Monthly Archives: February 2016

Family Photos

Your child is continuing to learn at breakneck speed and his language is going through a developmental spurt right around now.

This is a good time to help your toddler to get to know his relatives by letting him play with photographs. Who knows? When your mom comes to visit, your toddler might just warm her heart by crying out ‘Grandma!’ when she walks through the door (but don’t count on it). That’s ok, she will warm up faster if she knows what she looks like ahead of time.

What you will need are photos of your immediate family, and glue, scissors, and cardboard.

Cut into pieces slightly larger than the photos. Stick the photos on the cardboard. This will help keep them safe from little fingers.

Join your toddler on the floor or at a table. Be sure and let her help and name them as you paste. Keep the photos in a box so she can pull them out and talk about them. You can say ‘Honey, can you find Aunt Nancy?’ She will love it.

Fun-Land At Home

Your toddler probably loves to climb and bounce.She might be in heaven at one of those indoor playgrounds with inflatable bounce houses and 20-foot slides. But why pay a hefty entrance fee and battle throngs of big kids when you can make your very own Fun-Land right in your living room?

At this age, your toddler will have just as much fun at home, and may even enjoy being in a familiar environment as she explores what she can do with her developing muscles.

Some things you will need are items that your toddler can climb, bounce, sit, stand, and jump on. Try couch cushions, pillows, a booster seat, a large cardboard box, and a big plastic storage container.

First, clear the room. Remove anything with sharp corners, and push toys to the side. Then set about designing your indoor playground. Turn the storage container upside down and place it in front of the couch so that your toddler can practice climbing. Put several flat couch cushions on the floor for bouncing.

Go Get It

Getting baby to use her arms and legs prepares her to walk. Try to discourage her from the ‘bottom shuffle’ (baby sits on her bottom and scoots without using legs). Babies that bottom shuffle tend to walk later than babies that crawl. We want to encourage her to get up on her knees and use her arms to propel herself forward. A typical crawl is left hand, right knee, right hand, left knee.

Encourage her to push herself up on her arms and knees- this action strengthens her arms and legs. Dangling a favorite toy above her head is a good way to motivate her to move. You can make it fun by creating an obstacle course around the room and let her chase you. Try using pillows and sofa cushions. This will help to improve her confidence, speed, and agility. Always stay with baby during activity (a crawling baby is a mischievous baby). Crawling is good exercise for both of you.

How To Stimulate Through Song

No matter what age or stage in life you are, music stimulates your brain. Whether you love the music, or hate it, you still stop to listen and feel one emotion or another. This instant reaction to music begins at birth. Remember when your newborn was tired and inconsolable, and all it took was a simple lullaby to dry those tears. Well, get your vocals back out, but this time sing ABC’s and other toddler favorites to help boost language development.

Regular sing-alongs offer many language and social skill benefits. Add in hand gesture during Itsy Bitsy Spider to really captivate your audience and boost fine motor skills when he mimics the gestures. You may already notice your little one perking up when you recite the ABC’s or sing Mary Had A Little Lamb. Whatever the song, music genre, or silly act you find yourself in while singing, it will be very much appreciated by your soon to be little talker.

I Can Do It Myself

Your child may have only just reached her first birthday, but she may already be trying to do everyday tasks on her own. Some young toddlers like to try to lift a regular cup to their mouth and drink like an adult. Of course, if there is liquid in that cup, the result is likely to be messy. Although this may be messy and a bit frustrating for you, this is the first sign of your child’s burgeoning independence.

Trying to drink from her own cup is the first of many things to come that your child will probably want to do all own her own. Toddlers are notorious for going through a stage where they want to try to do everything adults do–drinking from cups, using utensils, even pouring milk. This is a great sign that your child is curious and engaged with the world around her.

It can be a trying time for you as a parent, however. The key is to try to encourage her skill development, but in safe ways. You could try putting a couple of sips of water in a cup for her to try drinking on her own. Maybe you could allow her to pour a small amount of milk over a sink or bowl so the mess is limited. She will most likely become frustrated at this new task and you can use that as an opportunity to encourage and offer a little help.

Let Daddy Do It

When your baby rejects everyone else, it’s hard on them and means more work for you. That’s why socialization matters. It’ll help your baby (and you) if she gets used to other people.

