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    Ymca helps families bring healthy habits home

     

    Keeping kids physically active and healthy isn't exactly child's play. Efforts to keep kids fit are most successful when scheduled as a family affair, according to Chicago-based YMCA of the USA. Children are more likely to stay active and to make smart, health-related choices when parents lead by example. "Families that make health, activity and exercise priorities in their daily life enjoy many benefits like strengthening family ties, developing similar interests, preventing chronic diseases and, most importantly, simply having fun as a family," said Mike Spezzano, national health and fitness specialty consultant for YMCA of the USA. The YMCA offers six "get started" tips for embracing a healthier lifestyle at home: 1mit to 20-30 minutes of physical activity as a family each day. Walk the dog as a group before dinner; share an afternoon bike ride; play a game of tag; plan fun weekend outings like nature hikes or skating. 2. Prepare healthy meals at least five days a week. Select recipes that use lower fat, sodium, and refined sugar; choose natural and unprocessed ingredients when buying prepared meals; buy fruits and vegetables over unhealthy snacks. 3. Choose to eat meals together in the kitchen or dining room. Eating on the go or in front of the television leads to unhealthy eating habits. 4. Hold a weekly family meeting to set group goals about health and activity. For extra encouragement, display goals for everyone to see. 5. Stress and conflict are major culprits in undermining healthy goals. Reduce stress at home by agreeing to respect the property and feelings of fellow family members; accept responsibility for personal actions; and behave in a caring and thoughtful manner. 6. Celebrate success with simple rewards. Enjoy movie night or a YMCA family night; buy a new board game; create hand-made awards; reinforce achievements with positive verbal feedback. Families seeking inspiration and information can find it at YMCA Healthy Kids® Day celebrated nationally April 8, 2006 and at 1,420 YMCAs nationwide (local dates may vary). The free event engages families in fun, physical activities and offers helpful information to encourage healthy lifestyle choices. YMCA Healthy Kids Day is sponsored by Disney Channel, Tropicana, Kimberly-Clark Corporation and Kimberly-Clark's Huggies, Pull-Ups and Neat Sheet brands.

         
    You can afford to be a stay at home parent

     

    From the moment I learned I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. That feeling only strengthened when my beautiful son was born. I took one look at him and wondered how I could ever give up the opportunity to spend each and every day with him, watching him grow and learn, and exploring the world for the first time through his eyes. But there was a problem. We were a two-income family. How could we possibly afford to eliminate one of those incomes? Well, there are a lot of answers to that question and I’d like to share the ones I found with you. The first thing I looked at when determining “what we can afford” is how much money we made. I was wrong. What I really needed to examine was our expenses. So, the first step I took in my quest to stay home was to list the expenses I would incur in order to work, versus staying home. This is what I came up with: professional clothing (your kids don’t mind that you wear sweats!); transportation costs: fuel, tolls, public transit, parking, etc.; those “must-have” coffee and/or donut stops each morning; lunches with coworkers; gifts for coworkers (holidays and special occasions); CHILDCARE – it’s in bold print for a reason. If you haven’t priced this one out yet, do it now. This will easily be your greatest expense. And, it only goes up with each child. Go ahead and add up all these expenses. Don’t be too depressed, because there’s good news: these expenses represent your “instant rebate” for staying home. You’ve essentially just eliminated the need for a good portion (if not all) of your income. Need more savings? Keep reading! How many times per week are you dining out at restaurants, getting take out, ordering in, etc? By staying at home, you have the time to go to the grocery store and prepare a wholesome and much more economical meal for your family. Eliminate (or at least cut back) on your little luxuries. Manicures, pedicures, massages, hair highlights, 300 television channels, 2000 cell phone minutes. You get the picture. Clip coupons. I actually started buying the Sunday paper each week just for the coupons! You may have never seen the need to do this while you were working, but if you take the time, it will save you money. There are also plenty of online sites that provide coupons. Examine your bills carefully. When we had 2 fulltime incomes, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I rarely looked at any bill in detail. If there was an amount due, I paid it. I never looked at it, never questioned it. Now I go over every health insurance summary, utility statement, etc. with a magnifying glass. And, I can honestly say in the past 2 years I have caught almost $1000 in billing errors. That’s $1000 more for my family. Make this a team effort. If staying home only appeals to you and not your partner, your chances of success are greatly diminished. Making adjustments to the family budget will affect the lifestyle of all those involved. This transition will be much smoother with the support of your significant other. And last, but certainly not least, follow your heart! If you feel called to stay home with your children, then do it! All it takes is the determination to succeed and the willingness to reduce expenses. Best of luck to you!

