Whether it’s for a birthday or Christmas, we’re sure you’re well aware of how much children love gifts. Here are a few of our gift ideas that will brighten those little smiles.
Toy Bicycles/ Motorbikes/ Cars/ Tricycles
Your toddler has seen you at the helm of whatever vehicle you use, and so they’d love to have a car of their own. Depending on their age, they may be ready to use a tricycle. If not, go for a toy bicycle or motorbike. Using one of these toys will improve your toddler’s balance significantly, and will also prepare them for when they learn to ride a proper bicycle.
A Colouring Set
Kids love colouring in, so treat your toddler to a colouring-in book or kit. Art can keep toddlers busy for ages, and they’ll be enthralled by the different colours and pictures. Toddler art is a crucial form of development for your child, as it will help them to develop their creativity.
At a toddler’s age (and beyond), children have a vivid imagination. They love pretending that they’re in different situations, that their toys are alive, or even that they have an imaginary friend. Buy them toys that will allow them to make their make-believe games come to life. Perhaps you could buy a music mat, or a pretend microphone.
If your toddler is fascinated with dismantling and rebuilding things, consider buying them some Lego, or perhaps some Duplo. There are so many different ways Lego and Duplo can be played with, that it’s unlikely ever to be a toy that causes boredom.
What’s more – playing with these toys will improve your toddler’s creativity and fine motor skills. Who knows – you may have an architect or engineer on your hands!
You probably know from bath time and swimming in the pool, that kids love splashing around. Enhance their aqua-enjoyment with water toys. Examples include rubber ducks, squirt guns, and floatable pool toys. Getting your child comfortable in water will help when they learn to swim. It’ll also distract them when they don’t want to bath.
Bedtime stories are one of the highlights of a toddler’s day. Treat them to some fantastic storybooks, with entertaining content and colourful pictures. Pop-up books are always a big hit. Given the extra dimensions, it’ll surely intrigue your toddler’s imagination.
Alternatively, you could buy a movie and watch that with your child instead.
Working out how to place puzzle pieces in a way that makes them all fit together is a fantastic way to teach your toddler creative thinking, problem-solving and fine motor skills. They’ll also be delighted when they finish a puzzle, and that rewarding feeling will warm your heart too. Beyond that, puzzles are simply fun to do for toddlers. The challenge will keep them occupied and interested. Make sure you buy a puzzle that is right for your toddler’s age. If it’s too hard they will lose motivation; and if it’s too easy they will get bored.
Birthdays don’t have to be a stressful time. There are many gift ideas that your toddler will love, as we’ve outlined in this article. Now it’s down to you to pick the one that you think would be most enjoyable and most beneficial to your toddler. Happy shopping!
The Fourth Trimester – Bringing Willow Home
Your baby, Willow, is now 8 months old – tell us about your ‘fourth trimester’ and what it was like those first few months at home? (share the good/bad/ugly – humour)
It felt like it was meant to be, it felt like our little family was complete. Since the Bachelor, Snez and Eve moving to the other side of the country, the crazy growth of 28 by Sam Wood, engagements, pregnancy and everything in between it has been the craziest roller coaster of our lives. When little Willow came along and we settled back at home it just felt so right. Snez is the most incredible Mum I’ve ever seen, Eve has always wanted to be a big sister and I am seriously so besotted I can’t event put it into words.
Of course it was also madness. No sleep, learning on the go and all of that stuff but I really don’t think you can prepare yourself. You just need to embrace it all and accept that the greatest thing that will ever happen to you is not all going to be smooth sailing.
Sam you wooed Snez with a lot of romance and champagne on The Bachelor, how has your relationship changed since Willow’s arrival? What do you both try to include in the weekly schedule to keep the romance alive!?
To be honest, this is the area we need to work on the most.
8 months has gone by so fast it is scary but Snez and I have recently spoken about making time for each other and not being too home bound. The toughest part has been no family support in Melbourne. Snez’ parents are incredible with the girls but they are in Perth and my family is in Tassie so it makes it tough. Willow being 8 months and not solely breast feeding now means we can slowly start to have some US time and that is going to start with date night once a fortnight.
