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National Parks To Safety Travel To This Summer
It’s officially the heart of summer and many of us are headed out for a family vacation as the world slowly starts to open back up again. Visiting a National Park is a great way to get outside while still maintaining social distancing precautions. They can provide the ultimate escape to the most beautiful and unique places in the nation that may just be a short road trip away for you and your family to enjoy! The versatile thing about National Parks is that there is a little something for everyone whether it is camping, the scenery, or learning about nature and wildlife. We have rounded up some of the most popular parks to safely visit this summer to help make your planning easier!
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most visited parks each year! It offers a wide range of activities such as biking, hiking, wildlife viewing, and natural hot springs. One important thing to remember before visiting Yellowstone National Park is to make your reservations early! Many of their popular lodges are fully booked up to a whole year in advance. Reservations open on May 1st the prior year for the summer season and again on March 15th the prior year for winter. According to Yellowstone National Park Lodges it is best to reserve your preferred dates and location as soon as reservations are available to you!
Joshua Tree National Park
For any Los Angeles residents, Joshua Tree National Park is just about a two- or three-hour road trip away! It has a variety of rugged mountains, gold mine ruins, desert flora, and its distinctive namesake trees. Joshua Tree also offers activities like rock climbing, cactus garden viewing, hiking, and walking trails. The National Park Service has amazing guides on what to do and how to make the most out of your getaway. They also share the best times to beat the dangerous desert heat. Be sure to also try and catch one of Joshua Tree’s stunning sunsets while you are there!
Zion National Park
Imagine gazing up at massive sandstone cliffs with colors of cream, pink, and red that sore into the bright blue sky! You can enjoy these beautiful sights at Zion National Park in Utah where ancient native people and pioneers walked. All Park visitors must purchase a recreational use pass upon entering the park. From mid-March to late November the campgrounds are a popular place to spend a night under the stars, but like many other National Parks be sure to book your reservation ahead of time!
Grand Canyon National Park Arizona
If you are making a trip to The Grand Canyon, we would suggest planning on spending more than one day a there is a lot to see at this large National Park! Be prepared to be captivated by its gorges, rock formations, and ridges. Simply enjoying the view can take hours as there are a variety of vantage points. The Grand Canyon has many things to do like helicopter rides overlooking the canyon, water rafting, and trail rides on a mule! The Grand Canyon Railway is a great kid-friendly activity where you can enjoy musicians and crazy cowboy antics while you sweep through the beautiful scenery of The Grand Canyon.
These are just a few of many spectacular National Parks that we have the luxury of visiting via car or plane ride! We would love to hear what your safe summer plans are this year with your family!
Introducing New Baby To Sibling
As a new parent with a now toddler, you probably feel like you have finally got a handle on all things baby, schedules and parenting hacks and then boom! You find yourself expecting a second sweet bundle of joy. As exciting and happy a new baby joining the family is, you may have found yourself now in panic mode wondering how your first born will handle this big transition. It is important to calm your child’s nerves and assure him or her that they are still loved very much, and they are about to have a new baby brother or sister to play with! Every family is different, and each child will handle welcoming a new sibling differently, but to ensure that everyone is as prepared as can be, we have put together some tips to help with a smooth(er) transition!
Prepare For Any Reaction
You will not be able to predict how your child will react to welcoming their brand-new sibling. Some children may be excited and want to give their new sibling lots of hugs and kisses, while others may be upset, angry, or even confused. No matter which reaction you receive be sure to reassure them that you and your partner love them unconditionally and that will never change. Some children may just need a little extra time to warm up to the new situation. Try waiting for your child to ask questions when they are ready and provide them with direct answers if possible.
Coordinate Nap Times
Bringing home a new baby will add a whole new dynamic to your family. Suddenly your schedule that you are all used to for the last few years now feels impossible to stick to with a newborn’s needs thrown into the mix! Coordinating naps may seem easier said than done, but it can be a good way to save your sanity throughout the day. This can also be a great way to catch a few minutes of sleep for yourself too! Taking Cara Babies has a variety of infant sleep courses to help you though those tough sleepless moments.
Let Your Toddler Help
Having help while taking care of a newborn is appreciated no matter how big or small it is! You can have your toddler help with small tasks such as grabbing a new diaper, a toy, blanket and even a quick snack from the pantry for momma! You can also let them be involved in bathing the new baby or help picking out a new outfit. By including your toddler, you can make them feel helpful and capable while teaching them new skills all by your side. This can also encourage your toddler to become interested in other small household chores. Etsy offers simple “chore” charts your toddler can check off each day!
