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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

November 13, 2014
Parenting Variety

Paternity Leave: The Rewards and the Remaining Stigma

Infant Sleep Safety: The Untold Story

Suki: Halloween Sad Face
This Week
Saturday!
Infant Sleep Safety: The Untold Story continued
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  Parenting Variety

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A reader sent me a link to an article about paternity leave which I found very touching.  I'm not surprised in her interest.  She's about to give birth to her second child.  Both she and her husband teach/research in a university level setting and use quality daycare as needed.  Her husband has been cheerfully involved in raising their daughter from birth.  Owing to their teaching schedules, they have been able to integrate maternity/paternity leave into their lifestyle without taking formal extensive leaves from work.  The article gives us a different slant on the topic.  It's worth sharing with employers if the situation fits!

(Photos General) Caryn_Book.jpgI listened to an Australian mother recount her adventures in learning how parents in different cultures raise children.  Especially interesting was her visit to a Fiji Island where an elderly grandmother was raising 9 assorted child relatives while the parents were off working and sending money home.  She sat inside her one room house watching tv while the children played outside, settling their squabbles themselves, never asking or expecting an adult to intervene. At night they shared a couple of mattresses.  I figure that's at least 4 or 5 to a mattress. Now you wouldn't find that approach in Santa Cruz where we tend to hover, guide and structure a little more.  Is there a message in here?

On a slightly related topic, Tina McRorie shares her thoughts on infant sleep safety and choices of where baby sleeps! 

It all shows there are many ways to raise children and we have choices!

You may wonder why Suki's article about Halloween is included, but read it and I think you'll agree about the discoveries and adjustments we make as our children grow older and outgrow once fun events.

This is an opportune time for visiting schools.  Children and teachers are well acquainted by now and you will be able to see the regular routine.  Do it!  You may be amazed at the options available.

Thank you for your interest in our newsletter. Please, drop us a line anytime and recommend us to a friend

Have a lovely fall weekend with your family, Parmalee

 

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  Paternity Leave: The Rewards and the Remaining Stigma

by Claire Cain Miller,The Upshot, NYT

(Photos General) PaternityLeave.jpgFive months after Todd Bedrick's daughter was born, he took some time off from his job as an accountant. The company he works for, Ernst & Young, offered paid paternity leave, and he decided to take six weeks - the maximum amount - when his wife, Sarah, went back to teaching. He learned how to lull the fitful baby to sleep on his chest and then to sit very still for an hour to avoid waking her. He developed an elaborate system for freezing and thawing his wife's pumped breast milk. And each day at lunchtime, he drove his daughter to the elementary school where Sarah teaches so she could nurse. When she came home at the end of the day, he handed over the baby and collapsed on the couch.

"The best part was just forming the bond with her," said Mr. Bedrick, who lives in Portland, Ore., and went back to work in June. "Had I not had that time with her, I don't think I'd feel as close to her as I do today."

Social scientists who study families and work say that men like Mr. Bedrick, who take an early hands-on role in their children's lives, are likely to be more involved for years to come and that their children will be healthier. Even their wives could benefit, as women whose husbands take paternity leave have increased career earnings and have a decreased chance of depression in the nine months after childbirth. But researchers also have a more ominous message. Taking time off for family obligations, including paternity leave, could have long-term negative effects on a man's career - like lower pay or being passed over for promotions. Continue reading the story>>>>

 

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  Infant Sleep Safety: The Untold Story

by Tina McRorie, M.A.

Regarding infant sleep safety, we've been hearing two messages loud and clear from public health agencies. The first is to always put babies to sleep on their backs. The second is to never sleep on the same surface with your baby (although the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that infants sleep in the same room with their parents). The first message has had clear and demonstrable effects, improving safety for babies and reducing the rate of SIDS dramatically in this country. But has the second? Let's take a look.  Continued>>>>>>>>>>

Monterey Bay Parenting will be hosting a discussion of the benefits of bed sharing for babies' health, safety and psychological development as well as bed sharing risks and the safety precautions. The important role of breastfeeding will also be discussed. This discussion is free to the public and will be led by Tina McRorie, M.A. on Saturday, November 15th, 1-2:30pm at Baby Steps Doulas, 1432 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz. For more information visit www.montereybayapi.org .

Tina McRorie is the leader of Monterey Bay Parenting and the mother of two middle school boys.

 

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  Suki: Halloween Sad Face

When raising children there are those milestones you look forward to, and then there are the ones that pass a bit more poignantly. When your children reach the teen years, it seems, you start getting more and more of those poignant ones!

This year marks the official end of our family trick-or-treating. Insert sad pumpkin face here.

Sad pumpkin

The saddest jack-o-lantern. We did a science experiment one year where we studied the decay of a carved and uncarved pumpkin.

For years, we've had a tradition that I have loved: We go out with the kids and neighbors, and trick-or-treat on our unlit, sidewalk-less little street where over half of the homeowners pointedly do not put on their outside lights.

