How to Build a Good Relationship with your Toddler’s Caregivers

November 28, 2011

Your toddler’s caregivers are counting on you to keep up your end of the bargain. They keep your child safe and secure while you’re at work, and you agree not to take advantage of them. Here are some tips on how to build a good relationship with them.

  • Pick up your child on time. Sometimes there are emergencies , and you’re bound to be late once in a while, but make every effort to be prompt. If you anticipate a delay early in the day, call your childcare center or provider. Remember: Caregivers have lives too, and when you’re late, you make them late for their own appointments.
  • Turn in all necessary paperwork. Even before your child attends his first day of school you’ll need to submit a bunch of documents such as immunization records and medical health release forms. State law mandates that all centers comply with this law, so be sure to help your childcare center out by handing in these forms on time.
  • Bring up any problems immediately with the preschool director or the lead teacher. This is the most efficient way to get problems addressed and you are doing them a favor when you point out a blind spot in their operation.
  • Read all notices and mail you get from the center. When you see papers in your child’s cubby, don’t toss them in the recycling bin. This may cause you to miss out on valuable information about school closings, field trips, or special events. Do not look at it as “junk” mail. Childcare centers try to keep you abreast of all activities they would like you to participate in.
  • Make sure your child has all the supplies she needs. Keep extra clothes in her cubby in case of spills or potty accidents. If your toddler comes home wearing the spare clothing, be sure to bring a fresh set the next day. If your child’s class is doing a special art project, send her in with the she has the tools she needs.
  • Report any illnesses to your center or preschool. Germs travel fast among children. The caregiver needs to know if your baby has been exposed to any highly contagious diseases. Anything contagious has to be reported because they need to spread the word to other parents.
  • Let caregivers know if your child needs extra care on a particular day. If your little one didn’t sleep well the night before, or your partner is away on a business trip and your toddler is missing him, let the staff know. That way they’ll be able to give your child some extra attention.
  • Let the staff know if your child’s routine will change on a given day. If grandma’s in town and wants to pick up your child in the afternoon, be sure to let the caregiver know. Daycare centers are not allowed to release your child to anyone but you unless you give them permission. If you’ll be picking up your baby early for a doctor’s appointment, call them and let them know that too.
  • And of course, pay your fees when they’re due. This part is only fair. Don’t get caught with a zero bank balance when it comes time to write your childcare center a check. It is just bad form to keep them waiting for your payment.

Take care and until next time…

Michelle Spitzer

Owner at Pacifier B Gone

www.pacifierbgone.com

 

 

 

 

How to Survive Thanksgiving Dinner with a Toddler

November 21, 2011

The most important thing parents must not forget at Thanksgiving is safety. The holiday may be full of joy, but it has potential dangers all of it’s own.

Family gatherings are a traditional part of the holiday season and Thanksgiving is usually just the start of them. As diligent as parents may be about their own homes, they have no control over the many other houses they may visit during the holidays. When young children visit a relative’s house for the very first time they are dazzled by decorations and are often tempted by the desire to explore new places. Do not be embarrassed to ask ahead of time if your relative’s house is “child-proof.” Ask if fragile knick-knacks are placed high on shelves, if electrical outlets are plugged shut, and if the cupboards and cabinet doors have locks on them, etc.

Most party hosts are usually happy to accommodate by making their home safe for their youngest relatives. If they’re not, or they simply don’t have the time (who does?), then you will need to be aware of your toddler’s location at all times. For example, it only takes a tiny tug to bring a priceless antique crashing to the floor. It is also helpful for parents to plan ahead, and take turns watching their child, or ask an older child-a teenaged niece or nephew, for instance-to help keep an eye on their toddler.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Michelle L. Spitzer

Pacifier B Gone

How to Get your Toddler Ready for Their First Haircut

November 8, 2011

As your toddler approaches their second year, it will soon be time for their first haircut. You can avoid tears or tantrums with a little advance planning.

1. Go to a hair salon that specializes in kids. They sometimes have toys for them to sit on while they are getting their haircut, like horses or sports cars. This is a great way to distract your child from the scissors!

