All posts by Kinedu

Introduction to solid foods

If you believe that your baby is ready to begin eating solids, talk to your pediatrician about it. Introducing solids to your baby’s diet is extremely important because this way, he will acquire the nutrients needed for a proper development. You might be wondering what’s the right time to begin, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s around the 6-month mark; however, every child is different, and some are ready before that.

It’s important to introduce solid food when your baby is around 6 months because at this point breast milk no longer provides enough iron, calories, protein, DHA, zinc and fat-soluble vitamins such as folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and vitamin C. These requirements can be found in solid food.

How to introduce the first solid food?

To begin with this new stage, choose the time of day that’s more convenient for you. Preferably, select between breakfast, lunch or dinner time and alternate it as time passes so that your baby gets used to eating solid foods at different times of the day. You want your baby to be in a good mood and hungry enough, but not starving. To make eating solids for the first time smoother, give your baby a little breast milk or formula first. Then try giving him very small spoonfuls of food, and end with more milk. After several days, the process can be reversed to ensure that gradually the nutrients coming from the solid foods are increased until the point that you only provide solids at that specific mealtime.

When you are ready to start, sit your little one in a well supported position. Choose any food you want to begin with, just make sure that it is fully pureed, without any chunks, and it’s not seasoned. You can choose to prepare it at home or buy it. Take one of your baby’s spoons and just fill it halfway. Feed it to your baby and talk to him about it. How is he reacting? It is normal for your baby to show confusion, and he may even refuse the food because this is all completely new to him. Don’t worry about it! Start slowly, with a small spoonful or two. Soon your child will become used to this new way of eating and you can gradually increase the amount of food he receives.

If your baby cries or moves away, don’t forcefully feed him. Return to his previous diet of breast milk or formula for a few days and then try again. The transition to solids is a gradual process where your baby will still be getting most of his nutritional intake from breast milk or formula.

When you introduce solids, remember to try each new food for 3-5 consecutive days to verify that your little one shows no allergic reaction; it’s easier to identify it that way. Alternate food after a few days so your baby doesn’t get used to only one. For example, you can try offering meat for 3 days, cereal for 3 days, vegetable for 3 days, fruit for 3 days, then other kinds of meat for another 3 days and so on until your little one tries a variety of foods.

Recommended hours of sleep: 21 – 24 months old

A nice and well rested sleep is very important to restore our body and brain. Sleeping well is associated with a better mood, temperament, physical performance, and a positive attitude. Sleep is essential for our brain, during this time it consolidates and organizes everything that happened in the day. In our children’s case, sleeping allows them to continue growing and to wake up full of energy, eager to keep learning and exploring their surroundings. Sleeping is very important for both adults and children.

Sleep is essential for children. It helps them restore their energy for the upcoming day and it fosters physical and cognitive growth. When they sleep children save energy, allowing them to gain weight and grow. Their vital organs also mature. Likewise, sleeping helps them wake up with enough energy to move, walk, learn, talk, and explore the world around them.

Around this age, children normally need only one nap during the day, sleeping for about an hour. This gives them more time to explore their surroundings and play during the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for children that are 21-24 months old is between 11-14 hours a day. Some kids sleep more or less, however, experts don’t recommend that your little one sleeps above or below a 9-16 hour range at this age. If you think your child is sleeping more than needed, you can try shortening his naps and doing a lot of activities to ensure that he receives enough stimulation in the day. On the other hand, if your little one sleeps less, try to strengthen his sleep routines and remember to have a nap before 4 pm. Sleeping well allows your little one to keep learning and stay active. Your baby will receive so much stimulation and affection during the day, and while sleeping, his brain will consolidate the moments and new findings.

Remember not to worry too much about the precision of sleeping hours. It’s important to keep in mind the recommendations regarding hours of sleep, but remember that every child is different. The best way to know if your little one is sleeping well is by noticing if he is happy and well rested, or if he is tired and irritable during the day.

