Is Your Child Fit For Infant Modeling?

Your child has the looks and the attitude but should you expose him or her to infant modeling? There are a lot of celebrities and personalities that have started modeling at very young ages. Some got a good life out of it while others did not enjoy the same fate.
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Helping Your Baby Adopt a Consistent Schedule

Even the most spontaneous among us enjoy the comfortable confines of having a routine. The same is true for your baby (though she may not realize it yet). Consider the things she needs in order to be healthy. She needs food, baths, sleep, play, and plenty of affection. Juggling those things can be challenging without establishing a schedule. An added bonus for moms and dads who create a consistent routine for their little one's activities is that they'll make their own lives much easier in the process.

Below, we'll offer a series of tips you can use to create and maintain a schedule for your infant's bedtime, meals, and play. We'll explain how to identify clues that will help you meet her needs while adjusting to her internal clock. Lastly, you'll learn what to expect as your little one grows.

Establish A Sleep Routine Early

The best place to start scheduling your infant's activities is with her bedtime. If you can help her learn to fall asleep at a certain time each evening, the rest of the day will conform to that pattern.

Start as early as possible using a few helpful prompts that prepare your little one for sleep. For example, give her a warm bath and put her pajamas on an hour before putting her to bed. Read to her to help her fall asleep. After a few months, try putting her to bed while she's still awake. That way, she can learn to fall asleep by herself.

Identifying Clues From Your Little One

You'll eventually notice that your infant gives you small clues regarding her needs. For example, she'll yawn when she's sleepy or become fussy when she's hungry or worn out. Over time, you'll start to notice patterns. Use these hints to modify your baby's schedule to accommodate her needs. For example, if she starts yawning thirty minutes before her bedtime each night, start putting her to bed a half-hour earlier. If she consistently shows signs of being hungry an hour before her scheduled feeding, change her schedule.

There's no reason to force your little one to conform to a routine you and your partner created. Be flexible and willing to make changes.

Sacrifice For The Schedule (In The Beginning)

During the first few weeks, it's important to avoid activities that force you to stray from your baby's routine. While you should remain open to making changes according to her cues, avoid going on vacations, taking her on outings, or anything else that might disrupt her schedule. Let her be the driving force behind any changes in naptimes, feedings, or play. Otherwise, try to stick to the routine.

Adapting To Your Baby's Development

Year-to-year changes in an adult's life are barely noticeable. Babies, on the other hand, grow quickly and achieve major milestones along the way. By the end of your little one's first twelve months, she might be able to stand and walk. She might start crawling nearly as quickly as you walk. There's also a good chance she'll start straying from her normal schedule. Her naptimes may become shorter and less frequent. She may start getting hungry earlier and more often.

Continue to watch for clues. You may need to adjust your baby's schedule to meet her new tendencies. On the other hand, her straying may be temporary; she may return to her normal routine within a few weeks. Again, be flexible and willing to make changes.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that caring for a baby requires the ability to adapt. Babies enjoy stability and consistency. However, their needs can change - often unpredictably. For example, your little one may suddenly want to skip her morning nap. Or, she may become uncharacteristically hungry in the late afternoon. She might want more playtime than is usual. Adjust her schedule as she grows and allow her to develop at her own pace.

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By Elizabeth L Perkins

Who Has Down Syndrome Babies?

Most people associate having a child with Down syndrome with older women. While it is true that women over 35 do have an increased risk of having a child with Down syndrome, 80% of these children are born to those women under age thirty-five.

In the United States, approximately 5,000 babies with Down syndrome are born every year. A woman’s chance of having another baby with Down syndrome is approximately 1 in 100.

Prenatal Screening for Down Syndrome

Over the last 10 years, new technology has improved the methods of detection of Down syndrome. While there are ways to diagnose Down syndrome by obtaining fetal tissue samples by amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, it would not be appropriate to examine every pregnancy this way. Besides greatly increasing the cost of medical care, these methods do carry a slight amount of risk to the fetus.

So screening tests have been developed to try to identify those pregnancies at "high risk." These pregnancies are then candidates for further diagnostic testing.

Screening Vs Diagnostic Test

What is the difference between a screening test and a diagnostic test? In diagnostic tests, a positive result very likely means the patient has the disease or condition of concern. In screening tests, the goal is to estimate the risk of the patient having the disease or condition.

Diagnostic tests tend to be more expensive and require an elaborate procedure; screening tests are quick and easy to do. However, screening tests have more chances of being wrong: there are "false-positives" (test states the patient has the condition when the patient really doesn't) and "false-negatives" (patient has the condition but the test states he/she doesn't).
Maternal Serum Screening

The mother's blood is checked for three items: alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), unconjugated estriol (uE3) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). These three are independent measurements, and when taken along with the maternal age (discussed below), can calculate the risk of having a baby with Down syndrome.

