Sunday, December 31, 2006

Day 314 - So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Today's first time parenting tip - Take your baby to the local aquarium and watch them be wowed.

Looking for a fun activity you can do on the weekend that'll keep your baby interested? Try taking them to the aquarium. Our son absolutely loved his trip to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Unlike the zoo, you can get right up close to the brightly colored fish. And unlike the animals at the zoo, they're usually swimming and moving around the aquarium. Our son was enthralled by the big tank they have with all sorts of fish swimming around in the same environment.

And most aquariums are very kid friendly, so you don't have to worry about being out of place. And it's definitely something adults can enjoy too. Our son loved it so much that we're going to do a fish theme for his first birthday.

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Day 313 - How to Teach Your Baby to Use a Spoon

Today's first time parenting tip - Patience and imitation are your best friends when teaching your baby how to use a spoon

Using silverware is the next step for your baby after they learn how to eat with their fingers. Since it requires fine motor skills, balance and coordination, you can expect the process to take a little bit of coaching. Here are some important tips to remember:

  • Be patient. They won't get it right away, and getting frustrated won't help them learn

  • Teach through imitation. You can do this by eating with a spoon out of your own bowl or plate. If they're eating something you don't mind stomaching, you can even spoon up their own food to show them how

  • Let them experiment. There will be a fair amount of dumping food on the floor, their head, the cat, etc. It's O.K., your infant is exploring this new tool they've found.

  • Get a baby sized spoon. It's smaller and will be coated in a soft rubbery material that's easy on the teeth and easier for them to handle

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Day 312 - Busy Fingers Love to Play with Buttons

Today's first time parenting tip - Anything with a button or something your baby can press should be a big hit

Our son is getting to the age where he can actually start interacting and using his toys for what they were 'meant' to do. This will make them last quite a bit longer than if he kept picking them up and throwing them onto the kitchen floor.

We noticed that his favorite things to do were to press the buttons on our alarm clock, play with our cell phones whenever he could get his hands on them, and play with the volume control on his Leap Pad.

We've added a few more button-having toys to the mix and those are clearly his favorites. The big winner is a LeapFrog Phonics Radio that lets you flip pages AND hit buttons to hear letter songs AND play guess the letter. He's in baby heaven.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Day 311 - How to Keep Your Baby Out of the Cupboards

Today's first time parenting tip - Keep one of your kitchen cupboards reserved for your baby to play in.

Once you've baby-proofed the whole house, to your baby it may no longer seem like a fun place to play. They might get frustrated and all the more determined to get back the cabinet locks you've put on all the cupboards in the kitchen. What's more, if you're working in the kitchen and they are in there too, they may demand to be in your arms where the action is, which makes it very hard for you to get things done.

So instead of locking all the cabinets, leave one open. Fill it with your plastic tupperware or mixing bowls. That way your baby will feel like he's got his own area, and he's got something fun to do in the kitchen. Our son loves opening the cabinet and pulling out the plastic pitcher and tupperware we've got in there.

When you do this, make sure they can't get to any other cupboards from the inside. Likewise, make sure there aren't any nails or sharp things in there either. You have to remember that they may crawl right in there from time to time.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Day 310 - Make a Dentist Appointment for the 1 Year Birthday

Today's first time parenting tip - Make your baby a dentist appointment for around their 1 year birthday

Your infant's first dentist appointment should be somewhere close to their one-year birthday. Your baby may or may not have all his teeth in yet, but the dentist should still check their teeth and gums to make sure they're healthy.

Like your pediatrician, you should be comfortable with your dentist, both in his bedside manner and his professionalism. The first visit will be fairly easy, the dentist will try to get comfortable with your child and check the teeth and gums for signs of bottle decay.

He'll also be able to give you advice on how to care for your infant's teeth, as well as possibly give you fluoride drops, especially if your tap water doesn't have this added already.

After this first visit, you should come back every six months for a cleaning and check up.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Day 309 - Yeast Infection in Infants

Today's first time parenting tip - Treat a yeast infection with an anti-yeast cream

So the diaper rash we thought our son had turned out to be a yeast infection. It's a little bit different from a diaper rash and it can also spread to their mouth as well. Here's how to tell if your dealing with a yeast infection:

  • Bright red rash

  • Small red pimples around the edge of the rash

  • Redness or irritation in the folds and creases of their skin

It's caused my the moist, dark diaper area that is constantly replenished by bowel movements. Yuck.

