Many people go from the transition of being solely responsible for themselves to now being responsible for another life. These are normal everyday citizens whom after having children, experience a new outlook on life. Having children is a blessing. Who doesn’t love waking up to those adorable chubby cheeks of a newborn child? Parents will do anything to make sure their child is happy and healthy. However, sometimes parenting can be very tough. Many couples and even single parents experience that initial panic when it comes to making sure their child is protected and safe at all times.
They keep their eyes on their babies like a hawk! But who wouldn’t? After all children have a tendency to get themselves into a little mischief and trouble here and there. Unless you’re blessed with the world’s most perfect obedient child then this article is not for you. But I’m guessing that’s not the case, is it? Everyone needs a little help parenting every now and then. Well look no further! I am going to give you some very valuable information that will help you in maintaining a safe upbringing of your little one. So let’s just get right into it!
1. Baby Walkers And Jumperoos
Children ranging from the ages of 6 to 12 months have a sudden urge to move around all the time. Well at least when they’re not taking their naps or playing with their food .Keeping up with them can even be tiring sometimes. All that energy in such a fun size package, it’s amazing! When babies are placed in baby walkers for the first time they are extremely delighted. I still remember the day my little nephew got his first one. He was so ecstatic and full of joy when he moved his way across the floor in his brand new baby walker. We all want our children to be happy. Of course everyone wants their child to experience the same kind of joy. But sometimes parents get too caught up in focusing on keeping their child pleased. They fail to remember that sometimes short term joy can lead to long term consequences. Children can’t obviously make their own decisions so you as parents have to do that for them. Each choice and decision will have an impact on your baby in the future. You have to be very careful when it comes to your child’s safety.
There has been research that shows that baby walkers/jumperoos can be detrimental to the normal development of a child. This may sound a little confusing and strange but I’ll break it down for you. Baby walkers are great because they can help your baby get around easily. They can also be a source of fun for your child but there are some disadvantages you should keep in mind. Because baby walkers help children get around so effortlessly, their need to move around is satisfied.
This is not a good thing as they skip out on the crucial step of learning to crawl and walk on their own. Crawling, scooting or creeping around is very vital to developing children’s strength and coordination. If they do not learn to move on their own, this could halt the development process and possibly delay your child’s ability to learn to walk. The harm caused by a baby walker can be greater than the benefit. It can lead to the deformation of feet’s and legs and also causes uneven muscle strengthening. Spine curvature results because of the heavy load. The child’s spine does not take proper shape and lacks the necessary curves for further development. The child loses the motivation to walk and independent motor skills development is postponed. Jumperoos and baby walkers are already banned in Canada. In the USA alone there are over 8000 cases of baby injury caused by such instruments. To minimize the harm, baby walkers and jumperoos should be used after your child has learned to get up independently. Once your baby has grasped that, you can use the walkers or jumperoos for 15 minutes twice a day under adult supervision. This will help them grow normally and they can enjoy their walkers too!
2. Juice And Milk
Today many of the problems that parents face are what they should or shouldn’t be feeding their baby. But how could something like juice and milk be dangerous? Cow’s milk is a foreign substance that finds its way into not only artificial infant feeds but also mother’s breast milk through the food she eats. There are several risks and disadvantages associated with the use of cow’s milk in infants less than 12 months old. Therefore the introduction of it should be postponed until the baby is of proper age. One of the reasons mothers should avoid giving their babies cow’s milk is because of the sheer biology of a baby’s body. A baby’s digestive system is not enough developed for them to breakdown the proteins and nutrients contained in this type of milk. Cow’s milk also comprises of large quantities of certain elements that can have an adverse effect on the child’s kidneys like potassium, sodium and chloride. It lacks essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, zinc and iron which are necessary for the well balanced growth and development of the infant.
This can lead to iron deficiency and even internal bleeding in babies under 12 months old. Iron is very important for the growth of red blood cells, a lack of which can lead to anemia. Although its true newborns have sufficient amount of iron in their bodies, after 3 to 4 months the iron supply gets consumed and more is required. In some cases the occurrence of iron deficiency anemia in babies less than 12 months of age can be related to developmental delays that can’t be fixed with a later iron rich diet. You can replace milk with foods rich in calcium such as cultured dairy foods, green vegetables and fruit.
Similarly pasteurized fruit juices can also be harmful to your baby. The American Academy of Pedodontics (AAP) recommends using fruit juices restrictedly. One of the issues with offering your infant juice is that it can displace the amount of breast milk or formula a baby drinks and can also hinder their eating patterns. Juice consumption in infants can lead to dental caries and problems with growing permanent teeth. Children’s teeth can begin to break down at just 6 months of age! The prolonged exposure of these juices to the teeth can cause many dental problems. Infants who drink a lot of fruit juice deal with not only dental problems but also malnourishment and even obesity. So what can you as a parent do? Cow’s milk should be given to children after 12 months of age but not more than 17 oz. a day. You can replace milk with foods rich in calcium such as cultured dairy foods, green vegetables and fruit. It is also better to replace pasteurized juices with actual fruit! A healthy baby means a happy baby!
3. Electronics And Gadgets
I think it’s safe to say to say that we’re all guilty of spending too much time on our electronic devices. I can’t go a few hours without my phone! In today’s world you see the increase in use of such devices ranging from phones, laptops and tablets etc. Many parents make the mistake of overusing these devises in front of their children. Children tend to be very curious and quickly adapt the habits and norms of those around them. If they see us on our devices 24/7 they’ll soon want one of their own! Our emails and texts can wait especially if it means setting a good example for our children. Studies show that increased screen time is connected to higher rates of childhood obesity, behavior problems, ADHD, poor sleep quality and poor physical activity.
