MENU

Blog

Taking Care of You

May: National Mental Health Month

By Bright by Three - May 1, 2018

You can also check out this blog post on Denver's top mom blog, Mile High Mamas!

In the parenting world, our children are generally the ones getting all of the attention, care and concern. We recognize that parents and caregivers are important, but their issues and outcomes often get brushed under the rug when we talk about raising a child. But a child’s healthy development depends on a strong family unit and network of caregivers, so it’s essential to focus not only on the young ones, but also their first teachers in life, parents and caregivers.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and we’d like to share our love and support for our heroic parents and caregivers with tips on caregiver resilience and pregnancy-related depression (PRD).

As an expectant mother, it’s essential for your health as well as your baby’s prenatal development for you to feel strong and supported. Here are some tips for the months and weeks leading up to baby’s arrival:
  1. Expressing how you feel with a friend, relative, in a group or with a counselor or therapist can help you feel more confident about your new role. Baby will feel that confidence even before he is born.
  2. Support groups can be a great source of comfort as you discover others who are feeling the same way you are.
  3. Building support doesn’t have to be hard - just reach out! Reaching out is a sign of strength not weakness. Embrace your strength by sharing.  
  4. Research indicates that when a mother experiences a relaxed state, the baby’s fetal heart rhythm improves. So relax, take a nap or a bath! Taking care of you is taking care of the baby.
Postpartum blues and depression are common conditions and can be treated. The sooner you receive help, the sooner the healing can begin. Here are some tips for coping:
  1. Don’t try to suppress crying or put on a ‘supermom’ show for everyone.
  2. Get out of the house at least once a day, even if it’s only for five minutes.
  3. Schedule regular time alone with your partner or with a friend.
  4. If you don’t feel better by the time your baby is 1 month old, talk to your physician about your feelings.
The first few months of raising a child are a big transition. Here are some tips for when you’re feeling frustrated:
  1. Place your baby gently in his crib and leave the room while you take some time to calm yourself down, making sure to check on your baby within five to 10 minutes.
  2. If your baby is fussy or hard to comfort, remember you’re not alone. 1 in 5 babies is fussy or difficult to comfort.
  3. Try holding, rocking, or stroking your baby over and over. Babies will take longer to calm down if they are very young or very upset. Whatever you do, NEVER SHAKE A BABY. This can cause serious, permanent harm - even death.
  4. Call Fussy Baby Network if you have concerns about baby’s fussiness during the first year of life: 1-877-627-9227. The infant specialists at Fussy Baby Network will work with caregivers to find more ways to comfort, care for, and enjoy your baby. Fussy Baby Network will also look for ways to reduce stress and ways to help you feel more confident.
For parents of children at all ages, it’s okay to focus on yourself sometimes. Self-care is equally as important to your child’s growth and health as learning games and activities.
Here are some tips for when you’re feeling frustrated:
  1. Take some deep breaths, and feel yourself relax and get back in control of your emotions.
  2. Call a friend, relative, or trusted neighbor. Caregivers need someone to talk with for support, advice, or just to blow off steam.
  3. Take some time for yourself. Go do the things you enjoy and find time to relax.
Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by Text. Text BRIGHT to 274448 to sign up!

* Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to 274448 to stop. Text HELP to 274448 for help.
Read More...

Time to Talk it Out

April: National English Language Month

By Bright by Three - April 2, 2018

You can also check out this blog post on Denver's top mom blog, Mile High Mamas!

As the blossoms begin to bloom and buds begin to open, we find fresh sights and sounds to talk about with our children. It’s a wonderful time to point out new colors, shapes and smells. This  helps them learn new words too. What better way for your child to grow into a chatter than getting excited about the world as it changes. One of the most important things you can do with your child is talk out loud to fill their brains with language, and help them learn how to use it. Let’s seize this springtime opportunity! April is National English Language Month and we’ve gathered some awesome tips to encourage you and your child to have conversations. Language development is super important in the first year of babies lives and even before they are born! 

 
  1. Believe it or not, you should start talking to your baby before he is born, so go ahead moms, talk to your tummy.

  2. Once baby is born, try talking to your baby close-up so she can watch your lips move and connect that to sound. Eventually she will imitate those movements and form her first sounds. Take a peek at this video to find out how!

