Every parent we have ever met wants to have a smart child and be a smart parent. Raising a child is the most important responsibility anyone will ever have and can provide the most pleasure and reward.

SMART PARENT/SMART CHILD is the revolutionary philosophy that all children are incredibly intelligent from the moment they are born. When parents have learned understanding, respect, highly developed communication and relationship skills and development related expertise, it is amazing what a child can accomplish and, in fact, each child will achieve his maximum potential.

Our mission is to help you achieve that goal. The key to a child's education and success is a skilled, knowledgeable, informed and educated parent.

This blog addresses specific issues, to really be the best parent possible the book is a must!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sleepovers! Do They Work For Children Who Are Five Years Old And Younger?

Amy’s four year old daughter has been invited for a sleepover at her friend’s house and Amy has several concerns and questions whether this is a good idea and whether it can even work.

We share our experiences with her so she can decide to accept this invitation or delay such an opportunity to some later date.

Some important considerations:
1.Has your daughter already had playdates at this friend’s house? How did they work?

2.Do you know the parents well?

3.Are you comfortable with their parenting style?

4.Do you feel that your values are compatible?

The success or failure of this opportunity appears to have very little to do with your child’s maturity.

Instead, what dominate is your child’s reaction to the family dynamic. We have seen children enjoy a sleepover and then begin to have issues with mealtime and bedtime. They observed their friend being allowed to reject the foods served at dinnertime and get something different and special instead. Also the bedtime routine and expectations may be very different and can have a huge influence. We heard of significant problems for the following days.

There is also the probability that your child will not enjoy their normal amount of sleep being allowed to stay up later than usual. Hosting parents have been known to call for the invited child to be picked up because they cannot fall asleep.

The best success seems to be when the home your child is invited to is a very familiar one, the parents have shared and expressed similar philosophies and lifestyle, and are in sync on rules and behavioral expectations. Because of all the variables, we usually advise against it unless your situation is comparable to the last example.

So don’t rush!

When it happens, you want it to be a positive, enjoyable experience with rewards for everyone.

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sleep and food rhythm for a Newborn

A Cynthia Anka Post

-Sleeps all the time the first 2 months and just "wakes" to eat. Will sleep through almost the whole feeding time. Changing the diaper halfway through feeding time will help to "wake" an infant to assist in continuing to feed and be satiated.

-At two months, will be a bit more awake and alert during feeding time. Still may doze off but not as deep as earlier on. Still will be changing the diaper halfway through feed

-At 3 months, will be more alert during the feed and feeding time will extent to about 11/2-13/4 hours. Will be awake no longer than 2 hours. 
( this happens when infant is sleeping through the night...11+hours. this happens between 3-4 months)

Food rhythm;

-Feeds are irregular the first week or two. Some infants eat every 2 hours and some eat and then sleep for long stretches. Each handles the "trauma" of birth differently and each mother produces milk differently. Bottle fed infants can have somewhat of a set rhythm but still unpredictable.

-By week 3, will be eating every 3-4 hours around the clock. Volume will be average of 3-4 oz. By week 4, volume should increase to 4 oz.

-By week 8, will be eating every 4 hours with an increase in sleep time to a 5-6 hour stretch in the night. Will decrease to 2 night feeds. Volume will be average of 6 oz. Will increase 1 oz each week.

-By week 12, will be eating every 4 hours with 4 feeds in 12 hours. Volume will be average of 8 oz. 

All of the above is a general, average list. There will be some variation in time and volume depending upon individual traits.  

Friday, June 17, 2016

What Has Happened To Family Dinnertime?

One of the all time successful bonding, educational, communicative, healthy and interactive experiences in a family is the commitment to sharing the evening meal on a daily basis with everyone present and involved.

Unfortunately, it is not predictable that the majority of our families are committed to this extremely valuable time together. When we question why it is not a daily practice these are some of the responses they share.

1. It is nerve wracking.

2. We need a quiet time at the end of the day.

3. We don’t eat the same food as our children do.

4. It is easier to feed them and get them to bed so we can relax and catch up with each other on our day.

5. One of us is always late.

Family dinnertime should be the anchor of the day. When that happens it allows the rest of the evening to run smoothly.

Food is a social experience. You also want your child to understand the value of balanced and nutritious meals.

It should be designed to develop and reinforce good eating habits for life, learn good table manners, and share everyone’s experiences for that day. You also want your child to understand the value of balanced and nutritious meals.


-There should be no electronic equipment at the table, even for the parents.

-Involve your child in the menu at the beginning.

-Provide them with food they are familiar with and enjoy.

-Serve vegetables first, then protein, then carbs or grains, then fruit. Each category needs to be eaten before the next one is requested. This may be a new concept but it really works and reduces coaching and arguing to a minimum.

-Begin introducing one new food at a time and serve it in smaller portions.

-Evaluate what works with everyone and build on that knowledge.

-Try to include one item that your child can help you prepare.

-Have conversations that are educational without being too intense. Also make them interactive and positive, this is not the time and place for the resolution of serious disputes.

I guarantee that within a short time you and your family will be looking forward to dinnertime!
A successful dinnertime has the power to carry over to the evening and bedtime and who knows, could have a positive impact on your whole family life!

Enjoy and good luck!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Weaning from the bottle

A Cynthia Anka Post

Infants start to wean from the bottle at 9 months old. They have been having 4 bottles in a 12 hour day somewhere between 3-4 months old. At about 5 months, cereal is introduced and they begin transitioning from a liquid menu to a solid menu. It is a continuous process of introducing solids i.e. vegetables, then fruits, then protein as well as finger foods such as cheerios, puffs, bread, pasta, teething biscuits, etc. By the age of 9 months, they are eating 3 meals a day plus 2 snacks with water as well as 4 bottles. At this time, the food is no longer pureed but begins to have some texture and infants now are chewing more.

