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Choosing the Right High Chair for Your Baby

by Tina on February 2, 2012
category: 0 – 1 year (baby),1 – 3 year (toddler)

Babies do not generally require high chairs until they start to eat solid foods. For most infants this happens around six months (or thereabouts). Even before babies start throwing food from the tray of their chairs, high chairs can make it possible for a little one to spend quality time with other family members at the table for a meal. Babies often enjoy being included in meal times with other household members.

Your infant’s first chair is his or her high chair. The purchase of such a chair is very important. You may wonder what you need to think about when it comes to making such a significant purchase for your baby. After all as a parent you cannot try it out for yourself as you might a new sofa or loveseat because the fit is not quite right for you! Just as you need to consider a variety of factors when you buy a crib or a car seat for your baby daughter or son there are numerous things to think about before you make a high chair purchase. Here we look at those factors for you to bear in mind:

Know what your budget is

baby-chair-furniture Your finances should not be the only deciding factor for the type of high chair you buy your baby but they must be one factor. The range of prices for high chairs is vast which is why it helps for you to know how much you can and cannot afford for this purchase.

In that way when you go shopping you will be able to zero in on the chairs that are most fitting for your budget and this will save you time. Ask others such as family members and friends what high chairs they can recommend to you. Other new mothers would be one of your best sources for finding the right chair for your baby!

Safety and security should be a top priority. Only purchase a high chair that you feel completely confident about when it comes to your baby’s safety and security. If you find one that you are just not sure about then keep looking. You need to find a chair that is strong and resilient.

It must be able to resist your baby pushing against it, rocking it and even kicking it. It must securely fasten into place when your baby is seated in it. It should be as steady as possible and should not wobble. To find a safe high chair you need to look to a quality brand. It is an investment that is worth it for the sake of your sweet little one.

Be mindful of the height of the chair. You want the high chair to be at a comfortable level for you to feed your baby, whether you are standing, sitting or bending over the chair. For this reason you should take a height measurement of our table before you go shopping. An adjustable high chair is a good idea but you must ensure that it is secure before you buy it.

Consider the size of the tray

All high chairs have trays but they do not all have the same size trays. Food will fall from the high chair onto the floor no matter what you do but the larger the tray the less food is likely to end up on the floor. Decide what size tray is best for your baby before you start looking.

Ease of use and convenience makes a difference

Let’s face it some baby furniture is not so easy to use and that is not what you want. As a mother you want a chair that is lightweight and easy to move around. You also want a chair that you can get your baby in and out of as easily and as quickly as possible. If your little one is crying and you want to get him or her out of the chair as fast as you can the last thing you want is to have to struggle with a complicated chair!

This will cause more stress for the both of you! If you travel or plan to take the chair with you go to visit family members then you need a chair that is easy to lift and put in the car.

Consider the lasting quality of the chair.

You want to buy a chair that will serve its purpose for your baby until he or she outgrows it. If you plan to have more children then the longevity of the high chair matters. If you can reuse it for your future babies then this will save you money in the long run.

Reminding Your Kids of the “Christ” in Christmas

nativity It is so incredibly easy to get bogged down in the traditions of Christmas, all the shopping, decorating, festivities, etc, and to forget the real meaning behind the holiday.  While I’m not a Santa-fanatic, we still get gifts from Santa for our kids and let them participate in the “fun” of it, however our focus on Christmas is Christ.

I was thinking of ways to keep my children’s focus on Jesus instead of the presents and Santa and came up with a few ideas I thought I’d share.

Teach about Jesus year-round and not just at Christmas - The more your children hear about the goodness and mercies of Jesus all year, the easier it will be for them to understand the importance of Christmas.  Daily read books and the Bible with them and encourage them to pray.  Amanda gave some great tips on teaching your children to pray yesterday.

Remember to put YOUR focus on Christ and not the traditions – Your children will see what you put the most importance on and will follow your lead.  If you are more worried about presents, they will be too.  The same goes for Santa Claus, if your family chooses to participate in that tradition.  If you are constantly saying “Santa is coming”, your children will get the impression that Santa is the reason for Christmas.

