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Bath time is the perfect time for bonding – but bath time looks different for everyone. The best way to discover what works for you is to try out a few of the options we’ve suggested below. You know your baby best and you will soon notice what bathtime routine your little one enjoys most.

Some people bath their children every day, others every other day and some wash twice a day. Some parents bath their children from the first day while others opt to top and tail until their little ones are ready to take the plunge. It’s all up to you and baby to see what works best. And, because bath time is such a wonderful opportunity for bonding with baby, mom and dad can take turns.

Bathtub bonding

After a long day of growing and learning your baby will no doubt enjoy a lukewarm bath. Baby bathing is also a good way for you and baby to relax together. If you really need a bit of time out, why not hop into the bath with the little one? Have your partner on standby with a warm towel, ready to cuddle and dry your little one while you enjoy a few moments in the bath alone.

Shower them with love

In some modern homes, the bathtub has been banished in an effort to save water. If you only have a shower in the home, you could use a plastic bathtub or a detachable shower head to rinse the little one from head to toe.

The hand basin

Some parents prefer to wash small babies in the bathroom basin or in the kitchen sink. By cradling their head in your one hand to ensure stability, you’ll be able to use a sponge or face cloth to lather baby. The great thing about this option is that you don’t have to bend over the bathtub, and you use less water!

It doesn’t end with a bath

Bonding doesn’t have to end with the bath. Many parents use the time thereafter to gently massage their precious ones to stimulate the little one’s senses, and to simultaneously moisturise the skin. Why not try the Baby Dove Range which could also help to soothe and calm your baby before bedtime? Opt for the Sensitive Moisture Fragrance Free Lotion to give their delicate skin the care it needs.

In the end there is no right or wrong way – just your way. Just be sure to turn this special time together into a fun experience. Enjoy!

Words & Images Supplied By: NP Digital

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Nothing is cuter than the toothy smile of a child, but that precious smile can be turned upside-down by cavities. Allow us to help you prevent them before they take over.

Cavities in children can be caused by a lot of things. You might feel partly responsible for not getting your child to brush or floss their teeth properly, and although it is to a certain extent true, cavities can be caused by a lot of things. They include:

  • Food

While the lollipops that they love so much have a role to play in tooth decay, they aren’t the only culprits. Basically, anything your child eats can lead to tooth decay. Children who graze frequently are more prone to tooth decay than kids who don’t.

  • Beverages

Juices, sports drinks, soft drinks and even milk can result in cavities. Frequent consumption of these can lead to your child’s teeth being coated in these drinks, resulting in acid-producing bacteria settling down in the grooves and pits of your child’s teeth, leading to cavities.

  • Medical conditions

Some illnesses can increase the risk of cavities. For example, if your little one suffers from chronic allergies, they may resort to mouth breathing, which reduces saliva flow and increases cavities.

Preventing Tooth Decay In Children

The prevention method begins from infancy. If you want your angel to be cavity-free, you have to start from the beginning.

For infants

  • Take a wet gauze and wipe your child’s gums after each feed.
  • Your child should have their first dental checkup no later than their first birthday.
  • When the first tooth appears, use a smear of ‘unfluoridated’ toothpaste and an age-appropriate soft-bristled brush to brush those pearly whites.
  • Don’t give your child a bottle filled with fruit juice, formula, breast milk or sugar water to suck on while their falling asleep.

For toddlers

  • Don’t let your toddler have a bottle or sippy cup with juice or milk as they fall asleep.
  • Encourage your child to drink the milk and juice from a cup rather than sipping it slowly, as it will reduce the exposure of their teeth to decay-causing sugars present in the milk and juice.
  • Brush your child’s teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste twice a day.
  • Now is also a good time to teach your child the importance of flossing.
  • Avoid giving your child sugary foods and fruits that have high acid content.
  • Don’t use fluoridated toothpaste until your toddler is two years old and teach them to spit out the toothpaste rather than swallow it.

Spend time with your child and teach them the importance of protecting their teeth. The best way to do this is by being a role model and maintaining your own good oral hygiene and eating habits.

By Thina Mthembu | Image: Depositphotos

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Taking care of your newborn baby’s umbilical cord until it falls off is very important. Improper care and ignorance can lead to infection.

