If you are one of the 93 million US residents that plan to travel over the upcoming holidays, then this list is for you. Whether you are traveling by car, plane, or train, and going to visit family, friends, or just taking a holiday vacation, these tips will help make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable.1. Pack a backpack for each child filled with some of their favorite things from home, as well as snacks & small activities to keep them busy. Some ideas of things to pack are:
Portable DVD player loaded with a favorite movie, sticker book, dry erase board with dry-erase markers (can be used for drawing, as well as fun games to play with others such as tic-tac-toe or hangman!), journal or notebook so that kids can write or draw about the trip and tape special memorabilia in it such as tickets or brochures, new coloring book with crayons, an iPod, tin foil (shapeable like Play-Doh, but without the mess!), books, and more. Get creative!2. For activities to do as a family, playing any variation of “Alphabet Game” is always a favorite. Start with A and see who can be the first to find something with that letter in it (license plate, billboard, etc.) Continue with each letter of the alphabet. Play I-Spy, have a family sing-a-long, or choose an audio book for everyone to listen to.
3. You’ll want to have some form of ID on your child and all of their luggage or bags. Sadly nowadays we need to be extremely cautious of our children’s whereabouts, especially in new or unknown places while traveling. Pick up a Velcro ID bracelet for each of your kids (they come in multiple colors!) and teach them to keep it on for the duration of the trip. That way if you do get separated, they will have the information necessary to quickly reunite you.
4. Make sure you are prepared when you reach your destination. Kids often feel homesick or scared when in a new place. Pack their favorite stuffed animal, blanket, bedtime book, or other comforting item from home to put their mind at ease. You could even pack a lavender room spray and give everyone’s pillows a spritz at bedtime.
5. Another thing to consider when traveling is sleeping arrangements. If there is a bed available for your kids to sleep in, it may not be child-safe. Consider adding aninflatable bed rail so that no one ends up rolling off the bed. This bed rail is totally portable and slips under the sheet of any size bed. No bed? Maybe you want to think about bringing an inflatable bed for your kiddo to sleep on. With built-in bed rails, this bed by The Shrunks comes in two different sizes, and inflates in just 30 seconds. When you’re done with it, simply deflate and store conveniently in your suitcase.
Photo Source: http://www.fodors.com/
What are your favorite travel tips?
With all the recalls going on right now, it is hard to know how to have a safe crib for our children. The current recalls and news this time has been about cribs with drop side cribs. It has been suggested that all of this kind of crib be replaced. Many other styles of cribs have been recalled as well.
IMPORTANT: I would suggest calling the manufacturer of your crib with your model number in hand to find out IF it has been recalled and what they suggest.
I heard recently that all daycare centers and government agencies will be required to replace all drop side cribs over the next year to keep children in their care safe. Neary 30 children have died from drop side cribs. usually from broken hardware that allowed the drop side to become loose and allow the child to slip down.
I had an older drop side crib in my nursery for my grandchildren. I did call and while it had not been recalled it was over 10 years old and they recommended that it be replaced so I broke it down. My husband took the wood to the recycle place but I put the hardware in our garbage can so it could not be easily rebuilt by others.
Now that you know your crib is safe and not recalled, prepare your child’s crib for their safe sleeping. The only thing the crib needs is a clean firm tight fighting mattress covered with a tight fighting sheet. The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) now tells us that cribs should not have any bumper pads, quilts, pillows, blankets or toys. All of those things pose a risk to babies. The crib should be free of anything that the baby could press their face against or block airflow.
Yes I know the stores still sell those beautiful expensive fluffy frilly bumper pad sets. I fully expect them to recalled in the next year. There have been more than 30 deaths from them. They simply are not safe. Is it worth the risk to your baby for the cuteness factor? So skip the bumper pads. If you want something to keep your babies arms and binky in the crib consider the Breathable Bumper or Wonder Bumpers, both of which allow for airflow and breathing.
