Posts Tagged childcare

Winter Family Time!

Winter Family Time!

Oh what a wonderful time of year it is?! What a wonderful timeeeeee!

Hello family dinners, cozy socks, snuggle time and chilly weather!

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First, let us disclose a couple of things about the Excellent Nanny Service. We are based in Savannah, Georgia but service different cities all over the United States, so our nannies are accustom to various weather conditions. It is our mission to provide honest, trustworthy nannies that share the same values as the Excellent Nanny Service.

Having fun as a family is vital, but creating an everlasting bond takes importance. Without being able to forge those bonds, winter time activities have no substance. Keeping that in mind, here are a couple of suggestions that will make the winter a memorable one for all of the family members involved.

Christmas movies! Grinch me please! Watching endless Christmas movies, paired with some good food, hot chocolate, blankets, and all the family around the tv is a perfect way to spend some days (and nights!) with the family. Here is a list of Christmas movies on Netflix: https://www.countryliving.com/life/entertainment/g22716075/best-netflix-christmas-movies/

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Christmas lights! Please please please! Haven’t you ever wondered who has the best lights in the city? Drive around and look at all the decorations and don’t forget the car snacks along the way.

Baking! Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses, frosted pretzel rods, and even fruitcakes are the way to go. Instead of buying gifts for people this holiday season, try giving out baked goods to grandma and grandpa.

Create an event calendar! Giving your children something to look forward to every day is a great idea, not only that, but making it together will give you that bonding time you’ve been looking for.

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Visit Santa! Heyyy Saint Nick! Go to your local mall to see when Santa will be there and pose with him to make a great holiday card. There are even local Christmas parades to go and see Santa in all of his glory. Pssttt! He might even have some elves with him.

Host a holiday party! Do I hear ugly Christmas sweater theme? Go ahead and host the holiday party that gives everyone a chance to get together. Have contests, sing, laugh and exchange gifts. It’s the perfect time to see everyone at once and spread that seasonal love.

Volunteer! Don’t forget to give back into the community during this joyous time in the year. Giving back is a great way to be reminded that everyone doesn’t have the same things we sometimes take for granted. Go volunteer at your local soup kitchen, donate clothes, build a house with Habitat for Humanity, register people to vote, organize games and activities for children in hospitals or homeless shelters, and why stop there?! The opportunities are endless!

Make homemade presents! DIY hot-chocolate kit? Yes! Need we say more? Here is the link: http://lovegrowswild.com/2015/11/homemade-hot-chocolate-mix/

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Baby Feeding Guide

Use this guide to find out what and how much to feed your child in the first year. The amounts are general recommendations only, so don’t worry if your little one eats a bit more or less than suggested. It’s always a good idea to discuss your plan for starting solids with your child’s doctor before getting started.

Also, you don’t have to introduce solids to your child in any special order. If you want to give your baby a taste of tofu at age 6 months, go ahead, even though it’s not listed on our chart until age 8 months. And while cereal is a traditional first food in the United States, it’s fine to start with mashed fruits or vegetables instead.

Age: Birth to 4 months

Feeding behavior

  • Rooting reflex helps your baby turn toward a nipple to find nourishment.

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula ONLY

Feeding tip

  • Your baby’s digestive tract is still developing, so solid food is off-limits for now.
Age: 4 to 6 months
Signs of readiness for solid food

The following are some guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Your child is likely ready to try solids when he:

  • Can hold head up and sit upright in highchair
  • Shows significant weight gain (doubled birth weight) and weighs at least 13 pounds
  • Can close mouth around a spoon
  • Can move food from front to back of mouth

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula, PLUS
  • Pureed vegetables (sweet potatoes, squash)
  • Pureed fruit (apples, bananas, peaches)
  • Pureed meat (chicken, pork, beef)
  • Semi-liquid, iron-fortified cereal
  • Small amounts of unsweetened yogurt (no cow’s milk until age 1)

How much per day

  • Begin with about 1 teaspoon pureed food or cereal. Mix cereal with 4 to 5 teaspoons breast milk or formula. (It will be very runny.)
  • Increase to 1 tablespoon of pureed food, or 1 tablespoon of cereal mixed with breast milk or formula, twice a day. If you’re giving cereal, gradually thicken the consistency by using less liquid.

