Archive of ‘Parent Advice’ category
When it comes to looking after our kids, we all want to do our best. There isn’t a corner of the world that a mother wouldn’t go, to make sure that their kid gets the best start in life. But with budget constraints and conflicting opinions on what is right and wrong, it can often be hard to know which way to turn.
As a new mother, you will have to buy hundreds of things. In the end, it can be tempting to buy whatever’s in front of you, just to avoid having to spend more time shopping. There are certainly instances in which that is a fine philosophy. After all, it’s better to spend time with your child rather than standing around in the supermarket wondering which type of bib would suit them best. But there are other times when it’s worth thinking through a big purchase and spending that extra bit of cash in order to get some peace of mind.
And there are often times when quality is supremely important. In many cases it can be worth investing that extra bit of cash in order to get this vital quality assurance. And perhaps the best form of quality assurance comes from knowing that your new purchases have been handmade.
Handmade items have a load of different advantages to them. First of all, you know that the materials will be safe and healthy for your child. With plenty of knock-offs and cheap imitations rolling off of the assembly lines abroad, many of them use materials that are unsafe for children.
If the item is handmade then you know someone has safely handled it before, and you also know that they company making it cares about their materials. Powell Craft stockists, for example, will have more information on their products than your average discount supermarket will have. Using this information, you will be able to make sure that the items that your child uses every day are completely safe.
You should also be thinking about durability. Obviously your child will be growing a lot over their first few years. Many mothers take this to mean that they should be buying anything too expensive, as it will simply be grown out of in a month’s time. But there are items, such as cribs, that are worth investing in. A handmade crib will last an extremely long time, and will often have an extensive or lifetime guarantee. As a bonus, you will also be able to pass it on to other mothers when it is their turn.
Handmade toys will also have a certain charm to them. They will be simple and timeless. They will also be completely free of all of the choking hazards that often make it through safety checks in modern toys. As a further bonus, toys such as this are likely to last a very long time. This means that as your child grows up you will have a few mementos of those first happy years.
Christmas vacation is an exciting time of the year. It means two or more week where your kiddos are out of school and home to enjoy the holidays. But this special time can get a little crazy with stir crazy children trapped in the house all day and growing a little wild. Here are six fun activities to plan with your munchkins during this winter break.
1. Set Up Craft Time
Most kids have an amazing artistic side, and with school out of session, they will be ready to show off their glue stick skills home. Pull out the construction paper and scissors for a fun family craft time. Research a few printables or other winter craft ideas online and let your kids go crazy with creativity.
2. Cooking School
With holiday baking and warm winter recipes, this break might be the perfect time to teach your youngsters some basic culinary skills. Cover everybody in an apron and set to work. This can be a prime opportunity for reinforcing their fledgling math skills with instruction or reminders about measuring cups and spoons.
3. Pick a Read Aloud Book
The importance of reading out loud to little ones can’t be overstated. Winter break is a perfect chance to enjoy quality time and a classic story. Use the break from schooldays and homework to read with your kids. Get together and pick out a favorite chapter book like The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe or The Wonderful Wizard or Oz. If your family enjoys the mornings, cozy up around a cup of hot chocolate and read a chapter. If you are night owls, then start a routine of reading a chapter or two before bed. If your kids are excited to see what happens next, read in the morning and at lunch and at night!
4. Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
They’ve been singing that question around the house and in the carpool and at school all year long. Now, as the snow begins to fall, it is finally time to head outside with your kids and sculpt your very own snowman. It is an annual tradition for most families living in colder climates. And if you reside in a sunny spot, maybe opt for constructing a sand castle together.
5. Family Movie Night
Another great way to engage with kids is over their classic movie or TV show. With channels from Mississippi Direct TV Service or other Direct TV providers, you and yours can enjoy classic holiday movies and all of your children’s shows. When you know a great program or film is about to air, gather everyone together and cook some homemade popcorn. Bundle up on the couch with blankets and pillows and enjoy being together.
6. Build a Blanket Fort
One the most fun growing up experiences consists of indoor construction. Blanket forts are so much fun to create, whether you are eight years old or 48. Gather sheets, blankets, chairs, brooms and other prospective building materials and set to work as a team. See your children generate their own ideas and lead a group effort while learning what works and what doesn’t hold up structurally.
With these six winter time activities, your family will be happily entertained this winter break. And you will be able to enjoy the special memories made this holiday season.
