Blog Posts by Disney Baby

  • 5 Things I Don't Do "By the Book" as a Mom

    5 Things, as a Mommy, I Don't Do 5 Things, as a Mommy, I Don't Do With motherhood comes great responsibility, as well as great expectations. Everyone, from your next door neighbor to American Academy of Pediatrics has advice to offer, there are mountains of books that direct us how to best raise our children, and plenty of mommy and me classes will gladly help coach us along the way. It is wonderful to have so many avenues of information to help us in this parenting journey, and I'm so thankful for the resources available to me when I was a new mom, because I clung to it like gospel. From feeding and sleeping schedules, to the right products to buy, to innovative ways to help my baby learn verbal communication, I took it all in and followed it to the letter. But I'm a little more relaxed, or rather harried, with three kids now, to have the focus and time to follow all the "right ways" to do things, as I once did. I may forget a thing or two, and I may not always be prepared, but that's okay. Here are just a few ways that as a mommy, I don't do

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  • 5 Surprising "Pregnancy" Symptoms Dads Can Experience

    Phantom pregnancy?Phantom pregnancy?There were plenty of things that surprised me about pregnancy, but the one that took me for a loop was how my husband experienced his own set of symptoms. I don't know whether it was psychological or his way of going through each pregnancy with me, but my husband seemed to go through the weeks in his own way.

    After talking to other moms about the topic, it seemed as though we weren't alone. Plenty of men experience pregnancies in a variety of different ways and go through each of the trimesters with their wives. One woman said that her husband gained weight right along with her while another complained about backaches and sore joints, sleepless nights and unusual cravings, right along with his wife. I was surprised to learn that this series of symptoms has its own name - Couvade syndrome, a.k.a. sympathetic pregnancy - and is in fact a common occurrence!

    Weight gain? Check! Sleepless nights? Check! Unusual cravings? Check!

    Here are 5 of the most common pregnancy symptoms that

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  • Why I'm Not Worried About the Grandparents Spoiling My Child

    Why I'm Letting the Grandparents Spoil the Baby!Why I'm Letting the Grandparents Spoil the Baby!My little Zaynab has two sets of grandparents - one local set in California, and the other is several thousand miles away in Palestine. This past September, we came to Palestine for an extended visit, and Z got the chance to finally meet her grandparents for the first time ever. It was love at first sight for everyone involved.

    Hugs and kisses were intermingled with sweet treats every single day. It happened quicker than I could protest. And boy, did I protest. A lot. I don't allow Zaynab so many sweets back at home. And the majority of the sweets we do eat are homemade. I wasn't sure how to deal with the situation. I certainly didn't want to offend my in-laws by turning down their sweet gifts of love towards their granddaughter. They were, after all, making up for lost time. On the other hand, I was worried about Z's teeth and general health. What was this mama to do?

    Related: 50 baby name ideas from 2013's best TV shows!

    I sat back and let it happen. This situation was

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  • How I'm Teaching My Baby to Love Reading... At 11 Months!

    13 ways to make reading fun with your little one!13 ways to make reading fun with your little one!I'm a former children's librarian and a lifelong reader, so of course books, especially books for children, are very important to me.

    I feel like there is no end to the instructions to read to your child from the moment they are born (or even BEFORE they are born), but that can seem overwhelming when you're confronted with a baby who squirms in your lap or tries to rip or eat the pages.

    Here are 13 ways I try to make reading a pleasant and positive experience with my 11-month-old (and that I used with my now-3-year-old) to help her develop a love of reading:

    1) Lay on the floor

    When my babies are really little and aren't stable enough to sit on my lap while I hold a book, I like to lay next to them on the floor. Both of my girls have been entranced with the pages above them (this also lets me know that my arms are very weak because I can only read about three books before they are killing me).

    2) Don't worry about finishing the book

    If my daughter loses interest in

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  • Am I Stealing the Magic of Childhood Trying to Keep Her Safe?

    Letting my baby explore!Letting my baby explore!"Let them be little."

    These words have been floating around in my head a lot lately. I believe in the magic of childhood and allowing our children to dance in it while it lasts. But sometimes I forget when it comes to my baby. I forget that part of being little involves exploring beyond the safe haven I've tried to create for her in our living room and in life. And part of being little means cruising beyond the comforts of the soft carpet and popping that little bubble I inadvertently created that surrounds her.

    Over the weekend I read a beautiful post by a fellow blogger Lauren Hartmann, sharing how her daughter was becoming her own little person. She spoke to the fact that parenting is a bit of a paradox: "A limbo of give and take, hold and release."

    Hold and release.

    If I can be honest with you - with myself - I've probably been doing a little more holding than releasing. So, I'm increasing my efforts to release a bit more as it is often in those moments that the true

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  • Are Mothers Trying Too Hard to Be "Productive"?

