Category Archives: Kids and Babies

The 7 Best Gifts for a 4 Year Old Boy

Do you need a gift for a 4 year old boy? Then you are in for a lot of fun! 4 year old boys love toys, and lots of them. Still, when you want to buy a gift for a boy there are some things to consider. There is no rocket science involved but things like durance and how much the parents will appreciate the toy come into play. Truth be told, 4 year old boys find a way to break anything so it won’t matter much if you give them a fire truck for $10 or one for $50. If the wheels, ladder, and red color are all in place the boy will love it till it can no longer run on the empty wheel houses! You may want to check this gift ideas source for more options.



A Fast List for an Easy Choice

If you need a good toy as a gift for a 4 year old boy you are bound to find something useful in this list. You don’t have to go to the toy store since a safe and trusted site like Amazon will get you these toys to their best price and straight to your door. Expertmom has put together a list of 7 good toys that will be very smart gifts for a 4 year old boy. They should also be appreciated by parents and siblings and create many hours of healthy play far away from any TV or computer screen.

Angry Birds: Knock on Wood Game
Do you love the angry birds? Here is the real Angry Birds: Knock On Wood Game! Shoot at the birds but be careful to place the game in a place where a table cloth or carpet will keep the pieces in reach. The game is easy to understand so very young children can join while older and adults also find it entertaining and fun.

Step2 WaterWheel Activity Table
This is a wonderful toy for younger children that lets them play with water without driving parents nuts. Use it in the bathroom or outside and let them enjoy the water and the tools that come with the table. For a review of the Step2 WaterWheel Activity Table click here.
The table is sturdy and will make an excellent gift for any little boy or girl!

A Great Water Gun
This is a toy for a boy! You can’t go wrong with it. Water guns are a must during the summer months and you will make the child very happy. Just make sure that his parents are OK with this type of gift. If they do approve it is a very good choice for quality and many hours of fun! The Nerf Super Soaker Scatterblast Blaster is a great choice.

Nothing like a good water gun for a 7 year old boy!

Nothing like a good water gun for a 4 year old boy!

Playmobil Adventure Playhouse
The PLAYMOBIL Adventure Tree House provides him and other kids with hours of fun. This is the kind of play that develops imagination and that will last long after the 4th birthday. Since Playmobil toys are known for their great quality they are a very good option for boys that will test the stuff in every thinkable way.

Crayola 4ct Washable Fingerpaints Primary
Finger paints are a lot of fun and for kids with parents that have the space and patience for these types of activities this is an excellent gift. The Crayola Washable Finger Paints, 4-Count ( 4 ounce tubes ), Red, Blue, Yellow and Green set is a wonderful idea for a birthday party where the kids can get to enjoy it right away but remember to warn the parents to send some clothing that can afford a little coloring for the day! (washes right off after the party)

LEGO set with many parts
No list with great gifts for a 4 year old boy can be without LEGO! This is the age when the kid starts to understand how to truly assemble the pieces to create all sorts of things. This is a gift everyone will be glad you brought. Go for the LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box 10696 that includes many pieces for a lot of creativity!

Melissa and Doug Deluxe Standing Easel
With the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel you will navigate the paint from walls and doors to the easel where everyone can enjoy the 4 year old’s creativity and ambition. He can paint over and over on this and other siblings and friends will also join in the fun. Parents can also use this toy to teach drawing and basic writing in an easy and entertaining way.

Kids love to paint standing up, just like an artist!

Kids love to paint standing up, just like an artist!

If you want something bigger and fun for the whole family, you can consider a family wagon like the Radio Flyer Pathfinder Red. It will let the children enjoy a safe ride and also give you a new way to transport them to different outings which is even better than a regular stroller. Read more about it in this review of the Radio Flyer Pathfinder.

 

Watch the video below to see even more gifts ideas for a 4 year old boy

You can also go for a classic Bop It which is a really nice toy for many different ages. Read a review and see a movie of how it works here: Bop It!

When Can I Start Playing Board Games with my Kids?

Are you waiting for the day when your kids will sit patiently around the table enjoying a good board game with you? There are great board games for smaller kids but you can’t expect them to play like older kids from the start. If you want your toddlers to start playing board games with you, you should get the best kind and have lots of patience.

Play One on One

If you have several toddlers and younger kids in your house it is not a good idea to gather all to learn how to play board games. This type of arrangement will usually end up a big mess where fights about cards erupt. To avoid this kind of irritation you should try to sit down with one at a time. Explain the game patiently and play it over and over. Once one of your kids get the hang of the board game you can bring more of them into the game and watch how it develops to a really nice activity for a Sunday afternoon!