Here is the weaning process:

9 months: no longer taking the third bottle which is in the late afternoon
10 months: no longer taking the bottle after lunch before nap
11 months: no longer taking the bottle after breakfast before nap
12 months: no longer taking the bedtime bottle at night ( this one can be gradually weaned by decreasing the 8-10oz by 2oz each night until done)

If your child eats larger amounts in only 3 feeds (bottles), then omit the bottle after lunch, then the bottle after breakfast and then the same procedure for the bedtime bottle.

At the same time that this is happening, you will be transferring the milk (formula or breast milk)(2-3oz) into a small cup to help in the transition. Your infant is now understanding that he/she is drinking more milk in a cup and less in a bottle.

Remember to talk with your infant each day as this change is happening. Be reassuring and positive and let them know how proud you are of their progress.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A day in the Life of an 8 month old

A Cynthia Anka Post

Woke at 5:45
Woke at 7:15
Breakfast at 7:30
Top off
Nap at 8:45
Woke at 9:45
Nursed/Not hungry
Lunch at 11:15
Nap at 12:30
Woke at 2:00
Nap at 3:30
Woke at 3:50
Dinner at 5:30
Nursed at 6:15
Bedtime at 6:30
Woke at 11:30

I don't know about you but I was tired after just reading this log.

At 8 months, she should be sleeping 11-13 hours through the night, eating 3 meals and 2 snacks, having either 2 2.5-3 hours naps or 3 1.5-2 hour naps with some playtime between each nap. The consensus was that she was not napping well and eating well during the day which was affecting the nights and it was a vicious cycle. Also, the mother was nursing out of habit not to satiate hunger.

After a conversation about how to change the above pattern, her daughter dropped the night feeds and ate and slept better during the day.

Friday, June 3, 2016

What Happens When You Child Does Not Share Your Most Special Interests?

Molly is a wonderful involved mom who had a dream of being a dancer when she was growing up. Unfortunately, her family lived in a small town that only provided basic skills. When she was ready to move to a more challenging level of training, her family was unable to support the cost and the logistics of such a move and she ended up never enjoying any advanced training.

She knew that if she ever had a daughter she would ensure that she have the best and most advanced training possible. Since she now resides in a major city, all the advantages are available.
When she became a mom, she could hardly wait for Stephanie, her daughter, to start walking and she was sure she showed signs of being a natural dancer. The last year of Molly and Stephanie’s lives have had moments of serious strain and almost heart break.

Molly rushes to daycare on the day we have dancing, bringing a special dance dress and shoes and excitedly helps Stephanie change.

For a few months, Stephanie complied to please her mother but then began to exclude herself from the actual dancing for no reason that we could understand.

Molly’s anxiety was evident when she began buying new dresses and shoes for the occasion to entice Stephanie to be involved. The situation has now reached an impasse. When Molly arrives, Stephanie leaves the dance area and sits at the wall.

We discussed the situation with Molly at various intervals to help her understand that it was not that Stephanie wanted to hurt her mom, but because she simply did not enjoy dancing.

It was heart breaking to watch Molly lose her dream twice.

After a month of periodic discussions, Molly is giving Stephanie her own space and beginning to accept that Stephanie is her own person. Together we have discussed that she might want to do a special Saturday morning activity. At the top of the list is a free-form art class that she is joining with her best friend.

She and her mom have begun a new journey of discovery where their goal is enjoyment, expression and new skills. We are all waiting to see where it takes them.

We have always shared the following guidelines with our parents regarding their child’s special interests.

1. Listen to, and observe their behavior when it involves their special areas of interest: creative, athletic, entertainment and educational.

2.Attend one or two events or sessions before signing them up to a schedule of classes.

3. Resist establishing any accomplishment goals.

4. Carefully evaluate the message your child gets. If all participants in any activity gets a trophy, let the experience be the reward.

Do Not
1. Exaggerate and brag about their ability when they are present. The objective should be to develop their confidence and self esteem.

Young childhood is a very special place, let them take it at their own pace! Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

More advice on breastfeeding

A Cynthia Anka Post

Even thought breastfeeding is a natural element of childbirth, it is not always as easy as expected. For many different reasons, it can be challenging. The most common question asked is "How can I be sure I will have enough milk to feed my infant?"

A healthy pregnancy is the key to getting started. Eating well, sleeping well, exercise and good mental health all contribute to being ready when the time comes. 

- Prolactin is the hormone for milk stimulation
- Prolactin level rises during pregnancy
- Prolactin, Insulin and Cortisol/Oxytocin is the combination for milk production
- Colostrum is the first "milk": thick, creamy and rich in enzymes and immunity
- Real milk is expressed in 3-5 days from delivery of placenta
- Colostrum is usually satisfying; may have to supplement bigger infants
- Focus on you: Continue to eat well, sleep well, drink water. NO DIETING
- Allow your infant to eat when hungry. Will feed better and fuller and sleep longer which will allow your body to produce the volume necessary for the next time. This tells your body how much food your infant needs to be satiated.
- Pumping is your back up. Best time is usually about 3 weeks after delivery.
- Pumping will send a message that the infant has eaten and to replenish the volume
- Take your prenatal vitamins
- Enhancers:
    Mother's Milk Tea
    Mother's Milk Tincture
    Non alcoholic dark beer
    Healthy eating habits
    Healthy fatty foods ( oils, avocado, meats, poultry,  etc)