Helping Stay Connected to Grandparents

September 13th is National Grandparent’s Day. We’ve learned just about everything we know from our parents. So shouldn’t our kids too? When thinking of childhood memories, a special connection to grandparents comes to mind. Whether they picked us up early from school or snuck us a cookie underneath the table, they have a special place in our hearts. Recent studies have shown that the relationship between grandparent and child is the second emotional, important relationship (the first being the parent and child). Grandparents are the foundation of the family and symbolize traditions, culture and family history. Whether your child sees their grandparents every day or less frequently, it is important to nurture their relationship. Here are some suggestions for your parents and in-laws to maintain a long-lasting relationship if they live near or far.

  • Be involved in school. This could simply be picking them up from school some afternoons or bringing classroom supplies for a teacher.

  • Take them on a road trip! Create some lasting memories by taking them to the county fair, a nearby theme park or even for a long drive.

  • Listen to what the child wants. If they want you to push them on the swings, plan a play date on the playground.

  • Do unexpected things. Cook pancakes for dinner or build a fort in the house.

  • Establish some traditions. Every birthday or holiday, take a picture. Keep the tradition by comparing them to the previous time.

  • Share some of your own experiences and interests. Help establish a stronger bond by showing your grandchild what you enjoy doing in your spare time.

  • Do some messy arts and crafts. Mix in, hands-on-play like PlayDough.

  • Take them back to when you where a kid. Introduce old-fashioned card games from your own childhood like “Go Fish” or “Old Maid.”

  • Call regularly. Make sure it’s on the same day and time. Prepare yourself. Learn their friend’s names, favorite activities and television shows, so you can ask about them.

  • Skype or FaceTime! Staying connected is easier than ever with technology. Try video chatting or even sending photos via email.

  • Send a letter. Yes, a snail mail, actual letter. Add stickers, cool stamps, and maybe even include a specialized award.

Michela
Rainy Day Family Fun – 10 Tips to Beat The Weather

Sometimes the rain can be a real letdown, especially if you live in rainy cities like Miami or Seattle where it rains a lot. But why let the weather spoil ALL the fun? Especially when there are so many other ways to still have a great time! In honor of National Family Fun Month, try these indoor activities that the entire family can enjoy (whether it’s on a rainy day or not):

  • Board/Card Games: There are way too many board and card games you can choose from nowadays. Simple games like Uno or Monopoly are great and fun activities that will make the time fly by.

  • Finger painting: Painting is a very relaxing and fun activity. Imagine the masterpieces the family could make together! Just be careful, as this can get a little messy.

  • Write letters: What better way to keep family ties together than actually communicating with family? We’re sure anyone would appreciate a hand-written letter from his or her family.

  • Play with Legos: You’ll be amazed with the power of Legos. Let your family’s imagination run wild with this activity. You can make a castle for your little princess or prince or even create your dream home!

  • Guess that Disney quote: Who doesn’t love Disney? Put your family’s wits to the test and see how well they know their Disney characters. Recite famous quotes from different Disney characters and see who can guess the most!

  • Charades: With our little one’s imaginations, who knows what they will think of when acting out different activities? Only one way to find out!

  • Build a fort: Everyone has some great childhood memories of building a great big fort. Relive your childhood and help bring your kids creation to life by building a fort fit for royalty!

  • 100 Cup Challenge: Got extra plastic cups lying around? See who can stack the most cups without having the cup tower tumbling down.

  • Movie Night: This might be one of the most obvious family fun ideas, but make sure it’s a movie that everyone can enjoy.

  • Baking: Whip up some delicious fun by baking a sweet treat. After working hard from creating a cake or cupcakes, it’s only right for you to treat yourself to a few.

Michela
How to Celebrate National Son and Daughter Day

August 11th marks National Son and Daughter Day. On this day, we are reminded to take a step back and truly take the day to appreciate our little bundles of joy (no matter how old). But while most holidays are complemented with gift giving, August 11th is not about giving your child a toy or present. Instead, it is about giving your children the best gift possible: your time and attention.

