Ways to Help Your Baby Get a Good Sleep

Good sleep is essential for the development of a healthy baby, and babies who sleep well during infancy are less likely to be napping poorly as toddlers. A good bedtime routine can help your baby get the rest they need. 

Importance of Sleep to Babies

Babies need sleep. They need to get enough sleep to develop healthy habits and learn many of the skills they will need as kids, teenagers, and adults. And though you may not be too worried about your baby\’s sleeping habits at the moment — like, say, how long it takes them to go down for a nap or bedtime — eventually there will come a time when you start wondering how to help them get more sleep. There are many options available to help your baby sleep better and make getting the sleep they deserve easier. But first, you have to determine what those options are.

1. Babies who have enough sleep during the day are better able to regulate their body temperature. Babies who do not get enough sleep tend to wake up more often, and overheat at night.

2. More sleep helps babies develop stronger immune systems by enhancing immune cell production and activity in response to infection-causing pathogens.

3. More sleep helps babies process nutrients effectively; inadequate sleep may prevent babies from getting all the nutrients they need to grow well.

4. More sleep is associated with better scores on developmental tests of mental and physical development, including tests of fine motor skills, cognitive development, language development, and behavioral regulation.

5. A single night of poor or insufficient sleep can affect a baby\’s behavior and performance the next day, even if that baby has been sleeping well for months on end.

How to Help Your Baby Sleep

Here are some things you can do to get your baby sleeping through the night as soon as possible:

Set a consistent bedtime routine and stick with it

Start winding down in the hour before bedtime. Take a bath with your baby, play quiet games and sing lullabies. When you are ready for bed, so should be your baby. Keep these routines going into the toddler years, since consistency is important for sleep habits in both children and adults.

Related: Ways to put your baby to sleep quickly

Move your baby\’s crib

As your baby starts to sleep longer at night, move their crib and bed toward the middle of the room, where they will be less likely to roll out of bed. Don\’t move them too far away from your room or they may wake up during the night and cry. If you are not sure where to move your crib, consult a pediatrician or doctor for advice. The best places to put a crib are in a sunny spot by a window but do not place it directly over an electrical outlet.

Check baby\’s room

Make sure that the temperature in your baby\’s room is comfortable for them. Wear socks to make sure that the room is not too cold or hot. Take a thermometer with you if you are unsure of the temperature in your baby\’s bedroom. Keep drafts from under doors and windows out by using heavy, insulated drapes.

Rock your baby to sleep

Soothe your baby to sleep with a rocking motion. Make sure that you are aware of exactly how long it takes you to place your baby down asleep and then do the same thing each night. It is also important to remember that you cannot rock your baby back to sleep if they are not already asleep.

Brush their teeth

Studies have shown that children who brush their teeth before sleeping have fewer issues with sleep terrors or insomnia. Remind your child to brush their teeth in the morning.

Switch off bedroom lights

Keep your bedroom lights dimmed or off as much as possible so that your baby can sleep better. If you are going on a trip with your baby, make sure that you have downsized the amount of stuff in the room before leaving. A change in room temperature is also good for babys\’ sleep habits.

Take a walk

Spend some time walking around with your baby. Babies who have been rocked to sleep and then taken for a walk will often fall asleep while still sucking on the breast or bottle. If you are not going out, take your baby to the park, or even just around the block if you have a stroller. If you are leaving the house, make sure that there is nothing in the way that could be eaten by a toddler before leaving.

Give your baby a pacifier

Babies who are breastfed often do not sleep well at night, so once they learn to breastfeed, it is important to start offering them pacifiers to help with those nights they need a little extra help falling asleep. Babies who don\’t use pacifiers tend not to nap well.

Give your baby a bath before bed

While you can bathe your baby when he/she wakes up in the morning, this becomes more difficult when you require that they sleep in the same room as you. As a result, it is better to get them into a tub after they have gone to sleep so that you can keep an eye on them and make sure that they do not drown while in their sleep. If you would rather not give your baby a bath, consider doing so before bedtime so that he/she has already gotten enough water during the day.

Never feed the baby before he/she sleeps

Babies need to eat when they are hungry. If you are already struggling with a newborn, it is likely that you will get up to feed them throughout the night or that you will simply bring them into your room so that you can make sure they do not starve. While this is understandable, it can have negative effects on their sleeping habits if consistently done over time. When you feed your baby right before bed or during the night, they are going to associate food with being awake and active.

Consider using a white noise maker

White noise is the sound that nearly all of us are familiar with, the one that is on in the background when you’re at home or in a room and it just sounds like chaos. White noise works very well as a sleep aid. You can buy a white noise machine for your house or car. When you are in a public place, you can use your phone or even the TV remote to turn the volume up and use it as a white noise machine.

