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Caring for the Umbilical Cord Stump

Posted in The Early Days

When your baby is born, the umbilical cord that connects your little one to the placenta will be clamped and then cut short. This cord is how your baby received nutrition and oxygen while in the womb, but don’t worry; your baby will not feel any pain or discomfort when it is cut. For around the first few weeks of your baby’s life, the umbilical cord stump will remain attached. While not very pretty to look at, it is important the stump is cared for properly and…

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Caring for a Newborn - the First Few Days

Posted in The Early Days

Caring for a Newborn - the First Few Days The first few days of your baby’s life are likely to pass in a bit of a blur, but from the day you bring him home from the hospital, the worry over how best to care for him begins! Making those first few uncertain days easier can be as simple as getting organised, so here are our best tips for caring for your little one in the first few days.

Be Prepared In the days before your baby is born, you should be relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet, but some…

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Where Should a Newborn Sleep?

Posted in The Early Days

Where Should a Newborn Sleep? image: portraits.vanburenphotography.com Deciding where your baby will sleep is a matter of your personal preference and the space you have available. There are also safety considerations that you should take into account but with so many differing pieces of advice of where your baby should sleep, it can be very hard to know what is the right thing to do. Well, as is the case with so many of these questions, there is no absolute right - just what is right for your…

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Reflux in Young Babies

Posted in The Early Days

If you or your partner had heartburn during pregnancy, then you will know how uncomfortable and distressing it can be. So it is no surprise that gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) can be really upsetting for young babies.
Does my Baby have GOR?

GOR occurs when some food comes back up into the oesophagus. Your baby may vomit but it more likely they will be prone to spitting up some milk after a feed (posseting). Hiccups and coughing are other signs of GOR, as is refusing…

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Colic in Babies

Posted in The Early Days

Colic in BabiesThere are a lot of misunderstandings around regarding what colic actually is. Some people call the symptoms of reflux ‘colic’, or refer to a crying baby as ‘colicky’ without really knowing what colic is. Colic is common in babies, and refers to excessive crying that doesn’t appear to have any cause. So when an otherwise healthy baby who is fed, clean and comfortable cries frequently for extended lengths of time, often drawing up the legs, this is colic. The symptoms…

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Child Development 6-9 Months

Posted in Month by Month Development

Child Development 6-9 Months 6 months already! It is time to consider weaning, ask your health visitor if you aren’t sure your baby is ready. Most babies at this stage will be ready to use a cup for drinking.  A 6 month old will hold out his arms to get picked up, and reward you by sticking his fingers in your mouth or patting your face (thereby telling you that you are his favourite person!). He will reach out to touch other babies and respond to his own name, and will turn his head to listen…

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Child Development 3-6 Months

Posted in Month by Month Development

Child Development 3-6 Months By three months old, your baby will have changed so much since birth you’ll be constantly amazed at his progress. And the changes keep on coming! Over the next 3 months, you will observe the disappearance of some of the primitive reflexes as he develops voluntary skills to replace them. At 3 Months Old At 3 months, baby will begin to recognise you from a photograph, rather than just from your tangible presence. He will smile easily and enjoy the attention that all…

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Child Development 9-12 Months

Posted in Month by Month Development

Child Development 9-12 Months Nine short months ago, you had a tiny helpless baby, now you have a little person with a big personality who keeps on changing every day. So, what’s happening now? Is she crawling? If not, she soon will be; time to baby proof the house if you haven’t already. Some babies are even walking at this age, although for most this is still to come. There are many other options; crawling, bottom shuffling, sideways wriggling, but they all allow baby to move around and she…

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Child Development 0-3 Months

Posted in Month by Month Development

Child Development 0-3 Months You've made it! You’ve joined the ranks of parenthood. So, what now? Is he normal? What is normal anyway? There is no definitive answer. Your new baby is an individual, and will do things at his own pace, albeit within certain generally acknowledged time frames, therefore comparison is not a helpful parenting skill to develop. Instinct is a much more useful tool. You know your child best, and even the professionals will acknowledge that.
As long as your baby's…

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Crawling - Babies on the Move!

