Sunday, November 27, 2011

Unusual Parenting Questions

There are some things you can't find in "the books." I have a few unusual parenting questions to ask y'all. You can tell I'm a first-time mom.

First of all, my son has a mullet. He's been a major baldy most of his life. However, his hair has grown at a very fast rate these past few months- but it is all in the back of his head! I've noticed that his hair is starting to fill out in the front, but just the front center part. He looks like he has a major receding hairline.

I've contemplated trimming his hair in the back. Sometimes it just looks so scraggly and gross. But other times I don't even notice. However, at Thanksgiving dinner, a family member pointed out his mullet. Their comments don't bother me (SHOCK!!!) but it just makes me wonder if I should attempt a trim.

Here are some pictures I took after his bath the other night. What do you think? (I think his hair looks longer since it is wet.)

Yes, he is brushing his luscious locks!

So if I should trim his hair, how in the blue blazes do I do that? Keep in mind this is the same child that I want to duct tape to the changing table when changing his diaper because he wants to do a double back flip with a round-house kick off the table. He is the same child that makes me think that bathing a 20 lb catfish on crack would be easier than bathing him. He is the same child that when I cut his nails it sounds like I am cutting his fingers off.

My next question- do you buckle your child in their car seat while they are wearing their winter coat? I read in a parenting magazine that you should take off the winter coat because it creates a kind of poofy air pocket and if there is a car crash there isn't as much support on the harness so there is a greater chance of injury. The author suggested taking the coat off when you buckle them in the seat. So you have their coat on for a total of 5 seconds while walking to the car before you have to take it off, and then put it back on again when getting out. It just seems like a lot of work. But I've never really had to buckle in a child during the winter, so I'm clueless! I understand if it is a long trip you should take it off because they'd get hot and uncomfortable, but what about short trips to the grocery store?

My final question- at what point do you put a pillow in the crib? Joe is a restless sleeper. I put him down to sleep one way and an hour later he is in the exact opposite position. I'm just kind of thinking down the road when we transition Joe into a toddler bed. I was going to get him a Sesame Street pillowcase and blanket, but I won't if it will be a waste of time and money.

Thanks for your help!


Alzbeta said...

Hey! So, I'm not much more experienced than you, but here's our experience so far.

1) Hair trimming. So, Anni is the same way. The back of her hair got long and scraggly long before the sides really grew in. We finally took her into the same woman who has been cutting Daniel's hair since his first haircut. She just did a few little snips while Anni played and Daddy held her. The second time, I let her play with something I knew absorbed her (bubbles in the sink) and trimmed it with haircutting scissors. Just a little bit, but it looked great. The third time I tried doing it while she was in the bathtub. Horrible idea... she realized and flipped. The next time I think we'll try bubbles in the sink again or Daddy holding her, but if you're uncomfortable, I would definitely just go to one of the places that specializes in little kids.

2) I'm not worrying about a pillow until she transitions into a toddler bed. We're thinking that may be a little after 2 years, but it may be something that we buy and have to see how she does. We want her to be comfy where ever she is, so as she gets better at falling asleep by herself, we'll move closer to a toddler bed. However, I think every little is different in this aspect. My sister's little boy sleeps on a pallet on the floor because he never really did a crib well but isn't ready for a toddler bed yet. Again, I'm at the same place as you in terms of being new to all this, but maybe some of this will help :).

Alzbeta said...

Oh! And the seatbelts! Gosh, I struggle with this. If it's warm enough, I try to use fleece or her "not very puffy" jacket, because it does seem like the big jacket would collapse in an accident, leaving her less restrained. I think I'll start carrying her out in a blanket, maybe? I don't know, I'm interested to see what others say! Let us know if you come to any great realizations!

Michelle said...

I don't bother taking their coat off in the winter. We loosen the harness part and then tighten it up over the coat. I can't imagine taking a coat on and off every time getting in and out of the car.

