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100 tiny tips for teaching your baby

Young brains work overtime. Here’s 100 tips on how you can help your baby learn something every day and maybe even help them to love to learn for the rest of their lives.

Sections include eating, reading and language, playing, motor skills, colours, walking, sharing, sign language, swimming.

100 TINY TIPS FOR TEACHING YOUR BABY

COUNTRY : USA

Colors
Teach your baby colors with the help of these tips.

Play catch with different colored balls: As you roll or throw balls to your infant, call out the colors of the balls you’re using.

Stick to one color each week: Pick a color and introduce it to your baby for a whole week.

Watch cars: Watch cars go by and say the color each time.

Use cloths in different colors: Teach colors and words with plain color cloths.

Call out colors in picture books: When you’re reading picture books, say the color of the things you see.

Gather objects of one color: Put items of all one color in a shoe box and show your baby those items.

Say the color of grocery items: At the grocery store hold items in front of your baby and say the color.

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10 tips to beat insomnia

We spend an awful lot of our life sleeping, and tiredness and exhaustion make us feel awful and unable to function. So even without any research at all on the subject of sleep, it seems logical to conclude that sleep is at least as important to our health as food and water.

Here are ten tips on how to help achieve a good nights sleep without resorting to medication.

10 TIPS TO BEAT INSOMNIA

COUNTRY : UK


1. Keep regular hours

2. Create a restful sleeping environment

3. Make sure that your bed is comfortable

4. Exercise regularly

5. Less caffeine

6. Don’t over-indulge

7. Don’t smoke

8. Try to relax before going to bed

9. Write away your worries

10. Don’t worry in bed

If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again, then return to bed.

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How NOT to swaddle a baby

This photo shows how NOT to swaddle a baby!

Swaddling can sometimes settle a newborn baby because it mimics the closeness of the womb before birth and helps the baby feel secure.

It is important if you are going to swaddle a baby that it is done properly.

The Mayo Clinic has a slide show demonstrating the proper way to swaddle and gives advice of how to avoid some dangers associated with this procedure.

THE MAYO CLINIC : HOW TO SWADDLE A BABY

COUNTRY: USA

Keeping a swaddled baby safe
Once you’ve swaddled your baby, be sure to practice safe sleep habits. Always place a swaddled baby on his or her back to sleep. Stop swaddling when your baby learns to roll onto his or her stomach. A swaddled baby on his or her stomach might have difficulty breathing. This position also increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Keep in mind that swaddling can cause a baby to overheat, too. If you have questions about how to safely swaddle your baby, consult your baby’s doctor.

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Are our children too busy?

As a working full time doctor there are often feelings of guilt that your children are missing out on some activities. When mine were very young most women didn’t work full time and their children seemed to have much busier and fuller lives than my own.

Looking back, the activities that were arranged for my children i.e. music lessons, dancing lessons, Brownies, Cubs, were very short lived because they never seemed to enjoy them very much. Perhaps this was because there was was so much pressure getting them there and back again on time and preparing for concerts and other activities associated with clubs and organisations.  Also they definitely weren’t taken to see so many different places as other children.

I was reassured to find that in spite of this area of “neglect” they grew up fairly normally and have, as adults been able to cope with quite a lot of unexpected problems that life has bestowed on some of them through no fault of their own.

When I look back on my own life, the childhood activities I remember with most affection were those when I played with other children making imaginary games in a disorganised world that was free from adult intervention. Relaxed family occasions – trips to the seaside, visits with my father at the weekend to a nursery to buy plants, or just pottering about are things I remember with affection too. I don’t look back with happiness at the ballet exams, music lessons, or organisations that I attended, although doubtless learned some important aspects of how children and adults and adults and adults interrelate during these activities. Probably free play and organised activities should be carefully balanced in childhood.

I just happened to come across this article yesterday and read it with some interest:

MIDDLE CLASS CHILDREN ARE TOO BUSY, SAYS HEAD

COUNTRY : UK

“Graham Gorton – who will also warn that constantly judging pupils in a target-driven system risks robbing them of “the very essence of childhood” – believes that being denied the opportunity to “just go out and mooch about in the garden” means young people are failing to develop imaginative and inquiring minds.

Some children are so overburdened with activities that they are getting home late in the evening and struggling to get their homework done.

“It’s good to be involved in activities but I think it’s really important to get the balance right,” he will say. “Children like their own company. They lose the capability to amuse themselves if everything is put in front of them in an organised, structured, club type of way.”

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Teething : Helping your child

So, If you’re sure the reason for your child’s fractiousness is teething, then what can you do to help? Well, as my own children know I’m a great believer in the old fashioned rocking chair because it calms not only the infant but the mother also! It may even do this by stimulating the release of endorphins (naturally occurring painkillers) in the mother and baby.

However, since rocking chairs don’t feature much in modern households nowadays, there are other things that can be done.

NHS Choices gives some advice under the heading of teething gels, teethings rings, chewing, painkilling medicine, cool drinks, comfort, and preventing rashes.

