5 Potty Training Mistakes to Avoid

potty training tipsPotty training may seem like an impossible feat after a slew of accidents and weeks of trying different methods to no avail. Your child can and will be potty trained! Here are some common slip-ups parents make that prolong the potty training process rather than encourage it.

Making kid train before they’re ready

Toilet training is a developmental milestone that we simply cannot push. A child must be able to understand and communicate with you before potty training. Additionally, parents have to understand that a child must be at point where they want to and are able to control their bodily toilet functions. Cues that may indicate that your child might be ready to take the toilet training plunge is when he or she follows you to restroom and shows extreme discomfort in a soiled diapy.

Switching back to diapers when it’s convenient

I know sometimes it’s easier to opt for diapers for bedtime, but we don’t realize that this is slowing down the process and sending mix signals. Consistency is the key to developing a habit.  Stick to your guns even for weddings and even long drives. Instead of reaching for diapers when you don’t want to worry about accidents, invest in plastic liners for bed. When traveling, take your child to the bathroom on an hourly basis to avoid messy accidents.

Using big kid underwear

Big kid underwear may seem like good way to go when trying to encourage your child to use the potty. As you probably have discovered, thin cotton underwear doesn’t hold up well against accidents. As an alternative, I highly recommend using training underwear. They are thicker but still allow your child to feel and respond to urine.

Buying the entire potty training industry

The potty training process is just that, a process. When certain methods don’t work right away, some moms and dads buy end up buying everything on the market in efforts to find the perfect product to make potty training work. This not only hurts the consistency factor of the process, it also wastes your money. Stick with one method from beginning to end. Potty training is not rocket science; the most important thing you’ll need in this process is patience.

Getting Angry

Part of us already knows that getting upset when our child has an accident is not a good idea, but sometimes potty training is just plain old frustrating. So here’s a friendly reminder not to lose your cool. Accidents will happen. Don’t shame your child every time there is a mishap. Shouting and shaming makes potty training an emotional drain. Instead of expressing how disappointed you are in your child gently remind them to remember to go sooner.

What problems do you face when potty training? OR Share what helped you get your little one trained! Let us know on twitter @shopzippyz.

Photo Credit: abardwell via Compfight cc

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Reasons Why Recess is Healthy for Kids

Why Recess is Healthy for KidsRecently there has been controversy over the announcement of 23 elementary schools in Orange County, Florida cutting back on recess time and even cutting it out altogether. While some parents agree with the decision because more time is being allotted to instructional hours, a majority of parents believe this will harm children more than help them. Recess offers children time to be active and engage in creative play of their choosing. Recess should provide free, unstructured play, physical activity and “personal” time for each student. Most children have very little time for free play. After they spend most of the day in the classroom, children’s afternoons are often filled with structured activities. Here is why recess is such an important part of children’s schooling.

Free play is what children do when they follow their own ideas and interests, in their own way, and for their own reasons. Free play is essential to children’s development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, and social well being of children. Playful behavior has a positive effect on the brain and on a child’s ability to learn. Recess allows time for children to engage in free play and physical activity, which is why schools need to reconsider cutting recess out of the school day.

Social and Cognitive Development:

  • Play improves memory and stimulates the growth of the cerebral cortex.  Play and exploration trigger the secretion of BDNF, a substance essential for the growth of brain cells.
  • Children pay more attention to academic tasks when they are given frequent brief opportunities for free play. Researchers found that recesses of 10 or 20 minutes enhanced classroom attention.
  • Research shows that the way kids play contributes to their ability to solve divergent problems (problems with multiple solutions). Children showed more creativity in their attempts to solve problems as well.
  • Researchers have noted similarities between pretend play and counterfactual reasoning, the ability to make inferences about events that have not actually occurred. Children will be asked more and more inferential type questions in all academic subjects as they progress in school.
  • During recess, play is child-driven. This gives children an opportunity to work collaboratively, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and learn self-advocacy skills.
  • These skills are important for developing executive functioning skills, the skills that allow us to plan, focus attention, remember instruction and juggle multiple tasks.
  • When play is controlled by adults – such as in organized sports – children have to follow the rules established by the adult and the adult enforces the rules, not the children.
  • In contrast, during free play, children make the rules and enforce them, giving them the opportunity for developing self-regulation skills as well as leadership and group skills and creativity. Children with more frequent pretend play opportunities have stronger self-regulation skills. Practicing these skills is important to the development of executive functioning skills.

