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Child Safety – Keeping Your Kids Safe In Today’s World

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Keeping your kids safe is a top priority as a parent, but not altogether easy without a plan and attention to detail. In today’s age of drug use among younger children, cases of sex trafficking and higher crime rates among typically safe neighborhoods, there are a few different precautions that should always be taken when your kids aren’t in your immediate care.

Safety Outside

Older children are often allowed to play outside without a parent hovering over their every move, but unless your child is old enough to physically fend for himself or have a phone to call for help, keeping them safe can be tricky.

Playing in the yard at home is usually the safest bet for parents, but can still invite unwanted attention if you don’t take the necessary precautions. These can include but aren’t limited to:

  • Installing a privacy fence
  • Installing a security camera
  • Instructing children to stay in a designated area where you can keep your eyes on them at all times

If you don’t already have a privacy fence, you may want to consider installing one to keep outsiders from peering at your kids while playing. For the same reason, security cameras on all sides of your property can help thwart people who may otherwise try to sneak around your yard in search for kids. If something does happen to your children, this will also provide an ideal starting point for any investigation that takes place.

Have a talk with your kids about always staying where you can see them while playing, even if you aren’t standing right there with them. If you have wooded areas on or near your property, ensure they aren’t venturing that far from your sight.

Additional helpful safety measures can be found here.

Safety with Strangers

Regular discussions with your children about how to interact with strangers, whether at home or in a public space, can also help to keep them safe. Teach them to always get a trusted adult before speaking to a stranger, especially if they are approached by someone they don’t know. Talk to them about warning signs if they are older, such as an unknown adult following them or asking for help. Also make sure they know who can pick them up from school in the case of an emergency, so a stranger using their name can’t fool them into getting into a vehicle with someone they don’t know.

Safety In Public

Always, always keep your children in sight while shopping or running errands, even during daylight hours. Many children are grabbed in the middle of the day while a parent is distracted or just not paying attention. Don’t ever leave your child alone while in public for any length of time – make sure you’re accompanying them to the restroom, to get an extra item off the shelf, or to look at something they’re interested in.

Common places where your child may be at risk include:

  • The grocery store
  • Amusement parks
  • Museums
  • School events
  • Skating rinks
  • Bowling alleys
  • Movie theaters
  • Shopping malls

Any time you take your child to a public place with you, remind them to always stay by your side. Many young children like to hide among clothing racks or under shelves, thinking it’s a game. The more you enforce the idea that this isn’t fun or acceptable in public places and can in fact be dangerous, the better off you’ll both be.

Also talk to your kids about what to do if they’re lost. If they know not to ask just any adult for help, they will likely stay safe from predators. Tell them to find someone who works there, or an officer in uniform, teacher or an adult they already know.

Safety During Emergencies

Teach your children their address, your name and phone number. This way someone will be able to contact you if they ever do get lost. Just as importantly, teach them how to call 911 in case of an emergency. If there is a fire or you have a health emergency, they can help get help to you as well.

Encourage your children to ask questions about safety measures you’re implementing as a family. Tell them it’s okay to fight back if someone ever touches or grabs them without their permission. Utilizing effective communication and constant reminders about your chosen safety guidelines will help them to make these a habit and keep them safe over the course of their childhood adventures.

Timeline of Challenging Early Childhood Behaviour

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When it comes to challenging early childhood behaviour, every parent, whether they care to admit it, has received their fair share. From excessive crying and head-banging, to toddler tantrums, preschool nightmares and everything in between. This timeline showcases the normal, yet challenging, behaviour your child may exhibit from birth till they start school. The timeline will enable you to better understand your child’s thinking and why he acts the way he does at certain times. By consulting this timeline you will be able to handle his difficult periods much better as you will know what will happen before it does.