         
    You can have love that never ends

     

    If you were to ask someone if they wanted more love in their life, it is very unlikely that they would say they wouldn’t and that they don’t need any more. That would be like saying you don’t need to ever eat again because you are full. Even if our lives were full of love we would still want to experience more of it, because love is never ending and the more love we have the more we will have to give away. But how do we give love away? Before we can answer that question, we must attempt to define love or agree upon what love is. Because love is fathomless, we cannot completely understand its depth. And our attempts to define it often confine its meaning and eternal quality. However, we know when we experience love. And we can identify love in how it is expressed. Love is communicated to us in many ways. Sometimes it is in words or someone’s thoughtfulness. We recognize it when we are treated with kindness and respect. We also communicate our love by our faithfulness, generosity, and selflessness. There are many different attributes that we associate with love. I believe there are ten key attributes that communicate true love most fully. I devote a chapter to each one of them in my ebook, Live to Love: 10 Powerful Ways to Communicate and Experience Love. In it you will discover how we communicate our love or lack of it every day. Love is more than words and it runs deeper than feelings. Love is what we live for. We love and we want to be loved. We look for loving qualities in people and that is what often attracts us to them. Besides being drawn to their personality, appearance, common interests, and so forth, we look for qualities that communicate love, warmth, and acceptance. If we want to build a relationship with someone, we want a connection that is deeper and founded on the attributes of love. Loving people draw others to them. We all like to be around someone who makes us feel valued and who treats us as important. We like being around someone who is thoughtful toward us; someone who cares about our feelings; someone who can be trusted and is honest with us. We like people who make us feel good about ourselves—people who listen and understand us; people who want to help us and will go of their way for us; people who are happy when we succeed; people who appreciate us. We all like to be around people who make us feel genuinely loved. Earlier we said that the more love we give away, the more love it is that we will have to give. Love isn’t love until you give it away. We give love away when its attributes are evident and expressed in our life. We can all grow in the various attributes of love, and we can begin to express love more fully in our lives and relationships. Remember, we will never run out of love as long as we keep on About Author: Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher, and cofounder of NewDayCounseling. org. She is featured in numerous newspapers and her many articles, pamphlets, and books are read worldwide. Krystal’s best-selling ebooks can be found at FavoriteEbooks.

         
    Your baby and teething

     

    The appearance of your baby's first tooth is a major milestone in her development, and one that will likely see you sharing photographs with family, friends, and anyone else who may happen by! Unfortunately though, the arrival doesn't always go smoothly - it can be a testing time for both you and your baby, as there will inevitably be some discomfort involved, leading to yet more sleepless nights and grizzled behaviour. There are usually some warning signs that a tooth is on its way, and these can include an increase in salivation or drooling, an intensified tendency for your baby to bite down on toys (or even people!), flushed cheeks and swollen gums, and a general malaise shown through loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping and irritability. Many parents will tell you that teething is often accompanied by other problems such as stomach upsets or colds, although most medical experts say that there is no real connection, and that young children are more or less constantly fighting off one bug or another, and so any signs of illness appearing together with teething are probably just coincidences. Teething generally starts at around 6 months, although as with all things related to babies and kids your own experience may vary. Indeed, a very few babies will be born sporting a tooth or two, while some may not see their first tooth emerge until their first birthday or even later. Whenever it starts, your baby will normally have a complete set of teeth by their third birthday, and these milk teeth will last until around the age of six, when they will begin to be replaced by adult teeth. Although some infants sail through the whole teething process with little difficulty, for others it can be a real ordeal. Unfortunately there's nothing we as parents can do to speed the growth, but there are ways to relieve the discomfort a little. The most traditional remedy for teething pain is a rubber biting ring, which works with your baby's natural inclination to bite down on things. A soft rubber ring provides a safe outlet for this urge, and keeping the ring in the refrigerator when not in use will also provide a cooling sensation. Teething gel can also be applied to the gums, which can provide comfort, and can be smeared onto a dummy or pacifier if the biting reflex means direct application to the gums is risky for the parent! Teething powders are also available, which consist of a sachet of crystals which you can pour into your baby's mouth, and seem to prove more effective than gels with some children. Finally, you may find yourself having to resort to pain relief medication if the problem is severe. Be certain to use a medicine specifically formulated for babies of your child's age, and stick to the recommended dosage. Medicine which also induces drowsiness, such as anti-fever preparations, can also be very useful - especially at bed time. Hopefully your own baby will not have too much difficulty developing a healthy toothy grin, but if you're finding teething is a problem, then remember that it doesn't last forever, and keep counting the teeth as they arrive!

