10 Toys for a Baby or Toddler that Have High Safety Standards
Finding safe toys for babies and toddlers has gotten harder, with so many recalls happening. However, there are still many toys that are safe for children as birthday and Christmas gifts or for everyday use. Here are 10 toys for babies and toddlers that have been tested for safety. The toys listed below come from companies who have stated that all of their toys meet or exceed the requirements for toy safety, so with that statement in mind, feel free to browse other toys made by the same companies.
*As with any toy, these toys do not replace the need for parental supervision. Accidents can happen, even with the best safety ratings. Always use caution and always supervise your baby or toddler.
**The author is a part of the Amazon Associates Program. This means she earns a small portion of sales generated from clicking on the links in this post and uses it to provide for her family. Said partnership did not influence the opinions on these products. See our full Disclosure Policy for more information.
As a mother to children of various ages and stages, I have studied and dealt with various aspects related to children and sleep. My nannying experience with kids of varied ages also contributed in that regard. So, how much sleep do babies and children need and are your kids getting enough sleep? Read on to find out.
How Much Sleep Do Newborns Need?
A newborn baby may or may not form an exact pattern at the start. It may even out more after a couple weeks. It is true that newborns are likely to spend around 16 - 20 hours of the day sleeping. But, keep in mind that those hours are not always consecutive and shouldn’t last more than 3 hours at a time. Newborn babies need to eat often, at least every 3 hours, sometimes sooner. Do not skip any feeding times.
Sleep Tips and Advice For 3-6 Month Old Babies
From 3 to 6 months, a baby may sleep 5 hours all together during the day and 10 at night. 6-8 of the night-time sleep hours might be consecutive. From 6 - 12 months, a baby should sleep around 3 hours during the day and 11 (in total, not consecutive) at night time.
To encourage good sleeping habits from the beginning, wait just a couple moments after babies (older than 3 months) cry to respond. The reason for this is that the baby may not always need you. The crying may be occurring in the baby's sleep. If after a couple moments the baby is still crying, then check the basic needs, such as diaper changing, feeding, burping, or replacing the pacifier.
Try not to turn on lights or play with babies too much when checking on them at night. Too much stimulation can cause babies to think that bedtime is still playtime. You should instead be teaching the baby that night time is bedtime, so it’s clear that time slot is for sleep. This will help your baby sleep better. If your baby is crying more than a few moments, be sure not to ignore him or her. This is a sign that something is needed.
Sleep And Babies 6 Months and Older
If the baby is over 6 months, there should be no feedings in the middle of night. Simply comfort the baby for a couple minutes at the crib-side so the baby can ease him or herself back to sleep. Comforting might be patting or rubbing the baby's back. Remember not to actually pick the baby up (unless they are in distress) or it could set a pattern of the baby wanting to be held and played with by you every night.
This can be difficult to do, but isn't good for a baby's sleep habits. A baby needs to be able to sleep soundly. Change the diaper or replace the pacifier if necessary. Also, of course, keep an eye on your baby for safety purposes. Never let a baby cry longer than a few moments, as crying is an indication something is wrong, even if you can’t figure it out. Remember that this is a baby’s only way to communicate.
How Much Sleep Do Kids Ages 1 - 5 Need?
By this age, you should have a bedtime routine established for your child, such as taking a bath, brushing teeth, and then reading a story. If the routine, whatever it is, is followed every night, bedtime should run fairly smoothly. The exact routine is not important, as that will vary from family to family and maybe even child to child. What matters is that you have some routine and that it is followed at a certain time each night.
Kids ages 1 - 3 sleep around 10 -14 hours. Some of those hours may be during the day for certain kids, while others may sleep all of them at night and skip a nap. Not all kids need a nap during the day, so if your child does not seem to easily fall into a nap routine, consider taking away nap time altogether and possibly opting for an earlier bedtime. Neither way is the best way for every single kid. All kids are different.
From ages 4 - 5, 10 -12 hours of sleep is average. Like the younger set, what time those hours are received is not as important as the fact they get them. For instance, one of my kids at age 4 would take 3 hour long naps, while another, when 5, didn’t nap at all. Not all kids are the same in this regard.
As long as a routine is established, it matters not whether kids have a daily nap for some of those hours or the hours are all taken at night. As long as kids are getting a normal average of sleep hours, there should be no concern. However, if kids ages 1 - 5 are awaking several times at night, the pediatrician should be consulted.
How Much Sleep Do Kids Ages 6 - 10 Need?
Elementary-aged kids need about 9 to 11 hours of sleep. An exact number of hours can be established by paying attention to your child. Irritability or hyperactive behavior may indicate the need for more sleep. Not enough sleep can actually worsen conditions such as ADD or ADHD. For this age, most of those hours would occur at night.
Don't forget that even kids beyond the toddler stage will need some quality time with parents before bedtime. Even though children can read on their own at this stage, they might still like a bedtime story. Some may prefer to read to you. Others may prefer to play a game of some sort with you before bedtime. All of my children liked to play games before bed at this age, but two always preferred to read to themselves, rather than be read to.
