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Cleaning Newborn Sensitive Bits

By Jan Murray

Your newborn is tougher than you think but there are a few sensitive areas that need to be handled with a little more care. These include the ears, eyes, nose, umbilical stump, and genitals.

Cleaning the ears

Earwax is formed in the outer ear canal and travels towards the outer ear edges with jaw movement. Ear wax is assists in natural ear cleaning and lubrication and protects the inner ear from bacteria, fungi, water and insects. Problems of infection and impacted earwax arise if wax builds up in the inner ear canal. Therefore, clean the ears using a moistened cotton wool ball or soft wipe only around the outer ear folds and behind the ear; NEVER put a cotton bud or other narrow implement inside the ear canal as it can perforate the ear drum and push wax further in.

Cleaning the eyes

Clean the eyes using cotton wool balls or soft wipes moistened in clean water. Using a clean moistened piece for each eye, wipe the eye area from the nose edge to the outside. At times you may notice the eyes weeping and stuck together. This is referred to as ‘sticky eye’ and is not an uncommon or harmful condition and is usually due to blocked tear ducts that more often than not resolve themselves.

Cleaning sticky eyes

Eyes can remain sticky for several weeks and often months despite regular cleansing. It is important to keep the eyes cleansed. If you are breastfeeding, squirt a little milk into bubs eyes. This helps cleanse and protect the eye from infection. To help release the blocked tear duct, firmly massage the inner canthus area (inner end) of the effected eye. Always clear the eyes of built up matter before nursing and seek professional advice if the eye becomes red or discharge increases.

Clearing the nose and sneezing

Your newborn starts life as a nose breather. Therefore, it is important to keep the nose clear. He cannot blow his nose or cough effectively so he sneezes regularly to clear his air passages. Keep his nasal secretions moist to assist clearing. Do this by regular feeding and squirt a little water or normal saline up the nose. A humidifier may help keep air moist. When nasal secretions are moist, use a little rubber bulb purchased from a pharmacy or twist the end of a tissue and gently grip any matter at the base of the nose. NEVER push cotton buds (or anything for that matter) up into the nasal space.

Cleaning the umbilical stump

The umbilical cord changes in appearance and odour until the point of separation (7-10 days). It becomes darker, dryer and maybe a little offensive. Clean with a cotton tip applicator dipped in normal saline or cool boiled water and a little added sea-salt if gets contaminated with poo. When the area is inflammation, cleanse and protect the skin with a natural barrier cream. Continue to air and keep dry and seek professional advice if the area continues to weep or bleed for longer than a week after the dried cord stump has fallen off.

Cleaning boy bits

When wiping baby boy genital bits don’t forget to gently lift up the scrotum and wipe underneath. Change his diaper every three to four hours as urine or poop left in contact with skin for too long forms an acid that burns. Never pull back the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis as this can do harm. A daily bathe will keep this area clean and don’t stop self-discovery, it’s normal.

Cleaning girl privates

Baby girls’ vaginal area is delicate so avoid wiping deep into the inner vaginal folds. The white substance you’ll see is natural and stays to give added cleaning and protection. Gently hold the vaginal folds apart and wipe downwards with a soft diaper liner or cotton wool ball soaked in warm water. Avoid using treated cleansing wipes as these often aggravate delicate skin and mucosa and disrupt the natural PH balance. Change her diaper every three to four hours as urine or poop left in contact with her skin for too long forms an acid that burns. Always wipe the vaginal area in a downward direction to avoid wiping faecal matter into the short urethra. A discharge of blood streaked mucous may appear in the first six weeks. This is a pseudo-menstruation so just gently wipe it away, it’s normal.

Video Clip on how to bath a newborn . . .

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This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance.

Summer with a Newborn

By Jan Murray

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The Australian summer can bring extremely hot weather that lasts for months. The heat can be humid with rain or dry with wind and no rain. Whatever kind of summer you experience the effects of hot temperatures can be stressful for you and dangerous for newborns. Keeping cool yourself helps babies feel relaxed and comfortable; try cooling down with frequent quick showers and regular cold drinks.

