5 Things to keep in mind when starting potty training

Timing Is Everything

If your baby is around 18 months or older maybe you’re anxious to start potty training or maybe you’ve already tried in a few less-than-successful attempts. However, you must remember that timing is everything, not only you have to be ready but so does your child. You can check out our Kinedu blog to know what are the developmental milestones your baby most achieved before starting potty training.

Another time factor you must consider is you, as you will be the one potty training!  If you have a trip planned for the next few weeks or if you’re planning to move to a new city, it’s better to postpone potty training until your child’s environment is stable and secure.

Choose a potty

Once you have decided you and your baby are ready for potty training, is time to decide on a method and a potty. The two basic potty options are a Standalone, and a toddler-size potty chair with a bowl. If you choose to modify your toilet seat, consider getting a stepping stool for your little one so that he or she can reach the seat comfortably. Some moms say that the transition between a regular toilet is easier if you adapted in the first place during potty training. Continue reading

Early Loving Touch Has Long-Term Benefits

Have you ever wondered why picking your baby up feels like the most instinctive thing in the world? Turns out we are hard-wired to do so, it’s our maternal instinct to carry a baby.  When a baby is born, he or she is very vulnerable, with highly limited vision and underdeveloped hearing. This means that touch is the way your little one is going to explore the world for the first couple of months while other senses are starting to develop.

Touch is an important part of a baby’s development, but just how significant is it?

In a recent study carried out by Nathalie Maitre of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center and her colleagues measured the brain responses of 125 infants (including premature and full-term babies) and showed that a baby’s earliest experiences of touch have lasting effects on the way their young brains respond to gentle touch.

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What are the outcomes for babies who are born bashful?

Is your child bashful? To determine the answer to this question you may ask yourself how would you describe your child’s temperament. Too often people tend to confuse shyness or behavioral inhibition with introversion (Weir, 2014). As both shy and introverted children’s response to social interactions may seem the same, it’s quite different.

According to Koraly Pérez-Edgar, a developmental psychologist at Penn State University, bashful children really want to socialize with others, but it’s too overwhelming and difficult to them. They really crave social interactions, but at the same time it’s too stressful for them to socialize. On the other hand, introverted children are not really interested in social interactions, as they prefer spending time by themselves. So, how can you detect if your child is shy? Pérez-Edgar says that bashful children have these in common: they are timid, and often show a coy smile.

When can you find out if your child is bashful?

According to longitudinal studies from Harvard and the University of Maryland, signs of behavioral inhibition or shyness can be seen before a baby’s first birthdate (Weir, 2014). One of these signs is sensitivity to novelty. For example, babies react with signs of distress when shown a new musical toy. Later on, this sensitivity to novel things gets canalized into a sensitivity to social novelty (Weir, 2014). This is one of the reasons why it’s more common for a bashful child to develop social anxiety compared to an introverted child.

Is being bashful an all downside?

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Baby’s first camping trip

Fresh air, nature and a whole lot of family bonding.

A camping trip can be a rewarding experience for the whole family, however taking your little one will mean you must plan ahead in order to have a successful and enjoyable trip. The location of the trip will determine the preparations you must make to ensure a pleasurable experience.

Going camping in the woods will be wildly different from a trip up a mountain or a campsite near the beach. Regardless of the place, body temperature regulation in babies isn’t fully developed which is why your little one will need protection from the elements of nature. You need to make sure your child isn’t too warm or too cold, and the best way to do this is with the appropriate layers of clothing. Babies can lose body heat very quickly, possibly 4 times faster than an adult can. Inversely, they can also experience overheating if not careful.

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Are babies who reach milestones early academically gifted later?

It’s an exciting time for parents to witness their little one reaching a milestone, whether it is the first time he smiles, rolls over, says his first babble or crawls. They will also, quite often, compare the milestones reached to the progress of a cousin, sibling or friend’s baby. Sometimes doing this will provide the parents with comfort about their baby’s development, while for others, it will be a source of concern. But do milestone timing say anything about a child’s potential for the future? For example: is a baby who talks early more likely to be academically gifted than the others?

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Why should we praise children’s actions instead of their innate qualities?

Parents praise their children for many different things, especially during their first few years of life when they are constantly learning and accomplishing new tasks. Be it that their children finally learned to walk, or simply look extremely beautiful, parents tend to constantly praise their children for almost everything. It seems as if they were hired to play cheerleaders for their children the whole day.

And don’t get me wrong, this is great! Babies need this kind of social support to keep up, learn, and grow. But, the thing is that not all types of praises benefit children in the same way. It all depends on the chosen words and whether these words are focusing on the toddler’s efforts, or on his/her physical and individual characteristics. For instance, the phrase “good job” focuses on the toddler’s actions, and “good girl” focuses on the toddler as an individual. Even though both of these phrases may sound quite similar, they have very different effects on toddlers. A study found that toddlers are better prepared for future life challenges when they are praised for their actions and efforts, rather than for their innate qualities.