         
    Your baby nursery

     

    Where you live will probably dictate whether a baby nursery is the norm; and your budget and living accommodation will influence whether you are able to follow that norm or tradition and supply your new baby with their own separate nursery. A baby nursery, or separate bedroom for a new born, is not the usual practice in many countries. My children by my first marriage were brought up in England, where a baby, on being taken home from hospital, will go home to a separate bedroom or nursery. My young daughter, Saffron, was born here in the Philippines where the tradition is for babies to sleep with the parents. It can be a difficult choice for new parents: do we put our new baby in her own nursery room, or do we have her in our bedroom in a crib or even in our bed? There are conflicting opinions about this choice, and it is one that attracted quite a lot of comment and surprise here when we opted to put Saffron in her own crib in her own nursery room, the day she came home from the baby clinic. I was very firm in my own mind that a separate room is best in the long term, and therefore it is best in the beginning. A baby, and then child, will grow in accordance with what they are used to, and what they come to see and feel as the norm. The most important things for a baby are that : 1. They are fed well; 2. They are kept clean; 3. They are comfortable; 4. They feel secure knowing that the parents, especially mother, will be there when she wakes. 5. They are loved. All of those things are easily achievable in a baby nursery separate from the parents' room. Advantages Of A Separate Baby Nursery A separate baby nursery brings with it a number of important advantages, for the baby and the parents. These include: 1. The baby will sleep undisturbed by parents coming and going. As they get older, that will be particularly important in the evening and night. 2. The parents will have their own privacy and time for themselves. This will be more and more appreciated as the weeks, months and then years pass. 3. The parents will sleep better too, especially compared to those who have a baby in their own bed. 4. The baby is more likely to grow into a strong and independent child, with a large amount of confidence. So long as they are happy and secure, they will not be worried about sleeping alone, as this is what they have come to expect. They know that when they wake, their mother and father are close to hand. Disadvantages Of A Separate Baby Nursery I cannot think of one genuine disadvantage of a separate baby nursery, assuming that the room is within earshot. A baby at birth can cry quite loudly, and why should that be if the natural state is always for the mother to be at their side? A baby cries so mother can hear from a distance. If that distance is another bedroom nearby, then that is fine. The baby will be unconcerned if it cries and you appear through a door rather than at her side already. Some first time parents will worry that they will not hear the baby if they are asleep and she is in a separate room. There is no need to worry; the mother especially will be tuned in to the cry of the baby, and will be subconsciously alert to the slightest sound. My wife was concerned about this very thing when Saffron was born, so for her assurance we left our bedroom door open, and Saffron's door too. She soon realised there was no risk of not hearing the baby, so first Saffron's door, and then our door, were later kept closed at night. Always remember, babies cry to be heard, so unless you are both very heavy sleepers, there is very little chance of you not hearing the baby when she is hungry, needs changing, or has some other problem.

         
    Your child is missing

     

    If your child is missing, time is of the essence! Take a deep breath and try to remember the last place you saw your child. If your child is missing from home, search the house quickly, check the closets, basement, and laundry, under beds, where ever else you think your child may crawl or hide. Check the doors and windows, do you see any way somebody got in. Yell out their name. Remember all this must be acted on as fast as possible! I can’t stress that enough! If you still cannot find your child, immediately call your police department! Be ready to have as much as possible details for the police. Try not to panic as the police department will need your help. Grab as much recent photos of your child as possible. They will need to know vital information of your child. When you call the police, provide your child’s name, child's age, height, weight, and any other unique identifiers such as eyeglasses and braces. Tell them when you noticed that your child was missing and what clothing he or she was wearing. Supply them with the photos and if there is any signs of a break in. Let them know of any possible reasons your child may be missing. Where there any friends or strangers in the home before? Are you going through custody problems? Many missing children are abducted by family members or known people. The best thing to do is prepare your kids to help prevent theses situations. Let them know over and over. Don’t speak to strangers. If you feel threatened let somebody know as soon as possible. If you are grabbed, yell out loud for help! No one has the right to touch, grab or force you to do anything that feels wrong. Tell them to bite and fight as much as they can. Many times these simple things will scare of a would be abductor.

         
    Your children are on their own soul s journey

     

    In a phone session with Gerald, one of my clients, he expressed to me that he was feeling very sad about his son, Luc. Luc, 29 years old, was not doing much with his life, and Gerald was berating himself for how he had parented Luc. “I should have spent more time with him. I should have motivated him more. I should have been a better role model. I should have been more firm with him.” On and on he went, judging himself for how he had been as a parent. “Gerald,” I said, “Luc is on his own soul’s journey. Even if you had been a perfect parent – and none of us really knows what that means – Luc might still be having the challenges he is having.” “Really? Wow! That makes me feel much better! I never thought of it that way. Tell me more about what you mean by his own soul’s journey.” “I mean that each of us comes here to learn certain soul lessons. Regardless of how good or bad your parenting was, Luc is on his own journey, making his own choices. You can take responsibility for how you were as a parent, but you cannot take responsibility for the choices he is making for his life.” “But I keep feeling that if I had been a better parent, he would not be struggling the way he is.” “Maybe and maybe not. You have no way of knowing this. Your self-judgment is your attempt to have control over something you have no control over – Luc’s choices. You are trying to avoid your feelings of helplessness regarding Luc. But you are helpless over him. You cannot make him be different. “Each child is different and each child will respond differently to our parenting. We do the best we can for our children. Most parents want the very best for their children and feel deep pain when their children go through pain. Yet we cannot prevent them from their own soul’s journey.” “So what can I do to help him?” “The very best thing you can do is to continue doing your own inner work, while praying for him. Even though he is 29, you are still a role model for him. Certainly judging yourself is not good role modeling. Luc needs to see you doing all you can to take loving care of yourself. When he sees you feeling really good about yourself and happy with your life, he might decide to make some changes. Aside from becoming a loving role model and praying for him, there is really nothing you can do about his choices. You need to accept your helplessness over him instead of trying to have control over him. Any attempts to control him will likely result in resistance.” “Yes, he seems to be very resistant to anything I say. This is part of my frustration and sadness.” “Right. That’s why you need to let go of trying to control him. You need to let go of being invested in the outcome regarding his choices and just keep on your own journey. The more you let go of him, the better chance you have of him making loving choices for himself, especially when he sees you making loving choices for yourself.” Most parents want to think that they have more control over their children than they do. We want to think that if we “do it right” we can control the outcome we want for our children. It will make it much easier to let go of trying to control our children and just be the very best parents we can, when we understand and accept that they are on their own soul’s journey.

         
    Your guide to peg perego high chairs

     

    The usual cost for a Peg Perego high chair costs around about one hundred to about two hundred and fifty dollars. There are many different types of Peg Perego high chairs such as the Peg Perego diner exclusive high chair, the leatherette rocker high chair, the Prima Pappa baby high chairs and much more. The Peg Perego high chairs come in many different styles, shapes, and colors. Some of the different types of Peg Perego high chair colors are Chesapeake, Benjamin, Neptune Blue, Black Leatherette, Bears, Plum Stripes, and Black Sable. One of the cheapest Peg Perego child high chair is the leatherette rocker high chair, which costs around about one hundred to two hundred and thirty dollars. This high chair has a removable dinner tray, twenty eight different positions, seven adjustable height settings, and much more. This high chair has castor wheels, which will allow you to roll the chair where ever you need it. It also has a restraint to keep your baby in the high chair and a five point harness. Consider toddler furniture that will keep your child in a seat that is cushioned for their own protection. Another Peg Perego Prima Pappa high chair is the Prima Pappa Diner Exclusive that cost around about, depending on the style and color, one hundred and fifteen dollars to about one hundred and ninety dollars. The Prima Pappa Diner high chair has mark resistant wheel, a double tray with a extra dinner tray that comes with it. The Prima Pappa Diner high chair has seven adjustable height positions and three adjustable reclining positions. Another Peg Perego high chair is the Dondolino high chair techno color PMB45. This Dondolino high chair comes in all kinds of different colors and features seven adjustable height settings, a five point restraint belt, and four reclining positions. This high chair also is a battery operated rocker swing with sounds. Also it requires no assembly, it is light weight and folds for storage and it is portable. Some other features is a washable dinner tray that is removable and when the seat is reclined the tray will still remain leveled, roll wheels with brakes in the back, and a padded bucket seat that is easy to clean and very comfortable. Put the high chair in the kitchen or at the dinner table to keep your toddler comfortable.

         
    Your obese child school programs

     

    More than five years ago, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) published ‘Guidelines for School and Community Programs’ to promote physical activity in children and teenagers, in hopes of helping them develop lifelong exercise and physical fitness regimens. If you, as a parent, understand and embrace these guidelines, you can work with your school system and with community centers and programs, like the YMCA and the Boy Scouts, to encourage and even help to develop physical activity and exercise programs that support your goals. If your child is obese, slightly overweight or simply in danger of falling into the great, black pit of video gaming, you need to get them off the couch, out from in front of the computer or video game station, and out into the fresh air to get some exercise. Without exercise, diet is much less successful. Although your child may balk at physical activities at first, they will eventually find that they feel better, sleep better and function better when they exercise. Take a look at some of the CDC guidelines and look for ways to get your child more involved in exercise, and/or to get YOURSELF more involved in the development of these programs in your schools and community. The CDC encourages schools and community organizations alike to establish policies and guidelines that encourage physical activity that is enjoyable and that is suitable for all age groups, so that exercise becomes a lifelong activity. Schools MUST require physical education credits and provide detailed health education and courses to teach children proper nutritional habits and to show them the right way to exercise so that they are not injured in the process. Schools will find and implement physical education and exercise programs that encourage physical activity and offer enjoyable options. Activities like dance, gymnastics, sports and other options should be offered with supervised coaching to avoid injury. Not all activities should be competitive! Activities should be sequential, advancing in complexity and challenge as the child ages to allow them to achieve physical potential. At minimum, National Physical Fitness standards should be met. Both schools and community organizations must provide funding and adequate supervision and guidance for physical activities, sports, and exercise equipment. These activities and equipment choices must provide a broad range of options to satisfy the interests of all the children in the community, and school system. Community and school programs should include activities that are appropriate for children of all ages and all levels of ability. These programs should be advertised and promoted to children to advise them of the availability and the programs should be desirable and enjoyable for the age group and type of children who are expected to participate. Health education classes should help students develop knowledge and skills to encourage and enhance proper diet and exercise programs. These programs should foster an appropriate attitude so that all children WANT to live a healthy life style. Programs should stress moderation in all activities so that children see exercise as one of the things they will do every day, in addition to the other activities they love, e. gputer or video games, or watching TV or movies. All coaches, teachers, health education staff, and recreation directors should have appropriate training to manage and promote this physical education and exercise programs and to ensure that the children under their supervision safely participate in these programs. Safe, supervised access to facilities and equipment is critical! Unstructured play time is important during school and after school, with tools and equipment to encourage impromptu games, e. g. balls, bats, jump ropes, gymnastics equipment. Parents and teachers should come together to discuss the availability of school and community exercise and physical education programs. Parents should be encouraged to take on exercise and physical activities and to share these with their children as appropriate; to become role models for their kids by exercising and participating in physical activities during family events, at work functions, while visiting the park, etc. All school and community programs should be evaluated periodically. This evaluation should be detailed enough to ensure that the needs of the children in the community are being met. Does each child have more than one option and opportunity for exercise and health education in multiple venues and facilities? Now that you understand the CDC recommendations, take a look at your own school system and at the extracurricular, and community availability of physical activities, sports and exercise options. If your community is lagging behind in these programs, get actively involved. Your attendance and presentation at a town board meeting can get organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, and the YMCA into your community. And you can talk to your school board and PTA or PTO about the shortcomings in your physical education and health programs, and how your school system may be able to improve their current programs. You will find it much easier to help your child meet their weight loss or fitness goals when you have community and school system support. For your overweight, obese or inactive child, this support and assistance is priceless!

