Room For Your Preschooler

Arranging a children’s room is just as important as furnishing any other room in the house. Every child of any age should have at least some space at home, that belongs to just him. For a long time, his room is his whole world and so it’s important to take into consideration his personality and needs so that once he’s an adult he can look back at his great childhood room. It doesn’t matter whether you’re live in an apartment or a house, a small room can be just as well equipped. What should we pay attention to most importantly?

 

The bed, as the main part of the room

A quality bed predetermines a healthy development of your child. The size of the bed should be chosen based on the size of the room, but bunk beds are definitely not recommended. The child on the upper bed is breathing the stale air from the bottom and that doesn’t contribute to quality sleep. If you want to save some space, sliding beds on wheels are good for saving space, because one bed can slide under the other during the day. If you only have one child, try to get him a bed as big as possible; a good night sleep is priceless so don’t deny him that for the sake of a different piece of furniture.

 

Storage spaces

Pay close attention to cabinets and shelves. People often make a mistake of putting tall cabinets into a children’s room. Unless your child is extraordinary tall, he will not be able to reach up that high. A lower chest of drawers and open shelves will do. You will encourage your child’s activity by putting making storage spaces accessible to him – he will be more likely to clean up after himself if he can put stuff where they belong. Don’t forget though that with age, children’s demands change. Just to be sure, get high-adjustable pieces of furniture that can be changed into different variations. This way, it can stay with your child for many years.

 

Working area

Every working area should have a desk. But where to put it? If your child is left handed, put the desk in such a position so it will get light from the right, and if he’s right-handed make sure the light comes in from the left side. Also keep in mind a good posture. The height of the desk plays an important role regarding your child’s posture along with the chairs backrest angle and hardness. A proper chair should have an option to adjust the height of the seat, the backrest and should have armrests. Don’t let your child damage his back and also make sure he has good lighting, which includes a quality lamp. Right beside the desk is a great place where he can always keep his schoolbag, so that he won’t have to frantically look all over for it every morning.

 

What about the floor?

Carpets are slowly going out of style, but you don’t have to completely forget about them. Floors can ideally be partly covered with carpet and partly uncovered. A carpet that covers the entire room concentrates a lot of dust and mites, which doesn’t create a suitable environment, especially for people suffering from allergies. But it’s ok to cover a smaller area with a carpet, because your child can play on it instead of a cold bare floor. When picking out a carpet, stay away from very distinctive designs that make a room appear smaller, if your room already is small.

For a pleasant temperature and easy maintenance, natural linoleums are great with their antibacterial properties.

 

Colors

Children are very perceptive when it comes to colors. Whether you’re thinking about wallpaper or wall color, always respect your child’s wishes. Discuss with your child which color would suit him the best, but try to talk him out of aggressive tones or red or other strong colors. Even if it doesn’t seem so at first, such colors could make a child restless and irritable.

Some good neutral colors that are always safe are for example yellow, green or blue. Also darker shades of orange are trendy now. If your child still craves for red, you can at least put some red items in the room – like a chair, posters, pillow, etc. This solution is practical also because these accessories are easily replaceable if your child gets sick of red.

Communication with your unborn

When the mummy feels the first few movements of her baby, a more intensive contact between her and the baby start to develop. At the beginning, she might not yet be sure what this “language” might mean.

 

The feeling of “having butterflies” in your belly comes from the movement of its little hands. The “boxing”, which can be felt as pushes against the abdominal wall, are caused by movement of its legs or its elbows. Sometimes, towards the end of the pregnancy, we can even observe a shape of a little leg pushed against the abdominal wall at certain moments. If the head lies in the pelvic area, you can feel its movement as very mild electric shocks in the direction towards your labia.

 

The first knock – first communication 

 

The first sensations of the baby “knocking” in this way, are incredibly amazing. Of course, that every mother tries to involve the daddy too in this amazing experience. However, when the daddy places his hands over the belly, there is usually a complete silence. The baby usually feels that it is now the center of attention and it keeps still and pays attention to what is happening out there.

 

When these movements are felt, every mother places her hands over the belly every now and then, pats the unborn child and talks to him. The baby hears and feels this. It reacts to the gentle pressure of the patting hand and it then swims towards the abdominal wall, it presses itself against it so that it exposes itself to even more of this tender love and care.

 

Talk to me

 

The babies sleep inside their mummy’s body during the day too. Because of this, the mother might  sometimes be worried that there is something wrong with it. If she is not sure about this, she can awaken the baby by talking to it, by moving the belly or, in some cases, even by ringing an alarm clock.

 

The mum-to-be learns to interpret the different types of the baby’s movement pretty fast: when it wants to cuddle or when it is agitated, when it feels frightened or when it is in a good mood and it rolls over. They show their feelings and impressions with their whole body. They can “jump” with joy, or move suddenly when they get startled with something and they curl up when they are scared.

 

Most of the women call their unborn babies cute names at this stage of pregnancy and it even seems that children remember these sounds and respond to them later on in life. Communication could help.

