Category Archives: Baby Sleep News RSS

Just How Important is Reading Aloud to Children?0

Just How Important is Reading Aloud to Children?

The Benefits of Reading Aloud

Parents and educators recognize the importance of reading to children. But how important is it really? An extensive study done in 1999 by the U.S. Department of Education determined that “children who were read to at least three times a week had a significantly greater phonemic awareness when they entered kindergarten than did children who were read to less often and…they were twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading.” It is also known that one of the best predictors of early reading success is phonemic awareness. This is powerful information for stressing the importance of reading aloud to children. There are reading strategies and knowledge, oral vocabulary development, and communications skills that are cultivated in children that listen to stories. In order to optimize learning and motivation for reading it is important to practice reading aloud to children. Listed below are some of the valuable benefits this instruction offers children.

Read Aloud Research

  • This highly informative document provides further research and guidelines for reading aloud. It also recommends a list of read-aloud books to use with children.
  • It builds listening skills and increases children’s attention span as they learn to concentrate at length to stories.
  • It exposes children to the specific elements of book language which is different from spoken language. They become familiar with text structure and new vocabulary.
  • It expands children’s schema for things they know. Reading books opens up a child’s world giving them the opportunity to learn information.
  • It contributes to their practice at asking questions and developing opinions about the stories they read.
  • Listening to stories read aloud has a direct impact on children’s reading and writing.
  • Exploring a variety of text types introduces children to the different purposes for reading and writing i.e. fiction to entertain and non-fiction to inform.
  • It provides a model for children and motivates them to become readers and lifelong learners.

Tips for Reading Aloud

It is never too early or late to read to children. Reading should start at birth and continue on long after children are able to read on their own. Infant benefits from listening to the rhythmic sounds and voice intonations of a story being read. Older children benefit from complex thinking and learning that occurs when they listen to texts that are slightly more difficult than they could read on their own. Therefore, it is important to start a reading routine with children and keep it a consistent part of their daily activities. Here are some ways to help set the stage for successful read-aloud sessions.

  • Find a comfortable place to share the story. Discover new places to read that make it fun and interesting i.e. under a tree, in a home-made fort, at the library, or in the park.
  • Take advantage of teachable moments with meaningful examples in the world, i.e. road signs, menus, billboards, cereal boxes.
  • During a read aloud monitor children’s interest and if they seem restless move onto another activity. Some longer stories may need to be spread out over several reading sessions.
  • Read stories that are slightly more complex than they would be able to read on their own.
  • Choose interesting books that are enjoyable to children. It is ok to stop a story after a few pages if it is not interesting.
  • Encourage children to explain their opinion about books and articles using specific examples. This helps children to think critically.
  • Remember to explore a variety of text types, i.e. poems, stories, children’s articles and magazines, comics, etc.
  • Ask children quality questions to build communication skills and comprehension. Also, teach them to ask their own questions.
  • Practice rereading phrases and sections of text to emphasize expression.
  • Make sure children have a good view of the book that you are reading.
  • Read stories without pictures and have children visualize it by creating pictures in their mind.
  • Before, during, and after the reading of the story take time for discussion. Include predictions, opinions, questions, summaries, etc. about the story.
  • Explore the think-aloud strategy which supports read aloud instruction by introducing the thinking that good readers do.

The Gift of Reading Aloud

Reading aloud is a gift you can give to children that is critical for reading development and is also an enjoyable way for parents and children to bond. It fosters communication and promotes meaningful discussions. It encourages children to express themselves more confidently and easily then if they had to read the text for themselves. They can sit back, relax and discover enjoyment for reading. When children are freed to focus on the meaning of the story they are able to work on developing comprehension skills. Read aloud is a strategy for parents and educators to establish strong early literacy skills in children. It motivates a love of reading and also provides the gift of valuable time together.

The Read Aloud Handbook

Long time educational researcher, Jim Trelease, presents considerable evidence to the importance of reading aloud to children in his book The Read-Aloud Handbook. His book also includes over 100 pages of recommended picturebooks and novels that make good read-alouds.

Author Bio: Moses Vandenberg completed Texas University. He has a Masters degree in Educational Psychology. He is also taking concurrent classes in the school of Psychology. He has taken many classes that allow him to use educational theories in his professional writing career at Essay4Students and that make it easier to bring information to his readers.

The post Just How Important is Reading Aloud to Children? appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

8 Easy Effective Ways for Busy Moms to Have a Healthier Lifestyle0

Being a new mom is never easy. In fact, it is a constant juggling act trying to cope with the many tasks of the day – coping with the baby, perhaps going back out to work and trying to get enough sleep at night so as to function properly. Whatever your personal circumstances, having a baby is a rollercoaster of an experience, emotions are heightened, and it is easy for self-doubts to creep in.

Parenting isn’t always instinctive, and many new parents have to second-guess what they are doing as there is no tried and tested blueprint. It requires logic, patience and a great deal of love but new moms must not forget the importance of looking after themselves too. A lack of sleep leads to fatigue and life becomes difficult, so thinking about exercise and diet and nutrition may seem impossible. Even lifting and carrying the baby can place strain on the back and shoulders and posture must be considered. If this sounds all-too-similar, the good news is that you are not alone, and we have the solution.

Consider these 8 great tips for making life healthier and more satisfying.

