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Teach Your Child These 8 Money Lessons Your Parents Might Not Have Taught You

All parents want nothing but the best for their kids, and that includes growing up to be successful in life. But when it comes to money, many parents struggle terribly to teach their kids about it.

The good news: even parents who haven’t been financially successful themselves can teach their kids everything they need to know about money including how misunderstood it is by the masses.

Self-made millionaire Steve Siebold, author of the new book “How Money Works: Stop Being a Sucker,”offers these 8 tips to help parents teach their kids how money works:

  1. Teach your kids to dream big: The self-made rich are the biggest dreamers in the world, and parents encourage their kids to dream beyond what they think is possible. The truth is that not all their ideas are winners, but that doesn’t discourage them from thinking about it. Encourage you kids to dream about whatever it is that motivates, excites and drives them.

2. Teach your kids to build a healthy relationship with money: Unfortunately, most people see money through the eyes of fear and scarcity. The wealthy teach their kids to look at money as a positive force in their lives, and see it through the eyes of freedom, possibility, abundance and opportunity.

3. Teach your kids that wealth is nonlinear: School and most of what you learn is going to teach you to think in linear terms or in a straight line. 123. ABC. Unfortunately, the serious problems in society are rarely solved at this basic level of thought. Encourage your kids to look at things in as many different ways as possible, and in ways that other people never even consider. Teach them that linear thinking is the obvious. Nonlinear thinking is the nonobvious. Linear thinking will make your kids a living. Nonlinear thinking will make them rich.

4. Teach your kids to maintain a sense of urgency: Teach your kids that with each passing year, time seems to accelerate, so they must operate with a sense of urgency. The masses procrastinate, stall and put-off fulfilling their commitments to the very last minute, which is often too late. Teach your kids it starts now by completing their class assignments, homework, chores, sports or music practice, and anything else they commit to in advance or at least on time.

5. Teach your kids to embrace conflict: Most people avoid conflict at all costs. They hate it. Teach your kids that constructive conflict can be a valuable learning mechanism. When smart people disagree on ideas, philosophies and strategies, new levels of understanding can be reached. Teach your kids to keep their emotions out of conflict and look at it through the eyes of logic and learning. If they do this, they’ll be able to use conflict to learn, grow, be more successful and make more money. Remember, conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.

6. Teach your kids to fail forward: Teach your kids that success is usually built on a series of attempts and failures. Most of the world views failure as a death sentence. Instead of learning from the failure and moving forward, most people shrink back into their comfort zones and play it safe for the rest of their lives. Teach your kids that failure isn’t fun, but it is the required foundation of making it big. Making mistakes and the education they will give you is to be expected and embraced.

7. Teach your kids to take responsibility: Teach your kids they are responsible for their success, fulfillment and happiness. Most people like to blame everyone and everything but themselves for their struggles. It’s never their faults because they refuse to grow up and accept the fact that they are makers of their own destinies. Teach your kids not to wait for the hero on the white horse to come riding in to save them. They are the heroes and they are 100% responsible for saving themselves.

8. Teach your kids to cocoon themselves: Teach your kids to be selective over who gains access to their inner circle. The masses see this as an elitist action successful people take to isolate themselves from others because they think they’re better. That’s simply not true. Cocooning is about protecting your consciousness from the fear and scarcity mindsets that plagues the masses. Dr. Albert Einstein said, “Consciousness is contagious,” and he couldn’t be righter. Your kids will be the average of the five people they spend the most time with.

Good luck, parents!

7 Simple and Fun Tips For Getting Your Child to Help with Cleaning

Saturday mornings in many homes across the globe are reserved for cleaning the home. Parents, you do not have to go at it alone.

If you teach your children how to do chores and expect them to do them, you’ll not only get help cleaning but will be instilling lifelong positive habits they can benefit from forever.

Take a moment to check the 7 tips for having your kids clean their own room. These are quite simple and fun, so pick a few to test as soon as possible.

