From one mother to another, that probably sounds a little imprecise.
"Besides your kids, of course," I can hear a lot of you thinking.
But no, in fact. To me, maintaining a solid relationship with my partner is absolutely at the top of my list.
I'll explain what I mean and why I feel it's justifiable in today's episode.
Raising a little one is probably the most important job most parents will have in their lives. The responsibility that comes along with bringing up a child can't be overstated.
And nobody in the history of parenting has ever gotten it 100% right.
We're all going to make mistakes. We're going to say the wrong thing or overreact in situations, and once we've had a moment to think about it, we're all going to feel a little guilty.
Parental guilt is an unavoidable aspect of having a child, but I've learned a few things through raising my kids that have helped me to put it aside when it arises and remember the big picture.
Today I'm delighted to welcome global parenting expert Jo Frost, the screen hit success of International shows such as Supernanny, NannyOnTour and Family Matters.
We will be discussing all sorts of Family topics so please tune in, and for those of you who wish to receive Ms. Frost's help, you can do so privately via her Private Family Consultations company where Frost provides a bespoke fee service to help families with all parental/family challenges from baby care to sleep, eating, behavioral issues,tantrums, social development problems for all ages including juggling home and work life.
Nothing is off the table when it comes to receiving the help to make the changes you want to see.
To reach out go to: www.JoFrost.com and click on the Contact Jo tab.
It's a valid question, for sure. After all the hard work you've put into getting your baby to sleep, now you're concerned that they might be sleeping too well. Will an extra long nap mess with their bedtime or throw their schedule off? What if she's sleeping past the time when she normally eats? Is it ever a good move to wake a sleeping baby?
Well, I'm happy to report that this is about as close to a yes-or-no answer as you're likely to get in parenting, and I'll tell you where I stand and where the (very few) exceptions lie in this week's episode of The Sleep Sense Show.
So your baby is managing to sleep a solid 10 - 12 hours at a time. That's great! Or at least it would be, if it was happening at night.
This is actually a very common scenario with parents of infants, where their little one seems to have their days and nights mixed up. They sleep almost all day long, then wake up in the evening and stay awake throughout the night.
So is it possible for your little one to actually establish a nocturnal sleep pattern, and if so, what do you do to remedy the situation?
Every kid has moments when they lose their cool, whine, pout or otherwise act like a brat.
But we all know at least one kid who seems to define the term perfectly.
They whine from the moment they get up in the morning, they throw a fit every time they don't get their way, they have to have things exactly how they want them... you've met one, I'm sure.
And for a lot of parents, when they see those traits in their own kids, the thought often crosses their mind, "Am I raising a brat?"
The uncomfortable truth is, you just might be. Bratty behavior is usually a result of overly permissive parenting.
The good news is that you have the power to fix it.
I'll tell you how to spot the signs that you might have a bratty kid on your hands, why it might be due to your parenting style, and what you can do to change it, on this week's episode of The Sleep Sense Show.
Twice a year, every year, the powers that be set out to sabotage all the hard work you've done to get your child sleeping on a predictable, reliable schedule.
Alright, technically speaking, that's not the actual intention of daylight saving(s) time, but that's pretty much all it accomplishes in the eyes of the parents of a youngster.
Hopefully, one day we'll just do away with this obsolescent practice, but until then I have some strategies that will help your little ones adjust to the time change and get back to normal as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
As though the challenges of being a new parent weren't enough, about forty percent of babies will be afflicted with a little something extra, known as colic.
Colic, as many parents are unfortunately aware, is marked by extended periods of inconsolable, hysterical crying, and although it's almost always resolved by the fourth month, any parent who has been through the experience will tell you it is a seriously rough ride.
So today I have some tips for you, not just for soothing your baby if they're dealing with colic, but for calming your nerves and riding out the storm while your baby is going through it.
Having kids is the most rewarding, inspiring, blessed experience a person can have. No question about it. They're adorable, innocent, and so full of wonder as they discover the world around them.
