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Your life with a baby

How to Make Bath time Fun for Babies

Table of Contents

How do you bathe your baby? Here we will show you some tips.

Bathing your baby may not be the happiest hour of the day. Maybe the little one is scared of the water because of a previous bad experience. Or it could be just getting their hair washed that is terrifying.

Rule number one is of course to make the baby or toddler feel safe:

  1. Don’t rush anything
  2. If they are scared of the water, or getting their face wet, your reaction is key!
  3. Talk in a slow calming voice, with a gentle smile on your face.

Respect that your toddler might be genuinely scared! So, understand and respect their limits. By that we mean don’t wash their hair with force while holding them. That will only make the problem worse.

Try this instead:

  1. Show the child that when you put water on your own face, its ok. Let the child put some on you face and laugh out loud when they do it.
  2. Make sure that their face doesn’t get wet at all. That may call for a washing cloth or a towel over the face while you rinse their hair.
  3. Use a very gentle waterjet. Maybe is necessary to use a cup instead of the shower head, to control the water.
  4. If the child gets scared, show you understand, and comfort the child.

With that out of the way, how can you make bath time fun for you baby or toddler? Well, there are several things you can do. It includes all-time favorite bath like making bubbles or new fun tricks like glow water, natural bath bombs, and tear-free baby shampoos.

The fact is that a fun time helps create positive emotions related to bathing in your child. That way, your children develop healthy habits and hygiene.

Here’s how you can make bath time fun for babies and toddlers.

Bubble Bath

It is the simplest and most convenient way to make baths more fun for toddlers. Add a bubble bath in the tub to create foams and bubbles, and let your kids enjoy splashing around. Bubble baths also have a pleasant fragrance that feels nice on the senses. It also insulates the water keeping it warm for an extended period.

However, make sure it is toddler-friendly and doesn’t have any chemicals that irritate the eyes and skin.

Bath Play Dough

Make bathing more inviting for your kids by including fun activities like playing with playdough in the bathtub. The dough is super easy to make, only requires corn starch, coconut oil, essential oil, food coloring. Mix it all and knead it to form a soft ball. Your kids can entertain themselves by making fun objects while taking a bath.

Glow In The Dark Bath Paint

This activity is super entertaining that you might feel like joining your toddlers. Make glow-in-the-dark path paints by mixing shaving cream and neon paints in an old tin or bowl. Dim the lights and use paintbrushes or bare hands to create fun caricatures and patterns.

Ensure to use washable and non-toxic glow-in-the-dark paints. Some of them are non-washable and can sit for years. Minimize the hassle by using water-based paints that can wash off with soap and water.

Colorful Bath Bombs

Kids have a wild imagination. Let it be of use by adding colorful bath bombs to the bathtub. Green bathwater resembling a monster’s swamp is all it will take for them to jump right in save their favorite toys. You can use store-bought natural bath bombs or DIY one by yourself. Some bath bombs use artificial dyes that cause allergies and rashes.

In that case, make one yourself by mixing baking soda, corn starch, Epsom salt, essential oils, water, and food coloring. Blend them well and add the mixture to a mold. Let them rest for a day to completely dry. Add one in your toddler’s bath and have them enjoy their bath.

While keeping bath time fun, it is also essential for parents to use toddler-friendly bath products. We provide minimally processed products to soothe and nourish the baby’s skin. Our products range includes organic baby shampoos and baby

Categories
nutrition and cooking

Healthy food for babies

What are healthy food for babies? Read this article if you want the best from the Danish general nitrutional guidelines.

Variety

It is important for everyone – small children as well – to eat a balanced diet. This is because all the vitamins, minerals, and other substances we need are available in very varied amounts in different foods. By eating a little bit of everything, you have the best chance of getting your needs met. You can only call your diet balanced when you switch between different foods within each of these four groups:

  1. Bread, grains, potatoes, rice, pasta

Serve different types of bread and switch between rye and wheat bread. Serve potatoes almost every day, as they contribute several important nutrients. During the transition, potatoes are part of the mashed dinners. For older children, potatoes are part of dinner, cut into bite-sized pieces. It is preferable to serve boiled potatoes rather than fried, or potatoes cooked with cream or cheese. Switch it up once in a while with wholegrain pasta or brown rice as part of a hot meal.

  1. Fruits, vegetables

Offer many different types of fruits and vegetables in many different ways, so the child becomes familiar with the different tastes. Use even those you yourself may not like as much.

  1. Meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs

Lunch and dinner should feature either meat or fish for a sufficiently iron-rich diet. Switch between different types of meat and between different fatty and lean types of fish. Eggs and boiled, dried beans (and other dried legumes) can be part of a varied diet from 6 months of age. Cheese can also be part of the child’s food, but only in small amounts. You can’t serve sour milk products until the child is 9 months old.

Children who eat a vegetarian diet and who continue to be breastfed during the transition should take an iron supplement in drop form, about 8 mg a day until age 1.

  1. A bit of fat

A bit of fat, such as butter, or healthy oil, is also part of a balanced diet, but here the amounts are small compared to other food groups. Vary your fats, but most should be vegetable types such as olive oil, canola oil, avocato oil or walnut oil.

Quantity

How much the child eats depends on his or her age, body size, and activity level. Respect that it is up to the child to decide whether they is hungry and how much they wants to eat.

Physical activity

It is important for the child to have opportunities to be active. Very young children need to spend time on a blanket on the floor, rolling around and practicing crawling. They need opportunities to practice standing and walking. They should practice jumping into the laps of adults and they should spend time playing in the fresh air. Allow slightly older children to walk to and from the car, the bike, and the stroller, when you pick them up at day care. Allow movement to be part of your daily lives. This is especially important for slightly older children. Choose games with movement – both inside and out. It builds good habits.

Eat fruit and plenty of vegetables

Small children must eat fruit and veggies every day, but not in the same quantities as older children and adults. Offer fruit and veggies with most meals of the day, and switch between different types. Choose seasonal fruits and veggies – they are cheaper, and they often offer the best quality.

Hard vegetables should first be boiled, shredded, or finely chopped – e.g. carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Soft vegetables can be served raw – such as peas, corn, peeled tomatoes cut into small pieces, peeled cucumber, grapes cut the long way, and avocado.

Many young children get enough fruit, while they have a harder time with vegetables, especially the firm ones. By serving many different kinds of vegetables and fruit, you will probably also prevent your child from becoming finicky. Remember that you should also offer things you might not like very much, so your child has the opportunity to try everything.

Vegetables and fruits contain many of the minerals and vitamins needed to keep the body healthy and well. Furthermore, vegetables and fruit contain relatively few calories, and especially the coarser vegetables, such as peas, onions, broccoli, root vegetables, and cabbage, contain a lot of dietary fiber.

Puréed vegetables and puréed fruit are part of the transition period. Once the child starts to eat food with the rest of the family, make sure you continue to serve the child a variety of fruits and veggies.

Eat more fish

(but hold off on certain types)

As with older children and adults, you will want to offer the child fish twice a week as a main dish or several times a week in sandwiches. This could be more often, if you really like fish. It is important to offer the child fish, even if you are not fond of fish personally.

Serve a variety of fish. Eat both fatty fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel − and lean fish like cod, pollock, and plaice. We recommend that you don’t give the child canned tuna until after the age of 3, and no more than one regular-sized can of tuna each week. Avoid cans with white tuna or albacore tuna. Tuna steaks and other large predatory fish should not be given to children younger than 14.

Fish contain a lot of important nutrients, such as fatty acids which are important for brain development.

Choose whole grains

(but also other cereal products for young children)

About half of the child’s bread and cereal should be whole grain (preferably rye bread and oatmeal). The remainder can be a variety of other wholegrain breads and finer white bread.

Always choose bread that ‘sticks to your ribs’, i.e. bread that weighs heavy in your hand. However, small children should not eat bread with visible whole or half grains.

Small children benefit from foods high in fiber like oatmeal or rye bread porridge, fruit and veggies, and various kinds of rye bread and whole-wheat bread. But the dietary fiber content shouldn’t be as high as for adults, as the food will fill the stomach to a point where it may be difficult for the child to eat enough food to meet his or her energy requirements.

