Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Head Down: Child-Training From Home

Elijah is high energy and one of those half-second cuddlers. We learned quickly to face him out when holding him. He preferred seeing the world to nuzzling his face into our shoulders. Still does. Wiping my snuggle desires away, I have found great joy in wrestling matches and air tosses.

Taking a breather during our workation (Taken by Joshua Wagner)
He started walking at 8 months, and shortly after, this newfound independence made a strong personality even stronger. I began to feel less confident in my ability to control and curb his energies for positive action. As a wife and mommy, I feel responsible for creating opportunities for fun crazy times and peaceful quite times. A peaceful atmosphere is important for both my baby and my husband.

Signs that I needed to take more action at home...
  • Grunt/whine/cry/arch his back if he didn't want to be held.
  • Wouldn't sit still for reading a book, or other activities.
  • Prolonged, unconsolable crying after bedtime.
After conversations and gathering much needed advice, we learned a particularly helpful training tool -  affectionately called "Head Down." Basically we have regular sessions at home teaching him to keep his head on our shoulder and stay quiet. Josh and I do this individually with him and slowly increase the time of sessions. (Facebook me if you want more details.)

Results for Elijah...
  • Has an alternative to squirminess and back-arching.
  • Keeps more control in public, particularly at church and during speaking engagements.
  • Can sit through and enjoy story times and family conversations.
  • Calms down more easily, especially when overtired. 
The very best part of this new practice is that Elijah is so much happier as he learns to relax and take time to be quiet. He comes up to us several times throughout the day to give us hugs. Sometimes HE even initiates head down times.

P.S. After we started this, I saw this post from my friend and loved the tips she gives.

Happier baby. Happier Mommy. Happier husband. 

Learning to wife!

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