To help parents who are looking for answers to the questions that keep them awake, including those regarding poop, sleep and tummy time, consider this advice from the experts at KinderCare.
3 Common New Parent Questions
(Family Features) Almost every new parent knows the feeling: It’s 2 a.m., you’re bleary-eyed and you want nothing more than everyone to get some sleep. However, you’re up, and so is your new baby.
Though most parents wish their little one could tell them what’s keeping him or her awake, sometimes there’s no clear answer.
To help parents who are looking for answers to the questions that keep them awake, including those regarding poop, sleep and tummy time, the experts at KinderCare, who’ve been caring for new babies for almost 50 years, offer this advice.
1. Why is my baby’s poop a weird color?
When you have questions about poop, however, you may find there’s an app for that. Many apps also track sleep, feeding, pumping, weight and more, making them useful tools to add to your new-baby starter kit.
If you see a change in your baby’s poop, track it. It might be no big deal, but it’s easier to remember what happened a week or even a day ago when you have all the data right at your fingertips. Also remember, if you see anything out of the ordinary, it’s worth a quick call to your doctor’s on-call nurse hotline to make sure it’s nothing to worry about.
2. What’s the big deal about tummy time?
Tummy time doesn’t have to be long to be effective. Talk to your doctor to see what’s recommended for your baby. Though tummy time can be any time, you might be more successful right after a nap or diaper change when your baby is well-rested and comfortable.
If your baby just won’t take to tummy time, try making it fun with toys and make sure you’re getting down on the floor to play, too!
3. What if my baby just won’t go to sleep?
According to Super, by around 6 months of age, many babies no longer need a middle-of-the-night feeding and are ready to start learning how to self-soothe. However, about 25 percent of 1-year-olds still have problems waking up in the middle of the night.
“They should be sleeping through the night and can be doing it, but it’s very common that they’re not,” Super said. “Know that lots of kids have sleep issues, and sleep issues will come and go as they grow.”
In other words, if your baby has trouble sleeping, you’re not alone. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and it’s important to choose an approach that fits your family. That might mean adjusting your schedule to accommodate an earlier baby bedtime (Super recommends 7-8 p.m.) or coming up with a simple bedtime routine like taking a bath, brushing teeth, reading a book, and going to bed.
For answers to more questions that can keep new parents awake, visit kindercare.com.SOURCE:
It’s not always easy to make the transition from family road trips, backyard barbecues and longer days to school bus pickups, homeroom assignments and school supply lists. These tips can help get your busy household organized and make the transition easier to ensure your kids look and feel their best when they head back to the classroom.
Making the Back-to-School Transition Seamless and Stress-Free
(Family Features) It’s not always easy to make the transition from family road trips, backyard barbecues and longer days to school bus pickups, homeroom assignments and school supply lists.
These tips can help get your busy household organized and make the transition easier to ensure your kids look and feel their best when they head back to the classroom.
Make Shopping for Supplies Fun. Take a special shopping trip with your kids to get all the supplies they need. Be sure to stock up on essentials, but try to make it fun by letting them pick out personalized folders for each of their classes or colorful pens to take notes. A shopping trip is also an opportunity to get your children excited about their classes. Remember to shop early so kids can pick from a variety of options and items will be less likely to be out of stock.
Prepare a Homework Space. Creating a designated space in the house for doing homework can get your kids ready to start schoolwork again. A designated space stocked with necessities like pens, pencils and other supplies can also limit distractions so they can focus on their schoolwork.
Simplify Your Laundry Routine. Between school clothes, sports uniforms, linens and play clothes, laundry can easily pile up. To simplify your laundry routine, try a detergent like all mighty pacs 4-in-1 with Odor Lifter, which provides four aspects of clean by tackling odors, fighting stains, whitening and brightening.
If your children have sensitive skin, consider all free clear mighty pacs, which are tough on stains but still gentle enough for sensitive skin with a hypoallergenic formula that is free of fragrances, dyes and irritating residues. To learn more, visit all-laundry.com.
