Blog posts of '2014' 'January'

How To Relieve Severe Back Pain During Pregnancy

Picture of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

by Penny Simkin, PT; et a

If you have severe back pain, ask your caregiver to refer you to a physical therapist or chiropractor who specializes in perinatal issues. This expert can provide treatment that may include ice packs, heat, hydrotherapy, massage, techniques to mobilize joints, and an exercise regimen designed to address your specific problem. Your caregiver may recommend that you wear a special garment or belt to support your abdomen and lower back.

Excerpted from: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide, Fourth Edition

© copyright 2010 by Parent Trust for Washington Children with permission from its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

CBC Maritime Noon

Best-selling baby name author Bruce Lansky was on CBC Maritime Noon discussing baby names and taking calls from Canadian listeners!

Check out the podcast here.

"Don't tell me how to cook!"

Don't tell me how to cook

© copyright 2013 by Dan Cangelosi and Joseph Delli Carpini from Italian Without Words with permission from its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

"Turn Off the TV"

Picture of My Dog Ate My Homework!

Poetry Theater adapted from the poem by Bruce Lansky in My Dog Ate My Homework.

Summary: A child debates watching TV with his parents.

Presentation Suggestions: Have the students read or perform the poem in front of the class.

Props: A TV would be a great prop but if one is not available the poem can be performed without it.

Delivery: The lines of the poem need to be read with poetic rhythm. For more information, please read the Performing Poetry section at our Poetry Teachers site.


Turn Off the TV!


My father gets quite mad at me;
my mother gets upset--
when they catch me watching
our new television set.

Dad (yelling):

Turn that thing off!


It's time to study.


I'd rather watch my favorite TV show
with my best buddy.
I sneak down after homework
and turn the set on low.
But when she sees me watching it,
my mother yells out . . .

Mom (yelling):



If you don't turn it off,
I'll hang it from a tree!


I rather doubt he'll do it,
'cause he watches more than me.
He watches sports all weekend,
and weekday evenings too,
while munching chips and pretzels--
the room looks like a zoo.
So if he ever got the nerve
to hang it from a tree,
he'd spend a lot of time up there--
watching it with me.

© Bruce Lansky. Adapted from the poem "Turn Off the TV" from My Dog Ate My Homework, published by Meadowbrook Press.

Toilet Training Your Child Before Preschool

Picture of Toilet Training without Tears or Trauma

by Penny Warner and Paula Kelly, MD

In the 1930s, the federal government advised mothers to begin toilet training their children at three months of age. While this high expectation is no longer held, parents still must meet one important toilet-training deadline: preschool.

 “Many preschools enforce a strict policy that students must be toilet trained by the start of school,” says Penny Warner, coauthor of Toilet Training Without Tears or Trauma. And while this quickly approaching deadline may motivate parents, Warner advises that a child’s readiness is the most important factor.

 “If your child isn’t ready to move out of diapers, you’re asking for trouble. Preschool can wait,” says Warner. “On the other hand, if you think your child is ready and you’d like to start him in preschool, a little encouragement may be all he needs.”

According to Warner, signs of readiness include regular elimination patterns, ability to follow simple directions, awareness of a soiled diaper and curiosity about the toilet.

 “When your child seems ready for toilet training, get ready for a big adventure,” says Warner. “With preparation, planning and practice, you’ll be ready to guide your child.”

Warner’s coauthor, Dr. Paula Kelly, provides the following suggestions to parents whose children are to begin preschool:

  • Have a private conversation with school administrators about how strict the toilet-training policy is. Many administrators are flexible and open-minded about this transitional period.
  • Send a change of clothes or two in case your child has an accident at school.
  • Be sure that your child’s teacher provides ample potty breaks, frequent reminders and easy access to bathrooms.
  • If a preschool’s policy seems too rigid, look into attending other schools. If a preschool’s policy seems too strict, that philosophy may carry over into other facets of education.

 “Accidents happen,” says Kelly. “It’s human nature. Just be prepared and be supportive.”

Sled Pull

A creative exercise activity by Trish Kuffner

Sled Pull

 © copyright 2013 Trish Kuffner from The Fitness Fun Busy Book with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

We're running a book giveaway on Goodreads for The Fitness Fun Busy Book! If you're a Goodreads member you can enter with the link below. If you're not a Goodreads member, be sure to check back for more upcoming giveaways!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Fitness Fun Busy Book by Trish Kuffner

The Fitness Fun Busy Book

by Trish Kuffner

Giveaway ends January 31, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win
"Mystery Meal" by Bruce Lansky

I've Been Burping in the Classroom

© copyright Bruce Lansky from I've Been Burping in the Classroom with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

Beat the Baby Blues this Winter

Picture of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

by Penny Simkin, PT; et a

Caring for a newborn is challenging, especially when the weather keeps you cooped up inside. The occasional stroll outside can calm both you and your baby, making the transition easier. When the weather prohibits the occasional walk outside, a visit to a friend’s house or even a trip to the mall, the hours inside with a baby can feel like weeks.

“Baby Blues" affects about 80 percent of all new mothers. Symptoms can include crying easily, feeling overwhelmed, feeling a loss of control, feeling exhausted, anxious or sad, and feeling a lack of confidence about being a parent.

Try these suggestions for ways to ease the baby blues when you can’t get outside:
•    Eating well
•    Avoiding alcohol, caffeine and over-the-counter sleep medications
•    Getting regular exercise such as walking on a treadmill
•    Being in sunlight or its equivalent long enough to make you feel good
•    Having time for yourself with a break from responsibility
•    Getting adequate rest and sleep

These tips can help make the time you spend with your newborn this winter not only bearable, but also enjoyable.

© copyright 2010 by Parent Trust for Washington Children with permission from its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

The Secret of the Limping Handyman

A Two-Minute Mystery from the Can You Solve the Mystery? series created by Bruce Lansky

The Secret of the Limping Handyman

Click here for the answer!


© copyright 2013 from the Can You Solve the Mystery? series with permission of its publisher, Meadowbrook Press.

Signup to receive
news, specials & more!