Image from reading4rigor.com and sheknows.com
For many children, a deep love of animals begins early on in life. As a parent, you know it’s important to teach your children to love and respect both their pets and the wildlife around them. It’s an excellent outlook to have in general, but can also foster skills that will help your little one to succeed in an animal sciences career down the road. If, “Mum, I’m going to be a veterinarian when I grow up” is something you hear all the time, this post is for you! These six helpful tips will provide you with ways to foster those skills throughout childhood and beyond.
Encourage Good Grades
This may not seem like a very fun way to encourage your child–especially if you tell them how important it is to stay on top of boring homework before going out to play. Good grades from very early on is one of the best ways to guarantee success when applying for a veterinary programme down the road.
Most are extremely competitive, taking only applications that can show an ability to maintain scores from the early grades on. After year 10, this becomes even more important. With major universities like Edinburgh limiting slots in order to gain more foreign students, your child really needs to be the full package.
While you’ll probably have to tag along if your child is fairly young, volunteering is an excellent way to prepare for a veterinary career path. PBS has an excellent blog post that details how other children offer their help.
Volunteering instills the idea that service toward the community–and the beings within it–is important. Offering your time at a local shelter, pet shop or animal clinic is a fantastic way for your little one to get their feet wet while still providing a much-needed service.
That being said, volunteering can have some drawbacks. Very young children may have difficulty understanding that, sometimes, sad things happen in these environments. While that’s no reason to avoid jumping in altogether, consider your child’s personality before signing them up. If you think seeing sick animals or learning of an animal being euthanised will discourage them or upset them a great deal, it may be best to wait a couple of years and try again.
Walking dogs or petting cats at your local RSPCA is an excellent place to start. These animals need love, too!
Adopt a Pet
Dogs are synonymous with childhood. If you had a pet dog as a child, then you undoubtedly know the sense of loyalty and responsibility it can foster. If you haven’t already, adopting or rescuing your own dog can be an excellent way to further that love of animals.
According to the RSPCA, owning a dog can encourage the development of social skills and teach little ones about the value of clear communication.
But it’s not enough to just adopt a puppy–make your little one an active part of the process right from the beginning. That means choosing a good breed, learning about feeding the pet a healthy diet, and attending vet visits. Grooming, walking and training are all valuable learning experiences, too.
When You Can’t Adopt
Can’t adopt your own pet? There’s still plenty of opportunity to play with the pets of others. Help your child to create a pet-related business by walking local dogs for a small donation to the RSPCA. Or, just visit local dog parks. You can also find scheduled dog walks in your area using the My Pawson Dog Friendly website, and other similar sites.
Being the Mum or Dad of a budding veterinarian won’t always be easy. You’ll undoubtedly run into some difficult situations along the way. But the joy and excitement of seeing your little one unfold their wings over time is absolutely worth it.
Image by: James LeVeque
Bedwetting is actually fairly common amongst school-aged children. The kids can’t control it and most will grow out of it. But there are ways to can help to manage it, including bedwetting alarms.
The Facts About Bedwetting
- Most children will stop daytime wetting by the time they are three and night wetting by five years of age.
- Many children will grow out of bedwetting once they start school but there are primary school children who still wet the bed.
- Bedwetting is sometimes referred to as nocturnal enuresis.
Why it Happens
Bedwetting isn’t about blaming someone – it’s nobody’s fault. Children wet the bed when they don’t have control of their bladders and don’t wake up when their bladders need emptying. These children tend to be heavy sleepers.
There can be medical causes too, so it’s always advisable to seek a doctor’s check-up. Many night time bed wetters have love levels of the hormone that controls how much urine is produced during sleep.
How You Can Help Your Child
- Tell your child that bed wetting is completely normal and nothing to be embarrassed about.
- Have your child drink the majority of fluids during the day and cut back at night. Stay away from caffeinated soft drinks which increased urine production.
- Have your child empty his or her bladder right before bedtime.
- If the bedwetting is causing your child stress, do pacify him or her and let them your child know that bedwetting will stop in time.
- DRI Sleeper bedwetting alarms can help your child to wake up every three hours or so to empty their bladder.
- Offer plenty of encouragement, especially after incidents.
When To see the Doctor
Seek medical advice if:
- The child continues to wet during the day, by the time they reach school age.
- The child has started to wet the bed again after having stopped for some time.
- Your child is getting distressed with the bedwetting.
What You Shouldn’t Do
Firstly, never criticise or punish your child or tease him or her and don’t let others either. This can just make things a lot more anxious.
