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Toddler - Week #52

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Week 52: Happy Birthday to You!

By Jodi L. Kelley, edHelperBaby

           Your 52-week-old baby is turning one! The year probably seems like it flew by so quickly. Remember when it was hard to figure out what baby wanted when she cried? Now, at 52 weeks, baby has grown so much, she can even point to things desired. Your baby probably has a few hand gestures to use as symbols for words. For instance, the simple wave of a hand means "bye-bye" and clapping can mean baby is excited. Some babies at this age even know how to give a high-five! Language is really developing at this age.


Creating Good Readers:
           Don't expect too much at story time. Story time should be fun, so don't expect your little one to sit for long to listen to a story. Let your child have a good time when you are reading a book. If she wants to crawl up into your lap and take the book from you, let her! Your goal with books right now is to teach your baby that they have stories inside. Don't think that your baby needs to sit still and listen for an entire story. Sometimes you will only get in five minutes of reading before she has other ideas! That's okay. She will still think of reading as fun.


Book of the Week:
           Happy Birthday to You! By: Dr. Seuss       

       This book is about your birthday-your special day. The book starts with the beginning of your special day, bright and early in the morning. You are woken by a birthday horn that announces that today is your "day of all days"! From there on, the book celebrates your birthday.  In classic Dr. Seuss style, the fantastic creatures and characters are cheering for you, clapping for you, and throwing a wonderful party in your honor. The pages are full of colorful, fun pictures. In the end, you are flown back to your own world "happier, richer, and fatter," and you get back there on a soft platter!


           Did you make a print of your baby's feet when she was first born?

       Making a footprint using poster paints is an easy way to make a keepsake that you will treasure forever. Using a wide paint brush, brush a coat of paint on baby's feet in one even layer. Lay out a piece of white poster board. Allow your child to walk all over the paper or hold her hands and guide the steps across. You can even use this as a banner to hang up at the birthday party-walk this way for a fun time!

       The other activity to include your child in on this week is making the cake! There are several healthier recipes than the traditional sugary ones. Try replacing the sugar with applesauce. Most recipes call for 2 cups of sugar. You can replace half of that with applesauce for a healthier version. It actually makes the cake moister as well. Cupcakes make an easier serving option for party time. You can get your little one involved in this process by allowing her to help mix with her own spoon, and then frost later on. A tip for frosting is to bake the cupcakes a week ahead of time and freeze them. Take them out the day before the party to frost them. Let baby get her hands nice and messy! It is her day after all!


Rhyme Time:
           Obviously, your little one will be hearing "happy birthday" a few times this week! Sing it often throughout the week. Sing it in the car, before bed, and first thing in the morning. Cheer and clap as you sing it! This is an exciting week. By the time the party day arrives, baby will know the tune and respond happily.


Evan's Opinion:
           The book this week was too long for Evan to sit through! There is a great deal of text on each page and quite a few pages. He kept taking the book and tossing it aside out of my hands! But the book is a keepsake. Everyone attending his party wrote a little message inside the cover. I hope as the years go by, we can read it each birthday, and Evan will be able to sit through more of it each time.       

       Evan loves having his feet painted though! We've done a few projects with painted feet and he gets a kick out of it. I loved doing this, too. I actually photocopied his birth footprint and copied one from this week to put together in a collage along with the baby picture and first birthday picture. It really drives home how much he has grown!       

       Also, the cake was completely enjoyable to Evan! He had frosting all over his fingers and of course, his face! Cupcakes are much easier to serve, too. Not to mention, our theme was bubbles and balloons, so the round cupcakes fit right into that theme.


You're probably wondering.....

       Now that my baby is eating table foods, is he getting too much sugar?       

       I wonder this all of the time! Evan has been eating table foods for quite awhile. We skipped the spoon-fed jar food in favor of baby-led solids. This was what worked best for us. I'm a busy mom of four, so once he was interested in eating, it just made it easier to give him regular foods and let him self-serve. I even learned that it was safer not to cut foods up in tiny pieces. When Evan got a banana, he got enough to hold in his hand. This way, he decided what sizes were right for him. Being a breastfed baby, Evan seems to favor sweet foods-bananas, peaches, mostly any fruit, and sweet potatoes. I wondered if he was eating too much sugar. It may be natural sugar, but I still worried. I learned that one banana and half a cup of another fruit is a day's serving. I decided to always offer other foods with the fruit. Evan has broadened his horizons and eats many veggies now. Granted, he enjoys the banana more than the carrots; but, if he eats a few of them, I'm happy. Now, the birthday cupcake and frosting-definitely too much sugar, but what are birthdays for if not for being spoiled for a day?


