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Thanksgiving-Themed Sensory Activities for Babies

Thanksgiving-Themed Sensory Activities for BabiesThe sights, scents, sounds and textures surrounding Thanksgiving are so much fun for young children. With household items you can create stimulating Thanksgiving-themed sensory activities for babies so your little one can join in the festivities at her own level.

Check out our favorite Thanksgiving-themed sensory activities for babies:

Pumpkin-Scented Play Dough

Make your own play dough that smells like the joy of Thanksgiving! Using an easy recipe of flour, salt, cream of tartar, water and oil, making the dough is a cinch. Then add pumpkin puree, cinnamon and pumpkin spice mix. For a dab of color, add a natural orange food coloring.

Cranberry Tub

If your baby loves to splash, this one’s for her! Fill a small bin with water and drop in a container of cranberries. Let your baby splash and play with the cranberries to her heart’s content. Create simple games where she has to collect the cranberries in cups or find them in plastic eggs.

Feather the Turkey

Feathers are such a neat sensation for babies. Spend a few minutes tickling your little love with colorful feathers and point out colors and body parts along the way. Then flip a colander upside down and let your baby fit the feather quills into the holes. This is great fine-motor skills training.

Gobble Your Senses

Grab your baby’s attention with various textures. Cut out a turkey body from brown construction paper and feathers from various bright colors. Put objects of different textures on the feathers such as cotton balls, pasta, sandpaper, googley eyes, buttons and leaves. This is a great way to help your baby start to identify different textures.

Finger Paint

You can create just about any Thanksgiving-themed masterpiece for your baby to finger paint. Some ideas include ears of corn, pumpkins, turkeys, leaves and trees. Once you cut out the shape, let your baby go to town finger painting the themed object.

Nature Stew

Head outside with a big pot and spoon. Take walk and collect items from nature to fill your pot. Then add some water and let your baby mix it up her special glorious homemade nature stew.

Dried Food Sensory Box

Sometimes the simplest items make the most fun. Mix up a collection of uncooked beans, spiral pasta, rice, lentils and any other dried food you have around the house. Let your baby enjoy sifting through the textures and moving them around in the box. Cups and spoons for pouring make this sensory box all the more fun.

Pumpkin Goo

Messy equals fun when you’re a baby. Let your baby squish, mush and slather herself with pumpkin goo. Carve open the top, roll up her sleeves and let her get up to her elbows in pumpkin guts.

 

Tips for Manageable Family Dinners with a Baby

If dreams of a fun, peaceful and meaningful family dinner have dwindled now that you are in the throws of real-life motherhood, this one’s for you. Family dinners with a baby can be crazy and chaotic but we’ve got tips to help you make it work – for at least 8 minutes.

Tips for Manageable Family Dinners with a BabySet the Bar Low

A manageable family dinner starts with having realistic expectations. If you think multiple children are going to sit still, not whine or cry and eat everything on their plates during every meal, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Rather, go into meals knowing that it won’t be perfect and embrace the imperfection.

Serve Something for Everyone

If you’re already spent by the time you sit down for a meal, your patience is not going to withstand the scene. Try to keep meal preparation simple and serve the same meal to everyone that includes at least one thing each person likes. That way you know each family member will eat something. For babies, try to puree or mash up what you are already making. If it helps, miniaturize your foods or turn them into fun shapes.

Wait to be Seated

Little ones have a hard time sitting still for too long. Wait to call everyone to the table when the meal is completely ready. Try to have everything you need already on the table to limit your ups and downs, which can be distracting to little eaters.

Kid-Friendly Timing

Eating at 5 p.m. may not be your ideal dining experience but if that’s what is best for your kids, do it. When young children are hungry and can’t express their desire to eat, they get cranky, fast. Rather than starting the meal in a cranky state, head off the tantrums by eating at the right hour. Also, limit snacking within two hours of mealtime.

Have Happy Meals

Set the tone for happiness by making mealtime fun, yet appropriate. If some of your kids are old enough to have conversations, talk about what’s going on in each of your lives. For younger children and babies, sometimes it takes reading books, telling stories, singing songs or otherwise being silly to get through a meal. If this helps your kids associate mealtime with good times, do it. You’ll set yourself up for success when they are older.

