#5: How to encourage kids to speak up for themselves! – The Red Balloon

April 24, 2018

We’ve all been there. You are at a birthday party and there is a person making balloon shapes for the kids. You have been standing in line for an hour and its finally your child’s turn. The man makes the shape and hands your child a beautiful blue sword. Your child walks away and starts crying saying that they really wanted a red sword…You know the crying..its a hysterical cry where it truly seems the world will end and you feel everyone is looking at you. This is a great opportunity to teach your child to speak up!

It’s never too early to start teaching independence and problem solving skills!

Bend down, look at your child in the eye and tell them that if they really want the red balloon they must go and ask for it themselves.

This presents your child with an opportunity to:

a) Think for themselves

b) Decide for themselves if it is really that important to them

c) Use their voice to makes a difference.

Don’t solve all of your child’s problems….
While a balloon color seems insignificant, the reality is that it is never too early to teach a child to speak up, to think about what they really want and to do it themselves. Today it’s a balloon and a few years from now it will be a grade on a test, negotiating a contract for a job, purchasing a home, etc.

Remember our job as parents is to teach and raise our children to be independent adults!

-Elizabeth Vainder, M.D.

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#4: What to do when my baby says NO!

April 17, 2018

“My baby doesn’t want to do that.” “My baby cries when I do that.” “My child only wants to eat macaroni and cheese.”…All day and every day I hear this from my parents. This is one of the hardest but most important times to be a parent.

Being a parent means saying “NO” sometimes. Being a parent means setting boundaries. Being a parent means doing what you know is best even though your child doesn’t think so. The truth is what kids really want is someone to teach them what is best, to set boundaries and love them unconditionally.

Unfortunately some parents think that saying “NO” somehow makes them a bad parent, or that their child will hold a grudge against them if they don’t say yes.

As a parent, you have the luxury of having experienced life for the past xx years! During that journey you have probably had your share of frustrations and disappointments, happy moments, sad moments, friends that have come and gone, personal struggles that you still struggle with or have overcome. That’s life right?

So when I tell a parent that a baby needs to do tummy time and they say that they don’t do it because the baby cries, I do not understand it. Tummy time is essential for a baby to develop the core strength they need to sit, stand and ultimately walk. With the back to sleep campaign to protect our infants from SIDS, many infants are simply not spending enough time on their tummies to develop these muscles. I can always tell the babies that are doing their tummy time. I explain to parents that of course a baby will cry at first because they do not have the strength to pull themselves up, but eventually (and it doesn’t take very long) they can do it and actually enjoy this time!

The same thing happens with setting boundaries...I see parents saying “He doesn’t want to go to sleep at 8 p.m…..” What???? A small child may not WANT to go to sleep but we all know that without sleep we can not be our best! Your child just wants to play! It is up to you to be firm and consistent with your expectations. When your child doesn’t sleep, that means YOU don’t sleep, and that means you can not be the best parent you can be because you are exhausted!

I see these situations as a metaphor for life. With anything that is worth it in life, initially it will feel like a struggle but once you get past that initial discomfort, the results can be amazing!

The truth is that children thrive with structure and guidance. Trust your gut and hold your ground when you know it is in the best interest of your child. In the end, setting these boundaries around the health and well being of your baby will¬† allow them to grow into a healthy and confident child. This will continue onto every stage of your child’s life.

It’s the delicate balance between giving them the roots they need to grow and gradually letting them develop their own personal wings to fly.

-Elizabeth Vainder, M.D.

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#3: 5 Effective Ways to achieve Time Management as a mom


April 10, 2018

“You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”
– Charles Burton

As a mom it is very important to have some form of time management or “plan” for your day. Make a list of your commitments and write them on a calendar. Write down important events, etc. Then include in there time for yourself or for something that you want to do for yourself. Write it down, and when the day comes, honor that commitment as well.

