Sunday, January 28, 2007

Daddy Magic: Distract your baby while changing her diaper

If your baby is screaming while you change her diaper, then everyone hears it. It may wake up her siblings, your spouse, it may make you look bad to the guests/neighbors, and it certainly won't be a pleasant experience for your baby.

You need to distract her so that she doesn't dread having her diaper changed. There are several ways to do that:

- Hand her the diaper while you unbutton her clothes and open her diaper. Especially as a toddler, she will love trying to unwrap the edges of the diaper.

- Hand her anything, really. This could even be a shoe or sock. I liked to use a loose Velcro strap because it was attached to her changing table and wasn't going anywhere.

- Tickler her. When you lift up her shirt, poke her belly button and tickle her there, gently run your nails up her sides, gently rub her on the sides of her neck or at the top of her chest. Tickle her feet or her arm pits, or even barrage her with tickles. Always smile and laugh with her. Teach her how to be happy. When it isn't funny to her, stop and move on.

- Use hand motions in anticipation before you tickle. For example, raise your hands high up, make a falling sound, and then collapse your hands in a barrage of tickles on her. Or do the buzzing bee with your finger that attacks her belly button. The hand motion will also teach her how to communicate. My daughter has used the raise hands and a friend's daughter has used the moving finger in order to tell me that they want a barrage of tickles in that particular way. Very cute.

- Blow on her feet. My toddler blows in order to tell me that she wants me to blow on her feet. It's cute.

- Peek-a-boo. Always a classic, even with toddlers.

- Sing and dance. You may laugh at this, but your baby will stop crying and smile. Combine your dance steps with some peek-a-boo, moving your head around in quick movements, and maybe some tickles.

- Use a funny voice.

- Do things with your mouth: a pop, click your tongue, flutter your lips, make kazoo sounds, do the old Indian trick where you repeatedly clap your mouth, cup your hand over your mouth, whistle, smack your lips, etc.

- Snap your fingers or clap.

- Play Music. Sing along.


Daddy Magic: Get your baby used to the Swaddle

I was with my wife this week and she asked a friend if she swaddled her baby. The response was that her baby doesn't like being swaddled.


You have to understand. Your baby will not like most all things written here in Daddy Magic. You've got to get your baby used to these things, which means causing discomfort to your baby.

Then why do it?

Keep your eyes on the prize:

(1) Happier baby (a baby who is content)

(2) Baby who sleeps through the night

(3) Healthier baby (a baby who sleeps longer is healthier)

(4) Healthier and happier mom (a mom who sleeps through the night)

(5) Better marriage (otherwise you'll be sleeping with the baby, no sex, no talking to your spouse in bed)


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Daddy Magic: How to burp your baby

Burping your baby can truly be an artform.

The burp is important for three primary reasons:

(1) The baby will avoid spitup

(2) The baby will avoid prolonged discomfort

(3) Your baby will be happier and healthier

Let's look at #3. Why would a successful burping methodlogy make a happier and healthier baby? The answer is actually a process of how the burping affects the countenance and health of your child:

(1) A baby who is burped quickly and easily will eat faster.

(2) Since the baby eats faster, the parent is much more likely to feed the baby more at each sitting.

(3) This allows you to feed the baby less often, on a schedule that looks like this: 4AM, 8AM, 12PM, 4PM, 8PM, 12AM, where you eventually drop off the 12AM feeding, followed by the 4AM feeding (so your baby sleeps for 12 hours at night).

(4) The more sleep your baby gets in one chunk, the happier your baby is, and the happier you are when you are around your baby. The baby sees that you are more happy, and she is more likely to be happy as well: you are teaching her how to be happy by example.

Now that you know that the burp is important, how do you burp a baby?

There are 5 core ingredients to successfully burping a baby:

(1) Position
(a) Vertical
(b) Vertical then to horizontal (on his back), then to vertical
(c) On his stomach, with his arms and knees placed under his body (this decreases SIDS)

(2) Patting - Firm and methodical patting on his back

(3) Movement - Up and down vertical movement that is methodical and fast, but subtle

(4) Time - It is often a waiting game. Sometimes the vertical positioning alone is all you need to do, and then you wait for three minutes. Patience is a virtue!

(5) Timing - Timing is important. You should be pumping the bottle in your baby's mouth. As soon as he isn't sucking on the bottle (when he has drank a lot), it means he is ready to burp. Immediately get him in position. Once done burping, if he hasn't finished his bottle, feed him some more until he is completely done. He should go through two "rounds" of burping. Each "round" of successful burping means two good burps, often right after each other.

Burping an infant:

Burping an infant is the classic form of burping.

(1) Place a burp rag on your shoulder.

(2) Put your baby over your shoulder so that her mouth is right over the rag.

(3) Firmly pat your baby on her back. You should do this a little harder than most people do at a regular tempo, but not too fast.

