Developing your little one’s motor skills

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Building your little one’s motor skill can be quite a task as it requires a lot of practice and patience. Remember to encourage your child at every step as he/she goes on to learn new movements to complete simple tasks like holding a pencil, writing, picking up food, walking etc.

 

Here are some tips from moms on how you can help your little one in developing motor skills…  

Giving him lots of objects and textures to handle and explore will strengthen his hands and fingers and make them more sensitive and dexterous. Toys that boost fine motor development include blocks (all shapes, sizes, and textures), balls (again, a variety), stuffed animals and dolls, activity boards, and household items (the real thing or toy versions) such as kitchen utensils, remote controls, and keys.  Another super skill builder: Finger-plays — songs with accompanying hand motions — such as “Pat-a-Cake” or “Itsy-Bitsy Spider.”-Merin Vineeth

I teach my almost 4-year-old daughter to organise her wardrobe and shoes as per colours-Melanie Rebello Harding

For motor skill development let your kids play with dough or clay. Teach him to cut papers through baby safe scissors .Use baby-safe building blocks, coloring using crayons or let your kid play in sand-Shabeena Ansari

Using blocks and shapes to make your kid understand colour and shapes. Playing catch-n- throw to make her understand distance and also make her a part of different types of activities like paper-cutting and clay molds-Sutapa Ghosh

You can help your little one develop strength and coordination by allowing him some outdoor activities suitable for his age, like exploring his environment, letting him touch unfamiliar objects, all under your guidance- LhiZa Gaceta Espijo

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Dress for the occasion: Baby’s 1st birthday

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Time flies, and it’s been 12 months since your little one first made an appearance – dressed only in their birthday suit. The first birthday is a big deal. Sure, your one-year-old won’t care or remember what they wear, do or eat – but there’s still every reason to make them stand out from the crowd with a great party outfit.

 

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Dress for the occasion
If you’re having a soft play party keep it casual; if it’s a kids party then why not opt for fancy dress; or, if it’s a family lunch then they can get suited and booted – just remember to bring a bib. They don’t call this the cake-smashing outfit for nothing!
Personalised t-shirts and onesies are not just unique, they are also a special keepsake of this milestone occasion. My First Birthday, Fun To Be One, and It Took A Year To Get This Cute are all great messages to get printed under your child’s photo.
If you have siblings or twins, it can be fun to dress them up in matching outfits (they’ll hate you for it when they’re older though), and don’t forget to use this day when the family is all dressed up to take some great snaps for the album.
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Little princess
Make your little one the belle of the ball with a pink tutu, tiara and pink slippers. Dressing up? Then Snow White, Minnie Mouse and Tinkerbell are timeless classics. Go girlie with a floral dress or chic with a fancy tunic and leggings. Or, your mini style diva can dress to impress in floral print dungaree shorts or a polo t-shirt dress.
You will end up with a picture perfect outfit – and just imagine how cute those birthday portraits will be.
Prince Charming
Baby boys look super cute dressed up as Mickey Mouse at this age. If you’re having a themed party, your little one can blend in with an outfit to match: Barney, Sponge Bob, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Thomas the Tank Engine are great to wear and share.
Stay cool and casual with a polo shirt, chino shorts and baseball cap, or stylish and smart with a shirt and waistcoat, and even braces to complete the look.
Accessorise!
Whichever look you’re going for, complete the outfit with a bib, hat or headband, and shoes to match.

Learning by playing: birth to 18 months

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Who knew that boosting brain power and refining motor skills could be so much fun?

From birth to 18 months your child is getting more aware and active by the day, so keep them learning important mental and physical skills with these hands-on activities – it’s just child’s play.

Learning by playing 01

DIY finger paint

What’s not to love about edible finger paint? Your toddler can get creative and messy and, because it’s safe and non-toxic, you don’t have to worry about them tasting it.

Mix two tablespoons of sugar with a 1/3 cup of cornflour, add two cups of water and whisk until smooth. Heat in a saucepan until the mix thickens. Divide the mix between plastic cups, add food colouring to each one, and stir. Leave to cool before letting your toddler dip in, and smear, squish and swirl over paper.

Learning by playing 02

Head to toe

Encourage your little one to learn about parts of the body through singing and actions with this simple song:

This is the way we touch our nose, touch our nose, touch our nose, this is the way we touch our nose, so early in the morning.