Children, much like adults, love when we show them that we care; in fact, they’ll take all the attention that they can get! On National Son and Daughter Day, be sure to take the time to do just that, give your kids the attention and time that they deserve. Sometimes, as parents, it’s easy to get so caught up with work and life that we fail to realize that time goes by too quickly. Before you know it, your kids will be off to college and creating their own adventures. That’s why this is the perfect day to get away from your daily stressors and remind your children, that you truly care.

Now, there are many ways that you can celebrate this important day. A great, easy way to bond on National Son and Daughter Day is by taking your child to the park, but this time, be a part of the fun! Swing on the monkey bars with your children or slide down the big spiral slide with them. You can even try to find new adventures by going sightseeing in your own town! Visit that new museum or check out that historic landmark your child is always talking about. Be sure to cater the day to your child to show him or her that they truly matter. Got a little artist on your hands? Go painting beneath the stars! Maybe your little one is an athlete in the making. Challenge him or her to a friendly game of their choosing! The opportunities are endless! Just remember that our children are what keep us young, so get out and create some lasting memories!

Michela
Fourth of July Safety for Children


Fourth of July Safety for Children

July 2, 2015

Independence day is almost here! That means there will be tons of celebrations, gatherings, fireworks, and of course, family fun! But even with great times to be had, it’s important for parents to keep Fourth of July safety in mind, especially when it comes to children. With big crowds undoubtedly showing up, it’s easy for parents to get overwhelmed and mistakes to occur. Keep these tips in mind while celebrating to ensure that your family’s summer safety is a top priority.

While in the Water
Independence Day celebrations are usually riddled with events like swimming, sun and more. As a result, crowds usually flock to beaches. Be sure that your children are accounted for when in the water, whether it is a beach or a pool. Be certain to make sure they are supervised at all times. Try to get a spot on the beach close to the nearest lifeguard, if it’s an extra busy beach day.

While Enjoying Fireworks
Considering that in 2013 alone there were an estimated 11,400 injuries because of fireworks, caution should especially be taken whether you’re watching a fireworks show or purchasing your own for your Independence Day celebration. Even something as seemingly harmless as sparklers can pose a threat given that they can heat up to 1,200 degrees, which is precisely why Fourth of July safety is so vital!

When it comes to bigger fireworks, carefully follow all instructions and make sure there is a source of water readily available in case something catches on fire. That’s why fireworks should be enjoyed in very open areas that are clear of overhead trees, amongst other things. In any case, having a family first aid kit prepared in the event of an accident is a very important precautionary step to take.

While Out and About in the Sun
The summer sun can be at an all-time high on Independence Day when many families choose to go out to the beach or enjoy boat rides. Being mindful of the sun is important to help reduce the chance of sunburns and dehydration. For this, there’s a simple solution: apply sunblock when out and about in the sun. Be sure to apply every couple of hours, as advised on your sunscreen label. If using sunblock on children isn’t an option for you, alternatives do exist like umbrellas or even baby clothes with SPF protection.

Michela
A Father’s Guide to Parenting

It’s that time of year again! Father’s Day is coming up and that means it’s time for parents and children alike to come together to show their appreciation for dad. While everyday is a chance to cherish every single family member, Father’s Day is a special day to make sure dads know just how much all their contributions are valued. But every father can attest to just how tough his role is, whether you’ve got one on the way or several already driving you bonkers. That’s why we’ve put together this handy father’s guide to parenting to make your lives a little easier. You can thank us later.

 

Work and Parenting – A Rocky Relationship
We get it, your work life is more important (and more stressful) than ever; after all you’re supporting a child, or maybe even a couple! Managing a full-time career can be stressful on every account. Coming home to continue your full-time job as a parent can be even more tiresome. Naturally for dads, you might begin feeling a little bit guilty that your work life is interfering with your personal time with your little one. Our advice? Don’t be so tough on yourself. You see, the good news is that healthy parenting is not synonymous with quitting your job. It’s all about finding the perfect balance.