Keep in mind that the child should not eat rice or rice products every day because of the arsenic content.

Choose lean meats and lunchmeats

(but also higher-fat options for young children)

Let the child join the family in eating food with lean meat incorporated. Meat contains proteins, minerals, and iron. When you choose lean meat, you get the great nutrients from the meat, but less saturated fat. Therefore, choose meat and meat products with no more than 10% fat.

Children under 2 years of age need a little more dietary fat than older children and adults, however. Therefore, you can switch in some slightly fattier meat products for the child, such as braunschweiger. Remember to vary the ways you prepare the meat, and keep in mind that it shouldn’t be fried or grilled until it has a dark crust.

Choose lean dairy products

(but not until 2 years of age)

Small children need slightly higher fat content in dairy products than older children and adults. Choose the type and amount appropriate for the child’s age.

Dairy products contain both protein and many different vitamins and minerals. Among other things, they are important sources for dietary calcium. But dairy products also contain saturated fat. When you choose the lean varieties of dairy products over the high-fat ones, you benefit from great nutrients while getting less saturated fat.

Eat less saturated fat

Saturated fat is found especially in butter and margarine, milk, cheese, and meat.

For children under the age of 2 − and especially under the age of 1 – fat shouldn’t be limited in the same way it should for others. To ensure normal growth in the child, the following is recommended for the first year of life:

  • adding fats and formula to homemade porridge and puréed vegetables
  • giving milk with a high fat content, such as breastmilk and formula.

It is best if the fat in porridge and purée isn’t always butter, since the child already receives quite a bit of this type of fat through breastmilk. Provide variety with other butter-type products, as well as plant oils like corn oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, and olive oil.

Reduce the family’s overall consumption of saturated fat – including for small children older than 1 year. Therefore, you should primarily choose plant oils, such as canola oil and olive oil, and liquid margarine, and only occationally butter or regular margarine.

Older children and adults should spread fats sparingly or not use them on bread at all. Small children should have fat on their bread or in sandwich spreads, especially while the child is less than a year old. Fry meat and vegetables in oil rather than butter, and discard pan drippings. Dietary fat contributes to providing the body with vital fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins. But too much saturated fat is unhealthy in the long term.

Eat food with less salt

You should use salt sparingly in the family’s food.

In the baby’s food in particular, the salt content must be limited, because the child’s kidneys are not fully developed at birth. Besides, you won’t want the child to develop a preference for foods that taste salty. Don’t add salt to the first foods the child gets. Once the child is a little older, they can eat the family’s food, as long as vegetables and the rest of the food are just lightly salted.

Once the child starts to eat the family’s food, they, like the rest of the family, will get most salt from products like bread, lunchmeat, cheese, fast food, and TV-dinners.

Buy foods with less salt, look for the keyhole label, check the labels, and choose the product with the least amount of salt. Cut back on salt in your cooking by tasting the food before salting. Use leftovers from dinner in sandwiches the following day, that way you avoid the salt in storebought lunchmeats. Don’t put salt on the table – to avoid salting your food just out of habit.

When the family eats less salt, you can lower blood pressures and prevent cardio-vascular disorders

Eat less sugar

Candy, ice cream, Cool-Aid, and soda pop contain a lot of sugar and no nutrients.

Getting too many sweets reduces the possibility of getting enough vitamins and minerals and other substances contained in foods. Furthermore, sugary drinks increase the risk of obesity and cavities.

Cookies – including sandwich cookies, chocolate wafers, etc. – as well as certain yogurts with fruit and fruit quark for children contain a lot of sugar when compared to other ingredients, and they should be considered cakes or candy. The same is true for very sugary breakfast cereals.

A little sugar on things like oatmeal or in puréed fruit can be a good idea if it facilitates the child eating the oatmeal or the fruit. This does not apply to off-the-shelf porridge products, however, as these are already very sweet.

Drink water

Teach the child to quench his or her thirst with water from very young. Drink water instead of things like soda, juice, and Cool-Aid.

Water from the faucet is fine, but let the faucet run for a little bit before filling the cup. In Denmark, water from the faucet is clean.

The body needs water for optimal function. Water covers the need for liquids without contributing unnecessary calories.

Artificially sweetened drinks can damage teeth with acid, as can sugary drinks, and artificially sweetened products may contribute to destroying the natural appetite regulation by making us used to everything having to taste sweet. Therefore, artificially sweetened drinks are not an equal alternative to clean, cold water.

Categories
nutrition and cooking

Milk and other beverages

Milk to baby – how much and when? Read on! 

Until the child is a year old, they need breastmilk or formula. From the age of 1, the child can drink lowfat milk from a cup. From about 5 months of age, you can supplement with water in a cup for the child.

Milk to baby – from age 0 to 1 year

The recommendation is to breastfeed the child exclusively until about 6 months of age.

It is also recommended to continue breastfeeding after the child has started to eat other foods and until the age of 1. Perhaps even longer, if mother and child are both benefitting.

As the child is breastfed less, they needs to drink formula until the age of 1.

How much milk a day?

From the age of 6 months and up to 1 year, milk continues to be an important part of the child’s nutrition. Even if they have started to eat more food. The amount of milk depends on how much food the child is eating. But milk needs to be part of the meals throughout the day.

At the age of 9 months, however, the combined amount of milk should not exceed ¾ liters per day. That includes everything the child gets in terms of breastmilk, formula, and sour milk products.

From the age of 1, you should decrease the combined amount of milk to about 3.5-5 dl per day, so the milk won’t spoil the child’s appetite for food. The content of milk in the child’s food should be counted as part of the combined amount of milk.

Milk to baby – From 9 months: sour milk products

Once the child is 9 months old, you can start to offer a bit of sour milk products, i.e. no more than ½ dl a day. Give full-fat soured milk, yogurt, or A38. These sour milk products contain about 3.5 % fat and no more than 3.5 % protein.

Do not give children under age 2 high-protein sour milk products such as skyr, fromage frais, junket, ylette, and cottage cheese.

Limit sour milk products with fruit. They have a high sugar content and are more like a dessert than actual food.

When nearing the age of 1, the amount of sour milk products can be increased from ½ to 1 dl each day.

Milk in food

When making porridge or purée during the transition, you need to add breastmilk or formula.

From 9 months of age, you can add a little cow’s milk to puréed fruit, food, or in porridge, no more than 1 dl a day. From the time the child starts to eat the family’s food, it is fine to serve gravy, meatballs, lasagna, etc. even though you have added cow’s milk.

Read also the article Baby led weaning – when and how to start

Milk to baby – from age 1 to 2 years

Lowfat milk

From age 1 to about age 2, the child should primarily drink lowfat milk and otherwise eat the foods recommended for the rest of the family. By drinking lowfat milk, the child gets sufficient energy without getting too much fat. Also, the milk is no longer as critical, because the child is getting more of many other foods. Some children may need time to get used to the taste of cow’s milk after only drinking formula.

Sour milk products

If the child gets sour milk products, the following are recommended:

  • Lowfat soured milk, yogurt, or A38. These are sour milk products containing about 1.5% fat and no more than 3.5% protein.
  • Hold off on skyr, fromage frais, junket, ylette, and cottage cheese until after the child turns 2, as the protein content is too high.
  • Limit sour milk products with fruit due to the high sugar content. It is better to add fresh or boiled fruit to sour milk products yourself.

How much milk a day?

From the age of 1, the total amount of dairy – i.e. drinking milk and sour milk products – should be about 3.5-5 dl a day. That way, there is still room for food. With about 3.5 dl milk and dairy products a day at age 1, it is easier to keep the diet within the recommended allowances.

If the child does not get milk or dairy products – due to lactose intolerance or for other reasons – a 500 mg calcium supplement is recommended. Calcium supplements are available in both tablet form and in effervescent form. If the child takes the supplement in tablet form, they need to be crushed until the child is 18 months old because of the risk of choking.

If the child gets more than about 5 dl (½ liter) milk and dairy products a day from age 1, they risk being deficient in important nutrients, because the overall diet becomes unbalanced.