Feeding tips

  • If your baby won’t eat what you offer the first time, try again in a few days.
  • Introduce new foods one at a time. Wait two or three days, if possible, before offering another new food. (Wait three days if your baby or family has a history of allergies.) It’s also a good idea to write down the foods your baby samples. If he has an adverse reaction, a food log will make it easier to pinpoint the cause.
  • The order in which you introduce new foods doesn’t usually matter. Your child’s doctor can advise you.
Age: 6 to 8 months
Signs of readiness for solid food

  • Same as 4 to 6 months

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula, PLUS
  • Pureed or strained fruits (banana, pears, applesauce, peaches, avocado)
  • Pureed or strained vegetables (well-cooked carrots, squash, sweet potato)
  • Pureed meat (chicken, pork, beef)
  • Pureed tofu
  • Small amounts of unsweetened yogurt (no cow’s milk until age 1)
  • Pureed legumes (black beans, chickpeas, edamame, fava beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, kidney beans)
  • Iron-fortified cereal (oats, barley)

How much per day

  • 1 teaspoon fruit, gradually increased to 2 or 3 tablespoons in four feedings
  • 1 teaspoon vegetables, gradually increased to 2 or 3 tablespoons in four feedings
  • 3 to 9 tablespoons cereal in 2 or 3 feedings

Feeding tips

  • Introduce new foods one at a time. Wait two or three days, if possible, before offering another new food. (Wait three days if your baby or family has a history of allergies.) It’s also a good idea to write down the foods your baby samples. If she has an adverse reaction, a food log will make it easier to pinpoint the cause.
  • The order in which you introduce new foods doesn’t usually matter. Your child’s doctor can advise you.

Age: 8 to 10 months

Signs of readiness for solid and finger foods

  • Same as 6 to 8 months, PLUS
  • Picks up objects with thumb and forefinger
  • Can transfer items from one hand to the other
  • Puts everything in his mouth
  • Moves jaw in a chewing motion

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula, PLUS
  • Small amounts of soft pasteurized cheese, cottage cheese, and unsweetened yogurt
  • Mashed vegetables (cooked carrots, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes)
  • Mashed fruits (bananas, peaches, pears, avocados)
  • Finger Foods (O-shaped cereal, small bits of scrambled eggs, well-cooked pieces of potato, well-cooked spiral pasta, teething crackers, small pieces of bagel)
  • Protein (small bits of meat, poultry, boneless fish, tofu, and well-cooked beans, like lentils, split peas, pintos, or black beans)
  • Iron-fortified cereal (barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals)

How much per day

  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup dairy (or 1/2 ounce cheese)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup iron-fortified cereal
  • 3/4 to 1 cup fruit
  • 3/4 to 1 cup vegetables
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons protein-rich food

Feeding tip

  • Introduce new foods one at a time. Wait two or three days, if possible, before offering another new food. (Wait three days if your baby or family has a history of allergies.) It’s also a good idea to write down the foods your baby samples. If he has an adverse reaction, a food log will make it easier to pinpoint the cause.
Age: 10 to 12 months
Signs of readiness for other solid foods
  • Same as 8 to 10 months, PLUS
  • Swallows food more easily
  • Has more teeth
  • No longer pushes food out of mouth with tongue
  • Tries to use a spoon

What to feed

  • Breast milk or formula PLUS
  • Soft pasteurized cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese (no cow’s milk until age 1)
  • Fruit mashed or cut into cubes or strips
  • Bite-size, soft-cooked vegetables (peas, carrots)
  • Combo foods (macaroni and cheese, casseroles)
  • Protein (small bits of meat, poultry, boneless fish, tofu, and well-cooked beans)
  • Finger foods (O-shaped cereal, small bits of scrambled eggs, well-cooked pieces of potato, well-cooked spiral pasta, teething crackers, small pieces of bagel)
  • Iron-fortified cereals (barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals)

How much per day

  • 1/3 cup dairy (or 1/2 ounce cheese)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup iron-fortified cereal
  • 3/4 to 1 cup fruit
  • 3/4 to 1 cup vegetables
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup combo foods
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons protein-rich food

Feeding tip

  • Introduce new foods one at a time. Wait two or three days, if possible, before offering another new food. (Wait three days if your baby or family has a history of allergies.) It’s also a good idea to write down the foods your baby samples. If she has an adverse reaction, a food log will make it easier to pinpoint the cause.

