Have You Heard About Parent-and-Child Dates?

Parents are always looking for ways to spend quality time with their children. One way to do so is via parent-and-child dates. A family with more than one young child, especially, may find it harder to have one-on-one time with each child. However, taking the time regularly to really connect with each child will go a long way in tending to their heart. Caring for their carnal needs and health is important but so is caring for their spiritual and mental health. Taking each child on special dates is one way to purposefully stay in tune with all of your child’s needs. If you’re looking for some fun one-on-one date ideas, look no further! 

  1. Have a picnic in your backyard or at a nearby park
  2. Go on a nature walk together and see who can find the most interesting rocks, leaves or flowers
  3. Head to the bookstore and pick out a few books to read together. Make it extra fun by reading in silly voices or acting out the story
  4. Go to the zoo and name all the animals 
  5. Build a fort out of blankets and pillows and have a movie marathon inside it
  6. Do a parent-child cooking class together
  7. Go for a ice-cream or milkshake
  8. Have a water gun battle
  9. Give each other manicures or pedicures
  10. Go on a bike ride together 

Be sure to put away your phone, turn off the TV and really focus on your child during your date. No matter what you choose to do, the important thing is that you are spending quality time with your child and showing them that they are important to you.

Benefits of ‘Dating’ Your Children

While every parent-child relationship is different, most children generally crave attention and quality time with their parents. In today’s world, it can be hard to find the time to truly connect with our children. We are often pulled in many different directions and our children can easily get lost in the shuffle. Here are the benefits of going on dates with your kids:

Improved Communication

Children need individual attention. It gives them time and space to communicate away from other distractions (and siblings) and it lets them know you care about their contributions to the family.

Better Behaviour

Having a tough time with your child’s behaviour? It often comes down to them wanting to be seen and needing attention. When you’re one-on-one with your kids, it’s so much easier to acknowledge their positive attributes personally. 

Happier Parents

Going on dates with your children also helps you, the parents. This is an opportunity for you to feel more connected with each child and each other, as well. 

Make it Happen!

It’s not an easy thing to carve out time for dates with your children, but you should seize the opportunities when you can, or it might soon be too late. Children grow up so fast. Here are a few thoughts on how you can make it work.

Alternating dates with each parent

Each parent can take one child on a date at a different time. For example, mummy can take one child on a date in the morning while daddy takes another in the afternoon. Switch next month!

Finding a sitter so both parents can go

It’s not always realistic but if both you and your partner have a chance to take one child out together, that’s even better. They will absolutely love spending time with just mummy and daddy.

Let the child pick the activities

You’d be surprised at how happy they can be with a simple outing.

Have suggestions ready if they can’t decide

No one wants choosing a fun activity to turn into a stressful experience. If your children have a tough time making decisions, offer a couple of suggestions and let them choose. This keeps them involved in the process while limiting their anxiety over making a decision. 

Start planning now and make your dates special, memorable and fun!

Top Tips for Managing Fussy Eaters

It’s natural to worry whether your young child is getting enough food if they refuse to eat sometimes.

However, it’s perfectly normal for toddlers to refuse to eat or even taste new foods. Do not worry about what your child eats in a day or if they do not eat everything at mealtimes. It’s more helpful to think about what they eat over a week.

If your child is active, gains weight and seems well, then they’re getting enough to eat. As long as your child eats some food from the four main food groups (fruits and vegetables; potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates; dairy or dairy alternatives; and beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins) you do not have to worry. 

Gradually introduce other foods and keep going back to the foods your child did not like before. Children’s tastes change. One day they’ll hate something, but a month later they may love it. Keep offering a variety of foods – it may take lots of attempts before your child accepts some foods.

Tips for parents of young fussy eaters:

  • Give your child the same food as the rest of the family, but remember not to add salt to their food.
  • Try to eat with them as often as you can. The best way for your child to learn to eat and enjoy new foods is to copy you.
  • Give small portions and praise your child for eating, even if they only eat a little. If your child rejects the food, do not force them to eat it. Just take the food away without saying anything.
  • Try to stay calm, even if it’s very frustrating. Try offering the food again another time. Do not wait until your child is too hungry or tired to eat. 
  • Your child may be a slow eater, so be patient.
  • Do not give your child too many snacks between meals. Two healthy snacks a day is plenty.
  • Do not use food as a reward. Your child may start to think of sweets as nice and vegetables as nasty. Instead, you could reward them with a trip to the park or promise to play a game with them.
  • Make mealtimes enjoyable and not just about eating. Sit down and chat about other things. 

The transition from milk to solids is a big change for your child. Not only are they swapping the comfort of the breast or bottle for textured solids, but they are also entering a new world of high chairs, bibs, spoons and messes.Some will take more easily to the process, gobbling up new tastes, but there are no prizes for the child (or their mum) who eats the most at a certain age.

Many mums of older children who are now excellent eaters will tell you how tricky weaning was for them. Some toddlers will be more fussy than others. But also remember that your baby is learning to chew, swallow and deal with different tastes, which are big new skills to develop.

