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How to Improve Your Baby’s Sleep Routine

Whether it is meditating, reading a book before bed, or listening to calm music, you probably have a bedtime ritual that helps you drift off to dreamland. Babies and toddlers are no different. Parents should create a consistent bedtime routine to be used before both naps and nights that will help their little ones wind down and sleep soundly through the night. Here are some relaxing ideas and tips on how to improve your baby’s sleep routine.

Benefits of a Bedtime Routine:

– A consistent bedtime routine creates positive sleep associations that our babies’ brains recognize as specific cues for sleep. When the sleep sack zips up and the sound machine turns on, our babies know that sleep time is approaching!

– Familiarity of that routine sets expectations and boundaries. Children need this type of structure to feel safe and secure and to know what to expect next.

Short, but Sweet:

– A bedtime routine does not need to be long (10-15 minutes) and a modified version will work perfectly for naptime. The specifics are less important than making sure there is a predictable pattern. Reading a book before bed may be part of the routine yet it is not necessary to read the same book each time.

– As your babies get older and more verbal, be careful not to fall into the trap of “one more book” and “one more hug.” Before you realize what has happened, your 15-minute routine can suddenly stretch into 30 minutes!

Relaxing Ideas:

-A bedtime routine should be a pleasurable, calm, relaxing, and bonding experience for both baby and Mom and Dad. Here are a few suggestions to help achieve an ideal routine:

*Sleep sack

*Warm bath

*Infant massage

*Book

*Calm music (to be turned off before Mom and Dad leave the room)

*Quiet singing

*Rocking

*Sound machine (static; not ocean sound)

*Familiar and consistent phrase “Goodnight; sleep tight. I’ll see you in the morning.”

– Try turning off the lights in the room before your bedtime routine ends so that your little one has a few minutes to get used to the darkness before Mom and Dad leave the room.

Tips for Success:

– Allow your child to begin to unwind before your bedtime routine even begins. Decrease the activity and noise in your home and dim the lights to help your little one start to calm down.

– Keep screen time out of the bedtime routine. In fact, it is recommended that all screens be turned off 90 minutes before bedtime.

– Keep your final goodnight brief.

– When done with your routine, put your little one in his bed drowsy but awake.

– It’s never too early to start a bedtime routine. Once a few weeks old, your infant will look forward to this calm time before sleep and, soon enough, will begin to make the connection between her bedtime routine and time to blissfully nod off to dreamland.

Sleepyhead SolutionsGuest Blog by Renee Wasserman of SleepyHead Solutions 

Renee Wasserman, PT, MPH, founder of SleepyHead Solutions, discovered her passion for children’s sleep issues when she became a mom.  After reading countless books about sleep by experts in the field, Renee successfully trained her 3 daughters to develop healthy sleep habits. She then became the go-to sleep guru for her friends, and friends of friends….so much so that she started her own sleep consulting practice! Renee completed an extensive sleep training program covering all aspects of baby and children’s sleep to become a certified infant and child sleep consultant through the Family Sleep Institute.

Renee strives to help families provide their little ones with a healthy sleep foundation. Her warm and non-judgmental personality immediately puts parents at ease. Through custom sleep plans, 1:1 consultations in person or via Skype and phone, ongoing parental support, and group classes, she empowers parents to teach their children to become healthy sleepers.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

18 Blogs Featuring Ways You Can Save on School Lunches

school lunchDid you know that if your child eats a hot lunch served at school every day that you could be spending almost $500 per year on school lunches, depending on where you live in the country?  That’s a lot of money, and  it’s money you could be saving simply by sending your child to school with a home packed lunch. These 18 blog articles show how you can save money by buying in bulk, using reusable packaging and sending food that your kids will eat instead of toss away.

Buy in Bulk

For the price of buying individually packaged fruit cups you can usually buy a big can of fruit and divide it up yourself and get more servings.  The same goes for chips and crackers. Buying foods in bulk and dividing them up at home is a much  more cost-efficient way to send your kids to school with foods they love than buying prepackaged foods is. Check out these six blog entries for more money saving ideas.

Recycle and Reuse

While the up-front cost of buying reusable containers for your child’s lunch will be more expensive, it’s important to consider how much you would spend on convenience foods and baggies over the course of a year versus this one-time cost. In addition, buying reusable containers instead of throwing away plastic bags will help have a positive effect on the environment. These six blog posts show how recycling and reusing can be incorporated into your school lunch preparation.