1. Create a Diet Chart

When tired and on the go, the prospect of spending hours in the kitchen preparing healthy meals may be the last thing on your list. Tiredness may lead to snacking or skipping meals. and this is no good for health. Creating a diet chart is an effective and quick way of measuring your food intake to be sure you are eating healthily. Consider it a self-monitoring tool and there may be some hard truths to face. It’s worth considering your personal needs. Do you want to lose weight or, just to improve nutrition? On a diet chart, you can record portion sizes and even monitor carbohydrates and proteins and it can be as comprehensive as you like.

2. Make a routine chart

When you have a young baby or other children around you, it may seem as if you are constantly on the merry-go-round of life but don’t worry. Make a routine chart and prioritize what is really needed during the day. The list may look alarmingly long but work your way through systematically and remember to build in some family time or, to find time to yourself so you can unwind.

3. Always spend time with your family.

It is wonderful to have a baby or small child around you, but you may find that family time becomes less and less. As a family unit, you must develop that bond and create a safe environment in which your family can grow. You must be super organized so to free up some time. Research indicates that children need to feel wanted so a family night or day out is a great way to nurture and build strong bonds. Make that day or evening a family ritual whether watching a film together or playing family games. Reading together is another great way to instill the love of reading to your children.

4. Have a nap a day.

Naps have been proven beneficial and 20-minutes of downtime may be very tempting. There are different types of naps so you must choose what works for you. A planned nap is when you decide to sleep even if you do not feel sleepy. It’s a good technique to learn when you know your sleep will be disturbed at night. There’s also emergency napping where you are so tired you must stop and rest. 30-minutes can refuel mind and body and put life back on track. Habitual napping is utilized at the same time each day, and this may be good if you have a new baby as they often fall asleep around the same time of the day. Coincide your naps and you can feel fully refreshed when you wake up. It is best to take only 20 or 30 minutes as this increases short-term alertness. If you sleep for longer, you make wake feeling groggy.

5. Exercise when you wake – meditate before sleep.

An early morning exercise plan helps increase your metabolic rate and to burn more calories. Exercise first and then, have your breakfast and this replenishes your body and speeds up the whole calorie improving process. If you exercise early, it will not interrupt your daily schedule and it improves physical and mental energy too. You may find sleep improves at night too.
Meditate at night as it helps to relax and to de-stress you. It also calms the mind and stops you overthinking. It’s important to be able to clear the mind completely, creating space between thoughts and to just relax the muscles. Meditation is not difficult to do, even 10-minutes of meditation at night will have tremendous benefits and sleep will improve.

6. Start mindful eating.

Are you guilty of eating on the run? You are not alone if so. However, this is not a healthy way to be. Instead, try to find the time to stop what you are doing and to eat slowly and mindfully. When you eat slowly, you’re less likely to get indigestion and it is easier for your body to digest your food. Mindful eating enables you to taste and enjoy the food you are eating too making mealtimes pleasurable.

7. Stay hydrated.

Water is your new best friend. If you do not drink enough, you will feel mentally and physically fatigued throughout the day. Sip small amounts regularly but if you suddenly realize you are thirsty, then this is a sign you are already dehydrated.

8. Reduce social media and TV time.

There’s nothing wrong in keeping in touch with the world, but it can take a lot of time away from you. It’s fine to post photos or to keep an eye on what the rest of the world is doing but it is far more important to embrace family time. We often rely too heavily on electronic gadgets and apps these days, give yourself a mental break and some freedom from them and go back to the basics.

So there you have 8 great ways to have a healthier lifestyle if you are a busy mom. Ultimately, it’s about planning and preparation and giving yourself some space in the day to boost coping skills and to reduce fatigue.

The post 8 Easy Effective Ways for Busy Moms to Have a Healthier Lifestyle appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

How an Extra Hour of Sleep Can Change Your Life0

When Mi Life, a YouTuber and a vlogger, had her newborn back in 2017, she wasn’t ready to face the fact, how sleep-deprived she would become. At times, when her son was awake, she couldn’t seem to function properly. She felt nauseous and felt like she could fall asleep at any minute. Nevertheless, she had to get up and keep moving despite being severely exhausted.

Video credit: Mi Life

Sleep deprivation in young parents is not something new to hear. However, it doesn’t mean that this problem should go unnoticed.

Researchers warn about the negative consequences that an imbalanced sleep can cause. According to the Guardian with a reference to the recent study by the University of Warwick, new parents face up to six years of sleep deprivation. The mothers reported having lost around 40 minutes of sleep every night in the year after the baby arrived. And during the first months after giving birth, women reported having lost over an hour of sleep a night.

Another study, published by the Independent last year, says that young parents get around 5 hours a night on average. In general, the study claims that, during the first year after the child is born, parents lose about 59% of their normal sleep time.

We all know the problems that sleep deprivation can cause:

  • memory issues
  • trouble concentrating
  • weakened immune system
  • higher blood pressure
  • poor balance
  • and a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes

So how can you, as a new parent, compensate for the lost hours of sleep?

By taking an extra hour of sleep every other time.

How exactly can it benefit you?

Let’s take a look.

1. Lessen the Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

It is common for a new parent to suffer from mood swings. Both new moms and dads are new to the role of being a parent, and the uncertainty that this role brings along may cause some postpartum blues.