Roles and Responsibilities
As parents, do you prefer defined roles/responsibilities or just take it day to day?
Outside of breastfeeding we don’t really define our roles. Snez is definitely home more and does much more of the heavy lifting but I definitely want to be a hands on Dad with both Eve and Willow and try and get as involved as I can. Bath time is without doubt the highlight of the day.
Snezana you make it look so easy to maintain exercise and balance with baby in tow – share with us the biggest challenges that face you with trying to maintain your persona and being a fun mum with Willow and Eve.
Haha, I always laugh when I hear this. It’s far from easy. Willow is so beautiful but she’s cheeky and a little clingy like a little Koala. She is also trying to sleep in our bed at the moment and we have to be a bit careful there. That balanced with Eve who is 13 going on 23 and has just started high school, work at 28 and a few other projects I am part of, it is a real juggle.
The hardest challenge has been driving. Willow decided early on that she really doesn’t like the car in the rear facing car seat so more often than not, Sam drives us around both in the back like an Uber.
Tips for new parents
Finally, for our new parents – what advice would you give to others to prepare for baby’s arrival and the fourth trimester?
Go at your own pace. It sounds so simple but not worrying about what other people think or say has been key for me. I am a Mum because I love it and I think it’s the best job in the world and I think every bond that a Mum has with her child is so different that you just need to work out what is right for you.
Snezana and Sam are big fans of BabyLove Nappies for their baby Willow and will be sharing more insights into their parenting journey plus some great pregnancy, and post baby nutrition, workout and wellbeing tips on the www.babylovenappies.com.au website and Instagram page (@babylovenappies) from August onwards.
Did you know that bedwetting affects 20% of five-year-olds, 5% of ten-year-olds and 1% of 15-year-olds? There are two types of nocturnal bedwetting: primary and secondary. Primary nocturnal bedwetting is diagnosed in children who have been bedwetting since they were babies. Secondary nocturnal bedwetting occurs in children who begin bedwetting after more than six consecutive months of dry nights. Primary nocturnal bedwetting is more common, occurring in 80% of all nocturnal bedwetting cases.
Topics covered in this article/blog
Key things to remember about bedwetting
Most children stop daytime wetting by the age of three and stop wetting at night by the time they’re five. Most pre-schoolers still wet their bed from time to time though. Sometimes, there can be medical causes, so it’s a good idea to have it checked by your doctor. A lot of children who wet the bed produce more urine at night than others, because of a low level of a hormone that controls how much urine is made while they’re sleeping. Others have bladders that simply can’t hold a lot. Try not to punish your child when they wet the bed, they are not conscious when it happens and have no control of the problem. Instead, remain calm and supportive and you’ll help your child from feeling anxious or ashamed about wetting the bed.
How to handle bed wetting
Bedwetting is completely normal, and luckily, we’ve got a number of simple tips you can use to help your child with any bedwetting issues!
Tip one: Keep your child hydrated
Encourage your child to stay hydrated during the day, rather than at night. If your child is weaning or has started day care or pre-school, they might be drinking less than they used to. A good fluid intake will help support normal bladder function and development.
Tip two: Avoid caffeine
Try not to give your child food or drinks that contain caffeine, like chocolate or soft drinks. Caffeine can act as a diuretic, meaning it encourages the body to produce more urine.
Tip three: Eat the right foods
Ensure your child eats plenty of fruits and vegetables so they receive a good amount of dietary fibre. This can help with constipation, which is also a common cause of wet beds (Being constipated can cause the intestine to push on the bladder, which reduces its capacity to hold urine).
Bedwetting strategies you should avoid
Some parents think that weaning their kids off nappies or overnight pants as quickly as possible is necessary to finish the toilet-training process. However, this isn’t actually true. Using nappies at night won’t delay your child’s progress, in fact, they help ease the stress of constant changing and laundry. Make your life as easy as possible while you and your child are dealing with this problem.
