Archives for October 2015

How to Teach Your Kid to Read

It’s always fun watching your child learn something new. Their face lights up and they are excited, and in return so are you! Reading is one of those things, and from a young age most children are fascinated by books and the big pictures, all the colors, and when mommy or daddy read to them before bedtime. While it’s completely normal for most kids to start reading around the age of 6, it’s never too early to introduce books to get their excitement roaring. Today we are sharing ways to make reading fun for your toddler!

 

  1. Begin Young: During infancy, your baby begins to recognize sounds and words. By reading to them, or singing lullabies you are expanding their brain development and language neurons. Studies show reading to your child at a young age exposes them to language and helps develop speech. Reading can also start the special bond between parents and their children, and furthermore it’s calming, and when made a routine it helps kids fall asleep more soundly. In addition when you start reading to your child at a young age you are promoting listening skills and imagination. If you’re thinking about reading to your baby we suggest starting off with singing lullabies before bed!
  2. Make Reading a Routine: Adding reading into your daily routine when your child is still young can be very beneficial. First of all it promotes mental stimulation and reduces stress because you child will be prepared and know exactly what is going to happen during their day. One of the biggest reasons to add reading into your routine is the vast vocabulary and knowledge your child will gain from it. Reading also promotes memory and concentration.
  3. Play with the Alphabet: Learning the alphabet isn’t just important for beginning school, but it will help children recognize words from practicing the alphabet. This is a great thing to sing along to in the beginning during infancy and throughout toddlerhood.
  4. Use Rhyming Words: Rhyming words are fun. It inhibits imagination, creativity, and the brain. Rhyming is not only a fun way to teach reading it also improves spelling, pronunciation, sounds, and vocabulary.
  5. Read Books with Lots of Colors and Big Pictures: Books with lots of colors and pictures helps visualization. Children, and most adults, learn better when they can visualize what is going on in a story. They become more captivated and interested in the material!
  6. Read Books with that Allow Your Child to Touch: There are lots of benefits to sensory play! When you involve material that encourages all of your child’s senses they will have a better engagement in what you are trying to teach them.
  7. Ask Questions While You Read: This is a great thing to do as your child grows into toddlerhood. Asking questions while you read to them will help them think and connect themselves to what they are reading. When you ask question your child will become more aware of what is going on in their book and they will begin evaluating what they have read afterwards.

 

Early Childhood Fears and Anxiety: Addressing your Child’s Fears

Halloween time is a good opportunity to discuss childhood fears and anxiety.  This sometimes frightful holiday may scare your child and highlight some common fears for your child’s developmental stage.  It is very normal and typical for children to have fears and anxiety over certain things at different points in their childhood.  Addressing your child’s fears is a delicate skill and one that should be considered with care.

Fear and anxiety are typical feelings of all human beings.  Although it may seem that children have more of them, even adults have their own set of fears that are probably the result of past experiences.  Many fears and anxieties stem from childhood, which is why addressing your child’s fears is important.  Childhood fears and anxiety may seem silly to you as an adult, but it is very real to your child and you should not dismiss them.

early childhood fears and anxietyFears and anxiety evolve over time so what bothers your little one as an infant, will be replaced by a different fear in toddlerhood, early childhood and beyond.  Also remember, fears are not all bad.  Childhood fears help us learn to cope with challenges later in life and sometimes grounded fears help keep us safe.

During infant and toddler years, fears and anxiety usually surround strangers, separation, loud noises and changes in environment.  Addressing your child’s fears during these early stages include lots of love and attention.  Babies need to feel touch, have eye contact and hear talking and singing often for their own comfort.  The safety of familiar caregivers and security of knowing that someone is there to care for them when they feel afraid is how babies and toddlers develop emotional security and learn to cope with stress.  This is why breastfeeding is excellent for your child’s emotional development – you are constantly comforting your baby with touch and closeness.