It’s also a bad idea to make younger children clean up after themselves as they might feel like they’re being punished for something they simply cannot control. Children tend to feel rather upset when they awake in a wet bed – it’s not their intention to upset their parents.
Do remember that behaviour change programs, like rewards and star charts, aren’t going to work in this case. Bedwetting cannot be controlled.
If Your Child is Older than Seven Years
- If your child isn’t too distressed by the bedwetting, and you aren’t either, you both might be ok with waiting out the phase. But a lot of children will try to hide their unhappiness so do try to help them.
- If your child is older than seven, try a bladder training program such as DRI Sleeper bedwetting alarms. Such solutions have proven highly successful.
- Be sure to use a treatment that is not going to add to the child’s embarrassment or discomfort.
- Help make sure you child feels as comfortable as possible about going to sleepovers and school camps but helping him or her with bladder training.
- Reassure the child that bedwetting is completely common and not something to be embarrassed about.
- Never punish, tease or criticise your child for wetting the bed. At the same time, don’t offer rewards. Your child just cannot control the bladder.
- Seek medical advice and a check-up to make sure there are no physical causes.
- Use a bladder training device to help your child if he or she seems anxious or is older than seven.
A Few Things to Remember
Bedwetting can be overcome. They key is patience and understanding.
When you’re decorating your child’s room, it’s not only design and comfort that you need to keep in mind. As they get a bit older, they’ll be spending a lot of their time in their bedroom, very often unsupervised. This stage between toddler and teen is when they gain real independence, but to give yourself some peace of mind – it’s best to continue to safe-proof the space to a reasonable level and here are some basic tips for doing just that:
Think carefully when deciding where to put the bed
It’s easy to prioritise other factors such as maximising space or whether there will be enough room for a bed side table, but safety is paramount. Don’t place it near the window, where it becomes within climbing distance. You never know when an excitable boy and his friends will want to experiment with throwing action figures out the window, so put in some means of prevention in now. Never put a bed directly next to a radiator, or below a shelf or unit that they could hit their head on or knock things off.
Back to windows, if possible it’s best to fix them with latches that prevent them from opening fully.
Avoid heavy pictures or mirrors
Some framed pictures can be quite hefty and it’s nice to start adding some personal touches when they’re old enough to have a favourite pop star or film. However, hanging them above a bed or in other areas under which your child might sit could result in a nasty accident if it were to fall. The same goes for mirrors or any other hanging feature.
Secure freestanding units
Tall, heavy furniture should be attached to the wall using anti-toppling devices like fixing brackets. A chest of drawers may seem sturdy but if someone is feeling mischievous and pulls out every drawer, it’s thrown off balance and can easily topple. A small wardrobe with its doors flung can present the same risk.
You may be thinking ahead for ways to adapt your toddler’s room, or perhaps you’ll be starting from a fresh canvas in one of the brand new home developments in Winchester. Either way, it is important to ensure your child is safe in their bedroom.
Trying to prepare for your baby’s arrival can leave you wading through aisles of baby products feeling a little puzzled. You probably have a lot of questions, like which clothes should I buy? What about baths, bottles or blankets?
Read this list of baby essentials that will help you make sense of it all.
Babies grow quickly, so focus on buying the essential items. Petit Bateau have everything you will need.
Choose all-in-one sleepsuits to make your baby comfy night and day, and buy vests or bodysuits for underneath. Both of these have poppers so dressing and nappy changes are easier. Cardigans are perfect for layering and allow you to accommodate to your baby’s temperature.
If you plan on breast feeding, you will need a breast pump, bottles, a nursing bra and breast pads. For formula, buy bottles and teats, a steriliser and bottle brushes. No matter which method you choose, you will need to buy plenty of bibs!
Most new parents struggle with feeding, but you will soon fall into a rhythm. There are plenty of articles about how to feed a newborn that will set your mind at ease.
There are a range of sleeping options for your baby and eventually they will need a cot, but newborns can find it hard to settle in one. Unless you choose to co-sleep, buy a Moses basket and a supply of blankets to make bedtime easier.
It is also wise to buy sleeping mitts in case your baby scratches during their sleep.
The first time you bath your baby can be stressful. A baby bath tub is the perfect size and can be placed anywhere. Buy a gentle baby soap or cleanser that will be suitable for their delicate skin and wrap your baby in a soft towel.
