A Book Review: Active Baby, Healthy Brain

Active Baby, Healthy Brain: 135 Fun Exercises and Activities to Maximize Your Child’s Brain Development from Birth Through Age 5 1/2
Margaret Sasse
The Experiment, New York 2010

Margaret Sasse has provided parents with an invaluable manual on how to maximize your child’s brain development. She has divided the first 5 1/2 years of life into 8 stages with numerous activities for each stage. In the beginning of the book the reader finds two pages of defined terms. Parents learn in the preface to choose activities to develop a wide range of skills.

Also, three important words are introduced: intensity, frequency and duration, reminding the parents that no activity should last more than two minutes and should be done slowly. With short, frequent activities both parent and child can put their full effort (intensity) into it for maximum benefit. This concept applies to all ages, though as one matures the “short” activities increase in length.

Most of the book describes and illustrates all of the activities. Here are sample activities for each stage:

Stage A – birth to six months: massage and gentle roll overs

Stage B – six to twelve months: creeping, cruising, walking

Stage C – walking to eighteen months: vision and balance

Stage D – eighteen to twenty-four months: dance, beanbags and balloons

Stage E – 2-2 1/2 years: music, rhythm, nursery rhymes, and songs

Stage F – 2 1/2-3 1/2 years: Massage in crocodile position

Stage G – 3 1/2-4 1/2 years: Rhythm sticks, ropes and cords

Stage H – 4 1/2- 51/2 years: mini-trampoline, tumbling, rocking, swinging

Further, she discusses the foundational subject of nutrition. While Sasse uses only one page to discuss nutrition, she hits the important aspects that can have a major impact on learning: “artificial colorings, additives and excessive sugar.” Food sensitivities including wheat and dairy must be explored as well. Sasse refers her readers to: http://www.fedupwithfoodadditives.info

Pros:

  • Terms are defined in the front of the book.
  • 8 Stages are outlined.
  • Each activity is described and illustrated.
  • Format is easy to reference.
  • An ample bibliography gives the reader direction for further study.

Cons:

  • It stops at 5 ½ years…
  • Sasse has other books that have “limited-availability”

For those who want to learn more about the topic of brain development, the author provides an ample bibliography. Even if your child is older and if there seems to be some delays in one or more areas of development / learning, some of these activities would still be appropriate to stimulate that development. Sasse died in 2009, but left behind over 100 centers that use this information having founded Toddler GymbaRoo in Australia.

Staying Healthy While Conceiving a Baby

The concept of yet another member of the family in the coming of a new baby is definitely an overwhelming feeling. It involves planning, adjustments and preparation that would result into change in lifestyle. But none the less, conceiving a baby is both a priceless and life-changing experience for both mom and dad. And most of the time, parents already have a baby gender in mind.

Whether the baby will be a bouncing baby boy or a charming baby girl, it is very important that the health of the developing baby should be ensured. Here are simple tips that can help in keeping your baby in the best of health.

1. Watch your diet.
What goes into your system can directly and indirectly impact the progression of your baby. Having the right food in what you eat while conceiving is important. Make sure to include foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Consuming foods that have excessive level of preservative and artificial sweeteners are a big No-No in your diet. Though craving for certain food is common in the first 3-5 months, do not make this as an excuse to overeat. Remember, the more weight you will gain, the higher the chance of complication there is to you and your baby.

2. Keep yourself Hydrated.
Drinking 8-10 glass of water a day is essential while conceiving. It may be a small thing and is oftentimes neglected by many. But keeping hydrated is important. Water intake cleanses your system by flushing away toxins and therefore helps in keeping your baby healthy.

3. Exercise.
Performing little stretches is important. But extensive workouts must be avoided. Consult your doctor for workout plans that are dedicated to soon to become moms. Do not engage in any workout without the consent of your doctor.

4. Avoid Stress.
When you are conceiving there are a lot of hormonal changes that is happening to your body. These hormone imbalances would often lead to mood swings and extreme emotions. Taking deep breathes can assist you stabilize your emotion and helps you calm yourself.

Engaging in recreational activities that requires less effort will also help reduce stress.

5. Consult your doctor.
It is vital not to skip a scheduled appointment especially on the formative months of your baby. Your doctor can help assess the health condition of both you and your child and can address any risk you might be experiencing.

Take into account the condition of the baby while conceiving. This is the first step of a parents and child bonding. It is always a wonder how the arrival of a child can transform even the way we think. We can also have the chance to plan the baby’s gender. But as always, conceiving a baby is a blessing because not all are given the opportunity to experience it.

4 Ways To Keep The Baby Healthy

I am certain as a new parent you’ve heard all type of advice how to take care of your baby, some wanted plus some not. Everyone has tips on what to do when your baby is well, however here are some solutions to keep baby from getting sick.

As a new parent you should be ready to take your baby to pediatrician regularly. A lot of doctors want to see the baby once per month for the first six months and then once every two months until the baby is a year old. This allows the doctor to evaluate the newborn’s development and one the easiest way to keep your baby healthy. During these visits vaccines may be given. It is very important that you keep the doctors schedule of visits. These appointments will go a long way to keep your baby healthy for a lifetime.

The second thing you can do is keep baby’s environment thoroughly clean. Little ones place their hands inside their mouths frequently. They will rub their eyes and nose a great deal and so they can ingest a myriad of germs. Your baby can come across germs a number of ways. The baby’s sitter can inadvertently pass germs to baby by not washing their hands enough. If you have been handling food, playing with your family pet, caring for another sick child or adult as well as changing a diaper, you should wash your hands before holding the baby.

The baby spends a lot of time in the nursery so keeping this room clean is a priority. The first action you can take to help keep the nursery clean would be to rid it of a lot of stuffed toys because they collect plenty of dust that could be bad for baby. You will also need to stay away from strong chemicals when cleaning the baby room; they could produce fumes that are harmful to baby’s lungs.

Sharing is a good thing except with regards to germs. Therefore take this into account when you are deciding on a childcare facility. Baby’s natural defenses are weak so if one baby has a cold, it can pass swiftly to the other babies, so you will need to understand what the sick policy is. Also you’ll want to follow the policy; it’s there to safeguard all the children from becoming sick. Talking about sharing, ask how frequently the employees are required to wash their hands, and how frequently they do a thorough cleaning of toys and areas where your child will spend a lot of time.

One of the best ways to keep baby healthful is feed him properly. Breast milk is packed with nutrients to help boost your baby’s defense system. But don’t worry if you are formula feeding, just seek out formula that is DHA and ARA fortified. When baby moves to solids, plant based foods supply nutrients that guide improve the immune system. You should also include protein in baby’s diet. Stay away from giving little ones snacks that are full of sugar because they can break down the baby’s immune system.

Were you aware that your baby can get stressed and that stress can harm your baby’s wellbeing? Well babies do get stressed and just like us it could impact their health. If you think about it newborns don’t have the capacity to say hey, my diaper needs changed, or I’m hungry. They cry to let us know that they require something, and over time you’ll be able to tell what he requires by the way he cries. Crying can be stressful for babies, so do not let baby cry for a long time. Despite what you may have heard, you aren’t spoiling your infant by picking them up when they cry. What you really are doing is reducing your baby’s stress therefore helping them to remain healthy.

Being a new parent can be stressful, there is so much to do and learn. However you need to find a way to distress before spending time with the baby. Babies recognize our stress, and it causes them anxiety. When you are spending time with baby try just concentrating on him and how amazing this little one is and the anxiety will dissolve away and both you and infant will be much better for it.