(4) After doing this for awhile, firmly rub your infant's back.

(5) If your baby is crying or is not burping after trying this method, try laying her down and then picking her back up for more. This adjustment in horizontal/vertical positioning will help her as she learns to use her digestive system.

On her stomach:

A good alternative for an infant or baby is to lay her on her stomach. Please do the following...

(1) Place your baby on a soft surface (maybe on a blanket that is on the carpeted floor; if you don't have dogs or crazy toddlers)

(2) Lay a burp cloth directly under her head.

(2) Place her arms under her chest. This will lessen the physical body pressure that she is putting on her diaphragm. This is important whenever placing your baby on her chest because of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The #1 cause of SIDS is when babies sleep on their stomachs--they suffocate.

(3) Bend her knees so that her legs are also holding some of the pressure of her body's weight.

(4) Let her lay in this position for awhile and periodically move her gently back and forth, up and down, and move her legs around a bit. This may help relieve some of her gas pressure.

(5) If she is crying or if this method isn't working revert back to the infant method above or do the baby method below.

Burping a baby:

If you've gotten your infant used to burping, then you can get your baby to become an expert at burping. =^)

(1) Place your baby in a sitting position on one of your legs. Have him sit facing one of the sides, like sitting side-saddle on a horse.

(2) Place a burp cloth directly in front of him. Use that hand to hold his front and to hold the burp cloth in front of his mouth.

(3) With your other hand, steady his back.

(4) Move your leg up and down by rolling your foot upward and downward from your heel to your toes. Do this at a very fast but very subtle rate of movement. The slow and extreme movement would create more of a ship or airplane type of feeling, which is more likely to make your baby spit up.

(5) If your baby is crying (our first baby cried a lot during the burping process), sing/hum while you move your leg. Use a fast-paced western song. You will be surprised how babies are ready to listen to music and forget their discomfort.

(6) After doing this for awhile, stop your leg to see if just the vertical position will help her burp.

(7) After waiting, bend down and hug her with your burp rag arm, your neck, and your body. Use your hand at her back to firmly and methodically pat her (not too fast), just like you would if she was over your shoulder.

(8) Then go back to the "horsey ride."

(9) If she is still crying or isn't burping, try the infant or stomach methods above.

Persevere! You have to teach your baby how to burp, and once you do, it will get a lot easier. I'm adding this to the sleeping categories because a burping baby is an eating baby who is a sleeping baby.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Daddy Magic: Sway - How to Gently Bounce your Baby to Sleep

The Second S of the 5 S's (Swaddle, Sway, Shh, Side, Suck) is Sway.

(The 5 S's are from The Happiest Baby on the Block. But these specifics are pure Daddy Magic...)

The act of "Sway" is gently bouncing your child to calm him down and lull him to sleep (or to just calm him down).

You can do this if he is in a baby carrier by rocking the carrier with your foot, by lifting the carrier up and lowering it back down (up and down), or by gently swinging the carrier back and forth.

You can do this in a shopping cart or stroller by pushing the cart, stroller, or baby carriage away from you and then pulling it back toward you (back and forth). This will help when walking or shopping.

And, when you are lulling your baby to sleep, you'll want to walk around (or stand) and bounce the baby on several levels of your body.

(1) You'll be bouncing off your heels. You'll roll upward to your toes. This creates a bouncing motion.

(2) Bend your legs to get more of a soft bounce as you move your body up and down.

(3) Lift your arms up and down as well. Let them act as a shock absorber to your body bouncing.

The end result is that your body movements will feel like a bungie cord (without the bungie drop). Your movements are fluid and relaxing. This will remind your infant of being in the womb where he was in fluid and body tissues that softened your harsh movements.

After doing this for awhile, if your baby is still not asleep, he will probably be calm enough where you can sit down. You can sit down in a rocker and use the rocker movements and your arm movements to lull your baby to sleep. Or you can sit on a bed or couch, lightly bounce your body on your seat, and bounce your arms. Eventually he will fall asleep.

Not only is this a great exercise for getting your baby to nap and go to sleep at night, but this is also good for calming your baby down from tantrums where you are only trying to get him to stop screaming. This can also be used to calm toddlers who are having tantrums.

If your toddler is having a tantrum, pick her up and console her! Don't let her cry in public! You are telling her that behavior is okay, and you're being rude to those around you! I had to do this the other day with an eating baby in my other arm (so the bottle was wedged under my neck). And I still picked up my toddler, bounced her, and calmed her down. So do it!!! Thanks. =^)


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Daddy Magic: The Importance of Playing

When my wife and I were taking the pregnancy and birthing class, they showed a video. In the video the dad was playing with his daughter. He was playing the little piggies where he would wiggle her toes. Well, after three rounds of that, he tried to move her on to a different game.

