Archive | January 15th, 2013

Tips For Flying With Children

Going on a trip with a toddler can be challenging especially if you are traveling by air. But luckily, you do not have to endure hours of crying and embarrassment anymore. Here are some helpful advice for making flying with children easier.

Prep Your Toddler

Toddlers have meltdowns on planes for two reasons – they are scared and they feel restrained. Preparing your toddler a week or a few days before you fly will help minimize some of your toddler’s anxieties. For instance, you can watch videos or read books about flying. “We’re Going On An Airplane” by Steve Augarde and “Airport” by Byron Barton are great children’s books that show what goes on at the airport. Or, why not role play the activities the two of you will be doing. Pretend to be the security personnel and have your toddler stand in line, go through security and so on.

Dress Appropriately

Dress your little one in nice, comfortable clothes. A good flying outfit consists of a pair of jeans, t-shirt, sweater and comfy shoes. This will keep your toddler warm and at ease. Plus, dressing your toddler for the journey will make him think that traveling by air is something special.

Bring Your Toddler’s Flying Essentials

Toddlers can get fussy when on the plane because they have to sit for hours in a small space, their ears are popping and they have nothing to do. Preparing a “flying kit” will keep your little one’s tantrums at bay. Bring a backpack with you and stash it with your toddler’s favorite snacks or ask him to choose what food he wants to eat on the plane, travel toys such as activity books, papers, crayons, clay, finger puppets, books with flaps, toddler laptops and a portable DVD player and one or two of his favorite movies. In addition, pack an extra set of clean clothes just in case your toddler spills juice on his shirt. Also, it would not hurt to bring anti-nausea medications if your toddler has a sensitive stomach.

Be At The Airport Early

Checking-in and going through security can be time-consuming. Thus, it is very important that you arrive at the airport early. Doing so allows you to choose your seats and arrange whatever needs organizing. Plus, the extra time is a good opportunity for your little one to explore the airport, look around shops, play at the play area (if the airport has one), eat and go to the restroom. The more comfortable he gets, the lesser chances your toddler will have a meltdown on the plane.


Keep your cool. How will you expect your child to behave if he sees his mommy is acting fidgety? Flying with your toddler for the first time can be nerve-wracking, but you have to stay composed. If you are relaxed, the feeling will rub off onto your toddler.

Most importantly, enjoy the experience with your toddler. Mishaps and outbursts are unavoidable, but do not let them ruin your adventure.

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Signs of A Good Daycare Center

Now that you have decided that a daycare center is the best child care option for your toddler, your next task is to scout for a good daycare center. But with all the options available, how will you know which one is the best among the rest? Here are some factors you should look for.

Excellent Reputation

A daycare center must have a good reputation. It should have a pleasant, warm atmosphere and be recognized for its nurturing environment. Chat up one or two parents whose children are going to the daycare during your visit. If they have high praises for the center, then most probably it is a good establishment and your toddler will enjoy going to it as well. Also, a good daycare center should have the proper certification and licenses. It must meet the state licensing rules for health and safety. A daycare that has been accredited by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) is a good bet in terms of quality.

Qualified Staff

A good daycare center must have a qualified, compassionate staff. The staff must have adequate training about early childhood development, first aid, CPR and emergency preparedness. Having these trainings assures parents that their children will be in good hands while they are away.

A Low Child-to-Staff Ratio

The number of children and staff in a daycare center plays a huge factor in determining the effectiveness of a daycare center. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, a daycare center should have a 1:3 ratio or 1 staff member for every 3 toddlers for children ages 1 to 2 while for children ages 2 to 4, 1:5 (1 caregiver for every 5 toddlers) is the recommended ratio.

Firm and Positive Policies

Every daycare center has its own rules. Look for a daycare center that has a good discipline style, one that will never use corporal punishment. The establishment must also have a detailed outline of emergency procedures, flexible pick up and drop off location and schedule and a strict sick-child policy.

Stimulating Program

The purpose of daycare centers is to educate toddlers, not act as a “storage unit”. A good daycare center should bring out the best in toddlers. Hence, a structured curriculum that includes plenty of time for physical activity, group and individual activities, quiet time, snack time and free period are necessary.

Clean and Safe Environment

The building should be safe or childproofed and well-ventilated and lit. The area should be clean, especially the toilets. Waste bins should not be left sitting unemptied. Play area should have child-friendly equipments.

Top-notch Security

Security must be a major priority to a daycare center. The establishment must make sure that each toddler and parent or guardian has an identification card. Children should not be capable of leaving the building and unauthorized individuals should not be allowed to enter the building under any circumstances.

Finding a good daycare center is not easy. You may think this is impossible to achieve, but with a little time and effort, you will be able to find one that will make you and your toddler happy.

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Toddler Biting – How To Stop This Habit

Most toddlers go through a biting phase at some point. While this habit is common and temporary, it is still important that you put an end to it as early as possible. Here are some tried and tested tips on how to stop toddler biting.

Pinpoint The Cause

The first step to stopping this habit is to understand the reason behind the behaviour. Maybe your toddler bites because he is undergoing a transition (e.g. teething), upset, bored, lacks attention or it is his way of exploration, self-expression and self-defense. When you become familiar with your toddler’s actions, you can gain understanding about the causes which can help you stop your child from biting in the future.

Recognize The Habit

Whenever you see your toddler bite, tell your little one to stop. This will make him aware of his action. Remove your toddler from the situation, get down at his level, look him in the eye, express your disapproval in a clear and firm voice and say “Stop biting. Biting is not good.”. If this does not work, take your toddler somewhere quiet to calm down.

Talk To Your Toddler

Explain why biting is not good. Use one or two short sentences to make sure your toddler understands you. For instance, if your toddler bites because he does not want to give his toy to his playmate, say , “Biting hurts. We do not bite. If you do not want David to get your toy car, you can hold on tight and say ‘Mine.’”. Or, you may also try reading a book about biting (try Teeth Are Not For Biting by Elizabeth Verdick and Marieka Heinlen) during story time.

Offer A Substitute

Another effective technique is to offer a biting substitute or a “biting toy” such as a washcloth or a teething toy. Tie the toy or cloth to his hand or clothing so every time he wants to take a bite, your little one will bite on his teething toy or washcloth instead of biting you or his playmate. Eventually, your toddler will not find biting so amusing anymore because he is not getting any attention or reaction from the toy.

Teach Your Toddler How To Express His Feelings

Oftentimes, children bite because they have not developed the verbal skills to communicate their emotions. If your toddler wants to show affection, teach him to hug or kiss. Likewise, if he feels angry or frustrated, teach him to hold his hand up to tell somebody to stop or he can say “I do not want to.” or “I am mad.”. Practice this new skill together until he can effectively use it on his own.

Comfort The Victim

If your toddler bit his older brother, go to him and say “I am sorry. That must have hurt. What can I do to  help?”. Doing so shows your toddler that what he did was wrong while at the same time teaching him how to show compassion. Or, you can encourage your toddler to soothe the victim.

Remember, changing a habit does not happen overnight. It takes time, so be patient. Most of all, never forget to praise your toddler each time he does something good.

Posted in Parenting, Toddler BehaviourComments (0)

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