    Should motherhood be rated by merit badges?Should motherhood be rated by merit badges?When the days are long and moments are frenzied, my eyes often wander to the unfolded laundry and disorganized closets and messy sock drawers and I start to feel… defeated. I feel overwhelmed and under-performing, as if my motherhood merit badge won't be arriving any time soon - or any day, for that matter.

    And then I mentally reset my mind and realize that, for motherhood, there is no merit badge. Because motherhood isn't performance-based. It can't be. There is no measure or metrics system that marks the end of a mother's job - of a mother's love. It just is. It just does.

    It's always a challenge to feel productive when parenting a baby. When you find cereal dust in the carpets you swept moments ago. When the toys are scattered from room to room, when the raspberries stain the walls, when the to do list goes unchecked for another day.

    Related: 40 baby names inspired by Thanksgiving!

    But this season - this precious, fleeting moment of parenthood - is productive. It's incredibly so.

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  • Why I Don't Stress Over Potty Training

    Potty Training and Why I'm Not Stressing Over ItPotty Training and Why I'm Not Stressing Over ItPotty training. Two words that can leave even veteran parents quaking in their boots. From what I know and have experienced, potty training isn't exactly the most fun you'll ever have in your life. It's messy and maybe stressful at times and it's cool when your kid ends up getting it, but in the interim…not so much. It seems like everyone I know is potty training their kids right now. Amongst friends and acquaintances it is a frequent topic of conversation. "Oh? Your daughter is almost two? Is she potty trained yet?" Actually, no. She is not. And also, I am not stressing over it. Here's why.

    1. Changing diapers is no big thing.

    I've heard many parents talk about how much better life is sans diapers. "Oh my goodness! Potty training made my life so much easier! I hated changing diapers!" But I just don't share this sentiment. Changing diapers is no big thing in my opinion and it's not like I have to change all that many these days anyway.

    2. Public restrooms aren't my favorite.

    I avoid

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  • The Unmistakable Sign It's Time to Start Disciplining

    How to know when to start disciplining your childHow to know when to start disciplining your childLately, Bee has been testing the waters (and the patience of her parents!) around the house. From simple acts of disobedience to willful tantrums, we've been toying with the idea of beginning a more strict discipline regimen. After all, Bee's far from an infant at a ripe 15 months of age (where did the time go?).

    But how do you know when it's time to start disciplining your child? Last week, I heard some fantastic advice…

    When your baby gets that certain glimmer in their eye right before doing something unruly, disobedient or ornery, that's when you know.

    At first, I'd shrugged off the advice. Will I really be able to tell by the look on Bee's face whether or not she's disobeying intentionally?

    Related: The top 50 baby names of ALL TIME!

    And then, it happened. Bee's favorite "trick" is to throw her plate on the floor to signal that she's finished eating. Our dogs love this, of course, but we've been taking strides to teach her an alternative: holding her hands up and saying "All

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  • Is Taking a Baby to a Live Show Asking for Disaster?

    Why I'm Glad I Took My Baby to See Disney Junior – Live on StageWhy I'm Glad I Took My Baby to See Disney Junior – Live on StageA few weeks ago, we headed to Disneyland and California Adventure for my oldest daughter's birthday. We were especially excited because some of our friends were joining us, and there is nothing more fun than watching little eyes light up as they immerse themselves in the magic that comes with being at the happiest place on earth. Because it was my older daughter's birthday, I wanted to make sure that we spent the day doing things that she wanted to do, but it was also important to me that Lola had fun too and wasn't forced to spend the day in her stroller or on our hip.

    Prior to going I did some quick research to see what shows were taking place at the park. When my oldest was a toddler we took her to see a show at California Adventure, and always said I would take Lola when she got a little bigger. But once I learned that the Disney Junior - Live on Stage show had some very special characters including Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Jake and the Never Land Pirates joining

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  • The Day My Baby Suddenly Stopped Nursing

    When nursing your baby comes to an endWhen nursing your baby comes to an endHayden is my third baby I've nursed to a year old. With all three, I exclusively breastfed for as long as I could, and supplemented with bottles of pumped breast milk when need be. When my milk started to run low and pumping got harder and harder, I also supplemented with formula, but in the end, breast milk was always the primary milk supply. Both of my older children self-weaned between 12-14 months old, and at the time, I was good with that. With my third though, he was looking to be on course for a much longer round of extended nursing. Until last week, that is.

    If we had been discussing this topic right before Hayden's first birthday in August, I would have said he would be nursing until he was at least two years old, he seemed to love it so much. I have photographic proof in fact of his interest in nursing, with countless photos of me holding Hayden, and him reaching down trying to pull on my shirt, his signal that he was ready to nurse. But this past week, things seem to have

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