Posts tagged babies

How to Get Your Child to Eat Vegetables Without Complaining

How to Get Your Child to Eat Vegetables Without Complaining | @BloomMaternityWith childhood obesity rates in the United States skyrocketing, it should come as no real surprise that more American kids are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and other health problems related to poor dietary habits than ever before. Unfortunately, getting picky kids to willingly eat vegetables instead of the high-fat foods that are actively marketed towards them can be quite a challenge. Most modern parents are well-acquainted with the struggle of maintaining a healthy diet for their children in a society that seems determined to provide them with more sugar and empty calories than nutrition, but there are ways to help your children form good eating habits.

  • Start Early – Introducing your toddler to fruits and vegetables rather than chicken nuggets and French fries can make instilling good habits much easier as they get older. Breaking a bad habit is much more difficult than avoiding the acquisition of one, so limiting your little one’s exposure to unhealthy convenience food from early childhood is best.
  • Limit Unhealthy Purchases – Convincing a child to eat his carrots is sure to be difficult when he knows that there are tater tots in the freezer. Limit the availability of unhealthy options, and make a habit of preparing healthful fare at every opportunity. When there are unhealthy, albeit appealing, foods lurking in the pantry, kids aren’t as likely to complain and beg for those things.
  • Model Good Eating Habits – Kids mimic the adults around them, and they quickly pick up the habits that their grown-up loved ones exhibit. Bemoaning the necessity of a diet rich in fresh produce and vocally yearning for a drive-thru cheeseburger won’t help your child appreciate healthy food as a tasty and nutritious choice, it’ll make eating well seem like an unpleasant task. If choosing broccoli over chili dogs is a chore for you, it’s best to keep that attitude from showing when dinnertime rolls around. Remember, you can’t expect a child not to complain when they hear you doing just that.
  • Be Firm – When a child throws a tantrum and refuses to eat her vegetables, many parents simply relent to avoid difficulty. Though it’s infinitely easier to cave under pressure and provide your child with the unhealthy foods she demands than it is to stand firm, it’s ultimately detrimental to her health and discipline to continually give in to her. Forcing a child to choke down foods that they truly dislike, however, will only breed resentment. Experiment with different preparations, combinations, and types of vegetables until you find what works for your family, and resist the temptation to take the easier path. When good habits have been established, the number of dinnertime complaints will drop dramatically.
  • Get Kids in the Kitchen – Young children love to help, and meal preparation is no exception. Furthermore, the feeling of accomplishment that comes from knowing that they aided in the creation of the meal makes healthy food more appealing. The ability to make good choices stems from a good education, and that education begins in the home. Rather than making the kitchen off-limits for your kids, get them in on the action and take every available opportunity to teach them about the importance of a good diet.
  • Presentation is Key – Even adults are likely to turn their noses up at poorly presented, unappetizing fare, and kids tend to be far pickier. Getting kids to willingly eat their vegetables can be as simple as presenting them in a way that’s both tasty and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Adopt a “No Hiding” Policy – Sneaking vegetables into foods that your kids already love will certainly make them a part of their diet, but it won’t help them acquire the good eating habits that are essential to maintaining health as they get older. Kids will still plead and pout when spinach shows up on the dinner table, regardless of how much you’ve been hiding in their smoothies.
  • Start and Maintain a Family Garden – Researchers at the Department of Endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic have determined that kids who are actively involved in maintaining a family vegetable garden are more likely to enjoy the results than their non-gardening peers. Even a small plot can help generate excitement and make kids eager to eat food that they’ve helped to grow, so consider starting a garden if at all possible. In addition to boosting kids’ likelihood of willingly eating fresh produce, gardening also serves as a physically active hobby.

Kids who have grown accustomed to a diet comprised mainly of processed food will almost certainly be resistant to a move in a healthier direction initially. Though complaints will be common when you first begin to integrate fresh produce after a long period of unhealthy eating, it’s important to maintain a firm stance. In no time at all, your kids will be on a path to healthier eating without complaints.

