Toddlers and Technology

One of Totsy's own Niece

Our kids will never know what a life without wireless devices and touch screens is like. Their future may very well be like that of the Jetsons. But what effect does all this technology going to have on their young development. Have you seen the YouTube video of the baby using an iPad? The video captures her clearly understanding the iPad’s touch capabilities. Then, she is given an actual paper magazine and she thinks it’s broken because nothing happens when she taps the pages.  It’s a cute video. Really.

And its also evidence of one of today’s challenges as a parent. The what and how of parenting with technology. How much is too much? Will not using technology enough make it harder for children when they reach classes that require it? Where does a parent come down on balance?

Just like t.v., video games and cell phones, today’s technology presents another opportunity for parents to use it as a learning tool, but not allow it to become a fixture that replaces other educational or physical development opportunities. And certainly, it should not be used as a substitute parent.

Parents will use their smartphones and other devices to calm their kids down or keep them distracted during long waits and in public situations where a little technology might prevent a meltdown. Like most things in life, it’s a matter of balance. Our Totsy team dug a bit deeper into the situation to give you some of both the positives as well as the negatives surrounding Toddler’s and Technology.

Pros

  • Fine-tunes motor skills: Pushing keys and manipulating a mouse gives those tiny toddler hands and fingers the same type of valuable workout they get from finger painting or doodling (though without the creative kick of more artistic endeavors). This form of “finger activity” also hones in on hand-eye coordination, which will pay off for years to come as your little one learns to catch a ball, use scissors, or put together a tricky puzzle.
  • Teaches Cause and Effect: When your child taps a button or swipes the screen, something happens, encouraging curiosity.
  • Apps Targeted to Toddler’s: The App store has a plethora of apps targeted at toddlers. From flashcards that teach numbers and the alphabet, to learning a new language, to games that involve shapes and colors, your smartphone or tablet can be turned into a classroom.

Cons

  • Not Enough “Face Time”: Kids who are glued to a screen throughout the day are less likely to interact with other kids or adults. As humans, we need to interact with one another, developing emotional and social skills.
  • Lack of Activity: Too much screen time may make your little less active, even later on in life. Toddler’s need hands on time, feeling and touching everything, developing their senses. Get them to play with blocks, get muddy in dirt, or finger paint. Can they do that on your smartphone? Nope! Toddlers also need physical play; it helps build strong muscles and it’s a primary way little kids discover what their bodies can do.
  • Too Much Stimulation: According to Natural News, research presented at SLEEP 2010, the 24th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, has revealed that children who use technology late at night are more prone to develop cognitive problems than children who have regular sleeping patterns that do not involve staying up late on their computers and cell phone. Or in other words, after using technological devices too close to bedtime may make them antsy and hyper, disrupting their sleep schedule. Their bodies basically have been told, “you’re not ready for bed.”

Tune in tomorrow as Totsy’s Chief Mom shares her thought via video.

Revitalize Your Skin


Cold air, lack of sun, bundling up, means one thing…WINTER, which can also translate in to dull, pale, and even pasty skin (unless you’re in beautiful weather all year round…so jealous), which isn’t exactly “becoming.” Cold air, low humidity, and indoor heating combine to pull moisture from our skin, making us dry and lusterless. We should you how to keep your entire body moisturized this winter, but lets not forget what everyone sees the most: our face! This winter, revive your glow with these simple tips. Fake a summer vacation and get that refreshed, glowing look coveted all summer long; You’ll look as though you’ve been off for weeks!

Moisturize

 

  • Using a moisturizer is the most important aspect of any skin care regimen. If you don’t already do so, start! Slather on a rich, super moisturizing cream to instantly hydrate and plump skin. Look for one high in vitamins A, C, D, and E and oil-free as well to prevent clogging up pores. Moisturizers that include a sunscreen are an added bonus!
  • Moisturize your insides as well by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Green tea will also remove any unwanted impurities and help clear up your skin.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen! It should be applied to dry skin 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors, even in the winter.
  • Fill your sink with lukewarm or cool water and add a few drops of oil. Coconut oil and Almond Oil are great choices. Hold your breath and soak your face for as long as you can. Come up for air and keep soaking for about 3-5 minutes. Your skin loves to soak up water, and you probably know that after having a long bath your skin feels the most soft and smooth. Finish your soak by immediately applying a light, unscented facial moisturizer and either let your skin air-dry or gently pat dry with a towel.
  • Use cool water when washing your face to avoid over drying and it’ll  keep your skin looking fresh.

Food for Thought


Get a naturally sun-kissed look by applying bronzer to your entire face and a rosy blush just on the apples of your cheeks. Don’t overdo it though! Remember, less is more!

Keep it Clean

 

The number one rule of maintaining healthy looking and flawless skin is to keep your hands off it. Your hands and fingertips are crawling with bacteria. You don’t want this on your face and seeping into your pores. This is the number one way breakouts occur!!!!

How To: No Sew Pillow Cases

[sourc:www.jandofabrics.com]

 

New year, new beginnings, right? Correct! It may be a little too early for Spring cleaning, but who’s to say your home doesn’t need some freshening up? Not all of us have the budget to completely redecorate our homes for the new year, but there are are few tricks to add a breath of fresh air to your living space. One of our favorites is the No Sew Pillow Case. Yes, you read correctly, “no sew.” What could be better than that? If you’re sewing machine challenged just as we are, this DIY is right up your alley!

What you will need:

  • Standard throw pillow (preferably without any embellishments) 
  • A piece of fabric 3 times as wide plus a few more inches and twice as tall plus a few more inches as the pillow
  • Pinking shears

Steps

Use pinking shears to cut the fabric to avoid fraying.

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Start by folding the bottom half of the fabric to the center of the pillow.

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Then fold the top down to the center.

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Fold the edges of each end as if you’re wrapping a present.

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Bring one side over the top of the pillow. Repeat for the opposite side.

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Tie the ends in a square knot. To tie a square knot you take the fabric over-under then under-over.

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Voila!!

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Images courtesy of organizeyourstuffnow.com.

Kiss Dry Winter Skin Goodbye!

care for beautiful woman legs

Cold crisp air, snow, and bundling up! Who doesn’t love winter? Okay, maybe quite a few people don’t, but others love it! Whether you like winter or not, it is important to take care of your skin, no matter your age! Skin is the largest organ of the human body, serving as a protection barrier from outside intruders, so take care of it! Here are some helpful tips to keep you and your family’s skin soft and subtle this winter.

Stay hydrated

  • Not only is water good for health, your skin needs it too! It is just as important to stay hydrated during the winter as it is in the summer.

Sunscreen

  • Just because it isn’t 80 degrees outside doesn’t mean you need to retire your sunscreen. The suns harmful rays can still affect you in the winter. Opt for SPF 15+. There are plenty of oil-free ones available for your entire family. Try Aveeno as they have a variety of sunscreens to meet your family’s needs.

Face

  • Your face is the most exposed part of your body during the winter time; keep it moisturized! In order to prevent clogged pores and breakouts try oil-free, non-comedogenic face creams. Try Neutrogena, many of their products are already oil free.
  • Avoid licking your lips as saliva dries them out faster. Keep them smooth and silky beeswax based chapsticks and lip balms. Menthol chapsticks will dry your lips out faster and fruity flavored glosses, balms, and chapsticks tempt you to lick those lips! I don’t about you, but I can’t help but eat a strawberry lipgloss off my lips!

Showering

  • Avoid aggressive soaps as they dry out skin faster. Stick to brands such as Aveeno and Dove that are chock full of emollients and moisturizers.
  • Avoid super hot showers! Though it may feel amazing to take a hot shower after frolicking in the cold, it can quickly damage your skin. Instead shower with lukewarm water. Your skin will thank you! Also apply a moisturizer while your skin is still slightly damp. Your body will better absorb the lotion/cream.
  • Use a gentle exfoliator to remove dead, dry skin cells. Brown sugar, milk, and honey make a great DIY scrub!
  • Need to relax after a long day? Incorporate oatmeal into your bath to soothe dry, itchy skin.

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A Few Other Tips

  • Make sure your kids are bundled up properly. The less exposed their skin, the less it will dry out.
  • Aquaphor is great for the entire family (can even be used a chapstick).
  • Use a humidifier to keep the air in your home moist.
  • Try to find lotions and moisturizers that contain either lanolin, mineral oil, or petrolatum (also known as petroleum jelly), or a combination of the sort. These oils trap water in the skin, preventing your skin from drying out.

Wrapping up with The Mother Co. & Parenting Expert, Dr. Robyn Silverman

[Source: Pediatricsafety.com]

[Source: Pediatricsafety.com]

Hi Totsy fans! In case you missed our live Facebook chat with parenting expert Dr. Robyn Silverman, partnered with The Mother Company, here’s a quick summary of some interesting questions and answers!

Question: My 6 year old son has a hard time expanding beyond 1 friend and has difficulty taking social cues and knowing personal space. His school has developed a “playground plan” for him that has just started where he plays with his one friend 2 days a week and others the rest of the week but we have learned that on the alternate days he has played by himself. He does not seem to be bothered by it at all, but we don’t want him to become an outcast or not liked as he gets older. We’ve tried talking to him about it but he still struggles with it. He is very affectionate and seems to be liked by other kids, except when they tell him they don’t want to play anymore he does not take the hint. What else can we do? –Bob Celosky

Dr. Silverman

  1. Diversify and multiply friendship circles.
  2. Encourage him to be a part of something in someway.
  3. Meet up outside of school: Perhaps crowds intimidate him.
  4. Make sure you don’t put your fears on him: If he is happy to be alone some of the time, perhaps that’s something that just works for him.
  5. Challenge him: Challenge him to choose one person who he will talk to or play something with during recess
  6. Ensure that he is spending time with people he likes
  7. Ask for their definition of a good friend

Question: I have a couple of friends who tell me their children (3-6) are drawn to kids that are aggressive and rebellious. How should parents instruct their children? What kind of action, if any, should parents take to guide their children?  -Laurel Moglen

Dr. Silverman: Children like to have fun– so if they see kids looking like they are having fun, they will be drawn to it. Rebellious sometimes seems like fun! But, we need to guide our children to understanding what fun & good choices are and what fun but bad choices are. The biggest question: will it hurt you or someone else?

Question: What would you say are the benefits and drawbacks of the label “bully”?  –Scott Baumgartner

Dr. Silverman: My feeling is that labels can be dangerous. Self fulfilling, if you will. However, someone can be acting like a bully without always being one– just like someone can behave in a shy way without the label “shy”– another label I don’t like. When we say “he IS a bully”, the child wears it like a coat. If you are behaving like a bully, it feels more changeable. Our main thought is to first ask, How do you think that made them feel? Instead, start with, what happened right before you started that vicious rumor? How were you feeling right before you took that action? Ground the action to a feeling.

Question: My daughter is 5 and just started going to pre-k this year. She has always been very independent and loved to go anywhere where she can play with kids, even preschool. Well, she has began to get anxiety and really nervous about going to school. I have even had to beg her to get out of the car when we got there. Her teacher has expressed concern to me about Kendyl acting nervous when they had to do group activities. I want school to be a fun experience for her. – Kristin Hovde

Dr. Silverman: Find out what’s scaring her: Is he scared that he won’t make friends? Getting lost? Being left out? Loud noises? Once we find out the true fear, we can handle it together. Talk about your childhood back to school fears and how you coped: When your child can hear that you had fears and that you dealt with them successfully, it can help her to feel better. Share something that made you feel more confident so she can call up this story or nugget of wisdom when she needs it.  Use a structure: A structure is something tangible that your child can touch when she is feeling nervous. It can be a smooth rock or marble in her pocket or a little something hanging from her belt. Put an association along with that structure. “Every time you touch this, remember to take 3 deep breaths and think of me sitting beside you,” for example.

mindware

[Image: mindware.com]

Great tips from Dr. Silverman:

  • Asking kids AS A COACH can be wonderful instead of lecturing.
  • It’s important for kids to understand their definition of “friend.” What is it that they are really looking for?
  • We need to ask our children to reflect on choices they’ve made as a practice. “That was fun…and it was a good choice!” or “that might have been fun…but what was the consequence?”
  • I think it’s important for parents to step back and get their children to think. It’s a way of teaching accountability and empathy. Instead of providing the answer, ask questons. Takes patience. What did you do? What happened when you did that? What did you learn from that? What will you do next time?
  • Who do you want to be thought of as a person? What words do you hope come to mind when people think of you? Then they must act accordingly. Have them write it down. It is what they must aspire to.

More Resources:

Battle of the Alphabet: BB Cream vs. CC Cream

In one corner we have BB cream, in the other CC cream, both sweeping cosmetic counters across the country. Are they gimmicks? Fads? Worth the money? Better yet, what are they?! No worries, the Totsy team is here to solve the mystery behind these two creams!

Blemish Balms, Beauty Balms, or just BB cream for short, are a type of tinted skin treatment that became a phenomenon in Korea and quickly spread across Asia and made its way into the U.S. BB creams are similar to tinted moisturizers— if your tinted moisturizer had taken a bunch of performance-enhancing drugs, became super rich, and was living the life of a celebrity…yeah it’s pumped up. Sena Kang, general manager of North America for Dr. Jart+. says “BB creams are the next generation of product because they contain high-performance treatments like anti-agers, antioxidants, brighteners, and botanical actives combined with high-level sunscreen, coverage, and moisture.”

Soon after BB creams infiltrated the market, next up in the alphabet, CC creams began to make their appearance. Color correcting, or CC creams are tinted, antioxidant-packed skin-care/makeup hybrids that originated in Asia (Singapore-based Rachel K’s white tea and deep-sea-water CC Cream has been prized by Hong Kong’s top makeup artists since it debuted last year.) Last month, Olay was the first in the U.S. to launch their CC cream, with other cosmetic companies such as Chanel (who already launched their CC cream in Asia) and Clinique following suit. Though very similar to BB creams, there are some differences. Unlike their predecessor, CC creams are hailed lighter-weight, with higher broad-spectrum SPFs (up to SPF 35 PA++), working to brighten complexions and diminish pigment issues, too.

Being that CC creams are relatively new, but seem to be better than BB creams with the extra bells and whistles, the ultimate test is trying out ones that best fit your skin and needs.

Here are a few recommendations:

BB Creams
For Oily Skin: Estée Lauder Daywear Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Creme SPF 35 $38
For Dry Skin: Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream SPF 15 $12.99
For Sensitive Skin: Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Beauty Balm with SPF 25 $42

CC Creams
The Olay Total Effects CC Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer  $22
WEI To Go First Impression kit $30
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream $39

Tell us, have you tried either the BB or the CC cream?  Which do you prefer and why?  Leave your comments below!

The Three C’s: Cute, Cozy, and Comfy!

Thanksgiving means rounding up the entire family, gathering with friends, being thankful for all the little (and big) things in life, and eating  to our hearts content! I mean who could pass up all the savory dishes, delicious deserts and TURKEY! But does anyone ever dress “properly” for this feast? I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of wearing the tightest, dressiest, most uncomfortable ensembles on this glorious day. Let’s not have a repeat this Thanksgiving and abide by the three c’s: cute, cozy, and comfy! The gals at Totsy have compiled 5 easy outfits that are guaranteed suitable for any Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too.

1. The Poncho

[Source: Pinterest.com]

This can be easily be paired with tights or skinny jeans (whichever you feel more comfortable in). Boots, pumps, or even ballet flats would be super cute with this look. Make sure to incorporate a dressy, but simple blouse underneath for when it gets to warm. If your poncho has a high neck, focus on accessorizing your arms with a chunky bracelet, or stack a few simpler ones. For a lower neck poncho, a statement necklace will complete the look!

2. The Chunky Sweater

[Source: Pinterest.com]

We all have one those over sized, chunky sweaters in our closets. Now is the perfect time to break it out! Again, using tights or skinny jeans, or even a high waisted skirt, this is sure to be super comfortable. Paired with a sheer blouse and statement necklace, you’re guaranteed a winner. Pumps had even more dress appeal to the sweater. Riding boots would make this perfect for an afternoon Thanksgiving luncheon. For a more defined look, belt it!

3. The Baby Doll Dress

They flow, are loose fitting, and are a perfect go to dress for any gathering. Whether a short sleeved baby doll paired with a blazer for the evening or long sleeved for the afternoon, you’re sure to be comfortable. For the day, boots are the perfect compliment, where as in the evening booties or pumps are perfect. These dresses are so versatile that you can dress them up any which way!

4. The High Waisted Skirt

[Source:Pinterest.com]

As short or as long as you want it, high waisted skirts are a classic way to go for any holiday dinner. Perfect with either a button down or cardigan, dress it up with a statement necklace and stilettos to complete the look.

5. Clean and Simple

[Source: Pinterest.com]

When all else fails, you can never go wrong with tights (or skinnies), an oversized blouse or tunic, and stilettos. Easy, chic, and so versatile. Belt the tunic; throw on a colorful blazer; accessorize to the max; the possibilities are endless! Anyone can easily put this together in a matter of minutes.

Some advice:

  • Try not to wear such form fitting clothes as you will begin to feel uncomfortable during extended periods of sitting.
  • Opt for wider banded tights.
  • Empire waists are great as they give you form, but are loose fitting around the stomach.

Happy Thanksgiving!