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For Parents Toddlers

Mums, this is why your kids act up when you are around!

Mums, does it seem like your kids behave differently when you are around them?

Remember that full-fledged meltdown with theatrical waterworks in the middle of the toy store that was reserved for you only? What about that night when you gave her fresh milk in a cup but she start screaming because she really wanted a bottle of formula milk at bedtime?

Mums, do you notice that your baby “misbehaves” more than usual when you are around them?

Even the best behaved children seem to become utter monsters when left alone with you in the room, yet they don’t “create problems” for other caregivers? Why is this so unfair? Do your babies hate you?Or maybe, they just love throwing tantrums when mummy is in sight?Before sailing on the guilt ship, here’s the silver lining to the dark clouds – this is good news. Yup, plot twist ahead.

According to Karen Dudley, a child development specialist with UCLA, children feel most comfortable expressing strong feelings when they are around their primary caregiver. That’s great news because it means that you are their safe space and they know that they can show their raw feelings without needing to mask them. Awww… nothing like showing their genuine selves in the presence of their safe harbour, which happens to be you, mums!

In addition, a toddler’s memory is improving, so he can remember what he wants more often. This change in behaviour is also partly due to your child’s rapidly developing brain.

The next reason is that young children are learning about social relationships and establishing connections with other people. One of the methods of creating boundaries is to find and test limits. Therefore, if you’re the one who spends the most time with your child, you’re likely the one who faces the brunt of those frequent and intense meltdowns.

Why does your angelic child morph into a huge wet mess so often whenever she’s with you, mummies?

Young children crave attention, and to do so, they will try all means and ways of getting undivided attention from their loved ones, even if it is negative i.e. being scolded or punished for misbehaviour. To alleviate this problem, talk to them and give them some undivided attention, especially if you have more than one child. Try out some of these activities with your child and also ensure your child has adequate naps and sleep, and have a healthy lifestyle which include a good diet of nutrients.

Besides outdoor play, young children need a balanced diet for enough vitamins and minerals to support their growth and daily energy needs. The best formula milk for kids are brands that work well for your children to provide nourishment, complementing their diets.

While understanding that their misbehaviour is a part of establishing boundaries, how we react is important. Responding to tantrums appropriately helps them to feel validated and that you understand the difficulties they face in expressing themselves properly.

Mums, now that you know what your kids behave terribly when you are around, how will you be managing this? Do share this with your mummy friends too!

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Babies For Parents

How Can You Tell If Your Baby Has a Food Allergy?

Babies flourish on an exclusive diet of breast milk or formula for the first six months of their lives before they are introduced to solids, either through traditional weaning methods or Baby Led Weaning. Regardless of the method, extra care should be given to the ingredients used when introducing solids as some babies may be allergic to a certain food.

 

Food allergies occur when the body recognises a particular food as harmful and triggers the immune system to create antibodies to fight the food allergen. If the body is too sensitive, even touching or breathing in food can trigger a reaction.

 

Allergies vary from mild to severe and in some cases, can be potentially fatal. Reactions can occur within minutes or up to two hours after being in contact with the food.

 

A staggering 90%¹of all reactions in children can be attributed to eight common allergens: eggs, milk, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts (e.g. walnuts and pecans), fish and shellfish.

Is your child allergic to eggs, a common allergen?

Symptoms of Food Allergies
Symptoms can present in any of these areas of the body:

  • Skin
    Itchy red bumps, eczema, redness and swelling of the face, swelling or the lips and tongue
  • Gastrointestinal tract
    Tummy ache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Respiratory system
    Runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Cardiovascular system
    Dizziness or fainting

 

Food allergies can be life threatening if there is a severe reaction.

What to do if your child has a food allergy
Medical attention is necessary if your child exhibits the signs of a food allergy as the doctor can conduct further allergy tests to find out what else your child is allergic to. As food allergies are unpredictable, the same food that caused a mild reaction could cause a more severe reaction at the next feeding.

 

First foods
Soft first foods that seldom cause allergic reactions include avocado, banana, steamed butternut squash or sweet potato, steamed carrots and pear. Babies benefit from wholesome, fresh foods which will provide them with the necessary nutrients to grow healthily.

 

If you are following the traditional weaning method, you may want to make a puree using fruit or vegetables. You can start off with mild tasting foods like potatoes, avocado, spinach or the stronger tasting ones like carrot, pumpkin and beetroot. Puree can be made in advance, frozen and reheated.

 

Peanut allergy can be potentially fatal, and parents should seek medical help immediately.