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10 Ways to Tell Your Nanny Loves Your Baby

10 Ways to Tell Your Nanny Loves Your Baby | @BloomMaternityWhile no one loves a child quite like a parent does, most parents hope that their nanny comes in a close second. Even when feelings of jealousy rear their ugly heads, rare is the parent who doesn’t hope that the relationship between their child and his caregiver is a close one. If you’re not quite sure about the feelings that exist between your children and their nanny, here are 10 of the most reliable indicators that she’s almost as fond of them as you are.

  1. She’s Effusive With Praise – A nanny who celebrates every milestone with your children and praises them generously for each and every one of their achievements clearly cares very much for your children and is invested in their continued success. Conversely, a nanny who rarely praises your children and shows little interest in their progress may not have much of an emotional investment in them.
  2. She Shows Sincere Concern When They’re Injured or Ill – When your nanny loves your children, she’s likely to check up on them when they’re not feeling well, whether she’s on the clock or not. She’ll show a very real concern for their well-being, even on days when it’s not technically her responsibility.
  3. She’s Engaged and Attentive – Even though your nanny is only human and will inevitably have days when she’s more worn out than others, she’ll generally be engaged and attentive when she’s emotionally attached to your children. An apathetic caregiver who’s distant and aloof, however, may simply view caring for them as a necessary chore to obtain her salary.
  4. She’s Genuinely Invested in Helping Them Reach Milestones – Loving a child creates an inherent emotional investment in his success, so a nanny who feels true affection for your child will be determined to help him reach crucial developmental milestones and will celebrate each one as it’s achieved.
  5. She Spends Quality Time With Them – Nannies who don’t feel genuine affection for their charges may act in a mere supervisory role, whereas one who does care about them will be eager to spend time playing with them and teaching them new things.
  6. She’s Happy to See Your Children Each Day – The way that your nanny greets your children each day is generally a fairly reliable indicator of how she feels about them. Affectionate greetings and immediate attention shows genuine emotion, while a more detached and businesslike approach may indicate the opposite.
  7. She’s Excited By Their Achievements – Every time your child achieves something new, you feel a surge of pride and excitement. Similarly, a nanny who loves him will be enthusiastic about every success, and eager to celebrate it with him.
  8. She’s Full of Laughter and Cheer – Nannies who don’t have an emotional investment in their charges aren’t likely to be cheerful about spending time with them. One that genuinely cares about your child will almost always be jolly and good-natured when she’s spending time with him, though.
  9. She’s Still Positive at the End of the Day – There will always be days that are more difficult than others, which means that even a nanny who legitimately loves your children may be a bit worn down when you return home from time to time. However, a nanny who’s consistently in a foul mood or is obviously eager to leave the moment you return may not feel attached to your children, and may also not be providing them with the level of care, attention and affection that you’d hoped for.
  10. Your Children Love Her Back – Few things are as reliable when it comes to indicating the nature of a child’s relationship with his caregiver than the way that he feels about her. Rarely will a child express real affection and excitement about seeing a nanny that doesn’t feel the same way about him, so observe the way that your child reacts to and engages with his nanny. If he’s generally happy to see her and can’t wait to fill her in on things that have happened since they last spent time together, there’s a good chance that the two of them have an affectionate and healthy relationship. 

It can be difficult to watch your child eagerly greet his nanny or share inside jokes with her that the two of you don’t have, but it’s important to remember how valuable a genuinely loving relationship between a child and professional caregiver is. Rather than allowing natural feelings of jealousy to negatively affect your own relationship with the nanny, try to keep in mind that your child’s love for her is a sign that you’ve chosen his childcare provider exceptionally well.

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8 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Medications for Kids

8 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Medications for Kids | @BloomMaternityHealth care costs are soaring higher every year, and as they do many American workers are watching their health insurance coverage simultaneously diminish. In this economic environment, many families are forced to find ways to cut medical costs wherever and however they can. Consider these eight ways to reduce the cost of their kids’ medications.