You are important and you must take care of yourself. Every week try to start things that you have been putting off. It is better to start and not finish than to never start at all. So, tackle your disorganized closet or shelf. Walk around with a garbage bag and throw anything away that is trash. Sometimes we pass our “trash” so many times we don’t even see it anymore. This exercise will help you feel accomplished.

You need to start somewhere. Have a bag or box ready every month for things to give away and then give them away. Find local charities (many will come and pick up your things) and give the things you do not use away. Encourage your children to do the same. Most of the time, kids have so many toys and books that they don’t even know where to start and truthfully don’t even know what they have anymore.

Teach them to give what they no longer use and to also take care of their things. If something is valuable and they are no longer using it, consider selling it. It is a great way for them to learn the value of a dollar and save for possibly something they want or need.

Decluttering is the first step to feeling organized. When you feel organized your mind is clearer and you are more productive. Have you been wanting to learn a new language? Have you been wanting to try a new yoga class? Make time for that too. Plan for it and put it on your schedule.

Remember YOU matter and when you take care of YOU everyone around you benefits.

-Elizabeth Vainder, M.D.

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#2: 10 Must Do Safety Tips for your soon-to-be crawler!

April 3, 2018

You see him in the corner of the room. He has one hand on the outlet and his eye on YOU. You say “No”, he stops, turns around and touches it again. Inside you feel like he is doing exactly what you told him not to! But in reality, the toddler is just soooo incredibly curious that his intrigue has gotten the best of him. He just has to know what happens with that outlet!

This is why it is so important to baby proof your home-preferably before your baby is 6 months old. At 6 months your baby will be possible crawling and may or may not be sitting. This new “mobile baby” can get into everything in your home within seconds! Baby proofing takes time, so plan accordingly!

  1. Lower your baby’s crib to the lowest level
  2. Make sure cords from blinds are out of reach
  3. Make sure your pool is secure with a fence
  4. TV’s should be up against the wall, not resting on furniture (toddlers love to climb and every year some toddler will lose his life because a TV falls on him/her)
  5. Use the back burners on your stove…always. Every year I have a few patients that get burned trying to reach the stove top…it is awful.
  6. If you take a medication, put it away when you are finished
  7. If you clean with something, put it away and out of reach. Make sure the nozzle is closed.
  8. Bathrooms and kitchens are the most dangerous places. Make sure doors are closed and or baby gates are in place. Only store non hazardous things in your bottom cabinets.
  9. If you have older kids, now is the time to put away toys with small parts that can be potential choking hazards for your new crawler!
  10. Make sure outlets are covered and electrical cords are tied together and out of reach.
  11. Bonus tip! – We are all busy and distracted. When you leave a room in your house, stop, turn around and make sure you left nothing out that can be potentially dangerous!

Your baby is watching you. You baby is amazed at all of the things that you do and of course wants to do them too! They are quick! Make safety a priority every day! If you plan ahead many accidents can indeed be prevented. Enjoy this phase…it can be exhausting but also incredibly rewarding.

-Elizabeth Vainder, M.D., F.A.A.P

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My Why

March 6, 2018

Hi there! I’m so happy you found my page! I am a board certified pediatrician and also a mom.¬† I decided to create this website not as your doctor but as your friend. I am also a mom, just like you, so I know where you are coming from.

I have been in practice for 20 years and have learned so much from my children and my patients. This site is a casual site to share what I have learned. This is not intended for medical advice or consultations. I have just grown and learned so much in these last few years, that I wanted to share it with all of you.

I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, etc. but I am also ME and I want to share with all of you the importance of not forgetting YOU. I hope you enjoy my posts. They are intended to remind you about important moments and topics that come up while parenting.

Parenting is a beautiful but sometimes frustrating and frightening journey. I want to remind you that you are not alone. Many patients come in with the same concerns and worries regardless of ethnicity, culture or background. I have found this so interesting.

If we really stop to listen to each other we will realize we are more similar than we think. I hope you enjoy my blog. Join me every Wednesday for a new topic!

-Elizabeth Vainder, M.D.