Physical Development:

  • Research has shown that most of the brain is activated during physical activity—much more so than while sedentary. After physical activity, children’s bodies and brains are ready to be engaged again in the structured learning process.
  • Movement increases the capacity of blood vessels in the brain, which in turn, enhances learning.
  • Numerous studies have shown that students who are physically active improve their academic performance, achieve higher test scores and demonstrate a better attitude toward school.
  • Everyone needs a break. This is especially true for young children. They do not process information as effectively as older children and adults (due to the immaturity of their nervous systems).  Adults take breaks during their workdays for many of the same reasons young children need recess.

custom designed playroomsGuest Blog by Karri Bowen-Poole, Founder of Smart Playrooms

Smart Playrooms designs, builds and organizes play areas for children. They combine sound educational philosophy with unique beautiful design. Smart Playrooms will bring the most effective classroom organization techniques and learning strategies into your home or business.

Stressing that less is more, they help moms focus on the toys that will add to the experience. Karri and Chris really like the idea of using their educational backgrounds and expertise to create custom designed playrooms. Plus, this gives them a niche in the market. Former teachers designing and organizing your playroom – what could be better!

For more information, please visit smartplayrooms.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Teaching Your Children to Go Green

Teaching Your Children to Go GreenTaking steps to protect our environment is often a lifestyle adjustment for adults. It’s not easy being green if you weren’t raised that way. It’s on us to pass along the three R’s to our children. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. Here are some ways you can instill eco-friendly habits in our children that will follow them into adulthood.

Reduce

Energy Use. There’s never a better time to teach someone about energy conservation than during childhood. Remind generation x to unplug their electronic devices from the wall when they are fully charged in addition to turning off the lights during the day. These constant reminders will change the way your children handle energy.

IDEA: Make solar s’mores. Children love s’mores, and you probably do too! This is a fun group project you can do with your children to teach them all about of natural energy. With household items like cardboard, and aluminum foil with sticks and stones you can create solar powered oven powerful enough to make delicious s’mores.

Recycle

Recycling is simple to do but it plays such a huge part in protecting our environment. Separating plastics/glass from paper and trash we can have positively impact our world.  Excess waste has detrimental effects on our planet. Recycling helps reduce the harmful pollutants used in landfills.

IDEA: Recycle incentive. By labeling garbage cans and giving our children the responsibility of separating the garbage appropriately, we reinforce the importance of recycling. Children love a good game. Providing a small incentive like a trip to the movies, or pizza night after one month of perfectly separated trash will keep them motivated to keep recycling.

Reuse

In addition to showing children how to appropriately dispose of papers, plastic and trash on garbage day, teach them how to refurbish. Trash isn’t always garbage. There are tons of fun ways to recycle, revamp and refurbish items around the house. Many of these ways can be fun!  DIY crafts from repurpose items and donating clothes are some of the best ways to introduce recycling habits to children. Once children begin to see the value of otherwise useless items, they will develop the habit of finding ways to reuse items before they discard them.

IDEA:  Create Customized Organization Containers. It’s easy to toss your old baby wipe boxes and jars once you’re done with them, but there are tons of ways items can be repurposed for storage and even art.

Tell us your favorite ways you go green with your children in the comment section below!

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

5 Ways to Make Unique Family Memories

Make Unique Family MemoriesAs our kids grow up, there comes a time when we look back and ourselves, “Where did all the time go?” In fact, we ask ourselves that often. We’ll look at one of our children and realize they aren’t the little peanut we brought home from the hospital a few years back. Suddenly this little person is moving around the house and having opinions of their own.

We can’t stop time, but we can do some things to make sure we remember the formative years.

1. Schedule one-on-one time – When we’re in a crowd, even if it’s full of family members, there’s no way to get alone time with your child. In this busy day and age where there’s a thousand things to do, we have to schedule one-on-one time. Find time to do something you both like and share enjoyment.