 

Some adults even talk about their life before being born during various therapy sessions. It seems that with the use of trance, certain breathing techniques or drugs, these repressed, spontaneous memories can flow up to the surface and be recalled again.

 

 

 

Speech Development Difficulties

The causes of most speech disorders in children aren’t sufficiently scientifically clarified. Treatment, rehabilitation and correction mainly focus on symptoms, not causes.

 

Incorrect sound pronunciation (dyslalia)

We can notice an incorrect pronunciation in basically all children. At the beginning of speech development, it’s a normal occurrence. It most often starts when a child replaces a sound with one that is more easily pronounced (bath = baf), or he leaves a sound out entirely (broken=boken).  Up until the fight year of age, or sometimes later, an incorrect pronunciation of “heavy” sounds is acceptable (like l, r and sibilants).

We talk about an incorrect pronunciation (dyslalia), which is an articulation disorder, if wrong pronunciation lasts longer, when a child creates a sound in the wrong place (like a French “r”) or in other situations (like lisping – letting the air out from the sides of the tongue).

An Incorrect pronunciation should be removed by following expert advice from a speech therapist, preferably before the child enters first grade. Proper pronunciation is needed in order to master the basics of reading and writing in school.

If a child who is older then three keeps pronouncing incorrectly, if he has a problem with repeating long words, if he always repeats them differently and always incorrectly, if his speech isn’t really understandable to strangers, or if it seems like he is straining himself when talking – then it’s probably not just incorrect pronunciation that he will grow out of; it could be a more serious speech disorder (like verbal dyspraxia) and you should contact a speech therapist.

 

Seek a speech therapist, when:

–          a three-year-old creates a sound at a wrong place (like the French „r“) or in other situations (lisping);

–          a three-year-old has difficulties repeating long words, always repeats them differently and always incorrectly and his speech is overall not understandable;

–          a four-year-old has an incorrect pronunciation of many sounds

–          a five-year-old has an incorrect pronunciation of some sounds (like l, r)

 

Delayed speech development

From everyday life we know, that each child develops according to his own „timetable“. Even though there are well known „table values”, many children within a natural variability achieve these milestones a bit sooner or later.

The same goes for speech development. Here the variability is even bigger, because the quality of the stimulation and the influence of the environment play a crucial role. Variability is also influenced by inside factors like heredity and the maturity of the nervous system.

The question is, do the speech abilities further develop in a child with a delayed speech development? The answer to this question is complicated: from a delayed speech development a proper development may or may not start. Some children speed up when they are three and soon catch up with their peers in all speech abilities. In others, their development may become more complicated and the delay may result in an impaired speech development. That’s why a delayed development should be considered a risk factor and stimulation should begin as soon as possible.

 

Seek a speech therapist, when:

 

–          a two-year-old doesn’t feel the need to express his feelings, he doesn’t comment on what he sees and doesn’t ask his mom to repeat activities or to hand him an item or a toy;

–          he uses less than ten understandable words at two years;

–          as a two-year-old, he doesn’t create any two word combinations (“grandma there”, “father give”, etc. );

–          when a three-year-old doesn’t create simple sentences

 

Stuttering or speech disfluency?

Because of the rapid speed of speech development that allows a child to say much more than before – and children would love to articulate all their thoughts at once – a child may suddenly:

–          repeat one word or syllable without effort, like: “My my my mom is coming“ or “This this this this car is mine!” or “Gi-gi-give me ball!”

–          change his speech so that he replaces a word or a phrase, but the meaning of what he wants to say stays the same. For example, he wants to say “We moved into a new house,” but he says “My are have new house…,” because it’s easier for him this way.

–          slip sounds or words into his sentences that don’t have anything to do with the content, but they make continuing in the sentence easier, like: “It’s a hm car.”

–          Interrupt his speech often, make obvious pauses, which are longer then needed to take a breath, like “I have——-nice car.”

All of these difficulties are called speech disfluency, and even though they may remind us of stuttering, they are associated with speech development. Just remember how you child started walking:

sometimes he tripped, fell, jumped. And it’s similar with speech. Sometimes he repeats something, he corrects something and he makes a pause or slips in a sound or a word. A significant difference between disfluency and real stuttering is the length of time it lasts. Disfluency can last between a few weeks to six months. If it doesn’t naturally disappear, it may lock in and turn into stuttering.

Certain rules exist that adults should follow when their child is experiencing speech disfluency. The “ten commandments“ are:

1. Don’t point out the less-than-perfect fluency in your child’s speech and don’t ask him to repeat the sentence.

2. Don’t tell you child to speak slower, to take a breath or to calm down.

3. Don’t ask your child, especially during this critical time, to talk loud or to recite in front of relatives, guests, etc.

4. (You) Talk in simpler and shorter sentences.

5. (You) Talk slower.

6. Eliminate situations that your child is afraid of. For example, leave the night light on).

7. Don’t have unreasonable expectations (like „boys don’t cry“ or „Peter can do it better than you“, etc.)

8. Important conversation should never take place in front of a child.

9. Don’t make sudden lifestyle changes, and prepare you child for necessary changes such as moving or changing school.

10. If your child still doesn’t speak fluent for more than several months, talk to a speech therapist.

 

Seek a speech therapists help when:

–          the disfluency lasts longer than 6 months;

–          a child speaks with difficulties, straining  speech organs and neck muscles during speech;

–          there is a family member who stutters;

–          a child starts realizing the disfluency n his speech and is upset by it.

