All posts by babycollegebea

Christmas with Your Baby

Baby at Christmas

Christmas and Traditions

We all love Christmas as we get to spend time with family and friends and enjoy all the celebrations that come with the holiday period. It’s a wonderful stimulating  time with new sights and smells, songs and games and festive traditions.

A great idea is to start some of your own family traditions with your little ones as research shows that the best childhood memories are not down to material wealth but about spending time together.

“Christmas traditions are important. Kids need to feel they belong and shared memories help reinforce that and helps them to develop their own sense of identity” says psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer, an expert in play and parenting

However deciding whose family traditions to pass on can be quite a source of discussion in most homes! Try to compromise and use a few from each family, or of course make up your own.

Here are a few ideas (out of many):

  1. Gift filled advent calendar (to be reused each year)
  2. New pyjamas on Christmas Eve
  3. Making Christmas cards
  4. Favourite Christmas book to read together
  5. Letting your child choose and buy a new Christmas bauble each year (perhaps taking them with them when they leave home to set up their own)
  6. Making homemade decorations and food together

Remember children love traditions even more than adults

Surviving Christmas with Small Babies

Christmas is a great time for exciting sights, sounds, smells and stimulation – you will be amazed how babies change and grow in response to the excitement, attention and stimulation that Christmas provides. However, young babies and lots of excitement and “strangers” don’t always mix. You may end up with a crying, exhausted and over stimulated baby or hyperactive toddler if you’re not careful.

Here are some tips below to help make sure both you and your baby will enjoy this Christmas together.

Tip 1 – Don’t Overdo It

Everyone is probably very excited to have a new baby or toddler in the family, especially around the holidays and your baby’s first few Christmases are experiences you will remember the rest of your life.  However try to make sure you have some quiet time so that you and your baby/toddler can have some calm time to yourselves.

Tip 2 – Keep a Soothing Toy / Comfort Blanket Around

Whether there are new people the baby isn’t used to in your house, or you are taking them to new surroundings, keep them comfortable by wrapping them in a favourite blanket and keeping a familiar toy they like around.

 

Tip 3 – Mummy Chill

Young children are very tuned into how their parent feels. The best way to keep your baby calm is for you to relax. When things start to get stressful, take a deep breath and calm yourself. The tips above about not over scheduling and taking breaks will work well to keep you relaxed as well. Accept all offers of help too!

Christmas and Young Children

As with babies Christmas is a fantastically exciting time with toddlers and small children but at this time of year you can often see exaggerated emotions, highs and lows seem to happen more quickly and more frequently. Adult stress just compounds the stress on children, who may already be over-excited in anticipation of Santa Claus, presents and sweets.

 

Children whose behaviour is becoming difficult before Christmas may be asking for more recognition of their needs and some time with you. Even 15 minutes of this special time helps. Sit quietly together; go for a walk together; do things together (make Christmas crafts, Christmas biscuits, read favourite story book).

Over-stimulation of children in the Christmas season, with too much going on all at once, is a common cause of stress and emotions.

More information about Baby College, our classes and our franchising opportunities and how to book a class near you at www.babycollege.co.uk

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Weaning Your Baby

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From around six months old your baby is ready to be weaned and this marks quite a leap in their development.

Your baby will be ready for solid food when you notice the following signs:

  1. He can sit up and hold his head steady
  2. His hand eye coordination has developed sufficiently that he can bring objects easily to his mouth
  3. He is able to swallow

Another sure sign that he is ready is when he starts pinching food from your plate!

To begin with, how much your baby takes is less important than getting them used to the idea of eating. They will still be getting most of their nutrition from breast milk or infant formula.

Babies don’t need three meals a day to start with, so you can begin by offering foods at a time that suits you both.

Gradually, you’ll be able to increase the amount and variety of food your baby eats, until they can eventually eat the same as the rest of the family, in smaller portions.

  • Always stay with your baby when they are eating in case they start to choke.
  • Let your baby enjoy touching and holding the food.
  • Allow your baby to feed themselves, using their fingers, as soon as they show an interest. Place the food directly onto the tray of the highchair and allow them to pick the food up at their own pace.
  • Don’t force your baby to eat – wait until the next time if they’re not interested this time.
  • If you’re using a spoon, wait for your baby to open their mouth before you offer the food. Your baby may like to hold a spoon, too.  You can put pureed food directly onto the tray too so that they can try to feed themselves.
  • Start your baby with soft cooked fruit and vegetables (or mashed) such as carrot, sweet potato, broccoli, pear apple.  Raw foods such as avocado and banana are very good options.

Weaning should be a fun time for your both!

http://www.babycollge.co.uk

How to Encourage Your Baby’s Social Development

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Your baby’s social development starts from birth.  She is hard wired to make a connection with her carers in order to ensure her survival.

The youngest of babies will try to make eye contact and they certainly know how to cry to get your attention. Within a few months your baby will be smiling, giggling and cooing and be very happy in social occasions.

