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.

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.

Fun. Do They Need It?

Should we encourage babies and toddlers in individual play or should we always try to play with them? Are they even capable of entertaining themselves? Is it possible to teach them?

 

Every child is different. Sometimes, when a toddler age child is out of sight and you don’t know where he is, you can expect trouble. Children are very creative – pulling out wet wipes or unwinding toiler paper, smearing anything on anything – toothpaste on tiles, dried dirt on walls, the content of a diaper or potty over on bed or floor…A toddler can entertain himself, but he doesn’t know how not to be destructive while doing it. A different child may surprise us by entertaining himself while not destroying half of the house. He plays with his plastic animal toys and cubes for a half an hour and then looks at a book for another fifteen minutes, without destroying it.

That fact is, that there are children that can entertain themselves from an early age, and then there are others who, without TV, would be pulling your leg up until puberty. Why can’t they entertain themselves? Some can’t, because quite simply, no one has ever taught them. But toddlers can still be taught. Mainly due to underdeveloped attention, they concentrate with difficulties and can do so only for a short amount of time. Many parents make it even harder for them – when they try to entertain their child for a while, they bring him toys as diverse as possible and when their child starts playing with them, they quietly leave.  This is not the best solution. Children today are not threatened by stimulus deprivation; in fact the have too much of it. Their immature brain has trouble dealing with many stimuli at once and it can distract them, making it harder for them to concentrate. If you want to help your child to have on his own and help him increase his concentration abilities, limit the amount of his toys. More specifically, offer him toys gradually. Even a baby should know, that he could do something interesting with any item. For this he needs enough time to touch, taste and take apart the items (watch out for small pieces). If he doesn’t have enough ideas, inspire him. But wait for when he wants to put away a toy. Don’t be too quick in trying to show him what it can do. If you interrupt him when he’s interested in something, you aren’t really helping his independency and attention development.

 

 The key is the feeling of security

 

Another thing that prevents babies and toddlers from individual play is a missing feeling of security. Recently, my friend Ema asked me how come her nine-month-old son Jacob can stay in bed for so long and play with just one stuffed animal and a blanket. And anytime later during the day he can’t stay entertained by any toy and what Ema doesn’t do in the morning, she does not have a chance of doing later in the day. Paradoxically, many mothers have an opposite experience – their children can play on their own during the day without problems, but they can’t stay in bed in the morning even for a minute. The key to this problem is the previously mentioned feeling of security. In order for a baby or a toddler to play alone, he has to feel safe. Some children feel safe in their crib. Others only feel safe it they are close to their mothers. But they definitely won’t be able to play alone, if you will frequently apply the strategy described in the previous paragraph. That is if once your child is interested in a toy, you slowly leave which he will probably figure out and his sense of security will be disrupted. Then, he will have trouble concentration on his toys, if he’ll constantly have to make sure his mother is not leaving.

A missing sense of security is also the reason why when we need our child to give us some rest (whether it’s because we need to get something done, or just because our nerves are about to explode), he is hanging onto our leg and demands our attention. A thirty-year-old mom Sabina describes what we probably all know well: “Elisabeth is a pretty independent child, that can play alone without my company with no problems. That’s why I was able to work from home. I usually have enough time, but when I have unexpected extra work to do, it’s like Elisabeth has a radar for it and starts demanding my attention and the time, that I so desperately need.” If your child has a radar – he can sense his mother’s uncertainty and stress, but is unable to recognize the reason. Children don’t know that the only source of their mother’s uncertainty are them and their behavior and they do what’s typical for all children – they resort to safety, which is their mother, and demand attention and comfort.

 

Fun. Is it even necessary?

 

Most mothers dream about a toddler that can stand being alone without her assistance, but there are also those that are convinced a mother on a maternity leave should always be with her child.

Is it even necessary for a child this young to be able to entertain himself? Can it harm him? As I wrote earlier, the ability to concentrate is very small – but training helps it and that’s good to remember in terms of child development. With independence, self-confidence increases and a child can then discover the world independently of his mother. He learns to solve problems on his own, to manipulate with items and to be creative. So yes, you should definitely support a child’s individual play.

I don’t have to point out that individual play does not equal freedom without supervision; safety is something you should always keep in mind. Mothers often ask how long a toddler should be able to play alone. That is very individual.

Even though theories indicate certain times during which a newborn or other children can pay attention and play themselves, with older toddlers my experience tells me it’s so variable that it’s unreasonable to follow recommendations. It’s not possible anyway, because play can’t be forced and if a child is not capable of playing alone than every parent soon finds out that giving him toys leads to nowhere.

