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## Sudoku for Beginners: How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

Are you a beginner when it comes to solving Sudoku puzzles? Do you find yourself frustrated and unsure of where to start? Fear not, as we have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to improve your problem-solving skills through Sudoku.

## Understanding the Basics of Sudoku

Before we dive into the strategies and techniques, let’s first understand the basics of Sudoku. A Sudoku puzzle is a 9×9 grid that is divided into nine smaller 3×3 grids. The objective is to fill in each row, column, and smaller grid with numbers 1-9 without repeating any numbers.

## Starting Strategies for Beginners

As a beginner, it can be overwhelming to look at an empty Sudoku grid. But don’t worry. There are simple starting strategies that can help you get started. First, look for any rows or columns that only have one missing number. Fill in that number and move on to the next row or column with only one missing number. Another strategy is looking for any smaller grids with only one missing number and filling in that number.

## Advanced Strategies for Beginner/Intermediate Level

Once you’ve mastered the starting strategies, it’s time to move on to more advanced techniques. One technique is called “pencil marking.” This involves writing down all possible numbers in each empty square before making any moves. Then use logic and elimination techniques to cross off impossible numbers until you are left with the correct answer.

Another advanced technique is “hidden pairs.” Look for two squares within a row or column that only have two possible numbers left. If those two possible numbers exist in both squares, then those two squares must contain those specific numbers.

## Benefits of Solving Sudoku Puzzles

Not only is solving Sudoku puzzles fun and challenging, but it also has many benefits for your brain health. It helps improve your problem-solving skills, enhances memory and concentration, and reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

In conclusion, Sudoku is a great way to improve your problem-solving skills while also providing entertainment. With these starting and advanced strategies, you’ll be able to solve even the toughest Sudoku puzzles. So grab a pencil and paper and start sharpening those brain muscles.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.

## The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior--Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood

Tracy hogg , melinda blau.

Thousands of parents have asked the Baby Whisperer to help them solve their problems. With this book you too can take advantage of the advice, insights, and parenting techniques from beloved child expert Tracy Hogg. "A problem is nothing more than a situation calling for a creative solution," she reminds us. "Ask the right questions and you'll come up with the right answers."

Once you learn how to translate banguage, the "baby-language" your infant uses to communicate needs, feelings, and opinions, you can see your child for who he or she really is -- an understanding that will serve you well as your child blossoms into the toddler years. By helping you establish a daily routine and tailor your parenting strategies according to your child's unique personality and stage of development, Tracy will teach you how to:

 Ask the Twelve Essential Questions to recognize potential problems and employ the Twelve Principles of Problem Solving -- simple troubleshooting techniques for everyday situations  Avoid, or remedy, accidental parenting -- inadvertent adult behavior that often leads to such common parenting challenges as sleep problems, poor eating habits, separation anxiety, and tantrums  Be a P.C. parent -- patient and conscious -- who knows how to detect prime times -- windows of opportunity for teaching babies how to get to sleep on their own, introducing bottles to breast-fed babies, toilet training, and other growth issues  Inhibit runaway emotions and foster his or her emotional fitness -- the ability to understand and manage feelings

...and so much more. For Tracy's fans, this book will be a welcome addition to the Hogg library; for readers unfamiliar with her philosophy of care, it will open a new world of understanding and insight.

416 pages, Paperback

First published January 4, 2005

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Biz, yeni annelerin ebeveynlik yolunda ayaklarına takılan taşları temizliyoruz, geceleri yollarını aydınlatan ateş böcekleri sunuyoruz. Bebek bakım kitaplarının çoğu aynı şehir hatları tarifesi gibi, tarife aynı bulmak kolay… Zor olan yolumuza çıkan taşlar, engeller. Bir bebeği yıkamayı binlerce kitapta bulursunuz ama her gece saat üçte, beşte uyanan bebeği yatıştırmayı veya evlat edindiğiniz bebeği nasıl emzireceğinizi, sütü nasıl sağıp saklayacağınızı veya anestezi aldıktan ne kadar sonra emzireceğinizi size ancak bir, bilemediniz iki kitap söyler. Bizim işimiz o kitapları bulup, sizin başucunuza eriştirmek… Kafanızda olan hatta aklınızın ucundan bile geçmeyen tüm sorulara cevap vermek. Bebeğinizle başladığınız yeni hayata güçlü, mutlu sağlıklı bir adımla başlamanıza yardımcı olmak amacımız.
GUN YAYINCILIK is 30 years old well-known publishing house from Turkiye/İstanbul… We have been published over 300 books for our market on tarot, self-improvement, children & adult novels, comic books, language . We have focused on baby taking care books since 2007. We have published below listed titles in short time: ”The Baby Book by William Sears” “The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems by Tracy Hogg” “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer For Toddlers by Tracy Hogg” “Healty Sleep Habits, Happy Twins by Dr.Marc Weissbluth” “Week-by-Week Pregnancy Yoga and Meditation by Neslihan ISKIT” (Turkish writer) “Toilet Training In Less Than a Day by Nathan H.Azrin, Richard M.Foxx” “Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism or other Developmental Issues by Maria Wheeler” “Connection Parenting by Pam LEO” “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Dr.Richard FERBER” “The Womanly Art of Breasfeeding” 8th Edition by La Leche League International” and brand-new title: “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg In production: “Sleep Lady” Kim West, “Baby-Led Weaning” Gill Rapley & Tracy Murkett and more… In near and far future Gun Yayıncılık will publish much more children, baby and mother care books. Our main goal is to become a key publisher in this field for our territory.
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## The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior--Beyond the Basics

