Loading...
Browsing Tag

parenting advice

35 Natural Newborn Care Remedies

It’s a little early for EcoFriday, but we still wanted to share a revamped version of a past post of some of our favorite newborn care tips for new moms who are wary of using chemicals on their babies. Enjoy!
1.Avoid using most baby products. WebMD advises parents to keep their newborns away from harsh powders and shampoos to protect their delicate skin and immune systems.
2.There is a right and a wrong time for infant massage. Gagazine’s article on infant massage explains how the time just after a bath or diaper change is perfect for a little touch therapy. Try to avoid touch therapy when the baby appears hungry or cranky.
3.Be gentle when cleaning nipples. When breastfeeding an infant, Medline Plus recommends that mothers prevent drying and cracking nipples by avoiding soaps and drying with harsh cloths or motions. Uncomfortable nipples negatively affect both mother and child.
4.Cleanse baby acne with water. As a residual of connecting with his or her mother’s hormones, some newborns break out into small acne patches. Avoid using oils or lotions that can irritate it further, but very mild, all-natural soaps may work in more severe cases.
5.Wash cloth diapers with baking soda and rinse them with vinegar. Avoid using harsh detergents when cleaning cloth diapers, even those without artificial dyes or fragrances. A wash in baking soda and a rinse in vinegar should suffice.

AlexandAlexa.com


6.Train newborns for EC by laying them on diapers or pads. Elimination communication is a rather controversial practice that will not work for everyone, but this article seeks to cover a variety of viewpoints to allow parents to decide what they feel is best for their children. This tip from DiaperFreeBaby.org suggests one way to transition a newborn to the EC routine.
7.Wash newborn eyes with water. Normal tear duct issues need to be discussed with a pediatrician, but parents needing to clean their newborn’s eyes can do so by simply wetting a soft cotton ball and gently scrubbing the gunk away.
8.Use glycerin laxatives. Newborns and babies who struggle with constipation issues can have their systems unlocked with glycerin laxatives, either as a solid or a liquid. Those made with artificial chemicals may prove too harsh for their bodies to handle.
9.Use steam to unblock nasal passages. While professional medical care may be needed in instances of severe illness, parents can alleviate some cold symptoms at home. Congestion, for example, can be cleared up using the steam from a hot shower.
10.Make newborns sleep on their backs. One preventative measure against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) involves having newborns sleep on their backs rather than their stomachs. They may feel less comfortable, but it helps bolster their chances of surviving the night.
11.Wash clothes thoroughly. Another WebMD tip, this time touting the importance of washing baby clothes in dye- and fragrance-free detergent before dressing infants.
12.Infant massage requires a calm setting. As with adult massages, Gagazine believes that the infant version of the ritual is best executed in a calm, warm atmosphere. Place the baby on a soft blanket or towel in a draftless room away from a television or cell phone, perhaps encouraging relaxation with soft music or speech.
13.Protect nipples with milk or lanolin. To prevent painful cracking, Medline Plus recommends leaving a little bit of milk on the nipple after feeding to keep the area moist. Alternately, cracking can also be avoided by applying 100% lanolin to the nipple. Never use any artificial chemicals near the area where an infant feeds.
14.Read the signs of needing to expel waste when practicing EC. When not exacted correctly, EC can lead to disgusting, unsanitary messes – and a newborns’ inability to verbally communicate only makes things more complicated. Fortunately, parents wanting to stick with the diaper-free movement can learn how to read their child’s body language and know how to properly react to the incoming flow.
15.Use natural cleaning products around the home. For added protection against contact with harsh chemicals that can make a newborn ill, take advantage of the disinfectant properties of natural substances such as vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda.
16.Prevent chapped skin with natural products. A multitude of newborn- and infant-friendly products exists to keep babies from suffering dry, irritated skin without the use of artificial chemicals.
17.Weigh the pros and cons of circumcision. Outside of a religious context, the decision to circumcise or not stands as a heavy issue with natural parents. Be sure to understand all of the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure before making the choice.
18.Clean the umbilical cord with water and a Q-Tip. Be sure to use a Q-Tip wetted with clean – even sterile – water to keep the umbilical cord free of bacteria. Alcohol, honey, and goldenseal powder work as well.