When to Introduce Allergens

For decades, it was widely believed that allergenic food was to be avoided until a certain age in childhood. However, there has been growing evidence that controlled early exposure of allergens to young children could be beneficial in helping them develop immunity.

 

If your baby is at high risk of being allergic to foods, consult your doctor who can arrange for your child to be exposed to allergenic food in a controlled and safe setting. Termed as a “desensitisation” treatment, the process involves giving the child precisely measured doses of allergenic food in increasing doses in order for the body to rewire its response to the food.

 

At home, however, do observe your baby during mealtimes and record your baby’s meals, so that if an allergic reaction occurs, it would be easier to pinpoint the food which caused the allergy.

 

Does your baby have a food allergy? Share with us some tips on how you manage it in the comments below!

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Babies Babies Family Fun Health & Nutrition Toddlers Toddlers

Delicious & Healthy Lactation Cookies Recipe

Lactation cookies have won praises from breastfeeding mums for helping to improve and maintain breast milk supply.

 

Breastfeeding has benefits for both mum and baby, and breast milk has been proven to contain all the required nutrients and antibodies of growing babies. It is a versatile ingredient that can be added into your baby’s first solid food or frozen to soothe your baby’s teething gums. Breast milk supply is largely affected by diet and hence, mummies worry when their supply dips, and is unable to meet the demands of their hungry babies.

 

Galactagogues are foods that are reported to boost breast milk supply. Galactagogues are also called breast milk boosters. On the other hand, ingredients that cause a visible dip in supply are known as milk killers. Of course, other factors come into play when breast milk supply dips.

 

Apart from being quick healthy snacks that help breastfeeding mum stave off hunger, lactation cookies well-loved for helping to increase breast milk for some mums.

 

In Singapore, there are many stores selling lactation cookies, but you can easily do your own with your favourite ingredients too! Here’s a quick recipe to make lactation cookies!

Who says healthy lactation cookies recipes can’t be delicious at the same time?

 

Delicious and healthy lactation cookies recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brewers’ yeast
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
  2. Mix flaxseed with water in a small bowl and let soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Beat butter, white sugar, and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract; beat to incorporate. Stir flax seed mixture into the butter mixture.
  4. Mix flour, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar in a separate bowl; add to butter mixture and stir until just combined. Fold oats and chocolate chips into the dough.
  5. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven until the edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Credit: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/232191/lactation-cookies/

 

Recipes for lactation cookies contain known milk boosters and it is not surprising that this recipe contains oats, flaxseed, wheat germ and brewers’ yeast. Oats are high in iron that maternal mothers mostly lack. When the iron levels are replenished, milk supply should increase as well.

 

As for flaxseed, it increases the ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid), which partially converts into omega-3 fatty acids, a must-have for breast milk production. Excessive consumption of flaxseed could lead to an increase in weight and food intake.

Brewer’s yeast and wheat germ contain iron, protein and complex carbohydrates. Brewer’s yeast has a distinct strong smell and can be omitted if you prefer. To increase the fibre content, try replacing the all-purpose flour with wholemeal flour.

 

Lactation cookies may work for most mums, but, do note that overconsumption of these snacks could lead to weight gain, so as with other foods, eat in moderation.

Your kids can participate in cutting out cookie shapes when you’re baking those lactation cookies!

 

If you have an older child, he or she can help you with cutting out shapes for the cookies as there are many known benefits of cooking and baking with children. It’s a great bonding activity too!

 

Do lactation cookies help boost breastmilk for you? Try this easy and delicious lactation cookie recipes and let us know in the comments!

Categories
Babies For Parents Toddlers

Does Your Baby Have Nipple Confusion?

Does “nipple confusion” sound mind boggling?

Nipple confusion refers to a situation where a baby develops problems with latching on the breast after he or she is used to drinking milk from a bottle. Nipple confusion could also arise from being given a pacifier.

Although both latching and sucking from a bottle appear to be the same, the mechanics of breastfeeding are fundamentally different. Breastfeeding is an acquired technique.

Firstly, babies have to open their mouth wide and use their tongue and lower jaw to hold the breast against the roof of their mouth. Then, they use their gums to compress the areola while their tongue moves in a rhythmic front-and-back fashion to draw out milk. To take a break, the baby just needs to stop sucking.

Babies can get frustrated when they have nipple confusion and are unable to feed well.

When babies are fed formula milk or expressed breast milk in a baby bottle, there is not as much technique needed to draw milk out. Some new parents in Singapore may think that baby is rejecting the infant formula milk, but that is usually not the case.

