How to Prepare Your Child for Sleep-Away Camp

Whether your school offers some kind of outdoor education week where all the kids in a class go to a nearby camp for a few days, or you are the type of parent that likes to send kids to summer camp every year, eventually you’ll need to think about how you can best prepare the tots in your household for sleeping somewhere other than in the familiar comforts of their bedroom at home. Even if it’s only for a few days, kids can get understandably anxious when their routines are disrupted and they find themselves out of their element. As a parent, it’s your duty to remove as much stress from the situation as possible. But how do you make that happen? Here are a few tips to prepare your child for his time at sleep-away camp.

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One issue that many parents deal with is separation anxiety. While most kids overcome the desire to stay home with a parent at a young age thanks to inclusion in daycare or school, your child may not be entirely comfortable with the prospect of being away from home overnight, much less for several days. The best way, then, to prepare your child for this eventuality is by making sure he participates in sleepovers with friends leading up to sleep-away camp. When he stays with a friend close to home, there is an inherent safety net – you can always pick him up if he gets too anxious. This will help him to ease into the prospect of being away from home. And then you can explain that sleep-away camp is just like any other sleepover and that he’ll have just as much fun.
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Traditional Christmas in a Technological Age

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are quickly coming up on us, and that means preparing for Christmas. In our technological age, it’s easy to lose sight of Christmas traditions. This year, I’ve decided to focus on ways to incorporate technology with Christmas traditions. Here are a few simple tips on how you can, too:

perect christmas for kids

Christmas Music

Nothing brings cheer to the house quite like Christmas music. Thanks to technology, we have access to more Christmas music than ever before. Tablets, computers, cell phones, and even smart TV’s now have the ability to stream music for hours. So it doesn’t matter if you are in the kitchen baking cookies, or in the living room wrapping gifts, the music goes where you go. Pandora has an app on smart TV’s that allow us to stream music for hours without end. Amazon Prime has free music streaming for select Christmas titles. Technology brings the tradition of Christmas music to us anywhere.

Christmas Cards

This tradition is still going strong, and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere in the foreseeable future. Some crafty people even make their own cards to send. For me, I intend to save time, money, and paper sending eCards. It’s easy to do. All you need are email addresses for friends and family and you can send Christmas eCards efficiently in minutes to anyone. No buying stamps. No going to the post office and waiting in line. Just import your address book, select a card, and send. Not only does it save trees, but the cards are received instantly, so if you are a procrastinator and realize on Christmas Eve that you forgot the cards, it’s not too late.
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Holiday Stress Busters for Tired Toddlers

Holiday excitement = over stimulated little ones who just can’t sleep. Sleep experts Cloud b and Kim West (The Sleep Lady®), offer timely tips and healthy solutions for tired toddlers and pooped parents.

Sleep in One Place While You’re Away

  • Ideally, plan to sleep in the same space during your stay, as constant change is hard on babies. Having a consistent “sleep space” even if it’s not home is comforting and will help you to keep your routine as close to normal as possible.  Choose the home of one set of grandparents/relatives as a “base camp” and arrange to have relatives come there to visit your little one.

Keep Your Flexible Schedule As Close to Normal As Possible

  • Knowing that your child may be staying up late and getting additional stimulation (grandparents and presents!), make sure that your child is at least offered naps, especially if you are traveling with a small baby who still needs daytime sleep. Talk to your family and find a quiet, dark place where your baby can nap consistently during your visit, even if it is different than your nighttime sleep arrangements.
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Eco-Friendly Activities at Home Together With Your Kids

Every parent will tell you that catering to their kids can often be rather expensive; trying to get them the latest toys and games can absolutely destroy your budget for the month. That’s why a lot of parents have taken to creating their own activities at home for the kids, fun little events and games that are easy on the bank account and more importantly, ensure that you’re being eco-friendly.

pic3These activities can involve anything from learning about recyclable items through fun games and songs to something like competitions and prizes for finding the most recyclable items in the house. The types of games you can play can involve giving the kids a list of recyclables on a card with each card containing a different item inside it. You can then give them a small prize for whoever manages to fill in their card the fastest.

Another could involve having the kids arrange recyclables outside in the garden, these kinds of games work great as an alternative pastime activity at the garden as it encourages the kids to go outside and interact more with the environment.

A great benefit of these games being eco-friendly is that it teaches the kids the importance of looking after the environment, behavior that they’ll practice every day before eventually passing onto their own kids in the future.

