Fruit juice is a popular drink among kids, and parents love them since they provide hydration and fruit servings (especially for picky eaters who reject whole fruits). But even though juice is natural and made from fruits, is it a drink that should be given freely without limits?
Fruit juice was allowed for consumption in moderation starting from 6 months of age on, but the American Academy of Pediatrics has just recently published a change in recommendations, suggesting new guidelines for juice consumption starting until after a year of age.
Juice consumption is notorious for filling children’s bellies and therefore replacing other solid foods or breastmilk/formula which babies need most. Although 100% fruit juice with no added sugar provides nutrients, it’s very high in sugar and low in fiber, putting children at risk for high-calorie consumption and tooth decay.
Whole fruit is always superior to juice, and if kids consume fruit, there is no need for fruit juice in their diets. Before age one, 100% fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit for babies. Once children turn one they can consume some juice to complement a balanced diet but it should be limited according to their age. If you want to feed your baby fruit juice make sure to follow the recommendations below.
You’ve probably seen his first reflexive smile when he sleeps, but when he looks right into your eyes and smiles, it’s a magical moment that you’ll forever treasure. How can you tell the difference between a social smile and a reflexive one? Keep reading and find out.
Your baby’s first smile will be spontaneous, a reflexive smile, and it’ll probably happen when he or she is asleep. During REM sleep your baby’s body goes through physiological changes, and one of these produces a smile. However at this point it’s probably just a physical reaction, not an emotional one. This reflex can even be considered a part of your little one’s survival instinct, such as rooting, sucking and moro reflexes.
After a few months, playtime gets more exciting! Making funny faces, voices and cuddling will make your baby smile in reaction to sensory experiences, not a social response. However, you can try and encourage a smile! This smile is known as responsive smile, and usually appears between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Continue reading →
Give your baby some peace, here are 7 benefits of massaging your baby!
Relieves pain caused by cramps, gas, constipation, and teething
Lets your baby relax and reduces stress
Interaction boosts verbal and non-verbal communication skills
Stimulates and develops your baby’s nervous and immune system.
Increases your baby’s self-esteem and helps him or her feel safe and loved.
Your baby will fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.
Through touch, smiles, and hugs, your bond will strengthen.
How to give your baby a massage?
You can start massaging your baby to help strengthen his bones, muscles, and immune system, get him more active, get better sleep, relief colic pain, improve motor skills and enhance intellectual development! Continue reading →
Music has become a natural part of a toddler’s development and growth, it can kickstart learning and has proven to offer lifelong benefits. Music boosts all areas of a child’s development and skills, such as cognitive, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. Exposing your little one to music early on helps him learn the sounds and meaning of words. In summary, music helps the mind and body work together as a team.
Learning that music is important for your baby’s development does not mean you should go and spend all your money on a Baby Einstein or Baby-Genius music collection. It does not mean either that you should enroll your 3-year-old in violin lessons. Unlocking a child’s intelligence and happiness may indeed lie partly in music – but it is as easy as making up songs with your toddler!
We know that the idea of taking your baby to the beach for the first time can be exciting as well as intimidating.
A baby’s first time at the beach is a complete experience. Being well prepared will make it an unforgettable time.
In this article, you will find tips and tricks that will help you prepare for your trip, as well as what to expect of it.
Sand is good- but not too much
Sand can be a positive experience for you baby. It will introduce new textures and stimulate your baby’s sense of touch, but beware, sand can get in your baby’s eyes and mouth and even irritate her skin. To prevent this, make sure you take a large towel or blanket and place it on the sand. Let your baby stay on the center of it with some toys ir snacks, this way, she will be away from the edge and less exposed to sand.
If you let her play on the sand, keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t eat or rub the sand on her face. If sand goes in her mouth, rinse carefully with water and use your fingers to try to get out as much as possible. If sand gets in your baby’s eyes, rinse with water, but never rub or let her rub them since this may cause more harm.
Research has discovered even more evidence on the process of language learning in babies. There is more going on during the prenatal stage than previously suggested. A study looked at babies who were adopted right after birth and who grew up hearing a different language than what they heard their moms speak in the womb. Researchers can see how what babies hear before and after birth affects the way they perceive sounds. So what is the birth of a language?
“Researchers have known, for some time now, that newborns prefer listening to voices speaking the same language they heard in the womb”, says Anne Cutler, a psychologist and professor at the Marcs Insitute. Newborns can actually recognize the same voice they heard during the last trimester in the womb, especially their mother’s sounds, and prefer listening to similar voices than hearing the voice of a stranger. They also have a preference for languages with similar rhythms than languages with different ones. Newborns indicated this preference by sucking longer on rigged pacifiers that enabled them to hear one speakers voice versus another or a language versus another.
Dr. Cutler states that researches used to think that babies didn’t actually learn any language units — the smallest units of sounds that make up words and languages until the six months of life. However, new research includes recent studies that challenge this notion. Continue reading →
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)
Whether it’s play or companionship, pets bring their owners’ plenty of joy. But did you know that the benefits go beyond cuddling and fun? A new study showed that having pets in the household can protect babies from allergies and obesity!
At first, it may seem counteractive as most parents want to keep their children away from furry pets such as dogs and cats due to allergies and sneezing. However, a research conducted by the University of Washington Department of Pediatrics found the opposite to be true.
Contact with dogs early on, especially around the time of birth, can help the child’s immune development and reduce the likelihood of certain allergic diseases. In addition, a recent study by the University of Alberta showed that babies from families with pets – 70% of which were dogs — showed higher levels of two types of microbes (Ruminococcus and Oscillospira) associated with lower risks of allergic disease and obesity.
As a matter of fact, the beneficial exposure can even be transferred to babieswhoarestillinthewomb. Yes, you read correctly – moms can reap the benefits while being pregnant! The presence of a pet in the household during the mom’s pregnancy can grant microbial advantages to the unborn baby’s gut microbiome.
As we now know, babies’ brains are highly vulnerable especially during the first months of life.
Opposite as we once thought, every move we make as parents has an impact either positive or negative on our children. For so long we have misunderstood how babies develop, and that explains why we have treated baby boys differently. Cultures and religions have influenced too on how we educate our children. We have developed ideas on how tough we should be with our children and we have been tougher with baby boys, since we believe that if we are too caring or responsive we may spoil our boys. However, the truth is that all babies need responsive care and affection to grow physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy.
It’s every parent’s dream. Their child learns to read at age 2, play Beethoven at age 4, learn calculus by age 6 and speaks two languages fluently by age 8. Every parent and classmate envies this “gifted” child.
However, child prodigies rarely become geniuses who revolutionize the world. We assume it’s because they lack competent social or emotional skills to excel, however, the evidence suggests otherwise. In fact, less than a quarter of these so “gifted” children suffer from any of this. The vast majority of them have perfectly normal social and emotional skills.
So, what is holding them back? They don’t learn to be original.
Many of these kids are constantly seeking their parent’s approval or their teacher’s admiration. They grow and perform their music in the most prestigious concerts but then something unexpected happens. Practice makes perfect but it doesn’t make new.
The gifted learn to play Mozart and Bach melodies but they rarely compose their own music. Their energy is solely focused on consuming existing knowledge that they forget about producing new insights. Research suggests that the most creative children are the least likely to become the star student at school and thus they tend to keep original ideas to themselves. Continue reading →