Newborns are unable to regulate their body temperature like adults do, which leaves them at risk of overheating and dehydrating. Babies can become too hot internally when lost liquids are not adequately replaced. Newborns lose fluids regularly from weeing, pooing, vomiting and perspiring and the lack of liquid causes little bodies to dehydrate and overheat. When dehydration is severe the risk of heatstroke and SIDS is increased. Keep an eye on the bottom end. Newborns need to have at least six wet nappies in a twenty-four hour period—less than six is an indication that babies are becoming dry. Newborns may poo after every feed or only every few days or so. Poo should not be hard pebbles as this is constipation and a sign of not enough fluid. Offer babies extra liquid at regular intervals during the day. Either extra short breast feeds or if using infant formula give cooled boiled water between milk feeds.

Humid, hot, and airless environments cause fungal infections to thrive. Keep a check on places such as the nappy area, under baby’s chin, between creases and folds, as well as your nipple area. You can reduce the risk of thrush developing by regularly exposing these areas to air and keeping them clean and dry; if you are breastfeeding, eating yoghurt and reducing your yeast and sugar intake can also help. When reddened areas won’t go away with these measures seek professional advice.

Skin-to-skin contact is important for newborn development but it can make you both hot and sticky. When breast feeding on steamy days, if you place a wet cloth under your arm or around the back of your neck, and a small cotton cloth between you and your baby it can make feeding a little more comfortable.

Water is cooling. Ensure babies have a sponge down with a wet cloth, bath or shower at least daily. Wet your hand or a washer with lukewarm water and regularly wipe over bubs head on really hot days. If infant skin is dry, add a little natural oil to the bath water or moisturise the skin after a bath.

While feeling hot can make anyone irritable, the heat can also make it particularly difficult for newborns to settle and go to sleep. But don’t worry, there are some things that you can do to help keep them cool. Increase airflow in the cot by using a firm cotton mattress and remove any waterproof protectors, as these hold in heat. Spread a towel over the mattress under the sheet to absorb perspiration and be sure to remove any unnecessary bedding, toys and bumpers from the cot. Use natural cotton or bamboo fabric for clothes and bedding as synthetic materials trap heat and can cause babies to overheat.

For additional cooling, if you don’t have the luxury of air-conditioning, drape wet towels and a dish of water in front of an oscillating fan. Dress babies in only a nappy and light cotton wrap to sleep. When regulating an air-conditioner, take into account their fat layers, prematurity and general health, and set temperature to around 24°C. At this heat, babies would need a loose sleep-suit and swaddling wrap and perhaps another cotton blanket over the top. If bub is too hot his head will be sweaty as this is where newborns loose heat. Because babies loose heat from the head, place their feet at the end of the cot, which allows air flow around the head—this is also in line with SIDS safe sleeping recommendations.

If your house is hot, escape in an air-conditioned car or to an air-conditioned shopping centre or library for a break. When going for a walk, avoid going between 10am and 3pm as this is when the sun is most harmful. Avoid having babies in a stroller for too long as these tend to be hot and airless. This also applies to the car restraint when the car is stopped. These contraptions can heat up very quickly and cause body temperatures to rapidly rise, which can put babies at risk of a febrile convulsion. It is also important to use UV protectors on windows and over strollers to stop the sun’s strong rays from burning delicate skin.

Enjoy summertime with your newborn but remain alert to the hazards of heat. Seek professional help if your baby has less than six wet nappies in a twenty-four hour period, has dark circles under dry eyes, hot dry skin, sunken fontanels (soft spot on his head) a dry mouth and tongue or is floppy and difficult to arouse.

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This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance.