2. If you go to a regular salon or barber, be sure to schedule your appointment with an experienced stylist who knows how to cut children’s hair. Look for someone who will go out of her way to make your child feel comfortable and safe. This is important, because at a regular salon, your toddler will end up sitting in a booster chair. If your child doesn’t want to sit in the booster chair, ask the stylist if they can sit in your lap instead.

3.  Asking a toddler to sit still in a chair for for 10 to 15 minutes is a huge task! One that they will definitely handle better if they have had a good nap and also a full tummy.

4. If you have the opportunity, stop by the salon before the actual date to acquaint your toddler with the setting. If you can’t do this, try playing beauty salon or barber shop at home. Sit your toddler in her high chair, spritz her hair with a water bottle, and pretend you’re cutting her hair while you hold a scissor. Then tell her how beautiful she looks with her new haircut!

5. Finally, be sure to come armed with distractions. Bring some small toys from home to keep them happy and preoccupied.  A lollipop is also a great idea. Be sure to pack one of these too. The salon might have these items on hand, but it is a good idea to bring them yourself, just in case.

Happy Haircuts!

Michelle Spitzer, Pacifier B Gone

 

 

 

How to Handle Toddler Teething

October 25, 2011

Every baby reacts differently to teething and it can be a challenging time for both you and your baby. You may find that your is crying uncontrollably, drooling and biting on her fingers. Teething is a painful time for your baby and a very diffcult time for you. It is definitely not fun, but teething is something every child must go through. Here are a few things you can do to help.

Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen

You may want to give your baby  acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help ease the pain if she is going through extreme pain. Either one of these medicines will help numb the pain, but ibuprofen has the added benefit of being an anti-inflammatory as well. This is especially useful because as the teeth come in, your baby’s gums can become very red an inflamed from the teeth pushing themselves up.

Teething Gels

Tooth gels come in baby strength as well.  Even though it seems like a great option to help your baby’s pain, be sure not to use this type of teething gel on your toddler until she reaches at least 4 months of age. Gels only provide temporary relief and can be washed away in your baby’s mouth which can result in numbing the wrong area. Apply only a small amount of the gel `directly where it’s needed.

Teething Rings 

You may want to purchase a teething ring, because teething rings can be very useful to help your baby get through some of the pain. If you choose to use a liquid filled teething ring, be sure that you cool it off in the refrigerator, NEVER do it in the freezer. A frozen teething ring can shock your baby by being too cold and hard and it will definitely hurt more than it soothes. There are many different types of teething rings available. There are hard plastic rings with different bumps that are wonderful for your baby to bite down on. Biting provides temporary pain relief to your baby and  your baby will want to bite down on something very often.

Popsicles and Other Cold Treats

You might want to give your toddler a popsicle or other frozen treat. This is a great way to help numb their pain and they will enjoy it. Like teething rings, your baby will feel soothed by the coldness of the treat. It will also taste great and that in itself with help ease the pain. However, please remember that you should limit your baby’s sugar intake in the first year. Try to find natural fruit popsicles or other naturally sweet treats with no sugar added. Stay away from popsicles that have chunks of fruit in them until your baby has enough teeth to chew them properly.

How NOT to Handle Teething

Do not ever  go along with anyone’s advice to give your baby alcohol. Whiskey or any other type of alcohol is NOT a good solution for your baby’s pain. In fact, because your baby is so small, even a small amount of alcohol can do a lot of harm to your baby. Try one of the previously mentioned methods for easing your baby’s pain, but never resort to alcohol or anything else that might hurt your baby.

Teach Your Toddler How to Swim!

October 11, 2011

Play on the Steps

Start by taking your child by the hand and taking them to  the steps in the pool. Get them to sit down and play, maybe with a toy.  This helps your toddler to get accustomed to the water  and explore the entire step area.

Blow Bubbles

Show your child you are  taking a deep breath and blow bubbles, then ask them if  they can blow bubbles. They might need some encouragement and be patient. Some kids don’t like putting their  face near the water and it can be very scary for them.

Practice Kicking

Sit down on the top step with the toddler and show them  how to kick. Be sure to kick with a relatively  straight leg and bend your knees only slightly. You can also use  verbal cues like “kick, kick, kick”.

