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Some people have favourite numbers or lucky numbers, a special anniversary or a birth date, well today I am talking about a favourite age, and it has to be 6!

After my daughter was born, every day was an adventure — a ‘sleep-deprived, soggy breast pad’ type of adventure, but an adventure all the same!. Weeks turned into months, months turned into years and milestones were reached and conquered.

Looking back on the past six years I notice I’ve had favourite ages.

As the 1st and 2nd birthdays flew by I started noting these favourite ages.

I will have to be brutally honest here and I say — with sincere love and clarity — that ages two and three were … well let’s just say, challenging! Enjoyable? Yes, a lot more wine ingested? Yes Yes!

Let’s start with age one: Well the best bit of having a one-year-old was not having to count months on … Read the rest

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May 22 is World Preeclampsia Day and we are sharing this story to help spread awareness of this serious condition of pregnancy.

“Why is it that almost 10 per cent of pregnancies are affected by preeclampsia (PE) in Australia yet it is something that is not a discussion topic among us?

This disease takes lives every day and many babies are born prematurely due to it. Every year in Australia about 200 babies die due to preeclampsia, as a direct consequence of the premature age in which they were born. The only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver the baby.

Around the world, more then 50,000 mothers die every year from eclampsia. That number would dramatically increase if you took into account the other complications of preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia is a condition that only happens in pregnancy and is the most common medical disorder of a human pregnancy.

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Learning through DOING is the most effective way. More neural pathways, the connectors between one part of the nervous system to another, are created though real three-dimensional experiences. Just ask Benjamin Franklin, who said “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”.

So why is it important that children assist with the clothes washing?

Firstly, it is an activity that needs to be done. So there is no adding to a parents’ already busy day.

Secondly, there is an abundance of skills that can be learned by an infant and child through assisting with the washing.

Watching and listening

Let’s start with watching and listening. For an infant, this is how they develop language. It takes no more physical effort or time to talk about what you are doing. “Here is the dirty washing in the basket. Let’s take it out. It needs to go in the… Read the rest

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Om.

I used to say that at the start of a trendy little yoga class I used to attend in a hip, exposed brick studio with white ceilings. Candles, crystals, essential oil candles burning their little literal and metaphorical glow. Om.

This, of course, was BC. Before Children.

The more procreating I’ve gotten up to, the more people populate my household, the more I’ve needed the mindful meditation and the less I’ve done it.

Ironic, isn’t it, Alanis?

Just when I could really use something to settle the snow globe of my brain, I don’t have the resources – time or disposable income – to buy the peace of mind.

“They” say the years are short but you and I both know the days are long. So I’ve adopted a few mantras to cycle through my mind to prevent me from losing my shit and throwing popcorn at my little darlings during family movie night.

Mantras… Read the rest

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I’m going to let you all in on a little secret.

I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing as a parent. You know those “out of body” experiences where all of a sudden you catch yourself in a situation and think “oh my stars, WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?”.

Well, I have those moments quite a lot. I used to have them when I was nursing a critically ill patient, making clinical decisions that could potentially change someone’s health outcome … you know, pretty serious stuff.

But now that I’m a parent, I seem to be having these moments much more frequently. It’s starting to dawn on me that these people I care for at home (AKA my children) will need me forever, in some way or another. And that everything I do has the potential to impact on them.

That very thought makes my heart race.

They watch to see how I react in situations. They watch how I handle stress, fatigue and happiness… Read the rest

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Eleven-month-old Annabel is always on the go — climbing the stairs, pulling herself up onto the furniture, and creeping into every available space in the house.

Her busy body is exploring the world around her, saturating her senses, feeding her brain with lots of information from her eyes, ears, hands, feet, muscles, and skin.

While her movements may still be clumsy she is not only learning to move, but she is moving to learn.

Why is movement so important for babies and young children?

Infants and young children need to move. It is one of the important keys to later learning. Moving stimulates the development of the brain in many ways.

When babies are born, their brain is a mass of millions and millions of (mostly) unconnected nerves. Emotional, sensory, and movement experiences that an infant and child have stimulate these nerves to connect, and this allows information to flow smoothly… Read the rest

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“So every time a celebrity is pregnant and suffering Hyperemesis Gravidarum the media keeps calling it extreme morning sickness!

I want people to get their facts straight, it’s so much more serious than people realise!

For me, Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is physically being unable to eat and drink. It’s losing so much weight and having no energy to stand, shower or be a mother. HG is gagging and vomiting violently when trying to make your daughter a sandwich because the smell just sets you off.

HG is crying constantly because of extreme, unrelenting nausea 24/7 … your body is in starvation mode, everything hurts and you know people think you ‘just have bad morning sickness’ …

HG causes isolation, anxiety and depression along with the physical symptoms. HG is taking drugs used to treat nausea and vomiting in chemo patients and they don’t… Read the rest

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Viruses are everywhere and there are thousands of different types, that are constantly changing.

Like bacteria, viruses usually live among us without causing too much trouble. Until the weather gets colder, and we tend to spend more time indoors and closer together.

Viruses love these cold, wet conditions.

So, how can we protect our kids (and ourselves!) from bugs this winter?

Here are some of the best things you can do.

4 ways to help virus-proof your kids this winter Wash hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub

Washing your hands can get rid of nasty viruses like norovirus and enterovirus (stomach bugs) and cytomegalovirus (a virus that can cause malformation and hearing loss in a baby that was infected in the womb).

Scientific systematic reviews — carefully planned studies that examine several other studies to draw conclusions — have shown that children… Read the rest

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Sleep plays a very important role in our development, physical health and mental wellbeing. It is so important, that on average, we sleep for one third of our lives!

But, it is in our early years when sleep is vital, and unfortunately this doesn’t always come easy…

Average hours of sleep

Here is a simple guide to help you determine how many hours your child should be sleeping each day:

Infants: 18 hours

2 – 3 years: 14 hours

5 – 9 years: 10 hours

14 -18 years: 8 hours

10 tips for settling, bedtime routines and healthy sleep practices 1. Use structured routines

Create structured routines close to bedtime that commence when the sun starts to go down. Visuals may support independence in young children.

2. Incorporate movement

If your child requires movement regularly, incorporate movement that is rhythmical closer to bedtime to support calming.

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Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity for mums to reflect on their journey to becoming a mum. If they’re lucky, they can look back and celebrate it.

However we know that for many women their experience of becoming a mum wasn’t easy. About one in five will have experienced perinatal anxiety or depression, a serious mental illness that occurs during pregnancy and in the first year after birth.

It’s a treatable illness, and with the right support most mums recover and move on with their lives, going on to enjoy a happy and healthy parenthood.

If this is you, all power to you! But what happens if you’re planning another baby? What if you really struggled with a previous child, either during pregnancy or after the birth, and you’re worried you may encounter similar problems again?

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