RightStart.com - $5 Off $50+ Orders - RSTART2
19.Make homemade nasal drops. Combine saline and water together for nose drops suitable for safe cleaning of a newborn’s clogged nasal passages.
20.Extra water works as a laxative. As an alternative to glycerin laxatives, consider feeding a newborn a little extra water to unbind the constipation.
21.Bathe conservatively. WebMD recommends that newborns receive a gentle sponge bath 2 to 3 times a week, as washing them too much compromises the health of their skin. Use either no soap or extremely mild, natural soap to prevent any dermal irritations.
22.When massaging, always keep at least one hand on the newborn. According to Gagazine, parents should leave at least one hand on their child at all times in order to maximize the effectiveness of touch therapy.
23.Avoid “baby bottle tooth decay.” Breast milk makes for one of the healthiest, most natural ways to keep a newborn healthy and strong, but blending it with foods and drinks pumped full of refined sugar actually expatiates the process of tooth decay.
24.Know how to properly store soiled cloth diapers. Become familiar with the wet pail and dry pail methods of containing the odor and bacteria associated with cloth diapers. Wet pails must be contentiously kept covered in order to prevent drowning.
25.Keep the crib nearby – even at night. The American SIDS Institute recommends parents allow their newborn’s crib to remain in their room for the first 6 months of life, as dong so greatly reduces the risk of suffering the condition.
26.A little sunlight can clear up jaundice. A little extra bilirubin is normal in newborn infants, and a bit of time in the sunlight – no more than 10 minutes, with 5 minutes each in the front and the back – can clear up any jaundice that may crop up. Of course, a physician should be consulted if it doesn’t clear.
27. Stick with soft clothing. According to WebMD, dressing children in clothes cut from coarser materials heightens the risk of eczema, rashes, and other uncomfortable skin conditions. Organic cotton, bamboo, ore hemp are all extremely appropriate choices.
Save 15% on all orders at DiaperDude.com with promo code DDLS15!
(Valid until 3/31/14)
28.Avoid using lubricant on the head. Due to the sensitivity of infants’ skin, it may be a good idea to only use natural lubricants with a pediatrician’s permission. If they give the go-ahead, do not use any oils or lotions on the baby’s head.
29.Use BPA-free bottles. Some mothers do not produce sufficient milk for their newborns, no matter how hard they try. In these instances, they will want to use BPA-free bottles to keep their babies properly fed without worrying about problematic chemicals leeching into the formula.
30.Avoid baby wipes. –When cleaning the baby after an accident and subsequent diaper changes, WebMD advises parents to use with a dry, soft cloth rather than commercial wipes that may contain harsh chemicals.
31.Know how to trim nails. When clipping a newborn’s nails, be sure to use special trimmers or scissors to prevent any unfortunate injuries. Cut along the natural lines when it comes to fingernails, but go straight across when doing the toes. On both, make a contentious effort to push down the pads of skin away from the nail to further reduce the risk of an accidental cutting.
32.Never clean the inside of a newborn’s ear canal. Parents may clear wax away on the outside of a newborn’s ear using extremely gentle swabs with a Q-Tip. Sticking it inside the baby’s ear canal, however, runs the risk of causing permanent hearing loss. Pediatricians will be able to give more information on removing internal excess wax without exacting any damages.
33.Make homemade baby shampoo. For instances when water may just not be enough, parents may want to whip up a batch of this all-natural baby shampoo to scrub out the germs without causing skin issues.
34.Use natural insect repellent. Many companies sell products that repel mosquitoes and other pests without the use of harsh chemical blends that will irritate a newborn’s skin. Seek these out – they usually contain eucalyptus and lemon and often come formulated especially for people under 12 months.
35.Pat dry – don’t rub. When changing diapers, WebMD thinks that parents need to spritz their newborns with clean water and pat dry rather than rub to keep skin from becoming too irritated.

CWD

Top 10 Things you should NOT say to a woman after revealing the name she’s picked for her baby

No matter what names you and/or your partner have narrowed down to possibly name your child, at some point you will inevitably be greeted with a frown, shriveled brow, upturn lip and nose possibly followed by the following words: “you’re going to name him/her that?”
Save yourself the heartache, stress and need to “read” someone the riot act about how you don’t care if s/he like the name you’ve chosen because after all it is YOUR CHILD and not theirs…DON’T EVEN BOTHER SHARING IT.
If someone considers it rude that you politely say, “we’ve narrowed it down, but have decided not to share until we make up our mind.” 
Once the baby is here and you announce his/her name, at that point it is too late for the Peanut Gallery to offer any unsolicited advice.
Most people are ashamed to utter the words, “You should’ve called him/her ______” because at that point the interloper should just be mesmerized by a beautiful bundle of joy snuggled in your arms and not be concerned with whether the baby will be teased for his/her name, if the initials are all wrong, or that it doesn’t look good on a resume and the child won’t get a job.

