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Hey Laura, my doctor told me to wean my 18 month old

A friend writes:

So, at my son’s 18 month checkup, my doctor told me that there’s no point in nursing anymore because “don’t you know there’s no nutritional value to him anymore?” I was irritated because I’m pretty sure that’s not water coming out of my boobs! But I don’t have anything to back me up on that and hope you can help. Also, what are the nutritional needs of a toddler anyway? He eats well, but I definitely rely on nursing him to fill in the gaps. What will he need if/when he does wean? By the way, we’re mostly vegan but for an egg here and there.


Allow me to clamber up on my soapbox and rant a bit. It absolutely infuriates me to hear about doctors making offhand comments that...

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Hey Laura, can kids and dogs coexist peaceably?

I have two kids+dogs questions to tackle today. This should be a long one!

Betty asked:

Hey Laura,

You have BIG dogs and SMALL children together in a household.  My question is 4 part:

1) How did you introduce the babies to the dogs? And vice versa?
2) How did you teach children to be gentle around the dogs? Children don’t know not to make fast movements, tug pull on dogs, not to grab their toys or food….etc. How do you teach them that?
3) Are you ever concerned that the dogs will bite or be aggressive with the children (especially your newborn)?
4) What breeds work best with children? Or is it really about training your dogs not the breed?

And David wonders:

So how do you help a 2 year...

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Hey Laura, got any potty training tips?

Esther and Alan asked this one, and yes, I do have a tip.

This is my tip, the tip that I have: They’ll do it when they’re ready.

I highly recommend the “wait and be patient” route. It worked for every other major developmental milestone your child has accomplished so far - crawling, walking, talking - you might have bought yourself a couple of days with all those enrichment toys, but really, your kid busted out with his new moves when he was ready!

It’s going to be the same way with the potty learning. One day he’ll be hiding in a corner behind the sofa, pooping in his diaper, and the next he’ll astonish you by rushing off to the potty chair to do his business there.

You can...

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Hey Laura, how can I boost my picky kid’s nutrition?

Tricia writes:

Hey Laura, what would you feed an extremely picky child whose diet includes chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese and yogurt? (considering that she needs to add more calories to her diet)

*****Standard disclaimer: I have no credentials for handing out nutritional advice, but here is some info I’ve compiled that can help!*****

My first advice is my best parenting advice: “It’s probably just a stage; just wait it out.”

That said, there are definitely things you can try to improve her nutrition, even within the constraints of her approved food items. I’ll also give you tips on helping expand her gastronomic horizons!

Chicken noodle soup is an amazingly nutritious food...

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Hey Laura, how do I get my kid to stop waking me up so darn early?

It’s Too Early O’clock. Your bedroom door bursts open and an exuberant toddler voice jolts you out of slumber.

“Hey Mommy! Hey Mommy! It’s a beautiful day! I’m ready for mine breakfast!”

The sun may be up, but that doesn’t mean you should be. Here’s how I caged my early bird.

First of all, I’m assuming a foundation of safety-awareness and obedience that is necessary for any of this to work. Your child has to be old enough to be safe in his/her room unsupervised, and if you have an escape artist on your hands, you need to solve that problem, too. If you’re confident that your child can safely handle up to an hour (or more - your call!) playing quietly in his room, then you’re good to go....Continue reading

Hey Laura, how can I survive being neighbors with family?

“B” writes:

Dear Laura,
I just moved into a wonderful house next door to my brother and his wife and new child. While I love living next door to them, I have a few concerns. I don’t want to be the nosey know-it-all sister who interferes with how they raise their child, but I have some helpful advice I would like to pass on. How does one go about giving advice without being pushy? Secondly, they love to stop in randomly, and while I do enjoy seeing them and my new nephew, they once even walked in on me sans clothing! What is the nice/proper way of getting them to call first even though we are just a few steps away?
Help!?
B

Oh, the joys of living near family! While it can be awesome to have...

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