Eliminate Distractions

If they are awake, do not allow them to play in the room that you are sleeping in. If you are going to be eating with the baby or put him/her down for a nap, move to a different room so that they cannot see you sleeping. This also applies to other children in the house. You must make it clear that he/she should not continue playing with other children or running around after he/she is put down for bed.

Babies require a lot of sleep. But nowadays, most babies don\’t get enough of it. Ever wonder why your baby doesn’t sleep? There are many reasons why your baby might not be able to sleep, but some are better than others. Whatever the reason is, there are always techniques that you can use to help your baby get a good sleep. Should you need more tips to help you in putting your baby to sleep, please leave us a message.

Andrea Gibbs
Andrea Gibbs is born and raised in New York. A work-at-home mom with a background in business development, strategy, and social media marketing. She is also a blog contributor at Baby Steps Preschool to motivate and educate other parents about how they can get their children ahead of the game in school.

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How Babies Regulate Cold and Heat

Things change after 2-3months of birth, babies become less delicate, but they are still physiologically immature. Their heat-control device isn\’t quite ready yet. You\’ll have to wait a few more months for their bodies to adjust to temperature changes naturally. Babies don\’t learn how to control their temperature until they\’re about 18 months to 2 years old, and they\’re still more susceptible to temperature changes than adults.

What should my baby\’s temperature be?

A rectal reading is the most precise way of taking the baby\’s temperature, which should be between 98 and 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit; a temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher is considered a fever. When your baby\’s temperature rises above average, it may be an indication of sickness. Consult your pediatrician, particularly if other symptoms such as a stuffy nose, sore throat, or cough continue.

Underarm thermometer readings are typically 1 to 2 degrees lower than rectal thermometer readings, and oral thermometer values are probably half a degree lower than rectal thermometer readings. If your baby is under the age of three months, a fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher on a rectal thermometer necessitates immediate medical attention, and you should contact your pediatrician right away.

Consider the room temperature of your baby

Think neutral when it comes to your baby\’s nursery: you don\’t want it to be too hot or too cold. In general, if you think the room is too cold, your baby will feel the same way, and if you feel the room is too hot, your baby will feel the same way.

In the summer and winter, keeping the temperature between 68 and 72 degrees F is a reasonable range. When the room is too hot, your baby\’s risk of SIDS increases; when the room is too cold, your baby can quickly become uncomfortably cold and wake up early or suddenly.

It\’s best not to put any extra heaters or air conditioners in your child\’s bed. Fans, on the other hand, can be beneficial for air circulation and have also been shown to lower the risk of SIDS.

Since preterm babies have a more challenging time regulating their temperature, you might want to set the thermostat to about 72 degrees F for the first few weeks after you bring him home from the hospital.

Furthermore, if premature babies are too cold, they can lose too many calories trying to warm up, which isn\’t ideal because weight gain is vital to their general wellbeing.

Dressing your baby for the weather

Think layers when it comes to preparing your baby for various weather conditions. The easiest way to warm up or cool down a baby is to add or remove clothing. Hats are an excellent accessory because they trap heat in the winter and shield the baby from excessive sunshine in the summer. When it\’s cold outside, babies can need an extra layer or two; make sure to remove different layers quickly when you return inside so that baby doesn\’t overheat.

How to dress your baby for bedtime?

Dressing a baby in one more layer than older kids, a one-piece sleeper plus a sleeping bag, for example, should suffice. If cold outside, you might add another layer under his sleeper, such as a long-sleeved onesie. When boiling outside, opt for lighter-weight fabrics. It has been shown that swaddling your baby with a swaddle blanket or a sleep sack will help him sleep longer. Obey these protection guidelines:

  • Ensure the baby\’s sleep sack isn\’t too big with extra fabric that could tangle the baby.
  • Babies can no longer be swaddled until they can turn over because it increases the risk of suffocation. You can also use sleep sacks built for older babies to keep baby warm while allowing their arms to remain free.
  • Avoid swaddling your baby too tightly around the hips, as this can interfere with hip growth.
  • To minimize the chance of SIDS, babies should always be placed in their cribs on their backs.


Babies are not experts at regulating their body temperature yet, so they partially rely on their environment. Ensure your baby\’s room is kept neutral (not cold and not hot) to prevent any sudden rise or fall in temperature.

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Developmental Toys for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

It\’s enticing to buy your babies the flashiest, most expensive toys; they should be the best, after all, right? That may be true in some cases; in others, not only will your little one be amused by the simplest toys, but they will also intensify their reasoning and help them develop better. These are some of the best developmental toys for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Developmental Toys for Babies 

Some examples of the best developmental toys for babies are; 

Bright Starts Oball Shaker: It\’s a teether, it\’s a rattle, and most importantly, a developmental toy children go nuts for. At either end, there are two easy-to-grab teething balls with a rattle packed with colorful beads that keep them together. When you move it in front of them, babies would be excited. They will shake, rattle, and roll it on their own when they get older. When those teeth begin to come in, they can even chew on it to find some relief. 