 

The causes of most speech disorders in children aren’t sufficiently scientifically clarified. Treatment, rehabilitation and correction mainly focus on symptoms, not causes. Speech is an ability that is mostly developed though communication from the closest people and the environment that parents create for their children. This is especially true for parents who have a child with a speech disorder. Traditional approaches of speech therapists defined the roles of parents as only observers and helpers. Today we know that when parents are led by experts, they can significantly help develop and guide their child. Unlike experts, they can do so everyday at home – in the child’s natural environment. The role of a family is also gradually changing even here: different parental groups and training programs are formed, where parents – under the guidance of experts – get educated in effective communication strategies. It helps them discover their child, his needs, development possibilities and ways to help develop his speech skills. This gives them greater peace and freedom in making decisions.

 

So if you or someone you know have any doubspeechts about your child’s speech development, or you already know that your child has an inborn speech disorder, seek out an expert as soon as possible and consult the possibilities of early stimulation and intervention.

 

Difficulties at nights

Problems with sleeping can occur in 15 to 20% of cases. If you are able to recognise at least some of the small health issues that causes your child’s bad sleep you prevent a lot of misunderstandings.

Why the tears?

It’s not at all easy to differentiate the sobs for attention of a child that does not want to sleep or even a child that wants to share parent’s bed to the a cry that indicates that he or she is hungry or has some anxieties or even physical pain. Thanks to your experience you might be able to recognise these in time. Trust your instincts. If are not able to sooth your baby with a bottle, cuddle or gentle rocking it might actually experience physical pain. Even though we have some inclinations to deny that an infant can be in pain, we have to admit that it is possible.

The origins of restless or bad sleeping can lie in chronicle ear infection. If you are not sure consult your ORL specialist.

At what time does it cry – nights difficulties?

The time when the child is crying is usually a good indicator. Crying in the second part of the night is usually connected with natural awakening in the sleep cycle. If the child is not able to fall asleep again it calls its parents for help. If the child cries at the first part of the night and it stays away for long periods, it could be a symptom of illness. A child in deep NREM sleep should not wake up. Possible cause could be a pain.

Teeth as the accused!

Teething certainly belongs among the most painful events of child life. Cutting through is always connected with several bad nights. To soothe your child discomforts do not hesitate to use an anaesthetic cream or a gel on the red-oversensitive gums to numb the pain. Well known homeopathic Chamomilla 9CH works almost miraculously.

Teething calendar

The following simple calendar should help you to forecast the difficult nights to come.

  • First two lower jaw incisor teeth start to appear about the 6th month.
  • Next are the two first upper jaw incisors and second lower jaw incisors.
  • In the 9th month the second upper jaw incisors are ready to come out.
  • Then between the 10th and 20th month first molar teeth are coming. The canine teeth are ready to come out between the 16th and 18th month.
  • An at last between the 20th and 30th month the second molars appear.

Damn colic!

Right after teething, the ear infection and the skin problems are the naughty colons. Of course they have no mercy on any one! How can a child have a peaceful sleep if his or her belly doesn’t let it sleep because of crumps or pain?  Some symptom helps to diagnose a colic which is always on the cards when caring for a baby. The child has usually swollen belly, stressed and bloated and has irregular stool, that is of solid consistency, or too runny. It has a surge of needs to go to the toilet; its face gets bright red while trying to push. Because it feels pain it keeps crouching or pulling its legs toward its body.

Practical advice

If you would like to soothe your baby’s pain you can massage its stomach which will release some of the gases. Massage the belly clockwise to copy the peristalses. Do put warm hands on its belly or cover it with warmed up (no too hot) cotton blanket.

Different custom, different approach

In Africa mothers help their children from colic by carrying them on their backs.

Infant suffering with colic in Algeria is covered up by warmed up cotton strips. The fabric, a kind of safe and calming second skin, warms it up and relieves the pain.

Patience heals

Majority of children meet with more or less intense problems in their 1st to 4th month of life. There is not much relieve that can ease the problems. We don’t know the exact causes of colic but it seems that the immaturity of the digestive system might take the blame. The colons are not prepared to process some sugars contained in mother milk and they cause agitation and gases in the intestines. These problems with colic will one day be only an unfortunate flashback when your child grows up.

Tidal motion

The ‘traffic’ in the digestive system is not perfect and ‘one way street’ does not stop the ‘traffic’ coming through in the opposite direction. It happens sometime that the stomach content decides to return to the gullet. The stomach acids irritate the mucous membrane of the gullet which is very painful. It happens mostly at night in horizontal position while the child is asleep. It may not necessarily cause vomiting and sometimes it is hard to detect it. However the child suffers intensely. In this case an appointment at the surgery is necessary.

 

Child difficulties at nights are normal.  Every parent can say that. And it is sure they will stop.  When child will grow up.