By Tracy Hogg and Melinda Blau

( 41 ratings )

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Tracy Hogg devoted her career to helping parents understand and communicate with their babies and young children. A nurse, lactation educator, and newborn consultant, Hogg’s sensible and compassionate philosophy, now translated into more than twenty languages, is known throughout the world.

## Read more from Tracy Hogg

Sleep: Top Tips from the Baby Whisperer: Secrets to Getting Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Potty Training: Top Tips From the Baby Whisperer: A Sensible Approach to Toilet Training

Family Whispering: The Baby Whisperer's Commonsense Strategies for Communicating and Connecting with the People You Love and Making Your Whole Family Stronger

Breast-feeding: Top Tips From the Baby Whisperer: Includes Advice on Bottle-Feeding

## Related authors

Scott W. Cohen

Dr. Harvey Karp

Elizabeth Pantley

Melinda Blau

Sofia Axelrod

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## Reviews for The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems

41 ratings 8 reviews

## What did you think?

Review must be at least 10 words

• S L Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 The methods taught in this book worked like a charm for my two little ones. My second child was sleeping through the night at two weeks old and those habits stuck through her childhood. Don't listen to the salty reviews here that are offended by the author's "tone". It's a book, if someone actually gets mad because they feel called out or spoken down to (which, I didn't feel at ALL, ?), then maybe the problem is them, not the book. These reviewers can't get out of their own way, it seems. The methods work, that's all that matters. Read more
• Cindee Ng Rating: 1 out of 5 stars 1/5 After reading a few pages of this book I had to stop. I dont enjoy the author's tone. Its quite condescending and shaming especially for a first time mom. She is also very contradicting. If you're gonna write a helpful book, leave your ego out. Read more

## Book preview

The baby whisperer solves all your problems - tracy hogg.

To Sara and Sophie, my loving daughters (TH), and

To Henry, my sweet grandson (MB), and

All the other babies and toddlers who allow us to love them

and to be less than perfect

## INTRODUCTION

From baby whispering to problem solving, my most important secret, becoming ms. fix it.

Dearest mums and dads, babies and toddlers, it is with both joy and humility that I offer what in many ways is my most important baby-whispering secret: how to solve any problem. I have always been proud of my ability to help parents understand and care for their young children and feel honored whenever a family asks me into its life. It’s a very intimate and rewarding experience. At the same time, being an author has also given me a public face. Since I published my first two books in 2001 and 2002, I’ve had a series of adventures and surprises that go beyond anything I could have imagined as a girl in Yorkshire. Besides my usual private consultations, I’ve been on the radio and the telly. I’ve traveled around the country and the world and met some of the most wonderful parents and children who’ve opened their homes and hearts to me. I’ve spoken to thousands more via my website, reading and responding to their email and joining them in my chat rooms.

But don’t worry. Despite my newfound worldliness, I’m still the same old me, still down there slogging away in the trenches. In a way, though, I have changed a bit: No longer am I just the Baby Whisperer. I’m now Ms. Fix It, too. And it’s all because of you.

In my travels, on my website, and in my email in-box, I’ve gotten many letters of thanks and confirmation from mums and dads who have followed my advice. But I’ve also been inundated with requests for help from those of you who bought my first book too late. Maybe you’re trying to get your baby on a structured routine, as I suggest, but you’re not sure whether the same principles apply to eight-month-olds as to newborns. Maybe you’re confused about why your child isn’t doing what other children are doing. Or maybe you’re faced with a deeply entrenched sleep problem, feeding difficulty, or behavior issue—or, poor dear, all of the above. Whatever the dilemma, your anguished refrain is almost always the same: Where do I begin, Tracy—what do I do first? You also wonder why some of the strategies I suggest don’t seem to work with your baby.

I’ve been fielding such questions for several years now and consulted on some of the most difficult cases I’ve ever seen: a three-month-old twin who had such bad reflux that he could barely keep a meal down and never slept longer than twenty minutes, day or night; a nineteen-month-old who wouldn’t eat solid food because she awoke almost every hour to breast-feed; a nine-month-old whose separation anxiety was so severe her mother literally couldn’t put her down; a two-year-old head-banger whose tantrums were so frequent his parents were afraid to leave the house. It was through solving problems such as these that I became known as Ms. Fix It—and why I now know that I must help you go beyond the basic strategies I laid out in my earlier books.

