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Helpful Tips for Parents


Healthy Habits


Children love to imitate mom and dad, and this puts parents in an ideal situation to model healthy habits. While no one can be perfect all the time, eating a healthy diet and being physically active with your children on most days sends the right message. In addition, consider modeling the following healthy behaviors recommended by the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Limit screen time – whether it’s a television, computer or phone screen
  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Wear a helmet for activities such as biking or skating
  • Apply sunscreen
  • Brush and floss teeth every day
  • Don’t smoke
  • Wash hands
  • Make time for family dinner

Finally, if you make it a habit to reach for water instead of soda or juice to quench your thirst, your children will most likely make water their beverage of choice. Not only will this healthy habit help control calories, but it will also reduce the risk for tooth decay.


Health Tips for Dads-to-Be


If your partner is pregnant, she’s probably paying extra attention to her health at this important time. But, did you know that your health is also key for baby’s well-being? So, if you’re due for an annual check-up, make an appointment. Your healthcare provider will make sure you’re up to date on vaccines and will screen for health conditions such as obesity, pre-diabetes and high blood pressure. And consider the following healthy steps:

  • If you smoke, stop. Infants who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.
  • If you haven’t seen the dentist in a while, make an appointment. Routine professional dental care for parents may actually have a positive impact on a baby’s health.
  • If your diet is in need of an overhaul or you need more physical activity, now is the perfect time. Research shows dad’s weight correlates with childhood obesity.

Once your baby arrives, be patient. It takes about 6 weeks for most women to feel better after giving birth. Be aware that not only women suffer from postpartum depression (PPD); dads do as well. Contact your healthcare provider if you suspect you or your partner is suffering from PPD.


Day-Care Essentials


If your child is about to start day care, it can be an exciting time but also a stressful time. Getting organized can help make the experience a little less anxiety-provoking for you and your child. First, label everything from blankets and clothing to sippy cups and diaper cream. Check with your day-care provider, but it’s likely you will need to send the following:

  • At least two complete changes of clothing including footwear if old enough to go outdoors
  • Extra blankets and sheets
  • Several bibs
  • Plastic bags for soiled clothes
  • Enough diapers, wipes, creams or ointments to cover a change every 2 hours or so
  • Comfort measures, such as a favorite stuffed animal, teething rings or pacifiers
  • Photos of you and your family to be displayed in your child’s crib

Remember to pack enough formula, expressed breast milk or baby food. Purified, steam-distilled water, such as Nursery®, can be sent to mix with formula and cereal and can be offered to children older than six months.