When your baby is still in your womb, the only connection between the two of you is the umbilical cord. All the essential nutrients and oxygen needed to help your baby grow were carried in the blood that passed through this pipe. When the cord is cut at birth, your baby is left with a stump that is clamped and will fall off naturally after a week or two. This can be scary for new moms who may or may not know how to care for this odd-looking thing. If you are one of those moms, these suggestions will help you to approach the cord stump without fear:

  1. Place Close Attention To The Base Of The Cord

Wipe the base of the cord, nearest to the belly button gently but thoroughly to clean out any moist debris that may have collected. A cotton-tipped applicator works well. You don’t have to worry about hurting your baby because there are no nerve endings in the cord stump.

  1. Let The Air Reach The Stump

Let the stump see some air. This will help it heal and dry faster.

  1. Prevent The Diaper From Rubbing Against The Stump

When dressing baby, fold the diaper down under the cord stump or you can use disposble diapers with a cut-out notch at the top.

  1. Let The Cord Stump Fall Off Naturally

If it takes longer than the given time, don’t stress! In some cases it does take longer for the stump to fall. Just DON’T attempt to pull it off. If you’re worried, call your doctor for advice.

  1. Be Careful While Bathing Your Baby

Many suggest that while your newborn still has their umbilical cord, it’s best to give them a sponge bath rather than submerging the cord stump in water. Once the cord has fallen off, you can give your baby their first full bath in a tub!

Warning Signs Of Infection

Sometimes things do go wrong and the umbilical cord stump might get an infection. Lookout for the following signs of an infection:

  • Your baby develops a fever.
  • The navel area smells bad or there is puss developing inside.
  • The skin around the belly button becomes red and tender.
  • Your baby cries when you touch the navel slightly.
  • The stump gets swollen and blood oozes from it.

If you follow our tips above carefully, your baby’s umbilical cord will dry out and fall off within a couple of weeks. If you think something is wrong, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.

By Thina Mthembu. IMAGE: ISTOCK.

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Having a newborn baby is exhausting, that’s why we’ve come up with ways you can help out your postpartum friend. She’ll really appreciate it.

They may not admit it out loud, but many newborn mothers need help, desperately. Either than having to take care of a new baby, they still need to run a household, and those with more than one kid need even more energy to keep the other children entertained and well taken care of. So if you’re wondering how you can help your friend out before she crashes under all the pressure, we have a few tips to steer you in the right direction.

Surprise Her With A Grocery Delivery

Unexpected grocery loads are helpful. One, she’s still recovering from giving birth, and she’s probably exhausted from staying up all night trying to calm down her crying baby. Think fresh fruits, snacks for the older kids, ready-made salads, nutrition bars, you can even go as far as getting frozen-pizza and other microwavable foods.

Be The Non-Judgemental Presence In Her Life

She’s already getting enough judgement from her family, other moms and herself, you don’t need to add on to the list. If you’ve been there and done that, be the Zen master and help her out where you can.

Take Out The Older Kids

As much as she’s trying to give all her other kids attention, it’s not an easy task. There will be times when she won’t be able to walk to the park because the little one needs more attention. Come through and take the older ones out for a fun filled morning or afternoon. She will love you dearly for it.

Offer To Clean Her House Or Hire A Cleaning Service

You’re already paying her a visit every other day, so out of habit you’ll find yourself picking up a few toys left by the older kids, or washing dishes from earlier this morning or last night. It’ll probably get to a point where you end up cleaning the whole house while you’re there. She might feel funny about it at first, but when she realises that you’ve removed another chore from her to-do list, she’ll appreciate it.

Hold The Baby And Let Her Take A Nap

Take the phone and let the conversation go like this, “Hey lady, I’m coming over to take care of the kids while you take a long nap.” Simple and straight to the point, to a postpartum mom, this little freedom will be the most luxurious feeling ever.

Wash Your Hands

A new mom is very cautious about the hygiene of those around her baby. Before touching the baby, reach for a hand sanitizer first or just scrub your hands with soapy water.

Come Through With Encouraging Words

If she tells about how she sucks at everything baby related, tell her what a good job she’s doing, how beautiful her baby is, tell her she looks amazing and tell her of your fail stories when you started out. If you see that she’s really struggling, let her know that this too shall pass and happy times are coming.

Don’t make the mistake of asking your friend if she needs help because chances are she’ll say, “No, everything is fine”. She might not even have the courage to ask anyone for help, so pop in when you can and see where you can help. Just don’t overstay your welcome.

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Sometimes coming up with encouraging words for your child is not always easy, and this is when motivational quotes come in handy.

There are many ways to introduce kids to positive aspects of life and motivational quotes are one of many. Words have a way of making tough times more bearable and though we might not always have the right words to offer at the right time, motivational words can be helpful when they fall on little ears.