Art Class
By Nicole E Nappi, edHelperBaby

         Setting aside time each day for some form of art project that you and your child can take part in together is a great idea at this age. The projects will not only let your little one explore and create but allow for a great bonding moment. Art projects with this age group should take only fifteen minutes or so and should be very basic like coloring or painting on a plain sheet of paper.

    Crayola sells crayons that are labeled for twelve months and up. These are a good start as the crayons have a large bulb shape to the back of them that helps children grasp the crayon. Finger paints are also a lot of fun but are much messier. You may want your baby to paint in his diaper!! The highchair is great place for art class and an easy one to clean.       

Comparing Your Child
By Gabrielle Browne, edHelperBaby

           Parents frequently worry about how their child is "doing" when compared with another child who is near the same age. This is normal, but it can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress for both parent and child. Comparing children can lead parents to try to push their child into a behavior that he or she just is not able to do. A comparison of one year old children does not take into account that children are individuals who have their own personality and rate of growth.       

       While challenging a child is important to his or her growth, expecting one's child to be a carbon copy of another is just unrealistic. A pediatrician who has been following a child's growth and progress and not a generalized book would be the best judge on whether or not that progress is normal and steady.       

       Remember, pushing a child to walk, to eat a certain way or to sleep throughout the night just because a friend's child is doing it ignores all of the joys of individual growth that a child is achieving naturally.       

Say Bye-Bye to the Bottle
By Julie Stiglets, edHelperBaby

                 Are you ready for your little one to say bye-bye to the bottle?  For whatever the reason, at some point, bottle feeding must come to an end.  Many children can be introduced to a "sippy cup" between six and eight months and be weaned off the bottle by twelve to eighteen months.  But, keep in mind that not all children are the same.  In general, your child should be sitting up on their own, eating from a spoon and have a consistent feeding routine.  Here are a few things to look for when you are ready to wean your child off the bottle.
  • Try gradually phasing the bottles out.
  • Decrease the number of bottles you offer, one at a time, and replace it with a cup of milk instead.
  • Try to phase out the least important bottle first (usually NOT the morning or night time bottle)!
  • After about a week or so, replace another bottle at feeding time with a cup.  Continue to slowly decrease the number of bottles with a cup.

       Before you know it, your little one will be drinking from a sippy cup at meal time and you can say bye-bye to bottles for good.  Routine is important.  Be patient and do not give up!  Some little ones will put up more of a fight then others but they will eventually forget about the bottle!       

How Can I Keep My One Year Old Child Entertained ?
By Emilee Rogers, edHelperBaby

           Keeping your one year old child entertained for more than a couple minutes while you are cooking can tax even the most experienced parent. Hopefully, baby has a lot of educational toys to keep her occupied.  I am sure, however, there will be times when those toys do not quite do the trick, right? Those are the times, if you are anything like me, you pull out something from around the kitchen and think to yourself will she play with this? How many times have you grabbed a mixing bowl, a rubber spatula and said, "Help Mommy cook"?       

       I have found a unique solution to this situation on a website called www.Familyeducation.com.It is called Ice Cube Painting and involves nothing more than what is in your kitchen. The instructions are as follows;       

       What you need:

       Ice cubes


       kool-aid drink mix ( or jello powder )

       one large baking pan       

       What to do:
  1. Place paper in pan
  2. Sprinkle kool-aid on to paper
  3. Place one or two ice cubes in pan and let child rotate them around pan to make a pretty picture
  4. When done wash baby's hands

This Month's Helpful Hints for Your One Year Old Child , , ,
By Jami Fowler-White, edHelperBaby