  1. Show them how to do it

Set expectations for toddlers and show them how to do the task you want them to do.

Don’t just explain it,  show them the toy box and how to put the toys away. Show them where the coloring books should be and how to put all the crayons back.

The same goes for older kids. If you don’t like how they vacuumed the floor, consider stepping in and showing them the proper way of doing it.

  1. Lead by example

Kids are copycats, and they tend to absorb things like sponges. They repeat our words and actions, whether the good or the bad ones. For this reason, it’s important to be a good example in every way, included when it comes to cleaning.

Trying to explain to your child the importance of making the bed won’t go that well if you don’t make your bed when you wake up. You may think it doesn’t matter, but it does. And, it’s a matter of time before your child figures this out and calls you out on it.

Be a good example.

  1. Let them have their space

If your child already has a room, you might want to cut them some slack on how the room should look. Surely, it shouldn’t be messy, but let them have some say in it.

Kids that have their room are more likely to want to keep it tidy. Let them have this space and arrange it in any way they want.

You can decide how to do this. Will you let your child pick the color of the walls or not is up to you, but let him/her have some say in how the room looks.

They can maybe pick the furniture or the way how things will be organized. Once it feels like that space is theirs, they will most likely care for it better.

  1. Set some rules

This is the time when you should be a bit strict. Set some rules and stick to them. These rules can be about anything you see fit from making the bed to putting away the toys.

For example, tell your child that he/she cannot watch the TV until all the toys are back in place. It might take some time and effort to accomplish the result, but if you’re strict, your child will see that there’s no other way about this.

Keep in mind that your kid might want to test how serious you are about the new rules. It might seem easier to just make the bed by yourself instead of trying to get your kid to do it. Stick to your guns and avoid the temptation.

  1. Make it fun

Let’s face it! Few people enjoy cleaning up. Make it a fun endeavor. Just like how you might play music to get through a pile of laundry, you should also consider turning this into a game for your child.

There are several ways in which you can do this. Some parents like to set up an alarm, so the kids race to finish before it rings. Some kids love competing against each other on who can pick up more toys.

Also, consider playing some music for them, so that they can dance or sing while doing this. It’s going to make a tedious job appear less daunting.

  1. Praise or reward them

This seems like the simplest way of getting kids to clean. If you tell a child that they can play a video game after they vacuum, he/she will likely vacuum the whole place without objection.

However, you want to take it easy on rewarding. You’re trying to teach good habits, so it might not be the best idea to offer a reward each time they do something. It’s because they won’t get awards for making the bed in the future.

Nonetheless, you should at least praise them for the good job they did. It’s so easy to yell when a child disobeys, but we so often forget to tell them how proud we are when they do something good.

A lot of times, children want approval so if you tell your child you are proud of the job they’ve done, they may be more likely to do it on their own.

7. Be realistic

Kids should start helping as soon as possible because it’s important to implement those good habits at an early age. However, you don’t want to be too harsh and demanding either, so make sure that your expectations are realistic.

If you want your kid to make the bed, be prepared that he/she maybe won’t do such a great job. Nonetheless, it’s important that they try.

Also, you can’t expect a child to drag your heavy-duty vacuum all the way to their room to vacuum the floor.

If you want them to clean the floors, you should maybe invest in a vacuum that they can use. Luckily, CleanThatFloor reviewed several lightweight vacuums that your kid could use.

But still, is your child big enough to vacuum? Again, set your expectations according to your kid’s age and abilities. And, don’t forget to praise them for the good job they did.

 

Good luck parents!

Before Baby Comes Home Safety Adjustments To Make

Bringing home your newborn baby can be scary. They’re so small and delicate it seems like anything could happen. Take the time to safety proof your home room by room so you can be more focused on lullabies and joys of parenthood.

