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.
"Julie! I told you to pick up those toys an hour ago. Why are they still there?" If you have young kids and this sounds familiar, all you need is a bit of routine and a dose of fun. As a long-time parent, I know full well that not all kids enjoy cleaning. Some see cleaning as a source of enjoyment. But if that's not your child, you are not alone. When young kids won't clean, it may be time for a new plan. Here are some of the things I have found effective over the years.
Make a chore chart. This helps with organization and also serves as a good reminder and source of motivation. For young kids who can't read, use pictures to depict each chore, rather than words. This way, your child can translate the chart without assistance. Young kids often thrive on independence. At least, that's how all of my kids were when they were small. Therefore, a chore chart they can use without the help of a parent may yield the best results. It also sets the pattern for kids to become responsible for their own actions.
Offer incentive. It's not fair to expect the kids to complete tasks without some kind of incentive. While teaching kids to do some things without being compensated is good, when it comes to chores, I prefer to reward my kids when possible. I leave learning about being unselfish to things like helping others without being asked. We have an elaborate chore chart system that also combines allowance earnings. You may choose to develop another system. Good incentive for young kids could be anything from money to special healthy treats, stickers, and more.
Make it fun. Young kids may not always enjoy cleaning. But they may not think of it as a chore if you make it something fun. We like to dance while cleaning or have cleanup and put away races. Making games out of cleaning up can reduce the grueling effect cleaning up may have on some kids. There's no reason not to make it an enjoyable experience for them and it may set a life pattern of seeing the fun in everything.
Get organized. Sometimes young kids don't clean up because there is no exact place for each item. If there's nowhere obvious to store their items, young kids will be happy with them being on the floor. After all, they can see all their toys that way. Devising an organizational plan that still allows the kids to easily see and grab their items has always helped in our family.
Don't stress. It's easy to panic when your child has thrown everything she owns onto the floor and refuses to pick it up. But as the parent, you should be the calm voice of reason and understanding. Remember that while it can be frustrating, it can be turned around with a little effort. At the end of the day, it is just a mess and not the end of the world. It will get cleaned up when you instruct your child on cleaning and instill some sort of routine.
Be consistent. This is the most important part of any routine you decide to go with. As long as you stick to what is relayed to your child, it will get done. My kids have always been better at cleaning when I make sure they clearly follow my instructions and the routine I lay out. You can't tell them something one day and ignore it or say something else the next. Otherwise, all that happens is they get confused and the room doesn't get clean.
More from Lyn:
Why is My Child's Room so Messy?
Can a House with Kids Be Too Clean?
5 Must-Have Items for Organizing a Kid’s Bedroom
Tired of that pouty toddler lip sticking out everywhere you go? Toddlers may use the moody, pouty lip to indicate frustration, sadness, and even to get attention. Why is your toddler pouting and how can you tame the toddler pout? I've had many years of first-hand nanny and parenting experience. Because of that, I can honestly tell you the simplest tips are the ones that usually work best. These methods have been tested by me time and time again and proven effective for taming the pouty face on many different toddlers.
Why the pouty face? Getting to the bottom of things should help with a resolution. Figure out why your child is pouting. Did someone take your toddler's favorite toy? Did daddy just leave for work? Use that information to come up with a quick action plan for getting that pouty lip back in its place. It may be as simple as giving back the toy someone took away. But again, it may not. If a toddler's daddy just left for work, you can't reverse that. So you'll need another plan. Sometimes, no matter the reason, a quick solution is best for your toddler's sake and yours. Who doesn't get a pouty face themselves when seeing a sad kid?
Laugh it off! This is my absolute favorite method for banishing the pouty lip? Why? Because it's fun for the child, as well as the parent. The next time your toddler sticks out that pouty lip, go for humor. Do something completely funny and completely unrelated and break out into laughter. Turn that pout into a big smile. If you can make your toddler giggle instead of pouting, that's even better. You know your child best, so pull out your funniest tricks. Use props if necessary. Anything that makes your toddler happy is good.
I can pout like that, too! Yet another fun method, this gets your toddler thinking about things from another perspective. Get down on your toddler's level and stick out your pouty lip, too. See how long that pouty lip stays in place. The art of mimicking is often enough to get a toddler to understand how silly the pouty lip may be. Now, this method is more for toddlers who are overusing the pouty lip to get attention. You don't want to mock a child who is hurt or upset. That may come across as uncaring.