Milk to baby – from age 2

Nonfat or 1% milk

From about age 2, the child should drink nonfat, 1%, or buttermilk. The child should now be getting the same dietary fat content through food and beverages as adults and older children. However, some children may need to continue with lowfat milk up until the age of 3. Talk to your pediatrician or your home health nurse if you are unsure about which type of milk your child needs. Sour milk products should be nonfat or lowfat.

Water and other beverages

Cold water is the best thirst-quencher and drinking enough of it is critical to your wellbeing. The child can drink cold water from a cup, once they start to eat food.

The water should be from the cold tap. There is a greater risk of undesirable substances in water from the hot tap. From 4 months of age, the child can drink water that is not boiled first. Always run the water for a little while before filling the cup.

Up until 6 months of age, it is just a matter of offering small amounts of water to teach the child to drink from a cup. Later, you can offer water when the child is thirsty throughout the day, and perhaps a bit at mealtime. The child’s regulation of hunger and thirst is very sensitive and should be trusted.

Juice

Wait as long as possible before giving juice. It is better to teach the child that drinking water is great.

Diluted juice should only be offered on special occasions, such as when the child is sick. This applies from the age of 1-3 years old as well.

You should not offer juice or other sweetened drinks in a bottle, because this can cause cavities. This is also why the bottle should be used only for formula, pumped breastmilk, and water.

Fruit juice contains both sugar and acid, making it harmful for teeth. Besides, it can easily replace real food. Commercially produced vegetable juice can contain disproportionate amounts of salt and is not recommended.

Soy, rice, oat, and almond milks

Soy, rice, oat, and almond milks are not milk at all and cannot be used like formula or as equivalent alternatives to cow’s milk.

Soy milk cannot be used until the age of 2, assuming the child is eating a balanced diet and growing normally, but it can be used in small amounts when cooking, starting when the child is a year old. Some types of soy milk have added calcium, containing as much calcium as cow’s milk – read the label. Soy milk has a protein content that is roughly equivalent to cow’s milk, but it has a lower natural content of vitamins and minerals. Soy contains a lot of isoflavonoids, i.e. substances with subtle estrogen-like functions. More information is needed about the shortterm and longterm effects of a high intake of these substances in early childhood, both for girls and boys.

Rice milk is not recommended for children because of the arsenic content.

Oat, almond, and rice milk are not appropriate as a replacement for milk and breastmilk, but they may be used in smaller amounts when cooking for people with lactose intolerance, such as in casseroles and sauces. These beverages contain very little protein and contain no natural vitamins and minerals.

Categories
Your babys health

Baby Massage: Benefits and Techniques Backed by Science

Baby massage is an intrinsic part of an infant’s growth and overall development. The mothers who are managing this therapeutic task are fond of using different baby-friendly oils. They don’t even use any baby oil. In fact, they use the ones that provide maximum benefits.

But if it really were that important for the growth of a baby, then who would be better prepared than the parents of the new-born child? Of course, preparedness comes naturally. However, have you ever wondered, what’s more to baby massage than its usage as therapy and the parent-child relationship?

For all the curious parents out there who want to understand the importance of baby massage. How does it actually work? What are its benefits? What does science say about baby massage? This write-up is for you. Read on to find out everything science says about baby massage.

Here are The Benefits of Baby Massage Backed by Science

  • Baby Massage Reduces the Possibilities of Jaundice
  • Baby Massage Reduces Stress
  • Baby Massage May Help Improve Learning Skills
  • Baby Massage Strengthens Infant-Mother Relationship
  • Baby Massage Helps Improve Sleep
  • Baby Massage Promotes Good Digestion

Baby massages have been a part of human life since time immemorial. You must have heard your grandmother talking about it, medical health professionals giving advice on baby massage, and advertisements showcasing mothers massaging their babies as a way to market baby oils.

So, pretty much everyone is familiar with the concept of baby massage. But there are various other nuances associated with a baby massage that we often miss out on. For instance, baby massage can help stimulate weight gain. In a study published in 2001, the authors revealed that massage therapy facilitates weight gain in infants.

The study was a compilation of several lab studies that documented a 31 to 47% increased weight gain in newborns compared to the other medical treatment available. Furthermore, the authors of the study explained that a 15-minute therapy session for over ten days can work wonders in the case of new-born babies.

Although the study failed to explain the underlying relationship between baby massage and weight gain, the results of the study established that baby massage is therapeutic in nature. The results also exclaimed that baby massage is directly related to:

  • Increased hormone production
  • Increases absorption power
  • Increased protein synthesis
  • Improves gastric motility
  • Decreases cortisol levels

Overall, the study proves baby massage to be quite effective. The only exception, in this case, is that further in-depth research is required to understand the behavioral and genetic effects of this baby massage therapy on newly born infants. That said, let us look in detail at other reasons that make baby massage so important.

Baby Massage Reduces the Possibilities of Jaundice

In a 2015 study conducted on 56 enrolled patients, where 29 neonates were examined under a controlled environment and 27 in the experimental group, It was found that early
infant massage can help reduce bilirubin levels. The study also concluded that baby massage can help increase defecation frequency in newborns receiving phototherapy for jaundice.

During the study, the neonates received a massage for three days. On the third day, the massage group showed increased defecation frequency and lowers levels of bilirubin. In contrast, the controlled group did not show any signs of improvement. Thus, stating that baby massage may help with lower jaundice levels in newborn babies than those who do not receive a massage at all.

Baby Massage Reduces Stress

This one’s a given. For ages, people have used massage as a way to reduce headaches and stress. Not only do we use massage to alleviate stress but people often use it as a way to release harmful toxins out of the body.

Newborns are no different. Studies show that baby massage can actually help alleviate stress in neonates. According to a research paper published in the Journal of Perinatology, baby massage improved HRV (heart rate variability) and ANS (autonomic nervous system) function in infants.

This study was again conducted between two groups – the controlled group and the group that received body massage twice a day for three weeks. The group of 27-32 weeks neonates showed significant improvement and responded well to exogenous stressors.

As a result, the study speculated that it’s quite possible that infants that receive massage most likely will develop a strengthened ANS function over time compared to the babies who receive no massage during the initial weeks.

Baby Massage May Help Improve Learning Skills

Learning skills, too, have a connection with learning skills. Here’s a study that will help you learn how massages will improve the learning abilities of your infant. This study was published in the late ’90s and the subject was given a 15-minute massage before giving the WPPSI subtest. These tests are ideally conducted to understand the learning abilities of a child.

So in the test, the child performed better on the Block Design and Mazes after receiving a 15 minutes massage. The results revealed thatperformance, accuracy, and concentration enhances when a test is followed by a massage.

To put things into perspective here’s another study published in the Infant Behavior and Development journal. Where four-month-old-infants received body massages for a consistent period. And, the results of the study revealed that infants who received an 8-minute massage responded well to audiovisual habituation tasks.

In contrast, other infants did not show any response of recovery from habituation during the test. So, looking at both the studies mentioned above, it is perhaps safe to say that baby massage helps improve cognitive skills in neonates.

Baby Massage Strengthens Infant-Mother Relationship

Not so long ago traditions such as mother and child separation after birth were practiced extensively. And to fully understand this concept, the authors conducted a study on the tradition to understand how it helps improve the relationship between mother and child.

According to the findings of the study, skin-to-skin contact through breastfeeding for 20 to 120 minutes right after birth positively influenced the bond between mother and child one year later as compared to the routines that involve infant and mother separation.

This means that baby massage can actually help improve the bond between mother and infant. Not only this, but several studies associate baby massage with mother and new-born relationships.

These studies have been published in the past few years and most of them reveal that baby massage has a positive effect on the overall development of a new-born. 

Baby Massage Helps Improve Sleep

According to a study published by Warwick University, baby massage not only helps improve sleep but also lowers stress levels. This study looked at a total of nine studies covering 598 newborns. And the results clearly indicated that infants who received massage slept better and cried less.
In addition to this, the authors of the study revealed that regular massage increases melatonin production. In other words, massage helps improve sleep in infants because melatonin helps infants sleep properly. 

