Why do Babies Eat Their Tootsies?

Your baby learns about the world around him through his senses, and that includes taste. That’s why he’ll often put everything he can get his little hands on in his mouth. In fact, don’t be surprised if one day you turn around and your little one has his foot in his mouth.

Seeing anyone else sucking on their toes might be kind of gross. But when your baby does it, it’s actually pretty cute and perfectly normal.

Your baby’s mouth has a lot of nerve endings. When he wants to find out how something feels, he often puts it in his mouth. Since your baby is gradually learning more about her body, it’s natural for her to also try to learn more about her little piggies by putting them in her mouth.

Mouthing is considered a milestone in your baby’s development. Although it can vary, your little one may discover her feet between four and eight months.

But why does your baby suddenly have a taste for her toes? It’s quite simple. Your baby’s feet are readily available. Before she is mobile, she only has toys available to her that you give her, such as a rattle or teething ring. But once your baby discovers her tootsies, they are always within reach.

Although it might be a little strange to see your baby sucking on her toes, there is no need to stop her. This funny looking developmental milestone helps your baby develop body awareness and learn about objects. Mouthing objects also helps your baby get used to different sensations and textures, which may help when it comes time for her to transition to solid foods. Plus, your baby may find sucking on her toes is soothing.

Try to keep your baby‘s feet as clean as reasonably possible. But don‘t worry if she gets them a little dirty from crawling and rolling around. By the time she is running around and really getting her feet dirty, she will probably outgrow putting her feet in her mouth. But that doesn’t mean she will stop putting other things in her mouth. In fact, she may continue to put objects in her mouth until she is about three years old.

Once your baby is mobile, it’s especially important to be aware of his surroundings so he does not get a hold of anything he could choke on. Make sure you don’t leave any small objects out that your little one can grab and put in his mouth.

Lastly, make sure you capture some of your little one’s flexible, foot eating moves with your camera. As your baby grows up, you want to remember how cute this stage was. Plus, your child might be surprised at how limber they were!

Written by Mary Ann DePietro @writerlady34

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.

Playtime with Your Baby

You probably teach your baby things every day without even realizing. Every time you spend time with your little one, talking, singing and cuddling, your teaching her something or helping her to develop cognitive or language skills. But your baby also learns when you play with her. Playing with your baby is not only fun, but it’s also an important part of her development.

Playing with your baby helps her develop motor and social skills. It also stimulates her senses and her overall brain development. Babies learn about their body and the world around them through play. Even the simplest of games can teach your baby how something works, sounds or what it feels like.

As your baby moves into her toddler years, play continues to be important and promotes imagination and creativity. When it comes to playtime, there are so many games that stimulate your baby’s senses and encourage interaction, it’s hard to go wrong.

Your baby’s age plays a role in what types of games are best. But there are certain activities that babies of all ages may enjoy. For example, play a game where you teach your baby the parts of her face. Put a mirror in front of your little one and point to a facial feature and tell your baby what it is. Before you know it, you’ll ask your baby where her eyes are, and she’ll point to her peepers.

The older your baby gets, the more choices you have for which games you play. For instance, hide a toy in your pocket and ask your baby where it went. This teaches your baby the concept of object permanence.

Imitative play is also a great way for your baby to learn about the world around him. Let your baby copy your actions. If you are cooking, place a few toy pots and dishes on the floor for your baby to cook with too.

One of the great things about playing with your baby is you don’t need a lot of expensive toys. One simple game that your baby may enjoy is playing with bubbles. Blow bubbles and watch how fascinated your little one is as she tries to catch them.

Keep in mind, some games may not work the first time you try to play them. Depending on your baby’s age, he may need a few tries before he understands the game. Also, don’t expect your little one to focus for very long. Your baby’s attention span is not too long. Some days you may only get your baby to pay attention to a game for a few minutes. Lastly, not every baby loves every game. Part of the fun of playing with your baby is discovering which games she loves and what makes her giggle.

Written by MaryAnn [email protected]

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.

5 Things That May Have Surprised You about Being a Mom

How can one little person change things so much? From practical matters, such as how much laundry there is, to the new respect you have for your mom, becoming a mom (or dad) is a life changing experience. While you probably expected some of the changes, a few things may have surprised you, such as the following:

The fatigue: Everyone has experienced fatigue. In the past, you might have pulled an all-nighter studying or hanging out with friends. But new mom fatigue is a whole different story. What’s even more surprising is how you can still function on such little sleep. Sure, maybe you can’t remember your partner’s name, but you’re still hanging in there. 

How tough getting out of the house can be: In your pre-baby days, you just grabbed your keys, purse and cell phone and hopped in your car. Now, not so fast. There are bags to pack and a little person to dress. Not to mention the times you’re just about to walk out the door, and your baby spits up all over himself. Face it, once you have a baby, you’ll never be on time again. Well, not really. But gone are the days of just getting up and going.

You do know what you’re doing: Before your baby was born, you might have worried you wouldn’t do things right. Insecurity about being a good parent is normal for rookie moms and dads. After all, you have to completely care for a baby who can’t tell you what he needs. How are you supposed to know what to do? Somehow you just do. Some things may be instinct, other things you figure out. In time, your confidence grows, and you realize, you got this!