2. Make holidays unique – Holidays have a special place in all of our memories. We can talk about that funny thing that happened July 4th ’07, or the special Christmas decoration mom bought in 20011. You can help build special memories by adhering to some traditions and starting some new ones. Do something unique, like play a special game on Thanksgiving or watch a certain movie on Christmas Eve.

3. Take family vacations – I know not every family can afford an elaborate family trip to an exotic location everywhere, but there are plenty of cheap options available. The trick is to get away from the normal and experience something different as a family; something you’ll be able to talk about for years to come. Take a road trip to visit a relative or simply go camping.

4. Save as much as you can – Every time you do something as a family that you want to remember, try to save something from the event. For example, save your airline tickets from the flight, or the menu from that theme restaurant, or their favorite baby pajamas. Keep all these keepsakes in a box that you can leaf through from time to time to trigger the memories.

5. Share meals together – There’s something intrinsic to our biology about sharing meals together. Have a party in your home and you’ll notice that most people tend to congregate near the kitchen. Every significant holiday we celebrate together involves food. Make sure that you and your family spend several nights each week having proper meal at the table.

How does your family make and preserve memories?

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

5 Tips to Get Baby Talking!

Get Baby TalkingAs parents, there’s nothing better than watching your kid reach a new milestone, especially when they start talking! Finally being able to communicate with our children makes parenting much easier. All kids develop at their own pace, but there are still a few things you can do to encourage them.

1. Watch for Cues

As mentioned above, the constant talking to your baby is always a good thing to do at an early age. Instead of mindless babbling however, try to observe your child’s reactions and interests, as these could be cues on what to respond to. If you notice your baby grabbing for a blanket, try interacting with the blanket and talking about it in the process.

2. No TV

When you get tired of talking for a little while, don’t just turn on the television to supplement your interaction with baby. Studies have shown that infants who watch television actually develop less of a vocabulary than those who don’t. TV can’t respond to your child in the way a parent can, and thus shouldn’t be used to encourage your child to start talking.

3. Respond to Baby

The closer your baby gets to talking for the first time, the more random babbling they’ll likely be doing. Try to ask your child questions and talk to them in a way to incite a response form them. When they respond with whatever sound they have, reply as if you actually understand!

4. Early and Often

While it may seem pointless to be constantly talking to a new baby who you know won’t be able to answer back, it’s certainly better than not at all. In fact, your child’s hearing and ability to respond to sound is very well-developed by birth, so your talking is certainly not falling on deaf ears. Keep talking – your child is absorbing more than you realize!

5. Read a Book

When your child is too young to understand anything that’s going on in a book, the experience of reading to them is the important part. Reading very simple children’s books to them is a great way to get a ton of new vocabulary circling around in their brains. Also, it’s helpful to use the pictures in the book to talk about to your child. Try to use one or two words to describe specific images or objects in the book.

baby swaddleGuest Blog by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Encouraging Baby to Crawl

Encouraging Baby to CrawlAs your baby begins to grow and develop, they’ll inevitably want to start exploring the world around them. In order to do so however, they’ll first have to learn how to crawl. As parents, we want to encourage our children to develop as best as we can so helping them with this process is important. Here are some great tips to encourage your baby to start crawling:

1. Use Your Legs

Position your child on top of your outstretched legs with their upper body on one leg and their lower body on the other. In this position, your child is already in a natural crawling stance. This practice forces your baby to carry some weight on both arms and knees, which thereby strengthens them to prepare for crawling!

2. Mirror

At this age, your baby is probably very much interested in himself/herself. You may be able to use a mirror in order to encourage the first couple crawling sessions. Set up a mirror just big enough for your child to see itself in it, so they won’t get distracted by the entire room behind them. As soon as baby realizes their reflection is staring back at them, they’ll likely become intrigued enough to crawl over to it.

3. Bathroom Towel

Using a bathroom towel to encourage your baby to crawl is a very creative and fun exercise to try. After placing the bathroom towel on the floor, let your baby lie on his tummy across the width of the towel. Once positioned, gently lift both ends of the towel off the floor slightly enough so that your child can use its hands and knees to become propped up. Naturally, your child will try to flail and crawl a bit as you gently guide them along with the towel underneath them.

