The American Academy of Pediatrics has changed its stance and guidelines on infant car seats.
The AAP now advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
The previous standard was 12 months/20 pounds as a minimum for facing backward.
To read the full report, go to www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/carseat2011.htm.
A reference guide for all age groups can be found at www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx.
This morning’s Roundup assembly was pretty special at Edmond’s West Field Elementary School.
For the first time, the children from the developmentally delayed classes were the presenters.
Their teachers were nervous, the students were orderly on the risers, wearing Dr. Seuss hats made from red and white paper.
My son, Cade, was one of the younger students involved and was placed on the front row.
When I came into the gym, he ran over to me to give me a hug — a couple of times. So, I had to leave and then sneak back in to sit in another location.
Friday morning “Roundup” is a gathering of all the teachers and students. They recite the Pledge of Allegiance and school creed, listen to announcements and sing songs. It’s a good way to end the week and recognize students and classes for their weekly accomplishments.
Each week, a different group of students helps to present the program.
As the students said their names and directed the gathering on what was coming next, it was moving to see their excitement, anticipation and delivery of their speaking parts.
When Cade said his name, his voice was loud and sweet. His language development is still “developing,” but you couldn’t mistake the way he proudly spoke into the microphone.
I smiled and laughed a little, giddy with the excitement of seeing my baby perform in front of a group. Then, for a moment, tears came to my eyes, a flash flood of emotions coming over me.
But I recovered and was able to enjoy this simple — but very important — moment of the day.
Afterward, the teachers were asking questions, “How did they sound? Could you hear them?” and saying, “They did such a good job!”
It was a milestone for the school. It’s not only good for the students who presented, but also for the students in the audience. And good for the teachers. And good for the parents attending.
And good for the community.
These lovely children are a part of the community, and the public display of their talents and dedication is a lesson in how they, too, can contribute to the activities in everyday life.
It was a proud and moving moment for me.
A huge permanent tooth … nestled right behind two baby on my 4-year-old’s bottom row. I started calling him “shark tooth” because it reminded me of the multiple rows of teeth sharks have, and because he thought the name was cool.
Then the wiggles started. Those two precious baby teeth … the first ones to sprout when he was just a baby … started to wiggle. I called his dentist and in he went to get it checked.
“Ms. Smith, the dentist will need to extract the two bottom front baby teeth.” Extract?? At 4 years old? Even the dental assistant remarked at how early this was for baby teeth to come out. And I suddenly found myself unprepared. I had no tooth pillow, no little treasure box, no cash! And my son didn’t even know who the Tooth Fairy was. Not to mention the emotional unpreparedness. I wasn’t ready for anything “baby” to go … and it does go … way too fast.
In the end, it all worked out. My boy was a trooper – not one tear shed and he was all smiles, even with the huge gauze pad stuck in his mouth. The dentist put his teeth inside a little glittery tooth-shaped box for the Tooth Fairy to snap up. And I made that trip to the ATM.
It’s starting. My 4-year-old son has mastered the art of negotiation.
He’ll want to ask for something he already knows will be a hard sell. “Mom, now don’t say no. Just listen. And just don’t say no.”
I sigh. “OK, what is it.” And you know what? It works. I’m such a pushover. When my little guy asks so sweetly and pleadingly for something, it’s impossible to say no and he knows it.
The same thing happens when he knows he did something wrong and punishment is inevitable. “Mom, now don’t get mad, even just a little mad. OK? Promise?”
Sigh. “OK, what did you do?” Again, he has complete success. How could I get mad when he prefaces his confession with that plea?
Or there’s the obvious deal-making. “So if I drink all my milk, and eat all my dinner, then I get two ice cream sandwiches, right? Two healthy things means I get two treats. That’s fair.”
I’m really in for it, aren’t I.
I feel like I dropped the ball this morning.
I knew things wouldn’t go smoothly, but I was trusting.
Lesson learned. Don’t assume.
Today was to be my 5-year-old son’s first day to ride a school bus to school.