Your job as a parent is to help make your baby’s social development as successful as possible and this starts at birth and like your baby you are hard wired to do this too.

Natural, instinctive,  positive parenting means that you touch, hold, kiss and cuddle your baby; you spend hours looking into her eyes whilst you sing, talk and and smile with her; you respond to her cries giving her the love she wants when she needs it.  Your attention will help her feel valued and help her develop a strong sense of self worth and confidence.

Playing and having fun with your baby, taking her out to see the world around her and spending time with family and friends will help her to learn about the importance of social bonds outside of her close family unit and how to interact within the wider world.  Your support and love will help her feel secure in these new environments so that she will be happy to make new friends.  Babies learn through imitation so she will very quickly emulate your behavior!

 

Musical Development in Early Childhood

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Singing and music play an important role in our culture and are present in a variety of our social and educational activities: theatre, television, cinema, celebrations, worship etc. From birth, parents instinctively use music to calm and soothe children, to express their love and joy, and to engage and interact.

Research undertaken by a team of researchers in the 1990s showed that the exposure to music from early childhood onwards helps children to speak more clearly, develop a larger vocabulary, and strengthen social and emotional skills. The psychologist Howard Gardner already argued in 1983 that music intelligence is as important as logical and emotional intelligence. This is because music has the ability to strengthen the connection between the body and brain to work together as a team. For instance, when dancing and moving to music, children develop better motor skills whereas singing along to a song helps them to practise their singing voice and improve their language skills. In general, the exposure to music supports children in their development process to learn the sound of tones and words. Exposure to music also benefits a child’s social and emotional development too.

Parents play the most important role in musical education and the more exposure that a child has to music and music play at home improves a child’s music ability far beyond those who have no exposure.

Music and singing is used throughout our Baby College classes; from the very beginning with our Hello Song, dancing, music play, action rhymes all the way through to our parachute ride and Goodbye Song.  We use traditional nursery rhymes and modern variations to help give parents inspiration for play at home.

http://www.babycollege.co.uk

 

 

Milestones

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Human babies are born very immature and helpless, but they develop very quickly and their individuality emerges in fascinating ways.  Parent’s role in this development is very important and there are many ways in which you can help stimulate your baby and bring out the best in him.

Understanding this development and knowing when their baby passes important milestones helps equip parents better in their supportive role. However, each baby in an individual and may not reach milestones exactly on schedule. Genetics and personality can influence when your baby reaches a milestone.

Some babies develop more quickly than others.  It is not clear why rates of progress differ; trends can run in families: a toddler who is late in becoming dry at night may have a parent who was also later than the average. Even so, all babies acquire skills in the same sequence; for instance, your baby will sit before he can stand.

Parents often think that passing a milestone is a measure of intelligence, but this is not the case.  Intellect has little bearing on, say, walking.  In reality, a child’s personality is more important than his IQ.  If your baby is placid and laid-back, he may not practice new skills with the same enthusiasm as a baby who is determined to be independent.

Environment can also have a large bearing on your baby’s development and providing the right amount of stimulation is important:

  • too little stimulation means that your baby might not develop to their full potential. Poor environment leads to poor learning.  The stimulation a baby gets must match his needs.
  • too much stimulation can be bewildering and a ‘hot-housed’ baby will not learn new skills any faster, because his brain is not ready to take in so much information.

A baby’s physical growth is inextricably linked with his intellectual, social and emotional development. Babies learn through play and imitation and your positive feedback is essential.

http://www.babycollege.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Vestibular Development

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The vestibular system is responsible for: balance and equilibrium; coordination of eye and head movements; the development and maintenance of normal muscle tone and for coordinating both sides of the body together for activities including riding a bicycle, catching a ball, zipping a coat, or cutting with scissors.

It’s through a well-developed balance system that we are able to combat the forces of gravity and are able to sit up, hold our heads still, walk, run, jump and without which we would spend our days flopping helplessly on the floor like a jelly fish!

To help babies’ and young children’s balance develop simple movements which stimulate their vestibular are needed; it’s only through movement that a child’s balance will be developed to such a level that they are able to eventually sit still!.

Within our Baby College classes we have a specific set of exercises that we use to help stimulate your babies vestibular and in turn help mature her balance system

http://www.babycollege.co.uk

 

 

 

Language Development

Lisa & AlistairThe #Insight we are discussing at this week’s Baby College classes is all about your baby’s language development. We will be talking about the different steps that they take and how, as a parent, you can help them on their journey.

For tiny babies communication needs to concentrate on eye to eye (or face to face) contact.  This way even the youngest of babies can start to communicate with the world.  Babies love faces and every new parent knows that how easy it is to get lost gazing into the face of their new born baby.

When you are looking at your baby it encourages them to start to interact with you. They can lock eyes with you and start to imitate the facial expressions and sounds that you make.  Trying sticking your tongue out and see if they can copy you.

By week six you may experience that beautiful first smile from your baby and it is a moment that you will never forget!

To learn more visit http://www.babycollege.co.uk and book a class today