My husband and I won’t be spending Valentines Day together this year. Not because we don’t believe in celebrating and think it’s an over the top marketing exercise, but simply because we won’t actually be in the same country on the day. We’ve recently moved back to Sydney after living in Dubai, and after the first few weeks of getting organised, my hubby had to go back to work out his notice, and arrives back here for a short break on February the 15th, one day after Valentines Day.
At any other time of the year, the thought of waiting an hour or more in a busy line with unsettled, hungry children and dozens of other families would send most parents running for the hills. However, throw in the words “Santa” and “Christmas” and all of a sudden it sounds like a perfect idea! Santa photos are a popular yearly tradition but can also be a stressful time for all involved.
Below are our best tips to help you through the day so you can hopefully leave your session with a wonderful Santa photo and memory!Continue Reading →
These wonderful Top Tips for Flying With Children have been written by our friends at Kooshy Kids – who are all about making family travel easier! If you’re planning some travel with the little ones, make sure you take a read of these fabulous tips!
These days there are so many great family-friendly places to travel to with kids, and with international travel being more affordable than ever, families can easily embrace an overseas family holiday. But we all know travelling with children, particularly flying with children, can be tough – so it’s best to be prepared! Here are our top tips for stress free family flying!
Flying with Children Tip 1 – Keep them entertained
Ipads, tablets and gadgets are undeniably great entertainment options when flying with children. Pre-downloading their favourite shows to watch and games to play will keep them quiet and content. Remember to always fully charge electronic devices prior to departure.
Also consider other toy options to keep them occupied, games and toys that encourage creative play are great and will limit the amount of screen time they have onboard. Small portable toys and activity sets with options like colouring, stickers, magnetic games, cards, puzzles etc are the best for travel.
There are some really great pre-packed kids activity kits that are age appropriate and designed for travel. In addition taking a favourite soft toy along for the adventure will also help them enjoy the journey. Avoid taking toys with small parts as they can easily get lost under and in-between seats, and before its time for sleep, give kids a break from backlit screens to help them wind down. Packing a book to read onboard is also a good quiet entertainment option for kids that can read.
Flying with Children Tip 2 – Get some rest
Keeping kids comfortable is key, especially on long-haul flights which can be a nightmare if you don’t have a way of letting your child sit and fall asleep comfortably. You really want to try and avoid the uncomfortable situation where you’re stuck holding a sleeping child sprawled out across you for hours on end rendering you unable to move!
Luckily there is a practical and affordable product now available to help your child (and therefore you!) fly comfortably and get some rest. The Kooshy Kids Kooshion can be used to create a flat, flexible space for kids to enjoy as a couch or bed on the airplane. It is placed on the floor between your child’s seat and the seat in front and then inflated, providing a large flat surface for legs to stretch out and little ones to lay flat on for sleeping. It’s simple to use, lightweight, durable and most importantly comfortable with a soft material on top. Over 50 airlines allow the use of the Kooshy Kids Kooshion during flight. This product is a must when flying with children…if the kids can get some sleep then so can you, and you’ll arrive at your destination feeling rested and ready to explore! For more information on the Kooshy Kids Kooshion, head here.
Flying with Children Tip 3 – Pack some snacks
Food can be a huge help – kids can get cranky when they are hungry and they may not like the plane food available. It’s a good idea to pack some snacks you know they like in your carry-on luggage for the journey.
Take a few options, something healthy and their favourite treats too, and carry them in a separate easy to access bag. Snacks are also a good way to pass some time and keep kids quiet when travelling. Also remember to encourage your kids to drink lots water, airplanes can be very dehydrating environments, and walk around the plane at regular intervals.
Flying with Children Tip 4 – Be prepared
With the extra bags and gear that comes with travelling with kids, it pays to be well organised. If you’re travelling with a toddler you may find they can carry their own small backpack bag. This is great as it means everything is packed together and saves you from having to carrying all their toys, games, water bottle, snacks and spare clothes.
A backpack style bag is also handy for parents’ carry-on bag so when your travelling through airports your hands can be free to help or hold the kids. It’s also very important to be organised when it comes to your families travel documents and passports. It’s a good idea to take copies and keep them together and safe, a family passport wallet is handy for this.
