The Switch: “Big Kid Beds”

The transition from a crib to a normal bed is a big step in a child’s life.
Sticking to a routine can help make this adjustment a simple one.
Follow these steps when the time comes:

  1. bigkidbedTell your child to stay in bed until you come for them.
  2. If the child gets out, calmly lead them back to bed.
  3. When they return to bed, reward them with praise for remaining there.
  4. Tell them you will check in throughout the night, as this provides reassurance.


A bedtime storyChildren love to be read to.
They love the physical closeness of sitting next to you or being held in your lap. And they love having your full attention in a shared activity. Reading fosters a child’s intellectual and language development. It’s also a comforting ritual that children come to depend on and something they will remember all their lives.


Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 2.09.00 PMChildren learn best through their senses. Providing opportunities for them to use all 5 senses will allow them to have new experiences and make discoveries which promote brain development.

SEEING – Let them explore….do you see grass, dirt, rocks or ants? Look up….do you see trees, butterflies, bumblebees and ladybugs?

HEARING – Ask children what do you hear outside? Do you hear dogs barking, wind blowing, birds singing?

TOUCHING – Bury small items in the sand box. Ask them to explain what shape they are feeling? Round or corners? What size are they feeling….tiny, small, big?

SCENT – Ask children…..what do you smell? Do you smell the warm summer air? Do you smell fresh cut grass or spring flowers? Tell me about them….are they sweet or strong? What does that sent remind you of?

TASTING – Let your child help you choose a variety of seasonal produce. Have a picnic and ask…what does this taste like? Is it sweet or sour? Is it salty or bitter? Encourage your child to express what they are tasting and be descriptive


sleeping-child-eight-oclock-bedtimeKids who don’t have one, display more behavioral problems at home and at school. Most people don’t consider sleep a priority. Sleep is just as important to your health as exercising and eating well. Too little sleep increases your risk of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes and depression.
Children with irregular bedtimes suffer from jetlag-like symptoms and are more apt to be hyperactive and have emotional difficulties. They also show a diminished ability to solve problems. The National Sleep Foundation recommends preschoolers log 11 to 13 hours of sleep per night. Make sleep a priority for your whole family.

The first years last forever

smiling-baby-face-motherAs a mother feeds her child she gazes lovingly into his eyes. A father talks gently to his newborn as he changes her diaper. A child care provider sings and rocks a new baby to sleep.

These everyday simple, loving encounters, provide essential nourishment. Just as babies bodies need food to grow, it is equally necessary that a child has positive emotional, physical & intellectual experiences for the growth of a healthy brain.


This month, the Olympic Games highlight what is possible when you keep your body strong with exercise. Every athlete was once a child that was encouraged to be active. You can help children get excited about moving by using common household items to design an obstacle course.

  • Olympic-Hurdle-RacePlace a board on the floor as a balance beam
  • Create a wiggly maze of masking tape
  • Stretch a hose along the ground as a “tightrope”
  • Use string to make circles and have children jump from one to another
  • Make a tunnel from a cardboard box for children to crawl through
  • Create a mountain to climb over out of a big pillow
  • Arrange stuffed animals or large blocks for children to weave around
Let your imagination run wild designing your course, have fun and along the way get some great exercise!

For Growing Bones…….Which Milk?

milk-mistacheIf you have a child under two years, offer whole milk after breast milk or formula. Babies and toddlers need the fat from whole milk to grow properly.
Starting at age two, children can drink low-fat milk. It’s a good habit for your wholefamily to learn. Drinking low-fat milk is one way to get less fat, especially saturated fat.
Change slowly to low-fat milk. Switch first from whole milk to 2% milk. When your child gets used to the flavor, try 1% milk. Offer 1% milk on cereal and in smoothies. Your child probably won’t notice.
Check the Nutrient Facts panel on milk cartons to find the benefits. You’ll see several nutrients that everyone in your family needs.

  1. Calcium and vitamin D
  2. Protein
  3. Vitamin A


Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 4.24.22 PMKids like to snack. Most children do best when they eat 4-6 times a day. Snacks timed about 2 hours before a meal can help curb the craving for non-nutritious foods. Here are some fun, easy-to-fix nutritious snack ideas to try with your kids:

Milk shakes and smoothies! Milk, juices,crushed ice, yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit. Try a variety such as strawberries, banana, peaches, berries.

Fruit juice Popsicle! Freeze 100% fruit juice in ice cubes trays or paper cups. Insert a rounded wooden stick for a handle. Your kids will love them!

Cinnamon toast! Toast a piece of *Whole wheat bead* , spread a small amount of butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and a tiny bit of sugar! Kids love the fragrance of cinnamon spice. It is delicious, and a great antioxidant.


Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 4.36.58 PMWhat is HFMD ? HFMD is a common viral infection that usually affects children under the age of 5 years. According the the California Department of Public Health, HFMD is caused by a number of viruses including enterovirus 71, coxsackie virus A16 and a new strain called coxsackie virus A6.

The symptoms are: fever, sore throat, loss of appetite, and a feeling of being sick. A day or two after the fever begins, small red spots develop in the child’s mouth and on the inside of the cheeks, gums and tongue. This is followed by tiny painful blisters on the hands and feet. The new coxsackie virus A6 strain, causes a higher fever, a larger more severe rash with blister-like lesions covering the hands, arms, legs, buttocks and trunk.

HFMD is spread by sneezing, coughing, or contact with fluid from the blisters. The virus is often passed when an infected person touches someone else or a commonly touched surface, such as a door knob chair, or toys without washing their hands first. Symptoms usually resolve on their own within 10 days. If your child is diagnosed with HFMD, be sure he is kept home from childcare or preschool, as to not infect or risk other children.

Any child diagnosed with HFMD should be fever free and symptom free for a full 24 hours, with a Pediatrician’s note of release to return to child care.


Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 4.39.35 PMTeething is the normal process of new teeth working their way through the gums. Your baby’s first tooth may appear anytime between age 3 month to 1 year old. Most children have completely painless teething. The only symptoms are increased saliva, drooling and a desire to chew on things.

Teething occasionally causes some mild gum pain, but it does not interfere with sleep. Because teeth erupt almost continuously from 6 months to 2 years of age, many unrelated illnesses are blamed on teething.

Common myths about teething…….teething does NOT cause fever, sleep problems, diarrhea, diaper rash, or lowered resistance to any infection.

It probably doesn’t cause crying. If your baby develops a fever while teething, the fever is caused by something else.