Archive | April, 2013

Sports Safety For Children

Encouraging a toddler to take part in sports is a great way to boost a toddler’s development and health. However, there is always a risk of injury. Parents can follow these sports safety guide for children to help reduce that threat.

Choose Age-appropriate Sports

The number one sports safety rule for children is to pick a sport that suit a child’s age and capability. Children under the age of five are still not ready to play organized sports such as martial arts, gymnastics, golf and track and field. This is because it puts too much pressure on a child who is still developing his dexterity. Sports such as running, kickball, biking (with training wheels or a tricycle), climbing and soccer are best for smaller children.

Have A Physical Examination

Before going into any sport, child health experts recommend children to go through a physical examination. A physical examination is necessary to determine whether or not a child is fit enough to play sports. An overweight, underweight, out of shape or a child with restricted mobility is at risk for injury as compared to children who are more physically competent. Having this test also helps point out any problems early on so the toddler’s doctor can come up with methods to treat these deficiencies.

Use The Right Gear

Every sport has its own gear. It is very important for parents to provide gear that protects, fits correctly and is appropriate for the sport. Protective eyewear is recommended for a toddler who will play soccer, knee pads and helmets with an adjustable strap for biking and for other sports that can bruise or scratch a toddler’s face and mouth guard for basketball. See to it that the child understands the proper use of the gears.

Make Sure There Is A Warm-up and Cool-down Period

Warm-up and cool-down periods are necessary for any sport. The warming up period is essential to get the body ready into good condition and prepares cardiac function for increased activity and minimizes the threat of stress being placed on the heart. The cooling down period is vital for slowly cooling the body down from rigorous physical activity and also help normalize breathing and heart rate.


Also one of the most important sports safety tip for children is to stay hydrated. Playing physically demanding activities can be draining and inadequate water supply in the body can lead to dehydration. Hence, it is imperative for parents to ensure that they provide their toddlers plenty of water or sports drink to replenish the lost fluids in the body.

Use Sunscreen

Children who are into sports must use sunscreen. The sun’s harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays can cause damage to a child’s sensitive skin and may cause skin cancer later in life. Make it a habit to apply sunscreen to the toddler’s skin at least 30 minutes before he goes out. Choose a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and has UVA and UVB protection.

Practice A Healthy Lifestyle

No, this does not mean a child who is active in sports can only eat fruits and vegetables forever. A bar of chocolate or a glass of soft drink every now and then is fine as long as the toddler has a healthy diet. In addition, getting plenty of rest is also very important to allow the toddler to recuperate after a rigorous event.

Seek Medical Care

Never let a child who is tired or hurt (no matter how minor) to participate in a sporting event. A toddler can develop bone fracture and a sprained muscle can easily become a torn muscle. Consult the doctor at once if the toddler is injured or develops symptoms that impedes with the toddler’s aptitude to play.

Sports can be a source of enjoyment for children, help them develop their skills and learn values. But, parents should always remember these sports safety tips for children to ensure their precious ones are safe and sound.

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Fun Family Activities For Toddlers

Parents are busy people. But even if you are busy, this should not be an excuse not to set aside special time to hang with your toddler and family. Make every moment together count with these fun family activities for toddlers.

Hit The Beach

Who does not love spending time at the beach? Toddlers and the beach go hand-in-hand. There is so much your toddler and your family can do in the sand and in the water. Bring beach balls to kick around, sand pails, shovels and other sand toys for your little one to play with. Collect seashells. Build sand castles. Let him explore this beautiful environment (but be sure to stay close to your toddler at all times). Do not forget to pack beach-friendly snacks and drinks and most importantly, sunscreen.

Go On An Educational Outing

One of the most fun family activities for toddlers is going on a trip with the family. You do not have to take a plane to go to another country. Explore the city. Pack up the whole family in the car and visit a museum near you. Toddlers can learn so much from museums. Head to the zoo and watch your toddler’s (and your husband’s) eyes widen in amazement as he sees the colorful parrots. Most zoos have a petting station where children can touch or feed them and hold child-friendly animal shows which is a great opportunity for your little one to learn more about animals. Bring a stroller, some snacks, water and the camera.