A problem is nothing more than an issue that needs to be addressed or a situation calling for a creative solution. Ask the right questions, and you’ll come up with the right answers.

If you’ve read my earlier books, then you already know that baby whispering begins by observing, respecting, and communicating with your baby. It means that you see your child for who she really is—her personality and her particular quirks (no insult intended, ducky; we all have them)—and you tailor your parenting strategies accordingly.

I’ve been told that I’m one of the few baby experts who takes the child’s point of view. Well, someone has to, don’t you think? I’ve had new parents look at me like I’m crazy when I introduce myself to their four-day-old baby. And parents of older children positively gape at me when I translate the mournful cries of their eight-month-old who has suddenly been banished from the parents’ bed because they —her parents—suddenly decided that enough was enough: Hey, Mum and Dad, this was your idea in the first place. I’m crying now because I don’t even know what a crib is, no less how to fall asleep without two big warm bodies next to me.

I also translate banguage (baby language) for parents because it helps them remember that the little being in their arms or the toddler tearing around the room also has feelings and opinions. In other words, it’s not just a matter of what we grownups want. How often have I witnessed a scene like this: A mother says to her little boy, Now Billy, you don’t want Adam’s truck. Poor little Billy doesn’t talk yet, but if he did I’d bet he’d say, Sure I do, Mum. Why else do you think I grabbed the bloody truck away from Adam in the first place? But Mum doesn’t listen to him. She either takes the truck out of Billy’s hand or tries to coax him into relinquishing it willingly. Be a good lad and give it back to him. Well, at that point I can almost count the seconds ’til meltdown!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that just because Billy wants the truck he should be allowed to bully Adam—far from it. I hate bullies, but believe me it won’t be Billy’s fault if he turns into one (more about that in chapter 8). What I am saying is that we need to listen to our children, even when they say things we don’t want to hear.

The same skills that I teach parents of infants—observing body language, listening to cries, slowing down so that you can really figure out what’s going on—those skills are just as important as your baby grows into a toddler and beyond. (Let us not forget that teens are actually toddlers in big bodies, so we’d be wise to learn our lessons early.) Throughout this book, I’ll remind you of some of the techniques I’ve developed to help you tune in and take your time. Those of you who know me undoubtedly recall my love of acronyms, such as E.A.S.Y. (Eat, Activity, Sleep, and time for You) and S.L.O.W. (Stop, Listen, Observe, and figure out What’s Up) from the first book, and H.E.L.P. (Hold yourself back, Encourage exploration, Limit, and Praise) from the second, to name a few.

I don’t come up with these things just to be clever. Nor do I think that coining a series of expressions or acronyms makes child-rearing a snap. I know firsthand that parenting is anything but E.A.S.Y. It’s particularly hard for new parents to know which end is up, especially sleep-starved new mums, but all parents need help. I’m just trying to give you tools to use when you might not have your wits about you. So, for example, the acronym E.A.S.Y. (the subject of chapter 1) helps you remember the sequence of a daily structured routine.

I also know that life just gets more complicated as babies become toddlers and as the family grows. My goal is to keep your baby on track and your own life on an even keel—or at least as even as it can be with young children underfoot. In the midst of a tussle with your child or children, it’s easy to forget good advice and lapse into old patterns. I mean, how clearheaded can you be when your baby is screaming at the top of her lungs because her two-year-old brother, who is smiling proudly, decided that baby sister’s head was as good a place as any to test out his new Magic Marker? I can’t be in each of your homes, but if you have my handy little acronyms in your head, maybe it will seem like I’m standing next to you, reminding you what to do.

I’ve been told by countless parents that, in fact, my acronyms do help them to stay focused and to remember various baby-whispering strategies—at least in most situations. So here’s another one for your parental bag of tricks: P.C.

## Be a P.C. Parent

No, I don’t mean politically correct. (Not to worry: The Baby Whisperer isn’t planning to run for Congress!) Rather, a P.C. parent is patient and conscious, two qualities that will serve you well no matter how old your child is. Invariably, when I meet parents who are beset by a particular problem, usually one of the Big Three—sleep, eating, or behavior—my prescription always involves one, if not both, of these elements. But it’s not just problems that require P.C. parenting; so do everyday interactions. Playtime, a trip to the supermarket, being with other children, and a host of other daily occurrences are enhanced by Mum or Dad having a P.C. mind-set.