Jump to age…

1 Month 2 Months 6 Weeks 3 Months 4 Months 5 Months
6 Months 7 Months 8 Months 9 Months 10 Months 11 Months
12 Months 13 Months 14 Months 15 Months 16 Months 17 Months
18 Months 19 Months 20 Months 23 Months 24 Months 30 Months
3 Years 4 Years 5 Years

 

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1 Month Old:

  • Crying: Crying in an infant does not have the same meaning as it does in an older child. Imagine for a moment what life might be like if your baby never cried. You would have no way of knowing that he was hungry, ill or in pain, or simply needing a hug. All babies cry, and there is always a reason for it. You may not believe it now, but there will come a time when you will be able to recognise the difference between his cries and be able to respond quickly and, as a result, he will gradually cry less.
  • Excessive crying: In medical terms, excessive crying is defined as “continuous crying lasting more than three hours in 24 hours” (Laurent 2009). As many as one in four babies, from newborn to three months of age, display this level of crying (Johnson 2005; Fredregill 2004). The following can be helpful: cuddling, motion, white noise (e.g. washing machine, hairdryer, television tuned into a static-filled channel, detuned radio), going for a drive, comfort sucking, massage, swaddling, singing, talking, and reducing external stimuli. Symptoms of excessive crying usually last from three to four months.
  • Colic: The period between birth and three months is one of adjustment of your baby’s immature nervous and digestive systems to life in the outside world. A smooth adjustment is harder for some babies to achieve than others. Infantile colic is a condition in which an otherwise healthy baby cries or displays symptoms of distress (cramping, moaning, etc) frequently and for extended periods, without any discernible reason. The condition typically appears within the first month of life and often disappears rather suddenly, before the baby is three to four months old, but can last up to one year. Many mothers are tempted to just forget about breastfeeding and switch to formula at this point, but that can be a major mistake. Most babies who have a food allergy are sensitive to cows’ milk, the primary ingredient in baby formula. Instead of eliminating colic, formula may actually make it worse.
  • Dislike of Bathing: Some babies are terrified of having a bath. If your baby is one of them, don’t force the issue. It will unsettle him and upset you. Topping and tailing is quite sufficient until he is happy in the water. When he is ready, you can introduce small amounts of water to the bath and gradually increase the volume with each bath time. Or even better – bath with your baby.
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Timeline of Parenting Products You DON’T Need

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Timeline of Parenting Products You DON’T Need

Did you know that if you follow the standard, “What I need for my baby” list for the next 21 years, then your child could cost you over $200,000 (that’s $9,500 per year, or $800 per month), even without being privately educated. The marketing clout of the baby industry has got a lot to answer for.

The reality is that most of the items we are told we should buy for our babies are unnecessary. This timeline will expose the common (and not-so-common) culprits. If you’re new to starting a family, it will hopefully give you the advantage that many second-time parents enjoy.

Jump to…

Pregnancy 1 Week Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4
Month 5 Month 6 Month 8 Month 11 12 Months 18 Months
2 Years 3 Years

 

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Pregnancy:

Maternity clothes: There’s no reason why you cannot wear your normal clothes instead of purchasing ‘maternity wear’ often at inflated prices. Items such as wrap-around dresses, smock tops, tunic tops, dresses and long tops made from stretchy material or anything with an elasticated waistband can be staple items throughout your pregnancy. Trousers can be left undone under baggy tops, and clothes with lycra content can be very accommodating. You can alter waistbands by hand or buy a cheap waistband extender to insert in between zips. Additionally try inserting contrasting thin triangular panels into the sides of existing tops for a kitsch bespoke look. Or use a nice piece of material that fits comfortably around your waist to create a bandeau. This will enable you to wear your normal tops right through pregnancy. You can also raid your partner’s wardrobe for T-shirts, shirts and sweaters. Chose clothes that you can layer – your pregnancy will go through three seasons, and it’s very expensive to buy separate clothes for each one. Ponchos are great for the winter.

pregnant woman holding box of body lotion

Anti-stretch mark cream: The vast majority of women will develop stretch marks on their breasts during pregnancy (see, ‘Timeline of Breast Changes in Pregnancy’). These are caused by the collagen beneath the skin tearing as it stretches to accommodate your enlarging body. There are numerous anti-stretch mark creams on the market, but despite what the manufacturers would have us believe, no cream applied to the surface of your skin can have much effect on what is happening to the deeper layers of collagen that lie well below the surface (Regan 2005).

Any of These Books: Not all parenting books are created equal, some actually sabotage the health of mothers and babies.

