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Archive for February, 2012


A meal at a restaurant gives you a break from the kitchen, but young children often make the experience stressful for parents.

Of all of my nephews and nieces, they are all relatively well-behaved at restaurants and I truly think its important to socialize your children at public restaurants from when they are very small (toddlers) to help them learn how to behave properly and be more restaurant friendly.  Just like riding a bike — after a few mishaps, your kiddos will learn to pedal correctly (and not ride into the bushes).

However, I completely understand parents who are very anxious and hesitant to bring their children out to dinner for fear of there being no “kid food” or getting fidgety or having a meltdown at dinner. Etc. here are some of my tips for making your kids more “restaurant-friendly”:

1.  It all starts at home
Make meals fairly structured and most importantly, routine. Remember: Kids start out as a clean slate, so as parents, it is our responsibility to help them form good habits. Things to employ:

  • Provide a variety on the plate – consistently. Even if it is one baby carrot stick and one apple slice, at least you are teaching them the importance of balanced nutrition.
  • Stay away from foods and drinks high in sugar. Children are highly susceptible to highs and lows both mentally and physically when consuming high-sugar foods.
  • Treats and sweets are just that, a treat. Keep them small (a small cookie) and offer them as a reward for eating properly.
  • Have them ask to be excused from the table. This sets the tone of who is in charge.

CHECK OUT LE TOP CHILDREN AND BABY CLOTHING AT
www.letop-usa.com

2.  Make meal periods interactive
At home they can help set the table, help choose the menu, and/or help prepare the food. This gives them a sense of involvement; they are invested in the meal.

At restaurants, let them choose what they would like to eat and bring a restaurant-appropriate activity.

Offer your child a toy, coloring book, small puzzle or similar activity to do at the table while waiting for the food. Bring extra items, letting your child play with one at a time to prevent him from getting bored.

3.  Timing of Dinner
Don’t think you are going to visit a restaurant at the hip, hot hours when most people go out. Always go earlier. You’ll get a better table, beat the rush, and even if your child has an outburst, you’ll be bothering a much smaller amount of people. Also, opt to be seated in a booth whenever possible, so it will be easier for you to keep your child contained.

4.  Make dining out sound like a special, rewarding and fun experience
Get them excited about the experience. If it is something to look forward to, they will want to do it again.

5.  Discuss restaurant etiquette BEFOREHAND as it applies to children
Keep the rules simple and easy to remember:

  • “Use our inside voices”
  • “Stay in our seats”
  • “Do not throw food” – keep your expectations low if they are less than three.

Again, use dessert as a reward for good behavior/eating. And be consistent – I cannot stress this enough! Also, be patient.

Give the restaurant a heads up that you are bringing children. This gives them a chance to select an appropriate table and perhaps assign a server that has a better disposition for serving families.

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No, I did not say that!

Mom: Did you brush your teeth?

Child: Yes.

Mom: So… if I feel your toothbrush, will it be wet?

Um, well, um, I love you! (as she runs to the bathroom)”

– Olivia, age 5

Editor’s Note:
Please spread the giggles and share your funny quote with us by sending it to editor@letop-usa.com

 

Visit our home page at www.letop-usa.com

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St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and make it a fun way to squeeze in healthy snacks for your kids! Here is an after school snack idea that your kids will think looks cool and tastes good!

This post has been moved to our website. To view the full post go to:
http://blog.letop-usa.com/?p=24238

CHECK OUT
LE TOP BABY AND CHILDREN’S
CLOTHING AT
www.letop-usa.com

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Daylight savings is coming up on Sunday, March 11th. It’s spring so we move our clocks forward one hour and “lose” an extra hour at night. Even just an hour change can be a disruption in your child’s (*and yours!) sleep.

This never comes soon enough for me though it can make it temporarily a little harder to get up in the morning since it’s darker. These simple tips for babies (6 months and older), toddlers and kids will help you stay on track with good sleep habits. Give your children a few days to settle in to the new time. After they adjust to the new clock, the only thing left to do is get outside and enjoy that extra hour of light at night.

This is important to understand because it is already hard to find the right nap or bedtime and with the time change, it can be even trickier. Effectively, the time change is like jet lag if you were to travel one time zone ahead of you. Because our internal clocks are “set” to be asleep or awake at certain times, adjusting your schedule on the day before and the morning of the time change can help immensely. But, this means you must change your whole routine, not just sleep times. There are many things that cue your baby into a schedule or routine such as the sunrise, meal times, the time you take her out for a walk, and so on. So, if your baby wakes at 6 a.m. and her nap is usually at 8 a.m., on the day before the time change, put her down a little early.

KEY: Change all your daytime routines to be a little earlier, not just sleep.

1.  On Saturday try to do everything 15 minutes or so earlier. Since most kids won’t want to go to bed a whole hour early (and may not be ready) then put them to bed on Saturday night (3/10) 30 minutes early, slightly shortening their day.

2.  Spring your clocks forward an hour when you go to bed or if you want your kids to think they’re staying up late, set them before they go to bed. 🙂

3.  Wake up with your child(ren) at the usual time on Sunday morning (3/11). Here is where they will lose a little sleep but it sets them up for going to bed at the regular time to start the week right. For babies and toddlers just let them nap a little longer if they need it but not too long or they may not go to sleep easily in the evening.

