Tag Archives: winter

post-holiday blues

How to Cure the Post-Holiday Blues

It’s inevitable. The tree will dry up and be thrown out to the curb. The Christmas cookies will disappear, (unless you’re one of those freezer moms…) and the Christmas lights will come down in unison with your electric bill.  Your family might be greeted by something new and seasonal: the post-holiday blues. With all the excitement of the holidays behind you and all the wonder and drudgery of winter ahead, you might be left with the duty of curing the post-holiday blues. Here are some tips to keep your family smiling through January and finding joy in the post-holiday season.

  1. Plan a Mini Excursion. Sure, traveling over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s was exhilarating, but now it’s time for a new adventure. Book a weekend at a hotel that offers perks like an indoor water park, such as Great Wolf Lodge. Or, get tickets to the aquarium and plan to spend the day with sea creatures. Whatever your excursion, be sure to beat the blues by making a countdown calendar, giving your children something to look forward to when Annie is inevitably wrong because the sun really isn’t coming out tomorrow.
  2. Embrace the Ice. For those of us in cooler parts of the country, we may be tempted to settle in for a long winter nap.  However, our bodies crave the vitamin D we receive from the sun and the dopamine we get from being active. It’s challenging to be outside in cold temperatures for any length of time, especially with young children.  So when it’s sunny, open up those curtains and blinds! Also, plan a short activity outside each day, like making birdie bagels.  These can be created inside using bagels, peanut butter, and birdseed. Then, the bagels can be taken to the park or your backyard to hang for a short outdoor activity. Another idea: go outside ahead of time and make a trail of footprints in the snow. At the end of your path, place a treat in a plastic ziplock bag (new markers, chap stick, or play-doh) buried in the snow. Then, send the kids on a hunt to find the ‘snow-buried’ treasure. Even if these activities take only 10-15 minutes outside, the benefit of vitamin D, dopamine, fighting cabin fever, and happy winter memories are a treat for everyone. Encouraging your children to enjoy the outdoors and discuss their outdoor adventures once inside can make everyone’s spirits a little merrier and brighter.
  3. Keep on giving. The holiday season is the season of giving. However, it’s also the season of parties, planning, decorating, and baking. When the hectic holiday season is over, we have more free time. And despite being bombarded with charitable suggestions in the month of December, plenty of need in our community remains in the month of January. When the post-holiday blues have your family in a funk, think about how you can give to others.  Perhaps you didn’t have the flexibility in your schedule to volunteer during the holidays, but these organizations most likely still need help in the new year.  Call up a local nursing home and see if you can bring a craft to do with the residents. Help your children to get involved by asking them to plan an activity they would like to share.  Gather supplies to make Happy New Years cards. Are your children dancers? Bring a CD player and have them perform a mini recital. Your children will love planning the event and the residents will love the entertainment. Many nursing home coordinators are happy to plan activities with you- especially since their residents are likely also experiencing the post-holiday blues themselves.

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How to keep your baby warm this winter - SmartMom

Baby, It’s Cold Outside! How to Keep Your Baby Warm This Winter

Baby, it’s cold outside! The frigid temperatures have begun across the country, with negatives in many northern places in the past few days and tons of snow! The frigid air is more than just an inconvenience, it’s dangerous – especially for a small baby.

Here are a few simple things you can do to keep your baby warm this winter.

At home:

If you feel like your house is a chilly you can dress your baby in light layers. It’s also a good idea to purchase a few blanket sleepers for bedtime. They will keep your baby warm all night, and are much safer than wrapping him in blankets.

Nothing makes my teeth chatter like climbing between a pair of icy cold sheets at night. No wonder our babies cry when we lay them down- their cribs are probably freezing! One thing we have been doing to make bedtime a little cozier is using microwavable rice heating bags. Each evening when we start our bedtime routine we heat up the rice bags and place one in each child’s bed. By the time the kiddos are ready to go to sleep their beds are all warmed up, making it easier to snuggle in for a long winter’s nap. You can do the same thing with a hot water bottle or a heating pad. Just be sure to take it out of the crib before you put your baby down.

Still chilly? Maybe a space heater is the way to go. We ended up getting a small portable one. Even though we bought it with the intention of putting it in the nursery, it does a fair amount of traveling. Recently I’ve been taking it downstairs in the morning and setting it on the floor in the kitchen while we eat breakfast. Why be cold if you don’t have to be? It was pretty inexpensive ($25) and has a built in thermostat, so it turns on and off by itself to regulate a safe and cozy temperature.

On the Go:

Warm hats are a must. Unless you’re my son, in which case hats are the worst possible form of torture. Don’t worry; I tricked him by buying a coat with a fleece- lined hood, which he tolerates for the most part.

When we’re out and about I also like to put little mittens on his hands.  I keep an extra pair of them in the diaper bag because he tends to chew on them, and once they are wet they are of no use to either of us.

Be sure to dress your baby in layers so that you can remove a layer any time you go indoors. If your baby starts to perspire the extra moisture will make him even colder when you go back outside.

In the Car:

Please spend a few minutes reading the latest researching regarding bulky winter coats and car seat safety. Anything between your child and the car seat straps becomes compressed in the event of a crash, which creates negative space and increases the chances of serious injury.  Adjusting to not wearing coats in the car has been a battle for us this winter, but I think the kids have finally accepted our new routine. We pile the kids in the car, take off their coats, buckle them in, and then put their arms through the sleeves of their coats so they’re wearing them backwards. I’ve also been known to use our trusty rice bags to warm up their car seats when I’m on the ball… which, for the record, is almost never. But when it does happen the kids are much happier to climb into their seats.

Well folks, my fingers are officially turning to ice, which means it’s either time to swipe the space heater from my son’s room, or it’s time for hot cocoa. I’m going to go with the latter. For all the negative aspects of the cold weather, there are a few things I love about it. Freezing temperatures make it so much easier to just stay inside, snuggled up with the ones I love… which is what I’m going to do right now!

Hang in there, winter doesn’t last forever! Here’s some advice on what to do during a snow day!

 

RELATED QUESTIONS

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What do you keep the temp in your house at during the winter? And what’s your fave baby lotion for cold, chapped winter skin?

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