Archive for the ‘Parenting Tips’ Category

5 Must Have Baby Safety Products

Parents, especially those who are about to become parents for the first time, need to consider having a safe environment around the house for their child.  Deciding what safety products you will need can be a difficult task and one that needs to be considered carefully by all parents.  Some baby safety products are required by law while others are considered necessary depending on the type of home that you have.

One of the most important baby safety products that you will need is a suitable car seat for the baby.  Selecting the right baby seat for your child is important both for the safety of the child in the event of an accident and also to comply with the laws regarding restraints for children in cars.  When selecting a baby car seat it is important that you select the right type for the size and age of your child and that it passes all the relevant safety standards.

Another important baby safety product is portable baby gates or baby stair gates.  In a house that has stairs these gates are essential to prevent a child from falling or injuring themselves on stairs and they can also be used to prevent a baby that has learnt to crawl from accessing certain rooms which may contain hazards that you wish to keep away from the child such as household pets.

The next safety product that is an essential in any house that has a baby is the use of child safety locks on cupboards and drawers.  These locks are important especially for households with toddlers that are able to move about the house and are old enough to know how to open cupboards.  These locks are important to stop children accessing potentially dangerous things such as cleaning supplies.

To ensure that your child stays safe in the house it is important to buy and install child proofing products which will keep your baby safe around power chords and plugs.  There are many great power plug protectors available on the market and many come in packs of 10 and 20 so that all power chords and plugs in the house can be child proofed.

A good quality baby monitor is also a must have safety product.  These monitors are great for ensuring that your baby is asleep or to tell you when your baby has woken up.  Baby monitors are great in situations where one parent is looking after more than one child as this allows them to look after children in different rooms of the house.

Dealing With A Picky Eater Toddler

Feeding toddlers is tricky. They’ve got their preferences, but they’re not quite able to voice them, so it’s always a guessing game for the parents. How many parents have tried a new product or recipe only to watch it go uneaten? If you have a particularly picky eater on your hands, the problem grows tenfold.

There’s no one-size-fits-all trick that will work for every child, unfortunately—they all see mealtime in their own way. The key is not so much getting them to eat what’s on the plate (although that’s the bottom line), but make them comfortable with eating solid food. Some toddlers may simply need more time to make the transition from soft food, while others simply have hard-to-please palates.

Every child, even a picky eater toddler, has a natural sense of what his or her body needs. So one thing you don’t’ want to do is force them to eat something they don’t want to, no matter how healthy it is. Having a variety of foods on hand for them to choose from may work better. Don’t sit and watch, or even coax them to eat—just put the plate on the high chair and don’t make a fuss over it.

When you try to introduce new foods, do so one at a time, and serve them alongside tried and tested favorites. That way, they have something to fall back on if they don’t like the new dish. Give them new foods in small amounts; even a teaspoon will do. Sometimes, seeing so much “new stuff” at once can intimidate the child and keep them from even trying.

You’re probably familiar with children saying they don’t like a certain food, although they’ve never seen it before. There’s no use trying to get them to see logic here; often, the reason they say it is that they don’t like the smell, the color, or the texture, or the food may be stirring up bad memories, such as when they were sick.

Once you get them to like something, try to “sneak” some health into it. This is especially useful if their favourite food isn’t exactly nutrient-packed, such as plain rice or cereal. Add some small diced vegetables to rice and broth, or some mashed or diced apples to his morning snack. As always, start small and gradually increase them until your child develops a taste for it—you just might find a new favourite!

Baby Feeding Products: Choosing the Best Bottle for Your Baby

When it comes to purchasing the best bottle for your baby there are a few things to consider that will make your choice the best for your little one.  There are a huge amount of baby bottles on the market that have any number of different features so the following should help when it comes to matching the perfect bottle to your child.

The first thing to consider is the nipple shape on the bottle.  For many children that are bottle fed from the beginning this isn’t as important as breast fed babies providing that the child is comfortable feeding from the nipple that you have chosen to use.  For babies that have a combination of breast and bottle feeding the nipple shape can be important so that there are no problem with feeding as the baby changes from breast to bottle feeding.  Some babies that have become accustom to breast feeding need to have a wide nipple on the introduced bottle as they have trouble getting use to the smaller bottle nipple which is very different to their mums breast.

