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Preparing your toddler for the arrival of a new baby

by Maxine
Posted January 4 2012 04:24pm
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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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Toilet learning when you’re away from home

by Maxine
Posted August 27 2010 02:19pm
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It’s almost inevitable that your toddler will be away from home at some point during the toilet learning process. If your child is regularly in daycare or child care then it is definitely going to happen.

Our experts have put together a few ideas to help with your child's toilet learning (or potty training) when he is away from home:

When taking your child shopping or out for errands, encourage him to use the potty before you leave home. Make sure his clothes are loose, so that you can take them off quickly at a public washroom. Bring along extra diapers, training pants and a change of clothes. While out, check with your child to find out when you should head for the washroom. Take him to the washroom after he has had any food or drink, and make sure to stay with him while he uses the toilet, especially in unfamiliar places.

Teach your child standard terms, like "pee" and "poo" so that daycare teachers and other caregivers will know what your child is talking about when he asks to go.

Talk to your child's caregivers about your expectations for toilet learning. Explain to them what stage your child is at, and what kind of routine he is used to at home. This will help make toilet learning a more positive, consistent experience for your child, no matter where he is.

How did you handle the toilet learning process when your child was away from home? Share your tips and ideas with other parents by leaving a comment below. You can also send in a question on this topic for one of our experts!

 

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When your toddler is upset

by Maxine
Posted December 17 2010 01:28pm
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When toddlers get upset, it can be very hard on them and the people around them. Here are several suggestions from our experts to make things easier on everyone.

  • Offer your child a safe quiet place to calm down, away from others, but where she knows she is not entirely alone.
  • Help your child regain control of his emotions by teaching him deep breathing and to think about good things.
  • Try to calm your child by gently changing the scene into something more positive, like baking cookies, going for a walk or cuddling together while you watch TV.
  • Encourage positive, fun physical activity, like jumping on cushions, to help release strong feelings.
  • Most importantly, try to keep yourself calm when your child is upset. Remember that you can't be helpful unless you are in control of your own emotions. 
  • During your regular daily life provide a good example of coping with your own emotions by saying things in front of your child like, "I'm sure I can get through this if I slow down and think about it." 

 

How do you manage when your toddler is crying and upset? Have you tried any of these techniques? Did they work? Share your story with other parents by leaving a comment below.

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The benefits of touch for your toddler

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 07:22pm
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Is there anything more comforting to a child than the gentle touch of a loving parent? It is said that touch can speak louder than words and that touch is our first language. How true! When a mother rubs the back of a crying toddler her touch is saying in no uncertain terms, "I care." This quiet yet clear communication between a parent and child is powerful, and its positive effects on children cannot be overstated.

So remember, when you comfort your young child, regardless of her age, touch can play an important role in how you communicate your affection and support.

It is also important for parents to be in tune with their children, and to read the cues and clues that children give about the type and amount of touch that suits them at a particular moment. Sometimes too much cuddling will make a child cranky; if this happens, it's time to back off. In fact, some children are naturally more reactive and sensitive to touch than others and at times may find too much touch over-stimulating. They'll let you know when they need a break - your job as a parent is to recognize and follow their lead. Often, a casual touch on the shoulder is enough to let children know that you love them.

So read your child's cues, and remember that touch can speak louder than words. When it's used sensitively, it sends a powerful message of love and security.

 

 

 

 

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