Tag Archives: infant

How to Wean Your Child Off the Pacifier

If you have a toddler or even a preschooler holding tight to their binky, you’re not alone: pacifier weaning is a common challenge. While dental problems generally won’t result from pacifier use unless the habit continues beyond age 3, many parents find that pacifier weaning is easier before a child reaches 2 years old. (If you’re concerned, though, check with your pediatric dentist.) For a smooth transition, try these brilliant pacifier-weaning strategies from our readers.

1. Snip the Tip

One of the most popular pacifier-weaning tricks is cutting off the pacifier’s tip. After the ability to suck is removed, many children quickly lose interest. Try telling your child that the pacifier is broken, and let her throw it away. If the initial snip doesn’t do the trick, moms like Christina M., a mother of one son, suggest gradually cutting off more of the pacifier: “I tried cutting the end of the pacifier off a little bit every few days until there was nothing for him to suck on, and then he didn’t really want it anymore.” Just be careful that your child isn’t chewing off pacifier pieces, which could be a choking hazard.

2. Swap Soothing Items

“Try replacing the pacifier with something else that can give her security,” suggests Kate G. While a child may not instantly forget her pacifier, many moms found that alternative soothing items did eventually replace the pacifier. “I replaced the pacifier with a ‘sleep blanket.’ The first couple of nights/naps she woubaby-with-pacifier.jpg3ld cry for about 10 minutes, but her blanket against her face kept her warm and happy eventually,” says Angela C.

3. Gradually Reduce Use

While some moms advocate a cold-turkey approach to pacifier weaning, others like Meredith Z. find that gradually limiting pacifier usage is successful: “First, we limited pacifier usage to inside the house, then only to sleep time, then only to overnight, and then we said ‘let’s try bedtime without your bink just for tonight,’ and after the first night, he only asked for it once, and then he was totally fine. We just made sure we stuck to our rules, and let him be comfortable at each level before restricting bink usage more.”

4. Get Help From the Pacifier Fairy

Another popular pacifier-weaning tactic is to have a make-believe character reward the child for giving away their pacifiers. Sarah M., mother of two girls, shares: “Say that the Dummy Fairy will come and take them and give them to new babies that need them. Then you leave a special ‘big girl’ present in the basket for them when they wake up.” Other moms, including Linnea F., use characters the kids already believe in: “My kids all gave theirs to the Easter Bunny for little ones who need binkies and don’t have them. This would also work with Santa. We still had some withdrawal cries, but it didn’t last.”

5. Trade For Toysbaby-with-pacifier.jpg2

Instead of having imaginative characters bring a child a reward, some moms advocate openly trading the pacifier for a prize. “Take her to Toys ‘R’ Us and let her pick out a toy in exchange for the pacifier,” suggests Janice D. “It worked for me two times. You may have a few days that are a bit rough, but then it will be fine.” Other moms also had their child “pay” the cashier with a pacifier for th

6. “Lose” the Pacifier

After Melissa C. misplaced her daughter’s pacifier, she realized that simply pretending to lose it would be a good pacifier-weaning strategy. “Maybe if you somehow ‘lose’ yours and have him help you look for it and don’t find it, it’ll let him know that you care enough to help him, even if you can’t fix it.” Dawn D. says she used the same weaning tactic. “I just told her we lost it and we’d look, but then she was OK with ‘we lost it’ and in two weeks she forgot all about it.”

7 Tips to Handle Tantrums

1. Don’t lose your cool. A tantrum is not a pretty sight. In addition to kicking, screaming, and pounding the floor, your toddler’s repertoire may include throwing things, hitting, and holding his breath to the point of turning blue. While this may be hard to handle, you can rest assured that even breath holding is normal behavior for a child having a tantrum.kids having tantrums

When your child is swept up in a tantrum, he’s unable to listen to reason, though he will respond – negatively – to your yelling or threatening. “I found the more I shouted at Brandon to stop, the wilder he would get,” says one mother of a 2-year-old. What worked instead, she discovered, was to just sit down and be with him while he raged.

In general, staying with your child during a tantrum is a good idea. Stomping out of the room –alluring as that may be – can make him feel abandoned. The storm of emotion he’s going through can be frightening to him, and he’ll appreciate knowing you’re nearby.

If you find yourself getting overly frustrated, some experts suggest calmly leaving the room for a few minutes and returning after your child has stopped crying. By staying calm, you’ll help him calm down, too.

Some experts recommend picking up your child and holding him if it’s feasible (if he’s not flailing too much, for instance), saying he’ll find your embrace comforting. But others say that tactic rewards negative behavior and that it’s better to ignore the tantrum until your child calms down.

You may find that a judiciously used time-out is a good solution too. Through trial and error, you’ll learn which approach is right for your child. However you choose to handle the tantrum, consistency is key to making it work.

2. Remember that you’re the adult. No matter how long the tantrum continues, don’t give in to unreasonable demands or try to negotiate with your screaming toddler. It’s especially tempting to cave in as a way of ending a public episode. Try not to worry about what others think – anyone who’s a parent has been there before.

By conceding, you’ll only be teaching your child that throwing a fit is a good way to get what she wants, which sets the stage for future conflicts. Besides, your child is already frightened by being out of control. The last thing she needs is to feel that you’re not in control either.