Outside of games some parents have even started turning to arts and crafts with their kids using recyclable materials to show that junk that they would normally throw away can be turned into beautiful works of art. Some have even made a small profit out of turning their recycling activities with their kids into a small business.
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Tips for Traveling with Young Children

Perhaps those who find it most difficult to take vacations and travel in general are parents of young children. These people face a variety of challenges, such as dealing with naptimes while traveling, bringing mountains of baby supplies, checking additional luggage and entertaining their children in small, confined spaces. Thankfully, there are several helpful tips that can make travel easier for these harried adults who are in desperate need of a little downtime.

travel with kids

travel with kids

One of the most important things that parents can do is be organized. Parents should consider the length of the drive or the time of the flight before committing to a set of travel plans. In general, it is easier for very young children to fly rather than drive because they will not be confined for such long periods. Most domestic flights are five hours or less, and airline passengers can unbuckle their seatbelts and move about the cabin for short times. Layovers also provide time for children to burn off energy and to get a snack and use the bathroom. Parents should plan ahead by making lists of things to pack and by being sure to bring extra clothes, diapers and snacks.

Parents should find simple, inexpensive ways to keep their children entertained. If they have the money and the space, they could consider purchasing simple, inexpensive gifts to give their children for each day of travel. For example, recommends coloring books and crayons, a small car, a new book or an electronic game. These gifts will provide children with something to look forward to and will provide hours of fun each day. Parents can also come up with fun travel games, such as I Spy.

Traveling by air can bring its own set of problems. Babies and toddlers may really struggle with the change in air pressure. Parents can try to give infants a bottle or toddlers a sippy cup to drink from during takeoffs and landings. Children may also want their favorite stuffed animals or blankets if they are not used to flying because they may be scared. Parents should consider loading a few movies onto their tablets that can be watched in-flight.
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Newborn Photography Tips for Parents

There are few experiences in life that eclipse the miracle of birth, so it’s understandable that parents want to commemorate every moment. While some new moms are not very keen on the idea of having a video camera in the delivery room, capturing every second of the event, most parents agree that snapping pics after the fact is desirable. And if you’re like most parents, you’re going to take plenty of photos once you bring baby home. After all, you want to make sure you don’t miss a single first, and you’re likely keen to send pics to family and friends that are eager to get a gander at your newborn. But you don’t necessarily want to take a million pictures of a fussy infant; you want pictures that show what a perfect little angel your baby is. So here are just a few tips that can help to ensure you get the beautiful photos of your newborn that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

1. Pick your moments. If you want to get the best photos, you need to catch your baby in the right mood. And most infants are better behaved when they’re neither tired nor hungry. The obvious solution is to click away while your baby is sleeping, capturing adorable photos of your newborn in repose. But if you don’t want to rouse him, you really can’t move him around. And frankly, you
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5 Benefits of Swimming Lessons for Young Children

prinny the swimming cat

Swimming is an essential skill for people to learn, no matter their age. Often, the best time to teach swim skills is when a child is young. Swimming lessons ensure that they learn in a safe, friendly, encouraging environment. Here are 5 benefits of teaching young children to swim through swimming lessons.

1. Safety. Knowing how to swim is very important when it comes to safety. Your child will likely be near water at one point or another. Even if they aren’t swimming, they risk slipping or being pushed into water. In case of this kind of situation, your child will know how to swim and stay afloat if they have taken swim lessons. This can give you peace of mind knowing they will be more likely to avoid a serious situation like drowning. In addition, many kids who don’t know how to swim and aren’t being supervised have been known to get into water to play with other kids. If they don’t know how to swim and enter deeper waters, they could easily panic and risk their lives. Although these are worst case scenarios, it is important that you prepare your child for encounters with water so they can participate in water activities safely with friends.


2. Fun and recreational. Swimming is also really fun! It gives kids time to be outdoors and away from their video games doing something active. They will be able to use up their energy while playing games, swimming different strokes, participating in Marco Polo and much more! This is a great summer activity to stay cool and refreshed as well.
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5 Tips for Getting Kids to Smile and Behave for Professional Photos

Ronan school pic 2010 3Having professional photographs of your children is priceless. These images will be keepsakes that you will cherish forever and pictures that you will be able to pass down from generation to generation.

While you understand their importance often your children may not and they may make the experience challenging, difficult and potentially impossible. Here are 5 tips for getting kids to smile and behave for professional photographs.

1. Take care of all of the essentials such as food, bathroom and rest. Bring foods or snacks that they love. Make sure they have eaten ahead of time so that they aren’t cranky or hungry. Also, have some candies or snacks on hand so that they can munch while they wait. Also, bring water so they are well -hydrated. Finally, make sure they are able to get a good night’s rest the night before a photo session so that they are alert, happy and energized.

2. Provide incentives for good behavior. Explain your expectations ahead of time and let them know the negative and positive consequences of their actions, depending on how they choose to behave. Make sure they know why the pictures are being taken and why they are important to your and your family. You may agree to take your child shopping, buy them a new toy, or treat them to ice cream if they fully cooperate and rise to the occasion.
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