Baby Massage Promotes Good Digestion

Because babies have an underdeveloped internal system, new-born babies can’t burn on their own. This causes belly discomfort and gas build-up inside the stomach. However, baby massage under the baby ribs in a clockwise direction helps babies relieve that pressure.

Simply put, if you gently knead on your baby’s back, the same activity will promote proper digestion along with a healthy gastrointestinal system.

Eventually, baby massage will also help with the problem of constipation, which is one of the major problems that parents face in the first two months.

In fact, a study published in the Italian Journal of Pediatrics proves the efficiency of baby massage. In this study of 27 subjects’ frequency of defecation, Frequency of vomiting, and gastric volume were analyzed. The difference in the first and last day of the study was quite impactful in the massage group when compared to the controlled group.

Although the study consisted of a small sample, the results were in favour of the massage group. The results showed that abdominal massage twice a day can help reduce gastric residual volume excess in infants.

All in all, baby massage is a very old concept but it has been used by doctors, nurses, and parents to promote the overall well-being of an infant. The only thing that you have to keep in mind is that baby massage involves techniques and pressure points. And as a parent, it’s your responsibility to understand how to go about those techniques.

What Is the Correct Way to Do a Baby Massage?

Let’s face it, just like you hire professionals to conduct a proper head massage so that nothing goes wrong, baby massage, too, comes with its own sets of technicalities. So, make sure you follow the step mentioned below:

  • First and foremost, place the baby in a comfortable place. It can be a smooth surface, your bed, or a special massage table.
  • Next, ensure that you use soft and gentle strokes.
  • Then go ahead and target the right parts. In particular, parts that will help improve digestion, sleep cycle, and overall well-being.
  • For the same, you can start massaging the feet using soft strokes.
  • Once you finish massaging the feet, the next step is to gently massage the shins, things, arms, and hands. Just move your hands in the forward and backward direction gently.
  • Slowly move towards the stomach and gently move your hand in the clockwise direction similar to the movement of your baby’s digestive system. But make sure you don’t massage delicate areas such as the neck and face.
  • For the final step, flip the baby over and massage the back in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.

All these steps will enable you to carry out the process of baby massage in an effective manner. You can use baby oils or other products that are fit for massage.

However, using these products is optional. The only difference is that with massage oil, you can make the process more enjoyable and smooth. After all, massage oil will reduce the friction between your hands and the baby’s skin.

Should I Use Baby Massage Oil?

There is a wide collection of massage oils on the market. You must have a favorite one too. But choosing a baby oil is crucial for the overall development of the infant. According to a study published in 2005, oils have a significant impact on the infant’s development.

This study was undertaken to compare the effects of coconut oil and placebo and mineral oils on the growth velocity and neuro-behavior of infants.

The study concluded that coconut oil massage helps improve the weight gain velocity when compared to mineral oil. The study also revealed that preterm babies showed much greater length gain using coconut oil.

However, the authors of the study went on to say that coconut oil did not have any significant impact on the neuro-behavioural patterns.

This shows that it is vital to choose a good oil for baby massage. If you are not sure which oil works best for your baby, below is a list that might actually help you.

Which Baby Massage Oil Is Best for My New-Born?

Before we begin, as a parent of a newborn, you need to keep in mind that not every oil is good for baby massage. For instance, studies have shown that oils such as Sunflower and Olive oil break down the skin protection function. And these babies are more prone to skin conditions like eczema. So, make sure that you choose the right oil.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. You can use a few drops to massage because babies do not require anything fancy. Their skin is sensitive, and it requires care more than anything else. So, go for organic coconut oil. You will be able to find one easily in the market or at online stores.

Palmer Cocoa Butter Oil

Palmer Cocoa Butter Massage Oil is well-known for its hydrating and soothing properties. If you want something that heals eczema and dry skin, you can use this oil for its therapeutic benefits. 

Burt’s Bee Baby 100% Natural Nourishing Oil

Rich in antioxidants and 100% natural, the Burt’s Bee Baby Oil is excellent for healthy and smooth skin. It consists of grape seed and apricot oil and helps relieve skin discomfort without leaving a slippery residual.

You can use these baby oils to massage your infant. In addition to this, if you think that your baby is allergic to any type of oil, consult a doctor immediately and seek medical supervision. Moreover, make sure that you do what’s best for your baby.

Final Thoughts

From the studies that we have discussed so far, it is fair to say that baby massage is an important aspect of an infant’s overall development. So, enjoy massaging your baby and strengthen the bond that you will share with your little one in the near future. For more detailed information, read this guide on baby massage.

Categories
nutrition and cooking

10 important Food Safety tips

Infants are vulnerable to food-borne illnesses, so it’s important you take precautionary measures when preparing homemade baby food.  Just a little knowledge of food safety will go a long way to keeping your baby healthy.

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water before preparation and in between handling raw and cooked food. Wash all surfaces, boards, and utensils with hot soapy water and rinse them well. Take apart food grinders, blenders, and baby food cookers after each use and wash thoroughly. Dry each part with a clean, dry cloth or disposable paper towels before putting appliances back together. In fact, food safety tips are not only about the food itself, but also about the surroundings.
  2. Use fresh, high-quality food that has been stored in clean containers at correct refrigerator temperatures (between 35°F and 38°F [1.7°C to 3.3°CJ). Fresh fruits and vegetables should be used within a few days of purchase to preserve the vitamins; root vegetables can be stored for at least one week.
  3. Wash, scrub, or peel all fruits and vegetables. Remove seeds and pits.
  4. Rinse fish, meat (except ground meats), and poultry before preparing.  Remove skin, bones, gristle, fat, and connective tissue. Use a separate cutting board for all meats. 
  5. Grind tough food, seeds, and nuts. Puree, mash, or cut food into small pieces appropriate to your baby’s age and use breast milk, formula or water to thin food to the desired consistency.
  6. Microwave, steam, stir-fry, bake, broil, or roast food for optimum nutrition. 
    Try to avoid boiling, as this method allows nutrients to leach into the water. If you do need to boil, use as little water as possible and save the cooking water for thinning purees or in soups.
  7. Cook ground meat to a temperature of at least 165°F (74°C), so it’s no longer pink but uniformly brown throughout (“medium”). Use an instant-read meat thermometer.
  8. Do not add salt, pepper, sugar, or sweeteners to your baby’s food. Instead, season with pureed fruit or fruit juice. At one year, you can begin using herbs and spices.
  9. Discard leftover food in baby’s dish after a meal. However, leftovers from the pan or serving dish can be put in clean, covered containers and refrigerated immediately. Refrigerated leftovers should be eaten within three to four days.
  10. An infant’s mouth is much more sensitive to heat than an adult’s, so be cautious when serving your baby freshly heated or cooked foods. Be sure that the food is lukewarm or room temperature and test it first by tasting a little bit yourself.

We hope these food safety tips will be beneficial to you.

Read also the article Organic food for baby – should or should not?

Categories
nutrition and cooking

Organic food for baby – should or should not?

Organic food for baby is a topic that has soared in interest during the past several years. Parents have become more concerned about the potential effects pesticide residues might have on their baby’s health.

The most basic definition of organically grown food is that it is produced without the addition of synthetic chemicals. That includes fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Also without the addition of hormones such as bovine growth hormone and antibiotics. It has also not been genetically engineered. To carry the official “organic” label in the United States, food must be grown according to a set of uniform standards approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

But does an organic seal mean that a food tastes better or is more nutritious than something that’s been traditionally grown? Not necessarily, and that’s why you shouldn’t feel that a non-organic diet is unhealthy.

Currently, science can’t tell us whether organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic ones. So if buying organic foods is cost prohibitive, you shouldn’t feel guilty.

Organic food for baby? Start with this.

Just by making your baby’s meals from scratch, you’re giving her a tremendous advantage in life. Your efforts should be applauded! Likewise, if organic is your way of life or if you’d like to just try incorporating some organically grown foods into your baby’s diet, more power to you.

If you do plan on buying some organic ingredients to incorporate into your baby’s meals, our advice is to first focus on purchasing the organic counterparts of produce that are most heavily treated with pesticides (see list below). Reason being, children are at greater risk from pesticide residues than adults because they typically eat more produce per pound of body weight than adults do.