Next place a fan in the room. A fan running on low, year round, has been found to reduce a babies SIDS risk. They believe it has to do with helping them not to rebreathe their own airflow.
Next your baby in the crib on his back with a binky for a safe sleeping environment. For clothing let them wear warm PJ’s and then either a swaddle blanket that velcros shut so the ferric can not be pushed over their face. Use a swaddle until theta can roll over in the swaddle (usually 6 months). Then use a sleep sack over their PJ’s or a guardian sleeper. Using a SNUZA motion monitor will also give you peace of mind that all is well. These few steps will help you to feel your child is sleeping in a safe environment.continue reading
As a mom of 4 I co-slept with my last child who really thought sleeping was a waste of time. I also had her bed in my room (as a side car next to my bed) so I had a safe place to put her when I was not in bed with her. Since I am a child safety expert I have read a lot of safe baby sleeping. I would not want to do anything that would put my precious child at risk.
Elizabeth Pantley has a well written article on safe co-sleeping http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth/books/0071381392.php?nid=169
One of my favorite books on creating a safe co-sleeping environment for your child is “Sleeping With Your Baby” http://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Your-Baby-Parents-Cosleeping/dp/1930775342
Many of the safe sleep (and SIDS reduction) rules apply to co-sleeping as well
1. Baby must sleep on their back only.
2. No quilts/bedding/pillows/bumper pads
3. Fan in room.
4. Binky when sleeping.
6. No smoking in the house.
In addition co-sleeping required me to make a few changes to our room/bed.
1. Dress a bit more warmly so blankets are not needed.
2. Make sure that the bedding/quilts/pillows are no where near the baby.
3. Check to see there is no gap between the mattress and the wall or headboard. Better yet put the mattress on the floor away from all furniture.
4. Never leave baby unsupervised in an adult bed.
5. Do not allow other children or pets to sleep in the bed with baby.
6. When finished nursing make sure the baby is on their back and their face is away from your body. You need to be able to see their mouth and nose at all times.
7. Put the binky in their mouth when done nursing.
8. Place baby between mother and the edge. Use a mesh guard so baby can not fall.
9. Do not sleep with your baby if you have taken alcohol, medication, or are unable to wake easily.
10. Never co-sleep on a couch, waterbed, or bean bag chair.
Co-rooming with your child has proven to be a safer alternative. It actually shows SIDS reduction risk when your child is in the same room. And it has less risks that being in the same bed. So for a couple of my children it was a great way. I could bring them to bed to nurse and then place them in their bed next to my bed when finished. I found we actually slept better with this alternative. I could sleep more deeply, without having to pay attention to the child’s position and the bedding through out the night.
One of my biggest concerns is I hear from parents who break all the safe sleeping rules by co-sleeping with blankets & pillows, allowing baby to sleep on their tummy, or leaving a baby unsupervised on an adult bed. Those action put your child at risk. Yes your child may have done is safely multiple times. However there is always first time.
Last year a local mom placed her sleeping 9 month old on grandmas bed for a nap while visiting. A few minutes later they checked on him and he had rolled into the space between the wall and the mattress and suffocated. My heart simply breaks for this mother.
Please do not put your precious kid at risk. Child proofing your child’s sleeping area. And when traveling take a safe sleep solution such as a play yard for when you are not with your baby. Sleep safely with your child.continue reading
SLEEP SAFE TIPS:
1. BACK ONLY – Put the baby down on his/her back every time. When your baby rolls over by themselves it is fine. However still start them on their back for the first year.
2. BINKY – Put your baby to sleep with a binky/pacifier. This has been shown to reduce the SIDS rate. Start with one style of binky and use after every feed in the beginning weeks. Some learn it quickly; others take a bit of time. http://www.mypreciouskid.com/personalized-pacifier-binky.html
3. SWADDLE – Use a swaddle blanket that has closures (Velcro) so hands pushed up cannot put blanket over their face. At age 5-6 months or when they roll over in the swaddle, start swaddling 1 arm out. A few weeks later swaddle their body but leave both arms out. http://www.mypreciouskid.com/swaddle-blanket-sleep-sack.html
4. SLEEP SACK – When finished with swaddling, use a sleep sack, not blankets. Layer as needed for warmth with sleep sack the last item. If using with SWADDLE then dress in PJ’s, then sleep sack, then swaddle.
