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Coping with Kids: Happy Trunk has science projects |
More Lifestyles

Coping with Kids: Happy Trunk has science projects

The Tribune-Review
| Monday, May 13, 2013 9:00 p.m
Happy Trunk is a box filled with craft and science projects that will keep kids entertained.
“The Diaper-Free Baby”
“The Diaper-Free Baby”

Happy Trunk is a box filled with crafts and science projects that will keep kids entertained for hours. The kits are delivered each month and include all of the supplies and directions for three or four crafts projects and a science experiment. Each month has a different theme for activities, and the gender-neutral trunks are available for ages 3 to 7 or 8 to 11. The Happy Trunk can be ordered as a one-time gift, which costs $19.95, or a 6-month subscription, which is $109.95.


Documentary looks at what motherhood means

The documentary short film “The Untold Stories of Motherhood” from Oxygen Media takes a look at what motherhood means in America by featuring mothers and families across a range of relationships and lifestyles — including same-sex parents, mixed-race adoption, co-parenting with another couple. Oxygen also commissioned a survey on motherhood that found:

• More than half of Americans (55 percent) reject the notion that a “traditional” family can be defined.

• A quarter (26 percent) of parents say women should stay home with the kids and 17 percent say men should be the sole provider.

• Half of Americans say a “mother” doesn’t even have to be a woman; 78 percent say a single father can act as a mom.

• 75 percent of Americans think television and media has had a profound effect on the idea of a “traditional family.”

• Among the programming that has affected their thinking: ABC’s “Modern Family” (71 percent), Oxygen’s “I’m Having Their Baby” (58 percent) and NBC’s “The New Normal” (53 percent).

Author suggests keeping baby diaper-free

For many parents, the diaper debate is whether to go with reusable cloth nappies or disposable kinds.

But now comes a new option: Keep that baby’s bottom diaper-free.

Also called natural toilet training and elimination communication, this approach involves reading your infant for cues of impending elimination. When he’s ready to go, hold him over a toilet, sink, bucket or specially designated bowl.

“Recognizing your child’s need to go to the bathroom is truly no different from recognizing his sleep or hunger cues,” writes advocate Christine Gross-Loh in “The Diaper-Free Baby.”

According to the book, elimination communication is more environmentally friendly than diapers and more gentle for baby. Additionally, the author says it makes potty training easier, because it eliminates the transition from diaper to toilet.

Gross-Loh explains how to adjust the concept to fit different lifestyles. There will certainly be misses, the book warns. So stash the rugs and plan outings with baby carefully, and whatever you do, don’t forget that little bowl.

Kids’ chemical injuries down, but may rise in summer

Injuries from gasoline, lamp oil and similar chemicals have dropped considerably among small children in the past decade, according to a new study, reported by Reuters Health. “It seems to decline right around 2000, 2001. That’s when the Consumer Product Safety Commission mandated products be placed in child-resistant packaging,” said Dr. Heath Jolliff, the study’s lead author and associate medical director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

School-based programs help kids avoid cigarettes

Reuters Health reports that certain school-based programs that aim to keep kids from smoking cigarettes seem to work, according to a fresh look at past research. After examining more than 100 “gold standard” studies, researchers found that school-based programs that teach children life skills and self-esteem were linked to a significant reduction in the number who started using tobacco down the road.

Send parenting news to Coping With Kids in care of Rebecca Killian, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212, or e-mail

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