Picking up Toys from Steps

The goal here is to get an object from underwater. This helps prepare them to eventually put their face underwater.  Using a toy that sinks is a good idea, but remember, it’s about the goal of getting the submerged object that is important  to the child.

Riding on your Shoulders

By etting your children ride on your shoulders you are helping them to prepare to learn how to glide. This helps to provide a break for your toddler, because most of them enjoy it. Be sure to  hold them and talk reassuringly to them as you pull them through chest-deep water.

Practice Going Underwater

This works well by using the 1-2-3 countdown.  Get them to take a deep breath  and close their mouths, then lift them up and make your motions smooth. Be sure not to startle them or get water up their nose.  Tell the toddler that their fingers are  wipers and they should wipe away water rather than rub it.

Holding the Wall and Getting Back to the Steps

This exercise lets the child know that there is a safe place to go in case they  accidently fall in. Get them to hold onto the wall away form the steps  and place your hands on top of theirs to show them how to crawl  hand-over-hand back to the steps.

Getting Their Face Wet

This exercise should be done after you show the child how to retrieve the toy/object from the steps.  It teaches them how to take deep breaths by closing their mouths and  opening their eyes underwater. This is an excercise where you must be especially patient. This is can be the hardest things for toddlers to learn  how to do and it’s very scary. Be sure not to push or be impatient, because this only  frustrates the child and makes an already skill even harder.

Back Float

This is another difficult exercise, so be patient. One way that you can make this a little less scary is to try to make it fun. Pretend like they are going to be “Sleeping Beauty” like in the Disney story.  Tell the toddler to use your shoulder as a pillow and support their body.  Talk to them and reassure them that you have them and that it is okay. Get  them to take a deep breath and hold it. This will help them feel buoyant.  Move the child down so that their head is resting on your arm while  still supporting their head. Ask them to move their arms above their head and then hold onto your fingers. The child’s toes should be poking through  the surface of the water and with their head tilted back.

Off the Side

The object of this experience is to create a forward motion and overcome  the fear of falling in.  Ask the child sit on the wall with feet in the  water and you stand in waist-deep water. Hold your toddler under the arms while keeping your arms stiff and straight. Raise the toddler up and gently  lower them into the water while moving backward. When the child reaches your hands, pick them up and show them how far they went and then praise them for it.

How to Choose the Right Clothing for Your Toddler

September 21, 2011

Your toddler’s clothes should not only be trendy and affordable, but also practical and safe. Read our guidelines and take them along withy you the next time you go shopping.

Non-Flammable

All of your toddler’s clothing should be non-flammable so that it is safe for your child. Check the labels on the clothing you are considering purchasing to see if they indicate whether the garment is flame resistant or not.

Right Size

Buying your toddler’s clothes in the right size is crucial. Clothes that are too small will fit too tight. Clothes that are too big, will definitely hinder your child while he is playing and can become caught on play equipment  leading to injury.  Look for rib knit necklines or single-thickness collars that lie flat since your child’s neck is still short.

Moving Freely

All of your toddler’s clothing should support your child to move around freely. The clothes should contain natural fibers to prevent it from causing your child to have itchy skin.  None of the clothes should contain few loose parts to prevent it from getting caught on furniture or tripping your toddler up. If your toddler is still crawling, the crotch length of any pants that you buy should be long enough not to bind.  Look for fullness in the seat since your toddler is still wearing diapers. Crotch openings
in the pants will also make changing easier.

Appropriate Fasteners

Fasteners should be solid and easy to operate for your toddler. When your toddler is learning to dress himself, you can support him or her by choosing clothing that is easy for them  to put on and take off. If you have started the potty training, pants with an elastic band will help your toddler to quickly take its pants off when needed.  If a piece of clothing has shoulder straps, make sure they are adjustable to prevent them from falling down. For example, hook and loop tape is much easier to handle than buttons, and straps are easier than laces.

Natural Fibers – Cotton

Clothing which consists mainly out of cotton, or other natural fibers is likely to wear easy,  be strong and of course, easily washable.