However, some women experience symptoms that are more serious than occasional mood swings. According to the American Psychological Association, every 1 in 7 moms suffers from serious symptoms of postpartum depression. Some of the cases describe the presence of

  • delusions,
  • hallucinations
  • other psychosis-like symptoms that differ from case to case

It has been proven that sleep deprivation contributes to the deterioration of mental health, causing the symptoms of postpartum depression to get worse.

According to the study, published in BMC Women’s Health, an extra hour of sleep can help women cope with the symptoms of postpartum depression. The study observed mothers of newborns from six weeks to seven months. The results have shown that typically women experienced fewer symptoms of postpartum depression, rarely had mood swings and stress.

Disclaimer: even though regularly scheduled naps during the day can help a new parent cope with mental health deterioration, this is by no means the ultimate cure for this problem. Thus, we recommend you to consult with a therapist and get coached on planning your nap schedule as a part of complex therapy for postpartum depression symptoms.

2. Improve Memory and Coordination

New parents often face a problem concentrating, remembering things and maintaining balance if they are sleep-deprived. Severe symptoms of sleep deprivation, when it comes to memory and coordination, can cause the situations that can be harmful both for a parent and for a child.

A study, published by the Sleep Research Society, has shown that even 30 minutes of nap led to better memory and coordination that just taking a break while awake. Moreover, if you keep getting an extra hour of sleep a day during a longer period of time, you’ll feel more accomplished and less forgetful and clumsy in general.

3. Benefit Night Alertness

Every new parent knows that they will have to get up many times during the night. But knowing it and being ready for it are two different things. “Frequent night shifts also can become a part of your life for a long time during the period when you sleep-train your baby,” says Paula Peterson, a customer support manager at Flatfy and a mom of a newborn.

You might ask, how are an extra hour of sleep during the day and increasing night alertness connected?

If you’ve got a good night’s sleep today, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to easily wake up at night if your baby starts crying. The next day you’ll feel sleep-deprived again. However, getting an extra hour of sleep will substitute the lost hour of night’s sleep.

The scientists often argue, what is more important, naps or night sleep. The answer is both. But when it comes to increased alertness during the night, a daytime nap is what you’re looking for.

The Bottom Line

For a new parent, sleep deprivation is a common problem, which, however, should not be ignored. Lower quality of sleep directly influences your health, even leading to diseases like diabetes.

However, an extra hour of sleep can reverse this situation and help you replenish those lost night sleep hours. It also benefits night alertness, improves memory and coordination, and can even relieve the symptoms of postpartum depression.

It is a fact that new parents have to sleep-train their babies to make their daily life more scheduled. But you have to sleep-train yourself as well to help yourself adjust to the role of a new parent.

Ryan is a passionate writer who likes sharing his thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, he works as a real estate agent, you can check his website here. He likes everything related to traveling and new countries.

The post How an Extra Hour of Sleep Can Change Your Life appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

More than a Stuffy Nose: How to Alleviate Sinus Congestion0

Photo by Jadell Films on Unsplash

There is no denying that parenthood can oftentimes feel like a full-time job. However, no amount of stress in the office can be compared to the stress and worry a parent might feel when something seems wrong with their youngling, such as when your baby can’t fall asleep. Most of the time, the little cub is just restless or maybe she’s hungry, but that doesn’t mean that you’re any less worried. And the same can be said when your baby gets the sniffles.

Worry not, a runny or stuffy nose is rarely a cause for any major concern. While it’s always a good idea to give your doctor a call, there are also many things you can do yourself that will help your kids (and yourself as well) to deal with sinus congestion. Here’s everything you need to consider.

Stuffy nose or sinus congestion?

First things first, and this goes for all family members and not just your little bundle of joy, you need to identify if it’s a stuffy nose or if the sinuses are congested. Here is a quick and easy checklist to make sure that it’s really a sinus congestion or even an infection:

  • Pressure spreading behind the eyes and the cheekbones
  • A progressive headache
  • A fever, worsening cough, and bad breath
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • A runny and stuffy nose that lasts more than a week

Now that you have the assessed the symptoms, you can determine whether the problem is localized to the nasal passages, or if it travels deeper into the sinuses. This will help you make the decision whether or not you need to visit your doctor.

When to seek medical attention

Without a doubt, it’s always ok to call your doctor immediately after spotting the symptoms. However, there is rarely any need to panic, nor is there always a need to seek medical treatment. You or your child might simply be experiencing irritation, you might also have a cold, or maybe your living environment is causing allergies and sinus flare-ups.

Talk to your doctor and be sure to convey all of the details about the symptoms and your living environment. They will then either invite you to the office or they will prescribe some holistic home remedies. What can’t hurt, though, is for you to create a healthier living environment for your family, starting with the air that you breathe on a daily basis.

Purify the air in your home

One of the biggest and healthiest changes you can make in your home is to improve the air quality in every room. Boosting airflow by airing the rooms regularly and letting plenty of natural light permeate the setting can help you hinder the growth of mold, and might even help you air out the allergens causing the congestion and inflammation. However, airing is not enough to fully protect you and your family.