What Board Game Suits Toddlers?

The first board game to start with should be something fairly simple. For ages 2.5-5 you can pick out a nice memory game. Memory is the game where you have to pair two cards by turning them face up on the table and remember where which symbol is hiding. Kids love this game and it is very stimulating for their logical thinking. Start with 4-7 sets of cards and add on as you see that your child understands and enjoys the game.

Play even if they don’t get it!

If you are playing Memory with a 4 year old and a 2.5 year old, you will most likely notice that the 4 year old gets the rules of the game. The 2.5 year old will also enjoy turning the cards and follow the rules but he might turn the same cards over and over to get to exclaim what is on the pictures. Don’t get stressed out about this. If everyone is having fun it really doesn’t matter if you play by the rules or not. Let the 4 year old collect the matching pairs while the 2.5 is turning the same cards over to yell “it’s a cat!” (5 times in a row)

Bingo Style Games

If you want to expand the memory theme you can get board games where you need to match the cards to a board with pictures. This is a lot of fun and also a great way to learn shapes and the name of different objects. Go by the same technique as for memory and let your kids understand the games slowly in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.
Also, don’t forget that you must always lose! So keep turning that cat and cow up and call it luck when you happen to get a real pair of symbols.

How to Move From Potty to Toilet When the Child Refuses

Moving from potty to toilet can be a daunting task for a child. Some children simply find it frightening to sit on the toilet. They fear falling in or tighten up when they lose the sense of balance that they have in a diaper or on the potty. So what should you do to make your child move from potty to toilet? There is plenty of advice online and in books for this and here is a great advice that Expertmom shares with you for free!

Children are Curious

You have probably tried to make your child move out of diapers or go from potty to toilet seat by promising special gifts. This is usually a method that does the trick but some kids are stubborn. If they have decided that they won’t go on the potty or toilet no gift will help! If you are in this situation you need to switch method but keep that special gift.

Children are curious and if you tell your child that there is a gift waiting after a successful nr 2 on the toilet this will start a new thought process in his head. You don’t even have to show the gift. Just point out where you have put it, out of reach, and let him know it will be his or her as soon as the move from potty to toilet is completed.

Patience

This is a great advice that can do the trick for you but stay patient! It might even take a few weeks before the move from potty to toilet is completed. Mention the secret gift once a day, and try not to nudge about it. Keep positive and calm and soon you will see that your child must get that gift by going on the toilet!

Where Can I Buy a Baby Bjorn Carrier?

Baby Bjorn carriers are popular for their safety and ease of use. If you are thinking about a Baby Bjorn you might want to try a friend’s on first, or go straight ahead and buy one but where can you buy a Baby Bjorn carrier to a normal price? This is no the cheapest baby carrier around but if you buy wisely you can get it for a fair price. Don’t forget that Baby Bjorn carriers have the quality which last. It is quite common to see parents use the same carrier for several kids and even pass it on to grandchildren!

Buying a Baby Bjorn Locally

Your local baby store is bound to have Baby Bjorn products and this might be your preferred place for purchase if you want to get the product today. Just remember that you will have to pay a much bigger price when you buy a Baby Bjorn carrier in a regular shop. $100 and more is not an unusual price but if you are in a hurry to get started with your baby wearing it might be worth it. It all depends on your budget of course.

Getting a Used Baby Bjorn

You can also consider getting a used Baby Bjorn carrier. Check online boards for second hand sales or your local information board. It happens that people rush to buy a baby carrier only to realize that they don’t really need it and that’s why you can get a fairly new one used in most places. The question is if you will find Baby Bjorn since this is one of the most popular baby carriers around.

Expertmom Recommends

Expertmom recommends buying the Baby Bjorn carrier online with Amazon or similar. Buying with Amazon is safe and it also gives you the opportunity to get a new or used Baby Bjorn. The prices for baby carriers are usually better online and this includes shipping. A Baby Bjorn carrier is light weight and comes in a box which is suitable for mailing so it makes sense to buy it online.

How to Make a Man Wear a Baby

If your Man is just as passionate about baby wearing as you that’s great but the fact is that many men couldn’t care less about what sort of vehicle the baby is transported in. Some men find baby wearing dangerous and for them it takes more than a home sown sling to get help with the wearing. Here are some tips for how to make a man wear a baby. Once you get him started you will see that he’ll really catch on and that will leave you with more time and energy for other things.

Choosing a Baby Carrier

The first step in how to make a man wear a baby should be to present him with the best baby carrier. All men are different and some feel perfectly fine walking around with a hippie style wrap around their chest and back. For men that care about their appearance and look to be more slick this could very well be the kind of baby carrier that will make them shy away from the very thought of helping out with the baby wearing. Look into cool looking baby carriers like Baby Bjorn and choose a masculine color.