Host A Sports Event

A family sports event is a great excuse to get everyone in the family to exercise while having loads of fun. Any sport will do, just modify it to your toddler’s needs to make it easier without taking the fun out for older family members. You can hold a Wiffle ball tournament, play bowling, basketball, soccer or kickball. Prepare prizes for your toddler and for each family member.

Cook Meals Together

Cooking is also considered as one of the most fun family activities for toddlers. Invite your whole crew to help you prepare a special dish for dinner. Give your little one his own apron and chef’s hat and ask him to wash the vegetables or stir ingredients together while the elders chop and fry. Eating the food everyone helped cook will be so much yummier and sweeter. Plus, it will be a delight to hear and laugh about how your toddler’s face was smeared with flour.

Hold A Movie Night

Watching movies is another great family activity to do with toddlers. Each week, hold a family movie night in your living room. Take turns choosing the film. Pop some corn, allow your toddler to drink a glass of juice or soda, dim down the lights and get cozy. You can even use decorations to set the mood. Afterwards, you can talk about the movie and point out the lessons of the movie.

Get Crafty

Do-it-yourself projects are an excellent bonding activity for the family. Cover the table, floors and walls with newspaper and invite the whole gang to unleash their inner Picasso. Some toddler-appropriate craft ideas include finger painting, homemade family photo book, sticky wall collages, personalized greeting cards and finger puppets.

Read Books

Grab a pile of children’s books and hold a family book reading session once a week. Take turns picking a book and reading. If your toddler still has difficulty reading words, help him by reading aloud together. Discuss it afterwards. Reading is a fun family activity for toddlers and is also very educational. It helps boost your toddler’s language skills, memory, imagination, critical-thinking and attention span.

These are just some of the most fun family activities for toddlers. There are still countless of ideas you can try and explore. While your toddler is still young, grab the chance to foster family ties as this will benefit him later in the life.

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Stomach Ache Remedies For Toddlers

Toddlers often suffer from stomach aches. This can be due to food allergies, gas, indigestion or infections. Parents should keep a close eye on their toddlers to determine the cause of their child’s stomach ache. If the cause seems to be mild, it can be treated at home. Here are simple but very effective stomach ache remedies for toddlers.

Apply Heat

One of the best stomach ache remedies for toddlers is warm compress. Ask your toddler to sit or lie down and then place a hot water bottle or a washcloth dipped in hot water to the stomach for 10 minutes or more. Heat increases the blood flow to the skin’s surface which can relieve the pain.

Drink Ginger

Ginger is a great home remedy to give to toddlers with stomach ache. Ginger contains gingerol – a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce the production of free radicals which can be harmful to the body, decrease constipation and nausea and neutralize stomach acids. To prepare ginger tea, grate a small piece of ginger and squeeze out its juice. Mix ¼ teaspoon of ginger juice with warm water and ½ teaspoon honey.

Sip Chamomile Tea

Give your little one a cup of chamomile tea (one cup of water per teabag). Chamomile tea is a very good home remedy for minor stomach aches because it has anti-inflammatory and calming properties which can lessen stomach discomfort. It soothes the muscle of the upper digestive system, alleviating the contractions that move food from the tummy and small intestines which can help ease abdominal cramps and spasms.

Offer Lemon Juice

Squeeze a small amount of lemon juice to a glass of warm water. This fresh fruit juice can help with digestion, relieving a painful stomach ache effectively and naturally.

Drink Plenty of Water

See to it your toddler drinks plenty of water throughout the day. Most often, cases of stomach ache in toddlers are caused by acidity imbalance. Drinking water can help reduce the imbalance. Let your toddler drink water while sitting down (not lying down) and in small sips every 30 minutes. Gulping down water in one go can cause more discomfort.

