Car Seat Myths Busted

Parents often debate when it’s safe, or necessary, to turn their little one’s front facing in their car seat, or when they officially outgrow their infant seat. There are common concerns that cause parents to turn their child around before it’s fully safe to do so. The article below addresses 7 most common concerns, which they call myths (because some are, though believable!). These myths are:

Myth #1: My child is too big!

Myth #2: My child’s legs are too long!

Myth #3: My child is SO uncomfortable!

Myth #4: My car is too small!

Myth #5: My toddler hates rear facing!

Myth #6: My child gets carsick!

Myth #7: Extended rear facing seats are so expensive!

Myth #8: My pediatrician said it’s fine.

 

 

To get the answers to these questions, and find out why they’re fiction not fact, view original post.

How to be assertive with your child’s doctor

Taking your infant or toddler to the doctor can be scary for so many reasons. Doctors know more about medicine than you do, their directions seem so inflexible, and at most pediatricians nowadays, the wait before and after means that even if they’re not rushed by the time your sick little one gets seen, you are! Here are a few steps to help make sure that your child receives the best care, and that you’re on the same page as his doctor.

  1. Keep a notepad for each child’s doctor visits. Write down any questions that you have in between appointments, to ask next time. If your child is sick, write down temperatures, symptoms, and the time and date that you noticed them. Write down any instructions you receive for medication, food steps, or other medical issues. With these notes, you can track your child’s wellness, notice patterns, and be sure you don’t forget the questions that you wanted to make sure were addressed.
  2. You are your child’s parent, not the doctor. While the doctor may know best for medical advice overall, you are your child’s biggest advocate. You are with her day in and out, know his normal behaviors, and have the parental gut instinct. Not every doctor will catch an issue the first time around, and it’s okay to go back and get a second opinion, or make the doctor double check. My 13 month old daughter developed a fever, and her pediatrician checked her ears and said they were clear as a bell and beautiful. Later that day, we were still worried, and took her into the local ER. One medical student and one resident checked her ears and said she was fine, but wanted a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia. That came out clean, but they still passed us on to a senior doctor, who took one quick look in my daughter’s over-prodded, sensitive ears and said “Wow, there’s a raging infection, in both ears!” If we had not kept pushing, we wouldn’t have been able to treat or comfort her properly.
  3. Be informed. Dr. Innessa Donskoy, Pediatric Resident at University of Illinois at Chicago, reminds parents to “be open to [doctor’s] suggestions.” Keep in mind, though, that they are suggestions. There’s nothing wrong with taking the prescription you were given and plugging it into Google, or asking your social network if they’ve had experiences with it before. Be an informed consumer. Make sure you follow up with your child’s doctor and/or pharmacist regarding any changes to their instructions, before you make the change—some changes recommended by homeopaths and old wives’ tales actually contribute to the weakening effect of some antibiotics—but it is important to be an educated consumer. As well, look up the vaccination list to know what your doctor will most likely be automatically recommending, or what may be required for day care. Here is the CDC’s list: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/
  4. Be on time and prepared. We know, it’s not fair, you always get kept waiting anyway. But part of the reason is the 5- and 10-minutes late that some people, particularly in the beginning of the day, run for their appointments. The more on-schedule, or even early, you are for your appointment, the more fluidly the doctor’s (and thereby your) day runs! Make sure you have all required information, such as your ID and your child’s insurance card, ready for check-in, and that your child is wearing clothing that is easy to maneuver in for weighing, the stethoscope, blood draws/vaccinations, and whatever other procedures are scheduled for this visit. Also, Dr. Meghna Nayak of Newkirk Family Health Center says, “parents often have a lot of little concerns when they come in, but what we need to know is, what’s your main concern, what’s the one thing that brought you in today.” While the other concerns are, of course, important, it’s easiest for your child’s pediatrician to check for the immediate need when a parent can articulate it clearly.
  5. Don’t bring them in on the first day. If your child is sick and has no or a low-grade fever, but is generally healthy, is keeping down fluids, has regular wet diapers or is regularly urinating, and is relatively good-natured, don’t bring them in to the doctor’s office! Attending pediatrician at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, Dr. Ravi Saksena says, “Usually, these things are viral anyway and there’s not much we can do other than recommend over-the-counter medication for reducing the fever and pain. Bringing your child in on the first day of illness only exposes them and others to more germs in our waiting rooms.” It’s okay to wait out a cold with a few days at home and some chicken soup plus over the counter pain relievers, and not step foot into the pediatrician’s office. He does mention, however, that if breathing becomes labored, your child isn’t taking fluids or urinating, or you’re concerned there’s a medical emergency, skip the pediatrician entirely and head straight to the emergency room! And if it’s been a few days and you’re getting concerned, you can always call your pediatrician or schedule an appointment.
  6. Keep up with physicals and well-visits. The best way to be able to be assertive with your child’s doctor, and a strong partner in your child’s care, is to develop a relationship with your child’s pediatrician. Bringing your child in for their physicals and well-visits is imperative in her ability to develop a relationship with the doctor (even if it’s a practice, and you don’t always see the same doctor), and, perhaps more importantly, “allows us to keep tabs on if the kids are meeting their developmental milestones and how their nutrition is going, helps us figure out how the child is growing instead of doing everything all at once when they come in sick,” says Dr. Nayak. Basically, bringing your baby in for her checkups helps the doctors to establish a “normal” for their patient!
  7. Understand antibiotic use. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. Most colds and a number of ear infections are caused by viruses, which can’t be treated with amoxicillin or other antibiotics. It’s cold and flu season; most kids are going to catch a cold in daycare and most runny noses are caused by viral infections. If your baby has a fever with their runny nose, you should keep them home. But, if your little one’s daycare has a policy that, even in the absence of a fever, runny nosed kids must be on antibiotics to attend, DON’T go running to the doctor for antibiotics and insist on receiving them! They most likely won’t treat the cold, this contributes to antibiotic resistance, and many antibiotics have side effects like diarrhea, which can contribute to spreading of any virus. For more information on the over-prescribing of antibiotics, check out this WebMD article.

Written by Shoshana Rishon (c)2014  All rights reserved.

ALL MY CHILDREN DAYCARE AND NURSERY SCHOOL OPENS IN LOWER MANHATTAN

All My Children Daycare and Nursery School opened its lower Manhattan location on Ridge Street in October in response to a high demand for its services. The day care and nursery center aims to provide young children a safe home-away-from-home that prepares them for school and life readiness in an eco-conscious environment.

All My Children Daycare and Nursery School offers programs for children ages 5 and younger, including infant and toddler care programs, preschool, and Universal Pre-K. These programs are an adaptive system, meaning it changes with the child’s developmental needs as he or she grows older.

To start children ages 6 months to 2 years on the path to learning, the infant and toddler programs introduce routines to teach focusing practices and prepare children for higher learning. This program’s activities include dabbling in art and exploring sand and water.

In the preschool and Universal Pre-K, 2- to 5-year-olds are provided with six different learning centers, which allow them to explore and be creative while learning. These centers include the Art, Library, Dramatic Play, Sand and Water, Blocks, and Discovery, which is stocked with tools such as magnifying glasses, balance scales, and other tools that allow children to explore the outside world.

All My Children Daycare and Nursery School is an eco-friendly environment. All classrooms are furnished with eco-friendly furniture, an interactive gardening system incorporated into program curriculum, and a wall gardening system to set the stage for the day care’s learning environment. Each classroom is equipped with green materials including organic, locally-sourced foods, toxic-free paints, and eco-friendly diapering. Gardens are used to teach planting and important facts about the ecosystem.

For this year only, enrollment is open through June.

 

View this Original Article, where All My Children Daycare and Nursery School was featured in NY Metro Parents.

5 Fun Indoor Activities When It’s Cold Outside

Who wants to go outside when it’s freezing? And why should you when you and your kids can have just as much fun playing inside while feeling warm and cozy! These 5 ideas for indoor activities with the kids may make the snowman a little jealous, but you’ll be having so much fun, he’ll understand (and probably wish he could join you!).

Try Indoor Camping You’ve heard of camping in the great outdoors, but the wintertime chill makes it close to impossible. Why not take the fun of camping right into your own living room? You can purchase a kid’s tent online or even create your own by cleverly pinning bed sheets to the tops of chairs and the sofa. Snuggle inside with the whole family and tell stories with a flashlight in the dark. The family pet can even join you. The best part? Make some s’mores!

Bake Something Sweet Ahhhh… the smell of chocolate chip cookies rising in the oven or the mouth-watering aroma of a loaf of banana bread puts any thoughts of the cold weather in the back of your mind. Kids love to participate in baking, and depending on their age, there’s a role for everyone. Even the littlest child can help stir the batter or help with scooping. Baking memories will last a lifetime even if the sweets only last a few minutes! Write down the recipe and make copies for your child to take to their daycare or school. The staff at All My Children encourage sharing and working together. Preparing snacks together is a great way to collaborate.

Make it a Movie Day When it’s too chilly to get the whole family out the door and to the local theater, bring the fun of film to your own living room. Let the kids vote on their favorite flick from a group you’ve approved of and cuddle on the couch with a big family-size bowl of popcorn. Since you’ll be stuck inside all day, you can probably get to watching a few movies. The kids won’t even miss getting outdoors as they enter into fantasy land on the TV screen.

Hold a Mini Fashion Show Kids love dressing up, so why not make it even more fun? You can be the MC of a kids’ fashion show right in your own home. Let the kids pull out all their favorite looks, including costumes, and even a few of your scarves and hats. They’ll feel like stars as they “walk the catwalk” right down the hallway of your home. Play some fun music and let the kids strut their stuff.

Create Crafts Kids love to use their imagination and what better way to show off their talents than by creating some unique crafts. As they are cozied up indoors, looking out the frosty windows can provide inspiration. It’s fun to draw snowmen, snow angels, and snow-covered trees. If you have some glitter, let the kids add some winter sparkle to their creations. Surprise grandma and grandpa by sending them the kids’ works of art as a special gift they’ll always treasure. Day Care Centers and schools like All My Children cultivate curiosity and creativity. Have your child bring in her creation to share during show and tell. With these fun ideas, kids will want the winter to last forever. Luckily it won’t, but while it lasts, it’s important to make the most of it.

What do you do with the kids when you’re stuck inside? Share with us!

Read more about topics like this, advice for your growing family, to hear from parents like you, and more at All My Children.

Author: Melissa A. Kay

How to Deal with Toddler Tantrums

Why Is My Child Tantruming?

A toddler temper tantrum can come on suddenly and strong. On the blog Reasons My Son is Crying, parents make light of the fact that anything from soup being served in the wrong bowl to hair falling in eyes can set a little one off. Young children aged 1 to 3 are particularly prone to tantrums.

Don’t panic that your angel is turning into a tyrant! Take comfort; at this age, your child is most likely not throwing a fit to manipulate you. While still in this learning-how-to-talk phase, children don’t have a firm grasp of translating emotions and desires into words, and this is frustrating, which leads to meltdowns.

Seven Tips for Handling a Temper Tantrum:

1. Keep your cool. Temper tantrums can range from incessant whining and crying to kicking, screaming, and pounding the floor, all the way to  hitting, throwing objects, and holding her breath until she’s turning blue. We know it’s difficult to handle, but you can rest easy that even holding his breath is within the normal range of behavior for a mid-tantrum child.

When your toddler is in full swing tantrum mode, he can’t process reasoning, though he will respond – negatively – to your threatening or yelling. “I found the more I shouted at Brandon to stop, the wilder he would get,” comments one tot mom. She discovered that what worked for them instead was to sit down and just be together through his fit.

As a general rule, staying with your child through her tantrum is a good idea. Stomping away can make her feel abandoned. The mass of emotion he’s feeling can be frightening, and knowing you’re nearby is a source of comfort.

If you find your frustration overwhelms you, it may help to calmly leave the room, after making sure it’s a safe space or someone else is watching your child, for a short while and returning after he has stopped crying. By staying (or only showing) calm, you’ll help her calm down, too.

Occasionally, a well-placed time-out can be an effective solution, too. Trial and error might seem like the longest way, but it’s the best way to discover which approach is best for your child and your family. Whichever method you choose, consistency is the key to continued success.

2. Don’t forget that you are the adult. Regardless of how long the tantrum lasts, you should not cave to unreasonable demands, nor attempt negotiations with your shrieking toddler. It can be especially tempting to give in in order to end a public episode. Focus on the long-term goals in raising your child and setting clear boundaries, and ignore strangers’ reactions; every parent is well seasoned in this phase. If you concede, you’re tot learns the lesson that pitching a fit is an effective way to get her demands met, setting the stage for more conflicts in the future. Also, remember, she is already frightened because she feels out of control. What she most needs is the security of knowing that you, in fact, ARE in control–and that means boundaries and consequences.

In public, be prepared for quick–if temporary–escapes with your child until he can calm down.

3. Use time-outs sparingly. For some little ones, introducing a time-out occasionally, starting around 18 months, may help manage feelings better during a tantrum. A time-out can be an effective technique with an especially intense tantrum, when other techniques aren’t working. A quiet or boring spot is sometimes the best lesson in self-soothing. Suggested time: about one minute per year of age.

Explain the time out in simple words, letting her know where she’s going, why she needs space away, and that it’s not a punishment, but a chance to decompress. If he leaves the time-out spot, replace him kindly but firmly, and make sure not to interact with him or give him any attention, even negative, but stay close by. Of course, make sure she’s safe, but otherwise, even leaving the corner should be a quick, simple, no-talking interaction.

4. Have a conversation later. After the tantrum ends, it’s time for a little snuggle and conversation. Use very simple terms to talk about her behavior, and acknowledge and validate her frustration. Now is a good time to introduce and reinforce emotion words, and tie her feelings to the events that preceded them, with phrases like “You were disappointed and frustrated that it wasn’t time to feed the kitty, and you couldn’t help out.” Make it clear that learning to express himself with words, he’ll get the results he wants, faster. With a calm, gentle voice and expression, you can say, “I’m sorry I didn’t understand you. Now that you’re not screaming, I can find out what you want.”

5. Verbally reinforce your unconditional love. After the storm has subsided and you two have had the chance to chat, a little bit of physical affection and verbal reaffirmation will help seal the deal and keep your tot calm. This is rewarding the good behavior of your child managing to soothe himself and talk with you, as well as increasing feelings of security and predictability.

6. Prevent fit-prone situations before they start. Notice what situations send your child overboard, and plan accordingly. If hunger turns him into a monster, bring snacks wherever you go. If the late afternoon is a cranky-fest, keep your running around to earlier in the day, and keep the afternoon clear for undisturbed nap or quiet time. If transitions between activities are the instigator,a gentle warning before a change may avert a pending crisis. A simple announcement of the change to the next event allows her the chance to adjust rather than react.If you sense a tantrum coming, distracting your tot can make all the difference. Change locations, find a toy, or just do something unexpected, like make a silly face or sing the ABCs.

Remember, too, that your child’s job right now is to grow in independence, so offering choices is great for teaching self-determination AND avoiding fits. I don’t know anyone who likes always being told what to do. A simple “Should we go for a walk or play roll the ball?” instead of “Play with your toys” can help him properly develop a sense of control, thereby minimizing tantrums.

Keep track of the frequency of your “no” responses. Use that word too often, and you’re most likely stressing both of you out, so pick your battles wisely.

7. Keep an eye out for signs of overstress. While even daily tantrums are perfectly normal for the mid-toddler years, you should still be vigilant for potential problems. Any large stressors that would impact a teen or adult will most likely have the same affect on a toddler. If things have been very busy lately, or the child’s parents or role models are constantly disagreeing, misbehavior might point to a child’s difficulty handling the stressful world around him, indicating issues adults might not even otherwise recognize.

Babycenter.com experts weigh in; “If your child’s tantrums seem overly frequent or intense (or he’s hurting himself or others), seek help. Your doctor will discuss your child’s developmental and behavioral milestones with you at routine well-child checkups. These visits are good opportunities to talk about concerns you have about your child’s behavior, and they help to rule out any serious physical or psychological problems. Your doctor can also suggest ways to deal with the outbursts.

“Also, talk to your doctor if your child has frightening breath-holding spells when he gets upset. There’s some evidence that this behavior is linked to an iron deficiency.”

View Original Post on BabyCenter.com

How to Childproof for a Walker

Is your toddler finally toddling? Congratulations! Take those first steps a sign to check if you need to step up your game in toddler-proofing. So where to begin? Debra Holtzman, author of The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety and Healthy Living, believes it’s important to start by seeing what your child sees. “Get down on your hands and knees to get a bird’s eye view of the problems.”

Founder of SafetyMom.com Alison Rhodes, who also operates Tri-State area child-proofing business, mentions that natural curiosity will make your little one pull everything within reach. “So be mindful of window cords, curtains, and tablecloths. Baby’s new exploring skills mean you should also be extra-careful to close doors to rooms that are off-limits,” she says. A convenient and inexpensive alternative to door knob covers (if you have round knobs rather than levers or handlesets) is old socks, which can be placed over the knob to make them difficult for a baby to grasp.

That’s just the beginning. To see more, click here.

How To Make A Tricky Staircase Safe For Children

Question: We are moving into a split-level house (first-time home buyers) from an apartment so we are navigating the world of toddler-proofing stairs for the first time. The stairs have a railing on one side wall, and on the other side, nothing. The wall with nothing ends about three stairs above the ground floor, leaving an open space that strikes us as a hazard for an 18-month-old who is just learning about stairs. Installing a gate seems tricky in this instance since there aren’t two sides for the gate unless we put it across the third step. How would you recommend we handle this?

— Bethesda

Answer: “Wrap a gate around the bottom,” advises Bill Brooner, owner of Baby Proofing Montgomery, a company that does home safety evaluations and installs products that make homes safer for young children. He has a catalog of safety equipment that includes five or six pages of gates, and he can make a specific recommendation and give you a cost estimate if you email him with measurements and a photograph. Or, for $90 plus a travel fee of $25 when the location is outside Montgomery County, he will go to your house for a room-by-room safety evaluation that typically lasts 1½ to 2 hours. He’ll also leave you with a packet of safety literature covering everything from toy safety to poisonous house plants.

If you want to tackle the job on your own, start with an extra-wide safety gate or safety fencing designed for use around fireplaces and wood stoves. Many models also have optional extension pieces that allow you to create custom lengths. Fasten one end of the gate to the wall with the handrail. Extend the wrap across the base of the stairs and wrap it around the side of the steps where there is no wall. If you have room at the base of the stairs, you might want to position the fencing so it’s set out from the bottom step, allowing you to open and close the gate when you aren’t also negotiating the stairs.

Be sure to install a safety gate at the top as well as at the bottom.

Sure, opening and closing the gates is a hassle. But it’s not forever. Kids vary, but by age 3 or 4, they’re usually fine without gates, Brooner says.

Question: I have two old “bridge chairs” from my mom, probably from the 1950s or ’60s. They aren’t in horrible shape, but the wood (real wood) needs touching up. If I were to paint the wood, is there a type of spray paint that would look best on real wood? Or do you think I should touch up the finish? If so, what product do you recommend?

— Arlington

The chairs are classics and look pretty classy as they are. It’s basically your call about whether to just erase some of the wear and tear or to give the chairs a whole new look with paint. You can always paint later; it’s much harder to go back to unpainted wood.

If you decide to fix the existing finish, the best strategy depends on how bad it is now. (It’s hard to tell from the pictures you sent.) If the finish looks OK except for a few places where it’s scratched through to bare wood, a simple touch-up works best. Dab on a little wood stain with an artist’s brush or use wood stain packaged in a marking pen, such as Minwax Wood Finish Stain Marker . If there are deeper gouges, fill them with non-hardening wood putty in a matching color. This type of putty is oily or waxy, so it works well when furniture already has a finish, as your chairs do. It comes in jars or tubs, as well as in a pencil style (such as the Minwax Blend-fil Pencil) and in wax sticks (included in the Dap Wood Finish Repair Kit).

You need more than spot repairs if the overall finish is worn and scuffed up. Use a finish restorer, such as Howard Restor-a-Finish, which works on lacquer, shellac and varnish, the finishes most likely to be on your chairs. Finish restorers contain stain plus a little solvent and oil. The solvent helps the stain penetrate but doesn’t strip the existing finish. Rub over the wood, a section at a time, as directed on the label and you should wind up with a nice, even sheen where scratches aren’t very noticeable, if you can even find them. You can use a finish restorer instead of or in addition to the touch-up methods.

If you opt for painting the chairs, you can use any good-quality spray paint. Choose a gloss sheen if you want a traditional furniture finish. If you don’t have a good place for spray-painting, use brush-on, glossy, water-based paint. For that, lightly sand the chairs first with 100-grit sandpaper, just enough to scratch up the surface. Sand in the direction of wood fibers (meaning lengthwise on the legs and crosswise on the chair backs). Wipe up the debris, brush on primer paint and let it dry, then apply two coats of the finish paint.

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