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Posts Tagged ‘toddlers’

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to keep your house clean? It’s time to put your kid’s to work. Most experts agree that chores are good for children and they can really help lighten the load. My daughter is 5-years-old and I feel like just as I get one room clean I walk to the one she’s in and it’s now a disaster. It is time for her to help.

Author Jim Fay explains that chores are essential for children. In addition to our needs for physical and emotional safety, love and affection, and healthy amounts of control, he says, we also all need to be needed. That’s because we’re pack animals by nature.

“If your child never has to raise a finger, that basic need has been stolen away,” says Fay, co-founder of the parenting philosophy found at the web site loveandlogic.com. “Children need to feel as though they’re a cog in the wheel. But they can’t feel that way if they don’t have chores and make contributions to the family.”

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As an only child with many chores to regularly complete I know had a better understanding of what it took to run a house than some of my friends that had to do less. Though I didn’t appreciate it at the time it did establish helpful habits and a good attitude about work in me (especially when I also saw my parents doing their chores). This prepared me for the real world, taking pride in doing a good job and eased my transition to adulthood.

I’m all for my daughter contributing and preparing her for her future. I’ve been experimenting with what she can do so I recently tried having her wash dishes. Yes, she is young and it takes patience to watch what she’s doing but since I don’t have a dishwasher (How did that happen?) I will take what I can get. It is a slow process. Sometimes she loves to “help mommy” and other times she’d rather not. Sure, she uses too much water (plus gets it everywhere) and the dishes aren’t as clean as they could be but you’ve got to start somewhere. I stay in the kitchen wiping down countertops and then dry the dishes as she washes. Family fun! That way I can immediately see her process and show her when there is food that wasn’t quite washed off on dishes, give her tips AND tell her what a great job she’s doing.

Tip: Don’t rewash them yourself especially if your child is present as it can make them feel they didn’t do a good job and can demotivate them. Older kids may realize they can get out of doing the chore if they do a bad job.

At her age some of the dishes are a little unwieldy. She has to wash the outside of glasses by putting her fist inside then washes the inside while it sits on bottom of the sink. You may choose to only have your preschooler wash plastic dishes or metal pans instead of entrusting them with everything. It’s up to you. Get them started by having them put away some of the dishes or load up the dishwasher. Clearing the dinner table is something that is easy for almost any child.


Make sure the chore is something your child can handle but don’t underestimate them. If they can figure out a complicated video game they can probably handle a task that is one, two or more steps.

  • Provide a wide berth with deadlines. You give them a framework and they can choose when it works best for them with that timeframe.
  • Be specific with instructions. Example: ‘Put your clothes in the closet, books on the shelf, dishes in the kitchen, and toys in the toy box.’
  • Ease into chores for children. First, demonstrate step-by-step. Next, let your child help, then supervise them. Then it’s up to them.
  • Offer periodic praise.
  • Go easy with reminders. You may want to have a chore board or use the “when/then” technique, such as, “When the pets are fed, then you may have your dinner.”

And, as your children grow up and get busy, don’t let them off the hook, says Fay. He says to tell them, “I hope you get so quick with your chores that they don’t interfere with everything else.”

Here is a list I found that can be helpful in dividing up chores for kids of any age.


Chores for children ages 2 to 3

  • Put toys away.
  • Fill pet’s food dish.
  • Put clothes in hamper.
  • Wipe up spills.
  • Dust.
  • Pile books and magazines.

Chores for children ages 4 to 5
Any of the above chores, plus:

  • Make own bed.
  • Empty wastebaskets
  • Bring in mail or newspaper.
  • Clear table.
  • Pull weeds.
  • Use hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs.
  • Water flowers.
  • Unload utensils from dishwasher.
  • Wash plastic dishes at sink.
  • Fix bowl of cereal.

Chores for children ages 6 to 7
Any of the above chores, plus:

  • Sort laundry.
  • Sweep floors.
  • Set and clear table.
  • Help make and pack lunch.
  • Weed and rake leaves.
  • Keep bedroom tidy.
  • Pour own drinks.