Pack What They Like

It’s a sad, but common occurrence; kids often throw away more than half of their lunch in the United States.  Think of the cost of all of that food that is just being tossed.  Next time you are packing lunches include your kids in the packing and decision making process.  The point of sending a lunch is for your child to eat it, and the way to do this is to send stuff he likes. Check out these tips for fun lunches in these six blog articles.

 

nanny.netGuest Post by Debbie Denard of Nanny.Net

If you have a genuine love of working with children and a desire to make a real difference in the lives of children, becoming a nanny may be the perfect career choice for you.

Nannies are hired by parents to care for their children in the family’s private home. Nannies partner with parents in raising their children and are concerned with the physical, social, emotional and intellectual health and development of the children in their care.

From watching a child take his first steps to seeing him toss his cap at his high school graduation, nannies form special and lasting relationships with the children they care for and the families they serve.

Learn more about Nannies at www.nanny.net.


Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

5 Secrets to Master the Back to School Sleep Routine for Kids

back to schoolIt’s that time of year again, when children everywhere will be heading back to class to learn their A,B,Cs and 1,2,3s. If you have a preschooler or school aged child, this can be an exciting month, but also can be a time of big adjustment for their bodies. If you don’t want to be dragging them out of bed and dealing with grumpy children every day, here are five tips to help ease your child back into a healthy sleep routine.

1. Start Early

Most people don’t like change and your child is no different. Instead of forcing them into a brand new routine on the first day of school, it’s a good idea to begin making small changes 1-2 weeks before your child returns to class.

2. Implement a Daily Routine

Summertime usually means our children have less structure during the day, but as we approach the Fall, it will help everyone get back into the swing of things by implementing a more formal daytime routine. This not only includes a consistent wake up time, but having regular meal times and designated play times each day will be beneficial as well. By bringing some structure back into your child’s day, you help gear their bodies towards a more set routine. In addition, this also allows children practice with how to transition between different activities quickly and efficiently.

3. Gradually Move Bedtime Earlier

You know the saying “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy and wealthy and wise”? Well, it’s hard to buy into that philosophy as a kid if you’re used to 9pm bedtimes and then the next day your bedtime is 7:00pm. Your child will have less resistance to bedtime, if you gradually move it earlier by 15 minutes every few nights. Shifting in increments allows the body’s natural body clock to readjust gradually as well, making for a seamless transition.

4. Institute a Bedtime Routine

A consistent bedtime routine practiced each night before sleep helps to cue the body that it’s time to rest. This routine is beneficial for both parent and child as it creates a calming transition from the day’s activities to bedtime. This evening routine can include any soothing activities such as a bath, saying prayers, singing quiet songs, cuddling and discussing the day and/or reading books.

5.  Create a Soothing Sleep Environment

To help ensure the most restorative sleep possible, your child’s room needs to be conducive for a good night’s sleep. Children, like adults, sleep best in a cool, dark room and in a comfortable bed. All electronic devices should be hidden from sight or placed in another area of the house as to not provide distraction or temptation to stay up past bedtime.

By making these small changes well in advance of the first day of class, your little one will be happy, healthy and well-rested come September, enthusiastic to go to school and ready to learn.

Joleen DIlk SalynGuest Blog by Joleen Dilk Salyn of Baby Sleep 101

Joleen is an independent certified Baby and Child Sleep Consultant, and founder of Baby Sleep 101. She received her extensive training from the Family Sleep Institute. She is also a member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants. Joleen is a mother of two wonderful children; ages 2 yrs and 9 months. Visit http://www.babysleep101.com/ for more information.

 

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

What to Do About the Back-to-School Blues

Back to school blues5 Ways You and Your Kids Can Get Back in the Groove

August can be a rough month for parents and kids alike. Especially as they get older, school can become less exciting and more dreaded—and the first few weeks of school can be a nightmare when kids have to totally overhaul their routine—but there are things parents can do to ease the transition. Here are a few ways you can make things easier on everyone concerned.