 

The recipe for „play alone“ …

 

… unfortunately doesn’t exist. You have to adapt to your conditions and the personality characteristics of your child. Don’t try to teach your child independent play just when you really need it, because that usually doesn’t work. On the contrary, take advantage of situations when your child feels good and is doing something he’s enjoying. That is the perfect time to leave him alone for a while. However, if you haven’t tried to see yet if he minds it or not, don’t leave. Stay quietly beside him and just watch him or – if needed – encourage him verbally. Imitation works well for children that can’t entertain themselves.

Just about every toddler wants to do what his mother is doing. Is your child pulling you away from the stove when you’re cooking? Give him a small pot with a lid and a spoon and show him how you stir; and if he’s in a good mood, he’ll surely catch on.

Besides that, another good technique is „forbidden food“. The cabinet from which you are constantly trying to push him away, the toilet paper that you always put out of his reach, the package of tissues that you never let him investigate. Sometimes we tend to be overly careful and stress over little things. “My older daughter liked to take paper napkins and tissues off my kitchen counter and destroy them. I used to get mad at her a lot, but then I put them out of her reach, ” a 35-year old Magdalena remembers. “Now I have a one- year-old son and he’s the prototype of a child that constantly needs to be entertained. Once I had to take care of something, so I let my daughter play with him. I went into the other room for a while and when I got back, half of the kitchen was covered in torn pieces of napkin. I almost fell down at the doorstep, but I bit my tongue to avoid yelling at them. When I watched my son for a while (my daughter was already drawing) and I saw how passionately he was taking the napkins apart and was fine being alone, I though – maybe it’s worth it. Since then, I changed my mind a little bit about what I should let my son do, because taking anything apart is the most fun for him. Even though I have a little more cleaning up to do now, it’s worth knowing that I can relax once in a while”.

Instead of “forbidden food” you can also use a different strategy. No matter how carefully we protect our children, they end up having way more toys then they need or then appropriate.

Sabina advises: “After every Christmas or birthday I leave Julia just a few toys that she’ll have time to play with. I put away the rest. I also put up some older toys that she is no longer interested in. I gradually switch them around and sometimes we exchange toys with her friends. Thanks to this, Julia always has just enough toys and I always have something new in stock. Besides this, I also have a “last resort box”. There, I have a few toys that Elisabeth doesn’t know and it’s a type she likes – right now it’s a puzzle, a children’s telephone and a magazine. When I desperately need to entertain my daughter, I reach for this box.” It’s good to find out what works on your child. Some like colored picture books, other puzzles, building blocks or toys that make sound. Old colored magazines, a pack of paper tissues, cleaning out the kitchen cabinets or playing with water are fun for about every toddler.

Jana adds: “My younger daughter is quiet and can play alone. Even she can surprise me though. Like yesterday she slept in her room. Well, after being completely quiet for two hours, we though she was sleeping. When I decided I had to check and looked into her room,  a child ran to me saying she “slept like a pink pwincess” and she actually was pink. Somehow, she managed to find a children’s pink lipstick that belongs to my older daughter (who is very messy by the way) and she completely covered herself. Yes, a quiet child…”

 

 A predator in a school of fish

 

Did you ever think about why fish or small birds gather together when threatened by a predator? You would think that for a hunter it must be much easier catching a fish when there are hundreds of them, then if they’re is just one. But that’s not true. The movement of a school and the presence of many fish distract the predator and makes catching a prey more difficult. If the predator doesn’t manage to separate one fish, he usually leaves without dinner. It’s similar with a toddler who is surrounded by many interesting toys. He can’t look at one at a time and give it attention. He either (a better option) takes one that’s closest and plays with it, or he’ll wander from one to another and then to the first one and he will never actually stop and play with once, because of all the other ones are so interesting. And unlike the predator who knows exactly what to do with the prey (eat it), a child often doesn’t even know what fun to do with a certain toy.

 

Sleep, Please Sleep

What’s the source of all these sleep problems that we and our children are experiencing? 80% of these problems come from bad habits.    Fortunately though, they are several simple ways to help get our child’s sleep back on track.

 

So, Whose Fault Is It?