Ease of Use

All though wraps and slings are very popular by breastfeeding mothers they are not the way to make a man wear a baby. If you thought that it was hard to learn how to tie that wrap, imagine how he will handle it! Again, sporty baby carriers like Chicco and Baby Bjorn are meant for carrying babies without brains. They are safe and extremely easy to put on and off. You show him once and he is ready to go.

Hand Him the Baby!

Don’t get possessive about the baby wearing. Even if you feel that you have powers and enjoy doing it, it is smart and fair to hand the baby over whenever you can. If you go for walks together make it a habit to dress your Man with the baby in the baby carrier. This will lead to comfort that will make your Man take the initiative to start baby wearing without you around. Remember that babies sleep very well in baby carriers. You can stretch out and take a nap in your bed while baby sleeps on Dad’s chest.

This is how to make a man wear a baby, good luck!

Are Baby Monitors Safe?

Baby monitors are shunned by some and loved by others. You don’t have to belong to a certain school of parenting to see the advantage of an extra pair of ears. We all have moments when we can’t let the baby sleep exactly where we are and in these situations it is a comfort to still keep a close connection should the need arise.

Safety of Baby Monitors

A baby monitor is never the problem when it comes to the safety of your baby. You can’t expect the baby monitor to do the job for you as a parent. The idea is that you cause an extra safe environment by being able to hear your baby cry for you even when you are on a different floor or in a different room. Baby monitors should never be used at such a distance that you can’t come to your baby’s aid fast. Going to a next door party with a baby monitor is irresponsible and could end really sad!

If your Baby Plays with the Monitor

Some baby monitors are made to be used for toddlers and these will either have to be placed out of reach or be safe enough for the child to touch. There are two aspects to this. The first one is your child’s safety and health. The monitor cannot have any small parts that could come loose and find its way to your child’s little hands and mouth. The other aspect is that you want the device to last and not break. It is hard to name any electrical application that can withstand the test of a curious toddler so you’ better install a shelf out of reach to truly enjoy the baby monitor!

Get a Good Brand!

If you are looking for a safe baby monitor you will also have to get a safe brand which is known to work well. Read reviews and decide if you want to try this helpful machine or not. Many parents do well without so it is not a must but rather a nice way to make things around the house less complicated when there is a baby or toddler around at sleep time!

Is Baby Bjorn That Bad?!

Baby Bjorn baby carriers have been rumored to be bad and Moms all over the world discuss whether the Baby Bjorn is that bad. Now, first of all, let’s get things straight; Baby Bjorn is NOT bad! The question is if a Baby Bjorn carrier is good for you and not if it is bad. Ask anyone that used Baby Bjorn for child after child and they will tell you it is a life saver. So you really need to estimate if this carrier fits your needs for baby wearing.

The Sporty Choice

A Baby Bjorn front carrier is a very sporty choice. The design is sturdy and you can move really nicely with your baby safely attached to your body. This is probably why many men feel that the Baby Bjorn Active carrier is a great choice. If you want your man to do that carrying you might see better results by getting the Baby Bjorn rather than a sling or body wrap.

Breastfeeding

Don’t expect to breastfeed while wearing your baby in the Baby Bjorn carrier. This will not work out! However, this type of carrier is excellent for after feedings when you want to get things done and make sure that your baby digests the food well while relaxing in an upright position. Again, this is also a great opportunity to hand baby and carrier over to your partner.

What About Your Back?
People who claim that the Baby Bjorn is bad might have had pains in their backs from it. If you are not used to carrying a lot and come straight from pregnancy and birth to suddenly lift many kilos a day without breaks you can expect to feel this. Be careful and avoid strange movements while wearing your baby. Hanging the laundry can wait till you have free movements of arms. It really shouldn’t be all that strange to consider that you might want to slow your regular pace down a bit.

Eventually you’ll be back to the routines of the household chores. Meanwhile, enjoy your new baby and leave the laundry to later! Moderate use of a Baby Bjorn carrier should be a good idea for most so if you think that you’ll be fine using it for walk, burping and late fuzzy nights it is a good choice and indeed something very good!

What Potty Training Equipment Should I Buy?

What potty equipment to get will depend on your and your baby’s needs. First of all, you don’t need everything prescribed by the experts. You are the true expert of your child and your household and therefore you will know the best what products will help your potty training the best. In fact, you might not even need a potty which by many is seen as a standard commodity for potty training.

