Friday, May 27, 2011


I tried to teach my child from books,
He only gave me puzzled looks.
I tried to teach my child from words.
They passed him by oft unheard.
Despairingly, I turned aside.
“How can I teach this child?” I cried.
Into my hand he placed the key,
“Come” he said. “Play with me.”

Why are Playgroups Beneficial: 

· Children learn about the world through play
· Strengthens social skills
· Helps build self confidence in both parent and child
· Helps children gain independence
· Strengthens the Parent-Child bond
· Encourages and promotes proper child development
· Brings Parents comfort, support, and conversation
· Provides parents with an opportunity to learn from one another

How do Playgroups work? 
Weekly lessons are provided to assist you in sharing information and activities that will encourage proper child development. The curriculum is composed of lessons, activities, and handouts. With this curriculum you can start your own playgroup or there are local playgroups that you can join. 
To view the Welcome Baby Playgroup Curriculum follow this link. unitedwayuc.org/welcomebaby/playgroups

Sample Playgroup Curriculum:
1. Specific Development
2. Importance of Play
3. Infant Massage
4. Story Telling
5. Developmental Parenting
6. Parental Guidance
7. Rhymes and Reason
8. Seasonal Safety

If you are interested in participating or hosting a playgroup email us at baby1@unitedwayuc.org

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baby Summer Skin Care

With the weather we've been having lately, we're all anxious to get outside and soak up some sun rays!  However, when taking your baby outside there are several health precautions to be mindful of.  Babies have sensitive skin and are more pron to sunburns and skin irritation.  Below are some helpful tips that will help you and your baby to have a more enjoyable time outside:
  • Make sure that your baby is kept fully clothed when you step out of your house, and that no part of her skin is exposed to direct sunlight. Not only are the suns rays harmful because they cause sunburn.
  • If you do have to take your child out into the sun, you can try to avoid the period of time between 10 AM and 4 PM, because this is the period when the sun shines at its most brilliant, and also the time when the UV rays will be at their strongest.
  • You can try using stroller hoods for your baby or hats to keep your older child covered.
  • A constant irritant during the summer months is diaper rash. Never let the nappy area remain wet; always keep it dry, and use talcum powder liberally on the areas to keep baby smiling and happy.
  • Your baby is also prone to developing heat rashes on the folds of her skin during the summer months.  Making sure she wears fresh and cool clothing.
  • You can give your baby daily baths to keep her fresh and dry and rash free during the summer months.
  • Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every 2 hours, sooner if the child has been swimming. 
  • Opt for a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) or 30 or higher.
  • Make sure it's labeled "broad spectrum," which means it blocks both UVA and UVB sunlight. UVA rays cause sunburn. UVB rays are the main cause of wrinkles.
Not only is sun exposure important to be aware of, but also sleeping and eating habits.  One thing to be especially aware of is your babies hydration.  If you are breastfeeding, you do not need to worry about any additional supplements.  However, if your toddler has started eating solid foods and is not breastfeeding as frequent, it is important that your child is offered additional liquids and is able to stay hydrated.  One easy tip is to always have cool water in a sippy cup available for you child.

Another thing to consider as the temperatures start to rise is you babies sleeping habits.  Your baby may become fussy in the evenings or start waking up several times during the night, remember to keep an eye out for the temperature in the baby's room.  No one likes sleeping in a hot or stuffy room, try opening a window or turning on a small fan. 
By following these simple tips, you can keep your baby healthy and happy during these fun summer months!

Tips for Summer Newborn Care
Summer Sun Protection for Kids 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Crib Safety Standards

Crib manufacturers, retailers, and distributors are about to make a big change. As of June 28, 2011, new crib standards are taking effect to prevent deadly hazards that have previously accompanied drop-side rail cribs. 

New crib standards will require more durable hardware and parts, and will require cribs to be tested more rigorously. Simply immobilizing current cribs is not enough to make it compliant with new standards, and you cannot tell a crib's compliance by looking at it.  