Good people of the world, we know your intentions are good, but a simple smile and nod is more than an adequate response even if you don’t like the name. But of course if you do, please speak up and say so! 

Cheers!
And alas, Here are the TOP 10 Things NOT TO SAY TO SOMEONE AFTER S/HE TELLS YOU WHAT S/HE PLANS TO NAME HER UNBORN CHILD:
10. You’re going to name him that? This passive aggressive retort is just plain rude.
9. Why didn’t you select a name that means something? You mean the fact that I took my time to come up with the name isn’t meaningful enough?
8. You know she’s not going to get a job if an employer sees that name on a resume? I guess that is the risk s/he’s going to have to take 15 years from now. Who knows maybe people will realize that bizarre names like oh..Obama and Oprah and Barack can do a decent job. I was at an event yesterday and this woman named “Singleton” was getting an award for being the best executive VP in some company. Now if a woman with that name can get somewhere…I say employers are starting to look past the uncommon names. Ha. I jest.
7. You should’ve named him after your mom/dad? Um I don’t think people are naming their kids Agnes, Merle, Herbert and Dottie any more, but thanks for your suggestion
6. Did you consider a Biblical Name? One shouldn’t assume that the parents would feel comfortable picking a name after the bible if they don’t even go to church regularly, or are oh I don’t know…Buddhists!
5. You want her to be Teased at school naming her that? Why do we assume the worst in children? We use our adult brains to find the meanest taunt that the nastiest child could use hypothetically use to tease another child, failing to realize children are not as mean as we remember and there are loads more different names floating around schools these days than before. Children may just be used to the “off the beaten path” names being heard on the play grounds.
4. Those initials when strung together spell ____. Good thing these days, most people don’t really do monogrammed towels or cuff links for our children for that to be a problem. I don’t recall how many occasions people are judged by what the initials of their names spell out.
3. How do your parents feel about that name? Again, since this is not THEIR child, people don’t really take that much stock in whether their parents approve or not, unless there are some deep rooted, unearthed approval issues and at that point, do you really want to trigger those skeletons?
2. How long did it take to come up with that? Why ask? Was it a competition? Do people get a prize for taking months to whittle down a name. I really don’t get that question at all.
1. Boy is that an Ugly name. No explanation needed.

post signature

Study: 64% of Adults spend more time with their computers than their children-Tips on How to Save Time

A recent study found that 64% of adults with children under 18 spend more time with computers than family or close friends.
The Crucial.com commissioned research determined that people spend 4 days a year waiting for their computers to catch up with them, meaning for programs to load, desktops to boot up.
Lifestyl expert, celebrity trainer Kathy Kaehler offers powerful tips for how parents can get back some of that lost time and FOCUS!

This is a good one! Check it out:

post signature

MLK Day of Service is Coming: 6 Websites to help you find volunteer opportunties

1963 and 2013 photo of the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington – ABC7/WJLA
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Each year, January 20th is considered MLK Day of service and people nationwide are encouraged to volunteer and teach their children about community service. 
Here are some links to some websites that will help connect you, wherever you live in the US with volunteer opportunities near you. You can filter by activity and by appropriateness of the project for kids’ participation. 

Good Luck searching! Thanks for your service!