The love: Of course, you knew you would love your baby. But you might not have been prepared for just how much you love him, and your heart will continue to swell as time goes on. The bond between parents and their children is often one of the strongest connections there is.

How you find joy in the small things: Before becoming a mom, a new outfit or a night on the town may have made you happy. Now nothing compares to the joy you find in the little things, such as watching your partner sing to your baby or your little one’s first smile or giggle. Enjoy those moments as much as you can. Because pretty soon, something else will surprise you; how fast it all goes by.

Written by MaryAnn DePietro @writerlady34

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.

Should I Let my Baby Cry it Out?

There is nothing worse than sleep deprivation. The complete and utter exhaustion of new parenthood is unlike anything else. You’re so tired your hair hurts, your teeth ache and you can’t remember the last time you had a decent conversation. Your most searched for term on Google is ‘when will my baby sleep through the night?’ You fantasize about getting to enjoy eight hours of uninterrupted blissful slumber. Put simply, you’re desperate for sleep. So desperate, in fact, you’d do anything. So, should you leave your baby to cry it out?

The cry it out method

The cry it out method does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Instead of going in to soothe your baby, you simply leave her to cry it out. When following the method, parents are advised to leave their baby to cry for slowly increasing periods of time before going into the room. It’s not for everybody, but some parents swear by it as a way of getting a decent night’s sleep. Cry it out is not advised for babies aged under six months.

There are different versions of the cry it out sleep method. While some may be quite harsh and advise parents not to comfort their crying infants, other take a gentler approach to sleep training. The idea behind the cry it out method is that it will teach your baby how to soothe himself to sleep, thus saving you a job in the middle of the night and, hopefully, allowing you to get a better night’s sleep.

Why wouldn’t I do it?

If it works, why would a parent choose not utilize cry it out to grab a few extra hours sleep each night? Well, your baby’s cries are her early attempt at communication. Some parents simply don’t feel comfortable ignoring their baby’s cries and prefer instead to respond quickly to their baby’s needs. The argument behind cry it out is that it teaches babies to self-soothe, but some experts feel that babies are too young to learn how to self-soothe. Some parents fear that, far from teaching your child to self-soothe, you are instead teaching her that nobody will come when she cries.

How you raise your child is a deeply personal decision and one that only you and your partner can make together.

Do you feel comfortable with the idea of the cry it out method and are you planning to try it when your baby is six months old?

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.

5 Date Night Ideas for New Parents

You’ve probably already noticed that babies can be pretty time consuming. You spend most of your waking hours (so all your hours then, since there’s not much sleep happening right now) tending to her needs. You are either changing nappies, feeding, soothing or entertaining. It’s all consuming, and it doesn’t leave much time for anything else.

You’re probably guilty of neglecting your relationship since the birth, after all, there isn’t much opportunity for impromptu date nights when you have a newborn in the house. The important thing to remember is that this is temporary. Your baby won’t always be a baby. Before you know it, she’ll be fighting for her independence and enjoying time away from you. In the meantime, however, you need to make sure your relationship still gets some attention.

If you have willing babysitters and would like some time away, organize a date night for the two of you. You don’t have to go far, even a dinner date at your local restaurant will be a pleasant change. And you’ll be able to eat your food before it goes cold, talk about luxury! If you don’t have babysitters to hand, or don’t feel ready to leave your baby just yet, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can nurture your relationship without leaving your baby behind. How about trying one of the following date night ideas for new parents:

  1. Go gourmet

With a newborn baby at home, you’re probably living off a very questionable diet these days. Biscuits and take away, anyone? Have a date night at home by preparing a top notch meal for you both to enjoy once the baby is asleep. Choose something that can be served as and when you’re ready to eat it, so it’s not a big deal if the baby wakes up when you’re about to eat. Set the table, light some candles and enjoy a night of adult conversation.

  1. Movie night

Every night is movie night when you have a baby, right? Make this movie night extra special by picking a film you’re both desperate to see, and making sure you have popcorn and movie snacks at hand. Snuggle up under a blanket, and spend some time relaxing together in front of a movie.

  1. Family day out

A family day out might not sound like much of a date, but you might be surprised to discover just how lovely these days can be. While your baby sleeps soundly in the pram or sling, you and your partner can enjoy a walk around some stately gardens, followed by a lunch date at your favorite eatery. Yes, there will be more diaper changes and breastfeeds than your typical date, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a lovely day to spend connecting with your partner.

  1. A change of scenery

Escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Get away from work, away from the dirty dishes, and spend a night away together in a hotel. There’s no need to leave your baby with someone else, your baby can go with you. Taking some time out could be just what you all need, a little break from reality to enjoy some quality family time and really appreciate each other.

  1. Games night

If you’re guilty of spending most of your evenings in front of the television, you may feel like you’ve not really spoken to your partner for a while. Turn the television off and get hold of some board games to spend an evening having fun together. This will give you the time and space to chat to each other, as well as providing some fun.

How are you looking after your relationship in these early days of parenthood?

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.