Posted in Developing Baby Skills

Crawling - Babies on the Move! Every milestone your baby reaches is an exciting time, but when your baby starts crawling, you have every right to feel excited and proud. And then it hits you… they’re on the move! Now, they can escape! Babies typically start crawling between 7 and 11 months, but whether your little one is trying to crawl or hasn’t quite got there yet, here are some hints and tips about this exciting (and worrying) time. Learning to Crawl Babies all develop differently, your…

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Tummy Time for Babies

Posted in Developing Baby Skills

Tummy Time for Babies Babies can benefit from being placed down on their tummies as it encourages neck control, helps them learn to use their arms and legs to push themselves up and can help them learn to crawl. It is also a good opportunity to inspect the world around them, seeing things from a new angle. Now that parents are strongly recommended to always place their baby on their back for sleeping (to reduce the chance of SIDS), it is recommended that babies have tummy time during…

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Encouraging Pre-Verbal Skills

Posted in Developing Baby Skills

Encouraging Pre-Verbal Skills image: www.newkidscenter.com While your baby won’t be talking until they are around a year old, this sudden ability to vocalise doesn’t come out of nowhere! Everything you do with your baby, everything he sees, hears and experiences is helping him learn. You can help your baby with pre-verbal learning while having fun together and boosting his skills, confidence and enjoyment of life. Non-Verbal Communication Only a small part of our communication is conducted…

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Making bathtime fun for babies

Posted in Bathing

Making bathtime fun for babies Some babies love bathtime, others aren’t so keen. Whether your baby loves it or hates it, there are lots of things you can do to make it more fun. Your baby will soon learn to enjoy the different toys and activities and see bathtime as fun time. Bathtime Activities for Young Babies (0-6 months) Baths for younger babies are usually quite short. Younger children can also find bathtime daunting so any bathtime activities should be geared towards making them feel more…

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How to Bathe a Newborn Safely

Posted in Bathing

How to Bathe a Newborn Safely Bathing your new baby can be very daunting, especially if this is your first baby. It can be even more worrying if your little one was premature. You can bathe your baby in a tub as soon as the umbilical cord stump has come off and has healed, until then, sponge-bath your baby.  The trick to a happy bathtime for a young baby lies in being prepared. Choosing a Tub Deciding where to bath your baby is the first step. You can choose to use a baby bath which you fill…

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Days Out With Baby

Posted in Activities

Days Out With BabyStaying stuck indoors when you have a baby is something we all think we won’t allow to happen… but then baby arrives and suddenly it takes the effort of a small army to get everyone ready, get supplies packed and then actually get out through the door. On top of this, it can be really tricky to think of days out that are right for a baby. Here are some inspired ideas for days out that are enjoyable for all the family.  Animals  You don’t have to dedicate a whole…

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Going Outdoors with Baby - When is the right time?

Posted in Activities

Going Outdoors with Baby - When is the right time? Getting plenty of fresh air and seeing the world around them is important for babies of all ages. Getting out and about is good for your baby and good for you, so enjoy exploring with your little adventurer. How Soon Can I Take My Baby Out? As soon as you feel ready, you can get your newborn out into the big wide world. Just be careful with younger babies, wrap them up warm, make sure they are flat on their back in the pram and that they fit securely inside it.…

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Reading to your Baby

Posted in Activities

Reading to your Baby
Reading to your baby is one of the great pleasures of being a parent. Reading is one of the few activities that you can enjoy with your baby from the moment they arrive. It is a wonderful thing to do as a family until your child is old enough to read alone and even then a love of books is something that will tie you all together as a family for years to come. Why Reading To Your Baby Is Important From the moment your baby arrives, they are learning. They are taking…

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Games Your Baby Will Love

Posted in Activities

Games Your Baby Will Love We all know that children love to play, and when your baby is tiny you will look forward to the day you can really enjoy a game together. However, your child is learning to play from the beginning and you can encourage their sense of fun by playing early games with them. Early Games Your newborn baby might not appreciate the fun of games when they are tiny and can barely see what you are up to, but they can hear you and they are already tuned in to the way your…

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Getting Crafty with your Baby

Posted in Activities

Young children love to get creative but when it comes to getting arty, your baby can join in the fun too. Getting your baby involved in fun crafts is enjoyable for you and for them, but it also can help them develop important skills. Crafty activities can teach your baby about colours, shapes and introduce them to a range of different textures. It is great for their hand-eye coordination as well. As soon as your baby is able to grip an object in their hand and is…

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Blind Cords and Safety

Posted in Home Safety for Babies

Blind Cords and SafetyYou may have noticed labels on blinds warning of the danger to children posed by blind cords or you may have read of the dangers in the media. This is an issue that has certainly had a lot of media attention in recent years as safety awareness groups and parents groups have sought to draw more attention to the very real danger that loose cords can pose.  There have in fact been a number of injuries and even deaths  as  a result of accidental strangulation with…

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Tips To Make Your Home Safe

Posted in Home Safety for Babies

Tips To Make Your Home SafeBaby proofing your home is about more than just door locks and stair gates… there are lots of things to think about that will help make your home a safe, healthy place for your little one.  Before Baby Arrives  There is no need to put locks on  drawers or corner protectors on  furniture when you are expecting…  you can wait until baby is mobile  before taking all these precautions.  Instead, focus on making your home  safe in other ways:  • Double (and triple) check…

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Extended Breastfeeding - What exactly is it?

