A Few Thoughts About The Waldorf Baby (And Beyond!)

I have recently been reading Steiner’s “Theosophy” and re-reading bits and pieces of Lois Cusick’s wonderful book, “The Waldorf Parenting Handbook“.”  (This is an excellent book, by the way, although it probably could have had a better title!)

At any rate, what I have been discovering is the view of the baby through the lens of the three – (and four-fold) human being.  Even if you are not an anthroposophist, I think there is a lot of wisdom to be gained from this perspective.  Grab a cup of tea, sit down and think with me for a few minutes!  You can understand this!

From an anthroposophic viewpoint, birth is seen as the end of a long spiritual process where the infant chooses parents and the infant struggles to “incarnate” into a new physical body.  This notion seems odd to many folks, but I ask that even if you don’t believe this, observe babies!  As a neonatal/pediatric physical therapist, I have had the opportunity to observe literally thousands of babies – some developing “normally” and some not.    Watch them, look at them – their arms and legs are not under their control at first, they have to develop that control over time and yes, through a bit of struggle!  The tasks of the first three years from a simplified anthroposophic viewpoint especially is to develop eye contact,  to develop  this  physical control of the muscles, to then attain an upright position, to learn to talk  (through imitation) and then that glimmer of thought when they first refer to themselves as “I”. 

Lois Cusick notes in her book on page 1 that when small children ask, “Where do I come from?” that a picture is a better way to answer than an abstract notion.  She remarks, “One old picture that has done good service is the archetypal white dove-shaped form winging its way down from heaven.  This shape on the medieval tapestries and stained glass Cathedral windows  is called the Dove of the Holy Spirit.  To the peasants, it looked remarkably like the shape of the homely village storks dropping down to roost in the chimmneys.  From them we have inherited the notion of the stork bringing the child’s soul to earth.”

No, I am not suggesting you tell your child the stork brought them per se!   However, read on for an interesting connection to this as seen by Lois Cusick:  “It is interesting to find that the archetypal shape of the descending Dove of the Holy Spirit is indeed laid into the very structure of the human body, in the larynx, breastbone and womb……..The human larynx gives birth  to human words; behind the breastbone lies the human heart, where love is born, and the womb gives birth to the child…..In early Christian art, where the Dove of the Holy Spirit hovers over  Mary, there are often the words Et incarnatus est.  And it incarnates.  What incarnates?  In the larynx, the human word; in the heart, the divine quality of love; in the womb, the child of God.  Those are my answers,” she writes, “The picture symbols leave each mind free to interpret and judge according to one’s inclinations.”

All of this is very interesting!  However, even if you don’t believe in or agree with the anthroposophic viewpoint that the child has come to you after a long spiritual journey with a destiny to have you as a parent, perhaps you can resonate with the fact that the physical body and control of that body is something an infant has to grow into!  In fact, this process of “growing into” the physical body happen during – yup, you guessed it!- the first seven years of life!  We lay down rhythms to help our child in this process, we keep our children in their bodies and not so much their heads and we help our children lay a foundation for their future health in doing so!

So the question becomes:  what can we do with the baby to assist this process?  Here are some thoughts!

  • We can work on ourselves!  We can  work hard to lead the lives of good people, moral people, upstanding people.   This work never ends, but does continually grow.  As a Christian, I personally think about the Fruit of the Spirit, those traits.  Steiner talked about “The Great Virtues” – justice, prudence, courage, wisdom.  He also talked about faith, hope and love.   Most major world religions have these attributes as part of their faith.  If you have no specific spiritual path, I urge you to look closer at this for the sake of your children; leave your own adult baggage behind and investigate it further and see if you can open your heart to what may resonate inside.
  • We can protect our child during birth with good birthing practices and by breastfeeding. Rahima Baldwin Dancy has much to say regarding this in her book, “You Are Your Child’s First Teacher.”  Perhaps you can  go back to that book and re-read that part and see if it resonates differently with you.
  • We don’t let infants “cry it out”, we provide loving warmth and joy and eye contact between all family members and this new life.
  • We keep the baby home for at least six weeks after birth, and we protect the infant’s 12 senses by not dragging the infant around for  endless errands in a carseat after that if possible!  Who has done a 40-day “lying in” out there?  Please do leave some comments in the comment section!
  • We can keep our babies warm!  Warmth is such an important thing in small babies.   Try this post to help give you inspiration:  http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/early-years-nurturing-young-children-at-home/the-waldorf-baby/dressing-the-very-young-child.html
  • We can take our babies outside, weather permitting, for walks and even for naps outside!
  • The baby experiences “good” in its world in these early months by being loved by its mother and father. The parents can  attempt to live an unhurried and unstressed life so the baby can develop trust and see goodness.
  • We  can recognize that  it takes years to develop into the physical body, and we honor not to rush this process through infant walkers, through the use of “Teach Your Baby to Read” programs, through “Baby Einstein.”  We respect that the baby is a baby with skills and abilities that will unfold.
  • We allow the baby to move – we have times where the baby can move freely in a safe environment.   By the same token, we allow the baby to speak without “teaching” speech and correcting the heck out of the imitated speech that is just forming!  However, on the other hand, we don’t use baby talk!
  • As the child learns to think, to have a sense of themselves as separate, around the age of “3”,  we can provide boundaries even if we had not had to set many before!  This is of utmost importance – provide these loving, warm boundaries  but  yes, boundaries that  exist for the child so the child learns to function in our world and in our space.  In the article “Birth to the Age of Three:  Our Responsibility” by Dorothy Olson and available at www.waldorflibrary.org, she writes, “When we give direction to the child or make requests of the child, or say that we are going to do something, we must be clear in our thinking, phrase our request in the positive, then stay with the direction and be consistent.  If we reverse direction, we damage the child, we cause nervousness and insecurity.”  (Carrie’s note:  And yes, I know many attached and loving parents who would totally disagree with that last sentence!).  She goes on to write, “Parents and teachers who are constantly inconsistent, do not allow the child to meet the realities of existence.  The child is then educated for a life which does not exist, becomes weak, and is at the mercy of its surroundings and of other people.”

(What this talk on boundaries  means is NOT that you are a dictator – you are gentle, loving, and calm and  you THINK about your house, the tone in your house, and yes, what boundaries you need in your house from there with the needs of everyone considered!  There are posts on this site regarding creating family mission statements that may assist you.  The key is to understanding a three year old and a four year old is in IMITATION, and in their BODIES.  Thinking ahead and “consequences” is not really up their alley yet!  :) ).

