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Pre-school and balancing a new routine

by Maxine
Posted August 8 2011 03:25pm
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Starting child care or pre-kindergarten is an important change for both you and your child. It may stir up many different feelings, and will likely affect your daily routine.

Here are some suggestions that might help you cope more easily with this new transition and turn it into Comfort, Play & Teach time!

Comfort

Your child may need reassurance about her new teacher and learning environment. Prepare her for the new experience by talking about it ahead of time, and if possible, visit the new classroom and meet the teacher. Pre-school will seem more familiar that way, and going there each day may be easier.

Encourage your child to participate in daily tasks like choosing the clothing he will wear to pre-school the next day. Routines can provide him with a sense of predictability and security by enabling him to anticipate what will happen, and will give him some needed control over the new situation.

Play

Both you and your child will have busy days now and will need opportunities just to relax and enjoy each other's company! Remember to set aside special time to go to the library, play at the park, bake blueberry muffins, dance to music or to simply cuddle up together and talk about the best part of your day.

Provide your child with items she will need for playing pre-school with her dolls. She will enjoy showing them how to colour, looking at books, singing the alphabet song, and printing with chubby pencils! Role playing pre-school experiences will help her gain confidence as she practices all the new skills she is learning.

Teach

Before bed time, relax and read books together like Franklin Goes to School (by Paulette Bourgeois) or Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten (by Joseph Slate). The words and pictures describe typical experiences at school, and will give your child a chance to ask questions and perhaps work out his fears.

Share some of your favourite memories of school with your child. Show him school pictures and tell stories about your classroom, teachers and friends. He can compare similarities and differences between your school experience and his. Most importantly, he will learn that you were once a child and that you understand what he is experiencing now.

 

How do you balance new routines with your toddler? Was it hard to get a new routine in place when he started child care or pre-school? Share you experience with other parents by leaving a comment below.

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The Causes of Bedwetting

by Maxine
Posted September 5 2011 06:10pm
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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’ separation 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 toddler wet the bed? Share your experiences and stories by commenting below!

 

 

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Tips for long drives with your baby

by Karon Foster
Posted April 24 2012 01:44pm
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Travelling as a family with baby in tow, can be fun, but it does require some planning ahead.

Consider the following if you are traveling by car:

  • plan that the drive will take longer than you would normally expect.
  • take a break after every 2 hours - this gives your baby some time to be in a different position than the car seat - consider some tummy time or time on his back so he can kick and wiggle.
  • have one parent sit beside baby so you can be close by to attend to her needs - take turns with your partner - it provides each of you a break from driving or entertaining your baby.
  • you know your baby and baby's schedule, if possible plan your trip when your baby normally naps or has a longer sleep, this will allow him to have part of their nap during the time you are driving. Try and avoid driving when your baby is having their fussy time of day.
  • some babies are more sensitive to travel than others - tummy upsets, changes in elimination or eating may happen, carry extra diapers, hand wipes and waterless wash where it can easily be reached.
  • have toys, rattles, books, music or items to distract your baby when she gets bored - even singing to her will help.

Packing:

  • pack items for baby that are used frequently at the top of their bag i.e. diapers, wipes, bibs, a variety of mix and match clothes in dark colours (they hide any spills or stains) suitable for changeable weather, suitable outdoor clothes including a hat, any diaper creams or ointments.
  • baby's blanket, soother, or special toy, stuffed animal that baby likes will help her feel more comfortable during your trip.
  • any medication or vitamins that baby takes.
  • take a large resealable plastic bag for smelly and dirty clothes.
  • remember baby's health card, and if you are travelling outside of your country your baby's passport.
  • some parents find it helpful to pack a nightlight to use in their hotel room; it provides enough light if you need to attend to your baby in the middle of the night.
  • don't forget your stroller or baby carrier
  • place an extra change of clothes at the top of your suitcase, just in case baby has a spit up that lands on you.

At your destination:

  • see if your hotel provides cribs and book one in advance of your trip.
  • when possible try to maintain baby's normal routine including bed time routine.
  • use soft lighting or a plug-in night light if baby wakes during the night.

 

How do you prepare for a long car ride with your baby? Let us know and leave a comment below!

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Reading to your toddler and language development

by Maxine
Posted January 4 2012 05:09pm
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The latest science tells us that reading to our children does much more than please and delight them. It helps them to build a large vocabulary and a range of language skills such as good listening and comprehension skills, which will help him learn to communicate and which are also related to children's reading ability as they grow.

As a parent, you can do many things to turn story time into learning time:

Open a book and read to your child to introduce her to basic aspects of reading, such as the way to hold a book and how to turn a page.

Read favourite books again and again. This will help her learn vocabulary. With enough repetition, she may also learn to tell the story on her own. Praise her for the new words she has learned and for her good memory.

Stop often and ask your toddler questions about what you have just read, and what might happen next. This will help him develop listening skills and increase his comprehension of what you are reading. He'll also begin to learn how stories are organized.

Give clues about how reading works. Point to the words and pictures on the page as you read aloud to show him how the words go from left to right across the page, how words are separated by spaces, how words are made up of letters, and how pictures of objects correspond to words.

There are other ways you can promote language and pre-literacy skills in your child, such as pointing to and naming objects around the room to increase comprehension and vocabulary, saying nursery rhymes and playing rhyming games to help him manipulate sounds, and having conversations during everyday activities.

Knowing you are teaching your child as well as pleasing him, is one of the real rewards of parenting.

Content provided by the Canadian Language and LIteracy Research Network.

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