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Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Summer is full of celebrations it seems, especially when the weather is warm.

We all find it a bit easier to be playful and somewhat carefree when the the sun shines and the days are longer.

So here are my picks for some weekend reads.

Enjoy!

Friends and family get together during the summer and our children are meeting all sorts of “relatives” that they may or may not know. Take a cue from them how affectionate they want to be to these “strangers”.

Weekend VisitsAs we head into the vacation season and into visits with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, there’s one awkward situation that will arise in many families that most parents will be unprepared to deal with: relatives who expect hugs and kisses from little ones — even when those little ones don’t want to show them affection. To spare a relative’s feelings, many of us will urge a small child to endure or even return this unwanted physical contact. But should we? What messages are we sending to our kids about their body boundaries when we do this?

Source: Why Your Child Should Never Be Forced to Hug a Relative | POPSUGAR Moms

Trying to teach your child coding and introducing them to STEM activities is easier than you think.

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Computer coding is essentially a language that computer uses. When we think about helping kids learn computer coding, we automatically think we need a computer first. But in fact, there are many ways to learn computer coding without a computer, as many thinking and coding approach can be learned in many different activities off-screen. Today we share some off-screen activities that teach kids computer coding.

Source: 11 Kids Activities to Learn Coding without a Computer | iGameMom

Father’s Day is here and DIY gifts are great for the little ones to give to Dad. Here are some suggestions Cool Mom Picks.

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24 wonderful DIY Father’s Day gifts, crafts + printables
Posted on June 17, 2016
DIY Father’s Day gifts are always so special, especially from the youngest kids. (Once we hit voting age or so, those handprint mugs just don’t really cut it in the same way, huh.) So for our next installment of our 2016 Father’s Day Gift

Source: 24 wonderful DIY Father’s Day gifts, crafts + printables

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Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Welcome back!

Do you play catch up on the weekend? This weeks pics are short and sweet to read while you take a much needed break from the weekday routines.

Baths…are they really necessary every day for kids? What is the routine in your house? Do you wash your child’s hair every time they shower or take a bath? I never really thought about this too much but it must be a topic of discussion so here are some guidelines.

My grandmother told me that back in the day Saturday night was bath night and their tubs were in the kitchen because they had to heat their own bath water on the stove. That was tenement living in NYC in the early 1900’s.

Weekend BathtimeContrary to popular belief, babies don’t need daily baths, according to Laura Jana, MD, spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It’s not until they begin crawling around in sandboxes and other places, and start eating solid foods, that they get dirty enough to merit a full-body wash. “Bathing is really necessary only to clean your child off when she gets dirty,” pediatrician David Gellar, MD, told BabyCenter.

Source: Do Kids Really Need a Bath Every Day? The Great Debate

How do you promote creativity in your children and grandchildren? This week I read that kids are better off with lots of arts and crafts in their play space than a bunch of toys. I would not argue with that except there are definitely toys that creative while being fun. I am thinking about STEM ‘toys’ in particular robots like Dash and Dot, and Legos. How does your weekend stack up when it comes to creativity?

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Re “How to Raise a Creative Child” (Sunday Review, Jan. 31): What Adam Grant says about the relationship between freedom and creativity is so true. But now I fear that the tiger moms and dads will decide that they can mass-produce creative children merely by cutting back on rules and letting their children follow their hearts. I would argue that the sources of creativity are deeper than that: Creative children tend to have creative parents who encourage and value creativity in their offspring.

Source: On Freeing a Child to Be Creative – The New York Times

This is a great short article about kids and money and the effects of managing it even at an early age and keeping the conversations about spending alive as the years go on. A very worthwhile read even for adults who have money/materialism issues.

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Children are ever-changing beings, but when it comes to money and materialism, too many parents think that their older offspring are not malleable at all.

Here are the 6 Steps:

  • Foundation
  • Conversation
  • Wants and Needs
  • Keeping Score
  • Money Mentor
  • Keep Money Conversation Alive with Children During the Years Ahead

Source: Six Steps to Curb Materialism in Your Kids – The New York Times

Okay…now I know this is Super Bowl Weekend, so enjoy if you that is your thing. I like the commercials and the snacks! What about you?

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Baby Development at 5 Months

Your Baby Development at 5 Months

baby boy 5 months

Homing in on sounds Your baby now realizes where sounds come from, and he’ll turn quickly toward a new one. One of the easiest ways to engage him is to jingle a set of keys.