post signature

A Balanced Approach to Kids’ Screen Time: 4 Tips

Bellyitch Rewind 
Screen time is a fact of life. Like the rest of their families, most babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in this country watch videos and play with computer games and apps—and they enjoy it. And many parents struggle with that fact. We agonize over the amount of screen time our kids get and fear its impact. We  judge ourselves by the hours spent or unspent in front of the TV or computer, and we judge others.
Parents need breathers, and parents need showers and a video can grant you a little time—no one, we said, is going to die if you “plop the kid down” in front of a video or the television once in a while.
And how many times a day does the average parent hand over a cell phone to a child in a stroller, in line at the grocery store, at a restaurant, or in the car seat? It’s a research study waiting to happen.
There are mixed messages from psychologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others out there when it comes to screens and kids, here are four tips that encourage a balanced approach:
1. Use screens to enhance reading together, not to replace it. It’s obvious that a video doesn’t replace a bedtime book, but the app and ebook options are more tempting, and less clear. Reading together is sharing—but tapping the laundry basket icon to make a cat appear over and over again is more akin to singular play than reading books. If you’ve set out to read one on one with your child, then read.
2. Encourage sociability. No one would ever tell you to stop handing your child a board book in a restaurant—why are we suggesting that the Cat in the Hat app is any different? Consider this: anywhere your toddler expects to get that phone—whether it’s serving as book, video player, or game—your preschooler, and then your child, will expect to be engaged by a gadget. If there are people around, let’s talk.
3. Plan for a “Balanced Media Diet.” Too many apps and not enough books isn’t good for you, just like too many carbs and no protein isn’t healthy either. While books are great, kids also need to play with blocks and play dough and run around outside. Even Cookie Monster has declared that a cookie is a “sometime thing.” While Cookie Monster’s evolution may border on sacrilegious, screens, too, are “sometime things.”


4. Look for ways to make screens about reading. When the little screens are in their hands, or the big ones are calling for their attention, do look for ways to connect the world on-screen and the world of reading together. Favor ebooks over apps for reading together, and apps that develop literacy over those that don’t (more on that in the app section). Choose videos that spring from books over those that don’t.
Partially excerpted with permission from Susan Straub, KJ Dell’Antoniaand Rachel Payne‘s Reading with Babies, Toddlers and Twos: A Guide to Laughing, Learning and Growing Together Through Book.

post signature

This ONE Feng Shui task will guarantee a calmer home with children

feng shui
noun /ˈfəNG ˈSHwē/  /-SHwā/

(in Chinese thought) A system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (qi), and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account when siting and designing buildings

I have noticed over the years that those families that allow their children’s toys to take over their home have the most stress in their lives, exhibit signs of anxiety, anxiousness, and frustration over the child rearing process. They appear frazzled and discombobulated.  They have to deal with all of the challenges of raising their children and trying to maintain some semblance of sanity and calm.  It can all be overwhelming at times. A chaotic home doesn’t help at all.
One sure fire trick to a having a less stressful life at home with the children is to adopt at least one aspect of one particular element of Feng Shui: decluttering. 
To declutter your home life and be a little bit more organized and adjusted when planning outings, family meals and just trying to keep it together, limit the amount of toys that are laying about the home.
Some families live in homes that look like a toy store exploded in it. The parents allow their children  to leave their toys anywhere and everywhere. But it doesn’t take much effort to simply designate ONE SECTION (maybe two) of the home for toys . Those areas should be the play room, the kids room or one area of the apartment that is quartered off and situated with a toy chest, storage bin or some place where you can quickly toss all the toys hanging out all over the house.
The tough part may be to stick to this one simple rule.
When the kids are not playing with a toy, there is really no need for it to be taking up space on the kitchen table or creating a tripping hazard for you or a guest. Either you, your partner or trained kids if they are old enough should make a concerted effort to gather all errant toys and keep them in the designated area.
It seems pretty intuitive, huh? 
Over time, it will become a habit or second nature and you will find toys are not strewn about as much anymore. I do this with other areas of my home and life.  All papers, books, newspapers, invoices, magazines are usually put away in our home office.  All clothes go in a hamper, closet or bedroom.  Dishes, cups and silverware discovered anywhere in the house are picked up and taken in the kitchen.
Think of this mantra:  “There is a place for Everything and Everything in its place.” 
Maybe it is a concept easy for Type A, first-born, Virgos like me to grasp, but following at least that that one simple rule is GUARANTEED to ease the mind, at least slightly, and help you breathe easier and be less stressed out when you are at home.

post signature

Share |

REVIEW: FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Travel System offers bang for your buck

