Archive for the ‘Toddlers’ Category

Wow – some help with one of the hardest parts of being a parent.  We love the simplicity of this advice from Gayle Peterson, PhD.  Go to ivillage to see more of her advice.

1. Communicate your expectations clearly.

Pitfall: Some parents express what they want their child do by including a child’s feelings as a part of the communication. For example: “Let’s get in the car. I know you want to go to grandma’s, don’t you?”

Say, instead: “I want you to get in your car seat now. We are going to grandma’s house.”

2. Accept your child’s feelings, but reinforce your expectations.

Pitfall: Expecting your child to show enthusiasm or contentment about doing what is required.

Instead, be willing to reflect your child’s negative feelings about doing what you require, but do not negate what you expect. For example: “Grandma is waiting for us. You must get in your car seat. I know you are sad about having to leave your friends right now. You will be able to play again another day.”

3. Communicate and deliver consequences.

Pitfalls: Many parents resort to shouting, instead of communicating and delivering consequences in a matter-of-fact tone. Or they do not follow through on consequences they communicate because they threaten inappropriately in the heat of anger.

Instead, accept complaints, but clarify what will happen if they do not listen. For example: “If you do not get in your car seat by the count of three, I will put you in myself.” Or, for an older child, “If you do not do your homework, you will not be able to watch your TV program.” Be sure you make appropriate consequences that you are willing to deliver. Then, follow through! (Note: Shouting is not a viable consequence, and only leads to escalation!)

Expect to follow through on your consequences BEFORE your children will listen. It will take one, two or three times for your child to know that you mean what you say, especially if you have been resorting to whining or complaining instead of being authoritative (which we all do at one time or another).

4. Separate your child’s behaviour from their self-esteem. Label a behaviour “bad,” but not your child’s motives or character.

Pitfall: To confuse behaviour with character labels. For example: “No hitting! Only bad boys hit.”

Instead, “Hitting is a bad thing to do to others. You must learn to use your words.” Or to an older child when addressing a bad mistake. “You are not a thief. Why in the world did you steal that lipstick?” Separating behaviour from action allows children to learn from their mistakes, rather than be condemned by them.

It is our job as parents to guide our children. We must be willing to accept anger and other negative feelings when we set appropriate limits. As long as your expectations are reasonable for your child’s age, you may successfully adopt the role of benevolent dictator when necessary.

As parents you have your children’s best interests at heart. You have raised them to give you their input. Pat yourself on the back. They will feel empowered to express themselves and be able to influence the direction of their destiny in their adult lives.

But do not stop short of taking charge. Your calm leadership is necessary to create a stable environment. Children and parents flourish in an atmosphere that promotes order over chaos.

Source: ivillage 


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Child nutrition guru – Annabel Karmel has been criticised for adding sugar and salt to her ready meals for toddlers. Annabel Karmel has sold millions of books guiding parents on how to wean children on to healthy food. However, it has emerged that her Eat Fussy ready meals are laced with added sugar and salt. Annabel Karmel has developed a multi-million pound empire from her book the Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner.

Attention has centred on Mrs Karmel’s beef lasagne, which contains 5.4g of sugar per 100g of weight. This is double the sugar found in a similar product for adults. The same ready meal contains 1g of salt per pack, half of the entire daily recommended maximum for a child aged one to three. The Eat Fussy beef cottage pie has even more salt at 1.1g in a pack, while the range’s salmon and cod pie and chicken and potato pie both come in at 0.9g. The ready meals are sold as an alternative to home cooking for busy mums. The website claims: ‘Eat Fussy gives your child the delicious home-cooked taste they love, with the healthy nutrition their young body needs. ‘Eat Fussy gives you guaranteed quality you can trust.’ However, the lasagne and cottage pie contain added sea salt despite a Government recommendation that parents cooking at home should not add salt to meals for toddlers.

Last night a spokesman for Mrs Karmel said the criticism of the Eat Fussy lasagne was unfair. ‘As the meals are aimed at one- to four-year-olds, it is important to remember that we state on pack that the meals are a generous portion for young toddlers and most would not eat the whole contents,’ she said. ‘A one-year-old would manage about half a portion but even if a toddler of one or two were to eat the entire meal this would still be OK as part of a balanced diet. ‘There is little point in making a meal that children will not eat. If healthy alternatives are bland and children refuse to eat them, frustrated parents may well turn to chicken nuggets, pizzas and pot noodles.’

Source: Daily Mail – read the whole story here

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A new study out suggests that smacking a child can have positive results. The study’s author, Marjorie Gunnoe, professor of Psychology at Calvin College in the U.S questioned scores of teenagers. It found that those who were smacked, up until the age of six, had better outcomes when it came to things like anti-social behaviour, early sexual activity, violence and depression.

All sounds a bit simplistic to me. Read more, here and here.

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Teething can be one of the hardest parts of being a parent, watching your normally happy baby turn into a grizzly monster from sheer discomfort. The process can start as early as 3 .5 months and some babies definitely suffer more than others. Teething troubled my second child far more than my first.

As well as the pain, I often find teething can lower a child’s immunity making them more susceptible to bugs that are going around. It’s a long a stressful process for both baby and parent.

Here are some natural solutions that may help relieve the discomfort.

Frozen fruit and vegetable sticks can be really cooling on hot painful gums. They’re great for chewing on too. Choose from apple, peach, nectarine, plum, carrot, butternut squash and sweet potato. Wash peel and cut into bite sized sticks. If using vegetables soften them first by steaming for about 6 mins. Lay them on a plate or baking tray with space between each one. Freeze for 1 hour and then transfer to small freezer bags.

Bickiepegs teething biscuits were developed in 1925 by a leading paediatrician, Dr Harry Campbell – to provide the correct exercise considered vital to the development of a baby’s teeth and jaws and chewing skills – with the added bonus of easing the pain of teething! No added sugar, sweetners, artificial colours or flavourings. Great for chewing and gnawing on. I found them very useful with my first child, she used to get very excited at the sight of a packet. They’re rock hard and completely mess free.

Teething toy. My favourite is Sophie the giraffe. She is French and is made of 100% natural rubber, derived from the sap of the Hevea tree. Her shape makes her the perfect chewable toy with lots of soft nobbly bits to help soothe sore gums.

Homeopathic remedies. Nelson’s Teetha is probably the most commonly known and readily available, however it doesn’t work for every one. If your child suffers badly with teething it’s worth seeking the advice of a homeopath. Homeopathy is individual. For best results, a proper consultation is required to select the correct remedy.

Gum-omile Oil™ is an almond based blend useful for teething and toothache. It contains Clove oil which many dentists still use in their practices as an effective analgesic. It’s currently not available in the UK. However you can make your own, mix 4 drops of clove oil with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and rub into gums. Taste it first. If you feel it’s too strong for your child dilute with more vegetable oil.

Wearing a Baltic amber teething necklace is the one of the oldest methods used in Europe. Amber is not a “stone” but a natural resin. As it warms with the body’s natural temperature, amber releases oils which have natural analgesic properties. This can help babies and young children to stay calm and more relaxed thoughout teething. Do they work? Difficult to say. Some parents swear by them. They look so cute in them, what the heck! We’ve been using one since Misty was 4 and a half months. She’s experienced alot of pain with teething and it’s been relentless. At 18mths she only has 4 molars left to get. I daren’t take it off.

I recently noticed a new Hazelwood teething necklace. An native American discovery for soothing teething pain. Also known as Pur Noisetier.  Pure Hazelwood has the medicinal property of neutralizing the body’s acidity, which by doing so, relieves or prevents ailments such as ulcers, acid reflux, heartburn, teething, skin problems (psoriasis, eczema, acne), arthritis and arthritis, constipation, migraines, and dental cavities.

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The snow is falling my daughter is insisting on wearing a totally inappropriate summer dress.  To get round it I put one of her merino tops underneath and it got me thinking what a miracle product it is.

Unlike synthetics, Merino reacts to changes in your body temperature to insulate and keep you warm when you’re cold and release heat and moisture when you’re hot.   This reduces the risk of over heating, which is a factor linked to cot death.

What are benefits of merino?

  • Improves sleep routine**
  • It can be worn all year round
  • Machine washable
  • Breathable against babies skin
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Unlike wool it is not itchy so reduces skin allergies
  • It is fire resistant – Merino contains natural fire retardants
  • It is odour resistant meaning less washing

Here are a few of our favourites:

Swaddling Blanket from Bambino Merino – £29.95

Merino base layers (up to age 13) £18.00 from Muddy Puddles

Ribbed hoodie in lots of colours – £26.95 from Merino Kids

Children’s long sleeved vest from Elm House (1-16yrs) £14.50

The hand knitted merino mittens are on the pricey side at £15.00 but are lovely.  Just got to make sure you don’t loose one! (Booties not included)

** Medical studies have proven that merino improves the sleep patterns of babies resulting in increased weight gain and generally improved levels of contentment.