Things your baby might enjoy

  • Wind chimes
  • His own name may cause him to turn and look at you
  • Your baby is learning language from you not from tv or radio
  • Your baby has a growing range of emotions

He is expressing emotions but not in any complex manner. His sense of humor and his ability to show love are just developing. He can really tell you when he is angry and bored.

Your baby also shows a strong attachment to you by raising his arms when he wants to be picked up and by crying when you leave the room. He may also give you hugs and kisses.

He’ll laugh at your funny expressions and he’ll try to make you laugh too.

Remember always that your baby is an individual and accomplishes these milestones on his own schedule.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for at least six months – though parents will attest that some babies are eager and ready to eat solids earlier.

More Baby Development:-Starting solids is always a real milestone for baby and for parents. How, what, when are the questions that come up now.

baby development 5 months

How will you know when your baby is ready for solid food?

Here are cues to look for in baby development that will tell you he is ready to try some solid food.

  • Head control-being able to keep his head in a upright steady postion
  • Losing his “extrusion reflex”-he will have to stop pushing food out of his mouth with his tongue
  • He will have to sit well when supported. Even though he might not be ready for a high chair he needs to be able to be sitting upright to swallow well.

 

Chewing motions. Your baby’s mouth and tongue develop in sync with his digestive system. To start solids, he should be able to move food to the back of his mouth and swallow. As he learns to swallow efficiently, you may notice less drooling – though if your baby’s teething, you might still see a lot of drool.

 

  • When he is at least 4 months old and has doubled his birth weight or weighs about 15 pounds.
  • He seems hungry even after getting formula or breast fed his regular feeding.
  • He is curious about what you are eating.

Baby development is truly fascinating so take the time to enjoy all these small milestones that are happening.

Your baby is UNIQUE!

 

 

Source: Your 5-month-old’s development: Week 1 | BabyCenter

Source: Starting Solids

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Baby Development: 2 months and 3 weeks

 

 

 

Baby Development-2 Months & 3 Weeks

 

CJ two months

 

Our grandson is almost three months old and although he changes each day, overall there have been big changes since his birth especially in his movements and sleeping patterns.

Movement

  • James’ movements are much smoother these days. He moves both arms and legs almost in a dance of excitement when he is watching his mom and dad or his jungle friends from his little rocker seat. You can palpate his excitement in the morning when he sees his mom or dad come into his room when he wakes up.
  • Fun floor time seems to also be a favorite although tummy time tires him out more rapidly. Pushing off with his legs and holding his head up is a big deal at this point but his tummy time excitement wears off quickly. His muscles are clearly strengthening and toning which will prepare him for crawling in the few months ahead. Baby development is amazing!

Sleeping

  • James sleeps in his crib most of the time. He is not a co-sleeper…although sometimes he catches a nap in someone’s arms. I don’t think there is anything more relaxing than a baby sleeping in my arms. I cherish these moments and know that they don’t last and I will long for them when he is a preschooler.
  • Fortunately at this stage of his baby development, he has a predictable bed time routine which makes mom and dad happy to finally be getting some real sleep.
  • It is now a great time to begin a bedtime ritual that can set the tone for a quiet settling in to a good night’s sleep for everyone. Rocking, a bedtime bath, cuddling with a transitional object, music and or a board book story are great in their calming effects.
Transitional object baby development

Moo…The Cow

  • These rituals will change slightly over time but they are important over the long term so it is not too early to begin them and remember it is important to do the ones that work for your individual baby and family.

Smiles

  • Oh this is just my favorite baby development, smiling! Your baby can even begin to hold out his arms to you! How could anyone resist not wanting to hold a cute cuddly little one?
  • Remember he/she may not be all too friendly and welcoming just yet…this takes time to develop but some little ones remain skeptical for quite awhile, so be patient.

Child development is extremely individual and unique to each and every child. Milestones are to be used as guidelines. If you have any questions about your child at any time you should consult your pediatrician for more information.

 

Source: Your 2-month-old’s development: Week 3 | BabyCenter

 

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My Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Each week so many interesting reads come across my feed that I want to share. It is truly impossibly difficult to sometimes choose which ones to include here.

Weekly Review- Ice Cream

Here are the stories that lit up my screen this week.

The very sad story about a toddler left in his dad’s car has been all over the news. There is a very serious side to this story and it involves other parents, who have made this fatal mistake. It is a very long story but well worth reading to get a perspective on just what a serious problem this is in today’s world.

The toddler slowly sweltered to death, strapped into a car seat for nearly nine hours in an office parking lot in Herndon in the blistering heat of July. It was an inexplicable, inexcusable mistake, but was it a crime? That was the question for a judge to decide.

