Words of wisdom on parenting

What's the most helpful advice you've ever gotten about raising your child? Here are some great parenting tips...

Write It All Down. Keep a journal of things kids say and do. Not only does it help you remember cute and funny things that you would have forgotten, it also helps you gain perspective on their behavior.

Smile When You Go Into Your Child's Room. This helps teach your child to wake up with a smile on their face.

Allow Kids To Learn At Their Own Pace. Whether it's toilet training or learning the alphabet and numbers, let them learn at their own speed.

Trust Your Instinct. Don't worry about other's criticism - your instincts are best.

Freeze Breast Milk In Ice-Cube Trays. Once the milk is frozen, store the cubes in labeled freezer bags. This makes measurement quick and easy, and you can cut down on wasted milk by thawing out only what you need.

Consider Your Priorities. If the laundry isn't done , the dusting has to wait a day, or you eat takeout instead of a homemade dinner - don't worry about it anymore. Be remembered as a good mother, instead of a good housekeeper.

Relax. It's easy to get stressed when dealing with, say, a child's tantrum. However, everyone stays calm if the parent stays calm. Another good reason not to stress: Things that seem traumatic today may not appear so years from now.

Hold Your Baby As Much As You Want. When your baby was born were you warned that picking her up too much would spoil her? If you don't hold her now, when will you? Hold your child whenever she needs you - or whenever you want to.

Savor The Moments - Children Grow Up So Quickly. Often we're so busy rushing from one activity to another that we forget to sit back and enjoy our kids. Make it a point to find time to play, read, and eat with your children.

Put The Crib Together IN The Baby's Room. The dad-to-be who gave this advice spent an hour putting the crib together downstairs. When he was all done, he was very proud of himself - until he realized that he couldn't get the crib through the door into the baby's room. He had to take it apart and put it together again!

Make Eye Contact During Feedings. Make sure you gaze at your child while you are nursing. It's a wonderful way to connect.

Let Go of Things You Can't Control. You can't make your child stop crying, force him to eat, or insist that he fall asleep. The thing that IS within your power is discipline, such as dispensing time-outs and privileges.

If All Else Fails, Let Her Soothe Herself. When nothing you do stops your baby from crying, put her down in her crib and leave the room. Babies know when we are tense, and they won't be able to calm down if they sense our agitation.

Don't Neglect Your Marriage. Remind each other that you are very important to each other and it will also show your child what a loving marriage looks like.

Don't Heat Up The Baby's Bottle. This makes night feedings a lot easier - you can even keep a bottle on ice next to your bed.

Warm Crib Sheets With A Hair Dryer. Just a quick pass helps keep your infant asleep when you transfer him from your warm shoulders.

Let Dad Have The Baby. A childbirth educator suggests that new moms leave your husbands alone with the baby, even for just 30 minutes a day, so that they can develop care taking skills without someone looking over their shoulder (and you can have a break!).

Snuggle Him In The Tub. Wrap your baby in a receiving blanket before placing him in the tub. This will calm an irritable baby at bath time.

Know That Parenting Gets Better As Time Goes By. Kids eventually outgrow most problems, such as colic. And for challenges that don't change, you learn to accept and manage them better. Knowing this helps you have patience when things are tough - and when everything's great, you will have the joy of knowing our happiness as a family will continue to increase.


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