Offer Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are also one of the most effective stomach ache remedies for toddlers. Fennel seeds help boost up muscle and tendon movement in the tummy, getting rid of excess waste and promote healthy digestion.

Give A Massage

Giving your toddler a massage can also help treat stomach ache. Apply a few drops of essential oil such as lavender and mint to the stomach and then lightly massage in a circular, clockwise motion.
Or, you can also rub your toddler’s foot. Hold your toddler’s left foot with the palm of your right hand and place your left hand underneath the ball of the foot and apply a solid, even pressure with your thumb. Move slightly forward and repeat. Switch hands and repeat from right to left with the thumb of your right hand until you cover the middle of the arch.

Snack On Yogurt

Yogurt is full of natural healthy microorganisms that can help cure stomach ache. The good bacteria can help break down food, treat tummy cramps as well as diarrhea. Give your toddler a bowl of yogurt with live cultures to snack on. Yogurt is tasty so you will not have any problems serving it to your little one.

Serve The CRAP Diet

Offer your toddler the CRAP diet if he is suffering from stomach ache because of constipation. CRAP stands for cherries, raisins, apricots and prunes. These foods are rich in fiber which can regulate bowel movement. Make sure you puree these foods first before serving it to your toddler to prevent choking. Serve a half cup of any of these fruits 3 to 5 times a day.

These natural and homemade remedies can successfully treat stomach ache in toddlers. But, if your toddler’s stomach ache continues more than five days or if he loses his appetite, develops a fever, vomits and is easily exhausted, it is time to call the doctor.

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Teaching Children Good Manners

Teaching children good manners is one of the most essential things parents can do. Having good manners will benefit children throughout their lives. Here are some simple steps on how parents can teach their children good manners.

Be A Role Model

This is the most important and effective tip any child expert and parent can give in teaching children good manners. If you want your toddler to model manners, you must lead by example. Remember, toddlers love imitating their parents. Say “Please.” and “Thank you.” when you ask someone to do something. If your toddler gets accustomed to hearing polite speech around the house, that is the kind of speech he will use himself.

Start With The Basics

Teaching children good manners is a process, so take it slow. Start with the basics – “Hello.”, “Please.”, “Thank you.”, “You are welcome.” and “Excuse me.”. You  can also teach your toddler to sign to articulate these words. For instance, when you say “Please.”, stroke your upper chest in circles using a flat hand at the same time. Ask your toddler to follow you. Gradually introduce more as your little one’s skills and comprehension develop.

Role Play

Practice good manners at home by role playing them. For example, show your toddler how to be respectful when answering the telephone. Pretend his stuffed animals are grandma and grandpa and they are visiting your home. Show him how to say “Hi grandma.”, “Goodbye grandpa.” and to shake hands. Or, pretend the two of you are in the grocery and someone is standing in front of the aisle. Have your toddler practice saying “Excuse me.”. With practice, your toddler will develop the confidence to deal with any situation that calls for good manners.

Make It Fun

To make teaching children good manners more enjoyable, why not turn it into a game. Play games such as Simon Says and Manners Detective. Play sports with your family or with other children his age. This will teach him the value of respect and sportsmanship as well as how to be a good team member.

Eat Dinner As A Family

Family dinners are a perfect time to practice table manners. This is the best way to show to your little one how to use utensils, chew food correctly, not to talk when his mouth is full, make conversation, say “Excuse me.” when he is full or is done eating and to bring his own plate in the kitchen sink. Teach your toddler to compliment the cook and the food and how to politely decline the food being offered if he does not like it.

Do Not Ignore Bad Behaviour

Do not ignore your toddler’s bad behaviour. Correct him on the spot without embarrassing your toddler. For instance, if he disrupts your conversation with your friend, beg your friend’s pardon and let your toddler know that it is not nice to interrupt.