We asked elite runner and new mom Mary Beth Chosak of the blog SlowFoodFastPace.com to test out for us Graco’s latest jogging stroller, the Fast Action Jogger Travel System. ($319.99) 
(For a very thorough assessment of the stroller including comparisons to another jogger she already owns, check out the full and comprehensive review on her blog HERE.)
We’ve got the soup and nuts summary below:
OVERALL PERFORMANCE If you’re in the market for a stroller that you can jog with from the time your little one is a newborn well into toddlerhood, the Graco FastAction Jogger Travel System is a fair value that will give you some bang for your buck.
VALUE On paper, the Graco FastAction Jogger Travel System has a lot going for it.  It retails for about one hundred less than the BOB Revolution SE, yet it comes with a car seat, a base, a child tray, and a parent handlebar console.  If you buy all those things a la carte and trick out a higher end jogger until it has all the same features as the FastAction Travel System, you would have spent roughly twice as much as you would have in opting for the Graco.
APPEARANCE Aesthetically, the Graco is a snazzy ride (I tested the chili red model).  It’s gender neutral and looks to be made of durable material that would stay looking fresh after years of use.  Taking a closer inspection of the features of the stroller, some of the parts are plastic and not as durable as first thought. 
SMOOTHNESS OF RIDE The tires are large and inflatable and the decent suspension provides a comfortable ride on a level and paved surface.  I tried it on a paved exercise trail with our 15 pound five-month old in the SnugRide infant seat as well as with our 30 pound two-year old without the infant seat.  The ride was plenty smooth enough for both children on the trail, though it felt somewhat rickety on the sidewalk.
ANCILLARY FEATURES The stroller has some snazzy little features that add comfort, safety, and convenience.  The handlebar console has two cup holders and a place for your smartphone that will come in handy if your tot, like mine, appreciates some tunes on your runs.  The storage basket under the seat is fairly large and accessible.  The stroller has a tether, which I consider a valuable safety feature, though the placement of the tether near the basket of the stroller is curious; it could easily attach to the handlebars instead and I don’t know why the manufacturer would unnecessarily use a long strap on any children’s product.  The locks on the rear wheels are well-placed and effective, though it would be handy to be able to fully lock and unlock the stroller in one place instead of on both the left and right wheels.  The stroller includes safety reflectors on the rear tires.
EASE OF FOLDING The stroller does fold up easily. The one-second, one-hand fold is nice, though I’ve found that once any stroller is yours, folding it up becomes second nature in no time.  The FastAction has a kickstand, which can get in the way when you’re collapsing the stroller.
SNUGRIDE INFANT SEAT The infant seat is fine.  The harness secures easily and my baby seemed very comfortable in it. However, the SnugRide is a popular car seat that’s been around for a while.  This is one of Graco’s bread and butter products, and it has had plenty of iterations on it to get it right.  So it was surprising to me that the handle bar and the canopy get in each other’s way.  This is annoying and not a big deal, although to boot, the canopy is neither taut nor sturdy-feeling.  The levers that secure the base of the car seat to the car’s latch system do not have the push-button feature that some car seats do; I consider this a nice feature, even though it is just a frill that you’ll hardly ever appreciate unless you take the infant seat base in and out of your car regularly.


SHORTCOMINGS An important reason the Graco disappoints as a jogger is the poorly-designed front wheel lock.  This isn’t obvious until you get a jogger out on a downhill (with precious cargo inside), or even just get moving at a steady clip, but the front wheel really should lock to give you maximum stability.  When you’re walking with a stroller, a swivel feature in the front wheel is convenient.  When you’re running, a sudden swivel caused by a pebble or bump on the trail can mean you wobble or lose control.  
The other place where the FastAction Jogger strikes out is the canopy.  It’s not large enough to completely shade your child.  While somewhat useful, I wouldn’t consider it sufficient protection from UV exposure.  If heading out on a sunny day with this stroller, slather on the sunscreen or have your babe don a hat and long sleeves.  The mesh window that’s designed to let you peer in and check on your passenger is too small to be useful, and I found myself simply pulling back the canopy to check on my toddler.  
Also, short folks like myself (5’ 1’’) may find the handlebar placement on this stroller a little too high.  
SUMMARY The Graco FastAction Jogger Travel System is a good jogging stroller, but in this mama’s view, not the best. If you’ll be using the stroller extensively for running, you’re bound to notice some of the Graco’s shortcomings. And like all joggers, it’s big and heavy. If you want something you can use to jog a mile or two once in a while on smooth and even terrain, and you don’t mind the small and flimsy canopy, then the Graco may be just fine.  And given that a jogger would be one of many, many pieces of baby gear you’ll ever buy, it’s nice to have an option by a reputable manufacturer at this price point.  
If you’re thinking of getting this stroller, consider getting it from our partners Amazon.com at a discount for $269.99.