A very important consideration in the screening test is the age of the fetus (gestational age). The correct analysis of the different components depends on knowing the gestational age precisely. The best way to determine that is by ultrasound.

Test results are sometimes reported to doctors as "Multiples of the Median (MoM)." The "average" value is therefore called 1.0 MoM. Down syndrome pregnancies have lower levels of AFP and estriol, so their levels would be less than 1.0 MOM.

hCG in a Down syndrome pregnancy would be greater than 1.0 MoM.

Finally, the calculated risk is used to modify the risk already statistically calculated based on the mother's age. We already know that as the mother's age advances, the risk of having a baby with Down syndrome increases.

For example: Let's say the test results come back in the typical range for a pregnancy not associated with Down syndrome (that would be 1.0 MoM for all components). This result reduces the woman's risk of having a child with Down syndrome four-fold.

Jane Orville is the mother of a 17 year old daughter with Down Syndrome and has spent years researching and compiling a simple guide to assist parents deal with the concerns of raising a child with Down Syndrome.

Make the Time for Your Children Even if It Hurts

In the past you use to read books to your children, take them to various events, and allow them to have fun in the kitchen with you, but what happened? You stopped. You grew weary of breaking up fights, became exhausted with everything else you had to do for them, and much, much more! You really want to make the time for them, but every time you get ready to, you pull back. Why?

I thought about this question myself during the first few days of winter break. I hadn't forgotten about the past accidents I had to clean up, because I let them paint or the flour that spilled on the countertop. But I fought my negative thinking and one day I just awoke with a plan. I made myself get involved with them at least for a few hours. There would be no video game playing, no television watching, and no talking on the phone. We would connect daily even if it meant I had to gather all four boys around the table and just fire questions at them for a half an hour. It worked! I committed to this daily during all but three days of winter break.

What started out as a few minutes of time assisting the children with projects I planned for them with some input from them, ended up being hours of activities. Some of which kept them so busy that you would have never known there were four boys in the house. I was happy and relieved. I really wanted to spend time with them, but I hadn't quite figured out in the beginning "the what" and "when."

Sometimes we spend too much time planning and not enough time doing. When you notice that you aren't doing much (like surfing the net and watching YouTube video after YouTube video,) shut the computer down. Walk over to your son or daughter and just ask them about their day. Think about something you haven't done with them in awhile then start getting your clothes on, grab a coat, put on your shoes and meet them at the door.

Life is too short, busy is just another excuse. Make the time for your children even if it hurts.

Nicholl McGuire

Advantages of Single Parent Families

Single parents often worry that their children will somehow be damaged from living in a single parent family. While a single parent family may not be the ideal situation for raising children, many two-parent families are also less than desirable. Kids can actually benefit from living in a single parent family.

Results of studies have indicated that a home filled with conflict is the least desirable home environment for children. When the child's prior two-parent household included frequent fighting and discord between the adults, the child can benefit from living in a one-parent home provided that the conflict is stopped. A parent who is no longer devoting time to warring with a partner may have more energy to give to the kids. Children observe adult relationships and usually apply what they have learned to their own relationships as adults. By residing with only one parent, the child may actually have a chance to observe healthier adult relationships.

Children learn valuable lessons from dealing with hard times and having different lifestyle from many of their peers Your family may not represent the stereotypical American family, but there can still be lots of love and fun in your home.

A single parent may actually have more time for the kids that a married parent would have. Since there is no longer a spouse around at mealtime, meals don't have to be as substantial and can be structured around kid-friendly ingredients. If your former partner was not very involved with housework, you may have more time since you now have one less person to care for. Financial worries may actually be fewer. Yes, you have less income, but you also have total control over the expenditures that you may not have had while with your partner.

The opportunity to spend time in two separate homes can be a good experience for your children. They will see different approaches to life and hopefully, take the best of both homes to use in establishing their own households as adults.

Often, a child with parents who live apart will gain a stepparent or two. Your child's extended family will then be even larger, giving her more chances to develop meaningful relationships with caring adults. Your kids may even get exposure to new ideas or experiences that could ultimately lead to a career or hobby for your child.

Kids who live with only one parent tend to develop independence faster than their peers. Since the parent will probably have a job and other many other duties on their plate, the kids may have to learn to do things for themselves such as preparing a simple meal or participating in household chores. Kids with stay-at-home parents or two parents in the home may not have as many opportunities to take part in the day-to-day responsibilities of running a household. The kids also learn that they need to be ready to take care of themselves, since they, too, could end up on their own or in a single parenting situation someday.