  1. Generic Alternatives – Any medication that your child might need will almost always have a generic equivalent that can be substituted for the name brand version at a cheaper cost. Ask your child’s doctor or pharmacist if going generic is an option.
  2. Start with Samples – You don’t necessarily have to buy an entire month’s worth of medication that’s been prescribed for your child all at once, especially if there isn’t a specific medical need for that much. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if they have any free sample packs.
  3. Buy in Bulk – On the flip side, if you’ve been prescribed a medication for your child that you expect she will need for an extended period of time, try buying a 3-month vs. a 1-month supply. Medications are often cheaper per dose in larger quantities.
  4. Larger Dosage Sizes – Another way of reducing your per-dose expenses is to buy a larger dosage size than the prescription and then split the pills to match the prescribed dosage. Here again, the larger pills are often cheaper per milligram than the smaller versions. You’ll need your doctor’s permission before going that route and the medication needs to be conducive to easy splitting.
  5. Shop Around – Like everything else, prices vary for medications. For instance, Wal-Mart pharmacies have a $4 prescription plan for 30-day supplies, and $10 for 90 days’ worth. Sometimes referred to as a 4/10 plan, this doesn’t require insurance. You can find a list of medications and available doses here. Ask your pharmacist if they’ve got a 4/10 plan.
  6. Mail Order – This is rapidly increasing in popularity as a means for purchasing prescription drugs at a discount. You can find deals for a 3-month supply of a prescription that for the cost of only one co-pay.
  7. Coupons – Yes, drugs have them too. You may be able to get them from your doctor or find them online. Check the website of the drug’s manufacturer too. You can save a bundle with coupons.
  8. Discount Cards – Certain groups and organizations offer memberships which afford their members discounts on certain products. You may already have a means to save on your child’s medications right there in your wallet, next to your hard-earned cash.

You don’t have to resign yourself to high medication costs. Instead, try to find different ways where you can reduce the price. Health care coverage may be diminishing, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune to stay healthy.

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10 Tips for New Dads

10 Tips for New Dads | @BloomMaternity | The Bloom BlogEvery
one feels for the new mom because after all she is the one that just gave birth. Her hormones are still shooting straight up and falling like the anvil in a Wiley Coyote cartoon. She is most likely the one staying up most nights and if she is breastfeeding that is something that also takes a toll on her. Since they are both new parents neither one of them know exactly what they are doing or what is normal in any situation. Dads tend to get left out and people often forget they are new at this too and it can take a toll on them as well. Sometimes they get a little pity from their buddies and co-workers but usually not so much. And so you will not misunderstand I am not pro dad, anti mom, but I know that the new dads have some adjustments to make as well. So I am going to offer up a few suggestions for you first time fathers that may help a little.