Changing tables are bulky and expensive, so if you lack space, opt for a lightweight changing pad. You will need nappies, gentle baby wipes and a supply of nappy rash cream, just in case. Make sure you have a supply of antibacterial wipes to keep the surface hygienic.
Choosing a pram (and a car seat) can be hard, as there are a range of features and different price tags. Head to a specialist for advice. Don’t forget to buy a changing bag and keep it fully stocked to ensure you always have everything on hand.
Markets like Camden often have a special atmosphere that many of us find so appealing and kids just love the buzz of excitement and activity when you take them along.
You can find out about the various markets and what they have to offer at CamdenMarket.com and in the meantime, here is a look at some of the crafts and activity ideas that you might be able to pick up at pocket money prices.
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year and especially exciting for children, but what you will witness with markets like Camden Lock as an example, is that there is actually a festival atmosphere whenever you choose to visit.
Little people are well catered for with a big range of toys and handmade craft items, all of which can help them enjoy some fun that doesn’t involve a TV or a gaming device. You can find things like juggling equipment to set them a new challenge or you could pick up lots of different craft bits, so that you can let them create something unique using their imagination.
Decorating the tree
A good reason for visiting a market during the festive period is that when it is Christmas at Camden and other well-known markets, you will be able to find a wide choice of tinsel, fairy lights and other decorations, that the kids can choose in order to help decorate the tree.
Whilst you are making your choice, you will probably find that there is plenty of carol singing and mulled wine on offer for the adults, which all adds to the festive spirit and makes the shopping trip that bit more special, compared to your usual high street alternatives.
New Spitalfields experience
Another market that is well worth visiting with the children is Spitalfields.
Subject to a recent redevelopment, Spitalfields market has been given a new lease of life and there are different stalls on different days, so check out the itinerary and pay a visit with the kids when there are craft stalls and other items of interest to take a look at.
Sunday is a very hectic market day for Spitalfields, but there are plenty of places to go and get something to eat if the children need a break from trawling through the various stalls that will be of interest to them.
The whole purpose of visiting a bustling market with your kids is to let them enjoy the unique atmosphere and try and find something that is a bit different to catch their interest with.
You might want to consider searching out some unusual or traditional board games and puzzles to take home with you. Kids of all ages actually love playing all sorts of board games and it makes for a great family-orientated evening without the usual distraction of a TV, which is soon forgotten when they start to play.
Handmade jewellery is also a popular activity with children, who love to make presents for others that are truly unique pieces. You can have a lot of fun searching out all the materials they will need in order to make some jewellery, which is often well received.
Take your kids to a market and let them explore and experience all that these special places have to offer, and they will soon be asking to go back again soon.
Kevin Ellis is a digital content coordinator and marketing consultant. He enjoys blogging and sharing his ideas online. His articles mainly appear on travel and lifestyle blogs.
Phone use has accumulated a very bad reputation among kids. Many parents feel that their children spend too much time on their phones, and that the time their kids spend on their phones not in the least bit productive. Most parents would agree that phone use is an issue in their kids’ lives. A phone can be a very valuable piece of equipment in a child’s life, or a very serious distraction. It is the parents’ job to make sure that a phone is used only as a tool to improve their child’s life.
Setting boundaries with children and phones can be extremely difficult for a parent. Most children have their mobile phone with them at all times, and some kids will even protect their accounts with passwords that even their parents would not know. Parents should not only know how their children are spending their time on their phone, but they should also help their children use their phones in a safe and productive way. Here are five tips to help parents manage their kids’ phone use.
Do the children need their own phone line?
Many parents see other parents buying their young children their own phone, so they think that they need to do the same. Parents should judge to see if their children are really ready for their own phone yet. Most parents think that a child is not ready for a phone of their own until high school, but parents can judge their children’s own responsibility and maturity levels to decide.
Help children understand basic phone safety
Phone safety is extremely important to go over with any child. Parents need to make sure that their children understand what practices are OK on a phone and what practices could get them into trouble.
Establish ‘no phone’ times
Many children who have their own phone will have that phone with them whenever they possibly can. Parents should set up times that their children are not allowed to have their phones in order to give everyone a break from technology, like dinner time. Parents can better control this with https://www.vonagedeals.com/.
Use the phone as a tool when kids leave the house
Mobile phones can be very useful for parents when their children leave the house. Parents can use their children’s phone to know where they are at all times and make sure that they are safe. This is a great way for parents to feel safe letting their children go out on their own for the first time.
