New Mom Update

Nicole Keller, D.O.

Nicole Keller, D.O.

This month, instead of writing something medical, I thought I’d write from my other side…my mommy side! I have now been a new mom for almost 8 months. My little Leo is growing up so fast! Every day I finish work and am so excited to get home to see him. It has been hard being a working mom, but, for our family it is what is needed. I miss him each morning as soon as I walk out of the door.

To be honest, there were moments in his first weeks of life that I didn’t get “it” – I didn’t understand where that overwhelming love was or how I was supposed to get through this in one piece. In short, I had a hard time adjusting to being a mom. Leo was very demanding with nursing and was not a good sleeper. While I was pregnant, I had morning sickness each day from 6 weeks on – even during labor. Taking this into account, everyone told me, “Don’t worry! You are going to have a good sleeper since you’ve had such a rough pregnancy!” I think in my head I believed that too! I thought, “I must get a break, right?!” Well, in those first 6 to 8 weeks I sure didn’t feel like I was getting a break. It was harder than I imagined. And guess what? Leo still doesn’t sleep through the night!

Leo at 8 months

Leo at 8 months

Even though I have yet to enjoy more than 5 hours of sleep in a row since my son was born, I have to say, I get “it” now – I get why everyone says this is the hardest and the best job you’ll ever have. I get how people say you’ll never know how much you can love until you have a child. It really is incredible and incredibly difficult at the same time. I think for me, I got to this point when Leo was 2 to 3 months old. He started smiling and being more interactive. This really helped me to bond and continue to appreciate our newest family member. Then at 4 months he started rolling and giggling – the giggling is the best!! Beyond that, he started to sit on his own and discover and explore independently. It has been amazing to see him figure toys out or see his face light up when his daddy or I walk in a room. These milestones have really helped me fall into motherhood and begin to look forward to what all the future days will bring.

Big smiles for me and dad

Big smiles for me and dad

I guess I’m telling you all this so you know you aren’t alone if you don’t always feel overwhelming joy. Being a mom is hard! I knew it would be, but, I guess going through it is really the only way to really understand. There are highs and lows, good days and bad days. Some kids sleep through the night, others don’t. Some kids have colic, others rarely ever make a peep. Even so, we all have our struggles and we are all getting through it. I hope that for my patients I can better relate to all the ups and downs of parenthood and raising a child. I hope as a mom, Leo knows that I always want the best for him and love him even when I have to let him cry in his play yard while I use the bathroom. One day I know I’ll be able to use the toilet independently again, but, for now, I’m just going to enjoy the fact that my little guy loves me so much that he wants to see me at midnight, 3 a.m., 4 a.m., 5 a.m….

Cheers!

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Eczema 101: Do You Have the Itch?

Eczema is a general term used to describe an inflammation of the skin with can cause itching, oozing, weeping, crusting or scaling. Even though there are several different kinds of eczema, in a pediatrician’s office, you will often hear the terms “eczema” and “atopic dermatitis” used interchangeably. The symptoms of eczema are caused by a […]

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Kyla Ababio, M.D.

Kyla Ababio, M.D.

Any parents of toddlers know that it is one of the most challenging phases of childhood. Your once non-verbal precious peanut who just wanted to be held, rocked and fed, now seems to only want to scream “I can do it by myself”, or “NO”, or “That’s mine!” and “Don’t tell me what to do!” That is their way of asserting control and declaring independence. During this phase they must also master control over their body functions including toilet-training, self-feeding, delayed gratification, language development, coping with frustration and social skills. Parenting is most challenging and rewarding when toddlerhood is done well. Here’s how to help your child with her tantrums from an article that I read in Parents magazine:toddler mischief

1. Be genuinely empathic to your toddler’s struggle. She needs your support. If she feels you’re flustered, disorganized, angry, or critical you will only escalate her rage and not be able to help her calm down. Your objective is to teach her how to settle herself.

2. Learn to talk reflectively with empathy in the moment of a conflict. You might say, “Mary (use her first name since pronouns are not mastered until age 4) wanted more video and Mommy said it’s bath time. Mary got mad. It’s hard to stop when you want more.”

3. Physically, walk your screaming child to her next destination, ie: to the bath to help her settle and calm down there. Children will escalate their yelling and protest, thinking you might change your no to a yes. If you are away from the location of the desired object your child will calm down faster.

4. If your child is out of control or has been aggressive (hitting, biting, scratching, or pinching), hold your child in your lap facing away from you to help calm your child. The holding provides a safe container so you can act as a receptacle for your child’s rage. Your child learns that she can be super angry and you do not attack, criticize, blame, or collapse as the target for their rage. Tell your child that when she stops pulling on you, you will let go. The moment her muscles relax, release her and praise her for learning to settle herself. You will not have to hold her too many times before you see a decrease in the frequency and intensity of her oppositional tantrums.

5. Do not lecture your child. Kids hate to be told what to do. Rather, after a tantrum talk gently with your child about what she wanted and was feeling. Together come up with alternative ways she can get what she wants without a meltdown. Always accept your child where she is. We are all on a learning curve. No one is perfect. We all want the same thing – to be acknowledged, validated, and accepted – flaws and all.

Just remember that this is just a phase and it too shall pass!

Pluggin’ Away

Binky, paci, pluggie, nuk, dummy…no matter what you call it, there has been some controversy over using pacifiers. Probably the major concerns are nipple confusion for breastfed babies and dental issues in the future. Let’s face it – babies love to suck. It is their primary way of getting food in the first 4 to 6 […]

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Measles is Here

It is 12:31 a.m. I just finished nursing my son and I can’t turn my racing mind off. All I can think about are the families who tonight are “nursing” their children who have contracted measles. I can’t imagine the fear and sadness they are feeling as their child battles this preventable illness. I’m thinking […]

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Mommy “Hood”

Hello parents! Has anyone seen The Mother ‘Hood Official Video being circulated on social media? It is a really heartwarming ‘welcome to parenthood’ skit expressed in a unique way. In the video it shows groups of moms (and dads) who have different beliefs all meeting on a playground getting ready to “brawl” over their different beliefs […]

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