Avoid Waking your child
Avoid waking your child in the middle of the night and talking her to the toilet. Yes, this may give you a dry bed in the morning, but you’ll probably still be doing it in a year’s time. Plus,
by emptying the bladder before it is full, you may be stopping your child’s bladder from learning to stretch enough to hold a full night’s urine.
Don’t Punish Your Child
Try not to punish your child when they wet the bed. She’s not conscious when it happens, so she has no control over the problem. By remaining calm and supportive, you’ll help keep
your child from feeling any anxiety about wetting the bed.
Bedwetting concerns – School camps and sleepovers
By Raising Children Network
Children should be encouraged not to miss out on fun times because of the fear of bedwetting. Often, children worry about wetting the bed at school camps or at sleepovers and might try to avoid going. If your child is very anxious about camp or sleepovers, there’s a hormone medication (which is sprayed into the nose) that can decrease the amount of urine produced at night. See your doctor a couple of weeks before the camp or sleepover to see whether this might help your child.
Remember that teachers are used to dealing with these situations without embarrassing the child. Have a private discussion with your child’s teacher about how the bedwetting can be managed, then talk with your child about what to do if it happens at camp. If your child is going on a sleepover in someone else’s home, discuss with the parent how to best manage the bedwetting. Let your child know they can talk to the adult of the house privately if they have an accident.
Overnight pants https://www.babylovenappies.com.au/our-products/sleepynights-pants/ could really help your child in these situations, especially because there are also ‘nappies’ for older/bigger children.
Sourced from the Raising Children Network’s comprehensive and quality-assured Australian parenting website http://raisingchildren.net.au
Out of all the big and beautiful things in the world, what will your child’s interests be? There is a big and exciting world out there, where your little one’s dream job can be anything from a professional ice cream taster, a train builder or simply joining Peter Pan’s Lost Boy pack. Now is a time for imagination to take over. They can dream of being anything in the entire world. As parents, you can help them figure out how to be whatever they want to, for now. Yes, there will come a time where you might need to mention that ‘being a puppy’ is not a suitable career choice, but while they are running around the garden, being a kid and playing make-believe, it may not be the best timing.
Your toddler’s interests probably include playing with dolls, ‘driving’ their toy cars or aspiring to be the best local firefighter in town. These interests may feel like a big part of their personality now but could most likely change by the time the next snack break arrives, and that’s okay! Although interests can change in the future, they can also reflect your little one’s passions, and very real future career possibilities.
Although your toddler’s interests will mature and change as they grow older, they are still a big part of what makes them – them. They will eventually grow into the person they are, but there’s no harm in gently guiding them through this process of self-discovery and figuring out which interest might be there to stay for good.
But how do I find out what my child’s interests are?
It’s all good and well talking about it, but how do you actually do it? Here are some tips!
1) See what draws them in
Your toddler probably can’t tell you their interests just yet, so you could watch their behaviour and note which activities they tend to be drawn to. These activities can serve as pointers to their future interests and career possibilities. If your toddler loves to sort objects – from lining up their toys to sorting according to colour, shape, size or softness – they may have an affinity towards Maths and Science due to their interest in patterns and problem-solving. Try sitting down with them during playtime to see just how much they enjoy this activity.
A mechanic, builder, or inventor? If your toddler is constantly handling and dismantling things, or pressing buttons and pulling dials, this might be an indicator that your toddler is a practical person, and could end up being one of the above. If your child wants to be in control and take the lead amongst their friends (and with you!), then they may be a future leader. This could serve them well in a variety of careers, such as business, politics, or even event organising. If your kid is a chatterbox, and seemingly has an answer for everything, they may end up pursuing verbal and written jobs like law or journalism.
2) Encourage your child
If your kid likes activities such as playing with blocks, try not to limit or control their playtimes.
Encourage them to carry on – it will help them develop their interests moving forward. Yes, there are a whole lot of fun, new and exciting things to try around every corner, which may distract them from time to time, but something specific could continue to fascinate them. If your toddler maintains an interest in the activity for an extended period of time, it’s likely that they have a natural, long-term interest in that sort of thing. Try watching your toddler during play-time. After all, your toddler feels most comfortable to express themselves during this time. Let their imagination run wild, and watch what they tend to do. Since this is the rawest expression of their minds, they are more likely to give you a hint at what they’re truly interested in. Try not to push them to express themselves, as they might end up doing what they think you want them to do. Rather, let them play freely, setting the scene of their own imaginary kingdom.