Car Seatbelt Extender: Pointless. Just put the lap part of your seatbelt below your bump and make sure the other part sits between your breasts.

Home Doppler: In many cases, these cause more stress for expectant mothers than relief. It can be difficult at times to find the fetus’ heart rate since the fetus moves around a lot. Also, the fetal heart rate normally has some variation to it, so I’ve seen mothers get very concerned when the heart rate is higher or lower than they’ve seen before.

Prenatal MP3 Player: Just sing. Your baby is comforted more by the sound of your voice than by any other sound.

Wooden Massage Tool: Human hands are better, particularly when attached to a hunk.

Calming Spritzer Spray: Use a cold flannel instead.

Wallpaper: When the nesting instinct kicks in and you find yourself dangling off the top of a stepladder like a mad woman, stay clear of wallpaper. Instead decorate the nursery walls with paint. Children’s tastes develop and it’s easier to repaint a room rather than repaper it. Also, children can’t resist tearing off unglued wallpaper. Select wipe-clean brands on paint.

Designer Hospital Gown: It’s a lot like your wedding dress: you’ll only wear it once, for a few hours, and by the end of the day it’ll just get covered in bodily fluids.

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Timeline of Childhood Illness

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Timeline of Childhood Illness

All children suffer from illness at some stage. As a parent, I understand the anxiety and fear that you can feel when your child is unwell. When you are left with a child and a range of life-threatening illnesses your mind can start to play tricks. Also, during the early years in particular, the same symptoms can mean different things. Vomiting is a good example of this. To give you a better idea of what to look out for, I have created this comprehensive timeline detailing the most common illnesses throughout the entire span of childhood, from birth to teens. Fully referenced with up-to-date research, it aims to dispel some of the anxieties you may have, describes symptoms and explain when best to seek medical advice.

Jump to age…

Newborn 1 Week 2 Weeks 1 Month 2 Months 3 Months
4 Months 5 Months 6 Months 7 Months 9 Months 10 Months
12 Months 14 Months 16 Months 18 Months 2 Years 3 Years
4 Years 5 Years 6 Years 7 Years 8 Years 9 Years
10 Years 11 Years 12 Years 13 Years 14 Years 15 Years

 

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Newborn:

  • Umbilical Cord Problems: After a baby is born, the umbilical cord, which connected the baby to the placenta, is cut. In the majority of cases, the cord stump heals without problems but it can become infected or a collection of scar tissue (called a granuloma) may form. Until the cord stump has finally healed, infection can occur as the moist area around it can harbour potentially harmful bacteria. The exact cause of granuloma is not known but it may be more likely to occur if healing takes longer than usual. They usually disappear on their own, however if you suspect infection, see your doctor who may prescribe an antibiotic cream.
  • Bloodshot Eyes: This is a harmless condition that occurs when there is trauma to the eyeball – often in the form of broken blood vessels – during vaginal delivery. Like a skin bruise, the discolouration disappears in a few days and does not indicate there has been any damage to your baby’s eyes (Murkoff 2010).
  • Erythema Neonatorum: It is common for newborns to develop this blotchy rash over the face and body. It is not known why it occurs, but it tends to get better within a few days without treatment (Kenny 2013).
  • Milk Allergy: Milk allergy is when your baby’s immune system reacts to proteins in milk. It is the most common childhood allergy, affecting between two per cent and seven per cent of babies. Babies who have eczema are more likely to suffer from it (Sicherer 2013). Your baby can take in milk protein through your breastmilk if you have drunk or eaten dairy produce, or she might react to cow’s milk-based formula milk. Babies can be allergic to casein in milk (the curd formed when milk turns sour), the whey (the watery part left when the curd is removed), or both. Symptoms include nausea, abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhoea. Breastfeeding mothers can alter their diet to address the symptoms (read two mothers’ stories here and here). Most children will have grown out of their milk allergy by the time they are three. Milk allergy is not to be confused with lactose intolerance which is when your baby has difficulty digesting the lactose, or the sugar, found in milk. This is much rarer than milk allergy.

