Why you MUST NEVER fail at ‘Tummy Time’ for your baby

tummy timeDoes your baby need tummy time?
Yes ABSOLUTELY! Tummy Time is critical for your baby’s Gross Motor development.  (Gross Motor Skills: movements related to large muscles such as legs, arms, etc)

However, it seems that some babies today don’t get enough of this vital time on their tummies. Some of this is due to the fabulous selection of baby products we can buy today including car seats, strollers, swings and rockers being overused.

Some mums are also sceptical of  ‘tummy time’ because of the ‘Back to Sleep’ Campaign message. However, the message is actually ‘Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play.’

So what implications does lack of ‘tummy time’ have on your baby’s development?
Well, lack of tummy time can cause early motor development delays. This is because tummy time is CRITICAL to the development of baby’s core strength being the muscle strength of the:

  • Back
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Head Control.

Tummy Time also helps with vision. Whilst your baby is enjoying tummy time they are also able to practice shifting to and from near and far vision.

The time baby spends on his tummy will  lay the foundations for Motor Control:

  • Balance
  • Posture
  • Growth

Think about how important the above skills are in relation to your child learning to rollover, sit, crawl, support weight with legs, pull themselves up, walk and so much more. Tummy time can enhance baby’s motor development

Lack of tummy time can also cause a condition called ‘Flat Head Syndrome’ (flattening to the back of the head caused by too much time on back.

So what do you need to do?
Tummy Time is an essential part of development for your baby if they are newborn to the age of approximately 3 months.

  • Soon after they are born incorporate tummy time in daily routine.
  • Gradually build upto 1 hour a day if you can by 3 months (I’m not suggesting an hour at at time here – short increments)
  • Here  are some tummy time positions you can use.
    – Baby on floor on tummy
    – Lay baby on your lap
    – Tummy down carrying. (Carrying your baby on your forearm)
    – Position baby on your tummy whilst you lay propped up on your back.

Shellie x

Play – The EASY way to boost your little ones potential. Find out how.

playAs a parent we’re anxious to do the very best for our children and provide them with the best start in life. The first three years are vital for laying the right foundations for your child to reach their full potential.

Research time and again has provided evidence that parenting is the most powerful source of influence on a child’s outcome and emotional well-being. In other words you are your child’s BEST TEACHER and you can help and nurture their potential with everyday actions and experiences.

So what’s the secret? What can we do to nurture and maximise our little ones development and potential?

Well quite simply the answer is PLAY.
Play helps your little one learn and understand about the world in which they live. Play encompasses the learning of so many new skills.

So what exactly are you teaching your child through play?

For babies it’s about learning through their senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. A baby also learns so much through the back-and-fourth interactions you provide. These interactions work to shape a baby’s brain architecture, supporting the development of communication and social skills. CLICK HERE to see how. Never feel silly talking or singing to your baby. They learn so much from it.

Even when your little one can’t talk he still learns a lot. By watching and studying your expressions and listening to the tone of your voice he will learn about emotions and body language. So next time you’re nappy changing have a good old chat together.

As your little one gets older they learn to solve problems and develop thinking and reasoning skills through different types of play and interaction with you. When they eventually start playing with other children, (not along side them) they will learn all about negotiation and sharing with your guidance.

Through play children learn about their feelings including anger, frustration and fear. Identify and label their feelings. Talk about and explain those emotions. Be creative in how you explain feelings to your child. Always tell your child it’s ok to be angry or sad as well as happy. Tell them when you feel sad or angry too and explain why. It’s ok to feel emotions, it’s normal and your child needs to know that. With your help your little one will learn to understand their emotions and eventually learn strategies to deal with their own emotions and those of others. FAB ideas HERE for dealing with strong emotions. 

When your toddler wants to tell you something make time to listen carefully. Engage in conversation, show an interest. This will help your child feel important, he will learn to communicate effectively and will develop the listening skills you’re showing him.

And this is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ so next time your playing with your child think of all those skills you’re helping your child develop and those learning experiences you are creating. What a fabulous opportunity to help your child reach his full potential. 

Shellie x

Teething, really? RUBBISH! These 4 things might change your mind….

So, I’Teething graphicve been doing a lot of ‘digging around’ for some research into teething. Yep there is some, but conclusive, nope!

So why, have I been ‘digging around’ looking a ‘teething’ as a topic.? Well, it seems to me that lots of us like to blame anything and everything on teething. It seems that if a child isn’t sleeping, or they’re cranky, have sore bums, etc, etc that the answer is teething, and well you see, I don’t think I ‘buy’ it. Sorry……

Now, you must understand, before you read on, this is purely my two penneth, what I have gleaned through reading some (not all) but some research on the matter. I’m happy for you to disagree, like I said, this is just me opinion. But really, can teething be blamed for anything and everything?

You see to me, it doesn’t ‘ring true’ I was never convinced that my children suffered that much at the hands of ‘teething’. Yes, they did ‘drool’ yes sometimes their cheeks were red, yes, VERY OFTEN they were ‘cranky’ and two out of three of my children had particularly bad nappy rash. BUT really, at the hands of teething? I’m really not convinced today and I never was back then. I could point the same argument towards ‘colic’ too but that’s for a different blog.

So, here are the ‘said’ symptoms of teething:

  • Colds and ear infections
  • Irritability
  • Dribbling
  • Biting Objects
  • Sleep Problems
  • Inflamed gums
  • Red Cheeks
  • Eczema
  • Rashes
  • Feeding problems
  • Nappy Rash
  • Pulling Ears
  • Loose Stools

Quite some list there eh? Now I’m not saying that the gums never get sore or inflamed. I’m not saying either way in-fact. You see if you look at the research, it does work both ways. There is no evidence to say that these symptoms are the causes of teething, BUT there’s equally no evidence to say they’re not. So exactly what am I trying to say then? Well. to me the following makes much more sense.

Normal Physiological Processes 

  1. Normal salivary gland development occurs at two to three months of age. When the salivary glands begin functioning baby begins to dribble, hence mothers may misinterpret as a sign of teething.
  2. Night awakening when baby develop a sense of *object permanence and call out to their parents is another normal developmental event mothers can assume is a symptom of teething.
    Object permanence is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be observed (seen, heard, touched, smelled or sensed in any way).
  3. At approximately six months of age, when the teeth are about to show, maternal antibodies upon which babies depend begins to decrease while they build up their own antibodies. This could contribute to them picking up infections.
  4.  Baby starts to crawl at this age, pick unclean objects up from floor and into their mouths to help itch the gums. This can introduce pathogens and may lead to gastrointestinal disturbances associated increase in n body temperature.

Normal Infant Development

Could it also be considered that this period called teething ties in nicely with normal infant development?

Does this not sound more logical? Or do we consider the anecdotal evidence being the ‘signs’ of teething above that most mother’s report? Or could it be that we just have these beliefs passed down from generation to generation giving us the anecdotal evidence?

Don’t take my word for it though. Draw your own conclusions, I’m just putting it out there. After all I’m no expert dentist, pediatrician, GP, doctor, midwife, health visitor, (I wish) I’m just a Birth and Beyond Practitioner and mother of three children. This is purely my take on the info and research that’s about.

AND most importantly, what do I always say? “You’re the mother, you know your baby best.” So for that reason I will be producing another FREEBIE CHEAT SHEET full of hints and tips for teething. (Coming Soon)

What do you think? I’d love to know.

Shellie x

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