The activity itself matters not as much as the quality time and the routine. It's also a great idea to have little talks with kids before bedtime. This can be a good time for private one-on-one discussions about any worries on the child's mind or just wishes the child has, or anything else he or she wants to say. This can relieve tension, which is a great mood relaxer for bedtime. If your child has problems falling or staying asleep, be sure to contact the pediatrician.
How Much Sleep Do Older Kids or Teens Need?
Most teens need about 8 or 9 hours of sleep. The problem with that is that they may not get it. Some may be up doing homework late at night. Others might be talking on the phone, emailing friends from the computer, or texting friends from their cell phone. Also, during adolescence, the body goes through physical and hormonal changes that may cause lack of sleep. If your teen seems restless or unable to sleep, it is best to see a doctor to determine if there are any sleep issues that can be resolved.
To ensure that they get their sleep, you may have to establish rules about appropriate times for homework, computers, and phones. Sometimes you'll have to do this more than once. Since teens are almost adults, they may feel as though they can do what they want. However, until they are 18, you are still responsible for their well-being. Be sure they get adequate sleep. It is essential to their grades in school, as well as their overall well-being.
Figuring Out Individual Sleep Needs
Each child's sleep requirements will depend on more than one factor. For one thing, not all of them will have exactly the same requirements because each person is different. However, there are ranges or average amounts of time that each child will likely fall between, depending on their age and other variances. Sleep patterns for children should also be discussed with the child's pediatrician.
If your child is having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting too much sleep, try some of our other info on sleep and contact your child's pediatrician.
"Waa!" "Waa!" "Waa!" "Waa!" - It's 3 o'clock in the morning and the two-month-old is up...again. This is the fourth night in a row. She needs sleep, but can't seem to get there. Neither can the rest of the house. She isn't hungry. Her diaper is fresh. She does not seem to want anything, but to cry. The soothing techniques are simply not working. Parents of babies with colic will recognize an experience all too similar to this.
It can be frustrating to no end when a baby is upset and you feel as if you cannot help. I have been through the experience of dealing with babies with colic several times. Two of my own children had colicky tendencies and I have also been a nanny or babysitter to babies with colic.
I have found many ways to help soothe babies with colic through trial and error, as well as advice from various medical experts. I hope my discoveries and lessons learned can help others in a similar situation.
Soothing Sounds for Babies With Colic: Running Faucet
Laugh all you want. Then, go try it. Sometimes the most unconventional methods are the best ones for babies with colic. Many babies love the sound of running water. Okay, so this one could get costly and wasteful. An easier and more cost-effective way to use this soothing sound for babies with colic is to visit soundsnap.com. There, you will find various faucet sounds and other soothing sounds that babies may enjoy. The sound files are free to listen to and download. Put your music player on the repeat option for the best effect.
Soothing Sounds for Babies With Colic: Soft Native American Music
One of my favorite ways to help soothe babies with colic is playing soothing sounds and music. Most babies with colic love to hear the sound of music or other soft sounds. A fussy or colicky baby will respond the best to softer sounds. Loud or jarring sounds are probably not a good idea for soothing babies with colic.
Because part of our heritage includes a Native American background, along with our vast array of musical tastes, our family enjoys listening to a variety of music sung or played by Native Americans. Here are some of the many Native American songs that I have found to be soothing to babies with colic.
*Dawa (The Cradle Song) - Sacred Spirit
*Cherokee Morning Song - Walela
*Vision Quest (Dreamer) - Airo
*Brave Hearts - Brulé
*Lay-O-Lay Ale Loya (The Counterclockwise Circle Dance) - Sacred Spirit
*Amazing Grace (sung in Cherokee) - Walela
*(I Used To) Ride Like the Wind - Airo
Sacred Spirit, Walela, Brulé, and Airo can be purchased new or used at Amazon.com. If you would like to sample any of these or try them on babies with colic before buying, some can be sampled at Amazon. At the time this content was being written, I was also able to find all of these on YouTube.com using the YouTube search feature. A few more Native American musical artists worth looking up for use on babies with colic include Manantial, Jackie Bird, Enigma, and Oliver Shanti.
Soothing Sounds for Babies With Colic: Traffic
For some babies, the sounds of the traffic flow can be soothing. If you live in the city, you may be able to record your own soothing traffic sounds with ease. If not, you can do a Web search for short clips of traffic noise you can download for free. Simply download the one (or more) of your choice and when you play the file, set your computer's music player to repeat the file or files.
Soothing Sounds for Babies With Colic: Heartbeat
This sound effect can be achieved naturally by allowing baby to hear your heartbeat. However, if you'd like to have a hard copy of a heartbeat, try BabySleepNoise.com. As long as the use is within the terms stated, you can download several comforting noises for free, including a heartbeat.