If you've got a crib or purchase one before June 28th, check the crib often to make sure that it is secure. You can also ask for proof that a crib is safe. To do this, make sure that your crib has a label attached with the date of manufacure, and ask for a Certificate of Compliance from the manufacterer or retailer. This should include:
  • A description of the product
  • Give the full name and contact information for the manufacturer
  • Identify the rule that it complies with (16 CFR 1219 or 1220)
  • Give the name and contact information for the testing lab and records keeper
  • Give the place and date that the crib was made and tested
By December 28, 2012, chile care facilities will required to house only cribs that meet the new standards.

For more information on specific crib standards and answers to FAQ, visit: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/03/the-new-crib-standard-questions-and-answers/ 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Teaching Your Child Good Manners

Children must be taught how to properly behave in different social settings so they can be successful throughout life. Age two to five is the best time to teach manners because children are open to learning how to behave, and have not already developed bad habits. When children have models of good manners to pattern themselves after, they are much more likely to adopt good manners themselves.

Steps to Good Table Manners (Dr. Alex Packer, psychologist and the author)
1.Look for the good. Instead of pointing out all the things your child does wrong, point out what she does right.
2. Don't turn dinner into an unpleasant "lecture time." That will turn kids off not only to manners, but to dinner, and to you, too.
3. Check your own example.
4. Don't label your child as a slob. Instead, point out the behavior in a neutral, practical way. For example: "It's a good idea to unfold your napkin so if food falls you won't stain your clothes."
5. Approach manners as a game. Try having a somewhat more formal dinner. Try dressing up, serve a special meal, and expect more formal manners. That will help improve your kids' social graces.
6. Try dining out once in a while.

How to Teach Children Manners and Etiquette
Children learn manners by observing adults around them, so it is important for parents to model good behavior.

1. Set an example of the manners you expect. The most effective method for teaching your children good manners is your daily example. Demonstrate good manners in a variety of settings. For example, make sure to thank the cashier at the supermarket and say "please" when ordering at a restaurant.
2. Teach your child manners in stages, as his comprehension and skills develop. Start using words and phrases like 'please,' 'thank you,' 'excuse me,' 'I'm sorry,' and 'may I?' as early as possible around your child. Encourage your child to do the same.
3. Be aware of the language you use in front of your children; they mimic the way adults speak.
4. Require that your children address elders with titles. Children should use "Mr.," "Mrs." and "Ms." when addressing elders.
5. Teach your children how to behave properly in public. Review the basics of etiquette with your child whenever necessary. He should learn how to shake hands, show respect for older people, behave
quietly in public places, and avoid interrupting other people in conversation, how to respect other people's property, etc.
6. Avoid ignoring bad behavior or waiting to talk about it. Address a rule as soon as your child breaks it, but do not humiliate a child in front of others. Make correction a private exchange that corrects but is done in an encouraging way.
 7. Bring up the behavior again in private so you can discuss it more thoroughly and make sure your child understands how to behave in the future.
8. Recognize and encourage proper behavior that you like so that your child will be motivated to continue these behaviors.  Positive correction is a good way to help children learn good manners. Instead of focusing on negative behaviors, remind children of positive behaviors. For example, rather than saying, "Don't run," say, "Use walking feet."


Make Manners Fun
  • Explain to your child that formal dinners are special, and get your child excited about attending a formal event. Talk with your child about formal table manners before having your child attend a formal sit down dinner. You can practice by planning a fancy dinner at home. Light candles, use nice plates and dress up for dinner. Have your child ask to be excused from the table when he's done.
  • Have a tea party and demonstrate impeccable manners. Show them how to eat with their mouths closed and how to use napkins to wipe their mouths. Then let them try.
  •  Using a play telephone, demonstrate how to politely answer the phone, then allow your child to practice. If you have two phones, pretend to call each other and carry on a conversation. Role play introductions between two people meeting each other for the first time, or one person introducing someone to another person. Act out scenarios where children must practice manners at the park or playground. Encourage your child if he does well. Gently correct any mistakes that she makes.
  •  Make a "Manners Book" and have your child draw pictures of children practicing good manners. Make a collage of pictures from magazines showing families eating, kids playing nicely, and other scenarios where manners are being practiced. Talk with your child about the pictures he chose for his collage.
  •  Create a place mat with a proper table setting on it. Glue cut-outs of a plate, fork, spoon, knife and napkin to a rectangular sheet of oaktag board, then laminate it.
  •  Make a manners chart where your child can add stickers each time you "catch" them practicing good manners. For some kids, the stickers will be reward and motivation enough. For others, you may want to motivate them further by offering an incentive if they get a certain number of stickers. http://www.ehow.com/list_7461295_ideas-teaching-manners-children.html