1. Talk about back-to-school anxiety

You might assume that your child is simply dreading the grind of school, but sometimes there’s more to it than that. If you find that your child seems a little down, talk about it—sometimes it’s more than just the usual blues. A new school year sometimes means losing friends, or having to make new ones. They might be dreading a particular class, or a new teacher, and just being able to talk about it can make things a lot better. Also, it can help you head off problems before they come to a head during the school year.

2. Keep things moving

Kids who are dreading school can become pretty stressful to be around. They don’t have fully-developed tools for handling (or even expressing) their anxieties, and may not even consciously recognize them—so they often come out in the form of tantrums or withdrawal. The problem comes from several sources, but one of the most serious is that kids simply have a lot of time to sit and think about it. Just giving them something to do can work wonders, so make sure they have planned activities, spend time with friends, and stay busy.

3. Maintain a sleep routine

Kids who are used to staying up and sleeping late can spend several weeks just getting acclimated, during which time their understanding will suffer, and they may even miss out on concepts that they’ll need for the rest of the school year. (This is especially true of math and science.) It can be a tough sell, but start getting kids to bed a little earlier, and don’t let them sleep in too late. If they’re basically on track by the time school starts, they’ll have a huge leg-up in understanding what’s going on—and learning is way more fun when you don’t feel like you’re in over your head.

4. Pace yourself

Don’t let the first week of school sneak up on you. If possible, schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher—it’ll start both you and your child off on a good foot with the teacher if he or she is aware of your child’s specific needs ahead of time. Get school shopping done ahead of time—most back-to-school sales start several weeks before classes begin, and being able to beat the rush of the last few days will do wonders for your stress level.

5. Start setting limits early

If your kids go suddenly from a life of zero responsibility and very little rules to the rigid environment of the classroom, it can almost feel like a punishment. Rapid changes in expectations can lead to disciplinary problems and emotional distress, so it’s best to maintain a certain level of organization and structure—things like chores, play-dates, and regular mealtimes. It’s not about being a drill sergeant; it’s about giving kids the comfort of constants. A kid who knows it’s her job to pull weeds or empty the laundry hamper has an easier time adapting to homework and studying for tests. They may not thank you at first, but they’ll be a lot happier in the long run.

HomeDaddys Guest Blog by Mike Freiberg of HomeDaddys

Mike Freiberg is a staff writer for HomeDaddys, a resource for stay-at-home dads, work-at-home dads, and everything in between. He’s a handyman, an amateur astronomer, and a tech junkie, who loves being home with his two kids. He lives in Austin.

 

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

10 Breastfeeding Must Haves to Make Nursing Easier and More Comfortable for Moms

World Breastfeeding Week is fast approaching and the annual celebration held from the 1st to 7th of August encourages mothers to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of life, which yields tremendous health benefits and provides infants with critical nutrients and protection from diseases to foster growth and development. This public health awareness event aims to increase the number of infants under six months who are exclusively breastfed by continuing to promote and support breastfeeding awareness. There are several products on the market today that promote breastfeeding and are made to provide support and comfort to breastfeeding mothers. These top ten nursing products help make nursing easier and more comfortable for breastfeeding mothers:

1. San Diego Bebe(R) Eco-Nursing Pillow

San Diego Bebe video.jpg

The San Diego Bebe Eco-Nursing Pillow is a supportive pillow for breastfeeding mothers with amazing features for discreet nursing and is also the first baby-safe, foam-free, non-toxic nursing pillow on the market. Made with Eco*Loft(TM) Fiber, the pillow is free of fire-retardant chemicals, hypo-allergenic, odor-free, glue-free, lead-free and Phthalate-free. It is available for a single baby and for twins.

$59.99 – $79.99

www.doubleblessings.com

2. Babee Covee

Babee Covee Blanket.jpg

The Babee Covee is a versatile baby blanket and cover that has six uses in one! Voted a top ten nursing cover by The Bump calling Babee Covee “the most versatile nursing cover,” this baby gear must-have can easily transform from a car seat cover to a nursing cover on the fly whenever needed. This award-winning baby gear eliminates the need to buy, pack and carry bulky single purpose items while protecting baby from germs where ever you go.

The Babee Covee can be used as: 1) car seat “tent” cover 2) stroller cover/blanket 3) shopping cart cover 4) high chair cover 5) nursing cover and 6) playtime blanket.

Babee Covee allows proper ventilation for baby to breathe easily, protects baby from the elements, and allows mom to peek in and ensure baby’s comfort.