Soothing Sounds for Babies With Colic: Rainforest
Sometimes natural sounds can do the trick of soothing a baby with colic. Nature sounds CDs can be purchased at most major retailers. However, if you need something fast, you can also try some free nature sounds by searching YouTube or the Web.
Bonus Tips to Soothe & Comfort Babies With Colic
Tummy Rocking -- Lie baby on tummy across your lap, across your knees. Sway the legs back and forth in a rocking motion, taking care to support baby safely. I have found this helpful in relieving some of the gas and upset stomach that babies with colic can experience. Coupled with soothing music, this was always the best way to soothe and comfort babies with colic.
Change Baby’s Diet -- Sometimes eliminating things from baby's diet can ease the stomach. Lactose intolerance or starting baby on juices and solids too early can cause gas and excessive crying that mimics symptoms of colic.
Use Proper Tummy Care Motion -- Do not bounce baby up and down. While this is a common way to soothe a baby, if a baby is colicky or has GERD or acid reflux, this can actually make the symptoms worse. Instead try a slow, gentle rock or rhythmic pats on the baby's back. Babies with colic sometimes need extra care with their stomachs.
Remain Calm -- Sometimes just remaining calm yourself can soothe babies with colic. Babies mimic the emotions of their parents and caregivers. The persistent crying of a colicky baby takes patience on the parent or caregiver's part. If you feel yourself getting stressed, it is okay to lie the baby down in the crib while you take a breather. The baby is better off there than in the arms of a stressed out person. Once you can regain your composure, resume calming the baby.
The Power of Love -- Never underestimate the power of simple love and care. A little bit goes a long way, but a large amount can make all the difference. Through love and care that you can often accidentally stumble upon the most effective methods for soothing babies with colic.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Is your baby in need of some discipline? If your baby is crying frequently and it's been determined that it isn't a medical issue, you might need these easy discipline tricks for babies. As an experienced mother and former nanny, I have cared for many babies. Disciplining babies is not as difficult as it may seem. With babies, discipline is more about consistency and routine. Babies are not actually misbehaving when whining or crying. That is the way they know how to communicate. Easy discipline tricks for babies should be gentle and offer love, consistency, and guidance.
Love is a Simple, Effective Discipline Trick
A happy baby is generally a well-behaved baby, in my experience. What makes babies happier than love? I'm not talking just hugs and kisses either, but those are good too. Love also involves taking care of all of baby's basic needs such as feeding, burping, diapering, clothing, playing, and soothing. Keeping baby happy with basic care, love, and entertainment may be all that is required for some babies.
Routine as Discipline is Easy
Forming a routine schedule for feedings, naps, playtime, and bedtime is one of the most simple discipline tricks for babies. If the schedule is followed consistently, most babies automatically become accustomed to it. Therefore, this can help avoid instances where the baby wants to get up and play at one or two in the morning. The baby who does this is not misbehaving because during the baby stage it is up to the parent to establish a routine. Changing the routine even once can form unwanted habits.
Parental Limits Make for Easy Discipline
As a parent, I fully understand wanting to do so many things for your baby. However, we must set limits. Do not give in to every single demand. Of course babies need to have basic needs met and also need to have some fun. However, it can hinder them later if you always give them every single thing they want. For some parents, this may not belong under easy discipline tricks for babies because it can be difficult at times not to give in. But trust me, it will pay off as they become toddlers and start moving into the "Terrible Two's" stage.
Toy Purposing Simplifies Discipline
Toy purposing is another of my favorite easy discipline tricks for babies. Keep different toys in different areas and for different purposes. Many times when babies get cranky, they actually are just bored. Pulling out different toys can help solve that issue. Have a special set of toys for doctor visits, another for car rides, one for park outings, etc. This way, babies don't bore with the toys as easily. Plus, when they get cranky, it can seem like you are giving them a new toy. If they don't see the same toys all the time, the toys can be a welcome distraction.
Positive Redirection Makes Disciplining Babies Easy
Some babies can be a little feistier and may need to be gently redirected into a different activity or situation. If a baby is getting frustrated over something, simply remove them from the situation. If two babies are fighting over a toy, remove both babies and give them each a different toy. If a baby is getting frustrated at trying to reach a mobile toy, place the baby away from the mobile for a while. Positive redirection is simply a way to let the baby know that the behavior is not acceptable without even having to say so. You are showing this to the baby with the easy discipline trick of removing the situation.
Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
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About the Book:
The Upstream Parenting method will help you learn how to connect with your children, raise them to be independent thinkers, and how to gently guide them to succeed on their self-chosen path. Upstream Parenting is a proven child and growth-focused method that has been put to use with all six of my children, as well as with countless kids I've nannied over the years.
What is Upstream Parenting?
The Upstream Parenting journal contains articles full of tips based on the parenting method invented and made popular
by Lyn Lomasi.
You may know of her original method, first coined "Positive Parenting". It has since followed the tides of life into its new moniker of Upstream Parenting.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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