Children's Books on Manners
Reading books on manners is another fun way to teach children appropriate ways to behave.
- How do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
 -The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners  by Jan and Stan Berenstain
- Clifford's Manners by Norman Bridwell

For an extensive list of children's books on manners look here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Language Development

Communicating with your child starts from birth.  Although your baby cannot form words during infancy, your baby comes to recognize voices of parents and can sense emotion or tone of voice.  With this realization, many parents wonder what they can do to help their child learn how to speak.

For first time parents, it is easy to compare your child's development with other children and wonder if your child is behind.  It is important to remember that each child develops skills at different times and at different rates, however it is useful to be aware of key developmental stages.  Just because your child has not accomplished one skill within an age range does not mean the child has a disorder, but it might be something you could discuss with your child's doctor. 

By breaking language development into stages, parents can facilitate their child's language development and encourage positive language skills.  Listed below are some key developmental stages.

0-3 Months
Developmental Milestone:
  • Makes pleasure sounds (cooing, gooing)
  • Cries differently for different needs
  • Smiles when sees you
  • Attempts imitating the sounds you make

How to help you baby:
Sing and talk to your baby often, but also keep other distracting background noises (the TV, radio) to a minimum so she can hear and focus on the sounds she’s working on.

4-6 Months
Developmental Milestone:
  • Babbling sounds more speech-like with many different sounds, including p, b and m
  • Chuckles and laughs
  • Vocalizes excitement and displeasure
  • Makes gurgling sounds when left alone and when playing with you
How to help you baby:
When you talk to him, pause after saying something (“Would you like to play with this pretty red rattle?”) so he has a chance to respond in his own language. If he tries to make the same sound as you, repeat the word for him.

7 Months-1 Year
Developmental Milestone:
  • Babbling has both long and short groups of sounds such as "tata upup bibibibi"
  • Uses speech or non-crying sounds to get and keep attention
  • Uses gestures to communication (waving, holding arms to be picked up)
  • Imitates different speech sounds
  • Has one or two words (hi, dog,dada, mama) around first birthday, although sounds may not be clear
How to help you baby:
Talk her through her days: “Where did the puppy go? Oh, look, here’s the puppy on the sofa,” labeling and showing her what you’re referring to as much as possible. Use a mirror to show her who she is: “Who’s that little girl? It’s Rachel!”  Begin to label body parts (“nose,” “eyes,” “tummy,” “toes”), spend more time reading books together and talking about the pictures, and teach interactions such as waving bye-bye and blowing kisses.

This is an exciting time in your babies development, enjoy the new stages and have fun with your baby!

Resources: http://www.parenting.com/article/baby-language-development, ASHA http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/01.htm

Monday, May 16, 2011

Edible Traffic Lights

Last week at play group we talked about transportation and stop lights... and made edible ones!

This craft is simple enough for younger children, but also enjoyed by older ones because the result at the end is so tasty.

All that is required is a quarter of a full graham cracker, frosting or peanut butter, and red, yellow, and green M&Ms. Simply spread the frosting or peanut butter over the graham cracker and then put the colored M&Ms in order.

Another fun and healthy twist is to use a full graham cracker and put slice of strawberry, banana, and kiwi on it.