You need to banish all airborne pathogens and toxins from your living environment, and opening the windows might very well help you achieve the exact opposite. That’s why it’s important to research the best air purifiers out there that eliminate allergens and airborne pollutants in order to cleanse every room in your home, especially the areas that look directly on to the street or are not getting sufficient sunlight during the day. Air purifiers will also balance out the humidity and the dryness of the air, which will help you alleviate the symptoms.

Identify the cause of the problem

Dry air, too much humidity and not enough sunlight, allergens, viruses, all of these and more could be the culprits behind your child’s congested sinuses. With a bit of research and testing, you can identify the cause of the problem yourself, and figure out whether this is a chronic condition or an acute phenomenon caused by a one-time trigger – such as a passing virus.

If you’re unsure or if you’re suspecting an allergy, then head over to your doctor’s office for allergy testing. Always ask for a second opinion, though, as even medical professionals can mistakenly diagnose a virus when in fact your child might be allergic to pet hair or other common allergens.

Try other effective home remedies

Photo by Hans Vivek on Unsplash

And finally, you can always try some of these effective home remedies to alleviate the symptoms and perhaps even eliminate congestion. Keep in mind, though, you should always check for the root cause of the problem, because treating the symptoms might not be enough.

  • Take long, warm showers.
  • Breathe in warm water vapor.
  • Use nasal saline to thin out the mucus.
  • Relieve discomfort by placing a warm towel on the forehead.
  • Elevate your or your child’s sleeping position. Elevating the head helps clear nasal passages and helps asthmatics breathe easier.

Final thoughts

They say that one of the parents’ primary responsibilities is to worry. While you could not and should not be indifferent, you should never resort to panic, but rather take a step back to ascertain the situation. Then, use these tips to help identify the cause of the problem and implement the solution that will eliminate congestion and inflammation in their entirety.

The post More than a Stuffy Nose: How to Alleviate Sinus Congestion appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

5 Things to Know Before You Start Breastfeeding0

If you’re a new mother, you have a lot of stuff to think about. Everything is about to change, your life is going to undergo a massive overhaul because you’ve got a brand new human relying on you.

Scary? Sure. Amazing? Definitely. And if you are prepared for it, even the scary stuff won’t be so bad. One of those things that you need to be ready for, is breastfeeding. It might seem fairly straightforward, but there are a lot of aspects of breastfeeding you’re probably unaware of.

There are aspects that no one really talks about and can be a bit of a shock to the system if you’re not expecting them. So here are 5 things that you should know before you start breastfeeding:

  1. You’ll Have to Wait For Your Milk

    This is something that can be a great source of frustration for some women when they start breastfeeding. You’re not going to be producing a huge amount of milk right from the get-go, it’s going to take some time for your body to acclimate.

    This is especially common if it’s your first time nursing a child. It often takes up to five days for you to start producing a steady flow of milk. While this is irritating, it’s really not that much of a cause for concern.

    What you need to remember is that your newborn has an exceptionally small stomach for the first few weeks. It’s only about the size of a tic-tac. So at the beginning, if you are barely producing a few droplets of breast milk at each feeding, it’s almost certainly enough.

    By the time you’re baby’s stomach has grown to the point where they start needing more food, your body will have adapted and you will have a greater supply of milk. Of course, if this doesn’t happen, or if indeed you are completely dry from the word go, that’s a different story.

    I still wouldn’t panic though, consult with your doctor to see what might be causing the problem and if you have to explore alternative options, then so be it.

  2. It’s Going to Hurt. In More Places Than You Think

    So I think it’s fair to say that most new mothers who are about ready to start breastfeeding will be expecting a certain amount of pain. But most will only expect it in breasts and nipples. It doesn’t seem like anywhere else could possibly be affected right?

    Wrong. Of course, do prepare yourself for nipple pain because your nipples are not going to be used to someone sucking aggressively on them. Well, most women won’t be used to that anyway.

    That pain can be pretty severe, but you can also expect quite a bit of pain in your abdomen and in your back. This is because your uterus is going to be reacting to the breastfeeding too.

    This system is all connected and the process of breastfeeding releases certain chemicals which are working to help your uterus return to its normal size. This will cause cramps and contractions but they shouldn’t last for too long.

    It can be a pretty alarming and very uncomfortable experience however, so make sure that you are prepared for it.

  3. You’re Going to be Hungry. And Thirsty.

    Producing breast milk will take up almost a quarter of your body’s energy. It might not seem like a strenuous activity but your baby’s body has been operating on your energy for the entire pregnancy and they will need to do the same for a while outside the womb too.

    So if you are eating a normal diet, you are probably going to burn about a thousand calories every day while breastfeeding. Some women will be confused as to why they are so hungry and so thirsty despite the fact that they are eating plenty of food.

    But it’s pretty simple. Despite what might seem like a relatively small amount of milk, it’s a significant chunk of your nutrition that you are transferring to your child. Again, it’s nothing to worry about and all you really need to do is increase your daily caloric intake.

    Your baby will still be getting enough nutrition even if you are eating normally so this one is really for your benefit more than theirs.

  4. You Should Consult With an LC Straight Away

    Depending on the hospital or the neonatal unit that you give birth in, you might not even get the chance to see the Lactation Consultant unless you specifically request it. I would recommend that this be one of the first things that you do.

    Ideally, you should start breastfeeding within a couple of days of giving birth or maybe even the same day and you want to make sure that you have all of the necessary information that you need before you actually start.

