Traveling with an infant or toddler can be a unique challenge, especially when getting them to sleep. Marin parent coach, infant/toddler sleep researcher, and family therapist Angelique Millette has complied the following list of handy tips for traveling with children.
Angelique works throughout the Bay Area and across the country supporting families and helping them meet life's challenges. You can learn more about her and her events and classes at www.angeliquemillette.com.
It's that time of year, travel time and many parents have been calling with questions about traveling with their babies and young children.
I've put together a list of tips and suggestions all tried-and-true by parents and their children:
If your baby will be sleeping in a pack'n'play on your trip, in the week or two before your trip place your baby in her pack'n'play for sleeping (AM nap or bedtime) so she gets used to the new sleep space.
Bring your baby or toddler's lovey, sleep sack (light and heavy weight depending upon the weather in the region you are visiting), unwashed crib sheet (familiar scent), and sound machine. Bring your toddler's blankies, stuffed animals, favorite bedtime books and pj's. This will help your little one to feel more secure in a new place and have reminders of home.
Talk to your young child about traveling. If flying for the first time, talk to your child ahead of travel day and tell her about flying in an airplane. Bring along her favorite books, 1-2 new toys and favorite snacks/sippy cup.
Summer is on its way, and that usually you and your family spend a lot of time outside—at the beach, by the pool, playing sports, or enjoying the outdoors. This of course means that your family needs adequate sun protection. While the only sure-fire way for you and your family to avoid all the sun's damaging UV rays is by covering up with shirts and hats and hanging out in the shade, that may not always be an option, so we need to resort to using sunscreen. What would summer be, after all, without the ritual of slathering up the children with gobs of UV-blocking goo?
While many sunscreens promise a lot to the consumer (especially those with sky-high SPF 50+ ratings), do they really deliver the protection the advertise? Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group's 2012 Sunscreen Guide is available to help sort the good sunscreens from those that won't help much.
I usually try to buy organic produce for my family because I'm very concerned about the dangers of pesticides used on fruits and vegetables. I recently read an article that discusses the dangers of pesticides and how they can adversely affect people, especially during periods of fetal development and childhood when exposures can have long lasting effects.
The scientists at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) are concerned, too, and they tested for pesticides on fruits and vegetables collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For 2013, the EWG has categorized produce into either the "Dirty Dozen Plus" or the "Clean 15"—the 14 fruits and vegetables that you should always buy organic and the 15 with the lowest pesticide levels.
Some of the produce with the highest pesticide loads included family staples like apples (at number one, with 98% of conventional apples contaminated with pesticides), celery, strawberries, peaches, lettuce, grapes, potatoes, and bell peppers. Needless to say, you should always seek out the organic versions of these foods. It's a great argument for knowing where your food comes from and knowing your farmer.
Parents Place in San Rafael has been a valuable resource for countless Marin County parents and families. This spring, they offer a wide variety of programs, from yoga for little ones and music time to workshops for new moms and dads and parents of spirited children. Here are a few of their offerings this season:
Yoga for Children (2 ½–5 years)
Yoga for the little ones! This ongoing series includes a playful interpretation of classical yoga poses, with songs, stories, movement, and quiet breath awareness practices for 2 ½- to 5-year-olds. Parent participation is optional, but supervision is required. This series gives kids an introduction to yoga that is both fun and educational and helps build concentration and mindfulness in preschool-aged children. Please bring a mat. With Juliana Birnbaum Fox, MA. Fridays, May 3 - 17, 11:00 - 11:45 am. $42 per child for three weeks; $21 for each sibling. Register here.
For Dads Only - Effective Fathering (all ages)
During this workshop, parent educator and coach Tom Limbert, MA will use his new book,Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Times, as a framework for tackling the issues facing today's fathers. Tom will reveal how a father can walk the fine lines of discipline, respect, and support. You will discuss the values of listening, leading by example, staying in the moment, setting clear limits, and motivating your children. (Signed copies of Tom's book will also be available at a discount to attendees). Mon., May 6, 7:00 - 9:00 pm. Register here.
It’s spring, and that means it's time to go to your local farmers' marketand buy fresh and organic produce and other goodies. There are some year-round farmers' markets in Marin, but the majority of them start up again in spring after going on hiatus in the fall. Here is a list of of year-round and opening dates for a variety of local farmer's markets throughtout Marin and the North Bay.
