Parenting

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.

Laughter Is the Best Medicine When Parenting

Of all the different strategies and techniques for handling situations that come up as a parent, laughter is among the best. Not only does humor and laughter help to alleviate tension and stress, it has also been shown to benefit us physically. Here are a few benefits of parenting with a positive spin, as well as ways to incorporate laughter  into your parenting routine.

Physical Benefits

Laughter helps to relieve physical stress and tension, which leaves your body feeling more relaxed after. A good laugh also gets your heart pumping and gives your heart and lungs a workout. Laughing for fifteen minutes burns almost the same amount of calories as a fifteen minute walk. This means that laughing can really help when it comes to keeping fit and keeping up with the kids.

When we laugh, our bodies release endorphins, which make us feel good and give us a sense of well-being. Laughing also reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body, which eases tension and anxiety. Reducing your stress hormone levels may also boost the performance of your immune system. This means that laughter may also help keep you and your kids healthy.

Other Benefits

When people laugh together, it strengthens their relationship. If you share laughter and humor with your kids, it helps you to bond more as a family. Laughing together encourages people to work together as a team and helps to settle conflict. Your kids will feel more connected to you if you share laughter and will be all the more motivated to do what you want them to.

Humor also helps to relieve distress during times when you are feeling overwhelmed. By making laughter a part of every day, both you and your family can maintain a more positive outlook and healthy attitude, all the way around.

Bring Laughter into Your Life

It’s easy to make laughter a part of your parenting routine, because kids love to laugh and have a good time. If your kids have a hard time getting excited about cleaning up after themselves, come up with an encouraging activity or game to play while you clean. This way, they will actually want to participate and help out, rather than doing it to avoid getting into trouble.

When something bad happens and it’s time to get tough, try to focus on the positive aspects of the situation rather than the negative. Your kids may be more inclined to stay in bed at night if you talk to them about some of the fun things that might happen in the morning, rather than how much trouble they’ll be in if they don’t fall asleep.

Not only does laughter help to keep you and your family healthy and stress free, it also encourages your kids to behave better and enjoy life more. The times your family spend laughing together are the times your kids will fondly remember as they get older and form families of their own. If you encourage them to stay positive, they’ll pass that outlook down to their own kids in the future.

 

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

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

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