No parent is P.C. all the time, but the more we do it, the more it becomes a natural way of acting. We get better with practice. Throughout this book, I’ll remind you to be P.C., but here let me explain each letter:

Patience. It takes patience to parent well, because it’s a hard, seemingly endless road, one that requires a long-term perspective. Today’s Big Problem becomes a distant memory a month from now, but we tend to forget that when we’re living through it. I’ve seen it happen time and again, luv: parents who in the heat of the moment take what seems like an easier road, only to find out later that it leads them to a dangerous dead end. That’s how accidental parenting begins (more about that later). For instance, I worked with a mum recently who kept comforting her baby with a breast-feed only to find that at fifteen months the child had no idea how to fall asleep on her own and was demanding Mummy’s breast four to six times a night. The poor, dear, utterly exhausted mother claimed she was ready to wean her baby, but wanting something isn’t enough. You have to have the patience to weather the transition period.

Having a child can be messy and disorderly, too. Therefore, you also need patience (and internal fortitude) to tolerate at least the clutter, spills, and finger marks. Parents who don’t will find it harder to get through their child’s firsts. What toddler manages to drink from a real cup without first spilling pints of liquid onto the floor? Eventually, only a drizzle slips out the side of his mouth and then finally he gets most of it down, but it doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly doesn’t happen without setbacks along the way. Allowing your child to master table skills, to learn how to pour or to wash himself, to let him walk around a living room filled with lots of no-nos—all of these things require parents’ patience.

Parents who lack this important quality can unwittingly create obsessive behaviors even in very young children. Tara, a two-year-old I met in my travels, had obviously learned her lessons well from her ultra-neat mother, Cynthia. Walking into this mum’s house, it was hard to tell a toddler lived there. And no wonder. Cynthia hovered constantly and followed her daughter around with a damp cloth, wiping her face, mopping up her spills, putting toys back into the toy box the moment Tara dropped them. Well, Tara was already a chip off the old block: duhtee was one of her first words. That might have been cute if it weren’t for the fact that Tara was afraid to venture very far on her own and cried if other kids touched her. An extreme case, you say. Perhaps, but we do our little ones an injustice when we don’t allow them to do what kids do: get a little dirty and get into a little mischief every now and then. A wonderful P.C. mum I met told me she regularly had Pig Night with her children, a dinner without utensils. And here’s a surprising irony: When we actually give our kids permission to go wild, they often don’t stray as far as you think they will.

Patience is particularly critical when you’re trying to change bad habits. Naturally, the older the child, the longer it takes. Regardless of age, though, you must accept that change takes time—you can’t rush the process. But I will tell you this: It’s easier to be patient now and to take the time to teach your children and tell them what you expect. After all, who would you rather ask to clean up after himself, a two-year-old or a teenager?

Consciousness. Consciousness of who your child is should begin the moment she takes her first breath outside the womb. Always be aware of your child’s perspective. I mean this both figuratively and literally: Squat down to your child’s eye level. See what the world looks like from her vantage point. Say you take your child to church for the first time. Crouch down; imagine the view from the infant seat or stroller. Take a whiff of the air. Imagine what incense or candles feel like to a baby’s sensitive nose. Listen. How loud is the din of the crowd, the singing of the choir, the rumbling of the organ? Might it be a bit much for Baby’s ears? I’m not saying you should stay away from new places. On the contrary, it’s good to expose children to new sights, sounds, and people. But if your infant repeatedly cries in unfamiliar settings, as a conscious parent you’ll know that she’s telling you: It’s too much. Please go slower or Try this with me in another month. Consciousness lets you tune in and, in time, allows you to get to know your child and trust your instincts about her.

Consciousness is also a matter of thinking things through before you do them and planning ahead. Don’t wait for disaster to strike, especially if you’ve been there before. For instance, if, after several play dates, you see that your child and your best friend’s child are constantly at war and the morning always ends in tears, arrange a play date with a different child—even if you don’t fancy that child’s mum quite as much. A play date is a play date. Instead of forcing your little one to be with a child he doesn’t particularly like or get along with, when you want to go out for a jaw with your best friend, get a baby-sitter.

Consciousness means paying attention to the things you say and what you do with and to your child—and being consistent. Inconsistencies confuse children. So if one day you say, No eating in the living room, and the next night you ignore your son as he chows down a bag of chips on the couch, your words will eventually mean nothing. He’ll tune you out, and who can blame him?

Finally, consciousness is just that: being awake and being there for your child. I am pained when I see babies’ or very young children’s cries ignored. Crying is the first language children speak. By turning our backs on them, we’re saying, You don’t matter. Eventually, unattended babies stop crying altogether, and they also stop thriving. I’ve seen parents allow children to cry in the name of toughening them up ( I don’t want him to get spoiled or A little crying will do him good ). And I’ve seen mothers throw up their hands and say, Her sister needs me—she’ll just have to wait. But then she makes the baby wait, and wait, and wait. There is no good reason for ignoring a child.

Our children need us to be there and to be strong and wise for them, to show them the way. We are their best teachers, and for the first three years, their only teachers. We owe it to them to be P.C. parents—so that they can develop the best in themselves.