 

Parents that spend hours and hours every night trying to get their little one to sleep, get up in the middle of the night to calm him down and then still take their fussy child to bed with them, are finally at the end of their strength. But who is really the guilty one in this story? Is it really the child? What if he’s only the victim of the bad habits his parents taught him? It’s not easy for parents to accept this possibility, because they mean well and they are convinced that they are doing the best they can to help their child sleep. They sacrificed their privacy, their rest and their sleep – and everything still turned out differently then how they expected.

These parents need to know it’s ok, because child raising is a path that often has its questions, mistakes and dead ends. The good news is that it’s always possible to take another direction.

 

The start of a vicious circle

 

Of course it’s completely normal if a child wakes up at night. We have learned that such awakenings are caused by physiological processes and thanks to them, every child wakes up between two sleep cycles. For a child to calmly fall asleep again, he needs to have the same conditions as at night. We don’t need to stress that you have a big problem if your child falls asleep only if he’s riding in a stroller around the apartment or around the house, if you let him in your bed for a while or if he plays with his mom’s hair as if it were his favorite toy. Because then logically, your child will demand the whole „falling asleep process“ (in its every detail) every time he wakes up. This is truly cruel to all parents that let themselves be dragged into this adventure…

 

Missing boundaries

 

Another possible cause for sleeping troubles could be an absence of boundaries. We shouldn’t want a child to „test“ his parents to see how resistant they are. A child needs boundaries for a healthy development.  Contrary to what many people think a child expects a confrontation with a strong „no“. Without this obstacle, what are they going to rebel against?

A bottle = a trap

 

A bottle of juice, tea or milk, without which a child won’t fall asleep, can often become a trap. Every time a child wakes up at night, he demands something to drink. As a result of this, he will always have a full bladder, which will prevent him from calmly sleeping.

 

The pillars of peaceful sleep

 

The whole life story of a child basically revolves around the fact that a child needs to feel the same way as he did in his mother’s womb. We can achieve this by giving our child love and tenderness, while still setting boundaries that will define his living space. If a child goes to sleep at eight every night, it should not be open for discussion. If you let your child know that mom’s and dad’s bed is off limits, it should stay this way. It’s not easy to maintain these boundaries, especially if you’re tired, if you have a lot of work and you’re scared your child will loose affection for you if you’ll be too strict… However, if a child looses the sense of firm boundaries and rules, his sleep can become troubling

 

No other choice then to re-educate

 

What is cooked at home is eaten at home – you probably will need to teach your child everything from the beginning. At first he needs to get used to falling asleep without the help of another, without a stroller, a car or his mothers arms. Then, he needs to understand that at home, mom and dad have the final word.

During such a „re-education“, don’t forget to be gentle to your child and make time explaining everything to him. This is not punishment, but help that you are offering to the child. Don’t make him feel guilty – your job is to be a parent.

 

5-10-20”, the winning time limits

 

Richard Ferber, an American expert on child’s sleep, introduced a special technique „gradual learning“ to parents. He recommends following a bedtime routine and then leaving the child alone in his room, even if he’s crying. After five minutes, return to his room and tell him that it’s necessary for him to sleep alone; then leave again. Don’t touch him, don’t caress him and don’t give him anything to drink. If he keeps crying, wait ten minutes this time and then make another visit in his room. After you assure your child about your presence, leave again. Don’t come back before twenty minutes have passed; keep a watch in your hand. If the child is still crying, keep the twenty-minute intervals between each visit. If you try this shock therapy, the problem will usually be solved within four to five nights. But only if you follow all the rules and time limits! Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t change them a little if you have a particularly anxious child.

There are many circumstances that could bring on sleeping problems in a child: the birth of another sibling, death in the family, separation anxiety in the eight month, starting kindergarten or school, times when a child is learning basic hygienic habits of when he’s learning to walk.

What is the father’s role?

 

Some say that an overly tight bond between the mother and child can cause sleep disturbances. A child doesn’t want to go to sleep and separate from his mother and she also has a difficult time with physical separation from her child. That’s why a father can play a significant role. If a child cries, it’s up to the dad to calm him, because he won’t give in.  He should also help the child understand, that the mothers place is beside his father, not beside the baby’s crib

 

So many countries, so many customs

 

In many cultures, soothing a child is taken very seriously. Evil spirits could find a child thanks to his cries. For example, if a Chinese child cries at night, his parents write a magical formula on a yellow piece of paper. For this formula to have the right effect, it must be secretly put up on the street at midnight.

Touching

Before a child is born his body is imminently attached to its mother. After birth body is released but the bond stays very strong.