Bedroom

While you already know to cover your electrical outlets and keep small items off the floor, there are other hazards you may not be aware of in your baby’s room. Start with the crib. Parents recommends getting a fixed-side crib (instead of a drop-side crib) so your baby isn’t at risk of hurting themselves if the drop side breaks or to protect them once they’re big enough to start getting themselves out of the crib. You also should keep the crib empty of stuffed animals and other big, cushy items because they can pose a suffocation hazard to small babies, and they can be used as a step stool to climb out of the crib when they’re older.

Furniture stays are also a big help since little kids like to walk, climb, push, and test their boundaries. You need to make sure that any large furniture (dressers, bookshelves, carts) is attached to a wall or fixed in place so it can’t tip over.

Kitchen

Kitchens don’t have to be a dangerous place for your baby. Your new favorite item will be cabinet locks. By putting them on, your child won’t be able to get into a drawer full of knives or glass items (and then you won’t have to worry about picking up all the Tupperware they threw on the floor). You also should invest in an oven lock. While the oven door may seem too heavy for them to open, you don’t want to risk any accidental burns.

You also need to make sure everything is out of your child’s reach. Though this might not be a big deal when they’re just a few months old, it’s a good habit to get into as they become more mobile. Cook on the back burners of your stove and turn the handles inward to make sure your baby can’t pull off any hot pans. You also should put hazardous items, such as cleaning supplies and knives, in high cabinets with a safety lock. Avoid hanging choking hazards on your fridge, such as magnets, and keep any glass items out of reach.

Living Room

You’ll spend most of your time in the living room with your family. Make sure that all electrical outlets are covered with baby-proof sockets and that all wires and cords are tucked away where they can’t be reached by small, curious hands. You may want to put baby guards around the corners of your tables and secure any decorations that could be pulled off your coffee table or entertainment center.

Set up a home automation system to help you feel more secure. With this tool you can set your alarm system, lock your doors and control the lighting and temperature of the room. These home automation features are perfect when you can’t move the sleeping baby in your lap. A video surveillance camera also can work as a nanny cam, so you can check in on your baby when they’re with a babysitter. It can also work as a baby monitor, so you can watch your baby while they’re sleeping.

As your baby grows and becomes more mobile, you’ll need to update your safety proofing. Make sure to periodically go through your rooms and check for any potential hazards. Enjoy this special time without having to worry about your child’s safety.

How to Make Your Own Baby Food {A Primer}

Bellyitch Rewind 
There have been a few baby food recalls in recent weeks that have prompted some new moms to consider making their own baby food from scratch for their little ones. The idea of blending, pureeing, storing, thawing and making batches of baby food or toddler pouches can seem daunting, and time-consuming, but fortunately, in recent years, technology in the form of baby food blenders and scores of new books have cropped up to demystify and simplify the process.

Blender

To start, you may want to go out and get a blender with a puree function on it. I like the Magic Bullet for making smoothies and milkshakes for my little ones because it is easiest to clean. The company that makes it also sells a special version just for baby food making called Magic Bullet Baby Bullet Baby Care System which retails for $59.99 on Amazon but is sold in retail stores like Target, Walmart and the like.

Storage

Next, you’ll have to invest in tiny containers to store the foods you make. The Baby Bullet comes with its own containers and lids but you can also order storage containers. Sage Spoonfuls Big Batch Storage Set includes twelve 4 Ounce containers for about $20, enough for vegetable, desserts and other purees. They are freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe and durable portable jars with leak proof and easy to use screw on lids.

Recipes

Then comes the hard part: whipping up yummy recipes. Here are some books with tips, recipes and other suggestions.

ONE

The Amazing Make-Ahead Baby Food Book: Make 3 Months of Homemade Purees in 3 Hours ($17.88) This popular hardback book will give you to tools and tips for making up to three months’ worth of healthy, homemade baby food in just three one-hour blocks of time. It has unique combos like Peachy Strawberry Salad, Coconutty Mango Lassi, Plum-Gingered Brocco-Quinoa, and Purple Papaya Flax Yogurt, blending in a rainbow of nutritious options while expanding your baby’s palate.

TWO

Real Baby Food: Easy, All-Natural Recipes for Your Baby and Toddler ($10.79) The toughest part really is making the time but this book helps new moms create a routine that is easy, fast and flexible. The author starts with the building blocks of solid foods, and shares how to recognize food allergies, and easy ways to cook in bulk. Recipes progress from single-ingredient purées to multi-flavor blends like Salmon, Kale, and Sweet Potato Smash; then move on to finger foods—Turkey Meatloaf Bites, Maple Graham Animals—and finally toddler meals and snacks. Most can be made ahead and frozen, many are easily adapted for grown-up tastes, and all include full nutritional information. Nice!

THREE

101 DIY Baby Food Pouches ($10.99) specializes in baby food pouches for older babies and toddlers. This book includes instructions for filling your own pouches for cheaper, healthier, and eco-friendly options for your little one.

FOUR

Fast & Fresh Baby Food Cookbook: 120 Ridiculously Simple and Naturally Wholesome Baby Food Recipes ($11.87) This book targets the early stage new mom who “can’t keep up with the laundry” or “can’t fit into anything but yoga pants” and “can’t make your baby sleep through the night.” The book promised to help this mom “make the best food for your baby in 30 minutes or less.”

FIVE

Little Foodie: Baby Food Recipes for Babies and Toddlers with Taste ($13.59) This book comes from a certified baby chef and blogger over at Baby FoodE, Michele Olivier.  She offers over 100 food recipes, helpful FAQs and a comprehensive overview. Baby food recipes include: Apple + Mint + Ricotta Purée / Fennel + Pea + Peach Purée / Pumpkin + Thyme Purée / Sesame Tofu Sticks + Peanut Sauce / Curried Egg Finger Sandwiches + Mango Chutney / Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine + Couscous / Sausage + Kale Over Creamy Polenta / DIY Toddler Sushi Bar, and more.

SIX

Super Easy Baby Food Cookbook: Healthy Homemade Recipes for Every Age and Stage  ($11.74) This book focuses on super simple recipes  with just 5- ingredients each and includes over 150+ nutritious recipes that grow with your developing child. It has time saving sample menus for kids 4 to 18 months.

SEVEN

The Baby and Toddler Cookbook: Fresh, Homemade Foods for a Healthy Start ($15.68) Packed with over 90 recipes and loads of nutritional information, The Baby & Toddler Cookbookmakes cooking healthy meals easy, even for busy parents. By setting aside only a few hours a week, you can make and store an array of nutritious foods to keep baby happy and fed. All along the way, this book will give you helpful hints, guidance, and plenty of recipes to ease your path to nutrition.

EIGHT

Top 100 Baby Purees ($10.52) Like the other books, you’d learn to wean your baby who is transitioning to solid foods, discover food allergies and how to make  100 Baby Purees  with information tricks on finding the hidden nutrition in everyday foods. Dr. Michel Cohen, New York pediatrician and author of The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent opens the book with a forward.

NINE

Cooking for Baby: Wholesome, Homemade, Delicious Foods for 6 to 18 Months ($12.30) This book is organized by age and has smart tips on prep and storage with added suggestions on transitioning as baby grows. From celebrated children’s-food author Lisa BarnesCooking for Baby is a fully illustrated, gorgeous, four-color book that takes parents through the basics of preparing nutritious, delicious (and easy!) meals for your child, from six to eighteen months.

TEN

The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers: Practical Answers To Your Questions on Nutrition, Starting Solids, Allergies, Picky Eating, and More (For Parents, By Parents) ($12.30) A team of doctors came up with this comprehensive manual for feeding your babies and toddlers during their first crucial yeas of life. With The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers, you have the expertise of a team of pediatric medical and nutritional experts—who also happen to be parents—in a comprehensive manual that takes the guesswork out of feeding. This first-of-its-kind guide provides practical, easy-to-follow advice to help you navigate the nutrition issues, medical conditions, and parenting concerns that accompany feeding. With recipes, parenting stories, and recommendations based on the latest pediatric guidelines, this book will allow you to approach mealtime with confidence so you can spend more time enjoying your new family.

