All posts by Cristy

5 Things to keep in mind when starting potty training

Timing Is Everything

If your child 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 kid most achieved before starting potty training.

Another time factor you must consider is yourself, as you will be the one potty training!  If you have a trip planned 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, it’s 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 can reach the seat comfortably. Some moms say that the transition to a regular toilet is easier if you adapt it during potty training.

The other option for potty is a toddler-size potty chair with a bowl that can be emptied into the toilet. The advantage of using this potty is that you can turn any space into a potty training environment. Some moms suggest having a potty in the car for any emergencies or for traveling. The disadvantage of it is that you will need to clean the potty every time your child is done using it.

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Playdates 101

If you are thinking of organizing play dates… Congrats! That means you have mastered the diaper changing and feeding, and, hopefully, you’re getting some sleep and even managed to start showering every day.

Probably by now you have a bunch of questions about play dates: is my baby ready for them? How long should they last? What are some do’s and don’ts I should know? Don’t worry, we will give you some tips and try to clear the air around all of your questions.

You can start right now!

If you have an infant, playdates tend to be more about you, the mommies. It is important to find other moms that you can relate to, so that you can talk about the daily routine, breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, and even funny or not-so-funny stories. Don’t worry, they will totally understand as they are on the same page as you. During these playdates, babies will be able to profit from being exposed to new toys, an unfamiliar environment, and even another small person lying next to them, even if they sleep most of the time. Continue reading

Happy parents, happy kids: What can I do to strengthen my romantic relationship?

If you’re like most new parents, then you probably focus most of your energy and attention towards your new baby, as you should, but what about your relationship with your partner?

Between the baby’s naps, your post-baby body, and the exhaustion of taking care of a newborn, be careful, you could be neglecting your relationship with your partner! Numerous studies show that new parents are the most uniformly dissatisfied group when it comes to marital happiness. But anyone who’s had her party of two crashed by a magical (but exceptionally demanding) third wheel doesn’t need to read the research, since she is probably going through it.

If this is your case, don’t worry! It is totally normal; most couples that have a new baby have been through this stage. The important thing is to recognize that you may need to put in a bit more effort in your relationship. With this in mind, here are some tips on how to keep it going: Continue reading

Baby on the move: Learning to stand up

Has your baby mastered the art of sitting and crawling? Then he will probably be ready to stand on his own feet soon! Learning to stand up will be a major milestone on the way to your baby’s first steps.

Before your baby learns to stand up he will need to gain muscle strength and coordination, and first be able to roll over and sit. Once your baby has mastered these skills he will be ready to stand up, which will require more muscle strength in his legs, for him to learn how to bend at the knees, and be able to shift his own weight.

When will my baby learn to stand up?

Around month 4 and 7 you will notice that your little one starts to spend more time trying to sit up, this is a great moment for you to help him try and stand up for the first time. While sitting down gently pull him up from the arms. At first you will notice your baby may stand up, but will need lots of help and support from you. Around month 6 your baby may be able to bear weight on his feet and bounce up and down actively, so try practicing this on a hard surface like the floor.

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Motor milestones: Learning to roll

Has your baby mastered head control? He’ll soon be ready to learn how to roll over. This is an important milestone for your baby because it marks his first big movement all by himself. As strength in his arms, back, and neck increases, he will begin to discover new ways of moving his body.

When should I expect my baby to start rolling over?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies should be able to roll over in both directions by 7 months. But around 3-4 months your baby will develop enough upper body strength to turn from his tummy to his back. It may take him until he’s about 5 or 6 months to flip from back to front, because he needs stronger neck and arm muscles for that movement.

Rolling over for the first time usually comes as a surprise for you and your baby. It’s a new experience for him, so it may be scary at first, but don’t be surprised if rolling soon becomes one of your little one’s favorite tricks. Continue reading

Baby on the move: Different crawling styles

Is your baby ready for crawling? Around 7-10 months most babies master the hand-and-knee crawling method, but others develop alternative styles of crawling that work so well for them that they never progress to the traditional hand-and-knee crawling. Here are some types of crawling your baby can adopt.