Posted in Breastfeeding

Extended Breastfeeding - What exactly is it? If you continue breastfeeding past the first year of your baby’s life, it is considered extended breastfeeding; that’s not to say there is anything unusual or even that different about continuing after your baby’s first birthday! Many, many women continue to feed; it is the norm in other countries to continue until your child is 4 or 5. It is up to you how long you breastfeed your child; only you know what’s best for yourself and your little one. While some women…

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Breastfeeding Problems

Posted in Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Problems    Some common problems you may encounter when breastfeeding; Breast Pain Breast pain can be caused by a  number of conditions including  mastitis and thrush. If you have pain  deep in the breast tissue, it is always  best to seek medical advice from your  doctor. If your pain is accompanied by a temperature it is likely you have  an infection and this will need  prompt treatment. Engorged Breasts When your breasts feel hard, lumpy,  swollen and painful, it is…

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Breastfeeding in Public

Posted in Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding in PublicThere is a certain amount of ongoing controversy over breastfeeding in public. Some breastfeeding Mothers are completely comfortable feeding their child in public, others feel self-conscious. Then there are the attitudes of the people around you; some are unfazed while other people are offended. There are still stories in the media now and then about  mothers who have been asked to stop breastfeeding in a  public area, causing much outrage among breastfeeding…

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Expressing and Storing Breast Milk

Posted in Breastfeeding

Expressing and Storing Breast Milk The reality of breastfeeding is that it is demanding. One of the best ways you can ease the pressure is to express and store breast milk. Remember though that expressing is not essential. It is a choice and it may not suit you or your circumstances. We would advise you to speak to a health professional if you have any concerns or questions. Local health nurses can be a minefield of information as they deal with this on a daily basis. Expressing allows you to build…

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Ouch! Causes of Pain when Breastfeeding

Posted in Breastfeeding

Ouch! Causes of Pain when Breastfeeding Pain when breastfeeding can be very alarming. There are a number of reasons why some breastfeeding Mothers experience pain during breastfeeding. With all these causes, it is important that you deal with the issue as soon as possible so that you can limit the problem and resume normal service! Causes of Breast Pain Here are some of the most common causes of breast  pain when breastfeeding… Mastitis Mastitis causes inflammation and pain in the breast. It  usually…

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Latching Baby to the Breast

Posted in Breastfeeding

Latching Baby to the Breast
Breastfeeding might be the most natural way to feed your bay, but that doesn't mean that it will all come naturally to you, or your baby! Breastfeeding is something that most women find they have to work on and one of the most important aspects of ‘getting it right’ is the latch. How baby attaches to the breast can be crucial when it comes to how they feed and how you feel. Problems Attaching Baby to the Breast Problems with the latch can result in a number of…

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Breastfeeding On Demand

Posted in Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding On Demand Breastfeeding on demand means feeding your baby when they need to feed rather than feeding on a schedule. There are many reasons why breastfeeding on demand can be good for your baby and also good for the Mother. Best for Baby Breastfeeding is reputed to reduce the risk of your child being overweight or obese in later years. One of the reasons many experts feel that this is the case is down to the fact that breastfeeding is the perfect opportunity for your baby to…

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Why Breastfeed?

Posted in Breastfeeding

Why Breastfeed?  There are few more important decisions to make than how to feed your baby. Bottle or breast? Throughout pregnancy your baby has got everything he needs from your body and that needn't change. Your body produces milk that is specially made to meet your baby’s needs from feed to feed. Even the most expensive formula would never be able to do that. Best For Baby Breast milk is full of antibodies which will help protect  your baby against health problems such as…

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Some Common Bottle Feeding Problems

Posted in Bottle Feeding

Some Common Bottle Feeding Problems Every parent comes up against obstacles, whether you breastfeed, formula feed or are weaning your baby, feeding your baby is such an important issue that it is perfectly natural that you can run into problems. Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems encountered when bottle-feeding your baby. Allergies If your baby has an allergy or  intolerance to the milk you are using  you will notice certain signs,  including but not limited to, rashes  such as…

