Monthly Archives: September 2014

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Crazy Tricks to Get Your Baby To Sleep

Its 2:30am and everyone else in the house is fast asleep. That is except for you and your screaming, seemingly impossible to soothe baby. Youve tried everything you can think of to calm his squeals – clean diaper, full belly, proper temperature, rocking, patting, singing, rubbing, bouncing – yet nothing is working and you are about to pull your hair out.

 

Weve all been there and the level of overwhelming exhaustion in this situation is so hard to describe to anyone who hasnt experienced it themselves. So we are providing some of the more unique (shall we say crazy) tricks that weve heard about which moms around the globe use to win this sleep battle. Some of them are a little more outside-the-box than others but it is worth a try to get your struggling baby to sleep.

 

Run the Blow Dryer

Ill admit that I had heard of this one before. It falls in the same category as running the vacuum cleaner, both of which supply continuous white noise which helps soothe the baby to sleep. What I wasnt aware of was how many parents actually do this. Most just run their actual hair dryer until the baby dozes off. Some have recorded their hair dryer on their smart phone and just play it in a continuous loop for the baby (clever!) or even bought CDs which are available that have white noises including the humming of a hairdryer included.

 

Recreate the Night Sky

Apparently something about the stars and the moon in a soft, soothing light helps distract and calm the baby. There are several options here. You can run out and buy one of the many different type of night sky lamps available on the market some of which come with a lullaby option as well. Or, you can just buy glow and the dark star stickers at your local craft store and place them on the ceiling above the crib, a cheap and easy solution that should work like a charm.

 

Let Your Baby Suck on a Candy Cane or Put Peppermint on their Pacifier

Im not sure that the stickiness of a peppermint candy would be a joy to clean off of your baby in the middle of the night especially since you are trying to get them to sleep, but it is definitely worth a try. Plus, if what is keeping your little one awake has anything to do with stomach or digestive issues, mint is known to having soothing properties so we say go for it.

 

Put the Car Seat on the Dryer

Constant vibrations are calming to a baby so if you are at your wits end try strapping the little one into their car seat and set it on top of the washing machine on the spin cycle. Then cross your fingers that the good vibrations send the baby off to slumber land. And hey, you might have the added bonus of finishing one of the 8 loads of laundry you needed to get done in the process!

 

Practice Chinese Acupressure

What could be more relaxing than loving, subtly applied massaging on pressure points? The Chinese believe that balancing your babys energies through light pressure can help with a number of issues including digestion and gas, teething, strengthening the immune system and yes, inducing sleep. We think that a little relaxing baby pressure point massage might just do the trick! If nothing else, your baby will definitely feel more relaxed.

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The Pros and Cons of Kids Playing With Smartphones

 

Since most of us moms have a smartphone it has become increasingly common to see a mom hand the phone over to their little ones to entertain them while they are trying to get something done or to put a stop to a brewing tantrum. Ill be the first to admit it, even though it was against my better judgement I have used my device to save my sanity a time or two.

 

The debate over whether allowing your kids to use your smartphone is a heated one with some critics believing it does harm and supporters believing it has many positive effects. We are not going to take sides here as we believe that it is ultimately up to the parents to decide how much mobile exposure to give to their children. Instead, we are going to provide you the pros and cons of usage and leave it up to you!

 

PROS

  • There are phenomenal digital learning apps for little kids. There are literally thousands of educational apps on iTunes alone and that just keeps continuing to grow every day.

  • There are educational Kids channels in YouTube like ChuChu TV, Super Simple Songs, TuTiTu etc where the kids get to learn nursery rhymes, alphabet songs, numbers songs, shapes, things, activity songs and many more.

  • Exposing your little ones to technology will make them more digitally savvy later in life.

  • Because the device is mobile you are encourage anytime, anywhere learning.

  • There is a mind-blowing amount of fantastic web-based content out there for a child to discover, like watching orca whales swim in the wild or reading about and looking at pictures of flowers native to their home state.

  • Children can be exposed to a world of music and videos that they would never otherwise be exposed to.

CONS

  • It is too easy for kids to access inappropriate content.

  • Every moment spent in front of a screen is a moment that your child isnt exploring their world around them which is critical in development.

  • When using a smartphone to calm a fussy child you are essentially teaching them that if they throw a big enough tantrum they will be rewarded with play time.

  • Spending too much time on a device could cause younger children to become over stimulated.

  • Constant smartphone usage can result in a child being able to tune out the world around them and create a looking downpersonality.

 

No matter what side of the debate you are on we can all agree that the smartphone is an everyday tool that isnt going away soon. In fact, over the next few years we will see mobile technology incorporated into our watches and our eye glasses, both of which will blow our kidsminds. Itll be up to us to monitor our childrens exposure and do the best that we can in raising them in our digital world.