It is a big task, a wonderful task , a wonderful opportunity,  a gift to be able to refine the kind of parent you want to be, starting from now!

Thanks for reading!

Just a few deep thoughts for today,

Carrie

Bringing Rhythm to Your Baby

There is a mother’s story here on the Christopherus website’s  “Waldorf Baby” section that may interest those of you thinking about how to bring rhythm to your baby  (and my personal caveat is that this is one mother’s story and does not necessarily reflect my own personal opinion!  But good ideas for thought!  And please note the number of times this mother says the establishment of rhythm must be done over time, and gently!)

http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/early-years-nurturing-young-children-at-home/the-waldorf-baby/bringing-rhythm-to-your-baby.html

As a lay breastfeeding counselor, I have to say here the idea is NOT scheduled feedings; scheduled feedings in breastfeeding mother/infant dyads can lead to failure to thrive!   Please remember this rule:  RHYTHM is TOTALLY DIFFERENT THAN A SET SCHEDULE!   That being said, however, it is about being able to see as your infant grows and gently OVER TIME what sort of rhythm to the day you are setting in order to protect the infant’s 12 senses (if you need help remembering which of the 12 senses is affected by rhythm, try this post here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/06/22/the-twelve-senses/)

It is also interesting to me that many parents comment how their second, third and subsequent children fall more easily into a rhythmical pattern than their first…I feel this is probably because a more set flow to the day is already in place and you are not re-creating the rhythmical wheel.

It is also remembering that from a Waldorf point of view, you are not “squishing” your infant’s individual temperament or anything else by providing a flow to things.  In my personal experience, children who are “high-needs” are by definition VERY irrhythmic, irregular and need your gentle help to move them towards rhythmical patterns….This can be very difficult for parents to accept and work with!  Re-frame your thoughts in this way:  you are providing a rhythm that not only uplifts and enfolds your infant and their personal traits and their health but  also provides peace and harmony for  the whole family as well.  This is setting the tone in your own home, and your rhythm is just what your family does.    Again, rhythm  is just about life within your family; we rest and we play, we go outside and are active, we are inside and we listen and are quieter.  There should be an ease and a flow to it, not a “military” sense of punctuality!

Within Waldorf parenting and Waldorf parenting, sleep and rest are very important cornerstones, one that rhythm is very important in promoting and preserving and I am going to address this important topic in another post.  Get your cup of tea ready, because the way Steiner and Waldorf Education views sleep may be different than what you have ever heard of before!

Blessings on this day,

Carrie

The Waldorf Baby: The First Year

Here is a link to a great article by Donna Simmons of Christopherus Homeschool regarding the Waldorf baby and the first year:

http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/early-years-nurturing-young-children-at-home/the-waldorf-baby.html

There is also a link on there to an article I wrote regarding the impact anthroposophy has had on my work as a neonatal physical therapist:  http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/early-years-nurturing-young-children-at-home/the-waldorf-baby/not-too-hot-not-too-cold.html

And, of course, as a lay breastfeeding counselor and as an AP parent, I agree with the position Christopherus has taken regarding breastfeeding and co-sleeping!

Lots of food for thought in this article!

Happy Reading,

Carrie

The Twelve Senses

I am going to try and synthesize a few things for you all that I recently learned from Donna Simmons at the Waldorf At Home conference held in Atlanta,  a presentation by Daena Ross for Waldorf In the Home (available through Rahima Baldwin Dancy’s on-line store in CD and DVD versions) and Barbara Dewey’s section on the twelve senses in her book “Beyond the Rainbow Bridge”. 

I am by no means an expert on the twelve senses, although I will say the twelve senses make a whole lot of sense to me due to my background as a neonatal/pediatric physical therapist.

Steiner postulated in his lectures that there were not only the five most obvious senses that we think of, but actually twelve senses that required development.  This has been proved in the medical community, although sometimes in medical literature and therapy literature you see reference to “systems” rather than “senses” although they are truly talking about the same thing!

The twelve senses are what unites the inner and outer world of the individual and what allows us healthy interaction with other people at the highest developed levels.  It takes a long time for these senses to be developed, but the foundational senses needed to develop some of the upper senses are most developed in the first seven years.  There we are, back to my soapbox about the first seven years!

The Lower Senses are seen in our will forces, they are unconscious, and they manifest in the metabolic-limbic system.  These include:

The Sense of Touch – through the organ of the skin.  This includes what is inside of me and what is outside of me.  Important ways to boost this foundational sense include vaginal birth, swaddling, holding, positive tactile experiences (NOT PASSIVE experiences, like through media or Baby Einstein! Active experiences!)  The lack of completion of this  sense is strongly related to ADHD according to Daena Ross. 

The Sense of Life or sometimes called The Sense of Well-Being – this encompasses such things as if you can tell if you are tired, thirsty, hungry.  The best way to boost this sense is to provide your children with a rhythm to help support this while it is developing.  Some children have great difficulty recognizing their own hunger or thirst cues, their own need for rest or sleep. A rhythm can be a great therapeutic help in this regard.

The Sense of Self-Movement – this is probably more familiar to therapists in some ways as the “proprioceptive system” in some ways.  This sense encompasses the ability to move and hold back movement, and can also encompass such sensory experiences as containment (which can be a form of massage for premature babies) and also swaddling.  Childhood games that involve starting, stopping can also affect this sense.

The Sense of Balance – This is balance in two separate realms, from what I gather from the Daena Ross presentation.  It is not only the ability to balance by use of the semicircular canals of the ears  for midline balance so one can cross midline but also refers to the  balance of life and being able to be centered, which again goes back to rhythm and the idea of in-breath and out-breath.  Donna Simmons calls this one a gateway to The Middle Senses.

The Middle Senses are seen in our feeling lives, involve us reaching out into the world a bit, they are seen as “dreamy” senses and manifesting in the rhythmic system.  THE CHILD HAS NO FILTER TO FILTER THESE SENSORY EXPERIENCES OUT IN THE EARLY YEARS.   In the later years, the arts build these senses, which is why the Waldorf curriculum includes teaching through art in the grades.   These senses  include:

The Sense of Smell -  strongly correlated with memory.  This can be an ally in education of the grades age child, but beware of scented everything when your children are in the foundational first seven years. 

The Sense of Taste – Not only on a physical plane, but an emotional plane in naming experiences (a “putrid” experience, a “sweet” experience)

The Sense of Sight  – with two different ways to visualize something:  one is the ability to distinguish color, and the other is the ability to distinguish form (which Daena Ross says is more related to The Sense of Self-Movement).  The best way to help this sense is to protect the eye from media while developing.  A way to bolster this sense in the grades, but not the Early under 7 Years, is through form drawing.