Encourage your children to have the giving spirit - Remind your children that we give gifts on Christmas in honor of Jesus.  Just like the three wise kings who brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus to show Him their love, we give gifts to those we love.  Make it more about the giving than the getting.  A great way to teach this is to have your child pick something out for another child who will be receiving gifts as part of a ministry.  Your child will get to learn that giving makes them happier than getting.

Read your children the Christmas Story – Reading straight from the Bible is always a good thing with your kids!  You are speaking truth and love over them when you do and you are ministering and preparing their hearts for their future relationship with Jesus.  Matthew 1:18-2:23 and Luke 1:26-38 and Luke 2:1-29 tell the story.  There are also many books that are more on toddler and preschooler levels that tell the story without all the “grown-up” and potentially scary details.  We currently have The Story of Christmas by Patricia A. Pingry and our kids love it.

Decorate your house with more Christian items than “holiday” decorations – We currently have two nativity sets out that our children love to look at and talk about.  We also made a construction paper nativity that takes up an entire wall.  I did the major cutting out and my 4 year old drew faces on Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and the Angel.  He also glued the pieces together and helped me hang everything on the wall.  We also have the scriptures from Luke telling of the birth of Jesus printed out and on the wall above the nativity.  Having a toy nativity, like the one Fisher-Price has in their Little People brand, is a great way for kids to learn and interact with the story.

How do you keep the Christ in Christmas with your kids?

Photo Courtesy of Loci Lenar

Book Review: Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

shepherding a child's heart cover Over the last few months, I have been participating in a study at my church of the book Shepherding a Child’s Heart.  This book has been eye opening to me and I thought I’d share my personal feelings and thoughts about it with all of you. 

The basis of the book is raising your children in a godly biblical way.  So often in our society we are caught up in the pop psychology of child raising that we stray so far away from how we are supposed to raise them.  I personally have tried many of the “tried and true” methods, including a ton of SuperNanny’s tricks and none of them have worked with our son.  Why?  Because they don’t get to the heart… they just focus on getting your child to do what you want them to do.  The main purpose of this book is to get you to focus on the heart and the attitude of the heart, to teach your child that God has placed you as the authority in their life to protect and guide them and that you serve as their authority under God. Once you teach the heart to love and to serve, the behavior changes.  It’s not only teaching your child’s heart, but it teaches your heart along the way. 

Tripp explains the two biblical methods of discipline are the rod (spanking) and communication.  He goes into great depth in explaining the appropriate way to spank and how not spanking puts your child in peril spiritually.  It was difficult for me to read this because my husband and I had decided not to spank because we had seen how upset we got with our son and felt like we didn’t want to spank in anger.  Godly discipline is NEVER done in anger, but in love.  Doing it in love prevents abuse and actually leads you to a stronger relationship with your child.  Since implementing this type of discipline, we have seen how differently we address our child’s behavior and how he is learning that we love him and that is why we aren’t letting “this one go”.  It’s a hard way to parent, but it’s the right way.

Tripp also goes into great detail about why the typical methods of discipline don’t really work and why as our children get older, they will rebel.  It’s really eye-opening!  It’s no wonder children are so rebellious these days and why so many are doing things that we never would have thought of at such a young age.  Parents are taking the easy way out. 

The only negative I have to say about this book is that there isn’t a lot of practical application examples.  However, through the Shepherding the Heart Ministries, a variety of tools with examples that are very helpful are offered.  Ginger Plowmann offers a  great supplemental resource in her Wise Words for Wise Moms chart that gives scripture references in dealing with specific issues.  The book does have review and thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter which are helpful in getting you to really understand the concepts.

All in all, this is a fantastic book written by a father, teacher, counselor and pastor.  With years and years of personal experience, his insight is clear and heartfelt.  He lets you know the struggles his family has had with certain things and he gives examples of how raising your child biblically makes all the difference in the end.  I highly recommend this book to anyone. 

