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.

5 Tips to Help Baby’s Constipation

Help Baby’s ConstipationWhen you have a little infant in the house, there are a hundred things to worry about. You’ll find yourself very concerned about your little one’s bowel movements. If your child becomes constipated, you’ll be particularly worried because of how uncomfortable they’ll seem. Here’s how you can help.

Belly Massage

Massaging your baby’s belly could end up being a very simple remedy for constipation. Measure three fingers-widths below their navel on the lower left side and begin to massage with gentle pressure. A couple minutes of this may be able to get their body running smoothly again.

Glycerin Suppository

If your child is still constipated after changing up their diet, you can try using a glycerin suppository to stimulate a bowel movement. A glycerin suppository is a hyperosmotic laxative that works by irritating the lining of the intestine and increasing the amount of fluid in your child. This makes stools easier to pass and can work well on occasion to cure the constipation. The only concern is to not rely on this method too often, as your child may begin relying on them to have a bowel movement.

Diet Change

Changing up a baby’s diet is an easy way you can try breaking up the constipation in a child. If they haven’t started solid foods yet, try switching to a different brand or type of formula for them. Also, if they’re breastfeeding, a change in Mom’s diet could actually make the difference as well. If they’re ready for solids, try feeding your baby certain fruits and vegetables that will get their digestive system back on track.

Exercise

Getting your child moving is another possible cure for constipation. Whether it’s crawling around chasing their toys, rolling around with their favorite blanket or stuffed animal, or getting their legs churning with the help of mom, any movement to get their digestive system more active should help.

Contact a Physician

If all else fails, contacting your child’s doctor is your best bet to get additional advice. In addition to any treatment options that they may offer, you should ask them about any over-the-counter stool softeners or products that are safe enough for a baby to take. If you’re thinking about a laxative, you should always consult with a doctor before trying this with a small child or infant.

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3

nursing pillowGuest Blog by Sandy Clark, Inventor of San Diego Bebe Eco-Nursing Pillow

San Diego Bebe® was designed by San Diego native Sandy Clark, a passionate breastfeeding advocate and mother of twins. Clark was inspired at a San Diego beach one day where she witnessed a young mother unsuccessfully nursing her baby. As the mother struggled to keep a blanket across her shoulder for privacy while her baby wailed from heat and hunger, Clark vowed then and there to design a product that would help resolve the issue of discretion while nursing in public. San Diego Bebe® was born that day.

After Clark read a recent Duke University study on toxic chemicals in baby products, she sent her nursing pillow to Duke to be tested and reviewed. Duke University Chemical Scientist Dr. Heather Stapleton, the nation’s leading fire-retardant research specialist, and a new mother herself, said, “It’s wonderful to find a nursing pillow on the market that is not treated with chemical flame-retardant additives in the filling material. San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is not only a very supportive pillow with amazing features for discreet nursing, but is also free of flame-retardant chemicals that have been shown to cause adverse health effects in animal studies. I applaud this manufacturer for taking steps to produce high quality products that meet the same flammability standards without using these chemicals.”

San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is the healthiest and most innovative nursing pillow on the market. Made with virgin Eco*Loft™ fiber, a non-toxic and hypo-allergenic foam-alternative, it’s void of harmful chemicals. It’s also recyclable and eco-friendly. San Diego Bebe® is available in two versions, for nursing one baby or twins. The entire line is baby-safe, and is covered with deluxe plush fabrics including organic cotton.

Click to view a Nursing Pillow Comparison Chart to learn more.

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.

7 Fun and Useful Parenting Hacks to Try Out

Useful Parenting HacksI don’t think you’ll be able to find any parents who would tell you that taking care of kids is an easy job. While you need to take good care of your child to make sure that they are happily growing up, you also need to take care of all your other life’s tasks. Luckily there are plenty of “hacks” to make parenting easier and more fun for both you and your kids. Try some of these parenting hacks with your children:

1. Tank Top Barrette

If you have a daughter, there are probably plenty of cute barrettes around the house. This hack is especially helpful for when you receive an item of clothing as a gift that may be a little too big on your child. Simply grab one of her barrettes and clip it to both strings in the back of the tank top to make for a better fit!

2. Monster Spray

Scare away those monsters with monster spray! Fill a spray bottle with water and decorate it to make it special. If your child complains about monsters, give the likely hiding spots a quick spray to ease your child’s fears.

