Our health visitor’s top tips and facts about your baby and toddler
1) Messy play with paints, play dough, sand and water, helps develop coordination and get your tot ready for using pencils at school.
2) If you need to lay your baby down, put him on a mat on the floor, not a sofa or bed, so he can’t fall.
3) Help organise your tot on busy mornings by making cards with photos of her getting dressed or brushing her teeth, so that she can see what she has to do.
4) Try a family reward chart, instead of one just for your child. This allows your toddler to learn from your actions. Best behaviour now mums…
5) Help your baby have a few minutes of supervised tummy time each day to promote upper body strength and stop him getting flat head syndrome.
6) Check socks still fit OK when buying new shoes. You know it’s time for a change if elastic around the ankle is restrictive and toes are cramped.
7) Give your tot a daily brushing with a baby hairbrush. Even if hair’s sparse it helps to stimulate circulation and keep cradle cap at bay.
8) To help you little one settle at nursery, leave a scarf or bag on her peg. It helps reinforce the message that you’ll be back to pick her up later.
9) Don’t worry about spoiling your baby by always responding to her needs. Attention helps build her confidence and reassures her.
10) Give your toddler some control over decisions, but keep it appropriate. It’s ok for her to choose her clothes but not her bedtime.
11) To help reduce the risk of cot death, it’s recommended that you put your baby’s cot in the same room as you until she’s 6 months old
12) Look at your toddler while she’s talking, replying politely and trying not to interrupt. This’ll really help to encourage her listening skills.
13) Place your baby’s toys just out of her reach - this will encourage her to grasp for them, helping her to develop her rolling and crawling.
14) Encourage messy games with finger paints, water and play dough – it develops fine motor skills, getting your toddler ready for writing.
15) Cut or nibble your baby’s nails while she’s asleep – it’s easier if she isn’t wriggling around
16) Always check your baby’s warmth by feeling the back of her neck rather than her hands or feet, which are often cooler.
17) Take a little bag of favourite toys when out and about, including crayons, paper an books, changing things around every few weeks.
Psychologists used to think that breastfed babies were more likely to love their parents than bottlefed babies because of the more direct physical contact that breastfeeding involves. But that is now known to be untrue – the specific manner of feeding is not important. What really matters is that your baby enjoys her feeding experiences.
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