Replace the word ‘nose’ with toe, ear, knee etc and add in new actions such as tickle and shake.

Going on a bear hunt?

Make reading aloud more fun by bringing Michael Rosen’s We’re Going On A Bear Hunt to life.

Make the sound effects of the swishy grass, splashy river and howling snowstorm: run a broom along the floor, splash your hands in a bowl of water, and blow into the top of an empty bottle.

Act out the story, focusing on words in the book such as ‘over’, ‘under’, and ‘through’. Make rivers out of blue bed sheets, collect twigs and leaves from the garden for the forest, wear scarves for the snowstorm, create a cave under a table, and use a play tunnel for exploring.

Learning by playing 03

Rapido play dough

It’s never too early to get crafty with your child, and this no-cook play dough recipe is ready to mould, squeeze and cut in just five minutes.

Mix one cup of plain flour, 1/2 cup of salt, two tablespoons of cream of tartar, one tablespoon of cooking oil, one cup of boiling water, and a few drops of food colouring (gel gives a brighter colour). Add glitter for some sparkle, or peppermint oil to make it smell great.

Easy peasy lava lamp

Your toddler will be mesmerised by the weird bubbles of colour and swirly shapes in this funky homemade lava lamp.

Fill a quarter of a large, clear plastic bottle with water and then fill to the top with vegetable oil. Once the oil and water separates, add 10 drops of food colouring and half a fizzing tablet (such as Alka-Seltzer) – then let the blobby spectacle commence. For a true lava effect, shine a torch through the bottom of the bottle.

Sources:

http://www.momtastic.com/parenting/
http://theimaginationtree.com

Healthy lunches for mini munchers

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Are your kids bored of sandwiches? Are their lunchboxes as limp as a lettuce leaf left in the sun? These refreshingly tasty, easy and healthy recipes will keep your child excited about lunchtime.

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Muffin man pizzas

Slice an English muffin in half, cover each half with tinned or homemade chopped tomatoes, and top with grated cheese. Decorate with two peas for eyes, a triangle of cucumber for a nose, and a slice of red pepper for the mouth. Grill for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese melts, then add grated carrot for the hair.

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Bagel snakes

Slice a bagel in half and then cut each one in half to form a semi-circle. Top each piece with hummus mixed with grated carrot or boiled egg mixed with mayonnaise, and then arrange the bagel pieces to resemble a wriggly snake. Add sweetcorn for eyes, and a fork-shaped tongue cut from red pepper. Sssssssssssssseriously good!

Healthy Lunch 03-editRock n roll rice rolls

Prepare several sheet of rice paper by dipping them in warm water and laying on a flat surface. Place a line of shredded lettuce along the edge of the rice paper and top with chopped chicken, and thinly sliced cucumber and red pepper. Alternatively, top with grated carrot, sliced avocado and beansprouts. Fold in one of the long edges, tuck in the sides, and continue to roll up. Slice in half and dip into sweet chilli or soy sauce.

Sweet treats

Mix two cups of muesli, one cup of dried apricots,1/4 cup of honey and 60g melted butter in a food processor until well combined. Roll a tablespoon of the mix into a ball, coat with desiccated coconut, and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Store these yummy balls in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days.

Source
http://www.taste.com.au

Healthy Diet During Pregnancy

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Congratulations you are pregnant! Do not get overwhelmed by the food charts and books lined on your shelf throwing volumes of information about food groups and body development at you.

Remember, following a healthy diet during pregnancy is easy, as you become naturally aware that you are now eating to provide the right nutrients for yourself, as well as your baby.

The first trimester is one of the most significant periods for your baby’s body development; it is also the right time to get your dose of prenatal vitamins. Besides that you can follow a healthy diet prescribed by your dietician based on your Body Mass Index.

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To start with, it is important to get the right amount Folate or Folic acids as soon as you conceive and also during the first three months. You can stock your fridge with green leafy vegetables, bok choy, spinach, salad leaves, and broccoli. Do not forget to include Vitamin C in your meals. Vitamin C is found in citrus foods, tomatoes and capsicum.

Animal food sources provide iron that is easier to absorb than iron from plant food. The best way to get your quota of iron is lean meat, leafy vegetables, legumes, cereals. Consult your dietician to find the supplementary options to get your iron fill, if you follow a vegan or a vegetarian diet.

