Newborns bring joy and hope to our lives and we want to make everything right from the start. One of the first things every parent wishes to know is how to calm a crying baby, but there are also many other challenges to overcome and get used to a life with a newborn. Most babies like to be snuggled up next to you, but holding them in your hands is not always possible, especially when you have some other tasks to finish around the house or take care of other children as well.
Babies & Kids
Christmas is around the corner, which means you’re probably wondering what to get your child this year. The thing is, your child’s room is already full of toys they don’t even look at. So, what should you do?
The reason why all those toys are just sitting there and are not being played with might be because they are not the right ones. When it comes to choosing toys for children, there is a rule of thumb that every parent should keep in mind – less is more. The less a toy does, the more opportunities it will give your child to play with it and learn from it. Plus, simpler toys are easier for children to use, require less supervision and tend to last longer. Here are a few steps to follow when shopping for kids toys.
Opt for Simple Toys Instead of High-Tech
High-tech toys that do too much don’t allow children to use their imagination. For example, stuffed animals, dolls, cars, etc., that talk or sing or direct kids to press certain buttons basically take charge of the play when it’s the child who should be the one directing the action. According to experts, the best toys are generally the simplest ones, like wooden blocks, because they allow children to be creative and spontaneous.
While plastic toys have more designs, features and sound effects, wooden toys encourage children to open up their imagination and create new ways of playing with them. Buy wooden toys online and you will notice your child developing their motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills and much more.
But this isn’t the only thing that makes wooden toys better than plastic ones. After you buy wooden toys online and get them delivered to your home, you will see how timeless, authentic and refined they can be. There is a clear visual appeal in the minimalism of wooden toy design that looks great in any children’s room decor.
Make Sure the Toy is Age-Appropriate
Getting a toy that is beyond your child’s level of development will quickly make them become frustrated and overwhelmed. The same way, buying a toy that your kid is too old for will cause them to become bored and lose interest. The right toy will spike your child’s imagination and creativity. Here are a few suggestions when it comes to choosing the proper toys for different ages.
- Young Infants (0 to 6 months) – toys they can reach for, hold, shake, put on their mouth, make noise with. Examples include squeeze toys, large rings, textured balls, teething toys, soft dolls, vinyl books.
- Older Infants (7-12 months) – toys to play pretend with, like puppets, wood vehicles with wheels, and baby dolls; toys to drop and take out like balls, large beads, nesting toys and things to build with like large wooden cubes or soft blocks.
- One-Year-Olds – board books with simple illustrations, things to create with like washable markers and crayons, toys to pretend with like dolls, toy phones, baby strollers, dress-up accessories, stuffed toys, plastic animals, wood vehicles, wood blocks, cardboard, puzzles, large and small balls.
- Toddlers – at this age children have control of their hands and fingers and like to do things with small objects. Good toys for toddlers include wood puzzles with 4-12 pieces, objects to sort by size, colour and shape, things to build like construction sets, child-sized furniture, sand and water play toys, chalkboard and large chalk and picture books with more details.
- Three to Six Years Olds – Toys for solving problems like puzzles with 12-20+ pieces, blocks that snap together and other small objects to sort by length, width, height, colour, shape, quantity and other features, things for pretending and building, to create with and things for using their small and large muscles, like ride-on equipment including tunnels, tricycles, wagons, plastic bats and balls, bowling pins, hammer, nails and saw, etc.
Buy One Toy At a Time
Nowadays, it’s common to see kids inundated with toys. They are given soo many toys in such a short period of time that they have a hard time focusing on any. Experts suggest rotating the toys in and out of a child’s’ toy box or room, reintroducing one after a few weeks when it feels fresh and new. Also, when a child has different toys of a similar type, let them explore one before introducing another. Kids don’t need, for example, five different shaper-sorters at a time.
Note that some toys are appropriate for kids of different ages as they benefit different developmental stages. So, don’t rush to replace old toys with new ones. Some basic toys, like blocks, can serve a number of developmental purposes, which means you shouldn’t be quick to replace them and move on to something new.
