but after a prolonged amount of time your baby may become overstimulated. Alternating between laughter and crying may be your babies’ way of telling you they’re having difficulty processing all these new things, and they’ve had enough for now.

Most babies enjoy being swaddled, however if your babies too old or isn’t keen on the idea taking them to a calm place will allow them to calm down.

Other Clues Your Baby Is Overstimulated:

  • Turning their head away from interesting sights and sounds

Your Baby Is Tired And Needs To Go Back To Sleep

Baby’s Cry: Soft, inconsistent.

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“Some babies have sleepy days,” says Swanson. “They may be growing or just extra tired.” Due to the fact you can’t really prepare for a sleepy cry, many parents don’t expect it. Regardless of when your baby last slept, if their cry is soft and inconsistent they may be in need of a rest.

Other Clues Your Baby Is Tired And Needs To Go Back To Sleep:

  • Rubbing their eyes
  • Crying whilst their eyes close
  • Yawning

Your Baby Doesn’t Feel Well

Baby’s Cry: Different from regular crying, unusual.

Your babies’ cry will probably be very different to their regular cry when they’re ill, so if they don’t sound right or they’re inconsolable it may be time to visit the doctor.

Other Clues Your Baby Doesn’t Feel Well:

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  • Has a fever
  • Isn’t hungry
  • Difficult To Wake
  • Isn’t using the usual amount of diapers
  • Isn’t behaving as he normally would

Your Baby Has Colic

Baby’s Cry: Strong and steady, reoccurs every day and continues for hours.

Colic refers to excessive crying in healthy babies. If your baby is younger than five months old and can cry for extended periods of time, usually around the same time of day, chances are they’re colicky. It isn’t a disease and won’t harm your baby, but it’s difficult. Colic can cause your babies’ stomach to appear enlarged and they extend or pull up their legs to pass gas whilst they cry.

“These cries can be intense for babies as well as parents,” says Swanson. “Remember that when you get tired or frustrated from your baby’s cries, it’s perfectly okay to put your baby down in a safe place and walk away for a few minutes to get a break.”

Fortunately, colic isn’t permanent and tends to last around six weeks before improving.

Featured photo credit: Baby Boy 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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