When necessary, just say no
Sometimes, parents just need to set boundaries with their children. Saying no to phone use is something that no child will like hearing, but in some situations, it is the only solution. If a parent notices their child is spending too much time on their phone, the parent might just need to cut the cord for a while in order to teach the child appropriate phone use.
One question parents tend to begin to ask around the 18 months mark, is when is the right time to transfer a child from a crib to a child’s bed. As with just about everything else about children, there is unfortunately, no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this, but there are some ways to assess whether it is time with your own child. Some children don’t move from sleeping in a crib until they are nearly four years old, so there is no rush to do this, but usually by this time kids are either too active at night or too big for this to be the best sleeping solution. Here, we look at some of the considerations when it comes to migrating your toddler out of their crib.
Do They Seem Ready?
A child who is constantly trying to escape from their crib may be telling you something – they are ready for something a bit more grown up. Equally, kids with older siblings tend to want to make the move earlier so they can be more like their brothers and sisters, rather than feeling like ‘the baby’. On the other hand, if your child really loves their crib and sleeps very well in it, then there is no reason to move them before they are ready – some children, particularly only children who don’t have a frame of reference about what older kids do – are fine in the crib until they naturally outgrow it.
Is There a Necessity?
If you are expecting another baby, you may feel it is necessary for your toddler to graduate to a big kid bed before the arrival, so the crib can be free for a new occupant. This can often make sense, but make the transition to the new bed either a few weeks before or a few weeks after the new sibling is born, rather than at the same time (the new baby will most likely sleep in a basinette until then anyway). A new baby can feel like a threat to your toddler, and feeling like their bed is being taken away from them to accommodate them can make this harder. Additionally, as you make the transition your toddler may have a few sleepless nights, and you don’t want to deal with that at the same time as a newborn!
Making the New Bed Appealing
Make sure the new bed is attractive and comfy, so your child will see it as a better alternative than their crib. With older toddlers, you can even let them help choose the bedlinen – Threel.co.uk have a great selection for children that you can choose and order online. Show them that their favourite toy loves the new bed and wants to sleep there too, or even add a new cuddly friend in there that they can only play with if they get in the bed!
Moving a toddler into their new bed can either be an exciting time for them, or one they resist, but eventually, all kids grow to love their soft, comfy beds (just like adults!).
The best thing your mom will love for her birthday is definitely your ‘time’. Make it even more special with gifting her a birthday present that tells your mother how much she means to you. The best way of doing so is by picking a gift that seems just made for her. And if your mother happens to be a writer, she is sure to love unique antique gifts. You don’t want to go with last minute flowers and chocolates this year, when you have so much to choose from for a woman of words.
Antique Gifts are not always Expensive
It is not really necessary for you to spend a fortune on buying a sophisticated gift. All you will have to do is to come up with something unique and apt for her. Finding a distinctive antique gift for her has just become the easiest thing to do with Premier Gifts, which offers “perfect gifts for that perfect someone.” Its unmatched quality and intricately designed items with the perfect antique appearance come at the most reasonable rates too.
Bring out the classic writer in her
What can be a better gift for a writer than a classy pen? Looks like a faux pas? Give a vintage twist to it by giving her a writer’s palette. A beautiful antique looking palette with a French finish is what you need. You have wooden styluses with brass nibs, just like the ones used by the classic writers of yore. Pick one that comes with hand made porcelain ink cups, having different colours of ink, for her to add some hues to her writings. This could be a perfect gift for a creative mind.
For a bookworm mom
Having a writer mom is equal to having heaps of books around the home. A unique antique gift would be book ends with an old French vintage look. Picking bookends with a antique appearance will add a touch of antiquity to her room. Celestial and terrestrial globes on the sides that resemble the ones found in the 16th century adorn this bookend, making it an absolutely sought after piece.
Light-up her life
Remember ancient surveyor’s tripod lamps you saw in period films? Not a surveyor though, but your mom does need a lamp for the evenings she spends exploring her creativity. Gift her handcrafted lamp that stands on a tripod from online gift store like Premier Gifts. You can even choose this classy lamp in a black and ivory combination or you can even pick a traditional wood and brass tripod.
The best part about these antique gifts for her, other than being just perfect for your writer-mom, is that you don’t really have to learn the art of picking antiques from auctions and sales. These look as unique and beautiful as the rare age old antiques from the past.
If you are looking for some more options other than writing inspiring gifts then you can also check out these amazing birthday gift ideas for your mom. You will find a lot of options there that I am sure you would love to gift your mom.