## But Why Doesn’t It Work?

Why doesn’t it work? is by far one of the most common questions parents ask. Whether a mum is trying get her infant to sleep more than two hours at a time or her seven-month-old to eat solid food or her toddler to stop hitting other kids, I often hear the old yes, but response. Yes, I know you told me I have to wake her during the day in order for her to sleep at night, but . . . Yes, I know you told me it will take time, but . . . Yes, I know you said I have to take him out of the room when he begins to get aggressive, but . . . You get the point, I’m sure.

You’re following your child, rather than establishing a routine. If you’ve read my first book, you know that I’m a firm believer in a structured routine. (If you haven’t, I’ll bring you up to speed in the first chapter, which is all about E.A.S.Y.) You start, ideally, from the day you bring your little bundle home from the hospital. Of course, if you didn’t start then, you can also introduce a routine at eight weeks, or three months, or even later. But lots of parents have trouble with this, and the older the baby, the more trouble they have. And that’s when I hear from them, in a desperate phone call or an email like this:

I’m a first time mother with Sofia, my 8½-week-old baby. I’m having problems setting a routine for her, as she is so inconsistent. What worries me is her erratic feeding and sleeping patterns. Please advise.

That’s a classic case of following the baby. Little Sofia is not inconsistent—she’s a baby. What do babies know? They just got here. I’d bet the mother is inconsistent, because she’s following her 8½-week-old daughter—and what does an infant know about eating or sleeping? Only what we teach them. This mum says she’s trying to institute a routine, but she’s really not taking charge. (I talk about what she should do in chapter 1.) Maintaining a routine is equally important with older babies and toddlers. We’re there to guide our children, not to follow them. We set their dinner hours, their bedtimes.

You’ve been doing accidental parenting. As my Nan always told me, start as you mean to go on. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment parents sometimes do anything to make their baby stop crying or to get a toddler to calm down. Often, the anything turns into a bad habit that they later have to break—and that’s accidental parenting. For example, when ten-week-old Tommy can’t fall asleep because Mum’s missed his sleep window—the optimal time to put him down for a nap—his mother starts walking and rocking and jiggling him. And what do you know? It works. Tommy falls asleep in her arms. The next day when he fusses a bit in the crib at nap time, she also picks him up in the name of soothing him. She herself may be comforted by this ritual, too—feeling that sweet little baby cuddled on her chest is delicious. But three months later, if not sooner, I guarantee you that Tommy’s mum will be desperate, wondering why her son hates his crib or refuses to go to sleep unless I rock him. And it’s not Tommy’s fault. Mum has accidentally caused her son to associate rocking and the warmth of her own body with going to sleep. Now he thinks that’s normal. He can’t send himself off to Dreamland without her help, and he doesn’t like his crib because no one has taught him how to be comfortable in it.

You’re not reading your child’s cues. A mum will call me in desperation: He used to be on schedule, and now he’s not. How do I get him back on track? When I hear any version of that phrase, used to be and now is not, it not only means that the parents are letting the baby take over, it usually means they’re paying more attention to the clock (or their own needs) than the baby himself ( more on this on). They’re not reading his body language, tuning in to his cries. Even as babies begin to acquire language, it’s important to observe them. For example, a child prone to aggression doesn’t just walk into a room and start hitting his playmates. He gradually heats up and finally erupts. A wise parent learns to look for the signs and redirect his energy before the explosion.

You’re not factoring in that young children change constantly. I also hear the used to be phrase when parents don’t realize that it’s time to make a shift. A four-month-old who is on a routine designed for his first three months (see chapter 1) will become cranky. A robust six-month-old who was formerly a good sleeper might start waking at night unless his parents start him on solid foods. The truth is that the only constant in the job of parenting is change (more on this in chapter 10).

You’re looking for an easy fix. The older a child is, the harder it is to break a bad habit caused by accidental parenting, whether it’s waking in the night and demanding a feed, or refusing to sit in a high chair for a proper meal. But many parents are looking for magic. For example, Elaine had consulted me about getting her breast-fed baby to take a bottle but later insisted that my strategy hadn’t worked. The first question I always ask is, How long have you been doing it? Elaine admitted, I tried it for the morning feed, but then I gave up. Why did she quit so soon? She was expecting instant results. I reminded her of the P in P.C.: Be patient.

You’re not really committed to change. Elaine’s other problem was that she wasn’t willing to go the distance. But I was afraid Zed would starve if I held out was the reason she gave me. But there was more to the story, as there often is: She said she wanted her husband to be able to feed five-month-old Zed but really didn’t want to give up that exclusive domain. If you’re trying to solve a problem, you have to want it solved—and have the determination and stamina to see it through to the end. Make a plan and stick with it. Don’t go back to your old way and don’t keep trying different techniques. If you stay with one solution, it will work . . . as long as you keep at it. Be persistent. I can’t stress often enough: You have to be as consistent with the new way as you were with the old. Clearly, some children’s temperament makes them more resistant to change than others (see chapter 2); but almost all balk when we change their routine (adults do, too!). Still, if we stick with it and don’t keep changing the rules, children get used to the new way.