Helping Your Child Recognize Their Feelings

Not too long ago it was thought that the conventional wisdom was that babies were pretty much blobs who didn’t think or feel much before they could speak in words around the age of two.  Such an idea that a six-month-old could feel fear or anger, no less sadness and grief, was preposterous.  But thanks to an explosion in research on infancy in the last 30 years, we now know that babies and toddlers do feel deeply. Starting in the earliest months of life, well before they can use words to express themselves, babies have the capacity to experience peaks of joy, excitement and elation. They also feel fear, grief, sadness, hopelessness and anger—emotions that many adults understandably still find it hard to believe, or accept, that very young children can experience. Research has also shown that children’s ability to effectively manage their full range of emotions—also known as self-regulation—is one of the most important factors for success in school, work and relationships into the long-term.So the critical first step in helping your child learn to cope with her feelings is not to fear the feelings, but embrace them—all of them. Feelings aren’t right or wrong, they just are what they are. Sadness and joy, anger and love, can co-exist and are all part of the collection of emotions children experience. When you help your child understand his feelings, he is better equipped to manage them effectively.

One major obstacle in doing this which I see quite often in my work with parents is that they are operating under the assumption that having a happy child means he needs to be happy all the time. Muscling through difficult experiences, mastering struggles, and coping with sadness and grief builds strength and resilience, and is ultimately what brings children a sense of contentedness and well-being.

What can parents do?

  • Starting in the earliest months, tune in to babies’ cues—their sounds, facial expressions and gestures—and respond sensitively, which lets babies know their feelings are recognized and important. This might mean stopping a tickling game with a four-month-old when she arches her back and looks away, signaling she needs a break. Or taking a nine-month-old to the window to wave good-bye to Mom when he is sad to see her leave for work.
  • Label and help toddlers cope with feelings. Emotions like anger, sadness, frustration and disappointment can be overwhelming for young children. Naming these feelings is the first step in helping children learn to identify them and communicates to children that these feelings are normal. This might mean acknowledging an 18-month-old’s anger at having to leave the playground, validating a two-year-old’s frustration at his block tower repeatedly falling or empathizing with a three-year-old’s sadness that his grandparents are leaving after a long visit.
  • Don’t fear the feelings. Feelings are not the problem. It’s what we do—or don’t do—with them that can be problematic. Listen openly and calmly when your child shares difficult feelings. When you ask about and acknowledge feelings, you are sending the important message that feelings are valued and important. Recognizing and naming feelings is the first step toward learning to manage them in healthy, acceptable ways over time.
  • Avoid minimizing or talking children out of their feelings. This is a natural reaction—we just want to make the bad feelings go away. “Don’t be sad. You’ll see Joey another day.” But feelings don’t go away; they need to be expressed one way or another. Acknowledging a child’s strong feelings opens the door to helping her learn how to cope with them. “You are sad Joey has to leave. You love playing with him.  Let’s go to the window to wave goodbye and make a plan to see him again soon.” When feelings are minimized or ignored, they often get expressed through aggressive words and actions, or by turning them inward, which can ultimately make children anxious or depressed.
  • Teach tools for coping. If your 18-month-old is angry that playtime is over, guide her to stamp her feet as hard as she can or to draw how angry she is with a red crayon. Help a two-year-old who is frustrated at not being able to get the ball into the basket brainstorm other ways to solve the problem. Take a three-year-old who is fearful about starting a new school to visit his classroom beforehand to meet the teachers and play on the playground so that the unfamiliar can become familiar.

Our children’s emotional reactions trigger our own emotional reactions, which can lead to a knee-jerk need to rescue or “fix” whatever is causing our child distress. But it’s important that we manage our own feelings and avoid this temptation, as it creates a missed opportunity to help children learn strong coping skills. Instead, see these experiences as teachable moments to help your child learn to name and manage the emotions—positive and negative—that add depth and color to our lives.  Show your child that a full, rich life means experiencing both the ups and the downs. Feelings are not “good” or “bad”—they just are. You are your child’s guide in sharing the joys and coping with the challenges. And it starts on day one.

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