As your child enters the pre-school years, fears shift as their sense of reality and imagination develop.  Pre-schoolers are often afraid of the dark, monsters, ghosts, costume characters, nighttime noises and certain animals, heights or situations.  Most pre-schoolers can recognize the difference between reality and make-believe but when fearful emotions overwhelm them, the line becomes blurry.  While it is easy for parents to dismiss these irrational fears, you should realize that your child truly feels threatened by them.  Talking through fears and anxiety rationally helps, but taking action will go a lot further.  If your child is afraid of the dark, spend short bursts of time playing silly games in a dark space to reinvent the emotions your child has in darkness.  If your child is afraid of costume characters, let him meet some without their costume heads on to show him there is a real person inside.  Animal fears can be addressed by gently encouraging your child to touch friendly pets and observe their animal behavior.

Persuade your children to talk to you about their childhood fears and anxiety.  Talking through a problem is a good habit for your family and you want your child to continue to come to you for help and advice throughout his life.  Drawing pictures of fears can be helpful, and then help your child redirect the image into something more positive, perhaps by using conversation bubbles to turn the fear around.  Imaginative role play can also help your child visualize overcoming a fear.  Don’t buy into your child’s fears so much that you allow him to avoid what makes him afraid.  This is unrealistic to the hurdles he will not be able to avoid in life and will never help him overcome anxiety.  Instead, let him know that you are always there as a safe place for him but encourage venturing out slowly to address fears.  And teach a mantra such as “I can do this” or breathing techniques to help alleviate anxiety in frightening situations.

 

Loving Moments’ Legging Giveaway!

L401-LeggingsHere at Loving Moments we are all about the awesome benefits breastfeeding gives to mommies and babies. Breastfeeding is the ultimate nutrition because it supplies all the necessary nutrients for proper development, protects your baby against illness and disease, it fights against allergies and obesity, it’s easily digested, and breast milk caters to your baby’s specific needs through their saliva!

 

This week we are encouraging our audience to think again about the benefits breastfeeding can give to our little ones. With this special sweepstake, we are giving away maternity leggings to the first fifteen people to email us a breastfeeding fact! The first five will win an additional prize along with their leggings!

 

The rules of this giveaway are simple: please email us at avannoy@leadinglady.com with a breastfeeding fact, your pant size from M-2XL, your bra size, and mailing address. The breastfeeding fact must not be one listed above in the first paragraph, but something else that is interesting and not so well known. You must also list the source from where you found the fact. Our Loving Moments’ Legging Giveaway will only be available until Friday, October 31st!

 

The 4 Best Nursing Bras for Fall

As you are getting your fall wardrobe set, it’s a great time to stock up on the best nursing bras for the season.  Summer was full of fun prints and cool styles, while fall calls for more subtle tones and structured shapes.  Today we’re sharing the 4 best nursing bras for fall.

L346-Nude-prod-page_165x217Your Everyday Nursing Bra

Every woman has a “go to” bra in her lingerie drawer that will never let you down.  It works for almost any occasion and any piece in your wardrobe.  But when you are breastfeeding, you may have to forego that favorite bra for easy access.  Not anymore!  Loving Moment offers your favorite styles in a nursing version.  One of our very favorites for everyday wear is our Molded Wirefree Nursing Bra.  This super versatile bra is made of silky stretch fabric that is a dream for your breasts.  It features a beautiful lace trim along the bustline, easy nursing clasps and a dropdown cup with a comfortable inner sling.  You may find yourself longing for two or three of this fabulous bra – it’s just that awesome!

L358-BLKwithAqua-prod-page_230x303Your Special Occasion Nursing Bra

Nursing moms deserve to look cute and stylish too.  That’s why we offer special occasion nursing bras that make you feel and look fabulous.  One of our hottest numbers is our Padded Nursing Bra available in underwire and wirefree styles.  The sensual black shiny fabric with a feminine turquoise lace trim is sexy and the low cut design lets you show off your feminine curves all day or on date night.  The padded cups give those curves nice structure and support even during daily breast fluctuations and also offer modesty.  Plus, with thinner straps, you can wear this bra with camisoles, sleeveless dresses or any other top in your wardrobe.

