Tag Archives: toddler

Toddler Tips

Greetings, all!

We’re spinning off of our October blog, “Infant 411″, by bringing you some every day tips to keep in mind with your toddler(s). You can thank the toddler master, Mama Bell, for her first-hand experience through her five children.

1. Cut food into small enough pieces to prevent choking.

2. Make sure steps are blocked with gates or obstacles to keep them from falling.

3. Watch that all toys are age appropriate as they put everything in their mouths.

4. Door knobs of rooms that are unsafe for children to enter should be covered.

5. Kitchen cupboard doors and drawers need to be safeguarded as there are many unsafe things to get into. Things on countertops need to be put out of their reach–move back towards the wall.

6. Keep toilet seats down.

7. Make sure when putting them to bed, all toys and extra blankets are removed.

8. When put into high chairs, strollers, or anything else, make sure the straps and buckles are secure.

For additional tips, check out some of our older posts on the BFC website–bedtime routine and teething toddlers.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Infant 411

Hi all!

Here’s the quick 411 on Infant Care. These are tips I’ve learned through my nannying, sitting, and now in house job here at BFC. I’ve pulled together this list from doing much research and consulting with top experts in family and child care. You can also check out the links provided under each tip for videos and additional tips,  with thanks to Baby Center.

TIP 1: Swaddling

  • Lay a blanket on a flat surface like a diamond and fold down the top corner about 6 inches to form a straight edge.
  • Place your baby on his back so that the top of the fabric is at shoulder level.
  • Bring your baby’s left arm down. Pull the corner of the blanket near his left hand over his arm and chest, and tuck the leading edge under his back on his right side.
  • Bring your baby’s right arm down. Pull the corner of the blanket near his right hand over his arm and chest, and tuck the cloth under his left side.
  • Twist or fold the bottom end of the blanket and tuck it loosely behind your baby, making sure that both legs are bent up and out from his body, his hips can move, and his legs can spread apart naturally.

If you’re a visual learner like me, take a look at a short “how to” swaddle video  here.

TIP 2: Bottle Prep and Feeding

  • Rule of thumb is to ALWAYS follow the parent’s directions. Every parent does things differently, so its important to do it their way.
  • You can heat up a bottle in a bowl of warm water or run it under the tap.  Microwaving is not the way to go as it heats unevenly, which can cause hot pockets and lead to burns.

Quick read on bottle basics here.

TIP 3: Changing

  • Always wash your hands before and after diaper changes.
  • Make sure you put on the diaper correctly! Snap is in the back and you pull it forward and around on top.
  • Be sure to use wipes and diaper cream if necessary (per the parent’s request) and wipe ALWAYS DOWN, not up.
  • Never leave a baby unattended while on the changing table.

Because diaper changing is everyone’s favorite activity, catch a short video on it here.

TIP 4: Nap Time

  • Nap time isn’t one size fits all, so make sure to check in with the parents as to how they would like you to handle their little ones down time as every child has a different routine.
  • Some tips: make sure the room is quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature. Be safe by placing the baby on its back and making sure there isn’t anything in the crib they could get tangled up in.

Who doesn’t love a good nap? Interested in becoming a napping expert? Take a look at some additional tips here.

TIP 5: Burping

  • Helping a baby to burp will release air trapped in their stomach, making them more comfortable. It helps their tummy to settle and get them to feed longer.
  •  If a baby is squirming or fussy during a feeding those are signs they may be uncomfortable and it’s time to burp them.
  • There are three common ways to burp a baby: On the chest or shoulder, sitting on your lap or face down across your lap.

Burp tips – yes, we have those! Take a look at the link here.

TIP 6: Playtime and Tummy Time

  • Play and Tummy time is super important for a baby’s development, it helps them to get stronger.
  • Tummy time will help them to learn how to push themselves up, roll over, sit up and crawl.
  • Wait until at least a half hour after feeding to lay them on their bellies.
  • Play with them during tummy time! Rattles, funny faces, toys and talking are a few things that may help them to feel more comfortable during this time.

Tummy time is fun to say. So is watching a video about it here.

See you all next week!

TB

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Written by our in house sitter services coordinator and former full time nanny, Meredith H!

Teething Toddlers: What to Expect

“Teething is the pits!” my friend told me.  I had no clue what an understatement that would be.

As a first time mom, I had no idea what to expect when it came to teething.  The pediatrician said I will detect excessive drooling but that’s it.  She failed to warn me of hunger strikes.  I was thoroughly confused when Kermit, at 6 months adjusted age, abruptly stopped nursing and drinking from a bottle.  Complicating matters, his teething directly coincided with introduction of solids and doctor mandate for him to gain more weight since he was falling off his growth curve.  My pediatrician, who I totally respect and value, instructed me to make a “valiant effort” to feed Kermit 30 oz of milk and 3 solid feedings of diluted rice cereal.  Seriously, I spent every ounce of energy trying to feed my child.

