Archive for May, 2011

Cooper at 12 months

Anna & Molly @ 13 months

Target Skill: Fine Motor
Target Age: 9-18 Months

You Will Need:
Either an old formula container, coffee container, or yogurt container with a plastic lid
Round head clothes pins

Cut a round hole in the lid of the container.

Allow your child to try and place the clothes pins through the hole of the container. You might need to show your child how to do this at first.

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Cooper loves cars. I think I must have said this in more than one post, LOL. But when I need a quick and easy table activity to keep him entertained for 15 minutes, this is a winner. All I did was pour some brown rice into a cooking pan. Then I gave some cars to Cooper. Cooper thinks he is driving his cars through “dirt”. Quick, Simple, Engaging, Loving it!

We’ve been using this activity during table time and during times of transition.

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I found that around 4 months of age, babies start to get very distracted while nursing. With my son, nursing was so difficult I almost stop nursing all together. He just was so fidgety and distractable. I made it to 10 months with my son before I weaned him, or should I say he weaned himself. Then with my twins, I was tandem breastfeeding them using the Best-friends Twin Plus Nursing Pillow. They did great nursing on the same pillow and did not bother each other. Actually, the girls use to hold hands and nurse together until the hit about 6 months of age. It was so sweet to see my two daughter holding hands. But then starting around 6 months, they started to swat, scratch, grab, and punch each other while nursing. OH, they even started to pull each others hair- OUCH! I thought I was going to have to give up nursing.

Around 6 months old, I gave them blankies to sleep with in their cribs. I started allowing the girls to hold the blankies while they nursed. Wouldn’t you know it, it made nursing so much easier. The twins stopped hitting, grabbing, pulling hair, and bothering each other while nursing. Instead, the girls played with their blankies. They would rub them, clutch them, and stroke them while they were nursing. I wish I would have thought to give my son a blankie while he nursed because I think it would have helped him to have some sort of distraction to help him stay still long enough to nurse. My twin girls are now 13 months old, we are only nursing in the morning and at bedtime now, but I still allow them to have blankies while they nurse and it is still working!

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My son Cooper is a big eater. I have never worried that he is not eating enough for long. He has had moments of eating like a bird, but he quickly returns to having a healthy appetite. My twin girls don’t eat as much and it started to stress me out. They are getting about 20-24oz of breastmilk or whole milk currently so I know they are not drinking too much. The girls just don’t eat a ton. So I start to research a little more about how much they should be eating. What I found helped me calm down and realize they were just fine.

A toddler should eat a tablespoon of food per food group for their meal. A one year old portion size is 1 tablespoon, while a two year old portion size is 2 tablespoons. And furthermore, a 3 year old’s portion size is 3 tablespoons per food group. But please remember that every toddler is different and has a different appetite. It is okay if your toddler eats more than the allotted tablespoon amount. My son defiantly eats more than his recommended amount and his pediatrician confirmed that toddlers cannot overfeed themselves under the age of 3.

So a typical day of eating for a one year old might look like this:
~ 20-24oz of breastmilk, formula, or wholemilk is the norm for this age
1 tablespoon fruit
1 tablespoon grain (bread, pasta, crackers, oatmeals, etc.)
1 tablespoon protein (yogurt, egg)
Mid-Morning Snack
1 tablespoon grain, veggie, or fruit
1 tablespoon of grains (bread, pasta, crackers, oatmeals, etc.)
1 tablespoon of veggies
1 tablespoon of protein
Afternoon Snack
1 tablespoon grain, veggie, or fruit
1 tablespoon of diced fruit
1 tablespoon of grains (bread, pasta, crackers, oatmeals, etc.)
1 tablespoon of veggies
1 tablespoon of protein

So a typical day of eating for a 2 year old might look like this:
~ Check with your pediatrician on how much milk you toddler should have at this age. Many pediatricians will advise to switch to 2% milk at this age and to continue to keep milk consumption under 24oz.
2 tablespoon fruit
2 tablespoon grain (bread, pasta, crackers, oatmeals, etc.)
2 tablespoon protein (yogurt, egg)
Mid-Morning Snack
2 tablespoon grain, veggie, or fruit
2 tablespoon of grains (bread, pasta, crackers, oatmeals, etc.)
2 tablespoon of veggies
2 tablespoon of protein
Afternoon Snack
2 tablespoon grain, veggie, or fruit
2 tablespoon of diced fruit
2 tablespoon of grains (bread, pasta, crackers, oatmeals, etc.)
2 tablespoon of veggies
2 tablespoon of protein

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I break the day up a bit with my son’s learning activities (2.5 years old). We do 4 different types of learning activities
1). Circle time
2). Structured Learning
3). Table Time
4). Family Game Time
Optional: Times of Transition

I use times of transition as educational times as well. I just have Cooper do a brief table time with a short activity he can do independently.