         
    Your one year old s development

     

    The first birthday is always exciting to celebrate. If you're a new parent, this event always lingers in your mind and you just probably can't wait to invite your families and friends to have fun in the extraordinary occasion. Day after day, you've seen them growing bigger and smarter. Each time they're able to reach the next developmental stage, you and your spouse are indulged in great happiness. One of the most cheering moments about this is when you see them make their first steps alone. You'll get into the unspoken emotion just like other parents do. However, some of you perhaps haven't been going through this feeling as your one year-old baby isn't able to walk yet. Actually, you shouldn't be worried about this. Each child is unique and has a different development from the others. Then, what things babies can do when they reach their first year of life? Generally, here they are: 1. Take their first steps alone - Once you see them walking, you'll be surprised on how far they can walk without your hand on theirs guiding. Sometimes they tiptoe, and it's exactly a funny and incredible thing you shouldn't miss out. Get a camera to capture the moment! 2. Say 'mama', 'papa', 'dada' - Encourage your babies to talk by always talking, too. Most babies can say the three words mentioned when they're one year-old, even though they probably don't understand the meaning of them yet. 3. Understand simple instructions - It's exciting to see your babies understand what you want them to do. When you say 'bye-bye', they will abruptly move their hands and make the bye-bye gesture. Or, when you tell them to look at you or your spouse, for example 'where's Daddy?', they'll move their head and look into their daddy's eyes. Of course you need to stimulate them over and over to make them recognize which one is which. 4. Point at things they're interested in - Your babies will point at objects they're fond of. They'll also say 'ooh' while pointing, making the 'target' precise. 5. Move their hands and body rhythmically to a music played - Some babies begin to 'dance' between the ages of 7-10 months-old. Whenever they listen to music, especially the one that they love, you'll grin as you see their hands and body flourishing along the tune. If your babies don't do the things above, again, no need to worry. They'll reach the stage in several weeks or months. Develop the bonds of love between the two of you. Enjoy the moments you all have together with the kids. Happy first birthday to your babies!

         
    Your reference guide to caring for a baby

     