Keeping Your Toddler Warm & Dry

Coats, hats, pants and other heavy clothes should be worn to keep your child warm and dry to allow them to play outdoors without being distracted by the cold or rain.

Easily Washable

As we all know children’s clothing is dirty before you know it! Be sure that the clothes are easily washable and dry quickly. Check the labels for washing instructions.

Affordable

Fun toddler clothing can be expensive, and toddlers grow so fast that they quickly outgrow their clothes. For thise reason, you might want to consider second hand clothing to reduce your expenses. If you don’t have a second hand store nearby, look online for a second hand clothing store with affordable and fun toddler clothing.

Sale

As with our own clothes, when sale arrives, most of us are tempted to buy clothing for the next season. It can seem like a wise thing to do, since it saves money, but it is not. Your toddler may not be the right size for the clothing that you purchased on sale when the season arrives.  Purchase only those outfits which your child fits at that period of time.

Involve your toddler!

If you involve your toddler in the purchasing process, your toddler is more likely to like the clothes and WEAR them without protesting.

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Games to Play with Your Toddler

September 12, 2011

Here are some game you can play with your toddler if they are 16 to 20 months. These games will help them their motor and coordination skills.

Tea Party for Two
Take a child-sized plastic tea set outdoors and fill a large plastic bowl with water. Then pretend you’ve “come to tea” and encourage your toddler to fill the teapot and pour the tea. This funny little game will challenge her coordination skills and help him learn about the properties of water. Like that it always flows down, not up. 🙂

Making Block Patterns
This game requires some concentration on your toddler’s part, so it’s best played after he has had his nap. You can use his building blocks to make simple patterns, such as three in a row or “two up, two down” to make a square. Be sure to encourage him to use other blocks to copy your pattern, then let him try making his own pattern and then copy it yourself. The process of sorting objects like this into shapes will help encourage your toddler’s problem-solving skills.

Roll the Ball
Balls are always popular toys for toddlers. Bouncy balls, are of course, best kept outside, but soft, foam balls make great indoor toys. The best ball game to start playing with your toddler is an simple version of “catch.” In this game, both of you sit on the ground facing each other with your legs apart and toes touching. Then you roll the ball backward and forward to each other without letting it go out of bounds. This is a fun game that is good for building arm muscle strength and hand-eye coordination.

The Collector
Go for a walk with your toddler and take a bucket with you. Collect small objects that interest them — stones, leaves, pine cones. Your toddler will most likely want to carry the bucket, but don’t be surprised if he also dumps its contents and starts again. Toddlers this age love to fill containers and then can empty them again. This helps him with practicing his hand movements and developing dexterity.

We hope that you and your toddler will have lots of fun playing these simple games, and they’ll help her development too!

Dos and Don’ts of Pacifier Weaning

August 29, 2011

First of all, DON’T try to wean your child from their pacifier cold turkey. Your child’s binky is like a trusted friend to them. It’s a source of comfort and security. The last thing you want to do is to induce unnecessary trauma in the life of your child. Life is tough enough already.

DO begin to limit their use when you start the process of weaning from the pacifier. Let your child use it only during naps and at bedtime.

Next, DON’T be undecided and unsure of yourself. If you’ve made the decision that weaning from a pacifier is important—stick with it. Be a parent and be a leader to your child.

DO keep a positive and upbeat attitude. Offer encouragement and support to your child throughout the entire weaning from pacifier process.

Further, DON’T be haphazard and unorganized. Children take comfort in having structure. This is even more critical since breaking this habit will introduce uncertainty and confusion into their life.

DO have a plan and create a process. I personally came up with a 7-day process to wean my child from a pacifier. It was simple, but very structured. Every night I would read them a story about the Binky Fairy. The gist of the story was that they were getting big now and the Binky Fairy was going to come and give them a special friend to take care of their pacifier since they didn’t need it anymore.

Finally, DON’T stress and worry about what to do.

DO have confidence in yourself as a mom and try to make the whole experience fun.

If you would like more information on the exact, step-by-step 7 day system I used to wean my children from a pacifier, please visit us at: www.PacifierBGone.com

Does your toddler have a cold?