  1. Take a time out – Even if you are not the one getting up with the baby all night chances are you are still getting awoke by the call of your newborn every night and maybe several times a night. Lack of sleep, hearing babies cry, the phone ringing with well wishers or mom-in-laws, and a sometimes cranky partner who has been up most of the night will start to wear on your nerves. Just take a few minute time out by walking outside and taking some deep breaths. Walk around the house or the block. I would not suggest leaving your wife alone for long and I would offer them the same break as I am sure they could use it as well.
  1. Take time with family – If your company offers time off for you as well as your wife as many companies do be sure and take advantage of that time. Spend some time with your newborn and get to know them. Help out your wife and make the transition easier for her to get the routine down. Play with your newborn and bond with them just as your wife is because before you know it they will grow up and you will not have the relationship you want. Many fathers aren’t really interested until the baby starts walking and talking but if you wait until then you miss a great time of sweet bonding. And besides all this your wife will appreciate you and needs your support.
  1. Go places – After a routine gets set start taking your wife and child on adventures. Things do take longer with baby in tow but it is so much easier to go places with a newborn that you can carry around or push around at this point and they generally sleep quite a bit of the time. Once they start to walk and talk is when it really gets hard to go out to restaurants and attractions. It gets even more complicated because then you really have to watch out for the little ones and they demand even more attention. Don’t be afraid to take the baby out places, as long as they are dressed right and you have all the essentials with you there should be no problem.
  1. Set aside time alone – Get a trusted relative to watch the baby and have some time to nurture each other. You will both need the one on one attention because believe me when you have the newborn it seems that everything is about them. It is not anyone’s fault that is just the way it is. They just came out into a crazy new world with sights, sounds, and feelings they have never had too and it takes quite a while for them to adjust. You guys need each other and you need to support and encourage each other. It is important not to forget about the relationship between you and your wife, you both need the encouragement.
  1. Don’t schedule too much – Do your best not to have too much company or too many activities so that you are always on the go. You need time to get used to each other and get to know each other as a family unit. In the beginning everyone wants to come see the baby or you are taking the baby to see someone. This is great but just be wise and limit the commitments you make in the first few months for all of your sakes.
  1. Pediatrician – I am sure you both did a lot of research and study to find the perfect pediatrician for your sweet little bundle of love. Make sure he or she takes phone calls and can meet your needs at a moments notice. All new parents have questions, when possible make a list of questions to take to your next visit. If an emergency arises or a situation you are not sure of then you need to have a doctor that you can call up to get answers and reassurance. There are some pretty crazy things that come up with newborns that you may think are life threatening situations but most often they are not. Do not panic but do have a good doctor who is willing to take the time to talk to you and has a good attitude.
  1. Guys night out – New moms will need a night out with other moms to discuss all the new mom stuff and in turn dads should have a group of guy friends that consist of some new and some veteran dads. It is always a good idea to discuss things with another guy that is going through or that has gone through the same things you are. Encourage your wife to take some time off now and then and you do the same. It is good for your mental health and the whole family.
  1. Stay healthy – You are dad and everyone needs you. You need to keep exercising even if it means taking the baby out with a jogging stroller and giving mom a nap time. You need this to alleviate stress and to stay healthy, or you could do it as a family. Make sure everyone is eating right. Your wife may be too tired to do much cooking right now. If you have a good support system in your family ask them for help in preparing a few meals. Go pick up a healthy meal from a good restaurant. You and your wife need to stay healthy for all of your sakes so watch your health.
  1. Take advice, read up on babies – Remember to listen to those that are experienced dads and do a little reading on what to expect from your baby. It is always good to be prepared and get information to that when a situation arises you will be prepared. But watch out for the pessimist in the crowd and be wise and choose the right people to listen to. Not everyone has good advice and knows what they are talking about, they just want you to think they do. It is your baby and as you spend time with them you will know what is best.
  1. Don’t take things too seriously – By all means take your responsibilities seriously but when things start to get crazy or tempers get short be smart and lighten things up with a little humor. Laughter is really good medicine. Your wife is as worn out if not more worn out than you are. When things start to feel like you are in a pressure cooker try to think of something to laugh about, it will help ease the tension and sooth the tempers.

Being a dad is a wonderful thing, it is all in the way you handle it. You need to have a little extra love, patience, and understanding for your wife and cut everyone a break right now including yourself. Enjoy your children while they are little because it does not last. If you blink you will miss it. And have fun!

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Jason Miner plays a vital role for  He is an expert in writing topics of different categories.  He is helping the carnival team to grow & working on making this an even better place for bloggers.

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How to Save Money on Kids Clothes

How to Save Money on Kids Clothes | @BloomMaternityIt’s no secret that having children is expensive. From the cost of diapers to the expense of extracurricular activities as kids get older, it seems as if they’re always on some new path that costs money. Some of those kid-related expenses are completely unavoidable, but others can be circumvented with a bit of creative thinking and a determination to not waste money. Kids’ clothes can be a major drain on your budget, but there are ways to cut clothing costs down to a manageable level.

Be Reasonable About Babies

When you first learn that you’re expecting a brand new bundle of joy, especially as a first-time parent, every tiny shoe or ruffled onesie seems like a non-negotiable expense. Realistically, however, you won’t need to stock up on piles of high-end infant couture. In a matter of months or even weeks, infants and toddlers will outgrow their clothing. Furthermore, they’re still too young at that age to be consumed with the idea of fitting in with their fashionable peers. While there’s nothing wrong with a few indulgent special occasion purchases, you should keep in mind when you’re shopping for babies and toddlers that plain, durable and inexpensive items are much smarter purchases.

