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Prepping your child for the first day of school

 

The end of summer has (finally) arrived and it’s once again time to send our little ones to school.  Woohoooo!!! I can finally have a few hours of peace and quiet at home!

 

While we may have been lax with our children when it comes to certain rules during the summer break, we now have to be (somewhat) strict and prepare them for their upcoming school schedule.

 

From setting meal times to putting them to bed earlier, preps are necessary to make the first few days of school as manageable for them as well as for us.

 

But prepping for the start of school is not all about these strict schedules, it can also be a chance for bonding when we go out with our kids to shop for their school needs.

 

My Tomas (8) and Lucas (4) love school but has always had trouble waking up for it.

 

If we share the same concern, whether it’s your child’s first day in school ever or not, the re-establishment of the school routine is a must to avoid early morning tantrums.  Not being a morning person myself, I understand what they go through but it’s all about routine and getting used to waking up at a certain time.  Help your child ease into this maybe 2 to 3 weeks before that dreaded first day of (chaos) school.  Set curfews on week 1 at around summer levels then deduct a few minutes a day until you reach your desired curfew.  Hopefully you can have them asleep at the targeted time 5 nights straight before school starts. 

 

Playing school at home is another handy trick to get their school groove going on that last stretch of summer.  If you have an older child, try to get the reading going again.  This works especially for my kids and I because it makes my little one want to learn how to read even more.  Have them solve simple math problems in the car like adding up the digits in plate numbers or subtracting, multiplying and even dividing if they are already at that stage in the previous school year.  Make it fun, treat is as a game, it is still summer vacation after all and this activity is really just to help your child wake up his brain.  Buy some activity books and have them solve what they can.  The idea is to let them get the hang of holding a pencil once again, not a keyboard or tablet.

 

Now let’s get to the fun part about prepping for school, and that is shopping!  If your kids are required to wear the school uniform then you’re pretty much done with half of the shopping you will need to do.  But for parents like me who still need to buy casual clothes for the little one in preschool, I advise you to discuss with your kid what they would like to wear to school.  Ask them to pick out favorites, knowing that they will get to wear their favored outfit everyday to school can help them look forward to the next day.  Comfort and practicality should come before fashion, so please, no heeled sandals for the little princess!

 

Let your child choose his own lunchbox and schoolbag.  I bring the 2 boys to the mall at the same time to avoid inggitan and to avoid the possibly of being blamed for picking the wrong cartoon character.  Try to catch a sale if there are still any.  Shop early (if possible); that back-to-school rush can sometimes be as bad as Christmas shopping on December 24.  Shop at the earliest date that you can and try to hit the mall before lunch.  Remember, you might be bringing along your kiddos so you wouldn’t want this trip to be stressful, making it fun will help make the concept of going back to the grind positive and cheerful.

 

Now that you’ve done all the preparation for school, do not forget how important the big day is.  It is natural for anybody to get the jitters at the start of a new school year.  If you sense any anxieties in your child, reassure him that he will be fine.  If possible, drive him to school and hand him to his teacher yourself.  This way, you also get to meet the person you are leaving your child with.  Tomas’ 1st day in preschool wasn’t easy but a trick I used was to point the clock out to him and tell him what time I will be there to pick him up.  I tried to be a few minutes early because a minute late could mean the longest minute for an unsettled child.  I felt that my son didn’t need the additional stress, he dealt with a whole lot while in school and the only thing that could have been in his mind was that clock and at how slow it was ticking.

 

At the end of the big day, give your child a huge hug; give them a moment to cool down and be your baby once again.  Ask them how their day went, listen, let them know that you are interested and that their day in school matters to you.

 

Keep calm, dear parent.  Before you know it, your child will be so comfortable in his new environment that they might ask you not to come so early to pick them up.

Kicking the Pacifier Habit

 

I’m a pacifier mom. Loud and proud. When I was a new mom I debated whether to give my first-born son Kieran the pacifier when he was eight weeks old. My lactation consultant told me that I could choose to give him either a pacifier or my breast to soothe him. I chose the former since the latter meant he would use my nipple as his pacifier. From that moment on, Kieran loved his pacifier and needed it to fall asleep. His pacifier dependency lasted until he was three years old. The pacifier works as a great soother. However they are a challenge to wean your child off of them.

 

Our problems intensified when the pacifier started falling out of Kieran’s mouth when he was asleep. He would wake up and cry until it was put back in. This was the beginning of a very bad habit I enabled. Since we were co-sleeping, I would just pop it back in his mouth every time he woke (which was every 2-3 hours). I did not sleep properly for almost two years! What I was doing was making Kieran think he could not self-soothe himself back to sleep since I was always there placing the pacifier back in his mouth. This was my big mistake!

 

Kieran finally agreed to give up the pacifier when he was 3 years old. I had tried to wean him earlier however he was unwilling and unable to understand why he needed to.  At the age of 3 he had the level of comprehension necessary for me to reason (a little) with him and make him understand that pacifiers were for babies. Although we had a bit of an challenging time giving up the pacifier it was worth it. I gave the pacifier to my second son Kalon and will probably be giving it to my daughter when she is born too.

 

If you are having issues with your child about giving up the pacifier I would say that if you can, wait it out. It’s not the end of the world that your child is attached to a pacifier. And it is a rarity that they will be 6 years old and still want the pacifier. My philosophy is that the pacifier is much better (and an easier habit to break) than your child’s thumb.

Tips for Travelling with Kids

 

It’s going to be a whole lot of adventure to travel with kids, so buckle-up your seat belts and get ready for the ride. Hey Mom! lists several tips to make your travel a lot more enjoyable that should work to your advantage.

 

Photo by khunaspix from www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

FLYING TIPS

It’s funny how babies and toddlers are perceived as not so great passengers: a crying child can be heard by every person inside and the smell of a diaper bomb can fill nostrils in no time. So before all eyes are on you, here are tips to manage your plane trip.

 

Keep the activities coming

Consider yourself lucky if your baby sleeps most of the time during the trip. But if he's awake, keep him entertained by doing some activities such as playing with rattles, soft animals, or pop up toys. Toddlers can do coloring, reading, or bringing along a handful toys for the trip.

 

Book an easy seat location

For convenience, sit at the backend of the plane. It's near the restroom for easy diaper changes and quick bathroom breaks for children who just can’t wait. Plus you'll get a lot of help from the flight attendants if you're the last one to go down.

 

Lessen painful ear pops

If your child's ears seems to hurt, let him breastfeed or suck on his bottle or sippy cup to relieve his ears of air pressure.

 

Check liquid guidelines

Review guidelines about bringing liquid inside the plane, hand the formula to the security for inspection, and if you are breastfeeding, make sure you are well hydrated before boarding.

 

Photo by nokhoog_buchachon from www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

Eat neat

It’s better to bring a plastic bib with pockets at the bottom to catch food. It’s easier to wipe off food and is conveniently rolled away.

 

Bring just enough

Pack enough solid food for the trip as you can always buy what you need in your destination. If the type of food is not available in your destination, pack the rest of the food on your check-in luggage.

Bring diapers to last until you reach your destination and purchase the rest there. Do not forget plastic bags for soiled diapers, wipes, and a changing pad.

 

Pack extra clothes

You never know when the next spit-up, diaper leak, or other mess makes your outfit unwearable, so keep a change of clothes for yourself in your hand carry bag.

 

Get a safety seat

Although children two years and below are free to ride and can sit on your lap, having their own place is safer and comfortable. If you did purchase a seat for your child, it's best to bring an aircraft approved seat for him.

 

Photo by punsayaporn from www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

DRIVING TIPS

Road trip is a great way for family bonding, but mishaps can occur and it’s best to be ready. Here are steps to a hassle free car ride.

 

Prioritize safety

Acquire a car seat and make sure that you read the instructions and install the car seat correctly. Check on the seatbelt and adjust to fit your baby snugly and securely.

 

Use sun screen

Purchase removable sticker sun screen for car windows. It’s more secure than those with suction cups.

 

Pack a convenience bag

Have a bag with all your kid’s needs inside the car for convenience instead storing them at the back compartment.

 

Photo by photostock from www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

Plot rest stops

Plan frequent stops so your toddler can stretch his limbs and move around to use some of his saved up energy. Pick out kid places such as parks or picnic areas.

 

Do a test drive

Take short trips as trial for your upcoming long trip so you and your kid can get the hang of it. Experience will teach you about what you really need to bring, your child tolerance to the car seat, and what keeps her happy.

 

Choose the right outfit

Dress up your toddler in bright colored clothing so he is easy to spot just incase you get separated during stopovers. Place identification and contact information inside your child's pocket.

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2017
May