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Let S Use The Potty Potty Training

(category: Parenting, Word count: 427)
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Potty training is a major milestone for a toddler. We had bought a book called "Once Upon a Potty" for his first birthday and he enjoyed reading about Joshua using the potty. My mother bought him a DVD called "I Gotta Go!" which he enjoyed watching and singing along. My mother bought my son a potty when he was around 1.5 years old and I started sitting him on it from time to time.

But none of those things got him to use the potty everytime. The trick with him was M & Ms. I had talked to another mom at Kindermusik about how she got her son to go to the potty (he was a year younger than my son). She said she started giving him M & Ms everytime he went to the potty. When we got home, I started using her suggestion. You know what, my son started using the potty everytime the same day. Amazing! Within a couple of weeks, I stopped using the M & Ms and he kept using the potty.

Every child is different and they are all ready when they're ready. Here is a small list of some of the signs they are ready:

1. 1. Able to understand and follow simple directions.

2. 2. Has bowel movements at regular times every day.

3. 3. Able to remain dry for about two hours at a time.

4. 4. Has a name for urine and bowel movement.

Most articles I read said that most toddlers are ready between 18 and 24 months, but it is not uncommon for some children to still be in diapers until they are 3 years old. And really, they don't have to be in diapers. There are training underwear available for toddlers that are more like underwear, but have diaper protection. That's what we used with our son until he would tell us everytime he had to go potty.

Of course, he is no longer using his potty; he has graduated to the big potty with a potty seat. He feels like such a big kid using the big potty and no longer wears training underwear at night. He wakes himself up to go potty. He is always proud of himself when he doesn't have any accidents at night.

Potty training is not easy, and it takes alot of patience and understanding from us parents to help our little ones reach this milestone. Just take it slow and you'll find the magic trick to help your toddler too.

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Extra Cute Baby Outfits

(category: Parenting, Word count: 499)
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Parents live vicariously through their children and play dress-up.

One of the joys of being the parent of an infant comes in the form of choosing cute outfits for the baby to wear. Over the years, parents have narrowed this down to an art, finding and choosing the most adorable outfits that they can imagine and making it seem that every day is Halloween for their infants and toddlers. While scary and grotesque outfits rarely show up on a baby even during the actual Halloween holiday, there are plenty of parents that like to dress their sons as baseball players and their daughters as princesses. It's almost as if the parents start to relive a second childhood through their infants and just want to play dress-up.

And that's ok. It's part of being a parent.

The Sailor

"We want you as a new recruit," sang the Village People at the close of the 1970s in a song so popular that the US Navy thought of making it an official theme until someone finally advised the top brass what it implied. People love ships and sailors, though, and have been dressing their baby boys in naval inspired clothes for nearly a hundred years. The reasons aren't very clear but it seems that every little boy or grown man comes across pictures of himself as an infant or toddler in a sailor's suit at one time or another. If he could speak he might say, "Batten down the hatches and swab the poopdeck, matey! And, unless I get a little help bottom-side, poopdeck may take on a whole new meaning!"

The Baseball Player

Every father imagines his son standing atop the mound in Yankee Stadium, three pitches away from a perfect game in the last inning of the last game of the World Series. Even men who never excelled in sports themselves seem to have a burning desire to see their sons go on to be the next big thing in Major League Baseball. It's the only feasible explanation for the popularity of baby boys' baseball outfits. These are more common than the sailor suits and can be purchased in run of the mill stores like Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Target. Your boy may not be the next Nolan Ryan or even the next Bob Uecker, but you can dream that he is as you admire him in his little uniform. These come in versions licensed by real Major League ball clubs and generic versions that just share some team colors.

Little baby girls don't escape the dress-up play imposed by their parents, but are outfitted in more traditional items like frilly dresses, white tights, and little patent leather shoes. Their mothers may imagine them to be princesses, prom queens, or debutants, but mostly just do their best to make them beautiful. Since all babies are beautiful and the only thing more beautiful than the average baby is your baby, they don't have to try too hard.