3. Clean-Up Game

This hack is not only fun for your child but it’ll actually help you clean the house. When it comes time to sweep the kitchen, make a small square on the floor with tape, in which your child will aim to sweep any dirt into. This also helps develop their coordination and motor skills in the process!

4. Travel Art Kit

A DVD case makes a convenient spot to hold crayons, colored pencils and a bit of paper. It snaps up nicely so nothing gets lost. This is a great way to let your kid be creative while you are on the go.

5. Draw Their Feet

How many times have you made it to the store for new baby clothes and realized you don’t know which size shoe will fit them right? Rather than dragging your child along for the errands, simply draw their feet on a piece of paper and bring it with you for shoe shopping! You don’t have to worry about their shoes being too small anymore!

6. Portable High Chair

With the purchase of a portable high chair, your life will be made so much easier with your child. This portable product will allow you to feed your child easily and effectively anywhere you go. With children getting hungry so quickly, this will come in handy!

7. Shoe Caddy Storage

When you take a long car trip, you’ll want to bring plenty of items to distract your kids, but they can make a mess in the car. Use a shoe caddy to hang on your backseat and keep everything organized.

infant support pillowGuest Blog by Alicia Overby – Founder & President of Baby Elephant Ears

Alicia is wife, mother, and creator of Baby Elephant Ears. Baby Elephant Ears was created out of parental concern, not financial desire. In 2005, when their second child was an infant, he cried all the time and just couldn’t seem to get comfortable.

After seeking advice and suggestion from the medical community and alternative medicine, they eventually ended up in the chiropractors office where their baby was successfully treated for asubluxation, discomfort most likely the result of the strain during labor, which was now being exacerbated by the normal lack of infant neck strength. Only proper neck, head, and back alignment would offer him relief. When they couldn’t find a product to give their baby the necessary support, Alicia took matters into her own hands and crafted her own infant support pillow. The first Baby Elephant Ears was born!

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.

Developing Motor Skills: Baby Playtime Activities

developing motor skillsThere are many milestones and things to watch for and anticipate as a new parent. One of these areas involves motor skills. Motor skills are defined as an intentional muscle movement—these movements are typically placed into 2 categories, gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve larger movements of the arms, legs, feet, or entire body, such as crawling, walking, and jumping. Fine motor skills involve smaller movements of body parts such as fingers and hands. Believe it or not, there are many easy and fun activities parents and caregivers can do with babies to encourage the development of both gross and fine motor skills. Here are just a few:

Get out the Play-dough

Most kids love play-dough, and it turns out that this activity is more than just crafty fun. It encourages imagination, provides a sensory experience, and builds motor skills. The pinching, stretching, and kneading of play-dough is wonderful for building muscle strength and coordination in little fingers. Once you teach your little ones that play-dough is for playing and not for eating, they can unleash their creative spirit while developing essential motor skills.

Go Swimming

One of the major components of well-developed gross motor skills is a strong core. According to professionals who offer baby swimming lessons in Houston, swimming is an effective way to build core, leg, and arm muscles even in young children and babies. Swimming with your little one will get them used to the water—a huge benefit when they are old enough for swimming lessons on their own. This is a great mommy-and-me class to try with your baby to help them build important muscle groups and learn essential swimming skills.

Coloring

Holding a pencil or crayon the correct way may seem to be a skill not needed for years to come, but it is never too early to begin to develop strong muscles and good skills. By using short nubs of pencils and crayons it encourages little ones to hold them correctly, rather than in a fist. Using thicker markers in the beginning will help them get an idea of how to grasp, and showing them how to color on a page will help with coordination and strength. Then, try cutting down pencils and crayons to help increase these grasping muscles as they grow.

Play Hopscotch

Drawing a basic hopscotch grid with sidewalk chalk can provide hours of entertainment, exercise, and development of gross motor skills. Hopping and jumping are both skills that build strong leg muscles and coordination. Little ones may not be able to actually play hopscotch. Simply drawing a line on the ground and encouraging them to walk along it and jump over it is a great alternative. Not only will this help them burn off extra energy, but they will eventually develop the muscles needed to hop, skip, and jump.

Tummy Time

For very young babies, tummy time is like doing a set of sit ups. Laying a baby on their tummy for supervised play time is extremely important and beneficial to the development of strong core, neck, arm, and leg muscles. These muscles are all needed as the baby learns to sit, scoot, crawl, and walk. Your little one may scream and cry during tummy time, but it is necessary to proper growth. You may dread this exercise, but allowing the baby to get used to this position will help them develop the necessary muscles to support their own body.

