A little bundle of joy joins the dog’s family

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It is magical for a family when a new baby arrives. A new chapter begins for everyone, even for our four legged family members.

We all need to prepare for such a great event, but a mother and father have at least 9 months to prepare. Our pet dog feels that something is in the air, but of course it can’t understand exactly what’s happening.

Here are some tips on how to make the process as smooth as possible:

– Sniff the baby cloth:

Bring home a cloth or item from the hospital that contains your baby’s smell. You let the dog sniff it but not play with it or take it away; you need to communicate that it belongs to us. In this way, the dog can become familiar with the scent of the baby, but it also starts to build respect for the new arrival.

– Establish rules around the baby:

Once you have brought home your new baby, you should teach your dog its limits. It is good to start in the nursery room before the baby’s arrival home. You can allow to your dog to enter the nursery room and sniff around only under your supervision, so it understands the space should be respected.

– Introduction:

The dog should be walked before the introduction, so its energy is released and it is as calm as it can be.

Whoever holds the baby should be completely calm, so the dog doesn’t feel any unnecessary tension.

The dog should be allowed to sniff the baby but from a reasonable distance. The best is if the dog and baby are not too close for the first time. This helps the dog to respect the baby.

– Your dog should still be an important part of the family:

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Don’t forget about your dog, which means you should maintain the daily routine. This helps the dog to feel secure and accept the new situation.

You can reward your pet with treats for its nice behaviour, so you are encouraging associating the baby with a positive feeling.

– Teach your child:

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Teaching your child how to act with a dog and how to respect it can’t start too early. As soon as your child begins to interact with the dog, explain and show how to behave appropriately with a dog. As a dog should be supervised on how to behave with children, your child has to be supervised to ensure it treats the dog properly.

Children have to learn how to behave with dogs as we discussed in the previous blog post:

https://blog.triptriphurray.com/2015/11/02/puppy-the-familys-new-addition/

– Babies safety first:

Dogs always need to be supervised. Never leave your baby alone with the dog, not even for one minute. A dog can become agitated by the sounds or actions of the baby; you can’t be sure about the dog’s reaction so never leave them together unsupervised.

Life after a new baby becomes hectic, but trying to maintain a routine as regular as possible helps the dog adjust to the new situation.

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With care, supervision and a little bit of preparation, you can live together safely and happily as one loving family.

Puppy: the family’s new addition

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As we discussed the benefits of dogs for children in our previous blog post ‘Best dog breeds for children’, we fully believe that a family is complete with a dog.

But after we make a decision about breed, the next big step is prepare our children for the change and determine how best to introduce our new member into the family.

This is no problem for bigger children, as we can set the rules and agree on plans. But what about toddlers?

This is the hardest age group, as toddlers need a lot of attention. However, I believe that this is the ideal age to have a first dog, as the bonds that can form between a small child and a small dog are once in a lifetime.

Children and puppies have a lot in common; they are impatient, intense and sometimes unpredictable. That is why it is so important to supervise those first encounters between your child and the puppy and to manage carefully and with patience.

Toddlers may tend to treat the puppy as a stuffed toy by pulling its ears and fur, poking its eyes, stepping on its tail or sitting on it. A frightened puppy may instinctively bite or claw to defend itself. To avoid such a catfight, here are some rules and tips that are worth following to make the introduction of the new puppy easier and quicker.

– Being present:

You should always be present! You can stay in the background, but supervise and be ready to step in if needed.

– Teaching rules:

We need to teach the basic rules to our children, and how to act with a dog. How to touch and pat a dog, and of course how not to treat it, like not smacking, pulling ears, fur, poking eyes, stepping on its tail or leg, or sitting on the dog and so on. And of course, explain to your children not to disturb the dog while sleeping, chewing or eating.

– Limits for children:

We need to explain to toddlers and young children that puppies are living and feeling animals, not stuffed toys. We need to teach them limits about when to stop poking them and when to leave them alone.

– Canine body language:

Teach your child when he should stop playing with the dog by learning to identify signs of dominance from the puppy.

– Safe place to retreat for the puppy:

Everyone needs a private place, and so too does the puppy. We need to provide him with a place where children can’t bother him. Of course, for toddlers we need to supervise them, as they are too young to understand.

– Puppy talk:

We need to ask children to keep their voices down, as a puppy can be frightened by screams or high voices. We can explain that puppies can get frightened of scary sounds like children.

– Encourage your child to help you take care of the dog:

Having a pet is a wonderful way to teach your child responsibility. Depending on the age of your child, you can include him on your walks with the dog or he can help feed him or clean up after him. They can even take part in the training in the dog school.

But if we complete this introduction phase with care and supervising, we help to establish the basis for a magical friendship, as nothing compares to the bond between a child and a dog.

puppy arrives to family with kids

And there is one more important thing:

– Do not pet a dog you don’t know!

Once your children are ‘dog-savvy’ and not afraid of dogs, be sure to teach them not to touch dogs they don’t know, and always to ask for permission before interacting with someone else’s dog. They may love animals and not be scared by them, but you should explain that not all dogs are like the one at home!

The best dog breeds for children and families

Best breeds for children Hungarian Vizsla

‘A dog is a man’s best friend’ isn’t just a saying; in my opinion, it is the truth. I’d even say that a dog is a child’s best friend. I am sure that anyone who has both a child and dog will agree with me.

Having a dog as a companion in childhood is one of the best memories we can have. Experiencing the unconditional love and playful joy that a dog gives can even influence our personality.

Dogs can teach about unconditional love, forgiveness, acceptance and so much more. They impact on our child’s life and personality in so many ways:

– Responsibility: A dog teaches your child responsibility. Bigger children can be given the responsibility of feeding or even walking the dog, while little ones can learn a bit of responsibility, like putting away their favourite toys. Because they might get chewed if left in the middle of the room🙂

– Empathy: Children learn how to behave with dogs, and it will nurture a love and respect for animals and nature.

– Importance of family: become closer to family members, brothers and sisters by sharing a common friend.

– Having fun: Child-friendly dogs love playing with children; they can become best buddies, so as parents we can have some nice minutes while they are playing.

– Allergies, health: Studies have shown that babies with dogs are actually healthier that those without dogs, meaning less coughs, runny noses or ear infections. A dog can boost a child’s immune system, so they become stronger and healthier.

But what breed should you choose for your family? The main factor is, of course, how child friendly, gentle and patient the chosen dog breed is.

But you should consider your family’s energy level and lifestyle, so size, temper and disposition are other important issues.

There are also tasks with a dog, so we need to think through whether we can manage these or not.

So we’ve decided to get a new loving and lovable family member!

Let’s see what the best dog breeds for children are in our opinion (in alphabetical order):

  1. Beagle:

Beagle best dog breeds for families

Charlie Brown’s best friend is an ideal dog for families with children. The beagle is friendly, smart and never tires of playing with children. This breed gets along well with other dogs or pets and is sweet, loving and gentle with children.

But keep them on a leash or in a well-fenced yard as they really do follow their nose…

  1. Bernese mountain dog:

Bernese mountain dog best breeds for children

This is a real giant of a dog, but it is extremely gentle with children and interacts well with them. The Bernese is an easy-going, calm and patient family dog, and it is also loyal, sensitive and devoted.

A Bernese should have access to a fenced yard, but when his family is home, it should be with them.

If the giant size is not a problem, then Bernese makes a fantastic family dog.

  1. Collie:

Collie best dog breeds for families

This is the dog breed that Lassie made famous. A Collie is a very predictable and kind breed. It is easy to train and perfect for families that are not used to dogs. Collies get along well with children, and they are eager to please their owners and protect the family. Their stable personality makes them ideal for small children.

Collies are a great watchdog; they are not aggressive, but they will bark a warning and protect if attacked.

But their long hair requires regular grooming to keep their coat beautiful!

  1. Golden Retriever:

Golden Retriever best family dogs

This is one of the most popular dog breeds, which is not just a coincidence as the Golden Retriever is a smart, kind, confident and loyal dog. This breed is extremely patient with children and not aggressive or timid, which makes it a perfect family dog. It is a large breed and needs a lot of exercises, but it can help also to wear out your child too.

  1. Labrador Retriever:

Labrador best dog breeds for children

Labrador Retriever is also one of the most popular dog breeds along with the Golden Retriever, and for good reason of course: it is playful, protective, lovingly patient and reliable. It is a beautiful dog breed in nice colour variants (black, yellow and chocolate) with a sweet personality and of high intelligence.

It is a rather big dog, so it is not recommended for very small apartments or houses. It needs a lot of exercise but can adapt to apartment life.

The Labrador’s friendly nature and eagerness to please makes it one of the best choice of dog breeds for children.

  1. Newfoundland:

Newfoundland best dog breeds for kids

Newfoundland is really a giant dog, but don’t let the size intimidate you, as these kind giants are one of the best family dogs.

It is nicknamed ‘nature’s babysitter’ for good reason, as it loves children and is very protective of them.

Because of its giant stature, it fits a family with a large, open space home. But it is not considered a dog for the yard; this breed really wants to be inside with its family.

  1.  Old English Sheepdog:

Old English Sheepdog best dog breeds for families

The bobtail is one of the more affectionate and loving dog breeds. It is a large sized dog with an unmistakable shaggy coat. It has an easy-going, nice, kind temper, and is a perfect buddy for children. But don’t forget his fur needs to be taken care of regularly.

  1. Poodle:

Poodle best dog breeds for families

Because often given rather interesting haircuts, they can have the ‘beauty without brains’ image, but the Poodle is actually one of the smartest dogs of all.

Of course, Poodles can have a variety of cuts that are more suitable and maintainable for families. They are also great for children with allergies as they shed little fur, but they require regular grooming.

Poodles are caring, loyal and cheerful dogs, have a good nature and a lot of patience, which make them an excellent playing buddy for children.

Generally, the larger breeds are the best for children, but if you want a smaller dog then a medium, miniature or toy-sized Poodle can be a good choice.

  1. Spinone Italiano:

Spinone Italiano best dog breeds for children

Spinone Italiano or Italian Griffon is relatively unknown outside Italy; however, it is one of the most used ancient hunting dogs in the country. Besides hunting, it is widely used as a therapy dog, as it is extremely patient, loving and caring with children. In fact, it is so lovely and incredibly patient with children that I’d say this breed is the best family pet of them all!

The Spinone Italiano is affectionate, gentle, devoted and has a real sense of humour. And you will smile just when looking at it as – mostly the orange variants – it bears a striking resemblance to Wookie from Star Wars.

  1. Vizsla:

Hungarian Vizsla best dog breeds for families

This might be a breed that you haven’t heard before, but it is actually one of the best breeds for children. Vizsla has a gentle, kind and extremely loyal character and manner, and it is a perfect pet for the family. In addition, it is obedient, smart confident and learns quickly. And on top of that the Vizsla has very little ‘doggy’ smell.

Vizsla is an energetic breed, it can adapt to indoor life, but it needs a lot of exercise.

It is very patient and playful with children, which makes it a perfect buddy. I’d especially recommend the wire-haired variant, as it is a bit calmer than the short-haired.

And last but not least, Vizsla is one of the most elegant and beautiful dogs in my opinion.

 

9 Tips on How to Entertain a Child on an Airplane

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Travelling with young children can be daunting, but travelling by plane with a toddler can be an absolute nightmare, as we can all imagine.

Children can get bored easily, and you can’t ask them to sit still for hours to avoid disturbing the other passengers.

And when trapped in a plane with a screaming child, there are the sympathising and understanding looks from others, but we also know the other types of looks!

But not to worry! We have some great tips for you on how to survive the trip and keep your child entertained.

1. Bag of tricks:

As we suggested for a restaurant visit, prepare a little bag with items such as small toys, little puzzles, memory card games, etc., which he/she enjoys playing with.

2. Little presents:

Small toys, like little dolls or cars can keep them busy for longer periods.

3. Arts and Crafts:

Bring crayons, papers and a colouring book with you or print out drawings of some favourite character from the web. All children love to colour, and mostly they enjoy colouring with Mam or Dad.

4. Stickers:

This is one of my secret weapons. My daughter enjoys stickers, so before trips I buy her sticker books with tons of stickers.

5. Finger puppets:

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You can make a show with your little one. In particular, 2-4 year old children love it.

6. Books:

It doesn’t sound like the most entertaining thing, but getting a book about an airplane, airport or the destination city you are going to, can be big fun for the children.

7. Get a ride-on suitcase for your child

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It is not the cheapest thing, but if you travel a lot by plan it is worth buying one. Brands like Trunki, Molto and others make them.