Distraction is a beautiful thing. If the pouty face blues are persistent, try distraction. Use your toddler's favorite activities or items to draw attention away from the upsetting moment. Start playing with a favorite toy or reading a favorite book. It's interesting to see how quickly a toddler can become interested in a new activity. Your toddler may still pout at the beginning of an activity, but once engagement in the activity happens, the pouty lip will be no more. It may be tricky keep a toddler interested at first, but if you make it fun, that pouting face will eventually disappear.
Hug that pouty lip goodbye! Sometimes all a pouty-lipped toddler needs is a simple hug. Good old comfort never hurt anyone. In fact, perhaps this was all that was needed all along. Your toddler may just be using the only way he knows to get attention. Even toddlers who are talking may still have some lingering baby habits. Remember that as a baby, your toddler had to be creative in getting your attention. That may still hold true in certain cases. Sometimes the best forms of communication are motions and sound effects. The pouty lip may just mean your toddler needs some extra love.
*Note: The author's "Positive Parenting" method has grown and evolved into what she dubs "Upstream Parenting."
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
"No, James! I told you to ask first," repeats a frustrated mom for what seems like the hundredth time that day. If this sounds like your house, you may want to try some positive parenting techniques to keep your little one from sneaking food. Many parents have been down this road before with at least one child. As a veteran mom with kids of varying ages, I've had plenty of experience in this area. The first part of solving the issue lies in discovering the root of the sneakiness. Some kids may have an eating disorder, so it's also important to talk to the pediatrician first. These extra positive parenting tips that worked for us may help as well, if approved by the child's doctor.
Is your child getting enough food and nutrition? As children grow, they tend to eat more than they usually would, especially if they are going through a growth spurt. Some kids will even eat more than some adults. Look for signs that tell you to adjust your child's portion size at meals. If your child tries to go back for seconds and thirds or tries to have snacks immediately after dinner, you may not be providing enough to begin with. Also, pay attention to what food he sneaks and report this to the doctor, in case there is a nutritional deficiency. There may be certain vitamins and minerals lacking from the diet that your child is trying to compensate for.
Are there enough snacks in between meals? If your child is trying to hoard or steal food, that may simply be a signal that he needs snacks. Keep a schedule of the times your child most often tries to steal food. If it occurs at similar times, schedule a snack at that time. If it's random, your child's feeding schedule may be inconsistent. Try to feed your child his meals and snacks at the same time every day so that his body can better form a hunger pattern. The actual time does not matter as much as it matters that the schedule stays the same.
Watch for hunger cues. If you learn how your child behaves when hungry, you can intercept before he tries to sneak food. Being proactive like this is a more positive parenting method than being reactive. If you catch your child before he even thinks of doing the act, this can lessen instances without having to reprimand. If the sneaking has become a bad habit, this method may be tiring at first, but it will be worth it to see your child's sneaky food behaviors improve.
Should you lock the cupboards and refrigerator? While this can be an easier temporary solution for frustrated parents, it can only make some children want the food more. It also can make a hoarding problem worse because they will want to hide food for later if they know they cannot access it easily. As small children get older, they will be more curious about how to remove the locking mechanisms. A more positive parenting method is to teach them to ask for the food, rather than take it. This way, when they are old enough to figure out locks, they are mature enough to understand why they shouldn't just steal food all the time.
Never refuse food, unless it's absolutely necessary. Most children will know when they are full and will not be asking for food. Unless your child has obviously had enough, never say no when he asks for food. Also, if he sneaks food, ask something like "Why didn't you just ask for that?" If you do this consistently, your child will eventually learn that sneaking food is not necessary. This more positive way of teaching the lesson helps avoid making your child feel bad about food.
Never, ever make a child feel bad about food. Also, do not use food as a reward. There needs to be a fair balance for your child to have healthy food behaviors. Using positive parenting methods to revert your child's food focus can be extremely helpful. But just like any other method, consistency is key. Be proactive, not reactive. In time, you will likely see a big improvement in your child's behavior and thoughts toward food.
Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Toddlers don't have a care in the world, or at least it may seem that way to those of us who have bills and other big responsibilities. But just because your toddler does not have the same stress as you does not mean he or she isn't capable of feeling a little down. Building a toddler's self-esteem is all about patience, understanding and praise. But how do you build self-confidence without making your toddler think he or she is the best creation in the universe? As a veteran mother and former nanny, I've been down this road plenty of times.
Independence is key. This is always my No. 1 method of building self-confidence in toddlers. If they know they can do things for themselves, it helps them feel accomplished. As parents, it can be tempting to do everything for our kids. But remember that each task you do that they are capable of is keeping them from learning and growing. If you want to help, show them how to do it, and then just step back and let them do it. Toddlers can't very well be confident in their abilities if they aren't allowed freedom to practice them.
Redirect instead of scolding, when possible. If toddlers do something wrong, it should be made known. But there is no reason to scold or make them feel bad about it. Simply redirect them to a more appropriate activity. Make sure they know why they are being restricted from a certain action or activity, and praise them for transitioning nicely. Like other methods, this only works if you are consistent. Be sure to redirect your toddler each time he or she takes that specific action. Not being allowed to do it is punishment enough. Scolding can destroy their self-esteem and make them feel worthless. By redirecting, you are teaching the lesson but allowing your toddler to remain confident in his or her abilities.
Notice the good things and make it obvious. Don't just point out the bad behavior. When your toddler is behaving, let him or her know you are impressed. Building a toddler's self-esteem is essential, but you don't want to overdo it. Be careful not to do this for every single good behavior because this can lead to over-inflation of the ego. But pointing out the good things is important. Do it randomly, and make it genuine.
Track goals with a simple chart. When toddlers can visually see something they have achieved, it can be great for the ego. Make a chart of some of the things they are expected to do each day, such as brushing their teeth, reading a book, picking up their toys, making their bed, and more. Use stickers or magnets to mark what has been done each day. When toddlers look at what they have accomplished, their self-esteem will likely rise.
Allow them to make choices. Toddlers need to know they are trusted. This is an essential part of building self-esteem. When you're small, it seems like everyone can do things better than you can. Let your toddler make choices on a regular basis. These can be both big and small choices, but be sure they are things your toddler can handle. For instance, let your toddler choose his or her outfit in the morning. When shopping, give your toddler choices, even if that means his or her entire wardrobe turns out purple, like my daughter's. Building a toddler's self-esteem is all about choice and independence.
The advice in this article was written by an experienced parent, not a licensed mental health professional. Consult an appropriately licensed health professional if your child shows signs of depression or other health issues.
"Mommy can you wash my water?" That has to be one of the funniest things any of my kids ever said to me as a toddler. She was about three. Wash water? Isn't water already clean? What's the funniest thing your toddler ever said to you? Here are some of the funniest toddler quotes in my family.
So, what was washing the water all about? She wanted me to dump out the water and make it even colder. With seven kids, and also the fact that I am a former nanny, I have heard plenty of interesting things from toddlers.
Another that sticks to me is the time my then 4 year old son was sitting on a playground swing. He's now a teenager. At the time, his fear of the swing moving with him in it was still present. He knows my profession and knew I had the laptop at the park. I go to push him and he says "Don't push me, Ma! You really need to write that article!"
Horse or Dog?
Then, there's the first time my oldest daughter (then a year and a half, now an adult) met a horse. It was the Juneteenth parade in Denver and the policemen were there with their Clydesdales. They were welcoming petting. So, toddler in arms, I pet one horse's beautiful mane. I tried to get her to do the same. She looked at me crazy, looked the horse up and down, and looked back at me exclaiming "Uh, uh Mommy! That's a BIG doggie!"
This next one is more of a funny name for something. For some reason, my second oldest had these favorite shoes when she was 4 years old that she liked to call her "dockies". None of us ever figured out why she called them that.
I recently hung a curtain over the archway that connects the kitchen and living room. I then tied the curtains back so that the space stayed open. My 4 year old then says to me "Mommy, you put that there because the kitchen cooking is open." Apparently, she looks at the kitchen as a restaurant.
Leave your funny toddler quotes in the comments section below.
Last updated 2/19/2022
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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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They live among tigers, dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and other fantastic energies, teaching others to claim their own power and do the same.
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