Archive of ‘Parent Advice’ category
Babies are born with the innate skill to put anything they come across into their mouths. Some have even been seen on ultrasound sucking their thumbs while still in the womb. It is a reflex action. Sucking brings them comfort and doesn’t necessarily mean they want food. A pacifier may come in handy in comforting and calming down your baby. Some babies can’t get enough of suckling and cuddling or rocking them won’t be soothing enough. It is better to get them a pacifier (which you can get rid of) than to let them get used to sucking their thumbs.
Here are five tips to get the best out of your baby’s pacifier;
Don’t force your decision on the baby
Yes, you need something to distract your baby as you struggle to meet some tight deadline. A pacifier might just be the answer. Do not however force it on your baby. If they are receptive to it, go along. If they are not, try again some other time or just let them be. You’ll have more on your hands than you can handle.
Pacifier isn’t a substitute for your attention
Read that slowly and let it sink in. While pacifiers can come in handy when the baby has to wait, for example if you are in a check out queue, it should not be a substitute from you giving the baby attention. It is your parental duty to spend as much time as possible with them.
Taking care of the pacifier
Tying the pacifier around their neck or the crib to avoid it getting misplaced is a bad idea as the cord can strangle them. Instead, pin it to the baby’s clothes using a clip. Keep the pacifier clean by frequently detaching it and rinsing it with warm clean water. Do not clean the pacifier by sucking on it, neither should you dip it in sugary drinks. Replace it once it starts cracking up or wearing out. A silicone nipple-shaped pacifier is the Best Pacifier For Breastfed Baby since they are much easier to clean.
When not to use a pacifier
Pacifiers aren’t recommended for babies who have a problem breastfeeding. Suckling on the pacifier and breastfeeding require two different techniques and combining them at the same time might cause ‘nipple confusion.’ It can lead to them having weight problems from poor feeding. Keep the baby off pacifiers too if they have ear infections. Extended periods of use has also been known to cause dental problems to the baby, so get them off a pacifier as soon as you can.
Cleaning the pacifier
Before you get your baby on a pacifier, clean and sterilize it first. You have no idea the amount of germs you’ll find on things that otherwise look clean. You can use hot soapy water and a clean dish rag. You can also boil the pacifier for about five minutes then let it cool totally before letting the baby use it. If you are willing to dig deeper into your pockets, you can purchase an electronic sterilizer.
As we head into the remaining months of the school year, it’s normal to start thinking ahead to summer vacation and plans you may have. Before getting too wrapped up in the summer though, it may be nice to give a little thought as to how you plan to celebrate all the success your child has had during their school year. For elementary school aged children in particular, it’s always nice to give them that recognition and show them how proud you are of their hard work. This can also help to motivate them as they head into a new school year in the fall.
So, if you’re looking for some fun ways to celebrate another successful year for your child in school, here are some ideas you may want to use.
Hold a Backyard Party with Friends
What better way to celebrate the end of the school year than a party with friends. As long as the weather allows, a backyard party can be the perfect plan. If you happen to have a pool, then obviously you can turn it into a pool party. If not, you can create your own fun and entertainment instead. There are all kinds of fun outdoor games that you can post around the backyard, creating stations if you will, so kids can mingle, socialize, and enjoy the activities.
The party can be made even better with a casual barbecue complete with hamburgers, hot dogs, and lots of snacks. Top off the party with a customized cake, which you can access pricing information for at Allcakeprices.com and the party will be a hit.
An Afternoon at the Spa
If you happen to have a daughter who loves being pampered, then a mommy and daughter afternoon at the spa can be a wonderful option. You can book services such as a manicure and pedicure, and even a facial. It’s a special treat the two of you can enjoy together, which means it’s also a chance to bond.
The Summer Vacation Basket of Essentials
While summer is something everyone looks forward to, unfortunately most parents can attest to the fact that it doesn’t take long before they start to hear the kids complain that they are “bored”. Rather than listen to the complaints all summer, you can think pre-emptively and gift them with the summer vacation basket of essentials on the last day of school.
