Your Questions About Baby Care

Jenny asks…

What is the best job working with babies?

I had a premie in NICU and thought they were awesome. I took that opportunity, every one of her nurses got an interview. It sounded like something I could do and would love. She passed away, at home 3 months old of “natural causes” anyways, and I even quite baby-sitting.

My first is 6 and I miss babies. Still thinking about teaching, but what is the best job working with babies? It has been 2 years and I am ready to be around itty bitties again. I have been around a few babies and feel much better now. I have days, like everyone else, but this is life and I can help other babies or mommies with itty bitties.

The Expert answers:

My local hospital has a department that offers free classes for parents and I always thought that the people who work there had the best job. They just seem to go to work and get to play with the babies and toddlers all day long.

Maria asks…

At what age should you start teaching babies right from wrong?

My baby is 10 months and my friend has a baby the same age. When can babies tell right from wrong. She smacks her babies hand or butt. She doesn’t do it hard but I am just curious if the baby even knows what they should or shouldn’t be doing and should you start teaching them at 10 months?>?

The Expert answers:

We just use redirection: moving them away and giving them a “yes” thing. We are not in favor of spanking at all. Both are very well behaved, but we use a lot of redirection, consequences- for our son who understands them, and verbal rewards…it works here.

At 10 months, the drive to get to whatever they want overrides the thought of a spank or the word, “NO”, and so they proceed.

There are other ways to discipline- what works for us may not work for another, but our son has autism and we found spanking always caused a meltdown the few times we used it- because we didn’t know WHAT ELSE TO DO. Therapy and time taught us what works, and so we are using this on our daughter as well.

She is 17 months now and when we say no, she moves away, unless it REALLY turns her on…and then we redirect, say no firmly and give her a Yes thing. Sometimes she will toss a tantrum, and we lay her down and walk away. It ends quickly.

I have clapped my hands to redirect her attention first. I teach in a rough area of the city- I cannot spank the children in my class and they come in with awful behaviors…and turn it around using similar tactics…and rewards as well as consequences…so, my husband and I made the decision not to use it on our kids and it works.

That is what we use. Good luck!

David asks…

What age should babies start kindermusik classes?

I was looking into the kindermusik village classes which is meant to be for babies for newborn up, but it sounds a bit strange to me to take a newborn baby to music classes. I was thinking that around 5 months would probably be the earliest time a baby would benefit from these classes. Have any of your children attended a kindermusik village class? What age do you think it was best tailored too?

The Expert answers:

Music is good for them to hear at any age. However, I waited until at least my daughter could sit up on her own before taking her to music class. That way she could sit up and see everything that was going on and bang on some instruments. I have been taking her to music for a long time now and the youngest babies I see (not including newborns that come because they have an older sibling in class) are about 6 month olds.

Lisa asks…

What if the babies father hasnt really been there for me during the pregnancy does he have to sign the papers?

The babies father hasn’t really been there for the first 7 and a half months or so until now. I want to put the baby up for adoption. He wants me to put the baby up for adoption to one of his family members and I don’t want to. I already found a family but he doesn’t like him. He doesn’t really work and all that. Does he have to sign the papers?

The Expert answers:

Yes he would have to.

Carol asks…

Can young babies tell the difference between humans and household pets?

My 4 1/2 month old daughter seems to have just as much fun being with our puppy as she does with her mummy or daddy, which has made me wonder if babies can actually tell the difference between humans and animals?

Do babies realise that they belong to the human species, and not another animal species?

Do they know that mummy and daddy are of the same species as they are?

The Expert answers:

I would say that a baby that young has no clue about ‘species’ as older children might catch on to. I think that your baby knows that you are ‘Mom’ – the one that mostly cares for her, feeds her and comforts her. I think too that she knows who ‘Dad’ is – the other smell that comforts and cares for her (and potentially feeds her). I doubt that she will consciously think about the differences between your dog and her parents – other than the dog is fun but doesn’t necessarily feed her. She likely sees your dog as a ‘familiar presence’ and something that comforts her (my dog hones in on crying kids and goes to ‘their aid’ – whether we humans like it or not, so i am assuming your dog does something similar).
Species doesn’t enter as a concept but familiarity does. Your dog is familiar and comforting, just like you and your husband are. Your dog likely tickles and plays gently, which causes her to have fun.

I am not sure if that makes sense but it’s hard to describe.

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