Happy Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day is such a great time to pause and give thanks to all of the mothers, this generation and the previous generations of mothers who brought us to this moment.
As some of you may know, I am writing my dissertation on the development of the maternal identity. Recently, I had the good fortune to sit with eleven beautiful mothers as we explored several aspects of motherhood. Through them, some learnings were reinforced and new ones emerged.
Two of these learnings seem appropriate to share for Mother’s Day...
One of the more popular questions at my workshops and from my clients is: do babies and toddlers really need naps? The answer is: absolutely yes! As more and more studies research the effects of naps on learning, behavior, and day to day functioning, a couple of points become clear.
First, learning is positively affected by naps. During naps, the new information acquired in the baby’s awake play time is being actively moved from short term memory into long term memory. This process creates a clean slate for new information to come in. Once the information is stored in long term memory, the lessons learned from play time are retained longer and can be applied to new and different situations. This is the beginning of the development of abstract thought.
Second, naps actually help the baby sleep better at night. This is related to the release of the stress hormone cortisol. When babies do not nap, the brain releases cortisol and it helps the baby “catch their second wind.” The problem comes when it is time to sleep at night and the cortisol is still in the body. It makes the baby a little wired and they do not sleep as well. Naps also aid in preventing baby and toddler behavioral issues. Having your baby sleep during the day will help elevate the late afternoon tantrums and meltdowns.
Throughout the ﬁrst 18 months of a child’s life, naps are consolidating and moving around throughout the day. In the ﬁrst days and weeks, babies sleep anywhere from 15-18 hours in a 24 hour period. The sleep comes in two to three hour stretches at a time. Around 3-4 months babies start getting more sleep at night, and the ﬁrst morning nap starts to emerge. This nap happens between 1 1/2 to 2 hours after wake time. At this age they can have 3-4 naps a day. By 18 months, most toddlers are down to 1 nap a day....
A lot of people have wondered: why did we do a post coming out on the side of vaccines? Why now? Why ever, when this is such a hot topic? And what do the other moderators think? And why did we only reference one source?
Well, here it goes.
Selected Links Regarding Vaccinations
We jumped into the vaccination debate with our eyes wide open, fully-aware that we would lose many members when we addressed this untouchable subject. We did so because we this issue is simply too important to ignore. We could not, in good conscience, remain silent on the topic any longer. You can read Pam's positions on vaccines here, and Amy's follow-up post on the anti-vaccine debate here.
To support the discussion, and because so many moms have asked for it, below is a list of links related to the pro-vaccine side of the debate.
When my oldest was born, vaccines were not questioned nearly as much as they are now. My biggest worry was how to afford them. At the time (nearly 18 years ago) we had rather limited insurance that did not cover well-child visits. I quickly learned that the most expensive part of this visit was the administration of vaccines. His first such visit cost us over $600. I was shocked, to say the least. My first response though, was not to forgo the shots in the future, but to find a way to have them administered more affordably. The county health department was our choice.
Why, you may ask, was I so adamant about having my sweet, clean, pure, baby, injected with chemicals and toxins? Why would I want him to endure the pain of an injection?