Set Guidelines and Stick to Them

Establish rules about meal times early in life. This includes no electronics, no potty mouths and using manners (to the extent possible for your age ranges). Also, encourage your kids to try at least one bite of what you are serving. If they don’t like it, don’t force them to eat it. But no one knows what they like until they try it. You can even enforce that with your baby by dabbling a little on her lips. If your kids decide they dislike a food, try again another time. It often takes repeated exposure to adopt new foods.

It’s all Temporary

Meals with babies and toddlers are especially challenging. But remember your babies and toddlers grow up all-too-fast. The chaos today will be tomorrow’s most meaningful moments. Keep this in perspective before you snap or give up on family dinners with a baby altogether.

Sources: Huffington Post, Mom to Mom Nutrition and One Thankful Mom

Breastfeeding and Stress

Being a new mom can be stressful time in your life and if you find the holiday season stressful, you may be in for a double whammy. The responsibility of a new tiny person and being your baby’s entire food source, coupled with lack of sleep, managing other obligations, holiday chaos, and feeling the effects of hormones, stress is probably unavoidable. When breastfeeding and stress meet, the challenge can be even more real.

The Ups and Downs of Breastfeeding and Stress

Breastfeeding and stress is a complicated state.

On the one hand, studies show that breastfeeding helps relax mothers thanks to the hormone oxytocin required for the task. Nursing moms tend to have less postpartum

Breastfeeding and Stress

depression and anxiety and breastfeeding helps moms recover from pregnancy and childbirth faster, including less postpartum bleeding and pain.

But when mothers do feel stress, it can affect breastfeeding in several ways. Sometimes mothers under stress find it hard to have normal letdowns and the milk ejection reflex is compromised. New moms may feel their milk supply is low but usually this is temporary as long as stimulation and frequent feedings occur.

Stressed moms also tend to neglect other aspects that impact breastfeeding such as eating, exercise and sleep. When new moms don’t take care of themselves, they are more likely to become overwhelmed and frustrated, leading to low milk supply and premature weaning.

Managing Breastfeeding and Stress

Even in times of war, famine, natural disasters, trauma, divorce, financial hardships, family deaths and much more, mothers have continued to breastfeed. That’s not to undermine your feelings of stress around the holidays, but only point out that you can persevere. Breastfeeding and stress is not ideal but in many cases it is a fact of life. Finding ways to manage stress as a new mom is often the best solution.

Taking care of mom’s basic needs is a first step. It’s essential to eat a wholesome diet (including extra calories required for breastfeeding) and sleep as much as possible (despite waking every 2-3 hours for feedings). These are two areas where a partner can help by preparing meals and snacks and taking an overnight shift with the baby.

Exercise releases endorphins that can reduce stress. Even a stroll with your baby in the fresh air can make a big difference in your emotional state and energy.

Breathing techniques, guided meditation and mindfulness are all proven ways to reduce stress. Many times these can be done while you are doing the normal tasks of motherhood so they don’t take time away from your job or compound your to-do list.

Cuddling your baby and continuing to breastfeed despite your stress is also highly recommended. That’s because the beautiful hormones you’re producing to make breast milk are also supporting your emotional health.

If breastfeeding is your cause of stress, seek support right away. Latch issues and positioning are common breastfeeding problems that can be resolved with the help of a lactation consultant. Professionals can also help diagnose lip and tongue ties and provide guidance on how to correct them.

Especially during the busy and stressful holiday season, focus on ways to keep your stress under control so breastfeeding can be as joyous and magnificent as the holidays themselves.

Sources: La Leche League, BabyCenter and Babble

Decisions You Have to Make on your Baby’s Birth Day: Part 2

Decisions You Have to Make on your Baby’s Birth Day: Part 2Between baby gear, nurseries and names, there’s a lot to think about and do to prepare for the arrival of your baby. And the decision making is not over once you head to the hospital to give birth.

Earlier this week we reviewed some crucial decisions you have to make on your baby’s birth day, such as breastfeeding, cord clamping, circumcision and more. Today we’re continuing our list of decisions you have to make on your baby’s birth day to help you feel prepared to make informed choices for the best health of your baby.