Either way, when you're done you can: ready, set, ...EAT!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Temper Tantrums

A temper tantrum is a sudden, unplanned display of anger. It is not just an act to get attention. Temper tantrums are common. Most children ages 1 to 4 have temper tantrums. Some children have tantrums every day. A tantrum is a normal response when something blocks a young child from gaining independence or learning a skill. The child may not yet have the skills to express anger and frustration in other ways.

For more information visit this website: http://children.webmd.com/tc/temper-tantrums-topic-overview

Tips for Preventing Temper Tantrums:
  • Be consistent. Establish a daily routine so that your child knows what to expect.                                                                                  
  • Plan ahead. Run errands early in the day — when your child isn't likely to be hungry or tired. If you're expecting to wait in line, pack a small toy or snack to occupy your child.
  • Encourage your child to use words. Young children understand many more words than they're able to express. As your child gets older, help him or her put feelings into words.
  • Let your child make choices. To give your child a sense of control, let him/her make appropriate choices.
  • Praise good behavior. Offer extra attention when your child behaves well. Tell your child how proud you are when he or she shares toys, listens to directions, and so on.
  • Use distraction. If you sense a tantrum brewing, distract your child.
  • Avoid situations likely to trigger tantrums. If your child begs for toys or treats when you shop, steer clear of "temptation islands" full of eye-level goodies. 
For more information from the Mayo Clinic on why temper tantrums occur click here.

Assess your child's behavior in a table similar to the one below. This will give you a good idea of what triggers your child's behavior and will hopefully help you minimize those triggers.

My Child Behaves Best When:My Child Behaves Worst When:
I'm attentiveShopping in the afternoon
She's well-restedI'm too busy for too long
She's held in a slingThere's too much commotion
She's busyShe's bored

It is much easier to prevent temper tantrums than it is to manage them once they have erupted. Here are some tips for preventing temper tantrums and some things you can say:
  • Reward children for positive attention rather than negative attention. During situations when they are prone to temper tantrums, catch them when they are being good and say such things as, “Nice job sharing with your friend.”
  • Do not ask children to do something when they must do what you ask. Do not ask, “Would you like to eat now?” Say, “It’s suppertime now.”
  • Give children control over little things whenever possible by giving choices.
  • Keep off-limit objects out of sight and therefore out of mind.
  • Distract children by redirection to another activity when they tantrum over something they should not do or cannot have. 
  • Change environments, thus removing the child from the source of the temper tantrum.
  • Choose your battles. Teach children how to make a request without a temper tantrum and then honor the request.
  • Make sure that children are well rested and fed in situations in which a temper tantrum is a likely possibility.
  • Avoid boredom.
  • Create a safe environment that children can explore without getting into trouble - childproof your home
  • Increase your tolerance level. Are you available to meet the child’s reasonable needs? Evaluate how many times you say, “No.” Avoid fighting over minor things.
  • Signal children before you reach the end of an activity so that they can get prepared for the transition. Say, “When the timer goes off 5 minutes from now it will be time to turn off the TV and go to bed.”
  • When visiting new places or unfamiliar people explain to the child beforehand what to expect.
  • Provide pre-academic, behavioral, and social challenges that are at the child’s developmental level so that the child does not become frustrated.
  • Keep a sense of humor to divert the child’s attention and surprise the child out of the tantrum.
Strategies for Handling a Temper Tantrum:
  • Remain calm and do not argue with the child.
  • Think before you act.
  • Try to intervene before the child is out of control.
  • You can place the child in time away.
  • You can ignore the tantrum if it is being thrown to get your attention. Once the child calms down, give the attention that is desired.
  • Hold the child who is out of control and is going to hurt himself or herself or someone else. Let the child know that you will let him or her go as soon as he or she calms down.
  • If the child has escalated the tantrum to the point where you are not able to intervene in the ways described above, then you may need to direct the child to time-out 
  • Talk with the child after the child has calmed down. When the child stops crying, talk about the frustration the child has experienced. Try to help solve the problem if possible. For the future, teach the child new skills to help avoid temper tantrums.
For more strategies and ideas click here

More resources:
Healthy Children (Powered by Pediatricians; Trusted by Parents) 
Understanding Children 
Temper Tantrums and Head Banging 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Car Seat Saftety: 2011 Guildeline Revision

The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that children remain in rear-facing car seats until age two. Studies have found that facing forward after one year is too soon and can be dangerous.