Screen-Free Toddler Activities while Mum is Busy

As mums, we often find that there are times where we need to get things done, but our toddlers or little ones may want to be held or demand one-to-one attention. While screens are a typical go-to to distract children so you can check off a chore or two, research has shown that this can actually hinder their development.

The good news is that you do not have to depend on screens. Children are naturally curious and will latch on to an activity in the right conditions. This is where, as a parent, you can help this happen.

Start by choosing ideas that target your child’s personal interests, gather the supplies they need, then let them be. Your child will need chunks of time and permission to make a mess. Look for ways to control chaos without limiting creativity, like painting on the patio. Then don’t disturb them – not even with a “Good job!” comment. Children learn best through trial and error.

However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to get involved. Your role is to help get things started, then sit back and watch the magic begin! Here are some screen-free ideas to help keep your little one busy while you get your own work done.

Sensory bins are easy to put together with large bins, coloured rice, kinetic sand, scoops and toys. They will keep your toddler entertained for ages and you can easily switch out the toys periodically or prepare different themed bins ready to go.

2. NO OR LITTLE MESS ARTPut your toddler in a high chair with something they can safely make art with, such as non-toxic finger paints or toddler-friendly crayons, along with some paper, and just let them go wild!

It doesn’t get much easier than pulling out a few tubs of Play-Doh and plopping them onto the table for an easy toddler activity! You can also whip up your own dough easily so your child will have abundant access to knead and sculpt as they please.

This is a classic activity for a reason. Just have a handful of colouring books and/or printouts at arm’s reach for a quick grab-and-go activity.

This is a big one. Kids don’t come into the world being able to play on their own; it’s a learned skill that most kids have a hard time with. Start with a five-minute timer and explain to your child that they get to start learning a new skill. Up the timer as they are able to play on their own until they can self-entertain for at least 30 minutes.

Not only are these activities screen-free, but they are also great in helping with the development of your child’s motor skills, imagination and more.

However, please remember that the activities are not meant to be a replacement for parental supervision. Always make sure that someone has an eye on your child at all times.

10 Questions To Hash Out When Having A Baby

10 Questions To Hash Out When Having A Baby

First, congratulations on your decision to have a little one! Growing a new human being is an arduous process. What’s more, you’ll have well-meaning relatives and friends bombarding you with different thoughts, opinions and advice. Hence, it’s understandable if you’re feeling overwhelmed. 

Not sure about what you should know about pregnancy and how to prepare for your baby’s arrival? Consider asking yourself:  

1. How should my pregnancy diet be

During pregnancy, you need to consume a diet rich in protein and calcium to ensure the proper growth of your baby. Avoid alcohol and overconsumption of caffeine as these may cause complications. Drink more water than usual; this helps in your digestion, the formation of your amniotic fluid, the circulation of nutrients throughout your body and your excretion processes.

2. Who can accompany me during my labour and postpartum period?

This could be your partner, children, relatives, or even friends. Most hospitals and confinement centres allow new mums to choose who they wish to have with them throughout their labour and postnatal period.

3. Where do I wish to give birth?

Pregnant women have a variety of alternatives to select from, including maternity hospitals, birth centres, and even home birth services. However, no matter which option you choose, you should make sure that there is a skilled birth attendant involved and your needs and preferences are met. 

4. What typically happens in the labour ward or birth centres?

Your gynaecologist would have examined your medical condition to determine which birth process is ideal for you based on your medical history and preference. During labour, medical staff will assist you at every stage of the delivery process

5. Can I walk and move around during labour?

During labour, you can walk about and move around as much as you like. You can pick the positions that are most comfortable for you after talking to your doctor.

6. Are there any cultural and religious beliefs that I would want to follow?

Most mums are usually sensitive when it comes to fulfilling a tradition or a religious ceremony after giving birth. Mother-friendly confinement centres or hospitals can satisfy your demands if you notify them ahead of time.

7. What is an ideal diet for lactating mothers?

It is necessary to take in extra calories if you are breastfeeding. A new mother undergoes heavy menstruation, which may lead to iron deficiency. Hence, it is ideal for lactating mothers to eat food rich in iron and calcium. Breast milk contains high calcium and lack of calcium in your diet may cause a decrease in bone mass. 

8. How much rest is needed after childbirth before resuming daily activities?

Women would require at least 12 weeks to recuperate entirely from delivery. One can return to everyday activities as soon as four weeks after delivery, but they must be careful not to overwork their bodies. You’ll need adequate rest throughout your recovery phase to ensure that the muscles and ligaments that support the uterus regain strength.

9. Are confinements necessary after childbirth ?

Confinements aid in the recovery of new mothers. They provide an avenue for the new mums to obtain the rest and nutrition that they need, and help to rebalance their bodies and minds.

10.What to expect in confinement centres ?

Confinement centres provide new mums with a personal space that caters to all their postpartum care needs, ranging from tailored confinement meals and maternity care to childcare counselling. This gives new mums the opportunity to bounce back healthier and be better prepared to care for their newborns. 

It is totally normal to receive contradicting opinions from people around you. Do not take stress and make decisions based on your own comfort and needs. 