Exchange Meaningful Gifts
Everyone loves a gift giving moment, right? Allow your older child to select a special gift that they can give their new sibling upon meeting one another. Be sure to also have a gift ready to be given to your toddler from the new baby as well. These sweet handcrafted dolls are a safe and great gift for our littlest loves to exchange with each other.
Enjoy One on One Time
While transitioning with a new baby in the house you may be more overwhelmed and busier than ever before. If you can find any time in the day to spend one on one with your older child, we would encourage it! You can simply go for a walk in the neighborhood together or grab a fun treat like froyo. Giving them your individual attention can help you be more present and make them feel valued and loved. It also may give you some of the sweetest memories to date!
We hope some of these tips can help you and your family though the transition of welcoming a new child. Always remember to not put too much pressure on yourselves and that bonding will take time while your children get to know each other. As chaotic as these moments may seem in the moment, you will be making the most beautiful family memories along the way!
Water Safety Tips
It’s that time of year again! The school year is ending, and summer break is quickly approaching us. For many, our summers include lots of time spent near the water with our beloved family and friends enjoying the relaxation. Whether you are spending your time at the beach, lake, or in your backyard swimming pool it is extremely important to know water safety for yourself and your children. An unfortunate statistic states that drowning is often one of the leading causes of death for children ages one to four according to Stop Drowning Now. It is important for parents to know CPR to ensure water safety. We have rounded up some of the best practices to instill water safety knowledge and education.
Have Pool Barriers and Alarms
Many of us who live in warm climate regions are fortunate enough to enjoy a pool in the convenience of our own backyard which can be a big safety concern if you have small children. The California Pool and Spa Association state that any pool that has been refurbished after 1998 must have at least one safety barrier to protect children from drowning, but more than one barrier is ideal. A mesh pool fence that is at least four feet tall with self-closing and self-latching is most popular in most homes. Also, another item to promote swimming pool safety is a pool alarm to detect when something enters the water- this is a great option for our loving pets too!
Pool Drain Awareness
The pool drain is an essential part of your pool’s filtration system to keep it clean, but it can present a risk for weak and inexperienced swimmers. The strong suction that comes from the pool drain can cause entrapment underwater to a small child. Investing in proper equipment such as a drain cover and talking with your children about these dangers is the best thing to raise awareness to them and also making sure to tie long hair back and stray away from swimsuits with long strings that could get caught in a drain.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, right? Keep an eye on your children. A child falling into a pool can happen in a matter of seconds, so it is important to always maintain constant supervision (this even goes for bath time too!). If your children are near water, you should never presume that someone else is keeping an eye on them. Any child under the age of four should be kept at arm’s length always even if they know how to swim. Also, never rely solely on inflatable water wings, inner tubes, or foam noodles to keep children safe.
Stay In a Designated Areas
If you and your family are headed out to a public beach or lake to enjoy a day in the sun, be sure to always stay in the areas that are set up for swimming only. Always pay close attention to any posted warnings about unsafe swimming conditions or locate a lifeguard when you arrive to be prepared for any kind of emergency. It is suggested by the American Red Cross to ensure everyone in your family knows how to swim. They offer many classes taught by trained, professional instructors from adults to infants!
Set Aside Distractions
When we head out to the pool or the beach it often provides parents time to sit back and relax or catch up on emails and social media posts while the children play. It also provides distractions and occupies our eyes elsewhere other than supervising children playing near water. If you have to send out that last email, make a quick phone call, or just want a five-minute break to check social media always be sure to ask another responsible adult to stand in while you step away.
We hope you and your families all enjoy a safe and fun summer together! There are many organizations, fire departments, and local hospitals that offer CPR certification courses to make sure you are fully prepared for safe summer fun this year!
What is Baby Led Weaning?
Baby Led Weaning. What is it exactly? This is probably something you have heard or asked yourself if you have an infant who is soon to transition to eating solids. BLW is a method of adding complementary new foods to a baby’s diet. According to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, it facilitates the development of age-appropriate oral motor control while learning the boundaries of their mouth and what they can handle. We understand it can be extremely overwhelming when trying to decide which approach will be best for you and your baby with so many different options available to you! Recently, BLW has become more popular among first-time parents when introducing solids to their children.
There are many benefits that come with BLW such as exploring tastes, textures and trying a display of new foods rather than just purees. This often leads to children becoming more adventurous eaters as they welcome toddlerhood. It also offers babies a very premature and significant lesson on learning how to stop eating when full. Since babies who are practicing BLW are self-feeders, it is harder for them to overfeed as they can when fed purees. This is said to be one of the key factors in preventing obesity and a healthier relationship with food later in life by Contemporary Pediatrics. We know every baby is different and each family will have a unique experience of their own when introducing solids to their littles! Here are a few tips below on how to get started if you choose Baby Led Weaning.