Ephesians 6:4  “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it to other parents?

Do You Sing to Your Children?

by Amanda on November 9, 2009
category: 0 – 1 year (baby),1 – 3 year (toddler)

singer_2 I am a horrible singer. I have the ability to sing, but not always on key. Thankfully my kids don’t care. My 2 year old daughter doesn’t sing in tune either and we sound like a mess singing together. I enjoy singing to my children and with my children, but sometimes I get embarrassed singing around other adults, including my husband.

When my first was a tiny baby I made up a song to help soothe her. I have never sang it in front of my husband. We call it “the secret song.” I now sing “the secret song” to my second baby. Maybe it is silly and I should get over it, but I kind of like the bond it creates between me and my babies. Now this song is sort of a joke between my husband and myself. He jokes that “the secret song” doesn’t even exist. Its also fun to keep the joke going.

I often make up songs to make tasks easier. While my daughter waits for her peanut butter and jelly to be made we sing the words “peanut butter and jelly” in a funny way.

We sing all the nursery standards together a million times a day, Twinkle Little Star, ABCs, Itsy Bitsy Spider, etc. Now I get the joy of hearing her sing them on her own. My husband has a knack for picking up words in a song very easily. I sometimes wonder if my daughter will have this gift. She loves singing the songs in “The Aristocats.”

I do want to sing with my kids even if I am sometimes insecure about my voice. I have friends (Sarah, Dawn, and Natalie, to name a few) with amazing voices and I love hearing them sing. I know not to compare myself or I would never sing! I am thankful my kids don’t care if I can carry a tune right now. My daughter might be later if I am embarrassing her! LOL.

Do you sing to your children? Do you ever get insecure about your voice?

Apologizing to Your Kids

sorry hugs On Halloween, I was so excited to dress my kids up and see how adorable they looked in their costumes.  Our oldest gladly dawned his Mr. Incredible costume and was ready to head out the door.  Our almost two year old was not quite to happy to oblidge.  All I had to do is bring the costume near her and she screamed like I was pulling out her fingernails.  Actually getting it on her brought forth a thirty minute temper tantrum complete with the gasping for breath dramatic effect.  All of that made me angry.  Unrightly so, but I was mad.  I had longed to see my cute little girl all dressed up in her sweet “girly” outfit and she wanting nothing to do with it.  I finally gave up trying to convince her and fussed at her.  A few minutes later I realized how selfish I had been.  I was trying to force something on her that obviously made her unhappy and my response to it was completely inappropriate.  I got down on the floor, put her in my lap, cried and told her I was sorry.  She gave me a kiss, wanted to put on her shoes (to match her “normal” clothes), and we went on our way.

Many people would be shocked at the fact that I apologized to my toddler.  But why not?  Is she not a person too?  Did I not behave in a way that was wrong and hurtful?  It frustrates me to hear parents say “I am the parent,  I have the right” without taking their child’s feelings into consideration.  Not to mention, children learn by example.  We often times try to force our kids to apologize when they do something wrong to us or another child… even if they don’t mean it.  By allowing ourselves to show that we are not perfect and that we mess up too, we are allowing our children to accept that they don’t always have to be perfect, but that they should be aware of how their actions affect others. 

Another thing that was recently brought to my attention about apologizing to our kids is that it shows our children that we are all sinful and are all in need of a Savior.  My friend Ashley makes a practice of asking for her children’s forgiveness and then prays for her own forgiveness with her children.  When she told me about this, I thought it was a beautiful way to share your faith with your children. 

All that being said, it’s easy to ask forgiveness when you step on a toe, accidentally throw out a toy, or forget a birthday party, but asking forgiveness when you were acting selfish or even if you were just plain cranky is a lot more difficult, but no less needed.  Your children will learn to respect you and appreciate your honesty and they will learn how to respond to their own behaviors. 

Do you apologize to your children?  What specific way do you do it?

Photo Courtesy of deeleea

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