Helping Your Baby, Toddler Cope on Holiday’s – So You Actually Have a Holiday!

As we approach Christmas and the holiday season in Australia some of us smile and relish the sun, parties and wonderful Christmas food and some of us want to move South to Tasmania so our brain doesn’t melt from the heat and our babies can happily sleep wrapped! Sometimes the ‘frontlog’ of what you need to do in order to go on holidays is worse that the ‘back log’ of what you need to do when you get back home! Are you sure you want to go??

When you know life is going to be busy and you may not be able to follow your normal routine, it is a good idea to plan as well as possible to avoid disaster. Simple things like:

*making sure baby can feed and sleep when they are due to.

*Planning meals, snacks, entertainment and sleep times for your toddler.

*If you are going to be very brave and very social this summer it helps to make sure your baby and toddler are sticking to their normal sleeping and feeding routine as much as possible. Some occasions will clash with sleep times but you will want to go. Just remember that your baby and toddler may appear to cope on one occasion, but the missed or disjointed sleeps will add up and leave you with an overtired baby/toddler and it won’t feel worth it. Try and plan to have visitors over at your place rather than going out as often, at least you can be social and your children can sleep in their own beds.

*For those parents who will have their baby sleeping in other places over Christmas or are going on holidays it is a great idea to ask questions about the window coverings where your baby will be staying. (preferably ask a parent not a teenager, who will have no idea!) From experience, your friends places (especially those who don’t have little ones) and holiday accommodation never have dark enough coverings on the windows. This may be the last thing on your mind now, but will be the first thing on your mind at 5 am when your little darlings are awake with the birds because the sun is pouring into the bedroom and prevents day sleeps for the same reason! Purchase and pack a king size black sheet (or 2!) some thumb tacks, pegs and creative genius for creating dark bedrooms, or you will never call it a ‘holiday’ again!

*The other consideration at holiday time is where everyone will sleep! You may have no choice or may decide to save some money by sharing a room with your children in the holidays. This is the next best ‘holiday killer’ to the sun coming in and is the reason for a lot of my consultations. Contemplate the reason for the travel and remind yourself that you are supposed to be enjoying your self! If you can afford to, get separate rooms. If you can’t do this you will need to try and create a visual barrier between yourself and the baby over 3 months of age. When your baby/toddler knows you are right there next to them they have a reason for waking in the night to see you! Then especially when you are at the relatives house and you don’t want to disturb them, most parents resort to feeding their baby to keep them quiet (even if they don’t need it) and start a new habit in one night!

*When planning to travel, plan the best time of day for your baby/toddler’s sleep. Make sure you all have regular breaks for feeding and massaging square , numb bottoms and allow the toddlers to wear themselves out. Plan activities and music for the car and shade for the sun coming in the windows. It might take you longer to get there but it’s better not to have a frazzled family at the end of the trip.

How to Choose Baby Toddler Shoes

Selecting baby things such as baby dresses and baby toddler shoes may not be very easy. There are things that need to be considered when purchasing these types of things. But surely the wide selections of shoes to choose from nowadays will help in making things easier.

You can either go to your favorite department store or purchase it online but the actual choosing of shoes for toddlers is not as easy as you may think it is. There are circumstances where if the shoe that you have selected does not fit your toddler, then you have obviously made a huge mistake. The most common problem with this is foot pain, deformity and malfunction. To avoid these types of problems, parents must choose the perfect foot wear for their toddlers.

Baby toddler shoes must allow breathing of the toddler’s feet. It should be airy and made from natural and soft materials so that the feet will remain healthy and strong. Another thing is that they should be light in weight. Choosing the right footwear for your kids should include checking on the weight of the shoe and making sure it is light or else might hinder your child’s movement. Infant shoes should also be flexible. They should allow the toes to move comfortably but also stay flat. The shoe should imitate a bare foot and should not have an arch.

Here are some toddler shoes that will perfectly suit your baby’s needs:

Pedi-Care Baby Toddler Shoes

This footwear is perfect for your little one. It is designed to make your baby’s first walks worth recording. Wearing these shoes will make their walking very comfortable. It is made from materials that enable the baby to feel the ground underneath their feet as they try to learn to walk and will aid them as they strengthen their feet. These shoes include a tiny ribbon that your little one will surely like and have a durable leather sole plus Velcro Straps that will make wearing of the shoes very easy.

Bootie Style Baby Toddler Shoes

This is one of the most highly recommended shoes for toddlers. It is made from 100% fabric and has a manmade sole. This beautiful, soft and flexible toddler shoes can be washed using a washing machine and dryer.

In conclusion, when looking for the perfect shoes that will fit your baby’s needs, the main thing is that they should be soft and flexible. The shoes should aid the toddlers in their walking, so parents must invest in shoes of high quality, breathable and lightweight.

Camping with Baby/Toddler – YOU MUST BE CRAZY! Here is How to Do It Smoothly!

A family that performs activities together is a family that will stay together. One of the best activities to do with the family is to go on a camping trip together. If there is a toddler in the family, then there are specific baby camping gear that has to be added to the usual camping supply list. Without this baby camping gear, what was anticipated to be a few days of holiday and leisure may turn out to be a holiday of misery.

Of course, the first and foremost necessity of the baby on the trip would be its diapers. Take along as many diapers as possible so that the baby will feel comfortable on the trip. Along with the diapers, you will also have to take some wipes. Since we use wipes in our family for the bathroom, for stains on clothing, cleaning dirty arms and legs, sticky furniture, etc.. I am sure you will not be disappointed with having lots of extra wipes to help stay clean in your vehicle and campground. You will needs lots of extra sets of baby clothing, and extra pairs of shoes.

Whether you nurse your baby or not, it is advisable to bring along some formula, and of course, your Gerber toddler foods. It will give the mother a little more freedom should she so choose, and how often is a family together for a bonding experience? This gives the father an opportune time to feed the baby while his Mom goes fishing for dinner :)!! Naturally you will not want to forget the bottles.

Some cap, sun block lotion too and some bug spray that is safe for kids is advisable to avoid the baby having to go through misery with the various insects in the camping trail. The favorite blanket or stuffed toy of the child is very important to keep the baby quiet and content throughout the camping trip – In addition, some lightweight toys to keep the baby busy with.

You can choose from many baby back carriers for you to carry the baby while hiking, while keeping your back comfortable. There are also many baby strollers to choose from for use on trails. These are all the essential baby camping gear that has to be taken on a camping trip with your baby. This way, you will be sure of having a great family outing with your baby, in the camping trip.

While babies may seem to get a lot of focus, when it comes to camping. Often preschoolers get overlooked. That is why its crucial to bring along camping coloring pages as well as a plethora of snacks for camping. This will keep your young child interested and can be a preventive from the kids wandering away unsupervised.

And of course you will want cameras and other video equipment to remember this time when you were in the outdoors. To look back on a time when the idea of taking a baby/toddler on a camping trip seemed reasonable, and not insane, as it may when you age.. Then when your children grow up and say ‘We never do anything Fun!’, you will have this as your proof!.

How Can I Start a New Routine For My Baby, Toddler Without Any Crying?

I frequently get phone calls from sleep deprived parents asking for my help, explaining the routine they are currently using and what they would like to achieve with the new routine and then they add…. “But, I don’t want any crying…my husband and I don’t cope with it”.

I completely understand this request and my aim is to empower the parents with the skills to improve their baby/toddlers routine without any crying or distress and sometimes this happens at the first sleep but sometimes this isn’t possible. In the case of the newborn baby up to age of about 3 months we are often ‘fine-tuning’ the routine with efficient uptimes, downtimes and the bedroom environment and they basically look at us and say “thank goodness someone knew what I needed!” and go to sleep without a murmur.

In other cases the baby needs a few days to settle into the new routine, respond to the new cues and learn to self-settle in their own bed. We need to remember that baby is intelligent and has only responded to the regular cues and routines that you have initiated since birth. What you have been doing was ‘working’ for everyone until now and while we have valid reasons for changing the routine baby doesn’t know we are going to change anything and so sometimes they are going to protest!

Case study: Baby around 4-6 weeks old.

Presents as very unsettled during the day and night, 20-45 minute day sleeps, often will only sleep on mum’s chest or in someone’s arms, in sling or in bed with mum and dad. Refuses to sleep in the cot/bassinette, mum feels stuck at home because baby will not sleep in stroller either. Baby isn’t feeding very well, fussing a lot and is particularly unsettled after feeds, will usually feed best when going to sleep. Mum and dad suspect reflux or colic. Parents have tried the dummy with limited success, baby is wrapped for all sleeps but gets out of it frequently.

Goals for baby:
Relaxed feeds, enjoys playtime, provides obvious tried signs, appreciates cues for sleep, calm going into bed and self-settles to sleep. Enjoys personal sleep requirement and wakes happy and hungry for the next feed and ready to play again……

Plan:
We look at the bedroom environment, make the feeding and playtime more efficient, remove the props that prevent self-settling, identify baby’s tired signs and when baby is ready for bed, fine tune the wrapping technique and provide baby with some new cues for sleep.

Potential Outcomes:

*Once in bed baby may start to whinge/talk on and off like a ‘rollercoaster’ for a few minutes. A whinge is noise that you feel comfortable with and sound like they are self-settling, mum and dad feel happy to stay outside the room because baby isn’t upset and the whinging is getting progressively quieter. A short time later baby is quiet and asleep. Baby ends up sleeping for 2 hours without waking because they are comfortable and their environment is encouraging a restful sleep.

Are Traditional Wooden Toys Still As Good For Baby, Toddler, And Child Development As Modern Toys

With so many different toys on the market it is not surprising that choosing a toy for a baby, toddler or child can become unnecessarily confusing. It seems that unless a toy can buzz, flash, beep and grab your attention in some kind of weird and wonderful way then it is in danger of no longer deserving its shelf space. So where does this leave the traditional toys of yesteryear? Have things moved on so far that they no longer have any educational value? Have they finally past their sell by date?

To answer this question it is important to understand the basics of newborn, toddler and child development.

Cognitive development

Cognitive development focuses on how children learn and process information. The development of the mind involves language, mental imagery, thinking, reasoning, problem solving, and memory development. All of these are skills which need to be learned by the child as cognitive development is not an automatic process. Colour and shape sorters, stackers and puzzles are ideal tools to help develop cognitive skills from an early age as well as eye-hand coordination. Whilst there are many fine examples of modern, battery operated toys suited to developing these skills you can’t beat the simple traditional educational wooden toys that have been around for years.

Fine Motor skills

Fine Motor skills can be defined as small muscle movements: those that occur in detailed hand to eye coordination such as picking a small object up from the floor. Teaching fine motor skills requires patience and understanding. They also take time and practice to acquire and are built upon four key skills: Grasping/holding objects, reaching out to objects, releasing objects deliberately, and rotating the wrist in different directions. Excellent traditional wooden toys to develop fine motor skills include shape sorters, playing with wooden puppets or dolls, and wooden puzzles.

Gross Motor skills

Gross Motor skills involve the larger muscles in the arms, legs and body, for example to walk, run, throw, lift and kick. These skills also relate to body awareness, reaction, speed, balance and strength. Traditional toys which help stimulate gross motor development include toys with hammers such as ball pounders or diy sets, skipping ropes and ride on toys.

Social skills

As a child develops from being a baby through its toddler years it is important that it acquires good social skills and what better way to learn these than through imaginative role play both independently and with other children. Ideal toys to encourage this important aspect of development include child friendly equivalents of all kinds of domestic tools that mum, dad and other carers use around the house, or elsewhere, such as wooden kitchen equipment, tool boxes, musical instruments, phones, tills etc.

In conclusion a good toy will stimulate the sense of sight, sound, and touch and help cultivate motor, social, and cognitive skills as well as eye-hand coordination. And, the old favorite traditional wooden toys can stand proudly next to their modern counterparts in helping with baby, toddler and child development. And, what is more, they won’t cost a fortune in batteries to maintain!