Monthly Archive: June 2017

Activities to do this Summer with your Kids!

When you have a toddler, summer days can be very long. Toddlers love running, dumping, pouring and generally creating havoc. The only way to keep them still and in one place is to engage them in fun and creative activities. Coming up with new and inventive ideas ever day of Summer is not an easy task (even more so than the cleaning up afterwards!). But fear not, curated here, are five activities that are fun and easy (and require very little work, phew!) to keep your toddler happy and entertained this summer:

  1. MAKE PRINTS FROM BUBBLE WRAP –This is a fun activity which only requires some paint (something that will stick to the plastic bubble wrap) and a paper! Just roll some colour onto the bubble wrap and press a piece of paper on top of it. The result will be splotches of vibrant and beautiful colour. A masterpiece waiting to be stuck on the fridge! Create rainbow, sunset sunrise patterns or just random splotches!
  2. PAINT WITH ROLLING PINS– This is another fun (and easy!) activity that you can enjoy with your kids. Simply wrap the bubble wrap around the pin, and with the help of some paint and paper, you can create works of art! The paint as well as the rolling motion will definitely keep your toddlers entertained.
  3. POOL NOODLE RACE TRACK__Kids will love this activity. For this activity take a pool noodle and cut it in half (vertically). Then pin the two halve of the noodle together with as many toothpicks as you want (don’t forget to use pliers to pull the toothpicks flush against the sides of the noodle so the car can move easily) and prop it up on a chair or a table and voila! You have your very own racetrack! This activity will not only keep kids engaged while playing with their cars but they will also enjoy decorating their own side of the racetrack.
  4. MAKE ICE-CREAM __ You scream, I scream…you know how the saying goes. Well, this fun idea will definitely have your kids screaming with joy. A fun way to beat the heat of the summer and keep your kids interested, ice-cream recipes are so easy to come by and most of them don’t even require an ice cream maker! The mess that your kitchen will be in is so worth the yummy results.
  5. BUILD A SECRET FORT __ The best thing about having a toddler is that no one judges you for activities like these. When you’re tired from all the running around and noises, you can wind down with this perfect and versatile idea! Build a fort in your living room and enjoy snacking on delicious fruits (or candies, yay!) and watching your favourite Disney films (you know you love them secretly). Or hang over sheets in your back yard over low-lying branches or strategically place tables and chairs and enjoy a fun picnic and enjoy the beautiful summer day!

So go ahead and enjoy this summer without the fear of “What do we do?!” with these activities!

TEETH BRUSHING NIGHTMARE

Come morning, many moms are faced with the challenge of brushing the teeth of a toddler. In theory, it may sound like a piece of cake but the reality, however, is very different. Many moms start their day with a lot yelling, fighting and tantrums all for the sake of oral hygiene.

Toddlers are not miniature adults. Dealing with children is not difficult; rather, it is different from the way we would interact with an adult. The way they think and view the world is quite different from the way we do. Hence, in order to get through to them, we need to re-frame our minds and change our approach.

It is necessary to communicate with toddlers in their own ‘language’. Toddlers tend to experience the world around them through their five primary senses, namely, smell, taste, sight, touch and sound. Hence, abstract concepts are more difficult for them to fully comprehend. When explaining why they need to brush their teeth, instead of talking about preventing tooth decay or oral hygiene, try to use immediate sensations.

For example, you may refer to brushing their teeth as tooth washing, saying that once they brush their teeth, their mouth will taste better and it will feel clean.

Instead of repeating the same argument over and over again every single day, you can make teeth brushing sessions more fun. One trick that you can employ which really helps a lot of new moms is to buy different coloured brushes for everyday of the week. The toddlers will love the bright colours and enjoy the fact that they have a new coloured brush every day instead of just a single one like everyone else.

A lot of parents often use the trick of nursery rhymes to ensure that their kids are brushing their teeth for a stipulated amount of time. All you have to do is download a nursery rhyme that your toddler prefers and instruct them to brush for as long as the song continues. Once they get into a habit of it, they will naturally follow this routine and you won’t have to watch over them like a hawk. You can even use a different nursery rhyme for each day of the week to make it more enjoyable for your toddler. Or choose a different one for the morning session and the night session (if you manage to find that many!).