ELEVEN

201 Organic Baby Purees: The Freshest, Most Wholesome Food Your Baby Can Eat! ($10.25) When you can have 100 recipes, why not 201?! This book has even more healthy recipes that are organic and blends classic combinations such as turkey, sweet potato, and corn; Superfoods like avocado, blueberries, and spinach; and Puree-based transition recipes including soups, biscuits, frozen desserts.

TWELVE

The Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook For Baby & Toddler Hardcover ($14.54) This book comes from the organic family-focused food company Happy Family Organics and Cricket Azima, founder and CEO of The Creative Kitchen. Inside, find more than 70 easy-to-prepare recipes made with all-natural ingredients. It includes recipes with ingredient vegetable and fruit purees, including Happy Family’s best-selling spinach, mango & pear recipe, to recipes with quinoa, chia, and kale —Shazi’s and Cricket’s superfood recipes will nourish and please every kind of baby. Recipes for toddlers (1–3 years) include avocado & chicken whole wheat pizza; 3 bean farro risotto; and baked salmon with peas & rice balls; toddlers will love tasty snacks like strawberry-beet pudding with coconut milk and chia; avocado, melon & mint smoothies; banana, chocolate chip & quinoa muffins; and grilled nut-butter sandwiches with smashed berries. Good luck!

The US and State Workplace Breastmilk Express Laws You Need to Know

pump at work

pump at work

 

Even though the United States is the only high-income nation without guaranteed paid maternity leave for workers, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, most states still given women rights to express breast milk at work.

There are patchwork extra protections provided by states, and some do not apply to all workers or employers, explains employment lawyer Tom Spiggle of The Spiggle Law Firm in Washington, DC.

Federally, new moms benefit from a relatively new law called the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law which was part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from 2010 which amended Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Specifically, the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law requires employers to provide a suitable workplace location and reasonable time to break from work to do so until the mother’s child  turns one-year old.

This law gave relief to many moms who had been forced to pump milk in unsanitary bathrooms and possibly docked pay or penalized for taking time to pump.

The  National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 29 states plus the District of Columbia have at least some sort of workplace breastfeeding laws in effect which are similar to the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law. For the most part, they require employers to provide unpaid break times and reasonable locations (other than a bathroom) where an eligible employee can express breast milk. Some of these jurisdictions include:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado

A complete list of the other 27 states, along with the corresponding statutes, can be found at the NCSL’s Breastfeeding State Laws website.

The Cutest Halloween Baby Costume Ideas

baby halloween costumes

Are you looking for a cute costume for your baby?

There are tons of creative ideas on the Internet. You can go with traditional like pumpkin, a store-bought costume or you could go brave and try a DIY costume based on pop culture.

POPSUGAR assembled a list of 60+ of the most searched costume ideas and among them are baby ideas like Starbucks employee, Harry Potter, Chuckie from the horror flick, Child’s Play, and Boss Baby!

See the entire post HERE!

 

 

Use These Tactics To Make Halloween Less Scary for Small Kids

decorated pumpkins



After a young child watches a scary movie or is frightened by a Halloween costume, parents should reach for a can of anti-monster spray before bedtime, says Theresa Kruczek, a counseling psychology professor at Ball State University.

“Preschool children and those in early elementary school often have a difficult time with Halloween,” she says. “Children this age often struggle with separating fantasy from reality and a result they may get confused and think the scary elements of Halloween are real.”.

 

 “After a frightening experience, children may have nightmares. They really can’t tell us too much about the dream, but we can take some precautions to ward off those dreams by using a can of air freshener, otherwise known as anti-monster spray, to keep monsters at bay. Monsters don’t like nice-smelling stuff.”