3) Get involved
If your little one is showing a keen interest in something, join in. Ask them what they love most about it or try to understand what draws them into spending more time on certain activities. It may feel like something small, but for now, this is what matters to your kid and what makes them happy. Chances are pretty good that if mum and dad want to join in on the fun, it will make anything 100 times better!
4) Celebrate their differences
Your toddler will already look up to their older brother, sister or you. Celebrate their quirky ways of doing things. Tell them that you love the way their picture of a sun kind of looks like a banana as well. It’s important for your kid to have confidence in their way of doing things. Each of your children is a unique blessing – let them express their individuality in their own way.
It’s important to remember that your little one is busy changing into the person they will become. The best thing you can do is to provide an environment that feels safe for them to explore, learn and create. We have no idea of knowing exactly what our young ones are destined to be, but maybe one day your kid will recall hours of building Lego blocks with you as they’re applying for that Architecture degree. They may reminisce back to painted faces and messy arts and crafts as they open their first art gallery.
It’s a new and exciting world for both you and your little one. There is a world to explore and countless new things to experience. Travelling and short weekend getaways can be a great way to spend quality time together and create long-lasting memories. However, figuring out where to go and what time is best for you and your toddler can be challenging.
We’ve made a list of the Top 5 weekend getaways your toddler will love.
1. To the Beach
A trip to the beach can be a big step for your toddler. The chances are good that they will find the ocean, sand and everything else extremely fascinating. Taking a weekend trip to the beach is also an excellent way for mum and dad to unwind. Pack all the essentials: diaper bags, plenty of sunscreen, umbrellas, towels, snacks and drinks. Being fully prepared is key to going anywhere with your toddler. Find a spot on the beach where you can set up for the day and relax.
2. A Trip to the Zoo
Your toddler might already be familiar with the sounds and shapes of different animals. They may even recognise a few from flipping through their favourite bedtime storybooks. Give them a real-life and close encounter with wild animals, making the storybooks come to life. A trip to the zoo is the equivalent of a toddler’s wonderland. This can also be a new learning experience for your young one, encouraging them to interact with the world around them.
3. Snow Fun
Hot drinks, stunning views and plenty of snow fun. What an opportunity to expose your little one to mountains and winter sports. While mum and dad can enjoy the slopes, there’s a super fun crèche for children 2 years and older. Alternatively, your toddler can also enjoy the gently sloped areas for exploring and having fun with the snow. All-time family favourites are building a snowman together or making snow angels.
4. Farm Stays
Make your nursery rhymes about Old MacDonald’s farm come to life. If you’re looking for something outdoors, but aren’t too excited for the rugged style of camping, farm stays can be a great alternative for you and your family. Calmsley Hill offers overnight or 2-night stays with meal packages to make it all the more convenient. Your family will get the full farm-life experience with up-close animal encounters, early morning egg-collecting and the beautiful serenity of peaceful farmlands, with more than enough space for your toddler to run around.
5. Sea World Resort and Waterpark, Gold Coast, QLD
The Sea World marine-themed resort in Sydney is any child’s dream. The park offers a large variety of activities with the added bonus of a Kids’ Club with specially designed SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer activities. They also offer a kid’s movie theatre, regularly screening children’s movies. As if that isn’t enough fun, the resort also offers access to Sea World Waterpark and overnight accommodation, allowing you to experience an underwater world and water fun!
Find a place that suits your family best and caters for everyone, ensuring a fun and memorable getaway. Start the adventure even before you leave, involving your toddler in the decision making and packing process. Going away with your young one is bound to be an adventure no matter where you go.