If your child’s outburst escalates to the point that she’s hitting people or pets, throwing things, or screaming nonstop, pick her up and carry her to a safe place, such as her bedroom. Tell her why she’s there (“because you hit Aunt Sally”), and let her know that you’ll stay with her until she can be calm.

If you’re in a public place – a common breeding ground for tantrums – be prepared to leave with your child until she calms down.

“When my daughter was 2, she had an absolute fit at a restaurant because the plain spaghetti she ordered arrived with chopped parsley on it,” recalls one mothekids having tantrums.jpg4r. “Although I realized why she was upset, I wasn’t about to let her disrupt everyone’s dinner. I took her outside until she calmed down.”

3. Use time-outs sparingly. Depending on the child, using a time-out occasionally, beginning at about the age of 18 months, may help him manage his feelings better when he has a tantrum. A time-out can be helpful when your child’s tantrum is especially intense and other techniques aren’t working. Placing your child in a quiet or – better yet – boring spot for a brief period (about one minute per year of his age) can be a good lesson in self-soothing.

Explain what you’re doing (“You’re going to have a time-out so you can calm down and Mommy is going to be right over there”) and let him know it’s not punishment. If he refuses to stay in time-out, simply place him back in the spot firmly but coolly and go about your business. Beyond making sure he’s safe, don’t interact or give him attention during the time-out.

4. Talk it over afterward. When the storm subsides, hold your child close and talk about what happened. Discuss the tantrum in very simple terms and acknowledge your child’s frustration. Help her put her feelings into words by saying something like, “You were very angry because your food wasn’t the way you wanted it.” Let her see that once she expresses himself in words, she’ll get better results. Say with a smile, “I’m sorry I didn’t understand you. Now that you’re not screaming, I can find out what you want.”

5. Let your child know you love him. Once your child is calm and you’ve had a chance to talk to him about his tantrum, give him a quick hug and tell him that you love him. It’s important to reward good behavior, including your child being able to settle down and talk things over with you.

6. Try to head off tantrum-inducing situations. Pay attention to which situations push your child’s buttons and plan accordingly. If she falls apart when she’s hungry, carry snacks with you. If she gets cranky in the late afternoon, take care of errands earlier in the day.

If she has trouble making a transition from one activity to the next, give her a gentle heads-up before a change. Alerting her to the fact that you’re about to leave the playground or sit down to dinner (“We’re going to eat when you and Daddy are done with your story”) gives her a chance to adjust instead of react.

If you sense a tantrum is on the way, try distracting your child by changing locations, giving her a toy, or doing something she doesn’t expect, like making a silly face or pointing at a bird.

Your toddler is becoming more independent, so offer her choices whenever possible. No one likes being told what to do all the time. Saying, “Would you like corn or carrots?” rather than “Eat your corn!” will give her a sense of control.

Monitor how often you’re saying “no.” If you find you’re rattling it off routinely, you’re probably putting unnecessary stress on both of you. Try to ease up and choose your battles.

7. Watch for signs of overstress. Although daily tantrums are a perfectly normal part of the mid-toddler years, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for possible problems. Has there been upheaval in the family? An extremely busy or harried period? Parental tensions? All of these can provoke tantrums.

If your child’s tantrums seem overly frequent or intense (or he’s hurting himself or others), seek help. Your doctor will discuss your child’s developmental and behavioral milestones with you at routine well-child checkups. These visits are good opportunities to talk about concerns you have about your child’s behavior, and they help to rule out any serious physical or psychological problems. Your doctor can also suggest ways to deal with the outbursts.

How to encourage creativity in your children

As parents we all need to work on teaching our kids the life skill to enjoy some quiet time while encouraging their creativity.









Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off the televisions: Initially, after a bit of whining and screaming in the morning, they will find their way to the craft space. It will take months before it becomes their routine to regularly start their day drawing or making something in their jammies.
  2. Have a large cleared off, flat surface where they can design:
    Children just need their own fancy flat space to spread out. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a customized space, or even a simple desk will be helpful.
    If kids feel cramped up, they get bored easily and soon start begging for a television.
  3. Have a vast array of art and craft supplies within their reach: Keep your desk drawers and shelves filled with both your things and baskets of twine, glue, glitter, wash tape and loads of every coloring device imaginable. Make sure all their supplies are handy and easily accessible.
  4. Be calm and satisfied with random: The creation children put together often insensible. Plastic gems are stuck haphazardly to scrapbook paper and then painted over. It won’t always be pretty, but they will keep themselves happily busy for hours.
  5. Periodically organize, clean out, and restock supplies. Art and craft isn’t much fun when all your stuff is cluttered, crayons are small nubs, and glue bottle cap is dried shut.
    Few things in the world are more inviting than a clean and tidy space, and freshly sharpened pencils.
  6. Surprise them with new projects from time to time: Every once in a while, I’ll come home with a package of foam sheets, or a new color of glitter, or even a simple wooden birdhouse ready for painting.

Often they start with the new product, and keep right on going. For hours.

With a little bit of advance planning, a vow not to interfere or nag, and an oath not to turn on the television, you will be more than thrilled with the kind of creativity you strike in your kids and the things they create.

Everyday here at Akeba Academy, we encourage children to express their creativity.  We give them different exercises and activities that are a learning experience as well as  a chance for the children to use their imagination.

Call us today to have your child be apart of an amazing childcare program. (912) 289-2725