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The 411 On Natural Colic Remedies

(category: Parenting, Word count: 667)
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Any parent whose baby has suffered from colic can tell you that colic is one of the most excruciating experiences ever imaginable. Nothing is worse than seeing one's baby in pain and not being able to help take it away. Finding relief for colic quickly becomes a toppriority. There are many different colic remedies that may come to the rescue for your particular baby. Each baby is unique and may only respond to some or a combination of colic remedies. Unfortunately, parents may have to use the old trial and error method to determine which provide the greatest amount of relief for their little colic sufferer. One thing is certain the days of "waiting it out" are long one for those determined to find an answer. There is no need to suffer needlessly along with baby. If you've tried all proper feeding and burping techniques and baby is still crying, try the following list of the most effective remedies available:

1. Music / Sound - Traditional lullabies, classical music composed for infants and heartbeat/womb CDs are very popular external remedies that relax many babies suffering from colic. You can find some particularly good ones at the SlumberSounds web site. Some parents have had great success by placing baby in carseat on top of running dishwasher, washing machine, dryer or near running vacuum cleaner. A gentle "shhhhhhh"ing sound in baby's ear can work magic, as can soft whispers and humming or singing.

2. Diet - Bottlefed babies with colic may show improvement if switched to a different formula, such as soy. The mothers of breastfed babies may have to pay close attention to their own diet to make sure that babies are not having negative reactions to certain foods. Try eliminating the following common culprits one at a time for a week to see if there are any signs of improvement for baby: dairy, caffeine, chocolate and gas-producing foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, peppers, melons, tomatoes, citrus fruits, beans and peanuts.

3. Gripe Water - Be sure to check the ingredients before buying a gripe water. Many claim to be natural but include artificial ingredients and preservatives. Colicky infants' digestive systems certainly do not need any of these potential irritants. Some gripe waters are not very helpful.

4. Warm Aromatherapy Bath / Massage - Add a few drops of lavender to a warm bath and follow with the soothing touch of massage. Focus massage on the tummy area to relieve painful trapped gas. You can research baby massage techniques on the web or pick up a book on the subject. A good one to try is The Practical Art of Baby Massage by Peter Walker. You can buy lovely lavender, chamomile and fennel massage oils specifically designed for baby massage on the Web. There is also a popular baby massage tool called "Snukkles" which may work well for you.

5. Swaddling - Babies are often soothed when swaddled or held close to a parents chest and heartbeat since they are reminiscent of the comfort and safety of the womb. Newborn babies are soothed in nurseries with swaddling. Techniques on folding soft, stretchy blankets are easy to learn. Find instructions and diagrams online or pick up a book/ magazine on the topic. A good ready-made wrap to try is "Swaddleme", easy to find on the Web.

6. Motion - Walking, rocking and movement are very comforting to most infants. The good old rocking chair may be all it takes. Some parents have been known to push stroller or drive around in car until baby falls asleep. Try putting baby in an infant chest carrier or sling so that your hands can be free. Walk with baby facing down across arm with hand under abdomen,applying gentle pressure. This position is often referred to as "the colic hold". Many babies like to be outdoors. Almost all babies love swings. Try a combination of the above to see what helps soothe baby the best.

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How To Read So Your Children Will Fall In Love With Books

(category: Parenting, Word count: 729)
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If you want to ignite the love of reading in your child, you have to do more than just read the words page after page, book after book. How you read and what you do during the reading determines how much your child gets out of that reading time. So, how do you read so your children will fall in love with books? Here are some suggestions:

1. Engage children in the story whenever opportunity permits. For example, have them join in the chants and rhymes, say repetitive phrases, or fill in the last words. Some stories allow for some acting along such as roaring like a lion or mewing like a cat. Show children that with books they can be active participants rather than just passive listeners.

2. Read with expression. You can use different voices for different characters. Also vary the way you read: loud, soft, sadly, happily, excitedly, scarily etc... according to the text. Let your voice and face bring out the emotions of the words. Spark their imagination by making the story come alive for them.

3. Ask questions. There are several types of questions you could ask:

To bring their attention to certain details. For example, "Can you see where the Big Bad Wolf is hiding?"

To increase comprehension. For example, "Why do you think the Little Red Hen didn't want to share the bread she had made?"

To have them predict what might happen. These questions also irks their curiosity. For example, ask "What do you think will happen next?"

Just be careful you don't turn the reading session into a quiz session. Also, don't ask too many questions or it will disrupt the flow of the story.