Not all babies crawl in the traditional way -alternating hands and knees-, some babies use their belly to move, others scoot on their bottoms using their hands to propel themselves forward, and some babies use one leg down in crawling position and the other foot in a standing position on the floor to move forward. No matter what method your baby adopts, remember that the important thing is that she is showing a desire to move independently and explore her surroundings.

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Mouthing: Why does everything end up in my baby’s mouth?

Does your baby put everything (or almost everything) she can find in her mouth? And you can’t get her to stop? Well actually, you won’t be able to and you shouldn’t! Mouthing is an essential part of your little one’s development and exploration.

Oral exploration is a key developmental stage. It allows your baby to discover the taste and texture of the different objects that surround her. So when your little one grasps an object and then brings it to her mouth, it means that she wants to explore it further. “Is it soft or hard? Can I eat it? Does it make a sound?”

Keep in mind that mouthing won’t be the only way your little will explore her world. In the first years of life babies explore their surroundings through all their senses –seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, and tasting–, and the more they are able to explore, the more they will learn.

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About developmental delays and red flags during the first year

Are you worried that your baby might be a bit behind? Before jumping into any conclusions remember that each child develops at his or her own pace and the range of “normal” is actually quite wide. However, it is helpful to be aware of red flags for potential developmental delays in children.

What does “developmental delay” mean?

This term is used by doctors when a child has not reached an expected milestone in a certain time period. For example, if the normal range for learning to walk is between 9 and 18 months, and a 20-month-old child has not begun walking, this would be considered a developmental delay. There are many different types of developmental delays in infants and young children, and they can occur in one or more areas such as: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, language skills, cognitive skills, self-help skills, social skills, and more. It’s important to mention that if your baby is temporarily lagging behind, that is not necessarily called a developmental delay. Remember that children develop at their own pace, so it’s important to know some of the red flags you should be looking out for.

How can I know if my child has a developmental delay?

A developmental delay is most often a diagnosis made by a doctor based on strict guidelines. Usually, parents are the first ones to notice that their child is not progressing at the same rate as other children the same age. Early intervention can make a huge difference, so if you think your kid may have a delay, you should see your primary care provider, or a developmental and behavioral pediatrician or pediatric neurologist. Remember that it is never a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the normal timeline of your child’s development.

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3 Mistakes you might be making during bedtime

Bedtime can be a challenge for some babies, but what if you’re only making it harder? Sometimes as parents we are not aware that what we do may affect our little ones -even the little things. Here are 3 bedtime “no-no’s” you should be aware of.

  1. Letting your baby stay up late

Believe or not this is a very common mistake, some parents like to play with their babies late at night because they don’t have much time with him during the day or they developed the habit of putting him to bed just before they go to sleep. A late bedtime routine will lead to an overtired and fuzzy baby who will most assuredly have trouble drifting off to sleep, which can also increase night awakenings.

What to do: Did you know that most babies actually display signs of sleep readiness between 6 and 8 pm? Be aware of signs like, droopy eyelids or eye rubbing, before your baby gets a bit fuzzy. If you get him to bed when he is drowsy, but not overtired or completely asleep, it will be easier for him to learn to fall asleep on his own. Continue reading

Separation anxiety: How can I help my baby?

At some point during your baby’s development he will experience separation anxiety. This is completely normal, and the good news is that for the vast majority of babies, separation anxiety happens in phases and doesn’t last that long. Here are some tips that may help you and your baby!

Why does my baby have separation anxiety?

It all starts when your baby realizes that objects and people still exist even if he can’t see them -the concept that we call object permanence. Your baby realizes that the person that protects and cares for him has gone away and is currently existing somewhere else. Since he doesn’t know when, or if, you will return, anxiety kicks in!

Separation anxiety is a normal emotional stage of development, however we know it can be difficult for parents to cope with a baby who gets panicky and upset when they’re not around. So here are some ideas and tips you can try at home. Continue reading