This basket can contain all kinds of board games, indoor and outdoor activities, craft supplies, snacks, and treats that will keep them busy throughout the summer. Fun items to include are skipping ropes, sidewalk chalk, water guns, bubbles, a soccer ball, kite, water toys, kid-sized gardening tools and gardening gloves, coloring books and markers, a variety of crafting supplies, and anything else that catches your eye.
Make It Special for Them
Whether you go all out with a big party, or opt for something a little more low-key, recognizing their school achievements is something kids will greatly appreciate and remember as they grow older.
Language, speech and communication skills are of key importance in a child’s formative education and success. Humans use a variety of ways to communicate, but arguably none are as important to a child’s academic success as language and speech skills – their ability to express themselves through spoken and written language. A child’s brain is a flexible, curious and bottomless object, and as a parent it is your job to help them wrap that brain around speech and language conventions, exposing them to new and different ways to communicate. Whether your child is a language whiz or having difficulties with expression, here are four ways you can help their speech development.
See A Speech Therapist
If you have any concerns about your child’s speech development, it’s a good idea to start looking for a childrens therapist that specializes in speech therapy – they’re often known as speech-language pathologists, or SLPs for short. SLPs focus first on assessing and evaluating the speech issues, and then on creating a treatment plan, which can help children express themselves better and, in turn, see greater academic and social success. This is the first and best line of defense if you are concerned about your child’s speech development – language acquisition and usage is a vast and complex subject, so it’s best to get help from the experts.
Hearing you read to them, seeing the words go by on the page, and then taking a turn themselves trying to read – these three steps, as part of an evening family ritual, can be extraordinarily effective in helping speech development. Don’t be afraid to start your kids early. Even if they just sit there and absorb themselves in the narrative of the story, they are learning valuable things about language and speech operate. Choose books that are appropriate for their age group, but don’t be afraid to give them something complex – children listen on a higher language level than they are able to read, so this is a great way to expose them to complicated ideas.
Chat About Everything
Chat about the book you just read together. Chat about the things you see out the car window. Chat about their day at school, their friends, their teacher, their lunch, their hobbies, their hair… anything! The more you engage with your child, the better their speech development will be. And don’t be passive in the conversation – get in there and talk about yourself, your day and your interests, because receiving information is just as important a language skill as being able to dispense with it. Try to vary up your vocabulary as well; whereas yesterday you asked them about their favourite “sports”, today ask them about “athletic activities”.
Be Supportive, Not Critical
Finally, it’s important to always be supportive of your child’s attempts, and refrain from being critical if they make mistakes. The last thing you want is to stifle your child’s desire to express themselves, but the fear of failure can be a strong deterrent to a child. Helpful, happy corrections are welcome, of course.
Language and speech skills are the foundation upon which much of your child’s academic, social and (later) work life will be built, so it’s important to help their development any way you can. Visit a Speech-Language Pathologist if you are concerned about your child’s speech development, and remember to read and talk with them often.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – known better by its acronym, ADHD – affects an estimate of over 50 million people, and is common in children. Characterized by impulsivity, difficulty paying attention, and excessive restless activity, ADHD can be difficult on children and parents. But the good news is that, through therapy, diet and medicine, it can be managed.
But many parents here in Ajax are sceptical of medicine prescribed for ADHD, either of its side effects or its overall efficacy, and that’s why they look to natural medicine as either a replacement or supplement to their child’s traditional ADHD medicine. Using non-invasive, non-toxic treatments natural medicine helps a child with ADHD gain better focus, control impulsivity and become calmer.
The first step, as with anything, is to do some research, and learn about the benefits of seeing a naturopath for your child’s ADHD. Finding a Naturopath here in Ajax will take some looking, but the ones that are here are wonderfully helpful, offering an array of naturopathic services, like botanical medicine, vitamin supplements, homeopathy and acupuncture. A Naturopathic Doctor will treat your child personally – that is, they will resist an easy, catch-all approach and instead delve into the specifics of what might be underlying your child’s ADHD.
This focus on the big picture belies a more preventative approach, one that seeks not just to remedy symptoms, but get to the root of what’s causing those symptoms. It’s the kind of personal approach that, unfortunately, is missing in much of mainstream medicine, which is another reason parents should consider supplementing their child’s traditional medicine with naturopathic treatment as well.
