Keeping Baby Safe During the Flu Season

The Associated Press recently reported that more than 75 children have succumbed to the flu this year. This figure is alarmingly high considering most flu seasons claim between 45 and 85 children. The following are a few tips to help keep your baby healthy and happy this flu season.

Vaccinate

If your baby is six months or older, be sure to get him a flu shot. Keep in mind the vaccination takes two weeks to start working. For good measure, have the entire family vaccinated to prevent unnecessarily exposing your baby to the flu.

Stay Home

Keep your child at home as much as possible between October and April. Avoid attending events involving large public crowds in an effort to prevent exposing him from dangerous viruses. If you do attend an event, such as a holiday party, keep your baby close to you by declining others who ask to hold him or kiss and hug him. A good way to prevent unwanted contact is to keep your child in a car seat or stroller during these outings. This makes them less accessible to the public.

Sanitize

Adopt the practice of sanitizing incessantly. When away from the house, carry hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. Sanitize your hands prior to holding or touching your baby. When going to the grocery store or restaurant, wipe down any surfaces (highchair, shopping cart, table, etc.) you might touch with a wipe. Also be sure to clean your baby’s hands and face with warm, soapy water frequently and pay special attention to items he tries to put in his mouth. Your overall objective is to maintain a sterile, clean environment for your child.

On the same note, remember to sanitize your home often. Concentrate of frequently touched items and surfaces in the home. This includes phones, remote controls, keyboards, doorknobs, counters, toilet handles, etc. Sanitizing can be done with a sanitizing wipe or an easy to use sanitizing spray.

Keep The Sick Away

If a family member becomes sick, keep them as far away from you and your baby as possible. Along with preventing the spread of germs to your baby, you want to ensure that you do not become sick as well. In the event you fall ill, consider handing over your parenting duties to a trusted family member to limit contact between you and the baby.

Utilize the “Well Room”

Most doctors’ offices have a well room and sick room in their waiting areas. If your child is due for an appointment, keep him or her in the well room and away from any children or adults who appear sick. The waiting area is packed with germs, making this an especially important aspect of keeping your baby healthy.

Healthy Foods for Pregnant Women To Eat

When you become pregnant, you have to change the way you eat. Not only must you keep your baby healthy during pregnancy, but you need to keep yourself healthy, as well. While the idea that you need to eat more while pregnant is true to an extent, that does not mean you should substantially increase your daily caloric intake. Typically, pregnant women only need to consume 300 more calories a day than what they consumed before becoming pregnant. However, the type of food you eat during pregnancy is important because it provides you and your growing baby with the proper nutrients.

Vegetables and Fruits

Many of the essential nutrients that are needed during pregnancy can be found in fruits and vegetables. Vegetables such as spinach and broccoli contain iron that is vital to you and your babies’ health. Other vegetables such as peas and lentils contain folic acid, which is also vital to you and your babies’ health during pregnancy. Fruits such as strawberries and oranges also contain essential nutrients such as iron, folic acid, and an assortment of healthy vitamins.

Dairy

Certain dairy products are good for you and the baby. Pasturised milk, small quantities of cheeses such as cheddar cheese, and yogurt can all help provide you and the baby with calcium. However, dairy should be consumed in small quantities, and certain dairy products such as raw eggs and certain cheeses should be avoided during pregnancy.

Meat

Certain meats contain essential nutrients such as protein that are vital to your health. However, undercooked meats, and raw fish or seafood should be avoided during pregnancy. Eating red meat in moderation can be good for you and the baby during pregnancy. Red meat is rich in iron, as well as protein, which are both needed during pregnancy. When you choose to eat meat, ensure that the meat is thoroughly cooked.

Desserts During Pregnancy,It is important to maintain a healthy weight. Most desserts are fine to eat during pregnancy. However, all desserts should be eaten in moderation.

While many people believe that pregnant women are limited in what they can eat, there are many foods for pregnant women available. The key to a healthy pregnancy is eating the right foods for you and the baby. Following a healthy diet during your pregnancy can help ensure that you remain healthy and that your baby grows properly.

Typically, it is ideal for pregnant women to eat a variety of foods every day. By eating a variety of foods, it is easier to get the amount of calories and nutrients needed for both the mother and the baby.

When you follow a pregnancy diet plan, you can figure out what foods you enjoy, as well as keep track of foods that provide you and the baby with the most nutrients. As you progress through your pregnancy, you may need more nutrients than others. Knowing which foods will provide you and the baby with the correct nutrients can be done easily when you adhere to a pregnancy diet.

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.