As any parent knows, raising little ones is an amazing experience, one that is also riddled with challenges. From guiding them to make proper choices to eating well, raising little ones is a large responsibility. In order to make the best decisions on how to care for your little ones, this guide will help you mitigate some concerns. Creating a comprehensive strategy and plan to safeguard your child from unintended consequences is the best preventive plan you can have.
Childproof Your House
It is vital that you make your home as childproof as possible. This is especially important for infants, who like to explore and experience the world through their mouths. One of the best things to do is get down on your hands and knees, in other words, at the eye level of your infant. Soften all corners on tables and other shelves and put child-proof plugs in electrical outlets.
Next, make sure all your cabinets and other drawers have child locks to limit your little ones from exploring areas that they shouldn’t. Also, any item smaller than your fist should be removed from the areas your child may get into, as kids of all ages like to put things in their mouths. Put all dangerous chemicals and food in counters above your shoulders as kids learn to climb and explore. But, unfortunately, even countertops aren’t safe from reaching hands, so be sure to put up child gates to limit the spaces that your child is able to wander around and explore.
Create a Sleep Schedule
Sleep is one of the most critical aspects of your child’s well-being and development. Establishing a sleep schedule early on will make it much easier to maintain as your child gets older. The benefits of sleeping well are multiple.
Create a warm, safe sleep space that minimizes outside noise, creates warm lighting, and is a separate space from a playroom. White noise machines or AI speakers like an Alexa or Google speaker to play soothing noise are great ways to create consistent even noise. A small night light or lamp for even lighting during the night is another good way. Again, separating the space from sleep and play helps your little one learn to relax when it comes time for bed.
One of the best ways to help your little one get better sleep is to be consistent with the pre-bedtime routines. Have a specific time every night for bed and create a routine before bed that eliminates TV and screen time, has some relaxing activities like taking a bath and reading books, to laying down in bed and relaxing.
Teach Good Eating Habits
One of the largest challenges to parenthood is getting your toddler and young child to eat well. Infants are much more open to eating almost any food, at least for a time period. But as children get older, they tend to develop likes and dislikes, and getting them to try new, healthier choices can be challenging.
The best way to get them to embrace a healthier diet is to allow them to navigate their choices in preparing meals for themselves. Instead of dictating what they may eat, it’s better to have them help select some of their meals. Teach them to compromise, that in order to have mac and cheese, they have to have a vegetable.
The key to getting them to eat better is to be patient. Kids need to see the healthier alternatives many times before they are even willing to try them. They have to feel as though it’s their choice, and not something being forced on them. At this stage of development, they are much more willful and impulsive.
Protecting Your Little Ones Outside
Being cooped up in the house is not fun for anyone, especially for little kids. Kids need to be outdoors to experience their world but also to get the proper amount of exercise every day. There are plenty of ways to experience the outdoors, from parks to walks, hikes, and more.
But outside activity comes with some concerns. Sun exposure is especially critical for little developing bodies, so taking preventative measures is crucial. Sunscreen, properly fitting clothes, hats, shoes, and shade protection are important. If there’s not enough natural shade in the area you’ll be spending time, consider something like a convenient 10×10 canopy tent that you can pop up and sit beneath.
Finally, be sure to provide enough water. Water is essential for the body to recover, helps to regulate body temperature, and even aids in digestion and other important bodily functions.