Based on research from the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Working Group has ranked produce by its pesticide content. from highest to lowest. So when grocery shopping, it’s best to buy organic varieties of the following foods:

  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Kale/Collard Greens
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Nectarines
  • Imported Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Spinach
Categories
Connect with your baby

The Ultimate Guide To Baby Massage

Table of Contents

Baby massage is a wonderful way to communicate with your baby before they are able to understand language.

It allows you to nurture your baby, encourages bonding, and can help to relieve various bodily pains.

In this ultimate guide to baby massage, we will cover:

  • What are the benefits of baby massage?
  • When can I start?
  • What do I need?
  • How to fit baby massage into your routine
  • Tips for baby massage
  • How to do baby massage

Read on for all of the information you could ever need about baby massage!

What are the benefits of baby massage?

It goes without saying that baby massage is a wonderful way to shower your infant with love and nurture. But what are the other, less obvious, benefits of baby massage?

Bonding

Spending time massaging your baby is a great way to promote bonding – especially for dads! When mom is breastfeeding, it can be easy for dads to feel a little lost in what their role is – massage offers a great solution.

Relaxation

A massage, for anyone, is a great way to wind down after a busy day. And though baby’s lives might not be so busy, they’re sure to have had a lot of visits (or FaceTime calls!). A gentle massage at the end of the day will help your baby to relax and wind down, ready for a night of sleep.

Reduce crying

Through eye contact and physical touch, baby’s feel a sense of safety and comfort. This makes massage a helpful tool if your baby is agitated or irritable. Though don’t persevere with the massage if they continue to be upset!

Positively affect hormones

Through the physical touch that comes with massage, you can positively affect your baby’s stress hormones to leave them feeling more relaxed.

Aiding digestion

If your baby has trouble digesting or is suffering from gas, a gentle massage on the belly may relieve their discomfort. (Keep reading for more information on how to safely massage the belly!)

Soothing teething pain

Believe it or not, giving your baby a foot massage can help to relieve teething pain! There are pressure points on the feet which, when massaged or pressed, are thought to soothe pain in the gums. Find out more about reflexology for baby’s here.

When can I start baby massage?

There are no specific guidelines for the best time to start baby massage, but it’s generally advised that you wait for a few weeks after birth to perform a full-body massage.

Soothing touch, however, can be started immediately after birth. Whether this is gently patting your baby’s back or softly stroking their arms and legs. A caring touch leads to bonding, secure attachment, and comfort.

When you do eventually start to massage your baby, be sure to follow their mood. If they’re feeling particularly cranky or irritable it’s best to leave it until they are feeling more alert and content. It’s also worth noting that it’s important to wait until 45 minutes after your baby has fed to give them a massage, otherwise it could cause them to vomit.

What do I need for baby massage?

Luckily, all you really need is your hands!

A little baby or coconut oil can, however, make the process a bit more comfortable for both you and baby. Warm a little oil in your hands before applying to your baby’s skin. And be sure to do a patch test before covering their body in a product that they could be allergic to.

You might also want to have a warm blanket or towel that you can use to cover a part of your baby’s body whilst you’re massaging a different area (for example, you might like to cover their entire body apart from the leg that you’re massaging). This is to ensure that your baby stays comfortable and doesn’t get too cold!

How to fit baby massage into your routine

Allocating space for baby massage in your routine is one of the best ways to stick to the practice and allow your baby to get used to it.

The best time to massage your baby is during their bedtime routine. Using massage before bed is also a wonderful way to show your baby that it’s time to start winding down.

You might like to massage your baby after their bath and before the bedtime feed. During this time you could consider listening to some soothing music, dimming the lights, and singing to your baby!

Tips for success

Here are some things to consider when massaging your baby.

Keep the room warm

A chilly room is one of the fastest ways to make for one very unhappy baby. You might like to heat a smaller room – such as the bathroom – so that your baby stays warm. If heating the room is inconvenient, you can keep your baby semi-dressed or covered with a blanket instead.

Maintain eye contact

The first few times that you try massaging your baby you might find that your little one seems a bit apprehensive. Maintaining eye contact with your baby and talking to them will reassure them that they are safe and let them know that it’s an experience to be enjoyed!

Start slow

Start every massage slowly so that your baby can begin to understand what’s going on and respond to let you know whether they’re happy. Begin with gentle touch, starting at the baby’s head and slowly moving all the way down to their feet. If your baby is enjoying it, follow our step-by-step guide to baby massage (below).

Talk or sing

Communicate with your baby throughout the massage to keep them relaxed. You might like to repeat their name, sing their favorite song, or tell them a story. Make sure that there are no distractions during this time and that your focus is completely on your baby.

Oil or no oil?

Using oil can reduce friction and make the experience more comfortable, it’s also an easy way to hydrate dry skin.

When using any kind of oil or baby product during the massage, be sure to do a patch test 24 hours before!

Turn off the overhead lights

This might seem obvious, but it’s also easily forgotten! You can bet that your baby is going to be uncomfortable and a little grouchy if they’re laying on their back looking at an overhead light. Try instead to use a couple of dim lamps or nightlights, it’s better for your baby’s eyes and will also help to create a cozy, sleepy atmosphere.

How to do baby massage

A step-by-step guide for massaging your baby from head to foot.

  1. Choose a time when your baby is alert and hasn’t eaten for at least 45 minutes.
  2. Ensure that the room is warm or that you have towels and blankets available to cover your baby with.
  3. Find a comfortable position for both of you – you might like to sit on the best or floor with your baby lying in front of you.
  4. Loosen or remove your baby’s nappy to make massaging their tummy more accessible.
  5. Let your baby know that it’s massage time by asking if you can give them a massage – though this might feel a bit strange at first, your baby will quickly learn that this question indicates massage time!

The legs

  1. Gently hold one of your baby’s legs, then securely hold their ankle in one hand. With the other hand, clasp the top of their leg and slide your hand all the way down to their ankle. Switch hands and repeat, before doing the same on the other side.
  2. Take your baby’s foot and massage their sole with your thumbs, starting from the heel of the foot and ‘walking’ your thumbs slowly up to the ball of their foot. After this, walk your thumbs across the middle of their sole from one side of their foot to the other. Repeat on the other side.
  3. Gently tug each toe between your thumb and forefinger.

The arms

  1. Move to your baby’s arms once you’ve ensured that their legs are warm by covering them with a blanket or towel.
  2. Similarly to massaging the legs, hold your baby’s wrist in one hand whilst using the other to clasp their arm just under the armpit before sliding your hand all the way down to their wrist. Take each finger and gently pull it using your thumb and forefinger. Before repeating on the other side, you might like to give your baby’s hands a massage by drawing small circles in the center of their palm.

The torso

  1. Bring your hands into a prayer position above your baby’s chest. Then open the hands slowly as you gently slide them towards the outside of your baby’s wrist. You can repeat this movement a few times! After this, gently take one hand and slide it slowly from the top of your baby’s chest to the top of their thighs.
  2. Massaging the belly can be a great way to aid digestion and release uncomfortable gas – but you’ll need to be very gentle with this area and pay close attention to your baby to make sure that they are enjoying it. Use two fingers to make small, circular motions in a clockwise direction.
  3. The back can be a love/hate area for babies. Though it feels wonderful, not many baby’s enjoy being on their bellies. If your baby is happy to lay on their belly, use your fingertips to make small circles on either side of their spine.
  4. Finish off with a few long and firm strokes starting from the shoulders and finishing at the feet.

If your baby really enjoyed their massage and looks like they would like it to continue, you can repeat it as many times as you like! Either spend extra time on their favorite spots or go through each step of the massage again from start to finish.

Wrap your baby up in some warm pajamas and get ready for a night (or 30 minutes…) of sleep!

The takeaway

Start slow, don’t push it if your baby is not happy, and enjoy the special time that you get to spend bonding with your baby!

When your baby is ready, why not consider moving onto baby yoga.

Read the article Everything You Need To Know About Baby Yoga

Categories
Connect with your baby

Everything You Need To Know About Baby Yoga

Table of Contents

All babies are born yogi’s, and baby yoga is the best way to keep them this way!