He is attending an extended school year program during the summer to give him an extra boost. Children with varying circumstances participate in this program. My son qualifies to attend because he has Down Syndrome.
Leading up to this day, I had been hesitant, but teachers and school administrators had said he would love riding a school bus. It would help us out, too, since the school system would provide transportation to and from the daycare he attends, something the schools won’t do during the regular school year due to school boundaries.
A few days ago, the bus driver called our house and talked to my husband, letting him know what time the bus would pick our son up. … It didn’t occur to my husband that they wouldn’t know where to pick him up.
So, this afternoon when my husband called and said, “Guess who showed up at the house,” I immediately answered, “The bus.” He was befuddled that I would know.
But I did, because I knew something would go wrong. It was one of those gut feelings you have, but I had talked myself into thinking I was just stressing and worrying too much.
Then my son’s daycare teacher called, telling me the bus hadn’t shown up and that she had already called the bus barn.
That’s when I felt like I had ”dropped the ball.” I should have known I needed to take more steps to make sure everything was right.
But, then his daycare teacher said one more thing: “What’s important is that we know where he is and that he is safe.”
I agreed, “That’s No. 1.”
So, despite my beating myself up about what I should have done, and despite the mixup on where the bus arrived, and despite the unsuccessful communication … He was safe.
For all workshops, pre-register by calling 425-4412.
Unless otherwise noted, all sessions are for parents and caregivers of young children.
Here’s what’s in store for this summer:
Terrific Two’s: Learn about your 2-year-old. Focus is on their developmental milestones. All are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
June 1, Choctaw Library
June 16, Midwest City Library
June 22, Southern Oaks Library
June 19, The Village Library
Sibling Struggles: Learn methods to prepare children for the arrival of a new sibling and how to deal with sibling squabbles. Find out about sibling rivalry and what normal behavior is. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
June 2, Midwest City
June 30, The Village
Just for Fun: Games People Play(for children ages 8-12): Includes active games, quiet games and brain teasers. Kids will play games from the past and games from other cultures. Both are 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
June 14, Southern Oaks
June 21, The Village
Toileting Triumph: Toileting doesn’t have to be a major challenge. Focus is on signs of readiness, why it can be frustrating and much more. All are from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
June 16, Edmond Library
June 29, Warr Acres Library
July 20, Ralph Ellison Library
Making Your Morning Manageable: Time to eliminate chaos and come up with a routine. Focus is what parents can do to make this part of the day more calm and enjoyable.
June 25, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Warr Acres
Lullaby & Goodnight: Find a routine that includes reading to your child, to ease bedtime and naptime challenges. Sleep challenges will also be discussed. Both are 3:30 to 5 p.m.
June 30, Edmond
August 17, Ralph Ellison
Look Out, I’m Three!: Learn more about your 3-year-old. Focus is on developmental milestones. All are from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
July 7, Southern Oaks
July 8, Midwest City
July 13, The Village
July 20, Choctaw
Toddlers at the Table: Turn common concerns about toddler’s eating habits into opportunities to teach healthy habits. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
July 12, Midwest City
July 21, The Village
Those Playful Preschoolers:Focus is behavioral characteristics and developmental milestones of 3- and 4-year-olds. Activity ideas will be shared to keep little ones busy. Learn it’s OK for your preschooler to be “out of bounds.” Both are 3:30 to 5 p.m.
July 27, Warr Acres
Aug. 25, Edmond
Baby Basics: Main focus is typical concerns of parents. Colic/crying, separation anxiety, sleeping through the night and other issues will be discussed.
July 28, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Edmond
Reading Readiness: Workshop will explore the necessary reading readiness building blocks and parents’ roles in helping children become readers. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 4, Midwest City
Aug. 9, The Village
Fun to be Four: Learn about your fascinating 4-year-old. Workshop focuses on developmental milestones. All are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 3, Southern Oaks
Aug. 4, Midwest City
Aug. 10, The Village
Aug. 12, Choctaw
School Readiness: Facilitators will talk about support, encouragement and opportunity all children need for school success.
