Fruit juice: New guidelines

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 in moderation starting at 6 months of age, 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 the 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 better than 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.

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Your baby’s smile

You’ve probably seen your baby’s 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 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 the 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

The Benefits of Baby Massage

Give your baby some peace, here are 7 benefits of massaging your baby!

  1. Relieves pain caused by cramps, gas, constipation, and teething.
  2. Lets your baby relax and reduces stress.
  3. Interaction boosts verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
  4. Stimulates and develops your baby’s nervous and immune system.
  5. Increases your baby’s self-esteem and helps him feel safe and loved.
  6. Your baby will fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.
  7. Through touch, smiles, and hugs, your bond will strengthen.

Massages will help strengthen his bones, muscles, and immune system, will get him more active, get better sleep, relief colic pain, improve motor skills, and enhance intellectual development! Continue reading