 

L314_Black_fasten_300wYour Workout Nursing Bra

As you and your baby are getting out and about for exercise as the weather cools, you’ve got to check out our unique Sport Nursing Bra.  It can be worn during pregnancy and during nursing because it offers superior support, stretch and adaptability.  Unlike most bras, this bra has adjustable bands on both sides so it can grow with you as your size changes during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.  For maximum workout effectiveness, it features a mess racer back design and breathable, absorbable cotton fabric.  Plus, the drop down cups make taking your baby for a hike, bike ride or jog simple for breastfeeding whenever necessary.  Our Sport nursing bra is available in both white with black trim and black with white trim.

316Your Leisure Nursing Bra

You’ve probably discovered that when you and your baby are home together, and even while you are sleeping, you need the upmost support and comfort.  That’s what you get in our Leisure Sleep Bra, ideal for maternity or nursing wear.  First of all, the pullover design means no back closures to bother you during the night.  Rather than nursing clasps and drop down cups, this bra offers crossover slide cups that give easy access to your breasts day or night.  Our Leisure Sleep Bra also comes with washable nursing pads that can be removed.  It is available in 4 prints and colors:  black, grey, blue floral and leopard.  When at home, we know you’ll be living in this bra!

If you’re not enjoying your fall nursing bras, head to Walmart or Walmart.com for the best nursing bras of the season!

Why Your Baby Sucks their Fingers

You may have noticed your baby has found her fingers and toes, and either one or the other has made their way into her mouth. While some parents might think their baby is sucking on their fingers too much and they may have concerns about whether this might affect their tooth and mouth development, it is actually completely normal for a baby between the ages of 2-6 months old to want to put things in their mouth. There is nothing out of the ordinary for a baby to be curious about their surroundings. In fact sucking on their fingers and toes is something that encourages development.

During their second month of life, babies will have developed a strong sucking impulse from breastfeeding and bottle feeding. They will begin to suck on their fingers, and maybe even their whole fist at times. This tends to be a comforting reaction for them, much like breastfeeding is also. However, finger sucking can turn into thumb sucking, and too much finger sucking may turn into a few difficulties. Today we are sharing why your baby sucks their fingers, the risks of finger sucking, and ways to control it.

There are plenty of reasons why your baby wants to suck her fingers. One could be to taste because as she explores her environment her sense of taste will help her distinguish items based on texture, smell, and what is tasty and what isn’t. Another could be to touch so they can feel and learn the quality and consistency of an object. However, most of the time when your baby puts her fingers in her mouth is because she is either hungry, teething, or because sucking on her fingers is soothing and relaxes her.

While sucking on her fingers can be a soothing, your baby may be at risk for some possible health conditions. Although it is normal in the beginning, if you notice the finger sucking continues after she has begun teething she might affect her tooth development. Not to mention the fingers can turn into thumb sucking, which can reshape the direction of her front teeth and the roof of her mouth. It can also be health hazardous if your baby is touching everything in her path and then puts her fingers in her mouth, which are covered in germs. This can lead to illness or even something far more serious. Sucking on her fingers too much can also cause her fingers to deform from the excess saliva soaking into the skin.

To prevent these possible health hazards, there are many ways to control your baby’s finger sucking. It’s important to know finger sucking is absolutely normal for a baby to do and it doesn’t necessarily need to be stopped unless it is becoming hazardous to their health. However, to prevent illness it’s a good idea to regularly wipe your baby’s hands and clean them after she touches objects that could be covered in bad germs. As they get older try to encourage them with other objects to suck on rather than their hands. Give them a pacifier or a teething toy to suck and chew on.

If the finger sucking is beginning to be a problem contact your doctor for further advice.

 

Baby Halloween Costumes: Dressing your Baby as a Costume Accessory

Baby Halloween costumes are a fun and adorable way to get into the festive Halloween spirit.  As long as the costume is comfortable, your baby probably will not even realize she’s wearing it.  At this young age, you have the opportunity to dress your baby as anything that reflects your own creativity and interests.  One way families choose to celebrate is with group costumes, allowing baby to be the accessory that makes the perfect finishing touch.  Today we’re sharing baby Halloween costumes that are perfect accessories for your family costumes.

olaf-costumesThe Littlest One

If your family is going as a classic “group” of characters, babies are terrific at dressing as the littlest in the clan.  After all, they are naturally small and adorable, and they probably won’t complain about being dressed as the runt of the litter.  Some examples of this use of baby Halloween costumes as accessories are dressing your baby as Toto from Wizard of Oz, Yoda from Star Wars, piglet from Winnie the Pooh, Olaf from Frozen, Sebastian from The Little Mermaid or Tinkerbell from Peter Pan.