Parents sometimes delude themselves. They will insist that they’ve been trying a particular technique for two weeks—let’s say my pick-up/put-down method or P.U./P.D. (see chapter 6)—and say that it’s not working. I know that can’t be true, because after a week or less, P.U./P.D. works with any baby, no matter what his temperament. And sure enough, when I really question them, I find out that yes, they tried P.U./P.D. for three or four days, and it worked, but a few days later, when he woke up at 3 A.M., they didn’t follow through with the original plan. Exasperated, they tried something else instead. We decided to let him cry—some people recommend that. I don’t; it makes a baby feel abandoned. The poor lad is then not only confused because they changed the rules on him, he’s frightened.

If you’re not going to see something through, don’t do it. If you can’t do it on your own, enlist backup people—your husband, your mother or mother-in-law, a good friend. Otherwise, you just put him through the torture of crying his heart out and eventually you take him into your bed (more on this in chapters 5 through 7).

You’re trying something that doesn’t work for your family or your personality. When I suggest a structured routine or one of my strategies for breaking a bad pattern, I usually can tell whether it will work better for Mum or Dad—one’s more of a disciplinarian, the other a softie or, worse, a victim of the poor-baby syndrome. Some mothers (or fathers) will tip their hand by saying to me, I don’t want her to cry. The fact is, I’m not about forcing a baby to be or do anything, and I don’t believe in allowing babies to cry it out. I don’t believe in banishing toddlers to a solitary time-out, no matter how short the duration. Children need adults’ help, and we have to be there to give it to them, and especially when you’re trying to undo the effects of accidental parenting, it’s hard work. If you’re not comfortable doing a particular technique, either don’t do it, or find ways to bolster yourself, by having the stronger parent take over for a bit, or enlisting your mother or mother-in-law or a good friend to help.

It ain’t broke—and you don’t really need to fix it. Recently I got an email from the parents of a four-month-old: My baby is sleeping through the night but he’s only taking twenty-four ounces. In your book it says he should be taking thirty-two to thirty-six ounces. How can I get the extra ounces in him? How many mothers would give their right arm to have a baby sleeping through the night! Her so-called problem was that her baby didn’t fit my book. He might have a smaller-than-average build. Not everyone grows up in a family of Shaq O’Neals! If his weight wasn’t a concern to her pediatrician, my advice was to slow down and just observe her son. Maybe in a couple of more weeks he might start waking in the night—and that would be a sign that maybe she needed to give him more food during the day, but for now, nothing was wrong.

You have unrealistic expectations. Some parents are unrealistic about what it means to have a child. Often, they’re very successful in their work, good leaders, smart and creative, and they view the transition to parenthood as another major life transition, which it clearly is. But it’s also a very different passage because it brings with it a huge responsibility: caring for another human being. Once you become a parent, you can’t return to your old life as if nothing had changed. Babies do sometimes need to feed in the night. Toddlers can’t be managed with the same efficiency you apply to projects at work. Children are not little machines you can program. They require care, constant vigilance, and lots of loving time. Even if you have help, you need to know your child, and that takes time and energy. Also, keep in mind that whatever stage your child is in right now—good or bad—will pass. In fact, as we say in the last chapter, just when you think you’ve got it, everything changes.

This book is a response to your requests. You’ve asked for further clarification of strategies you’re confused about and solutions to a wide variety of problems. In addition, many of you have requested specific age guidelines. Those of you who’ve read my earlier books know that I’m not a big fan of age charts and never have been. Babies’ challenges can’t be sorted into neat piles. Of course, it’s true that babies and toddlers generally reach certain milestones at designated times, but there’s usually nothing wrong with those who don’t. Still, in response to your request for greater clarity and specifics, here I have broken down my advice and tailored various techniques according to age groupings—birth to six weeks, six weeks to four months, four to six months, six to nine months, nine months to a year, one year to two, two years to three. My intention is to give you a better understanding of how your child thinks and sees the world. I don’t necessarily cover all of the age categories in every chapter—it depends on what we’re discussing. For example, in chapter 1, which deals with E.A.S.Y., I cover only the first five months because that’s when parents have questions about routine, whereas in chapter 4, which is about toddler eating, I start at six months, which is when we begin to introduce solid food.