There is solid evidence that diet plays a major role in ADHD symptoms, so one of the first things that a Naturopathic Doctor is likely to do is create a diet for your child. This might include a focus on overall nutrition, or supplemental vitamins and minerals, or it might entail eliminating certain things from your child’s diet. There have studies done that indicate rolling back simple carbs and introducing more omega-3 fatty acids – found in nuts and olive oil, and also in fish and fish oil supplements – help treat ADHD symptoms. There is also good evidence that food additives (such as these nine) and artificial colour are linked with hyperactivity, so a Naturopathic Doctor might suggest eliminating those from your child’s diet.
Of course, ADHD symptoms can vary greatly between people, and you shouldn’t take as gospel anything you read on the internet; you need to look into seeing a naturopath about your child’s specific form of ADHD to properly treat it with natural medicine. According to this study, from BMC psychiatry, a significant number of children overcome or partially overcome symptoms of ADHD as they grow older, and it’s with the help of a number of approaches. If you are treating your child’s ADHD with conventional medicine, it might be time to think about supplementing those efforts with naturopathic medicine. Visit a Naturopathic Doctor here in Ajax to learn more.
Visiting the dentist can be a daunting experience, especially for children. Here are a few ways on how to make your kids feel more comfortable when visiting the dentist.
What to Expect
If your child has never been to the dentist, they will have no idea on what to expect for their appointment. Taking the time to explain to your child where they are going, why they are going and what time the appointment is can help your child feel more in control and get a better understanding and what is going to happen. The more information your child has, the more confident they will feel when going for their dental appointment.
If your child needs dental work, it is important to be honest and explain to your child the type of treatment they will need. Choosing the right words can have a significant impact on how your child reacts, so make sure you describe the process in an easy to digest and non-threatening manner, so your child can feel at ease and fully understand why they must get treatment.
The Good Points
For your child to place trust in the dentist, make sure that you speak positively about them. Projecting dentists in a positive light can help your child do the same and help eliminate any fears or worries that they might have. Letting your child know the importance of dentists and how they are the good guys in maintaining healthy teeth can be incredibly beneficial and ensure that the experience runs as smoothly as possible. If you are interested in going into the dental profession, websites like best-dentalassistantschools.com can give you more clarification on the skills and requirements needed to join.
Make It Fun
Going into an unfamiliar environment can cause distress to your child, so make sure to describe all the good points of the dentist. Some dental practices have children’s toys and games in the waiting room so make sure to let your child know so they can have something to look forward to. Also, having a fun dentist can help your child enjoy the overall experience.
The most important way on helping your child feel safe and secure in the dental room is by being with them. Your presence can have a massive difference in how your child reacts at the dentist so make sure to be on hand and stay calm to help your child feel more relaxed. The experience can be incredibly stressful so being there to help reassure and give your child the guidance they need can help improve the overall experience.
If you would like more information on how to make you kids feel more comfortable when visiting the dentist, it can be beneficial to ring up your dental practice and let them know your worries and concerns, so they are able to act in the right manner when your child has their appointment. There are also online forums where parents can engage with one another to get a better understanding and to ensure your child has a pleasant dental experience.
7 Steps to Potty Training Success
Potty training your toddler can seem like a daunting task, but with patience and perseverance you can help your child reach this key milestone.
Learning how to use the potty is a key milestone in your child’s life, but starting potty training can seem a little bit daunting. We’ve put together some tips to help guide you through the process, and with some perseverance and patience, you’ll soon have your child leaving nappies behind.
Know the signs
There are no hard and fast rules about when you should begin potty training. The majority of parents start between the ages of two and two and a half, but some children are ready much earlier while others may take a little longer to get to this stage.
There are however some key signs to watch out for. These include your child:
- recognising when they’re passing urine and possibly telling you that they’re doing it;
- knowing when they have a wet or dirty nappy;
- showing signs that they need to pee, such as going to a quiet corner or fidgeting;
- going to the toilet only once an hour or less frequently;
- knowing that they need to pee and telling you in advance;
- being able to follow instructions and sit on the potty or toilet.
The more of these signs your child displays, the quicker and easier potty training is likely to be. You should also try to avoid potty training during times of disruption or changes to routine, as consistency is the key to success.