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Why Letting Your Toddler Get Messy at Mealtime Helps with Brain Development

“You haven’t lived until you have cleaned pureed sweet potatoes out of a baby’s ears,” said no Mom ever!

 

 

 

But don’t fear moms, I’ve got great news! First, this phase does end eventually and your toddler will grow up to be a sophisticated eater and will not rub yogurt in his hair at a dinner party when he is 30 years old. And second, know that there is a method to their madness. I know it seems difficult to believe but allowing our toddlers to be messy actual helps with their brain development.

 

So next time you get frustrated when your toddler throws the baby fork on the floor and decides to use his hands to eat cereal, remember these 4 ways that the mess is actually helping them grow and learn.

 

Developing Sensory Play

 

Mealtime is full of learning experiences for children. They learn what is socially acceptable at meal time by watching and getting cues from the rest of the family. But aside from learning behavioral cues this could be one of the first times that they are able to have active and independent sensory play. Think about it. They are able to independently touch, feel, taste and smell the different foods you put in front of them and with that they are nurturing their curiosity, discovery and exploration.

 

Learning How to Self Feed

 

Have you ever watched a baby play with their food and as they are rubbing it all over their face, they get some in their mouth and they are like “Wow! That’s delicious!”? That is the moment when they realize that they can grab food and feed themselves. It is a very important step in your child gaining their independence and learning how to self feed. So, let them get messy. It will lead to eventually learning the cause and effect of grabbing food with a spoon and putting it into their mouth. It is all part of their development and self-discovery.

 

Preventing Tactile Defensiveness

 

Believe it or not, keeping your baby too clean at meal time can actually do them more harm than good. Kids need to be exposed to different textures as they are growing. If they are not, they run the risk of becoming sensitive to them. In other words, if you are constantly trying to keep your baby perfectly clean then they could start to be very uncomfortable if they ever get messy. This is called tactile defensiveness and it can be learned. The best way to avoid it is to again, let your child explore with all of the textures of their food in whatever way they need to in order to learn.

 

Making Mealtime a Happy Time

 

How fun do you think eating will be if you are constantly wiping your toddler’s face with a napkin, or scolding them for throwing the fork or rubbing squash on their cheeks? While you don’t want this behavior to continue into middle school now is the time to tolerate the chaos. As long as they are being respectful, make mealtime a time of happiness and positivity and not a time where you are on edge because you want to prevent any little mess from happening.

 

So the next time you find yourself frustrated while you are cleaning smashed blueberries out the creases of the highchair remember this…today, your toddler got smarter in that messy chair.

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Easy Home Remedies to Soothe a Teething Tot

 

There are many over the counter soothing gels, biscuits and teething rings that you can offer them for comfort. But if you dont want to go out and spend a bunch of money, there are plenty of home remedies for teething that can offer comfort to your tot during this time. Most of these items you probably already have in your home and with just a little bit of preparation you could be helping your little one feel better in no time.

 

1. Frozen Banana

Depending on the age and level of development of your teether, you can just have them suck right on the frozen banana or you can put it in one of those mesh feeders if you are worried about choking.

 

2. Ice Cold Washcloth Soaked in Chamomile Tea

Soak a clean washcloth in chamomile tea, place it in the freezer and then let your teething tot suck away on it. The chamomile has soothing properties and can help relieve this discomfort in their gums. If you dont feel like using the tea, simply soaking the towel in water and freezing it works too!

 

3. Ice Cold Baby Bottle

Even if your baby is breastfeeding you can put ice cold water in a bottle and let them suck on it. They probably wont get too much water out but the ice cold nipple will be fun to chew on and the chill will help ease the pain.

 

4. Cold Spoon

The feeling of a cold metal spoon on your babys gums is a great way to soothe them. But make sure that the baby is closely supervised if you let them chew away on a spoon. They should be strapped into a high chair so that they dont risk falling forward onto the spoon and gagging.

 

5. Refrigerated Bagel

A refrigerated bagel has just the right firmness to act as a homemade teething ring. You can even freeze the bagel if you want for the added relief they can get from the chill in their mouth.

 

6. Frozen Ego Waffles

Much like a chilled bagel, frozen waffles are a great thing to chew on during teething. Just make sure that you are giving them the entire waffle or very large pieces and supervise them closely to make sure they dont break off small chunks and choke.

 

7. Ginger

Take a piece of ginger, clean it and then rub it up against your babys gums. The ginger acts as a natural pain reliever.

 

8. Breast Milk Ice Cube

If you are breastfeeding, pump some milk and make ice cubes out of your breast milk. Place a cube in a mesh feeder and let your teether suck on it. The cold will soothe their gums and the milk will provide familiarity and comfort.