Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Importance of Nursery Rhymes

"Hey diddle, diddle the cat and the fiddle the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such sport and the dish ran away with the spoon."

Nursery Rhymes may seem old-fashioned, but these silly songs and poems are gold mines when it comes to boosting your child’s verbal and literacy skills!

Nursery Rhymes help young children by:
- Teaching Rhyming. Rhyming plays an important part in early literacy.
- Teaching Vocabulary. Nursery Rhymes are full of words that your child may not hear during a routine day. Hearing these words in context increases your child’s vocabulary. A large vocabulary is a critical skill for successful reading comprehension.
- Assisting Phonemic Awareness (the ability to hear and separate sounds in spoken language). Listening to and reciting nursery rhymes helps young children distinguish these important components of their native language.
- Providing Literacy Fun! What better way to help your child love written and spoken language than presenting it in silly songs, fun poems and easily remembered stories.
These are just a few of the many reasons to make nursery rhymes an important part of your child's life. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Caring For Your Baby's Teeth

  You can begin good dental care for your baby before he or she is even born by eating a healthy diet and taking care of yourself during your pregnancy. Tooth buds begin forming under your baby's gums between the third and sixth month of gestation so be sure you eat a balanced diet; take your prenatal vitamins; and get enough vitamin A, C, and D; as well as protein, calcium and phosphorous.
  A baby's first tooth usually erupts around 6 or 7 months of age (although this range can vary widely), but you can begin good dental care before your baby ever gives you that first toothy grin. "Baby bottle tooth decay" results when residual juice or milk pools around teeth and gums for long periods of time, such as during sleep. To prevent this, never allow your baby to fall asleep with a bottle of milk, juice, or any other sugary liquid and do not allow a toddler to carry a bottle around all day.
  Before any teeth erupt, gently wipe your baby's gums twice a day using a clean, wet piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. And as soon as the first tooth breaks through, begin brushing it daily using a soft toothbrush made especially for little mouths. Toothpaste isn't recommended until your child is a little older (2 to 3 years old); and once you begin to use toothpaste, use only a small amount - about the size of a match head - and teach your child not to swallow it. Once two teeth come in next to each other, begin flossing every day.
You should take your child to a pediatric dentist (a dentist that specializes in children's dentistry) around his or her first birthday, or about six months after the first tooth erupts, and twice a year thereafter.
   According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 67.3 percent of the U.S. population on public water supplies has access to fluoridated water. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen the tooth's enamel (outer coating) and recent studies show that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay in permanent teeth by approximately 18 to 40 percent. If your area does not have fluoridated water, ask your child's pediatrician or dentist about fluoride supplements.
   Beginning good dental care early will ensure your child develops a mouth full of healthy teeth and an adorable smile. 
Brushing your baby's teeth may not seem important because baby teeth eventually fall out. But poor dental care during the first years of life can lead to permanent tooth damage later on.

 Taken in part from: 

Welcome Baby Intern

Monday, September 20, 2010

Story Time at the Provo City Library

If you are looking for a fun, free, educational activity to enjoy with your infant, toddler or young child, try Story Time at the Provo City Library. Click HERE for a schedule of events!
"Last Friday I attended "Book Babies" with my 4-month old. He squealed with delight as we sang songs and read stories. He loved seeing the other babies and I had fun talking to other mothers!"
-Aubrey, Provo, UT

How to Make Baby Food - Yellow Squash

Making your own baby food can sound a bit overwhelming, especially for first time parents who already have their hands full. Luckily, with a few directions, you can easily make healthy, delicious food for your infant. Pound per pound, home-made baby food is about half the cost of store bought baby food. Fresh baby food is also free of additives such as preservatives.

Following is a step-by-step guide to making delicious yellow squash baby food.
Butternut squash can be fed to infants ages 4 months and up.

Step 1: Select as many ripe squash as you would like to prepare. Wash the skins.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
 Step 2: Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
 Step 3: Place squash inside-down in a pan with 1 inch of water.
Periodically check the water level during baking.
Add more water as needed.
 Step 4: Bake squash for 30-40 minutes, or until the skins pucker and insides are soft.
 Step 5: Scoop out the squash insides/pulp.
 Step 6: Place the squash pulp in a blender or food processer. Add water (you can use the water the squash was cooked in if you strain it to remove any seeds or skins) to achieve a smooth consistency.
Step 7: Feed the sqaush to your baby or store it for later use. A great way to store baby food is to freeze it in ice cube trays. When the food has solidified, you can place the cubes in a zip lock bag. Simply thaw the pieces and serve them at a later time.  

Taken in part from http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Immunizations - Helping With Side Effects

Immunizations, alternately referred to as vaccinations, protect infants and children against illness and disease. Your child will likely receive his or her first immunization before even leaving the hospital after birth. Subsequent immunizations will be administered at your child's well-baby and well-child appointments with his or her pediatrician. Your child may experience some mild side effects after each round of vaccinations. 

Common side effects include:

-Soreness in the area of injection, usually the thigh. 
-Redness or swelling at the sight of injection.

