It's normal for a toddler to have temper tantrums. To reduce the frequency, duration or intensity of your child's tantrums:
Winter is a tricky time for car seats.As a general rule, bulky clothing, including winter coats and snowsuits, should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat.
In a car crash, fluffy padding immediately flattens out from the force, leaving extra space under the harness. A child can then slip through the straps and be thrown from the seat.
These tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will help parents strike that perfect balance between keeping little ones warm as well as safely buckled in their car seats.
How to Keep Your Child Warm and Safe in the Car Seat:Note: The tips below are appropriate for all ages. In fact, wearing a puffy coat yourself with the seat belt is not a best practice because it adds space between your body and the seat belt.
You probably know by now that one easy way to help maximize your little one’s sleep is to create a predictable bedtime routine. Routines help our children know what is coming next, so a bedtime routine signals to your baby or toddler that it is time to wind down, and to get sleepy. This can help greatly in getting your little one to fall asleep quickly.
However, not all routines are created equal! And if there are problems with your bedtime routine, then it may not help your baby or toddler sleep well; in fact, it may disrupt sleep and make it worse!
Are You Making These 5 Bedtime Routine Mistakes?
It's time to get flu shots for your family before your house is full of fevers and dripping noses.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the 2017-2018 influenza vaccine:
1. The flu vaccine is essential for children.The flu virus is common and unpredictable, and it can cause serious complications and death, even in healthy children. The influenza immunization each year is the best way to protect children.
Each year, on average, 5% to 20% of the U.S. population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from complications. At least 101 children died from the flu in the 2016-2017 season, If you choose not to vaccinate your child, you not only miss the opportunnity to protect your own child but also can put others at risk.
Although influenza can be treated with antiviral medications, these drugs are less effective if not started early, can be expensive, and may have bothersome side effects.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual influenza immunization for all people ages 6 months and older, including children and adolescents. In addition, household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children with high risk conditions and all children under the age of 5 especially should be vaccinated.
Young children, people with asthma, heart disease, diabetes, weakened immune systems, and pregnant women are at high risk for complications of influenza, such as pneumonia.
About half of all Americans get vaccinated against the flu each year, including 50% of pregnant women. This number needs to get better. Ask your child's school, child care center, or sports coach, "How are we promoting the flu vaccine for these children?"
2. Now is the time to get vaccinated.Influenza vaccine shipments have already begun, and will continue through the fall and winter. Call your pediatrician to ask when the vaccine will be available.
Infants and children up to 8 years of age receiving the flu shot for the first time may need two doses of the vaccine, administered four weeks apart. It is important that these children get their first dose as soon as possible to be sure they can complete both doses before the flu season begins.
3. This year's flu vaccine is only available as a shot. The inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) is given by intramuscular injection and is approved for children 6 months of age and older. Depending on the number of flu strains it contains, it is available in both trivalent (IIV3 – two A and one B virus) and quadrivalent (IIV4 – two A and two B viruses) forms. The intranasal influenza vaccine is not recommended in any setting in the US.
4. It doesn't matter which form of the vaccine you get.The quadrivalent influenza vaccines for the 2017-2018 season contain the same three strains as the trivalent vaccine, plus an additional B strain. Although this may offer improved protection, the AAP does not give preference for one type of flu vaccine over another.
Please don't delay vaccination in order to wait for a specific vaccine. Influenza virus is unpredictable. What's most important is that people receive the vaccine as soon as possible.
5. You can't get the flu from the flu vaccine.Flu vaccines are made from killed viruses. Mild symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and chills, can occur.
The side effects of the flu vaccine are mild (and nothing compared to having the flu). The most common side effects are pain and tenderness at the site of injection. Fever is also seen within 24 hours after immunization in approximately 10% to 35% of children younger than 2 years of age but rarely in older children and adults. These symptoms are usually mild and resolve on their own in a couple of days.