Researchers studied a group of over 50 toddlers while interacting with their parents. They videotaped these babies and watched them five years later. They found that toddlers who were praised for their efforts during their first three years of life were more prepared to overcome life’s challenges. The reason is that these children believed they had the ability to learn, become smarter, and grow. Their parents had helped them believe in themselves and in their ability to make things happen by putting some work and effort. Moreover, researchers found that more boys were praised for their actions and efforts than were girls. So, even though girls were praised with phrases like: “you are so smart,” they were less likely to believe that they could develop those same traits, and therefore were less likely to challenge themselves. Continue reading

Toxoplasmosis, causes and prevention

The parasite toxoplasma gondii is responsible for toxoplasmosis, an infection that can penetrate the placenta, be transmitted to your baby, and therefore be dangerous during pregnancy. During the third trimester, this infection tends to be risky, as it’s when the baby has the greatest risk of becoming infected. So take precaution in order to prevent it, and take care of your baby’s health.

How does toxoplasmosis get transmitted?

Toxoplasmosis can be transmitted through infected, raw or poorly cooked meat, contaminated veggies, fruits, and water, or by touching your face after being in contact with contaminated soil or cat litter. Not everyone who becomes infected shows symptoms, however, you could notice some flu-like symptoms. If you suspect an infection make sure to visit your doctor.

What do I do if there’s a cat at home?

• Try to avoid direct contact with your cat’s litter box. Ask someone else to clean it up for you, it’s ideal if you don’t tamper with it while you’re pregnant
• Feed your cat well-cooked food and never give your cat undercooked meats
• Always wash your hands after being near your cat
• Don’t let your cat out where it can catch an infected prey

Safety recommendations that prevent infections:

• Wash your cooking utensils with hot water before preparing any dish
• Wash all of your fruits and veggies before cooking or eating them
• Wash your hands often, and wear gloves if you need to work in the garden
• Avoid touching your face, especially when cooking

Although the infection rate is very low, it’s best to be safe than sorry.

Labor is approaching, know the signs

Your body will begin to prepare for birth a few weeks before delivery. Even though it’s impossible to know the exact moment ahead of time (your doctor can only estimate dates), there are some signs that could help you figure out when you are going into labor. Sometimes these symptoms, though, can be present and just be a false alarm.

Here’s a list of some symptoms previous to delivery:

• Rising Braxton Hicks contractions. They could feel like period cramps and can range from mild to very painful. If they don’t increase in frequency and intensity, it could mean that you still have a few days or weeks before giving birth
• Your baby positions itself place near your pelvis. You could feel your baby position {him/herself} in your pelvis. This will help you breathe and it means your body and your baby are preparing for birth
• Dilation. Your cervix should dilate up to 10 cm in order to allow your baby’s passing through the birth canal
• Mucus discharge. You might begin noticing a thick and blood tinted discharge when the date is approaching or after having sex
• Your water breaks. The amniotic liquid leaks right before delivery, and it could come with contractions if they haven’t already started. If you notice your water breaking, go to your doctor or midwife immediately.

Sometimes these symptoms could start days before delivery or they could be a false alarm. However, you must be prepared if these symptoms show up since it could mean that your baby is on {his/her} way.

Vaginal candidiasis: causes and preventions

Vaginal candidiasis is an infection caused by the growth of the fungus Candida in your vaginal walls. Having a small amount of these Candida is completely natural. However, you can develop an infection if they multiply too much.

This infection is common during pregnancy, due to high levels of estrogen, and therefore a higher production of glycogen in the vagina (glycogen helps said fungus grow).

The most common symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are creamy vaginal discharge, burning sensation during urination, pain, redness, and itchiness around the vagina or the labia. If you experience any of these symptoms, go to your doctor to get screened. Talking to a professional before getting medication is really important since these symptoms could get mixed up with another kind of infections, such as sexually transmitted diseases.

This infection isn’t harmful to the baby. However, your baby could get it during birth. If {he/she} does, it can be treated seamlessly.

How can I prevent vaginal candidiasis?

• Avoid humidity in the genital area
• Wear cotton underwear
• Avoid wearing synthetic pants
• Try to sleep with no underwear on for better ventilation
• Wash your genitals with water and avoid vaginal douches

Sexually transmitted diseases during pregnancy

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are obtained through a virus of bacteria that is transmitted through anal, oral, or genital sex with an infected person. Some diseases such as Hepatitis B can also be transmitted through needles, razors, or contact with the infected person’s blood.

It’s important that you take special care during pregnancy to prevent STDs since some of them could pass through the placenta and infect your baby. Besides, STDs are dangerous and can cause preterm births, spontaneous abortions, or a urinary tract infection.

Here’s a list with some of the most common STDs:

• Chlamydia
• Hepatitis B
• Herpes
• Syphilis
• Gonorrhea
• HPV
• HIV/AIDS

Some STDs could show no symptoms at all, this is why you should go to your doctor as soon as possible if you suspect of a possible infection.

How can I steer clear from STDs?

It’s hard to avoid getting one if you or your partner have sex with other people or do intravenous drugs. You could use a condom to decrease the risks of getting them, but even so, you may get infected. This is why monogamous sexual relationships are the best way to reduce risks.