5. NO BLANKETS – No blankets or quilts in the bed until 12 months old. After child’s 1st birthday you may use one crib quilt with the bottom tucked under the edge of mattress so it cannot be pulled over the face.
6. NO STUFFED ANIMALS – At age 6 months you may add 1 small Taggie, “lovie” or small stuffed animal.
7. FAN – Use a fan in their room when sleeping (box fan toward the wall or a ceiling fan). This has found to reduce SIDS.
8. BUMPER PADS – Do not use regular fabric bumper pads. These are a suffocation hazard and not needed. If you want something to keep arms and binky’s in the crib get the Breathable Bumpers or Wonder Bumpers that allow airflow.
9. SWITCH POSITION – Each night switch which end their head is at. It helps develop their neck muscles as they look out the crib rails from both sides.
10. MOTION MONITOR – Motion Monitors provide great peace of mind. Monitors do NOT make it ok to put the baby on their stomach. Use motion monitors only with your baby is on its back. It will not prevent SIDS, but alerts to issues. The SNUZA monitor has vibration that may startle a baby to breathe. http://www.mypreciouskid.com/snuza-baby-movement-sids-monitor.html
11. CRIB ONLY – Use a safe approved crib or playpen, with tight fitting mattress. Do not put your child on a regular bed unsupervised. When traveling take a pack n play with you. AAP recommends no bumper pads in the crib, as it may be a suffocation hazard. http://www.mypreciouskid.com/breathable-bumpers.html
12. TODDLER BED – Do not move your child to a toddler bed or twin bed until at least 18-24 months old. Then use a gate at their door so you know they stay in the room at night. Also use furniture brackets to attach the furniture in their room to the wall so they are safe. And use a bed rail in the early days of sleeping in a big bed.
NOTE: If co-sleeping with your baby, be certain the baby is not near or under any blankets or pillows. Pull the mattress away from the wall, headboard and night stand for safety. And do not leave the baby sleeping in the bed when you get up. Never leave a baby unsupervized on your bed.continue reading
ABOUT ME: I am a mom of 4 (ages 10-27). I am Nana to 3 (plus a 4th coming this fall). And I have taught a moms class for the last 5 years. Our last child was adopted when I was 40. It has put me in a very unique situation of seeing that parent rules and suggestions have changed for the better. This picture is me with my twin grandsons.
EXAMPLE: my oldest children all slept on their stomach, with bumper pads and quilts in the crib. My last slept only on her back. And now we know that by placing our baby on her back in a crib with no bumpers and no blankets the SIDS risk is greatly reduced.
One of the questions I get from some new moms is “Can my mom come to your class? She wants to do things the old way which I know is not safe”. Grandparents learned one way of parenting. And these new moms have learned other ways. I think it has been a bit easier for me to support my daughters parenting choices since I saw the changes between parenting children in 3 different decades. And sometimes grandparents may feel that their children are saying that they were no good parents. We have to remember that each generation does the best they can with the information they currently have.
Most Common Disagreements:
1. The grandparent puts the baby to sleep on her belly even though the mom has asked her not to do so.
2. The grandparent thinks putting the child in a car seat is unneeded.
3. The grandparent tries to feed the baby food that has not been introduced yet.
4. The grandparent insists a breast feeding mom must give the baby a bottle too.
1. Please respect your children’s parenting style. Let them be the parents.
2. Allow them to set the rules for their children.
3. Ask before assuming how they want things done.
4. Do not be offended by their new ways. We did the best with what we knew back then.
5. Educate yourself on the changes in child care and safety.
1. Help educate your parents on why we do things a new way.
2. Show them articles and statistics on why rules were changed.
3. Let them know the new laws about car seats.
4. Understand their feelings.
Which things have changed the most in the last 30 years?continue reading
1. Car seats are the LAW now. This is not negotiable.
2. Babies only sleep on their back. PERIOD, no exceptions.
3. Babies sleep in a crib or playpen. Never put a sleeping baby on an adult bed or couch unsupervised.
4. No bumper pads or quilts in the crib.
5. Use swaddle blankets, then sleep sacks, instead of blankets.
6. Newborns do not need water. Breast milk or formula is all they need.
7. Babies to do not start cereal until 4-6 months old.
8. There is a food schedule for when certain foods are added, to help reduce allergies.
The newest study confirms that those cute fluffy bumper pads are no long safe. They can increase SIDS risk because of reduced airflow in the crib. And they pose a suffocation threat when babies get their face against the bumpers. http://blogs.consumerreports.org/safety/2007/10/new-study-confi.html
I am thankful my kids survived the bumpers we used. I am so grateful our new moms have current accurate information to protect their babies. Melissa is using the Breathable bumpers for her twin babies. Either use no bumpers, or ones that are safe like the Breathable Bumpers or Wonder Bumpers. http://www.mypreciouskid.com/breathable-bumpers.htmlcontinue reading
We have been busy adding new products to our store at My Precious Kid. I am always looking for products that will keep your children safer. Sleep safety is a huge concern to me. We now are hearing from pediatricians to have no quilts or bumper pads in the crib. They pose a SIDS and suffocation risk. So I was so excited to find safe breathable bumper pads for our babies. http://www.mypreciouskid.com/breathable-bumpers.html
BREATHABLE BUMPERS – As a mom I was concerned about my child’s safety. I read about all the SIDS risks with traditional bumpers. So finding these Breathable Bumpers gave me such peace of mind. My daughter uses them on the crib for her twin boys.continue reading
SAFE CO-SLEEPING – Are you looking for a safe way to co-sleep with your baby? The Snuggle Nest protective infant sleeper with incline is the answer. The Snuggle Nest co-sleeping bed features side air vents, incline wedge, foam mattress, soothing sounds & light, sleep positioner. It has a washable cover and folds for easy travel. The Snuggle Nest is for use for co-sleeping with infants 0-4 months. Discontinue use when your baby begins to push up or roll over.
CUSTOMER COMMENT: Our son loves his snuggle nest sleeper. He knows immediately that it’s sleepy time when we lay him down in it. He will reach out to feel for us in the night and self-comfort back to sleep. Best of all, it makes transitions to other locations very easy. I have laid the nest in our co-sleeper, crib and taken it to family’s house: it’s like he has his bed and smells with him wherever we go. It has made changing his location much more simple. I love the Snuggle Nest! K in Ohiocontinue reading
Our amazing Snug&Tug swaddle blankets are back in stock. Have you experienced the miracle of swaddling your baby?
Twice now I have had moms at my class tell me their babies did not like being swaddled. I encouraged them to try for 7 days with our Snug&Tug Swaddle. Both came back and said OH MY GOSH! You were right. My baby is sleeping LONGER at night.
This swaddle is awesome. I love that is velcros closed so my baby can not pull the wrapped blanket portion up over their face if they get their arms loose. And if you child does manage to break out of this swaddle give me a call. We found a double swaddle technique that has worked on every baby we have tried it on.
And the best part??? NEW PRICE They are only $19.99 each. That is $10 less than the competitor. And they are beautiful high quality cotton. We have small and large in stock. The new size Preemie/Newborn will arrive next week.continue reading
As a mom it can be so difficult to sleep worrying over your babies every breath. We all know the risk of SIDS. I found 5 things greatly reduce your child’s SIDS risk
2 Use a binky
3. Put a fan in your child’s room
4. Sleep only on their back
5. No blankets or bumpers in the crib
Even when I do all those things I find myself listening for every breath my baby takes while sleeping. I am sure knowing a mom who lost a baby to SIDS makes me even more nervious. So I went looking for a Baby Movement Monitor to help everyone sleep better.