The material used for the nipple of the bottle is also an important consideration.  Bottles were originally produced with a latex nipple material however this has changed recently with the popularity of silicone nipples.  The advantages of using silicone is this material does not absorb any of the milk or formula smell or taste, the material is very durable and can be used over and over and using silicone is a great alternative for children who have an allergy to the latex material.

As well as considering the material of the nipple it is also important to consider the material that is used for the bottle.  Over the last couple of years there has been an increase in popularity of glass baby bottles and other baby feeding products over the plastic alternative.  Glass baby bottles are easy to care for and are durable enough to last a very long time.  These bottles also have the advantage of not containing any of the harmful chemicals that can be found in some plastics.

The last thing that you should consider is the size of the baby bottle that you require.  Naturally younger babies will eat less so you may need to initially buy a small bottle and then upgrade to a larger bottle as the baby grows.  When choosing a bottle it is also good to select on that has clear easy to read measurements that you can read when the bottle is full of milk as well as in the middle of the night when your baby may need a feed.

Parenting Issues: The Single Parent Household

Single parent households have a completely different dynamic when compared to families with both parents living under the one roof.  There are quite a number of reasons why a household becomes a single parent situation and these can include things such as divorce or death of one of the parents.  Many single parent households differ in the situation that caused the family unit to breakup however they share common experiences and challenges as a single parent household.

Single parenting differs greatly to dual parenting especially with the way that the child or children interact with the parent.  Single parent households tend to discuss and decide things with input from the child or children where as dual parent households generally make decisions such as where they are going on holidays just between the parents.

Another single parenting issue concerns the roles of the individuals in a single parent household.  Children in a single parent situation often have a more adult role in the family and their responsibilities are greater and more defined than children in a dual parent household.  Many of these responsibilities, such as looking after other siblings or doing the washing, are picked up by the child simply because there isn’t another adult around to do the job.

Single parents also feel pressure or stress when it comes to providing and looking after children in the single parent household.  Parents are very focused on giving their children the best and many single parents have trouble balancing time with the kids and also working enough to survive financially.  In a dual parent household the carer and bread winner role can be divided between two parents unlike the single parent household where these two roles are a juggling act for one parent.

Apart from the challenges that arise from a single parent household situation there are some positives that can result from this situation.  Children who are brought up in a single parent situation are generally more confident and mature and they use their free time more constructively doing activities such as reading or participating in organised sports.  Another positive is that children in this situation develop a very close relationship with their parent and in situations where the children also visit the other parent the relationship is still strong.  One important thing to note about single parent households is that children who are loved and supported have no more problems than a child who has both parents living under the same roof.

Parenting Solution: How to Encourage Good Child Behaviour

When dealing with children the act of giving a little praise for a positive action can significantly help increase a child’s interest in an activity or action.  Positive reinforcement can be a great way to steer a child in the right direction however it needs to be applied the right way.  Problems may occur if parents over do the praise which makes the child feel that the recognition and praise is meaningless.  On the other hand if the positive reinforcement is inconsistent then it is difficult for the child to understand and learn from this parenting solution.  When using positive reinforcement it is important to consider the following which can help parents to use this parenting solution effectively.

It is important to choose your reinforcements and ensure that they match the type of activity that the child has performed.  The rewards should also match a child’s age, their interests and also the effort that they needed to earn them.  Some examples can include things such as stickers for young children or an increase in pocket money or allowances for older children and teenagers.

This parenting solution needs to have clear guidelines so that parents and children are clear on what are good and bad actions.  This is important especially if you are trying to foster good behaviour with younger children.  Try to avoid using vague warnings for behaviour as the child needs to know the difference between good and bad behaviour.

Another aspect of positive reinforcement is timing and consistency.  This makes it much easy for the children to learn and understand the rules and what is expected from them.  Having a short space between positive action and reward strengthens the positive behaviour and the child is more likely to form an association between the action and the reward.

It is also important for the rewards or reinforcements to be changed regularly so that the child doesn’t get bored with the same reward all the time.  If the child is bored with the rewards then this will be less effective when trying to encourage positive behaviour.  It is also good to introduce non material items as rewards such as extra time watching television or allowed to stay up a little bit later at night.

Positive reinforcement which fosters well behaved children is a great parenting solution for any family and can be used for children of all ages.