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.

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.

5 Tips to Help Baby Stop Thumb Sucking

how to stop thumb suckingChildren suck their thumbs for a variety of reasons, but they usually do it to provide comfort. You’ll notice your child often sucks his or her thumb before going to sleep. It’s a normal habit, but long-term thumb sucking can affect teeth development, so you’ll want to stop it at some point. Here are some tips to stop the habit.

1. Distract their fingers

The next time you see your child sucking their thumb, distract them. Find an activity where they have to use their hands, so that they stop sucking their thumb. Bed time is a big time for thumb sucking, so ask them to read you a book so that their hands are distracted holding the book and they don’t get the chance to suck their thumb.

2. Have the doctor talk to them

A lot of times a child will do something if their doctor tells them to. Next time you are at the doctor’s, ask them to talk to your child about why thumb sucking is bad. There is a large chance that they will stop when they hear from their doctor the damage it can do.

3. Reward

A great way to get your child to stop sucking their thumb is by rewarding them. If they don’t suck their thumb for a whole day, they get a star. If by the end of the week they have seven stars, they get a special prize. Many kids are motivated by rewards. Once they stop sucking their thumb for a few days, they are most likely done for good!

4. Cover the thumb

If your child is having a really hard time letting go of their thumb sucking habits, try covering their thumb with gauze and a Band-Aid. Hey, they cannot suck their thumb if it has a yucky Band-Aid on it! You’ll find that this really does help them to stop, unless of course they are ripping it off.

5. Wait it out

There is a chance that none of these remedies will help your child to stop. Some kids need to just figure things out on their own. Eventually they will stop; you won’t see them at 20 still sucking their thumb. The best thing you can do as a parent is to stay patient and let it happen when it happens.

transition baby from swaddleGuest Blog by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventor of the Zipadee-Zip

The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: “Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time,” and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family’s reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker’s daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.

When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.

Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte’s startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!

To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!

For more information, visit sleepingbaby.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: joeltelling via Compfight cc

How Your Actions Influence Your Child’s Development

how your actions influence your child's developmentIf you’re wondering why your child does what he’s doing, chances are he got the idea from you. From making healthy lifestyle choices to learning to be a good friend, kids live what they learn and learning begins at home.

Food Choices

Parents control what their children eat by the foods they allow in the home. If your children are accustomed to having healthy foods available, they’re more likely to learn to make healthy choices.   As they grow up and start eating over friends’ houses or buying lunch at school, having healthy habits at home can empower them to make healthy choices when away from home.  Instead of keeping the cookie jar within arm’s reach, stock a draw in the fridge with fresh fruits and veggies.

Activity Levels

If you want to raise an active kid, be an active family. Make it part of your family’s routine to exercise each day. Whether it’s going for a walk or playing outside, make it a priority to demonstrate and encourage physical activity regularly. Let your kids see you moving and they’ll want to move along too.

Interactions with Others

How you engage with others will influence how your children engage with others. If you treat the wait staff at your favorite restaurant with respect, your child will learn to treat them with respect too. If you yell at the customer service representative for a mistake on your bill, they’ll learn to do that too. Show your child what being a friend and a caring member of society looks like by modeling the Golden Rule.

Cleanliness

Even the way you maintain your home will impact how your kids keep their areas and belongings. If you keep your home clean, neat, and free from clutter, your children will learn that this is the expectation. Encourage kids to take part in keeping the home clean and they’ll gain a better appreciation for keeping it clean.

If you want to raise a respectful kid, be a respectful parent. If you want to raise a child who cares for his health, take care of your health. Remember you are your child’s first role model. The good things, along with the bad, will rub off on him.

hire nanniesGuest blog by Michelle LaRowe of @eNannySource

With over 20 years of experience in the nanny world as an award-winning nanny, agency director, and parenting author, Michelle LaRowe is considered a leading industry expert. A mom herself, she loves to educate parents and nannies on the importance of quality in-home childcare. Find out more by visiting @eNannySource 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.

Photo Credit: mynameisharsha via Compfight cc