From Fantasyland to Adventureland: Parenting Tips for a Smooth Ride

By Martha Michael

Family Enjoying Vacation in Hotel Room

For most new parents, the happiest place on earth resides in that moment when holding their newborn, having survived a nine-month journey to parenthood. But in time, all that responsibility ends up feeling a bit more like a jungle cruise than a walk in the park.

The challenges of parenting little ones are practically too numerous to count. Sleepless nights, noisy car rides and frequent colds are just the beginning. Parents have a lifetime watching the physical, social and emotional development of their children, which can feel like an 18-year rollercoaster ride. It may be a small world, after all, but there’s a lot out there that can go wrong.

Fasten Your Seat Belt

Whether your driving resembles an E-ticket ride (you have to be of a certain age to remember an E-ticket) or you roll slower than your stroller, Baby has to be strapped in the car seat properly. The marketplace creates products that are increasingly user-friendly, but there are still pitfalls for parents when placing their kids in the car.

An article in U.S. News & World Report points out the need to, first of all, be sure you have the right style and size car seat for your child. When it comes to making the safest choice, factors include height, weight and age of your little one. Rules may vary from state to state, so check both the labeling on the car seat and the government websites. Car seats typically have adjustable straps, and choosing a perfect fit is paramount. An infant needs it tightly pulled, and you need to let it out as the child grows. The article suggests doing a “pinch test” to see if you’ve restrained Baby properly.

“You should not be able to pinch any excess webbing from the harness at the shoulder or hips once the child is in place and the harness is buckled,” it says.

Kids and Chiropractic Care

While seeing your chiropractor may be a part of your routine, the beauty of maintenance care is the way it serves the entire circle of life -- all ages at all stages. Like you, the health of your child is improved by proper positioning of the vertebrae.

An article in Parenting Magazine described the spine as a “motherboard connected to all the nerves of your body,” and it’s easy to see why it would make that analogy. From constipation to bedwetting, nursing issues to allergies, kids (and their parents) gain much from regular care at The Joint Chiropractic.

Need a list? Would you sign off on helping in these areas:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Injuries from falling and active play
  • Growing pains
  • Immune system function
  • Behavior and attitude
  • Sleeping
  • Scoliosis
  • Posture
  • Ear infections
  • Colic
  • And more

Making a Small World Larger

With the arrival of a little one, many new parents find the scope of their lives tends to shrink as well. Some of the biggest complaints by mothers and fathers of babies are social; many report feeling alone, or need someone to turn to for advice.

Australian researchers studied the impact of group attendance by new parents, which is shared in an article in the Journal of Perinatal Education. They gathered data from "New Parent" groups, customary in New South Wales, and typically led by nurses who cover parenting topics such as child safety, sleep and feeding.

The mothers in the study reported social support as one of the biggest benefits of the groups. They said the groups served to “make life easier” for both the child and parent, and the women were inspired to “try new things” with their babies.

Researchers also identified a key benefit of the groups, which they call "additional opportunities." Those include a scheduled activity to look forward to, the chance to gain new information, and increased confidence through the ability to talk with other mothers.

When parents with shared experiences pool their insights, they can receive the kind of emotional support they need to give their babies proper care. And while most moms say they forget the pain of childbirth shortly after they hold their newborn, it’s the coming attractions that make it less than a walk in the park. Because your baby may be a beauty, but parenting can be a beast.

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