When treating a yeast infection, get an anti-yeast cream and use it with a diaper rash cream if you like. You should make sure to keep their hands and yours extra clean so you don't spread it to their mouth. You may also want to boil their bottles and nipples to get rid of any yeast that may be on them.

If your baby has an oral yeast infection, they will have milky crusts on their tongue or gums that won't scrape off. You need to treat this as well.

If there are yellow, puss filled bumps or the symptoms don't go away after 3 - 5 days, call your pediatrician. And if they begin to develop other symptoms like a fever or fatigue, take them in as well.

Reference: Web MD

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Day 308 - Play Kick Instead of Catch

Today's first time parenting tip - Play kick the ball rather than catch the ball

At 10 or 11 months, your baby probably won't get the hang of playing catch. Our son mostly just watches the ball come towards him as we roll it along the floor, it'll hit him, he'll laugh and then pick it up. He enjoys it quite a bit, but what he loves even more is to kick the ball.

Since he can walk around pretty well and cruises on furniture like there's no tomorrow, he likes to walk with the ball in front of him and follow it all around the apartment. Another fun game we do with him is pick him up by both arms and swing him low to the ground so his legs whack the ball all the way across the room.

Just like his soccer playing mom, he likes kicking better than catching. And it's another great way to help him develop physical coordination and work those big motor muscles. And if he ends up like David Beckham, 250 million would put us in a pretty nice retirement home.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Day 307 - Play Hide and Seek with Your Baby

Today's first time parenting tip - Play games of hide and seek with your baby

Want a good way to have fun with your infant, develop their memory and improve their understanding of objects in the world, all in one shot?

Playing hide and seek games with your child is the answer. By showing them an object or a person, and then hiding it somewhere to let them find it, you're improving their ability to understand the physical presence an object has in the world.

Here are some fun games you can play:

  • With people. Hide behind doors and furniture. Peek out at them and watch them laugh

  • With cups and a ball. Hide a ball under some opaque cups or bowls and have them guess which one it's under

  • With your infant. Playing peek-a-boo is always a classic

  • With some sheets and some toys. This is a little more advanced, but you can put some toys with a unique shape under some sheets and ask them to find what you ask for.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Day 306 - Let Your Baby Take the Wheel

Today's first time parenting tip - Let your baby interact with the world as much as possible

As your baby gets older, he's going to want to do more and more of the things you do. While you might be in a rush to go and get on your way, you should slow down and let your infant try to do the things you do.

You may get things done faster and more correctly, but making mistakes and trying new things is a huge part of the learning process.

Whenever we leave the apartment, we let our son hit the "down" button on the elevator. Then, when we get inside, let him hit the "close" button (if we let him he'd hit all the buttons). Sometimes he gets it, sometimes he has to try a couple times, but he loves doing it. And we can use the numbers and directions of the elevator for more learning.

Today on the bus, rather than holding him or keeping him in his stroller, I let him sit on the seat next to me, just like a big kid. He had a ton of fun looking out the window and hanging on for dear life as the bus stopped, started and turned.

What can you do to let your infant experience the world today?

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Day 305 - Can You Do This? Month 10

Today's First Time Parenting Tip - Track your baby's milestones to make sure they're developing correctly

Its important to make sure that your infant doesn't have any developmental problems, but if he or she seems slow in one area, don't worry about it too much unless they're way behind or your pediatrician seems concerned. Everyone loves to compare their accomplishments to others, but the fact is some babies are fast in verbal development, but slow in the physical department, or vice versa. If you're worried about it, ask your pediatrician. At the end of the tenth month, your infant should be able to:

  • Stand while holding onto something
  • Wave good-bye
  • Pick a small object up between their thumb and forefinger

Probably will be able to:

  • Walk or "cruise" on furniture
  • Pull up to a standing position from sitting
  • Correctly identify "mama" and "dada"
  • Respond to their name

They might also be able to drink independently, stand alone, play ball or give a high five, walk for a step or maybe two, say a word other than mama or dada or put objects into a container.

Taken from What to Expect the First Year

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Day 304 - 4 Ways to Treat a Fever Naturally

Today's first time parenting tip - Keep cool and treat a fever naturally

Your eleven month infant's temperature hits 102. You panic. What could it be? You'd like to think it's teething, but you're just not sure. It might be something worse.

Everything else seems to be fine. No change in behavior. Bowel movements are normal. Fevers are the bodies natural defense mechanism against infection. Ideally, they should be allowed to run their course without medication. If the fever spikes or comes with seizures, vomiting or other nasty symptoms, you should get medical help immediately.