In fact, children under 2 years are 75% less likely to be severely injured or die from crashes if they are in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of the car. After reaching age two, or about 40 pounds, toddlers' necks, heads, and spines are more developed, and able to handle forward facing car seats.

After age two, children should still be safely buckled into a car seat in the back. Let's keep our kids safe!

For more information on car seat safety, installation, and shopping, visit: 


Please also reference: 


Friday, May 6, 2011

How to Please Picky Eaters

Feeding toddlers can be challenging. They are often picky eaters, are hesitant to try new foods, and in general, don't seem to eat very much.   
Toddlers aren't growing as fast as they were during their first year of life and so have lower energy needs (the amount of calories per kg of their body weight) and smaller appetites. So if your child is active, healthy, and growing and developing normally, then he/she is likely getting plenty to eat.
It can also help to avoid common mistakes, such as:
· drinking more than 16-24 ounces of milk each day.
· drinking more than 4-6 ounces of juice each day.
· letting your child fill up on sweets and snacks.
· forcing your child to eat when he/she isn't hungry.
· Giving servings that are too big. The average toddler serving is going to be about 1/4 of an adult serving size.  

The average toddler needs about 1300 calories each day. A good rule of thumb is that your toddler will need about 40 calories each day for each inch of his height.   

While you should provide three well-balanced meals each day, it is important to keep in mind that most younger children will only eat one or two full meals each day. If you toddler has had a good breakfast and lunch, then it is okay that he doesn't want to eat much at dinner.

Although your child will probably be hesitant to try new foods, you should still offer small amounts of them once or twice a week (one tablespoon of green beans, for example). Research shows that most children will try a new food after being offered it 10-15 times

Other ways to prevent feeding problems are to not use food as a bribe or reward for desired behaviors, avoid punishing your child for not eating well, limit mealtime conversation to positive and pleasant topics, avoid discussing or commenting on your child's poor eating habits while at the table, limit eating and drinking to the table or high chair, and limit snacks to two nutritious snacks each day. 

Tips for Feeding Picky Eaters
-          Sticker charts usually work best from around 2 years. Keep portions absolutely minuscule and at first give a sticker for just trying the food
-           Play a game where you blindfold your child and give him/her several foods to taste -- some old favorites and some new -- and see if he/she can identify what they are!
-          Create your own “Healthy Junk Food”
-          Let them be involved in the planning and preparation of a meal 
-          Disguise vegetables by blending them into a tomato sauce, brownie/cake mix, etc. 


Please reference:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Family Events in the Provo Area

· Women in PhilanthropyChildren’s Book Festival is Saturday May 7  12:00 – 4:00 at the Provo City

 Keynote speaker is Yuyi Morales, illustrator of “Ladder to the Moon” currently #4 on the New York Times Best Seller List for Children’s Books. 
 Reception for Yuyi Friday May 6th at 7:00 PM 

 Both events are free and open to the public.

 Festival will also include crafts, games, giveaways, prizes, and 15 visiting Utah authors and illustrators, book characters of Skippyjon Jones, Peter Rabbit, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, BYU Bookstore, light finger foods and snacks will be available for purchase. 

 The first 500 children will receive a free book. 

· Free Infant Classes— by Utah County WIC at the Health & Justice Building-151 South University Ave. Provo, Utah

 Happiest Baby on the Block: Why Babies Cry and the Ancient Art of Soothing a Baby  
  Wednesday, May 25, 2011 (Suite 1600) 
  6:00-7:00 PM

 Infant Massage: Massage Therapy as Specifically Applied to Infants.
   Wednesday, June 1, 2011 (Suite 1601)
   6:00-7:00 PM
  Questions: 801-851-7312