$39.99 – $49.99

www.babeecovee.com

3. Nizo Wear Nursing Bra

serenity nursing bra.jpg

Nizo Wear nursing bras feature a unique patented pocket in the pull down flap that can hold a warm or cool pack. The pocket acts as a thin barrier between wearer’s skin and the heating or cooling pack, which increases comfort and safety. The Nizo Wear design has removable molded cups and the pocket also holds a nursing pad. In addition to the innovative functionality, Nizo Wear is made from amazingly soft fabrics and designed with lace, rhinestones, playful prints, and shapely lines to help moms feel stylish and good again — even when nursing.

Nizo Wear nursing bras currently come in three feminine styles: the Serenity Nursing Bra, Solace Nursing Bra, and the Allure Nursing Bra.

$19.99 – $29.99
www.nizowear.com

4. Lansinoh(R) Soothies (R) Gel Pads

Lansinoh Soothies.jpg

Soothies by Lansinoh Gel Pads provide instant, cooling relief to breastfeeding mothers with sore nipples. These safe, reusable and absorbent gel pads soothe and protect the delicate nipple area to enhance breastfeeding success.

$11.99

www.toysrus.com

5. Organic Mother’s Milk Tea

mothers milk.jpg

Organic Mother’s Milk tea promotes healthy lactation and is traditionally used to increase breast milk production. This traditional combination of anise, fennel and caraway has been in continuous use for centuries by European women, often recommended by lactation counselors and medical herbalists. Unless prescribed otherwise, drink one cup of freshly prepared tea 3 to 5 times daily throughout your nursing experience.

$4.99

www.traditionalmedicinals.com

6. Woombie Air Wrap

woombie air wrap.jpg

Woombie Old Fashioned Air Wrap(R) is the first breathable nursing cover and has multiple uses such as a baby swaddle and a nursing cover for breastfeeding mothers.

The Woombie Old Fashioned Air Wrap(R) is a safer alternative to the newer baby swaddles on the market. It is made of 100% organic cotton breathable fabric and offers a new edge to the traditional square blankets with an innovative venting system. As the first ventilated swaddle blanket it allows for excess heat to escape to regulate baby’s body temperature while swaddled to keep your baby cooler (overheating is a risk factor in SIDS.) This cooling technology is perfect for babies under a nursing cover to ensure they do not overheat.

$44.00

www.woombie.com

7. House of Botori Eneehi Nursing Clutch

House of Botori Nursing Clutch.jpg

The House of Botori Eneehi Nursing Clutch provides mothers with the comfort and modesty they deserve while helping them feel feminine and pretty. It fits comfortably so moms can discreetly feed baby and preserve their modesty in any public setting. Baby can breathe easily through the lightweight cotton fabric and you can peek in to make sure baby is feeling comfortable. When it comes to nursing, House of Botori has got you covered.

$32.97
www.houseofbotori.com

8. Buzzy

Buzzy Pain Relief.png

Buzzy is a new reusable device that combines a vibrator and an ice pack for natural pain relief by desensitizing your body’s own nerves. Buzzy was originally created to help ease the stinging pain of shots but the device is now used for everything from itching to splinters to even the blocked milk ducts of breastfeeding mothers. Moms have reported that Buzzy can help reduce the heat from the inflammation associated with plugged ducts which can help to unplug the milk duct to provide pain relief. Mothers have used it to relieve their plugged ducts and also to relieve the pain of cracked nipples.

$39.95

www.buzzy4shots.com

9. La Leche League’s Wireless All Lace Nursing Bra

La Leche Nursing Bra.jpg

This beautifully corded lace bra is soft and easy to wear to provide comfort to nursing mothers. It has an easy drop cup and adjustable straps. Soft cotton blend lining and pretty soft lace frame makes this bra a must-have for nursing.

$36.00
www.qtbras.com

10. QT Chemise with Lace Trim

QT Chemise.jpg

You don’t have to be a nursing mom to wear this easy pullover chemise with lace trim. It comes in a pretty animal print with roses or solid black with pink lace trim. Comes in 31″ length and has a drop top for easy nursing.