Strings and Things

Allowing kids to string materials is a wonderful way to build fine motor skills and build hand-eye coordination. Kids can string things such as macaroni, cheerios, and beads into necklaces and bracelets. If they aren’t quite coordinated enough for this, invest in a few books or games that require strings to be looped through holes repeatedly (you can even make your own.) This action will help with creativity and hand-eye coordination, but can be disguised as a fun game or jewelry making for your little one.

There is nearly a never ending number of ways to work on building gross and fine motor skills with babies. The keys are to be creative, stay active, and have fun! Your baby will develop the necessary skills as you help him or her along in the process, and you can always ask your pediatrician if you are concerned about their development or motor skills.

Dixie Somers, Freelance WriterGuest Blog by Dixie Somers, Freelance Writer/Blogger

Dixie is a freelance writer who loves to write about business, women’s interests, or home and family. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters who are the inspiration for her writing.

Follow Dixie on Twitter

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.

The Importance of Family Quality Time

importance of quality time with familySpending quality time with your family can’t be emphasized enough. This is especially the case in today’s society where it seems as if everyone is always busy and there’s very little free time between work, school, chores, errands, and everything else that gets in the way. Regardless of how busy life can get, making sure to keep your family as one of the highest priorities is important to keeping the bond of your family unit strong. Here are some reasons for making quality time with your family:

Make Memories

Families who spend more time together will have more opportunities for memorable moments to occur. Whether these memorable moments occur once a week or once a month, your children will be sure to keep them in mind as they grow older with you. This will also allow for a stronger family bond to be built. A study published in the journal, “Family Relations”, found that families who enjoy group activities together share a stronger emotional bond as well as an ability to adapt well to situations as a family. Having these memories to look back on and cherish later in life will not only bring happiness, but it will serve as a reminder of how strong your family is together and the love that has always existed.

Positive Development

The more time that children are able to spend with their parents, the less likely they are to experiment with illegal substances and find themselves getting into trouble. According to a 2008 study by the University of Minnesota, adolescents who shared dinner with their family five or more times a week lowered their risk of substance abuse by 50 percent as compared to adolescents who shared family meals less than two times a week. This time spent together, whether it be playing, eating, or just hanging around the house, will undoubtedly serve as a valuable prevention from troublesome issues later in life.

Academic Success

A child’s academic success is yet another benefit that is directly related to the amount of quality time your family spends together. Parents who have the time to communicate and interact more with their children usually results in better academic success in their child’s life. Being there for your child to answer questions they may have, listen to their struggles, and discuss possible solutions will go a long way in helping them at school. Remember, you’ve been there before and you’re obviously more experienced, so helping your child with these issues is important.

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.

The Importance of a Playroom

importance of a playroomTo children, play is serious business. It’s essential to the development of their intellectual, physical, and emotional health. From our perspective, play can look like silly fun, but to children play is how they experiment and observe the world. A playroom is important because it gives kids a dedicated space to play without interfering with the rest of the home.

No More Bedtime Energy

One of the biggest benefits of having a playroom is called “space conditioning.” Children (and adults) develop mental moods to inhabit when they visit a particular space. (This applies to work, a store, the gym, and anything else too.) In the playroom, kids become conditioned to play and explore as they please. In the bedroom, they learn to calm down and prepare to sleep. However, if the bedroom and the playroom are the same room, these mental modes can be become confused.

A Place to Store Everything

If you’re tired of tripping over countless toys all over your house, a playroom is a solution. It gives you a space to leave everything so you aren’t constantly putting it away. If company drops by suddenly, all you have to do is close the door. If you use some clever organization methods (like low-to-the-floor storage and picture labels), kids can help keep the room tidy. Plus, toys don’t leave the room so they don’t go missing.

Children Are Influenced by Their Surroundings

Kids are natural explorers. They are drawn to the things around them. If they spend time in a room filled with things that don’t facilitate learning, they won’t learn. You can fill a playroom with plenty of open-ended toys that allow your kids to experiment and try new things. For example, an excellent playroom would have a section devoted to costumes and dress up, a table for arts and crafts, and an easy-to-access shelf full of books.

A Playroom in any Home

Playrooms are so beneficial that there’s a growing trend of families who are combining children into one room in order to use a spare bedroom as a playroom. At the younger ages, you might be able to spur your child’s development by having them sleep in the same room as sibling in order to move the toys to the other bedroom. Of course, eventually they will age and you’ll want to give them their own space.

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: ThrasherDave via Compfight cc