Start with Soft Foods
When preparing foods for your baby you will want to start off with things like ripe fruits, well-cooked pasta, cooked egg yolks, and moist, flakey fish. Foods that are high in calories with protein and all the healthy fats are recommended by most experts. Healthy Little Foodies shares some wonderful recipe ideas from snacks to special diet requests that all cater to BLW. Also, when preparing meals make sure to serve food that is easy for little hands to grasp such as long thing strips zucchini and soft avocado wedges! A crinkle cutter is a convenient tool to use when preparing meals. Be sure to stray away from food like grapes, popcorn, dried fruit, hot dogs etc. as these are a major choking hazard for little ones.
Yay! Your sweet baby has made it to the next big milestone. As exciting as it is when your child meets a new milestone, it is important to remember that each baby will grow and learn at their own speed. Even though you may start offering your six-month-old finger foods, they might not actually start eating the food you present until closer to eight or nine months of age. At this point, your baby is getting their main source of nutrients from breast milk or formula, so embrace the exploration and discovery that comes with BLW even if it feels slow and tedious at times.
Start When Your Baby Is Ready
It is important to make sure your baby is ready to transition to solids safely. The AAP states you should start your baby on solids between four and six months of age, but it truly depends on your baby. Your baby may be ready to transition to solids if they can hold their head upright, have lost the tongue-thrust reflex which pushes foreign objects out of their mouth, and if you seem to find them still showing hunger signs after a full day of milk portions. It is also important to remember a proper sitting position for your baby. A highchair that they can feel comfortable and sit upright in will make mealtime a more pleasant experience for all! Feeding Littles shares some of their favorite highchairs and useful information from the therapist, Judy Delaware!
Prepare Yourself for A Mess
Our tiny, sweet babies sure can make a mighty mess when it comes to mealtime! Be sure to prepare yourself for a big mess on your baby, the highchair, the floor, and maybe even the walls! There are a few things you can purchase to help ease the clean-up such as a long-sleeved bib, an easy-to-clean highchair or an under-the-highchair floor mat. Having a messy baby is part of the exploration process that comes with the Baby Led Weaning experience.
We would love to know if any of you have tried BLW and your experiences with it! No matter which method you choose to introduce new foods to your little one, a fed baby is a happy and healthy baby!
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
Teacher Appreciation Week starts May 3! As we near the end of the school year and reflect on what a year it has been, it is a great time to thank our dedicated teachers. This year especially has brought on extra challenges and triumphs caused by the pandemic to all of our teachers and students. Our incredible teachers work extremely hard all year to educate and prepare their students for the future. While their amazing efforts help children go on to do great things, showing them appreciation is a wonderful way to let them know how much we honor and value them! We have created a list of our favorite ways to show love to the teachers in our lives this year!
As we all continue to live in a global pandemic and are wearing masks, what better way than to surprise your teacher with a personalized mask? It is important for teachers to wear a mask that fits properly and find one that is comfortable as they may be wearing it for long stretches of their day. Etsy has wonderful options for picking out the perfect mask for your teacher and it may even encourage their students to embrace this essential accessory!
A car parade is a great way to celebrate while still sticking to social distancing guidelines. Round up past and present students from the community, deck out your cars with signs, balloons, and drive-by at a designated time. Be sure to have lots of decorations and be ready to wave and smile!
Group Thank You Video
A simple note or card says a lot, but why not take it to the next step and make it a video? Get out your smartphone and film each parent and student thanking the teacher for their hard work. If your school is still doing remote learning, then a video you can email your teacher is the perfect personal, but long-distance gift! An unrehearsed, but heartfelt message can show your teacher that you genuinely appreciate what they do each and every day!
I know what you are thinking, and classroom supplies may not be the first thing you think of as a gift for teachers, but essential supplies are one of the more highly requested teacher appreciation gifts. Teachers need all the help that they can get with keeping their classrooms stocked with all the things! Often times the supplies given at the beginning of the school year do not last. You can help by gifting extra supplies with a DIY gift basket.
Coffee, Tea or Wine Gift
Depending on the day, teachers can appreciate a hot cup of coffee or tea and possibly a big glass of wine at the end of a long day (we’ve all been there, right?). You can include a bag of their favorite brew or tea with a beautiful mug to pair in a gift basket. If you are gifting your teacher a bottle of wine, we suggest planning a time to meet with them in person rather than sending it to school with your child! Either way it is a great option for teachers to enjoy the “fruits” of their labor!
Teacher Appreciation Week is a wonderful opportunity to show love! We want to give a big thank you to all of our teachers, private educators, and tutors for all that they do for us! Here is a sweet appreciation video that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Thank you, teachers!
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