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Dental Check For Young Children

When it comes to the first dental visit, most parents are confused: Should I take my child when all his teeth are grown? Should I wait for a dental problem to manifest? Such questions linger in the minds of most new mothers. However, experts do not agree and recommend taking your child to the dentist as soon as the first tooth grows.

Dos’ and Don’ts At Baby Mealtime

Even adults will reject porridge if we have been eating it twice daily for 6 months!” These have been a word of encouragement to several lazy mothers out there, they believe, 1 year and 7 months? My baby is old enough to start eating solid meals.

How To Potty Train Your Child?

Being able to use the potty is a very important skill for your little one to learn, and the best way to do it, is to introduce it to your little one slowly without forcing it. Every child is different and they learn in their own pace. Controlling the bladder is a skill that takes time to acquire and to master. They will eventually get there when their bodies are ready.

What Is Baby-Led Weaning?

You might be asking what is baby-led weaning? Well, it means exactly what it sounds like. It is weaning led by your baby, meaning your baby is in charge! It means allowing your toddler to eat by placing food in their mouths themselves without the help of their parents. However, do not be fooled by the name, you will still need to make sure that your baby is consuming breast-milk or consuming baby formula while attempting ‘baby-led weaning’.

Why Tummy Exercise Is Important?

Tummy exercise, often referred to as tummy time is essential for babies, although most babies hate it. If your baby isn’t a fan of tummy exercise, it could be so frustrating that you might consider skipping the whole deal. Well, the good news is that there are many different tummy exercises for babies, including rock and roll, taking a stroll, using props as well as going chest to chest.

Handling A Preemie

A preemie is another term for a premature baby. These are babies born between 20 weeks and before 37 weeks of gestation. A healthy pregnancy should last for about 40 weeks, but sometimes the baby can come out before that, and thanks to current technology and advances to the medical world, it can thrive and live a healthy life.

There are three known types of premature babies. The first category encompasses babies born between 34- 36 weeks and is referred to as late preterm babies. The next one is called very preterm, and this one is for babies born at less than 32 weeks of their expected due date. The final category is the extremely preterm which has babies born at less than 28 weeks of their projected delivery date.

Reasons for getting a preemie
Getting a preemie could be because of;
• Multiple pregnancies
• Smoking cigarettes
• High blood pressure
• Diabetes
Those born after 28 weeks of pregnancy and weigh a Kg or more have a nearly full chance of survival. Technology has made things easy, so if a mother gets a preemie, she shouldn’t panic, the baby will be well taken cared of.

How your preemie will look like
• Since the baby arrives considerably earlier, they tend to be smaller and consequently the head will appear bigger compared to the rest of their body.
• Likewise, their skin is usually a little thinner due to less fat in their body. It will also appear more transparent such that you can actually see blood vessels beneath it.
• Because the baby has less fat on their body, they tend to get cold even in average room temperature, which is why they need to be placed in an incubator immediately after birth.
• May have fine hair (lanugo) on both the back and shoulders

The behavior of your premature baby
As a mother, it’s essential to understand that your baby will act differently from the rest. The following are some observations you may pick;
• The baby will cry only softly or not at all
• They may have trouble sometimes breathing because their respiratory system is not fully mature
• If the baby’s delivery comes more than two months early, there might be some health problems arising from breathing difficulties. This is because some organs require oxygen. At such situation, doctors will closely monitor your baby to make sure growth is not compromised.

Once your preemie has been moved to special-care nursery, your interaction with him/her becomes limited. For a parent, it might be stressing not being able to hold, breastfeed, or bond with your baby after delivery. However, it is necessary for the well being of your baby. Despite not being able to touch your little one whenever you want, whenever you are in the special care nursery, touch her often and try to connect. If your doctor says it’s ok, you can also feed her. It’s good to be patient, and before you know it, you will be on your way home with your baby.

The Pros And Cons Of Co-sleeping

Co-sleeping is one of the many debatable topics for new age parents. It refers to the practice of parents sleeping in close proximity to their children. This could be physical proximity as well as sensory proximity where either one can touch and feel, hear and see the other one. Co-sleeping with children can be achieved in a number of ways such as bed sharing, room sharing and kids sleeping on beds attached to parents’ bed.

When To Stop Baby Swaddling?

Are you wondering when should you stop swaddling your child and why? This article can provide you with the top 6 reasons for why you should definitely stop swaddling your child after he reaches 3 or 4 months.

How To Prevent Baby Hiccups?

Hiccups are caused by involuntary diaphragm contractions. Sudden vocal cords that produce the “hic” sound usually accompanies the contractions. For most parts, your baby may develop hiccups and the ensuing discomfort will necessitate some medication.

What causes baby hiccups?
We all experience hiccups at different times- but less often as we grow older. Babies are unusually prone to hiccups even when they are still in the womb. At the womb, you may feel your baby having these hiccups but they should not worry you much. Hiccups are normal reflexes and should not cause any alarms.

Your baby may become susceptible to hiccups due to his emotions or when feeding. However, as the baby’s internal organs continue to mature you should expect the number of hiccups to decline. A drop in temperature may also cause your baby to develop hiccups.
Babies with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) have higher chances of developing hiccups; irritation, spitting, and coughing accompanies these infant’s hiccups. Though hiccups are less severe, seeking medical assistance is always important.

Other causes of baby hiccups include:
– Emotional stress
– Swallowing too much air
– Eating too quickly
– Eating too much food

How to prevent baby hiccups
1. Take short burp break
Feeding your baby continuously without breaks will make his/her stomach fill with air. The air can push the diaphragm, which causes spasms. Take short burps from feeding your baby; doing so reduces the amount of air in their stomach, which prevents hiccups from happening. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that taking breaks to burp babies after consuming 2 to 3 ounces of food is vital in preventing hiccups. Besides, if you are breastfeeding your baby, you can burp them while switching between the breasts.