6. If you catch the flu and are vaccinated, you will get a milder form of the disease.We know that flu vaccines are about 60% effective--yes, we all wish that number were higher. The good news is that vaccinated people who get the flu usually get a mild form of the disease, according to a study. People who are not vaccinated will likely be in bed with fever and miserable and even could develop a complication.
7. There should be plenty of vaccine for everyone this year.For the 2017-2018 season, manufacturers have projected that they will produce between up to 166 million doses of flu vaccine.
8. The influenza vaccine doesn't cause autism.A robust body of research continues to show that the influenza vaccine is safe and is not associated with autism.
9. The flu vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines.The flu vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines, but at a different place on the body. It is also important to note that children 6 months through 8 years of age may need two doses spaced one month apart to be fully protected. These children should receive their first dose as soon as the vaccine is available in their community. Live vaccines (like the MMR and chickenpox vaccines) may be given together or at least 4 weeks apart.
10. Children with egg allergy can get the flu vaccine.Children with an egg allergy can safely get the flu shot from their pediatrician without going to an allergy specialist. Even those with a history of severe egg allergy don't have to treat getting the flu vaccine differently than getting any other vaccine, because these people are not likely to have a reaction to the flu vaccine.
By: Kathleen Berchelmann MD, FAAP
Biting is a typical behavior often seen in infants, toddlers, and 2-year olds. As children mature, gain self-control, and develop problem-solving skills, they usually outgrow this behavior. While not uncommon, biting can be an upsetting and potentially harmful behavior. It’s best to discourage it from the very first episode. This article will help you to understand the reasons young children bite and give you some ideas and strategies for responding appropriately.
Why do young children bite?Some children bite instinctively, because they have not developed self-control. For example, when 3-year-old Marcus grabs a doll from his 2-year-old sister Gina, her first response is to bite him and grab the doll. She doesn’t stop to think about other ways to act or the result of her actions. But there are many other reasons why children may bite.
A child might bite to
Infants learn about the world around them by exploring it with their hands, eyes, and mouths. But infants often need help to learn what they should and shouldn’t bite.
If your infant takes an experimental bite on a mother’s breast or grandpa’s shoulder, stay calm and use clear signals to communicate that it is not okay for one person to bite another. A firm “no” or “no biting!” is an appropriate response.
Toddlers and Preschoolers
Toddlers have many strong emotions that they are just learning to manage. Toddlers may bite to express anger or frustration or because they lack the language skills needed to express their feelings.
Biting is less common in preschoolers than toddlers. When a preschooler bites, it may be due to something at home or at their child care program that is causing the child to be upset, frustrated, confused, or afraid. A preschooler may also bite to get attention or to act in self-defense.
Follow the steps below with both toddlers and preschoolers.
What strategies can I use to help my child overcome a habit of biting?Here are some strategies for addressing a child’s biting habit.
For further reading
Banks, R., & S. Yi. 2007. “Dealing with Biting Behaviors in Young Children.” Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting. http://ceep.crc.uiuc.edu/poptopics/biting.html.
The Center on Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL). “Responding to Your Child’s Bite.” www.vanderbilt.edu/csefel/documents/biting-parenting_tool.pdf.
Crisalli, L. 2008. “All about Biting.” Exchange 184: 61–63. http://www.ccie.com/library/5018461.pdf.
University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies. “Ouch! That hurts! – Biting.” (Growing ideas tip sheet). http://umaine.edu/ccids/files/2009/12/biting120309.pdf.
Zero to Three. “Why Do Toddlers Bite? Finding the Right Response.” www.zerotothree.org/child-development/challenging-behavior/chew-on-this-resources-on-biting.html.
Source: Adapted from D. Koralek, "Understanding and Responding to Biting,” In Classroom Strategies to Promote Children’s Social and Emotional Development, 135–138. Lewisville, NC: Kaplan Press, 1999. © 1999 The Devereux Foundation, Villanova, Pennsylvania.