The Sense of Warmth -   Donna Simmons calls this one a gateway to The Higher Senses.  This sense does not fully develop until age 9 and can literally cause a hardening of creativity and new thought as the child matures, but also can refer to a literal inability of the child to be able to tell if they are hot or cold.  Warmth implies not only physical warmth, but warmth on a soul level.  Joy, humor, love, connection are all important developers of this sense along with PROTECTION from extreme and garish sensory experiences that would cause hardening.  This is a very important sense, and children need help with protecting this sense until the age of 9 or 10, so much longer than many parents think!

The Upper or Higher Senses develop during adolescence and require a strong foundation of The Lower Senses and The Middle Senses to come to maturity.  These senses are associated with awakening of the individual, with being concerned with other people and are seen as being centered in The Head.  These senses include:

The Sense of Hearing (which Daena Ross calls “a bridge between The Middle and Higher Senses” in her presentation)  This requires completion of The Sense of Balance – both of these senses involve the organ of the ear.

The Sense of Speech or The Sense of the Word (this is the speech of another person, not yourself) – Requires completion of The Sense of Self-Movement as you must be able to quiet your own speech in order to really hear another person.

The Sense of Thought or The Sense of Concept (again, of the other person, not your own thoughts!) - Requires completion of  The Sense of Well-Being.  Rhythm builds this ability to quiet oneself in order to hear someone else’s thoughts.

The Sense of  the Individuality of the Other (Donna Simmons also calls this the “I-Thou” relationship of boundaries) – This requires integration and completion of all senses, but particularly involves The Sense of Touch according to Daena Ross. 

The most important take-away point for my parents of children under the age of 7 is that children need rhythm, a balance of in-breath and out-breath and protection of the senses from too much stimulation, from media and boundaries set by the parents to wear clothes (VERY difficult with some little nudists!).  The development of these senses is also profoundly related to sleeping and what occurs during sleep to build all of this up.

Waldorf Education is first and foremost about health and the twelve senses provide a glimpse into some of why things are done in Waldorf the way they are!  I encourage you to investigate the twelve senses on your own.  In this age and day of skyrocketing ADHD/ADD, autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorders, this should be mandatory learning for all parents. 

With love,

Carrie

Common Toddler Challenges and How to Solve Them

Common Toddler Challenges:

“Into Everything”:

Options:

  • Child-proof, child-proof
  • Model how to explore fragile things with your help and put away
  • Keep less things out, access to art supplies, toys, etc should truly be limited

Your Ideas:

Picky Eating:

Options:

  • Rule out a physical cause; check food allergies and sensitivities
  • Limit high-fat and high-sugar choices, have many healthy choices
  • Look at your child’s food intake over a week, not just one day
  • Have a schedule/rhythm for mealtime and snack time  and sit down with your child to eat in an unhurried manner
  • Serve smaller portions – your child’s stomach is the size of their fist
  • Serve your child’s favorite foods as a side dish to a main meal
  • Do not feel ambivalent about your child’s ability to eat what you serve
  • Allow an option to have toast or cereal for one night a week
  • Try frozen vegetables, such as peas and corn right from the bag or raw veggies with dip if your child is old enough and this is not a choking hazzard
  • Let the kids have a vegetable garden – children often will eat what they have grown
  • Start calling green veggies “brain food”
  • Sneak veggies and fruits into smoothies, or finely grate or chop and mix into foods the child likes
  • Fill a muffin tray or ice cube tray with different healthy kinds of snackable foods that the child can pick from
  • Model good eating yourself – eat a wide variety of foods!

Your Own Ideas:

Poor Sleeper:

  • Rule out physical problems  – many children had reflux when they were younger and are off of medications by the time they are a year or so, do make sure reflux has not reared its head again.  Check www.pager.org for more details regarding gastro-esophageal disease.
  • Educate yourself regarding normal sleep behavior – segmented sleep throughout the night was the norm until the Industrial Revolution
  • Expect disruptions in sleep around change, stresses, developmental milestones
  • Try a more consistent routine during the day calming and soothing techniques for naptime and bedtime
  • Try lots of daytime sunlight and dim the lights after sundown; put your house to sleep after dinner
  • Limit afternoon over-stimulation, be home and have a consistent routine where things are structured around getting ready toward sleep
  • Look at the foods your child eats
  • Hug, sleep, hold your child – parent them to sleep
  • Co-sleep
  • Remember that many toddlers and preschoolers are poised for an early nap and an early (6:30 to 7:30 PM) bedtime – sometimes we just miss the window!
  • Watch out for TV and other media exposure
  • Many normal, health co-sleeping children do not sleep a 7 to 9 hour stretch until they are 3 or 4 years old.

Nurses all the time:

Options:

  • Review normal nursing developmental milestones – 1 and 2 year olds do nurse frequently!
  • Check to see if there are stressors, changes, developmental milestones coming into play
  • Evaluate at what other times your child gets your complete attention
  • Perhaps your child is ready for a more consistent routine, more and varied things to do, more physical activity outside
  • Keep a consistent rhythm to the day and night but varied playthings available
  • Limit your own phone and computer time as this is when many children want to nurse!  LOL!

Your Own Ideas:

Refuses bath:

Options:

  • Use bubble bath, toys
  • If she fears soap in her eyes, use swimming goggles or sun visor
  • Try bath in the morning instead of at night
  • Try a shower
  • Get in tub with child
  • If child fearful of drain, can drain tub after child out of tub or after child  leaves room

Bites adult:

Options:

  • Do not take it personally, do not over-react
  • Most common between 18 months and 2 and a half years
  • Re-direct behavior
  • It is not okay for your child to hurt you!
  • Do not bite for biting!