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Choosing and Caring for your Baby's Bottles

Posted in Bottle Feeding

Choosing and Caring for your Baby's Bottles Whether  you are bottle feeding exclusively or want to express breast milk and feed it to your baby using a bottle, it can be tricky to find the right bottles for your baby; there are so many on the market, and each variety promises something different. Types of Baby Bottles There are a number of differently  shaped baby feeding bottles on the  market. These may be shaped to suit  your hand while holding them, or  they may be designed for an older  baby to hold…

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Choosing The Right Baby Formula

Posted in Bottle Feeding

Choosing The Right Baby Formula There are many reasons why a Mother chooses to formula feed her baby; from personal preference to medical reasons. Whatever the reason you choose to formula feed, it can be a positive, bonding experience for you and your child. One of the main benefits is that other members of the family can help out a lot more with the feeding, giving Mum some valuable freedom and support. Choosing formula can be more  complicated than simply going for  the most popular option;…

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Foods to Avoid for Babies

Posted in Weaning

Foods to Avoid for BabiesUntil your baby is 6 months old, all they need is breast milk or formula. If you think your baby needs to be introduced to solids before this time, consult your doctor for advice. Weaning can be a tricky time, and when you are weaning you will often find yourself wondering if your baby can have a particular food. While most foods are fine with the right preparation, there are things you should be careful with and a few things you should avoid.  Knowing what is…

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Drinks for Babies

Posted in Weaning

Drinks for BabiesYour baby won’t need anything else to drink when they are being breast or bottle-fed exclusively. When they start trying out solid foods during the weaning period, you may like to introduce some drinks to your little one. It is important to choose drinks for your baby very carefully as drinks for older children and adults are often far too high in sugar and other additives, or just simply too strong for baby’s young stomach.  When can my Baby Use a  Cup?  From the…

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Baby’s First Recipes

Posted in Weaning

Baby’s First Recipes image: kidshealth.org When you are starting to introduce solids to your baby, it can be hard to think of new and exciting things they can try that are safe and yet tempting enough to get them excited. Here are a few ideas to try. These meal ideas use elements of traditional weaning and finger foods as used in baby-led weaning… you can always tailor your baby’s menu to suit your family. These ideas are suitable for babies over 6 months. •Baby Brekkie Make up some…

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Ideal First Solids

Posted in Weaning

Ideal First Solids Babies love to explore their food, and when you are weaning your little one, you will no doubt want to give them as many different textures and flavours as you can. Whether you are using purees and smooth textures to introduce your child to solid foods or you are trying baby-led weaning, there are lots of ways you can introduce your baby to their first foods. Here are some tried and tested  foods to try with your baby,  just  remember, even if they  hate a…

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Baby-Led Weaning vs. Traditional Weaning

Posted in Weaning

Baby-Led Weaning vs. Traditional Weaning There are lots of different approaches to weaning and like most parenting issues, what is right for one family, won’t necessarily suit another. There are two main camps when it comes to weaning; the ‘traditional’ approach and the ‘baby-led’ approach. You may choose to take a traditional  route, try out baby-led weaning or  combine the two techniques. You  will find that in time, you tailor your  approach to your baby’s unique  tastes;  part of the excitement of…

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When should I start to Wean?

Posted in Weaning

When should I start to Wean? One of the big milestones in your baby’s young life is when they have their first taste of solid foods. Knowing when to wean can be difficult; when is your baby ready to leave a milk diet behind and begin their adventure into the world of solids? Professional Opinion It is recommended that you wait  until your baby is 6 months old  before you introduce solids. This  advice is often contradicted by  other Mothers because in the past  the advice was very different.…

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Baby Skincare

Posted in Common Health Problems

Baby Skincare It can be alarming when you see a rash, blemish or dry patch on your baby’s skin, but don’t panic. A skin problem can be completely normal and nothing to worry about. It can however be a symptom of a more serious illness, so it can be a good idea to familiarize yourself with typical skin problems in babies. Always contact a doctor if you are  at  all concerned about a rash or  other  problem with your baby’s  skin. Take  action quickly if your  baby develops a…