School performances are also negatively affected. It’s important to also note that the blue light from LED screens cause retinal damage which may lead to macular degeneration. This could cause cataracts and also blindness! Kids under the age of 12 spend many hours in front of the TV rather than spending the day outside in the park. This lack of activity and physical movement can cause developmental delay. John Ratey explains in his book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, that the advantages of playing are not limited to being physically fit and socially comfortable. Even 10 minutes of physical activity changes the way the brain functions. In addition, exercise normally makes people feel better because it “builds and conditions the brain.”
Using smartphones and computers deprives your child of the real world. They are more likely to become lazy and sluggish because they missed out on more outdoor activities. The lack of interaction can lead to a disturbance in the development of motor and sensory skills. This in turn leads to the underdevelopment of the frontal lobe which is responsible for personality, speech, communication and decision making. The best thing you can do for your child is to limit the use of these devices to 1 hour a day, only after the age of 2. They can use these devices to then play brain games that will challenge their thinking and intellectuality like math games and puzzles!
4. Bright Toys
Many parents love to spoil their children and buy them toys as a sign of their love and affection for them. Children love to be around their toys and play with them as much as they can. I used to love playing with my toy train set as a little girl! When a child starts going to preschool they are immediately submerged in a new world. They are now exposed to new surroundings and people. Children will indefinitely explore the world around them and toys can play a major part in this. It is known that children can pick up social attitudes and certain personality traits just from the toys they play with! Playing with toys can have its benefits on children such as helping establish positive ego, spark imagination and interaction with others. However too many toys can be troublesome. Sometimes too many toys can make a child greedy and create a conformist mentality. Children can’t tell the difference between good and bad so they look to the actions of others which can have any sort of effect on their own personality. Furthermore, bright toys with loud sounds, unnatural colors and electronic details can be disadvantageous for children.
Giving your children such toys can prevent them from fully developing their imagination. An experiment took place in Germany where all the toys of a kindergarten classroom were taken away for 3 months. The results showed children resorting to using their surroundings to get creative and inventing games. Fewer toys can mean more imaginative children! Having fewer toys can establish better social skills. Children become good at sharing and also develop interest in other venues like art, sports, reading and writing. Having fewer toys can make children more resourceful which is a very important trait in life. Another advantage is that children are more likely to go out and enjoy the fresh air instead of being stuck in their rooms with boxes full of kick knacks.
This leads to healthier and more active children. So are you supposed to throw away all they toys? Heck no! Research shows the best toys are those that engage a child’s senses and spark their imagination. For example Lego blocks are great toys as they can help children to learn numbers, letters and language skills. On the other hand you might even have a future architect in your hands! Educational toys can increase communication skills and helps your child to make more friends. You can purchase toys that will promote educational development and creativity such as blocks and puzzles. This will ignite not only their creativity but also help them to learn more about their interests. Simpler toys can have bigger advantages. There’s no need for all those flashy gadgets, let your child learn big lessons from simpler things.
5. Warm Clothes
When a baby is born the parents are often very careful about what types of clothes to dress their baby in. Playing dress up is one of the most joyful things when it comes to raising your child. Babies can be so cute in their sailor outfits and ballerina tutus! But sometimes new parents can get confused as to what the appropriate attire for a baby is. Different seasons mean different clothing. In the in the winter you’ll obviously want to dress your infant in warm clothing. As for summer, you can reduce the number of layers of clothing. It is important to know what kind of material you’re dressing your baby in. Not only should your child’s clothing be comfortable but also wearable and safe. But how can clothes not be safe? It is quite normal to think that because babies are so vulnerable to weather changes that they need to be covered from head to toe in layers of clothing. While that can be true you must pay attention to thermoregulation. What is thermoregulation you may ask? “Thermoregulation is the ability of an organism to keep its body temperature within certain boundaries even when the surrounding temperature is very different.”
It is very crucial to pay attention to this in younger babies especially. The younger the child the worse their thermoregulation is. They can be exposed to overheating and super cooling. Overheating can cause neuroticism which can result in heatstroke. Dressing up your child in too many warm clothing can prevent them from developing defense reactions towards weather changes. This can lead to cold-related diseases and low immunity. Always make sure your child’s clothing is made from breathable and natural materials. Here’s an extra tip: Babies feel most comfortable when their bellies and chest are dry and their hands and feet are warm and pink!
Everyone knows the importance of wearing seatbelts when riding in a car. Studies show that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of people ranging from ages 5-34. That is why seat belts are so important because they are the most effective way of to reduce injuries and save lives in accidents. However, for a pregnant woman there is a specific way to wear a seatbelt. This way you and your baby can both be safe while riding in your vehicle.
When pregnant, the seatbelt must be properly placed and fastened to avoid injuring yourself and your baby. You could injure your baby in an accident if you wear the lap portion of the seatbelt over your belly. The safest seatbelt to wear is a shoulder belt and lap combination. The belt should be placed below the belly and touching the thighs. The seatbelt should be low and cushy on the hips. It is best to sit upright and your belly should be at a safe distance from airbag and steering wheel. Feel free to move your seat back as your baby bump grows and to be extra safe!
Thanks for reading!