Your child can also sit on it while waiting in long queues. And with the strap you can pull your child if there is a long way to go to the departure gate.

8. Bubble wrap

Sounds silly but who doesn’t like it? So if there is a little peace of bubble wrap, it can keep your little one busy for a while…J

9. Emergency tantrum kit:

This is the last reserve solution, if the situation turns very bad. Pack your child’s favourite sweets or treats, lollipops, chocolates or whatever helps to keep them busy and avoid a full tantrum. Of course, the goal is to keep this bag untouched.

I wouldn’t suggest rewarding bad behaviour and I don’t like giving sweets to children, but the desire to avoid possible public humiliation can be stronger in certain situations.

And here are some extra tips and pieces of advice:

– Comfort:

Beside the comfortable cloth and the extra spare clothes, grab some extra pacifier and favourite blankets, just in case one gets dirty or lost.

– Take a pillow:

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Small children can sit on it, so they can see out of the window better, and sleeping is more comfortable with a pillow.

– Sugary treats are the enemy

This statement contradicts the ‘Emergency tantrum kit’ tip. But that tip is only recommended in case of emergency, and emergency only. Normally try to avoid giving sugary snacks to your little one to avoid a sugar-rush, as this produces a more energetic child.

So, try to pack fruit, crackers or other things that don’t contain sugar.

– Drink helps ears during take off and landing:

Taking off and landing can be hard on adults too, as our ears can pop and hurt too, but it is even harder for children. To avoid such an inconvenience, give them something to drink or eat during take off and landing. The sucking motion stops their ears from popping and they will feel much better soon.

– Bring a big amount of hand sanitiser:

You will feel better for having it with you, if nothing else. But you will probably end up using it too.

So if you use some of the tips above, we are sure your child will enjoy the flight much better, and you will feel much better too.

But don’t be too relaxed until your child turns 6-8 years; you still don’t need to buy any magazines yet J.

TripTripHurray is featured in Estonian Air’s in-flight magazine!

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Autumn handcraft with kids

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Don’t feel down because summer is over and the days are shorter! For kids autumn can be the best season, with its changing leaves, lovely weather, pumpkins and lot of family fun, like making autumn handicrafts.

You don’t need to spend lots of money in special shops, as you can get all you need from nature. While taking an autumn walk with your kids, you can find colourful leaves, acorns, chestnuts and more.

Let’s go back to being kids ourselves and enjoy this fun. Our kids will definitely enjoy it: no question!

Just let your and your kids’ fantasy go wild; here are some tips.

– Leaf drawing:

autumn handcraft with kids hedgehog

This is the most obvious autumn craft, and one of the best. We draw the basic line, like the head of a hedgehog, the contour of an owl or a clown, the leg of a chicken and so on. The rest you can create with your leaves and with your imagination.

– Painting leaves:

autumn handcraft with kids leaf

Autumn leaves have wonderful colours and we can make beautiful composition with them. But we can also have some fun making rainbow-coloured leaves or convert our leaf into a sweet little insect.

We need only some leaves, some tempera paint and our fantasy.

– Chestnut animals:

autumn handcraft with children

I think this is one of the favourite autumn crafts for all ages. For the easiest ones, we need only chestnuts, matches or toothpicks; for the more complicated ones, we should use a knife and other materials like, glue, fur, wool, etc.

We can make the traditional ones, like a chestnut man, dog or horse, but we can also make almost anything with a little bit of imagination and creativity.

– Cork printed autumn composition:

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This is a very easy and quick autumn handicraft with children, and thanks to Dad we always have cork at home.J

We simply need to paint the tree or bush on our paper, then dip the cork into the nice autumn colours paints and start printing all over until your tree and bush is full of colours.

– Pumpkin Jack-o’-lantern:

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Carving pumpkins is getting more and more popular in Europe among families with kids. Children enjoy the process of making it and it can be lovely family fun.

For cutting and carving, we may need the help of Dad, but kids can draw where to make the pumpkin’s eyes and mouth.

This is a very good step-by-step guide to it; you simply need to follow the instructions and enjoy the result on dark autumn evenings:

http://www.wikihow.com/Light-a-Pumpkin-for-Halloween

How to prepare a small child for being lost

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This is one of the scariest things a parent can imagine. A child can disappear in a flash in a shopping centre, cinema, playground or other public area. This is every parent’s nightmare, and we even try to suppress this fear deep down in our brain.

