Kids health and safety

Having Trouble Getting Your Kid To Sleep?

Kids have a thing about going to sleep at night. It does not matter if it is a girl or a boy, they all have this thing: they hate going to sleep. Even babies will fight sleep like it was the devil. They cannot stand the thought of missing out on anything and they simply refuse to fall asleep and that is why you as the parent need to find out all of the top techniques that will help you to get your kids to sleep at night.

Let us focus on babies. They need to be on a strict schedule from the get go if you want to get them sleeping through the night. Kids need structure and balance in order to sleep well each and every night. That is why you should have a time of night that you put your child down. Do not simply wait for the kids to get tired before you put them to bed, have a time and stick to it. This is the best way to get your kids sleeping through the night quickly and easily.

Good nighttime rituals can really help you to get the kids to sleep at night. For example, you may want to give the kids a warm and soothing bath at night before bed. This can go along way towards relaxing them enough that they will go to sleep with ease when put to bed. Kids like rituals and these kinds are great.

It is also a very good idea for you allow the evening to unfold quietly. Playing games with your kids just before bed is probably not the best way to go. Instead of wearing out your kids playing games is only going to get them riled up. This is not going to help you get them to sleep each night. You need to get the kids calm and relaxed and a quiet evening followed by a nice warm bath is great.

If you are trying to get your kids to sleep, especially when they are still babies you need to take into consideration that your baby is not used to real silence. They come from your tummy where things were really loud all of the time. Total silence is scary to many babies. Having a ticking clock or some other steady sound in the room with him or her might be what is missing in their bedtime routine. Try having these kinds of sounds in the room with your kids and watch the difference they can make. In no time your kids may be getting to sleep right away each night.

Also, check the temperature. Is it too hot or cold? As adults we know the impact it has on our sleep and can adjust the thermostat, throw on an extra blanket, but for a child, they may not be able to communicate that.

It is also important for parents to learn about whether their kids are self soothers or not. The techniques that you choose for your kids will be hugely impacted by this fact. Find out what works for your kids by experimenting. Don’t worry if you do not get everything right the first time, in fact, you might as well get used to it because no one is the perfect parent right off the bat.

Child Proofing Your Home: In An Adult Friendly Way

A number of great tools and products are on the market to help make your home as safe as can be for your new baby. By the time baby is six months old, he will likely to exploring the home is his own way. This gives you just a small amount of time to get anything and everything out of the way so that he can’t hurt himself (or hurt your things) in the process. Today’s baby proofing products are more adult friendly to use, but there are often better choices available than those you may remember using in the past.

Get Down On Your Knees

The best way to find potential problems within your home is to see your home as your child does. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. Make a list of all the potential problems you expose your child. At this level, you will see electrical outlets, cords for televisions or lamps, small fringe or other small items on tables that can be picked up, thrown or put in their mouths. Look for corners on tables or other surfaces that are sharp. Look for stairs or places within the home they can get to as they crawl and later stroll around. This may include cabinets, closets and doors.

With a list in hand like this, you can start finding the solutions to your problems. Luckily there are many great products on the market that can help you to child proof your home without a lot of worry about expense or the difficulty in using your home as you would like to.

Child Proofing With Adults In Mind

Your baby’s safety is the most important consideration but you do not have to compromise the ease of living you currently have. The following are some of the most important tools available to you to both protect your child while still have easy access to your home and things.

Safety Latches: Perhaps you have drawers and cabinets that baby can get into. It is important to keep these locked so that your child can’t get into them and access poisonous chemicals and medications. Latches are available that can be attached to these cabinets (with minimal if any damage to the cabinet itself) You will want to buy latches that are durable can handle the pulls that your child is likely to do to them. Still, many of these products are very easy to install and easy to use.

Corner Protection: As you crawled around you may have bumped into the corners of tables and chairs along the way. Either remove those with a point from the area or they should have a corner bumper installed on them. These will soften the edge and allow the child to bump into them with little or no effect. Most are widely available for just a few dollars. Choose bumpers that stay snuggly in place.

Outlet Covers: One of the most effective ways to prevent baby from being hurt is with outlet covers. A package of 20 or more can cost just a few dollars. These plastic covers are in the sockets throughout your home, keeping fingers out of the outlet. Parents can easily remove them and replace them when the outlet is in use.

Safety Gates: Older models of safety gates were hard to put in place and often were cumbersome to deal with. Newer models make getting through them must faster and safer. Protecting baby from stairs and areas of the home that are too dangerous is one of the best ways to child proof your home. These gates are available in a range of sizes and styles to accommodate virtually any home’s design.

