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Discover the secret of childhood from 0-3 year old:

1-2 years old

Parent Q&A: Floor bed vs Crib

Thursday, September 1st, 2011 10:07 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Q: After reading your blog, I’m thinking of putting my 15-month old in a floor bed. Do I just let him stay in there till he falls asleep? It’ll be so different from his crib, will he be able to fall asleep? He’s already walking, is it too late to put him a floor bed? What are the benefits of a floor bed at this age?

A: First of all, it’s great that you are considering putting him in a floor bed. It is not too late! The first couple of nights will be very new and exciting for him, so stay in the room with him and help him get used to it. Being in a floor bed is very different from being in a crib. Design the room in such a way that there is an area for sleeping (where you put the floor bed) and an area for playing. Designate a toy mat or a toy area where you keep all his toys.  It should be an area he can see when he wakes up. Make sure his toys are not strewn all over the floor or all over his bed (after he plays with them, they will get everywhere, all parents know THIS, but when you tidy up, put them all on the toy mat).  Let the child know the order of the room, “Over here is where I sleep. And when I wake up, I get out of bed and come here to play with my toys.”

The most important benefit of a floor bed is the sense of freedom it gives your child. He gets to decide things for himself.  He gets to decide when he gets into and out of bed. The problem with containers like cribs, high chairs, etc, is that the child is helpless and dependent on the adult to get him in and out. The only way he can get out of these contraptions is through CRYING. Therefore, crying becomes a learned behavior – it is due to HELPLESSNESS.

When you put a baby in a floor bed or give him a small child-size table and chair for eating that he can get in and out of by himself, HE DOESN’T HAVE TO CRY TO GET ANYTHING. He can decide for himself and do it by himself. Through this freedom to decide for himself, he develops self-discipline. When everything is decided for him, the discipline comes from the outside. He doesn’t learn self-discipline till he is older and, like we all know, it is much harder to learn it when you’re older, if at all! Self-discipline is a skill that you want to teach your child from a young age, and miraculously, it comes from the freedom they get to choose for themselves….starting from something as basic as when he gets out of bed!

Simple Principle: More Freedom = less crying + a more self-disciplined child.

Do not put your baby in a standing position

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 8:42 am | By Stephanie Woo

Babies love to sit. They love to stand even more. Parents will put babies in those positions because they look adorable AND it seems to make the baby very happy.

Babies love to stand because they get to see the world from a completely different point of view. However, there are several reasons not to do this before they’re ready.

1. Babies who stand before they’re ready can be bow-legged. Putting them in the standing positions is also problematic for their developing spine. The same goes for sitting. When you put a baby in a sitting position, if they fall forwards or backwards, it means they are not ready to be sitting. Don’t let them stay in that position for long. Bumbo seats are designed to keep baby in sitting positions before they are ready, do not put your baby in one of those. It is detrimental to their development.

2. Holding your baby up to stand or putting them in contraptions that keep them in those positions, like the walkers, are very bad for your baby. Children who are put in those contraptions tend to move on to the next movement milestone (sitting, crawling, pulling up, walking) LATER because they don’t have the motivation to learn to do those things on their own. Even more importantly, they don’t develop the proper cause and effect, “When I do this, I get to see this.” Instead, they don’t need to do anything and they get to see the world from the point of a view of someone sitting or standing. It skews their understanding of their body and movement – which is something they spend so much time exploring and learning the first couple years of life.

So help them develop the proper cause and effect of movement.  Be patient with them. Allow them to reach the stage where they can pull up to stand on their own. The joy and confidence they develop when they can finally do it by themselves is a priceless gift you can give them.

Language Delays

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 8:18 am | By Stephanie Woo

50 yrs ago, kids spoke in full sentences btn 2-2.5 yrs old. Kids today speak in full sentences btn 2.5-3. That’s a 6-month delay. Why? Kids in front of TV/computer spend less time absorbing language. Studies show kids of deaf parents who are put in front of TV to “learn” language can mimic words, but they do not understand that spoken language is used for communication. TV doesn’t teach. Human interaction does.