But what if your infant is just running a little hot and you want to keep it down without Tylenol? Here are some things you can try:

  • Put your baby in a lukewarm bath. During the winter, make sure the air temperature is at least 72 degrees so they don't get chilled coming out of the water

  • Dress your baby in a light layer of clothing. If they get too cold, add another layer and subtract layers to make them comfortable

  • Make sure they drink lots of fluids. If they don't want to drink, this could be a sign of something else, and you might want to call your doctor.

  • Give them a teething ring from the freezer. A fever can be caused by teething. A cool ring will help them feel more comfortable and ease their gums

How do you treat a fever naturally?

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Day 303 - Fun Games to Teach Your Baby About Color

Today's first time parenting tip - Name and call out colors for your baby 24/7

As early on as 1 month old, your infant can tell the difference between colors. And since the world is filled with lots of different hues, its a very easy thing to teach your baby about the world around them.

Here are some fun activities you can try to teach your baby the difference between red and blue:

  • Play catch with different colored balls. Call out their colors as you roll them toward your infant

  • Play peek-a-boo behind different colored sheets. Say "Peek-a-boo purple!" when you pop out from behind it

  • Spend an afternoon watching cars go by and saying the color each time

  • Have a coloring session where you only use one color to make a picture

  • When you're reading picture books, be sure to say the color of the things you see too. It's not just a duck, its a yellow duck

  • At the grocery store, as you put different items in hold them in front of your baby and say the color first

What color games do you play with your baby?

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Day 302 - Recipe for Veggie-Eggs

Today's first time parenting tip - Mix vegetables in with eggs for a high-protein, high -vitamin breakfast for your infant

Having trouble getting your infant to eat their vegetables? Try mixing them right in with some eggs and watch them gobble it right up.

1 large egg
1 heaping tablespoon green beans
1 heaping tablespoon peas

1. Puree the vegetables with the egg
2. Scramble or fry the egg over medium high heat
3. Cut up into bite size pieces and let set for a few minutes to cool

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Day 301 - 4 Ways to Get Rid of Diaper Rash

Today's first time parenting tip - Try a variety of solutions to stop diaper rash

It's that red rash on a baby's bottom and the scream they let out when you go to wipe them that makes diaper rash a lot less fun than a picnic for both you and the baby.

Diaper rash is caused by the skin down there being damp for a long period of time. The skin gets red, irritated and your baby won't be happy when you wipe them. To help get rid of diaper rash you can:

  • Let them crawl or walk around diaper free as much as possible let the air down there do it's work. Of course, if they have to go to the bathroom...

  • Use baby powder or talcum powder

  • Use a diaper cream like Boudreauxs Butt Paste

  • Change their diaper every hour, and once in the middle of the night. This will keep them from staying damp for a long period of time

How do you get rid of diaper rash? Comment away!

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Day 300 - Improve Baby's Right and Left Brain

Today's first time parenting tip - Cross your baby's arms to improve cognitive development

This one comes from my mom, a preschool teacher. As a person responsible for getting young minds ready for school, she's got a whole repertoire of activities designed to help kids socialize, develop, etc.

One easy one she told me last weekend was how she and her teaching partner work in different activities where their kids are touching the right side of their body with their left hand and vice versa. It's supposed to increase the communication between left brain and right brain, which in turn helps reading.

She also said if we play games with out 11 month old son and we cross his arms over, it'll help him out with his early brain development.

Interesting...I wonder if it works on adults too...

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Day 299 - How to Keep Your Baby Interested

Today's first time parenting tip - Rotate the toys your baby plays with to keep them interested.

I knew my son was getting bored with the toys he was playing with when he'd refuse to pick them up and instead tried to play with the computer, push over the boxes holding our clothes (we're still moving), rip pages out of magazines and cause general mischief.

Then he got some new blocks and we uncovered some books he hasn't ever read. Now he couldn't care less about the other things and loves to dump the blocks out and wants to play with the books all the time.

Babies are like adults. They want variety and excitement in their life. By rotating the toys they play with, even if its the same five toys, you can keep their play fresh. And, as an extra bonus, it helps them grow and learn much better than if they played with one toy for a long while and never really gravitated towards something else.

So every few days or so, bring out something that your baby hasn't played with in a while. See if that cures some of their boredom.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Day 298 - Keeping the House Clean with an Active Baby

Today's first time parenting tip - Do a daily "partial" cleanup

When you've got a baby, toys, a short attention span and the urge to move everywhere, your house can feel a lot like a plastic jungle with toys, tupperware, books and clothes all over the place.