Yoga provides parents and babies with the opportunity to bond, move, and meet other families through in-person classes.

This article will cover everything you need to know about baby yoga so that you can get started today!

Here are the topics that we’ll be looking at:

  • What are the benefits of baby yoga?
  • How soon can I start baby yoga?
  • What to expect at a baby yoga class
  • Can I do baby yoga at home?
  • Tips for baby yoga
  • Baby yoga poses that you can do at home

Read on and start practicing!

What are the benefits of baby yoga?

Baby yoga has lots of wonderful benefits for both mom and baby, here are some of the most notable.

Motor skills

Yoga can help babies to develop both fine and gross motor skills through body awareness, which will, in turn, help them with movement and object manipulation as they grow.

Sleep

Physical activity can help to improve both the length and frequency of sleep. If you’re lucky, your little one might even start sleeping through the night!

The soothing techniques learned in baby yoga can also help parents learn how to get their little ones to sleep.

Relieves gas

The stretching experienced in yoga poses can help to relieve uncomfortable gas.

Bonding

Practicing yoga with your baby is a great way to bond and enjoy lots of special time together. It can be particularly great if you spend lots of time working or are at a loss for what to do with your baby during the day.

Learn more about baby yoga and bonding here.

Physical movement

Yoga offers a gentle re-introduction to healthy movement for moms following pregnancy and birth. It’s one of the safest forms of exercise to take part postpartum, and the best part? Your baby can enjoy it with you!

Socializing

When we have the opportunity to attend in-person classes, baby yoga can be a great way to meet new parents as well as for your baby to interact with their peers.

Best of all, by practicing yoga from a very young age, babies will learn healthy habits and movements that they can keep with them and continue to practice as they grow.

How soon can I start with baby yoga?

It’s recommended to wait until 6 weeks before starting yoga with your baby. This is to allow your baby time to develop better control of their head and neck. As well as making the experience safer, it will also be more enjoyable for them!

What to expect at a baby yoga class

When heading to your first in-person or online baby yoga class, here’s what you can expect.

  • Playful atmosphere – think playful music, colors, and baby toys!
  • Baby massage – most baby yoga classes will start with a little baby massage, you can read more about how to do this at home here.
  • Yoga poses for baby – these might look a little more like gentle stretching and movement of the joints.
  • Yoga poses for mom – expect lots of yoga poses that you can do at the same time as interacting with your baby, more on this later!
  • Developmental practices – classes will encourage developmental practices to help build the strength and coordination needed to sit up and, eventually, crawl.
  • Relaxation – the relaxation element of baby yoga offers the opportunity for lots of quiet cuddles and kisses with your baby whilst listening to lullabies or other soothing music.

Can I do baby yoga at home?

Absolutely!

In fact, once you’ve learned some of the positions, you’ll probably find yourself practicing various yoga positions and movements throughout the day with your baby.

The most important thing to remember when practicing yoga at home is to keep things lighthearted and playful. Don’t force yoga poses just because you feel like your baby should be doing them – do it because you both enjoy it!

Tips for baby yoga

Here are some things to keep in mind before getting started with baby yoga.

Footless clothes

Keep your feet bare and remember to put your baby in footless clothes – whether that’s a babygrow or leggings. This will give older babies more grip on the floor, as well as allow you easy access for a little foot massage.

Non-slip surface

Use a non-slip surface such as a cork, rubber, or foam yoga mat to ensure that you and your baby stay safe. If your yoga mat is a little slippery, you can also place a yoga or normal towel on top.

Keep it fun

Nobody comes to yoga to increase stress, it’s the same for baby yoga! Keep it fun and if there are any poses that you or your baby aren’t enjoying, don’t do them. Even if you spend an hour rolling around on your yoga mat and kissing your baby, you’ve still spent lots of time bonding.

Make sure your baby is awake and alert

Don’t do baby yoga when your baby is sleepy, hungry, or irritable – this will only make the experience unpleasant for you both. Make sure that your baby has had a good nap before class (or before you practice at home) and that you’ve fed them around 30 minutes before starting.

Make sure that you’re not too tired

It’s just as important to make sure that you’re awake and ready for yoga as it is for your baby. If you are tired, cranky, and likely to find the experience stressful, it’s ok! Try again tomorrow or next week. Resting is as important as moving.

Maintain eye contact

Maintaining eye contact with your baby will help them to feel safe and confident in the experience. You can also use lots of touch and sing their favorite songs!

Don’t force any movements

If any stretches or positions look uncomfortable for your baby, try something different. If you’re following a teacher, they’ll be able to help you with this! The same goes for you, if anything feels painful or as though it’s causing too much strain on the abdominals, step back from it.

Start slowly

Your first baby yoga class or at-home experience may look more like you kneeling over your baby and making funny faces at them. Starting slowly will help your baby to feel relaxed and ready for more movement next time. If they’re loving it, experiment with a few movements! And if not, stick to a couple of easy and fun positions that they do enjoy.

Baby yoga poses that you can try at home

Here are a few simple and fun poses that you can try at home.

Downward Dog

Downward Dog Pose is only suitable for baby’s who are already or almost crawling. The best way to move your baby into this pose is by demonstrating it! If they don’t copy you just practice it for yourself, and eventually, they’ll catch on.

Happy Baby

This is one of the first yoga poses that your baby will do naturally and with no encouragement, in fact, they’ll probably be the one teaching you how to do it.

You can help your baby into this position by encouraging them to hold onto their feet.

To practice Happy Baby yourself, start by lying on your back. After this, bend the knees and bring them towards the armpits followed by catching your outer feet with your hands. Keeping your elbows inside your knees, kick your feet up to the sky, creating a 90-degree angle with the knees. Ensure that your lower back is grounded into the back – reducing the angle of your knees is necessary!

Hand movements

Baby’s tend to keep their hands balled up in fists, yoga can encourage them to start stretching through their fingers and arms.

Show your baby how to stretch their fingers by demonstrating the movement – followed by reaching up towards the sky.

Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is a wonderfully restorative pose that every mom should spend at least an hour practicing every day.

Start by kneeling, bringing your knees to the outside edges of your mat, and keeping your big toes touching. Place your baby on their belly on the mat in front of you, facing you. Then walk your hands out towards them before resting your forehead on the ground just in front of your baby.

Boat Pose

Boat pose offers moms a gentle way to start engaging the abdominal muscles whilst giving their baby a comfortable place to sit.

Start by sitting with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet on the mat in front of you. Bring your baby to lay on your thighs, facing you, before lifting your shins so that they are parallel with the floor. Keep your spine tall as you lean gently back, waking up the abdominals and reaching your arms alongside your shins (or using them to stroke and tickle your baby!).

Cat-cow

Cat-cow is one of the easiest yoga poses for mom and baby to enjoy.

Start on all fours with your baby laying on their back on the mat underneath you – their face should be underneath yours or just in front.

On an inhale, drop your belly and gently look up (cow). On an exhale, curve the spine and look to your baby or between your legs (cat).

You might like to add cat and cow noises to the movements for entertainment purposes…your baby will love it!

Goddess Pose

Do you know what babies are other than adorable bundles of joy? The perfect weight for a postpartum mom!

Hold your baby close to your chest as you step your feet wide and turn your toes to point outwards. On an exhale, drop your glutes towards the mat so that your thighs come towards parallel with the ground. When you’re ready to stand up, start by straightening the knees before heel-toeing the feet back towards one another.

The takeaway

Baby yoga is a fun and simple way to bond with your baby whilst introducing a bit of exercise and movement back into your routine.

Start slowly, enjoy it, and rest when you need to.

Categories
Development

How to burp a baby

Table of Contents

How to burp a baby. What do you do when baby won’t burp? If you have ever pondered on this, please read on.

During feeding, babies often take in excess gas along with their milk. This results in gaseous bubbles stuck in their stomach.

While your baby may be unable to express their feelings explicitly, crying and/or squirming after feeding are common pointers.

If you notice any of tell-tale signs of discomfort after feeding your baby, consider a burp. This helps your baby to release gas bubbles.