           Look forward to these new developments this month:
  • Know that the reflection in the mirror is their own not someone else.
  • Reach and turn for things while sitting in all directions without losing his or her balance.
  • Walk with support. Some babies will walk before their first birthday but do not be alarmed if your child does not. The average age for walking well without support is about fourteen months. Remember that each child is unique and matures at his or her own rate, so be patient.
  • Get into a sitting position by squatting.
  • Speak three or more words and imitate sounds made by things such as dogs and trains.
  • Undress without warning. If your child does this, you might want to dress them in clothes that button or snap in the back.
  • Stack blocks
  • Use a crayon
  • Stimulate your child's speech and improve his or her vocabulary by talking, singing and reading to your child daily.
  • Constantly praise your child as he or she walks and/or stands for longer periods of time.
  • Buy puzzles with large pieces. Begin to encourage your child to take the pieces out. Then move on to allowing your child to put the pieces back into place.
  • Show your child how to make a tower of blocks. Watch him or her as he tries to make their stack look like yours.


A Song at the Store
By Nicole E Nappi, About my child Austin

           Austin loves to sing so we sing wherever we are. We make up songs in the bath, at the park, in the yard and even at the grocery store. I know that others look at me like I have lost my mind, but Austin likes it when I sing silly songs about everything around us. Sometimes, I make up new lyrics to popular children's songs, for instance, "If You're Happy and You Know It" and other times I make up my own beat. I sing about all of the items going in the grocery cart and why we need them. Austin understands little of what I am saying I am sure, but he enjoys himself just the same. I know that at some point our silly singing will help him to better understand what is going on around him.

The Best Presents Are Free!
By Gabrielle Browne, About my child Nate

           Nate had a wonderful time on his birthday. Did he recognize everyone who came to wish him a happy day? No, although he did bounce from chairs to laps to see as many faces as possible. Did he unwrap any of the generous gifts that these people brought? No, he played with the wrapping paper. Did he clap and smile during our rendition of "Happy Birthday?" No, he slept in his grandmother's arms while we sang.       

       Needless to say, my idea of his first birthday was far from what actually happened. Nate was content to smile and be happy as guests arrived, but that led to him tiring out and napping during most of the party. He also ignored the expensive gifts that day and went right for a cardboard coaster and the wrapping paper. He was happy to play with those items. This should be a lesson to me for Christmas. Keep it simple!

How I Took the Bottle Away!
By Julie Stiglets, About my child Riley and Emma

           I have two daughters, Emma and Riley, and I approached both of them the same way when taking the bottle away.  I introduced the sippy cup at six months.  I would give them a little water in it about once a day.  It took a month or so before they could really drink from it.  At first, they would play with it or throw it.  Sometime around ten months, I replaced their snack time bottle with a sippy cup.  After about two weeks, I took away the lunch time bottle.  When I fed them lunch, I gave them a sippy cup of milk instead.  I continued this until their first birthday.  By the time they turned one, they no longer received any bottles!  Oh, the days of bottle washing were over!

       It was not hard.  I think slowly taking the bottles away really works great!  I never allowed my girls to walk around with their bottle and never let them take their bottle to bed with them.  Also, I never put anything but their formula and/or milk in their bottle.  I hope this helps when it comes time for you to wean your little one off the bottle!       

How I Kept My One Year Old Child Entertained
By Emilee Rogers, About my child David Rogers

           When David was one, he was the type of baby who never sat still. It did not matter what I tried he was always on the go. At least he was until my older, more experienced daughter introduced him to the wonders of the kitchen. They would go in there and pull out every pot, pan or bowl they could get their hands on. My three year old daughter knew exactly where the spoons were and  they would bang on those pots for as long as I would let them. If I had known about the Ice Cube Painting, it would have kept them just as occupied with a lot less noise!

The Wonders of Motherhood . . .
By Jami Fowler-White, About my child DeVon

           It is the week before Christmas and DeVon has begun to stand all of the time. I wonder if he will walk this month. He is constantly walking around the coffee table. His favorite show is Sesame Street. I cannot wait for him to open up his gifts. I found all of the characters and bought them for him. I just know that he will love them.

       His favorite things to do this month are to see how fast he can knock down the blocks as I stack them up. I have been trying to teach him how to make stacks, but I guess he thinks this game is more fun.  Maybe he will begin to stack them on his own before knocking them down next month. For this month, I will just continue to stack them as he knocks them down. It is kind of fascinating how good his reflexes are now. I can hardly get them in a stack before he knocks them down.       


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