Search Results

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.

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.

6 Tips to Remember In Caring For Your Baby

Babies are the ones giving joy to us. They make you cuddly and make you smile just by touching them. Sometimes it makes us feel child-like by talking to them even though they will not respond back. To have babies on your own is a big challenge; it is the challenge to give care and make the newborn mentally fit and healthy It is also a mother’s purpose of meeting the baby’s proper developmental tasks’ when they grow-up. There are 6 ways to give gentle care to your babies:

In caring for newborns, the first and foremost that you have to consider is his/her nutrition. Mothers should assess that her child is taking in the right amount of food (milk). You also have to see to it that they drink their milk on time with the right amount and formula. Don’t forget to also check the ideal weight and height for your baby because this is an assurance that your baby is healthy.

Secondly, newborns are very fragile and delicate. Their skin is very sensitive to cold and hot temperatures. You should see to it that the room has the right temperature. Cover them when it’s cold and a light materials are used when it’s hot.

You also have to remember that babies are prone to illness because of an underdeveloped immune system. You make sure that immunizations are given by strictly following the scheduled time in order to fight against bacteria surrounding him. According to some experts, immunization inclines the protection against antimicrobial that produces illness.

The step of giving baths is also a thing to look up to because this provides cleanliness to your child. Make sure that soap use for the baby is non-irritating and hypoallergenic to the skin.

Checking the infant’s bowel elimination is an important step to consider. You have to visit your doctor if bowel elimination is beyond normal to prevent the baby from further dehydration or indigestion.

Lastly, trust versus mistrust is the essential developmental task of the newborn. These tackle about the social growth of the baby by Erikson. The importance of knowing this milestone is giving comfort to babies, seeing that babies’ needs are all met; otherwise, there will be signs of anxiety, mistrust, and suspicion to your child when he will grow-up.

In providing complete care to your child you have to sacrifice your time and focused all your attention on them. You have to be always alarmed of the ‘negative signs’ that he is showing you. To fix them, you have to know them really well. A positive result of this means the absence of illness, mentally and physically. You will soon be the proudest mom because you were successful in making your baby healthy.