Newborn Screening

Some parents go into the hospital knowing that their child has a medical condition but most do not. And in the case of some diseases, symptoms may not show for many years. Newborn screenings use a few drops of your baby’s blood to determine with pretty good accuracy whether or not your baby has a host of rare diseases. The results are usually available within a few weeks after birth and if your baby tests positive for anything, further testing may be recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

This crucial vaccine is the first of many recommended for infants and children. Hepatitis B affects the liver and can lead to liver disease and live cancer. The vaccine against it is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics within 12 hours of birth.

Vitamin K Shot

Newborns often lack Vitamin K, an essential nutrient that helps blood clot. If an infant develops internal bleeding and lacks enough Vitamin K, she may face serious and potentially life-threatening consequences. Providing the Vitamin K shot shortly after birth helps prevent such issues.

The Vitamin K shot is highly recommended for babies who may have been injured during birth, such as those born via c-section, using forceps or who had a traumatic birth. Also, babies born preterm or with low birth weight should receive Vitamin K, according to experts. The good news for breastfeeding moms is that colostrum, the earliest breast milk you produce, is rich in Vitamin K so you can further boost your baby’s blood clotting factor.

Antibiotic Eye Ointment

Babies can get bacteria in their eyes during the birthing process. This ointment helps prevent any infection that may cause blindness.

Pacifier

Babies have a natural sucking instinct. That’s why they are usually really good at breastfeeding! But when they aren’t feeding and need to suck on something, many moms rely on pacifiers. There is some controversy over whether or not pacifiers cause nipple confusion and make babies not want to breastfeed. And then there is the consideration of having to eventually wean your baby from the pacifier, which is often painful for everyone.

Rooming-In

Your first slumber party with your newborn baby sounds exciting and can be a wonderful way to bond and breastfeed on demand. Some mothers love being close to their babies, listening to their coos and cries and feeling the miracle of birth 24/7. Other moms may be in desperate need of sleep or might need some peace and quiet while they heal from a difficult birth and opt to send their babies to the nursery for a much-needed break.

Hospital Guests

You may only have a few short days to be taken care of in the hospital and chances are you’re going to be exhausted from the experience of giving birth. Consider carefully who you want to visit you in the hospital and how much time you want them to stay. Feeling like you have to entertain is probably not a great use of your energy when you’re tired and are trying to bond with your baby.

Pediatrician

You will be asked at the hospital who your child’s pediatrician will be. Hopefully you’ve had time to meet with a few and make a selection prior to your baby’s birth day. If your pediatrician makes rounds at the hospital where you gave birth, he will visit your baby several times during your stay. Otherwise a hospital pediatrician or a pediatrician who has reciprocity with yours will see your baby.

Sources: Fit Pregnancy, ChildrensMD, Baby Gaga and CDC

Decisions You Have to Make on your Baby’s Birth Day: Part 1

Decisions You Have to Make on your Baby’s Birth Day: Part 1You have your bag packed, your route to the hospital mapped out and your baby’s name ready to roll off your tongue the moment she’s born. But do you know which decisions you have to make on your baby’s birth day? There’s quite a few of them and you’ll probably want to do your research before the big day.

We’re sharing the questions you will be asked by doctors and nurses so you can be prepared for decisions you have to make on your baby’s birth day.

Skin-to-Skin

If you want to hold your baby immediately after birth, make your wishes clear to your doctor, midwife and nursing team. Even in cesarean births moms are often allowed to snuggle their babies for a moment as long as both mother and baby are deemed healthy enough. Immediate skin-to-skin lovin’ is a marvelous first bonding experience with your baby. She’ll start to feel safe in your warm embrace and become familiar with your scent, sound and body rhythm.

Breastfeeding

While enjoying skin-to-skin, babies often instinctually want to breastfeed. Again, it is essential for mothers to clearly tell their hospital team that they want to breastfeed as soon as possible after birth. Nursing within the first hour of birth helps jumpstart the breastfeeding relationship so both baby and mama can get the hang of it faster.

Birthing Partner

Have you decided who will be with you in their delivery room? Often moms just want dad around but sometimes they choose a best friend, sister, mom or other family member to witness the miracle. And sometimes a doula or other helpful birthing coach is there to support mom through labor and delivery. Before you invite the neighborhood, ask your hospital their limitations in the delivery room. Obviously if you have an unexpected c-section, most of your guest list will be banned from the operating room.