    Don’t be afraid to ask questions or raise any concerns that you might have either. The LC is there to help and I can guarantee that no matter how ridiculous you think your fears are, they’ve heard them all, and worse, before.

    I would also advise having your partner with you during every consultation that you have so that you are both prepared for any pitfalls or unusual situations that might arise.

  5. Always Have an Extra Shirt Handy

    It’s not a nice thing to think about, but this is one of the more unfortunate side effects of breastfeeding. You can probably expect a bit of spillage. But what’s that expression? There’s no point crying over spilled milk.

    But there is a point in planning ahead for it. If you are going to be breastfeeding on the go, then bring along an extra shirt. Or maybe a couple of extra shirts. It’s not just to prepare for any spill while you’re feeding either, but sometimes you will lactate when you don’t want to.

    It’s embarrassing but it happens and you don’t have to worry about it though if you’ve got a second shirt handy.

Conclusion

So as you can see, while there are some unexpected, unwanted side effects of breastfeeding, they are all things that it’s easy to prepare for. And there is also quite a few benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby, which in my opinion, outweigh the negatives.

Breastfeeding is a rewarding experience overall as long as you know what to expect and you can react accordingly to the stuff most new mothers don’t see coming.

The post 5 Things to Know Before You Start Breastfeeding appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

Starting Your Baby on Solid Food? 6 Mistakes to Avoid0

The question of when to start or introduce solids to babies can be daunting and a difficult task, especially for new parents. It is crucial to introduce solids at the right age and at the right time when the baby shows signs that he/she is ready for the solids.

Starting solids too early (before the age of 4 months) can be risky for the baby and can even lead to obesity.

Whereas starting solids too late, i.e., after the age of 6 months can also be dangerous for the baby as starting too late can slow down the growth of the baby. You should introduce solid foods to your baby when he/she is around six months and shows signs such as opens his mouth and shows his/her interest in the food you’re eating.

Feeding a baby is not an easy task as the food transitions are quite fast in babies. It is also essential to understand that introducing baby to solids doesn’t mean that the young infant will not need much breast milk. Do not replace the breast milk to solid foods as your young one would still need breast milk to complete their nutritional needs.

There are many other mistakes that the parents make when introducing their young infants to solid foods. Following are some of the mistakes that you should avoid if you’re starting your baby on solid foods:

  • 1. Not starting solids at the right time

    It is one of the most mistakes that every parent makes. Some parents start introducing solid foods even before the age of 4 months. It is essential to know that the right time to start feeding your infant is around six months, not before that and not after that. As mentioned, it can be risky for baby’s growth even if you wait for too long and start feeding between 7 to 9 months of age.

    Do not rush, but do not wait as well. Waiting for too long can increase the risk of iron deficiency and can also slow down the growth and development skills of the baby. Therefore, it is essential to start at the right time (around six months of age) and monitor baby’s change in behavior. You may consult your doctor to get some advice for your child.

  • 2. Missing out the important nutrients

    According to researchers, the first five years are significant for the development of a child’s brain. And the first three years of life play a very critical role in shaping the child’s brain architecture. Therefore, it is crucial to understand that young infants also need a balanced diet to stay healthy.

    Infant nutrition is critical as it provides them the energy, builds blood cells, and helps their brain in developing. Iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, and total fats are some of the essential nutrients which are vital for the growth of the baby. Skipping these nutrients can be harmful and could lead to slower growth and development of the baby.

  • 3. Overfeeding

    Most parents make this mistake and overfeed their young ones. As a parent, it is essential for you to understand that your infant is transitioning from liquid to solid foods and it will take some time for them to adapt to that taste and learn about different flavors. Do not ignore their signs of satisfaction.

    Babies know it well when they want to eat and how much they want to eat. Stop feeding them when they are shaking their heads and showing disinterest. Do not force your kid to complete the food in the jar or eat more. It can also lead to overeating.

  • 4. Offering too much sugar

    Just like adults, it is essential to monitor the amount of sugar in your baby’s diet. Overeating sugar can increase the risk of obesity as sugary treats are surprisingly high in calories. Therefore, it is essential to avoid the intake of too much sugar. Also, avoid added sugar before the age of 2 and reduce the risk of health issues later in life.

  • 5. Not being careful about Infant Choking

    Food is one of the most common causes of choking in infants and toddlers. It is essential for you to be extra cautious about infant choking. The baby’s teeth develop late. Therefore, you should avoid giving larger chunks of meats and food. Always cut the food into smaller pieces. Also, avoid providing saturated fats, honey, whole grapes, hot dogs, nuts, seeds, popcorn, and peanut butter to your babies. You should also avoid foods that can trigger or cause some allergy. Some of the allergy-causing foods are shellfish, egg whites, and peanuts. Avoid feeding them these foods and keep it safe for your baby.

  • 6. Spoon-feeding for too-long

    Spoon feeding for too long can also be one of the mistakes that you are making. It is because it will not make them understand when they are full or have eaten enough. Keep a check on your baby and see if he/she is ready to use a spoon. Hold their hand and teach them how to eat the food by themselves. Most babies don’t do it because they like their parents to do it for them. But it will be useful to start at an earlier age.