August 23, 2011

When it comes to colds in toddlers, all you can do is let nature take its course. Since babies generally lose their mother’s immunity to colds by 6 months of age, the average toddler can get 6-12 colds per year, especially if she is in a daycare setting. What can you do for your little one has a cold?

Symptoms

Here are some common signs that your toddler has a cold.

  • Irritability
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Coughing
  • Low grade fever (up to 101 F)
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Decreasein appetite

Causes

A toddler’s cold is caused by the common cold virus just like when you get a cold. The virus is concentrated in the nose and is present in large quantities in the nasal fluid. Colds are highly contagious. Even as people blow or wipe their noses, the virus can linger on hands or objects, including the grocery shopping cart or on a toy at toddler daycare. The best prevention is of course, frequent hand washing and avoiding those with colds.

The reason why babies and toddlers get the common cold so much is because their bodies are new to the viruses. They do not have an immunity built up (there are over 100 cold viruses) yet. Another factor is that they frequently put their hands in their eyes, nose, and mouth. This easily transmits any cold virus to their nose that could be on their hands.

Treatment

  • If your toddler has a stuffy nose, try some saline nose drops. Tilt your baby’s head back and put a few drops in each of her nostrils to loosen the mucus. After the mucus loosens, suction it out with a bulb syringe. Although most babies hate this, they will be able to breathe easier. Be sure not to use nasal
    sprays.
  • If your toddler isn’t tossing and turning, try elevating the head side of their bed with a couple of towels underneath the mattress. This will help the mucus to drain.
  • Use a vaporizer or humidifier in her room to ease congestion. It is best to try a cool mist humidifier. The cool mist, rather than the hot, prevents your baby from getting burned when it is used in their room. Air cleaning filter is a plus!
  • Be sure to keep your baby hydrated. Even though she will probably lose some of her appetite, make sure she gets plenty of fluids. Water and juice are best for toddlers.
  • Put some vapor baby bath in your baby’s bath water. This will loosen congestion.
  • For toddlers older than six months, you can give them baby cold medicines under a doctor’s direction. However, as they grow older, you may find that if you did this every time they had a cold, they would always be on medicine. Toddlers have frequent colds.

Consult a Pediatrician if the following occurs.

  • A cold that won’t go away after 5-7 days
  • They are tugging on their ear and in pain
  • If they are wheezing and gasping during a cough
  • If they have a high-pitched cough and can’t seem to get their breath
  • Their fever continues after 1-2 days

How to Buy Shoes for your Toddler

August 19, 2011

When your toddler becomes mobile, it is very important to know how to buy the right shoes to protect their feet. This requires Mom and Dad to know a thing or two about buying the best toddler shoes.

Here is Pacifier B Gone’s advice on navigating the toddler shoe market:

Hard Soled VS. Soft

The same as with adult shoes, toddler shoes with soles that are too soft can cause slips and falls. Bascially, you want a shoe with “little bit of sole” to avoid or at least minimize accidents.  A leather or rubber sole will definitely assist you in providing the traction that your toddler needs.

Sneakers VS. Boots

Most sneakers are good because they generally do not constrain the toddler’s foot and they allow for proper development. Sneakers are usually made with canvas and pliable leather which allows the shoe to mold to a child’s foot for a good fit.

Cheap VS. Expensive

For young children who are  just learning to walk, inexpensive shoes are okay. The most important is now how much the shoe costs, but that it fits properly.

Open-Toed VS. Closed

Closed-toed shoes are generally better, open-toed shoes don’t offer a lot of foot protection for a child just learning to walk. The same goes for shoes such as “Crocs.” Children can easily trip on these types of shoes if they’re just learning to walk since they are not entirely stable. It is best to hold off on purchasing these types of shoes until around age 2 or later.

New VS. Used

Even though it might be tempting to use hand-me-down shoes from friends or family to save a few bucks, especially due to the challenging economy, this is one area that requires you buy new. Children need shoes to mold to their feet.  If you choose to use a hand-me-down pair of shoes, you are literally forcing your child’s foot into a shoe that has already molded to the shape of someone else’s foot. This means your toddler could end up with blisters! Ugh!

Buy good shoes for your toddler! They are worth it!