Delayed Cord Clamping

Delayed cord clamping is increasingly popular. Typically your OB or midwife will cut the umbilical cord within one minute of birth. However, some new moms are optioning to delay cord clamping by a few extra minutes to allow the placenta to pump extra blood into the baby. This could increase the baby’s blood supply by over 30% and possibly prevent anemia in infancy. But there are risks to weigh as well.

Cord Blood Banking

The umbilical cord contains potentially life-saving stem cells that can be stored for future use for your baby or other family members should they need it for medical purposes. In some cases, people with cancer, blood disorders and immune system diseases have benefited from using these stem cells. There is a hefty fee for cord blood banking so consider the pros and cons and be ready to make the decision right away.

Placenta Release

Some mothers choose to eat their placenta as it contains many rare and rich nutrients. However, your hospital may have a strict procedure for releasing the placenta since it is an organ. Check with the hospital where you plan to give birth to find out the placenta release regulations.

Circumcision

For new moms of boys, you may choose to have your baby circumcised in the hospital by your obstetrician. While circumcision was rarely questioned a decade ago, now many families are not opting for neonatal circumcisions of their baby boys. The foreskin of the penis is not necessary but it usually does not pose a problem either as long as you keep it clean.

Bathing

It is typical for nurses to give your baby her first bath pretty soon after birth. That’s because babies are born with a waxy substance called vernix coating their bodies. If you or your husband would prefer to give the first bath, let your hospital team know so they won’t take away the honors.

That’s a lot to think about and that’s only half the list! Stick around later this week for even more decisions you have to make on your baby’s birth day.

Sources: Fit Pregnancy, ChildrensMD, Baby Gaga and CDC

The Trendiest Ways to Layer your Nursing Tank Tops

The Trendiest Ways to Layer your Nursing Tank Tops‘Tis the season for layering, mamas! Transitional weather combined with hormones that cause your body temperature to shift means layering is a must. Today we’re sharing the trendiest ways to layer your nursing tank tops this fall.

Why layer your nursing tank tops? When you’re a mom-to-be or new mom, you need to be prepared for anything. And staying comfortable is essential so you’re always in your best spirits. When you layer your nursing tank tops you can peel off jackets, sweaters, hoodies and shirts in a flash to cool off or feed your baby. It’s just that simple.

Here are the trendiest ways to layer your nursing tank tops this fall:

Sweaters: When it’s cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon, a sweater is a terrific piece to layer over nursing tank tops. Pullovers or button-down cardigans are equally as warm and on-trend. Styling tip: Wear contrasting colors for a more interesting outfit and let your tank top show at the top or bottom of your sweater.

Blazers: At the office or committee meeting, you’ll be the “mom in charge” when you layer a blazer over your nursing tank tops. And the only thing between you and breastfeeding or pumping is a few buttons and nursing clasps. Styling tip: A chunky necklace is the perfect jewelry to pump up this sophisticated look.

Oversized Flannel: Weekend days call for comfort. Layer an oversized flannel shirt over your nursing tank top and cuddle up your little love for a warm and cozy weekend. For expectant moms who can no longer button their flannels over their bumps, wear them open for a breezier outfit. Styling tip: Skinny jeans or maternity leggings on bottom will balance your oversized flannel for a trendy yet relaxed feel.

Wrap Dress: Wrap dresses are flattering on most body shapes and work beautifully with nursing tank tops underneath. With easy one-handed nursing clasps on your cami and the natural v-shape neckline that pulls aside, breastfeeding in a wrap dress is a cinch. Styling tip: The wrap dress is a great look for nursing moms and moms-to-be during holiday parties.

Sheer Blouse: Fashion-forward moms love the sheer look and it’s perfect to layer over nursing tank tops. You’ll look and feel super cool in this trend. Styling tip: Sheer tops work in both cropped and extra long styles and are a great way to cover up any bulges you want to hide.

Hoodie: Every mom needs a few great hoodies and nursing tank tops fit beautifully beneath. During pregnancy you can wear your everyday hoodies unzipped without having to buy new ones to fit your bump. Styling tip: Yoga pants or any athletic bottoms complete your athleisure look.

Fitted Oxford: For moms who want a more structured look, layer your nursing tank tops under fitted oxford shirts that are easy to unbutton for breastfeeding. With rolled sleeves this is a fabulous look for fall. Styling tip: Fitted Oxfords can also layer under sweaters and blazers so you can continue to remove layers as needed during your day.

