I’m sad to say that this will be my final post on the Child Health 411 blog. It has been a great year! I hope you have enjoyed reading my advice on children’s health and parenting.
Last month’s WebMD Magazine featured an interview with Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. In it, she shared her 10 tips for healthy living. (Number 10 on her list is “floss,” and I totally agree!) Since this is my last post, I thought I’d share my own pearls of health wisdom.
1. Be a good role model. If you want your child to eat healthfully, exercise regularly and limit time in front of the TV or computer… start by doing these things yourself.
2. Do a preconception visit. Pre-pregnancy health affects your pregnancy and your growing baby. See your health practitioner before you are pregnant. Aim for your ideal body weight (BMI) before pregnancy.
3. Know your BMI. It stands for Body Mass Index. And, it tells you if you are at risk for health-related consequences of obesity. Check yours and your child’s. Make lifestyle changes if that number is too high. I know it is easier to say than to do.
4. Trust yourself. You have the skills to be a good parent. Really.
5. Happy parents have happy children. Take time for yourself and for your marriage. You’ll be amazed by the results.
6. Vaccines are safe. They protect your child from diseases you don’t want her to have. Seriously. Get your child vaccinated. I wouldn’t do anything different with my own kids.
7. You are planting the seeds of discipline. Do not expect a tree to grow overnight. It will take months or even years to see the results of your calm and consistent discipline techniques. Don’t give up.
8. Sleep is underrated. It rejuvenates the body and mind. Make it a priority for you and your child. Establish a healthy sleep routine and stick to it. Let your baby self-soothe when he is old enough to do so (around 4-6 months of age). It’s a critical life skill.
9. It takes a family. You don’t have to do-it-all to win Parent of the Year. Share responsibilities between your partner and your kids (as they become old enough to help out). Remember, happy parents have happy children.
It has been a great year! Thanks for reading my blog. If you want to stay in touch, you can find me at www.baby411.com. And, check out the September issue of WebMD the Magazine. We’ll be talking about pregnancy and my new book, Expecting 411.
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