Holding blocks helps infants with muscle development and coordination. As they grow, blocks can help develop other skills such as creativity, imagination, planning, building and constriction principles. Playing blocks with a sibling or friends teaches frustration tolerance and cooperation with others.
Being a first-time mom isn’t easy at all. While you are still in shock of how this natural process works and in awe of how beautiful and amazing your baby is, you may not be aware of the difficulties that come after it, especially with breastfeeding. Believe us, the ‘headache’ you’ve had about choosing the right clothing material for your little bundle of joy can seem like a joke compared to this one. Aside from being one of the most beautiful feelings in the world, in the beginning, breastfeeding can be scary, confusing and painful.
“Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.”
While almost everyone enjoys celebrating their special day, kids are especially excited about birthday parties. In their eyes, birthdays are the most magical days of the year. It’s when they get to choose their favourite outfit and get all the compliments in the world on their fashionable style. It is the time to do all sorts of fun things with their friends and family, from dancing and singing to play pretend and dress up. Not to mention the delicious cake with the colourful candles and the presents. Oh, the presents!
Sensory play is an important part of the development of kids as it helps them learn how their body works and how to interpret and process their surroundings. Sometimes, conditions such as autism spectrum disorder or Down syndrome pose certain barriers for kids to learn and play, but they can still benefit from sensory play which remains the same for all children. For those who are not familiar with this term, ‘sensory play’ refers to any activity that stimulates the senses. So, the more children use their senses, the more they will develop them and learn how to use them.
So, why is play important for children with special needs?
First, sensory play helps kids to learn. The more senses they use, the more prepared they will be to remember and recall information later. When kids use special needs toys and describe them or engage in some sensory play activity, they gain an understanding of the words they use, helping them develop a more descriptive and rich vocabulary. Also, sensory play promotes social interaction. It naturally entices children to come close and investigate, which is one of the first steps to interaction. Last, but not least, during sensory play, children of all abilities can experience the development of their motor skills. Whether they are drawing circles or making waves in the water – they are strengthening their muscles which will further help them with some basic daily activities like brushing their teeth or zipping their jacket.
The importance of the appropriate play activities and toys
When your kids engage in a sensory play activity or use special needs toys, you should consider what they can learn from them and how will they will experience them. For instance, kids who are visually impaired or blind may not get a lot of value from the different shadows of green crayon on white paper, but they will greatly benefit from and enjoy colouring on differently textured paper like scratchy, corrugated or bumpy paper. Children who have hearing problems or are completely deaf may miss the verses in a song, but they can feel the beat of the drum and vibrations of kazoos and whistles. Since these kids can’t hear the music you should try and help them feel it.
Kids with physical limitations may find it difficult to follow intricate paint with different patterns but they can be quite successful in creating masterpieces with stamps and washable stamp pads. Kids who deal with sensory processing issues are little trickier as some of them have very high while others have very low sensitivity to sensory stimulations. If your child needs more stimulation, you can let him/her use the fingers while painting instead of a brush as this will help him/her feel the coolness and movement directly. For overly sensitive children, consider rubber gloves for finger painting so that they can experience how the colours move and mix together without getting any paint on their hands.
How to choose special need toys?
- There are plenty of toys for special needs toddlers love on the market. For example, for kids with cerebral palsy who have poor motor skills, switch-activated toys are more helpful, while for kids with autism – toys that promote sensory movement can be very helpful. When looking to buy toys for children with special needs, it is important to choose the proper ones as you don’t want to give these kids toys that will frustrate them.
- To avoid frustration, there are some important things you should keep in mind. For example, which of the five senses does the toy appeal to? Will your kid be able to activate the toy by himself/herself? Does the toy feature adjustable height or volume? Is it durable, well constructed and safe for your child’s intellectual age? Is it interesting and appealing for your kid? Is it right for your child’s physical capabilities, mental and social development? Is it breakable, fragile or contains any toxic materials?