Jackets: Denim, military, leather and anything in-between works for layering in fall. Just throw on that jacket when you head out the door and you’ve got a trendy outfit with minimal effort. Styling tip: Every mom-to-be and new mom needs her go-to pants that make her feel like a million bucks every time she wears them. Make your life easier by investing in these pants and throwing them on with a cute jacket on days when finding an outfit seems like a hassle.

 

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10 Ways to Dispose of Halloween Candy STAT

10 Ways to Dispose of Halloween Candy STATIt’s a dangerous proposition having a ton of Halloween candy lying around your house. After celebrating the candiest holiday of the year, the thought of continuing the sugar fest for weeks to come is enough to make everyone bounce off the walls and develop a few cavities too.

Rather than keeping it around to tempt everyone in your family (including you) consider these ways to dispose of Halloween candy:

Art Projects
Think of the beautiful mosaics you can make with Skittles, smarties and M&Ms and adorable candy houses you can make with candy bars, complete with little gummy bear and gummy worm dwellers. Challenge your kids to come up with creative art projects using Halloween candy – without eating a bite!

Send to Troops

While you may not need a bunch of candy lying around, our troops would certainly appreciate some sweetness. There are several organizations that send unopened candy to troops including Operation Shoebox, Any Solider, Operation Gratitude and Operation Stars and Stripes.

Switch Witch

Similar to the tooth fairy, this do-gooder witch will replace Halloween candy with a non-sugary prize. Encourage your kids to pack up their candy for the switch witch as soon as possible after Halloween. Books, craft kits and small toys are great prizes from the switch witch.

Science Projects

Believe it or not, candy is the basis of many cool science projects. You can look them up online and use up your candy while teaching your kids a thing or two about science.

Send it to the Office

Bring your extra candy to your office or send it in with your spouse. While you may have some hopped up co-workers for awhile, it’s better than rambunctious kids!

Candy Buy-Back

Some dentists will buy your children’s Halloween candy (up to a certain dollar amount) in the name of healthy teeth. Ask if any of your local dentistry offices participate.

Party Favors

If you have a child’s birthday party coming up, use your candy for party favor bags or to stuff a piñata. This is a great way to dispose of Halloween candy while fulfilling other needs as well.

Holiday Baking

Save some items for your upcoming holiday baking. Chocolates can be melted for desserts and some candies makes great toppings for brownies, cookies and other sweets.

Candy Math and Game Pieces

While they won’t last forever and may get eaten by the dog, you can use small candies to work out math problems or to play games. These manipulatives may make learning a little more palatable.

Donate to Ronald McDonald Houses

Many Ronald McDonald Houses accept unopened Halloween candy for donation.

Sources: Mom Always Finds Out, 100 Days of Real Food, Mommy Poppins and Active Kids

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Earth-Friendly Halloween Decorations

Earth-Friendly Halloween DecorationsHappy almost Halloween, everyone! We hope you are all getting excited for the big night. This weekend is a great time to prepare last-minute Halloween decorations to make your home feel frightfully – or delightfully – festive for the holiday. And what better way to do that than with earth-friendly Halloween decorations.

Check out these ideas for earth-friendly Halloween decorations:

Tin Can Characters

Paint and decorate tin cans to look like Halloween-themed characters such as pumpkins, ghosts, cats, mummies, bats, monsters, zombies and witches. Be sure to remove all jagged and sharp edges.

Egg Carton Bats

Cut a 12 or 18 count egg carton into 4 or 6 parts so three egg cups are in a row. Paint or use a marker to color the cups black. Place the cups open-side down and paste two googly eyes on the middle cup. Tie a Halloween ribbon to the top and let it dangle like a bat.

Newspaper Wreath

Cut a circle out of thick cardboard. Then cut out a center circle so you’re left with a ring. Cut and crumple newspaper and glue it to the ring. Then cut out a few bats or other Halloween characters to add to the wreath.

Decorative Lights

Decorate the outside of old glass jars. Then place a votive candle inside and illuminate your home or front lawn with these recycled friends. This also works with plastic milk or soda jugs if you use electronic lights.

Mummy Boxes

Wrap yarn or gauze around cereal and other food boxes. Glue on googley eyes.

Candy Corn Bottles

Gather glass salad dressing bottles, sauce bottles, wine bottles and beer bottles and strip off any labels. Paint the bottles to look like candy corn with yellow on the bottom, orange in the middle and white on top.