 

Only in time a crystallization of the mind slowly develops in baby’s body and more obvious perception of self separation from the worlds around it takes place. Just like the soul of the little one, which is almost visible in newborns, would imbed itself into the little body and the little person starts to become aware its own self. This process carries on till adulthood. First major turning point is between 2nd and 3rd year of child’s life where child is able to mark itself as “I”. It doesn’t perceive itself from the outside and doesn’t say any more „Annie wants…” but it says “I want…. Me too…”. The journey to autonomy of own self and to personal freedom it a hurtful process and takes all life.

A big help on this journey is experience in touching since the earliest time possible. Sense of touch helps to recognize the field of child’s body as well as to set the soul fully into it. On the other hand touch is the sense which helps to merge parts (or body parts) with its own. When someone strokes me I’ll feel their hand and also my own body. Self personality and the world is so far one unit. It is so different to other senses such as sight.

Lovingly stroking a child or cuddling it up lays comfort to the child’s body and cosy home to its soul. It is very important on the way of discovery of self identity. If the opposite takes place, such as insensitive or even abusive manipulation of baby’s body, the soul of the little one has a very difficult journey to become happy in its body. This can become evident in adulthood especially in the ability of emotional attachment. An example is when a person is not able to identify with him or herself in certain situation or it can manifest itself in immunity disorders, impairment of self integrity. This person would be prone to infections. Also some research shows that cancer cells are occurring more readily.

How can we help a child to understand its own body by touching? By choosing the right clothing which is a very intensive resource of touch experience. Well processed natural fibers are much more pleasant resource for touching that synthetic fiber. By oiling babies body after bath – important is that your hand and the oil has the right temperature. Pay also attention to the sample of oil not just for its content but also for the feel. It shouldn’t contain mineral paraffin. If child suffers from colic; give it warm massage of the tummy with appropriate vegetable oil. Massage it with warm hand from the belly button in spiral movement clock wise towards the left thigh. When the child starts walking don’t prevent it touching the world around. What can be nicer than helping you making the bread dough? Spreading the butter with its own hand? Using hands to paint with appropriate, edible colors? Jumping in warm summer puddle with bare feet? Investigate the mole heap in the garden by putting its hand down in it?

Do kids today grow up to be slackers?

It seems that kids nowadays can’t be bothered to work. A lot of parents are getting desperate. Why is it so difficult to intrigue our offsprings with something  sensible? To get them to  help out in the household or in the garden and often even to get them to do their school work?

 

Most probably we are not yet at the stage where it is a norm for young people to gather around in the streets out of boredom, as can be commonly observed in some of the more developed countries. However, in the eyes of some parents we are not too far from that. It is quite disturbing when a child or perhaps an adolescent or a young adult can sit around doing nothing the whole day, doesn’t seem to enjoy anything or be interested in anything, and according to his parents, is just aimlessly getting through his life without any direction and, at most,  sits at the computer for hours playing games endlessly or spending time on facebook. I’m not going to discuss the possible negative impacts of TV, computers, the busy life of parents, the complications in families or the small life perspectives of some children, because as we all know these things individually have a major influence on the child. Instead, I’m going to focus on how to look for other creative sources.

Examples for kids 

Throughout the entire duration of the kids‘ childhood it is important to serve as positive examples as parents. This is undoubtedly a common recommendation but it is still perfectly effective and at the same time it presents a simple medium. If the parents themselves are active, it is probable that they will encourage the child to be active too. However, this has several conditions.

The child should observe joy and pleasure on parents carrying out their activities and not just a responsibility, tiredness, exhaustion and dread in their eyes.

  • The child should observe joy and pleasure on parents carrying out their activities and not just a responsibility, tiredness, exhaustion and dread in their eyes.
  • The family activities should be diverse.
  • At least a some parts of the activity should be really joyful and entertaining even for the child. (If the parents spend their entire free time in the garden and they force the child to keep on watering, hoeing and weeding, then there is a lesser chance that they will get the child to enjoy this activity.) Although ambitiousness could be forced upon the child for some period of time, this could lead to a precarious situation in which the child not only refuses this activity after some time, but refuses all activities.

 

On the other hand, the child’s activity is encouraged by the fact that he takes part in as many hobbies as possible together with his parents.  As long as the parents are able to provide a safe, encouraging and non-competitive environment, the child is able to enjoy the game, finds it entertaining for a longer time period as well as more educational and has a greater chance to be successful. And success is a fabulous source of encouragement for any kind of activity.