Do we allow our kids and grandkids to explore their world and discover things without a “helicopter” over their heads? This piece made me realize just what a different world it is today for some children.

 

In the tardy twilight of a Puget Sound evening, we caught a glimpse of a boy, maybe 6 or 7, playing in mud exposed by low tide. Ankle-deep in vibrant muck, he called out a discovery to his father. “I found a bunch of baby crabs,” he said. “A jillion of them.” From there, he slipped into the woods, chasing some other curiosity of the natural world. A butterfly, I think. He disappeared for some time, without a word of concern from his parents. “You don’t see much of that anymore,” a friend said.

 

In keeping with childhood safety, here is a post with some very helpful tips. Let it be known that I love The Mother Company. It is simply a wonderful group!

 

 

My Body Is MINE!

Children must know that they are “the boss of their bodies.” That simply means that their body belongs only to them, and that no one should try to play an uncomfortable or “yucky” touching game with them. Especially with their “bathing suit areas” or “private parts” of their body. This is especially important as kids head off to swim camps or pool parties where you may not be around. Talk to your child beforehand and make sure he or she knows to immediately alert you (or the chaperone or lifeguard) if anyone tries to play a “touching game”.

 

These are my top three selections for review this week.

There are many more fascinating family, parenting, kids, and food articles to name just a few topics that I enjoy. It seems I cannot get enough time to read all of them

 

I hope that you get a chance to click on at least one review, if not all and you enjoy reading them.

What are some topics that you love to read about on the internet?

Each week, I will try and select some good articles that relate to parenting, kids and various other topics.

Look for “My Weekly Review” each Friday!

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What are “STEM” Toys?

Do you know what “STEM” toys are?

 

 

Toys

Toy Fair 2014 NYC sounded like the place to be for anyone who loves toys, buys toys or sells toys.

As a grandmother, I am particularly interested in toy quality and what is educational as well as age appropriate.

I am not particularly bothered by toys that target gender because I buy and encourage my grandchild to play with items whether they are considered “boy” or “girl” toys.

The princess rage does not bother me either…I try to watch the princess stories so I can explain the positive qualities that each character possesses along with the issues that the villain presents to my grandchild.

This all being said…I came across some interesting posts that were driven by visits to the Toy Fair 2014.

toysI was not familiar with the acronym STEM– which refers to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Apparently this word describes characteristics, which parents like when shopping for play items.

Samantha Murphy Kelly, describes several toys which teach children architecture, programming and construction…including creating your own robot.

Quite a change from Barbie, as she says!

Another favorite mom blogger of mine Liz Gumbinner from Mom 101 and Cool Mom Picks devoted a piece to toys that she felt were not so gender specific.  Why are we so committed to pink for girls and primary colors for boys or fireman outfits for boys and princess gear for girls?

My wish is that toy manufacturers would catch up to parents, and grandparents, who are looking for toys that do not single out gender but instead help to create a world wide open to boys and girls in their world of play.

 

Related:

7 STEM Toys That Put Barbie to Shame

 

Smart Toys for Girls-No Princesses Pink Aisle by Samantha Kelly Murphy

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“Playing” or “Fighting” with Baby…

This video shows a dad “fighting” with his baby. To me this borders on child abuse. I know that dad is trying to be funny but at the baby’s expense…therefore …NOT FUNNY.

Just like teasing this kind of “baby rough housing” seems over the top especially when you make a video of it and you are able to see the baby’s facial and physical reactions to the actions of his dad.

What do you think?

To me, making a You-tube video, “Fighting with Baby“, actually encourages other parents to rough house with the babies in their lives.

This is just not funny…

Babies are learning trust especially in their caregivers; here we see the baby’s father literally throwing him onto the bed…twisting him around his arm and tickling him silly. The baby then tries to defend himself by “hitting” dad in the face only to be thwarted in his self-defending efforts.

I love social media and baby/kid videos but this video makes me sick as I watch it. I would like to see it taken down and a statement from the dad apologizing for using his son to publicize his own career. I would also like him to say that this activity could be emotionally and physically harmful.

Some people think that baby’s are “things” and have very few needs since they seem to just eat, sleep and cry. This is simply not so.

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Babies are developing  emotionally and physically at a very fast rate during their first year of life…parents and caregivers have a major role in this development. “Fighting” with baby is something we should not ever consider during this time.

At the very least: This video should come with a disclaimer.

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Do Homework Before Holiday Shopping for Kids

Toys

Thanksgiving is tomorrow so I have been hearing and reading a lot about Black Friday and shopping for kids.