Fostering my little one’s autonomy at bedtime

You’ve probably noticed that your little one seeks more independence now. He is entering a stage in which he begins to define what he likes and doesn’t like, and wants to exercise his autonomy. If your little one is at this stage, and you notice that he resists bedtime, a good piece of advice is to allow him to participate in the routine. Here are different ideas that you can try at home to encourage your child’s independence and help him enjoy bedtime.

• Continue implementing your regular bedtime routine but give him the opportunity to express his opinion and to make his own choices.

• Give him pajamas options, let him choose the story you’ll read together, which stuffed animal to sleep with or even how many of them! Letting him participate will make your little one feel that he is in control of his own decisions.

• Decorate his room with his favorite stuffed animals, so he feels comfortable and enjoys it.

• Let your child choose his favorite night light.

• When providing options, the trick is to only give two or three options among which to choose from. Make sure that options are something that you would approve.

• Don’t ask your little one if he wants to go to sleep or not, because he can answer “NO!” Instead, ask “Do you want to go to bed before or after listening to the goodnight story?”

Remember that in spite of being open to giving your child options to choose from, you are in charge of his sleep. You have the final say, not your little one, so feel confident to establish the necessary rules for your child to sleep well. Sympathize with and listen to your child, you can say: “I know you want to stay up, but it’s bedtime. Let’s choose your pajamas and the goodnight book.” You can also ask: “Do you want to brush your teeth before or after putting on your pajamas?” Providing options allows you to reach your goal and fulfill your purpose as a parent: peacefully helping your child do what’s best for his well-being.

Recommended hours of sleep: 17 – 20 months old

A nice and well rested sleep is very important to restore our body and brain. Sleeping well is associated with a better mood, temperament, physical performance, and a positive attitude. Sleep is essential for our brain, during this time it consolidates and organizes the day’s events. In our children’s case, sleeping allows them to continue growing and to wake up full of energy, eager to keep learning and exploring their surroundings. Sleeping is very important for both adults and children.

Sleep is essential for children. It helps them restore their energy for the upcoming day and it fosters physical and cognitive growth. When they sleep children save energy, allowing them to gain weight and grow. Their vital organs also mature. Likewise, sleeping helps them wake up with enough energy to move, walk, learn, talk, and explore the world around them.

Around this age, children normally need only one nap during the day, sleeping for about an hour. This gives them more time to explore their surroundings and play during the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for children that are 17-20 months old is between 11-14 hours a day. Some kids sleep more or less, however, experts don’t recommend that your little one sleeps above or below a 9-16 hour range at this age. If you think your child is sleeping more than needed, you can try shortening his naps to ensure that he receives enough stimulation in the day. On the other hand, if your little one sleeps less, try to strengthen his sleep routines. Sleeping is essential, as it helps strengthen your child’s immune system. Plus, he will be in a better mood during the day and more receptive to learning language, movement, and cognitive skills. You’ll probably be chasing your little one all over your house throughout the day; this is good because it means he has a lot of energy and will hopefully be tired for bedtime. Then, while sleeping, your little one will be reinforcing what he learned during the day, because the brain uses sleep to organize the day’s events.

Recommended hours of sleep: 13 – 16 months old

A nice and well rested sleep is very important to restore our body and brain. Sleeping well is associated with a better mood, temperament, physical performance, and a positive attitude. Sleep is essential for our brain, during this time it consolidates and organizes the day’s events. Similarly, getting enough sleep allows us to wake up feeling refreshed and full of energy. If sleep is extremely important for adults, you can imagine how important it is for babies that are still growing!

Sleeping is essential for children. It is a key aspect in the development of their central nervous system; their brains require it to develop properly and their bodies to grow. When a baby sleeps, he saves energy, allowing him to gain weight and grow. Sleeping allows little ones to wake up ready to explore their surroundings with enough energy to start moving around, walking, and learning about the world around them.

