Monday, August 27, 2012

Sleep in the First Year

Sleep!  It's one of those things that parents tend to obsess over--which is understandable.  I mean, who wouldn't be obsessed when the only chance YOU get to sleep is when the BABY is sleeping!

So how much sleep should your baby be getting?  Are your expectations of baby maybe a little bit too high?

While your baby should be your best guide to figuring out how much sleep he needs, here is an awesome chart to give you at least an idea of the average hours of sleep babies need during their first year:

Daytime sleep hours, obviously, come in the form of naps, and the number of naps can vary from child to child.  Nighttime sleep hours, unfortunately, also don't always happen in one uninterrupted period (especially in the first months!).  Your child's sleep needs can be very different from other children, even children who are the same age as your child!  Your best bet is, as always, to learn from your child. You'll know you're doing it right when your child is happy and well rested!

Information taken from Feber Re Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems. New York 1985, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Picture Book for Baby

Tomorrow I am taking my 8 month old baby to Arkansas.  Between the drives to and from airports, a lay over in Texas, and the two flights, it's going to be at least 8 hours of travel time.

I've got to admit, I'm a tiny bit terrified.

See, my baby has just gotten to the point where she is extremely proficient at crawling and has realized that she can go where ever she wants if she climbs enough.  I've been spending the last few days searching all over for something to keep her from turning the plane into a jungle-gym (or to keep her from turning into a banshee when she realizes that we won't let her!)

My first idea was to get her a couple of new little toys that we can get out during all our traveling, so we bought a couple of things to keep in my diaper bag, but I'm just not sure that will last long enough.  Then, yesterday I noticed that my daughter loves turning pages.  She has a hard time with board books because they stick and she has a hard time getting the pages apart with her little fingers most of the time.  We have given her (sacrificed) a couple of regular paper books to let her "read" and she likes catalogs, but they always end up thrashed in a matter of minutes.  What I noticed yesterday, was that she spent almost 30 minutes flipping through the pages of our family scrapbook (it probably would have been more if I hadn't gotten tired of trying to rescue all my pictures!).  So, the brilliant idea struck me, why not make her own "scrapbook"?  So that is how this project was born.

This is great for babies who are working on their fine motor skills, also for younger babies who just want to look at pretty pictures while you turn the pages.  If you have an older child, this is a great creative process for them to be a part of as they make their very own picture book!

What you'll need:
  • A cheap binder and sheet protectors
  •  A small photo book, this is great for a more travel friendly version (you can sometimes get these at the dollar store)
  • Card stock (you can use white, or different colors for some variety)
  • A couple of magazines, ads, or other pictures. I like to use family oriented magazines, since they have the most kid friendly pictures, but you can find interesting things everywhere!
  • Scissors
  • double sided tape or a glue stick
How to assemble:
  • First step, go through your magazines and ads and pull out all the pictures you want.  If you have an older child they can choose their own pictures and even help cut them out (if you trust them with scissors!).
  • Next, you can trim all the pictures down so they look nicer (or if your child is making her own, let her cut the pictures however she wants!)
  • Once I have all my pictures cut out (I honestly just find any and all pictures that look interesting) I like to arrange them all on my pages before I start securing them with glue or tape, but that's just my creative process ;)
  • Use your double sided tape or glue stick to fix your pictures to the pages to make some awesome collages!
  • When your pages are done, simply slip them into the sheet protectors and assemble your binder!
  • Just an extra step, if you'd like, you can either print a page with your child's name on it (you can get pretty fancy with this), or even just make a special collage to go right on the front!

Here are some of my incredibly creative and exciting pages:


Monday, August 6, 2012

Child Care: Finding a Licensed Provider

When you think of child care you may just think of the typical day care center, or maybe a day care run out of someone's home, but did you know that there are actually a few different types of child care providers that can be licensed in Utah?  There is family child care, family group child care, residential certified, child care centers, and school age only care.  Knowing what it all means can really help you in your search for a reliable child care situation for your little one!  Here is a description of each type to help you figure it all out!

Family Child Care-This is a provider that is licensed to do child care in their home. They must have an adult to child ratio of 1 adult to 8 children with no more than 2 children under the age of 2, or 1 adult to 6 children with no more than 3 children under the age of 2.  Any children that belong to caregivers (kids who already reside in the home) count in that ratio until they turn 4 years old.
Family Group Child Care-This is also a provider that is licensed to do child care in their home. The adult to child ratios are 2 adults to 9-16 children with no more than 4 children under the age of 2.  The family child care and family group child care providers must have written policies and procedures and an emergency & disaster plan. They also must have 20 hours of training a year, must have first aid supplies in the home and in any vehicle used to transport the children, and have specific play equipment guidelines.
Residential Certified (RC)-This is a provider that is certified to do child care in the home. Residential certification is considered a lower standard than licensed, because of different ratios, group sizes, care giver training, and outdoor equipment standards. The adult to child ratios required are 1 adult to 8 children with no more than 2 children under the age of 2, children belonging to the care givers count in the ratio until 3 years old.  An emergency and disaster plan is required, but can be verbal, first aid supplies must be in the home, and 10 hours of training are required annually.

Child Care Center-This is a provider that operates in a non-residential setting and on a regular schedule. The number of children allowed is determined by the size of the facility.
School Age Only-This type of child care is provided in a non-residential setting for school age children only (ages 5-12). However, many centers and family child care programs also take school age children.

For more information, check out CareAboutChildCare.Utah.Gov!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Care About Child Care

Going back to work (or leaving your child for any reason) is one of the hardest things to do as a new mom, but finding a child care provider you trust can make it easier when you have to leave your baby.  Luckily for Utah families, there is a wonderful new resource for finding just that!

Care About Child Care is a great site that helps connect you with the resources you need to make sure your child is getting the best care possible when you are away.  To get started, head over to careaboutchildcare.utah.gov and click on the "parents" tab.

From here you can search for daycare providers or you can register with the site.  There's also a lot of good information on what to look for when you go to a day care provider, and information on help paying for child care.  If you choose to register, your child's information will be saved and each time you search you will get more customized search results!

The search feature is wonderful because it gives you so many options for things to search for!  You can just search for providers in your area (by city, area, or zip code), or you can narrow down your search for everything from providers that have availabilities for your child's age group, to type of care, to providers who have experience with special needs (such as allergies, ADHD, or autism).

Leaving your child isn't always the ideal situation, but with some help and planning, you can have the best experience possible.  This site is a wonderful tool and very easy to use, check it out!