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When to Call the Doctor

Posted in Common Health Problems

When to Call the DoctorShould I call the doctor? It’s a dilemma for all parents. You’re not sure; you don’t want them to think you’re incompetent, but you certainly don’t want to take any risks. A good doctor will never think you are wasting his time, he will be glad to reassure you. And he will have faith (maybe more than you) in your maternal instinct. So the answer is if you are in any way concerned, seek help. But who to call? Maybe you just need advice, maybe an ambulance. The list…

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Ear Infections in Babies

Posted in Common Health Problems

Ear Infections in BabiesBabies are prone to ear infections due to the simple fact that the tubes inside their ears are shorter and so more easily blocked, trapping fluid and creating the ideal place for infection to develop. An ear infection can be very uncomfortable for your baby; they may develop a fever and the pain may be severe. They key is in recognizing the signs and symptoms and acting quickly to fight infection and get your baby back to their usual happy self. To avoid future ear…

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Slapped Cheek/Fifth Disease in Babies

Posted in Common Health Problems

Slapped Cheek/Fifth Disease in BabiesSlapped Cheek Syndrome, or Fifth Disease as it is also known, gets its name from the bright red patch that appears on the child’s cheeks and from the fact that it is the fifth most common disease in children. The rash may spread across the body as well as the face. Other symptoms include a high temperature, itchy skin, fatigue, headaches and a sore throat. These are all symptoms that could appear with any viral illness, it is the bright red rash on the face that is…

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Chickenpox in Babies

Posted in Common Health Problems

Chickenpox in BabiesIt’s a parent’s nightmare, when you first see the dreaded red blistering spots appearing over your little ones body and know that chickenpox has arrived. Be reassured that it had to happen one day, and it could turn out to be a mild case. Chickenpox is a common virus spread by coughing, sneezing and sometimes even breathing in the same air as an infected person.  Coming from the varicella zoster  virus, the reason chickenpox is so  easily spread and so hard to…

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Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Posted in Common Health Problems

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease'What on earth is this!?' If you haven’t come across it before, hand, foot and mouth disease can look very worrying. The illness is a mild viral infection caused by one of the coxsackie viruses and is highly contagious, mostly for children under the age of 10. It's almost too easy to catch!  Through coughing,  sneezing,  skin to skin or  contact with  bodily fluids  it  can be passed  very  quickly  and (similar to  chicken  pox)  your little  one  could  have  the…

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Coughs, Colds and Flu

Posted in Common Health Problems

Coughs, Colds and Flu A cough, cold or flu is unpleasant in adults and it can be hard to watch your baby suffer, but rest assured that none of these conditions last for very long and there are lots of things you can do to help your baby feel better while they are unwell.  Coughing in Babies  A dry cough is caused by swelling of the airways and is usually a  sign of flu. A chesty cough is caused by baby trying to clear his  lungs of mucus, and the most likely cause of this is the common…

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Coping with Baby's Fever

Posted in Common Health Problems

Coping with Baby's Fever When your baby has a temperature, they can appear so unwell that as a parent, our first reaction may well be to panic. Fortunately, bringing the temperature down safely makes a huge difference to how your baby feels and behaves. Knowing how to recognise a high temperature or fever and then how to bring it down will come in very handy. Arm yourself with information and be confident that you can handle your baby when they are unwell and remember, of course, that a…

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Baby Bites and Stings

Posted in First Aid

Baby Bites and Stings'Ouch!' We all know how every bite and sting hurts as immediately as it happens, so when it's happening to your little one, it can seem like you too feel their pain. Different treatments are required for different ailments, so don't be running to grab the same remedy for all. There are a number of things that can cause bites and stings, such as wasps, bees, hornets, midges and fleas. Some of these insect stings have no lasting effect, so once the initial pain has…

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Baby Bumps and Bruises

Posted in First Aid

Baby Bumps and Bruises'When did this happen?', 'How?', 'Where did this one come from!?'  If you have ever found a little bump of bruise on your little one and wondered where it came from, don’t worry – it happens to all parents at some stage. Small bumps and bruises are bound to appear on your little one as they grow up and begin to sit independently, start to crawl and eventually take those first wobbly steps. Before you know it they can walk. Bumps and bruises are going to happen, it's…

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What to do if a Baby is Choking

Posted in First Aid

What to do if a Baby is ChokingChoking occurs when the airway is blocked, either partially or completely. Babies explore with their mouth, and they do not always chew and swallow in the right order. Premature or c/section babies may be at more risk, as are those with conditions like developmental delay.    Reducing The Risk  • Never leave baby alone to feed; young  babies may not be able to turn away from a  bottle if they begin to choke.  • Never allow baby to crawl/walk around  eating in case…

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