Category Archives: General

Why do babies put everything in their mouths?

Babies are known for putting things in their mouths. Even before birth, babies have been seen sucking on their thumbs and once born they continue to develop “oral gratification”. Babies love to suck and mouth for pleasure. As newborns, they can soothe themselves by sucking on a pacifier, breast, bottle, or even thumb and, as they continue to grow and develop, they purposely grab objects and put them in their mouths as means of exploration.

Why do babies put everything in their mouths?

  • Babies use all their senses to explore their world including the sense of taste
  • It allows them to calm and self-soothe
  • Mouthing allows them to develop coordination in their mouth, jaw, cheeks, tongue and lips
  • It allows the mouth to become accustomed to different textures and sensations, which is great for transitioning from breast/bottle to solids
  • It provides comfort when they are teething (note: the mouthing period does not necessarily mean your child is teething)

Is my baby at risk for choking? Continue reading

Children and toxic stress in times of war

Children and toxic stress in times of war

Millions of children around the world are living their most important years of development in situations of war. War can be incredibly stressful for adults – but can be much worse for children. In this moment of development, children are living in fear and uncertainty, sometimes losing their home, access to food and water, and even family members. In other situations, children might be able to depend on the adults around them to help deal with the stress. However, wartime often taxes the capacities of adults as well, if the adults are around in the first place.

The current situation in Syria is an example of the need to help the most vulnerable – children who are living their most important developmental years in dire situations and chronic stress. The actual crisis – which was sparked by anti-government protests and culminated in civil war – has led almost four million people to flee Syria, most of whom are women and children. Syria’s neighbors, such as Lebanon and Jordan, are overwhelmed with the amount of refugees coming into their countries every month. Even within Syria, there are approximately another 6.5 IDPs (internally displaced person), which means approximately 1 out of every 2 Syrians has fled their home. The United Nations has announced that almost 13.5 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid, of which 7.5 are children (OCHRA, 2015). Continue reading

Three must-read books for parents!

On previous blog posts we’ve talked about great books for your little ones and now we think it’s time to recommend books for you, Mom and Dad!

It’s always good to stay informed, to understand your child’s development and find out ways to enhance it through good reads. Finding the right book is tough, though! After all, if the information it relays will impact your parenting style, it’s best to make sure it’s backed by accurate scientific research.

 

Here are three great books that we highly recommend:

  1. Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by Dr. John Medina

brainrules

 

In his book, Dr. John Medina explains what the latest scientific research says about how to raise smart and happy children. Written in a light and friendly way, Brain Rules for Baby connects what researchers know about children’s developing brains and what parents practice every day. A must-read!

 

 

 

  1. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

Howchildrensucceed

 

In this New York Times Bestseller, journalist Paul Tough discusses the importance of ‘non-cognitive skills’, also known as character, in creating successful outcomes for kids. He explores the available research on how parents affect their children, how human skills develop, and how character is formed. Who succeeds and who fails? Why do some children thrive and others lose their way? What can we do to steer a child – or a generation of children – towards success?

 

 

  1. Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky

MindintheMaking

 

How can we help children flourish in life and as life-long learners? Scholar Ellen Galinsky has spent her career researching the “essential life skills” children need to reach their full potential. These skills are: focus and self-control, perspective taking, communicating, making connections, critical thinking, taking on challenges, and self-directed, engaged learning. In her book, Galinsky describes strategies to develop these skills at home and in the classroom.

 


 

These books are part of our must-read list. How about yours? Do you have any recommendations of your own? Please share them below!

Tech corner: Three apps for busy moms

 If you’re a Tech Mom, you surely find yourself looking for new apps that will help you make your life easier! Here are some apps that I’ve found valuable, take a look below! 

Mom Maps

Maps

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a great play date location, or maybe a nearby playground when you’re on the road? Mom Maps can be a great tool, as it lets you tap the collective wisdom of parents everywhere to find kid-friendly playgrounds! The app uses  your phone’s location (or a different address, if you wish), find the closest museums, parks, restaurants, and indoor play areas.

A premium version is available – and it allows you to bookmark your favorite sites and watch videos of the playgrounds.

Pros

Great for traveling.

Each site has parent reviews that help you find the perfect playground.

Cons

Depending on the area you are searching, you may find few playgrounds marked. The app depends on how many  of its users post new playgrounds.

 

Available on the Appstore and GooglePlay for free. The premium version is available for $2.99.

 

Care.com

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Need a sitter to take care of your toddler for your date-night? The Care.com app will help you find any type of care you may need directly from your phone. It’s as easy as posting a job description – you’ll receive notifications when available sitters apply. The app allows you to review the caregiver’s profiles and contact them directly – you can even pay him or her through the app! You can also find senior care specialists, pet care places, academic tutors, and housekeepers on the Care.com app.

Pros

It takes into account all of your needs and offers an array of options for you.

Cons

You need a pay a subscription to review profiles.

 

Available on the Appstore and Care.com for free. Premium memberships are $13 a month for a full year, or $39 for a single month.

 

 

Baby Connect

BabyConnect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you found that being a mom requires keeping track of a lot of things? Baby Connect helps you record everything there is to track about your baby: feeding (nursing and bottle), pump schedule, solid foods, diapers, sleep, moods, milestones – even medicines. The app will graph, chart, and list all of your inputs. Your pediatrician will thank you!

Pros

You can share all the information easily with other accounts. Also, the charts and graphs can be really useful for visualizing your baby’s progress!

Cons

The design is a bit outdated!

 

Available in both the Appstore and GooglePlay for $4.99.

 

What types of apps would you like to see mentioned on the blog? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Cristy