Haunted House

Wrap boxes in recycled newspapers. Draw or paste cutouts of windows and a door and use a toilet paper roll for the chimney.

Rolled Candy

Wrap toilet paper rolls in tissue paper, Gather the ends and tie them like rolls of candy. Decorate as you see fit.

Ghost Bucket

Cut up an old white t-shirt so it is one continuous sheet. Drape it over a bucket and draw or paste on eyes, and a gaping mouth like a spooky ghost.

Have a wonderful and safe Halloween!!

Sleep Disorders During Pregnancy

Peaceful, continual sleep during pregnancy is hard to come by for many moms-to-be. It is estimated that 8 in 10 expectant moms have some type of insomnia or other sleep disorder. Sleep disorders during pregnancy can be frustrating and take a toll on both you and your baby.

Sleep Disorders During PregnancyBetween your growing bump making a comfortable sleep position more difficult, heartburn, frequent trips to the bathroom, increased snoring, nausea, anxiety over the upcoming changes in your life, and a host of other things, having trouble sleeping during pregnancy is the norm. In some ways it is nature’s cruel joke on moms-to-be who are about to enter a very sleepless time with their newborns. Or perhaps it is just a way of preparing you for what’s to come.

Nevertheless, sleep disorders during pregnancy can be bothersome and unhealthy for you and your baby. A recent study showed that expectant mothers clinically diagnosed with insomnia and sleep apnea were more likely to give birth prematurely, prior to 37 weeks of gestation. This is a big deal because preterm birth is the leading worldwide cause of death for children under 5, according to Reuters. Preemies often have trouble breathing and breastfeeding, and may have long-term impairments as well.

In the case of sleep apnea, starting pregnancy at a healthy weight may help mothers avoid this involuntary breathing issue. Sleep apnea is linked to high blood pressure, which in turn may cause preterm birth.

If you experience sleep disorders during pregnancy, speak with your doctor and talk through solutions to avoid negative side-effects or worsening of your condition. Also, keep these sleep tips in mind during pregnancy:

  • Develop a soothing nighttime routine to wind down, such as taking a warm bath or massaging natural oils into your skin.
  • Make sure your room is conducive to sleep. It should be quiet, cool and dark.
  • If you are experiencing a physical pain, try to resolve it right away. For instance, if your back is hurting, try propping yourself on pillows for a more comfortable sleep position. If your clothes are bothering you, consider something less inhibiting or a more cozy sleep bra or nursing tank top.
  • Practice muscle relaxation techniques as soon as you get into bed. Gently tighten one muscle at a time and then release it.
  • Don’t have heavy meals just before bed, which may make you feel nauseous, give you indigestion, or provoke heartburn.
  • Try to set aside fears and emotional concerns for the next day. If you need to release them, write them down so you can focus on them tomorrow.
  • If you can’t sleep after 30 minutes, get up and do something until you are drowsy. Then return to bed and try again.

Sources: Reuters, BabyCenter and National Sleep Foundation

Fostering Positive Body Image

Fostering Positive Body ImageLike other values parents instill in their children, positive body image is something that should be taught. Children are surrounded with many factors that influence views of their own bodies and others, including the media they consume, peers and your own words and behavior. Fostering positive body image early in your child’s life can help them develop appreciation for health, moderation, tolerance and emotional wellbeing.

As a youngster, body image may not have been directly addressed in your household, but subtle comments and actions probably shaped how you felt about yourself and how you categorized others. Now much more information is available about the impact that parenting has on body image. While there are so many influences that will affect a child’s body image, beginning positive self-talk, neutral perceptions of other bodies and focusing conversations away from physical stereotypes can help your child grow up with a positive body image.

Here’s what the experts have to say about fostering positive body image:

Be thoughtful of what you say about your own weight. Your kids are always listening. When they hear mommy or daddy criticize themselves, they may project this negative body image on their own bodies. This includes talk of diets and weight loss programs too.

Always discuss your child’s body in a positive way. In order for your child to feel confident in her own skin, accept every inch of her without judgment. Your child’s body will change many times as she grows and this can be scary without complete parental support. Watch what you say about sliming clothes or complimenting weight loss. Instead turn your attention to efforts, behaviors and accomplishments like strength, dedication, and hard-work.