 

dalmationoutfitSide Kicks Rock

Babies also make excellent side kicks for your older kids’ costumes or even your own.  Do you have a superhero big brother or a pirate big sister?  Add a Robin to your older Batman or a parrot for your budding pirate.  If the big kid in your family is going to be a firefighter, let your baby be the Dalmatian helping sniff out fires.  Your older children will love having their little bro or sis as part of their selected costume.

 

885494-Baby-Football-Bunting-Costume-mainHave a Ball

Babies are rolly and polly, so why not dress them as a ball?  The rest of your family can dress as a sports team – whether it’s a football, baseball or soccer team is up to you.  Your baby can be the adorable football, baseball or soccer ball that ties the team together.

 

download (1)Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhyme costumes are classic and right at your baby’s level.  Every good Mary needs her little lamb (or Little Bo Peep with her sheep), and Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater needs a good pumpkin by his side.  Other great examples include mice from Hickory Dickory Dock, a spider with Little Miss Muffet, and Humpty Dumpty with his horsemen.

 

Two for One

If you have twins, babies within two years of each other or want to dress up with another baby friend, look for baby friendly double costumes like Thing One and Thing Two, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Raggedy Ann and Andy or Mario and Luigi.  Other twosie ideas include Peanut Butter and Jelly, Sushi and Soy Sauce, Milk and Cookies or Salt and Pepper shakers.

 

Stuck on You

Here’s another clever idea:  carry your baby in a baby carrier and use the attachment to your advantage.  You can be a kangaroo with a little baby joey in your pouch (using a front carrier) or the Hunchback of Notre Dame (using a back carrier).  Another idea is a two headed clown, monster or alien using your face and your baby’s.

 

Have a blast with your baby Halloween costumes!  Happy Halloween!

 

Breastfeeding and Vitamin D

Mom_nursingA new study from the Medical University of South Carolina shows that breastfed babies may not need to get supplemental drops of Vitamin D if their mothers consume high doses of it in their diet or dietary supplements.  Because breast milk is typically lacking in the nutrient, until now, the clinical recommendation for breastfed babies has been to give them 400 IU of Vitamin D drops.  However this new research marks a shift in practices behind breastfeeding and Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that helps strengthen bones and supports every cellular function in the body by aiding in the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D is hard to find in food, but it can be absorbed through UVB exposure.  Although overexposure to the sun is not good, some sunlight is important due to its Vitamin D value.  Vitamin D is also associated with mental health and wellbeing, and deficiencies often cause emotional disorders including seasonal affective disorder.

Medical experts disagree about how much Vitamin D human bodies need.  Some believe over 50% of the population is Vitamin D deficient, while others think that 600-800 IU is enough to reap the disease-fighting and bone strengthening benefits of the vitamin.

However, when mothers were given supplemental doses of Vitamin D in a recent study, they were able to pass along the nutrient to their babies through breast milk.  This makes the dosage for newborns who are exclusively breastfed unnecessary.  Babies of mothers who took the maximum amount, 6400 IU, reaped the most benefits.  That is, they ended up receiving approximately the same dosage as the 400 IU recommendation for breastfed newborns.

The study, published in Pediatrics earlier this month, was conducted on 334 mothers and infants over a six month span.  Dosages of Vitamin D were recorded in mothers but Vitamin D levels were check through infant blood and urine tests.

There are some additional factors to consider before the recommendation can officially change.  The side effects of an over-dose of Vitamin D include a build-up of calcium in the body, which may cause urine or kidney problems or an upset stomach.  Those in favor of increased Vitamin D passing through breast milk claim that only approximately 25% of babies take the recommended Vitamin D drops so perhaps babies would benefit more if it came through a supplement to the mother.  Also, the Vitamin D drops do not taste pleasant and many babies reject them.