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Ten percent of 2- to 5-year-olds and 20 percent of 6- to 11-year-olds qualify as obese, according to 2008 data on U.S. children from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Being aware of exercise guidelines for children can help you provide your child with the proper amount of physical activity to maintain a healthy weight, thereby preventing excess weight and multiple other potential health problems.

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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.

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Recently my boyfriend’s niece says she is a big girl now (3-years-old) and she doesn’t need a nap anymore. She honestly seems to be doing great overall without a nap. How her mom knew it was time to stop? I did a bit of research to find out. Tell us your tips on how you knew it was time to stop naptime too!

Studies show that many children stop taking naps at around age 4, but some experts say that may be too soon. Daytime sleep is important for kids during preschool and even throughout kindergarten. If your child falls asleep easily at naptime, it’s probably a sign he or she still needs a daytime nappy/snooze. The following are indications that it’s time to stop: 

  • Your child is consistently fidgety and restless at naptime.
  • He/She doesn’t have meltdowns in the late afternoon when misses his or her nap.
  • When he does nap, he has a hard time going to sleep at his regular bedtime.

Judith Owens, pediatric sleep expert says that, “Most children under the age of 1 take two naps a day — usually one in the morning and another in the afternoon. By 18 months, most have given up the morning nap but still need an afternoon snooze to make it through dinner without a meltdown. Even when you’ve kissed the morning nap goodbye, your toddler’s likely to continue needing her afternoon nap for quite some time. At age 4, more than 50 percent of children are still taking naps. And even though the majority of children (about 70 percent) stop napping at 5 years, 3 in 10 still need a nap at this age.”

However, every kiddo is different.

Much depends on how many hours your toddler sleeps at night. Aside from the obvious fact that you need time to check your e-mail, make a phone call, or clean up the house, naps are critical to growing children. “Research suggests that physical and mental development takes place when kids sleep-both at night and during the day,” says Daniel Lewin, Ph.D., director of pediatric behavioral sleep medicine at Children’s National Medical Center, in Washington, D.C.  Studies have shown that kids who nap have longer attention spans and are less fussy than those who don’t. And perhaps the best reason of all: When kids rest during the day, they tend to sleep longer at night.  Toddlers need approximately 12 to 14 hours of sleep in each 24-hour period.


It can be hard as your toddler grows older to have him or her take a nap. Toddlers want to explore and discover the world, and especially hate to miss out on anything, even if they are super exhausted.

Want a happy nap?

Do: Build a nap routine and aim to stick to the same naptime each day, but be flexible on special occasions.

Don’t: Wait until your child is asleep to put him down in his crib or bed.

Do: Encourage your baby to sleep in her own crib or bed for naps after she’s 2 months old.

Don’t: Keep your child up too late at night, which will interfere with his daytime sleep.

Do: Keep her room as quiet and dark as possible.

Do: Put her down for her nap in the same place where she sleeps at night.

If your child gives up her naps altogether before she’s 4 years old, at least offer her some quiet time every day. Tell her that children rest after lunch so they’ll have enough energy to play later on.

Keep in mind that most children need lots of sleep. BabyCenter sleep expert Jodi Mindell, author of Sleeping Through the Night, says, “If a child has poor sleep habits or refuses to go to bed before 11 at night, his parents will think that he just doesn’t need a lot of sleep. That’s probably not true — in fact, it’s likely that such a child is actually sleep-deprived.”

If you are questioning if your child still needs a name, below are questions that answer if your child probably needs one:

  • Does your child fall asleep almost every time he’s in a car?
  • Do you have to wake your child almost every morning?
  • Does your child seem cranky, irritable, or overtired during the day?
  • On some nights, does your child seem to crash much earlier than his usual bedtime?

Eventually your child will stop napping and start doing all of his sleeping at night. Preschoolers and young elementary school students still need up to ten or 11 hours of sleep a night, but that amount will gradually diminish.