Creating Happier Day Care Kids

How parents manage their children at home has a direct influence on their behaviour at family day care. Here are three of the top influences that could be affecting your child’s behaviour.If you have ever felt a wave of panic when you drop your children off at family day care; you are not alone. Many parents are concerned about how happy their children are throughout the day and their associated behaviour.

Influence One: Sending your child off for the day without a suitable breakfast or no breakfast. Food is fuel to a child’s body. What they eat determines the capacity of their output. If your child has no food or unsuitable nutrition at breakfast, it can lead to them having poor concentration with emotional outbursts of frustration or an inability to cope in challenging situations. They can also be uncoordinated and clumsy leaving them more at risk of falls.

What to do instead: Avoid giving your child milk throughout the night. This will allow them to be hungrier in the morning. Ensure the foods you offer for breakfast include protein, complex carbohydrates, fruit, essential fats and iron. Avoid simple sugars and processed cereals containing preservatives.

Influence Two: Putting your child to bed too late in the evening. Being overtired before going to bed makes it hard for your child to settle to sleep. When they eventually fall asleep their sleep is often restless and fitful with waking. Their activities before a late bedtime often include watching TV and mischievous behaviour, both causing unsettled sleep.

What to do instead: Introduce an age appropriate evening routine. This will include a suitable meal time, bath time and play time before a pre bed time routine of books. Encourage family time with no TV distractions during the one and a half hours before bed.

Influence Three: Eating foods that provide an unsuitable and adverse effect on a child’s body. Research shows obesity now affects 1:4 children in Australia and allergies and intolerances have increased 500% over the last 6 years. These preventable health issues are rapidly becoming the number one focus for our health industry’s funding.

What to do instead: Go back to basics. Avoid or at least reduce the amount of pre packaged food that your child consumes. Buy a lunchbox suitable for presenting natural foods in. Understand your child will not starve and you can create new habits with their eating behaviour. It is important to know; it is not up to your child to choose what to eat, only whether to eat. It is up to responsible adults to show children how to build a strong and healthy body for their future.

Who is Jan Murray? A Private Child Health Consultant who focuses on helping parents to establish healthy eating and sleeping patterns in their babies and young children.

Her book ‘taste it- easy baby & toddler recipes along with professional child health advice’ is specifically helpful for parents wishing to address the influences discussed in this article.

This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance. She publishes regular ezine and blog articles to provide free parenting tips, tools and resources to educate and support those caring for young babies and children.

Pacifier for baby

As a midwife and child health nurse who works closely with babies and children from birth to five years old, I have discovered some useful insight into the use of pacifiers for babies that I would like to share with you. The decision to use a pacifier or not will be up to you.

Not all babies take to sucking a pacifier but there are certainly babies in the world who do benefit from sucking one. Once you have heard my findings the decision to use one or not will then be up to you.

Six positive reasons for a baby to use a pacifier

1. Babies who are three to four weeks old who have learnt to attach and nurse well from the breast may need to continue non – nutritive sucking for comfort or stress relief. In this situation, the nursing mother and her nipples could do with some relief and possibly repair from constant sucking. It is however, important not to substitute a breast feed for a pacifier as this can reduce milk production resulting in an undernourished and unsettled baby.

2. A baby sucking a pacifier can reduce tummy discomfort, cranial discomfort and wind pain until the cause of the pain and discomfort is diagnosed and relieved. However, by aiding the digestive process this then can cause them to become hungrier earlier than anticipated.

3. Sucking a pacifier can reduce the pain of gastro oesophageal reflux allowing for a bit more sleep for everyone.

4. Recent knowledge indicates a baby sucking a pacifier can reduce the incidence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). This is thought to be due to a baby being in a more alert state of sleep and having their airways in a more open position allowing for better air entry. There are also other factors relating to the reduction of SIDS

5. Premature babies are given pacifiers to help them suck when they are fed via a nasogastric tube and to stimulate their suck before they are able to nurse efficiently. Research indicates this helps reduces their stay in NICU.

6. Commonly, a baby who is fed either breast milk or infant formula from a bottle requires a pacifier to build up the length of sucking time they require in a day.