How to Throw a Halloween Party

While you may have passed down the trick-or-treating to your children it doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time this Halloween! If you’re planning a Halloween block party this year that’s fun for everyone checkout these helpful tips on how to get ready for the big event:

 

Invitations: Whether you send out a Facebook invite or you make your own invitations it’s important to have something to let everyone know what’s going on. Don’t forget to put the date, the location, when the party starts and stops, and what kind of party it is. It’s important to keep in mind not everyone can make it on Halloween because they may be taking the kids out for trick-or-treating. Try planning your party the weekend before or after Halloween so all your guests are more likely available. Don’t forget to say on the invitation it is costume mandatory! It’s Halloween after all.

 

Decorations: Decorations are always fun at a Halloween party. Sometimes they can make or break the mood. Whether your party is being hosted at your house or another location, make sure to have the appropriate decorations. This is your party so have fun and decorate the way you want to, but make sure to keep the children in mind. Decorating for Halloween can be fun, but if you plan to get really gory you could scare the kids. Instead try decorating with simple props such as pumpkins, skeletons, cobwebs, etc. Also, your lighting and sound effects are definitely something to consider. Ask one of your neighbors if you can borrow their strobe light to set up in the front yard to make a spooky entrance. A fog machine is also something that will be a hit at the party. Set it up outside or even in the basement to be included in the fun dance party later on!

Tip: If you choose to have the location set somewhere else besides your home, make sure you have plenty of time to set everything up. Give yourself more than 24-48 hours to have everything ready for the big party.

 

Music: You can’t have a Halloween party without some spooky music! The hit Monster Mash is totally a must, but if you want to try something a little different put on a spooky movie to fill the background while people are hanging around. Pick a movie like the Headless Horseman or A Nightmare Before Christmas to keep it kid friendly.

 

Snacks: Pizza is great, but if you’re trying to spruce things up a bit, try looking at Pinterest for some Halloween snack ideas. You’ll find anything from puking pumpkins to amazing finger snacks. People will go crazy over anything that is a little different from the norm. Plus the kids will find your spider lady fingers really fun and delicious!

Tip: If you’re on a budget it’s okay to put on the invitation to bring a side to pass around.

 

Games: Do you have any special games in mind? Depending on the weather you can do a lot of things both inside and outside. These are our favorite outside games: pumpkin corn hole, pumpkin carving, and ghost in the graveyard. Here are our favorite inside games: murder mystery, Pictionary, charades, diving for apples, and best costume reveal!

 

The biggest thing to remember is to have fun! It’s your party so whatever you decide goes. Make sure everyone gets involved with the games, both the kids and the adults, so everyone can have a good time laughing and playing around!

 

 

Are you at Risk for Gestational Diabetes?

 

Are you at Risk for Gestational Diabetes?Gestational diabetes is a serious prenatal condition that occurs in approximately 9% of pregnancies.  In most instances, the disease cannot be prevented but knowing the risk factors and maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy can help reduce a mother’s risk of complications.  Today we’re explaining the basics of gestational diabetes including the side effects and risk factors.

What is Gestational Diabetes

Unlike type 1 or type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes develops only during pregnancy when mothers are not able to produce or use insulin properly and their blood glucose levels become off kilter.  In cases of gestational diabetes, hormones block regular endocrine and pancreatic functions that control insulin.  A woman who could otherwise handle normal amounts of sugar, develops insulin resistance known as hypoglycemia.

Side Effects of Gestational Diabetes

Having diabetes prior to conceiving is actually more dangerous for babies and mothers than gestational diabetes, but still, this unwanted pregnancy condition is not without side effects.

First, mothers may develop type 2 diabetes after giving birth.  And while insulin does not pass through the placenta to the fetus, a larger quantity of sugar does, causing the baby’s pancreas to work overtime.  Therefore, when a baby is born to a mother with gestational diabetes, his blood sugar may be low, which causes respiratory issues.  Additionally, babies whose mothers have gestational diabetes are at higher risk of being born large (known as macrosomia) and the risk of obesity later in life is also greater.  Type 2 diabetes has a higher prevalence among obese children.