Discuss It

Once you are alone with your little one, bring up the behaviour again so you can talk about it in detail and make sure your toddler understands how to behave the next time. But, do not punish your toddler. Communication is more effective in teaching children good manners than any form of punishment.

Provide Positive Reinforcement

Most importantly, provide plenty of positive feedback each time your toddler displays good manners. Children love praise especially when it comes from parents. Let your toddler know that he did a good job helping you carry the groceries or for courteously asking his friend that it is his turn to use the bicycle. Do not forget to give him a hug and a kiss as well. A little reward such as stickers, a bar of chocolate for snacks or cooking his favorite food for lunch also helps.

Teaching children good manners is a trial and error process. One minute your toddler will be very polite and then be very bossy the next. Just be patient and determined, your toddler will understand how to be well-mannered in time.

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Tips For Raising An Only Child

There are unique rewards and challenges to parenting an only child. To help you better parent your only child, here are some tips for raising an only child that you might find helpful.

Set Limitations

One of the most important tips for raising an only child is to set limitations. An only child has a tendency to be quite bossy and may even imitate your actions. Thus, you have to establish appropriate boundaries early on. Explain these boundaries clearly – how you expect your toddler to behave, what will and will not be tolerated as well as the consequences for bad behaviour. Setting clear expectations right from the start is important. They help your toddler feel secure and understand his limits.

Teach Your Toddler How To Be Independent

Being an only child can make your little one dependent on you and your husband which can lead to problems later in life. To teach your toddler to be independent, give your toddler responsibilities. Ask him to do age-appropriate household chores such as making his own bed, organizing his toys and setting the dinner table. Have him dress himself. Let your toddler do his homework. If he has trouble answering a math problem, do not just give him the answer. Instead, help him figure out the answer. Most importantly, allow your only child to make some mistakes.

Do Not Overindulge

It is very easy for parents with an only child to fall into this trap. Overindulging can make your toddler very demanding and he can grow up a “spoiled brat”. Teach your toddler to wait for his turn. Do not go overboard buying him so many toys and other items. If he throws a fit because he does not get what he wants, ignore it. Do not feel guilty. This will make your toddler realize that you will not submit to his every whim.

Maximize Social Interaction

Social development is very imperative in raising an only child. Remember, an only child does not have a sibling to play with which can make it difficult for the toddler to get along with others. Provide opportunities where your little one can mingle with children his age. Organize play dates with other moms. Consider putting your toddler in a daycare. Take him to the playground or park where he can spend more time mingling with people. Enroll him in a sports clinic, summer camp or a dance workshop. Invite your neighbour’s kids over and hold a movie and pizza party. These activities not only helps your only child build friendships with others but also teaches him to share, listen, wait for his turn, be empathetic and patient.

Teach Your Toddler To Entertain Himself

While social interaction is important in raising an only child, your toddler also needs to learn how to keep himself occupied. You do not have to entertain your toddler 24/7. Give your toddler a few toys, some books, art and crafts supplies, papers and coloring materials. Join him for a while. Talk to your toddler then once he is busy, back off a bit but do not leave the area. Just move a few feet away. Include few minutes of solo playtime in your toddler’s daily routine.

Relax and Enjoy

Studies show that only children can become too serious that they fail to see humor in things. To avoid this, do not be too focused in disciplining your little one that you forget to enjoy. Let loose. Smile and laugh openly with your toddler. Be silly. Play a lot of games together. Plan a day trip to the zoo or around the city. Cuddle and shower him with kisses.

Raising an only child does not have to be challenging. Just love your precious one unconditionally, set rules and expose your only child to different things, people and environment. By doing so, you can help your toddler grow into a happy, well-rounded, independent and friendly individual.

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Treatment For Hay Fever In Children

Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction to airborne elements such as mold and pollen. Hay fever is very common in children. It attacks children during later summer or spring. Although this is not a serious illness, it can cause toddlers discomfort which can affect their participation in everyday activities. Here is a guide about the treatment for hay fever in children.