Your Own Ideas:

Bites other child:

Options:

  • Watch child closely during playtime but realize children of this age do not need many playdates if any at all – limit the exposure and situations you are putting your child in!
  • Give attention to the victim
  • Usually biting stops by age 4

Your Own Ideas:

Slaps faces:

Options:

  • Re-direct behavior
  • Do not hit for hitting
  • Model non-aggression

Your Own Ideas:

Demanding, exacting, easily frustrated

Options:

  • Review normal developmental milestones and behavior
  • Check how many choices you are giving and how many words you are using and use LESS
  • Try to get in a lot of outside time
  • Go back to the basics of rhythm, sleep, warm foods, nourishing simple stories and singing

Your Own Ideas:

Will not get dressed or put on shoes:

Options:

  • Plan ahead and use easy to put on clothing, check for tags, seams
  • Sing a song, look for body parts, dress by a window
  • Dress together
  • Put clothes on when you arrive at destination

Your Own Ideas:

Running Away in Public Places :

Options:

  • Limit the number of public places you take child
  • Bring along a second adult to help if possible

Your Own Ideas:

Temper Tantrums:

  • It is OK to feel angry or frustrated; accept the feeling
  • Look for the triggers – hungry, tired, thirsty, hot/cold, over-stimulated
  • Try to avoid situations that set your child up to fail
  • Give YOURSELF a moment to get centered and calm
  • Remove yourself and child from scene if possible (if a public place)
  • Can get down with child and rub back or head if child will allow,  can just be there
  • Once child has calmed down, can nurse, give him a hug, get a snack or drink
  • If child is mainly upset and gets wants you near but you cannot touch child, consider doing something with your hands to keep that peaceful, centered energy in the room!  Hold the space for your child!
  • Do NOT talk – for most children this just escalates things!
  • If child is okay with being picked up, can go outside for a distraction

Your Own Ideas:

Refuses Car Seat

Options:

  • Let child have a bag of “car toys” that can be played with as soon as seat belt is buckled
  • Have a contest who can get in the fastest
  • Be a policman, fireman, truck driver

Your Own Ideas:

Roughness with Pets:

  • Model gentle behavior for child with pet
  • Child can help do things for pet (but remember, a child younger than 12 does not have the physical and mental capabilities to fully take care of an animal!)
  • Separate pet and child

Your Own Ideas:

Aggressive Behavior:

  • Try to understand need or trigger beneath the behavior
  • Have a rule such as we hit, we sit – Child must sit by you
  • Help the children involved get  their needs met  by structuring turns, etc.
  • If fighting happens with one friend, you may have to have them stop playing
  • together for a time.
  • If the hitting involves a new baby or young sibling, your first goal is to protect the baby
  • Have a “calm chair” or “calm place” with books, drawing materials where everyone can go together until they are calmed down.
  • Your child may need way less playdates, time outside of the home than you think – be very careful and clear that the places you are bringing your child are truly for them and not for you!  If you need times with other mothers, focus on getting bedtime down so you may be able to go out after your child is asleep and have some adult time!

Your Own Ideas:

Separation Anxiety:

  • Do not force your child to jump into situations he is nervous about – allow him to watch from the sidelines for awhile, and respect his choices.
  • Provide opportunities for your child to take small steps toward independence
  • Do not overprotect your child – do not be the hovercraft
  • Acknowledge and respect your child’s feelings
  • Give your child permission to stay with you – “You can stay here as long as you want to, or you can play and come back for a big hug.”
  • Allow the clingyness to run its course – it may be developmentally normal, or it may come out in a time of stress or change
  • Give your child something of yours to hold on to and keep close
  • Reassure your child by being confident you can walk 10 feet from her and it really is OK – If you say, “Don’t worry, I will be right here if you need me” implies there is something to worry about! Try positive, quiet phrases.
  • Again, I truly feel children in the toddler years are NOT meant to be away from their families and that we as a society really push the classes, lessons, independence of this age – Please do be careful the things you are doing are really for your child and not for you and not because “other people are doing it”!

Your Own Ideas:

Tooth Brushing:

Options:

  • Start early
  • Model good dental habits yourself
  • Make it fun – try electric toothbrushes, an egg timer, different kinds of toothpaste
  • Use the dentist as the authority on how many times a day to brush the teeth
  • Talk to the dentist regarding frequency of cleaning, putting sealants on the teeth
  • “Look” for sugar bugs or parts of food from dinner in a playful way, count teeth while brushing

Your Own Ideas:

Resources:

  • Ames, Louise Bates. Your One-Year-Old.
  • Ames. Louise Bates. Your Two-Year-Old.
  • Budd, Linda. Living With the Active Alert Child.
  • Bumgarner, Norma Jane. Mothering Your Nursing Toddler.
  • Cohen, Lawrence. Playful Parenting.
  • Coloroso, Barbara. Kids are Worth It!
  • Dettwyler, Katherine. “Sleeping Through the Night.” http://www.kathydettwyler.org
  • Flower, Hilary. Adventures in Gentle Discipline.
  • Kohn, Alfie. Unconditional Parenting.

As always, take what works for you and your family. Thanks for reading,

Carrie

Tripping Into The Toddler Years

(This post is written more from an attachment parenting perspective).

Toddlerhood IS a time where children have a lot of energy and curiosity, and a time when many parents feel there is a shift in parenting going on – the wants and needs of the toddler are becoming two separate things!

Before you can decide how you want to channel the energy of toddlerhood, it is helpful to know two things: 1. What type of family are you? (this is a determinant in how you perceive and handle typical toddler challenges) and 2. Normal developmental milestones of a toddler ages 12 months to about age 3 and 3.  How do you view guiding your child?  What are your foundational principles?

What Kind of Family Are You??

 

In the  book Kids Are Worth It! Barbara Coloroso defines three types of families:

  1. Brickwall – This type of family has a definitive hierarchy of control with the parents being in charge, has lots of strict rules, a high value on punctuality, cleanliness and order, a rigid enforcement of rules by means of actual or threatened violence, the use of punishment to break the child’s will and spirit, rigid rituals and rote learning, use of humiliation, extensive use of threats and bribes, heavy reliance on competition, learning takes place with no margin for error, love is highly conditional, gender roles are strictly enforced, children are taught what to think but not how to think.
  1. Jellyfish A families – most likely raised in a Brickwall family, this parent is frightened of repeating the abuse he knew, but does not know what to replace it with. So he becomes extremely lax in discipline, sets few or no limits and tends to smother his children. Anything his child wants, his child gets, even if the child’s wants are at the expense of the parent’s own needs. The lack of structure can then lead to a frustrated parent who ends up resorting to threats, bribes, punishments.
  2. Jellyfish B families – May be struggling with personal problems that keep her almost totally centered on herself. No one is around to provide a nurturing, caring, supportive environment.

In both types of Jellyfish families, the following characteristics prevail: Anarchy and chaos in the physical and emotional environment, no recognizable rules or guidelines for the children, arbitrary and inconsistent punishments and rewards are made, mini-lectures and put-downs are the main parenting tools, second chances are arbitrarily given, threats and bribes are frequently used, everything takes place in an environment of chaos, emotions rule the behavior of parents and children, children are taught that love is highly conditional, children are easily led by their peers.