  3. Show your young child how to tell you he is feeling hungry by putting his hand on his mouth or rubbing his belly. If you do this over and over and then give him food while saying the word “hungry,” your child will pick up the symbol and learn to talk to you with his hands.

  4. When you’re having a snack, talk with your baby about what you’re doing. “When I bite an apple, it makes a crunch sound. When you have teeth, you’ll eat apples too.” 

In your child’s second year, you’ll start to hear them form real words! 

 
  1. Talk about things you use every day, such as utensils, food and toys. Ask your child to name familiar objects and give him time to think and respond.

  2. When reading with your child, make sure to talk about the images your child touches. Later ask him to show you the image and see if he can point it out.

  3. As a baby gets better at talking, it is important to learn the rhythm of taking turns in a conversation. 

As your child toddles, their babble becomes clear and direct, but you still need to make learning to talk fun! 

 
  1. Let your child explore her reflection while you talk about what she is doing. This helpful video can show you how.

  2. Instead of speaking as usual, try singing in a different voice. When you put new words into tunes and describe what you are doing, you help your child make new and unusual connections.

  3. Give your preschooler your full attention. Even a quick but focused connection may fill your child's need for communication. If she says "Play with me," and you are not available, you might explain why or say, "I had a hard day at work today. I need three minutes to change then I can play with you."

Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by Text. Text BRIGHT to 274448 to sign up!* Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to 274448 to stop. Text HELP to 274448 for help.

Read More...

Focus on the Food

March: National Nutrition Month

By Bright by Three - March 7, 2018

You can also check out this blog post on Denver's top mom blog, Mile High Mamas!

Let’s focus on food! It's one of the main necessities we and our kiddos require, but it can be a parenting challenge. Feeding our children demands a huge amount of attention in our lives, it requires research, shopping, budgeting, meal prep, and at the end of the day kids might just say yuck and turn it down. With March being National Nutrition Month, we think it’s time to address food with the family!

It’s important to find trusted resources to guide you in feeding your child because every child is different, and has different nutritional needs. From breastfeeding to solid food, check out these tips from Bright by Text to help you along the way. Feeding is a dynamic process and a big adjustment for parents as your baby grows and schedules change in the first year.

  1. Breastfeeding has healthy benefits for baby and mom including sickness prevention and mom-baby bonding. After feeding, wipe baby's gums with a washcloth to reduce the risk of cavities.
  2. Choking risk increases as solid foods are introduced at around 5 months. Your baby is starting to eat solid foods, which means a world of fun but also increased risk of choking. Find a CPR class near you!
  3. Making homemade baby food is great for your baby and cost-effective for the entire family! Check out this  simple chart that shows you how. If you don’t have time to make homemade baby food, don’t worry, food intended for babies is pure and healthy too.

As your child celebrates 1 year of age, their eating habits change.

  1. Keep in mind that a picky eater may test a new food 12 to 15 times before liking it.
  2. As you shop for groceries, point out foods you see. Play with the sounds of their names.
  3. Help kids develop a love of healthy foods through music. Songs are a great way to teach about new foods, and to have fun!
  4. Food allergies are becoming more common. Some red flags for allergic reactions include tingling sensation, swelling of the tongue and difficulty breathing.
 

Toddlers can be difficult, here are some strategies to make eating healthy fun for your two and three year old!

  1. Invite your child to imitate what you do. Pick up your spoon, take some food and say, “mmm,” while you take a bite together.
  2. Tell your child about a favorite food. Ask him/her to name a food he/she likes that’s in the same category, but different.
  3. Introduce your child to different healthy foods, and help them understand that we need a variety of healthy foods to keep our bodies strong.
  4. Point out some of your favorite foods and see if your child likes them, “I love yogurt, do you?”
  5. Train kids to develop a love of healthy foods. Let them help cook in the kitchen!
 

Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by Text. Text BRIGHT to 274448 to sign up!*

*Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to 274448 to stop. Text HELP to 274448 for help.

Read More...