1. Circle time: We do calender activity, weather, sing our songs, chant our nursery rhyme, bible memory verse, phonemic awareness game/ activity, and usually a read aloud. (15-30 minutes, depends on read aloud and his attention span)

2. Structured Learning: We do bible, phonics, math, science/ social studies, and arts/ crafts. Some days we do all these subjects, and other days we only do 2-3. We almost always do bible, phonics, and math. I pick and choose from the Littlest Learning Activities and to them during structured learning time. I also create many of my own lessons and ideas. You can find them on the blog I have started for teaching Cooper called, “Teaching Toddlers and Preschoolers

3. Table/ Blanket Time: I use this as a time for Cooper to do an activity at the table that he can do independently that reinforces the skills that he has already learned. I also use this time to let him play at the table or blanket, so it is not necessarily always academic.

4. Family Game Time: 2/3 the time this is educational. I like to get my husband in on Cooper’s learning. So we tend to play games that reinforce the skills that Cooper is learning. Most of the time, it is just repeating an activity we did earlier in the day, but now Cooper gets to show dad what he learned. Cooper LOVES to do his learning activities and games with dad. He gets so proud of himself.

8:00 Wake Up, Breakfast
8:30 Free Play
9:00 Circle Time (while his sisters have Blanket Time)
9:15/9:30 Outside Play
10:00 Structured Learning (while his sisters nap)
11:00 Snack & Read Stories
11:30 Independent Play Time
12:30 Lunch
1:00/1:15 Play with Mommy
2:00-4:30 Nap
4:30 Snack & TV
5:00 Table Time/ Blanket Time (while his sisters have Independent Play Time)
5:30 Free Play or Outside Play
6:00 Dinner
6:30 Family Play
7:15/7:30 Play with Daddy
8:00 Family Game Time or Read Stories
8:15 Bedtime Routine
9:00 Asleep

The twins (13 months old) only have about 15-20 minutes of structured learning right now. I do it in the morning after they first wake up. They are also read to at snack time. They have blanket time in the playroom while Cooper does circle time, so they hear us sing our songs and chant our rhymes, but obviously they are too young to participate yet.

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I think it is important to establish a nap routine for babies. It helps set the stage for good sleep and cues your baby in that it is time to start winding down and go to sleep. I have found that with a short nap routine, all of my kids have slept better and longer.

Babies 0-9 weeks (1-2 Months Old)
1. Nurse
2. Diaper Change
3. Swaddle Tight
4. Place in swing or bouncer (while swaddled)
5. Watch for eyes to get heavy and begin to shut
6. Turn on sound machine, turn light off, shut curtain
7. Place in crib for nap
8. Shut door and leave

Babies 10 weeks- 4 months old
1. Nurse
2. Diaper Change
3. Activity**
4. Swaddle
5. Turn on Sound Machine, turn light off, shut curtains
6. Hold (no rocking) for a minute or two in room
7. Place in crib for nap
8. Shut door and leave

Babies 5-6 Months Old
1. Nurse
2. Diaper Change
3. Activity ***
4. Sleep Sack or Swaddle Weaning
5. Turn on Sound Machine, Shut blinds, Turn off lights
6. Lay in crib
7. Give lovely (blankie, stuffed animal)
8. Rub head, back, or belly or a minute or two
9. Shut door and leave

***Activity 10 weeks- 4 months:
1. Activity Mat
2. Read a book with Mommy
3. Lay on floor with toys
4. Bouncer Seat
5. Tummy Time
6. Bumbo Seat (depends on age and neck control)
7. Hold Baby and talk to him
8. Bath Time

***Activity at 5-6 Months
1. Same activities at 10 weeks-4 months
2. Stroller Walk (Longer Wake time you can squeeze in a stroller walk)
3. Maybe a quick errands to the store
4. Jumperoo & Exersaucer
5. High Chair with small toys or books (get while you are trying to cook)
6. Blanket Time
7. Independent Play Time
8. DVD (Baby Signing Time, Baby Einstein)

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