12 Tips to be a Happier & Healthier Family in the New Year

Start 2014 the right way with a healthier and happier outlook on life. You can put your whole family in the mood by having a positive attitude and emitting good energy. It's a perfect time to try new things while having fun as a family. By making 1 change each month you can vastly improve your lives. Here's 12 tips to stay healthy and happy in 2014.

1. Set a resolution

This is a perfect way to learn about the importance of setting goals. Goals help us set milestones so we can measure ourselves. A resolution to be more active or spend more time together will create stronger familial bonds. Plus, supporting each other as  group is a great way to stick to those vows.

2. Get some healthy sleep

Healthy sleep is the foundation of any balanced home. When babies and toddlers don't get enough sleep, they get cranky and put stress on the rest of the family. Your child may need sleep training. For help, visit the Family Sleep Institute website to find a certified child sleep consultant near you.

3. Go green

Do your part in taking care of the environment and save money by being more environmentally conscious. Parents can buy organic kids products, buy locally grown food, and use eco-friendly cleaning products. Try to use the car less often, ride a bike more, wash dishes by hand, and line dry clothes in order to save energy.

4. Eat clean

Being healthy means eating right. Use smoothies to help your kids eat their fruits and vegetables. They'll never know it's kale! Encourage your family to try new foods getting them to help you cook. When kids know they're a part of the meal, they're more likely to test it, because they made it!

5. Get some exercise

Regular walks are a great way to get started exercising. Visit the part just to run around or play with a ball. Even your backyard offers a healthier alternative to watching TV. If you take a vacation, plan active activities like hiking, bike riding, or swimming.

6. Take a family vacation

Even if you can only afford a short, weekend getaway, take your family out of the house for a while. Take a road trip to the most local national park or nearby historical sites. Even if you don't go anywhere special, just go somewhere different. 

7. Start a grateful jar

Have your family write down everything they're grateful for in their life. Keep these in a jar somewhere public, like your living room. This will serve to remind the family of all the things they appreciate and keep everyone in a positive mood. Every so often, dump the jar out and read them aloud so everyone is reminded.

8. Create a vision board

A family vision board is fun to make. Use old magazines to cut out letters and pictures and arrange them on a board where everyone can see each day. Use this board as a way to set goals for each other and use as inspiration.

9. Try something new

Routines can get boring and make us complacent. Try to do 1 thing new, no matter what it is. It could be a game, a hobby, or a new restaurant. It's healthy for kids to have new experiences and get them used to change. Also, stepping out of your comfort zone and supporting each other through challenges strengthens your family's bond.

10. Start a family fun night

Designate a night during the week for family fun! Watch a movie, play a board game, or just sit around and talk. Find a way to make everyone look forward to the evening so you have a good time. Use this as an opportunity to forget about your stress and responsibilities and just have a good time with each other.

11. Give back by volunteering

Teach kids about the importance of giving back to others by volunteering. They'll learn how to be humble and appreciate what they have. Random acts of kindness can be very powerful, so get your kids into the practice early. Show them how it only takes a few little steps to make someones day and help others in need.

12. Tell stories

Don't sit in silence! Encourage each member of your family to talk about their day. Ask your kids what happened in school, how their friends are doing and what they've been learning. In turn, share with them how your day at work went. Even if they don't quite understand, they'll appreciate your interest in making them a part of your life. Sharing experiences brings families closer together.

Written by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventors of the Zipadee-Zip

The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: "Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time," and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family's reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker's daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.

When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.

Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte's startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!

To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!

Interested in writing a guest blog for Sleeping Baby? Send your topic idea to pr@sleepingbaby.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Sleeping Baby makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net