  1. Backbone families – Democracy is a learned experience where children see their feelings and needs are respected and accepted and they also see that it is not always easy to juggle the wants and needs of all members of the family, mistakes are viewed as opportunities to grow, rules are simply and clearly stated, consequences for irresponsible behavior are either natural or reasonable (see attached handout), children are motivated to be all they can be, children receive lots of smiles and hugs, children get second opportunities, children learn to accept their own feelings and to act responsibly on those feelings through a strong sense of self-awareness, competency and cooperation are modeled and encouraged, love is unconditional, children are taught how to think, children are buffered from sexual promiscuity/drug abuse/suicide by three messages: I like myself, I can think for myself, There is no problem so great, it cannot be solved.

Linda Budd, Ph.D., looks at three traits central to all families in her  book “Living With The Active Alert Child”: who’s in charge, what the family values, and how the family handles emotion. She breaks families down into the following categories:

  1. The Closed Family – There is someone clearly in charge, and the others are expected to follow and be obedient. The family values stability. There are many traditions and rituals to create this strong sense of family unity. The family has a hard time with the intensity of emotions. Benefits of this family type include the children growing up with a strong sense of order and feeling secure within the family structure.
  1. The Random Family – Control in this family changes hands frequently- no one person is in charge. This family values freedom, choice, competition, challenge, creative expression. Individuals are valued over the family unit. People in this family express themselves passionately, intensely, authentically. Children in this system have few limits and limited supervision, but their creativity and intensity are confirmed.
  1. The Open Family – The family values equality. Control is cooperative, participatory and persuasive. Consensus is used to make decisions. The family values dialogue, tolerance, adaptability. The family needs are balanced with individual needs. The child is valued as a partner who needs help in discovering her own limits. Parents and child negotiate limits and collaborate in problem solving. Cooperation and responsibility are valued. Children feel as if they have mutual power, and that their feelings are acknowledged.
  1. The Synchronous Family – Control is understood without one person being the source. Control comes from a shared goal or value system, not from an individual. Adults assume children will learn what is correct and what is expected by watching the parents’ example. Emotions are reserved. Children gain a strong sense of security, order and routine.

Food for thought: What kind of family is your family according to either Barbara Coloroso’s or Linda Budd’s structure?

Are you and your significant other different according to Barbara Coloroso or Linda Budd’s structure? What was the family you grew up in like?

NORMAL DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES FOR THE ONE AND TWO-YEAR OLD

Age 12 months – Typically…

Nurses very frequently, almost like a newborn at times

Many mothers pick a code word for nursing at this time

Cannot accept delays or explanations regarding nursing

Heads into period of disorganization (waking up at night, separation anxiety) prior to new developmental milestones.

The drive to stand and walk takes precedence over all other activities

Loves an audience, sociable

Control over feeding is (SHOULD BE) the child’s

Molars coming in; chewing on everything

Very few distinguishable words, points and gestures

Separation and stranger anxiety

Age 15 months – Typically

Still nursing very frequently, almost like a newborn at times

The dash and dart and fling stage

Demanding, tends to grab, cry, scream

May be rather asocial, undemonstrative

Temper tantrums emerge (if they have not already)

Cup and spoon mastery may be happening

Attention span is short but will examine objects with real interest (but for less than 5 minutes)

Age 18 months-Typically

Negativism prevails – wants what he wants, when he wants it

Turns to mother when tired, unhappy

Likes to mimic household activities

Not interested in other children – to large extent ignores them or tries to explore them by poking their eyes, pulling hair

Can play alone

Temper tantrums

Nighttime waking appears with new stresses

Walking may still be a bit uncertain, loves to go up and down stairs, squat, climb into chairs or sofas

Will lug, tug, push, pull, pound things

May run away from parents in public places

Protests violently at separation from parents

Parallel play with peers

May see biting, hair pulling, scratching, hitting toward other people

Play is child’s most powerful way to learn

Age 21 months…Typically…

Can be one of the hardest ages – wants are more definite

May be height of wakefulness at night

Height of taking clothes off and running around naked

Still easily frustrated with lots of temper tantrums

Understand which objects belong to individual family members

Cares about “mine”

Knows where household items belong

Can solve some of their own problems themselves when playing

Age 2 years – Typically

Many still need to nurse often in order to calm themselves, but some children may nurse only around bedtimes and naptimes

Some children can begin to adjust their requests for nursing to places and times that are most comfortable for the whole family

May have difficulty going to bed/falling asleep

Warm, social

Can run little errands within the house

Touches and tastes everything

Uses sentences with verbs and is beginning to use adjectives and adverbs

Parallel play with other children

 

 

Age 2 and a half – Typically

Much improved coordination – can walk on tiptoes, jump with both feet, climb, slide, speed up, slow down, turn corners, make sudden stops

Tense, rigid, explosive, bossy, demanding – (but unsure of himself/environment)

Demands sameness, routine

May stutter, have increased tensional outlets

May have frequent night waking, talking in sleep, night terrors, difficulty going to sleep

Self-feeding with lots of messiness prevails, smearing of food, may throw dishes on floor

May be interested in potty training

Masturbation and genital exploration common

Violent mood shifts – will suddenly become angry and out of control

Can most certainly help around the house

Closer to 3 years old, may get tired easily, easily fatigued, wants to be carried

Interacts with other children but may be in aggressive manner, possessive of his things

Hitting, slapping, pushing, screaming

Suggestions:

Accept need for sameness

Bypass head on confrontations

Divert with conversation

Distract, change the scene

Talk in advance about what will happen

Use music – sing, use verses

Age 3 years – Quick look ahead: Typically..

Can usually go along with your nursing preferences most of the time

Is tranquil, cooperative

Can help set table, prepare simple foods, clean up afterward

Usually potty trained by this point, at least for the daytime

Can be fearful and have phobias

Imagination begins to take fire, may develop imaginary friends

Has a newfound sense of humor and is able to show empathy

Friendships become more important

Will focus completely on one parent and ignore the other and then switch

Help Channel the Energy:

15 to 18 months

Gross motor activity

Loves to swing and bounce up and down (no walkers or such, please!)

Pounding toys, xylophones

Lots of time outside

Remove all breakable objects from reach

Loves to fall on purpose, slide down or bounce down a small slide

Loves to rock on a rocking boat

Loves to push furniture or toys

Two Year Olds-

Water play

Likes routine, imitating grown-up tasks

Play with homemade playdough

Stacking toys

Sand play

Blocks

Enjoys music, rhythmical activity

Acts out their own eating or sleeping

Doll play

Daily walks with opportunity to touch everything

FOUNDATION OF LOVING GUIDANCE

Use the least intrusive strategy for a situation – you will never err by being gentle

Distraction

Remaining calm and being patient is VERY important

Model what you want and set the example

Attribute the best possible motive to your child’s behavior

 

See the positive intent behind your toddler’s behavior,

Carrie

Wonderful Words From Marsha Johnson!