Hit the Sales Rack

When the new season’s shipments come in, most of a store’s stock goes to the sale rack. If you’re lucky, you can snap up a few items that are still serviceable for a while until the weather actually changes. Stocking up on essential items at deep discounts keeps your kids in clothing from the stores they love, without forcing you to pay the full ticket price.

Discount Shops

When higher-end stores purchase too much, they generally dump the stock on outlet and discount stores like T.J. Maxx and Ross. Hitting those stores and others of their ilk can help you dress your kids to the proverbial nines without breaking the bank. Snapping up stylish clothes at bargain prices helps you save more money while satisfying tweens’ and teens’ need to stock up on items of recognizable branding.

Consider Consignment

While kids aren’t known for taking particularly good care of their clothing, you can score gently worn items at nicer consignment shops for a fraction of their original price. In some cases, you’ll even find items with the retailers’ tags still dangling, an indication of another mom whose enthusiasm for purchasing the best clothes outstripped her child’s ability to wear them all before going up a size or two. When you’re shopping consignment, be sure that you give any item you’re thinking of purchasing a thorough once-over before taking it to the register. If you miss a stain, tear or hole, you probably won’t be able to obtain a refund, as most consignment store purchases are final. By keeping an eye out for defects or signs of wear, you can walk out of a consignment store with a huge haul for pennies on the original-retail dollar.

Consider Purpose When You’re Checking for Quality

An item isn’t a bargain if it falls apart after one wear, even if it costs next to nothing. That being said, you should consider the purpose an article of clothing will serve when you’re checking the garment’s quality. Play clothes that you’ll send your little ones out to make mud pies in don’t have to stand up to the same scrutiny as a dress reserved for special occasions. If an item is cheaply priced and isn’t overly flimsy, it may still be a worthwhile purchase, especially if it’s only purpose is to keep your child from exposing himself as he climbs a tree or goes bananas with finger-paint. Play clothes don’t have to have a designer label, but they should be durable enough to withstand more than one trip to the playground.

Swap and Share

If you have friends and family members with children the same age or roughly the same size as your own, you can establish a system of swapping and sharing outgrown clothing that eliminates the need for some purchases. Saving money through these types of arrangements allows you to make the pricier purchases for special occasions without doing serious damage to your household budget.

In-Store Credit Cards

Most major retailers offer in-store credit cards that you can use for discounts on your purchases, ostensibly saving money on the clothing that you buy for your kids. Be aware, however, that all of those special-offer savings and customer loyalty discounts go out the window if you don’t pay the balance off before interest charges kick in. While it is a method of saving money on clothes, taking out store credit is something you should do sparingly and with caution.

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10 Things Kids Born in 2013 Will Never Know

10 Thinks Kids Born in 2013 Will Never Know | @BloomMaternityWhile there’s no denying that progress is a wonderful thing, the rate at which the world is changing is creating an environment in which objects that were commonplace to today’s parents will be virtually unheard of when their babies become adults. These are 10 simple things that Generations X and Y took for granted, but are likely to be complete mysteries to children born in 2013 as they reach maturity.

