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5 Tips for Avoiding Toddler Meltdowns During the Holidays | Baby & Kids

Friday, December 19, 2014 7:02:24 PM America/Edmonton

baby & kids clothingIt’s the most wonderful time of the year…. Until your toddler has a meltdown at the shopping mall, or the family dinner, or on Christmas morning. These are the moments that leave us all rethinking this whole holiday thing. Meltdowns are a natural part of the holidays due to the later nights, limited napping time and influx of sugar, but there are some things you can do to make sure that your little one stays on the “Nice” list.

  1.  Always be prepared with your toddler survival essentials. This is especially important during this time of the year. Bring your diaper bag or backpack filled to the brim with sippy cups, diapers (or training pants), a change of clothes, the favourite toy and snacks. No matter where you’re headed, having all of the necessities to keep them satisfied is a must.
  2. If your child is shy around crowds, holiday dinners might do them in. The overstimulation and intimidation of being thrust I a crowd of (what they consider to be) strangers can be frightening. Sit down with your toddler beforehand and explain “there will be a lot of people we love at dinner and they love you too! So let’s be very nice and shake their hands.” Aso it doesn’t make the scenario easier by forcing them to give hugs and kisses. Just let them do things in their own time.
  3. Trying to avoid a meltdown on Santa’s lap is a tricky one. The first step is, if at all possible, not to wait in a line for 2 hours. It’s frustrating, hot and boring – adults hate it too. Try to go at a less busy time of day if possible. Also, don’t force them to go by themselves or sit on his lap. Your can go ad stand near Santa and be in the picture too.
  4. If you’re doing some last-minute shopping, remember the cardinal toddler-in-the-mall rules: They must have their busy toys, snacks, water and essentials. A stroller is a good option too – even if they won’t sit in it, it’s great for hauling your loot. Take them when they are well rested and let them stop and look around and take in the music and decorations too. Make it a fun trip! If you sense they’ve had enough but you’re not finished shopping, take them to a bench for a break and a snack or even a short story.
  5. Christmas dinner can be meltdown central so the first step is to not put so much pressure on you toddler to act like a grown-up. There’s no reason to let them skip out completely or be rude at the table, but if they’ve had enough to constitute a full tummy, let them get down from the table and play beside you with a puzzle, colouring book or put on a Christmas show in a nearby room for them. That way you can finish your dinner and they’ll be having fun too.

Wishing you all a meltdown free holiday season!

Comments | Posted in Tips By Baby & Beyond

Babywearing: What You Need to Know | Parenting Tips

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 8:34:24 PM America/Edmonton

If someone told you they knew a secret to help your baby sleep better, cry less baby carriers canadaand learn better, would you be interested?

Babywearing has been practiced for centuries. In ancient civilizations, mom needed to have baby close while tending to everyday chores, such as tending crops. In those days, Babywearing was born out of necessity for baby's survival and mom's ability to work. Today, the multitude of benefits of babywearing have made it a popular choice for today's parent.

Did you know?

Babywearing is a good way to ease your baby into sleep. One of the best ways to ease your baby to sleep is sometimes called “wearing down.” There’s nothing fancy to this baby sleep tip at all. In terms of “wearing” your baby in a wrap style baby carrier or sling, this is a proven method that is almost certain to help your baby relax and fall asleep.

Babywearing promotes strong parent attachment. A study at Columbia University compared the levels of attachment of babies carried in a baby carrier vs. babies carried in a car seat. Results indicated that, at 13 months old, babies who were carried in wearable carriers were significantly more likely to demonstrate a strong and secure attachment to their mothers (Anisfeld, Casper, Nozyce, & Cunningham, 1990).

Babywearing lowers incidence of illness. Studies have shown that babywearing is linked to lowering the incidence of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), behavioral disorders and postpartum depression in mothers (Babywearing, 2010).

Babywearing is good for baby's mental development. Babies spend more time in a quiet, alert state when carried - the ideal state for learning. Their senses are stimulated while being carried (yet there is a place to retreat too). When carried, your baby sees the world from where you do, instead of the ceiling above his crib or people's knees from a stroller. And the extra stimulation benefits brain development.

Babywearing decreases the risk of flat head syndrome. This syndrome is caused by the babies spending too much time in car seats or sleeping on their backs. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies should spend minimal amount of time in car seats when not used in a motor vehicle. Babywearing does not require babies to lie flat, thus no pressure is placed on the baby's head. Additionally, babies can be carried while they sleep, further reducing the amount of time they spend flat on their backs (Babywearing, 2010).

Worn babies also tend to cry less. Dr. William Sears often touts the benefits of babywearing and research by Hunziker and Barr (1986) found that babies who were worn regularly cried 43% less, and 54% less during the evening hours. By design, baby carriers provide babies with needed physical and emotional contact. It is speculated that because their needs for physical contact are being met, they have less need to cry than other babies. In cultures where babies are carried almost continuously, babies cry much less than those in non-carrying cultures.

What is the best way to wear your baby?

A wrap-style carrier like the Moby Wrap consists of a single piece of fabric which is wrapped around and tied in such a way that the baby is held securely against your body. The Baby K'Tan Carrier has a unique double-loop design that is a cross between a soft sling and a soft-structured front baby carrier. It has less material to wrap than the Moby Wrap, so for petite babywearers or those who want a carrier with less material to work with, the Baby K'Tan is an excellent option.

The Moby Wrap and the Baby K'Tan Carriers are both made of stretchy knitted fabric (like T-shirt material) and are available in regular or organic cotton. The main difference between the two wrap-style carriers are Moby Wraps will suit different sized wearers, while the Baby K'Tan is sized to fit one babywearer.