Year-round farmers' markets:
Civic Center Farmers' Market in San Rafael takes place every Thursday and Sunday morning from 8 am–1 pm. They have lots of organically grown produce, breads, eggs, and fresh cut flowers. The Thursday farmer's market is located next the Civic Center duck pond and the Sunday one is located in the Civic Center parking lot.
Corte Madera Farmers' Market takes place every Wednesday from noon–5 pm. This farmers' market is located at the Corte Madera Town Center off Highway 101.
Marin County Mart Farmers Market happens every Saturday from 9 am–2 pm, rain or shine. Pony rides for kids from 10 am–2 pm, live family entertainment, and more. At Sir Francis Drake Blvd and Larkspur Landing Circle.
Coloring Easter eggs is a fun spring tradition, but do you really know what's in those commercial dye kits that you pick up at the supermarket? Dying your Easter egg dyes with your own homemade natural dyes is easier than you think, and the results can be really beautiful. There are plenty of recipes and formulas out there, some of which work better than others.
Over the years, we've experimented with various mixtures and figured out a few that really worked well. You can make these plant- and food-based dyes with many of the things that you have on hand in the pantry or refrigerator, or can pick up at the farmer's market, so why not give it a try?
When we do this our kitchen becomes part art studio and part mad scientist's lab. The process is similar for each dye: mix up a natural color source with water, white vinegar and salt, simmer it to extract the color, and dip in your hard-boiled eggs. The results take more time than your standard Easter egg coloring kits, so patience is a virtue here. Our kids always spend quite a bit of time hovering over the dye bowls wondering if they're ready yet. "Not yet" is usually the answer.
Are you getting worn down by bedtime challenges, morning-rush madness, dawdling, whining, and other challenging behaviors? Do you find yourself too often resorting to threats, bribes, or raised voices? Learn practical strategies to improve cooperation and discipline, strengthen character, and enhance your relationships at home. Based on the bestsellers by Faber and Mazlish, this entertaining workshop consistently receives rave reviews. Here’s what one participant said: “…immensely helpful, practical, and insightful.”
This workshop is led by Julie King, JD. Usually a four-week series, it's being offered as a one-day intensive for those who can’t attend for four weeks.
Julie is a highly regarded Bay Area workshop leader and presenter who has been educating and supporting parents for more than 15 years. A graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, Julie holds certificates in organization development consulting skills and life coaching. She has also completed extensive training in conflict resolution, mediation, and coaching.
This workshop takes place on Sunday, March 17, from 10 am to 4 pm, and is for parents of children ages 3 to 8. The cost is $199 per person or $299 per couple; the fee includes a $10 workbook.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin parent coach, infant/toddler sleep researcher, and family therapist Angelique Millette.
With the time change approaching, I have received many e-mails and phone calls from parents asking how they can help their babies and toddlers transition to the new time without upsetting their child’s sleep.
Starting Sunday, March 10, at 2 am, clocks will be set forward one hour—“spring forward.”
You can help your baby/toddler by starting to adjust ahead of the time change. Starting Tuesday night (March 5) begin to put baby down 10 minutes earlier for bed. You can do this by comforting, singing or reading, and starting the bedtime ritual/routine 10 minutes earlier. Do this for the rest of the week, so when the time change does happen, your baby or toddler will have slowly adjusted to the new time.
If your baby or toddler’s bedtime is 7 pm, it will look like this:
Tuesday: 6:50 pm bedtime
Wednesday: 6:40 pm bedtime
Thursday: 6:30 pm bedtime
Friday: 6:20 pm bedtime
Saturday: 6:10 pm bedtime
Sunday: 7 pm bedtime (new time—old time will be 6 pm)
In this guest article, Marin mom and Pilates trainer Jennifer Raby shares her top five Pilates ab moves to help keep your New Year strong!
Looking to keep your fitness resolutions on track? Your core will thank you for adding these moves to your New Year's workout! I love these Pilates ab exercises because they can be done anywhere… at home, the office, outside, wherever! No equipment needed, just a mat, and some space to move. Plan: 6 to 12 reps 3 to 4 days/week, choose healthy foods, include cardiovascular exercise, and start to see your 2013 core transform!
Tip: Keep the five basic principles of Pilates* in mind when doing these exercises, this will help give you an edge on doing each move with ease (see *BP key below).
Rolling like a ball Start position: sitting with spine flexed creating a "c" curve, knees and feet together, feet a few inches off floor, toes pointed. Hands on shins or under knees, shoulders down.