Potty or Not…
Potty or not, that is the question! You will have to potty train but know that many children are ready to go straight for the toilet. If you get a toilet training ladder with seat for your toilet you save yourself a lot of time and efforts on cleaning and the child will naturally continue to use the toilet without it.

Some children feel safer with a regular potty and if you do get one if should be adjusted to the size of your child. Make sure that it is easy to clean. Inserts are popular but according to many parents it is easier to keep a solid potty clean since there are no holes and crevices for dirt to get stuck. Expertmom recommends the Baby Björn potty for its simple and useful design.

Night Potty Training
For the night potty training it is great to get protective sheets. Get the kind that looks and feels like fabric to eliminate noise and discomfort. Your baby should not sleep less because of the protective sheets. One sheet is enough if you have the time to wash and dry it in one day to put it on the bed again, otherwise two sheets are recommended for easy use. Remember that you might have to bring your child to the toilet in the beginning as he or she does not know that they are waking up for number 2. The protective sheet should not be instead of a diaper!

Practice Pants
Practice pants are being debated. On one hand it is nice to keep the accidents off the floor and clothes but on the other these nappies makes it harder for the child to potty train. If you can handle a week or two of accidents this is better than practice pants. Get the practice underwear for trips and times where a mess up would be too much to handle.

My First Meeting with the Baby Bjorn Original Carrier

Susanna from Sweden tells us about her experience of the Babybjorn carrier.

Babybjörn is like milk and butter
In Sweden people have been using the original Babybjorn carrier since the early 70’ies. It is so well known that a review of the Babybjorn Original seems silly when you sat in one yourself as a child.

Actually I didn’t sit in a Babybjorn from early childhood. My first meeting with it came 15 years later when my father had remarried a woman who liked to be practical about things. A Babybjorn is certainly practical, especially when you make other people carry your babies in it. To be fair, the new witch in our household did most of the carrying herself but she also enjoyed sending me out with the babies snuck into the Babybjorn Original.

“Just put them in the Babybjörn! It is easy and you won’t notice that she is there when you shovel the snow off the drive way…”

Ehm, yeah right, I was definitely a strong 15 year old but let me tell you this much, the Babybjorn Original was not like a smooth caress on my back and the baby did way a few kilos. Now, this is the review of the Babybjorn Original carrier by a 15 year old. What happened 15 years later?

As my first baby came around I couldn’t see how I would make it without a Babybjorn carrier but the review of the Babybjorn Original stuck in my mind and I went for the Babybjorn Active. Perhaps it is easier when you carry your own babies but I didn’t feel that it was so heavy and annoying like I did 15 years earlier. Now it was fun and indeed practical.

You might wonder if the little girl I dragged around on my tummy as a 15 year old ever returned the favor and the answer is no! Conveniently she lives far away from us so I can’t give her a review of the Babybjorn Active carrier to convince her of how weightless my babies are. I am pretty sure she will use one as well one day, like most Swedes. Babybjorn carriers are simply too cool and practical to be ignored no matter if they are forced on you as a teenager or not!

All the best from Susanna Lidholm, Stockholm, Sweden

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The First Big One in the Toilet, and I Missed it!

Read Debbie’s story of her son’s first nr 2 on the toilet and get… inspired!

Big Ones!
Daniel had shown signs for toilet training for many months when I decided to take the plunge. His older brother was still fussy with moving from potty to toilet so I thought that I should let Daniel move straight for the toilet. I was planning to get a ladder with a seat for the toilet when he decided for himself to do nr 2 in the potty. It was all very exciting and I realized that we might be saying goodbye to diapers very soon.

As the big ones were getting there the small ones where getting, well what should I say, all over! I felt at loss after two weeks of wee wee all over our house. When the brothers started making a game of intentional urinating on our beds I became quite mad and threated to put them both in diapers again. Another game was to stand in front of a mirror and watch the liquid come out on whatever was below, mind my new slacks!

I composed myself as some of the nr 1 got into the right holes and started to the pep talks for the toilet. We sat a bit but there was nothing going on at that point so I didn’t get to see the diamonds go into the right place. I was certain that my youngest boy would very soon be moving straight to the toilet and just skip the potty. That would be wonderful potty training straight from the book I never had!

It did happen but not with me, in day care! As I came to pick Danny up from his caretaker she smiled and informed me of the advance. I made sure to reward him with an ice lolly and we were very excited but deep inside I couldn’t help but feel that I wanted to share that magical moment. Did I lose it? My mind? Probably, the fumes all around me indicate that soon I will get to witness the second go at the toilet.

Now I only wish that Daniel’s older brother will follow suite and move from the potty to the toilet. It really isn’t such a big deal. We all do it!

Greetings from Debbie Stuart mother of 3, Hamburg, Germany