This post is NOT by me, but by Master Waldorf Teacher Marsha Johnson, who lives in the Portland area.  She wrote this wonderful post this morning, I so encourage you to read it carefully, consider it, weigh it in your heart.  Please do go and join her Yahoo!group waldorfhomeeducators.  This is an excellent post, just excellent.  Please read Marsha Johnson’s wise words and enjoy!

“One recurring thread that emerges again and again in the various home schooling groups is the embracing of Info-Mation as Edu-Cation. This is an approach that relies on the passing along of facts and figures to the children, rather like filling up a blank sheet of paper with a long list of data. This kind of education is one that many parents themselves were exposed to as children in lower schools and is yet embraced by many institutions of higher learning.
I have jokingly referred to it as Information Vomitus. Particularly in graduate school, one absorbs mounds of information and must regurgitate it accurately within a time period, and those who can do this are considered ‘smart’.
As a species, some of us just love this habit. We have game shows where we love to quiz people on obscure and odd facts and see who can answer the most questions correctly. There are board games that focus on this aimless ‘art’, like Trivial Pursuit. That name does make me laugh at least the use of the word trivial. Small and meaningless.

As parents, we tend to veer unconsciously towards teaching our children in the way we ‘were taught’. This tendency is really one of the most dangerous and damaging stage in the life of the homeschooling family.

Why do I say this? Because the children of today, the millennial children, the Shining Ones, are very different than the previous generation of children, those born from the 1950s to the 1990s, when the Information Age really began to dominate. The idea was strewn about that one could improve a child’s IQ with exposure to this Factoid Education and that children were really blank slates whose minds could be sharpened and very soon after this time period began we started seeing massive testing of children as large population groups and lo and behold, a lot of stereotyping also began to show up in the statistics. All sorts of rather wicked and demeaning conclusions have been drawn from this kind of erroneous practice.

When we begin to ‘school’ children, and some are so anxious they start right away as soon as Baby can focus her eyes, we reach back into our own educational experiences and most often pull forward this kind of teaching that involves a lot of child sitting-parent speaking.

With a sense of humor here, often the children quickly teach the parent that this kind of education isn’t going to persist for too long. As children are naturally good and sweet and want to make us big people happy, they often accommodate us with love and grace, and put up with quite a bit of this kind of dreary boring presentation.

But some don’t. They rise up and run about and wiggle away, dancing, singing, going outside, done-with-that!, let’s have snack happy attitude that is probably the most logically kind response possible.

The type of education that really fits the developmental stage of the child most closely, from my own point of view, is Waldorf education. Within the very ‘bones’ of Rudolf Steiner’s philosophies we find the most wonderful comprehension of how children are, what children need, and why we must approach the education of the child with an imaginative, artistic technique. A warm and inclusive attitude. A whole-child, integrated program that moves smoothly from moment to moment to create a kind of living-dream, wherein the child floats, soars, rests, and grows.

And this is probably the very opposite of the Info-Mation protocol, which calls mostly on the forces of the nerve-sense pole, the head, the hearing and memory and goes down dry as a desert rock in late summer.

Will you provide an education that inspires your child and yourself? Can you take a subject and find the Alice-In-Wonderland Rabbit Hole that will allow you to enter in a playful and unexpected fashion? How much of the school time is spent sitting and listening, or writing or copying? How much is spent moving, doing, trying, inventing, creating, cooperating, considering, digesting?

I am struck again and again by how passionate and devoted parents can be to a style of learning that would, well, invoke passion and interest in someone 35 years old or older? (smiles here) But a six year old is in his first decade, not the fourth, and taking the dry factual program to this tender age should really be some kind of crime.

Destroying a child’s imagination and tramping through their fairy land of fantasy with the bulldozers of ‘real life’ is actually a crime against childhood. We are surrounded by immense pressure from commercial marketers, manufacturers, media moguls, and those who want to benefit from premature aging. It is unbelievable, a very sophisticated and invisible force to destroy childhood and create an endless period of ‘tween’ and ‘teen’. Did you know the average age of video game players is actually 29 years old? This means there many older and younger right around 30 years of age who devote most of their free time to staring at screens.

One of the easiest ways to judge how a lesson is being received is to keep a close eye on the recipient. Rather than lose your adult self into the lovely land of facts and transmitting these facts, say a few words and watch the child. Allow for pauses and wait a bit. Does the child keep her attention focused on you, do the cheeks pink up, do the eyes sparkle, doe he sit forwards towards you, hanging on your words? Or does she fidget, grow pale, look down or elsewhere, try to rise and leave? Observe the child closely during the day, during play, during rest, during active vigorous exercise. Learn the color patterns of the child’s skin, the facial and body gestures. Configure your lessons in such a way that the child’s response is one of delight, close attention, desire to participate, and shows a healthy age appropriate expression.

Young children naturally move and use their bodies to learn. Incorporate this into each lesson and every day in your home teaching. Sitting is only one of many types of positions that the young child assumes in the natural exploration of the physical world. Adults tend to sit for the vast majority of each day in both work and play. There is much to be gained from moving often and finding physical ways to enhance the learning experiences.

The old saying `give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime’, is a perfect mantra for teaching the young human born in the early 2000s. Consider subject matter from the child’s point of view, figure out what you can do in your lessons that allow the child to use the three elements of self: head, heart, and hands. One of the greatest errors in current educational practice is the sole focus on the head learning, forcing young children to sit at tables for long days, wearying their spirits and graying their outlook. Early academic fatigue syndrome is rampant in our country and fortunately, almost 100 years ago, Rudolf Steiner illuminated a brilliant pathway of education that is more relevant today than ever before. Living artistic age-appropriate lessons, every day, naturally engaging and guaranteed to engender a life long love of learning.

Marsha Johnson, Spring 2009”

Thank you Marsha, for these words that I am holding in my heart,  thank you for being here and sharing with us,

Carrie

“Breastfeeding the Right-Brained Way”

This is a great article circulating some of the breastfeeding forums I am on, and I wanted to share it with you.  Many thanks to my friend Anna for sharing it with me!