You’ll notice that the age spans are quite broad. That’s to allow for variations among children. Furthermore, I don’t want my readers to enter into what I call the developmental Olympics, comparing one child’s progress or problems with another child’s, or to become anxious if their little boy or girl doesn’t fit a particular age profile. Too many times, I’ve witnessed play groups composed of mothers whose babies were all born around the same time. Many actually met on the maternity ward or in childbirth classes. The mums sit there chatting, but I can see them observing each other’s babies, comparing and wondering. If a mum doesn’t actually say something out loud, I can almost hear her thinking, Why is my Claire, who is only two weeks younger than Emmanuel, smaller than he is? And look at Emmanuel, trying to pull himself up—why isn’t Claire doing that yet? First of all, in the life of a three-month-old, two weeks mean a lot—it’s one-sixth of her life! Second, reading age charts in general raises parents’ expectations. Third, children have different strengths and abilities. Claire might walk later than Emmanuel (or not—it’s too early to tell), but she also might talk earlier.

I urge you to read all the stages, because earlier problems can persist—it’s not uncommon to see a two-month-old concern crop up at five or six months. Besides, your child might be more advanced in a particular area, so it’s a good idea to get a sense of what might lie ahead.

I also believe that there are prime times —the best ages to teach a particular skill, like sleeping through the night, or to introduce a new element into your child’s life, say, giving a bottle to your breast-fed baby or having her sit in a high chair. Particularly as children move into toddler-hood, if you don’t start things at optimal times, you’re likely to have a power struggle on your hands. You’ve got to plan ahead. If you haven’t already made toddler tasks, such as dressing and toilet training, into a game or a pleasant experience, your child is more likely to balk at the new experience.

## Where We Go from Here

We look at a broad range of issues in this book, as I’ve tried to include all of the problems you encounter, which doesn’t lend itself to a tidy formula. All chapters focus on problems, but each chapter is different, structured in a way that will help you go beyond the basics and understand the way I look at various parenting challenges.

In each chapter, you’ll find lots of special features: myths about parenting, checklists, boxes, and sidebars that sum up important bits of information, and real-life examples—stories from the trenches. In all of the case studies and when I’ve reprinted emails and website postings, names and identifying details have been changed. I’ve tried to zero in on the most common concerns that parents have and then share with you the kinds of questions I typically ask to find out what’s really going on. Like a troubleshooter who goes into a company to analyze why it’s not running smoothly, I have to figure out who the players are, how they act, and what happened before the particular difficulty observed. I then have to suggest a different way of doing things, which will result in a different outcome than the one they’ve been getting. By letting you in on the way I think about babies’ and toddlers’ difficulties and how I come up with a plan, you can become the troubleshooter in your own family. As I said earlier, my goal is to get you to think the way I do, so that you can solve problems on your own.

Throughout this book, the questions I ask will be set in boldface type— like this —so that they pop out at you.

Throughout this book, I’ve tried to present an equal number of references to boys and girls. This wasn’t possible, however, when it came to mothers and fathers, because most of my emails, website postings, and calls are from mothers, and that imbalance is represented in these pages. Dad, if you’re reading this book, I didn’t intentionally slight you. I recognize that (thankfully) many fathers are hands-on nowadays, and around 20 percent of you are even at-home. I hope that someday because of you we’ll not say that fathers don’t read parenting books!

You can read this book cover to cover, or just look up the problems you’re concerned about and go from there. However, if you haven’t read my earlier books, I strongly recommend that you at least read through chapters 1 and 2, which review my basic philosophy of child care and also help you analyze why problems crop up at various ages. Chapters 3 through 10 focus in depth on the three areas that most concern parents: eating, sleeping, and behavior.

Many of you have told me that what you appreciate even more than my good advice is my sense of humor. I promise plenty of that in this book, too. After all, luv, if we can’t remember to laugh and don’t remember to cherish the special moments of calm and connection (even when they don’t last longer than five minutes at a time), then parenting, which is hard to begin with, will feel way too overwhelming.

You might be surprised by some of my suggestions and might not believe they’ll work, but I have lots of examples to demonstrate how successfully they’ve been applied in other families. So why not at least try them with yours?

## E.A.S.Y. ISN’T NECESSARILY EASY (BUT IT WORKS!)

You probably have a routine in the morning. You get up at roughly the same time, maybe you shower first or have your coffee, or perhaps you immediately hop on the treadmill or take your pup out for a brisk walk. Whatever you do, it’s probably pretty much the same every morning. If by chance something interrupts that routine, it can throw off your whole day. And I’ll bet there are other routines in your day as well. You’re used to having your dinnertime at a certain hour. You probably have particular rituals at the end of the day, too, like spooning with your favorite pillow (or partner!) in anticipation of a good night’s sleep. But let’s say your dinner hour changes or you have to sleep in a bed away from home. Isn’t it unsettling and don’t you feel disoriented when you wake?

Naturally, people vary in their need for structure. At one end of the continuum are those whose entire days are predictable. At the other end are free spirits who tend to fly by the seat of their pants. But even flyers usually have some sort of dependable rituals during their day. Why? Because human beings, like most animals, thrive when they know how and when their needs are going to be met and know what’s coming next. We all like some degree of certainty in our lives.