post signature

7 Practical Tips for teaching Financial Literacy to Children



January has been designated National Financial Wellness month in the U.S.  It’s a good time for parents to make  resolutions that are achievable for themselves but it can also serve as teachable moments for children. The average adult will make thousands of financial decisions during the next year, including many which will be made with kids watching or listening. 
“Parents need to do something totally different when it comes to their children learning the basic principles surrounding personal finance. I believe we are way beyond the point when stressing the use of piggy banks
and comic books as the tools to learn about managing money is a good idea. We live in a world which uses terms like ‘Bitcoin’ and ‘Cashless Society’, yet as parents we expect our children to fend for themselves or learn with antiquated methods using nickles, dimes and bills stuffed in a plastic pig!” says Greg Murset, CEO of MyJobChart.com  a free, easy to use, online and mobile job chart and reward system designed to teach, organize and motivate kids to earn, save, share and spend responsibly. “Help your child be financially smart by teaching them in more relevant ways and reinforcing working for what they want, saving for the future, spending wisely and donating money when they can to help others.”
To help move your children in the right direction in 2014, Murset offer the following out of the box suggestions:
1. No More Hand Outs. Start the year off right by deciding that you are not going to just shell out money to your kids anymore.  When they come to looking for money, let them know that they will have to work for it.  The bank is now closed unless they start pulling their weight a little more around the house. Tying work and reward together in some meaningful ways will help them understand responsibility and accountability. It will also help them understand that in real life, no one ever gets money for doing nothing.
2. Smash The Piggy Bank. Piggy Banks are a bad way to teach kids about money.  That’s right, take that piggy bank and smash it or throw it away.  Long gone are the days when we should be teaching our kids about money by dropping coins into a bank that looks like a pig, jar or favorite sport team mascot.  Using banks like these only teach children about money in a manner that isn’t as relevant anymore.  Get them a real bank account and teach them how to manage their money though online services.  It is far more useful to learn to manage money in a bank rather than a pig. 


3. Make Kids Pay… For The Cell Phone, That Is. According to Consumer Reports the average mobile phone user spends about $600 a year.  If you do the math, you’re going to be shocked at how much you are going to be shelling out over the years so that your kids can send hundreds of meaningless texts each month to their friends!  Kids should pay some, or all of their phone bill each month. This is a perfect opportunity for you to sit down and teach your children about how much things cost, especially things that they seem to think they are entitled to for some reason.  This is also a great time to discuss the things that they can do around the house to earn the money to help pay that bill.
4. Play The Match Game. Set up a matching program for your kids.  They save a dollar and you match that dollar.  Yes, 100% return.  Sit down and determine what they would like to save for and then set out to accomplish it together.  This is a great opportunity to talk about short term, mid-term and long term goals. When a child learns the power of savings like this at an early age, what do you think will happen when they get their first job and they learn about the 401(k) program that is available? 
5. Comic Books To Teach Kids About Money?  Now That’s Just Dumb. Last year Visa teamed up with Marvel to put a comic book together to teach kids about personal banking practices.  Talk about a square peg in a round hole.  They supposedly were going to distribute 150,000 of these square pegs in eight different languages.  Why does something as important as personal finance have to be jammed into little white blurbs above super heroes heads in a comic book? Parents should be fighting to get personal finance taught in our schools, this way, comic books can remain fun. 
6. Make Them Better Givers. No matter how your children earn their money, make sure they plan to donate a portion of it to a charity of their choice. The average American gives away about 4% of their annual income to charity and perhaps that percentage would increase if the next generation made giving a common practice as soon as they learned how to throw coins into a bucket.  


7. Set Goals That Are Meaningful. A start of a new year is a great time to sit down with children and talk goals.  Meaningful goals. Help your children put together a plan on working toward and saving for something significant. It could be a bike, musical instrument, laptop computer or go-kart. The more meaningful the item, the harder our kids will work to earn it and they will take care of it.
With these suggestions, hopefully our children will be well equipped to avoid useless spending and learn great habits for the future. 

post signature

Study: Vitamin D supplements in pregnancy linked to strong baby muscles

Researchers have suggested that babies are likely to have stronger muscles if their mothers had a higher level of vitamin D in their body while they are pregnant.

In the research vitamin D levels were measured in 678 mothers in the later stages of pregnancy.