Keeping Teeth Healthy

February: National Children's Dental Health Month

By Bright by Three - February 1, 2018

You probably know how many teeth your baby has, it’s one of those questions strangers ask baby moms in the grocery store, but do you know all of the ways you should be caring for them?

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and in honor of it, here are some tips to care for your child’s teeth from Bright by Text.

Caring for baby teeth is just as important as caring for adult teeth. Cavities can spread from baby teeth to adult teeth, and the health of your child’s teeth and gums is linked to their overall health.

Pre-teeth - first teeth:
  • Wipe baby’s gums with a washcloth after meals right from the start to keep them clean and help babies get used to the feeling of cleaning their gums.
  • Once teeth arrive, brush them with a smear of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice twice a day.
  • According to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry fluoride toothpaste is perfectly safe for babies and toddlers, and helps prevent tooth decay.

Early eater:
  • Encourage your child to go from a bottle to a cup by one year of age. It’s better for teeth and overall development.
  • Check your child’s teeth for brown or black marks, which are signs of a cavity. It can get worse unless treated right away.
  • Skip the juice! Juice has a lot of sugar and can be bad for your child’s teeth, give your child water and fruit instead.

Full on carnivore:  
  • Your child may want to brush his own teeth, but you should take the lead until he’s 6 years old to make sure that all sides of their teeth are brushed. If brushing teeth is a daily battle here are some ideas to help:
  • Make it a game: you can pretend to find “wild animals” in her mouth and chase them around with a toothbrush. (“Oh, I see a purple polka-dotted hippopotamus in the back! Open up so I can get it!”) Or tell her that the toothbrush is a “tooth tickler.” You want to use the “tooth tickler” to see which teeth might be ticklish.
  • Sing a song that your child likes.
  • Brush your child’s teeth while he is taking a bath.
  • Download one of the many free brushing apps on your smartphone. Some have two-minute timers. Others have animated characters that children love.
  • Trade places. Let your little one brush your teeth! And make sure she sees you brushing your teeth twice a day.
Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by TextClick here or Text BRIGHT to 274448 to sign up!*

*Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to 274448 to stop. Text HELP to 274448 for help.


Read More...

Sharing is Caring

January: Teaching Children to Share

By Bright by Three - January 10, 2018

You can also check out this blog post on Denver's top mom blog, Mile High Mamas!

The tug of war, the kicking, the shoving, we’ve all the seen the perils of children fighting over a toy. Sharing is HARD, especially for little ones who don’t have a full understanding of the concept. The good news is, we can teach toddlers them to share! Start early and play with them often to help them learn. Here are some tips and games from Bright by Text

Starting at just over 1 year your child can start to learn what it means to take turns. Here are some ideas for fun activities that encourage taking turns:

  • Sit with your child and and roll a ball back and forth to encourage playing nice with others.
  • Gather several big blocks and sit on the floor with your child. Begin by stacking one or two blocks. Next, give a block to your child and tell him to put it on the tower. When she does this, say, “It’s my turn,” and put another block on the tower. Next, tell her, “It is your turn.” Continue trading turns as you build the tower higher and higher.
  • First, you will need a board at a slanted angle that is wide enough for cars to go down. Start out by rolling the cars down the board, then give your child a car and let her try. Repeat, putting the cars on backwards and sideways. Let her catch cars at the end of the ramp and bring them around to do it again!
  • First, get two play phones and sit with your child on the floor. Make a ringing noise and answer your phone. Say, “Hello. Is (child’s name) there?” Then hand the phone to her, saying, “(Child’s name), it’s for you.” Pick up the other phone and begin talking to her. Let her talk, then repeat what she says back to her. For instance, you can say, “Oh, you were playing with your doll.” Ask her lots of questions, listen, and show her that you understand her answers. After a while, say goodbye to her and hang up the phone.

As your child gets closer to 2, he can start to understand more about sharing. Practice sharing with your child.

  • Have him give you a toy and then you give it back. Or give him 2 of something to snack on and ask him to give you one. Be sure to give positive feedback when he shares!
  • Playdates and group activities also help toddlers learn to share, interact with others, and make friends.

Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by Text. Text BRIGHT to 274448 to sign up!*

*Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to 274448 to stop. Text HELP to 274448 for help.

Read More...