It is necessary to keep and further develop the interests since the pre-school age. But it is not always obligatory for the child to be excited all the time and to eagerly demand them.

It is just nice to enhance his range of capabilities, by trying out something new and teaching the child something new – when he then grows into an adolescence age or a young adult age, he won’t have to feel outcasted from the group of his peers since he knows quite a bit of everything and has tried out many things. It doesn’t mean that all the interests will last till the kid‘s adult age but there is a greater probability of him coming back to some of his old hobbies, further developing them or using them as skill he has once learned. I hence recommend for parents to be tolerant towards an alternation between hobbies and interests under some circumstances.

Many individuals, after some time, tend to come back to the activities from childhood which they have once refused. In this later age, they come back to the work in the garden and they begin to find this highly delightful and pleasurable, they begin to play the piano once again and to do recreational sports. It is good when your kids  have something to come back to.

 

Speech in the First Year

A child needs enough (but not too much) of quality stimuli for a proper healthy development. The most important factors for the development of proper speech are our voice, our speech, a warm approach, positive feedback, a calm environment and a feeling of security.

 

Every healthy child wants to talk. We lead by example and he will try to imitate us. That’s why we should talk to our children as much as possible. Our voice should be calm, warm and distinctive; with a natural intonation. An infant doesn’t care what we are saying, but how we are saying. He perceives our intonation, pace, timbre, the strength of our voice and rhythm.

 

Your Voice is the Most Important For Your Child´s Speech

The essential factor for the development of speech is the perception of rhythm. We should talk rhythmically to our child, read him rhymes and just overall make our words rhythmical. Don’t think about how good or bad your voice is, just try to be imaginative.

We should talk rhythmically and melodically during everyday activities such as bathing, dressing, while on a walk, while holding the baby, etc. It should be a regular, rhythmical ascending and descending of our voice on 2 or 3 tones (For example: Just-in is play-ing with his te-ddy bear).

We often talk rhythmically and melodically naturally without even realizing it. This is very important and that’s why a child should hear melodious speech as much as possible. Gradually, we should include children’s songs and rhymes.

Try not to replace your own voice with professional recordings of actors or singers. Our voice is the most important for our child and no other voice can replace it.

Background sounds

In order for the child to be able to recognize and differentiate the quality of sounds, it’s also necessary to offer him a quiet and calm environment. We adults often don’t even notice background sounds, but for children it’s harmful if the TV or music are on all the time.

 

Breastfeeding as practice

The muscles of the mouth that we need in order to articulate, primarily serve for sucking and swallowing purposes, the basis is quality muscle coordination. The main way for an infant to train this coordination is by eating.

At first, its breastfeeding, which is very important for an overall development of a child in many ways.  Later it’s chewing, biting and drinking out of a cup. In order for a child to correctly use his mouth muscles, he has to experiment with them and discover them. That’s why it’s only natural, that he sticks his fingers and other object into his mouth. We should let our child do that, but ensure it is safe and hygienic.

 

Pacifier

If you give your child a pacifier, try to give it to him as little as possible. A long-term use of a pacifier can have an effect on jaw development and it prevents the child from talking. An active, satisfied, or a sleeping baby does not need a pacifier.

When a child starts teething, we should start using a special toothbrush for toddlers. This way, we help our child develop proper hygienic habits.

 

Toys

For the sake of a full psychomotor development of a child, its necessary to get him appropriate toys. They should help him further develop his senses – touch, hearing, sight, smell and taste (whistling toys, rattles, bath toys, colored wooden blocks, buckets, balls, rings on a rod, cloth toys, simple picture folding books, etc.)

We should be picky and prefer toys from quality materials – definitely put quality before price. Toys could also be everyday things that children see „in action“: a mug, a spoon, a box, a comb, etc. In these cases, make sure your child doesn’t hurt himself or break the object he is playing with.

 

Love is number one

If we want to develop proper speech in our child, we should talk to him a lot, appeal to his senses, sing to him, play with him, read books with him and help him discover the world around him. We help him make the most of his own potential.

We give him a chance to learn the basics of correct and content- rich speech. But even the best material equipment can’t replace an emotionally warm and loving environment.

Only such environment, where the child will feel loved and protected, will give him an opportunity to develop his abilities and his speech.  

 

Independence – How to Lead a Child into It

Is your toddler in a stage that it wants to do many thing by itself? Its “I do it” is a daily routine? Believe that is absolutely natural.