4. Enrich the reading with follow up activities and discussion. Think of craft ideas or songs that relate to the story. For example, after reading Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar, you could do a butterfly craft or sing a song about the days of the week. It could be as simple as having your child draw his favorite character or favorite part of the story. How about identifying new words to expand vocabulary. Another idea would be to talk about similar experiences your child may have had. For example, if the story was about going to the doctors, you could remind your child about the time he went to the doctors. Discuss your child's feelings and views about the story or illustration.

To get more out of a book, here are some finer points to remember:

1. Allow children to handle the book by encouraging them to help turn the pages. Don't be afraid to let them explore the book on their own before or after you've read the story. They may not know how to read yet but they can still enjoy the illustrations. And if they know the story well enough, you might catch them pretending to read, just like you.

2. If you are reading to toddlers, don't forget to introduce them to the make up of the book. Don't only read the title of the book but also read the name of the author and illustrator. Show them which is the front of the book, which is the back and where to start reading. Point to the words as you read so they know that reading is done from left to right, and from top to bottom of the page. Of course, all these are absorbed better when done in fun and silliness. For example, attempt to read a book upside down and your child will only be too eager to correct you.

3. Don't rush through the book. Read slowly and clearly. Create a relaxed atmosphere, free from stress and anxiety. Just for that few moments, free your mind from the 101 chores you have waiting for you.

So, if you want your child to love reading, show them first how enjoyable books can be. Opening book after book and just monotonously reading the words therein will not do much for your child. To get the most out of a book, you need to engage them and draw them into the story. If you can do this, you will heighten your child's love for books and reading.

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How To Recognize Exercise Induced Asthma

(category: Parenting, Word count: 379)
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Exercise and sports that require continuous activity, especially running and cold-weather activities, can induce asthmatic symptoms. Exercise-induced asthma affects about 17 million Americans, many of which are children.

Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, breathing difficulty and shortness of breath. Children with exercise-induced asthma often start to experience symptoms five to 20 minutes after they begin to exercise.

Recognizing exercise-induced asthma in your child can be difficult because symptoms often take a subtle form. Your child may complain that he cannot run as quickly as friends or may express a dislike for sports. Avoiding sports or physical activity limits quality of life for some children and can lead to problems with fellow students and low self-esteem.

Sports that may act as triggers for exercise-induced asthma include soccer, basketball, field hockey, long-distance running, cross-country skiing and hockey.

"There is no cure for exercise-induced asthma," said Dr. Michael Kaliner, medical director of the Institute for Asthma and Allergy in Chevy Chase, Md. "But by preventing inflammation, you can successfully reduce the chances of having an asthmatic attack."

It is important for children to receive proper diagnosis and treatment.

"For children 5 years and older, one option is Intal," Kaliner said. "It works by preventing certain cells from releasing substances that may cause inflammation in the air passages. It is important to note that Intal should be used prior to engaging in exercise, as it cannot treat acute asthma attacks."

It is also a good idea to provide your child's gym teacher or coach with written instructions, including:

* The nature and severity of the exercise-induced asthma

* Which medicines are used to prevent it and how to use them

* Techniques to avoid exercise-induced asthma, including a sufficient warm-up period

* Warning signs when your child is experiencing an asthma attack

With appropriate management, most children are able to exercise and perform to their full ability.

The most common side effects from Intal therapy in controlled clinical studies were throat irritation or dryness, unpleasant taste, cough, wheeze and nausea. Intal Inhaler should not be used in patients who have shown hypersensitivity to cromolyn sodium or other ingredients in this product. Intal has no role in the treatment of an acute asthma attack.

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Financial Training For Teens Makes Dollars And Sense

(category: Parenting, Word count: 384)
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According to a new poll, as they get older, a growing number of American teens own credit and debit cards-and the way many manage them has some people concerned.

For example, among teens ages 13-14, only 5 percent reported owning credit cards. Yet at age 17, the percentage of ownership climbs to just under 10 percent and then doubles again to nearly 20 percent for teens 18 or older.

What many find alarming is that 15.7 percent of teens who own credit cards make only the minimum payment due. At that rate, it would take a teen more than nine years to pay off a $1,000 balance on a credit card with an 18 percent annual interest rate.

These are some of the key findings of the 2006 Interprise™ Poll on Teens and Personal Finance conducted by JA Worldwide™ (Junior Achievement) and The Allstate Foundation.

Experts also point to the fact that the fastest-growing group of bankruptcy filers is 25 years of age or younger as a cause for concern and as evidence that there's a need for financial education for teens.

The poll results were announced by U.S. Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary of Financial Education Dan Iannicola Jr. and JA Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer David S. Chernow.

Said Chernow, "Given the skyrocketing bankruptcy rate and the staggering amount of debt being carried by the average American family, the time is now for students to learn critical money management skills. JA Worldwide is proud to join with The Allstate Foundation to help educate our nation's youth in this essential area."

Earlier this month, Treasury Secretary John Snow and U.S. Treasurer Ana Cabral unveiled the new national financial literacy strategy entitled Taking Ownership of the Future. JA Worldwide is included in the strategy as a key provider of financial education to young people in grades K-12.

For complete results of the 2006 Interprise™ Poll on Teens and Personal Finance, visit For a copy of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission's new strategy, visit

JA Worldwide is the world's largest organization dedicated to educating young people about business, economics and entrepreneurship. Today, it reaches approximately 4 million students in the United States, plus more than 3 million students worldwide.

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Quench The Thirst For Knowledge

(category: Parenting, Word count: 203)
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Education according to the gurus, prepares a child to live in society and the world, as we know it today. It inculcates values and introduces skills the child can hone as he or she grows up to earn a living. While education is a system, learning is a thirst quencher - it satisfies a curiosity and gives wing to imagination. As a parent or caregiver, you need to encourage this thirst for knowledge and nurture the imagination.

Education does not begin or end with school and university. One can be educated constantly every moment of life. And, as you know experiences are life's greatest teachers.

Learning has many aspects. The basic aspect is to provide a vitally conducive environment and the appropriate tools to learn. Another is that you as a parent must be prepared to listen and to answer to the best of your ability even awkward questions like "where do babies come from," or "the meaning of sexy." A child who is healthy, happy, physically active, and loved learns easily and adjusts to any situation.

Every parent wants his or her child to excel and be successful. And, to achieve this you must implement

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Discipline Versus Punishment

(category: Parenting, Word count: 139)
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Do you know the difference between discipline and punishment with their Latin roots? Punishment implies inflicting pain, while discipline means to teach. Parents who use punishment are missing important opportunities to teach their children better behaviors and help them self-discipline. Children can actually be taught responsible behaviors to help them get the things they want without breaking the rules.

However, when parents are only interested in compliance, they often impose strict and severe consequences to stop or prevent the behavior. This generally leaves the child not thinking about how they were wrong and need to develop more appropriate behavior, but leaves them instead thinking about how unfair their parent is.

Punishment generally teaches children to become better at not getting caught, rather than stopping the undesirable behavior.

All behavior is purposeful. We don't engage in behavior

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Mom S Guide To Keeping Kids Safe Online

(category: Parenting, Word count: 372)
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Today's moms need to defend their children against threats in two worlds: those outside the front door and those on the Internet. Although online resources such as Web logs (or "blogs") and social-networking sites teach kids how to communicate and express their opinions, they can also expose kids to online predators and scam artists.

Like many moms, Triva Hamilton guided her children from Web site to Web site when they were taking their first steps online. But now that her kids are getting older, "I can't be in the room every second that the kids are on the computer," she said.

Instead, Hamilton and her husband have looked to friends and creditable sources, such as, to learn more about online threats. They've also created strict rules - including no kids online until after dinner, when Mom and Dad are home.

"Keeping kids safe online is like teaching them how to avoid strangers and other potential threats in the physical world," said Debby Fry Wilson, director of the Security Engineering and Communications Security Technology Unit at Microsoft Corp. Microsoft is one of the founding sponsors of, which provides free, noncommercial guidance on how to manage online safety and security issues. "By setting realistic rules and ensuring kids understand the need for caution, parents can help their children be safer online."

Tips on the site (www.stay include the following:

(*) Create a contract. Develop an Internet code of conduct, with rules based on the child's age. All family members should sign the contract.

(*) Talk. Create an ongoing dialogue about Internet safety. If families frequently talk about good and bad aspects of the Internet, it becomes easier to chat when parents have concerns.

(*) Protect identities. To avoid attention from criminals, kids should know to never reveal their name, address, age or other information online. Parents should also help kids create a screen name that protects their identity and ensures that their online profile is blank.

(*) Teach by example. Parents can help kids learn to avoid destructive programs by maintaining strong security settings on the family PC. They should also use a firewall, an anti-virus product and anti-spyware software.

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