All posts by Cristy

How to: Potty train your little one!

Time to say goodbye to diapers? Before you even buy your toddler a potty seat, it’s important to have a plan for the training process. Find out about two methods that may help you decide how to start this important task!

Remember that there’s no single, guaranteed method for success in potty training. The key is to choose the strategy that best adapts to your child and you. We have listed some methods with their pros and cons. Check them out!

 

The child-centered approach or Brazelton’s method

The main focus of this method is that your child sets the pace of training, so the actual age is less important than your child’s developmental readiness. When the child is ready, parents can begin a series of ‘successive approximations’ leading up to successful potty use.

How it works:

Before you start, you must identify if your little one is showing signs of being ready (for a list of signs, see How to: Know if my baby is ready for potty training)

  • Ready? The first step is taking your child to pick out his own potty. He will love picking out his favorite color and will begin to have a sense of ownership over it.
  • The next step is encouraging your child to sit, fully clothed, on the potty. He will begin to connect the potty with going to the bathroom.
  • To encourage your little one to go, you can let him run around the house without diapers and leave the potty chair out in a visible place.
  • The goal is to let him believe that potty training was his idea, not yours.
  • For the next steps, like emptying the potty chair into the toilet, flushing, and hand washing, you have to wait until your child shows interest in them.

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How-to: Know if my baby is ready to start potty training

It is very important to be able to identify if your toddler is ready to take this big step of independence, as toilet training is not only a physical matter but also cognitive and emotional one. Trying to train a child who is not ready can really extend the process.

Generally, parents begin potty training around the age of two, but don’t be surprised if your family pressures you to start earlier. Years ago, families began potty training at an early age, because diapers had to be washed by hand, and even boiled!

Before you start toilet training, the most important thing to know is if your toddler is ready. Experts say that for a child to succeed in learning how to use the bathroom, he needs to feel the need to go, be able to understand what this feeling means, and be able to communicate verbally that he needs help to get to the bathroom. Some toddlers start showing these signs at 24 months, but others do not show the slightest interest until they are three years old or more.

The best way to determine if your baby is ready to begin his potty training is to observe his behavior in general and his responses to any suggestion about using the toilet. Continue reading

How-to: Enhance your baby’s social skills

From the moment your baby was born, he started to learn to respond and adapt to the people around him. He will eventually start to enjoy seeing other people, but he will still always prefer his parents’ company. Research has shown that babies thrive on the relationships they establish with their parents and others, and that these relationships are the building blocks of healthy human development.

It is important to acknowledge that each baby is born with his own social style. Some may be more outgoing or extrovert, while others may be a bit shy and quiet. Generally, when a toddler turns two years old he begins to enjoy playing with children his age, and by three, he’ll be on his way to making real friends. But like any other skill, he will need to learn how to socialize by trial and error.

Here are some tips that will help you enhance your baby’s social skills. Continue reading

How-to: Get your baby to sleep through the night Pt.I

Sleep deprivation is one of the most frequent things parents complain about -and we are sure that a least 99% of all parents may be sleep deprived to some degree. That’s why we have found the most common methods used to create sleeping habits that will help your little one sleep through the night, so you will get some much-deserved rest too!

First of all, you should know that babies have different hours of sleep depending on their age. Newborns up to three months sleep approximately 18 hours a day. This means that this will be the time where you sleep less -and not because you are staying out late! The good news is that between four and six months of age, most babies are capable of sleeping “through the night”, which generally means up to 8 to 12 full hours. This is great news for you, because you will be able to sleep more and feel well rested in the morning. Pediatricians recommend that parents begin implementing a sleeping habit for their babies at around four months, giving them a chance to develop a more regular sleeping pattern. Keep in mind that every baby has his own unique developmental timetable. The best way to know if your baby is ready to form sleeping habits is to observe how he reacts to your sleep training. If he doesn’t seem ready, slow down and try again in a few weeks.