  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis: This is inflammation of the conjunctiva, the transparent membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inner eyelids. Newborns sometimes develop bacterial conjunctivitis as a result of infection from the mother as they pass through the birth canal. Most cases of bacterial conjunctivitis are mild and do not require medical treatment as they get better within a few days. Several studies have shown that dispensing colostrum into the baby’s affected eye can speed up the recovery process (Singh et al 1982; Ibhanesebhor and Otobo 1996; Verd 2007; Baynham 2013).
  • Cephalhaematoma: This is the medical term which describes a fluid-filled swelling on the head when occurs in some babies. During delivery, one of the blood vessels that lies on the outside of the skull bones ruptures due to the twisting forces. When it bleeds the blood is trapped between the bone and its strong outside covering, which leaves a prominent fluid-filled lump. This lasts anywhere from one month to six months and is nothing to worry about (Green 2010).

  • Neonatal Jaundice: In jaundice, the skin and eyes have a yellowish tinge. It is common in newborns, effecting about 6 out of every 10 babies, and is not usually serious (NICE 2010). The yellow tinge is due to a build-up of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a waste product formed by the liver when red blood cells are broken down. Newborns have more red blood cells and the removal of bilirubin from the blood is slower than in adults as their livers are immature.
  • Hydrocele: Newborn baby boys are sometimes born with a hydrocele. This is a collection of fluid within the scrotum, the sac that encloses the testes. Many hydroceles improve with time, and often no treatment is required. If your son’s hydrocele has not disappeared by the age of 1 or is very large and causing discomfort, it can be surgically removed (Kenny 2013).
  • Hip Dislocation: One baby in about 250 is born with congenital hip dislocation (Valman 2013). In this condition, the head of the femur (thighbone) lies outside the socket of the pelvis or is unstable and is likely to slip out of position. Babies are screened for congenital hip dislocation soon after birth, and tests for the condition are included in routine check-ups during the first year of life. Congenital hip dislocation runs in families and is more common in girls than in boys (NHS 2006).
  • Hypospadias: In this congenital abnormality, which affects boys, the opening of the urethra is located on the underside of the penis rather than at the tip. Hypospadias is detected during the routine physical examination that is done on all newborn babies. It is usually corrected by an operation that is performed before a boy is 2 years of age (Bupa 2012).
  • Clubfoot: This is a congenital deformity, also known as talipes, in which the foot is twisted out of shape or position. Clubfoot affects three times more male than female babies, and in half of all cases, both feet are affected (NHS 2013). Postural clubfoot is caused in the womb when the position of the baby’s foot forces it to be compressed. Unusually large babies are prone to this. Structural clubfoot is caused by an inherited abnormality of the bones in the foot. Structural clubfoot will require treatment.
  • Hydrocele: This painless swelling of the scrotum occurs when fluid accumulates in the space around the testis. Hydroceles are very common in newborn babies, and they usually disappear without treatment by the age of 6 months (Chang et al 2010).
  • Tongue-Tie: One in 10 babies are born with tongue-tie, a condition which can prevent them from breastfeeding effectively (Dillner 2011). Tongue-tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a congenital oral anomaly which can decrease mobility of the tongue tip. It is caused by an unusually short, thick lingual frenulum, a membrane connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Tongue-tie varies in degree of severity from mild cases characterized by mucous membrane bands to complete ankyloglossia whereby the tongue is tethered to the floor of the mouth. If feeding is affected, the tongue-tie needs to be divided. This involves cutting the short, tight piece of skin that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. It is a simple and painless procedure that usually resolves feeding problems straight away.
  • Blue Baby: Babies may have mildly blue hands and feet, but this may not be a cause for concern. If their hands and feet turn a bit blue from cold, they should return to pink as soon as they are warm. Occasionally, the face, tongue, and lips may turn a little blue when the newborn is crying hard, but once he becomes calm, his color in these parts of the body should quickly return to normal. However, persistently blue skin coloring, especially with breathing difficulties and feeding difficulties, is a sign that the heart or lungs are not operating properly, and the baby is not getting enough oxygen in the blood. Immediate medical attention is essential
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Timeline of Breast Changes in Pregnancy

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Timeline of Breast Changes in Pregnancy

Whether or not you plan to breastfeed, your breasts will prepare themselves for nourishing your baby. The female breast, also referred to as the mammary gland, takes its name from the Latin word for breast – ‘mamma’. Throughout pregnancy your breasts will undergo subtle, and not so subtle, transformations. This timeline charts your breasts’ remarkable journey.