At the Cambridge Maternity Hospital in 1979, Scott and Richards investigated the effects of Merino bedding on low-birth weight babies and found that they gained an extra 10g a day compared to babies that weren’t sleeping on merino.

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A group of British parents are to sue the pushchair manufacturer Maclaren over claims their children’s fingertips were severed in accidents involving its fold-up “umbrella-style” buggies.

More than 15 families have sought legal advice amid allegations that the firm knew more than a year ago that its products had injured children.

Maclaren announced a recall of 1m buggies in the US after 15 reports of children placing their finger in the hinge, resulting in 12 children having parts of their fingers cut off.

Richard Langton, partner with law firm Russell, Jones and Walker, has gathered a dossier of detailed claims against the buggy company by British parents and is urging Trading Standards to issue a full recall in the UK to stop any further injuries.

“Despite Maclaren’s claims that there is no issue with their products in the UK, I have seen and spoken to numerous parents now whose children have suffered a lifetime injury from using something that is specifically designed to be used for small children,” he said.

“Infants whose fingers are at risk of being fractured, crushed, or amputated in the UK deserve the same protection as those in America. Why are new buggies not being sold now with the same protective hinge covers and warning labels which are being provided in America? How many more children must suffer amputations before the UK authorities act?”

Last month Maclaren agreed to issue special “safety kits” for British parents concerned about its pushchairs, in a U-turn forced by consumer groups in the UK.

A statement on Maclaren’s website said: “Our commitment to parents is to provide the safest buggy on the market. There is simply nothing more important to Maclaren than the safety of a child. To provide comfort and reassurance, we will send you a set of covers to fit the elbow joint of your Maclaren buggy.”

The trade body for the industry, the Baby Products Association reiterated its support for Maclaren products, saying: “The assertion that this is solely a Maclaren issue is wholly inaccurate as any folding product must be treated with care and operated in accordance with the instructions.”

The group added in a statement: “Our immediate concern is with the wellbeing of those families who have been involved in an accident. The BPA believes it is important for parents and carers to have a clear understanding of the issues surrounding product safety, the responsibilities of our members in producing safe products as well as those of parents in their correct operation.”

(courtesy guardian.co.uk)

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I was recently at a 1yr olds birthday party where I met a mum who lives in San Francisco. She was amazed at the number of plastic drinking cups that pretty much every child was using in the UK, including our 2. Plastic kiddie cups have long been abandoned by stateside parents. Stainless steel and lined aluminum cups are the only thing to be seen with. Of course this is nothing to do with looking good but to do with the leaching of Bisphenol-A into the liquids inside the plastic drinking cups.

BPA has been in the news over the past few months due to its harmful effects. It was originally produced for use as a synthetic hormone in 1936 but is now most commonly used as the building block of polycarbonate plastic for products such as plastic kids cups, baby bottles, water bottles, epoxy resins (coatings that line food containers), and white dental sealants.  It is also an additive in other types of plastic used to make children’s toys.

While plastics are typically thought of as stable, scientists have known for many years that the chemical bond between BPA molecules is unstable.  The bond is disrupted by heat and acidic or basic conditions that release BPA into food or drinks in contact with the plastics.

So which baby bottles and sippy cups are BPA-free?

Born Free has developed a range of baby bottles, cups and accessories that is totally free of the chemicals Bisphenol-A (BPA), Phthalates and PVC. In addition, BornFree’s cups and bottles feature the unique BornFree venting system, designed to reduce colic and ear infections

Klean Kanteen offers BPA free sippy cups that are unique. Their bottles (a.k.a. Kanteens) are made of stainless steel and can then be used with either a nipple or a sippy style lid.

Earthlust bottles are hand made from high quality  stainless steel, which is naturally safe unlined. Their bottles are a custom design – not stock bottles. Most of their line is limited edition – with a stream of new art designs.

SIGG water bottles are made of aluminum and are coated with a water-based epoxy resin that is BPA free. They come in a wide variety of kid-friendly designs, are leak-proof, and suitable for all types of beverages. However, SIGG have recently been involved in controversy over their resin liner where they admitted that up until 2008 their liners actually contained BPA despite claiming they were ‘safe’ drinking bottles. This has undoubtedly caused people to question the integrity of the brand.

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