    Starting solids in the right way can be difficult. Therefore, you should always check for signs from your baby. Keep the mistakes mentioned above in mind. Do not repeat these things and have some patience when starting baby on solid foods.

Haifa Aboobacker is a growth assistant at AirTract.Com, a social platform in which people ask any questions, get answers, write articles, share knowledge and experience. She is a communication engineering graduate but a digital marketing buff who is fascinated by the best SEO practices and content strategies. She loves to make friends and explore places, and she chooses reading in her time off.

The post Starting Your Baby on Solid Food? 6 Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

2 Month Old Baby Sleep and Feeding Schedules0

2 Month Old Baby Sleep Feeding Schedule

This article outlines the average 2 month old baby schedule, including milk feedings for breastfeeding and formula-feeding babies, solids, naps, and nighttime sleep.

Skip to the schedules

2 Month Old Baby Sleep

At 2 months, your baby is moving past the newborn stage but is still considered a newborn. Your baby is likely staying awake slightly more during the day and may be starting to smile more at you and showing some personality. It’s such a wonderful time of development!

By 2 months old, your baby’s sleep is likely still a bit erratic as sleep begins to organize. Your baby may sleeping in longer stretches at night within the next few weeks, and being awake more during the day. It may take some time to get there, so if your 2 month old is still very sleepy, that’s normal!

Most 2-month-olds sleep 9-12 hours at night and 4-6 hours during the day broken into several naps. Many 2-month-olds are still eating several times a night or every 3 hours. Bedtimes aren’t always very early at this age given babies aren’t yet sleeping 11-12 hours, yet, as they will at 4 months old. As your baby grows and matures, he or she will consolidate sleep and transition to just 3 naps by 5-6 months old.

2 Month Old Baby Feeding

Your baby will likely also start to consolidate feedings beginning around 2 months old, especially if formula-fed. Your baby’s stomach capacity is getting bigger, so your 2-month-old baby will begin to be able to go for longer stretches between feedings. Do remember, though, that if you are breastfeeding, you’ll want to continue to breastfeed at least every few hours during the day, and your baby will continue to need night feedings at this age, which also maintains your milk supply.

If your baby is still waking frequently at 2 months old, you may start to wonder about introducing solid food, in order to help your baby sleep. However, keep in mind that starting solids doesn’t usually improve sleep, and 2 months old is still considered too young to begin solid food. It’s best to stick exclusively with breastmilk or formula unless your healthcare provider indicates you should do otherwise.

Sample 2 Month Old Sleep and Feeding Schedule

Breastfeeding 2 Month Old Baby


7:00 — Wake (*Fixed Point)
7:00 — Feed
8:30 — Nap (*Fixed Point)
9:00 — Wake and Feed
11:00 — Feed and Nap
1:00 — Wake and Feed
2:00 — Nap
2:30 — Wake and Feed
4:30 — Feed and Nap
6:30 — Feed
7:00 — Catnap
8:30 — Catnap
10:00 — Feed and Bedtime
+ 3 night feedings

* – we recommend you make these fixed points in your baby’s schedule. You can read more about this in our article on fixed points in a baby schedule.

Formula-Fed 2 Month Old Baby

7:00 — Wake and Feed (*Fixed Point)
8:30 — Nap (*Fixed Point)
10:00 — Wake and Feed
11:30 — Nap
1:00 — Wake and Feed
2:30 — Nap
3:30 — Wake
4:00 — Feed
4:30 — Catnap
5:00 — Wake
6:00 — Feed
6:30 — Catnap
8:30 — Catnap
10:00 — Feed and Bedtime
+ 2-3 night feedings

* – we recommend you make these fixed points in your baby’s schedule. You can read more about this in our article on fixed points in a baby schedule.

Note: This schedule somewhat follows the eat-play-sleep routine, however, it is sometimes hard to do at this age when the amount of time between naps is not long enough and your baby wakes too early from his nap because of a feeding.

Looking for more sample schedules? Become a VIP member and use our custom schedule maker or view over 40 sample schedules in our e-Book, Mastering Naps and Schedules!

What is your 2 month old baby’s routine?

The post 2 Month Old Baby Sleep and Feeding Schedules appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

Co-Parenting with Your Ex-Spouse0

When your first married your ex, you likely never imagined that one day you would divorce and have the difficult task of learning how to co-parent your children. This may feel impossible at first, but with the right attitude and a lot of patience, it can be done!

The Brookings Institute and Princeton University found that “research convincingly show that children who are raised by their married, biological parents enjoy better physical, cognitive and emotional outcomes, on average, than children raised in other circumstances.”

Yes, studies show that children from a divorced household are more likely to suffer emotional, mental, and educational setbacks. With this fact in mind, the easier you make the transition into co-parenting, the better off your child will be.

Still, sharing your children with someone who betrayed you, broke your heart, or shattered your trust is one of the most challenging, frustrating things you will ever do in this life. But if you can take advantage of marriage courses, patience, and put your children first, you’ll be able to co-parent successfully.

1. Pretend You are Co-Workers

Because in a way – you are!

Co-workers come together to get something accomplished. Being cooperative doesn’t necessarily mean that they like each other or enjoy one another’s company, but they have the same goal in mind and will do anything to reach it.

Similarly, you and your ex-partner have the goal of raising your kids into happy, well-adjusted adults.