We tried the ones that have a pad that goes under the crib mattress. However when your child starts moving you can get false alarms. And it is so scary to have that alarm go off in the middle of the night when nothing is wrong.
Now I have found SNUZA – Baby Movement Monitor. This one goes with you baby where ever they are: in their crib, in your arms, in moms bed. And if you have twins you can let them share the same crib and have one SNUZA on each child with no interference. The SNUZA unit attaches easily to your child’s diaper. It truly monitors each breath.
And one feature of the SNUZA Baby Movement Monitor that really sold me is the baby stimulation. If you child does not breathe in 15 seconds the until vibrates which stimulates your child to breath. If that happens 3 times in a row the alarm will sound to let you know to have your baby checked.
So if you want to sleep better tonight order your SNUZA Baby Movement Monitor today!continue reading
I just heard that a high school friend lost is 9 month old grandson to SIDS this past weekend. I have another friend who lost her newborn son to SIDS while they were still in the hospital 3 years ago.
I am not an expert in SIDS but have learned that
1. SIDS can hit between 0-12 months of age
2. SIDS can not be prevented
However we have learned that you can do a few things that will greatly reduce your children SIDS risk.
1. BACK TO SLEEP – always lay your baby on their back to sleep (never side or tummy) on a firm mattress. SIDS rate dropped from 1.301 per 1000 10 1979 to 0.543 per 1000 in 2005 after the BACK TO SLEEP campaign. That is a 40% reduction.
2. BINKY – Give them a binky when they go to sleep each night. WIKI says pacifier use reduces SIDS by 90%. It also may help keep the child from rolling their face into the mattress.
3. FAN – Have a fan going in their room. The airflow helps. WIKI says fan use reduces SID by 72%. Only 3% of SIDS deaths had a fan in their room.
4. BREASTFEED – Breastfed babies have a 50% lower SIDS rate than non-breastfed babies according to WIKI.
4. BLANKETS – never use blankets in the crib until 12 months of age. Use sleep sacks or a swaddle that Velcros shut. Bumper pads should also not be used with infants.
While we still do not know what casues SIDS they are learning more all the time. As a mom and a grand mother I am working to educate parents on these 5 tips that greatly reduce their childs SIDS risks.continue reading
If you’re the parent of a little one then you have had your fair share of dealing with naps, or the lack thereof. Nap time is an important part of any young child’s day, therefore it is important to get a handle on this napping thing as a parent.
You want to have a nap time strategy. Yes, a strategy. It may sound a bit harsh or even difficult, but truly it isn’t. It is like with many other areas of life if you don’t take charge and plan for it, it will pass you by. Don’t let the quiet time of nap time pass you by because you weren’t able to gain control of your children or their nap time.
There are a few of things that are important for a child in order to ensure that they have a good nap time. These include:
Location – There is something to be said about having a nap time location. If you noticed if your child is “out of their element” or “out of their routine” then they won’t be as likely to nap. Having a specific location where your child naps daily is important. You may choose to have your child nap in their bed or crib so that they associate that place with sleep. Either way determine a location and stick to it.
Time – Another important thing to set for you child’s nap time is an actual time. This helps your child to get into a routine and to learn that each day around that time they will go down for a nap. They will get used to it and it will make it easier for the both of you.
Lovey or attachment item – My children have enjoyed having a consistent lovie for their naps. This can be a Taggie, special animal, blanket or nap mat blanket/pillow. They feel secure when their special items are there with them for nap. My daughter calls her animal a sleep buddy.
Travel and Nap – When traveling with your children, it is important to keep the nap routine as much as possible. This will help them feel more secure. If your child goes to day care or preschool for naps discuss with their teacher what the routine there is for nap. I recommend a nap mat with blanket and pillow for these situations.
Though there are probably other factors that will come into play with your child’s nap time, these four are the essentials and should be mastered first in ordered to ensure a proper nap time and some peace and quiet for everyone.continue reading