Common Ways to Burp Your Baby

Sometimes, your baby may burp naturally. However, it’s common practice to want to help out. While there are several ways to achieve this, here are four conventional techniques to help burp your baby:

On Your Lap

  • Allow your baby lie, belly-down, across your laps.
  • Ensure their head rests sideways on one lap and belly-flat on the other.
  • Hold the baby securely with one hand and repeatedly pat her back gently with the other.

On Your Chest

  • Sit or stand upright and place your baby on your chest with their chin resting on your shoulder.
  • Hold your baby firmly with one hand and pat with the other.
  • Rocking your baby gently may increase effectiveness. A rocking chair would do.

Arm Hold

This works best for smaller babies:

  • Put an arm beneath the baby’s back. Allow them to rest on your forearm. This is already a typical feeding position.
  • Turn the baby’s body carefully and make them rest belly-down with their head positioned in your elbow’s crook. For stability, put your hand between your baby’s legs.
  • With your second hand, pat or rub the upper back carefully.

Sit-up

  • While seated, allow your baby to sit on your lap, back to you.
  • Allow your baby tilt slightly forward.
  • With one arm, try to support your baby at the chest and head.
  • Gently rub or pat with the other hand.

Why is it important to burp a baby?

Burping is one of several skills every parent – both fathers and mothers – should learn. Your baby may need burping until they become self-sufficient.

While more mature children can better position their bodies for an easy burp, babies can’t since they have no control over their body positions.

Talking burping, each baby is different. While some may require a burp after practically every meal, some eat without the need to burp. You may want to discuss reflux with your healthcare provider if your baby has too much gas or spit-ups.

Burping your baby after midnight feeding is an ideal routine, regardless of how much they burped during the day.

Indeed, it can be tiring to hold up your baby to burp at such wee hours. Well, you’re up already – just make the time worth it. A long, peaceful sleep often trails a midnight burp.

Make attempts to burp your baby after every meal. Remember, the air in their tummy makes them full and uncomfortable quickly.

Hence, attempt to burp your baby after every meal and avoid overfeeding.

Do breastfed babies need to be burped?

Although babies retain more air through bottle-feeding, breastfed babies may need burping as well.

But it depends.

Babies whose mothers’ breasts supply abundant milk or those who fuss while nursing tend to gulp more gas while they feed. These babies may need burping for comfort.

Remember, our babies feed differently.

So, what works for one baby may not work the same way for another. It’s important to understand your child’s unique condition. If you notice your baby cries uncomfortably after feeding, a little burping may help them.

Whether bottle-feeding or breastfeeding, making your baby sit upright may help reduce the air swallowed in the first place.

So while your baby may not always need a burp, pay attention to the signs they give. After nursing or if you notice some discomforting signals in your baby, they may need a burp.

When do you stop burping your baby?

It depends. Babies’ digestive systems develop and mature as they get older. Hence, the need to burp becomes less necessary as they age.

Typically, babies may no longer need burping anywhere between four to nine months. At this stage, they may have started out on solid foods.

That said, at any point your baby still feels gassy, keep up your burping. Soon, you’ll naturally feel the need to stop burping your baby.

How long to burp a baby for

A minute or two of patting is typical. In some cases, you may only need to position your baby upright for a burp to occur. Other times it may not be as easy – it may take a little longer and perhaps involve extensive back-patting.

A helpful tip is to ensure your baby sleeps in their cot while nursing. If you notice them almost dozing while breastfeeding or on the feeding bottle, pause and burp them for a while.

After burping for a minute or two, put them in their crib to sleep. The earlier you form this routine, the more easily it becomes a habit.

Depending on the individual baby’s reflux, they may have to maintain an upright position for as much as 30 minutes after feeding.

If your baby’s discomfort persists, discuss this with a pediatrician.

How to burp a baby when sleeping

Too often, babies doze off while feeding. As soon as they get filled, they become reassuringly calm and may quickly drift off.

But even when your baby seems satisfied and ready to drift off, you may make further attempts to burp them before placing them in their crib for a doze.

There isn’t much difference between burping a sleeping baby and an awake baby. However, you may go slower and more subtly for sleeping babies so as to not disrupt their sleep. For this, some positions work better than others.

Logically, using the sit-up position isn’t recommended for burping a sleeping baby. Since the baby does not feel relaxed, it’s challenging to maintain a good sleep in that position.

The on-the-shoulder position and the on-your-lap positions work best for burping a sleeping baby.

It’s good to have your baby poop after feeding. But, if this isn’t common, make sure to change their diaper before night feeding so you won’t have to disturb their sleep in the event they doze off while feeding.

My baby won’t burp

It’s completely okay if your baby won’t burp.

When it comes to burping, the experience differs among babies.

Do not expect a burp at every attempt. If, after a couple of minutes, your baby has yet to burp, you could try another position. If nothing changes, it’s okay.

You can put your baby down or proceed with the feeding. However, watch out for any suspicious signs. If your child’s moves suggest discomfort, position them for another bump attempt.

What if burping fails?

Sometimes, easing your child’s discomfort goes beyond burping. If you suspect excess-gas-induced discomfort, some other options may come in handy:

Massage

Baby massages may help the digestive and circulatory systems of infants. Although scientific evidence is limited, a light massage should help alleviate constipation and excess gas.

Research regardless, it’s common knowledge that massage can bring calm for babies – and even adults. That mild touch can do a whole lot.

Change bottles

There are no particular best bottles for eliminating reflux or reducing colic, spit-ups, and gas. However, some brands are specially made with venting designs and for optimum air control to prevent swallowing too much gas.

Or, change the bottle’s nipple flow

For bottle-feeding, the size of the nipple may be too big, which could cause your baby to take in excess air. Too narrow or too wide nipple holes could also cause excess air intake.

Adjust the nipple size to suit your baby’s need.

Legs Pedaling

Lay your child back down. Move their legs as with bicycle pedals. This may help exert pressure on the tummy to pass out unwanted gas. You may expect a poop with this formula.

Additional baby burping tips

Here are extra tips for a successful baby burp:

  • To prevent getting messed up, place a bib or clean napkin anywhere between the baby’s mouth and your clothing.
  • Have an extra piece handy in the event your baby spits up.
  • Getting your baby to burb may require a mild but repeated pat. However, you may need some patience with other babies.
  • When patting the back, focus on their left side. That’s the location of your baby’s stomach.
  • If your baby fusses while feeding, it could be a pointer to excess gas. The more your baby protests, the more air they gulp and the worse the discomfort. So, you may pause your feeding a bit and burb your baby to see if they’ll release some bubbles.

Wrap up

Babies burp differently. While some may require an extended upright time after feeding, others require a treatment plan for acid reflux.

Yet, some release the bubbles even before you attempt to make them burp.

So, there’s no one-technique-fits-all way to burp your baby – or to stop burping them.

Pay attention to your baby’s unique signals and, over time, you’ll know what works best for your little bundle.

That said, ensure you discuss things with your doctor if anything feels odd.

Categories
Emotions

Separation Anxiety in Babies – 13 ways to help

Table of Contents

In this article, we will take a more in-depth look at separation anxiety in babies and provide you with some tips to manage it to develop a firmer relationship with your beautiful kids. 

Have you ever wondered why your baby cries and clings to you ceaselessly when you leave the house or drop them off at daycare? We know it can be a very frustrating experience. On the one hand, we love our babies and would prefer not to see them cry. On the other hand, we have duties outside of the home that are important to the babies and us.

The good news is that this situation is part of the normal developmental process in the child. It’s not awkward that your child never wants you out of their presence; in fact, it would be awkward if they didn’t. However,, understanding the normalcy of the situation does not make it less challenging.

What is Separation Anxiety in Babies?

Separation anxiety is a condition in children that makes them cry and cling to their primary caregiver (among other symptoms) whenever they (the primary caregiver) separate from them. Separation may last for a few minutes (outside of the nursery) or extended hours (outside of the house).

