Excerpt from The Mom Book by Stacy M. DeBroff, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Mom Book

4,278 of Mom Central's Tips...for Moms, from Moms

by Stacy M. DeBroff

The Mom Book
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  • Paperback:
    Feb 2002, 704 pages

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Preserving Memories
Photographs • Videotaping Your Kids • Other Ways to Preserve Memories

Family Rituals & Traditions


CONCLUSION

Selected Bibliography
Index



From Chapter 3:
Medical Concerns, Childproofing, & Safety

10 Defining Principles

  • Pick a pediatrician with whom you feel that both you and your child can build a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. Ask for recommendations from friends and other parents, and take the time to interview pediatricians until you find one with whom you feel comfortable. Your pediatrician should not make you feel intimidated about asking anything on your mind concerning your child's well-being. Consider your pediatrician an important partner in caring for your child.

  • Participate actively in your child's health care. Even before routine office visits, think through questions and observations ahead of time. Make sure you fully understand your pediatrician's concerns, advice, or prescription instructions before you walk out of the office. Ask as many questions as you need to clarify things. You know your child best and can serve as his most passionate advocate.

  • If your baby suffers from colic, take heart that it will almost certainly end after three months, and hunker down for the duration, recognizing that your best efforts may not pacify his crying. Go easy on yourself, as consistent crying wears every parent down. Trade off with your partner each evening or every half an hour during your child's bouts of colic. Give yourself an outlet from time to time before it becomes too much for you. If you feel yourself losing composure when you are alone with your crying baby, simply put him down in his crib for a few minutes and step out of the room to give yourself a brief, guilt-free respite. While your baby's crying can make you feel terrible, it's no reflection on your competency as a parent.

  • Go to a pediatric emergency room instead of a regular emergency room if you have a choice, as the whole staff will be geared toward kids and will have pediatric specialists on duty. Consider your options before rushing to an emergency room. Call your pediatrician if you are not sure whether your child's illness or injury qualifies as an emergency. She will often be able to provide you with better and faster service. Patients who arrive by ambulance and patients with serious injuries take precedence over stitches, sprains, and sometimes even broken bones, especially in large, urban hospitals, which are notorious for long waits of several hours or more. Your pediatrician can help you triage the situation by either seeing you on a sick call at the office or meeting you at the emergency room.

  • If you do find yourself in the ER, try to stay calm, comfort your child, and clarify any medical information you don't understand in the chaos that may surround you. Don't be embarrassed to ask detailed questions to help you better understand what a doctor says, and always ask for a second opinion from the attending physician if you question or disagree with a proposed course of medical action for your child. If your child needs a procedure that leaves you faint of heart, such as stitches, don't feel guilty about stepping out for the duration to allow the medical staff to work, and returning a few minutes later as the comforting, heroic parent.

  • When your child needs hospitalization, stay calm, positive, reassuring, and hopeful. As always, your child will take his cue from your emotions. Let your child know what's going to happen. Be honest and forthcoming about what he should expect -- hospitals are scary enough without lies and surprises. If your child's behavior regresses while he's hospitalized, allow him this comfort. Avoid losing your temper with him if he becomes overly frightened as a result of his experience. Console him as much as he needs it, and let him draw from your strength.

    Copyright © 2002 by Mom Central, Inc.

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