Okay, don't ban me from your mommy-group, but seriously? I think some of the car seat scare tactics are deplorable. Strap them in? You betcha! Keep them rear-facing as long as they (and you) can stand it? Sure. But this other junk drives me crazy. Our country has gone crazy on this you have to have so many seats for so many is very non-large-family friendly. I don't understand why car companies don't get up on some technology with carseats...just makes me figure they are in cahoots with carseat companies.

As for the's probably not as bad as you think. I'd wait a bit and then, like the other commenter suggested...have one of you hold him while the other snips off a few locks or something in the back. :)

On the pillow? My kids get one when they get a bed. never in the crib. That's just the way we've done it. Not saying it's the best way...just what we've done.

Michelle said...

Oh and I meant why don't car companies get up on their technology with seat belts...not car seats. oops.

Natalie said...

Hair trimming... call me chicken but I never attempted it on my own. I have zero experience cutting anyone's hair! Jack didn't get his first haircut until he was 18 mos. old and he had quite the mullet-type style going on by that point... oh well! I thought he still looked like my baby with longer hair.

I don't buckle them in with heavy winter coats. Jack's got a thinner vest & fall coat that I will buckle him in his seat because they're really not thicker than a sweatshirt so I don't see how it could create an issue. However, I am super anal about making sure the coat isn't wrinkled under the seat belt so the restraints are tight on him.

Jack never had a pillow until he was in his big boy bed, but until that point if he laid on a pillow when he ended up in bed with us I did notice him going to sleep easier. He never stays on the pillow though... kind of a waste but we just had an extra pillow we put on his bed. It is older & super flat so it fits his little head/neck pretty decent when he does sleep on it.

Natalie said...

I agree w/Michelle about the car seats going on forever... with the new rules I would've been in a booster seat until I was in junior high... seriously folks?!

I'm not even sure if I'm supposed to sit in the front seat at under 5'... haha!

Tridentine Wife said...

The haircut thing I can't say because my only boy has super curly hair and my husband just uses a razor to buzz cut it every 2 months or so. My youngest girl has looong bangs and scraggly hair in the back so I gave her a simple trim while she was laying on a towel after her bath. This was easy for me to do though because she's only 8 months old.

For #2, since I live in CA, it doesn't get to freezing temps here (even in winter) and we have a garage to carry them into. So we don't strap them in with jackets. I've heard the safety reasons behind not doing it.

For #3 no pillows until toddler beds, I don't see anything wrong with them once he's past the SIDs stage.

Good grief, I was no help was I? Sorry.

Dacia said...

Dominic has been pretty much bald too. I finally gave him a trim around 13m maybe? It went really well suprisingly. He too is super active never sits still for a second. I sat him on the bathroom counter and turned on the water and let him play (something he loves to do). He didn't even realize I was cutting his hair until I was almost done! He just needed a little trim so it didn't take too long. I had never cut hair before but couldn't bring myself to spend all that money to have someone else attempt to do it while he screamed and wriggled to get down (I am guessing that is what would have happened). He is in need of a trim again so I best get to it soon, I'm going to try the same thing. :)

I was just struggling with the carseat thing too. I think I will warm up the car early and just put him in a fleece thing since. Our car is in the garage. Then put the big coat on when we get to destination. I worry he would get way too hot with the big coat in the car seat anyway. I do think it is going to be a super annoying proccess though.

Happy advent!

That Married Couple said...

Oh, I was excited to read through these questions and responses. I have no experience on the haircutting thing, so no suggestions there. I love that he's brushing his mullet though - hilarious! :)

I'm not sure on the whole heavy coat in car seat thing. We have a garage and so I think I'm just going to warm it up well before we go on long trips, and also put a blanket over her. But that's just because I personally hate getting hot in a heavy coat on car trips. For running errands and stuff I plan to just leave her in her heavy coat the whole time. That sounds like way too much work to struggle to get it off and on at every stop, especially in a cold and windy parking lot.