One of my son's favorite activities is to carry stuff back and forth across the apartment. And since he's only interested in things for five minutes at a time, you can see how the mess could pile up quick.

If my wife and I tried to have everything in its place all the time, we'd go insane. So instead, we pick up his mess once a day when he goes to bed. And "putting something in its place" is a pretty loose interpretation too.

Instead of having things perfect, we'll stack all the books on the floor, put all the small toys in a box and the bigger ones arranged along a wall. Since our son is just going to get them out when he wakes up, there's no sense making everything perfect.

This way we don't spend a ton of time cleaning up and don't get overwhelmed when all our hard work gets erased the next day. And half the fun for our son right now is pulling everything out and discovering his toys all over again.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Day 297 - Brush Your Baby's Teeth in the Morning

Today's first time parenting tip - Brush your baby's teeth in the morning

By now your baby should have a couple teeth all the way in, with more on the way. Hopefully you've made a dentist appointment around his 1-year birthday (I need to get on that), and you're brushing his teeth with a soft bristled brush at least once a day.

I was of the mindset that it needed to be done at night, but our son usually is pretty drowsy after he's had his final bottle before bedtime. All it did was wake him back up and made it harder for him to fall asleep.

So we tried brushing his teeth in the morning after he's had a little breakfast. He's in a much better mood than at night, and he loves to help out and gum the toothbrush. And it doesn't interfere with his nighttime routine.

So if you're having trouble working a brushing in at night time, try doing it when dawn breaks. It may be easier all around.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Day 296 - Tag, You're It

Today's first time parenting tip - Play tag with your baby

Looking for a fun game you can play just about anywhere with your baby? They'll usually love tag, or any type of game where you come to get them. My son likes to hide behind the bedroom door, peek around and then run away once he knows I've seen him.

Games like this are great for social and physical development, and they usually get a big laugh and smile too. The best games are often simple, easy and don't have too many rules.

A fun variation on tag is to put soft obstacles like pillows around the room, and then to chase each other around them. As an added bonus, make them colored pillows and call out the color as you go by them.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Day 295 - Stock Up on Savings

Today's first time parenting tip - Stock up on savings bonds

If family members or friends are looking for "the perfect gift" for your baby, turn them on to the idea of savings bonds for babies.

While not as fun as a giant plastic playhouse, a savings bond is a gift that your child will appreciate far more than a plastic toy they won't remember playing with. It sits in a safe place for 18 years, quietly doubling or tripling in value.

Then, when your child is ready for college or for his first big expense as an adult, those savings bonds will come in very handy to soften the financial blow.

And since you've got time on your side, getting a bond that will be worth around $1000 bucks after 18 years is a bargain at around $300-350 (assuming a 5-6% return).

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Day 294 - Traveling at Night

Today's first time parenting tip - If you've got a long drive with your baby, make it at night

Once your baby is moving around, they probably don't like to be restrained very much. So long car rides can quickly turn from a Sunday drive into a screaming drive.

If your baby gets antsy when they're in the car for long periods, try timing your trip to begin right when they go to bed. Take them through their normal bed time routine, but instead of laying them down in the crib, put them in the car seat and head out.

They should have no problem falling asleep, and will probably stay that way (our son does) until their normal wake up time.

Of course, if you have trouble staying awake at the wheel during the night, maybe it's a good idea to have a screaming child in the car to keep you alert.

Another strategy is to try and time the trip to begin right after they wake, have some food and get a diaper change. That way they're as happy as possible and can amuse themselves by looking out the window or playing with something in the backseat for a while.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Day 293 - Bundle Up

Today's first time parenting tip - Cover up all exposed skin in the bitter cold

If anyone else lives in the Midwest, you know that right now we're in the midst of a ridiculously cold spell. It's so cold that my hair, still damp from the shower froze solid when I went outside.

This kind of weather is dangerous, not only for adults but especially for babies. Skin can dry out and crack, colds and pneumonia can strike and little extremities can get frostbit.

While overdressing your baby is a danger, it never hurts to be too careful when there's a wind chill of negative 20. Your baby shouldn't be outside longer than it takes to get to a car. Playing outside and going for walks are out of the question.

To keep your baby safe in the bitter cold:

  • Warm up the car before you head outside

  • Dress your baby in multiple layers of clothing, so you can peel off and add as needed

  • Make sure your baby is wearing a coat, hat, shoes and gloves if they have to go outside

  • Cover their face with a blanket when outside to protect their face and lips

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Day 292 - Write a Letter to Your Baby

Today's first time parenting tip - Write a letter to your baby at least once a year.