Did you ever worry that your baby wouldn’t bond with you? Well, by now it’s more likely that the two of you are so close, she howls if anybody else comes near. That can include your partner- to his dismay. When your baby rejects everyone else, it’s hard on them and means more work for you. That’s why socialization matters. It’ll help your baby (and you) if she gets used to other people.

Is your baby acting reluctant to be left even with her dad?  It’ll help if you both work on that together.

Perhaps your partner could get involved in playing more often or changing diapers for a day. Let your partner give baby her daily bath at bedtime a few times a week. Just carrying her around will build attachment between them. Keep out of the way at first, so your baby isn’t always reaching out for you. I know you want to step in, but it’s time to resist.

Let Your Toddler Help

Aha! Parenting and diaper changing. Here are some skills to learn for now. Most will work…sometimes. You will learn to improvise.

Aha! Parenting and diaper changing.

Is your little person bouncing off the table and twisting and turning? No toddler wants to be swooped up, then disrobed when she is busy playing with her toys. Here are some skills to learn for now. Most will work… sometimes. You will learn to improvise.

Often just slowing down and connecting changes everything.

Get on your child’s level. Make your request an invitation. Let her walk to the changing area and remind her she is all wet. Ask her if she can take her own diaper off. Let her have a toy to distract her. Tell her you are going to clean her all up nice and fresh. Have her participate in the change. Use this time to chat and not see it as something ‘yucky.’ She will hopefully respond in a positive way.

LOL

If you want your baby to grow into a happy person, work your own sense of humor and get him laughing as often as possible.  So smile mom! Don’t hold back. Laugh openly and loudly.

Now is the time to be sociable, optimistic, healthier, and more self-confident.

If you want your baby to grow into a happy person, work your own sense of humor and get him laughing as often as possible. Laughter is contagious, even with infants. Making your baby laugh is, for sure, the most gratifying parental task. Laughing is also a great disease prevention therapy.

Mommy, your face is so funny! Your laugh and your smile is the best way to get your little sweetie laughing out loud. So smile mom!

Don’t hold back. Laugh openly and loudly. Make funny faces. Play hide and seek. She will take her cue from you. The more you make her laugh the more likely it is that your baby will become positive minded. Every time you get her up from nap time, hold her, or change her diapers, look into her eyes and laugh your head off. The more the better.

My Baby Doesn’t Like Tummy Time

Does your baby still protest when you try to place him in tummy time? It is very important, but forcing is not recommended.

At 4, 5, and 6 months, your baby is gearing up for new ‘windows of opportunity’ – times when he’s most ready to learn new skills. His limbs need to interact with the floor so his reflexes can kick off and prepare him for movement. So do try again! Options are key:

  • Begin chest to chest. As you lean back or lie on the floor, your baby will be inclined forward–in tummy time!
  • Also try it in your lap or over your arm.
  • When you place him on the floor, begin on his side and roll him onto his tummy; when he’s done, roll him off his tummy.

If he protests, he’s trying to tell you something important! If he hasn’t spent much time yet on his tummy, he may need to get used to the experience. He may even find it scary. Rather than distract him, go slowly, listen to his cries of ‘this is new and strange, and I don’t like it,’ and investigate what might be making him uncomfortable.

For more tips, see www.enjoytummytime.com. If he continues fussing or doesn’t lift his head, check with a development professional.

New Tastes-Infant

In addition to breast milk or baby formula, there are solid foods you can introduce to your baby’s diet at each stage of development. It’s most important to introduce a baby to new foods gradually, or one at a time, in case of food allergies.

In addition to breast milk or baby formula, there are the solid foods you can introduce to your baby’s diet at each stage of development. Single-grain fortified cereals give your baby iron, an important nutrient he needs now. A baby is born with a natural reserve of iron that begins to deplete around 6 months of age. 6 months is a good time to start.

Mix cereal with baby formula or breast milk, or water on occasion.

It’s most important to introduce a baby to new foods gradually, or one at a time, in case of food allergies. If not, a parent may have trouble tying an allergy to a specific new food. For example, if you give your baby three new foods over the course of a day and she develops an allergic reaction, you won’t know which of the foods provoked it.

You may want to wait until the baby is older to try some of these foods, especially peanuts. In fact, many experts suggest waiting until your child is 3 years before trying peanuts or honey. Ask your pediatrician questions about a food if you are unsure about it.