If you can’t find it within yourself to get along or form a friendship with your ex then view your relationship as strictly business. This is specifically helpful when speaking to one another.

For example, instead of making demands of your ex, make requests. Don’t say, “By the way, you’re picking up the kids Friday night” say “I have a late meeting Friday. Would you be willing to watch the kids until I’ve finished?” This is a respectful and professional way of interacting.

2. Put Personal Feelings Aside

There are naturally going to be times when the sight of your spouse or even the sound of their voice is going to dredge up hurt feelings, but things will be much easier for your whole family when you both make an effort. Neither one of you wants to hurt your children or make your separation any harder for them, so it’s important to show respect.

You want your spouse to be a wonderful parent for your child, so don’t work against it! Try and remember all of the positive parenting qualities you saw in your ex when you were together. Are they a great cook? Loves to play with the kids? Would drop anything to spend time together as a family?

Focusing on these things will be much more beneficial than honing in on their negative qualities or past mistakes.

3. Keep Communicating about Your Kids

Communication is the foundation of any good relationship – even the relationship between exes.
No matter how much or how little you like your ex, you will still need to speak to one another about your children.

You do not have to be friends, but you do need to have an open, honest dialogue about your children regularly. This will help you both keep on top of their educational, social, and emotional wellbeing and provide structure and routine to their lives.

If you and your spouse cannot be in the same room together without arguing, keep your communications digital. E-mail and text are both great methods that won’t get you too emotionally involved in your conversation.

4. Take Advantage of Marriage Courses

You may no longer be together, but that doesn’t mean you and your ex can’t take advantage of online marriage courses or personal therapy.

Part of healthy communication and structuring your child’s life post-divorce means listening and taking the time to understand their point of view on matters. Marriage courses will help you to do this.

Plus, taking an online course as ex-partners means you can do them together, separate, and most importantly, in the comfort of your own home.

Whether you choose to do a marriage course or to attend divorce therapy together, your experience will help you both learn how to communicate, empathize with one another, work through any problems you’re having, and co-parent successfully.

5. Leave Your Arguments at the Door

Not only is fighting in front of your children emotionally damaging, but it doesn’t accomplish anything. Neither you or our spouse are likely to back down from your stance, which will only lead to more frustration and less progression.

With your children caught in the crossfires of your anger, it’s important to find a way to put your disagreements aside.

Table your disagreements. If you absolutely must argue, do not do so in front of the kids. In fact, the less disparaging things you say about your partner in front of your children, the better.

6. Associate Together (if possible)

They say that time heals all wounds, and in your case, this may be the case regarding past issues between you and your ex.

If you have it in you to put the past behind you, why not institute a family night?

Just because you are no longer married or a romantic couple doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a family game night or take them on an outing together.

Not only will this help you both put the past behind you, but studies show that children greatly benefit when their parents work on their relationship. In fact, such things as family mealtime can help contribute to a child’s cognitive and linguistic developmental skills.

Co-parenting with an ex-partner isn’t easy, but it is always worth it to put your child’s welfare above your own comfort. Negotiate terms with your ex about how to raise your child, communicate maturely, and use marriage courses to your advantage. Following these steps will make your co-parenting journey much easier.

1001948

Author Bio– Rachael Pace is a noted writer currently associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of her motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying about today’s evolving forms of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on all types of romantic connections. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together. 

The post Co-Parenting with Your Ex-Spouse appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

What are the Benefits of Physiotherapy for Cerebral Palsy?0

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you likely know that there are a wide range of treatment options available. The treatment options that are best for your child will depend on his or her individual needs and overall health.

One of the treatment options that is most widely recognized for its benefits is physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is very similar to physical therapy, and these two terms are often used interchangeably. However, there are subtle differences in the way that physiotherapy is focused, as opposed to the way that physical therapy is focused. Let’s take a closer look.

What is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is a type of therapy that involves movement, function, flexibility, and pain management. Physiotherapists are very hands-on, and focus therapy in the areas of:

  • Stretching
  • Soft Tissue Release
  • Fascial Release
  • Joint Mobilization

Where physical therapy focuses on exercise, strength, and fitness, physiotherapy focuses more steadily on manual therapy. Physiotherapy also often integrates psychological and social wellbeing into therapy techniques, which provides a whole-person approach to cerebral palsy treatment.

Are Physiotherapists the Same as Physical Therapists?

Most of the time, physical therapists and physiotherapists perform the same therapy techniques. These individuals are each required to have a medical background, adequate education, and proper training for the therapy field. In the United States, therapists are often simply referred to as physical therapists, even if they take a more physiotherapy approach.

What is Physiotherapy for Cerebral Palsy?

Physiotherapy is a great treatment option for children with cerebral palsy because it encompasses many aspects of daily life. It is designed to promote and maintain health, restore function, and improve quality of life in all environments. Physiotherapists work with the child and his or her family in the areas of:

  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Functional Mobility
  • Management of Motor Deficits
  • Positioning
  • Transitioning (sitting to walking)
  • Use of Assistive Devices
  • Proper Wheelchair Use
  • Sensory Integration
  • Strength Training
  • Functional Physical Therapy
  • Neurodevelopmental Therapy (NDT)

The applicability of some forms of physiotherapy treatment will not apply to all individuals with cerebral palsy. These are only some examples of how physiotherapy supports families.