Seven reasons why a baby is disadvantaged using a pacifier

1. There is an increased risk of bacterial infection from dirty pacifiers. Sterilise them regularly and throw out any that have cracks or worn areas where bacteria can settle

2. The continued use of a pacifier after three or four months can set up strong sleep associations that can lead to unsettled sleep in the months that follow

3. The regular and frequent use of a pacifier has been shown to decrease the length of time a mother will continue to nurse

4. A young baby who sucks too often on a pacifier can be too tired for nutritional nursing or bottle feeding

5. The use of a pacifier after nine months can not only disturb good sleep patterns but it can also interfere with speech development

6. Worn out or faulty pacifiers can be a choking hazard

7. Sucking on a pacifier when your baby should be awake and babbling, restricts the natural development of language

Which pacifier to choose?

There are many pacifiers on the market and it can be difficult to know which one is best. Consider one that closely mimics your breast nipple.

1. Look for the pacifier that is soft and supple. Brown latex rubber is usually the softest

2. Choose a shape that is similar to your nipple, this is usually the round cherry or bulb shaped pacifier. Large or small depends on your nipple size

3. It needs to be large enough to reach the soft palate in your baby’s mouth but not too far back to touch the ‘gag reflex’. This will depend on the size of your baby’s mouth

With the above information in mind, I believe there can be a place for pacifiers for some babies, providing that it is an appropriate pacifier used at an appropriate time and preferably for the first four months of life when a baby’s strong sucking reflex is present. After this age (with guidance) babies discover other ways to soothe themselves and pacifiers can then be discarded.

If you like this information you will love

Mum, Baby & Toddler – together we learn eBook

Do you have a baby around four months old who is about to start solids?

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This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep,nutrition , activities and family balance. She publishes regular ezine and blog articles to provide free parenting tips, tools and resources to educate and support those caring for young babies and children.

Baby Poo What’s Normal

Baby poo is a good indicator of how your baby is tolerating feeding. Therefore, it is a good idea to know what normal baby poo looks like.

What does normal baby poo look like?

A newborn’s first bowel movement is greenish-black, thick and sticky. These first poos consist of epithelial cells, lanugo, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, and water, which are intestinal substances that an unborn foetus ingests while in the womb.

As a newborn begins to ingest colostrum (mother’s first breast liquid), breast milk and or infant formula poo will change from greenish-black to dark brown that is less sticky.

When a baby is breastfeeding the poo will progress to a mustard colour containing tiny, white, grainy seed-like pieces.  It is a loose consistency and can occur at every nappy change or every few days or even up to 14 days. Unlike formula fed babies, it is rare for breast fed babies to get constipated.

When a baby is regularly ingesting infant formula poo is a pasty consistency and often green in colour (each brand of infant formula creates a slightly different variation of the colour green). Bowel movements can be less frequent than a breast fed baby but he will need to be passing a poo every day or every second day to avoid getting constipated.

Do you need a routine? ‘Suggested Daily Routines’ eBook

A baby that is breastfeed with top ups of infant formula will have a variation in-between these two poos, which will depend on the ratio of breast milk to formula.

What does abnormal baby poo look like?

ABNORMAL BABY POOP INDICATES THE NEED FOR FURTHER ASSESSMENT BY A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.

1. Green frothy poo and possibly associated with irritability, bloating, wind and nappy rash
2. Very liquid consistency with no white seedy bits
3. Poo is a pebble like consistency
4. A formula fed baby who has not passed a poo for 3 or more days
5. Poo with streaks of blood in it
6. Green poo with a stringy egg white consistency
7. Projectile vomiting after 3 consecutive feeds associated with no bowel movement

Moving on: Introducing solids to your baby

When thinking about introducing solids to your baby, my eBook ‘taste it’  provides answers to your questions and easy and nutritional first food ideas.

or read more about what is normal in a developing baby by downloading my eBook
‘Mum, Baby & Toddler – together we learn’

Jan Murray has committed to studying and working as a Registered Nurse, Midwife and Child Health Nurse for over 25 years. Jan is a mother of 5 and co-founded and directs Settle Petal. Through her business Jan provides information and support for parents with babies and toddlers to develop their knowledge base and confidence. Receive your FREE Routines eBook at http://myoptinpage.com/?pid=2151223 to help babies settle, sleep and grow.

Ways to Bond With Your Baby

By Jan Murray

The strong bonds of attachment between you and your baby don’t just happen because you physically care for your baby.  Bonding is more than providing care; it’s the unspoken connection that develops and grows between you and your baby as you regularly change his nappy, give him a bath, feed him, and play with him. It’s the emotional connection that develops between you that helps him feel understood, safe, and secure and not alone, insecure, and scared. When your baby can touch and feel you, hear you, or see you he feels secure and this beautiful connection is what helps him learn to trust. Trusting in you and the people who are closest to him helps your little one feel secure to explore more of his world.

 

Many parents think they will fall-in-love and have an instant connection with their baby the moment their baby is born but bonding doesn’t always happen that way. In fact, sometimes falling-in-love and feeling connected with your newborn takes hours, day, weeks, or even months to develop.

If your baby was born premature and spent periods of time away from you in the special care unit or you had a traumatic birth or were suffering from extreme exhaustion after a long labour, bonding with your baby can be difficult. Often there is no physical reason that makes bonding difficult but there could be family conflicts and challenges. Sometimes there is no explainable reason for the delay in bonding, it’s just the way it is but as you spend time together, you and your baby will bond and grow closer. However, if you feel you are not connecting with your newborn it’s important to seek professional help as the early bonds of attachment are vital for your little one’s future development so it’s best not to wait too long before you get advice and support.

From the moment she is born your little one is eager to learn and so making a connection with various senses in the early days helps her feel secure. You can focus on engaging her senses separately or you can combine a few at the same time but don’t overdo it as her nervous system is immature and sensitive and she can become overwhelmed and unsettled.

The sense of smell is strong even at birth and draws your little one towards the sweet smell of breast milk. Giving your little one cuddles and skin-to-skin contact allows her become familiar with your personal scent.

Touch is your newborn’s first language so make the most of connecting with each other through touch. Your touch speaks confidence and security to her as you bathe her, change her nappy, feed her, massage her, and cuddle up close, or when you wear her in a sling. She is also calmed by the sense of movement and will be soothed by gentle swaying, rocking or bouncing.

The sense of hearing is another way you can bond with your baby. Infants are calmed by the rhythmical patterns of your voice as you read, sing or talk to her. However, be understanding and sensitive to your baby’s needs. If she is overtired she may not be soothed with singing and bright light at the same time as a bath or massage. It’s often too much stimulation in her already overloaded nervous system.

Although the sense of sight is slower to develop in your baby than the other senses, she can still connect and bond with you through her eyes. In the early weeks she will be able to focus on your face at about arms distance so look into her eyes and make eye contact while you hold or feed her—it will help her feel comforted and reassured. Your newborn will start to smile at you at around 5weeks of age so be sure to smile back as a smile releases feel-good chemicals for both you and your baby. The facial expressions that you make towards your baby are very important as they confirm and clarify feelings about other people and situations. After 6weeks of age try dimming the lights at sleep time as this helps your littlie feel calm and secure when she needs to sleep. Understanding how to satisfy your little ones developmental needs is an important part of bonding so as she gets older provide more activity time with varieties of colours, shapes, and activities.

The emotional connection between you and your baby is strong, which means your baby can often be unsettled if you are feeling anxious or stressed. So while you are learning to connect and bond with your baby try not to aim for perfection. Instead, aim to balance the needs of your baby while looking after yourself. Accept support from friends and family and if you are struggling seek professional help early as the bonds you create with your little one influence the way she will live and cope in the future.

References:

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/secure-attachment/how-to-build-a-secure-attachment-bond-with-your-baby.htm

http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/connecting_with_your_newborn.html/context/280

Introducing Egg

By Jan Murray

egg-gry

The introduction of egg has recently changed.

Babies used to be given cooked egg yolk at around 8 months and cooked egg white around 11 months. From research (references through link) it is now suggested that cooked egg be given (in small amounts) to babies before 6 months of age.

Egg is best give to babies initially in very small amounts (little fingernail size) then increase as tolerated. Eggs are potentially allergic but a reaction doesn’t necessarily mean allergy, it could mean a sensitivity or intolerance to the amount given at the time. Often there are other factors (environmental or social) that add stress to the body making food intolerance levels lower.

egg-allergy

This 6 month old baby was enjoying fruit and vegetables and lentils and had no known family history of allergy to egg. His parents ate eggs with no allergic reactions and he was breast fed.  This rash occurred within a few hours after he was given two teaspoons of scrabbled egg mid-morning. It resolved next day and didn’t worry him in any other way. He’ll have another try in a week or two in a smaller quantity.

Research has shown there is possibly a ‘window of opportunity’ between 4 – 7 months for foods to be introduced with further suggestion that withholding foods could increase allergic response.

It is recommended that babies be introduced to solid foods while they have the immune protection of breast milk.

More advice on infant feeding in ‘taste it’

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This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance. Jan publishes regular ezine and blog articles to provide free parenting tips, tools and resources to educate and support those caring for young babies and children.

Don’t Force Your Baby or Toddler to Eat or Drink

aversion.jpg

by Jan

There can be any number of reasons why babies and toddlers refuse to eat or drink. But continually forcing them to take something into their mouth can create a negative emotion towards the experience of eating. Overtime, this recurring negative event becomes a conditioned response to the act of eating, even if the food is normally enjoyed. This is known as feeding aversion.

Babies and toddlers learn skills and perform tasks best when they are relaxed and enjoying themselves. If drinking or eating causes babies and toddlers to become frightened or stressed it sets up a negative feeling. This can become an ongoing feeding aversion. Some of the situations that could create an aversion include:

  • Force feeding—making babies and toddlers take in food or drink against their will
  • Choking episodes—where babies and toddlers have swallowed something that occluded the airway requiring help to be dislodged
  • A stressful environment while feeding such as loud angry talking or fighting
  • Discomfort or pain is often the first reason explored by professionals when babies and toddlers are presented with a feeding aversion. However, in most cases, pain doesn’t usually just happen when feeding begins there is usually other signs of pain between feeds
  • Unpleasant but necessary medical interventions such as tube feeds
  • Hypersensitivity to texture, taste, smell or temperature—often linked to allergy or intolerance associated with particular foods and fluids.

A feeding aversion is constant and continues overtime. Some things that may suggest a feeding aversion are:

  • Appearing hungry but refuse to eat
  • Fussing and crying when bib is placed around the neck
  • Fussing and crying when placed into a feeding position or when the bottle is presented
  • Clamping their mouth shut and turning their head away from the breast, bottle, spoon or food
  • Skipping feeds or meals without distress
  • Only taking a few sips of liquid or a small portion of food offered before pulling away or arching their back and crying. (Back arching can also be a tired sign)
  • Only feeding while drowsy or asleep
  • Consuming less milk or food than expected for their age
  • Displaying poor growth and possibly diagnosed as ‘failure to thrive’.

Unresolved feeding aversion can lead to a break down in relationships between babies and toddlers and their parents. It may also make mothers feel inadequate or embarrassed to take their child out during a time that involves feeding.

Constant food refusal can lead to poor weight gain and a lack of important nutrients, which can lead to reduced energy and motivation to explore and discover their world. Rectify feeding problems by seeking professional advice early.

This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance.

Be Healthy From the Very First Mouthful

by Jan

Today, merely looking at a piece of cheesecake adds centimetres to my hips. Could this be linked to my poor childhood eating habits? Research reveals, yes.

Unfortunately, obesity is not just a physical problem restricting movement but it leads to the body breaking down with conditions such as liver disease, heart disease and diabetes. Add to this low self esteem and social awkwardness leading to relationship challenges and behaviour disorders and the future looks pretty bleak.

One in four children suffers obesity in Australia today. As quoted by Jamie Oliver at TED awards “these children are looking at a future with a life expectancy 10 years less than their parents”. Statistically, diet related disease is fast approaching as the number one killer and is a generational and global problem.

Obesity is a preventable disease largely due to the following four areas:

One: The increase consumption of processed and takeaway foods. Everything needs to be quick or better still instant and readily available with minimal preparation. I am not just talking about teenagers; it is starting with babies. 

Two: A poor understanding of natural foods and why they are important for good health. Children start their life with canned and packaged foods with no involvement in the preparation or culture around healthy eating.

Three: Minimal outside play. We live in a community with larger houses and smaller backyards and the fear of paedophiles and kidnappers in our streets. Parks can have hidden needles on the ground leaving inside activities a safer more appealing option.

Four: Tired parents who are working and stressed keeping up with the demands of life and financial pressure, take the easy option for pre prepared foods. Children are often tired and cranky after being in care and getting home late. Giving them what they demand isn’t always the healthiest option but it prevents arguments.

Here are four easy steps to start a healthy future for your baby or child

One: Limit or better still avoid highly processed and packaged foods containing preservatives.

Two: Decrease their likelihood of developing obesity and related diseases by limiting or avoiding simple carbohydrates and refined sugars which are stored as fat if not used.

Three: Encourage plenty of supervised playtime in the fresh air. Create bigger backyards.

Four: Take control. Shopping shelves are stacked with nutritionally lacking foods but it is you who chooses what stays out and what goes in your trolley.

When you familiarize babies and children with whole foods eaten at regular intervals with daily physical activity, you are demonstrating healthy habits for life.

Weight gain and associated lifestyle changes creep up slowly and insidiously, robbing us of abundant life. Don’t do this to your babies and children. Be healthy from the very first mouthful. ‘taste it – easy baby & toddler recipes along with professional child health advice’ will give you practical guidelines for a healthy start to your baby’s eating habits.

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This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance. 

Keeping Baby Warm

By Jan Murray

When night air becomes colder the ambient temperature in your child’s room can drop quite significantly at around 3am.

frost

If your baby is waking around that time, make sure she is warm enough.

Sleeping bags made from natural fibres are great for warmth once your baby is out of a wrap. Unnatural fibres such as polyester can trap heat, making it difficult for your baby to regulate her body temperature.

Helping Babies and Toddlers Sleep
A thermostatically controlled heater can be useful during the cold winter months but be careful not to overheat your baby’s room and don’t leave a heater switched on all night. Episodes of SIDS are more common in winter as a result of overheating.

Avoid sleeping babies and toddlers with electric blankets on, hot water bottles or heated wheat-bags. Your baby cannot always escape from a bed, throw off bedding, or get out of a cot to cool down. A baby that becomes too hot is at an increased risk of SIDS. Keep a window a tiny bit open for fresh air.

It is advisable to keep bedroom temperature below 24°C (75.2°F) but observing how hot your baby looks and feels is a better indicator of acceptable room temperature than a monitor. Feel down onto your baby’s chest as hands and feet are usually cold. Look to see that her head is not sweating or her face is not flushed. Babies regulate their temperature through their head. Make sure their face is uncovered, while lying on their back to sleep.

Avoid sleeping your baby between two adults. Babies can become smothered by adult doonas and can overheat between two hot bodies.

Learn more about babies Mum, Baby & Toddler

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This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance. Jan publishes regular ezine and blog articles to provide free parenting tips, tools and resources to educate and support those caring for young babies and children.