It really does take organization and planning to get everyone prepped and ready for back to school. So, why not build on that work so that your family stays happy, healthy and well rested for the entire fall season? Keep reading to learn a few tips that will help your child maintain healthy sleep habits as we move through fall and into the winter months.
With a shared appreciation for good taste and fine living, creative-minded cousins Jeanne Chan and Gloria Wong Tritasavit co-founded Harlow & Grey, a line of chic and modern disposable tableware, to make entertaining both easy and elevated. The company was founded on the belief that high style and good design should be accessible to anyone who can dream it. Today, Gloria (co-founder, creative director and a mother of 3) is sharing a few useful tips to throwing your child’s first birthday party.
This post is a part of our new Grow with Gugu series by Monica Banks, founder of Gugu Guru – the ultimate baby product discovery site for style-savvy moms.
We’ve taken a little hiatus from the baby registry series over the past few months and it’s been so fun to watch Sonny grow. As Sonny has matured, so has this series of posts; we’ll no longer be focusing on baby registry essentials but will be focusing now on the best products for toddlerhood and beyond. Even though Sonny is changing, Whitney’s preferences for high-quality, eco-friendly and minimalist products have not. So all of these product recommendations meet all or some of that criteria.
Explained by a pediatric nutritionist
Introducing your little one to solid foods can be an exciting adventure, but many parents also find themselves frustrated, stressed and confused.
During the early weeks and months, the tastes and flavors your baby is exposed to will play a large role in shaping their future eating habits.
While this may sound like a daunting task, it’s a wonderful opportunity to teach your baby to enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods and to build a positive relationship towards food and mealtimes.
As you embark on your child’s first flavor-filler journey, follow these easy guidelines to help make this developmental milestone an enjoyable and wholesome one, no matter how you decide to go about it.
Repetition is key
With first tastes, it can take between six and 16 flavor experiences before a particular taste or food is accepted. So, if your baby turns their nose up on the first try – don’t give up. Learning to accept and enjoy certain foods is a process and a learnt skill for us all, so be patient as you offer new tastes to your baby again and again. It’s completely normal!
Role model healthy behavior
You can’t expect your baby to eat their veggies if you refuse to eat them yourself. Right from the start, babies begin to learn from our behavior and the more they see you eating and enjoying a rainbow of veggies, fruits, proteins and whole grains, the more likely they are to mimic your choices and actions.
Avoid infant commercial products and sugars
A baby’s relationship with food and their preferences begin forming the very first time food touches their tongue. Manufacturers often add hidden sugars as they know this will keep your baby coming back for more! It’s important that you teach your baby to enjoy the flavor of homemade, freshly-prepared, unsalted and unsweetened foods, before introducing artificial tastes or overly sweet options. These will form the standard that other foods are compared to.
Encourage your baby to regulate their own appetite
It’s important to allow your baby to feel that they’re leading the way and making their own choices. Babies are extremely good at regulating their own appetites so if they’re offered healthy and nourishing foods, then there’s no need to limit their portion size. Baby’s whose parents follow their hunger and satiety cues are more likely to embrace a healthy weight.
Embrace the mess and encourage self-feeding
Allow your baby to reach for food and feed themselves. If your little one is being spoon-fed, offer them their own spoon to attempt to feed themselves. It’s sometimes easier to have two spoons at mealtimes, one for you and one for your baby.
If your little person refuses to be spoon fed or if you’re embarking on baby-led-weaning (bypassing the pureed foods in favor of immediately moving to the exploration of foods in their natural state at their own pace), try offering finger foods but don’t limit their choices to ‘appropriate finger foods’. Instead offer oatmeal with some compote to make it thicker, banana muffins or try bolognese over pasta shells so they can pick up and explore the shells covered in the nutritious sauce. Remember that enjoying food is a sensory (and messy) experience.
Be wary of disguising food
Allow your baby to experience the true flavor of foods right from the beginning. Little taste buds are forever changing, so don’t rush into disguising their veggies by adding them to fruit purees or sweetening natural yogurt with pear puree. Remember that little ones can reject food up to 16 times before giving it a go, so instead, allow them to taste the undoctored flavor and texture of the food on offer.
Praise and positive reinforcement
Encouragement at the dinner table is key! Babies love praise, so applaud your little one for eating new foods. If both parents praise a baby for eating well, it can have a long-lasting effect, making mealtimes a happy and positive experience for the whole family.
It’s important to make time for family meals as much as possible. If it’s too early for you to eat your meal, put a small amount of food on a plate for yourself and sit to eat with your baby. Our Coconut, Fish and Vegetable Stew is a great dish for babies and parents to enjoy – simply serve yourself and then puree the rest for your baby or fussy eaters. This way, you’ll only have to cook once to feed all the hungry tums.
Remember to always keep veggies visible on your plate as it will help to spark their interest and encourage them to imitate your good habits.
Mealtimes should be fun
Why else do we as adults spend so much time dining out or inviting friends to our homes to join us for a meal? Get your little one involved with preparing family meals, sing songs with them or even make pictures with veggie sticks and dips – create imaginative ways to help your baby enjoy their mealtimes. Don’t worry about table manners or mess for the moment – the most important thing is that they enjoy the whole sensory experience – even if it means sticking their fingers into everything and eating with their hands!
