The benefits of crawling!

The traditional hands-and-knees or cross crawl is full of benefits. Not only is it your baby’s first official means of mobility and independence, it is also an important part of your baby’s physical, cognitive and social-emotional development! If you’d like to learn some of the many benefits, continue reading.

Physical benefits:

  • Gross motor skills derived from whole body movements
  • Fine motor skills developed thanks to the strengthening of hands and fingers
  • Balance and lower body stability
  • Strengthening of shoulder and hip muscles
  • Upper and lower body weight shifting necessary for when baby starts to walk
  • Control over body

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Are pacifiers good or bad for babies?

Babies take everything to their mouths; from the smallest object they find to their own thumb. It is a stage where, through this activity, they discover the world. This primary reflex, which they use to adapt to their surroundings, is known as sucking. It is a way for them to calm down. Sucking is done in diverse situations: when they are sleepy, hungry, bored, or nervous.

So, is it good or bad to give your baby a pacifier? The use of the pacifier has several advantages and disadvantages, which we are going to discuss next. Keep them in mind when deciding whether or not to use it.

Pros

  • The use of the pacifier may decrease SIDS probability (sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy baby) when used during sleep.
  • It may relax your baby, reduce anxiety, and help him calm down.
  • Reduces thumb suction time, which causes severe dental problems.
  • Its use can make any complicated situation such as air travel, blood tests, vaccines, or medical procedures much easier to bare.

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The first years: fine motor skills

Your baby will reach countless milestones during her first year. The most noticeable and exciting ones will be the gross motor skills like turning, sitting, crawling, standing, and maybe even those first steps! But don’t look past your little one’s fine motor skill development, or her hand and finger skills –they’re quite significant as well.

Fine motor skills require the use of small muscles in the fingers and hands. They refer to the ability to make precise movements with the hands like buttoning up a shirt, picking up a cereal flake off the floor, or writing. The development of these might be harder to notice if you’re not focusing on them, but they are just as exciting as gross motor skills because they lead to exploration, independence, and learning.

When your baby was born, you probably noticed her hands were clenched tight most of the time. If you placed something like your finger in one of them, she held on tight because of the grasping reflex. After a few weeks, and getting used to being outside the womb, you’ll see your baby open and close her hands. Try placing a small object in one of them and she’ll probably hold on to it, maybe even give it a shake by three months. Continue reading

How to ignite bilingual learning!

Researchers have now discovered a play-based educational program that is capable of helping babies learn a second language in just one hour per day!

Scientists and parents have always been interested in knowing the advantages of learning a second language. What are these advantages and how do they aid in cognitive development? Bilingualism has been shown to improve cognitive abilities, especially problem-solving skills.

One question that parents and teachers always ask is how can they ignite second language learning? Can babies from monolingual families start to develop bilingual skills if they are given the right kind of opportunities and experiences? Continue reading