Using toothpaste especially recommended for children also makes it quite fun. They generally have a sweeter taste than the minty ones that adults use and have fun drawings on their packaging. An additional way to make your toddler more interested in brushing is to let them choose the toothpaste they want. They will then look forward to using it the next morning. A simple trick, but quite useful!

Choosing the correct brush is also quite important. If they have tender gums using medium bristles might be too painful for them and hence, might add to the problem. Make sure you’re using the right kind of brush depending on your toddler’s gum, and you’re good to go!

Hopefully, these tips will prevent future morning battles for some moms out there!

TRANSITIONING YOUR TODDLER FROM CRIB TO BED

The first thing to consider before you begin transitioning your toddler from his/her crib to a bed is whether your child is ready to take this step. Of course, as a parent only you will know whether he or she is ready, but a few things to consider may be:

Whether it is actually needed: Does your child really need to be moved to a bed right now, or can it wait for later? There may be safety issues, like your child trying to climb out of the crib which is a good indicator that your child is ready for this transition.

Another aspect that you should pay attention to is whether they have had any big changes in their lives recently, like moving to a new house or joining a new play group. While it may not seem like much, dealing with a lot of changes at once may upset your child and cause undue stress. In such cases, it is better to wait a little while.

If you think that your child is ready for the next step, then here are a few tips to make this transition easier:

  1. Make it fun: Get them excited for their new bed! Talk to your child beforehand. Make your talks positive and try to exude as much happy and positive feelings as you can. This will result in your child seeing this change as a positiveone; he or she will absorb some of the happy feelings and see it as an accomplishment. You can even ask them to choose their own sheets or even their own bed (from options that you pick out). In this way, you can be assured that they will be eagerly awaiting to use their new bed will all the things they love.
  2. Safety first: As mention earlier, one of the reasons that you may want to move your child from the crib to the bed might be that he or she has started attempting to climb out of the crib. This can be dangerous as the crib walls are fairly high. Sleeping in a bed means they can get in and out of bed safely. However, since your toddler is quite used to the walls of the crib, he or she may be at the risk of rolling out of bed in his or her sleep. Ensure that the bed you buy has some kind of protection against rolling out of bed. In fact, you can also check for any outlets or cavities that are the perfect for trapping little fingers and make sure they are covered. In your child’s room, you can make certain changes like securing the furniture’s to the wall (in order to prevent them from tripping if your toddler decides that it is a fun place to climb).

Make them feel safe:Apart from physical safety, it is quite important for them to feel comfortable in their new room. One trick is to introduce them to their brand new bed when it’s their nap-time during the day. This can work wonders to put them at ease, rather than leaving them in a new environment when it’s dark.

TIPS FOR A SUMMER PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is time during which your body undergoes a lot of changes. These changes have many outward symptoms, most of which are quite uncomfortable. Your hormone levels are going haywire as well; coping with these changes can be quite stressful. But, the added heat and discomfort of summer can really take a toll on your physical as well as mental health. Hence, it’s important for you to take a break every once in a while.

Summer heat is excruciating for each one of us, but a summer pregnancy can be extra taxing on you. Here are a few simple tips that you can employ to have a relatively more comfortable summer pregnancy:

Stay Hydrated: Of course, this seems pretty obvious. But, it is so easy to forget to drink enough water throughout the day. One glass of water in the morning won’t keep you sufficiently hydrated! Now that you are pregnant, your body needs more water than usual; make sure to provide your body with sufficient water. It’s a good idea to carry a bottle of water with you.

Loose fitting clothing: Wearing body hugging clothes during the summer is a complete disaster even if you aren’t pregnant. It’s hot and makes you extremely sweaty. It adds another layer of discomfort which you definitely do not need. Loose fitting clothes that are breezy and light are super comfortable and summer friendly. In fact, loose fitting maternity clothes are extremely easy to find, so you won’t run into any problems there!