 

Child is becoming aware if its own personality, his own self. It only means one thing for parents – to armor themselves with patience and encourage their offspring, anyway they can, in their independence. Of course it is not an easy task….

Most parent find this period rather difficult to deal with because they have a feeling that their little one is still too little. They think that their child cannot be able to do some of the things or it can come to harm by doing it or even break something. But the truth lies within. A toddler is actually quiet clever by then. It only needs some space so it can try to do things by itself. And don’t discourage it by saying “You are still too little to do that”

A child’s independence is developing best by doing simple everyday tasks.

 

GETTING DRESSED

At the age of two or three we can start teaching independence by a simple example: We let little boy or girl choose what to wear that day; lets say we give them 3 tops to choose from. When he or she chooses one; we can ask “What would you wear with that?” The child might choose blue and green striped top and red trousers with white spots. Mum shouldn’t say: “Don’t put that on.” Instead she should add: “Do you like it? I think that the blue trousers would go better, what do you think?” But if she or he would want to wear stripes with spots so let them. Nobody would mind.

At the upbringing period we should be aware of what is actually important. One important thing is: a child should make a mistake and then go and fix it.

Leading to independence – or the whole upbringing of your child- means that since birth we should teach children by our own examples.  If my two and half year old princess spends time with me while I’m getting dressed I could say: “Look at this lovely green skirt, I should wear with that this nice blue and green top, it goes well together. Do you think if you had a skirt like that that your pink top would go with it?” And the same goes for boys. When dad is getting ready he could say: “Look, doesn’t this blue shirt goes well with my trousers? Try and pick something similar for yourself. “

Please remember that getting dressed is the easiest way to lead them to confidently make their own decision.

 

FOOD

This is slightly harder but it’s possible to start at breakfast times. Let your toddler choose what it would want to eat” Would you like a toast with cheese or marmalade?” And if your child would demand on his toast for example pate, which you just don’t have, and with a hump leaves the table let him or her go.

 

HYGIENE

Just before the evening bathing mummy says: “Johnny I’m just getting your bath ready and when you come you can show me how well you can wash yourself” Don’t rush by soaping your child quickly. “OK, well done, I will help you with your hair.” Let your child dry itself and mum or dad can just assist with their back. Don’t forget to teach your little girl to wipe her bum well with a toilet roll independently as soon as you can.

 

CLEARING UP

A toddler is very able to tidy up his toys or even help laying the table. Child can help you peeling potatoes and even if it isn’t perfect he or she did it by themselves. The result isn’t important at this stage it is actually their ability and independence that the child was able to show.

When a child around two years old starts becoming “the clever clocks” you should let it do as many every day tasks as you can. Do make sure that you are talking to them while they are “working”. Peeling potatoes might take him more than half hour but time is not the essence here. Don’t discourage your child by saying: “you’re too little to do it.” Do adapt the activity to your child’s ability. If your little one is not able to use the peeler than let him wash the vegetable instead. Just don’t discourage your child from any tasks it can do.

 

What is important when teaching children independence?

 

PRAISE

It is very important to praise a child discovering its own self. Any time he or she shows signs of independence praise them, for example: when they use the potty without prompting, when they get dressed by themselves, when they eat up all the food and when they tidy up their toys, say: “You’ve done a great job, only big boys can do it so well.” You take your child swimming and when you are ready your little one puts his arm bands on by himself so make sure you praise him: “Well done for not forgetting.”

 

CHANCE TO MAKE DECISIONindependence of the child

When we talk about independence it is sometimes difficult for parent to find the right opportunities to let their kids to make decisions. It is much easier to give orders or bans. But it could actually be nicer for a parent to watch their little one solving a little problem or making their own decision. If you tell your child not to do something you should also give him an explanation: “You mustn’t do that because…” Practicing their independence also means practicing their thinking.

 

TIME

When teaching independence it is a common issue that parents rather overtake from their kids and don’t want to start with it. It is actually much quicker to dress little Mary themselves then wait for her to try it. Or if little Mary would take too long, mum could easily get stressed, she could add: “You are too little to do it I’ll do it. I thought that you were big enough to do it yourself.” If you little girl is not able to do it well enough or fast enough just assist, help a little but don’t do it instead of her.

 

WITHOUT MUMMY

Children younger than one year should be without their mum only a day (maybe two) a week. After one year you can extend the “away period” to three or more days maybe by staying at the grandparents or other relatives. Strange people show to your child their own customs or ways that you may not approve of.