- Consider what sort of sensory stimulation does the toy provide? Do you want to introduce more or less stimulation into playtime? What kind of challenge factor does the toy provide? Kids with disabilities can greatly benefit from a toy that offers a different level of challenge, allowing them to build different skills and confidence. How the given toy can help your child to move toward specific social, physical and emotional goals? These questions are very important and answering them can greatly help in your choice of the right special needs toy.
Adaptive toys can be very rewarding and fun. When your child finds a certain toy interesting to play with, he/she is learning and improving some of the skills he/she may miss. Toys are designed for kids to learn and play with, but when it comes to buying toys for a special needs child, you have to be more careful in your selection.
When your little ones arrive in this world, you want to make sure that their delicate baby skin is kept soft and free from any irritations. One of the best ways to achieve this is by making sure that the fabric they are dressed in is not made of synthetic fibres. If you are a trendy mom who is always updated on the latest news when it comes to the well-being of her little bundle of joy, chances are you have read an article or two regarding the benefits of bamboo products.
Young children spend the majority of their day in their bedroom where they are free to play and be themselves. As a result, the bedroom can have a big effect in shaping both the physical and mental development of a child. With that being said, it’s important to ensure that your little one’s personal space is healthy and organized, with plenty of elements that promote imaginative play and learning. The following steps can be a great basis in creating a healthy and inspiring children’s bedroom.
Running errands when you’re on your own is one thing, and completely another when you’re a mum. Unless you have money to hire a nanny, you have to do it yourself, there’s no way about it.
While sharing the errands with your SO is an option, there are still cases when that’s not possible, so instead of feeling stressed out or postponing which would lead to more stress eventually, why not run them with your child?
Cycling your way to it is the ideal solution, and moreover you have the chance to bond with your child, plus you stay physically active. You have to agree, it sounds great!
When your child is still too young to actually go on a ride on a bike, pedaling on their own alongside you, turn to the help of baby bike seats an online bikeshop can supply you with.
Of course, since the range is wide, shopping may not be as easy as expected, but don’t worry, there are some steps you can go through to make sure you purchase right. Beware though, not every bike is suitable for a baby seat; as long as it’s a standard city commuter bike, you have no trouble.
Once you’ve checked the bike seat compatibility, it’s time to think of the specific types of seats an online bikeshop has to offer, choosing from front, rear frame, and rear rack-mounted. A word of advice is no matter what your preference is of the three, as a parent it’s your responsibility to buy one that complies with the Australian safety standards.
Now, speaking of the first, the front, it’s typically mounted below the handlebars, is ideal for young toddlers, and the best about it is the proximity the design allows you to have with your child.
The rear frame-mounted is attached to the tube of the bike’s seat, and it has the qualities of being suitable for reclining as well as proving to be fitting older and younger children alike. Both of these qualities are shared with the rear rack-mounted which in turn is attached to the rear rack as the name suggests. The only drawback of these two is not having the child within sight.
In case you’re up for something that provides storage too, while not minding having your child out of sight, then the bike trailer is the option to go for. It’s also perfect if you have more two or more children.
Depending on the rides, whether they’re long or short, you might want to consider getting the help of some accessories, such as windscreen for utmost protection for your little one, or padded seat straps for more comfortable rides. A happy ride is a safe ride!
It is really overwhelming when your baby can’t stop crying – you start thinking that something is wrong with your little one, or that you just aren’t a good parent. But hey, they are just babies and that’s pretty much one of their favorite things to do. Babies cry because it is their main way to communicate. It is how they get your attention and express their needs. In the beginning, you might not be able to understand your baby’s different ways of crying, but as you spend more time with your little one, chances are you will learn to figure out what they want once they start crying.
Babies usually cry when they are tired and want to sleep, or are hungry, or their diapers are wet or dirty, or have gas or colic, or are overstimulated from noise and activity…basically, they pretty much cry for everything. Learning the right techniques will help you sooth an upset, colicky, or unresponsive baby while keeping your cool and self-control. Here are a few of them for you to try.