Visit the Wholesome Child website to learn more about Mandy Sacher. Her book “Wholesome Child: A Nutrition Guide with more than 140 Family-Friendly Recipes” is available to purchase online and through iTunes and Amazon. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
This content is sponsored by Dreft. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Since having Sonny, I’ve constantly received questions about what products I use on him or recommend for moms with newborns. Like most other parents, I’m always doing research (thank you, Google) and asking others what they think of brands. Of course, every baby is different and one thing doesn’t necessarily work for all. I’ve definitely had some experiences in which I’ve taken advice from parents that have sworn by a product, and it just didn’t work for Sonny the same way it did for their child. He has very sensitive skin, so I always make sure to keep that in mind when buying baby goods. Now that Sonny’s about 10 months old, I’ve discovered a few key products that I can trust to work the best for him. When it comes to using something to gently wash his clothes, my go-to has been Dreft purtouch baby laundry detergent.
Picking the right laundry detergent can honestly be a bit of a daunting task. I remember hearing stories of certain products causing rashes or allergic reactions, which led me to be extra cautious about choosing the right one for my baby. While I was still pregnant and getting ready for the baby, I constantly asked around. I kept hearing about Dreft, so I did some digging on my own. I found out that Dreft detergent has been created exclusively for babies to take care of their clothes and is the #1 Dermatologist Recommended brand for baby clothes. It’s also the #1 pediatrician-recommended baby detergent, which made me feel comfortable purchasing it.
During my pregnancy, I decided to use Dreft on Sonny’s infant clothes and was instantly drawn to its amazing scent. It’s been formulated to resemble the smell of babyhood… and lets’ be real, who doesn’t love new baby smell?! I know that scented products for young ones can be a little scary because you worry how your baby will react, but this brand is hypoallergenic and gentle on baby’s skin. To this day, Sonny has also never had any problems with it, so I still turn to Dreft for all his laundry washing needs (Dreft purtouch helps remove 99% of all baby food stains and works like a charm on all those unexpected spit ups… #momproblems).
The best part about Dreft though is that it’s really helped me form a stronger relationship with Sonny. As most of you know from my previous videos, I didn’t love my pregnancy. It was a difficult process for me both physically and emotionally. The extra hormones and body changes weren’t very fun, and I constantly worried about outside pressures. Everytime I washed a load of Sonny’s clothes though, I would get a whiff of the detergent scent and forgot about everything except how excited I was to be having him. I know I’m not the only one because a recent Dreft survey reported that 8 out of 10 parents feel that using the detergent can make them feel more bonded to their little one. On top of that, 87% parents said that when they are apart from their children, the Dreft scent helps them feel more connected to their baby.
Now that Sonny’s getting older, it’s the little things that make me appreciate this time in my life. Every time I smell his clothes, I’m reminded of the early days after giving birth and I feel more bonded to him than ever. As he continues to grow up, doing his laundry is something I’ll surprisingly miss the most. Who knew scent could be so powerful?!
What products take you back to the early days of motherhood? Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. Purchase Dreft purtouch on Amazon now and save $2 on your first Subscribe & Save order! Trust me, its worth it!
Alanna McGinn is Founder and Certified Sleep Consultant of Good Night Sleep Site, a global sleep consulting practice. She is Representative and Director for the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants (IACSC) and serves on the faculty of The Family Sleep Institute. She and her husband, Mike, live in Toronto, Canada with their 3 children (1+twins!) You can follow her expert advice in national publications like Macleans, Prevention Magazine, Today’s Parent, and Huffington Post. Alanna strives in helping families (baby to adults) overcome their sleep challenges and have happy well-rested smiles in the morning. You can find out more about Alanna McGinn and how to work with a Good Night Sleep Consultant at goodnightsleepsite.com and follow Alanna and all her sleep tips on Instagram and Facebook.
You probably have a bedtime routine of your own and don’t even realize it. Maybe you wash your face, brush your teeth, and read a book. Or you take a shower and drink tea. I have one friend who loves to wind down by brushing her dog.
Alanna McGinn is Founder and Certified Sleep Consultant of Good Night Sleep Site, a global sleep consulting practice. She is Representative and Director for the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants (IACSC) and serves on the faculty of The Family Sleep Institute. She and her husband, Mike, live in Toronto, Canada with their 3 children (1+twins!) You can follow her expert advice in national publications like Macleans, Prevention Magazine, Today’s Parent, and Huffington Post. Alanna strives in helping families (baby to adults) overcome their sleep challenges and have happy well-rested smiles in the morning. You can find out more about Alanna McGinn and how to work with a Good Night Sleep Consultant at goodnightsleepsite.com and follow Alanna and all her sleep tips on Instagram and Facebook.One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “How can I get my baby to sleep later in the morning.”
You may have found you’ve finally gotten into a consistent routine but then your little one starts waking earlier and earlier, until suddenly you realize it’s a regular occurrence. And no parent really wants a 5:00 a.m. wakeup call.
Father’s day is quickly approaching, and Sonny and I are so excited to treat Timmy for his first one this year! Growing up, my siblings and I loved doing things for my dad on the occasion to celebrate him for everything he did for us. Now that I’ve got a little family of my own, I’m excited to continue on the tradition!
Jen Kelly and Becca Perren are the founders of one of my favorite baby brands, Pehr. If you’re not familiar with the brand, they launched their line of children’s décor and accessories 3 years ago to compliment their Home line. Fast forward to today and Pehr storage, nursery décor and all of their fun accessories are one of the most popular baby companies. Today, they’re giving us some great things to think about when putting together your nursery.
Sonny is officially nine months old now and I seriously cannot believe how fast time has gone by! Lately, I’ve been looking at photos of him from just a few months ago and it’s so surreal to see how much he has changed and become a real person (fun fact: he just recently started crawling a few weeks ago, woohoo!).