Positive Thoughts Will Take You Far.

“If you have good thought they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl

Never Miss A Beat.

“Take every CHANCE you get in LIFE, because some things only happen ONCE.” – Anonymous

The First Step Is The Most Important.

“Winning doesn’t always mean being first. Winning means you’re doing better than you’ve done before.” – Bonnie Blair

Fall Down And Get Up.

“You’ll never be brave if you don’t get hurt. You’ll never learn if you don’t make mistakes. You’ll never be successful if you don’t encounter failure.” – Anonymous

We All Make Mistakes, What’s Important Is What You Learn From It.

“Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.” – Sophia Loren

Never Take Your Dreams Lightly, Believe In Yourself.

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamella Vaull Starr

Before You Think Of Changing Everything Else, First Look At Yourself.

“You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have.” – Jim Rohn

Think Of What Your Words Will Do To The Other Person.

“If you can’t say something nice, say nothing.” – Thumper in Bambi

You Are Special Just The Way You Are.

“Being different isn’t a bad thing. It means you’re brave enough to be yourself.” – Luna Lovegood

It All Starts With You.

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

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Coming home with a newborn baby brings happiness to everyone but when colic makes a presence, stress sets in. How can do you soothe a colicky baby? 

The plaintive cries of a baby with colic can put any parent under a lot of stress and you might find yourself shedding a tear or two. Before you lose your head, colic rarely lasts beyond your baby’s third month and usually peaks at four to six weeks of age. If you’re not certain if your baby has colic or not, look out for these symptoms:

  • Apparent abdominal pain
  • Gassiness
  • A distended belly
  • Irritability
  • Long, inconsolable bouts of crying (usually stating in the early evening and lasting for hours)

The colic causes pain in your baby’ gastrointestinal tract. The cause of the condition is not really known, but many physicians think your baby’s diet or either something a nursing mother is eating or it could be sensitivity to formula. With this article we want to help you try to soothe your colicky baby with our parent-tested strategies.

  1. Keep Calm

Between you and the baby, you have more power to control your emotions. Stay calm and composed, this will make it easier for you to work on calming baby too. Check to see if there are any other possible causes of distress, once you’ve ruled them out, give your baby a little break and leave them alone for a bit. Maybe it’s tiredness that’s making them whine and a moment to relax will help them settle down.

  1. Make Clean Noise

Babies get attracted to some sounds that are pleasing and these very sounds may help your little one calm down. We’d suggest using flowing water but we don’t want you to waste water so rather go for a vacuum cleaner, a fan, or radio station that’s all static. Just don’t leave your baby alone around any of these things.

  1. Colic Carry

Hold your baby in the ‘colic carry’. Position your baby so that the rests on your forearm and the head is supported in the palm of your hand or the crook of your arm.

  1. Swaddle And Rock

Some babies like being wrapped tightly, more especially when they are being rocked. You can also try to rock and roll your baby in your arms.

  1. Keep Your Little One In Motion

Take your for a ride around the block or put your baby in the stroller and go for a walk. Steady rhythm of any kind of movement can soothe a colicky baby.

  1. Adjust The Diet

If you’re breastfeeding and none of the above helps, try changing your own diet by eliminating dairy products, caffeine, onions, cabbage, broccoli, garlic and spicy foods. If your baby is formula-fed, ask your family paediatrician about switching to a soy-based, predigested, or other hypoallergenic formula. Formula-fed babies need iron, so low-iron formulas are rarely recommended.

Never make your baby suck on an empty bottle because it can cause your newborn to swallow air, leading to a tummy full of wind. For the same reason, don’t let the baby suck on a teat that has a hole that’s too large. Although trapped wind isn’t the cause of colic, it can sometimes lead to just as much crying.

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If there’s something that we all remember about our childhood – it was being outside and getting dirty.

These days, we’re bombarded with information on how keeping our kids indoors, and allowing screen time is detrimental to their health. But free-range living is a thing of the past and our back yards just aren’t as big as they used to be. Su-Marie Annandale, brand manager at Krayons Baby says that parents are looking for ideas constantly to keep their kids entertained. “Dreaming up healthy, stimulating an interactive activities for our children is not always as easy as you think it’ll be – especially if you’ve just walked in from a day at the office.”

So what senses do we need to be stimulating when our children are little? Newborns gain adequate stimulation just from their daily routine. Feeding, sleeping, opening their eyes and hearing their parents voices are enough to keep them occupied. From 6 months up – focusing on touch and sight is important. Introducing different textures into their little lives like sand, jelly and even grass will help them explore the world around them. Bright colours and interesting shapes also work wonders to keep them entertained.

