DIY Christmas ornaments from recycled material

Now that Independence Day is past, there’s been a lot of chatter on our moms groups about how to do Christmas sustainably. Tonnie, mom of an infant, told us why she cares about teaching her baby to celebrate responsibly:

‘I guess when I thought about my baby’s first Christmas, I thought that I’d love to inspire him to be the type of person who creates, makes, repairs, shares, rather than just buys. A type of person who cares about the planet, animals and others. I thought the only way to ‘teach’ this is to make it our lifestyle in the smallest things, and how better to start than in our family traditions, including Christmas.’

Oh sorry, there’s just something in our eye… definitely not crying at our desks……

We rounded up a few links from the web and our moms groups for DIY Christmas crafts to do with your kids next month that will make your Christmas tree not only more personal, but more beautiful. Or put together a pile of throwaways and ask your Jaleesa babysitter to get creative with your kids!

Which of these crafts will you do with your kids this year? I’m obsessed with these adorable cork reindeer!


5 tips for handling a clingy baby

Happy Independence Day!

In honor of Lebanon’s independence, Jaleesa is sharing posts on how to foster independence in babies and kids. This is the first in a series of two: check back later this week to see our post on how to encourage resilience and independence in your older kids.

Clingy infants are stressful for everyone. Not only is your baby upset by the slightest change in attention, but you’re stressed and anxious by the need to constantly be either attending to their baby, or suffering the (loud) consequences.

Babies being clingy is related to the realization that they are their own little person, separate from their parents. This stage begins at about nine months, and is a scary thing to face! So, for a while, babies will want to pretend it’s not happening by insisting on being with you– or on top of you!– 24/7.

Having a clingy baby can be trying, but it won’t be forever. Until the phase passes, here are some tips that might help:

  1. Be patient Your baby is super sensitive to your reactions, so even if you’re frustrated by not being able to do anything alone, take some breaths and stay calm.
  2. Be confident You haven’t spoiled your baby– a quick Google search will turn up evidence that a) nearly every parent faces Velcro baby syndrome at one point and b) it’s impossible to hold your baby too much. Put away insecurities about your parenting. This isn’t your fault!
  3. Teach your baby that things that go away come back Games like peek-a-boo help babies build confidence that things that leave their sight will come back. Putting a cherished toy into a box or bag, then taking it out again will help with this concept as well. Finally, add visual cues to your hellos and goodbyes, like waving. This will help link in your baby’s mind scary separation with happy return.

  4. Talk to her When you leave your baby with a family member, friend, or babysitter, tell her that you’re leaving and why. She understands more than you might think! Plus, learning how to listen is an important precursor to learning how to express herself.
  5. Know when to take a break Can’t get your baby to stop crying and feel like you’re going to lose your mind? Put your baby down and walk out of the room. Crying alone won’t hurt your baby, and if you’re not healthy and happy, your baby won’t be either.

When is it time to seek help? When your baby is inconsolable long after you’ve left her with a caregiver, or if she’s so anxious to do anything without you by her side for prolonged stretches.

Need to talk to a pediatrician? Check out our list of mom-recommended pediatricians in Beirut (with phone numbers!).

Beirut’s best pediatricians according to moms

Jaleesa did not take a commission from these pediatricians. They were referred by our community of moms.

Finding the right pediatrician is as important for parents as it is for kids. You want someone whose knowledge you trust, and who won’t make you feel guilty about calling in a panic at 3am.

We asked Jaleesa‘s community of moms in Beirut to share their pediatricians’ contacts and why they love working with them. We’ll be updating this list continually, so please let us know if you have something to add.

Dr. Fawzi Maalouf, AUBMC

01 350 000 (AUBMC appointments line) x 7950

‘Dr Maalouf is so caring and available, you can contact him any time. He was in charge of my baby girl in NICU and was wonderful in terms of communication.’ –Zena

Dr. Maruan Sokhon, Dekwaneh

03 861 296

‘A very special doctor, who gives his time to explain all details about any question you might have, and not a commercial one. I believe this is very rare in Lebanon.’ –Malda

Dr. Katia Tomme, AUH

01 350 000 (AUH appointments line)

‘Dr. Katia as well as being a great specialist for children with pulmonary issues and allergies, is very kind, empathetic and a good listener. She’s been treating my 1 and 3 year old for pre-asthma and pneumonia.’ –Mariuxi

Dr. Toufic Kikano, Jal el Dib & Hazmieh

03 359 619

‘He’s very professional, very calm, gives all the time I need, is a good listener, doesn’t like meds a lot and most important he’s not after the money.’ –Joan

Dr. Lama Charafeddine, AUH

01 350 000 (AUH appointments line)

‘Dr. Lama is very professional and has a good rapport with children of all ages. She’s thorough and also doesn’t rush to prescribe antiobiotics, which is a plus for me.’ –Mariuxi

Dr. Caroline Kanaan, Trad Hospital

03 675 763

‘She’s very responsive via WhatsApp whenever we have questions.’ –Lida

Dr. Patricia Kaldani, Bellevue Hospital

03 213 100

‘Dr Kaldani is gentle, caring, she listens to us and is very respectful towards both the parents and children. It took a few tries to find her and she’s certainly the right doctor for us.’ –Sara

Dr. Dunia Nakhoul, CMC Hospital

01 372 888

‘I think she’s great because she is super responsive to emergencies night and day and as a new mom you need someone who’ll pick up the phone.’ –Marta

Dr. Robert Saccy, Roum Hospital

03 201 455

‘He has more than 60 years experience, he’s a sweetheart and a very cool doctor.’ –Christelle

Check out this mom-approved method for handling a tantrum

Sara posted this video on a Beirut mom’s message board about how to handle your 3-year-old’s tantrum. We laughed, we cried, and we learned some great coping strategies for that most challenging of parenting crises.

We asked Sara why she thought this video was particularly helpful. Here’s what she had to say:

These videos are especially helpful; the role playing helps you visualize the situations and your reactions, which leads to more helpful outcomes. Nobody is perfect but this really helps me to be a better parent, even if we don’t always manage to put all these tools into action.

Do you think the strategies in the video will help you? Let us know in the comments!

These 3 nurse-approved tips will keep your family healthy this winter

The best way to get over a cold? Don’t get one in the first place.

‘Lol’, you say. ‘I have kids in school.’ It’s true that colds spread faster in schools than anywhere else, and there’s no failsafe way to keep yourself and your family from getting sick. But teaching your kids these three habits can significantly cut down the risk of them– and the rest of you– getting sick.

As part of their training, all Jaleesa babysitters learn cold prevention best practices. Some child carers have special expertise, like Oussayma. Oussayma is a five-star Jaleesa babysitter, and a student in her last year of training at the Lebanese Red Cross nursing institute. She shared with us her top tips for cold prevention this (and every) winter.

These aren’t rocket science, or breaking news, and yet who isn’t guilty of a hygiene slip-up? Instill these habits early in your kids, and be a good example: it’ll save days of sniffly misery this winter.

  • Wash your hands often, and properly (here’s how). This means before eating, after touching others, right when coming in the house. Wet your hands with warm water before applying soap, and lather for at least 40 seconds. Sing whatever song they’re into at the moment while you’re washing your hands together to make sure you’re lathering long enough (Oussayma recommends the Happy Birthday song, twice). If you’re around someone who has a cold already, wash your hands twice as often.

    Also: hand sanitizer is not a replacement for soap and water. Throw it away and wash your hands instead.
  • Don’t touch your face. Germs live on your hands, and are transferred to your body by touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Besides, rubbing your eyes causes wrinkles. So hands off!
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve. Teach your kids to cover their mouth when they sneeze or cough, and not with their hands! Germs on hands get transferred as soon as they touch something (you or their siblings, most likely). Even Elmo knows this one.

Got a question about keeping your family healthy this winter? Post it below and Oussayma will write you back.