Unfortunately, there’s no way of really knowing what age your little one will nap until. But, hopefully these tips and facts helped you to understand your kiddos daytime sleep. 🙂

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We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s just like riding a bike.” It sounds easy. But do you remember learning how to ride your first bike?  Was it easy? Did you crash? Did you cry? Did you smile with glee? Swear that you would never ride one again? Ha!

Here are some tips that may make it easier for your kids to learn to ride a bike.

Teaching Toddlers
Children can learn how to ride a bike at any age, but the younger the better. Try to start them as soon as they can walk – the hardest thing is to teach a child how to balance on a bike.

Toddlers can usually learn how to balance on a Hotwalk, a bike with no pedals, designed specifically for toddlers by Specialized. (It costs about $130 and can be bought at local bicycle shops.) This is a great first bike because it teaches kids to balance with their feet on the ground rather than on pedals.

Good Ole’ Training Wheels
Going the traditional route? There are also millions of kids who have used training wheels (also called “stabilizers”) to learn how to ride a bike successfully. Start your child on a 12-inch wheel bike with training wheels, and then slowly wean your kid from the back wheels.  It helps when you gradually raise the training wheels as your child gains confidence. The wheels should barely be touching the ground before your remove them off all together.

When the Wheels Come Off
Once the wheels come off, choose a safe site for your child’s “first ride.”  My personal favorite, which tends to be liked by many parents, is a flat, wide-open pavement area like a vacant parking lot or a school.

Here’s how you do it… hold the seat of the bike and give your child a little push. Once you give your child a little push, pedaling is KEY. Cheer your child on to keep pedaling! This is the way to continue balance. Tip: Don’t let go without telling your child. If he falls at a time that he felt he would be safe, you lose his trust. Also, it’s not safe for him to keep looking back over his shoulder to check on you.

It is natural to expect your child to fall – it’s all part of the learning experience. Make sure your child wears a helmet at all times for suitable protection. Remember – repeat, repeat, repeat! It is the key to mastering the bicycle.

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Reminder: We are just two weeks away from our go-see for our Spring 2011 photo shoot. Le Top is looking for children to model our unique clothing!

We are searching for babies and toddlers between the ages of 7 months and 4 years that wear sizes between 9 months and 3T (unwashed).

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and your child loves to be on the lens side of a camera …read on!

Please provide the following information to acountis@letop-usa.com: and we will send you all the pertinent information regarding the go-see and photo shoot:

* Child’s name
* Guardian’s name
* Boy or girl
* A couple of recent photos of your cutie (snapshots are ok)
* Age
* Weight
* Clothing Size
* Shoe size
* Email Address (Please send one email per child)

IMPORTANT DATES AND INFORMATION:

GO-SEE: July 9th at our Richmond, California headquarters

What is a go-see? A day when children come in for an audition (to try on clothes!)

PHOTO SHOOT:
Week of July 19th

If your child is chosen they MUST be available for one or more of the photo shoot dates.

REQUIREMENTS: All children must secure a valid working permit – we will supply all the information necessary – and sign a usage agreement.  Information regarding compensation will be included in our return email.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: July 7, 2010

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So cute!” was a phrase I repeated often during the photo shoot as I hastily ushered the parents and their talented toddlers to set.  It was impossible to ignore how adorable all the little models looked! Peggy (our amazing hair and make-up stylist) had lots of tricks up her sleeve to make the little darlings even more lovable. From teeny tiny pig-tails to fresh flowers  woven into a little girl’s hair – the models looked absolutely precious!

I hurried between the waiting room (AKA the design room) and the set (AKA the warehouse) all day. Whenever we were short on time my pace turned into a gallop – something that could only be visualized with a Benny Hill show soundtrack in the background. Fortunately – apart from a couple of stranded parents I found wandering aimlessly between rows of boxes – I managed to get all participants on and off set on time. Needless to say, working with models that are bundles of joy is a lot of fun! And boy, are they cute!

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