Your little one is constantly learning and developing. Every day there are new challenges to encounter, lessons to learn and adventures to be had. They are constantly exploring, and their curious minds are determined to play and discover. Your toddler constantly interacts with their surroundings, especially their toys. Here are the top 5 toys that’ll help with your child’s development, making learning fun and constructive from day one.
1. Shape Sorter Blocks
These sets of blocks come in different shapes and sizes and are an excellent way for your toddler to improve motor and cognitive skills. One of the available block sets from ‘Fisher Price’ is extra fun, with different coloured and sized assorted blocks. Your toddler has to match the shape and size of the block with the hole in the box. This toy can keep your toddler busy and intrigued as you watch them contemplate where specific blocks fit and where they don’t.
This super fun and easy toy is focused on toddlers who are in the first developmental stages of their life. This toy helps encourage auditory attention, sensory stimulation and grasping development. When your toddler taps or shakes the NogginStik, it starts to glow and slowly changes in colour. Developmentally, this is a great way for your child to practice eye tracking as they follow the lights. This also helps develop important neuropathways that improve skills needed for reading further on in life.
3. Push Toys
Push toys are great for encouraging your kid to take their first steps when they feel ready. A push toy such as a toy car, truck or walker allows them to move around faster because of the support it gives them. The push toy encourages them to focus on movement even though there are other distracting factors around them, which is a valuable skill to learn. While they’re playing around – pushing their toys, they concentrate on walking, moving and guiding themselves. Push toys encourage movement as well as speech development. Allow your toddler to mimic the sound of the toy they’re playing with. Making the noise of the car, for example, helps them associate their toys with their interaction in the world.
4. Large Puzzle Pieces
Large puzzle pieces are great for your little one’s cognitive development and motor skills. Invest in a big puzzle that isn’t too challenging for your toddler. Help them at first so they understand how the pieces relate to each other. When engaging in puzzle building, they are stimulating and learning the connection between their hands and their eyes, by flipping, turning, removing and fitting the pieces of the puzzle.
5. Arts and Crafts
Making some time for your toddler to get creative is an excellent way to encourage fine motor skill development. Start collecting some art supplies for the house and include a variety of papers, large-sized crayons, washable markers, playing clay or any other object that will help your toddler explore his or her creative side. Arts and crafts help your child focus on the finer things, like staying in between the lines or holding a paintbrush. It’s also a great way for them to have fun and use their imagination.
Ultimately, your toddler is going to learn valuable lessons and skills from everything around them. Make sure your house is a place that encourages learning and offers positive reinforcement, so your toddler feels confident to explore new things to continuously learn, grow and develop.
I think we can all agree that toddlers love fun games and activities. So much so, that once they’re done with one activity, they can’t wait to find out what the next will be! Naturally, it can be tough to think up new ways to keep your toddler entertained.
Thankfully, we’ve got 8 ideas for you to consider!
1. Making Cards
Kids love creating things. Give your toddler access to pens, crayons, magazines – anything and everything they can use to make a masterpiece. Get your toddler to make a card for somebody close to them. It can be a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or even their daycare teacher!
Plus, there’ll be the added bonus of making someone’s day when they receive the card.
Two for one – keep your toddler entertained, and tire them out! A simple game of tag will keep your little one entertained for ages – just make sure you can keep up while they use some of their seemingly endless supply of energy!
Talk about keeping your toddler entertained for ages…
Hide-and-seek is a fantastic way to keep your young one entertained. They will revel in outwitting you – even when you can see their toes sticking out from behind the curtain.
4. Create a Fortress
Have fun in your living room. Collect a bunch of blankets, sheets, and cushions. Create a tent-like structure and fill it with toys and other interesting things. If you’re feeling daring, you could even initiate a sort of camping sleepover, where you pull out some mattresses and shake up the normal sleeping arrangements.
5. Watch a Movie
Pull out a DVD and watch something with your toddler. Ask them what they want to watch, and keep them enthralled for the next 90 minutes. Don’t forget to make some popcorn and something to drink, and snuggle up with a blanket if it’s cold! This one is particularly useful if the weather is rainy outside.