Ways to help with these side effects:

-Give your baby a warm bath. This will relax his or her muscles and aide circulation.
-Apply a warm compress, such as a warm washcloth, to the sight of the injection to aide circulation.
-Help your baby move his or her legs, also to help blood flow to the affected spot. With your baby lying on their back, gently hold their legs by the ankle and alternate pushing one knee toward the tummy, straightening that leg and repeating with the other leg. This will almost look like your baby is riding an imaginary bicycle.
-If your child is comfortable with it, you can gently massage his or her legs. See THIS link on massages for the legs and feet.
-For fever you can administer the dose of acetaminophen recommended by your child's pediatrician. This dose is dependent on your child's age and weight, so be sure to ask your child's doctor before giving any medications. 

For more information on IMMUNIZATIONS, visit www.kidshealth.org or click on the link below. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Introducing Solids

Introducing solid foods can be confusing for parents because of the mixed information available. Reference THIS post on introducing solids and for great links to baby food recipes

Additional information on starting solids can be found at HealthyChildren.org, with information from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Click HERE for information on when to introduce solids.
Click HERE for information on introducing specific foods.
Here are a few highlights from the articles;
-Infants are often ready to start solids between 4 and 6 months.
-Start with a single grain cereal such as rice cereal.
-Make certain that the cereal is fortified with iron.
-Mix cereal with breast milk or warm formula.
-The first feedings should be somewhat runny, with 1 Tbs cereal for every 4-5 Tbs fluid.
-Gradually introduce other single-ingredient baby foods such as fruits, vegetables and meats.
-Wait 2-3 days (some pediatricians suggest waiting up to a week, click here for specifics) after introducing a new food before introducing another. This will help you to rule out specific food allergies.

Taken in part from:




Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Touchpoints" - Book Review

Touchpoints: The Essential Reference, by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. is a valuable reference for parents of young children, ages 0-3. 

What is a Touchpoint?  
-Dr. Brazelton defines a touchpoint as, "...those predictable times that occur just before a surge of rapid growth in any line of development-motor, cognitive, or emotional-when, for a short time, the child's behavior falls apart." (p. xvii)

Being able to ANTICIPATE these TOUCHPOINTS in development, helps parents PREPARE and RESPOND with greater CONFIDENCE and UNDERSTANDING.

Touchpoints is organized in 3 SECTIONS:

Section 1: TOUCHPOINTS of Development. 
This covers each critical touchpoint and provides parents with KNOWLEDGE on this phase in development as well as SKILLS to help parents respond in developmentally appropriate ways in order to meet their child's needs
Section 2: CHALLENGES to Development. 
This section covers common challenges parent's face with young children such as CRYING, ILLNESS, SEPARATION and DISCIPLINE. 

Section 3: ALLIES in Development. 
Section Three talks about the important roles of the people in your child's life who support their healthy development from parents to pediatricians.

More information can be found by visiting: www.touchpoints.org

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Infant Massage - Strokes for Legs and Feet

Babies usually enjoy having their legs massaged. Start with one leg, complete all of the strokes, then switch to the second leg and repeat the same strokes.
Click Here for additional posts on infant massage including the Benefits, Getting Started and Strokes for other areas of the body.

Indian Miking - Support baby's foot with one hand and stroke her leg from the top of the thigh to the ankle. It may help to hold your hand in a "C" shape while stroking your baby's leg. Switch hands, holding your baby's foot with your other hand, repeat. Alternate stroking the outside of the leg then the inside.
Squeeze and Twist - With your hands in a "C" shape, start at your baby's hip and hold your baby's leg with both hands close together. Alternate a gentle squeezing and twisting motion from hip to ankle.
Stroke up Sole of Foot - Stroke the bottom of your baby's foot from heel to toe with one thumb, then the other.
Squeeze Each Toe - Gently Squeeze Each toe. You can recite "This Little Piggy".
Walking - "Walk" your thumbs gently along the bottom of your baby's foot.
Stroking Top of Foot - Stroke the top of the foot from the toes toward the ankle.
Swedish Milking - This is the same concept as Indian Milking but instead of starting at the hip, you will start at the ankle and move upwards toward the hip with your hand in a "C" shape.

Click HERE for a Brief Tutorial on Infant Massage 

Infant Massage - The Benefits

Touch is a baby's first language. A parent or caregiver's gentle caress gives an infant the feeling of safety and security. 
Infant Massage is a wonderful way to connect with your baby.
Infant massage:
-Increases oxygen and nutrient flow to cells
-Improves muscle tone
-Improves sensory awareness
-Relieves discomfort from gas and colic
-Encourages bonding with a loving caregiver
-Increases a baby's sense of well-being

Infant Massage - Getting Started

You will Need:
Oil(cold-press fruit or vegetable oil such as sweet almond or apricot is suggested)
Towel or Blanket to lay baby on
Pillow - this supports infants and reduces the tendency they have to startle when placed on their back.
Music - Quiet music is a great way to create a calm atmosphere.

1. Find a time when both YOU and YOUR BABY are RELAXED. Find a QUIET, WARM area of your home and set out your SUPPLIES.
2. Undress your baby, leaving his or her diaper on. If your baby seems cold you can use a blanket or towel to add warmth.
3. Lay your baby on their back, propped up on some pillows so that they feel more secure.
4. Place some oil on your hands and RUB them together to generate heat and to show your baby that you are about to begin a massage.
5. ASK PERMISSION. This is one of the most important parts of infant massage. Show your palms to your baby and ask, "May I massage you now?" If your baby shows signs of willingness, such as making eye contact, looking at your face, smooth movement of arms and legs or a smile, proceed with the massage. If your baby shows signs of unwillingness such as frowning, arched back, crying or turning away their head, wait for a better time.