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Did You Know?

16 January 2015
Diaper changing battles

Babies are little bundles of energy! They don't want to lie still to have their diapers changed. They cry, fuss, or even crawl away. A simple issue can turn into a major tug-of-war between parent and baby. Here’s how to avoid toddler diapering battles and make changes easier on both of you.

If she wants to help
Find her a job to do. She can hand you supplies, like a clean diaper or a tube of cream (with the top securely tightened). Or she can dab herself with a clean wipe after you’ve finished your end of the cleanup. If she needs a change of clothes, she can choose from the two outfits you offer. Another way she can help: by washing her hands when the diapering deed is done, or letting you wash them (a good habit to get into, anyway).

Have some fun
This is a great time to sing songs, blow tummy raspberries, or do some tickle and play. A little fun might take the dread out of diaper changes for both of you. A game that stays fresh for a long time is "hide the diaper." Put a new diaper on your head, on your shoulder, or tucked in your shirt and ask, "Where's the diaper? I can't find it!" A fun twist is to give the diaper a name and a silly voice, and use it as a puppet. Let the diaper call your child to the changing station and have it talk to him as you change it. (If you get tired of making Mister Diaper talk, just remember what it was like before you tried the idea.)

Use distraction
Keep a flashlight with your changing supplies and let your baby play with it while you change him. Some kids' flashlights have a button to change the color of the light, or shape of the ray. Call this his "diaper flashlight" and put it away when the change is complete. You may find a different type of special toy that appeals to your little one, or even a basket of small interesting toys. If you reserve these only for diaper time, they can retain their novelty for a long time.

Try a diaper Pants
If your baby's diaper is just wet (not messy), try letting her stand up while you do a quick change. If you're using cloth diapers, have one leg pre-pinned so that you can slide it on like pants, or opt for pre-fitted diapers that don't require pins.

Regular diaper changes create rhythm in your baby’s world and afford the sense that the world is safe and dependable. They are regular and consistent episodes in days that may not always be predictable. Your loving touches teach your baby that he/she is valued, and your gentle care teaches him/her that they are respected.

Diaper changing as a ritual
The position of parent and baby during a diaper change is perfect for creating a bonding experience between you. You are leaning over your baby, and your face is at the perfect arms-length distance for engaging eye contact and communication. What's more, this golden opportunity presents itself many times during each day; no matter how busy you both get, you have a few moments of quiet connection. It's too valuable a ritual to treat it as simply maintenance.

[Editorial] article sponsored by BaiBoo

16 January 2015
Home Made Play Dough

2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)

Liquid food coloring
scented oils (if you want it to smell nice)

Mix all of the ingredients together, and stir over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes. When the dough pulls away from the sides and clumps in the center, remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle.
If your play dough is still sticky, just cook it longer.
Keep stirring and cooking until the dough is dry and feels like play dough.

16 January 2015
Smoother road trips with your toddlers

Road trips are fun but it can turn into a nightmare when you have a toddler as a travel companion. Travelling with toddlers in the car for long periods can be a challenge for any parent. But there are some tips and ideas we can follow to make the trip as smooth as the road ahead. Check out the tips below:

Timing is everything

  • The right time. Adjust your travel time close to your child's naptime so he will sleep for at least half the journey. As this tends to be early in the morning or at night, make sure the driver is well rested so he stays awake at the wheel.
  • Limit driving time to six hours a day. Two six-hour days are better than one monster marathon drive. So if it’s possible, break it up by making an overnight stop. No matter how long the journey takes, be prepared to make frequent stops to let your child stretch and recharge. This is good for adults too.
  • Avoid rush hour. It’s tough enough handling a cranky and tired toddler. Don’t add on to your stress by getting stuck in traffic and praying for the vehicles to move.

Entertain them

  • Be prepared. You can’t expect your child to sit silently in the car without having things to distract or entertain them. Below are some basic things you need to make the car journey smoother.
    • Snack and drinks – Pack your child’s favourites into containers that can be opened easily. While juice and milk is good, make sure they have plenty of water. It’s important to stay hydrated.
    • Toys and books – Make sure you bring his ‘special’ toy for comfort. Take a few new toys for surprises. It will amuse your child far longer than the same old playthings.
    • Play their favourite music – Even if it means you have to sit through the same playlist 3 times, having their favourite tune is a sure win in keeping your toddler happy.
    • Play games – Not boardgames but simple games you used to play as a child. Games that will encourage your kids to look out of the car window (looking at things close-up can make them dizzy). Try playing “I Spy” or “Count the number of red cars”.

Don’t forget clean-up supplies

  • Keep them handy. It’s good to be prepared to handle messy situations in the car. Make sure you bring enough baby wipes, disposable diapers and a hand sanitizer. Don’t forget to pack plastic bags (or zipper bags) for trash and for potential carsickness. One last point - never forget to bring along an extra set of clothes (kept in an easy-to-reach spot).
16 January 2015
Playtime - Tickle time!

Learning While Playing
Playing with your baby may seem like all fun and games -- shaking rattles, squeaking plush animals, and watching as your child tries his chubby hand at rolling a ball. But make no mistake: What looks like downtime is work to little ones, and toys are often the tools for getting the job done. Break open a book, make a silly face, cuddle while cooing, or tickle your little one's toes. Not only are you baby's best playmate, you are "the teacher of your baby's brain,"

Here's what to do: A baby's skin is supersensitive (and irresistibly touchable), so now's a great time to help her explore the world through her sense of touch. Gather items with a variety of interesting textures, like cotton balls, feathers, tissues, a comb, or any piece of fabric. Then place your baby on a blanket on the floor — or on her changing table or in her crib — and gently brush the objects across her tender tummy, leg, or cheek. Your running commentary makes this game even more interesting, so talk it up. ("Isn't this soft?" "Doesn't this tickle?") You'll probably be able to tell which items are her favourites by her excited kicks and coos.

This game will likely be a favourite all through her first and second years of life. (Don't be surprised if your baby starts suggesting tickle-me items on her own by the time she's about a year old!)

Here's why it's good for babies: Tickle time promotes body awareness and social development as well as tactile stimulation. Plus, it gives you a chance to practice responding to your baby's cues and body language.

[Editorial] article sponsored by BaiBoo