She didn't want to move on. She wanted to keep playing the same game. She wasn't sick of it. He was sick of it. He moved on. He didn't play it with her.

I think as parents we may justify not playing with our children with something like "I don't want to spoil my child," "We can't always play," "She needs to learn that you don't always get what you want," etc.

However, I think we miss the importance of playing:

(1) You are teaching your child how to smile. Notice how she smiles a lot more when you're playing with her? She'll keep that for the rest of her life.

(2) You are telling your child that you love him. A simple lesson, but this is important. He has been shown that somebody loves him and spends time with him. He will learn to do the same to others.

So the next time your child wants to play a game that you are bored with, you should ask yourself, who are you doing this for? For yourself, or for your child? You may even have to play Peek-a-boo for years. =^)


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Daddy Magic: Pray for your Baby before she is born

That's right. Pray for your baby before she is born.

If you don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ, you may also want to work on that. In addition, you'll need to make sure your prayers are from the perspective of what would benefit God, and not what would benefit you (but they often match up).

For example, you would pray, "Dear Lord, I pray for the health and safety of our baby so that he would grow up to serve you and honor you." It is the "so that" part that honors God. You'll also want to make sure your prayers are genuine and truly from your heart. You can't pull a fast one on God. =^)

Recommended Prayer Requests:

- Health and Safety of your unborn child (every single day)

- Health and Safety of the mother (every single day)

- That your child is Peaceful and Loves People (every single day)

- That your child Sleeps through the Night and gets lots of rest

- That your child Serves God

- That God places influences in her life to draw her near to him

- That you are filled with Peace when Raising your Child


Daddy Magic: Keep your Baby Asleep for that 12 Hours

Try to keep your baby sleeping during the time you want her to be asleep. So, if you want your baby to sleep from 7:30 PM to 8:30 AM (currently what our toddler sleeps), then you'll want to feed your baby when you have to and push your night time feedings out. Then, when you still feed your baby, you simply feed her and put her back to bed. She doesn't get up until the 12 hour block is over.

For example, our infant wakes up at 5 AM for a feeding. I feed her and put her back to sleep. She doesn't get to be awake until 8 AM or so. That way she's used to being asleep for that 12 hour chunk. You keep moving her night time feedings apart until she's used to sleeping in that time period without eating.

Why do this? For yourself, your husband, your other children, and, most importantly, for your baby.

The happiest baby in the room is the healthiest baby in the room. The healthiest baby in the room is the one who gets the most sleep. Don't worry about over-sleeping. Consider that when they get closer to middle school. =^)

For now, just make sure they are as healthy and happy as possible -- that means lots of sleep.


Daddy Magic: Keep your Baby Awake if You want to Sleep!

If you want your baby to sleep for 8-12 hours at night, you'll need to keep your baby awake during the day!!!

After that 12 hours (like from 8 PM to 8 AM), wake up your baby! Keep your baby awake. You'll want to do a short nap (10 AM to 11 AM) and a longer nap (1 PM, after lunch, for at least one hour, up at 4 PM for another feeding).

So keep your baby awake when she is not scheduled to be napping! Otherwise, the schedule isn't going to work.

How to keep your baby awake:

(1) Take him out of the swaddle.

(2) Hold him upright or Lay him on a blanket on the ground (it's harder than a bed or your arms)

(3) Talk to him

(4) Play with him - touch him, move him around, dance with him, etc.


Daddy Magic: How to Swaddle Your Baby

Swaddle - This is the most important one of the 5 S's.

You lay two blankets on the ground, on top of each other. Usually the larger blanket is under the smaller one. Both have to be bigger than the baby, but not too big.

Place your baby on the top blanket, so her head is at one of the points. Wrap one side of the top blanket over her, with that arm against her side. You wrap the blanket around her and under her on the other side.

Then you grab the bottom point of the blanket and pull that upward and on her other side. That will keep her feet in.

Next you pull the last side over her, trapping her other arm against her side. The flap goes over the other side, keeping that fold tighter. You wrap the flap under her. Basically, you just made a baby burrito. =^)

Do the same thing with the other blanket, still under her. Her arms will already be trapped under the first blanket. She will now be warm and secure.

Basically, you are recreating the environment of her mom's tummy (minus the sticky goo). She'll be reminded of that, comfortable, warm, and much more likely to fall asleep.

This will also help calm down your baby if he or she is throwing a tantrum.


The 5 S's - How to get a baby to sleep and be happy

I don't know if you've seen the Happiest Baby on the Block material (we watched the DVD), but it includes the 5 S's:

  1. Swaddle
  2. Sway (Bounce)
  3. Shh
  4. Side
  5. Suck

Using these five techniques, you'll be able to get your baby to be happy and to fall asleep. What are the techniques? I'll write about each technique individually.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Daddy Magic: How to get your baby to sleep for 8 hours

The worse time for me to wake up and feed a baby is at midnight. I had to do that last night. It is the wose time for me because my wife and I go to sleep at 10 PM. That means I only got two hours of sleep. I'm really out of it after only two hours, and my wife has to kick me a few times to wake me up, just so I can hear the screaming baby. Oh, well. I signed up for the morning duty, and, this time it was 12 AM.