At this age, children should continue taking a nap during the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for children that are 13-16 months old is between 11-14 hours a day. Some kids sleep more or less, however, experts don’t recommend that your little one sleeps above or below a 9-16 hour range at this age. If you think your child is sleeping more than needed, you can try shortening his naps to ensure that he receives enough stimulation in the day. On the other hand, if your little one sleeps less, try to strengthen his sleep routines. Sleeping is essential, as it helps strengthen your child’s immune system. Plus, he will be in a better mood during the day and more receptive to learning language, movement, and cognitive skills. Then, while sleeping, your little one will be reinforcing what he learned during the day, because the brain uses sleep to organize the day’s events.

Recommended hours of sleep: 10 – 12 months old

Sleep is essential for leading a healthy life. It allows our body to rest, and maintain good mental and physical health. Sleep is essential for our brain, during this time it consolidates and organizes the day’s events. Similarly, adequate sleep hours allow us to go through different stages of sleep, achieving a restorative sleep. If sleep is extremely important for adults, you can imagine how important it is for babies that are still growing!

Sleep is vital for babies. Their brains require it to develop properly and their bodies to grow. When babies sleep, they restore their energy, their bodies release growth hormones, and they consolidate the day’s findings. Sleeping helps them wake up ready to explore their surroundings with enough energy to move and crawl around. It also helps them be happy and in good spirits!

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping range for babies that are 10-12 months old is between 12-15 hours. Some babies sleep less, between 11-13 hours and others more, up to 19 hours a day. However, experts don’t recommend that your little one sleeps above or below this 11-19 hour range. If your child is sleeping more, you can try shortening his naps so that he receives enough stimulation during the day; if he sleeps less, try to emphasize his sleep routine. Keep in mind that after the first year, the recommended hours of sleep are 11 to 14 hours a day

Recommended hours of sleep: 7 – 9 months old

Sleep is essential for having a healthy life. It allows our body to rest, and maintain good mental and physical health. Sleep is essential for our brain, during this time it consolidates and organizes the day’s events. Similarly, adequate sleep hours allow us to go through different stages of sleep, achieving a restorative sleep. If sleep is extremely important for adults, you can imagine how important it is for babies that are still growing!

Sleep is vital for babies. Their brains require it to develop properly and their bodies to grow. When a baby sleeps, he saves energy, allowing him to gain weight faster and have a healthy development. Also, his organs mature and his immune system grows stronger to protect him from diseases and infections.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for babies that are 7-9 months old is between 12-15 hours. Some babies sleep less, between 11-13 hours and others more, up to 19 hours a day. However, experts don’t recommend that your little one sleeps above or below this 11-19 hour range. Sleeping less than recommended deprives their bodies of rest and the benefits provided by sleep. When your baby sleeps, he is recharging the energy necessary to crawl, move, sit, eat, and explore his surroundings. On the other hand, sleeping more doesn’t allow babies to get the proper food and stimulation needed in a day.

Recommended hours of sleep: 4 – 6 months old

Sleeping well is extremely important. It is essential for our body because it allows us to rest and maintain good mental and physical health. Rest helps our brain work at its optimum level. It helps us be alert, learn, and concentrate during the day and consolidate what we learned, forming memories during the night. Sleeping well also lowers our stress levels, letting us live healthier lives. If sleep is extremely important for adults, you can imagine how important it is for babies!

