All posts by Sofía Martínez

Mindfulness 101

As parents, we are always looking for the best for our children; we want them to be happy and develop their full potential. But what happens when we do not live in the best way possible? By being stressed, worried, hurried in our daily life, we ​​set this example to our children. Kids are like sponges, and they can perceive emotions even from within the mother’s womb. This means they’re much more capable of absorbing and perceiving things after they are born. So, how can we be better with ourselves and transmit the best to them? Continue reading to learn more…

Have you ever gotten home and don’t remember what you saw on the road? Left home for work and don’t remember if you locked the door on your way out?

We live with routines both at home and at work where we do things on autopilot without really paying attention to what we are doing. We call it “lunchtime”, but is it if we are thinking about the pending errands we have to run or we are answering mails or texts on the phone?

As human beings we have the ability to think about the past, present and future. Which is a true blessing, but we often let our minds wander to the meeting board of last week, we think about what we’ll do over the holidays or what you have to get from the store. Usually the most recurrent thoughts in our minds come from obsessing about the past or worrying about the future. So, what happens to the present?
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The motor skills behind using scissors

The use of scissors requires and enhances many developmental skills. Cutting allows children to build the tiny muscles in their hands since they have to continuously open and close their fingers. Cutting also enhances the use of eye-hand coordination, which means children must be able to move their hands, while looking at something. Since the brain is required to work with two systems, cutting might be a difficult task. But don´t worry, little hands can develop fine motor skills by learning the proper way to use scissors. Keep reading to learn more!

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Sharing is caring!

Having difficulties for sharing is part of every kid’s developmental process. In fact, the word “mine” is one of the first words to come out of a toddler’s mouth. During your kid’s second and third year, he will experience going from oneness to separateness, so you’ll start noticing comments like “This is mine!”, “I can do it myself”, etc. This is due to his growing awareness. So, don’t worry, there are a lot of ways you can help your child understand the concept of sharing. Keep reading to learn more!

Sharing is caring?

Sharing is a fundamental skill; it is how we keep our friendships, play and work well with others. This action teaches about compromise, fairness and, most importantly, gratitude. “Thank you for sharing your truck with me. Do you want to play with my teddy bear?”. Sharing teaches children that gratitude reciprocates. If we give to others, we will receive in return. Gratitude is the best policy. Sharing also teaches us about negotiation and coping with disappointment, two vital skills in life. Continue reading

How your baby discovers his hands

When babies are born, they are not capable of associating what they see with what they touch. You’ll notice that your baby seems to be looking in one direction, but moves his hands towards another. This is because babies younger than two months old don’t understand that their hands are a part of them. But don’t worry, there are many ways to stimulate your baby’s hand coordination. Keep reading to learn more!

How do babies discover their hands?

Hand coordination in infants is vital for the development of physical and cognitive skills. Since birth, babies start to learn about their bodies through sucking and grasping.

In babies, the discovery of one’s hands is something that can be stimulated through the senses and it works like a domino effect. Practice this with your baby by showing him and making noise with a rattle. First, its sound will get his attention and then he will focus on the object. As he sees the rattle, he will follow its movement and try to reach it with his hands. Once your baby gets the toy, he will begin to notice his own hands. Continue reading

Encouraging my little one’s discovery, art and science interests!

After your baby is born, getting to know anything is a new adventure, and of course the environment in which your child grows up has an effect on his experiences and greatly influences his development. Keep reading to find effective suggestions on how to foster your little genius’s mind!

You’ll notice your little one is adventurous and excited about everything, especially when it’s something new. When we are interested or motivated about something, dopamine is released inside our brain. And when this happens, it is more likely that we remember the activity we are doing because, upon dopamine’s release, the brain feels rewarded. When we reinforce our brain with positive outcomes, the rewards center will help us remember that activity and keep our brains motivated.

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Important facts about pacifiers

As parents, sometimes it’s hard to know if or when to give your baby the pacifier. Overall around the subject there are mixed opinions as to whether the pacifier is beneficial for babies or not. Keep reading to learn more…

 

All babies are born with a non-nutritive sucking reflex, even before he is born your baby might be sucking his thumb inside your belly. Once he’s born, your son will learn that sucking means food. And sometimes he will also seek his hands or the pacifier to suck and find comfort.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pacifiers do not cause any medical or psychological problems, so it’s okay to give one to your baby to satisfy his need for sucking. Nevertheless, it’s important not to use the pacifier to delay meals.

For the first six months pacifiers are beneficial for your little one. However, later on the risks might outweigh the benefits and increase once your kid turns two.

 

What are some important things to keep in mind when using the pacifier with your little one:

  • Pacifiers should be properly cleaned and replaced regularly to avoid bacteria, infections and maintain a good hygiene.
  • Studies show that giving the pacifier to infants at the onset of sleep reduces the risk of SIDS.
  • Pacifiers can work as a comfort or distraction for your baby.
  • It’s important not to use it as a substitute for food.
  • Pacifiers are not for everyone, if your little one doesn´t take it, it’s probably not for him.
  • After six months the pacifier can change from a non-nutritive sucking object to an object of affection that gives your little one a sense of security.
  • It’s recommended to introduce the pacifier after breastfeeding habits are well established.
  • The use of the pacifier can be a hard habit to break, removing it might cause anxiety on your little one. Some alternatives include singing, rocking and soft music. For youngsters you can try activities, toys or other objects of affection.
  • Consistent findings show that the use of the pacifier after 3 years of age is associated with a higher incidence of malocclusion.
  • Use one-piece pacifiers, since two-piece models can break and become a choking hazard.
  • Don´t tie the pacifier to your little one’s crib since it can be a hazard.
  • Pacifiers provide a calming effect and have been used for anxiety prevention.
  • The use of the pacifier is a key method for pain relief in newborns and infants younger that six months undergoing minor procedures in the emergency department.
  • Pacifiers come in different sizes and shapes, try different kinds until you find the right one for your little one, always keeping in mind to look for a one-piece model.

 

To learn more about this subject you can visit the following links:

 

How to define and use technological tools with my baby

It’s the 21stcentury and technology is all around us! In fact, technology is what is allowing me to write this and you to read it. So yes! Technology is great, it allows us to communicate and better organize our daily life. But because technology is so ubiquitous in our modern life, children are exposed to it every day. So, what are the facts, guidelines and suggestions regarding children’s exposure to screen time? Keep reading to learn more…

Let’s start with the guidelines…

For children younger than 18 months the AAP recommends to avoid the use of any screen-media other than video-chatting. Parents who want to introduce digital media to children between 18 and 24 months of age should choose high-quality programming and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing. For 2 to 5-year-olds the recommendation is to limit screen use to 1 hour of high-quality programs per day. Also co-viewing media with them is very important since it helps them understand what they are seeing, and understand how to apply it to the world around them.

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