American Baby's 75 Best Tips Ever

More of our Best Tips

Make feedings more fun

35. If you find yourself planning meals around the baby and feeding baby food to the rest of the family, you are missing the whole point. He should join you, not you him. OCTOBER 1966

36. A cause of poor eating in young infants is the unpalatability of the food. Babies need variety in color, taste, and texture. DECEMBER 1956

37. No bribing, coaxing, promising, or pleading should ever be used at mealtime. FEBRUARY 1958

38. Keep a sharp eye out for sudden shifts of his head as you bring the spoon toward him. This is his way of saying he doesn't want any more. SEPTEMBER 1968

39. Let your child feed himself. Mealtimes may be messier and longer, but by feeding himself, your child can eat at his own pace and learn to enjoy mealtimes. FEBRUARY 1982

40. Breastfeeding for even a few weeks is better than not breastfeeding at all. FEBRUARY 1986

41. Don't expect your baby to eat much solid food at first; a teaspoonful or two, a couple of times a day, is a lot. SEPTEMBER 1994

42. Want to boost breast milk production? Try an a.m. pumping session. FEBRUARY 2010

43. To lessen bubbles in baby's formula, stir don't shake. Let the bottle sit a bit before giving it to Baby so any froth dissipates. FEBRUARY 2011

Trust in your relationship

44. Discuss parenting problems with your spouse, and reach decisions jointly. When you can't agree, try both ways and see what works best for your baby. JUNE 1994

45. With the exception of breastfeeding, there are virtually no child-care duties that need be strictly for one sex or the other. Dads can cuddle, cook, change diapers, bathe, clothe, teach, and babysit as effectively as moms can. JANUARY 1977

46. The overly cautious mother has to be careful not to spoil a new father's eagerness by criticizing his awkward fumbling. JANUARY 1958

47. Take turns getting up with the baby on the weekends, giving baths, and handling the fussy hour. This way one partner doesn't become resentful of the other. DECEMBER 2012

48. An Rx for marriage monotony: Go on out-of-the-ordinary dates, like a concert or hike, as often as you can, rather than heading out for ho-hum dinners every week. FEBRUARY 2013

Prepare for back-to-work

49. You don't have to feel guilty. You are still raising your child and are still a good mom, even if you work. FEBRUARY 1998

50. Starting a few weeks before you return to the office, pump once a day to store breast milk. This also ensures that you'll get the hang of using your equipment. MAY 2011

51. Working moms who embrace the idea that life's balancing act is tough tend to dodge depression better than those who think, I can do it all. FEBRUARY 2012

52. Drop by your office, with or without your baby, a few weeks before your return. You may be surprised at how reassuring those familiar cubicles feel. NOVEMBER 2012

53. Men don't expect to work full time, be the primary caretaker to their kids, a great cook, sexy for their spouse, and a good friend. Yet women do. OCTOBER 2008

Using positive discipline

54. Children may fight for their independence, but what they really want, until they are grown, are the limits and barriers that parents are supposed to impose. AUGUST 1965

55. Recognize and reward good behavior. Instead of scolding your child when he is disobedient, watch for good behavior and say, "I appreciate it when you play nicely." NOVEMBER 1981

56. Allow your baby to grow into a decision maker. When the selection really doesn't matter that much, let the child decide. JUNE 1977

57. Two-year-olds are like mini-teenagers: When they know something drives you batty, they're likely to do it even more. So try not to force the issue and turn it into a power struggle. JANUARY 2006

58. When your tot bites, express that this is unacceptable behavior. Disengage from her for a minute or two, while still staying within easy reach. SEPTEMBER 2009

Make memories

59. Ask your parents to recreate some of your favorite childhood experiences with your own child. If one of your cherished memories is of going to the park with your father, ask that he take your child to do the same. JANUARY 1999

60. Even if your baby won't retain specific memories of a trip to visit her grandparents or the elaborate princess cake you baked for her second birthday, she'll recall a sense of warmth when she thinks about her childhood. AUGUST 2004

61. Playdates are not the time to toil over your famous homemade chili or fret about the state of your house. Forget perfection, have fun, and use these occasions as a forum for sharing all your ups and downs. DECEMBER 2010

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