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Preparing your toddler for childcare

by Maxine
Posted August 8 2011 03:14pm
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Starting childcare can be an adjustment for the entire family. Routines will be new for everyone and some family members will adjust easier than others.

Whether it's a family home care setting or centre-based care, here are some tips to help make the transition easier for everyone.

  1. Start talking about the new routine well in advance of the first day.
    For instance, if mom will be doing the drop off, she could start talking about the ride to childcare. Talk to your child about the new routine that will take place once in care. Familiarize yourself and your child with the names of the teachers as well as the other children.
  2. Arrange advance visits.
    Advance visits, for children of all ages, allow your child to become familiar with the caregiver, the routine, and the other children. Visits can begin several weeks before the first day.
  3. Ease your child in and out.
    At the start, a parent or other family member should visit with the child for 30 minutes to two hours. Over the next few weeks, arrange to leave your child for a period of time without you. This will help the caregiver and child get to know each other. It will also show your child that you will come back. During the first full week, you may want to pick up your child a little earlier on the first day, gradually increasing the length of stay as the week progresses.
  4. Make introductions to the new children.
    Getting to know the other children and the other parents will be important for you and your child. During visits, be sure to introduce your child to children in his or her group. Similarly, don't hesitate to introduce yourself to some of the other parents.
  5. Take touches of comfort.
    Allow your child to take something that will give her comfort—a special toy, blanket, even a picture of you.
  6. Make a comfort call.
    Talk to your caregiver to agree on a time you can call during the day. It's important to plan this together to ensure your call won't take the caregiver's attention away from the children at a busy time.
  7. Touch base with your caregiver every day.
    Exchange information about your child's day or the evening at home. For instance, if your child had a restless night it is important your caregiver know so she can respond to any unusual behaviours or needs that may arise as a result. Similarly, as you head into the evening, you should know if your child was fussy at childcare.
  8. Talk with your child.
    Each day, talk with your child about special things that happened at childcare.
  9. Have an older sibling visit.
    If there's an older sibling in the same childcare setting, ask that she be given the opportunity to visit her younger brother during the day during the adjustment period.
  10. Be specific about pick-ups.
    Reassure your child that you will be back. Make sure he knows who will pick him up at the end of the day and when. Even if he is not old enough to really tell time, one of the ways children learn to tell time is when pick-up routines become established.

We know it can be hard to leave your child in childcare for the first time. Preparing yourself and your toddler will smooth the transition and contribute to making it a positive experience for everyone.

How did you prepare your toddler for childcare? Was it difficult for you? For your child? Share you experience by leaving a comment below!

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The Causes of Bedwetting

by Maxine
Posted September 5 2011 06:06pm
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Many children are unable to sleep through the night without wetting the bed. For most children, bedwetting fades away as they get older, usually by 5-6 years of age.

Here are several reasons why your child might wet the bed:

Your child may not have the bladder control needed to stay dry through the night. In fact, one in seven children wets the bed regularly past the age of three.

Your child might be a sound sleeper, and the urge to urinate doesn't wake her up.

Your child may be drinking too much before bedtime. This doesn't mean your child shouldn't have a drink before bed - just don't let her overdo it.

Your child may have a small bladder or he may just produce more urine at night. 

Your child may suffer from constipation. A bowel that has stool will press against the bladder. 

If your child is still wearing diapers, he may not feel motivated to stay dry through the night because he doesn't notice when he has wet himself.

Bedwetting can be a reaction to stress in your child's life. Things like a new brother or sister, a new daycare, experience or parents’ seperation may trigger it or make it worse.

Your child may have inherited  this from you.  Scientists have discovered a gene for bedwetting. If one parent wet the bed as a child, their child has a 25% risk of bedwetting. If both parents wet the bed as children, their child's risk increases to about 65%. (www.caringforkids.cps.ca)

And, in a few cases, there may be some physical problem causing your child to wet the bed, such as a urinary tract infection or physical abnormality.

If you have any reason to suspect your child may have some physical problem underlying night-time bedwetting, or if your child is embarrassed about wetting the bed, or if you think bedwetting is going on too long, consult your child's health care provider.

Whether you and your doctor decide to treat the bedwetting or simply wait for your child to outgrow it, be sure that your child knows bedwetting is not a bad behaviour. It is not his fault do not shame, punish or scold your child if he wets the bed. Provide comfort and support.

The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends that you talk to your doctor if your child: 

  • Wants to be dry at night and is concerned by the bedwetting. 
  • Is having daytime accidents. 
  • Is dry for many months and then suddenly starts bedwetting. 
  • Has other symptoms such as a frequent need to pee or a burning sensation when he pees. 
  • Is still wetting at 5 to 6 years of age (or older). 

Reference: Caring for Kids www.caringforkids.cps.ca, developed by the Canadian Paediatric Society.

Does your preschooler wet the bed? Share your experiences and stories by commenting below!

 

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How everyone can help when a baby arrives

by Maxine
Posted May 3 2012 11:22am

When a new baby arrives everyone wants to help out. To ease the transition, here are some helpful tips on what everyone can do when a new baby comes home.

Everyone can:
 

  • Lower expectations for maintaining household tasks and the usual routine - help mom to choose a minimum of tasks that are manageable for the day.
  • Encourage mom to sleep or rest when the baby sleeps - if she finds this hard to do, suggest she start by sitting down for a short time, having a tea or a bubble bath, calling a friend or reading a magazine.
  • Advise mom to accept people's offers to help, or ask other family members and friends for help, especially so mom can get some time for herself.
  • Acknowledge that, for mom, leaving the baby with another caregiver is a big step - suggest that mom initially go out for a short period, leaving the baby with someone trusted and experienced.
  • Listen to how mom, partners, siblings and other family members are feeling - help them to understand and accept that fatigue, jealousy, guilt and doubts mixed with happiness, pride, love and excitement are normal.

If people want to visit and mom or other family members are too tired, learn how to discourage visitors politely by finding words to gently say "Thanks for thinking of us, but today is not a great day for visitors."

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Preparing your toddler for the arrival of a new baby

by Maxine
Posted January 4 2012 04:24pm
Filed under:

When you’re expecting another child you want to ensure that your toddler is prepared for the changes that a new sibling will bring. Our experts have created some tips to help you make the transition a little smoother.

  • Let your child know that the baby is coming two or three months before the birth. Talk about the changes that will take place in the household and answer any questions she may have about birth and reproduction in a way that suits her age.
  • Assure your child that you will love him just the same.
  • Make your child feel important by saying, "You're going to be a big brother (or sister)." Let your child know he has a role and a relationship with the new baby.
  • Have your child help in choosing a name and in picking out baby clothes. Let your child feel the baby kicking.
  • Take your child to visit someone else's new baby so he can learn what to expect and get used to the size and sounds of an infant.
  • If you are the mother, encourage your partner to spend more time with your child before the birth so she becomes used to that before you get too busy with the baby.
  • If your child is going to be moved out of a crib and into a bed, it's best to do this long before the new baby arrives. This gives your older child time to become attached to the "new bed." This way he won't think the move out of a favourite sleeping place (the crib) was because of the new baby.
  • Read children's books that are about new babies to your child.

How did your toddler react when you became pregnant? When you brought home the baby? Share your story with other parents by leaving a comment below.

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