 

Breastfeeding the Right-Brained Way
By Kathleen Kendall-Tackett (PhD, IBCLC) & Nancy Mohrbacher (IBCLC),
co-authors of Breastfeeding Made Simple

In modern Western cultures, mothers have more information about
breastfeeding than any time in human history. Unfortunately, most of this is
information for the left side of the brain, which is fine for lots of tasks.
But too much left-brained information can make you anxious about
breastfeeding.

 

 

Breastfeeding is a right-brained activity. What do we mean by that? Think of
left-brained instructions as head knowledge. Right-brained learning yields
heart or body knowledge. To illustrate the difference, think about riding a
bike. Did you learn by reading about it? Talking a class? Talking to other
people about it? Or did you learn by just getting on a bike and doing it?

The Right-Brained Dance of Breastfeeding
Mothers and babies have physiological responses that draw them to each
other, that encourage them to look at each other, touch each other, and
interact. Much of this behavior is guided by the right side of the brain.
This is the side that has to do with affect or emotion.

A problem with the heavily left-brained, instructionally-oriented way that
many mothers learn to breastfeed is that it doesn’t allow mother and baby to
take advantage of their natural responses. So much breastfeeding education
focuses on all the things mother must to do get the baby to breastfeed,
which ignores the baby’s role. That type of instruction can be helpful to
solve a particular problem, but it can be a definite drawback when one
technique or strategy is applied to all mothers. It also discourages mothers
and babies from using their hardwiring.

Worse still, this kind of education can encourage them to tune out their
natural responses or to violate their instincts. It can be upsetting for all
who are involved, sometimes creating a crisis where none existed before.
Another problem with highly instructionalized left-brained approaches is
that they can leave some mothers feeling incompetent because it feels as if
there are 10,000 things they need to remember.

A different way to think about this is to consider how mothers throughout
human history managed to breastfeed without all of the information we have
now. When breastfeeding was the norm, girls learned about breastfeeding as
they were growing up by seeing women actually doing it. Dr. Peter Hartmann,
a well-known breastfeeding researcher, makes this point well. He asked a
young Australian Aboriginal mothers, “When did you learn about
breastfeeding?” She answered, “I have always known how to breastfeed.”

How exactly do you use a right-brained approach to breastfeed your baby?
First, take some deep breaths and let go of those worries about doing things
“wrong.” Instead of thinking of breastfeeding as a skill you need to master,
or a measure of your worth as a mother, think about breastfeeding as
primarily a relationship. As you spend time with your baby, you’ll be more
adept at reading her cues. As you hold her, your baby will be more
comfortable seeking your breast. Breastfeeding will flow naturally out of
your affectionate relationship.

Based on her extensive clinical experience with mothers and babies,
pediatrician and board-certified lactation consultant Dr. Christina Smillie
has developed some strategies that can help you help your baby. Here are
some specific things you can do:
* Start with a calm, alert baby- One mistake that many women make is to wait to try breastfeeding until their babies are either sound asleep or
screaming. Think about yourself. Do you learn best when you are asleep or
upset? Probably not. The other reason to start with a calm baby has to do
with physics. When a baby is screaming, her tongue is on the roof of her
mouth. You will never get your breast in her mouth when her tongue is like
that.
* Watch for early feeding cues- These cues include turning her head when
someone touches her cheek and hand-to-mouth. Take note of when she starts
smacking her lips or putting her hands to her mouth. This is an ideal time
to try breastfeeding.
* Use your body to calm your baby- One way to calm a crying baby is by
placing your baby skin to skin vertically between your breasts. Your chest
is a very calming place for your baby. Try talking and making eye contact.
All of these activities can get her to calm down, allowing your baby to seek
the breast on her own.
* Follow your baby’s lead- When a calm, alert baby is held vertically
between her mother’s breasts, often she will begin showing instinctive
breast-seeking behaviors, bobbing her head and moving it from side to side.
Once your baby starts these behaviors, help her in her efforts. Following
your baby’s lead, support her head and shoulders. Move her rump toward your
opposite breast. Encourage her explorations with your voice.
* Play while you learn to breastfeed- Play is something that is largely
absent from the mothers we see. It all seems so serious and they are
terrified of doing something wrong. If you are feeling frustrated, we’d like
to encourage you to look at this another way. Focus on your relationship
with your baby and consider breastfeeding as a part of the larger whole.
Breastfeeding will flow naturally out of your affectionate relationship.
In summary, if your baby is healthy, she is wired to know how to breastfeed.
It all doesn’t depend on you getting everything right. Relax and just focus
on getting to know your baby. The rest will follow.

Breastfeeding Made Simple is an awesome book, and I encourage you to search out the other books written by these two women.  Kathleen Kendall-Tackett in particular has done a lot of work with postpartum depression, depression and other less than positive feelings dealing with motherhood.  The works of these two wise women are well worth checking out!

Thanks,

Carrie

Starting Solids With Your Infant and Picky Toddler Eating

This post is for all mothers who wonder about infant and toddler feeding and what is “normal”.  Remember, human milk is the primary source of your infant’s nutrition throughout the first year and solids is mainly a sensory (read teaspoons to tablespoons) kind of experience.  In our society we act as if infants should be putting away jars upon jars of baby food a day!  This is not how the human digestive system was designed!

Early Solids WILL NOT help your baby sleep through the night, make your baby less fussy, make your baby grow up later or develop earlier or provide better nutrition than breast milk!

Normal Course of Appetite (Ames) up to age 6:

  • Usually infant doubles birth weight by the time they start solids
  • Usually the birth weight is tripled by the end of the first year
  • Cup feeding may be started in middle of first year
  • At 12 to 15 months, the gross motor drive is strong – may be difficult to sit and eat a meal, may want to stand in highchair if family using one
  • After 12 months, toddler may go through phase of not being interested in cup
  • 15 to 18 months toddler very interested in self-feeding
  • May throw food
  • 21 month old may have definite preferences, such as a certain bib, a certain spoon, a certain dish – but may not have the words to express it! Easily distractible
  • 24 months – preferences are high, may be related to taste, form, consistency, color – Think small helpings, teaspoon sized! Ritual demand of eating the same things reaches its height at 2 ½. Food jags prevalent.
  • 3 years old – Eating better, appetite fluctuates less, the child has become a good chewer . On the downside, may dawdle if eats with whole family.
  • May prefer raw vegetables, desserts, may accept green vegetables.
  • 4 years old – Chief problems are talks too much, usually has to interrupt meal to go to bathroom, has much trouble sitting still
  • 4 ½ to 5 – A distinct rise in appetite, can listen as well as talk at the dinner table, may use a knife for spreading but not for cutting
  • 6 years – Perpetual activity! Cannot sit still, wiggles in chair, eats with finger, talks with mouth full, cannot finish meal. Preferences and refusals very strong.