Here are some methods you may want to try out. We have enlisted some pros and cons. Remember that no single approach works with all babies all the time (or even all the time with the same baby!). If one “sleep training method” isn’t working for your family, just drop it and take time to find and develop a nighttime parenting method that works for you! Continue reading

Tech meets parenthood: Smart gadgets for parents

Parenting these days can be fun with all of the new smart gadgets available! Here are some of the most innovative and fun gadgets we’ve found:

 

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Origami stroller

This super stroller folds and opens it self with the touch of a button! How easy does that sound? Well, apparently it is. The super stroller also has some unique features. In the front, you have your own LED headlights to illuminate the path at night or early morning. With its own LCD dashboard, you’ll be able to track speed, distance travelled, battery charge and even the current temperature. The Origami even includes a charging port for your smartphones and other smart gadgets.

However, this high-end stroller may have some downsides. Coming in at 16 kg (35 lb), it can be a real challenge to lift in and out of your car. And making it your perfect stroller may cost you some serious money! The bassinet is $150, the handle bar bag and cell phone charger are $40, and car seat adapter is $60! The Origami stroller is already $900, making the premium version a total of $1150.

Check out the origami video.

 

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MamaRoo

Your baby sure seems to notice that bouncers and swings never move like you do! The MamaRoo by 4moms is trying to replicate parents’ actual movements to soothe their babies. You can choose from five different movements, and even adjust their speed. Although high-tech, it is very easy to operate. The controls on the front are simple enough so that you can even use your feet if your hands are full! Busy moms will also like that the MamaRoo doesn’t require batteries – just plug it into the wall and you’re ready to go.

Now, for the possible cons. According to some customers, the maximum speed still seems a little too slow. And although the bouncer has a plug-in for your Mp3 player or cellphone, the sound quality is not the best. This high-tech bouncer can also be a bit pricey: you can find a regular bouncer for 80 dollars, but the MamaRoo will set you back around $250. But if you are willing to pay for it, it can be an instant success to soothe your little one!

Check out the MamaRoo video

 

Lobster with baby Will (side)

Lobster

If you’re looking for an alternative to not-so-great restaurant highchairs, but don’t always want to lug around a big, bulky booster seat, the Lobster from Phil and Teds can be the perfect chair for you. This lightweight, flat-packing, portable clip-on chair can be clapped to tables from .8 to 3.75 inches thick in seconds! This high chair will make your dining out experience less stressful – and it’s safer than traditional dining-out-seating options. It’s also a great option for using as a high chair regularly, especially if you live in a smaller space.

The high Lobster High Chair is $80. Although not a necessity, it can be a great gadget to have.

Check out the Lobster video

 

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Smart baby monitor

Today’s technology has evolved baby monitors – and it’s never been easier to track your baby’s sleep or movement. However, the Withings Smart Baby Monitor offers you the next level of tracking. There are several unique things about this baby monitor. You can measure temperature and humidity, and it includes a dual input microphone and speaker that you can use to send preset or customized lullabies, or to talk directly to your baby. There’s also a customized night light (you can change the color!), separate from the infrared night-vision lamp. This unique monitor works with all of your iOS devices. Through Withings’ own app, you can customize your push notifications for noise, temperature, movement and humidity. The app even supports multiple accounts, so another caregiver can monitor your little one at the same time.

But this powerful smart monitor is not without its flaws. It comes with a price tag of $220, making it one of the most expensive baby monitors on the market!

Check out the Smart baby monitor  video

 

Have your tried any of these smart gadgets? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Cristy

=D

How to: First aid for choking

Since choking can be a life-threatening emergency, staying calm is essential, and the best way to ensure that you keep your cool is knowing what to do!

Hopefully you will never be in a situation where you’ll have to give first aid to your little one, but babies tend to bring everything into their mouths. This is a normal part of their development and exploration, but also might putting them at an increased risk for choking! At this age, babies tend to choke on food, little toys, and get caught in drawstrings and curtain cords. Basically everything that surrounds them may be life treating!

We give you some tips and steps to follow if you find yourself in this situation.

How do you know that your baby is choking?

Be alert to signs. Something may be blocking his airway if your baby…

  • Is suddenly unable to cry or cough.
  • Makes odd noises or no sound all while opening his mouth.
  • Skin turns bright red or blue.

Continue reading

How-To: Change your baby’s diaper

When changing your baby’s diaper there isn’t a right way to do it, you just have to find the right way for you and your little one. Here are some pointers that may help you master the diaper change.

Preparation

Preparation is key before changing a diaper, so make sure that you:

  1.  Don´t forget your essential supplies. During a diaper change, always make sure you have wipes or baby washcloths, depending on what you use to clean your baby’s bottom. In addition, remember to keep a diaper cream, powder, or petroleum jelly nearby, especially if your baby is prone to rashes. And of course, never forget to restock your diapers; you don’t want to go out in the middle of the night looking for a store that sells your baby’s special diapers.
  2. Keep all your diapers supplies close by and easy to access. Sometimes things can get really hectic at home and when it’s time to change your baby’s diaper you may forget the baby cream or even the diapers!
    Leaving your baby on the changer while you go for a diaper can be really risky, even if he has a safety strap on. So always keep everything you need near the place where you usually change his diaper.
  3. Locate a clean, secure, and warm spot to change your baby. Safety always comes first when choosing a location for diaper change! It is important that you select one where your baby won’t fall down easily. Try to use a diaper-changing pad, a changing table, or simply lay down a blanket on the floor or on a bed.
  4. Always wash your hands before and after you change your baby’s diaper. Your baby’s hygiene has to be one of your main priorities. Remember that you are cleaning stool and it can get everywhere. Before you know it, you may even get some in your face! In fact, some pediatricians even suggest that your baby’s hands should be cleaned after you change his diaper. Whether your baby has actually touched something during his diaper change or not, it’s still a good idea to wash his hands once you’re done.

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Tech corner: Three apps for busy moms

 If you’re a Tech Mom, you surely find yourself looking for new apps that will help you make your life easier! Here are some apps that I’ve found valuable, take a look below! 

Mom Maps

Maps

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a great play date location, or maybe a nearby playground when you’re on the road? Mom Maps can be a great tool, as it lets you tap the collective wisdom of parents everywhere to find kid-friendly playgrounds! The app uses  your phone’s location (or a different address, if you wish), find the closest museums, parks, restaurants, and indoor play areas.

A premium version is available – and it allows you to bookmark your favorite sites and watch videos of the playgrounds.

Pros

Great for traveling.

Each site has parent reviews that help you find the perfect playground.

Cons

Depending on the area you are searching, you may find few playgrounds marked. The app depends on how many  of its users post new playgrounds.

 

Available on the Appstore and GooglePlay for free. The premium version is available for $2.99.

 

Care.com

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Need a sitter to take care of your toddler for your date-night? The Care.com app will help you find any type of care you may need directly from your phone. It’s as easy as posting a job description – you’ll receive notifications when available sitters apply. The app allows you to review the caregiver’s profiles and contact them directly – you can even pay him or her through the app! You can also find senior care specialists, pet care places, academic tutors, and housekeepers on the Care.com app.

Pros

It takes into account all of your needs and offers an array of options for you.

Cons

You need a pay a subscription to review profiles.

 

Available on the Appstore and Care.com for free. Premium memberships are $13 a month for a full year, or $39 for a single month.

 

 

Baby Connect

BabyConnect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you found that being a mom requires keeping track of a lot of things? Baby Connect helps you record everything there is to track about your baby: feeding (nursing and bottle), pump schedule, solid foods, diapers, sleep, moods, milestones – even medicines. The app will graph, chart, and list all of your inputs. Your pediatrician will thank you!

Pros

You can share all the information easily with other accounts. Also, the charts and graphs can be really useful for visualizing your baby’s progress!

Cons

The design is a bit outdated!

 

Available in both the Appstore and GooglePlay for $4.99.

 

What types of apps would you like to see mentioned on the blog? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Cristy