For two or more years old is ideal socializing time at toddler centre or clubs for mum, where the child meet with their peers and is without they mums attention. At this time a child is developing an emotional independence. And of course is it very important to go through a period of being without a parent and to socialize before nursery or school time. Keep in mind that each child is different and that it needs its own time to master everything. But more independence he or she learns at home easier it will be to adapt to new environment at school.

Introducing Solid Foods

When a child reaches its first half a year, he is becoming more skillful. He can now openly show what he likes and what he doesn’t like. A child that is breastfed benefits from breast milk and long-term breastfeeding (up to two years or longer) is always recommended.

 

Starting with solid foods

Whether your baby is breastfed or not, we should usually start adding solid foods or additional liquids after his sixth month of age. We can start earlier if he is hungry, but never do so before his 17th week of age. Waiting to add other liquids or solid foods until the seventh month is not really beneficial for the baby. For a breastfed child, breast milk is the best way to go for the whole first six months.

We should not give a baby under the age of four months (whether it is breastfed or not) anything more, not even juice of tea! Breast milk (and formula) has enough vitamin C, so juices aren’t needed.

 

We should start with only a teaspoon-fullBeginning with solid foods

We start with only a small amount before noon breastfeeding or drinking. Typically, the first solid foods are purees from one type of vegetable. Give your child a sweet, soft, mashed vegetable cooked in unsalted water – you can use carrots, parsley, potatoes, broccoli cauliflower, etc. At first we only serve one type of vegetable.

It’s enough to mash the vegetable with a fork, because if a child gets used to very finely mashed foods, he may later refuse tougher pieces.

Be patient! You should consider one or two fully swallowed teaspoons a success. After that, breastfeed him or feed him infant formula. Some children need about 10-20 tries of a certain food before they like the taste.

 

Introducing more flavors in the foods

In the next three to four days you can introduce another type of vegetable. Such a time gap is needed to fully recognize if the baby likes or can handle a certain food item. You can now mix the previously tried out vegetable with meat, and slowly raise the amount of solid foods given to the baby at the expense of milk.  Meat is a very important source of iron, protein and fatty acids.

Between the second and the third week, replace „noon milk“ with solid foods. Of course, such scenario will not be a possibility with all children and that is fine. The result is, that a baby will get 150-200 grams of meat-and-vegetable soup at noon (instead of breast milk or formula) six times a week.

 

Meat & egg yolk

At first, the amount of lean and finely cut meat per dose should be one tablespoon (about 20g); later, from the seventh month, we slowly raise to two tablespoons (about 40 g) per dose. Once a week it`s good to replace the meat-and-vegetable soup with chicken egg yolk (or twice a week a vegetable soup with a half of yolk).  The yolk must be cooked in boiling water to prevent any bacterial disease. Egg white is not suitable for children under one year of age.

 

Porridge

After introducing meat and vegetables – or during that time – we can start feeding our baby fruit puree and cereal porridge. These can replace evening milk.

The purchased porridge should say what type of cereal it is made of and what age it should be served from. The porridge either contains milk and has to be diluted with water, or it’s without milk, which has to be added.

Porridge and other foods that contain gluten (flour and flour products, semolina pudding) should ideally be introduced while the baby is still being breasted, but never before his fourth month of age. At that time, the mucous membrane is not mature enough to handle gluten.

Rice does not contain gluten, so rice porridge can be served earlier (for example when treating infant diarrhea).

 

9. – 10. Month

In regards to growing teeth, we include tougher foods, soft cooked vegetables and larger pieces of meat during the ninth month. This is to help support chewing. We also start handing the child his food, so he can hold it alone (like a roll or a piece of bread) and practice chewing.

As for side dishes, we can try feeding our baby different types of coarsely chopped pasta (spaghetti, egg noodles, etc.). During this time, when solid foods are a big part of the diet and contain less water, we add about 200 ml of infant water to the babies diet. Children that are not breastfed should drink about a double of that amount (around 400ml)

The amount of milk a baby should drink during this time should be about 400 ml a day.

Fruit juices should be fed in smaller amounts (primarily to vary the diet), at around 120-150 ml a day. Later, when the child is a toddler, you can raise to 250ml a day.

 

Cottage cheese in the foods

Cow milk and dairy products such as cottage cheese are not suitable for children under one year of age. They are too heavy on the organism and a cow’s milk protein can be a source of some later allergies. The only thing recommended is yoghurt with fruit that can be fed to an 8-9th month old child.