If your children are a little older it can help to talk to them prior to the trip about what is going to happen, so they know what to expect and also so they get excited and look forward to the journey.
Flying with Children Tip 5 – Focus on the positives
It can really help to remain calm when travelling with a toddler and focusing on the positives can help. There are so many amazing benefits to travelling with kids, the knowledge they will acquire, skills they will develop and memories you will all gain from travel makes the journey totally worth it! Sometimes reminding yourself of the positive impact travel will have on them and the great experiences you will have together as a family can help you get through any stressful part of the plane journey.
So go on, select your dream places to travel with kids, book the flights and rest easy knowing that you can have a stress free travel experience with your kids!
Let’s be honest. This parenting business can be stressful AF. And, unless you’re a practising Buddhist monk, you’ve probably flipped out at your kids a few (hundred) times. Like it or not, it goes along with the territory, and it doesn’t make you a bad parent. But, it’s important to know and understand the long term effects that regular bursts of anger can have on your children if you’re serious about trying to minimise them, and want to adopt a more peaceful parenting approach.
Kids who regularly see their parents angry end up being less empathetic than those raised in more calm households. These kids also tend to be more aggressive, are more like to suffer from depression, and perform worse in school*. So, if you’ve been convincing yourself that your anger issue isn’t something to worry about, think again.
The good news is, there are ways to get it under control, even if yelling has been your go-to disciplinary method so far. Peaceful parenting is an ongoing struggle for me and one of the things I need to constantly do is look at my own self care – if I let that slide, my patience wears thin and I find it a lot harder to stay calm. (Read more on Why Self Care Isn’t Selfish here).
Here are some easy tips on how to be calm and stop yelling:
Peaceful Parenting: Short circuit your anger
Notice the early signs of stress so you can become aware of when stress is coming on and stop it in its tracks. Be prepared for a potential meltdown from your tiny human and instead of getting angry, be ready to distract them with toys, food or one of their favourite comforts.
Peaceful Parenting: Give yourself a timeout
Take a break from the situation. Walk away or go into the next room. Distract yourself with an activity or simply bring your attention to your body. Watch the breath come and go, and as you breathe out imagine the anger being released from your body. Only go back when you have settled.
Peaceful Parenting: Express yourself
Explain your anger instead of releasing it. Pause, count to five and then communicate clearly what has made you upset. Own up to how you’re feeling and apologise for overreacting if you need to. Even if your kids don’t understand what you’re saying, you’ll benefit just from saying it aloud to yourself.
Peaceful Parenting: Ask the right questions
Instead of asking why this is happening to you, ask yourself why this might be happening at all. Often, your kids don’t want to upset you, they are acting out because they want attention, or perhaps they are tired or hungry. See if you can be more compassionate with your kids by trying to understand where they are coming from, instead of going straight to disciplining them.
Peaceful Parenting: It Takes Practice
It will take to time to make each of these peaceful parenting habits replace your current reactions. Be patient with yourself and keep trying. Eventually you will be re-wiring your neurological pathways away from the angry route making way for a more calm, considered response and peaceful household.
*When Anger Hurts Your Kids, Matthew McKay PhD
JOIN OUR FACEBOOK SUPPORT GROUP FOR MUMS OVER AT FIND YOUR VILLAGE – GET ACCESS TO OUR PARENTING EXPERTS FOR ADVICE, JOIN OUR DAILY THREADS AND FIND TONS OF SUPPORT!
Catherine Nelson-Williams is the author of this article and founder of The Nursery Collective. She is a mum of two and juggles being a WAHM with blogging and running The Nursery Collective – a haven for mamas navigating the early years of motherhood, where you can find unique boutiques and services for Mum, Baby & Kids all in the one place.
We all enter parenthood without a manual, and no matter how many parenting books we read while expecting, nothing truly prepares us for the onslaught of real life parenting once our little ones arrive. Most of us can admit to having had preconceived notions on what kind of parents we will be before we have kids – how our kids will behave, what food we’ll feed them, how much screen time they will be allowed, whether we will breastfeed or bottle feed, co-sleep or sleep train…and yet it’s only when we are in the thick of real life parenting that we realise how unrealistic our ideas of parenting really were.