Ease into the Routine. Make the switch to busy school mornings seamless by easing into your morning routine in the weeks leading up to the start of school. Set your alarms, go through morning rituals and make sure your children are comfortable with how they are getting to school whether they are taking the bus, walking or carpooling with friends. Practicing the routine can make everyone feel confident and prepared when the school bells start ringing.
By implementing these simple tips, you can make the transition both seamless and stress-free, and set your kids up for a successful and fun school year.
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Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
With school back in full swing, the days will be full, packed with classes, homework and after-school sports, music and other extracurricular activities. To make the most of all these endeavors, it’s important to eat well with snacks like this Grape Smoothie Bowl to sustain the critical energy and focus required throughout the day.
Sweet, Simple After-School Snacking
(Family Features) With school back in full swing, the days will be full, packed with classes, homework and after-school sports, music and other extracurricular activities. To make the most of all these endeavors, it’s important to eat well to sustain the critical energy and focus required throughout the day.
Smart fueling includes keeping nourishing snacks such as heart-healthy grapes on-hand – whether at home, in the car or coming off the field. Fresh California grapes – simple, convenient and nutritious – can make for a delicious snack on their own.
Available in three appealing colors – red, green and black – crisp, juicy grapes can add a tasty touch when hunger calls for an afternoon energy boost. Grapes also pair well with crackers, cheese and nuts for other snack combos.
Yet another way to enjoy fresh grapes is to blend them with other fruits and vegetables to create smoothie bowls, a nutritious option to help ensure that a variety of healthy ingredients are part of a balanced day.
Smoothie bowls work well as a snack or even a quick breakfast, and also provide a way for parents to introduce their kids to new, healthier bites.
This Grape Smoothie Bowl is fresh, flavorful and full of sweet grape taste for a quick fix that can leave bodies fueled and ready to take on the rest of the day.
Find more information and snack ideas at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.
Grape Smoothie Bowl
Prep time: 10 minutes
Nutritional information per serving: 370 calories; 5 g protein; 66 g carbohydrates; 13 g fat (32% calories from fat); 3.5 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 200 mg sodium; 10 g fiber.SOURCE:
California Table Grape Commission
While traditional academics are an important component of a child’s education and development, not all lessons can be taught in the classroom. Teaching children skills for life often starts at home. You can create an environment for your children that encourages independent thinking with these ideas.
Empower Back-to-School Independence
(Family Features) While traditional academics are an important component of a child’s education and development, not all lessons can be taught in the classroom. Teaching children skills for life often starts at home. With school back in session, it’s important to take advantage of learning opportunities for your children and encourage their independence.
Responsibility, confidence and independence are traits many parents strive to teach their children that can guide them through obstacles even after they are grown. You can create an environment for your children that encourages independent thinking with these ideas:
Encourage effort. Not every pursuit ends in success and children need to know that it’s OK to fail sometimes. Celebrating the journey and reinforcing the benefits of an experience are important ways to encourage effort that doesn’t reach the desired outcome. For example, a T-ball game that ends in a loss might be followed with a conversation about what your little player learned and what play he or she was most proud of. This is an opportunity to promote the value of practicing to develop skills and learn new things.
Acknowledge accomplishments. When your child achieves a goal, it brings numerous teachable opportunities. One, of course, is the joy of victory and the sense of pride and accomplishment it brings. Rewarding milestones gives added meaning and incentive for children to strive toward their goals.
Create fun learning opportunities. Some of the most unexpected learning opportunities turn out to be the most memorable. For example, you can make oral hygiene fun and educational for your kids by allowing them to become the coach of family brush time. One way to make brush time fun is with the Colgate Kids Interactive Powered Toothbrush, which encourages children to gain independence every time they brush with the help of their favorite characters’ voices. Available in Minions and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this toothbrush teaches children when and where to brush, and congratulates them when they finish brushing for the dentist-recommended two minutes. Find more information at Colgate.com/kids.
Set high expectations. Children are generally eager to please and strive toward the level of expectations that are set for them. Every child is different, but always set the bar high. Setting expectations slightly over a child’s comfort zone is one way to encourage children to challenge themselves and try new things.
Give more responsibilities. Parents often strive to instill independence in their children so that they are eager to do things on their own. Giving responsibilities, such as household chores, is a practical way to show kids how to develop the skills they need to get a job done. For example, a young child may be able to help his or her parents fold clean clothes, but not yet be old enough to operate the washing machine or dryer. Fast-forward and soon the same child is able to do that chore “all by himself.”
Although parenting brings plenty of opportunities to nurture and protect, it also offers the chance to guide children in developing the traits they need to become independent, successful adults.SOURCE:
For some parents, back-to-school season can be bittersweet as they watch their kids grow more independent each year. Taking on an active role at your child’s school with these tips is a simple way to provide support and stay engaged.
Tips to Get Involved at Your Child's School
(Family Features) For some parents, back-to-school season can be bittersweet as they watch their kids grow more independent each year. Taking on an active role at your child’s school is a simple way to provide support and stay engaged.
Whether your schedule is relatively open or you’re juggling multiple demands, there are ways for virtually all families to participate in their children’s classrooms.
Volunteer in the classroom. Today’s teachers are busier than ever, developing classroom lessons, teaching to rigorous curriculum standards, coaching and chairing extracurricular activities and tackling their own professional development goals. This can leave little down time to coordinate special activities or classroom celebrations, but that’s where parent volunteers can play an essential role.
Develop relationships with teachers. Creating a connection with your child’s teacher can be based on more than checking in on performance and behavior. Sharing resources and ideas with teachers makes you an ally and an asset to the classroom. One example is the Tom's of Maine “Green Your School Fund,” which will give $1 million to classrooms nationwide this year so students can roll up their sleeves and tackle hands-on environmental projects to understand the impact they can have on the planet today and tomorrow. Learn more about the program and how you can help your child’s teacher submit a creative environmental classroom project at GreenSchoolFund.com.
Join a formal organization. School organizations like the Parent Teacher Association are designed specifically to engage parents in the education system. Members have a direct connection to news about what’s happening in the school, an avenue to share concerns and means for inspiring change and bringing about school improvements.
Take part in field trips. Many rich learning opportunities exist outside the classroom, but those activities are often limited by chaperone availability. Both schools and most field trip destinations require certain student-to-chaperone ratios for safety and optimal learning. Joining a classroom field trip not only allows you to share the experience side-by-side with your own child, but makes the outing possible for other children as well.
Share your talents. There are ways parents can get involved without straying too far from what they know best. Volunteering to speak at a career day in your child’s class is a simple way to share real-world experiences and help prepare the next generation of leaders. Of course, if you’re looking for something a little more hands-on, many schools welcome community support to help build props or sew costumes for the school play, host a lesson on a favorite artist, share cultural traditions or help run activities like science fairs or field days.
If you’re unsure how to get started, contact your student’s teacher or the school’s main office and ask for guidance on where you can make the biggest impact.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Tom’s of Maine
With summer in full force, kids are busy with physical activities and whether it’s little league baseball games, swim team or summer camp, they’re more active than ever. Moms can keep up by making sure kids fuel their bodies with proper nutrition and stay hydrated at the same time with nutritional recipes like these Home Run Pancakes.
What Moms Need to Know About Summer Nutrition for Kids
Hit a home run with essential nutrients for active kids
(Family Features) With summer in full force, kids are busy with physical activities and whether it’s little league baseball games, swim team or summer camp, they’re more active than ever. Moms, nutritionists and pediatricians alike know active kids and developing bones and muscles need essential nutrients to grow strong, but The Dietary Guidelines for Americans say most Americans, including children, actually aren’t getting enough fiber, calcium, vitamin D and potassium in their diets.
Moms can keep up by making sure kids fuel their bodies with proper nutrition and stay hydrated at the same time. As a drink kids already love the taste of, milk is a great choice when moms want to serve delicious and natural, high-quality protein for kids before sending them off on summer adventures. Many are also surprised to learn that milk can help hydrate after exercise due to its natural electrolytes and fluids.
Milk plays an important role for kids’ meals and snacks, providing three of the four nutrients most Americans, including kids, aren’t getting enough of (calcium, vitamin D and potassium), and it’s the top food source of these nutrients, to boot.¹ Plus, with 8 grams of protein per every 8-ounce glass, the farm-fresh beverage is a great way to help the whole family kick start the day.
One way to hit a home run for your kids is by stepping up to the breakfast plate with delicious baseball pancakes. Served with an 8-ounce glass of milk, this breakfast is the perfect combo to help kids fuel up with protein in the morning.
Find more nutritious recipes to pair with milk at milklife.com.
Home Run Pancakes
Nutritional information per serving: 240 calories; 1.5 g fat; 55 mg cholesterol; 15 g protein; 40 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 420 mg sodium; 454 mg calcium (45% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.
¹Fulgoni VL, Keast DR, Quann EE, Auestad N. Food sources of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and potassium in the U.S. The FASEB Journal. 2010;24:325.1.SOURCE:
The real new year begins when you can smell the fresh pink erasers and hear the clatter of brand new pencils on still-smooth notebook covers. Even if you don’t have kids in school, the end of summer and the beginning of fall is a great time to reassess, realign, hit the restart button and make resolutions, such as loving mornings, empowering kids, appreciating others, making fun a priority, being a team, making snacks work hard, fueling up with real food – like burritos and taquitos – and cheering on mom wins, that will help carry your family smoothly through the school year.
New (School) Year, New You
Make family resolutions that stick
(Family Features) Forget Jan. 1. Parents know the real new year begins when you can smell the fresh pink erasers and hear the clatter of brand new pencils on still-smooth notebook covers.
Here are some tips from parents about resolutions they’ve made for the coming school year:
Learn to love mornings
“It was a disaster,” she said. “There was a lot of yelling, a lot of missing socks, a lot of arguments about eating a good breakfast – it was just not the way to start a productive, happy day.”
Luther decided to turn the first – and worst – hour of her day into one of the best by waking up earlier, exercising and turning on music.
Luther also changed the way she looked at breakfast.
“It doesn’t have to be from scratch,” she said, “but it does have to have protein – and be fast. We love frozen breakfast burritos, for example.”
Empower the kids
But kids are eager to help, she said. Just like adults, they feel empowered when they can do things for themselves.
Luther decided to empower her kids and simplify her life at the same time by creating “Get Ready Buckets,” which hold everything they need to get moving in the morning, from hairbrushes to socks.
That same message of empowerment can simplify and improve other stressful times of day. Do the kids walk in the door hungry and cranky and leave you feeling the same way? Stock the freezer with hearty snacks, such as El Monterey Taquitos, that kids can heat up on their own.
“Our teachers put so much time and effort into their jobs,” Merkley said, “and we’re so grateful for that.”
While she usually gives teachers a gift card at the end of the year, she doesn’t wait until then to send notes and emails with a simple, “Thank you.” She also makes sure to say thanks in person – and in front of her kids.
Make fun a priority
“When we laugh and make things and learn things together,” she said, “we’re making memories. I want my kids to remember their childhoods as more than just getting to school on time and cleaning their rooms.”
Be a team
As their motto, the Denneys chose, “Work hard and be nice.” It’s simple, succinct and sums up what they want for their family.
Fuel up with real food
“Sometimes I’ll buy the ingredients myself to cook from scratch and sometimes I’ll look for foods I recognize on the label,” she said. “When I pick up El Monterey Signature Burritos, I see ingredients like fresh-baked tortillas, real cheddar cheese – foods I would buy anyway for my family, so I feel great about that.”
Make snacks work hard
“Protein and real food – that’s what I’m going to look for in afternoon snacks,” she said. “Something that fills the kids up and gets them ready to get back out the door and play, or buckle down and do their homework.”
Cheer on #momwins
“Checking off every last thing on my spring cleaning checklist is a win, for sure,” she said, “but so is a good, smooth morning with my family. So is a sit-down dinner that didn’t stress me out. So is feeling good about what we’re eating. So is every little hug. Those are all #momwins, and I’m going to give myself a little pat on the back for every one.”
For more breakfast, snack and dinner ideas to help you keep your family resolutions, visit ElMonterey.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family eating)
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