4.  Follow the clock for naps and bedtime from here forward. It can take a few days for your child to fully adjust, so be patient and consistent.

Tip: If you don’t already have them, try room-darkening blinds/curtains at night.

CHECK OUT LE TOP BABY AND CHILDREN’S CLOTHING AT
www.letop-usa.com

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This week we interviewed owner Jean Johnston from Doll House boutique in Palos Verdes Estates, California for our “Premier Store Spotlight” this week. Not only is she young and hip, she knows how to keep your child on top of the trend curve and parents in-the-know on the best new baby, children, and tween’s products on the market. Read more to find out about the latest spring trends, Doll House’s upcoming Easter event that is not to be missed, as well as sign up for Facebook to get updates on their cool mommy and me yoga classes!

2325 Palos Verdes Drive West
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
949.439.8333

www.dollhousepv.com

 CHECK-IN and JOIN Doll House Facebook page and click HERE

1.   Tell us the inspiration behind the name Doll House? How long has your store been around?
I opened Doll House almost two years ago. While bouncing ideas around, my father suggested the name Doll House, and I thought it was perfect! Children are our little dolls, they are so much fun to dress up.

Le Top Baby "By the Sea" Romper

2.   Spring 2012 styles are coming into stores and brightening up any family’s winter wardrobe. What are your top 3 items (clothes, toys, giftables, etc.) for any parent shopping for warm weather items for a nice holiday vacation this winter?
Nautical stripes will transition a wardrobe from fall to spring, which has made Le Top’s ‘By The Sea’ collection very popular in the store.  Quicksilver rash guards have a built in SPF 50 that can be worn poolside or at the beach. Three Martha’s fold up chalkboard mat (comes with colorful chalk and a fun elephant shaped sponge) is a helpful way to keep kids occupied on long car or plane rides.

3.  Any special events that you have planned at your store for spring? Tell us the inside scoop about any special events and especially the fun deals we can expect!
You Don’t Want To Miss Spring Time At Doll House!

Doll House will be hosting a spring event on Thursday, March 29th. We will have a bunny petting zoo, a fun art project taught by a local artisan, face painting and a very special visit from the Easter Bunny!

Doll House has teamed up with Billabong and Zico Water for a great trunk show event for tweens! Doll House tweens will be the first to view and order Billabong’s 2012 fall collection while enjoying Zico Water.

Doll House is excited to start mommy and me yoga classes this spring! Check out our face book and website for updates!

Store owner, Jean, showing her display of the Le Top Tiny Bubbles collection

4.   What is your “go-to” baby shower gift in your store for boys and girls?
I have a huge demand for clothing and gifts made in the USA. Lisa Denver’s growth charts (made in Palos Verdes Estates), Scrumptious Blankets (made in Los Angeles) and Giggle Moon (made in San Diego) are popular gift items. 

Le Top Sun and Sea collection

5.   What are your top 3 children’s movies or books and why?
Doll House’s most popular books are ‘Guess How Much I Love You’, ‘Pinkalicious’ and ‘Casey At Bat’. The hardback books come as a set with matching Pajamas! These make bedtime a little more fun. ($44 set).

6.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Palos Verdes Estates? Did you grow up in the local area?
Doll House is located in Lunada Bay, a surf and beach community within Palos Verdes Estates, California. It is a lot like Newport Beach, where I grew up. The locals are outgoing and take pride in their local boutiques.

Store owner Jean Johnston

7.    What are the hottest trends for kids clothes right now?
Purple, pink, red and bright blue skinny jeans and shorts are going to be a hot trend this spring and summer.

8.    What Le Top or Rabbitmoon Spring 2012 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Le Top’s ‘Tiny Bubbles’ for girls and “Whales & Sails” for boys have been very popular collections. The prints are a great way to match brothers and sisters, and perfect to wear at the beach club and the 4th of July!

(left) Le Top Whales & Sales boy's collection (right) Le Top Tiny Bubbles girl's collection


Doll House

2325 Palos Verdes Drive West
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
949.439.8333

www.dollhousepv.com 

CHECK-IN and JOIN
Doll House Facebook page
and click HERE

 

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It’s a jewelry box, it’s a treasure box, it’s a secret box….Turn craft popsicle sticks into a log- cabin-style container for jewelry, hair ties, or any fun kiddo collectible. I remember making these in school and was so proud to show it to mommy and daddy. Build one this weekend with your kids for a fun afternoon (or early morning) activity.

This post has been moved to our website: http://blog.letop-usa.com/?p=24102

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www.letop-usa.com

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This little outdoorsman, Benjamin (22 months-old), is today’s Darling. He jumps at the chance to go on walks scouting for deer, birds, and other wild creatures. Playing with Play-Doh, and watching Oswald and Toy Story 3 (it has to be 3!) are some other things this handsome boy loves. Thanks mom for sharing his photo. Congrats to Benjamin on being crowned the Le Top Darling of the Day!

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