Posts Tagged infant

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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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.

The Dangers of Highchairs

If you are like most new parents, you are hyper-aware of all possible dangers and have taken every step to ensure that your little bundle of joy will be safe in any circumstance. Guests are given hand sanitizer and face masks if they might cough, car seat straps are double checked for proper fit, bottles and binkies are sanitized between each use and clothes are washed in special detergent before wear. While these steps are all great ways to protect your child, there can be unseen dangers lurking in the places that you least expect. In fact, one of the biggest culprits can be sitting right in your own kitchen: the baby high chair.

High Chair Dangers

Using a high chair at home or in a restaurant is a great way to keep your child upright and ready for a meal. It can also keep squirmy toddlers confined to make feeding times easier. While these are all logical benefits, there are several risks of high chair use that many new parents are not aware of. These can include injuries from falling as well as diseases from hidden germs.

Germs

You probably use hand sanitizer on your baby’s hands when you eat out, but placing your child in a high chair can introduce a host of new germs. The Daily Mail used swabs to test the high chairs in 30 different restaurants and made a startling discovery – there were several times more germs on a baby’s high chair than on the average public toilet.

In general, public toilets harbor eight bacteria per square centimeter. The average high chair among those tested was home to 147 bacteria per square centimeter. Some restaurants boasted high chairs with up to 1,200 bacteria in each square centimeter. A few of the germs found included E-coli. Staph aureus and enterococcus feacalis. Another study found that 60 percent of the trays on high chairs were contaminated with Coliforms, a certain type of bacteria that is left from soil, unwashed vegetables, raw meat and fecal matter.

While most restaurants will ensure that any spills are wiped off of high chairs after use, researchers reported that sometimes the cleanest looking seats actually held the most germs. The seat cushions proved to be the biggest culprit for harboring bacteria. Since young children generally eat with their hands while in high chairs, they are likely putting those germs straight into their mouths.

What You Can Do

Many parents have found that the same covers used in grocery store shopping carts can work on restaurant high chairs to protect their baby’s health. You can also use a thin blanket to ensure your child does not touch any surface of the high chair, but the best advice experts can give is to thoroughly wash everyone’s hands before and after eating. If possible, you can even keep the child in his or her car seat or on your lap during the meal.

Falls

First, we’ll talk about falling. The Atlantic reports that one child will go to the emergency room every hour after a fall from a high chair, totaling 9,400 children each year. This number rose over 20 percent from the years 2003 to 2010, signaling the need to make some changes. While a fall can result in a simple scrape or bruise, bone fractures and brain injuries are also possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the highest rate of emergency room visits for traumatic brain injuries occurs in those who are under four years old. Many of these injuries are due to falls, some from high chairs.

What You Can Do

Some experts suggest that parents place their children on the floor and forego high chairs altogether. If this seems extreme, there are other options you can choose to protect your baby’s health, including the following:

  • Place the high chair at a lower height. The farther your child falls, the more likely he or she will be injured and the more severe the injuries may be.
  • Do not place a child in a high chair until he or she is able to sit without support.
  • Secure wheel locks anytime the high chair is in use.
  • Check high chair recalls. If you have a damaged or defective high chair, your baby is more likely to suffer a fall. You can check the government’s official website for recalls.
  • If you buy your high chair secondhand, be sure that it has a 5-point adjustable harness and that all clips are in perfect condition. Tighten all screws and bolts and check for any cracks or tears.
  • Strap your child in correctly. Today.com states that two-thirds of parents who knew what their child was doing before the fall reported that they were standing or climbing in the high chair. Children can also slip or wriggle out of loose straps, so be sure they are fitted tight, especially the crotch strap.
  • Be sure your high chair has a sticker from the American Society for Testing and Materials or the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association to prove that it has been tested and approved for safety standards.
  • Keep away anything that the child can use to pull, push or kick the chair over.

Maintaining safety can be a little harder when you are not at home. If you are in a restaurant and use a baby high chair, be sure that is has proper, working straps. If it doesn’t, feel free to ask the server for a new one.

Burns

Burns are another danger for babies who are in high chairs. If you push your child up to the table so she or she can eat with the rest of the family, be sure that there is no way a burn could occur. Make sure all pan handles are out of reach as well as any containers of hot food. Spills can also burn a baby, so it’s better to keep any hot liquids off the table.

While high chairs offer a host of benefits to parents, they also carry a fair amount of risks. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to avoid danger and keep your baby safe. For more tips and tricks from trusted parents, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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