2. Rubbing the baby’s back
You should rub your baby’s back and rock him forth and across to help him relax. Doing so helps to stop the spasms that cause the hiccups.

3. Feed them with gripe water
Gripe water is a combination of natural herbs and water. The mixture is ideal for preventing hiccups when the hiccups root cause is stomach issues. Gripe water contains ginger, fennel, chamomile and cinnamon; these ingredients are ideal for treating colic and other stomach problems. The effectiveness of gripe water in preventing hiccups is still under research but trying them with caution is always important.

Baby hiccups are a common experience, especially during the first year. Most of the reasons for the hiccups relate to feeding but you can always seek remedies to prevent them.

7 Ways To Bond With Your Newborn

As explained in our article on the importance of bonding with your newborn, bonding with your little one is essential for the health of both you and your baby. We understand that after the birth of your baby, it might be overwhelming for you. To support you in your journey to perfecting parenthood, here are some ideas on how to bond with your newborn.

1. Mirror looking

However weird this sounds; this is in fact a very intimate activity to do with your newborn. Humans are one of the few creatures who have the ability of self-recognition. Your baby may not be able to recognize themselves in the mirror until they are around 18 months old, however, babies love looking at human faces! Not only is it fun, but it will also help your baby explore and learn about their surrounding as well as themselves. This will be a fun activity to get intimate with your newborn!

2. Breastfeeding

The WHO (World Health Organization)’s recommendation for the length of breastfeeding is until 2 years old. Breastfeeding is designed perfectly for your newborn. It does not only provide your baby with all the necessary nutrients and provide them with protection against infections – breastfeeding also helps foster a strong bond between you and your baby. Your baby is like a sensory sponge – they absorb everything that they come across! As your precious one snuggles with you and lie in your warm embrace, your baby will remember and recognize your scent and listen to your heartbeat. This kind of intimate skin-to-skin contact is an excellent way to bond.

3. Bathing with your baby

Bathing with your baby provides you with the skin-to-skin contact that we previously talked about. However only do this with a safety net for your baby, and always test the temperature of the bathwater before jumping in with your baby. A warm bath aids circulation and helps us to relax. This will be beneficial for your baby as well as yourself. However, always remember that your baby is super delicate, so only have a bath with your baby in a well-ventilated bathroom!

4. Eye-contact

Newborns do not have perfect eyesight when they are born. At most, they can see things within 20 cm from them. Despite this, it is worth getting close and personal with your baby, looking into their eyes during chats, feeding and other activities. You will be surprised how much both of you enjoy this small little trick!

5. Smell your baby!

Scent is the strongest tie to memory, so take in your baby’s scent! Everyone has a specific scent, and the same goes for your baby. Take a sniff, you would not be able to resist the scent of your little one.

6. Hugs and Kisses xoxo

All the smooches and hugs you give your babies can do them good. Hugs and kisses are not only good tools for bonding but also helps reduce the level of cortisol (stress hormones) by releasing oxytocin. Hugs and kisses can also assist your baby to gain the ability to regulate their emotions from a young age. So… KISS AWAY!

7. Talking to your baby

Your baby might not understand what you are saying yet, however they are taking in the sound of your voice. Your baby has been listening to your voice since he/she was inside your womb. Your voice is something that is familiar to them and it will make your baby feel safe. You will enjoy it as your baby gives you heart-warming reactions and babbles as you talk.

Rest assured that bonding comes in all shapes and sizes (so to speak). It takes time, patience and hard work. Do not give up, enjoy the journey and have fun!

The Importance Of Newborn Bonding

Most parents bond with their newborn immediately after birth, and it is a natural occurrence to many parents. However, what many might not know is how essential such bonding is for a newborn, and how it impacts a child’s life.

Bonding is the first intimate relationship for the newborn and it aids the development of cognitive functions as well as social skills. It is the bedrock for good mental health for a newborn. It also promotes self-esteem and helps instil a sense of security.

Surprisingly, bonding is something that most newborns are born ready to engage in. It is the parents who vary in terms of their readiness to engage in that bond. Many types of research have shown parents feeling underwhelmed emotionally especially during the early stages of the birth of the newborn. Some may even find it difficult to make eye contact with their baby. Rest assured, it usually happens naturally in most cases. Contrary to popular belief, bonding is not a miraculous one-time event that occurs at the moment of birth, but a process that requires time and patience. Nonetheless, in most cases, it occurs naturally.

It is recommended for newborns to feel securely bonded by the age of 2 at the latest. This is to avoid causing severe developmental delays to occur in your baby’s brain. Bonding amongst others involves newborns relying on their parents for their basic needs to be met. It also involves their parents providing love and care over a period of time. For example, newborns do not in fact know what they are crying about. They cry only knowing that something is wrong. They lack the ability to identify the problem that needs solving, and this is why a newborn needs to have his or her parents there to rely on.  This is what bonding is all about – LOVE AND CARE!

So you might be thinking, “how does this relate to the brain?” Well, the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is responsible for social skills, commences development when the newborn is around 6 months old. If the newborn receives insufficient attention, the prefrontal cortex does not develop and may not EVER fully grow. This can cause relationship and behavioural problems later in life because the prefrontal cortex of the brain also controls impulse, emotion, reasoning, planning as well as judgment, amongst others. Neglecting a newborn by leaving him or her to scream and cry can also damage his or her immune system. This is caused by an increased level of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.

It is important to understand that such bonding can instil in a newborn a sense of goodness in the world. It has been suggested by studies that this sense of goodness is retained by the newborn for life. Bonding will also allow a child to regulate his or her feelings later in life, and have the emotional capacity to deal with ups and downs in life.