    Bringing a new baby home is a time for great joy and celebration. There are so many exciting experiences waiting for the happy family. But, it doesn’t take long for mom and dad to discover that caring for a newborn baby, while joyful, can be demanding and exhausting. They also discover that their baby definitely has a mind of his or her own and will make his or her presence felt in a hundred and one ways - not all of them amusing. As most parents will tell you, it’s all a matter of practice and patience. Feeding your baby: The first you will need to make is whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby. Research shows that, in most cases, breast milk is the best food for your baby. But some mothers cannot or prefer to not breastfeed. Baby formula is a healthy alternative. Always remember to burp your baby gently after a feeding. While feeding from a bottle, make sure your baby is not taking in air bubbles. A newborn baby will need to eat every few hours around the clock so be prepared for interrupted sleep. When your baby is ready to accept semi-solids and solids, introduce one food at a time. Allow him or time to get used to each food. Avoid baby foods with additives. Diapering: You will need to decide if you are going to use cloth diapers or disposable diapers. If you decide on cloth diapers you may want to consider using a diaper service. Each option has its own pros and cons. Parents usually make a decision based on time, convenience, environmental concerns and financial considerations. The best advice I’ve received is to avoid a puritanical fascination for any one type of diaper. I use a combination of cloth and disposable. I use cloth at home and disposable diapers when I’m running errands with the baby, visiting friends and relatives, or traveling. Bathing and Grooming: That first bath at home can be scary for a parent. Until your baby’s umbilical cord stub falls off, only give sponge baths. A baby bathtub makes giving your bath easier and safer. Before placing your baby in the water, test it will your elbow to make sure it’s not too hot or too cold. Never leave your baby unattended while he or she is in the bath. After the bath, bundle your baby up in a nice fluffy towel and dry him or her thoroughly. Make sure the umbilical area is dry and that the eyes, ears and nose are clean. You may need to clean these with a wet washcloth, but never insert buds into them. Trim your baby’s nails just after a bath. Sleeping: Experts recommend putting your baby to sleep on his or her back. It’s not uncommon for a baby to wake at least once during the night until he or she is about a year old. The younger the baby, the more times he or she will wake during the night for feeding and changing. Feed, change, and comfort your baby when he or she wakes up at night but don’t turn those “awake” periods at night into playtime or it will be harder for you to get your baby to the point of sleeping through the night. Common health problems include colic, diaper rash, cradle cap, skin rashes and ear infections. Many of these problems need just a little extra care and patience. Call your doctor with any concerns or questions. If your baby is in pain, take him or her in for a doctor visit. Traveling: A common question of parents is when it is safe to travel by air with a baby. You should wait at least two weeks after the baby is born to take him or her on a trip that includes a flight. After that, most experts say it is safe to travel by air with your baby as long as your baby is not sick. When traveling, pack all the items you need along with plenty of extra clothes and diapers. If traveling by air, call the airline to make arrangements for taking your baby’s car seat or carrier and stroller (a combination car seat/stroller works great) on the plane. Safety and comfort are two of the most important things to keep in mind when you handle your baby. It is a good idea to have a fairly regular schedule for bathing, feeding, playing and sleeping. Your baby will always respond to a warm, loving environment. Hold your baby, cuddle him or her and respond to his or her cries. It is impossible to ‘spoil’ a little baby. Let your love overflow. Most of all enjoy early parenthood - kids grow up very fast.

         
    Your teen tips on successfully fitting in

     

    Most teens feel "different" in one way or another. Parents may understand their teens, but sometimes not in a way their children want them to. Here are some things to remember that may help parents understand their teens and help them to fit in: • Remember, at this age friendships are very important. School is a teen's home away from home and parents should be prepared to feel a little neglected at times. • Understand and accept that teens can be a different person when they are at home or at school; when they are with family or with their friends. • Allow teens to keep some of their thoughts to themselves. Whether they want to communicate or not, keep the lines open at all times. • Remind young teens that everyone doesn't have to like them and that socializing is a skill that gets better with practice. • A good way to learn how to fit in might be to read books and watch movies about how other kids their age do it, such as "Napoleon Dynamite" or "Dr. Dolittle 3," which has just been brought out in a new DVD. In the third Dr. Dolittle, the next generation, Maya Dolittle just wants to be a normal teenager despite the fact that she has inherited her father's uncanny ability to talk to the animals. So far this ability has brought her nothing but trouble. Maya heads to Durango summer camp to get to know herself better. While there, she realizes that she can use her gift to help save the troubled ranch. This hilarious third installment of the wildly popular series is not only great fun, it's a nice lesson on how new surroundings can sometimes help teens realize it's okay to be different.

         
    Your tip for calming fussy babies could be a winner

     

    If you've found yourself soothing your baby by vacuuming in the dark, taking a car ride at 2 a. m. or singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" a cappella, then you're not alone. Parents are apt to try out-of-the-ordinary remedies for a moment of silence when their babies become fussy. Babies' cries tell you a lot about their moods, whether they're tired, upset or hungry. Some parents may notice their baby's excessive fussiness occurs during and after feeding times. Nearly 1 million infants experience common feeding problems at some point during their first year of life, which may be due to a baby's developing tummy being intolerant of a cow's milk-based formula. Here are a few signs that may indicate a feeding problem: * Fussiness after each feeding * Unwillingness to eat * Curling legs up in discomfort after feedings * Excessive gassiness * Excessive spitting-up after each feeding or vomiting * Change in stool consistency If you suspect your baby may have a feeding problem, discuss these symptoms with your pediatrician. Improvement in formula tolerance can be related to the formula or the effect of switching formula. Clinical evidence supports that switching from a milk-based infant formula to Isomil Advance, a soy-based infant formula, can reduce fussiness, gas and spit-up in most infants in just three days. To celebrate Isomil Advance's three-day soy solution and 40-year heritage of solving fussiness, gas and spit-up in infants, enter the Isomil Advance "Fuss-Free" Get-Away contest and share your best baby-calming tip. You could win a relaxing three-day, no-fuss vacation for you and a guest at the Miravel Resort and Spa in Tucson, Ariz. The contest winner will receive the child care of her choice, even if that means flying grandma in to watch the kids. Enter now to win a relaxing three-day trip where all the fuss is about you.