As milk flows from the bottle due to gravity, any action that they make with their mouth and gums will get milk flowing out of the bottle. Therefore, babies can suck only with their lips or clamp down on the teat with their gums. Babies drinking from milk bottles depend on their caregivers to physically remove the bottle from their mouths in order for them to take a break from feeding. This is because as milk flows from a bottle even when baby is not sucking, the baby is forced to continue feeding.

The benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and mothers have been widely publicised and for mothers who direct latch, encountering nipple confusion can pose an obstacle to breastfeeding.

To prevent nipple confusion and encourage your baby to latch on well, it is advised that you avoid giving your baby a pacifier or any type of artificial nipple (including bottle teats) for at least the first 3 to 6 weeks. This duration is to give your baby enough time to master the technique of latching efficiently. If there are problems with latching or if you feel extreme pain when your baby latches, consult an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who will guide you. Or, speak to the Lactation Consultants from the hospital that you delivered your baby at.

 Signs of nipple confusion

  • Thrusting their tongue up while they’re sucking, which can push the nipple out of their mouth
  • Failing to open their mouth wide enough during the latch (in this case, they can’t get much milk, and their mother’s nipples will be very sore)
  • Becoming frustrated that their mother’s milk isn’t instantly available because it takes a minute or two of sucking to stimulate the let-down reflex

How to prevent nipple confusion

  • Avoid all artificial teats for the first 3 to 6 weeks if at all possible. Use a cup or spoon to feed your baby if needed.
  • Use a slow flow nipple as the flow from the breast is considerably flower than that of milk bottles.
  • Be sure to coax baby to open wide before putting the bottle in his mouth.

Guiding a baby with nipple confusion back to latching

  • Before latching, snuggle your baby close to you to make him or her feel calm
  • Do a ‘sandwich hold’ with your breast to fill up your baby’s mouth
  • Try latching when your baby is calm and not starving.

To manage nipple confusion: After your baby has mastered the technique of latching on, you can introduce milk bottles, ideally after four weeks of age.

After your baby is confident with latching and is more than 6 weeks old, you can try introducing milk bottles. Be sure that the bottle teats are of the appropriate type for your baby so that the flow of milk does not choke your baby.

When you are ready to wean your baby, you can check these tips to transit your baby from breast milk to formula milk. Pick the age-appropriate stage of formula milk for your infant or toddler to ensure he gets adequate nutrients for healthy development. One major difference you will notice is that their poop colour may change when you introduce formula milk to them.

Has your baby experienced nipple confusion? What did you do to overcome it?

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Babies For Parents Pregnant

Pregnancy week 17 – 20: the start of second trimester

Congratulations and welcome to the second trimester -you’re almost at the halfway mark!

Many pregnant mums call this the “honeymoon period” as their energy levels seem to bounce back during this time. Also, your dresses from pre-pregnancy days might start to feel tighter, so you might want to swap them out for dresses with an elastic waistband or opt for maternity wearto accommodate your growing bump. Many maternity dresses double up as nursing dresses for convenient access when breastfeeding or pumping.

Your baby’s growth will be measured during gynae visits to ensure that your baby’s size is healthy during the second trimester.

Week 17: Pear

Your baby is now the size of a pear! His heart is now beating at a regulated pace of 140 to 150 beats per minute, twice the speed of an adult’s. What’s your week 17 baby doing in the womb? Certainly not slacking off, for sure. Your baby is practising essential movements to prepare for life outside the womb, such as sucking and swallowing.

Their identity will start to be more prominent as swirls and creases start to form on their fingers and toes – yes, those are fingerprints and toe prints!

 As your baby grows bigger and heavier, you’ll feel hungrier and hungrier, like you could really eat a cow! To prevent massive weight gain, try this instead of binging – have more frequent snacks of healthy food in smaller quantities. When planning your meals, make sure that your meals contain the essential nutrients for pregnancy and take note of the foods to avoid. You might also feel your back achingas the second trimester of pregnancy also marks more obvious weight gain. Get a cushion to support your back if your job is deskbound.

During the second trimester, pregnant mums should continue staying active, and consider prenatal exercises when given the green light by their doctors.

 Week 18: Sweet Potato

Your little one at week 18 is now big enough for you to feel most movements he makes. All those twists, rolls, kicks and punches could be strong enough to take you by surprise. You may even feel your baby’s hiccups. Other mummies have described baby hiccups as “bubbles” or a fluttering feeling.

Inside, your baby’s reproductive system is forming and the fallopian tubes and uterus are in proper position for girls and for boys, his genitals will be visible from the next visit.

Some pregnant mums’ feet and ankles start to swell during the second trimester. This is a sign of water retention as your body needs more fluid to support you and your growing baby. To alleviate the effects, keep your legs elevated and avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.