There are many other things to add to your home to child proof it. You may wish to add locks to doors to rooms where you do not want your toddler to venture. Every home should have carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms installed in them. Be sure to secure all items on tables safely or otherwise remove cords that could cause an item to fall on the child.

There’s a lot to do but by making a few simple changes to your home you will successfully protect your child from all the problems that usually affect children. Since thousands of children end up in the hospital each year due to injuries or poisonings at their home, don’t overlook the safety in child proofing.

Tactics for Tackling a Toddler’s Temper Tantrum

Even the best behaved toddler has an occasional temper tantrum. A tantrum can range from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath holding. They’re equally common in boys and girls and usually occur from age 1 to age 3. Some children may experience regular tantrums, whereas for other children, tantrums may be rare. Some kids are more prone to throwing a temper tantrum than others.

Toddlers are trying to master the world and when they aren’t able to accomplish a task, they often use one of the only tools at their disposal for venting frustration – a tantrum. There are several basic causes of tantrums that are familiar to parents everywhere: The child is seeking attention or is tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. In addition, tantrums are often the result of children’s frustration with the world. Frustration is an unavoidable part of kids’ lives as they learn how people, objects, and their own bodies work.

Tantrums are common during the second year of life, a time when children are acquiring language. Toddlers generally understand more than they can express. As language skills improve, tantrums tend to decrease.

Keep off-limits objects out of sight and out of reach, which will make struggles less likely to develop over them. Distract your child. Take advantage of your little one’s short attention span by offering a replacement for the coveted object or beginning a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one. And choose your battles: consider the request carefully when your child wants something. Is it outrageous? Maybe it isn’t. Accommodate when possible to avoid an outburst.

Make sure your child isn’t acting up simply because he or she isn’t getting enough attention. To a child, negative attention (a parent’s response to a tantrum) is better than no attention at all. Try to establish a habit of catching your child being good (“time in”), which means rewarding your little one with attention and praise for positive behavior. This will teach them that acting appropriately makes mommy and daddy happy and proud, and they’ll be anxious to do it again and again.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Training the Fussy Eater

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuses to try a new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods. It may be necessary to offer a food to your child as many as 10 different times before they choose to eat it. The problem is, many parents get frustrated and give up before the fourth or fifth try.

Try to make foods fun. Colorful foods like carrot sticks, raisins, apples, grapes, cheese sticks and crackers can all be fun and healthy choices for your growing toddler. Explain to them that eating good food is important so they’ll grow big and strong, and how it will help them run faster and play longer.

Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you restrict yourself to a narrow range of foods, your child will take notice and mimic your caution. Don’t limit your child’s food variety to only those foods you prefer. It may be that your child’s tastes are different to yours, and perhaps you are simply serving them foods they don’t happen to like. Try to set a good example and try a variety of foods in front of your child. It could motivate them to do the same.

If your child seems healthy and energetic, then they are eating enough. If you are still concerned, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat over the day. Children tend to graze constantly, rather than restrict their eating to three meals per day like adults. You may be surprised how those little handfuls and snacks add up. For further reassurance, check your child’s growth and weight charts, or check with your child’s pediatrician.

Try not to worry, and remember, that unless a child is ill, they will eat. Children are very good at judging their hunger and fullness signals. Try to stay relaxed about mealtime and offer your child a wide variety of foods, and most importantly, remember to set a good example by trying a wide variety of foods yourself. You may discover you and your toddler share a new found favorite food!

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Safer Cleaning Methods for Your Home

If you check out the cleaning supplies in any grocery store, you’ll see that the shelves are filled with products designed for every cleaning purpose under the sun. From cleaning the floor to polishing the furniture to doing the laundry, you can find something intended for every job.

But the chemicals in these products carry labels warning of everything from harmful vapors, to skin irritants and more. It’s a fact that cleaners with chemicals in them are dangerous to you and your family’s well being, by releasing their fumes and toxins into your home.

You can smell the scent of these chemicals in the air after you’ve used them in your home. When you clean your baby or toddler’s high chair tray or his toys with a chemical cleaner, those toxins are then where he eats and on the toys he sticks in his mouth.

There is an effective, safer alternative than dangerous chemical laced products. You can use organic, natural products and have a home that smells great, shines with cleanliness and is toxin free.

Look for organic cleaners that are all purpose cleaners so that you can use them in the kitchen and in the bathroom, too. If you have a baby or toddler at home and need to clean the toys or baby’s highchair, there are organic cleaners that are non-toxic, don’t have an odor and will get your child’s playthings clean.

You can get concentrated, organic cleaning products that can clean your home from top to bottom. These cleaners aren’t toxic so they’re safer to use and they are biodegradable. Plus, these organic cleaners aren’t tested on lab animals, either. Cleaners using Birch bark extract and relaxing scents not only clean your home but give it a fresh, natural clean smell, too.

You can make some of the safer cleaning methods for your home on your own, but if you’re like most of us, time isn’t something you have a lot of and you need the convenience of purchasing organic cleaners. For example, it’s easier and less expensive to buy organic toothpaste to clean any tarnished silver than it is to make your own silver cleaner.

The same goes for dish cleaning soap, you can buy an organic, non toxic foaming dish soap that’s concentrated so it lasts and it’s safe to use on any dish as well as baby items. To wipe down kitchen counters, you can use a glass and surface cleaner that’s biodegradable.

There’s no end to the amount of safe and eco-friendly products you can use to get your home clean. You won’t have to sacrifice quality or appeal in the form of scents, either. Organic cleaners are no longer a rarity – they’re mainstream because more people care about protecting their family and environment from pollutants.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Green Parenting: Alternatives To Disposable Everything

Diapers, bottles, and wipes…they are all disposable products you will come in contact with during the first weeks of your baby’s life. As someone who is considering a green lifestyle, don’t overlook the simple ways that you can make a sizable difference in the environment through your baby. Here are some interesting facts to consider.

• Over an infant’s lifetime, you can expect your child to go through 5,000 diaper changes. (Though some sources believe this number is closer to 11,000.)

• 21 billion diapers are disposed of in landfills each year in the United States

This is all a drastic situation for any environmentally friendly individual. There are ways to improve the things you dispose of. The feel of wet diapers leaking through clothing scares off many from avoiding the disposable diaper. Today’s products are nowhere near as primitive as others are, though.

Here are some ways that you can go green with baby without jeopardizing your sanity, time or budget and still giving back to the environment in the process.

Diapers: Green Options

Disposable diapers take someplace along the lines of 200 to 500 years to decompose. In some studies, washing diapers at home has offered a 53 percent decline in the ecological footprint over the disposable option. Further, if you choose to use a laundering service, you can see an even larger cut in this footprint.

Today’s non-disposable diapers come in two main forms: cloth and biodegradable diapers. Cloth diapers are reusable but they are not the same old thing (thin cloth and bulk pins) as they used to be. Today’s cloth diapers are made from eco friendly products including organic cotton and hemp. They also come with snap closures and Velcro. These diapers are highly effective and some use a flush-able (biodegradable) liner. To simplify the process, use a laundering service.

The other option is to use a biodegradable diaper. These are disposable, but unlike other types, they are from plant-based plastics. You will see this labeled as bio-plastics. While these diapers are biodegradable, they only are so in the proper conditions. Composting is the best way to use these diapers through either a earthworm system or any other highly active composting area. They do not break down well in a landfill, so they do take a bit more of your time to manage.

Bottle Options

As a new mother you have likely been told the benefits of breastfeeding and it continue to stand out as the way to go. The fact is, breastfeeding is better for your baby than bottles and it does nothing to the environment. Nevertheless, even as you breastfeed you may be tempted to use any number of products to aid the process. When you need breast pads, for example, look for reusable products over those you would toss away. You can even find organic products to aid in soothing sore nipples such as olive oil creams.

On the other hand, breastfeeding is not an option for everyone. For those who are planning to use a bottle to feed baby, use reusable bottles rather than plastic inserts that are tossed out. You should also consider finding baby formula that is organic and that is has low impact environmental packaging. More companies are looking for ways to change this to promote a greener option.

Other Ways To Cut

Look around your home. As you plan for baby’s arrival realize there are many ways you can go green for your child. Here are some ideas.

• When it comes time to feed them solid foods, be sure they are eating all natural, organic foods. Make your own! Nearly all products you eat can be given to baby in a mush form, after proper cooking (talk to your doctor about specific restrictions)

• Choose clothing for baby that is organic such as organic cottons and wools.

• Recycle clothing.

• Use environmentally friendly washing products and laundry soaps.

• Choose toys that are organically made, such as organic cottons or even better made from recycled products

There are many ways to help your baby live a green lifestyle. As you consider your options realize that you also have the ability to choose a lifestyle that is for yourself green living. By creating that for yourself, you automatically allow your child to share in it.

Want to learn more about going green? Check out this online course from Newborn Care Solutions – Green is the New Black! (NCS affiliate link)

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

 

10 Internet Safety Rules for Kids

For many kids this holiday season a new phone or tech device is high on their wish list. Monitoring your kids’ use of the internet by sitting with them is the most ideal way to keep them away from all the threats possible online. But this isn’t possible all the time. So, to make sure that your kids are safe using the internet when you aren’t around, there are a number internet safety rules that your kids should know.  

1. Follow the specific time to use the computer. Explain to them why there is a need to set internet time. Let them develop obedience as a virtue and a sense of responsibility for their actions.

2. Never share personal information to strangers you meet online. These include: name, home address, phone number, email address, password, school information, bank account information, and credit card numbers. Online predators are everywhere and their main targets are your kids who are innocently giving their personal information that can put their safety on the line.

3. Never engage in online gambling. Gambling is simply, taking risks. And most of the time the risks are high.

4. Use a pseudo name or nickname when using instant messaging or entering chat rooms.

5. Avoid filling out online contests, surveys, and registration forms. They ask too much personal information including email address. Take note that spammers can collect email addresses from the web using programs such as bots, crawlers, and spiders.

6. Never open, download attachments, and reply to emails from unknown senders. The best way for spammers to know if the addresses are correct is by receiving a reply. So teach your kids to remove spam immediately from their inbox. Also, attachments from spam usually contain viruses that can cause damage to your file and computer.

7. Stay in moderated public chart rooms and avoid private chats. This will keep your kids away from harassing other people.

8. Teach them to ask permission first before meeting up with someone you meet online. The rule of the thumb is clear: never trust anyone you meet online. People may not be who they say they are.

9. Check before downloading anything. There are free downloadable programs on the internet with free spyware and viruses as well. Ask your parents first about the program even if the programs come from reputable sites.

10. If they see some images or web contents that are disturbing, instruct your kids to tell you right away.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

5 Must Ask Questions For Anyone Potty Training A Toddler

If you are thinking about starting to potty train your toddler, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you begin potty training. Being well prepared for this challenging transition from diapers to potty is one of the best things you can do to make this as easy as possible on your child.

Before you start potty training, be sure that you have discussed and included your nanny in your plan. Communication is key with all parties involved, so be sure that you are all on the same page when it comes to potty training. If not, it will be frustrating for all when you are not successful.

1. Is My Child Ready?

You want to start potty training at just the right time. You will know that your child is ready when he or she gets more interested in you going to the potty, tells you right away when the diaper is wet or pulls on it and seems uncomfortable with it. Give potty training a try, if your child doesn’t seem ready despite the signs, wait a few weeks and try again.

2. Am I Ready?

Just as important as your child being ready is that you are ready. Prepare yourself mentally for the transition from diaper to potty for your child. You will need a lot of patience and understanding. There are going to be resentment, tears and the occasional accident. Make sure you are prepared for this so you can stay calm and supportive for your child.

3. Do We Need A Potty Chair?

A regular toilet is very intimidating for a child. The seat is rather large and your child will have to hold on to avoid falling in. In addition things vanish in there when you flash which can be a pretty scary thought for your child. Many kids are more comfortable with a potty chair at first. After a few weeks you should be able to move on to a potty seat insert that fits on your regular toilet eliminating the potty cleanup.

4. Should We Use A Potty Doll?

A potty doll is not a necessity when it comes to potty training, but can be a great tool. A potty doll will pee like an actual child and usually comes with diapers, panties and a potty chair. The doll can help tremendously during the pre-potty training phase when you are getting your child used to the idea of going in the potty instead of the diaper. You can illustrate whats supposed to happen on the doll and let your child warm up to the idea by playing with the doll in the same fashion. When you are ready to potty train, put the doll on the potty right next to your child.

5. Should We Use Potty Training Rewards?

Before you start potty training, you should decide if you are going to use some sort of rewards as encouragement for your child, or if you will simply make your child feel great about his successes by being his cheer leader. Simple potty training rewards can include stickers, candy like a few jellybeans or M&Ms, or you can use some sort of tracking chart for bigger rewards (i.e. If you use the potty for an entire week without accident, you get a small toy). Using simple rewards can be a great potty training tool, but it isn’t by any means necessary as long as you get the message across to your child that you are proud of him.

Take a few minutes to answer these potty training questions for yourself and go over them with your spouse and your caregiver, to ensure you are all on the same page before you start potty training your child. It will help you give your child a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish and will cut down on any confusion for everyone.

Can You Trust Your Parenting Instincts?

As a parent, there is seemingly no end to the tips and advice you get from guides, parenting gurus or other parents. With words of wisdom so readily available, many parents look to other sources for help over their own parental instincts. Is raising your child best left to the experts or are your parenting instincts trustworthy?  

Trust Your Feelings

It’s true that no one knows your kids better than you do, as their parent. When it comes to what they like or what makes them more comfortable, you have a clearer understanding of your children than anyone. Of course, this awareness doesn’t happen right away. You didn’t understand all of your baby’s needs from the moment they were born. But, you have been with them all of their lives, learning what they like, dislike and need. If following the advice of others doesn’t feel right for you or your kids, chances are that it isn’t.

Don’t Take Things Too Far

While going with your gut could be the best thing to do in some situations, it can be easy to rely too heavily on your feelings. Even if you know your kids better than anyone else, everybody makes mistakes. If you listen to your instincts alone every time, it won’t be long before you make a decision that is not the best for you or your kids.

It’s important to take some time to consider each situation and what your instincts are telling you that you should do. Sometimes it can be difficult to see what is best for our kids, because our gut wants us to do what makes them happy.

Finding a Medium

In order to avoid investing too much in either the advice of others or our own (sometimes misguided) instincts, it’s important to become accustomed to relying a bit on both. If the advice you hear lines up with what your gut was telling you, it may mean that you were right in the first place.

Other parents don’t know every detail of your own family’s unique situation, but their tips can still bring a fresh perspective. It never hurts to learn a bit about parenting styles or strategies different than your own. But, it’s also up to you to decide which of these will work for your family and which you have a bad feeling about.

While your parenting instincts are by no means fool-proof, it’s important that you take them into consideration when you make decisions that affect you or your family. When it comes down to whether or not a particular parenting strategy will work, there are many important factors that only you could know about.

But, no one is perfect and no parent comes up with the best solution to every one of life’s conundrums. While you can’t always trust your parenting instinct, you should always listen to it and consider what your feelings tell you about a situation. After all, if you can’t trust your own parenting instinct at all, how can you trust the instincts of another parent?

 

Contact us today so we can help you find the best nanny /sitter / caregiver for your family.

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Most Common Home Accidents

Accidents happen every day in people’s lives, whether at home or out in public. While accidents can occur anywhere and to anyone, some of the most common and even the most dangerous ones occur at home. Below is a list of some of the most common accidents that take place in the home.  

  1. Falling Objects – If you have children then you know that once they start moving around on their own, they begin touching everything in the house. They can potentially knock stuff over, leading to broken objects or a bump on the head. To prevent this from happening, make sure electrical cords, table cloths, and any dishes are out of reach.
  1. Trips and Falls – Obviously anyone can fall, but falls usually occur in young children and the elderly. You can help prevent trips and falls by making sure things get picked up off the floor, that cords are not running along the floor, and by making sure carpets are tacked down.

Look for any tripping hazard and deal with it right away. Often times if a young child falls, you can soothe them with kind words and hugs and kisses. However, if you notice that after a person falls they become drowsy, vomits, or loses consciousness, get medical attention right away. There could be something seriously wrong and it’s best to get them checked out by a doctor.

  1. Dangerous Furniture – Be careful with furniture that has sharp corners, like a coffee table. You can get covers to make the corners not so sharp. Also, be careful with glass top tables, especially if you have small children. Take stock of the furniture around your home to see that it’s safe. Anchoring large, heavy furniture to the wall will help prevent you from getting pinned under these objects, especially small children. When hanging a TV on the wall, make sure it’s well secured and wires are tucked away.
  1. Sharp Objects – Beware of these, not just when you have children around. When you wash knives you want to make sure you put them away properly, so that when you reach for something you don’t accidentally cut yourself.
  1. Getting Burnt – Hot drinks and foods are the most common thing to cause burns and scalds to children under the age of five. Of course children should be kept away from the oven, open flames, and irons (anything hot). Also, make sure the temperature on your water heater is not set too high, to help prevent scalding burns in the bathtub. You should not have it set any hotter than 120 degrees F (49 degrees C).

The most common ways that adults get burnt is when cooking and straightening hair. All burn wounds should be held under cold running water for a couple minutes. The best way to cover a burn to prevent infection is by covering with plastic and taping down.

  1. Poisoning – Most poisoning incidents involve medications and household products. It’s important that these things are kept out of reach of children and anyone you feel may want to use it to intentionally cause harm to him- or herself.

When it comes to the health and happiness of our home and loved ones, we want to take all precautions possible to prevent injuries. If an accident does occur, though, it’s vital to know what to do.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

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