4. Toys

Find your child’s favorite baby toy for this method. Similar to the mirror technique, you’re basically trying to persuade your child to crawl to a particular item without them even thinking about it. Place the toy just far enough in front of them so that your child will find some motivation to make their way to the fun, colorful object.

5. Empty Room

As you can probably tell by now, babies get distracted pretty easily in such a new world for them. Due to this, you’ll want to try your teaching methods in a room where there’s nothing that could catch their eye in the process. If you’re in an empty room with just you and the baby, simply move away from them a little and see if they can crawl their way back to you!

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Photo Credit: timomcd via Compfight cc

What is Executive Functioning?

executive functionsIf you’ve looked into child development, you’ve probably come across the phrase “executive function.” When we think of an executive, we often picture a CEO or business leader who is taking charge. That’s similar to what it means in the child development world.

Executive functions are skills that helps us do pretty much everything. They help us turn big tasks into smaller, manageable pieces. They also help us organize, create strategies, hunt for details and learn from our mistakes. Ultimately, they are the skills that help us make decisions. Children with poorly developed executive functioning skills struggle with tasks like getting dressed, basic hygiene, completing homework assignments, etc.

These functions begin early on. You can see them develop in your child. When a baby learns that pushing a ball makes it roll across the room, he’ll want to do it repeatedly. He’s using an executive function (push to make ball move). He has become aware that he can visualize a behavior in his thoughts before acting out physically, which teaches him to plan and consider.

While executive skills are somewhat abstract (they’re harder to teach than, say, how to lift a bottle or how to open one’s mouth when food is incoming), they can still be taught. You just have to give your child lots of opportunities to practice and reward them when they used their skills well. Here are some ways you can help.

1. Create a planner

When your child gets to the age of having homework assignments, or you give them regular chores, a planner is a big help. Often just the act of writing down their assignments or making a note of something is enough to embed the tidbit in their mind.

2. Develop a reward system

Like many things, executive functions can be improved when they are rewarded. It’s hard to motive your child to practice a skill they don’t understand, so you have to create something external to give them when it seems like they carefully thought about an action before taking it. For example, if you notice your child examine the label on the outside of a box before placing her toy within, you can surmise that she considered whether the toy belongs there before putting it away. Reward with something small, but tangible, like a sticker.

3. Create checklists

Kids without developed executive functioning skills can be overwhelmed by large tasks with many steps. Orders like “Get ready for school” can be difficult and cause emotional stress. A checklist minimizes the tension by laying out the steps nicely so your child can focus on each one individually. Make a checklist for everyday tasks, like getting ready for bed or tidying up one’s room.

4. Establish (and stick to) a routine

By creating a routine, you take the decision making away and let them focus on the smaller executive functioning skills first. For example, your child might have trouble when you ask him to tidy up his room, but if you insist he steps 5 minutes every evening doing it, eventually the “pain” of the experience fades and he can focus on each task at hand. Rather than worrying about what to do next, he’ll know that now is the time to organize the books, or now we put the stuffed animals in the box.

footed pajamas for fast diaper changesWritten by Lisa Youngelson, Owner of Zippyz

Like most new moms, Lisa had been up night after night changing her newborn son’s diaper. She was so exhausted she could barely function, let alone match up the tiny snaps on her baby’s pajamas.

Frustrated by endless mis-snapping and re-snapping, Lisa found zippered pajamas, and thought her problems had been solved. That night when she unzipped her son’s pajamas, he started to cry from the shock of cold air. Although less time consuming, Lisa hated that she had to expose her baby’s entire body with the zipper. She felt her baby’s comfort should come first and yearned for the perfect footed pajama, which was both soft and cozy for her baby and hassle-free for mommy.

One night while feeding her son she thought of “Zippyz.” Zippyz are patented footed baby pajamas for easy and fast diaper changes with 3 snaps on the chest and a zipper from foot to belly. Finally, a solution suitable for baby AND mommy! Plus Zippyz are a unique baby shower gift! Along with her best friend and business partner Erica, Lisa decided make the diaper changing world a better place for all new parents!

For more information, visit www.shopzippyz.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.