 

Albeit stressful, fatherhood is one of the most rewarding experiences for both parents and children. Don’t believe us? Consider that studies detail the finding that children with involved fathers do better in school in the long run. That doesn’t mean you need to be there for every little moment, but you do need to be involved. Try taking your child to the park or spending quality time with him or her. That’s why effectively managing your work schedule and spending quality time with your child will prove to build a strong, lasting relationship that you’ll be proud of. If your job offers a flexible schedule, try to work out an arrangement with your employer that allows more time at home. Some companies even offer paternity leave that doesn’t necessarily have to be used all at once. Even if you’re just making it home in time to tuck your child in bed and read him or her a bedtime story, you’ll be making a lasting impression on your little one.

 

Social Life – You CAN (and Should) Still Have One
Yep, you read correctly. Although it may sound a bit contradictory from our previous point, making time for you will make for healthy parenting in the grand scheme of things. Even if none of your friends are able to make plans for a night out, rediscover your hobbies by going to the gym or the park. Believe us when we say blowing off some steam by enjoying yourself will permeate your life in ways that eventually impact your parenting techniques, amongst other things.

 

Trust Your Gut – It’s More Dependable Than You Think
We know, we know it sounds a bit cheesy. But trusting your gut when it comes to raising your kids is important. We’ve all heard of maternal instincts, but dads aren’t completely void of their own type of internal vibes. For parents, it’s off-putting to know that you really won’t know if you’re doing a good job or not until years later. But trust what your heart tells you and work towards building a lasting relationship with your entire family.

Michela
KidzStuff Interviews Jessie Jessup Apparel

KidzStuff recently got the chance to sit down with Jessie Jessup Apparel, a young marine artist locally based out of Ft. Lauderdale. Her passion for art began in her teenage years while still in high school. Eventually, her work began spilling out onto clothing apparel, some of which even included our KidzStuff Sun Blocker Rompers! Once we caught wind of the talented artist using our pediatrician-designed products as her canvas, we immediately fell in love. Here’s what the young artist had to say during our stellar interview:

 

Is there a particular style of painting you do?
The main type of art I do is stipple. A technique where the art is created from all dots. Other techniques are simply watercolor and acrylic painting, and a few others I have done graphically using graphic design techniques.

 

Why do you paint marine life?
I paint marine life mainly because I love the ocean and have a huge passion for the ocean environment. The marine life that thrives in the ocean is all so vibrant and colorful which also gives me a beautiful color pallet for my artwork. Since I was a little girl I have dove many reefs from Ft. Lauderdale to down to the Florida Keys. So you can say that I am also just really familiar with the many species and the surroundings provided by the ocean.

 

How did you get started in selling apparel?
My high school art teacher started noticing that all of my work had no background to it. So she encouraged me to throw it on a shirt and see what it looked like, just as a silly idea. Just a plain old tee shirt, nothing fancy. I finally got it printed and gave it to my friend at school who had the same art class as me. She absolutely loved it. Over the next few days she said she got so many compliments and people asking where she got that shirt that I finally ended up making a logo and creating a brand out of my works of art that everyone seemed to love. I never knew in a million years that people would love my work so much!

 

Why did you want to work with KidzStuff?
They specialize in kid’s products. They have an UPF-rated 40 sun blocker onesie that I absolutely fell in love with. I might not have kids, but I do know, that parents want to protect their kids from those harmful sunrays especially in sunny South Florida. So because of their line of kids clothing, I was able to work with them to get awesome sun protective clothing to create my kids clothing line with all of the art that everyone adores and appreciates! Check it out at Jessie Jessup Apparel. Thanks KidzStuff!

 

Do any of your proceeds go to a charity or foundation?
For every shirt that I sell that has a billfish or a Dorado fish on it, I donate $1 per shirt to The Billfish Foundation, Billfish.org. So far I have raised over $700 since 2013 for the conversation of billfish and to help keep fisheries regulated and to keep the balance of the ocean in place.





Michela
Sun Safety – Tips For Your Child

Living in Miami, it’s almost impossible to escape the harrowing effects of the sun. You see, those ubiquitous UV rays can pose some potential health hazards when exposed at unsafe levels. But for most adults, this can be avoided. A little sun block here and there, coupled with some smart fashion choices and you’ll be ready to go in no time. But what happens, when it comes to our children and sun safety? After all, many recommend that younger children abstain from using chemicals found in sun block. So what’s a concerned parent to do? Easy! Keep these great tips in mind!

 To Sunblock or Not To Sunblock

This can be a bit of a touchy subject. While sunscreen is great at blocking out those harmful UV rays, many experts advise against its usage on infants. This is because the active ingredients could potentially react poorly with maturing skin. When in doubt, however, always check with your pediatrician.

If any case, test a small amount of at least 15 SPF on a small area to see how your child’s skin reacts. If all checks out, make sure you get easy-to-miss areas like the ears, nose and lips. Don’t forget to also reapply every two hours or so, especially if your child is sweating or is in the water.

Make Use of Shade

Experts agree, if your child is under 6 months, it’s best to avoid sun exposure altogether, especially during 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. But most Floridians know, this is a lot easier said than done, especially with those beautiful beaches so close by. That’s why, if you’re planning a weekend of fun in the sun with your child, you should make use of available shade to maximize sun safety. Pack smart by bringing an umbrella or pop-up tent to make the most of your trip. In any event, even a little tree shade can provide adequate sun safety for both you and your child.

Cover Up

We can’t stress how important covering up is. Although it may seem a little counterintuitive to cover up in the heat, it can be one of the best methods of sun protection for children. Covering up when being exposed to the sun can be easy (and fashionable)! Remember to bring sun safety essentials like hats with a brim, sunglasses and clothes with tightly woven fabric. In most cases, dark and dry clothes can be used to offer protection against sunrays. However, for the best sun safety, use articles of clothes that offer UV protection without the use of chemicals.

Michela
3 Things No One Tells You About Being a Mother

May is officially here! Which means that Mothers Day is right around the corner. Many like to take this day to appreciate the woman who raised them, taught them everything they know and showed them love and affection since day one (even though they spilled juice on her new sofa). But being a mom is not for the faint of heart; it’s a lifelong endeavor that is filled with surprises all along the way; some good, some bad… but all rewarding. That’s why we’re helping moms ease into the journey, whether you’ve got 1 child or 10, here are 3 things no one tells you about being a mother.

1) You’re going to feel overwhelmed
This one may seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but we can’t stress it enough. Whether you’ve made a pact to be supermom or you’re using a more hands-off approach, raising a child, in one aspect or another is going to make you feel overwhelmed. In fact, sometimes you may even feel outnumbered by your child. Most of your life will be devoted to making sure your child is brought up in the best conditions possible, so it’s normal to feel like you have no control. Don’t freak out. It may take some adjusting, but just as your mother did, and hers before her, you too will adapt and begin to amaze yourself with how well you handle it all. Don’t forget to also take a breath whenever you can and enjoy yourself before parenting stress takes over!

2) You’re going to get messy
Although it may be a bit of an understatement, you can expect to get messy…and it’s totally all right. Even the neatest of moms have had times when their home is a total mess, riddled with toys, clothes and dishes from 2 days ago. It’s going to happen. When it does, don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from your spouse, relative or even a nanny, you’ll be glad you did. If not, try to allocate a little extra time every day to get a little bit of cleaning done. By the end of the week, you’ll have a spotless space that you certainly won’t regret. After all, what’s more relaxing than knowing that you’ll be getting in after a long day to a clean home?

 3) You’re going to have a newfound appreciation for silence
This might make moms feel a little bit guilty, but after listening to a crying child for what seems like days on end, being sleep deprived and not being able to recall the last time you took a shower…the sound of silence will be the sweetest gift you could possibly receive. Don’t feel bad, moms are only human too and they need time to recuperate. So whether you take 10 minutes every morning before your child wakes up or take a weekend long vacation in the middle of nowhere, some “me” time is going to do a lot more good than harm.

Michela
Family First Aid Kit – Why You Need One

Accidents happen to all of us. After all, it’s only human nature that we mess up every now and then. While accidents don’t discriminate, the majority of them tend to happen at home. Not to mention, they tend to happen to small children more than any other group. Is someone to blame? Not at all. But can you be prepared to handle them? Absolutely! Accidents…meet your match: the family first aid kit!