Please visit www.devereuxearlychildhood.org to learn more about their work to promote children's resilience and social and emotional health. Devereux grants permission for teachers or families to print copies of this article to share with friends or colleagues. For any other uses of this material, please contact email@example.com.
Bedtime Routines Dos and Don'tsThere is no absolute right way to set up a bedtime routine. Some kids like to hear a bedtime story, others may want to talk about their day, and some may just want to say their prayers and go to sleep. As long as your child falls asleep easily and sleeps all night, then your bedtime routine is likely working well.
Other things that you should likely do as part of a good bedtime routine can include that you:
In recognition of Autism Awareness Month we are sharing this article to bring awareness of early signs of autism in infants and toddlers. By Lisa Jo Rudy - Reviewed by a board-certified physician.
Updated August 19, 2016
According to the CDC, as many as 1 out of every 68 (or possible 1 out of 45) children may be autistic. So if you're a parent of a young child and worried about the early signs of autism, you have a right to be concerned. It's a good idea to keep a close eye on your child's development because even very young children can be diagnosed. And research shows that the earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better the prognosis for good outcomes.
What should you be looking for? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, these are some of the earliest red flags for autism:
Possible Indicators of Autism Spectrum Disorders
It's also important to remember that a child who does have excellent language skills may still be diagnosable on the autism spectrum.
In fact, some children who are diagnosed with autism have extraordinary language and reading skills.
This is just a partial list if parents have questions or concerns about their child's development they should contact their physician.
Submitted by Michelle Hardimon SIUC Intern Department of Early Childhood Education.
Toddler discipline can be challenging, but is essential.It can be a trying time while trying to implement toddler discipline. Teaching right from wrong at such a young age is difficult, but essential. I have eight tools to help you through this process.
1. Guide little handsExploring hands are always looking for things to handle, so give the young explorer word associations to help him sort out what he may touch. Try “yes touch” for safe things; “no touch” for objects off-limits; and “soft touch” for faces and animals. To tame the impulsive grabber, try encouraging “the one finger touch.” other words (e.g., hot touch, owie touch) will come to mind as you discover the world of touch together.
2. Respect little grabbersYour toddler has a jar of olives, and you have visions that there will soon be a mess to clean up. You hastily snatch the jar from her clutches, and within a millisecond you have set off a protest tantrum. You’ve saved yourself a mess to clean up on the floor, but now you have an emotional mess to care for.
There is a better way. For a young toddler, make eye contact and divert her attention to something else she’d like. For an older toddler, tell her you’ll help her open the jar so she can have an olive, and point to where you want her to put it. This is simply an exercise in politeness and respect, an “adult-in- charge” approach. Children need adults to communicate and model the behavior adults expect.
You probably know that foods containing caffeine and sugar are stimulating; for that reason, you definitely want to avoid feeding those kinds of foods to your child as a general rule, and certainly before naptime or bedtime. However, there are other types of foods that actually have a sedating effect on the brain. They produce chemicals that promote sleepiness and relaxation. These foods that help sleep contain a substance called tryptophan.
What is tryptophan? Glad you asked! Tryptophan is an amino acid that our bodies use to synthesize proteins. Tryptophan also produces a brain chemical called serotonin from which melatonin (which is so essential for sleep that it’s named the ‘sleep hormone’) is manufactured.
Foods that contain high levels of tryptophan include the following:
Good examples of meals that provide the proper combination of complex carbs and tryptophan include:
You don’t need to whip up an entire meal, however, in order to feed your child some sleep-promoting food. Great sleep-inducing snacks could include:
Of course, sleep-inducing foods like these won’t necessarily solve all your sleep problems! If persistent nighttime waking and short (or non-existent) naps are problems in your home, you may need to troubleshoot other causes of sleep problems. No amount of sleep-inducing food will help solve persistent night-waking and early-nap waking. But offering your child sleep-promoting foods is one great way among many to help ensure that you have a peaceful sleeper in your home!