And it's a good thing, because if anyone without those qualities sat at my table, told me my cooking was "gross" and threw a lovingly prepared meal across the room, I can safely say that they wouldn't be invited back.
Mealtime can be a real battle with kids in the house, and it's no laughing matter when it gets to be a daily struggle. It can be exhausting trying to balance their nutrition with things they like to eat.
So today, I've got some tips for you on how to end the dinnertime disputes, bring peace back to mealtimes, and get your kids trying new foods that you can feel good about serving them.
We all get a little bored from time to time, but kids are especially susceptible to moments of tedium and dullness.
And what's worse, they really like to let us parents know when they're feeling bored.
They'll place themselves directly in front of us, lie on the floor, stare at the ceiling, and repeatedly tell us in no uncertain terms how unbelievably bored they are, which can be frustrating for parents who feel like they need to provide entertainment.
But boredom isn't necessarily a bad thing, despite what your kids would have you believe, and I'll tell you why it might even be beneficial for their development in today's episode.
I don't know if anyone can honestly claim to have never yelled at their kids before. I know I have, and I also know that I'm a better parent when I don't.
With that in mind, I have a few tips in today's show to help you maintain your composure and communicate effectively without raising your voice when your kids are pushing you to the breaking point.
Today, for the first time ever, we have a real, live, honest-to-goodness man on the show! Brent Almond is the owner of Designer Daddy. "A gay dad blogger parenting with style, sass and sentiment."
We'll be talking about how he got started, where he gets his inspiration, and what it's like to be one half of a two-dad parenting team.
He's also the creative force behind a new line of heartwarming parenting products; ones I'm sure you're going to absolutely love.
Moving from one house to another is one of the most stressful events in a person's life, but if you throw a couple of kids into the equation, it can turn the aggravation meter up another few notches, to say the least.
Today, I'm talking to Christine Stevens, one of my esteemed Sleep Sense Consultants and a true veteran when it comes to moving with little ones.
She's got some amazing tips for keeping your little ones occupied and happy while you make the transition from your old house to the new one, and make the move as smooth as possible.
TV, computers, tablets and smartphones have proven to be a pretty invaluable resource for parents over the years. Bright lights, fun games, catchy music and colorful images can be a great way to distract your little one for a little while, and in many cases, these devices can be great educational tools as well.
But, as with anything that our kids love, there's a balance that needs to be struck between how much they want and how much is good for them.
On today's show, I'll give you my take on how much screen time is too much, and some tips on how to set limits that your child will understand and accept.
Is there such a thing a the "Four-month sleep regression?" Absolutely. But it seems like every time our little ones hit a bump in the road when it comes to sleeping through the night, we try to put a label on the problem.
That's not to say that regressions aren't a real thing, but identifying the actual cause for a few rough nights in baby's routine can help you decide what course of action to take (if any) and in today's episode, I'll help you do just that.
Summertime brings about a lot of new experiences for kids. For many, it can be their first time traveling, meeting relatives, visiting theme parks, and any number of exciting adventures.
But it also means that the schedule they follow during the school year tends to get tossed out the window, especially when it comes to bedtime.
So now that they're headed back to school, how can you get them back into the rhythm and make sure they're getting the sleep they need?
It's easier than you think, with the right guidance, and I'm here today to help get your little ones back into bed at a decent hour and sleeping through the night again so they can wake up refreshed and ready to learn!
When I was preparing to welcome my first child into the world, I had a distinct, utopian vision of what motherhood was going to be like.
The reality of motherhood didn't match it in the least.
The first six months of motherhood were actually some of the hardest days of my life. I loved my baby, of course, but I also experienced overwhelming feelings of failure and guilt.
Today, I'd like to tell you about what brought this on, and what I did (and what you can do, if you're feeling the same way!) to change it.
When the time comes to return to work after the birth of a child, how many women can say that they feel genuinely ready?