From the age of 2 you, and them, can really have fun with messy play activities. They are less likely to pop everything and anything into their mouths and can take a limited amount of instruction. Here are some sensory play ideas and messy tips from Krayons Baby to keep your little one happy and stimulated:

  1. Sensory Rice

Take a cup of jasmine rice and add one teaspoon of food colouring. Mix together until the rice is completely coloured, then lay it out on a paper towel in the sun to dry. Do several cups of rice in different colours to make rainbow rice! Kids love to pour the rice from a jug into cups, down a small toy slide, or just feel the textures with the tips of their fingers.

  1. Squishy bags of colour

Collect 1 cup of flour, 6 tablespoons of water and food colouring. Put the flour in a bowl and add the food colouring, and then the water. Mix together well before spooning into a Zip-lock bag (22cm x 22cm).  You can also add glitter, laminated shapes or letters before sealing the bag. Remember to lay the bag flat and press out any air before sealing the zip-lock bag and double securing with sticky tape. Kids love to manipulate the bags, feel the sensation in their hands, watch how the liquid can be manipulated and even carve gentle shapes into the squish while the bag lies flat on a surface.

  1. Endless fun with shaving cream

This is the simplest of the ideas, but can be the most fun. Find a large window or glass door in your house and squirt shaving foam in fun shapes on the glass surface. Encourage your little one to get stuck in with bare hands and ‘paint’ the surface with the foam. Let them really get into it – smooshing and spreading it this way and that. They can paint letters with their fingers, or just enjoy the sensation of moving it about. A quick once over with a cloth and your window is good as new afterwards.

  1. Playdough!

We often forget the simple pleasure of rolling a piece of dough under your palm and carving out a shape. Homemade playdough is simple to make and lasts for ages if kept in the fridge. Find a recipe online that suits you and add food colouring and glitter to make it visually stimulating for your toddler. Add a drop of lavender essential oil to give it a beautiful smell.

  1. Washing up time

If you’re in the Western Cape, this option is not for you sadly, as it requires water. No child can resist a bowl of soapy water and a couple of plastic items that they need to ‘clean’. Equip him or her with a sponge and sit back (with a clear view of your little washer) and watch them have hours of soapy fun. Instead of washing up liquid, use the Krayons soap bar to create the suds. It’s softer on their skin and will leave their hands moisturised. When they’re done, massage a layer of Krayons Aqueous cream into their forearms and hands to lock in the moisture for the rest of the day’s activities.

“Free and creative play is not only fun for your child but also stimulates the senses and develops a rounded tactile awareness. Of course, being mindful of what is safe for your child is paramount,” concludes Annandale.

SOURCE: REPUBLIC PR

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Co-sleeping doesn’t only refer to sharing a bed, it can also mean putting baby to sleep in the same room as you but in a separate bed.

If your baby is six months or younger, experts recommend that healthy infants be placed on their backs for sleep, as this is the safest position for an infant to sleep. Putting your baby to sleep on his back decreases his chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This applies to daytime naps as well as during the night. Huggies® expert and midwife, Lynne Bluff, sheds some light on some of the benefits of co-sleeping with a newborn baby.

Remember for the first three to four months of life it is recommended to have skin to skin between baby and mom and dad, as much as possible. Skin to skin is when baby only has a Huggies® Gold new baby nappy on and no clothes. Baby is then placed against mom’s bare chest (skin to skin) and baby is wrapped with a shirt or blanket against mom’s or dad’s chest. Many parents choose to co-sleep with baby because it allows for more skin-to-skin contact.

There are many benefits to co-sleeping! Here are some benefits of keeping baby close:

Babies Naturally Fall Into A Daytime And Nighttime Pattern:

It isn’t uncommon for new-borns to mix up their days and nights. Many babies sleep extra soundly throughout the day but can be restless or wakeful much of the night. Keeping baby close during the day with lights and noise around can eventually help baby stay a bit more alert in the daytime. Keeping baby close at night, meeting their needs with a quiet and dim environment, can help them learn to rest more at night. Babies also rest more soundly when they feel secure.

Co-Sleeping Helps Babies Practice Rousing Themselves:

While having your newborn falling into and staying in a deep sleep might sound appealing, it isn’t the type of sleep they were designed to have. Co-sleeping babies are frequently aroused when close with their moms. This practice rousing can help babies learn to use their self-preservation instinct to rouse when there’s any danger such as being overheated, being too cold or something blocking their airway. Being able to easily rouse may reduce the risk of SIDS.