Focus the conversation on health rather than weight or size. Teaching healthy habits such as a wholesome diet, exercising and getting plenty of sleep are more productive topics than dwelling on weight or size. Sure, they impact weight but that’s not the message you need to send. Rather, talk about how these healthy habits will make your child smarter, more focused at school, better able to do physical activities, and so on. When you put it in terms of reaping a reward they really care about, it is much easier to digest.

Avoid negative comments about food. Sometimes making food the enemy backfires, leading to overeating or restrictive eating. Instead, set healthy limits for treats and explain why healthful eating is important.

Teach acceptance of every body. Even healthy bodies come in different shapes and sizes. Remind your children that the way someone looks is not what really matters. No one is better or worse of a person because of how they look.

Put the most emphasis on inner beauty. Try to focus your comments on character traits that truly define a person such as their kindness, intelligence, humor, passion and love. No matter what package people come in, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Sources: She Knows, Parents, Everyday Feminism, and Common Sense Media

 

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Own Your Parenting
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Paternal Instinct
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Positive Discipline Techniques
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Postpartum Depression in Dads
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ROSE
Rules for Cleaning out Toys
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The Benefits of Acupuncture for Fertility and Pregnancy Symptoms
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the Milky Way: every mother has a story
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Things to do on Christmas Eve
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Valentine's Day while breastfeeding
Valentine's Day with kids
Valentine’s Day Fun Facts
Valentino
varicose veins
varicose veins treatment
visiting the doctor
Vitamin K
Vitamin K and blood clotting
VKDB
volunteer
volunteering
water birth
Ways for Dad to Bond with Baby
Ways to Burn Calories with a Baby
Ways to Celebrate Baby’s First Thanksgiving
ways to encourage Crossing the Midline
ways to find other new moms
Ways to Get Kids to Drink Water
Ways to Get Rid of Cradle Cap
ways to make your home festive
ways to praise your child
ways to relieve congestion in babies
Ways to Say Goodbye to your Child
ways to sweeten Valentine's Day
Ways to Teach Sons to Respect Women
WBW2015
weaning
weaning breastfeeding
weaning from breastfeeding
weather
WebMD
well-balanced diet
what can a baby hear
What Dogs Teach about Love
what is colic
what is colostrum
what is cradle cap
What is Dream Feeding?
what is preterm labor
what is the umbilical cord
what is thrush
What Kids Perceive about Marriage from their Parents
what medications can baby take
what medicines can I take while breastfeeding
what not to buy used
what not to do during pregnancy
what not to eat during pregnancy
what things can be recycled
what to avoid during pregnancy
what to do about colic
what to do before baby arrives
what to do before potty training
What to do if you have Food Poisoning while Pregnant or Breastfeeding
What To Do If Your Baby Won’t Latch
What to do in a Car Crash when you’re Pregnant
what to do on Christmas Eve
what to do on Mother's Day
what to do to relieve pain during labor
what to do with a toddler while breastfeeding a baby
What to do with kids on New Years
what to do with old clothes
what to do with used kids clothes
what to eat during pregnancy
what to expect from play dates
what to get for Father's Day
What to Look for in a Crib
what to look for in pediatrician
what to tell your babysitter
what type of car seat do I need
what we learn about marriage from our parents
What You Should Do with Used Clothes
what your baby does in womb
When Parents Have Different Parenting Styles
When to Buy Nursing Bras
when to call the pediatrician
when to start solids
when to stop breastfeeding at night
where to buy nursing bras
where to buy Sexy Nursing Bras
where to donate breast milk
where to find a pediatrician
which foods to serve a baby
which vaccines are ok during pregnancy
white noise machine
why babies like baby talk
why babies like high-pitched voices
Why Babies Should Not Eat Honey
Why Breastfeeding Makes you Hungry and Thirsty
why can't babies eat honey
why children need praise
why do moms judge each other
Why Do Newborns have Crossed Eyes?
why is juice bad for kids
why juice is bad for kids
why kids suck thumbs
why men with babies are sexy
Why You Should Limit Juice for your Kids
WIC
winter vacation activities
wintertime activities
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women
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World Breastfeeding Week
World Breastfeeding Week 2016
World Breastfeeding Week 2017
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yes days
yoga
yoga during pregnancy
yoga with baby
you baby's gut
your baby's gut