Usually our baby wakes up at 5 AM and I feed her while I work in my office. I get up at 4:30 AM, so this works very well for me.

Here's the point: Get your baby on a four-hour schedule and then cut out the midnight feeding! Here is what it looks like...

12 Midnight

4 AM

8 AM

12 Noon

4 PM

8 PM

Then you feed your baby more and more at those crucial times of 8 Pm and 4 AM. Get your baby used to eating more then and less at 12 Midnight. Wean your baby down until she drinks little to nothing at the midnight feeding. Then she'll sleep through that 8 hour block.

Another way to get your baby to sleep through that feeding, is, once you are on this schedule, simply don't wake up your baby to feed him at midnight. Feed him when he wakes up, and then feed him more. Then work to get your baby back on schedule that morning. Keep feeding him more at the 8 PM and 4 AM feedings. Eventually, you'll work him into an 8 hour block. This works! I have an infant who sleeps 9 hours and a toddler who sleeps 12 hours.

We had a lady in our church who got her infant on this schedule one week after birth!!!

It is possible! If you admit defeat now, then you'll never accomplish it.

Here's why you should accomplish it:

- Get more sleep for yourself
- Get more sleep to take better care of your children
- Have a healthier marriage with your spouse
- Allow your other children to get more sleep
- Help your infant be as healthy as possible: this requires long blocks of sleep!

Any questions?


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Daddy Magic Works!

The intro on the upper-right says, "Daddy Magic develops childcare techniques and shares them with the world. For competitive daddies: Daddy Magic is the process of raising the happiest baby and most respectful child in the room. For concerned mommies: Daddy Magic is the process of raising a happy and loving baby and child. Enjoy the magic! "

Does Daddy Magic work? Yes it does!!!

I've got two of the happiest and most loving and respectful children "in the room." What that means is that if your child is in the nursery, do the workers compliment your child's behavior? My wife and I get compliments every single time. When you walk past people in the grocery store, do they compliment how happy and peaceful your child is? My wife and I get compliments every single day.

They are comparing your children to all the other screaming, tantrum-throwing, loud-mouthed children that are around your children. Your children stand out. There's something different about them.

Daddy Magic works perfectly as an overall plan. But, as you'll notice, it isn't instant. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time. You have to really care about raising your child to be happy, respectful, and loving! Every day, all day, even when your child is crying at 2 AM. If you're ready for that type of commitment, then you came to the right place!



These are the categories of Daddy Magic.

Intro is all the introductionary stuff. For example, this is an intro post.

Pregnancy is conception until birth.

Infants are brand-new babies.

Babies are when your baby can move around and do some of the following: smile, roll, rotate, sit up, crawl.

Toddlers are when your children can walk.

Kids are when your children go to kindergarten and on.

JH is grades 6-8.

HS is grades 9-12.

College is college (your kids are adults).

The categories:

  • 1. Intro
  • 2. Pregnancy - Difficulties
  • 2. Pregnancy - Heart
  • 3. Infants - Changing
  • 3. Infants - Discipline
  • 3. Infants - Eating
  • 3. Infants - Heart
  • 3. Infants - Playing
  • 3. Infants - Resources
  • 3. Infants - Sleeping
  • 3. Infants - Tantrums
  • 4. Babies - Changing
  • 4. Babies - Discipline
  • 4. Babies - Eating
  • 4. Babies - Heart
  • 4. Babies - Playing
  • 4. Babies - Resources
  • 4. Babies - Sleeping
  • 4. Babies - Tantrums
  • 5. Toddlers - Changing
  • 5. Toddlers - Discipline
  • 5. Toddlers - Eating
  • 5. Toddlers - Heart
  • 5. Toddlers - Playing
  • 5. Toddlers - Resources
  • 5. Toddlers - Sleeping
  • 5. Toddlers - Talking
  • 5. Toddlers - Tantrums
  • 6. Kids - Eating
  • 6. Kids - Changing
  • 6. Kids - Discipline
  • 6. Kids - Heart
  • 6. Kids - Playing
  • 6. Kids - Resources
  • 6. Kids - Sleeping
  • 6. Kids - Tantrums

The categories continue on for each age group. As you get older the categories change. I'll edit this post as I make those category changes.



Daddy Magic exists for your enjoyment. However, by reading this blog, you are acknowledging:

(1) These are merely suggestions; you don't have to follow them.

(2) You take full responsibility for your actions when you choose to follow these suggestions, whether you follow each suggestion in full or in part.