When the children were four years old, grip strength and muscle mass were measured. Results showed that the higher the levels of vitamin D in the mother, the higher the grip strength of the child, with an additional, but less pronounced association between mother’s vitamin D and child’s muscle mass.

Lead researcher Dr Nicholas Harvey, Senior Lecturer at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (MRC LEU) at the University of Southampton said that these associations between maternal vitamin D and offspring muscle strength may well have consequences for later health; muscle strength peaks in young adulthood before declining in older age and low grip strength in adulthood has been associated with poor health outcomes including diabetes, falls and fractures.

continue reading

post signature

10 tips for this winter’s play outdoors

With rising childhood obesity rates and the increasing illnesses that accompany a sedentary lifestyle, it’s no secret that kids should be encouraged to get outside and engage in active play. As the lower temperatures approach, so does cold and flu season, which can be greatly exacerbated when kids are held indoors where germs can easily be spread through respiratory droplets and exhalations. Keeping kids safe while they’re out in the cold, however, is an absolute necessity. The following guidelines can help you ensure that your kids’ activity levels don’t suffer at the onset of winter and that they stay safe until the spring thaw rolls around.

  1. Use Sunscreen – Protecting kids’ skin from the damaging rays of the sun is a major priority for most parents and caregivers during the summer months, but one that often falls to the wayside when temperatures cool down. In fact, the reflection of the sun off of snow and ice can be almost as damaging as direct exposure. Make sure that your youngsters are slathered with sunscreen before they hit the outdoors.
  2. Waterproof Clothing is Key – Keeping kids warm during the winter chill relies heavily upon your ability to keep them dry. Melting ice and snow can leave most fabrics wet, soggy and very cold. Make sure that you invest in some waterproof or water-resistant clothing and shoes, especially proper boots.
  3. Know the Signs of Frostbite – Frostbite occurs when your child’s skin or extremities are literally frozen. The nose, ears, fingers, cheeks and toes are most commonly affected, and it can be quite dangerous when these extremities suffer from frostbite. Signs of superficial frostbite include itching, numbness, tingling or burning sensations. The affected skin may become white, flushed, yellow or blue and appear frozen, and will be cold to the touch.
  4. Dress for Success – Just because your kids are bundled against the cold doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re wearing safe clothing. Hoods and hats don’t take the place of helmets for activities like biking or skating, while tight clothing that restricts movement can present a danger as it inhibits kids’ ability to move and balance properly. Be sure that your brood is dressed appropriately for outdoor play, not just for cold temperatures.
  5. Insist on Warm-Up Breaks – When kids are enjoying themselves and are particularly absorbed in an activity, it’s easy for them to lose track of time. That’s why it’s important for you to insist on periodic warm-up breaks to check for signs of hypothermia or frostbite and ensure that they don’t get too cold.
  6. Keep Ice Skating Safe – Ice skating is a beloved, time-honored cold-weather outdoor activity. It can also be quite dangerous, though. Public areas designated for ice skating are far safer than ponds or bodies of water on your own property, which may not be thoroughly frozen and could crack under kids’ weight. Be sure that any ice your children are going to skate on is frozen solid, and that they’re wearing the right protective gear.
  7. Smart Sledding – Racing down a snow-covered hill on a sled is one of life’s great thrills, even for adults. Kids love sledding, but it’s important that they understand the basic safety rules before setting out. Sledding down hills that terminate near a road, down paths that have obstacles like jumps, rocks or bumps, or down icy slopes are all sledding safety no-nos. Kids should also never be pulled on sleds behind moving vehicles of any kind.
  8. Don’t Forget About Dehydration – Dehydration isn’t a concern reserved solely for warm-weather months. While your children are enjoying a session of outdoor play, be sure that they’re taking in plenty of fluids.
  9. Scarf Safety – Scarves are useful tools for protecting against the cold, as they can be wrapped around almost any part of the body that feels cold. However, they can also become ensnared in moving parts of toys or overhanging branches, closed in doors, or otherwise tangled in a manner that presents a strangulation risk. It’s better to opt for cowl-style scarves until kids are a bit older and less rambunctious.
  10. Double-Check Equipment – Making sure that any equipment for outdoor play, whether new or old, is in good condition, fits properly and is otherwise suitable for use before sending kids outside with it. Damaged or broken equipment can very easily cause injuries, especially if kids are using them improperly to compensate for the damage.

continue reading

post signature

Share

|