Around the fourth month, a baby’s circadian rhythm is consolidated. If you are consistent with routines, your baby learns to differentiate between day and night. The hours a baby sleeps at night increase slowly, but they still need naps during the day. In fact, sleeping during the day and sleeping at night are interdependent, because the amount of hours a baby sleeps during the day affect sleep at night. During the day, babies should sleep a minimum of two naps of 1 or 2 hours. There are children who even sleep three naps! The morning nap is regularly set 1 hour and half or 2 hours after waking up, while the midday nap is usually around 1:00 or 2:00 pm. The time you choose for each nap is not that important, but what is important is sticking to a fixed sleep schedule. That way, your little one will anticipate his sleep hours. You can create your own short pre-sleep routine, like having a feeding or reading a book, followed by putting him in his crib and slightly turning down the bedroom lights.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for babies that are 4-6 months old is between 12-15 hours a day. If your baby sleeps a bit less, like around 10-11 hours a day; or a bit more around 16-18 hours, it could be fine, however sleeping more or less time than those ranges is not recommended. A long overnight sleep allows your baby’s brain to go through the different stages of sleep, needed to have an optimal development. When your baby sleeps, the brain processes all the information received during the day and helping him learn. He will eventually reach a restorative sleep, and he’ll wake up happy and rested. Sleeping less or more hours during the day affects him too. If he sleeps less, then he will probably be overstimulated, and this will make it even more difficult to get some sleep during the day. On the other hand, if he sleeps a lot during the day, he won’t do so at night. Therefore, try to establish fixed sleep schedules to help your baby sleep 2 or 3 naps during the day and sleep through the night.

Recommended hours of sleep: 0 – 3 months old

We all know that sleep is very important. We need our body to get enough rest so that we can maintain physical and mental health. Sleeping helps our brain function optimally: it improves our learning, our ability to concentrate, and our decision-making skills. Sleeping well affects our quality of life. If sleep is extremely important for adults, you can imagine how important it is for babies!

When a baby sleeps, he saves energy, allowing him to gain weight faster and have a healthy development. Also, his organs mature and his immune system grows stronger to protect him from diseases and infections. When he’s asleep, your baby’s body releases a growth hormone, which helps him to keep growing. Finally, sleeping helps increase your little one’s appetite, so he can eat well and get the nutrients needed for his proper development. It’s important to remember that babies don’t sleep like us: they sleep for brief moments at a time and constantly wake up to eat. Their first few months, babies usually eat 8-12 times a day, causing their frequent wake ups. Their sleep cycles are different from ours, allowing them to sleep for few hours, but deeply.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping range for babies that are 0-3 months old is 14-17 hours a day. Some babies may sleep less, between 11-13 hours, while others sleep up to 19 hours a day. However, going above or below the range of 11 to 19 hours is not recommended. Sleeping less than recommended deprives their bodies of rest and the benefits provided by sleep, and on the other hand, sleeping more doesn’t allow them to get the proper food and stimulation needed in a day.

My baby doesn’t wake up to eat during the night!

If your baby doesn’t wake up during the night, you are one of the few lucky ones who can rest the whole night through.

There are children who take enough food during the day and don’t require eating overnight. This is not a problem, as long as your baby is happy and healthy in all aspects. If your baby is taking at least 8 daily feedings of milk, every 2 or 3 hours; wetting about 6 diapers a day; and gaining weight, then you have nothing to worry about! Your baby may be sleeping five or more hours without waking up for food and this is not a problem. However, if you notice your baby is not gaining weight, you have to look into why he is not waking up to eat. If during the first two weeks of life your baby is not waking up after five hours without feeding, you might need to wake him up and feed him so that he can gradually gain the weight necessary for his healthy development. Ask your pediatrician for his opinion. If he indicates that you should wake your baby up, then follow his instructions; he knows your baby’s developmental needs. Likewise, if your baby doesn’t wake up to eat during the day, but he is growing at a healthy rate and your doctor tells you that there is no need to wake him, then let your baby sleep and take that extra time to recharge your own energies.

During the first two weeks of life, babies are able to sleep and skip their meal time. Just try to ensure that during those first two weeks, no more than 4 hours go by between feedings. Ideally, you should feed your newborn every 2 or 3 hours, helping to establish your milk supply and ensuring that your little one receives the necessary nutrients and calories. Remember to relax, it’s not necessary to set a specific mealtime. Let your baby eat when he wants to, but keep track of his diaper changes. The first month, you should be changing around 10 diapers a day, 6 wet diapers and 3 or 4 that contain poop. After the first month, your baby will wet 4-6 diapers, normally pooping a bit less.