Posts Tagged nanny service

Baby Play – Developmental Activities for Your Baby

baby activities, tummy time

Tummy Time
Tummy time is one of the earliest ways your baby will learn to play. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that infants always sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDs, but they also recommend that babies get plenty of tummy time when they’re awake and alert enough to play. Tummy time helps develop your baby’s neck and upper-body muscles for better head control and also helps prevent the back of her head from becoming flat. The AAP says you can begin tummy time the first day your baby is home from the hospital. Place her on her tummy for three to five minutes at a time, up to three times a day or as often as she seems to enjoy it. Increase tummy time as your baby gets older and stronger, and place toys in front of her to encourage reaching, creeping, and eventually crawling. 

baby activities, fun with faces

Fun with Faces
Babies love to explore the world through touch. Allow your little one to feel the different parts of your face and his stuffed animals’ faces with his hands. Say the names of the parts of the face as he touches them, and direct your baby’s hand to touch his own nose, mouth, ears, and more. Guide your baby’s hands to your face while you speak and make facial expressions so that he can get to know how we use our faces to communicate. 

baby activities, fun with boxes

Babies and Boxes
Boxes are so much fun! There’s no need to buy fancy blocks to build your infant’s motor skills. Wrap up some smaller boxes (such as cereal boxes or shoe boxes) with recycled newspaper or wrapping paper and allow your baby to handle them and learn to rip them open. She will love the sound of the paper ripping as she pulls on it. She will also enjoy stacking boxes, knocking them over, and rebuilding the stack with your help. 

baby activities, pull toy

String Along
You can turn just about toy into a pull-along toy. Simply attach a piece of yarn or a shoelace to your baby’s toy truck or the arm of his stuffed animal, and encourage your little one to give it a tug. He’ll be delighted to see the effect of pulling his toy on a string! As he begins to crawl, put the string just out of his reach so that he has to move to grab it and reel-in his toy. 

baby activities, silly time

Silly Stuff
What could be better than making your baby laugh? It’s not just good for your soul — it helps her develop her sense of a humor, which is an important part of human communication. Pay attention to whatever your baby finds funny, and repeat it. Use props like funny hats, big sunglasses, and mirrors to make your baby giggle. 

baby activities, feeling textures

Testing Out Textures
As your baby begins to scoot and crawl, try laying rugs, blankets, or items with different textures on the floor for him to explore as he travels across them. Nubby carpet remnants, sticky contact paper, and noisy bubble wrap are just a few ideas. Also, carry your baby around and help him feel the textures of different surfaces, such as a cool brick wall or a round staircase banister. 

baby activities, bath toys

Water Play
Splish splash! You don’t have to save water play for bath time: Fill a small plastic tub with water and various squirty toys, plastic cups, kitchen ladles, and other items that you and your tot can use to make a splash. Non-toxic bubble bath adds another fascinating element to water play. Just remember never to leave your baby unattended near water, even for a moment. 

baby activities, point and learn

Pointing Power
It’s not polite to point — unless you’re a baby (or playing with a baby)! Carry your baby around and point to different objects and things while saying what they are. Even if your baby isn’t showing signs of speaking or making many sounds yet, he is listening and observing as you speak. Point to things and ask, “What’s this?” You’ll be amazed one day when he is able to answer you! 

baby activities, soft catch

Floating Catch
Get it! Gentle games of catch give babies a thrill — and help develop their hand/eye coordination. Gather some lightweight, colorful scarves and toss them in the air so that they float down in front of your baby and she can attempt to grab them. If you don’t have scarves, you can use non-toxic bubbles in your game of catch. 

baby activities, kitchen fun

Cupboard Fun
If your baby is on the move, he’s surely curious to raid your cupboards. Instead of making them all baby proof, leave one designated for play — it’s a great way to allow some controlled exploration in the kitchen. Put some pots, pans, wooden spoons, and other safe objects within their baby’s reach so that he can entertain himself while Mom or Dad is busy in the kitchen. You probably have a talented little drummer on your hands! Before you know it, baby will be stirring up imaginary meals, modeling his parents. 

baby activities, three toys

That Makes Three
Hmm… which toy is the best? Give your baby two toys so that he’s holding one in each hand. Offer a third toy so that he can practice his decision-making skills: Should I exchange one of my toys for this other one? Can I try to hold all three?! It’s a physical and mental exercise for your little guy.

baby activities, reading to infant

Baby Bookworm
Reading is a fun escape and a mellow form of play — a great habit for a child to get hooked on at a young age. Hearing new words and seeing colorful pictures will stimulate your baby’s brain. At the end of a busy, playful day, make reading a bedtime story part of your bedtime routine, and carry it through to the toddler years and beyond. 

The Dangers of Highchairs

If you are like most new parents, you are hyper-aware of all possible dangers and have taken every step to ensure that your little bundle of joy will be safe in any circumstance. Guests are given hand sanitizer and face masks if they might cough, car seat straps are double checked for proper fit, bottles and binkies are sanitized between each use and clothes are washed in special detergent before wear. While these steps are all great ways to protect your child, there can be unseen dangers lurking in the places that you least expect. In fact, one of the biggest culprits can be sitting right in your own kitchen: the baby high chair.

High Chair Dangers

Using a high chair at home or in a restaurant is a great way to keep your child upright and ready for a meal. It can also keep squirmy toddlers confined to make feeding times easier. While these are all logical benefits, there are several risks of high chair use that many new parents are not aware of. These can include injuries from falling as well as diseases from hidden germs.