Antihistamines are the most commonly used medications for treating hay fever in children. It is available in both pill and liquid form. Antihistamines obstruct histamine (which the immune system generates during an allergic reaction), reducing runny nose, sneezing and itching. However, some over-the-counter antihistamines are ideal for treating mild or occasional symptoms but may cause drowsiness in toddlers. In addition, toddlers who develop hay fever must take a daily antihistamine for at least 2 months to keep the symptoms under control. Make sure you ask your toddler’s pediatrician first before giving this medicine to your toddler.

Sinus Rinsing

Another treatment for hay fever in children is sinus rinsing. In sinus rinsing, a bulb syringe is filled with saline solution to clean a toddler’s nostrils. The salty water flushes allergens from your toddler’s nose. It can be used every day, either on its own or together with other hay fever remedies. You can purchase a bulb syringe and saline packets from your local pharmacy. Or, you can also make your own saline solution by mixing 8 oz. warm water, ¼ tsp. kosher or pickling salt and ¼ tsp. baking soda in a clean container.

Prescription Nasal Sprays

Prescription nasal sprays can treat or prevent nasal irritation, itchiness and congestion from hay fever. Health experts recommend prescription nasal sprays as they can be safely used for long-term treatment. But, you should never use an OTC nasal spray to treat your toddler’s hay fever as this can exacerbate the symptoms.


Giving a toddler decongestant is another option for treating hay fever. Decongestants are available in nasal spray, pill or liquid form. They can help ease congestion in the nasal passageway and sinus. However, decongestants should only be used for a short period of time as they can cause side effects such as headaches, insomnia and increased blood pressure in toddlers.


Immunotherapy also known as allergy shots is another effective treatment for hay fever in children. This is done by frequently injecting the toddler with small quantities of the allergens that cause hay fever symptoms. Immunotherapy treatments normally last 3 to 5 years to desensitize the body from allergens and to build up the toddler’s immune system. This form of treatment is recommended if a toddler’s symptoms continue even after trying medications and if the toddler has allergy triggers that are difficult to avoid.


Another effective option is to place a few ice cubes in a moist washcloth over a toddler’s eyes for at least 10 minutes. The ice can alleviate itchy and swollen eyes. This treatment is best done before a toddler’s bedtime to help the child sleep easier.

Avoid The Triggers

Of course, any form of hay fever treatment will not be effective if you do not limit your toddler’s exposure from the triggers. In order to do this, you must - keep windows closed at night. Remove carpets from your toddler’s room. Sanitize your home regularly. Wash your pets every week and keep them in your backyard. Place allergy filters over air vents. Buy allergy-proof covers for your toddler’s pillows, mattress and stuffed toys. Teach him to wash his hands frequently. Give him a bath before bedtime. Keep your toddler inside your house early in the morning and during hot, dry, windy days (when mold and pollen counts are high) as much as possible.

If you have more questions about hay fever or if you notice unusual symptoms, do not hesitate to consult your toddler’s doctor.

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The Best Toddler Shoe Brands

Now that your toddler is walking, it is important to find a good brand of toddler shoes that will protect your toddler’s growing feet. Here are some of the best toddler shoe brands you can try without blowing your budget.

Stride Ride

From the first shaky walk to the pitter patter of little feet, Stride Rite has been supporting children’s steps since 1919. Stride Rite is one of the oldest and most dependable toddler shoe brand. All Stride Rite shoes support the natural development of the foot which is very beneficial in keeping a toddler’s feet healthy and happy. It has a unique S.T.E.P. system which helps parents choose the perfect shoes for their children. Plus, the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) has granted its Seal of Acceptance to some of Stride Rite’s shoe styles. What is even more great about this brand is that it is available in fun designs such as florals, Sesame Street, Disney and Star Wars characters. The only disadvantage is that some of their shoes are a little bulky and some styles are not true to their size.