Soft-structured carriers like the Ergo Baby Carrier have high-density padding and straps that distribute baby’s weight between the shoulders and hips and adjust for the perfect mutual fit , so you can enjoy being close to your baby while having your hands free.

The Ergo Carrier also offers parents the option of having 2 different weights of material in their carrier, depending on the option they choose. The outdoor-style Ergo Performance Carrier is made with a durable exterior and a breathable mesh interior for ultimate outdoor performance. The Ergobaby Sport Carrier is their  lightest-weight carrier. Quick-drying materials and extra venting keep you and your baby cool, calm and collected. The waist belt and shoulder straps have extra inches of padding to suit a wider range of babywearers.

What to look for when buying a baby carrier:

Size of the babywearer - do you need a carrier that can be adjusted to fit both mom and dad? If so, we recommend either the Moby Wrap or the Ergo Baby Carrier. Both can be adjusted to fit any size babywearer with very simple adjustments.

For a quick and easy wrap-style carrier, we recommend the Baby K'Tan. It's simple design allows the wearer to put it on in seconds, without the bulk of extra material. Keep in mind, this carrier is sized to fit the babywearing parent, so one size doesn't fit all.

Typical daily use - Do you walk older children to school? Do you need a free hand to chase after an older toddler all day? Do you need a carrier to help soothe a colicy newborn to sleep? Do you want to use your baby carrier to get out and about, or just for using around the house?

You may not be quite as concerned about how bulky the baby carrier is – or how well it packs up – if you're only wearing it indoors. If you want to use your baby carrier when you're out and about, however, consider one that's light and which folds up neatly like the Moby Wrap, the Baby K'Tan or the Ergobaby Sport.

Also, if you intend to spend a lot of time outdoors with your baby in a carrier, choose one that has a canopy to protect his or her head from the sun like the Ergo Baby Carrier or the UV blocking material of the Moby Wrap UV.

Will you be using your carrier at a yoga or exercise class? After a few moments in the right baby carrier, it's clear that babywearing gives you a way to comfortably carry your baby. What you might not realize is that a wrap style carrier like the Moby Wrap or the Baby K'Tan can also be part of a great workout. A wrap style carrier will distribute baby’s weight evenly distributed across your body as a functional “weight” for a workout. Baby will love the motion, you will love the comfort and exercise.

Do an internet search and you'll see that the benefits of yoga are pretty amazing. Even better, you can do yoga while babywearing with your Moby or Baby K'Tan Carrier with basic yoga poses.

Finding the best baby carrier for you can be a daunting task. It's difficult to get a good sense of which carrier is best for you until you try them on for yourself. Our Baby Product Experts at Baby & Beyond will be more than happy to show you some of our favorites - we have demos for every style of carrier in the store. Try them on with your baby and see which one works best for you and your family's lifestyle! You might just be surprised at the flexibility and freedom that comes with wearing your baby!

See all your options at www.babyandbeyond.ca/baby-carriers then come in and see them in person.  

0 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized By Baby & Beyond

Baby’s First Christmas: Tips for a Happy Holiday

Friday, December 14, 2012 7:09:03 PM America/Edmonton

baby santaIn North America, baby’s first Christmas is usually a grand affair. Special ornaments, hand made baby blankets and lots of playing “pass the baby around” are generally in order. By the end of the night, both you and your little one will be exhausted. If you’re lucky, you’ll make it through with only one or two screaming fits. What can you do to make it an enjoyable affair for both you and your baby?

  1. Expect the unexpected. Even if your child has never thrown up or had explosive diarrhea in the past, ever (even if he or she is almost a toddler) be prepared for it to happen at your Christmas soiree. Children, especially older babies, get over stimulated and can easily end up with upset tummies. (Specifically when your uncle spins them like a helicopter after they have eaten.) Pack an extra outfit or two for spills, and bodily fluids.
     
  2. 3, 2, 1… Meltdown! Children are known for their holiday meltdowns and yours will be no exception. With all the activity going full speed around them, they are likely to get worn down and cranky much faster than usual. Chances are you’ve had your baby on the go for a few days before Christmas so he / she will be extra tired. Bring extra pacifiers, bottles and his or her favourite toy hippo – it’s going to be a long night.
     
  3. Be prepared for the Full Monty. Baby’s first Christmas is the ultimate dress-up party: frilly dresses, leggings, Santa sleepers and tiny herringbone pants are likely to be seen. Unfortunately, when you’re in a cramped party with a family’s worth of people, the temperature can start to rise. Don’t be surprised if you’re little elf  needs to strip down to the bare minimum. Stick a Christmas bib around their neck and take some cute pictures – it’s not worth the fight.
     
  4. Don’t overdo it. If it’s your child’s first major holiday, they are under twelve months of age. That means they don’t care at all about opening gifts. Unique baby gifts are much better than big bulky toys: special ornaments and books are much more likely to have meaning in the years to come. 
     
  5. Pack the playpen. Just because your baby doesn’t want to celebrate, that doesn’t mean you have to pack it in at 8pm. Bring your playpen and find a quiet spot to set up when you get there. When your little one finally starts to doze, (or passes out on the floor if they’re a mobile age…) simply take them to the cozy playpen with their favourite baby blanket (you never know, it may work!)

Other tips to remember:

Watch for party hazards: Christmas time is the only time of year that you may see nuts a’ plenty in bowls everywhere around the house. Keep an eye out for sticky fingers and these Christmas hazards:

  • Christmas light cords and plugs
  • Bowls of nuts
  • Lit candles
  • Alcoholic beverages that are easy to grab
  • Already irritated family pets
  • Glass Christmas ornaments

Baby’s first Christmas can actually be fun – just relax and be prepared! Happy holidays!

Baby & Beyond is a baby and children's clothing and accessories boutique. Visit us online or in-person!

 

 

 

 

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