Aug. 10, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Warr Acres
Tripping Through Toddlerhood: Topics include, tantrums, biting, sharing and other common toddler challenges. Parents will learn how to minimize frustrations.
Aug. 11, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Edmond
Teaching Children to be More Cooperative: Focus is on when to discipline or ignore unwanted behaviors. Learn guidance techniques used by experts.
Aug. 27, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Warr Acres
To see the Oklahoma City-County Health Departments newsletters, including schedules for upcoming play groups, workshops, and health and child guidance screenings, click here .
Yep, that’s right! For just one day, Sonic is giving away free ice cream cones to all kids from kindergarten through fifth grade, to help celebrate their achievements this past school year and what’s to come.
Sonic has partnered with Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan to help celebrate these students’ successes on what better date than 5/29, of course!
To download the coupon, click here.
Just let them know you have the coupon when you’re ordering.
Now go out and celebrate your child’s great school year!
A year ago, I shared with readers the changes that came with my son turning 3. (Click here to read last year’s post.)
Well, for the past month or so, my son has been asking me if he’s 4 yet. He just couldn’t wait to change his age. Last weekend, he finally got his wish. He even got up the morning after his birthday and said “I need to go look in the mirror and make sure I’m still 4!”
As with other ages, the changes just keep coming. This past year:
Sports become the biggest deal. You would not believe how serious tiny tots soccer can be. Just ask the dads yelling from the sidelines.
There’s the first dental visit. And I’ve already gotten the talk about orthodontia work in his future. I guess I should start saving for braces now.
He mastered the art of manipulation. You would not believe how smart kids get between 3 and 4. They know how to play on your every emotion, twist your words, and somehow always find a way to get what they want.
There’s a new shyness. He went to the doctor today and cried because he “didn’t want to be naked.” This was the same boy who was only too content running around the house in his underwear. So out came the hospital gown … one covered in Bugs Bunny and the Tasmanian Devil, of course.
Don’t call him “baby.” I used to be able to call my little man “baby” whenever I wanted. Now, I get a lecture every time. “I’m not a baby. I’m 4.” I have to admit, it broke my heart just a little.
Baby or not, they really do grow so fast. I can’t wait to see what else this new age brings.
And by the way, he’s already asking when he gets to turn 5.
We all remember the ways our parents charted our growth … pencil markings on the inside closet door, using a marker on a yard stick or just buying a growth chart poster to track our progress.
With technology a staple these days, some parents are taking a different direction when documenting how fast their kids grow.
One couple tracked it using a camera, taking a picture each day during their baby’s first year. The result? Click here.
The milestones seem to come and go so quickly. There’s the weaning off of bottles. The “disappearance” of the pacifier. Getting rid of dirty diapers … for good! And then there is …
THE TODDLER BED.
For two hours last weekend, I converted my son’s crib, Transformer-style, into a toddler bed. My son was ecstatic. I was relieved. “A big boy bed!”
I dutifully padded the floor around it, just in case of an accidental roll-out. I tucked him in for a nap and he did great. No major injuries, no crying fits. Then came the real test … sleeping through the night. I put him to bed, woke up the next morning and my first thought was “Wow! That worked! How easy is this!”
Not so fast.
There they were. Two little feet nestled next to my head. My son sound asleep next to me. A middle-of-the-night escape.
OK, I thought … so maybe it would take a night or two for him to get used to his bed. Maybe he got scared. Maybe there’s dinosaurs in his closet. But now it’s Friday. And I’m still waking up every morning to a visitor in my bed.
Now, I’ve seen all the nanny shows on TV. I’ve seen parents repeatedly put their kids back into their own beds, where they belong. But what do you do when they sneak out of their bed every night and you don’t know until you have a knee in your rib or an arm draped over your head the next morning?
If you have any ideas, short of deadbolting his door shut, please let me know!
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor