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Babies Family Fun Toddlers

Guide to Choosing a High Chair for Your Baby

At around 6 months of age, you may safely introduce solid foods to your baby and a high chair (or sometimes referred to as “baby chair”) comes in useful when your baby can sit up on his own to eat. (Read: A New Parents’ Guide to Starting Solids for Children or Guide to starting baby on solids)

High chairs are a common sights in a new family, thanks to the convenience it offers at meal times.

Highchairs are essentially tall chairs that come with child safety restraints and an attached tray for eating.  The main purpose of a high chair is for your baby to engage in feeding activities at a comfortable height. The child restrain can keep your baby safe while the height of the high chair brings your child up to the same level as other family members who are eating at the dining table.

Baby gets to work on his fine motor skills when he picks up food to self-feed and explores different foods. He also gets to socialise with others while eating hence, a high chair is recommended by many parents.

What should I look out for in a high chair?

There are many different high chairs in the market, how do you know which one to buy?

#1: Safety features

As with any products meant for your baby, safety is of paramount importance. A high chair should have the following features for safety purposes:

  1. Enough weight and stability to prevent toppling incidents when your baby becomes more active when they are sitting in it.
  2. No sharp or rough edges or parts that could accidentally hurt your child.
  3. Adjustable safety straps that can not be easily detached by your child.
  4. Lockable wheels, if you prefer high chairs on wheels.
  5. If your high chair comes with a detachable tray, make sure it is only detachable by adults.

#2: Ease of cleaning

The baby chair may be used for every meal your baby has but babies are notoriously known to be messy eaters (Read: How to Start Baby Led Weaning: Tips from a Mum of 2). In our opinion, the ease of maintaining hygiene ranks right after safety and this is why selecting a high chair that is easy to clean is next on our list.

Some high chairs come with washable covers, which you can remove for thorough cleaning.

Choose high chairs that can be wiped down easily and those with as little seams and cervices as possible, so that there are less places where food particles can be lodged in. Some high chairs have detachable eating trays that you can easily detach to clean after each meal, or a tray-within-a-tray feature where the tray on top can be detached and be washed easily.

#3: Comfort and support

Ensure that the parts of your highchair that come into contact with your baby feels comfortable to you. Padded high chairs can provide more cushion for your baby while non-cushioned higher chairs can be cooler to sit in, particularly in our tropical weather.

#4: Storage

In space-limited Singapore, our homes are smaller and so is our storage space. Hence, the storage requirements of your high chair become quite important. Look for high chairs that can be foldable without being too flimsy. If you have toddlers running around your home, you may also want to see if your desired high chair can be locked when folded, to reduce accident risks.

Extra features to look out for when buying a high chair

Look out for height adjustment features – this offers flexibility where parents or the caregiver would like to feed the child by sitting beside him. Additionally, if you prefer for baby to dine at the dining table with the rest of the family, getting a high chair of a height that aligned with the furniture would be helpful.

High chairs with footrests promote good posture for your baby when they are eating. They allow your baby to sit with their hips properly resting on the seat and ensure that their legs are not dangling in the air when they eat, especially useful for young babies who are just starting to sit up.

Is it worth buying an expensive high chair?

High chairs in Singapore cost anything from $30 to $500, more if you purchase additional accessories. So, are expensive high chairs worth the investment, if you can find cheaper alternatives that checks most of your requirements?

Since worth is subjective, the simple answer is to look at the life span of the high chair, from how it sits your child, whether it is adjustable as your child grows, the comfort level as well as its building material, for the purposes of your family’s usage.

We hope this simple guide provides practical tips in your quest for a suitable high chair. Do share with us in comments if there are any additional functions or features that you look out for when purchasing a high chair. We’d be interested to hear!

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For Parents Toddlers

Parents Share: How to Prepare Kids for their First Dental Visit

Parents are often unsure of when to bring their child to the dentist, and some wait until all teeth have erupted.

 

However, it is recommended that the first dental visit start from the moment the first tooth has erupted, and no later than one to two years of age. As with adults, children should visit the dentist once every six months, or more frequently if there is a dental issue.

 

Let’s find out how parents in Singapore made the first dental visit for kids less scary– with helpful tips for other families too!

 

Your child’s first dental visit doesn’t have to be as scary as you imagine!

 

#1: Search for a paediatric dentist

Mothers Jessie Pek and Larissa Sim agree that finding a good paediatric dentist is half the job done, as the experienced dentist would know how to manage kids better and deal with any fear that the child may have about having their teeth checked.

 

Jessie’s son was less than three years old when he went for his first dental appointment and the visit turned out to be surprisingly pleasant.

 

“There was a small decay, so the dentist suggested filing without polishing or washing other teeth to keep the visit short. After that, my boy has been okay with going for dental appointments”.

 

Larissa’s daughter encountered a bad experience at a generalist dental clinic as the cubicles were not soundproof and the cries and screams from another cubicle traumatised her greatly. Since then, she has switched to a private paediatric dentist.

 

Evonne Wong, mum to a three-year-old daughter, shares that her experience with a paediatric dentist was much better compared to the first time as the dentist was gentle. Her daughter reacted so positively to the dentist that “she will look for him whenever food is stuck between her teeth”!

 

#2: Familiarise them with the process

As there is fear from the unknown, children(and perhaps, some parents too!) tend to over-imagine things and scare themselves over the first visit to the dentist. The trick is to show them that it’s not so scary as they imagine! When explaining, keep it factual and avoid adding in emotions.

 

Mummy Larissa suggests reading a lot of books and showing videos of toddlers at the dentist, preferably those that feature dental tools and patients younger than your child to familiarise them with the process.

Use non-fluoride kids toothpaste for your child until they learn how to spit.

 

#3: Maintain healthy oral hygiene

Maintaining healthy oral habits on a daily basis is the key to preventing dental caries from forming in the mouth. Introduce the concept of brushing teeth with non-fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, especially after meals and before bedtime. Reinforce to them that the cleaner their teeth are, the lesser time they will have to spend at the dentist’s clinic.

 

If your child is able to spit, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, as it is the key ingredient to keeping teeth squeaky clean.

 

For strong, healthy teeth, ensure that your toddler takes in essential nutrients such as calcium and Vitamin D through breastmilk and/or formula milk to support healthy teeth and gum development.

Parents can help children handle their first dental visit like rockstars!

 

#4 Be Positive

Mum Dandan Liang chooses to explain the positives of visiting the dentist to her son and it worked as her son’s first dental visit was a breeze. She took her son to the dentist as she was worried about some shadow on his front teeth. Before they entered the room, she described what the process would be like and what he needed to do.

 

“I told him that he had to open his mouth so the dentist could check what was wrong with his teeth and make it white again”, she adds. The experience went better than expected as the dentist fashioned a balloon with a smiley face out of a latex glove as a gift for her son.

 

#5 Expect the Unexpected

As the popular saying goes, “Expect the Unexpected”. There was no time for Mummy Jessica Lu to prepare her son, as his first visit to the dentist was an emergency when his sister knocked his front tooth loose. Surprisingly, her son remained calm and the dentist managed to save his tooth.

 

How was your child’s first visit to the dentist like? Do share your tips on making your child’s first dental trip a fearless one!

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Babies Babies Family Fun For Parents Toddlers Toddlers

How to choose the right infant care centre in Singapore

In Singapore, infant care centres offer educare services to newborns from 2 months old till 18 months old. It is an option for working parents who are unable to look after their infants during the day.

Making the decision of sending your baby to an infant care centre is the first big step forward. The second decision that requires some prior research is determining which is the “best”infant care centre in Singapore.

We’ve come up with a few pointers and questions you may want to consider when deciding on the right infant care centre to send your precious little baby.

Infant care centres in Singapore are overseen by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).

  • Location and Accessibility
    Is the infant care centre located within convenient distance from your home or workplace? Is it located near a bus stop or train station? It may not seem like much, but 5 minutes saved on travelling each day adds up to 100 minutes in a month of 20 work days!
  • Fees and subsidies
    The fees for infant care centres vary depending on centres. You can check out the infant care centres listed under ECDA’s Partner Operator Scheme and Anchor Operator Scheme, as these centres have a fee cap for both full and half day infant care programmes. Also, parents with certain household income may apply for basic or additional subsidies to save on the monthly infant care fees.
  • Educarer:Infant Ratio
    The stipulated educarer:infant ratio by ECDA is 1:5, but some infant care centres offer a lower ratio for more individualised attention. Do take note that centres with lower ratios may charge a higher fee. 
  • Cleanliness and Hygiene
    Infants below six months old are especially vulnerable to illnesses as their immune systems are still developing. Apart from standard temperature checks and hand sanitisation at the door and throughout the day, check that the educarers practise frequent hand washing and use gloves when changing diapers. This can be observed when you visit the infant care centre.

Infant care centres do more than plain routine care for infants.

 

  • Ventilation
    Most, but not all, infant care centres are air-conditioned. If the infant care centre that you are interested in is ventilated naturally, check that they have air purifiers in place for use when the air quality is unsatisfactory.Also, for non-air conditioned infant care centres, look out for safety features such as window grilles and the type of window blinds or curtains used. The latter should ideally not have hanging cords as they are a safety risk for curious infants and toddling tots.
  • Milk feeding arrangements

For babies who are on breastmilk, find out from the educarers if they have the knowledge and equipment to warm up expressed breast milk. For babies who are drinking formula milk, check with them what parents should prepare e.g. number of milk bottles, should you leave a tin of infant formula milk labelled with your baby’s name etc.

  • Curriculum
    Infant educarers do more than just routine care. There might not be a fixed classroom schedule for younger infants as they spend most of their day sleeping. When they are awake, educarers engage infants in activities that stimulate their senses, such as music, art and craft and sensory play.
  • Parent Communication
    As your infant will be spending many hours in the infant care centre, it is important that you are comfortable with the communication tool the school uses. Certain infant care centres use a communication book, where updates are detailed in pen on paper. Other infant care centres provide updates via an application where you can be alerted to updates the moment the details are keyed in. 

While there might not be a perfect infant care centre, do take some time to discuss the top three must-haves when choosing a comfortable centre for your baby.It would help to visit the infant care on a weekday and talk to the educarers and principal to understand about their processes and beliefs too.

 

Read our guide to choose the right childcare centre or preschool when your child turns 18 months old!

What were some of your deciding factors when selecting an infant care centre? Share it with us in the comments!

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For Parents Toddlers Uncategorized

Quick Tips for Potty Training Your Son

Potty training little boys is a process that requires cooperation and consistent encouragement from caregivers. Toilet training typically starts from 18 months of age in advanced countries where diapers are heavily relied on. The best time to start is when your son shows signs of readiness, and during a time where no major changes are expected.

 

Signs of readiness to use the potty include passing a motion at a regular timing, controlling his bladder, being able to stay dry for at least two hours and being able to pull his pants up and down.

 

Though most tips may apply to both boys and girls, there are slightly more challenges when it comes to potty training little boys.

Potty training your toddler requires patience and consistent reminders.

1. Teach your son to sit, not stand
One popular question when it comes to training boys is, “Should they sit or stand to pee?”. The answer is to sit. It takes more skill for young boys to keep still when peeing and sitting prevents the unnecessary mess. When they have successfully mastered the basics, you can then guide them to stand up to pee. Some little boys are able to stand and pee without going through the sitting stage – it all depends on your child’s readiness and comfort level!

 

2. Buy a cute urinal
Once your child can sit to pee, you can start training him to stand up to pee. There are child urinals which are colourful and attractive with water wheels to make it fun for your son to aim his pee at. They can be mounted on the wall and easily removed for cleaning.

 

3. Use loose fitting bottoms

Get him some loose fitting shorts with elasticated waistbands that he can simply tug down to remove when he needs to pass urine. To make it extra special, bring him along to shop for a few pairs with his favourite cartoon characters!

Be prepared to clean up accidents that happen during potty training.

4. Have potty training sessions
The key to successful potty training is consistency. Put your son on the potty every 15 minutes for two to three hours and whistle to encourage him to relieve his bladder, or ask if he needs to poop. At the end of the session, use regular diapers or training pants to go on with the rest of your day. Aim to have at least two training sessions in a day.

 

Training pants come in handy when potty training your son.

 5. Play a game of “Guess the colour of your poop”
For toddlers and preschoolers who can name colours, play a game of guessing the colour of their poop before putting them on the potty. Poop colour is a sign of your son’s health. If he guesses correctly after pooping into the potty, reward him with a small treat.

 

6. Do the Pee Whistle and Poo Hum
Studies have shown that sounds are an effective communication method to trigger the child’s bowel release. Mothers who practice elimination communication, the method of toilet training from infancy, use sound cues such as whistling to let their babies pee and humming for poo.

 

7. Settle day time training before a night training
It is tougher for your son to stay dry during his sleep as it takes much more awareness. Night training can be done after your son can keep his training pants or briefs dry during the day. You can use a waterproof mattress liner and sheet to contain accidental mess if you are letting your son sleep with loose shorts.

 

Limiting drinks before bedtime can help in reducing the need to pee while he is asleep.

 

Potty training involves a lot of communication and closeness to monitor your son’s cues. Don’t be disheartened if it seems to take longer than expected. If your son attends school, check with the teachers how you can work together to support your potty training attempts.

 

Is your son off diapers and uses the potty on his own? Share your potty training strategies in the comments below!

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For Parents Toddlers

Quick Tips for Potty Training Your Daughter

Potty training is the process of getting your child off diapers to relieve themselves in a potty or adult toilet. Going diaper-free is a huge milestone not only for the child but the parents as well. In some parts of Asia and Central America, the “elimination communication” method of toilet training is used, and infants learn from young to control their bladders.

 

For children elsewhere, diapers are used from infancy until they can control their urges successfully. Children can start on potty training anywhere between 18 months to 4 years old, and when they are ready, some children show cues of potty-training readiness especially when they are able to communicate their need to pee or poop.

 

We have compiled a few quick tips on potty training your daughter that you can try out. A tip from one parent to another: loads of patience needed!

 

 

Going on the potty can be terrifying for a small child.

 

  • Let your daughter choose her own potty
    Potties come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and range from the simple pot-like potty to the fancy, mini-sized version of regular toilet bowls, complete with flushing sounds and music. As the potty is something your daughter has to be comfortable to relieve herself in, letting her choose her own potty can make her open up to the idea of using it.

 

  • Incorporate potty time in her daily routine
    By now, you should have a rough idea of how frequently your daughter passes the motion, and when. Ask her at frequent intervals if she would like to try using the potty, or have specific “potty times”, where you lead her to the potty and sit her down. It doesn’t matter if nothing comes out, as the point is to get her familiarised with the action of going to the potty.

 

  • Buy cool training pants or panties
    Bring your daughter out to the nearest shopping centre for a mission – to buy cool training pants or cute panties, depending on your tolerance for accidental leakages. She may feel motivated to wear them if it has her favourite patterns or cartoon characters.

 

  • Set up a rewards chart
    For each time she successfully relieves herself in a potty, pass her a sticker that she can paste on a board to chart her progress and exchange for a small treat. Positive reinforcement (praises, treats and privileges) has been shown to bring out better outcomes than negative reinforcement (chiding, scolding, withholding affection or privileges).

 

Observe poop together
While it may smell, paying some attention to the appearance of your child’s output can give you an idea of your child’s well-being. After all, hospitals use stool samples to check for health conditions. Teach your child to look out for healthy poop and encourage her to eat more vegetables in order to produce healthy poop.

Check out this poop guide as the colour and consistency of poop depends on the type of diet your toddler has. Making poop observation a joint activity can encourage her to poop into the potty.

 

 

Training pants can be worn during potty training to prevent accidental leakages.

 

  • Encourage, encourage and encourage
    Some children get comfortable on the potty within days, while others may take a longer time. Parents have to constantly encourage their child that it is okay even if there are accidents. Most importantly, assure her that you will be there for her no matter how long it takes for her to be off diapers.

 

Ultimately, it all boils down to the comfort level of your daughter and while there are many potty-training tips out there, some trial and error may be needed to find out what works for your daughter. She may just surprise you one day by simply deciding that she no longer wants to wear diapers!

 

Have you started potty training your daughter? Do share some of your most memorable potty-training memories with us!

Categories
Babies Family Fun Toddlers

Kids Eat for FREE at these Cafes & Restaurants in Singapore

Can kids enjoy free meals in Singapore?

 

With cafes and restaurants promotions that offer free food for kids, it helps families save some dollars when taking their children out to dine at these family-friendly places too. WIN-WIN!

 

At such food establishments in Singapore, parents can request for hot water for your baby’s formula milk,or, for warming up expressed breast milk too, as they are usually more understanding of family needs.

 

Check our handy guide for bottle feeding essentials you may have missed out when packing your diaper bag too!If you have an infant who needs to nurse during the meal, remember to pack a nursing cover in your diaper bag along with other necessary baby items.

 

Caption: Enjoy free meals when you dine with your child at these cafes and restaurants in Singapore!

 

  1. Morganfield’s

Morganfield’s is where you can have your fill of ribs, steaks, burgers. Redeem a kid’s meal for up to two children per table with every paying adult on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. This promotion is only applicable to children below 8 years old or under 120cm.

Website

 

  1. Ippudo (Tanjong Pagar Centre)

Craving for authentic ramen? To redeem a Kid’s Delight Meal for your child aged 12 and below, simply order a regular bowl of ramen noodles on weekends! The ramen meal is garnished with corn, spring onions, bamboo shoots and has two side dishes!

 

Website

 

  1. Pizza Hut

If your child is under 10 years old, simply order any ala carte main and your child gets to choose a free kids meal! Pickfrom the baked pasta, tasty lasagna, mini pizza or yummy spaghetti meal! Each meal comes with a choice of chilled Milo, Mango Peach or Apple Juice. The promotion runs daily except on Public Holidays, Public Holiday eves and special occasions.

 

Website

 

  1. Swensen’s

 An extra reason to wake up early? Claim your free kid’s breakfast when you order an Adult Breakfast on weekends and public holidays between 8am to 11am. Only valid if your child is between 4 and 12 years old.

 

Website

 


Caption: Restaurants that provide free food for children are likely to be family-friendly establishments as well!

 

  1. Little Saigon

 If you fancy Vietnamese food, this restaurant bar offers a complimentary kid’s meal for children below 7 years old every Sunday. To redeem, order two adult main courses from the Noodles and Soup and Sandwiches section.

Website

 

  1. Shin Minori

 Serving ala carte Japanese buffet, children below 5 years old dine for free with every paying adult! Stuff yourself silly with sashimi, sushi, temakis, agemono and other dishes in their eat-all-you-can buffet.

 

Website

 

  1. Putien

This family-friendly Chinese restaurant serves free meals to children upon request when you dine there. There are no stated terms and conditions nor is it stated on the website, but it has been tried and tested.


Website

 

  1. Cafe Melba (Goodman Arts Centre)

 Kids eat for free every Monday, all-day, at Cafe Melba with purchase of a main meal. This kid-friendly cafe has a large lawn right outside for your kids to go wild. A bouncy castle goes up from 3pm and between 5pm to 8pm, there’s a little arts and craft corner for them to do art! Valid on all Mondays except on eves of Public Holidays and Public Holidays.

 

Website

 

 

Apart from drinking formula milk or breastmilk, has your child started solids yet? Do share with us your favourite family-friendly dining places in Singapore too!

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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 For Parents Toddlers Toddlers

4 Easy Right Brain Activities to Play with Kids at Home

A child’s brain develops at exponential speed from during the first three years, with the right brain being more dominant until around three years old.

The left brain is responsible for controlling the right side of the body. Functions include logic, language, reasoning, Science and Math, number skills and analytical thought.

The right brain is the artistic and creative side of the brain and its functions include art awareness, creativity, imagination, intuition, holistic thought and music awareness. Also, the right brain enables a child to learn subconsciously and has the potential to process large amount of data at super-fast speed, unlike the left brain. This in turn translates to better memory retention ability.

Besides attending right brain training sessions, parents can partake in simple right brain activities at home with your kids too. The key to right brain activities is the fast speed technique which engages young kids while developing their focus. Have fun playing together!

Right Brain Development Activity #1: Link Memory
Link memory is a set of picture cards with little relation to each other. The game is played by creating a link between the cards and developing a story. This game encourages creativity and triggers the brain’s potential for photographic memory by stimulating the right brain. This activity is suitable for children who can vocalise themselves and identify the items in the photographs.

Have fun creating funny stories with pictures that are part of the Link Memory activity, which helps stimulate the right brain through visuals and memory.Source.

Right Brain Development Activity #2: Flashcards

Flashcards are sets of pictorial cards that are shown in quick succession to the child. It is accompanied by vocalisation of the description of the photos. You can stimulate your child’s right brain by flashing the pictorial cards at a rate of 2 cards per second, as opposed to flashing slowly which exercises their logic brain; the left brain.

This activity can be done even before the child recognises the items in the photographs. As the cards are flashed quickly, the right brain is stimulated by the quick speed. Their photographic memory is enhanced when they try to recall the cards as they are being flashed. It is best to use flashcards with large and colourful pictures without any words.

Right Brain Development Activity #3: Visual Memory
Visual memory games are played like this: First, you get your child to look at images that comprise of different shapes and colours. Afterwards, your child is supposed to replicate them from their memory by drawing them out or use shape blocks to form the exact same image that was shown to them.

Visual memory games help strengthen your child’s right brain.
Source: Pinterest

Right Brain Development Activity #4: Tangrams

Tangram puzzles are seven shapes cut from a square that can be rearranged to form other shapes. You can print out puzzle guides for your older child to follow, or let your child be creative and use the shapes to create their own figure while looking at the tangram image.

To support healthy brain development, offer children a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals through nutrient-rich meals. Apart from superfoods and food that are high in healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, parents can choose age-appropriate formula milk powder to supplement children’s diet to obtain the essential nutrients.

Do you stimulate your children’s right brain development at home too? Share with us your kids’ favourite right brain training activities in the comments below!

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Babies For Parents Toddlers

Bottle-feeding Guide: How to choose the right teat for baby

Are you wondering how to pick the right milk bottle teat for your baby?

If your baby is drinking breastmilk or formula milk powder from the bottle, teats also known as bottle nipples are one of the bottle feeding essential items parents need to prepare for.

Most parents face a dilemma when it comes to choosing baby milk  bottles and teats. Which type of bottle teat is closest to a natural nipple? More importantly, what type of teat will your baby accept?

You may find that your baby refuses to drink from bottles and you could end up having to run through many brands before settling on one that your baby prefers.

Material and Lifespan of Bottle Teats
In the market, bottle teats are mostly made from latex or silicone. Both materials have their benefits, and you can switch between them.

Latex is a natural material that is softer and more flexible than silicone, which can make it easier for babies to adapt to. It is more resistant to bites. If your baby has a hard time adapting to latex teats, boil it in milk for 3 minutes to get rid of the taste.

Latex is a natural material and it breaks down more quickly compared to silicone, which is a synthetic material. There is a small possibility that your baby may be allergic to latex and thus, unsuitable to use latex teats. When latex teats break down, the teats may feel sticky.

Choosing the right milk bottle teat for your baby: silicon vs. latex

Silicone is a manmade material that is more durable compared to latex. It is clear, firm and tends to be more resistant to temperature, exposure to sunlight and fatty foods. It is heat resistant, meaning that it can undergo many rounds of sterilisation without developing cracks that could breed bacteria.

During wash of milk bottle teats, always ensure that they are thoroughly washed without any breastmilk or formula milk powder residue left behind. Regardless of the material chosen, teats should be replaced every one to two months, or immediately when you notice bite marks, cracks or damage.

Latex teats are said to feel more like a real nipple.

Shapes of Bottle Teats
Bottle teats come in all shapes and sizes. Some are slim, some are bell shaped and some have a flat end on one side. Baby bottle manufacturers are constantly working to produce a bottle teat that most resembles the feel of a natural nipple.

There are teats with an anti-colic feature, where a vent in the teat allows air to escape when the baby suckles from it. Certain bottle teats have a vacuum and require the baby to suckle harder in order for the milk to be released.

Your baby may take a while to accept a bottle teat, so you may have to get different types of teats for your baby to try.

Flow rate of Bottle Teats

As your baby grows, they will be able to consume more milk and thus, a teat with a corresponding flow rate should be used. A flow rate is how fast the milk goes into your baby’s mouth. The flow rate depends on the number and type of holes in the tip.

Although baby bottle manufacturers categorise their teats by age, it should be noted that the flow rate suitable for your baby may not correspond to his or her age. If you notice that your baby is sputtering and choking, switch to a teat with slower flow.

Conversely, if your baby is frustrated and sucking hard, change to a teat with faster flow.

Teats for newborns have a slow flow and have one hole in the teat. The more holes in the teat, the faster the flow rate. Fast flow teats may have as many as four holes, depending on the brand of teats.

Mothers who direct latch and bottle feed at the same time prefer to continue using slow flow teats as it means that the baby has to suckle harder in order to get milk. Nipple confusion is a common concern for mums who breastfeed and bottle-feed their child.

There are vary flow teats in the market where the flow increases depending on how hard your baby suckles.

Each baby has their own preference, and you should be prepared for some trial and error across the different teat brands before your baby finally settles on one.

Which type of teat does your baby prefer? Let us know in the comments!