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  • The Big D (Discipline, That Is)

    How do you discipline a baby? Do you even try?

    These are questions that my group of mom friends and I have been asking ourselves and each other now that our babies are mobile and getting into all kinds of trouble. Here is what Babycenter’s expert has to say on the topic (basically, 7 to 9 months is too early). What he says makes sense to me, since Alex is 7 months old and I can tell that he knows there are some things he shouldn’t touch, but he also doesn’t understand the concept of “no” yet. However, an older baby we know clearly understood the concept of “no” at 9 months and loved to push the boundaries set by his mommy – in this situation, discipline (but not punishment) is appropriate.

    Cleaning Baby Toys

    This is for my friend Paige, who asked about cleaning baby toys. Here‘s an article with an expert’s view on the topic. As the article suggests, I regularly load many of Alex’s toys into the dishwasher, along with his bottles and their parts, my pumping equipment, and pacifiers. I have four dishwasher baskets for a good reason! Many of Alex’s soft toys end up in the washing machine. Other toys get wiped down with a Lysol or Clorox wipe, and when that dries, a wet cloth.

    But I think Paige really wanted suggestions for when she’s on the go. I myself have used a couple of different methods:

    • Bring lots of toys. When one gets dirty, put it into your purse and give baby a new one.
    • Rinse the toy off with your bottle of water, then wipe it dry with a burp cloth.
    • Wipe the toy off with your shirt, then give it back to baby. If it’s a pacifier, you can give it a suck first yourself to make sure it’s really “clean.” (I swore I’d never do this one and now I do it all the time!)

    A method I hadn’t thought of but would have used if I had left the house during Alex’s first two months of life would have been to carry some individually wrapped antibacterial or alcohol wipes to wipe down his toy with. (Come to think of it, back then, the only thing we needed was a pacifier.) I then would have rinsed the toy off with water, and wiped it dry with a burp cloth before giving it back to Alex.

    These days, I save myself a lot of grief when it comes to dropped toys by making sure everything is attached to whatever Alex is in. Both of the strollers have toys velcroed to the center bar, and both car seats have toy panels that attach to the bottom part of the five-point harness. The only thing in danger of being dropped is the pacifier, and I always have an extra clean one of those in my purse.

    Easy White Noise

    About a year ago, my dad sent us an air filter that we put in our bedroom, and Marc and I discovered that white noise is a beautiful thing. After it rains, there’s always a drip-drip sound in the rain gutter outside our bedroom, but with the air filter on, we never hear it anymore. We don’t hear a lot of other irritating sounds as well.

    So when Dr. Harvey Karp recommended white noise as one of the 5 soothing S’s in The Happiest Baby On The Block, it made perfect sense to us. Instead of an air filter, though, we got Alex a CD called Soothing Sounds For Sleep. Back when the 5 S’s were the only thing that could calm Alex, the CD kept us from shushing ourselves hoarse.

    Even though Alex doesn’t need to be swaddled anymore, he sleeps better with a little white noise on in the background. The tracks that we use the most are the rain, the ocean, and the train, although there are others (the ticking clock in the background of the ceiling fan track drives me absolutely nuts). We found that Alex sleeps the best if we select one track and put it on infinite repeat.

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