Cold compressors or Ice Packs: It is a good idea to keep ice packs or cold compressors in the fridge so you can use it whenever you please. Even plastic baggies filled with ice cubes work well for this. These are especially good, as you can use them in a more localized manner (like the back of your neck which, for me at least, gets really hot throughout the day) which is quite helpful. They are also pretty easy to procure.

Lukewarm Showers:Cold showers might be a little too much for your body right now, but lukewarm showers (or baths, if you can handle it) work wonders too cool you down as well as relax you. It’s good for the skin as well, as hot water generally dulls your skin over time; you will be relaxed and have extra glowing skin (wow!).

Avoid the sun during peak hours: Of course, most of us should already be employing this tip in general. If you must go out during these peak hours (usually noon/afternoon time), make sure you are heavily guarded against the sun. Wear floppy hats, sunglasses, and a lot of sunscreen to protect yourself, Even if you feel it’s silly, a little too much protection doesn’t hurt!

Cold Beverages: As you know our body needs plenty of liquid during the summer. Water is the best (and easiest) way to supplement our bodies, but there are other fun ways to drink it as well! This is a good time to experiment with other cool beverages that you’ve had your eyes on. They’re fun to make, look fancy and are, of course, delicious!

STAGES OF PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is different for every woman. During pregnancy, your body changes to protect you and your baby. These changes can be observed via different symptoms. Some of the symptoms of pregnancy last for several weeks or even months, and other discomforts are only temporary and don’t have the same effects on every woman.

A normal pregnancy last for almost 40 weeks, starting from the first day of the last menstrual period, which is also typically around two weeks before conception occurs. The duration of pregnancy is divided into stages and these stages of pregnancy are described in three month periods, known as trimesters. Each trimester lasts for about 12-13 weeks. During each of the trimesters, several changes take place in the body as well as in the development of the foetus.

During the first trimester (week 1 – week 12) the body undergoes several changes. Most importantly, hormonal changes that affect all the organ systems in your body. Extreme tiredness, morning sickness, tender or swollen breasts, mood swings, cravings, headache, need to urinate more often, heartburn are some of the symptoms of the first trimester. These symptoms or discomforts will gradually go away as your pregnancy progresses, or you might not feel any discomforts at all.

By second trimester (week 12 – week 28) some of the earlier symptoms lessen or disappear. Most women notice that the second trimester is easier than the first. In the second trimester symptoms such as nausea and fatigue will start to wither away but you will begin to notice other symptoms, since your baby starts to grow, the abdomen will expand. Your body changes to in a way to let the baby grow, during this trimester, therefore you are likely to have symptoms like body ache which includes back, abdomen, high pain and also groin pain. You will also notice the skin around your nipple grow darker and also patches of skin usually over the cheeks , forehead, nose, or upper lip grow darker. Stretch marks also begin to appear during this time. Numbing of hands and itching of hands, abdomen, palms and soles of feet are also common. You will also see a line running down from your belly button. And you will also feel your baby beginning to move before the trimester is over.

Lastly, there is the third trimester which includes the final few weeks until your due date. The third trimester starts from week 29 and last till the 40th week. During this trimester, some of the symptoms you had in your second trimester is likely to persisted even in this trimester. You can already feel your baby move and possibly kick in this trimester. Some of the new body changes that you are likely to experience are shortness of breath, swelling of ankle, fingers and face, tender breast(which may also leak a watery yellowish pre-milk called colostrum), heartburn, haemorrhoids, your belly button may stick out, you can experience trouble sleeping, you can feel the baby dropping or moving in your lower abdomen and lastly contractions, which can be a sign of real or false labour.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR TODDLER FROM SWEARING

Sometimes, your toddler might begin to use swear words. Most toddlers, often, use swear words as a result of mimicry or picking up words through direct observation. Before you know it, they are endlessly repeating the word over and over again, almost as if it were a habit.

Some things that can be done to stop your child from using swear words are:

Make sure not to react when your toddler uses swear words; try your best not to laugh. Your child might take your laughing as reinforcement for doing it. Children like to receive attention from the adults. Therefore, paying too much attention when your toddler uses a bad word, makes them want to repeat themselves over and over again.

