Quick Tips for Parents on Everyday Issues
When Baby Wakes at Night for Pacifier
Does your baby wake crying at night but go back to sleep as soon as you put the pacifier back in his mouth? Many babies simply cannot find the pacifier in the dark because either they cannot see it or they have inadvertently kicked it into the corner or down to the bottom of the bed. If your baby is waking in the night crying but goes back to sleep immediately once you put the pacifier back in his mouth, try putting several pacifiers in the crib! Babies cannot overdose on pacifiers! It is really difficult to suck on more than one at a time. All kidding aside, putting 3 – 5 pacifiers in the crib will help to ensure that there is always one nearby so that your baby can find it himself.
If he is too young to pick up a pacifier and put it back in his mouth, try using a pacifier holder!This is such an amazing little invention. It is a pacifier attached to a tiny stuffed animal. It prevents the pacifier from moving too far from the baby and helps keep it nearby for infants who try to locate their pacifiers with their mouths!
Too Many Toys?
Did your kids receive “too many” toys this holiday season? This is a common complaint amongst parents from large families when all their siblings buy gifts for all the children. This happens even in smaller families sometimes as well. Of course donating some of the toys to charity is always an option, but there are other options as well.
If the amount of toys seems overwhelming, after the children open them, take a few and put them away in a closet or attic. Then, after a few months when the children get bored of their other toys, swap them out. Put away a couple that they’ve lost interest in and take out some new ones. Save a new one or two for a rainy day!
You can even do this with toys that aren’t new. Take some toys that the kids haven’t played with in a while and tuck them away. A few months later, they seem like brand new toys when you pull them out and the children will enjoy playing with them all over again.
Make Watching Television More Than Just Sitting in Front of the TV
Never rely on the television to be a babysitter. If you do allow your children to watch tv and you do not have time to watch with them and discuss what’s going on, after the show is over, do an activity that relates to the progam. For example, if the number of the day is “4” try finding things in the room that have to do with the number four, such as a picture with four corners, a bed with four posts, a stuffed animal with four legs, a sofa with four pillows, etc. You can incorporate it into snack time as well by giving four crackers with cheese as a snack or four chunks of banana.
Try talking about different scenarios from the program and have the kids dress up and act them out. This is helpful to children when a problem has been resolved in the scenario. You can also ask the children what else could have been done to resolve the problem.
Have the kids draw their favorite scene from the show or try having them make up a different ending and draw that scene.
If you notice your child always asking for second helpings at dinnertime and gaining unnecessary weight, use the five minute rule. When your child asks for seconds, tell him to watch the clock and in five minutes he may have a second helping.
Many children simply eat too fast and are not giving their bodies enough time to feel full before eating a second helping. This behavior repeated again and again over time can lead to obesity. Most times the child will not want a second helping anymore once the five minutes has passed.
Want Your Child to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables? Try These Tips:
Before you make breakfast or lunch, put a plate of fruit cut, sliced, or peeled on the table. Then, call the children to the table and let them know that breakfast or lunch is almost ready. You will probably find that the children are hungry, so while waiting for their meal, they will gladly enjoy some slices of fruit.
At snack time, put out apple slices with yogurt or celery and carrot sticks with a healthy dip. Most children won’t bother to prepare a snack like this for themselves, but if presented with it completely prepared, most will just dig right in!
Typically, children prefer cut, peeled, diced, or chopped fruits and vegetables. Leaving a basket of whole fruit on the table may not be enough to entice your children to eat more fruit. Watch what happens when you chop some fruit and stick toothpicks in it or arrange them into pictures on a plate!
To Avoid Power Struggles, Give Children Choices
Toddlers and even school age children often have a strong desire for control and end up in a power struggle with their parents. Instead of forcing a child to eat all his dinner or forcing her to wear the outfit you picked out instead of the mismatched, too small, summer outfit she wants to wear in February, give your child or the child you’re caring for a choice.
If a typical dinner at your house consists of three types of food such as meat, potatoes, and a vegetable, then tell the child he does not have to eat everything, just two out of the three items. Let him choose which two he will eat.
When it comes to a battle over clothing, select two or three outfits for your child to wear and let her pick the one she wants. If there is a particular skirt or shirt she wants to wear, allow her to wear it but let her know that if she gets to choose the top, then you get to choose the bottoms or vice versa.
Packing away clothes that are inappropriate for the season or that the child has grown out of may help as well.
Helping Your Child Clean His Room Himself
Children are easily overwhelmed when asked to clean up a very messy bedroom or playroom. They look around and have no idea where to start. Parents often think the child is just refusing to clean up, when often the child really does not know how to even begin the task.
To help your child clean up his or her bedroom or playroom, make a checklist of tasks to be completed. For example, there may be a check box for picking up all dolls. Next, there may be a check box for picking up all blocks, small vehicles, or crayons and markers. This breaks the job up into manageable sections so the child doesn’t feel so overwhelmed.
How to Easily Remove Beach Sand
How many times have you returned home from the beach and felt like you brought half the beach home with you? Ever try to change a baby’s diaper at the beach? Getting the sand off of your belongings and your body can be a challenge.
I have seen people bring buckets of water up to their towels and try to balance on one foot while they rinse and dry the other one. I have also seen mother’s pour buckets of water over their children in the parking lots in an attempt to remove the sand.
I have a better solution – powder! Simply sprinkle powder generously on skin or almost anything else that has sand stuck to it and rub gently. The sand comes right off! When my kids were small, I would buy several large containers of the store brand powder at the beginning of summer so that whenever we went to the beach, we would leave the sand behind.
One word of caution here – experts claim that talcum powder is dangerous and may cause cancer. Also, there have actually been deaths reported from aspiration of the powder. Avoid using powder anywhere near the face. Try sprinkling it in your hand first then gently rubbing it on the sandy area. This prevents the big cloud of powder from appearing that occurs when you pour powder directly from the container.
You can look for non-talcum powder, but beware – it tends to be much more expensive. You could also try corn starch which is thought to be safer.