Well, so do babies and young children. When a new mum brings her baby home from the hospital, I suggest a structured routine straightaway. I call it E.A.S.Y., an acronym that stands for a predictable sequence of events that pretty much mirrors how adults live their lives, albeit in shorter chunks: Eat, have some Activity, and go to Sleep, which leaves a bit of time for You. It is not a schedule, because you cannot fit a baby into a clock. It’s a routine that gives the day structure and makes family life consistent, which is important because all of us, children and adults, as well as babies and toddlers, thrive on predictability. Everyone benefits: Baby knows what’s coming next. Siblings, if there are any, get more time with Mum and Dad—and they get to have less harried parents who have time for themselves as well.

I was actually doing E.A.S.Y. long before I named it. When I first started caring for newborns and young babies more than twenty years ago, a structured routine just seemed to make sense. Babies need us to show them the ropes—and to keep it up. The most effective learning comes with repetition. I also explained the importance of a structured routine to the parents I worked with, so that they could carry on after I’d left. I cautioned them to always make sure that their baby had some kind of activity after a feed instead of going right to sleep, so that their little one wouldn’t associate eating with sleeping. Because my babies’ lives were so predictable and calm, most of them were good eaters, they learned to play independently for increasingly longer periods, and they could get themselves to sleep without sucking on a bottle or breast or being rocked by their parents. As many of those babies grew into toddlers and preschoolers, I stayed in touch with their parents, who informed me that not only were their children thriving in their daily routines, they were also confident in themselves and trusted that their parents would be there if they needed them. The parents themselves learned early on to tune in to their child’s cues by carefully observing their body language and listening to their cries. Because they could read their child, they felt better equipped to deal with any bumps in the road.

By the time I was ready to write my first book, my coauthor and I came up with E.A.S.Y., a simple acronym designed to help parents remember the order of my structured routine. Eat, activity, sleep—it’s the natural course of life—and then, as a bonus, time for you. With E.A.S.Y., you don’t follow the baby; you take charge. You observe him carefully, tune in to his cues, but you take the lead, gently encouraging him to follow what you know will make him thrive: eating, appropriate levels of activity, and a good sleep afterward. You are your baby’s guide. You set the pace.

E.A.S.Y. gives parents, especially first-timers, the confidence to know that they understand their baby, because they more quickly learn to distinguish their baby’s cries. As one mum wrote to me, My husband and I and our six-month-old, Lily, are considered an enigma among my peers in our childbirth education class due to our sleep-filled nights and very pleasant baby. She goes on to say that they put Lily on E.A.S.Y. when she was ten weeks old. As a result, Mum says, We understand her cues and have a routine—not a schedule—that makes our life predictable, manageable, and fun.

Why Go E.A.S.Y.?

E.A.S.Y. is a sensible way to get you and your child through the day. It is composed of repetitive cycles of each letter. The E, A, and S are interrelated—changes in one usually affect the other two. Although your baby will transform over the coming months as she grows, the order in which each letter occurs does not:

Eat. Your baby’s day starts with a feed, which goes from all-liquid to liquids and solids at six months. You’re less likely to overfeed or underfeed a baby who’s on a routine.

Activity. Infants entertain themselves by cooing and gooing at their caretakers and staring at the wavy lines on the dining room wallpaper. But as your baby develops she will interact more with her environment and move about. A structured routine helps prevent babies from becoming over stimulated.

Sleep. Sleep helps your baby grow. Also, good naps during the day will make her go for longer stretches at night, because one needs to be relaxed in order to sleep well.

Your time. If your baby isn’t on a structured routine, every day will be different and unpredictable. Not only will she be miserable, you’ll barely have a moment for yourself.

I’ve seen it time and again. Parents who establish my E.A.S.Y. routine quickly get better at figuring out what their baby needs and wants at a particular time of day. Let’s say you’ve fed your infant (the E), and she’s been up for fifteen minutes (the A—activity), and then she starts to get a bit fussy. Chances are, she’s ready for sleep (the S). Conversely, if she’s been napping for an hour (S), while you (the Y) hopefully have been stealing a little downtime for yourself, when she wakes, there’s no guesswork involved. Even if she’s not crying (if she’s under six weeks, though, she probably is), it’s a pretty safe bet that she’s hungry. And so the E.A.S.Y. cycle begins again.

## Write It Down!

Parents who actually chart their baby’s day by writing everything down have less trouble sticking to a routine or establishing it for the first time. They also are better observers. Writing things down, even though it seems tedious at the moment (goodness knows, you have lots of other things to do!), will give you a much better perspective. You’ll see patterns more readily, and see how sleep and eating and activity are interrelated. On days that your baby feeds better, I’d just bet that he’s less cranky during his awake time and sleeps better, too.

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