Pediped is also one of the best toddler shoe brands. Pediped is the manufacturer of some of the most in demand toddler shoes. Pediped shoes have a very elastic footing, perfect for taking those first steps. They are known for their motto – “The next best thing to bare feet.” because of the Grip n Go feature which offers excellent foot development, a flexible rubber sole and a plaint box that lets the toes comfortably grip the floor. Pediped shoes are offered in a variety of styles so you can be sure to find the perfect pair that will match your little one’s personality. However, the Velcro straps can be delicate and arch support are inadequate so see to it you choose a pair of Pediped shoes based on your toddler’s age and feet.


Robeez is a toddler shoe brand well-known for its soft soles. This is perfect for first-time walkers because they are very flexible, skid-resistant, provides gentle support without constricting and has a stretchable ankle which makes these booties almost impossible to kick off. Aside from that, Robeez shoes allow little walkers to get a good grip of the floor and help them discover their natural balance while protecting little feet from the world. These shoes have leather appliqués and are available in super cute color combinations and designs so your little one can master his walking skills in style. But as soon as your toddler can walk properly, you may want to upgrade to shoes with a more substantial sole.

Umi Shoes

Umi Shoes also made it to the list of the best toddler shoe brands. Umi Shoes are very light, stretchy and comfortable, making them perfect for a toddler’ still developing feet. Aside from functionality, this brand also offers a solid balance of style that toddlers will certainly feel good wearing them. The only drawback is that some styles get scuff up easier than others.


This toddler shoe brand boasts toddler shoes that are built on a solid foundation, are very lightweight and flexible for everyday use. In addition, Ecco shoes’ are perfect for avoiding pigeon toe (a condition which causes the toe to point inward when walking). Take note that Ecco shoes only have limited styles which might be a problem for moms who want to dress-up their toddlers in style.

See Kai Run

Another popular toddler shoe brand is See Kai Run. See Kai Run shoes are made from genuine leather, very durable, breathable, dirt repellent, have elastic soles that promote proper foot and muscular growth. These are perfect for indoor and outdoor use without restricting and provides maximum feet protection. Plus, this brand was also awarded the APMA Seal of Acceptance. The only downside is that the Velcro straps are a little too short.

There are thousands of toddler shoe brands out there. But these brands were highly-rated by parents so you can be sure you and your toddler will like one of these brands too.

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The Best Potty Training Books For Children

Potty training toddlers is probably one of the most challenging responsibilities of parents. Toilet training is an integral part of a toddler’s development. One way to make this possible and easier for you and your toddler is by reading about potty training. Here is a list of the best potty training books for children.

I Want My Potty by Tony Ross

This is a book to read to your toddler, especially if she is a girl. I Want My Potty is about a princess who encourages toddlers to use the potty because she is tired of wearing diapers. The little princess realizes that using the potty is the best way to free herself from the diapers through trial and error.

Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi

Taro Gomi’s book explains that all creatures - great or small (including young children) need to poop. It first illustrates how different animals make different kinds of poop and then shows toddlers how humans poop first in diapers and eventually in the toilet.

Time To Pee! by Mo Willems

Mo Willems is popular for his sense of humor and cool illustrations. Time To Pee! is a picture book that tackles going number one. Your little one can surely relate to this book because it explains how toddlers find the toilet terrifying so he offers a step by step toilet training guide that will teach your toddler a thing or two about using the potty while providing entertainment at the same time. It gives encouraging advice such as “Please don’t ignore it.” and “Don’t panic! Don’t fret!”. Plus, it gives reminders to flush, use toilet paper and wash hands.

What To Do With A Potty? by Marianne Borgardt

This one is a classic bestselling potty training book for children. This book is an interactive pop-up – perfect for introducing potty training to your little one. It features fun pops and pull-up tabs and stunning pictures making this book a priceless treasure in your toddler’s library.