Injuries happen
Studies show that falls are the number 1 cause of home injuries in the US and children under the age of 5 are most at risk. This can lead to scrapes, cuts and even splinters. That’s where your family’s first aid kit comes in! You see, these small kits are essential to every home, especially those that have children because although injuries are inevitable, having the right tools on hand can help make your job as a parent a lot easier. First aid kits usually contain essential utilities like sting-relief antiseptic wipes, instant cold packs, anti-biotic ointment and more! Just by having this one kit handy, you’ll be covered every step of the way to treat that tiny injury.

Easy-To-Find Medical Supplies
The great part of having a first aid kit is that everything you could possibly need to handle an accident is all right there in one convenient place! A comprehensive first aid kit covers everything from bites to burns and even diarrhea and fevers. Not to mention, some medical kits are specifically designed by pediatricians to ensure that parents are prepared for any possible mishap!

 Portable
Small accidents don’t just happen at home. In fact, parents know first-hand that they can occur just about anywhere and anytime; more often than not, when you least expect it! That’s why first aid kits are specifically crafted to be lightweight and small. So whether you’re planning a weekend getaway in Miami or jet setting across the United States, packing your family’s first-aid kit is an absolute breeze (and an absolute necessity).

KidzStuff Has You Covered
When it comes to providing the absolute best protection for your family, KidzStuff is happy to offer a pediatrician-designed first aid kit that will be available soon! Look out for it soon in our online shop for the best defense against those little accidents that parents have come to know all-too-well!

Michela
Parenting Stress – How to Win the Battle

Great news, parents! March is National Stress Awareness month! Okay, it may not be THAT great of news, but there certainly is a silver lining. You see, parents know about stress all too well, in fact, we’re pretty sure it was first-time parents who coined the term! Which is why coaching yourself to combat that stress can be the most valuable weapon in your parenting arsenal. Here are 5 strategies to keep in mind.

  1. Sleep

Doctors recommend anywhere from 7-8 hours of sleep every night. But for parents, this is a luxury. For parents with newborns, it’s unheard of. Yet, a lack of sleep can be one of the easiest ways to yield stress, mood swings and even problems focusing. That’s why learning to adjust your sleep cycle can prove to be one of the most beneficial approaches to reducing parenting stress. Although…easier said than done right? Try taking a mid-day afternoon nap to get some extra shuteye. Once you get into a regular rhythm, push yourself to wake up a little bit before your kids normally do, even if it’s 10 minutes! Use those extra minutes to just relax and reflect, you’ll be glad you did.

  1. Meditate

Some people may find the thought of meditating a little bit silly. But there are studies that support the theory that meditation can have a positive effect on our stress response. Challenge yourself each day to take some time for just you and really promote some inner peace of mind. Take it to the next level by laying out by the pool or even by taking a warm bubble bath!

  1. Disconnect 

Being a parent is a nonstop job. You blink and suddenly you have 20 unchecked emails, 10 text messages, 2 voicemails, a baby in hand and, chances are, a little throw up on your shoulder. One of the most effective methods to handling that stress head-on is to simply disconnect. Whether it’s for 10 minutes or 10 hours is totally up to you, but sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to leave your kid with a relative and unwind in whatever way makes you happiest. You’ll be a much less stressed our parent because you did so. 

  1. Exercise

The health benefits that come along with exercising are absolutely endless! Most of which, parents can directly benefit from! Adding a workout to your routine helps raise endorphins, energy and improves your mood. Most importantly, it helps reduce stress! Even if you only factor in a 30-minute workout into your week, you’ll be glad you did. To make it even easier, try doing something that you love (bonus points for getting a workout buddy and having some friendly competition).

  1. Have fun!

We can’t stress this point enough. Taking time for yourself and having some fun is absolutely vital to overcoming the plight of parenting stress. At this point, you might have even forgotten what the word “fun” means, which only indicates that you’re in more need of a night out than ever! If you simply can’t afford to get out of the house, have your very own dance party with your kids or plan a family activity! After all, laughter is one of the best remedies for, well, just about anything!

Michela