Note: This timeline uses the medical format for calculating pregnancy weeks. So for instance, you technically ovulate near what would be called week two of pregnancy, and your due date is week 40. Notice how breast changes to prepare for breastfeeding occur as early as pre-ovulation!

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Week 1:

  • During each menstrual cycle, maturation and the rapid growth of milk ducts and alveolar buds take place during the follicular and ovulatory phases.

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Timeline of Postpartum Recovery

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postpartum recovery

So you’ve just had a baby? Congrats! I bet you’re raring to get back to your aerobics class and daily jogs (huh? who are you telling to shut up?), but hold the sit-ups. Your body has its own timeline for recovery, and it’s important to take heed.

In less than a year, you conceived, developed and delivered a beautiful, living creature. To perform this feat your body underwent some tremendous changes. Even after birth, you’ll experience more.

Whether you had a vaginal delivery or caesarean section, this timeline is for you. Being informed of the process of postpartum recovery will help you to appreciate the phenomenal transformation your body is undergoing.

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Day 1:

  • You’re already 9 to 12 pounds lighter now that you’re no longer carrying a 6 to 8 pound baby, 1 or 2 pounds of placenta weight, and 2 pounds of blood and amniotic fluid.
  • The process of delivery has slowed the movement of food through the intestines, which may cause you to feel bloated or constipated.
  • After a vaginal delivery your vagina will be stretched open and may be swollen and bruised.
  • Vaginal bleeding as heavy as (and often heavier than) your menstrual period will occur. This is called lochia and is a byproduct of your uterus shrinking back into your pelvis and shedding the lining and any cells that are left from the placenta. This includes all the extra tissues, blood vessels, muscles and ligaments, which grew and developed during pregnancy, dissolving through a process of self-digestion and shrinking, called autolysis and involution (Tiran 2006). A sudden gush when you stand up in the first few days is normal. Because blood and the occasional clot are the predominant ingredients of lochia during these early days, your discharge can be quite red. Maternity towels, not tampons, should be used to absorb the flow. You have an open internal wound at the site where the placenta was attached to the uterine wall, and like any wound, this one is vulnerable to infection. Tampons could introduce bacteria.
  • Your uterus is shrinking rapidly in an effort to control bleeding and return to its pre-pregnancy state. You will experience abdominal cramps (afterpains) as your uterus contracts and shrinks (from about 1kg to just 50g) and makes its normal descent back into the pelvis. Breastfeeding will speed up this process, shrinking the uterus back to its normal size more quickly while pinching off exposed blood vessels at the site where the placenta separated from the uterus.
  • During pregnancy, your internal organs gradually shift around to make room for your growing baby. Now that your baby has suddenly gone from your uterus, your organs have to make their way back to their prepregnancy position. This can make you feel like your organs are just hanging in space. This feeling will pass over the next week or so, as your abdominal muscles regain some of their tone and your organs shift back into place.
    • Aside from the obvious lack of sleep and aftermath of gruelling labour, low potassium levels can contribute to a feeling of exhaustion. Eat plenty of potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, tomatoes, dried apricots, and plain yogurt.
  • You are likely to experience perineal discomfort, pain, numbness, if you had a vaginal delivery (especially if you had stitches).
  • You will experience discomfort sitting and walking if you had an episiotomy or a repair of a tear. Walking is, however, the best activity during this immediate postnatal period, and a gentle daily walk is recommended (Coulson 2012).
  • Difficulty urinating will occur. Some women feel no urge at all; others feel the urge but are unable to satisfy it. However it is essential that you empty your bladder within six to eight hours of delivery to avoid urinary tract infection, loss of muscle tone in the bladder from over-distension, and bleeding (because an overfull bladder can get in the way of your uterus as it attempts the normal postpartum contractions that staunch bleeding).
  • You may have haemorrhoids continued from pregnancy, or new from pushing. These are various veins in your ass that can be sore, itchy, bleed and generally make you feel your ass has turned inside out.
  • All-over achiness especially if you did a lot of pushing.
  • You may have swelling in your legs and feet. Reduce it by keeping your feet elevated when possible.
  • You may have bloodshot eyes from pushing.
  • Sweating and lots of it, particularly at night.
  • You can shower or take a bath as usual, but always use mild, unscented soap or just water when washing the perineum.
  • Bladder control may be practically non-existent in these first forty-eight hours or so, and decidedly dodgy for some time after. The cradle of muscles that supports your bladder and womb has been stretched by pregnancy and childbirth and it needs tightening up. Answer: do pelvic floor exercises (otherwise known as kegels).
  • Exercise: The pelvic floor muscles are the ones that you use when you want to urinate or defecate, and are the muscles you used to push your baby out if you had a vaginal birth. Strengthen the muscles by contracting the area around your vagina and anus. Hold it for 30 seconds. Do 8 contractions each time. Don’t worry if you cannot feel yourself doing them; the area will be numb at this early stage.
  • Caesarean section: Most women will require strong and effective analgesia for the first 48 hours after the operation.
  • Caesarean section: Within six to eight hours after delivery, your carers will be there to help you to sit up, get you sitting on the side of the bed, and start you walking short distances. Becoming mobile as quickly as possible is the best advice for post-cesarean mothers. The surgery and the anesthesia can cause fluids to accumulate, which may lead to pneumonia, so movement is very important.
  • Caesarean section: The lochia is frequently less heavy after a c-section, because the surgeon usually cleans out the uterine cavity with swabs before stitching up the walls of the uterus, thereby removing blood clots, pieces of membrane, placenta and other debris. Nonetheless, you will have lochia for several weeks and may pass small blood clots and experience some after pains when breastfeeding.