My Big Boy Potty by Joanna Cole

This is a simple story that is easy for toddlers to comprehend yet very interesting. It is about a boy named Michael getting his first potty, learning how to use it and being triumphant in the end. It covers the essential information toddlers need when learning about and experiencing potty training. Plus, it also features a small section of valuable tips for parents at the end of the book.

Too Big For Diapers (Sesame Street) by Random House

Another popular potty training book for children is Random House’s Too Big For Diapers. It is a board book that is very short and simple, perfect for your toddler’s short attention span. The character – Baby Ernie is too big for diapers, hence he is ready to try out his brand-new potty. This book teaches toddlers that potty training is a process and may take a few tries before they can master it by themselves.

The Potty Train by David Hochman and Ruth Kennison

This potty training book is very entertaining. It has colorful pages and a very cute storyline. Your little conductor will want to jump aboard the potty train, bid diapers goodbye and get off at Underpants Station all while singing “Chugga-Chugga Poo Poo.”.

Potty by Leslie Patricelli

If you are searching for a sweet, straight to the point potty training book, this should be your top choice. Potty features adorable and clear images and few words. It allows you to make up your own stories. Plus, it is humorous without being gross – a book that your toddler will value as you read it over and over again.

Every so often, children need a dose of wit, direction and motivation to move the potty training process along. These potty training books for children could really make the task of teaching your little one how to use the potty quite simple.

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Tips For Cruising With Toddlers

Traveling with a toddler can be daunting at first. But if you plan and prepare well, there is no reason why you should give up traveling with your child. In fact, cruising is a great vacation option for parents with toddlers. Read on for some tips on cruising with toddlers.

Choose The Right Cruise Line

You are cruising with a toddler so you need to pick a cruise that can accommodate children. Ask about kids’ dining options, play area, cabin sizes, bathtubs, kids’ programs, toddler supply service and other facilities such as 24-hour room service, laundry services, feeding, babysitting and diapering. Some of the best family-friendly cruise lines are – Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Cunard Line.

Study The Kids’ Program Thoroughly

It is very important that you read the fine print on the cruise line’s website or talk to your travel agent about kids’ programming. Make sure you inquire about the minimum age for kids’ programming (since it can be as high as three while some require an extra fee), the program’s hours, if the kids’ program is open year round or only during peak season, what kind of qualifications and training the childcare providers have, if they change diapers for non-potty trained toddlers or you have to carry a beeper in case a diaper change is necessary and if toddlers are given their own space or do they need to share with children of different ages.

Request A Balcony or A Family Room

If you have the budget, consider springing for a room with a balcony or a family room. That way, you can unwind on your balcony or in the adjacent room while your little one dozes securely just a few steps away. Plus, having a room with a terrace is good for soothing your toddler’s meltdowns since the wind in his face and the water will provide distraction.

Request A Crib

Make sure you reserve a crib ahead of time since most ships have a limited supply. But if you are planning to let your toddler sleep in a bed, ask if the ship can provide bed rails so you can have them reserved, otherwise, just bring your own. Also, ask for a mini fridge to store milk and snacks.

Time It Right

Longer cruises (10 days or more) are not good for toddlers as the time on board will just bore your little one. Short cruises that last for 3 to 4 days are more ideal. In addition, opt for a cruise with plenty of stopovers so you can take your toddler exploring on dry land.

Provide Entertainment

Entertainment is very crucial for successfully cruising with toddlers. You need to provide your little one plenty of distraction to keep him entertained during the trip from the airport to the ship as well as on board. Be sure to stock up on small toys, board books, board games, papers, crayons, a DVD player, CD’s, some of your toddler’s favorite movies and snacks. Giving your toddler a disposable camera is also a nice way to keep your toddler busy. He will truly have so much fun snapping photos.