We've been wondering about the pillow thing, too. Miriam loves pillows and will rest her head on throw pillows in the living room all the time. She sleeps better now that we put a blanket on her at night, too (which you also aren't supposed to do until they're in a toddler bed), so I'm not sure when we'll give her one. So I have no answer, but I do have another question: when do you transition to a toddler bed? To be honest, I'd just planned on leaving her in the crib until (shortly before) a new baby needed it, and then putting her in either a real bed (with rails) or a mattress on the floor (if she's not big enough). Having to buy a toddler bed seems a bit unnecessary to me, but perhaps there's something I'm missing there?

happymomonline said...

I cut all of my kids' When I was new to this mom thing I paid the $15-20 a haircut because I figured I'd just mess it up. Eventually my husband convinced me that it's just hair and it would grow back. You know what? He was right! Just make sure you don't cut it near any major holidays or family photo ops until you're fairly confident you know what you're doing.

We buckle on top of winter coats unless we're going on a long trip. Then we heat up the car and buckle up without the bulkiness for comfort more than anything else. The coats are so squishy that they still get snugged in there pretty tight...I don't know if we "meet or exceed safety standards", but I feel like they're well restrained. Now that I think about it, I don't remove my winter coat before buckling and it really wouldn't occur to me to remove my children's coats either.

We don't use pillows until they're about age 2. My youngest just graduated out of the pack and play in our room and into a crib with her older sister. She wanted to have a pillow just like big sister, and since she's 25 months old I saw no problem with it.

Hope that you can take a nugget or two from all the advice you got here...aren't other moms great!?!

Emily G. said...

Haircuts-fun fun fun. I only get mine cut once a year and I do everyone else's. Get a good pair of haircut scissors. You can do it. There's no need to pay money for a haircut on a baby as young as Mr. Joe. My friend pays to have her toddler's hair cut, and for $10 the stylist doesn't do as decent of a job as I do! She leaves long parts on the boy because he gets antsy, and she leaves the girl's ends scraggly because she wiggles. At least if you miss a spot or leave something that should have been cut, you didn't pay for it! I've used multiple strategies for getting the kid to sit. In the end, sometimes it takes 3 tries on 3 different days to complete the haircut. But that' fine if that's what it takes. If you're just cutting the back, try a special food. I'm bad-I gave Henry a Dum-Dum last time. It was amazing how still he sat. An object that you don't usually let him hold-like a cell phone or remote (without batteries),etc., might hold hold him for a few snips. Just try to think of something that he's really enthralled by but doesn't get to hold often.

I never heard that about coats. I only use heavy coats when I really have to simply because I hate carrying the child when they're all puffy and slippery. I try to use thick fleece jackets with a hat and blanket as long as it's not really cold. Either way, they go in the seat. They wore sweatshirts for our recent trip to Chicago because that was too long to wear a coat, but for the quick ride to the grocery, they go in the seat in their coat.

I'm not sure about the pillows. Maria will be 3 in two more months and she still does not use one. She has not expressed a desire to do so, and at this point I see no reason for her to have one. Henry on the other hand, likes to put his head on a pillow. He always uses one when he falls asleep in my bed (I lay him beside me in bed every night till he crashes), but I immediately move him to his pillow-less crib. Since he likes pillows though, once he's in a toddler bed I might be faster about getting him one than Maria. At this point, I'd say Joe doesn't need a pillow. Maybe wait till he's 2.

Stina said...

Love reading all of the comments here.

We never worried about haircuts (except bangs) because we have all girls and let their hair grow long.

I've read the coat stuff, too, and I'm still not convinced either way. Today, I just grabbed the coat to take with the baby, just in case, so I wouldn't have to go through the hastle of putting it on her first. We were running late and the car was warm in the garage.

I am very strict about nothing in the crib but the baby. But my older 3 girls were all in toddler beds at about 18mos, and they used pillows then.

I hope you get the answers you are looking for!


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