  • Caesarean section: The catheter that was inserted before your caesarean will usually be removed once you can walk to the bathroom. The IV line you had inserted before the operation will be kept in place until your ifntestines begin to work again. You will know this is happening when you start to experience rumbling in your stomach and gas pains. Ease the gas pains by avoiding carbonated drinks, or drinks that are very hot or cold.
  • Exercise: For mothers who have had a caesarean, medical professionals recommend gentle coughing to stimulate the area around the stitches. This stimulation will promote healing around the wound. Do this several times a day.
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Timeline of a Breastfed Baby

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timeline22

All babies reach milestones on their own developmental timeline. A multitude of factors influence the rate of each baby’s individual growth such as genetics, form of delivery, gestation at delivery, medical issues, effectiveness of the placenta prior to delivery, and so on.

However there is a persistent and understandable demand from first-time mothers for information on what is considered ‘the norm’. This is particularly so with breastfeeding, as understanding breastmilk intake is more complex than looking at the oz mark on a bottle. This is a topic rife with large-scale confusion, especially as breastfeeding mothers are in the minority and can often find themselves, and their health workers, comparing their baby with formula-fed babies.

Breastfed babies are not the same as formula fed babies. One is fed the milk of its own species; the other is fed the milk of an entirely different species, so it is unsurprising that stark differences can be observed.

What follows is a timeline detailing the journey of the average breastfed baby. I hope it will prove to be a useful and reassuring tool for new mothers.

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At Birth:

timeline21

  • Given enough uninterrupted time skin-to-skin, your baby may move towards your breast and begin feeding without assistance.
  • The first feed helps to stabilise baby’s blood sugars and protect baby’s gut (NCT).
  • Most babies will nurse better at this time than they will for the next couple of days. Take advantage of this. “A full-term healthy newborn’s instinct to breastfeed peaks about 20 to 30 minutes after birth if he is not drowsy from drugs or anesthesia given to his mother during labour and delivery” (La Leche League). Breastfeeding in the delivery room or the recovery room after a caesarean section lays the hormonal groundwork for your future supply of mature milk.
  • If you experience greater than expected blood loss while giving birth or have retained placenta inside your uterus after birth, this can lead to milk supply problems.
  • Make sure that the midwives are aware that no formula is to be given to your baby unless strictly necessary and not without your consent.
  • Your baby will be weighed following his birth.
  • Your baby’s first feeds are about quality, not quantity. At the moment, and for the first few days after birth, your breasts are producing small quantities of colostrum (about 3-4 teaspoons daily). This is a concentrated clear yellow secretion which is high in protein, fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, as well as antibodies that protect your baby from bacterial and viral illnesses.
  • Because they don’t know how to breastfeed efficiently yet, newborns sometimes nurse for fifteen or twenty minutes (Gonzalez 2014).
  • As your baby’s mouth is so small at this age, you may need to squeeze your breast (think of holding a sandwich) so that your baby can latch on to the nipple more easily. Once your baby is latched, you can let go.
  • Your newborn should not go longer than three hours between feedings. However you may find that he is very sleepy for the first few days and may not be interested in feeding. If this happens, you will need to wake him up. Undressing him and giving skin to skin contact will help wake him up and encourage him to feed.
  • As you feed, the hormone oxytocin will help your uterus regain its tone after birth. This process also protects against excessive bleeding as you recover from childbirth. You may feel mild menstrual-like cramps whilst your uterus shrinks
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Frugal Housewife: 6 Tips to Save on Costs of Raising Children

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I think we can all agree that having a child is a blessing. As many people would call it, our children are referred to as our “bundles of joy” because they always put a smile on our faces.

But even though that is the case, raising children can be more challenging, especially if you are still a first-time parent.

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average cost of raising a child in this day and age would be more or less $240,000. That number doesn’t even include their college education!

And, with the rising costs of today’s commodities, it can be pretty daunting and scary at the same time.

Despite the scare of the total costs, there are certain things you can do to get by. In this article, I will go over some tips on how you can save money while you’re raising your child.

  1. Budgeting is Key

As you’ve read earlier, the cost of raising a child up to college is pretty high. This is where budgeting is key to your survival.

You have to put in the essential things on your list first. This includes your bills, loans, and more importantly, the food.

After that is factored in, you can then add your child’s necessities such as clothing, cribs, and other accessories (and yes, this includes toys).

The reason why budgeting is so important if you want to save money is because it allows you to pinpoint exactly what you need to spend cash on.

This is also to avoid unnecessary expenses and it also helps you know how much you will save by the end of the month.

  1. Do Not Buy Brand New Stuff Often

If you’re so accustomed to buying brand new stuff often, then it is probably time to change that. You see, baby clothes and items can pretty much burn a hole in your pocket, especially if you’re not careful when it comes to the price.

The thing here is to ask your friends and family if there are baby clothes that they can either give you or sell to you for a bargain price.

Babies can grow at a much faster rate than you’ve expected and new clothes can, well, be obsolete in just a matter of a few weeks or months.

That is why buying used baby clothes can save you a lot of cash. If your friends and family do not have used baby clothing, you can also look at some sites online.

  1. Search for a Good Education

Good education need not be expensive. There are public schools that offer great education if you just know where to look.

If you are adamant about taking your child to a private school, there are still some things that you can do to cover the costs.

You can either apply your child to a scholarship program or you can even get an insurance for it.

But, if both of the above options are not enticing to you, then perhaps you can get some money through cash advance loans.

  1. Start Saving Now

When you are raising a child, it is always best to start saving money now. Ideally, you should save 20-30% of your total income per month so that you can pretty much have money whenever you need it.

Also, apply for some insurance so that whenever your child needs medical help, for example, you can slash the total costs of it.

  1. Get a Part-Time Job

The prices of basic goods nowadays are ever-increasing and although both you and your spouse are having day jobs, it might not be enough to cover for everything, especially when it comes to your child’s education.

Getting a part-time job is a great solution. You can work from home or you can even try freelancing if that is your thing.

  1. Avoid Daycare

If you want to save some huge dough, I advise that you do not avail of daycare services. I know that most parents these days are busy, but avoiding daycare services can really help you save a lot of money.

Maybe you can talk it with your spouse and compromise a little bit. I am not saying that you avoid it entirely; what I am saying is if it can be avoided, do it.

