It’s a hard time to be a human in the United States. We’re all so worried right now as the universe seems to spin every day and the divisions among us seem to project on every wall. Yesterday I escaped the city, the news cycle, and dread by sledding with my boys in the mountains. Those outdoor be-without-a-ceiling interludes help, but the reality is Sunday morning just arrived and the newspaper is sitting on the front porch. To open it?
The hesitancy to even open the newspaper brings me to an essential truth: most of us are doing a wonderful job raising our children and what is in front of us is precious and safe. Most of us have inner critics that knock us down every day and criticize how we’re doing. But most of us can stop worrying about things so much at home. We really can and should chill out and enjoy this.
Looking to shorten your to-do list, maybe sleep better and reduce anxiety? I’ve shared 5 things I think we as parents can STOP worrying about in the latest podcast. It’s just me talking in this one (no experts join) and even so, I like this podcast. In a world where were are inundated with competition, guilt, data, and comparisons, take these ideas and feel better about the (likely) most wonderful job you’re doing raising your children.
Also, you should know I’m recording, “5 Things To Perfect As A Parent” this week as I feel we all need reminders of how much we have already mastered. We have to frame-shift and realize how great things really are while raising children amid these spins and unease.
Fevers And Fever Phobia:
- It’s not necessary to treat every fever.
- Not ideal to treat the thermometer number. Treat your child!
- Fever is a natural response of the immune system. Here’s my 2011 (gasp!) Youtube on “fever phobia.”
- Fever ultimately can be productive and may assist your child’s body in fighting off infection.
- Call your doctor if:
- Your child is under three months and she/he spikes a fever 100.4 or higher.
- Your kid is 3-6 months old and the fever is over 101.
- If your kid’s fever is higher than 104, lasts more than four or five days, or if there’s an unexplained fever (no other symptoms but fever).
- You notice other symptoms such as a stiff neck, severe headache, very sore throat, serious ear pain, or a rash that worries you.
Children Don’t Need A Daily Multivitamin:
- Children who eat a “normal diet” do not need a multivitamin. You can give them one but it’s more for your anxiety than their health.
- Vitamin D is recommend (comprehensive reasons why here)! All infants and children need 400 IU of Vitamin D every day but not a whole multivitamin, teens should get 600 IU of Vitamin D if not getting from their diet. Children don’t need multivitamins if they eat a regular diet.
- You can usually get 400-600 IU of Vita D from a multivitamin (read the label), but also just as easily from an isolated vita D supplement.
Mold In Toys:
- Moldy toys hit the news every year, recently it was Sophie the Giraffe.
- The bottom line…any teething toy, bath toy cup, tupperware that has a hole and can be exposed to water, slobber or moisture can grow mold and get eeeeewy.
- If you find mold in a toy, throw it away, don’t freak out.
- Your child would have to ingest more than a small amount to have any serious side effect.
Here’s a feature article I wrote for Parents Magazine on poop: The Scoop On Poop: What’s Normal, What’s Not
- Poop can look different each day depending on what your child intakes. Only colors it can’t be? White, red, or black
- Baby and toddler poop can be as thick as peanut butter or mushier, like cottage cheese or yogurt.
- Breast-milk poop usually looks like fancy mustard: yellow, seedy, or curdy. Formula poop tends to resemble beat-up flan or pudding.
- After about 6 months of age, more than four poops a day are too many, and less than one a week for a breastfed infant or less than one a day for children over age 2 is too few.
Mom, Dad, And Parent Guilt:
- Breast vs. bottle feeding. Let’s be nice to each other and support our choices.
- Getting your children into activities & keeping them constantly stimulated. Kids need to learn to play alone and tap into their own creativity. Look for white space! They’ll explore it.
- Working vs. stay at home parenting (I’ve got some opinions and the biggest one is this: only YOU know what is best for you).
- Feeding the occasional mac n cheese & chicken nugget dinner. I mean this is an endurance sport (feeding our children and ourselves) and no single food should be forbidden. It just makes it way too desirable.
leid Jenkinson says
Two notes: (1) what children don’t need in the way of vitamins. I agree, authorities agree, that multi-vitamins are un-necessary. But, that assumes we get all the nutrients we need in our agra-corporate-produced foods. Modern agriculture, and mass-production at the factory, is not necessarily healthy. Read “Tomatoland” by Barry Estabrook. Granted it’s an extreme case, but not necessary unrepresentative. Southeast US tomatoes have little nutritional value and are pretty contaminated by pesticides and so-called fertilizers. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan is worthy, too. How about the antibiotics from chicken farms and animal feedlots? Those animals are barely healthy – that’s why they are slaughtered so quickly. Not to mention being fed corn and other products they are not evolutionarily designed for.
(2) Have your seen Brandi Carlile’s song “The Mother”, recorded live at Norfolk 5/28/16 – the one with the introduction? It’s on you-tube, but get the right version. Taken with a cellphone, unfortunately, and it does have strong language, but i remember thinking the same things when my children were born/growing. You feel lame, you worry too much about “Sterile”, etc. (Son born 1966 when baby bottles had to be sterilized, pacifiers too when they hit the floor, etc); not clean, sterile.
When he was about 10, i realized it was a good thing babies are so “simple”: gives a fellow time to grow into fatherhood a bit at a time – and i still felt lame.
“Endurance sport”? Good one!
Respectfully, leif Jenkinson