Kruczek also advises:

  1. Limit preschoolers to 30 minutes or less of activities, including trick-or-treating, and only during daylight hours.

  2. Ask friends and strangers to take off masks to show children that there really is a person under the costume.

  3. Parents and siblings should never wear masks around youngsters afraid of such items.

  4. In families with children of varying age ranges, allow each youngster to participate in age-appropriate activities.

  5. Avoid haunted houses unless the facility offers age-appropriate activities.

“Just because you love haunted houses doesn’t mean your 4-year-old will,” Kruczek says. “Parents are in the best position to know what frightens their child and to help them cope with Halloween.  If kids freak out during a scary movie, they’ll freak out at a haunted house or when someone in a scary outfit comes by.”

 

 

Delivery Day Countdown: 20 Things to Do Before Baby Arrives

Are you in your last month of pregnancy and flustered about what you need to do and worry if you have the time? No fret, cousin JJ is here to give you a checklist of crap you need to haul ass and get done.

A list should ease the stress:

What to Pack in the Baby Bag:

1. A warm and comfortable blanket but one you don’t mind getting ruined with all the juices, balms and secretions that accompany labor. It won’t be the same after. errrr.

2.  Mint or lollipops – You may be restricted from eating. The sugar in the lollipop can help curb hunger pangs and keep you from stink breath. Stink breath is no bueno.

3. Lip balm – You may get dehydrated. Keep your lips moisturized. I like ESOS!

4. Moisturizer – Get a very thick tube of moisturizer. I recommend Aquaphor because you don’t need a lot to do the trick.

5. Smart phone camera or digital camera – No explanation necessary

6. A couple pair of granny undies – But no more because you will get the mesh disposable undies plenty at the hospital. You can even take home extras the nurses bring in your room. They’re the best!

7. Baby going home outfit – This is the outfit you dress baby in when the hospital photography company comes by.

8. Gifts for the nurses – Some go above and beyond to make your short stay pleasant. Purchase a box of candy, or a mini spa kit or a journal or cards. I love Steep Seep’s Grapefruit Bergamot gift set which costs under $20!

9. Music – have a playlist of soothing music on a CD or on your phone’s portable speaker that you can plug in and help you calm down and get through a long labor.

10. Breast pad – You may leak so breast-pads and some Lansinoh Nipple Cream may come in handy for cracked or sore nipples from nursing.

LAST MINUTE NESTING

11. Get the carpets cleaned and get rid of any cat or dog hair and other allergens.

12. Create a music playlist for labor and delivery.

13. Buy all the creams, lotions, medicines, and miscellaneous  items you need for yourself and baby.

14. Buy clear plastic containers to organize baby clothing, accessories, toys and a label maker

15. Organize baby’s clothes and label the bins: newborn, 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6months, 6 to 12 months.

16. Create a “call list” on your smart phone so your hubby, spouse or partner knows who to contact after you give birth.

LAST MINUTE GROOMING

You have to make sure you are presentable for labor and delivery, photos after baby arrives and just for feeling good about yourself and the end of the 40 week journey. Don’t know who said letting yourself go was okay during pregnancy, but they lied. If you feel fresh, clean, primmed and prepped, you will feel energetic and ready for pushing out that baby.

17. Get your nether regions waxed. You really don’t want doctors and nurses seeing your business looking like the Brazilian rain forest. Opt for a Brazilian wax instead. If it’s out of the budget, consider going with Nair Bikini removal gel which will not require you to use a razor and nick yourself, but be careful.

18. Wax your eyebrows. You’ll feel better and look great in the post birth pics. But if you’re going for the Anastasia the Russian Gladiator look, then no.

19. Get a Mani and Pedi – A mani because your hands will be in pics and you don’t want to cut baby with your hang nail. Not good.  A pedi because your toes may be in the air and/or in stirrups during the pushing stage and you don’t want to be embarrassed by crusty and ashy hammer toes in people’s faces.

20. Get a hair appointment and get your hair in braids and/or cornrows. You need a low maintenance style bc you will not have time to do your hair after baby arrives and braided styles look great in pics.