Play With Your Toddler

Sure, you can just bring your toddler to the play area or ask the babysitter to look after your toddler while you have that romantic dinner with your spouse. But, do not forget that this is a time to maximize bonding time with the family. During the day, act like a child and play with your toddler, do a cannonball in the pool and join as many shipboard activities as you can with your family.

Stick To Your Routine

As much as possible, plan your day on the cruise around your toddler’s usual schedule. Do not change your toddler’s mealtime, naptime, bath time and bedtime as this will only confuse your toddler and put him in a bad mood.

Lastly, enjoy the cruise with your toddler no matter what happens. You can never expect your toddler to always be on his best behaviour or do what you want. Change your expectations. Accept the mishaps and laugh it off. This is a wonderful time to bond with your toddler so do not let anything ruin this trip.

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Must-Have Cooking Tools For Kids

Toddlers love getting involved in planning meals for the family. If you have a toddler who loves to watch you cook or stir ingredients, buying cooking tools for your kid is a great idea. Here are some cooking tools for kids to inspire your budding chef.

Step Stool

Do not let your toddler stand on tiptoes or sit on a wobbly chair. Bring your little chef to the right height with a well-built, stable step stool. Look for a model that puts your toddler’s belt clip 30 to 36 inches above floor level and choose one with a non-skid step and rubber floor pads.

Chef Hat and Apron

Your toddler’s cooking experience will not be complete without a costume. Buy your toddler a child-sized apron. Get one in a bright color or with fun prints. Do not forget to buy him a pint-sized chef’s hat as well to get the complete feel.

Non-slip Mixing Bowls

A set of small non-slip mixing bowls is a must-have cooking tool for kids. Look for a mixing bowl with a rubber bottom or one with a suction base. This way, your little one can dump and mix the ingredients in one place which prevents the bowl from sliding out of your toddler’s hands and messing the kitchen floor.

Basic Cooking Tools

Be sure you get your toddler basic cooking tools. Choose cooking tools made of silicone since it is gentler for little hands. There are a lot of silicone kitchen utensils in the market so you will not have a hard time finding them such as spoons, egg beaters, spatulas, rolling pins, whisks, measuring cups, measuring spoons and sifters. Go for silicone cooking tools in bright colors to make your toddler grin with delight as he mixes, kneads and measure.

Hand Chopper

Do not let your little chef use a knife because it is too dangerous. Instead, give him a hand chopper to slice foods for soups and toppings. It is very easy to use. All your toddler has to do is put the ingredients under and repetitively push down to lower the cutting blades.

Cookie Cutters

Every toddler loves cutting and forming their food into cute and fun shapes. Buy your toddler shape shifters in various forms so he can transform his food into stars, hearts, circles, triangles, diamonds, gingerbread man, etc. Cookie cutters will certainly liven up any food encouraging him to finish his meal and maybe try out vegetables.

Hand Juicer

Get a press-type hand juicer and let your toddler help you work the lever and express orange and lemon juice. Letting your toddler see how fresh fruit juice is made will make him excited to make his own concoction.

Muffin Pans

Muffin pans are not just for muffins. Muffin pans are very versatile. Your little chef can use them to make meatloaf, frittatas and little tortes. Get a silicone muffin pan to make it easier for your toddler to use. Plus, it is a cinch to clean.


Protect your toddler’s tiny hands by having him wear cut-resistant gloves. Cut-resistant gloves will protect his hands from sharp edges while allowing his hands to get a firm grip on whatever it is he is holding.

Mini Mill

Get your toddler a mini mill with a round shape so he can comfortably hold it. This is a cooking tool that will help your little one learn about the joys of grinding ingredients.

Storage For Utensils

Your toddler’s cooking utensils will need a storage space to keep them clean and organized. Buy one that is spacious and accessible so your toddler can easily put away his cooking tools after every use. A large lunch box, tool kit or plastic box are good storage options.

Most toddlers love helping their parents in the kitchen. Giving your toddler these cooking tools will certainly have your toddler begging to cook up a storm with you.

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