When it comes to our children and grandchildren careful thought will go into Holiday gift choices.

I know that screens for kids are somewhat controversial. Let’s face it, eventually your kids will be exposed to the iPad and various other tablets both adult and child friendly. It seems important to know about the various available tablets.

So here is the link to Consumer Reports’ info on tablets specifically for children.

The market for kids’ tablets is growing dramatically. Just two years ago, only 8 percent of children had access to a tablet at home. Today, it’s 40 percent!

Consumer Reports tested six tablets especially designed for children costing between 70 and 230.

You never expect toys to harm your child or grandchild but we know they can… so here is a list of toys that you might want to avoid as they pose a safety hazard to some children.

 

November 26, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — As the holiday shopping season begins, the Illinois Public Interest Research Group is out with its annual list of dangerous toys that parents should avoid.

Illinois PIRG: Trouble in Toyland Report

Shoppers hitting the stores this holiday season should look out for toys that can be harmful to children.

Children with special needs and parents get help with toy choices from aToys R Us website. Thank you Toys R Us.

 

Toys R Us toy guide for differently-abled kids makes it easier to find the right toys for a child with a disability. The prices range from $5 – $100.

The toy guide is available at all Toys R Us stores and can also be found online:

http://www.toysrus.com/differentlyabled

 

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Toddler’s Tantrums, Creative Children, Smarter than Adults

Parenting in the Loop Facebook

Janet Lansbury offers many insights into how to take care of your babies and children. She    is a follower of Magda Gerber and her RIE philosophy.

Here are some of my favorite posts from Janet, that recently came across my feed. I hope you enjoy them and realize that as a parent and grandparent you have an awesome responsibility and a wonderful one as you involve yourself in caring for your babies.

“Take the mobile off the bed, take care of their needs, and leave them alone.” This odd sentence was my introduction to Magda Gerberand the child care philosophy that would become my passion. I had given birth a few months before reading this quotation, the only one by Gerber, in an article in L.A. Parent magazine about raising a creative child.

via Magda Gerber and the Creative Child | Janet Lansbury.

Babies and children are always fascinating and sometimes frustrating to me. As a former maternal child nurse, I feel privileged to have been one of the first people to have held some newborns. I always felt that the birth of another little being was a blessing and a miracle. I think I always knew that something special had just happened when a baby was delivered.

GENERATIONS of psychologists and philosophers have believed that babies and young children were basically defective adults — irrational, egocentric and unable to think logically. The philosopher John Locke saw a baby’s mind as a blank slate, and the psychologist William James thought they lived in a “blooming, buzzing confusion.” Even today, a cursory look at babies and young children leads many to conclude that there is not much going on.

New studies, however, demonstrate that babies and very young children know, observe, explore, imagine and learn more than we would ever have thought possible. In some ways, they are smarter than adults.

via Op-Ed Contributor – Your Baby Is Smarter Than You Think – NYTimes.com.

 

Temper tantrums can be very perplexing to parents. This anecdote might help explain how RIE understands the mechanisms of toddler tantrums.

Young children are self-healing geniuses, have you noticed? Sometimes their tantrums are an expression of immediate discomforts like fatigue or hunger. Other times, however, they have a backlog of internalized feelings and will seem to deliberately and (seemingly) unreasonably push our limits so that we will hold steady and resist, which then opens up the escape valve they need to release these emotions. But this process can only work for them when we are able to set and hold limits and bravely accept their feelings.

via The Healing Power of a Toddler’s Tantrum | Janet Lansbury.

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What Do Your Kids Do During Summer Vacation?

ice cream cone

 

Instead, I’m choosing to teach them that breaks are a good thing. That they don’t need to wring their brain cells dry to be good students. That their hard work during the academic year deserves the reward of relaxation.

 

I’m teaching them that right now, they should experience fun and freedom and mischief and food and yes, a goodly amount of TV and video games. I’m teaching them that they are good enough, and I don’t expect perfection.

 

I’m teaching them that they’re still kids. And that’s really all they need to learn right now.

via I’m Not Teaching My Kids Anything This Summer | Summer Learning.

 

Truly…I could not say this better myself…as I stare out the windows at the water which beckons me to just go with the flow on any given day!

Summer vacation has always been a time that I valued with my kids and now I continue to value it with my grandchild.

My own Nana, God bless her, taught me that summer was for…

Days full of unscheduled activities as much as possible…

Summer was for days…

Full of ice cream cones, sandcastles, swimming and beaches along with…

Rainy days full of  painting, make-believe and cookie baking.

What better excuse to be a kid myself…