Conclusion

Raising children in this day and age can be quite difficult if you do not know the ins and the outs. Fortunately, I have outlined some things you can do to get by and save money for your child’s future.

 

Why Sports and Outdoor Activities are Important for Children’s Development?

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ALL HANDS IMAGERY
090813-N-0413R-402 YOKOSUKA, Japan (Aug. 8, 2009) Dependent children of service members and Department of Defense civilians play at a child development center at Naval Activities Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)

In this day and age, children are bombarded with different technological advancements in an earlier life. The moment they appreciate moving pictures, some parents are quick in introducing smartphones, tablets, TVs, computers, laptops, and other gadgets. While an electronic device isn’t bad for itself, it may encourage children to stay indoors and forget about playing outside the house.

However, do you know that there are different benefits that your children may obtain from engaging in sports and outdoor activities? In this article, you will learn about how outdoor activities can contribute to your child’s development.

ALL HANDS IMAGERY
090813-N-0413R-402
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Aug. 8, 2009) Dependent children of service members and Department of Defense civilians play at a child development center at Naval Activities Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)

Physical development

According to one statistics, 1 out of 3 children in the United States is considered overweight or obese. Part of the cause of this problem is that more and more kids are staying in their homes and don’t get the necessary exercise that they need.

Engaging in physical sports and doing outdoor activities help children burn calories and spend their extra energy. Not only that, but sports allow children stay fit and get rid of toxins from their body.

Since children are still in their developmental stage, playing outdoor games allows them to improve their motor skills, hand and eye coordination, balance, and overall performance. Furthermore, physical activities promote stronger muscular, skeletal, immune, respiratory, and cardiovascular system.

Emotional development

Children who engage in sports are more developed in terms of their emotional intelligence. Playing with each other gives children the opportunity to know how to properly handle winning and losing. Little by little, they grow in emotional maturity as they face different situations that allow them to exercise controlling emotions. By playing outside and playing with other kids, they learn how to stay positive when things don’t go their way, get more involved in solving problems, and trying to empathize with other children.

Moreover, sports and outdoor activities are ideal “teaching moments” for parents or guardians. It gives parents the chance to impart valuable lessons and teach their children how to grow as mature individuals.

Encouraging your kids to play outside does not have to be too time-consuming or expensive. Of course, if you have the extra time and money, then by all means, go the extra mile. However, you can do some simple things to help your kids appreciate the outdoors. For example, you can bring them to a park, gym, or sports center near you. You can buy them a bike or you can take them on a picnic, invite some relatives and friends, grab some tarps, snacks, toys, and before you know it, you are already having a wonderful time playing together.

Social development

Most smartphone game apps today don’t encourage team play, but rather they allow children to just shrink back to their comfort zone and play within the confines of their smartphone or tablet screen.

Outdoor activities and sports are different. It enables children to meet other children and develop a lasting friendship. Not only that but playing as a team develops the ability of kids on how to relate to others. Team sports is a perfect avenue where children learn how to work successfully as a group. They also learn teamwork, leadership, and communication skills.

Mental development

Almost all sports require children to think on their feet and practice certain skills that allow them to become more intelligent.

Among the most important skills developed in playing outdoor games is critical thinking. It is something that no school lecture can effectively teach. In order to develop critical thinking, the child should actually be out there, moving his/her body and thinking how to solve problems in a timely manner.

Take for example the basketball game. Children quickly assess every unique situation, calculate every move, know where their teammates are, and determine the best move based on those pieces of information, and all of these mental processes have to happen within just a matter of few seconds.

Moreover, allowing children to come out and play gives them the opportunity to appreciate nature, breathe in fresh air, and explore the outdoors which also contribute to the kids’ mental development.

Final Thoughts

Time and again, clinical studies and even your experience tell you how important it is for children to engage in sports and outdoor activities.

Engaging in outdoor activities builds the right foundation for children so that they become more productive and well-rounded adults in the future. These activities help children improve their physical, emotional, social, and mental health. Thus, it is essential to give children the opportunity explore the outdoors, play with other kids, and expose them to real-life situations.

 

Pregnancy Beauty Facts

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