Signs of Developmental Readiness to Start Solids as per La Leche League:

  • Usually middle of first year
  • Your baby has at least doubled his/her birth weight or weighs at least 14 pounds
  • Your baby can sit up with support
  • Your baby has control of his/her head and neck
  • Your baby has the ability to transfer food from the front of the mouth to the back of the mouth (tongue-thrust reflex has disappeared)
  • Your baby may have a tooth or two
  • Your baby is capable of refusing food
  • Your baby likes to imitate people and showing distinct interest in food, not just the silverware
  • Your baby can reach and handle food, toys, objects
  • Your baby has increased saliva production necessary for digestion
  • Your baby is not ill and has no rashes

WHAT FIRST FOODS  SHOULD I FEED MY INFANT?

  • Different cultures start with different first foods – you may want to think specifically about foods that provide decent mineral quality for supplemental foods.
  • La Leche League typically says to start with banana, pears, applesauce (make your own), cooked carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash, avocados.  Some cultures start with meat as a first food!
  • Use your own clean finger as the first spoon
  • Offer new foods in the morning  in case of allergic reaction

 

One book you may consider on this topic is the classic “Feeding the Whole Family:  Recipes for Babies, Young Children, and Their Parents” by Cynthia Lair.  It takes recipes the whole family can eat, and suggests how to take all or parts of the recipe to make food your infant can eat as well.  All recipes are centered on fresh, whole foods ingredients.

Top Asked Questions Regarding Sources of:

Iron (per Dr. Sears Family Nutrition Book)

Beef (4 ounces) 3.5 mg

Ground beef (4 ounces) 2.5 mg

Lamb (4 ounces) 2.5 mg

Turkey, dark meat (4 ounces) 2.5 mg

Beans (1/2 cup) 2.0 mg

Chickpeas

Best Plant Food Sources of Iron (per Dr. Sears Family Nutrition Book):

Tofu (1/3 cup) – 7 mg

Iron-fortified cereals (1 ounce) 4-8 mg

Cream of Wheat (1/2 cup cooked) – 5 mg

Lentils (1/2 cup cooked) – 3 mg

Prune Juice (8 oz) – 3 mg

Dried Peaches – 3.1 mg for 6 halves

Pumpkin Seeds, 1 ounce – 4.0 mg

Signs of Anemia (Iron-Deficiency Anemia): paleness, weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, irritability, difficulty concentrating, increased susceptibility to infection, intolerance of cold temperatures, constipation, brittle nails

Zinc (per Dr. Sears Family Nutrition Book)

Top Zinc Veggies:

Tofu (1/2 cup) – 2.00 mg

Artichoke – 1.47 mg

Chickpeas (1/2 cup canned) – 1.25 mg

Beans (kidney, lima, ½ cup) -0.75 mg

Dr. Sears writes in his book that many children with ADHD have lower levels of zinc and essential fatty acids; this may be worth looking into if your child has that challenge! 

Tips for Picky Toddler Eaters

DO NOT USE FOOD AS A BRIBE TO EAT OTHER FOODS OR AS A REWARD OR PUNISHMENT.

Serve food attractively, give small helpings, serve food without comment, do not stress amount of food to be eaten, be aware some food refusals may indicate an allergic reaction to that food, try to maintain a calm and unworried attitude toward your child’s eating, do not stress table manners with young children, allow finger-feeding until child has become proficient at eating and is interested in food.

Try:

1. Offer a nibble tray – put out a muffin tin and put a little food in each tray (apple moons, avocado boats, banana, broccoli trees, carrots, cheese cubes, hard boiled egg, little o shaped cereal)

2. Offer dip – made from cottage cheese, tofu, yogurt

3. Try smoothies

4. Serve it attractively

5. Respect that a child’s stomach is about the size of their fist

6. Let the kids eat at a child sized table where their feet can touch the ground

7. Let the kids cook or help prepare food

Food Allergies per La Leche League:

Top foods to cause allergic reactions: beans, berries, cabbage, chocolate, cinnamon, citrus fruits and juices, coconut, corn, cow’s milk, eggs, nuts (especially peanuts – and peanut allergy is a type of allergy that children do NOT outgrow as they age), onions, pork, shellfish, tomatoes, wheat.

Typically tolerated foods include:

Fruit – apples, apricots, bananas, peaches, pears, plums

Vegetable – asparagus, beets, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes

Rice and grains such as oats, barley, millet

Common Signs of Food Allergies: (Dr. Sears)

Skin – Hives, Red Sandpaper-Like Facial Rash, Dry/Itchy/Scaly Skin on face, Swelling in Hands and Feet, Puffy Eyelids, Dark Circles Under Eyes, Lip Swelling, Tongue Soreness and Cracks

Respiratory – Sneezing, Runny Nose, Stuffy Nose, Wheezing, Watery Eyes, Rattling Chest, Persistent Cough, Congestion, Bronchitis, Recurring Ear Infections

Intestines- Burnlike Rash Around Anus, Abdominal Discomfort, Mucusy Diarrhea, Constipation, Intestinal Bleeding, Poor Weight Gain, Bloating/Gassiness, Excessive Spitting Up, Vomiting

Behavior – Fatigue, Migraine Headaches, Hyperactivity, Crying, Irritability, Night Waking, Anxiety, Crankiness, Sore Muscles and Joints

The scoop on juice: (La Leche League)

For ages six to twelve months, no more than four ounces of juice a day (That’s half a cup!)

For toddlers and preschoolers, no more than six ounces a day (3/4 of a cup)

For school age children, no more than eight ounces (1 cup of juice a day)

Water, water, water!

Please do see the post on this blog regarding WHY fresh juice made by YOU is much better than the pasteurized stuff from the store!!  Here is the link:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/11/18/give-us-our-daily-juice/

You may also be interested in this post regarding Steiner’s grain of the day from a Waldorf perspective: 

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/11/23/steiners-grain-of-the-day/

A neat solution for grain rotation for the health of your family should you choose to eat grains!  According to Dr. Sears, the grains highest in iron are quinoa, amaranth, oats, enriched rice, millet and barley.  The grains highest in zinc per Dr. Sears are wild rice, rye, amaranth, oats and quinoa.  Tops for folic acid are millet, wild rice, rye, amaranth and oats.

Happy infant and toddler feeding,

Carrie