Germs

You probably use hand sanitizer on your baby’s hands when you eat out, but placing your child in a high chair can introduce a host of new germs. The Daily Mail used swabs to test the high chairs in 30 different restaurants and made a startling discovery – there were several times more germs on a baby’s high chair than on the average public toilet.

In general, public toilets harbor eight bacteria per square centimeter. The average high chair among those tested was home to 147 bacteria per square centimeter. Some restaurants boasted high chairs with up to 1,200 bacteria in each square centimeter. A few of the germs found included E-coli. Staph aureus and enterococcus feacalis. Another study found that 60 percent of the trays on high chairs were contaminated with Coliforms, a certain type of bacteria that is left from soil, unwashed vegetables, raw meat and fecal matter.

While most restaurants will ensure that any spills are wiped off of high chairs after use, researchers reported that sometimes the cleanest looking seats actually held the most germs. The seat cushions proved to be the biggest culprit for harboring bacteria. Since young children generally eat with their hands while in high chairs, they are likely putting those germs straight into their mouths.

What You Can Do

Many parents have found that the same covers used in grocery store shopping carts can work on restaurant high chairs to protect their baby’s health. You can also use a thin blanket to ensure your child does not touch any surface of the high chair, but the best advice experts can give is to thoroughly wash everyone’s hands before and after eating. If possible, you can even keep the child in his or her car seat or on your lap during the meal.

Falls

First, we’ll talk about falling. The Atlantic reports that one child will go to the emergency room every hour after a fall from a high chair, totaling 9,400 children each year. This number rose over 20 percent from the years 2003 to 2010, signaling the need to make some changes. While a fall can result in a simple scrape or bruise, bone fractures and brain injuries are also possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the highest rate of emergency room visits for traumatic brain injuries occurs in those who are under four years old. Many of these injuries are due to falls, some from high chairs.

What You Can Do

Some experts suggest that parents place their children on the floor and forego high chairs altogether. If this seems extreme, there are other options you can choose to protect your baby’s health, including the following:

  • Place the high chair at a lower height. The farther your child falls, the more likely he or she will be injured and the more severe the injuries may be.
  • Do not place a child in a high chair until he or she is able to sit without support.
  • Secure wheel locks anytime the high chair is in use.
  • Check high chair recalls. If you have a damaged or defective high chair, your baby is more likely to suffer a fall. You can check the government’s official website for recalls.
  • If you buy your high chair secondhand, be sure that it has a 5-point adjustable harness and that all clips are in perfect condition. Tighten all screws and bolts and check for any cracks or tears.
  • Strap your child in correctly. Today.com states that two-thirds of parents who knew what their child was doing before the fall reported that they were standing or climbing in the high chair. Children can also slip or wriggle out of loose straps, so be sure they are fitted tight, especially the crotch strap.
  • Be sure your high chair has a sticker from the American Society for Testing and Materials or the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association to prove that it has been tested and approved for safety standards.
  • Keep away anything that the child can use to pull, push or kick the chair over.

Maintaining safety can be a little harder when you are not at home. If you are in a restaurant and use a baby high chair, be sure that is has proper, working straps. If it doesn’t, feel free to ask the server for a new one.

Burns

Burns are another danger for babies who are in high chairs. If you push your child up to the table so she or she can eat with the rest of the family, be sure that there is no way a burn could occur. Make sure all pan handles are out of reach as well as any containers of hot food. Spills can also burn a baby, so it’s better to keep any hot liquids off the table.

While high chairs offer a host of benefits to parents, they also carry a fair amount of risks. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to avoid danger and keep your baby safe. For more tips and tricks from trusted parents, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Should I Get My Child A Pet ?

Your Child and Pet


Whether it’s playing with a pooch or petting a purring kitty, there’s no doubt that pets can bring their owners (young and old) plenty of joy. But the advantages of pet ownership go well beyond the fact that they’re cuddly and lots of fun. So if you’ve been wondering whether this is the right time to add a four-legged (or two-winged or multi-finned) critter to your family, here are a few reasons why getting a pet may be a very good idea:

THE BENEFITS OF PETS: THEY TEACH KIDS VALUES
With a pet in the house, even the youngest toddler can pick up a few pointers about responsibility. Of course you’ll take on most of the pet-care chores, but your tot will absorb a lot from your nurturing example, like the importance of being kind and gentle. He can even lend a tiny hand with the easier jobs, like pouring food into a dish. By pitching in, he’ll realize that pets, just like people, need food, shelter, exercise, and love, teaching him valuable lessons about empathy and compassion.

THE BENEFITS OF PETS: THEY BOOST SELF-ESTEEM
There’s research showing that kids with family pets have higher self-esteem. Why? Probably because they have a four-legged (or two-legged) creature to love who loves them right back, and a friend to talk to and play with when no one else is around. Later on, when your child starts school, your pet can even boost his academic skills. Studies show that reading aloud to a loyal (and nonjudgmental) companion, like a dog, can turn a reluctant reader into a self-confident one. What’s not to love about that?

THE BENEFITS OF PETS: THEY’RE GOOD FOR EVERYONE’S HEALTH
Experts say that children who grow up with pets are less likely to develop common allergies thanks to early exposure to certain bacteria. (Of course, some children are genuinely allergic to animals — so check on that before you take the plunge.) And some research shows that pet owners tend to get sick less often — in fact, a 2012 study determined that children who lived with dogs were generally healthier during their first year of life, with fewer respiratory problems and less frequent ear infections than kids without canines. Another pro to pets? Brushing, patting, or stroking a furry creature can lower stress levels — and that’s just as true for moms and dads as it is for kids.

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