         
    Youth heroes a double standard

     

    As a boy I danced and shook to the music of Elvis Presley along with the rest of the kids in my generation. I was shocked to hear how he died from the usage of drugs but even when I heard of his death I still was unable to gather the significance of it. I’ve had decades to ponder the significance of it and I am sure it doesn’t fall under the heading of good experiences from my childhood. It is less confusing than it was when I first heard of it but I am far too old now to just pass it off with a one word cover all like, tragedy. It is far worse than tragedy, it is an experience that if not carefully examined and weighed would slip by without anyone noticing that it is a dangerous double standard that our youth rarely ever see until they are dangerously close to repeating it in their own lives. No one would argue that Jimmy Hendrix was an innovative rock and roll musician but he died from a drug overdose. No one would say they didn’t think Janis Joplin did a bang up job with songs like “Bobby McGee” but she’s another drug overdose casualty. John Belushi made us all laugh but he joined the ranks of the dead by drugs in his prime. Enter the suicides like Curt Cobain, Freddy Prinze, and the list goes on. It isn’t the lives, the talents or the careers of these people that falls into question; perhaps it is not even how they died that is the biggest double standard. What we say about these people following their deaths is the real problem. To constantly refer to the talents, the lifestyles or the fame of these people without regard to the matter of how they met their end is a dangerous oversight. It is a way of saying that death from suicide or drug overdose goes with the territory. Media exemplifies and extols their lives for the media sake, not for the youth who purvey the pop culture in search of role models and icons. In many cases it is hard enough to explain the lives they lived much less their deaths. Showing kids fried eggs and comparing that to their brains on drugs will have little effect if we continue to glorify the lives of those who fried their own brains to the point of death. If we keep feeding our youth the business of their lives how won’t they also be fed by the manner of their deaths? I still have fond remembrances of days when I danced to the music of the King. I’m now glad to say I have decided to dance to the tune of a new King. This King never took drugs, didn’t commit suicide and beat death instead of using it to cop out. His death produces life for others; in fact there is no life without him. Jesus may have lived the lowly life of a suffering Messiah but the Bible says he will return as the omnipotent ruling “King of Kings and Lords of Lords.” Revelation 19:16

         
    Youth sports schedules alerts keep parents in the know

     

    You rush to get your children to their football game only to find out that it's been canceled. Why weren't you notified in advance? When sports and recreation directors make last-minute schedule changes, such as canceling a game due to inclement weather or having to change practice times, they may have to inform several people at the same time. But with limited time to spread the word to players, parents, coaches and officials, some people may miss out. Fortunately, this doesn't have to be the case. From elementary school to college, many schools and sports and recreation organizations are adopting an innovative new communication system called the Immediate Response Information System, or IRIS. Developed by TechRadium Inc., IRIS is a high-speed notification and response service that electronically sends routine, priority and emergency messages to unlimited contacts within seconds. A designated person sends uniform messages with just a click of a mouse or by calling an IRIS adviser. The system then transmits voice and text alerts to all recipient groups through various forms of electronic devices, including home and cell phones; pagers; fax machines; PDA devices; and e-mail accounts. Besides sending messages about unforeseen events, the system also sends information such as statistics and rankings, picture day reminders and playoff schedules. IRIS requires no hardware, software or system installation, making it an affordable communication system. Also, IRIS messages can be delivered in up to 10 languages as specified by each recipient.

         
     
         
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