Before beginning potty training it’s important to be prepared, and there are a number of key tools that will help to make the process easier.
A potty is of course essential – it helps to have one in your main room and in your bathroom, as well as a portable one for when you’re out and about. Purchasing a step stool to help your child reach the sink and, eventually, the toilet, is also a useful purchase.
Disposable ‘pull-up’ potty training nappies can come in really handy, particularly in the early days of potty training. However, these should just be a transitionary step, so also involve your child in buying some ‘big girl ‘or ‘big boy’ pants to help the potty training process seem special and exciting.
Do the groundwork
It’s important to lay the groundwork and get your child used to the idea before you begin potty training. In the run up to potty training, start changing your child’s nappy in the bathroom so that they get used to it as a place where people go to the toilet. As you change their nappy, explain what you’re doing and why so that they start to understand the meaning of a wet or dirty nappy.
It’s also a good idea to leave a potty where your child can see it and, if they’re happy to, encouraging them to sit on it for a minute or two when you change their nappy. Make sure you explain what the potty is for so they don’t just think it’s a fun new toy!
The best way to start potty training is to make sitting on the potty a natural part of everyday life for your little one, so it’s important to keep a potty within easy reach. When your child shows signs of needing to wee, encourage them to use the potty, as well as encouraging them to sit on the potty after meals. If you know your child regularly goes to the toilet at the same time each day, try leaving their nappy off and suggesting they go on the potty – but don’t push it if they seem upset by the idea.
One useful tip is to dress your toddler in clothes that are quick and easy to change, avoiding items such as tights or clothes with lots of fiddly buttons. Some parents prefer to start potty training in the summer when children naturally wear fewer clothes.
Make it fun
A lot of children need some encouragement to start using the potty, so making the process fun can help to give them that extra incentive. For example, you could stack a few toys or books next to the potty so that they have something to occupy them while they sit on it. Some parents even make up a special potty song that they sing each time their child sits on the potty or toilet.
It’s also important to reward success. You could buy your little one a small toy when they hit certain milestones, but making a chart and awarding them stickers, or even just showering them with plenty of praise, can be equally effective. On the flip side, try not to act negatively if your little one has an accident. Just remain calm and let them know that accidents happen.
Unless you are your child’s only caregiver, it is important to involve others in your potty training journey. As we’ve mentioned, consistency of routine is vital when it comes to potty training, so be sure to keep grandparents and other family members in the loop, along with your childminder or nursery if applicable. An outstanding nursery should be happy to encourage and support your child’s potty training routine in your absence, so don’t be afraid to let them know how they can help.
Last but certainly not least, you need to be patient. Potty training can be a stressful process for children and parents alike, and it’s easy to lose your cool when your little one has his fifth accident of the day. But by remaining calm and positive, and praising progress, you can help guide your little one to potty training success.
Designing your baby’s nursery is really exciting, especially when it comes to choosing all of the gorgeous furniture pieces that you’re going to include, and you want to make sure you do it right. It can be so easy to go crazy when it comes to the designing stages, buying every cute furniture item you see without really thinking about how practical or necessary it may be. The best thing to do is focus on the essential furniture pieces, and then you can add a few decorative touches to enhance the décor and create the perfect space for your little one.
Investing your money in the right places is important with your child’s nursery, as you want to know that the products you are purchasing are safe, reliable and durable. Starting with your baby’s cot, you need to find a design and style that works for you. There are lots of different cots available, from chic wooden designs with a slide down side, to chunkier designs that have a half-side to prevent your little one from escaping at any time. Look for your favourite design, with the right colour and style to suit the nursery décor to ensure you’re keeping to the décor style you want to achieve. Once you’ve decided on your cot, you can start to look at other items including a wardrobe to keep all of the little clothing hanging ready for use. Wardrobes are great for adding character to the room and maintaining the style that your cot has introduced. Try to keep the furniture pieces similar, whether that’s from the same range or using the same material to keep the décor within the nursery flowing smoothly.
Even though your baby is only going to have small clothes, you’d be surprised just how much room they take up. Investing in some simple storage items such as a chest of drawers and an oak blanket box will help you to keep the nursery clean and tidy, with everything stored away safely. Whether you decide to stock the chest of drawers up with essential nappy changing products, or your blanket box is actually used to keep the teddy bears neat and out of the way, these stylish furniture pieces will help to keep the nursery organised and fresh with no clutter.