Lines that start appearing on your belly are stretchmarks and while they are mostly genetic, you can use stretch mark creams to keep the skin moisturised as much as possible to minimise the effects.

 Week 19: Mango

Vernix caseosa, a protective covering that prevents your baby from coming out wrinkly at birth, starts to form. A mix of dead skin cells, lanugo and oil, it is your baby’s first anti-wrinkle cream. Your baby’s lungs are developing and the main airways are forming this week.

You could be suffering from constipation due to the pregnancy hormones and iron supplements. Increasing your intake of fluids and fibre may help your condition. Feeling dizzy at times? That’s due to the growing pressure on your blood vessels from your uterus that reduces blood flow and causes you to feel faint. Once you experience such symptoms, sit or lie down immediately to prevent yourself from getting hurt.

Week 20: Banana

Welcome to Month 5! One of the cute things your baby can now do in-utero is sucking her thumb. This sucking reflex is useful for her to self-soothe when she enters the world.

You may be feeling out of breath at times due to your uterus pushing up against your lungs. However, you can still attempt simple exercises at home to keep fit and stay healthy.

Is your husband feeling left out? He doesn’t have to be, as there are many ways that he can help you with the pregnancy.

Are you enjoying your second trimester too, mummies? Do share how different it was from your first trimester!

Categories
Babies Babies For Parents Pregnant Pregnant

Breastfeeding Mums share: 5 Foods that Boost Milk Supply

During the first six months of a baby’s life, breast milk is the perfect food as it is tailored towards the baby’s requirements for healthy development. In addition, breast milk also strengthens the baby’s gut and provides lifelong benefitsfor both mother and baby.

Breastfeeding mums require an extra 300 to 500 calories on top of their daily nutritional requirements. There are certain types of foods which are known to boost breast milk supply. These are known as “milk boosters” and some of which are listed below. However, not all mums have the same reaction, and a milk booster for one mum may be a milk killer for another.

Keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated is essential when it comes to breast milk production. 88% of breast milk is water, so be sure to drink at least six to eight glasses of non-caffeinated water.

  1. Dark Leafy Green vegetables

Dark leafy green vegetables are a good source of calcium, iron, folate, Vitamin K and Vitamin A. Incorporate them into your diet by simply blanching these vegetables to retain the maximum amount of nutrients. Examples of dark leafy green vegetables include kale, spinach, broccoli and kale, among others. Chock full of fibre to aid digestion, dark leafy green vegetables also contain phytoestrogens that positively affects breast milk production.


2. Avocado

Over 75% of the fatin avocados are good, unsaturated fats. These good fats help the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Creamy and mild, avocados can be used to make guacamole, milkshakes and can even be shared with your baby if he or she has started weaning!

Avocados are heart-healthy and help you to keep satiated. Some breastfeeding mums have reported that regular consumption of avocados have resulted in their breast milk becoming creamier!

3. Salmon

Salmon is regarded as a galactagogue as it contains a rich amount of Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 fatty acids. It is one of the few foods that contain natural Vitamin D. Both Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 may help in fending off postpartum depression.

More importantly, salmon contains a large amount of DHA which is important for the development of your baby’s nervous system. DHA is often added to formula milkfor the same reason, in addition to supporting healthy eye and brain development. If you’ve held off eating salmon sashimi during your pregnancy, now’s the time to pamper yourself and boost your breastmilk supply at the same time!

4. Oatmeal

Low iron levels may result in a decreased breast milk supply. Oatmeal is the main ingredient in lactation cookies. Full of nutrition, oats contain proteins, vitamins, minerals, zinc, manganese and calcium.

An excellent source of soluble fibre, oats contain vitamin B that increases energy, regulates your mood and reduces your stress levels! Oatmeal can be eaten as porridge or left in a mug with fresh milk overnight to make overnight oats – a healthy breakfast for breastfeeding mum!


5. Sweet Potatoes

In just one sweet potato, you get all the Vitamin A you need for the day. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy vision, bone growth, immunity and cell growth. Breastfed babies rely on your diet to absorb the Vitamin A that they require.

High in fibre and potassium, sweet potatoes contain more grams of natural sugars but with more nutrients and fewer calories than a normal potato, making it the healthier choice for breastfeeding mums.

Naturally sweet, sweet potatoes can be served in a multitude of ways in various types of cuisine. Mashed, baked, as chips, the possibilities are endless!

Breastfeeding mums, which foods are your milk boosters? Have you consumed a milk booster that turned out to be a milk killer for you? Let us know in the comments!