Meet Baby’s Needs Without Getting Up:

Most babies need to be fed, soothed and changed at night. If baby is close by, mom can do all of these things while in bed and remaining in a restful state. Getting out of bed, walking down the hall, changing nappies on the changing pad, feeding in a glider and soothing baby back to sleep requires being fully awake and alert.

Experience Less Nighttime Crying:

Babies sleep well when they feel secure. Knowing mom is close will likely help baby sleep better and fuss less. Moms that co sleep are able to notice earlier signs of hunger and needing to be changed. Often mom can wake during these early signs and meet baby’s needs before they begin to cry. When you co sleep there is less trying to get baby to settle down to sleep before laying them down. This often means less crying. You aren’t likely to have an overtired baby fussing and protesting being laid down in their cot to sleep.

Co-sleeping Helps With Bonding And Secure Attachment:

A secure attachment between baby and caregiver is an emotional bond that leaves baby feeling secure and cared for. This secure attachment, fostered infancy, translates to a child feeling secure and knowing their caregiver will always return to meet their needs. Children with a secure attachment often respond appropriately to situations, show minimal distress when their mother leaves, and are happy when their mother returns.

Co-sleeping Helps With Maintaining An Adequate Milk Supply:

Feeding on demand helps moms maintain an adequate milk supply. Breast milk production is a supply and demand process. Babies are designed to eat frequently at night and co sleeping helps to make it easier for mom and baby to meet this need.

Co-sleeping Can Mean Better Rest For Mom:

Moms, not just babies, are wired for closeness. Studies show that new moms do not experience a better quality of sleep if their babies go to the nursery at night. Co-sleeping may not guarantee more sound sleep for every mom, but many report sleeping better knowing baby is safe and close by. Moms also release oxytocin when close to their babies. Oxytocin improves sleep quality and it’s also great for breastfeeding.

As your baby grows, he may not want to sleep all night, every night, with you. With a bit of trial and error, you’ll eventually find a method that works for you, your partner, and your baby.

SOURCE: SABIO COMMUNICATIONS

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What’s the line between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance?

Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings about how babies learn one language over another — by listening to the humans around them and ‘taking statistics’ on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how six-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world.

https://www.ted.com/talks/patricia_kuhl_the_linguistic_genius_of_babies?language=en

Source: TedTalks

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Understanding potential dangers around the house is the best way to make sure that the little over curious people are safe when they wander about.

Making good judgement is definitely not something little kids are good at, most of the time they go looking for trouble. Knowing what to do when faced with objects that could cause harm to your kids will go a long way when it comes to ensuring that they are as safe as possible. With all that said, we have a list of 5 Household Objects that you need to keep away from curious kids.

Metal Keys

Keys are made of brass or nickel-plated brass, most the times they get stuck into dirty and greasy areas, so with all that said, I bet you’ll agree when we say they don’t belong in your child’s mouth, plus the sharp edges are dangerous for those little eyes.

Storage Containers

To open it, all they have to do is throw it on the ground and whatever that spills out of the container is probably going to be eaten or smeared all over the place. NEVER put cleaning products in soda cans or containers that were once used for food, and NEVER put roach powder or rat poison on the floors of your home, keep any cleaning supplies, including dishwasher detergent and dishwashing liquids under the sink.

Your Cosmetics

They’re colourful, shiny and dangerous. Your kids will definitely be interested in your make-up kit, although playing make up may be fun and cute, some cosmetics products may be harmful for your baby’s sensitive skin and makeup brushes can carry bacteria.

Balloons And Plastic Bags

Whether they’re inflated or deflated, balloons pose a big choking risk for kids. Plastic bags on the other hand are big safety hazard for kids of various ages. Babies can choke on them, and toddlers and older kids are at a stage where they are putting their heads into anything, and this can suffocate them.

Cotton Ear Buds

They’ve seen you use them to clean their ears and your own, the problem is at that age they haven’t mastered the technique of doing it correctly and safely. Your tot will try to see how deep it can go and ear buds are also a choking hazard.

Be Prepared

If you’re expecting a baby or already have a child, you should do or have the following:

Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the abdominal thrust procedure.

Keep the following numbers near the phone:

  • Doctor’s number.
  • Parents work and cell phone number.
  • Neighbour’ or nearby relatives number in case you need someone to watch over the other kids in an emergency.

Make a first-aid kit and keep emergency instructions inside.

By Thina Mthembu

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