Source: The Baby Sleep Site http://www.babysleepsite.com
Recent research shows that infants and toddlers are far more empathetic than we once thought. While they have short fuses, and don’t cope well with sharing, they are capable of being compassionate. With this in mind, here are ten tips I use in the classroom to help infants and toddlers become pro-social that families can also try at home.
1. Be respectful, patient, and loving to your infants and toddlers and everyone else. Infants imitate what they see. Model saying “please” and “thank you”, touching gently, using your words, using a calm voice, cleaning up your messes, helping others, and sharing your things:
“Thank you for the Cheerio, would you like some of my raisins?”
2. Media is powerful! Read books about feelings with positive social interactions and discuss them. If your child watches television, watch too, and talk about the situations and emotions that happen in the shows, especially if the actions are antisocial.
“Caillou said that Philip could not use his ball – how did that make Philip feel? Do you think taking turns might make Philip feel better?”
3. When things are upsetting your toddler, you can engage your inner child. Doll or puppet play can help your child explore feelings and perspectives.
Puppet, “I don’t want to take a bath!” You to puppet, “You sound mad – you don’t like baths! I wonder what things could make bath-time fun?”
4. When people are upset, model compassion – talk about the problem and offer help.
“That boy fell off the climber, let’s go see if he’s ok! His daddy picked him up and the boy stopped crying. Let’s see if they need a Band-aid…”
5. Model touching gently on pets and guide toddlers who are rough to touch everyone gently, leave toys in others’ hands and to walk around people rather than pushing.
“Stop! The puppy is crying because you pulled his fur – touch him like this, that’s gentle. Let me show you how. Yes! That’s gentle! He likes that better”
6. Point out when harm has been done and suggest ways to make things better. Point out the facial cues that let you know what is happening.
“You were mad, but when you bit him, it hurt. He’s sad. See his tears? Let’s help him get some ice. Next time if he grabs your toy, say, “That’s mine.””
7. When conflict breaks out, stay calm and support your child’s feelings. Offer solutions and stay close. It helps to use the same solutions each time, for example, if the conflict involves one child grabbing another child’s toy, get close and hold the toy in question, state the problem, comment on the children’s emotions, offer solutions, find one that is mutually acceptable, and restate the solution.
8. Point out kindness to others, “He liked it when you gave him the flower, see his smile?” That was kind of him to hand you the ball.” Point out social mistakes, “He just pushed you out of the way. I think he doesn’t have the words yet to tell you that he wants to play over by the balls. He should have walkedaround you.” Point out your own mistakes, too, “I made a mistake, I bumped her with your stroller – I’m sorry!”
9. Involve your child in home tasks like cooking and re-gifting. Talk about the teamwork involved in helping the house run smoothly or the way others will feel when they get the gift.
“This salad will taste so good, thank you for tearing up the lettuce!” “I bet the new baby will like that bunny – it’s so nice of you to give away the toys you are too big to use.”
10. Stay close and guide your child as she navigates the complex world of feelings. Babies and toddlers will have strong feelings, make mistakes, feel possessive, seek autonomy, and struggle to control their impulses. Expect them to try and to make mistakes. Respect that all people may need time to get calm and composed before they are willing to talk about upsetting things.
“You got so mad you threw the cup. Next time you can hand it to me.”
Keep in mind that not everyone learns social skills at the same pace. The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations of Early Learning suggests that when a child can’t dance, swim, etc. we teach them, but when a child can’t behave, we punish. Committing to teaching social skills to children that don’t “get it,” creates a better community for everyone.
Julia Luckenbill, M.A. is a Child Development Demonstration Lecturer at the Center for Child and Family Studies Laboratory School at the University of California, Davis. Her interests include emergent curriculum, farming with toddlers, photography, and exploring the world with her daughter.