Separation anxiety in babies coincides with a stage in the child’s developmental process where they develop a sense of object permanence. Object permanence means they know that people outside of themselves exist even when they are not physically present. In other words, when you are not in the nursery with them, your baby knows that you are somewhere else. This understanding – that you are somewhere else rather than present with them – is the primary cause of separation anxiety. Your baby begins to feel less secure and vulnerable when you are not there.  

When Does Separation Anxiety Occur and For How Long?

Separation anxiety begins around the age of five to seven months and the duration varies from child to child. During this period, they also begin to develop emotional connections and make distinctions between people.

Separation anxiety also manifests around the age of nine to ten months. During this time, they begin to gain a better sense of daily routines and understand social scenarios.

It can also develop around the age of twelve to fifteen months, when the child begins to empathize with you but cannot express their feelings (at your intended absence) and therefore resort to crying.

This condition occurs for days and weeks during each of these phases. However, some babies might not experience all the stages.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation anxiety disorder is the extreme stage of separation anxiety in babies. Here, the separation anxiety can extend to primary school years. At this stage, the anxiety begins to interfere with normal life activities like school or playtime with other kids. The child may get sick due to the separation or claim to be sick to avoid the separation in the first place. Rather than lasting for days and weeks, it lasts for months.

While separation anxiety is normal in all babies, separation anxiety disorder occurs in few.

So, whenever your lovely baby demonstrates clinginess, do not think that they are weird or strange. They are going through a standard process. We will soon look at some strategies you can put in place to help your adorable child.

If their struggle is a separation anxiety disorder, do not despair! There are solutions to that as well.

Cheer up; we’re here to help.

Before we look at the strategies you can implement to help your baby, let us take a brief pause to look at the causes and symptoms.

Causes of Separation Anxiety in Babies

You may wonder why we’re considering separation anxiety causes when we already said that this is a normal process. However, while separation anxiety is normal in kids, certain situations can exacerbate it. Understanding these situations will help you better prepare to help your child.

So, what are these situations?

  • New environments: Even adults react to new environments. We are less confident and more insecure when we move to an entirely new environment. Well, it’s the same for our babies. They react when you change their house, school, daycare, or caregiver (if you hired someone to help). They feel less secure and more anxious.
  • Stressful situations: Don’t we also freak out in the face of stress? Don’t we become more anxious? Our babies do as well. If a loved one or a favorite pet dies, discord arises among parents, there is a divorce, or the stress of switching schools hits them, they can develop more separation anxiety.
  • Parents’ overprotectiveness: We understand you want to be there for your kids, supporting them as much as possible. We love them too much not to care or protect. We want to shield them from the realities of the world. However, we tend to overdo this, leading to insecure attachments – which intensifies the separation anxiety in babies.
  • Temperament: Separation anxiety can last longer in children that are shy or timid.
  • Hunger, sickness, tiredness: Leaving their side when they are hungry or sick will add to their feeling and expression of separation anxiety.  

How then do you know when a child has separation anxiety?

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Babies

The symptoms of separation anxiety include the following (in different proportions between babies):

  • Crying: Crying when you leave their side for a short period or leave the house for a more extended period is the most common symptom of separation anxiety.
  • Clinginess: The baby will keep holding on to you, unwilling to let you go. It is their way of saying, “Stay with me, Momma.”
  • “Don’t Put Me Down Momma:” This is another way babies express separation anxiety. They will resist when you want to put them down on the bed or give them to another person. “I just want my Momma.”
  • Waking up in the night: If your child wakes up regularly in the night when you leave their bedside, this is a symptom of separation anxiety.
  • Shyness around familiar people: They might suddenly begin to feel shy around people that come around the house frequently. Even though your baby knows them, they will still want their Momma.
  • Stranger Anxiety: Your baby might begin to feel insecure around strangers. They may resort to crying when a stranger holds them.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety Disorder 

While these symptoms mentioned above are common for kids with separation anxiety, those with separation anxiety disorders display one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fear of school: Kids with separation anxiety disorders do not want to go to school. Even at this age, they cannot afford to stay away from you that long.
  • Fear of sleeping: Kids may also be afraid of sleeping, to the point that it becomes insomnia.
  • Fear that something bad will happen: They are always worried about the permanence of the separation; anxious that something will go wrong and you will be ‘really’ gone.
  • Isolation from friends: Kids with separation anxiety disorder do not want to play with their friends, they just want to be with their Momma.

Enough said about causes and symptoms. Now is the time to consider the way forward. How can you help your child at this crucial developmental stage in life?  

Strategies for Managing Separation Anxiety in Babies

There are many strategies you can use to manage separation anxiety in babies. Here, we will focus on the few most effective ones.

Consider some goodbye rituals.

Babies can also identify routines and patterns. By implementing a particular ritual when you are about to leave, you create a sense of expectation which reduces their fear and anxiety about the separation.

The routine may be a simple wave, kiss, hug, or some words you say when you are about to leave. Implementing this ritual with consistency will help your child adjust and cope better with the separation.

Goodbye Gear

In addition to goodbye rituals, dropping a goodbye gear to play with can also ease the separation. Some of the items we have found helpful include blanket, stuffed animal, or a photo album. Other moms also find playing a record of you narrating a story or saying those magical words – I love you – to be very helpful.  

Giver them attention before making the exit

This is to say, do not sneak out (yeah, we know that is easy to do). Let me repeat this for emphasis: Never Sneak Out. You may think seeing you leave is the cause of the anxiety (and if they do not see you leave, they will be fine). However, sneaking out can worsen the anxiety.

Play with them, cuddle them, and spend time with them before exiting. Do not forget our nice little routine after giving them attention. 

Make the separation easier

You can make the separation easier by ensuring your baby is well-fed, healthy, and bright before you leave. Never leave them hungry, tired, or sick – it will worsen the situation. On the contrary, by ensuring they have what they need, you reduce their anxiety.

Play games

Many mothers have found games like Peekaboo and Hide the Ball effective. Don’t try anything complex. The purpose of the game is to help your baby learn that when things seem like they’re gone, they do come back.

Don’t add to the problem.

Your baby will take cues from your emotional reaction to the situation. If you wear that lonely, anxious, tearful, frustrating, and sad look, they will notice. Your emotional response can go a long way in aggravating or subsiding the anxiety. Do you want your baby to be calm? Be the adult and model calmness.

Promise and fulfill

Promising your child that you will be back at a particular time can be helpful. When you do this, convey the time in a way they can understand. ‘I will be back after lunch’ is better than ‘I will be back by 3 pm.’ ‘Lunch’ adds a greater sense of expectation that 3 pm does not.

Here’s the catch: keep your promise. Failed promises add to the disappointment. Disappointment does not help with the separation anxiety; it aids it. Make promises when you can and stick to them.

Leave

Refusing to leave is another symptom of overprotectiveness. It might be tempting to return when your child begins to cry and pick them up for a cuddle. However, this is not helpful. When it’s time to leave, just do it. That way, you will help get past this stage earlier rather than later.  

Reunion routine

Just like goodbye rituals, reunion routines can be helpful. It can be a hug, a kiss, or picking up their toys to join in on the fun.

In the case of separation anxiety disorder, some of these additional tips can be very helpful.

Understand them

If you have a child that shows symptoms of separation anxiety disorder, the first step is to understand and empathize with their feelings. Know what they experience and how they experience it. Listen to them and respect their feelings. Do not avoid the conversation.

Help them

One way to help your baby overcome separation anxiety disorder is to help them connect with friends and participate in activities. The more you can help them get along with friends, the better.

Professional help

If the situation persists, seek professional help. You can seek some help from their teacher, a GP or pediatrician, the local health center, or a specialist in anxiety and mental health. It might require parent-child interaction therapy or CBT (cognitive behavior therapy). 

Encourage them

When you child is making progress, give them a pat (or something to show you recognize and appreciate their progress). This is known as positive reinforcement. The more you give them positive feedback with their development, the greater the encouragement to do better.

Conclusion

While separation anxiety is a normal part of the child’s growth, it is not without its challenges. By understanding the causes and symptoms, as well as practicing the strategies above, you will be in a better position to help your kid. If the situation develops into separation anxiety disorder, it is not a cause for fretting. Instead, seek to implement these tips and patiently help your adorable child overcome the challenge.  

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