What to Do If Your Child Has Baby Acne

Alternatively known as neonatal acne, baby acne is a common skin condition that occurs in about 20 percent of all newborns. It generally appears in the form of pimples, tiny red or white bumps, and whiteheads on the baby’s face and body. The good news is that the condition is usually temporary and will go away on its own within three to four months. 

Baby acne is not to be confused for infantile acne, where blackheads, cysts, and nodules occur. Infantile acne happens much less frequently and tends to be more inflammatory in nature.

It remains unclear why baby acne occurs. Some researchers believe that it is due to maternal or infant hormones as, for the first few weeks of their lives, newborns still have a lot of their mothers’ hormones circulating in their systems, which could cause the acne. 

Baby acne might get more pronounced if your baby is crying, which, of course, is inevitable. Fabrics that are rougher in texture could irritate your baby’s sensitive and delicate skin too. The same goes for drool and vomit that have not been cleaned off thoroughly. 

A paediatrician might prescribe medicated creams or ointments if your baby’s acne is stubborn and long-persisting. It is best to avoid over-the-counter treatments, scented soaps, lotions and face washes as these could worsen and irritate your baby’s acne even further. Products containing retinoids, which are commonly used to treat adult acne, are also not recommended for babies. 

Always consult a trusted paediatrician instead of attempting to treat the baby acne on your own. The acne is neither painful nor itchy for your baby, and is, in fact, quite harmless.

8 Things To Know About Newborns

Newborn babies are beautiful blessings, but for many new parents, they can also be an enigma. If you’re anticipating a new addition to your family, read on to find out some strange but true facts about your impending bundle of joy.  

They have more bones than adults do
Babies actually have 300 bones when they are born. However, with time, some of these bones will fuse together. Eventually, there will only be 206 bones.

They’re short-sighted
Newborns are only able to see clearly for a distance of up to 20-30cm. It may not be a lot but it’s a great excuse to snuggle and bond with them at close quarters. Meanwhile, you can help develop their vision by giving them toys with bright, vivid colours.

Their first poop is odourless

Interestingly, baby’s first poop doesn’t smell. However, it looks strange because it is black and tar-like. This is meconium, which is essentially fluids and other stuff that were digested when they were in the womb. Babies do not have gut bacteria until you start feeding them. After that, their poop will turn into the very familiar colour and smell we all know.

They cry to communicate

Babies communicate by crying. As this is their only means of letting you know their needs, expect a lot of it. At first, it can be hard to tell if a baby needs food, nappy changes or to be held, but it gets easier as time goes on.

They have tiny stomachs
Newborns’ stomachs are tiny. In fact, they are only about the size of a hazelnut. Hence, they can’t eat a lot, but they eat often. Air bubbles also take up stomach space so you may need to burp your baby after feeding.

Nappies hide something unusual
Since newborns have extra fluids in them, it is possible for baby boys to have swollen genitals and baby girls to have white discharge. These usually go away after a while but if they persist, you should ask the doctor about it.

They learn more things

Newborns are able to learn more things quicker because they have more brain cells. As such, the newborn stage is a great time for parents to engage more with their baby in order to enhance his or her skills.

There’s no need to bathe them all the time

Babies don’t actually need to be bathed every day, but it is important to keep them clean. Make sure that all the important areas are clean and the umbilical cord stump is dry as this will help it to fall off on its own.

Did you find this helpful? Share it with someone who is expecting a baby!

Postpartum Depression : What can HE do?

Life changes in many different ways when welcoming a new baby into your family. Bringing home a new child can be the most exciting time in your life – and also one of most stressful. Most new mothers tend to experience “baby blues”, which is a short period of sadness triggered by hormonal changes after giving birth, combined with stress, isolation, sleep deprivation and fatigue. Baby blues symptoms typically lessen and disappear after a week or two. However, if the sadness continues longer than that, or gets worse, she may be suffering from postpartum depression (PPD).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO),  approximately 15% of women experience significant depression following childbirth. Postpartum depression is a more serious condition that causes severe mood swings, exhaustion, and a sense of hopelessness. For some, the intensity of those feelings may affect a mother’s ability to take care of the baby or herself.

Although postpartum depression requires professional help, you play a significant role in helping your partner manage her recovery. Here are a few suggestions on how to support your wife if she is experiencing postpartum depression.

What You Can Say

During this time, she will most likely be too emotionally vulnerable for effective communication. Telling her ‘You’re a good mother’ may not be helpful or convincing. Reassure your partner that she will get better and that she is a good mother by pinpointing examples will better let her understand that she is appreciated and needed.

Let her know how much she means to you and the baby.

You need to make sure she knows that there is never a situation where you are better off without her. Even though she might need extra help during this time, tell her she is never a burden and you will always be by her side.

What You Can Do

Most importantly, spend more time by her side without distractions.

This way, it gives her a better sense of security.

Research has shown that a woman’s depression will improve with the consistent support of a significant other.

Hence, you must know that you have much more power to affect the outcome of how you both feel.

Believe that your wife will get better and things will be better in time.

When And How To Seek Help and Treatment

Whilst common, postpartum depression is a major health issue that will become more severe if not recognised or treated professionally. If you notice your wife is having suicidal thoughts or harming herself or her newborn, you need to seek professional help immediately.