An adequate amount of iodine is required for your baby’s growth. It is essential to get your iodine supplements in the right measure (consult your doctor to know how many micrograms (Mcg) your body needs).  Dietary sources rich in iodine are fruits and vegetables, seafood, eggs and iodised salt.

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If you love eating fish, you will have to be a little careful during pregnancy. Some fishes accumulate mercury which can be harmful for your baby’s development of nerves.

Food items that you should completely avoid during your pregnancy are – unpasteurised milk, uncooked meat and eggs, thick milkshakes, heat-and-eat meals, ready-to-eat-salads, and food items ladened with sugar and fats.

Great! Now that you have fulfilled your body’s requirement for essential vitamins and nutrients, you should be ready to welcome the new bundle of joy in your life!

The proof reading has been done by Dr. Shanthala Yashas from iCare Clinics.

Source:

http://www.health.qld.gov.au/nutrition/resources/antenatal_ngpl.pdf

 

Is it safe to breastfeed when you are sick?

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Mothers often worry if it is safe to breastfeed while they are sick. The answer, more often than not, is yes. Our bodies work in such a way that we expose others around us to an illness a day before we begin showing symptoms. This means that your baby would have already been exposed to your illness by the time you actually feel sick. The good thing is that since your body has a building immune response, you pass along illness-fighting antibodies to your baby while breastfeeding which helps to protect your little one.

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It is advised to consult with your doctor to correctly diagnose your sickness but a standard cold, flu, food poisoning or even a fever is not to be worried over, and is fine to breastfeed with. Your doctor may want to put you on a course of antibiotics in case of bacterial infections, in which case you can ask your doctor to prescribe antibiotics that are safe for breastfeeding. Alternatively, you can also pump and store your breastmilk before going on a course of antibiotics if you are not comfortable breastfeeding while sick or switching to formula.

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Withholding your breastmilk during an illness actually increases the possibility that your baby will get sick, and deprives baby of the comfort and superior nutrition of nursing.

Some of the other things you can do while you’re sick is drink a lot of fluids and rest as it helps in keeping your body hydrated as well maintaining a good milk supply.You can also prevent your baby from getting sick by doing some of the usual things to prevent the spread of illness such as washing hands often, avoid sneezing/coughing around your baby, limiting face-to-face contact, etc .

In some cases, you may not nurse frequently enough which happens when you don’t get enough fluids to keep the milk supply going. To avoid a decreased milk supply, drink plenty of fluids. Sometimes medications can also cause your milk supply to diminish. You should avoid taking such medicines after consulting your doctor.

Proofread by Dr. Shantala Yashas. Sp.OB Gynecologist iCare clinics,UAE.

Sources:

http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-breastfeed-if-im-sick_10370370.bc

http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/illness-surgery/mom-illness/

How to foster a healthy lifestyle for a pregnant mother

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Now that the good news has arrived, the next thing every mother should take care about is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Each pregnancy begins with advice being handed over by relatives, friends and family but the most important person to listen to through this beautiful journey is your doctor and of course, your own body.

That said, following these guidelines will see you foster a healthy lifestyle for yourself.

Eat Well

Eating healthy during pregnancy gives your baby the healthiest possible start as well as a smooth pregnancy for you. Since your baby grows with the nutrition you have, what you eat matters a lot. As a rule of thumb it is important to include healthy proteins, vitamin C, calcium, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, adequate fats and iron-rich foods.

While expectant mother are concerned about how much weight they will gain during pregnancy, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight gain.

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Keep Active

Expecting mothers shouldn’t overly exert themselves but taking part in prenatal exercises during pregnancy has many benefits. It helps in improving sleep, reduces swelling and leaves you feeling happier and energetic while also making labour and delivery easier. Exercise provides endorphins that can keep you in a great mood and help you get your figure back faster after delivery. The decision of if one should take part in prenatal exercises depends on one’s pregnancy and should only be taken up on your doctor’s advice.

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Let go of stress

Expectant mothers go through a physical as well as emotional stress. A growing foetus derives all its nutrition from its mother which also leads to added strain on the spine, change in hormones and an expanded abdominal wall. Eating healthy and maintaining healthy levels of activity can help tackle this physical stress. And while pregnancies come with emotional stress as well, the best thing to do is surround oneself with supporting family and worry as less as possible.

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Sources

http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/healthy-pregnancy

http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/first-trimester-exercise-fitness

http://completewellbeing.com/article/carry-on-stress-free/