Time seems to fly by very fast. You're probably taking lots of pictures, keeping your baby book meticulously up-to-date, etc.

As the years go on, this will probably subside. Not for lack of love, but just because all the new things that seem to come daily now will become more routine. How do you want to remember your child's life?

A great way to do this is write a yearly letter to your child. You know how some people send out Holiday cards with a summation of the family's year? This is essentially what you'll be doing for your baby.

When they're 18 and moving out of the house, you'll have a nice little chronology of their lives. It'll be fun to look back on everything that happened from birth to adulthood, and your child will probably love reading back on it and learning about what their life was like before they could remember.

Your yearly letter can include, but isn't limited to:

  • What they did that year

  • What happened in the world that year

  • Anything you feel about their past, present or future

  • Things that happened in your life

Heather over at Dooce writes a monthly letter to her daughter on her blog. This is a great option to because you can share it with family, and it might be more fun for you to keep up a blog for your baby. You can make it private too, so no one can see but you.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Day 291 - Quick Reference

Today's first time parenting tip - Create a quick reference card with all your baby's important numbers

If you've ever had a prescription denied at the pharmacy or had to fill out a form for daycare, you know how many random numbers you need to know regarding your baby. Between social security numbers, health insurance numbers, day care numbers, etc. It can be mind boggling.

To make things easier, take a 3 x 5 index card and write down all the important numbers. That way when you're at a new daycare and you need to fill out your pediatrician's phone number, your health insurance member number and your baby's social security number, you won't have to call your spouse or come back later.

This card should include:

  • Child's social security number. You may want to create a code for this, or leave it off. That way if someone finds the card or you lose it, you don't have to worry about identity theft.

  • Health, Dental and Vision insurance member numbers

  • Pediatrician's Phone Number and Address

  • Day Care Phone Number and Address

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Day 290 - Pack Pen and Paper to the Pediatrician. Whew.

Today's first time parenting tip - Before you head out to the doctor, pack a pen and paper

Do you really want to forget the instructions your pediatrician gives you? Fixing it is easy, just take a pen and paper. Throw one in the diaper bag and keep it in there. There will be lots of times when you need to write down important pieces of information, not just at the doctors.

You can also jot down your questions for the doctor beforehand as well. So as you think of all the things you want to know in between well visits, you can create a running list of Q's you need the doctor to answer.

Then, when you're in their office, you've got your list and reference tool close by. It'll cut down on calls back to the nurse and your baby will be a whole lot better off with a medically informed parent.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Day 289 - Ready, Set Draw

Today's first time parenting tip - Get out some non-toxic crayons and make some art

How early is too early to introduce your infant to crayons? I'd say go for it as soon as they learn how to manipulate object with their hands. (As in, everything doesn't immediately go for the mouth.)

Drawing is a great way for your infant to expand his creativity and connect his actions to an effect. Once he figures out that by putting crayon to paper he can make colors, look out!

Get some nice fat, non-toxic crayons that are easy to grab and play with. For the first few attempts, try cardboard instead of paper. It'll still take color, and it'll be less likely that your baby will get more interested in ripping what he's drawing on.

Help your baby draw his first few strokes. At first he won't know what's going on, but after a few tries (or sessions) he should get the idea. You could also try sitting across from him and drawing something too. Babies are suckers for imitation.

If your baby is old enough, have them proudly present their work of art to mom, dad or another family member. An appreciation for accomplishments and creativity will go a long way in boosting their self-esteem.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Day 288 - Strangers

Today's first time parenting tip - Teach your child to be smart about strangers

Everyone loves to make faces and talk to a new baby. My wife and I have had complete strangers (mostly well meaning grandma types) come up to us and fuss and try to hold our ten month old son.

This is mostly fine (as long as we get him back) but this raises an issue for later on. Does this teach our son that it's OK to go to strangers?

The blanket statement used to be "Don't talk to strangers." But it's not that simple. What if it's a family member they've never me or don't remember? What if there is an emergency and they need to be picked up by an unfamiliar face at daycare? What if there is a new daycare.

You can raise smart kids who know a helpful stranger from a harmful one. In general, you should teach your children to be wary of strangers by not talking to them and shouting for help if one does something they don't like.

To teach them what strangers are OK, use a simple hand sign. When you are with them, and they don't know if it's all right to talk to someone who is approaching them (like long-lost Aunt Sally), teach your children that you'll make a hand sign, like scratching the top of your head and then tugging your ear if the stranger is OK.

Likewise, tell them that anyone who tries to talk to them when you aren't there will give them the same sign, sort of like a secret code. That way they'll know you sent the person. And of course, its always OK to talk to policemen and firemen.

By doing this, you can use an unobtrusive, not embarrassing method to give the thumbs up for your child to talk. And both you and your child will feel safe when you can't be with each other.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Day 287 - Are Kids Welcome Here?

Today's first time parenting tip - Don't be afraid to ask if you can bring your infant to an event

With wedding season getting ready to kick into full gear this spring and summer, you may be wondering whether or not it’s kosher to bring your little one along with you to events. How do you know if it's OK or not?

This isn't just restricted to weddings. My wife and I want to go to a friend's opening for her art show, but we aren't exactly sure if it's appropriate for children to be at those types of things.

As a parent, you have both sides of the story to consider. On one hand, you have your family, and you want to do lots of things together. And getting a sitter and arranging for a night out can be a hassle.

But you also need to understand that if you are going to someone else's event, it may not be appropriate to bring a small child. You wouldn't bring your infant to a bar, would you? I've been to more than one wedding where a talking/crying child seemed to pick the vows to pipe up.

Some people are perfectly fine with this and will be able to laugh at the moment. Some people want their day to go off without a hitch, and frankly, kids don't always stick to the plan.

A lot of times, it will say right on the invite whether or not children are welcome. If not, don't be embarrassed or think it's rude to ask if you can bring your kids. Make sure the person on the other end knows it’s OK for them to say no. And if you still feel weird about asking, try someone who is close to the host and can speak for them. They should be able to give you a good barometer for the host.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Day 286 - Trick for Getting Your Baby to Eat

Today's first time parenting tip - Feed your baby off your plate, or eat off theirs

Here's a quick tip if you're struggling to get your baby to eat food rather than play with it.

I've found our son sometimes doesn't want what's on his plate, but he'll scarf it down if he thinks it came from our plate. Or, he'll be more interested in what's for dinner right in front of him if he sees us eating it as well.

Try putting some of his food on your plate and eat a little bit of it. If he leans over or wants to grab at it, try feeding it to him. My wife had a salad and he ate nearly half of it.

Other times he thinks that fruit or cheerios are things to mash around and throw on the ground. If I start eating pieces off his highchair tray, he'll pick up a couple pieces and start eating. It only takes a few tastes of the things he likes to get him started, after that he's all about feeding himself.

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Day 285 - Beat the Cold

Today's first time parenting tip - Keep the baby's room around 70-72 degrees F

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it's the middle of winter. That means biting cold, wind and perhaps the most discouraging of all - drafts.

No matter what you set the thermostat at, there always seem to be areas in the house or the apartment that are colder than others. If you've got a sleeping baby in the house, that could spell bad news. If the room the baby is sleeping in is cold, you'll have middle-of-the-night wake ups at best, hypothermia at worst.

Here's how you can keep your infant as comfortable as possible during winter.

  • Pick a room for the baby that has as few windows as possible

  • If the room has windows, cover them with heavy drapes or plastic

  • Use Styrofoam stuff window sills and drafty doors

  • Place the baby's crib as far from the window as possible

  • Put a space heater in the baby's room

  • Dress your infant in warm, full length pajamas

  • Use a crib pad to block any errant drafts

  • Keep the rest of your house around 70 degrees, even at night

Follow these tips and you'll be able to beat the best Jack Frost can throw at you.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Day 284 - Find Something Fun and Family Friendly

Today's first time parenting tip - Find things to do near you at Parentography

The good folks at Lifehacker tipped me off to a new site for parents, Parentography.

The site is basically a way for parents to share information with each other about fun things to do in the area. Items like restaurants, attractions, activities, lodgings, parks, playgrounds and other family related activities.

All the reviews come from other parents, and the site is still in BETA right now, so things are pretty light. But as more and more people join, I can see this becoming a great tool when you're trying to plan some time out with the family.

I know whenever my wife and I want to go out to eat with the baby, its always a guessing game as to whether or not the restaurant has a family friendly atmosphere.

Another nice feature is the ability to create and view "excursions", which are combinations of family-fun activities that can range from a couple of hours to all-day trips.

This site will only be as good as the content people feed into it, so time will tell as to whether or not Parentography catches on. Things are also a little buggy right now, so I don't expect many people to latch on until they get the kinks worked out.

See the original post

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