Risk Factors of Gestational Diabetes

Like type 2 diabetes, risk factors of gestational diabetes include weight, family history and ethnicity.  Women who are overweight prior to conceiving are more likely to have gestational diabetes and those whose close family members have had it are also at risk.  African American, Latino and Native American women have higher incidence of the disease.  Women who eat diets high in animal fats prior to pregnancy are twice as likely to get gestational diabetes and those with high cholesterol are 45% more likely to get it.  Other risk factors include having had gestational diabetes with a previous pregnancy, having a large baby in a previous pregnancy and having consistent high glucose levels prior to pregnancy (usually considered pre-diabetic).

Testing for Gestational Diabetes

Expectant women who are not at high risk for gestational diabetes are usually tested for the disease between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.  They drink a high-sugar serum and then take a blood test an hour later to see how their bodies processed the sugar.  Women at high risk of gestational diabetes will probably take a test earlier in pregnancy to try to catch any blood sugar issues early.

Pregnancy Plans and Gestational Diabetes

Having a pregnancy plan is one of the best ways to stay healthy and try to keep gestational diabetes at bay.  A pregnancy plan actually begins before conception and may include starting a healthier diet and exercise routine prior to getting pregnant and trying to lose weight.  If a mother does develop gestational diabetes, her doctor will monitor her and her baby closely.  She will test her blood glucose levels up to four times day, be instructed to maintain a low-sugar, wholesome diet and exercise regularly.  Seeking counseling from a nutritionist is advised to ensure a healthy diet for both mother and baby.

Gestational diabetes is certainly not an ideal situation during pregnancy.  But by knowing your risk factors, maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy and seeking medical guidance, you can work to keep yourself and your baby safe.

DIY Family Halloween Costumes

DIY Family Halloween CostumesOrganizing Halloween costumes for yourself and toddlers can be a little hectic. Not to mention the cost of some costumes can be little absurd. If you’d rather do something a little more fun, creative, and cost effective we have a few ideas for you! These days movies and television stars are plastered everywhere from back to school folders, notebooks, and your child’s book bags to clothing and even sometimes the noodles of Kraft Mac n Cheese. It’s easy to find a popular kid’s show to get some inspiration for this year’s Halloween.

Today we are sharing 8 DIY popular ideas for your family’s Halloween costumes:

Minions from Despicable Me: This has been such a popular idea this year! Everything from dressing up your dog to your babies has been all over the web and we are loving it! To master this look all you need are some boxes and paint. Paint up your boxes to create your minions and then all you’ll need are black pants to complete this awesome Halloween look!

The Walking Dead: Dress the whole family up as your favorite Walking Dead characters! This can either be as zombies or as one of the main characters such as Rick or Carl. Either one can be assembled with old clothes and fake blood!

Frozen: Right now it’s every little girl’s dream to be Princess Anna or Queen Elsa. Get the whole family on board and dress up like the whole crew of Frozen. If you have a little boy they can join too as either Kistoff or Olaf! There are lots of ways to make these outfits with fabric and other materials. Checkout tutorials on YouTube!

Your Favorite Board Game: Whether your family is into Clue, Monopoly, or another board game, you can create awesome Halloween costumes to depict your family’s favorite games! Just like the minions idea, all you’ll need is some cardboard and paint. This is a great way for the whole family to get involved and create their own creative board game costume!

Star Wars: With the new movie and video game about to release it’s no wonder this idea is so popular for Halloween! For R2-D2 you can create your costume out of a box, and if you have a little girl who wants to dress up as Princess Leah a white robe will do the trick.

Goosebumps: Goosebumps is another series that will be expecting a new movie! With all the different monsters and characters it might be a little difficult picking your inspiration, but creating your outfit will be a lot of fun!

The Avengers: Who doesn’t want to be a superhero? This year make your own Avengers’ costumes with things lying around your home.

Lego Movie: The Lego Movie is another 2015 favorite! A large amount of cardboard will be needed!