Playgrounds, foods, and germs – and other toddler mom concerns.

This post is in collaboration with NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care. All opinions are my own. #Connect2Care


 Playgrounds, foods, and germs - NightLight Pediatrics Urgent Care


I’ve worked in education for over a decade of my life. Sure, my immune system had to seriously adjust, but I have never been this sick in my life. It’s been about 2 weeks, and Lila Sophia knows about the struggle, too. It seems like we’ve been passing it back and forth this entire time.

The NightLife Pediatric Urgent Care tour came at the perfect time – just before we were enveloped in the never-ending cold cycle. I loved familiarizing myself with the clinic, and getting to know the way they run things. If and when the time comes that she needs urgent care, I will not hesitate.

Lila Sophia is in daycare, and we also have her doing a toddler gym program. I realize that both of these activities lead to plenty more colds because of interacting with other children, but I don’t want to live in fear of germs. I had the opportunity to ask one of the NightLight Pediatric team members a few questions in regards to my anxieties and am confident in my decision to stare germs in the face and just clean up afterwards. 🙂


 Playgrounds, foods, and germs - NightLight Pediatrics Urgent Care

Playgrounds, foods, and germs – and other toddler mom concerns.

When I asked about Lila playing in public areas such as gyms and playgrounds I was given these tidbits:

  • Playing with other kids develops their social and motor skills, as well as the immune system.
  • Watch out and inspect for loose nails, screws, or splinters.
  • Make sure the ground area is covered with shock absorbing material.
  • On sunny days, along with slathering on the sunscreen, make sure metal slides and bars are not too hot as they may cause burns and blisters.
  • Children should always be supervised while playing.


 Playgrounds, foods, and germs - NightLight Pediatrics Urgent Care

Why Googling a rash is not helpful – clinical history matters

Some rashes can be due to allergies and some can be caused by infections, irritation, and non-allergic immune responses. Hives stem from an allergic reaction, are usually itchy, and can move around. A rash that comes from an allergic reaction appears differently depending on the person, while some rashes can look exactly the same but have different causes. A rash caused by a virus can also look like a rash that stems from a medicine allergy. Clinical history is important.

I can vouch for that…when Lila had a reaction to her MMR vaccine, that didn’t even pop up in the search for hives/rash all over the tummy. Instead I freaked that it was a multitude of other things! In my defense, Daniel took her to get her shots, so I didn’t think to look out for the side effects.


 Playgrounds, foods, and germs - NightLight Pediatrics Urgent Care

When Lila Sophia is not surrounded by others or playing in public places, I wanted to make sure we had developmentally appropriate toys at home now that she is one year old:

Because she is working on her verbal and fine motor skills, toys that stimulate multiple senses are best. Colorful stacking blocks, shape toys, and musical instruments. They should be durable, easy to clean, and make sure they don’t have small parts. And then of course reading to your child is always important to help them develop and bond with you.

Lila has been obsessed with books lately. Her attention span is pretty short, but she has been bringing books over, turning pages, and pointing to the images as we read. It’s been an absolute joy. Watching her play with oversized blocks has been cool, too! She’s recently figured out how to put them back together after pulling them apart. Musical instruments have been a favorite for  awhile now and Daniel is all for it since he loves playing the piano for her.


Along with my concern with germs, I had a few miscellaneous questions about food and potty training.

Babies should start with simple foods, like cereals, vegetables, and fruits – which we did – yay! Introduce one food at a time and wait a few days for signs of an allergic reaction before moving onto the next. High-risk choking hazard foods are grapes, uncooked carrots, hot dogs, and popcorn. I never knew about the carrots, hot dogs, and popcorn! Although I’m pretty cautious regardless of the food since Lila still has ZERO teeth. Ya, you read that right. She is an excellent gummer!

Unless you’ve noticed your baby reacting negatively when you drink milk [via breast milk], cow’s milk can be introduced after your baby is one. We are actually waiting for my breast milk supply to run out before doing that, which should be any day now… Whole milk is recommended because the higher fay content aids in brain development, but make sure to limit your child’s intake to 24-32 ounces [3-4 cups] so they can eat a variety of solid foods as well.

Potty training varies based on a child’s interest, but it’s usually between 18-24 months. I plan to aim for 18 months with Lila because she’s super observant and nosy, so I think it will work out, but we’ll see! They need to be physically and mentally capable of performing all the tasks needed to be successful, like recognizing the urge, and controlling it until they reach the bathroom/toilet. Emotional readiness is important as well, which can be gauged by their responses when potty training is even suggested.


If you happen to make it to NightLight – first off – I hope you and your kiddo are okay! But be sure to mention how you found them [Roxy @ what what!], and then please let me know how it goes!




  1. I’ve been guilty of googling a rash. 1) you get HORRIFYING RESULTS! It made me extra anxious 2) it ended up being something different than what I thought. It was really early on (maybe month 1 or 2?) Wolfie got what I thought was a heat rash since I sweated really badly one day while he was in the baby carrier. Turns out it was the same stuff as cradle cap but it spread to his body. Just had to give him daily baths and put on some special anti-fungal cream for a few weeks.

    • Lila had a couple heat rashes as a newborn, too! Rashes are pretty gross to google, :-O

  2. It looks like you’ve done your research! We’ve become obsessed with total removal of germs and it doesn’t help to develop our kids’ immunities.

  3. Yeah this time of year is horrible for illnesses. Back when my six-year-old was about six months old, I had the flu so bad I was in bed for two days. I’m not one to every really be in bed when I’m sick.

  4. I was able to google anything as my children are 24, 29, 32 and 34. There were always the other mothers and grandmothers opinions though and of course the famous old wise tales! Wonderful tips for new parents and I think its darling that Lila has no teeth yet. Keep babies babies as long as you can for one day you will wake up and she will be 34.

  5. That was a good idea to get parents informed! So good there’s Pediatric Urgent Care in your place. Great effort into making the kids feel safe and secured

  6. Searching the internet for self-diagnosis has only caused me great fear and anxiety. I was (okay, still am) a paranoid mama and worry about more than I should.

  7. It’s nice to learn more about your child’s development and it’s good to have a good source for that kind of knowledge. It’s never good to google symptoms. I’m glad you have NightLife by your side.

  8. I let my kids play in public spaces as long as I inspected the area first. It is so important for our kids to learn how to socialize with other kids, I always made sure we went and washed their hands as soon as they were done. NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care would be a great help when your little one is sick.

  9. We rely so heavily on the urgent care in our area… I would be thrilled if we had one that specialized in pediatric care!

  10. So many good tips in here for concerned parents!

  11. Raising children is a daunting task! I am relieved to be over the toddler phase with my kids. As we all want to protect them from getting sick, we must let the kids “get down and dirty” sometimes so their bodies will learn to build antibodies that will fight against common germs and viruses. For playgrounds and other areas, I need to make sure they are safe before I let my kids play in them. And no open ball pits. That is too dangerous.

  12. I am really happy you shared this place. We switched daycares and our twins are prone to getting sick so this is good tips and nice to know of an alternative place to take them when it’s urgent!!

  13. Lots of good tips here. Yes, every parents concern in germs and the food that eaten our kids. We need to be more aware of these. Germs is one of my concerns too even if my twins are grown up.

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