  1. What the “Save” Icon Actually Represents – The little square icon that denotes a the “save” feature in any word processing program is immediately recognizable to today’s adults, but children born in 2013 will never understand that it’s designed to resemble a 3.5 floppy disk. In a world of flash drives, the icon now symbolizes a piece of dead technology.
  2. How to Operate Rotary Phones – Unless one of today’s babies has a great-grandmother that’s still holding on to an old rotary relic, there’s little to no chance of them ever encountering one outside of old movies. By the time the infants of 2013 are adults, in fact, they may not even remember a time when homes had landline telephones at all.
  3. Why VHS Tapes and VCRs Used to be Amazing – As cloud storage becomes the wave of the future, even physical copies of DVDs and CDs are becoming rarer. The same VHS tapes that Gen X-ers grew up collecting are little more than relics now, meaning they’ll be all but unrecognizable to the generations of tomorrow.
  4. What Pagers Were – If you’re above the age of 25, you probably remember a time when cell phones were prohibitively expensive and pagers were all the rage. These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a pager that’s still in operation.
  5. The Joy of Cassette Tapes – Spending an evening meticulously crafting a mix-tape playlist or waiting for hours to catch your favorite song on the radio so that you could record it onto a cassette is probably a cherished memory. It’s also one that today’s kids will never be able to fully understand, because cassette tapes are all but extinct.
  6. How to Use a Card Catalog to Look Up a Reference Book – When kids need to find a fast fact or research a report today, they turn to the Internet and their favorite search engine. The art of searching through a card catalog to find the reference book you’re looking for, and then combing through it for information, is one that will likely be lost to a significant portion of tomorrow’s youth.
  7. What it Was Like to Get Lost – When every phone has GPS capabilities and every child has a phone, it will be difficult to understand that people were still routinely getting lost or writing down questionable directions as recently as the early 2000′s.
  8. What the “M” in “MTV” Stands For – Kids of the 1980′s and 1990′s remember a time when the lineup of MTV still consisted largely of music videos, with a few reality shows and special programming aired sporadically. Today, there’s almost no music on what was once Music Television.
  9. How to Execute a Perfect Prank Call – Before the advent of caller ID, kids would get their kicks with a few good-natured prank calls. It’s a pastime that’s ethically dubious, but isn’t likely to even exist by the time today’s little ones are teenagers.
  10. How to Use a Phone Book – With directory assistance at your fingertips and every smartphone featuring a web browser, when was the last time that you even opened a phone book? By the time your children are adults, they may not even remember a time when the phone book was still delivered to every door.

Realizing how many of the things you’re familiar with will be archaic to your children can understandably make you feel old before your time, but it’s wise to keep in mind that technology is progressing at an unprecedented pace these days. By the time today’s babies are adults, there are likely to be many more innovations that change the way society operates until they’re replaced by something smaller and better.

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Three Activities That Build Character in Kids

Three Activities That Build Character in Kids | The Bloom Blog | @BloomMaternity

Three Activities That Build Character in Kids

Most parents desire to raise children who have solid character and compassion. A child will learn these traits from watching those he sees around him and partaking in activities that focus on cultivating these skills when he’s young. To build character in your child, consider doing these three activities with him.

Clean up a neighbor’s yard for free.  Raking leaves and mowing lawns can be a fantastic and lucrative job for a pre-teen child, but it can also be a wonderful gift to give someone.  Every now and then, go with your child to one of your neighbors’ houses with a rake or shovel.  Help that person out with no intentions of making a big deal about it.  You can even make it a secret sneak “attack,” which might make it even more fun for your child.  The best way to build a generous character is to teach giving without any kind of reward, even the award of recognition.

Visit a retirement home. The elderly tend to crave the attention and presence of children.  Very little else brings joy to their life like a visit from a child.  Individuals that have lived a full and happy life have a lot to offer to a child.  Your child might find it difficult to look past the limitations senior citizens have to see the wealth of knowledge and wisdom they possess.  However, a few lighthearted visits to bring treats, sing some songs, or play some games can help open your child’s eyes.  This activity is best done with parents or close caregivers because it can be overwhelming for your child at first.  There is almost always at least one person that your child will connect with during these visits, and once that connection is made the sharing can begin.

Cook and deliver a meal for friends.  Children naturally want to help out when they are young, especially with cooking meals.  As they get older, this normal inkling to help make dinner may lessen.  But if the meal preparation is done for a reason and has a very specific purpose, the child might be a little more interested.  It is important in this activity to allow the child to be involved in the process from the very beginning.  Perhaps your child has a friend whose family is welcoming home a new child or having some other challenge in life.  This would be a great opportunity to model and teach compassion.  Have the child help plan the meal, shop for the supplies, prepare and make the meal, and then deliver it.  This too could be done in secret, with no one but you and the child knowing what was done.  The sense of satisfaction he will get from knowing that he worked hard to help someone else will be a reward in and of itself.

There are thousands of ways to teach children the character building lessons of compassion, generosity and sacrifice in everyday life; however, they can only be truly learned by the child if he witnesses the adults in his life regularly practicing these things too.  The key to each of these activities, as well as thousands of others, is for the child to do them with Mom or Dad.  That is the only way the importance of the endeavor will be learned and recreated.

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