I can still clearly remember an evening when my husband and I, newly engaged and yet to have kids, were having dinner out in a restaurant with some friends who had a 2.5 year old – their little one couldn’t sit still, was noisy, clambering on and off his seat and under the table in between bites of food. I remember thinking that I would never allow MY future child to do that and scoffed silently when the dad said “ah he’s such a boy” and that he didn’t believe in raising his voice to children. Looking back, I can now see that this little one was in fact being extremely well behaved for a boy of his age and that his parents were doing an amazing job taking him out with them, staying calm and collected throughout the entire meal.Continue Reading →
Today we have Nursery Collective Eco Mama & Wellness Coach Sig Chapman sharing her top tips on how to boost your child’s immune system this winter, naturally!
Winter isn’t coming – it’s here. Having a sick kid really isn’t fun and on top of that can impact the wellbeing of the whole family. So, what can you do to combat the germs coming in from day-care, kinder and school, and boost your child’s immune system this winter?
The good news is that there are some simple and natural ways to help boost immunity and help them stay healthy in the cold and flu season, so if they do get hit with any nasty bugs, it doesn’t linger and they recover quickly. These are my secrets to increase immunity, keeping my kids healthy during winter.Continue Reading →
Do you have a child who is anxious? The lovely Alexandra Newmarch, Psychologist from Phoenix Place Play Therapy & Counselling shares her thoughts on parenting an anxious child and just how to recognise anxiety in kids.
True fact: parenting an anxious child is not easy. I remember the mother of one of my little therapy clients exclaiming to me once, “It’s non-stop! I know she’s not doing it on purpose, but I’m so tired of trying to be sympathetic. I wish she’d just grow out of it.”
She was right – it is non-stop. It is tiring. And because anxiety often manifests differently in young children than it does in older children and adults, it can sometimes be hard to know if that’s even what’s going on! So how do you know, and if you do have an anxious little person, what can you do to help them?Continue Reading →
Today we have our resident Nursery Collective Kid Approved Food Blogger Rachel Cassidy, from Little Peeps Eats, chatting to us about starting baby on solids, and her experience with BLW (Baby Led Weaning) vs traditional weaning. Thank you Rachel! x
I’ve always been the kind of person who hates mess. While I’ve never been titled a “neat freak”, there is something about muck and grime that really bothers me. As a primary teacher and someone working with children for over 10 years, this was bad enough. (I’ll give you one word – glitter!).
However becoming a parent opened my eyes to a whole other ball game of mess. Many people tell you that there is so much that you’re unprepared for in motherhood. And to some degree, I guess I knew mess would be involved (cause, babies). BUT I didn’t realise the degree of messiness would steadily escalate over the coming months – and years.Continue Reading →
Exciting Milestones in the First Year
Learning to crawl is an exciting milestone for your baby in the first year – up until they crawl, their only way of getting around is with your help (being carried or pushed in a stroller). It’s their first real taste of moving independently and opens up their little world to so much more exploration and discovery…eventually paving the way to pulling up, kneewalking, standing, walking and one day running!
Crawling is just as important for your baby’s development as it is cute to look at. Crawling develops babies’ gross motor, visual, spatial and cognitive skills – your baby needs to use their body and their mind to achieve this milestone! Their core must be strong, as well as their back, neck, shoulder and arm muscles to stay balanced. Their vision also develops as they switch between looking into the distance and down at their own hands. They also start developing ways to navigate, and remembering where things are also aids their memory development.
As Mums, we all love seeing our babies achieve milestones, and you might be wondering if there are ways to encourage your baby to crawl. Babies typically begin to crawl anytime from 6 to 10 months and there are certainly ways you can help your little one with this milestone. Here are our Top 5 Ways to Encourage Baby to Crawl!
by Allison Bayliss
Today we have Allison Bayliss, Paediatric Massage Instructor, joining us at The Nursery Collective to share the key benefits of massage for infants and children. Allison is a Melbourne Mum of two and the founder of Paediatric Massage Instruction.
My kids love massage – it was always part of our bath and bedtime routine when they were babies and this blog is a reminder for me to do it more often! On a recent trip to Bali, both of them had a few massages and enjoyed them just as much as the adults! I just enjoyed watching my youngest (who never stops moving) actually stop and relax - you can see for yourself in the first picture below!
After reading this article, I’m sure you will be inspired to try childhood massage out for yourself! Cathy x