Tag Archives: Food

Steps for Helping Your Baby Learn to Eat and Drink: surprise fact and first steps to take

2 Nov

Baby eating baby food (blended green beans)

Image via Wikipedia

It has come to my increasing attention that there is a need for parents to know what resources are available to help them in understanding typical development.  In an effort to help offer guidance I am going to just present a few take-aways in this post.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Parents need to understand that they are their child‘s first teacher and can offer stimulation at home that will further aid their child in learning how to eat and drink. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Start feeding your baby puree solid foods, as a general rule when they are eight months old. Start with a stage one baby food and give them a small baby sized spoon that are available readily in a drug store. The spoon should have a soft surface, where the food is placed. Typically you will see these marketed as “baby spoons”.  One that the baby above uses is an example.   Bear in mind that you will want to be guided by your child’s pediatrician about the amounts of food that your child eats. 
                                                              
In terms of giving your child liquids.  A fact not very widely recognized is that your baby will be born knowing how to suck and swallow and have had a great deal of practice at that point.  Your baby in-utero is starting to suck and swallow because they are surrounded in the womb in amniotic fluid.   They need to learn how to  suck and swallow this.  As a result – your child does not need you to teach them this skill, (typically developing children) and can skip the bottle.  Rather than giving them a bottle, be that teacher and teach your child to close their lips so that some of te very first sounds can emerge “m”, “b” and “p”.  How are they produced?  Closing your lips.  So……try to use a honey bear with tubing.  A company by the name  of Talk Tools sells this product.  They can be found at www.talktools.com.  The product comes with tubing.  You, the person feeding the baby is going to place the tubing  in the baby’s mouth and squeeze the honey bear itself and liquid  will flow into the baby’s mouth.  The person feeding the baby will be the one controlling how much liquid is given.  Straw drinking will develop around fifteen to eighteen months, so do not worry about this for now.   
 
Pacifiers – my personal pet-peeve.  Do you and your child a favor by avoiding their use from the beginning.  A typically developing child does not need them and the continued use will be to your child’s detriment, if you have already started.  Sorry….  Children need to learn to close their lips – not continue the sucking and swallow that the pacifier promotes.  If your child is using this you can start weaning them by cutting the rubber part of the pacifier down very gradually…snip off a bit by bit.  Gradually there will be not enough to suck on and the pacifier will be gone.    
Thickening agents may be suggested by your doctor if your child or young infant is having difficulty swallowing.  Be careful because some of these have not been tested on this population and there may be better options such as nectars, thichening with rice cereal, smoothies or shakes.
 
Sarah Rosenfeld Johnson has written a great deal about the connection between speech development and feeding.  Google her name and  you will see more specific information.  As well, the www.talktools.com website can tell you more about this speech-language pathologist.                                              

How Do We Get Back to School?…..I’m Lost..

2 Sep

Lunch boxes

Image via Wikipedia

Heading Back to School..A Change of Seasons and a Need to Re-Organize.

Organization is hard for most people – so sit back and take a breath.  Read on and think about what is important for YOUR family. Maybe this post will be useful for you…..and maybe you will have other thoughts of what works for you that might be helpful to others.  Please share…

School sales started even before August 1st. I had trouble with that. It seemed too soon to be broaching the topic of the change of seasons. Well – it still does. Some things cannot be changed I suppose. The “new year” is here. I say that because to me the year ends at the end of August and it always starts September 1st…oh no! is that today?? (gulp).

The Annual Chores Related to the Beginning of School are Upon Us….

School Supplies: an annual rite of passage

I did not see that many “back to school” sales for awhile. Maybe i did not want to see them. Time has marched on the past few weeks. Late last week I walked into a stationery store to get some toys for work. Aside me was what appeared to be a mother and daughter on a shopping spree for new school supplies..an annual rite of passage. It starts again…the hunt for that clean and crisp new notebook, new pens filled with ink, unsharpened pencils, crisp notebook paper etc. I must be dating myself – but one ritual I remember was making book covers from the nice shiney ones that they sold in the stores.  They were paper with pretty designs.  As we got older, my parents gave us paper bags (my brothers and I).  I also remember metal lunch boxes, insulated bags, ice packs and thermos bottles for lunch box preperation. It was always nice to have a matching box and thermos at school. Everything had to be properly labelled.  Look at the lunch boxes above..in the picture…It was so much fun to pick out a new one.

Clothes

Make sure that you have the proper uniforns, shoes/socks, a sweater and a bookbag

On hold, but on the list for later:  wintercoat and boots, gloves, scarf and hat-depending on where you live.

Schedules and Routines:  Manage These With Ease:

You probably have a child or a few children around at home grumbling and growling about the fact that they will lose a certain amount of freedom next week. Alarm clocks wil be set again a bit earlier. Baths will have to be taken earlier. Bookbags will need to be packed and clothes laid out before bed. You probably have numerous rituals like this in your household. How to begin??? Make a list of the ones that are important for your particular household. You may even want to get a wipe off board and post daily schedules on it , an academic school calendar might be helpful to note the school holidays, teacher conference days and medical appointment dates for example.  Post this and a list of emergency phone numbers on a bulletin board. Office supply stores will have a large selection of these for you to choose from.

Practice Will Help Everyone 

Whatever routines you have organized for your individual family….try and  use them over this holiday weekend.  I  recall at night that i would be helping my mother set the table for the family (five of us) at night, after all of the dishes were cleaned up from dinner.  Lunches would be made and then plans for the nexr night’s meal.  Mom would even season food the night before sometimes, if she was going to be leaving early for her own job,  in the morning. As we got older, she left earlier. 

i have always found nighttime to be the most challenging.  So- I am going to suggest that you practice setting out the clothes at night,establish the bath schedule for your child/children and put it to use over the weekend.  Set up a routine bedtime forr everyone and get a good night’s sleep……it is going to be a busy year…

Hope it is a very happy and healthy one for you and yours

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