A favorite benefit of many kids from single parent families is that they often get two or more celebrations for each holiday. They may get two sets of gifts at Christmas, often getting more stuff than they would have if the parents were together. Two Easter baskets, valentine's gifts, etc., are also enjoyed by many of these children.

Two-parent homes can often provide many advantages. However, single parent homes can offer many opportunities for self-growth for children along with other benefits. You can commiserate with your kids about their ?different? lifestyle from their peers, but be sure to stress the advantages of their situation, too, along with offering lots of love. Your family can be a successful as a single parent family!
Get your free single parenting ebook and other single parent info at The Single Parent Spot Co-parenting with someone who is mentally ill or a substance abuser? Visit Co-parenting Nightmare

How to Tell Your Spouse You Need Time Away from the Children

You may be the parent who is always doing for the children while your partner is working, while he or she is away on business, and anything else he or she is doing. You organize and clean the household, you run errands, and you do other things to keep the house operating smoothly. However, lately you have been feeling burdened by the demands and all you want is an outlet -- a place to go and things to do that have nothing to do with children.

Well I have some suggestions based on things I have actually did before I had another nervous breakdown (That's right I had a nervous breakdown as a result of all of the stress managing the children and my business woes.)

First, meet with your partner being sure to specifically express how you feel. Second, communicate what you desire to do. General conversation just won't do. Someone who is logical wants the bottom line. "What do you want from me?" He or she will be thinking. What you will need to do is ask, not tell them what you need. "I was thinking would you be willing to ask your parents to assist with the children while I go out of town to XYZ?" You will then explain what you will be doing and why you must leave at said time. Will your selfish partner object at first? Yes. This is when you move into the next step. Third, reiterate why the needed free time is important to you and how long you will be gone. Lastly, be sure that you will protect your trip or anything else you desire to do. What I mean by that is you don't want him or her to sabotage your efforts in getting away. So buy the travel insurance, be sure you are dropping the children off rather than waiting on him or her, and make sure that you have the money to do what you want BEFORE you announce your trip. He or she will most likely make a stink about how you were already planning and you didn't care about what he or she thought, but for your own peace of mind, you do what you must!

I personally believe that the reason why so many parents end up committing suicide or murdering their children, co-workers etc. Is because selfish people never bothered to read the signs. They were too busy asking, "Well could you stay longer for me? Work later for me? Postpone return going to school for me? Watch the children just one more week for me? Buy this for me? Your answer should be, "No, no, no!"

Stand up for your mental health, because if you don't, no one else will!
Nicholl McGuire

Children: What to Do With Them When You Have Had It Up to Here!

If you are seeking tips on how to gain some peace and quiet from the children for awhile then I can tell you some of the interesting things I did with my first two sons.

If you are a couple that needs time together, time to take those in your family up on their offers to watch your children. Let them know at least two weeks in advance on what you need from them, save a little cash to give them for helping out, and plan a local getaway or just stay in the bed all weekend with your partner!

If you are a single mother, you may consider taking a personal day from work while the kids are in daycare. This needed time will recharge you if you feel overworked, underpaid, and stressed. You can also use this time to interview for that coveted job you have been eyeballing for weeks now!

If you are a single dad, you may consider using a date or two to help you with the children. Although you may disagree, this is a good test to see if this is definitely the person you want in your family's life. How will she act under pressure? Your children will be more than happy to inform you. Meanwhile, you can catch a movie or do some shopping without the children in tote. (Be sure she has been in your life for at least six months or more and that she is perfectly comfortable being alone with your children. Also, you may want to pre-warn the other parent too about her helping you out with the children every now and then.)

If you are a grandmother (watching your grandchildren), it doesn't hurt to tell your children you have had enough of the grandchildren staying with you. Call your children up as soon as you feel like you can't take another day with them, make arrangements to either drop them off or they come by. Don't make any plans at the time to see them again until you can get yourself together.

Some more things you can do to gain the free time you need include:

Putting the children in separate rooms with their favorite toys while you complete tasks around the house.

Allow children to color or work with fun drawing tools at the table that won't damage furniture.

Ask a high school student to come over afterschool for a few hours to assist with the children.

Invite a friend over to help you manage the care of the children.

Call a social service agency to find out what programs are in the area for children such as after school programs, childcare, summer camps, etc.

Attend church, PTA meetings and other places parents hang out to find out how they are coping with being with their children so often.

I hope these tips help!

Nicholl McGuire is a Freelance Writer, Author & Poet. Her latest book is When Mothers Cry at
A Parental Sacrifice: when One Lives Their Life Through Their Children
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