But we need to prepare our child for such an event!

Children 5 years or older are more receptive to safety information, but experts agree that we should also talk with our youngest about safety.

Toddlers should always be accompanied outside, but they still need clear information on what to do if they become separated from their parents in public.

However, it is not easy to know how to talk about this topic with a young child. First of all, we have to suspend all our fears because we need to talk calmly about safety with our child. We should positively encourage our child, instead of scaring them with things that can hurt them.

Try to talk with your children from time to time about safety, and find the best moments for that. For example, you can ask your child in a crowded shopping centre what should he do if you two get somehow separated. Then you can suggest some simple steps.

But the message always needs to be there: ‘If we get separated, I will find you; just follow the safety steps and stay calm!’.

The biggest fear – the ‘bad stranger’:

The main school of thought says ‘never go with strangers’, but young children can understand a stranger as a ‘scary’ or ‘bad’ person; therefore, someone who is friendly and nice may not be seen as a threat by them. For this reason, we need to try to be as clear as possible about this.

And instead of ‘don’t talk to strangers’, we should teach them ‘never to go with a stranger without asking your parents’ permission’. This is clear and easy to understand, even for young children.

But what if you get separated in a public place:

 This can happen in a crowded place, shopping centre, amusement park or cinema with an energetic child and, of course, it can be one of the scariest things for both the parents and child.

It is very important to be prepared for that. Hopefully, you won’t ever need to use the knowledge, but these simple steps can help you to help your child feel protected.

  1. Stay where you are:

 You should teach your child to stay where he is at the point when you became separated. It is easier for you to find him, instead of you both moving about. If the child stays put instead of running in from one place to another and becoming more lost, it helps to the parents to locate the child.

  1. Teach your child your real name:

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Try as soon as possible to teach your child your full name. We should repeat this information over and over again to help them remember it.

For example, if your child is simply shouting ‘Mama’ in a crowded shopping centre, it can be difficult to distinguish his voice among those of other children who are calling for their mother.

Some parents worry about encouraging children to yell for help, as it can make them an easy target for ‘bad strangers’. But the truth is that such people look for the children who are not drawing attention. A child calling for his mother is too much trouble.

  1. Teach your child to ask another mother for help:

If your child becomes separated from you and is yelling your name without success, the next step is to ask for help. This is another reason why it’s not convenient to teach them to not to talk to strangers.

For young children, we should teach them to turn for help to another mother with children. Older children can turn to police officers, but smaller children can’t yet distinguish uniforms from darker clothing. So, the safest choice for a young child is to approach another mother with children.

So the basic teaching for your child in case of being lost: stay where they are, call your name and then ask for help from another mother with children.

  1. Having the information:

Once he has got help, it is important that the child knows the names and phone number of his parents. For a small child, you can teach him this information in a song; in this way they remember better.

But even if the child knows the information, he can be too scared to remember or tell it, so the safest solution is to have the information written somewhere in a practical way, such as a label in a shoe, clothing, jacket, etc. Or get some safety jewellery for your child, like a bracelet or necklace with your phone number, a sticker or cute ID card, which can be bought in the market. You can find some links below.

These are very simple but useful steps in case of emergency that are easy for everyone to learn. The best is if you practice these steps with your child at home or in a safe public place to make sure he remembers. You can pretend you get separated and let your child work on the steps, staying where he is and calling your name. You can even involve a friend, so your child can practice asking for help from another mother. Once your child has completed the practice, be sure to congratulate him for following the instructions, or talk through calmly what went wrong and how to do it properly.

We will hopefully never have to use these steps, but it is always best to be prepared, just in case.

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Other useful stuff:

 – Phone number bracelets, wristbands or necklaces:

https://www.etsy.com/market/phone_number_bracelet

http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/id-wristband

https://www.etsy.com/listing/177364334/child-safety-phone-number-necklace-lost

– GPS tracking and Bluetooth safety devices:

http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/category/gps+tracking/gps+tracking+devices+for+children.do

http://www.mybuddytag.com

http://www.safewise.com/blog/10-wearable-safety-gps-devices-kids/