Whilst these features may not necessarily be furniture pieces, they work hand in hand with furniture pieces to keep your little ones safe and content. One of the most important things to include in your baby’s nursery is a set of blinds or curtains. Once you put your little one down for a nap mid-afternoon, you want to know they have a dark space to snuggle down and sleep, and blinds or curtains are ideal for this. The last thing you want is the sunshine shining through and interrupting your little one’s nap. Similarly, you may want to look at including a colourful lightshade, a soft rug and a calming mobile to help them drift off to sleep peacefully.
Once you’ve chosen all of your essential furniture pieces, you can look at the traditional touches that most nurseries have today. From a talk oak bookcase with a selection of classic nursery rhymes and stories, to a delicate trinket box on the windowsill and some cute teddy bears sat in the corner, you can create a special space for your baby to grow up and enjoy.
Just because you’ve become parents, doesn’t mean your adventurous streak has diminished — do you find yourself reading your child a bedtime story about far-flung lands and the great outdoors, only to wish you could pack up your bags and leave as a family tomorrow?
A lot of parents would say that while your child is still toddling, that’s the best time to take them on the road; once they’re of the age to go to school, you’re limited to official vacation times, which can make traveling as a family more expensive. As such, you may be thinking about taking your toddler on a family adventure soon.
Why you should travel with your toddler
Little people benefit from travel in all the same ways that adults do; it’s great for their development to explore new places and take in new experiences, especially if you can expose them to cultures and languages they don’t encounter at home. Of course, it’s also advised to try and maintain some of their daily routine, especially if you’re trying to potty train or encourage a new behavior. Attempt to wake them at the same time every day, regardless of where you are on the road, and get them settled in bed at a reasonable time too.
What you’ll need to pack
You may be aghast to discover how much more luggage you’ll need when you’re packing for a toddler too — from toys to bath products and spare clothes, you’ll soon fill up the bags! If your little one is yet to be potty trained, make sure you’ve packed some swim diapers if you’re going anywhere with water. If you’re in the process of potty training, you’ll be relieved to learn there are lots of travel size models available, including fold-up and disposable potties. Check out a parent guide to see which one is best for you and your toddler.
Depending on your child’s temperament, you may decide that taking a road trip is preferential to flying with the family, as such you should look for an adventure that’s closer to your doorstep. If you do opt for a flight, check with your air carrier to see what their policy is on traveling with strollers. Either way, make sure you’ve packed a lot of patience — as well as toys and games to keep the little one entertained!
Do your research, and see what child-friendly activities will be available on your destination. Remember that toddlers will want to move around and be stimulated constantly, so if your ideal vacation involves a lot of relaxation you may need to make some sacrifices! If you’re seeking some peace and tranquility, manage your expectations and make sure you place your child’s favorite toy at the top of the ‘must pack’ list!
There’s no time like the present…
While your child is still too young for formal schooling, you’ve got the freedom to take longer trips, at a time in the year that works for you. So, as long as you plan ahead and pack your bags properly, there should be nothing stopping you traveling with your toddler.
As a parent, it’s up to you to teach your child important skills that will help them to be successful in life. In today’s digital age, one of those skills they absolutely must learn to master is how to use the Internet. And it’s not just about how to perform searches and find funny videos, it’s about teaching them how to use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner. They also need to be able to identify which sites and what content is trustworthy.
So where do you begin in teaching your child how to use the Internet? At what age should you introduce them to the Internet? Should you give them free rein of it? Here are some tips and advice that should make the teaching process as smooth as possible.
Introduce Them to the Internet at a Young Age
Because society is so heavily reliant on digital tools such as the Internet, the fact is that your kids will need to know how to use it. With that in mind, it’s best to introduce them to it at a fairly young age. That doesn’t mean you hand them a tablet and walk away, instead the experience can begin more as a mentoring type of relationship.
You can be the one who is actually using the Internet but have them watch what you are doing. You can perform searches for content that relates to their age group and would be interesting to them. Take for example a toddler, you can be showing them educational content online, including videos and games. They aren’t going to understand the “Internet” or how you are making these things appear on the screen, but it does act as an introduction that there is this tool that can be used to find information.
If your child is a little older, perhaps just entering school, then it can be used for more age appropriate content. After watching you perform searches and navigation exercises, you can let them give it a go.
Discuss Online Safety
Once kids are old enough that they are showing interest in the Internet on their own, meaning they know the basics so they could technically find their way around, then it’s time to discuss Internet safety. There are some basic rules you can teach them, which are:
- If you come across a site that seems inappropriate, turn off the screen immediately and tell an adult.
- Don’t click on links to outside pages.
- Learn to question content you read and look for reliable websites and sources.
- Everything that is posted online is permanent so give thought to what you post.
- Don’t chat with people you don’t know, and don’t respond to emails if you don’t know the person.
Find that Middle Ground
While it’s certainly important to be aware of your child’s online activities, it’s also okay to give them a bit of independence. Let them explore and get creative. The Internet can be a great source of fun and entertainment, such as the Rage Maker site which allows users to create their very own memes, which is the big trend nowadays.
Preparing and Educating Your Kids in a Fun and Engaging Way
Teaching your kids how to use the Internet is a reality of today’s times, so doing so in a way that is safe, fun, and engaging is always the best plan.
A holiday with kids is not about spending endless long lazy days on the beach, watching the sunset while sipping tropical cocktails, dining beneath the stars at classy restaurants and sleeping till late in the morning in your own private pool luxury villa in Phuket… you may get away with it for a day or two as long as the jetlag is still working on the kids, but soon after, those little rascals will want to jump, run, play, splash and get entertained. As parents, you will need to find a good balance with a holiday planning that suits both you and the kids. Here are some great activities for them active kids to do during your family holiday in Phuket:
This activity is for kids above 8 years old. Kids who are up for a thrilling water adventure in the open-air. At the Anthem Wake Park, you will be waterskiing on a 50.000 sqm sweet water lake in the beautiful lush tropical greenery of Phuket. This cable wakeboarding park offers rides for beginners and pro’s, young and old, promising a great exhilarating day out for the whole family.
How to make any kid happy as he/she can be? Take them to a water park where they can swim, slide and splash all day long. Splash Jungle Water in Phuket has something for everyone, also for the littlest family members. While the older kids will love sliding down the Super Bowl, the Boomerango and more colourful slides, the toddlers can safely play in the Kid’s Aqua Play Pool. The park also features a wave pool and a 335-meter lazy river where you can grab a tube and just let the water take you down the stream. Splash Jungle Water Park is part of the Grand West Sands Villa Phuket, located at Mai Kao Beach. Check it out!
Always wanted to fly in the sky? It sure is every kid’s dream! At Kidzsole Flying Trapeze, you can have an actual ‘flying without wings’ experience. It’s safety line you’ll be counting on instead of wings, and you will need some of that good old courage. Kids can overcome their fears, giving a boost to their self-esteem and they will also learn to do some great acrobat tricks. Located right on the beach in Mai Khao, all family members are up for an unforgettable experience… that’s right, mum and dad can also join in for a lesson and for sure they will love it, too! You will be guided by professionals so no need to worry – you will be safe and sound and who knows it might inspire one of you to become a Cirque du Soleil artist one day in the future. Kids can even join the Ninja Warrior Circus Training for the full-blown Kidzsole Flying Trapeze experience.
Jump till you can’t jump anymore at the 50 Fly! Trampoline Club Phuket. Bounce, laugh, and play all day, the Trampoline Park is fun for kids of all ages. Check out the Fun Zone if you like playing games such as football or basketball on a trampoline court or learn some tricks at the Acrobat Zone. Super fun, indeed! Kids will be so tired that parents can have a romantic, undisturbed in-villa evening with candles, wine, chocolates and a movie or whatever. Just perfect!
The adventure just doesn’t stop, at Flying Hanuman Phuket you can zipline through the treetops of the island’s tropical jungle. There are 28 adventure platforms, 15 ziplines, one skyrail and 2 sky bridges. Fun and exciting for everyone and it’s an eco-friendly activity too. The minimum age for kids is 4 years old.
Written by Stephanie of Villa-Finder.com