I would wake him up two times in the middle of the night because that’s when I found him to be more amenable to drinking larger volumes.  Until he stopped.  I would sit for an hour at every solid feeding waiting for him to open his mouth.  I would sing and dance, make crazy sounds by smacking my lips, and tickle him for any opportunity to shove the spoon into his mouth.  He got smarter:  he’d laugh with his mouth closed.  I laughed and cried to the point of exhaustion.

I finally figured out he was teething when I heard loud shrieks in the middle of the night.  For an infant who loves his sleep (he could sleep 12-14 consecutive hours throughout the night at 4 months old), something was amiss.  After three weeks of his food strike and interrupted sleep, Kermit cut his first tooth on New Year’s Eve.  His second tooth emerged three days later.  He had mild discomfort for the next two weeks and then the symptoms reappeared with great force.  His uppers came in—4 at the same time!  Let’s just say feeding and sleeping was even more miserable for both of us.

I almost cried when I learned babies grow 20 primary teeth by age 3.  TWENTY!  According to Baby Center’s website, this is the order of appearance:
1.  2 lower central incisors at 4-7 months old
2.  2 upper central incisors at 8-12 months
3.  2 upper lateral incisors, right and left of center, at 9-13 months
4.  2 lower lateral incisors, right and left of center, at 10-16 months 5.  2 upper first molars, the wider teeth second to the back of the mouth, at 13-19 months
6.  2 lower first molars at 14-18 months
7.  2 upper canines/ cuspids, which fill the gap between the incisors and first molars, at 16-22 months
8.  2 lower canines at 17-23 months
9.  2 lower second molars at 23-31 months
10.  2 upper second molars at 25-33 months.

If you pay close attention to the age of each tooth’s appearance, there is a lot of overlap.  Like I mentioned earlier, Kermit got his upper central and upper lateral incisors all at once.  I suspect he is getting his upper and bottom molars simultaneously as I write.  Poor little guy.

Most reference guides list drooling, gum sensitivity, irritability, gnawing behavior, refusal of food, and sleep problems among teething symptoms.  One must read between the lines, though, to understand the extent of the experience.  Sleep problems translate to sporadic deafening shrieks in the middle of the night; refusal of food can last for weeks; and irritability demands constant attention to baby’s clingy-ness.  In addition to these symptoms, Kermit would tug on his ears and cough a lot before a tooth cut through the gums.

The one thing I wish someone told me at the beginning of this process is:  your baby will not go hungry for the duration of the food strike.  He will definitely eat when he’s hungry.

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Treatment for teething pain include:  cold things, pressure, topical medicine, painkillers, and homeopathic remedies.  I tried all of these suggestions except for topical medicine (e.g. numbing cream or gels) because, as one friend warned:  what numbed the front can numb the back of the mouth resulting in gagging.  Of course, this was my personal decision.

Kermit predominantly found relief in iceys and anything cold.  I would make flavored ice cubes out of puree and milk.  I also would feed him cold milk on some of my more exasperated feeding days.  My friend made cold or frozen washcloths for her twins’ comfort which Kermit also loved.  To soothe his growing discomfort throughout the day and particularly at night, i would preemptively give him homeopathic chamomile drops every 6 hours.

On really really bad days when he would awaken every hour in pain, I gave him half doses (that the pediatrician recommended according to his respective weight) of acetaminophen only at night time.  I also made the personal decision to give him painkillers for a maximum of three consecutive nights followed by at least two nights of no administration.  My rationale was I did not want him to be too reliant on acetaminophen because he may have a lower threshold of pain when the molars and canines appeared.

Currently, Kermit has 6 pearly whites and, I think, 4 molars cutting through the gums.  He will not let me near his mouth.  He will sometimes eat solid chunks only if he can administer the feeding himself.  He likes to test his teeth while eating puffs and wafers and gnawing on his crib rails.  We await for another 10+ teeth.  God help us.

Despite the hardship, it’s undeniably cute when he smiles his little chipmunk gap toothed grin.  It melts my heart every time.

-Jeanne

BFL – Sleep Training

Did anyone read the NY Times article on March 26th about Sleep Training at 8 weeks: Do you have the Guts? Tribeca Pediatrics, one of the largest pediatric practices in NYC, swears by it. They started the sleep training concept at 4 months, then 3, then again at 2 months to prove the theory. Obviously just because one way works for one family, doesn’t mean it works as well for the next. Do keep that in mind!

I’m not sure if I think I will take the plunge at 8 weeks. From my experience as a childcare provider & running a sitter and nanny placement service for nearly 10 years, I believe there is a fourth trimester for both the mother & baby. I’ve interviewed countless mothers during that period, which if you’re lucky is 3 months after the baby’s birth. From the mothers that I have spoke to, they are not ready to let go & it doesn’t seem like the babies are either. I do think the babies sense their mother’s anxiety, so if the mother is upset or nervous or simply not ready, the baby will sense that & react in the same manner.

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However, there is this thing called sleep that we all need. So I completely understand wanting to start at 8 weeks if the parents need sleep as they may have to get back to work and cannot function without it. Talk with your partner on what you are ready for, and then try it out. Just be ready when its go time!

-Lindsay Bell