STUDY: Middle Child Boys Are More Delinquent Than First Borns

A relatively new study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology looked into the impact of birth order on delinquency and found that second-born boys “are substantially more likely to exhibit delinquency problems compared to their older sibling.”

The conclusions were extrapolated from examining data sets from the US state of Florida and from Denmark.

Most striking, it discovered that second-born boys are involved with the juvenile justice system at a rate 40 percent higher than first-borns and what is to blame?

More relaxed parenting and shorter maternity  leave!

“Second-born children tend to have less maternal attention than do their older siblings,” the authors write. They explain that firstborns get the benefit of their mother’s maternity leave following their own births and following their sibling’s birth.

The study also looked into in school suspension and truancy rates when determining the definition of “delinquency” so it wasn’t all all out criminal behavior.

The authors found that when a girl was added to the mix, delinquency in the middle second boy went down.

Interesting study.

My family dynamics are two boys and a girl and the second boy finds himself in more pickles and jams than the first but I think it is because he is more outgoing and has a larger peer group to get in trouble with, and also, his personality.

In my family, which has a youngest girl, the additional female did nothing to impact the boys behavior.

I suppose it is all relative, despite these stark trends in the data!

Fascinating!

What do you think?  Hit us up on Bellyitch on  Facebook, Instgram, Twitter and Pinterest!

The 5 Things You Can Do To Beat Cold and Flu Season

As I sit in bed suffering from my first cold of the Cold and Flu season, I thought I’d repost this blog article from a few year’s back on what you, as parents, can do to help your child avoid getting sick.

It’s inevitable that from time to time you and your child will be exposed to people who have a cold or who are spreading airborne germs.  While the odds are that your child will catch the occasional cold, there are certainly a few ways to reduce the number of colds that she gets.

  1. Try to keep ahead of the germs.  Disinfecting wipes or a water and bleach solution can be used for this task.  Make sure that you are regularly cleaning door knobs, handles, cabinets, toys, and anything else that little hands might come into contact with.  For every gallon of water, 1 ½ teaspoons of bleach should be added to create a solution to disinfect surfaces and toys. For diapering and toileting areas, 1 tablespoon of bleach can be added to 1 gallon of water. Let the bleach solution sit for 2 minutes before wiping it down.  If you are worried about your child coming into contact with chemicals, look for all-natural sanitizing solutions.  You’ll also want to make sure that everyone in the house frequently washes their hands with warm water and soap.
  2. Change toothbrushes often.  Toothbrushes can harbor germs and re-infect your child if the germs are not killed.  Dentists recommend that toothbrushes be replaced every 3 months if you are healthy, more often if you are not.  Toothbrushes should also be replaced after an illness. To kill germs soak the toothbrush in antiseptic mouthwash for 5 minutes or run your toothbrush through the dishwasher.  Warning: Boiling your toothbrush or running it through the dishwasher will wear out the bristles faster.
  3. Feed your child a healthy diet.  If your child eats a proper diet it will strengthen his immune system and he will be better able to fight off cold-causing germs.  Make sure he eats plenty of fruits and vegetables, as these contain the proper vitamins and minerals needed to build up his body’s natural defenses.  Eating foods high in vitamins is better for absorption of those vitamins than taking vitamin tablets.
  4. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water.  Water not only keeps your body hydrated during the very dry winter season, but it helps your body flush out unwanted toxins.  Water also helps your lymph system run better, which is part of your body’s immune system, and it fights off illness.
  5. Make sure your child gets enough sleep.  Sleeping is extremely important, and most people don’t get enough of it.  Doctors recommend that children sleep 10-11 hours per night.  A lack of sleep can affect how well your child grows because the body produces a growth hormone during sleep.  Digestion also takes place during sleep.  Bodies need this down time to recover and rebuild after a busy day of being a kid.  By getting enough sleep the body is better prepared to fight off germs.

Also, study this chart or print it out to figure out if you or your child is suffering from seasonal allergies or a cold. I was not sure at first but this chart helped me figure it out: