Keeping Your Toddler Safe At Night

Toddler bed with removable safety rail, and toddler climbing carefully around it.While the risk of SIDS is greatly reduced by the time an infant reaches the age of one, parents of toddlers should still be concerned about and take action to ensure their child’s safety. The three greatest steps a parent can take are to make the crib/bed safe, childproof the room for mobile toddlers, and monitor their toddler.

Make Their Crib/Bed Safe

You can breathe a sigh of relief when your child turns one that your fears of SIDS haven’t come true, but don’t get careless with your toddler’s nighttime safety. Suffocation is still a risk that you should take steps to minimize. Don’t let your toddler sleep with too many toys, especially plush toys or stuffed animals. Don’t put any toys with ropes or strings near the bed. While your child can now sleep with a blanket, continue to limit blankets, quilting, and other bedding to what is necessary. Try to wait until your child is at least 18 months old to introduce a pillow, and only do so when the pillow will help them be more comfortable and sleep better, which may not be until they are three years or more. All of these actions can protect from suffocation and give you peace of mind when your little one is sleeping.

One of the biggest questions parents of toddlers face is when to transfer their child to a “big boy” or “big girl” bed. For safety, wait as long as you can for this transition. Many parents make the switch when their son or daughter starts climbing out of his/her crib. While it’s easier to control what a toddler gets into from a crib, your child could get hurt by falling when climbing out of his/her crib, so the actions of escape artistry are good signs to make the switch. With a toddler bed, you will still need to be concerned about safety. Keep up your precautions against suffocation. Put toddler rails on the sides of the bed so your child doesn’t fall out. And be sure to childproof the room so your toddler can be safe at any hour.

Childproof Their Room

You may worry about your toddler getting into trouble while they’re alone in their room, and these fears can be well-founded. When your child can get out if his/her crib at will, things that posed no threat because they were far from the crib are suddenly hazards you need to deal with.

One of your top priorities needs to be the safety of the furniture in your child’s room. Every year many toddlers are injured from pulling furniture over on top of themselves, and too many of these preventable accidents are fatal. Check whether each piece of furniture can bear the full weight of your toddler if he/ she were to climb on it. Play it safe by anchoring furniture to the wall with specially-designed straps. And clear anything that would fall if pulled or shaken. Also consider covering the sides of sharp edges and corners on furniture that could cause serious damage if your child fell onto them.

Use a hand sander to smooth the corner edges of walls. Check for other sharp corners that need to be smoothed as it can prevent a serious bruise on their head if they directly hit the wall corner. If your hand sander is not working, you can find the right parts to repair it here.

Turn a keen eye to anything else in the room that could be a hazard. This includes electrical outlets. At minimum protect your child against electrical shock by using outlet plugs. These may not be enough, though, if your child can mimic you and knows how to take them out. Consider investing in special outlet covers for top safety. Also, you may want to cover up any exposed cords if your child is likely to pull them out. And finally, think of whether any toys are too dangerous to allow easy access to (again, ones with strings may be big concerns), and put these where your child can only play them with under supervision.

You may feel like your childproofing is a little excessive, but you can never be too safe when protecting your kids. It only takes one curious night for your child to get seriously injured, so prevent dangers before you are forced to respond to them.

Monitor Your Child

This one may go without saying, but many parents may need the reminder. You may have been okay letting your child play safely in their crib, but a child can get into a lot more trouble with a whole room to explore. You can use a video monitor to keep an eye on your son/daughter, and check on them frequently if you know they’re awake. Be ready to intervene as the need arises.

No parent can stop worrying completely about their toddler being safe at night. But following these tips will help you minimize threats and hazards and give you peace of mind that your child is safe in his or her room at any time of day or night.

Eliminate Bedtime Frustration with These Tips to Help Your Child Get to Sleep Faster

no cry sleep soluton by elizabeth pantley happy babies sleeping

(This is a guestpost from the author of homegymreview.net)

Gentle ways to stop bedtime battles and improve your child's sleep The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Gentle Ways to Stop Bedtime Battles and Improve Your Child's Sleep by Elizabeth Pantley, with a forward by Harvey Karp (Foreword) I know I am not the only one who has been played, almost on a nightly basis by my young children at bedtime. You just get them down, tucked nice and cozy in their bed and begin to meander back down the hall with an excitement similar to that of a child’s on Christmas Eve of what you are going to do with the next couple of hours that you have to yourself, and then……it starts:

“I forgot to get a drink, I need to go to the bathroom, I forgot to brush my teeth, I’m scared, I need to say my prayers, I had a bad dream…”  (even though they haven’t even been to sleep yet) and the list goes on and on. The excuses are pretty much the same ones that you used as a kid. So, there has to be an answer to this nighttime nonsense, right? Here are a few strategies that havebeen helpful to me:

  1. Consistent Bedtimes: Kids need to know what to expect. If their bedtime is constantly changing, it will be hard for them to take you seriously when you say it is bedtime. Sometimes events come up that may alter bedtime a little bit, but for the most part, once a time is established, it should be adhered to. Our kids are still in grade school, so we prefer to put them all to bed at the same established time of 8:30 pm., however, staggering bedtimes based on age is another option as well. Providing a little leeway on the weekends, I have found, gives them something to look forward to and even helps them accept the earlier weekday time.
  2. Routines Rule: Establishing a nighttime routine that the child can go through each night will ensure that everything on the checklist gets checked long before the covers are pulled up. It takes some dedication and a small time commitment, but it will go a long way to eliminate the repeated tuck in game. The things that I like to include in my kids bedtime routine are reading a book , getting a final drink, going to the bathroom, brushing teeth, saying prayers, and of course saying goodnight and easing any concerns about open closets or other things that are “scaring” them.
  3. Offer Incentives for Staying in Bed: One that my kids enjoy is being allowed to read in their bed for a few minutes before lights out, or listening to soft, quiet music to help them fall asleep. We also will give them rewards such as special nights of storytelling, or being able to have a slumber party in the living room, or a movie night, if they go to bed well during the week.

If you’re like me, seeing your kids sleeping peacefully is a beautiful sight. Never do they seem more sweet and innocent and wonderful, it’s just getting them there that can be challenging.

Once you find that perfect routine or incentive that will make it happen smooth and seamlessly, you will be able to slip in that extra activity that always seems to take a back seat, like exercise. You could then stop by my blog http://www.homegymreview.net/ for some great information on top rated home gym pieces.

5 Great Toys For Infants

Baby sitting up playing with the laugh and learn kitchen, opening the oven

Baby laughing in car seat with the Sunny Stroll arch over the seat,with Transparent sun prism, propeller and other toys visibleThe first 12 months of your baby’s life is a great period of growth. During this time, you want to choose toys that help babies develop their five senses. Toys that stimulate sight, sound, touch, and hearing are great. Choose toys that are colorful or make fun noises. Choosing the right toys for babies can be difficult. Here are some wonderful toys in 2012 that are best suited for babies.

Sunny Stroll

Here’s a colorful activity arc that clamps to just about anything. You can attach it to a car seat, stroller, or even high chair, since you can easily resize the arc. The twist clamps are secure and we like how you can easily position it forward and backward.

The Sunny Stroll helps children explore their different senses. The colorful animals and toys keep babies entertained. Kids are going to love spinning the propeller and gazing through the transparent sun prism.

Designed for babies five months and up.

My Discovery House

Ding Dong. Come inside and play with this fun play house.

Leapfrog My Discovery HouseOlder babies and toddlers are going to love exploring this little house from LeapFrog. The house is set up like a real house and there are five areas to explorer including a kitchen and bathroom.

Kids can push the doorbell and turn off the lights. It introduces them to basic cause and effect. They will love opening, closing, pressing, and turning the various elements. There are plenty of songs, stories, and sounds to keep babies entertained.

My Discovery House is the perfect busy toy designed for babies six months and up.

Infant sitting up playing with the poppity pop musical dino, which is about half his sitting height.Poppity – Pop Musical Dino

This fun colorful dinosaur toy come from Fisher Price.

When you turn it on, it starts playing music but the fun begins when you place the six colorful inside the dinosaur’s stomach. It’s a fun popping toy. Some of the balls will roll out of the dinosaur’s mouth, but some of them will randomly fly in any direction. Kids will have to chase after them.

Kids will be attracted to the bright colorful balls and music. It’s a great way for getting infants up and active as they develop their fine motor skills and senses. The Poppity-Pop is designed for infants 6 months and up.

Laugh & Learn Learning Kitchen

Baby sitting up playing with the laugh and learn kitchen, opening the ovenLittle kids are going to love pretending with this fun play kitchen from Fisher-Price. With four different modes of play and 20 different songs, there are so many different activities that kids can do with this interactive toy.

On one side of the toy is a refrigerator. Turn the toy around and you’ve got a complete kitchen. Open up the refrigerator door and you got an even bigger play set. Kids are going to love flipping switches and stirring what’s cooking; sorting shapes and ‘posting’ food into the fridge . Don’t forget to check the oven!

It’s a great toy for introducing infants to numbers, letter, colors, and shapes. It’s even got a Spanish mode. Babies 6 months to 36 months can laugh and learn with this fun learning kitchen. Click on the image to visit Amazon and see a video of the toy in action!

Winfun Grow With Me Musical Walker

Musical walker toy that a baby can walk behind, with detachable phone and other activities to play on the frontGet your baby off the floor with the fun Musical Walker from Winfun. It’s great for helping your little one with their sense of balance. Kids are going to love playing with all the different colorful gadgets and toys on it. They can touch different areas to hear different sounds and music. It’s even got a phone and piano on it. We love how they are detachable.

Make learning to walk fun and exciting with this colorful walker designed for babies 6 – 36 months.

Mommy blogger, Melissa Rodriguez creates articles about infants, toddlers, and kids. Every year she creates a listing of the most popular playthings for kids. Click here to view her full list of all the best toys for 2012.

Personalised Embroidered Baby Blankets make a Special Gift

close up of an embroidered blanket corner. Click to order.

Two examples of personalised embroidered baby blankets. Click to order.Embroidery can be simple or elaborate, but no matter how much embroidery there is on a piece of clothing or linens, what makes it really special is having it customized.

Sometimes the customization is as simple as having initials monogrammed into the corner of a baby blanket, and other times it can be very elaborate, like having someone embroider the edges of the blanket with a design you came up with (or doing it yourself!).

Custom embroidery is going to cost more, though, than having a basic pattern mass-embroidered onto the blanket, so choose your custom embroidery pattern carefully. You don’t want to spend money on something that you will not even look at a few months from now.

Companies that offer embroidered baby blankets will have different procedures for getting the pattern to them, so be sure that you do not assume you know what to do, but rather double-check each step to ensure you are not confusing the procedures from two different companies. If your pattern is hand-drawn, you will have a different procedure to follow than if you have one that is computer-generated. Embroidered baby blankets can also take time to do, so be sure to allow enough time if the blanket is a gift.

If you have created a custom embroidery pattern for several blankets, it can take time to get all of the blankets embroidered even if the company is using an embroidery machine. If you have a last-minute job, apologize and ask them about rush jobs. Those could cost even more, understandably, because they would have to move other jobs back in their schedule in order to fit yours in.

However, sometimes circumstances conspire to make something occur at the last minute, so do not be completely nervous that you will not be able to find someone who can take the job. If your first choice of company can’t do it, look for another company that can.

close up of an embroidered blanket corner. Click to order.A really nice gift can use an embroidery design that is linked to the family somehow. Maybe it is based on designs particular to the family’s culture, or maybe it has to do with their favorite hobbies; whatever you choose, if it is personalised this way, it will show that you really took the time to think about it, rather than grabbing a baby blanket off a store shelf.

This will also make your gift stand out among the many store-bought onesies and toy animals given by other people.

The blanket is also something that will remain usable for a few years because even when the child is a toddler, he or she will likely still be able to use the blanket, at least as part of a bedding set. Some children stay attached to their blankets for much longer, or it can be something that is kept by the parents for their child to pass on to the next generation. Those newborn onesies will not fit, but a blanket is always welcome on a cold night.

Note: One thing you should ask the embroidery company is if the dye in the thread will run when the blanket is washed. The last thing harried parents need is for all of their light-colored baby goods to turn pink or gray after being doused with dye. Having something embroidered with red thread is not a guarantee that dye will run out of the thread, but it is a risk. If the embroidery company says that the dye might run, ask about modifying the pattern’s colors or using a different type of embroidery thread.

How Not to Sabotage Your Sleep Training Efforts

child sleeping peacefully in a single/twin bed with bright blue bedrails on both sides
shows white panel bedroom suite with stripped red bed covers and a teddy bear, plus matching trundle bed
A bed that your child will be comfortable moving to, but that will last many years and be comfortable for you to sit or lie on too, is a great choice, when it's time for your child to move to a room of her own.

When it comes to sleeping arrangement for an infant or a toddler, there are generally two camps: those who prefer to have their baby sleep in the crib or a cradle and those who opt to have a superkingsize mattress for a family bed. Both sides have good reasons for deciding one way or another– convenience, safety, closer bonding, etc. And yet, there comes a time when every parent gets to ask: when does a baby sleep in a youth bed?

Parenting authorities and publications may have various opinions on this, but the bottomline is that each family is different. For instance, some may decide to move the baby to his or her own bed right after weaning from breastfeeding. Others may wait until the child has become agile enough to be able to get in and out of bed on his own. Still others may decide to just preserve the status quo until the child simply grows too big to sleep with the parents, or when another sibling is in the way.

Note that there are certain cultures in which co-sleeping is the norm rather than the exception.

There are various means to success when training your child to sleep on his or her own bed. Much like other milestones such as toilet training, walking or talking, children reach the right level of readiness at different times. Be prepared to be very patient and understanding during the process; some firmness is of course essential, but never be punitive or belittling.

We compiled some tips from veteran parents who have (give or take a learning experience or two) successfully navigated the pitfalls of sleep training:

child sleeping peacefully in a single/twin bed with bright blue bedrails on both sides
Bed rails can help keep your child safe when he first moves to his own bed (and also provide something for you to lean against if you're lying in their with him sometimes!)
  • Prepare your child for the eventuality of sleeping alone on his or her own bed way ahead of time. If time allows, do this months in advance, so that your child understands that it is a necessary and inevitable process rather than something you just arbitrarily decided. You can even make it an exciting event by picking out a new bed and then saving up for it together – carefully timing it so that you just happen to have enough when you think he or she is ready to start sleeping solo.
  • If you are not getting a new bed, you can do the same process with the bed linens, the pillows, or a cool night light, really just about anything that makes it more of an accomplishment. That way, your child will see the event as a challenge rather than something to be dreaded.
  • Once your child has started to sleep in his or her own bed, discourage regression. For instance, if your child is sick and needs extra cuddling and attention during the night, sleep in your child’s bed rather than letting him or her back in your marital bed. Doing the latter will just make it harder and more confusing. This is one good reason to opt for a full-size double mattress and bed frame if your child’s bedroom can accommodate it, rather than an easily-outgrown cot.

 

Tips For Helping Your Toddler Sleep

The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Gentle Ways to Stop Bedtime Battles and Improve Your Child's Sleep, Elizabeth Pantley Author of The No Cry Sleep Solution,

The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Gentle Ways to Stop Bedtime Battles and Improve Your Child's Sleep, Elizabeth Pantley Author of The No Cry Sleep Solution,Getting my 2-year-old to sleep was one of the most daunting challenges I ever had to face. It seemed that his energy picked up exactly at the wrong time. With that aside, handling the tantrums that came with waking up in the middle of the night and transitioning back into a peaceful sleep was another issue altogether.

It was time to do some research to find out how to get over this hurdle in his development. With a bit of consultation and advice from my own mother, tips from other experienced mothers and some Internet research, here are a few tips I found that can help your toddler sleep better.

Create a regular sleep cycle/routine

With toddlers, it’s all in the regularity of what happens at sleep time. If you child grows to expect nap time as part of his regular daily activities then rather than fight it afresh each time it comes up, he goes to sleep more willingly which means less stress and better sleep for longer periods. Try creating a pattern such as a slow down period of reading books and perhaps singing quiet songs before naps, and a longer routine before bedtime such as dinner, then a nice bath, followed by brushing of teeth then maybe you can allow your toddler to pick out a nice storybook and his pajamas, as it can make him more willing to participate if he feels involved.

Allow comfort objects in bed

Does your toddler have a favorite blankie or teddy? Let him bring it to bed. If there is any way to make bedtime more pleasant and easier, then make the most of it. At this stage of life, it is a well known fact that comfort is one of the most important needs that one can satisfy in their toddler.

In some instances, co-sleeping is the ultimate form of comfort a parent can provide for their toddler. If a child wakes up in the middle of the night due to nightmares or just for a normal break, it helps to know that someone they trust is nearby and helps them transition back into sleep much faster and more peacefully.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When it comes to comfort objects, pick items that won’t pose a health risk. Teddy bears and other toys may pose a choking hazard if they’re too small or may cause bruises if they have rough/sharp parts. In other instances, blankets and teddy bears may cause respiratory problems if they shed. Allergies to fabric or materials used to make the comfort objects also need to be taken into account. And these objects should be left out of bed when your child is still a baby.

Regulate what your baby has at dinner or for snacks before bed

Sugar only serves to raise the energy levels that are supposed to be bundled up at bedtime. The level of sensitivity to sugar and caffeine for toddlers is such that even healthy yet sugary foods should be avoided before bedtime. This includes fruits and vegetables and sweet nuts. Natural juices should also be checked for sugar levels to avoid giving baby a fresh jumpstart right when he should be settling down. Try warm milk with dinner instead of juice.

These are just some of the simple I learned for how to get your baby to sleep through the night.

Our guest writer for this post, Mary, is a mother of two and a regular blogger at Miracle Maternity