Why do we trick-or-treat here rather than driving to the very fun neighborhood just up the hill? I'll send you to a six-year-old blog post to answer that question in detail. The short answer is that Halloween on our little street makes me feel like we're living in the close-knit, small-town neighborhood I grew up in.  Read more >>>>>

Suki Wessling is a local parent who writes about parenting, education, gifted children, and homeschooling at Avant Parenting.

  This Week

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Events in the Parks

 

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School Corner

Santa Cruz Waldorf K-8, Early Childhood Education, New Class Session 11/20

 

Mount Madonna PreK-12, Fall Open House 11/15


Chartwell School and The New High School 1-12, Open House 11/18

 

Santa Cruz Waldorf School K-12, Waldorf Alive, A Walk through the Grades 11/19

 

LitWits Master Class for Grades 9-12: A Tale of Two Cities 11/21

 

Tara Redwood School Pre-5, Call for a Tour

Raise your family & your income.

I am a mom of a 5 year old boy.  I'm  able to work from home for an amazing company.

I teach families how to work from home so they can spend more time with their families, just like me!

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FreeTimeForFamily

 

 

CLUBS FOR KIDS!

 

Parenting is "thrilling, exhausting, hilarious, fun, frustrating, rewarding.... and requires constant vigilance..."

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Tune up Your Parenting Skills


Workshops for  Parents with Babies to Teens


 

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ACTIVITIES

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 Saturday!
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  Sandhills Mobile Visitor Center
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Details: Sandhills Mobile Visitor Center Come visit the Sandhills Mobile
Special Instructions: Vehicle day-use fee is $10
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  Wool, Spinning, and Weaving
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Details: Follow the path of wool from the sheep to the shirt...spin your own wool
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Live Raptor Presentation
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State Park Rancho del Oso
Date: 11/21/2015 at 1:00pm
Details: A Special Event! A dynamic presentation of LIVE non-releasable wild birds at the Nature and History Center
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Baby Talk
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  Infant Sleep Safety: The Untold Story continued

This second message proceeds from two assumptions: first, that bed sharing is inherently dangerous, and second, that the practice can be eradicated through public education.

Some of the countries that have the lowest rates of SIDS are countries where babies routinely sleep with their parents. This includes highly industrialized countries like Japan. If the Japanese can sleep safely with their babies, surely we can too. In fact, Dr. Abraham Bergman, the first president of the National SIDS Foundation, recently published an article in the Journal of the AMA, called "Bed Sharing per se Is Not Dangerous." http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1746115

Although public health agencies have spent several years warning parents to avoid bed sharing, a growing percentage of parents are sleeping with their babies, at least some of the time. This suggests that giving parents the false information that bed sharing is inherently unsafe is a failed policy. In order to ensure that all babies are sleeping safely, we need to educate parents about the actual risk factors for infants sleeping with their parents, and how to address those risks to create a safe sleeping environment.

Some parents are informed about the risks of bed sharing and the ways to mitigate those risks. They plan to bed share (at least some of the time), and take precautions to make it safe.

Another group of parents have taken the public health warnings at face value, believe that bed sharing is inherently dangerous and are determined to never do it. But they still do it some of the time. Why? I'm sure you know the answer. Some babies, it's probably to safe to say all babies, some of the time, are very difficult to get to sleep. They need to be held to fall asleep. They need to be held for a long, quiet, relaxed time. And parents who lie down with their babies are sure to fall asleep with them some of the time. Parents who walk or do the "baby dance" are pretty safe from the soporific effects of holding their baby, but that can be pretty exhausting. Therefore, many parents choose to sit. This sounds like a good compromise, still upright, they hope to be able to stay awake. But, as we all know, even the life-or-death risks of driving a car can be insufficient to keep us awake when we're sitting in the same position for a long time, late at night, when our natural body rhythms are moving us toward sleep.

The sad truth is that the dangers of a baby sleeping on a bed with a parent, even without any safety precautions, pale in comparison to the dangers of sleeping on a couch or armchair with a parent who has fallen asleep. The risks of entrapment and suffocation in the cushions of a couch or armchair are much greater than the risks of sleeping on a flat bed. (Most of the studies on which the public health agencies are basing their campaigns, don't make a distinction between the risks of sharing sleep on a flat bed and sleeping on a couch or armchair.)

It doesn't make sense that the public health message continues to be, "Never sleep with your baby." It would be more helpful, not to mention more respectful, to inform parents of the benefits of bed sharing, documented by Dr. James McKenna and others, the dangers of bed sharing, and the things parents can do to mitigate or eliminate those dangers. With this information, they can make conscious decisions, and even if they decide not to bed share on a regular basis, they can take precautions to put their babies to sleep safely.

Monterey Bay Parenting will be hosting a discussion of the benefits of bed sharing for babies' health, safety and psychological development as well as bed sharing risks and the safety precautions. The important role of breastfeeding will also be discussed. This discussion is free to the public and will be led by Tina McRorie, M.A. on Saturday, November 15th, 1-2:30pm at Baby Steps Doulas, 1432 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz. For more information visit www.montereybayapi.org.

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