Not just physically, although that's certainly an important factor, but emotionally prepared and comfortable to leave their newborn for long stretches during the day with someone else.
For those of us who have been through the process, we know how stressful and emotionally taxing it can be.
Enter Lauren Brody Smith, author of The Fifth Trimester - The Working Mom’s Guide To Style, Sanity & Big Success After Baby.
In today's episode, I'm speaking with Lauren in depth about her strategies for returning to your job after maternity leave, how to physically and mentally prepare yourself in the days before going back, and the importance of openness, honesty and support in the workplace.
So you've finally got your little one sleeping soundly through the night. You've established a great bedtime routine, you're sticking to it every night, and baby's learned to settle independently when she wakes up in the night.
But now it's vacation time, so how are you going to adhere to your schedule when everything's thrown into upheaval?
Well, the short answer is, you're not. You're going to have to deal with the change in surroundings and schedule as best you can. So in today's episode, I've got some tips for minimizing the impact that travel will have on their sleep, and how to get them back on track as soon as you get home.
For most of the families I've worked with, getting their kids to sleep through the night is the easy part.
Getting them to take long, consolidated naps? That's where things get tricky.
One of the major reasons for this is because, unlike nighttime sleep, the number and length of naps required for babies and toddlers changes relatively quickly.
Today, I'll be giving you a rundown of how much daytime sleep your little one needs, and how to spot the signs that they're ready to cut one out altogether.
"Always do the right thing, unless it's the wrong thing to do, in which case, never do that."
If you're looking for parenting advice online, or from a varied group of experts, friends, or professionals, that's pretty much what it feels like for a new mom.
For every piece of advice you get, there are two people waiting around the corner who will tell you that, not only is that not the best approach, it's actually harmful.
In this week's episode, I've got some tips for navigating the endless ocean of input you'll be sailing, and some reassurance that the doomsday prophets are blowing their warnings way out of proportion.
The good old "Time Out" is one of the most reliable tools available to parents when it comes to correcting problem behavior, but it's not always as simple as it sounds.
There are plenty of situations where time-outs might not seem like a fitting, or available, strategy. After all, where are you supposed to take your child for a little quiet time if you're in a movie theater, or out for dinner?
Beyond that, how do we know that we're teaching our kids what kind of behavior we're actually asking of them if we just put them into a quiet room for a few minutes?
I'm still a big believer in time-outs, but only when they're done right, and I'll tell you how to apply them in order to get maximum results with minimum hassle.
Ever since it was made publicly available in the 1990s, synthetic melatonin has been renowned as a "natural" sleep aid, and its popularity has increased to the point where almost everyone is familiar with the name.
The problem with the "natural" designation is that people tend to equate it with, "safe," and I've heard of pediatricians recommending melatonin for babies, literally babies who are having trouble sleeping.
On today's episode, I've got a little bit of a rant against using pills and supplements to fix problems with kids' sleep issues, and an alternative plan that won't just patch over the symptoms, but actually addresses the cause of sleepless nights.
They say that the hardest part of getting started... is getting started. This can be especially true when you're sleep training your little one. The time never seems to be quite right, there's always an upcoming occasion or obligation that seems to keep families from taking that first step.
So today, I've got some advice for getting up and running with the Sleep Sense Program. When to start, when to avoid getting started, and a little encouragement for what's, let's face it, a challenging first step down a glorious road.
As parents, there's nothing so difficult as standing aside and watching your child fail at something. Whether it's sports or schoolwork, or just taking a harmless tumble, we're always ready to swoop in and provide that extra guidance, support, and help they need in order to ensure they succeed.
But is that "help" actually depriving them of valuable learning experiences? At what point are we ready to allow our kids to fail at things?
My guest on Today's show is Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure-How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go so Their Kids can Succeed. She contends that our kids need to experience failure in order to understand and accept frustration and hardship.
She provides a wonderfully fresh outlook on parenting and will change the way you think about how to coach your kids.