 

10. – 12. Month

At this time, the child’s diet starts looking more and more similar to the diet of a toddler. Daily intake of meat can be raised to three tablespoons a day. Pasteurized milk can be introduced at tenth month, but not as a drink, but only as additional “food”.

 

Foods should not be salted or sweetened

Not even fruit should be sweetened. Fruit contains fruit sugar and so additional sugar could burden the organism, increase tooth decay and provide too much extra energy. Also, a child could then refuse non-sweetened food. Salted foods place heavy demands on the kidneys, which are still being developed.

We should avoid artificial preservatives in the foods, artificial sweeteners, ketchup and mustard.

 

Newborn Children Sleep

Newborn sleeps as much as it needs; the only problem is that it sleeps at different times that suit you. At first he sleeps in short periods anytime during the day or night.

After a certain time the longest period of sleep will happen during night and the child stays alert longer during day. Of course there are differences between children. Don’t worry if your newborn child won’t sleep all night straight away even though it was predicted or even hoped for.

Emphasis on the difference between day and night

Since newborn age make sure you differ between day and night sleep to teach your child when it is a play time or a sleep time. Put a child to sleep in a carrier, pram or a basket during the day and if you have a cot put the newborn child to sleep in the cot only for the night sleep. You can place a pram in a shade outside, don’t forget to put a mosquito net over, and always put the brakes on. At home make sure that your pet doesn’t attack your child in the child’s room. It is not necessary to have a complete quietness. When the  newborn baby cries, pick it up and take advantage of it being up and alert – help him to associate the day with playing. For a night sleep wrap the child well to prevent sudden movement of arms or legs which could wake him up and put it to bed/cot. Turn the lights down. When it wakes up for feeding feed it calmly using low voice or don’t speak. It will soon get used to night time for sleeping and not for playing and it will soon learn to sleep throughout the night.

Daytime sleep

About the sixth month putting to sleep should become part of an important daily routine of child life. The child should be tired out and prepared for its sleep to be able to sleep all night. It also needs daytime sleep to uptake energy for its active life. Daytime sleep is necessary until the age of two or three years. But don’t let the newborn child sleeping too long. Let it sleep for about two hours (if it doesn’t wake up earlier) and then wake it p. If it was in a deep sleep it could become confused and rather upset, leave it at peace for a while before you prepare another activity.

newborn child sleepNewborn Child Safety

Don’t use pillow for a child younger than two years old, it could suffocate.

Put child to sleep on its back. According to doctors it is the safest position. It seems that children sleeping on their stomachs are more prone to a sudden cot death.

The mattress in the cot should be firm with appropriate sheet.

Child should not be too hot or cold.

Don’t smoke or expose your  newborn (and even older…) child to passive smoke.

Put the child in the cot feet to the banister into the bottom part of the cot so it cannot slide under the cover.

Sudden cot infant death

Every year several infants suddenly and unexplainably die in their sleep. Experts don’t have any explanation but they set a few recommendations to lower the risks. If you put your child to bed on its back make sure it is not exposed to cigarette smoke and keep watching that it doesn’t get overheated. The danger of sudden cot death can be radically increased.

Temperature suitable for newborn children

The danger of sudden cot death is increased if a child is excessively wrapped up especially when it has a fever or doesn’t feel well. But make sure it doesn’t get too cold. The ideal room temperature in the bedroom is 18 deg C which is also comfortable to an adult in light clothing. At this temperature we cover the child, in his body sleep suit, with a sheet and three thin blankets or light quilt. Newborns sleep best wrapped up in thin blanket to prevent waking themselves up by sudden leg or arm movements that happen while falling asleep. It also calms them up. But beware of overheating and do make sure not to put too many covers on. Do not use feather guilt for a child younger than 1 year old. If a child has a fever do not add any more covers or hot water bottle nor use an electrical blanket and do not turn the heating up.

Placing a newborn child into the lower parts of the cot

Place the baby with its feet near to the bottom of the bed and cover it so the cover reaches its shoulders. Tuck in the bottom of the cover under the mattress so it cannot slide under the cover with its head. It could increase the danger of sudden cot death while being overheated.

Newborns regulate their body temperature via the skin on their face and head. If a child slides under the cover the regulation is impaired. Make sure to adapt the cover accordingly for safety. If the room isn’t too cold don’t covet the child’s head with a hat.

Sleeping on the back

According to doctors sleeping on the back is the safest position. There is no evidence about newborn infants suffocating by bringing digested milk up.