On the other hand, getting extremely angry and scolding your child might also not be the best alternative. When toddlers realise that they hold a lot of power over adults to get that reaction out of them, they are likely to do it again. Try to be calm and show no reaction.

When simply ignoring it does not seem to work, then the next thing to do is to set limits for your child. It is essential to be calm and gentle, make sure not to become irritated or get agitated, which will only remind your child the power they have to make you pay attention to them.

When your child uses a bad word or a phrase, just tell them you don’t understand what it means, or it doesn’t make sense to you. It is not necessary to explain the meanings of the words to your child. Just make it clear, in a disinterested voice and expression, which words or phrases are not to be used or are off-limits. Telling your kid “That is not a word you may use in the house or around other people” is a good example.

If your child is swearing because they want something, make sure not to get it for them. If you give your child whatever they want because they are cursing, it will only act as reinforcement for them. They will now know that they can get whatever they want by just swearing, and will to continue to do so.

It is often suggested to use alternatives that are fun and appropriate. If your child is using curse words because it fascinates them, then try to persuade them to use alternative words by suggesting it to them. They might find it interesting and start using the alternative words or rhymes to express themselves or get your attention.

Lastly, it is crucial to teach your child respect. It is essential that as parents you teach your child to be respectful towards other and not disrespect anyone. Just the way we don’t like to be disrespected, others don’t like it either. Teach your child to be respectful towards other children and elders; this will also make your child more empathetic. One way to do this is to drop using swear words around your child.  Young children pick up things that they see and hear around them, therefore it is best to refrain yourself from using any bad language around your child.

GUIDE TO A HEALTHY PREGNANCY

When you’re pregnant, you’re not just taking care of yourself but you’re precious baby as well. What you put into your body directly affects your baby; this is a time for you to be at your healthiest. Moreover, it helps inculcate some good habits that you can carry on to stay healthy!

  1. Talk to your doctor or midwife:Obviously, this goes without saying. Make sure to register yourself for prenatal care as soon as possible. Doing so will ensure that you receive advice for a healthy pregnancy from the very beginning. Though the visits are short and often seem pointless, they’re scheduled for a reason. These visits are important as the doctors need to make sure that you’re gaining enough weight, your pressure is okay, and that the baby’s measure is on track.
  2. Stay Hydrated:It’s important for both you and your baby that you drink enough water and stay hydrated. Your uterus is a muscle, and like any of the other ones, it needs water. During pregnancy your body requires some extra hydration; make sure to drink enough liquids to avoid cramps!
  3. Keep a healthy diet:This goes without saying. You will need to make sure you’re getting the important nutrients in your body to keep you and your baby healthy. It’s okay to give in to the junk food cravings every once in a while (being pregnant doesn’t have to be a punishment!) but make sure it is balanced by a healthy diet. You will only need an extra 200 calories a day during the last three months of your pregnancy; you can maintain your normal (healthy) diet for the first six months. Make sure to check with your daily required nutrient count and prepare a diet plan.
  4. Stay active: Your immune system will benefit from exercising regularly, and therefore, so does your baby. If you play sports, you can continue to do so if it doesn’t involve the risk of falling, being knocked down or put extra stress on your joints. Some exercises that are good for pregnancy are brisk walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates, and aquanatal classes. Make sure your instructor knows your pregnant or join classes that are tailored for pregnant women. Exercise may also help in relieving sleep problems (as long as you’re not exercising too close to bedtime) and backache.

Cut out alcohol, caffeine and smoking:Many experts’ advice on avoiding alcohol completely as there is no way to know how much alcohol is safe during pregnancy. During the first trimester, it is advised that you avoid alcohol completely, and stick to one or two (at most) units of alcohol once or twice a week at a later stage. Cola, tea, coffee, energy drinks and chocolate contain caffeine. According to current guidelines, up to 200mg of coffee a day won’t harm your developing baby, though it is best to avoid it altogether.  If you smoke it’s better to stop for your baby’s health as well as your own. It’s better to stop sooner rather than later, but it’s never too late.