6. Messy Games
Kids love getting messy! Most of the time, the game doesn’t really matter – it’s just about getting completely filthy. If you’re playing inside, make sure you use something to protect your furniture. Playing with finger paint is always a great option, but if you want to get out in nature, muddy puddles are always a blast. Good luck with the washing afterwards!
7. Read a Book
You’ve probably done this before, but try adding some spice to your storytimes. Your toddler will love it if you use special voices for different characters. Never forget that you’re the most important, entertaining person in your toddler’s life – if you make yourself seem silly, they will find it hilarious. Also, try to make storytime more interactive. Ask your toddler how they feel about events in the story, or ask them what they would have done in the same situation.
8. Go Somewhere New
Your toddler will appreciate going to a new, interesting place. Exploration is a huge part of this stage of life, so take part in this process. Examples of good places to take your toddler are parks, zoos, and restaurants. Parks will provide your toddler with a massive amount of free space to express themselves.
Zoos will introduce your toddler to real-life versions of animals they’ve read about or seen on television. Perhaps they’ll even learn about some new animals! Restaurants usually have special menus for toddlers. Some also offer balloons, colouring books, and play areas.
Having fun is important! Not just for your toddler, but for you too. Your toddler will pick up on your positive energy and be happier when you’re enjoying your activities together.
A future Einstein, a best-selling author or a crime fighting detective – the possibilities for your toddler are endless!
At the moment, your toddler’s interests probably include playing with dolls, or ‘driving’ their toy cars. Your toddler’s interests will mature as they grow older, but there is no harm in assisting in this process. In fact, it’s a great idea!
Out of all the many interests in the world, what will your child’s interests be? It’s not a good idea to impose your interests onto your young one – after all, everyone is different. A better way of doing this is to first find out what their interests are and what you think it might develop into.
But how do I find out what my child’s interests are?
It’s all good and well talking about it, but how do you actually do it? Here are some tips!
1) Keep your Eyes Peeled!
Yes, this sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how much you could be missing when you’re not paying attention to your toddler. Your toddler probably can’t tell you their interests just yet, so you should watch their behaviour, and note which activities they tend to be drawn to. These activities can serve as pointers to their future interests.
If your toddler loves to sort objects – from lining up their toys to sorting according to colour, shape, size or softness – they may have an affinity towards Maths and Science due to their interest in patterns and problem-solving.
If your toddler is constantly handling and dismantling things, or pressing buttons and pulling dials, this could be an indicator that your toddler is a practical person, and could end up being a mechanic, builder, or inventor.
If your child wants to be in control and to lead how things should be done among their friends (and with you!), then they may be a future leader. This could serve them well in a variety of careers, such as business, politics, and event organising.
If your kid is a chatterbox, they may end up pursuing verbal and written jobs like law or journalism.
2) Give your Child a Chance
If your kid likes activities such as playing with blocks, don’t try to limit or control these actions. Encourage them to carry on – it will help them to develop the interest moving forward.
You might find that they get bored of the activity, or that it continues to fascinate them. If your toddler maintains an interest in the activity for an extended period of time, it’s likely that they have a natural, long-term interest in that sort of thing!
Another way to find out more about your child’s interests are by watching them play. Your toddler feels most comfortable to express themselves during play-time. Let their imagination run wild, and watch what they tend to do. Since this is the rawest expression of their minds, they are more likely to give you a hint at what they’re truly interested in. Try not to push them to express themselves, as they might end up doing what they think you want them to do. Rather, let them play freely, setting the scene of their own imaginary kingdom.
3) Keep a Diary
You may struggle to notice behavioural trends by observation only. Consider keeping a record of their actions and attitude on a daily basis. You might notice patterns that you would have missed!
4) Avoid Comparison to Siblings
You could hamper the development of your toddler’s interests by comparing them to their sibling. Your toddler will already look up to their older brother or sister, but by constantly comparing the two, you will probably put pressure on your toddler to do the same things as their siblings. Each of your children is a unique blessing – let them express their individuality in their own way.
Always remember that your toddler is special! Let them develop into the best version of themselves, rather than trying to mould them into your preconceived notion of what they should become.
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