$28.00
www.qtbras.com

 

Alma MoussaGuest Post by Alma Moussa, Inventor of Babee Covee 

Invented by accident during a playdate by two California moms, Alma Moussa and Romeda Arsanjani, RN, the 6-in-1 Babee Covee is a versatile baby blanket and cover that eliminates the need to buy, pack and carry bulky single purpose items and provides a clean, germ-free area for baby/toddler where ever you go. Voted as a top 10 baby shower gift by Bump to Baby, a top five must have for traveling with baby, and featured twice on Good Morning America, the trendy Babee Covee saves time, money and space for busy parents on the go, and best of all no more overflowing diaper bag!

Especially useful during family vacation travel, the trendy Babee Covee can be used as: 1) car seat “tent” cover 2) stroller cover 3) shopping cart cover 4) high chair cover 5) nursing cover and 6) playtime blanket.

Visit www.babeecovee.com for more information.

 

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

 

 

Food Network – Holiday Gifts for Kids

Baby Zone - Disney

Holiday Gifts for Kids

Help soothe teething babies with this adorable barbecue rib-shaped teething ring.

Read More…

Foods That Princess Kate Should Take/Avoid While Breastfeeding

Nursing motherWith so many things on parents’ minds upon the arrival of a new baby (especially first time parents), what a breastfeeding mother should or should not eat often gets overlooked. There’s no need to go on a special diet while you’re breastfeeding; just make healthy choices and choose foods that are rich in iron, protein and calcium. Here are some foods Princess Kate should be aware of if she is breastfeeding her new baby.

What to Eat While Breastfeeding

Good sources of iron: dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables, and dried fruit. To help your body absorb iron, eat iron-rich foods in combination with foods high in Vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, sweet bell peppers or tomatoes.

Good sources of protein: consider eggs and dairy products or plant sources, such as soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Good sources of calcium: dairy products and dark green vegetables are great calcium sources. Other options include calcium-enriched and -fortified products, such as juices, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu. Sometimes too much dairy can cause baby to have gas, which is very uncomfortable for baby and his or her parents.

What to Avoid While Breastfeeding:

Whatever mama eats, baby eats as well. So here are a few foods/beverages to avoid:

Alcohol: having more than one drink increases your blood alcohol level to the point that the alcohol gets into your milk. If you plan on having more than one drink at a time, wait two hours per drink before resuming nursing (or nurse, then have your glass of wine). Moderate or heavy drinking is definitely not recommended while breastfeeding.

Caffeine: Avoid drinking more than 2 to 3 cups (16 to 24 ounces) of caffeinated drinks a day.

Fish (due to Mercury): limit your baby’s exposure to mercury while breastfeeding, choose seafood that’s low in mercury, such as shrimp, salmon, canned light tuna and catfish. Avoid seafood that’s high in mercury, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.

Every baby is different so just keep an eye out for eczema, fussiness, rash, diarrhea or congestion soon after nursing and consult your baby’s doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. These signs could indicate a food allergy. If you suspect an allergy, keep a food diary. If you think that something you’re eating is causing problems for your baby, it’s usually something you’ve eaten two to six hours before feeding. List everything you eat and drink, along with notes about how your baby seems to react – if at all.

A few common food allergies include:

    • Cow’s milk
    • Eggs
    • Peanuts
    • Tree nuts
    • Wheat
    • Soy
    • Fish

These tips came from my personal experience and these resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/breastfeeding-nutrition/MY02015/NSECTIONGROUP=2

http://www.babycenter.com/404_are-there-any-foods-i-should-avoid-while-breastfeeding_8906.bc

 

Nizo Wear Founder Nicole ZoellnerGuest post by Nicole Zoellner from NizoWear.com 

Nizo Wear is the first nursing bra to have a unique, patented pocket in the pull-down flap that can hold a heating or cooling pack helping bring moms relief and healing faster while being extremely comfortable and super chic.

Nizo Wear nursing bras were inspired by the real-life experience of the company’s founder, Nicole Zoellner. When Nicole became pregnant with her son, she eagerly read all the materials her doctor had given her about the benefits of breastfeeding. She happily anticipated the feelings of serenity and bonding that nursing promises mother and infant.

So, Nicole set out to do for other nursing moms what no-one had been able to do for her: provide a practical, comfortable way to get relief from the soreness breastfeeding mothers often experience. Her design was patented, and Nizo Wear was born.  Visit www.nizowear.com.

 

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

 

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