What are the Benefits of Physiotherapy for Cerebral Palsy?

Physiotherapy techniques may vary as your child ages and develops, and what works for one child may not work for another. However, many of the benefits are long-lasting. Some of the most notable benefits include:

Long-Term Use

Physiotherapy is most successful when it is integrated early on into the treatment of cerebral palsy. One of the many benefits of physiotherapy is that there are therapy techniques that are successful for children and adults.

Participation

Physiotherapy is also beneficial in developing skills and abilities that will allow individuals with cerebral palsy to enjoy participating in sports, recreation, or leisure activities. Physiotherapists work to identify factors that limit mobility or participation, and work toward overcoming challenges.

Socialization

Physiotherapy often includes both one-on-one therapy sessions and group sessions. Group therapy is a great way to encourage socialization and the development of skills like teamwork and communication. There are a variety of organizations that host summer camps or special events for children with cerebral palsy. This is a great opportunity to use and improve socialization skills.

Holistic

Physiotherapy supports a holistic approach to treatment. That means that physiotherapists work closely with occupational, speech, and exercise therapists to develop a treatment plan that is best for the patients overall health. Physiotherapists also commonly consult with social workers and psychologists to ensure that physical treatment techniques are supporting cognitive function or needs.

Remember that your child’s treatment plan will be individualized to his or her specific needs. There are many benefits of physiotherapy in general, but the applicability and success of any treatment plan depends on your child and his or her needs.

Sources:
https://www.birthinjuryguide.org/cerebral-palsy/treatment/
https://www.physio-pedia.com/Physiotherapy_Treatment_Approaches_for_Individuals_with_Cerebral_Palsy
https://www.greenwoodpt.com/physical-therapy-and-physiotherapy-what-is-the-difference/
https://cerebralpalsy.org.au/services/all-programs-and-services/physiotherapy/

The post What are the Benefits of Physiotherapy for Cerebral Palsy? appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.

Top 5 Best Dog Breeds for Families with Babies0

Dog with Baby
Bringing a dog into a family with a baby is a responsible step. You must choose thoroughly a canine that can become a friend for you and your baby, will be your guard and companion. Luckily, there are plenty of dog breeds that will be friendly with your babies and will protect them as their own.

Canines can become excellent educators for your kids, teaching them compassion, responsibility, and friendship. Moreover, they are the best playmates and protectors. But before taking a canine, learn which dog breeds are best with children. Here is our list.

Dog Breeds Ideal for Families with Children

Golden Retrievers are loyal, amiable and delicate dogs that are considered to be one of the best family-friendly dog breeds. Golden retrievers prefer to be with people and treat the babies very well. However, pay attention that this breed needs a lot of space and it’s very active and energetic.

Labradors are active and friendly canines. Labradors don’t like to be away from their families and they need a lot of exercise, but they are considered to be one of the baby-friendly dog breeds.

Boxers are playful and friendly canines. Boxers can slobber but they are quite neat in other ways. Don’t forget to feed your boxer with the best large breed dog food.

Newfoundlands are among the dog breeds that are good with babies. Newfoundlands are famous with their good temperaments which help them to tolerate kids, even the smallest ones. They are responsive to training and they like to please their owners. Don’t forget that Newfoundlands are among the dog breeds with a long coat which needs to be maintained. Moreover, extra drool can cause a problem.

Pugs are nice, friendly and great with babies, as a rule. They follow their owners all the time and they don’t like to be alone for a long time. They have excessive salivation and this can cause some problems.

Cute Pug

Traits of Canine Breeds that Are Good with Toddlers

Our list of dogs can be prolonged, of course. A lot of canine breeds are suitable for families with babies. But what traits should a canine possess to become a great companion for a family with a baby?
Most canines that are good with babies possess:

  • Tranquility – overactive dogs that jump constantly don’t suit well for a family with babies. Try to find a canine with a calm temperament in order to help to prevent unintentional injuries.
  • Fidelity – dogs that are very finely to their owners will most likely be faithful to their toddlers too. Loyal canines are among the best family guard dog breeds.
  • Gentleness – it will be very good if your dog possesses the ability to play gently. This quality doesn’t depend on dog breeds; it depends on the canine only.
  • Dog obedience – it must go without saying that only canines that show obedience can be allowed to be close to the toddlers. They must do the minimal set of commands such as sit, lay, come when it’s required. This will guarantee that you will be able to control your dog while holding your baby.
  • Tolerance – the canine that will tolerate a toddler’s pulling, screaming, pushing will be perfect for families with babies. This canine mustn’t be aggressive if a child annoys it with his or her behavior.

We must remind you again that the ability to interact with toddlers doesn’t depend on dog breed. It depends on the canine’s temperament and personality. Some Akitas can become good friends for toddlers and there are golden retrievers that can’t make friends with children.

What dog breeds are the best for families with toddlers in your opinion? Share your experience.

Author’s bio: Rachel Hudson loves dogs and is a freelance writer from London. Together with her pet she enjoys going on long walks together in parks and fields. She often attends Crufts, the most famous UK dog show. She has contributed to a variety of different animal publications and sites such as allpetsexpert.com.

The post Top 5 Best Dog Breeds for Families with Babies appeared first on The Baby Sleep Site – Baby / Toddler Sleep Consultants.