TEETHING : TREATMENT

COUNTRY : UK

Teething rings

Teething rings give your baby something to safely chew on, which may ease their discomfort and provide a distraction from any pain.
Some teething rings can be cooled first in the fridge, which may help to soothe your baby’s gums. Follow the instructions that come with the ring so you know how long to chill it for. Never put a teething ring in the freezer as it could damage your baby’s gums if it becomes very hard or cold.
Also, never tie a teething ring around your baby’s neck, as it may be a choking hazard.
A useful alternative to a teething ring is a cold, wet flannel.

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Teething : Symptoms

Many babies are not disturbed at all by teething, or they may have problems cutting some teeth but not others. Once the tooth has penetrated through the gum, the symptoms generally disappear.

It stands to reason that some discomfort of the gums is likely and they may appear red and slightly swollen prior to a tooth erupting. The baby may put his hands in his mouth as he attempts to rub his tender gums. Alternatively he may chew anything he can find.

The gum discomfort may lead to unwillingness to feed, irritability, restlessness and disturbed sleep.

Another symptom commonly thought to indicate teething is flushing of the cheeks – often only on one side.

Excessive salivation (dribbling) is also often a sign that a tooth is on its way.

Symptoms of teething are usually mild and the baby may be cross, but active and does not look ill. You know your own baby best and if you feel she is not as active as usual, or behaving abnormally in any way, then do not assume it is teething, but seek medical advice. The baby may need a full medical examination to exclude other causes of a change in behaviour for example infection.

Although a slight elevation of temperature is thought sometimes to be associated with teething, significant elevation leading to fever should always be regarded as due to something else. Similarly, diarrhoea should not be put down to teething.

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Teething : When do milk teeth appear?

This newborn baby looks peaceful now, but once home there will probably be occasions when he seems cross and unsettled. Questions like “could it be wind?” or “could he be teething already” may be asked.

Very occasionally, a baby is born with a tooth or two but the normal time for the cutting of the first tooth is much later than this. Below is a guideline of when to expect teeth to appear:

Bottom front teeth (incisors) – 5-7 months. Usually the first to come through

Top front teeth (incisors) – 6-8 months

Top lateral incisors (either side of the top front teeth) – 9-11 months

Bottom lateral incisors (either side of the bottom front teeth) – 10-12 months

Canines (Eye teeth – towards the back of the mouth) – 16-20 months

Molars (back teeth) – 12-16 months

Second molars – 20-30 months

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Infections : Botulism – don’t give honey to infants

Botulism is very rare, but nevertheless important because of the severity of the disease caused by the powerful toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum.

This bacterium has developed the ability to form spores. It transforms into the spore like state when it doesn’t like the conditions surrounding it. The spore state offers protection to the bacteria. Spores are also a clever kind of fancy dress that some bacteria use to conceal they are present. In the spore form, these bacteria can be regarded as “resting” and inactive. Their presence is not noticed in food unless they emerge from their spore state and become real bacteria again, and then the food will spoil.

Honey is an interesting food. It is said it does not spoil and in fact claims have been made that edible honey has been found in the tombs of ancient Egypt! Have you ever seen fungus growing on top of a jar of honey as it does on top of a pot of jam?

HONEY AND SPOILAGE

COUNTRY : USA

However, honey carries with it a danger for infants. It may have spores of Clostridium botulinum hiding within it.

So the advice is:

Play safe. Botulism is an extrememly rare but very serious condition. Don’t give honey to infants. Don’t even dip a pacifier in honey.

DON’T GIVE HONEY TO BABIES

COUNTRY : UK

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Build your own pregnancy calendar

Just discovered you’re pregnant?

Check out this site by the BBC. You can calculate your expected date of delivery, and what happens to your baby and your own body week by week throughout pregnancy from conception to delivery.

CALCULATE EXPECTED DATE OF DELIVERY AND BUILD YOUR OWN PREGNANCY CALENDAR

COUNTRY : UK

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Pregnancy : Morning sickness

When you played with your dolls as a child, and later when you learned about pregnancy and the origin of new life, you never thought for a moment it would be like this! You are one of the women who suffer from “morning sickness” during pregnancy. And the morning sickness seems to be morning, noon and night sickness! Some of your friends didn’t have a problem like this. They just “glowed” and you think they were the lucky ones.

Well, here’s a comforting thought. Maybe morning sickness is “natures way” of telling you to take it easy for a while and eat what is good for the baby. This brief article from the BBC gives tips on how to cope when you can’t face food.

MORNING SICKNESS

COUNTRY : UK

CAUSES OF MORNING SICKNESS

Pregnancy hormones, circulating in the body, affect all your organs and prepare your body to sustain new life. One theory is that they are responsible for sickness, as a means of protecting the foetus from harmful substances. In fact, there’s some research to suggest that women who experience bad sickness are less likely to miscarry, and there is some support for this in the fact the sickness generally stops when the baby’s major organs have developed.

P.S. Re the full article on the link. Yours truly has no idea what acupressure bands are, and am dubious about them. Not sure about ginger either. Will try to find out more and report back.

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