Activity Gym Play Mat: It features various activities at every stage, along with lights, music, and colorful animals. This mat is built to help babies improve motor skills, both subtle and broad, from lying on their tummy to learning to sit all by themselves. Batteries are needed, but they are included in the package from the manufacturer, so it\’s good to go straight out of the box.  


Skwish Classic Rattle and Teether Grasping Toy: For its versatility and the fact that kids love it, this toy makes our list of baby toys. It is a toy that is both a teether and a rattle, helping them develop fine motor skills, perception of color, and more. For tossing in the diaper bag, it\’s a decent size and super lightweight, and it\’s made out of wood instead of plastic. It\’s easy for baby fingers to grab and shake, and as the beads shift back and forth on the dowels and rattle, it fascinates babies. One primary attribute of this toy is its ability to return to its original shape even after been squished. 


Developmental Toys for Toddlers 

Toddlers are slightly different from babies in terms of choices and ability and process some kind of information. Getting them toys that aid their learning process is critical. Some of the developmental toys for toddlers that would suit both boys and girls are; 

Little Tikes Basketball Goals: For toddlers, this is a fantastic basketball target and suitable for indoor or outdoor use. It\’s plastic, but it can be easily adjusted to six different heights and won\’t harm anyone crashing down accidentally. Though this may seem like a toy for boys, it would still sit well for girls. 


Melissa and Doug (band in a box): Music is a beautiful tool for toddlers to promote language development. Music has also been shown to use several different parts of the brain and study essential language elements such as rhythm and rhyme. Finger playing, simple songs, and exposure to other musical instruments are all excellent ways to encourage the production of language. 


Wooden Puzzle: Wooden puzzles are a perfect toy for children and help them improve cognitive abilities such as matching and spatial perception. The exact form of mystery will be based on your child\’s age and skill. The above puzzle is ideal for a 2-year-old, whereas a 3-year-old would be more suitable for starting jigsaw puzzles. 


Developmental Toys for Preschoolers: 

These preschool toys can stimulate their imagination and creativity while improving fine motor skills, one of the most entertaining ages to purchase for. 

Cobblestone Farm: This large wooden playset, just like a real farm, comprises a barn, a hay wagon, and a tractor parking spot. The various pieces can be slotted together to create the farm of your dreams, built with small hands in mind. However, animals are purchased separately.


Colourform Silly Face game: Centered around Charlie\’s Colorforms City, the hit Netflix series; this game is a race to see who can try to make the goofiest face. To land on a look and build up from there using the 68 bits, flick the spinner. Are you going to make a magician with cat ears or a scuba diver with a dumb hat? It\’s everyone\’s guess.  


Kinetic Sand Sandifying Set: Do you know those oddly mesmerizing videos of cut or smooth textures being poured into soothing shapes? Your kid is the star now and can build their rewarding fun. Take your camera out and pick your equipment. To generate transfixing works of cinematography, you can dice, slice, squish, scoop, or grate your sand.



Developmental toys are not meant for decoration, flashy, or attractive; the purpose is to enhance perception and cognitive ability development. So cut yourself some slack and don\’t drain your bank trying to get the most expensive toys for your kids. The simplest toys could make the most impact.

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Milestone and Motor Activities to Teach Your Baby

There is no one way to teaching babies things they need to know as they develop. It is usually a two-way street. None is right, and none is wrong. Mothers learn alongside with their babies as they grow. But because no two children can be the same, you can\’t learn from one and apply it to another. Children are all different in diverse ways. And because a child is good at an activity does not mean another child will do likewise. You need to observe and know your child\’s strength or ability before you teach anything.

In the process of teaching a child, it might look like you\’re punishing the child. Without careful observation, you will only think you are helping the baby. But in this case, the reverse is the case. The age, alongside the baby\’s capacity, is a necessary factor to consider in each milestone and motor activities you teach your baby.

What is a milestone?

The word milestone should not be misinterpreted for another thing, although it can be interpreted based on your understanding. A milestone is simply a landmark. It is an important event(s) in a person\’s life. In other words, milestones are the behavioral checkpoints in children\’s development regarding age. All children strive to reach a particular milestone as they grow. Milestone is classified into motor development, language development, and emotional or social development.

The language development will include making of coo sounds or other sounds and laughing. The emotional or social skills include smiling at familiar faces and playing with friends around. As your child grows, they might be moving legs and arms away from their bed when they are excited. Some might even bring the hand to the mouth or move the fist from closed to open. All these and several other movements are motor activities your child learns as they grow. They focus more on the use of the muscles of the legs, trunk, and arms.

Different milestones and motor activities exist at different ages. There are some that your baby develops naturally. There are some that you will need to teach your baby. Take, for instance, by six weeks; most babies can lift their heads while lying on their tummy. And at three months, with the use of arms as support, most babies can lift their chest. While at four to five months, some babies can roll over from the back to the stomach. Remember that this timing varies in babies.

Some of the motor milestones usually expected in babies include crawling, sitting up with no support, standing with assistance, walking with help. It will get to a point when there will no longer be a need for assistance while standing and walking.

Motor activities to teach your baby

Motor activities in babies often lead to motor development in them. Motor development is physical growth, muscle, and bone strength in babies. Your baby can touch things and move in the surroundings. They are usually of two types, the fine and gross motor.

The fine motor activities are the small movements in the hands, wrists, fingers, fists, toes, tongue, and lips. The gross motor activities occur in the muscles, and it assists babies in holding up their heads, sitting up and crawling, walking, running, and eventually skipping. Motor activities occur gradually. It begins from the inner body like the head, neck, arm, and legs. It then extends to the outer body like the hands, feet, fingers, and toes. It is a necessary development throughout a child\’s life. It is a physical development that leads to various body developments.

There are some activities that parents can engage their babies to enable them to develop fine motor skills. These include:

  1. Place your baby on the tummy while you help him or her reach for a toy
  2. When your baby begins to stand, you can place a toy on the couch and allow your baby to stretch out to reach for it
  3. Visit the playground where your baby can climb, run, swing and slide
  4. Allow your baby to walk with a stroller that he or she can push

What are the activities that will help your baby to reach a milestone?

As a child reaches a milestone, there are a lot of motor activities they need to learn. In babies, walking is one of the developmental milestones observed. They often stumble, fall, take awkward steps, and get up most times they see themselves on the ground.

Also, they need to develop hand and finger strength needed to write, the ability to write and form sentences, climb and use the stairs, listen to sounds, adapt to taste and sensation, and lots more. How then can you help your baby reach these milestones and develop motor activities?

They include:

  1. Warm and cuddly activities for age zero to six months. At this stage of growth, babies liked to be touched, tickled, and cuddled. While you get their diapers changed, please give them a quick message to enable them to have a fun diaper time. It will aid in sensory and communication development. At this moment, you can sing a song or play music. You can also tickle her toes while you give a warm smile.
  2. Food play and sensory activities for babies age six to twelve months. When your baby makes a mess while eating, it enables them to adapt to new sensations. Allow them to get food on their face and hands as it provides a sensory experience. Let food get all over their body and do not wipe them immediately. Encourage food of different textures and tastes for your curious baby. Also, allow them to smell goods and touch them.
  3. Exploring activities for ages twelve to eighteen months. At this stage, your baby can move around the environment and explore everything in there. If your baby walks up to you while cooking, allow them to sniff the aroma as it will enable them to develop a sense of smell. Also, while they explore the house, they can smell anything they come across. At this juncture, you need to be careful with things you put within their reach.
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6 Best Baby Toys for Development and Learning

As a child grows, learning through the presence of material things sticks to the brain quickly. In selecting toys your baby plays with, you need to be very careful. Select that which can contribute to the baby\’s growth and development. The best baby toys will encourage learning, creativity, development, imagination, motor skills, problem-solving, reading, writing, etc. Playing is part of babies because it is through this; they learn and explore the world around them. To them, playing is like observing, experimenting, and discovering things. This helps them develop and practice intellectual, social, and physical skills.

Playing is a natural way of learning things over and over for babies without getting bored. It keeps them interested and motivated as they learn, practice, and master several skills while having fun.

What are the criteria to consider in selecting toys for your baby?

You might wonder which of the toys will be suitable for your child\’s age. Kids love to play with almost everything around them. The parents must bear in mind that when selecting toys, you need to consider certain factors. The fact that toys come in different shapes, sizes, and designs make you more confused at which exact one to choose for your baby.

Age is one of the necessary things to consider when choosing toys for your baby. The older the baby, the more understanding of things the baby would have. Therefore, the color and shapes are used to capture the child\’s attention and imagination while testing their creativity. If the baby has older kids, you need to put them into consideration as well. You won\’t want to purchase what will benefit one kid only and put the rest in hostility among them. You will want the bond to continue by ensuring they all still play together.

When purchasing the baby toys, you must be able to identify the educational and aesthetic value. How safe is the toy for the child while playing with it? No injury should be sustained during the process of playing with it. What benefits or use is it to the child\’s development and learning? What can your baby learn from using the toy? The toy must be able to aid their learning skills and development. You need to know what your kid likes and his abilities and desires when it comes to selecting toys.

Also, you need to consider the environment in terms of space, where the child will play with the toy. You can\’t live in a small house and buy big toys that will occupy the whole area and not give the child enough space to even play with the toy. You need to know how to use the toy. Can the kid handle it all alone or needs the parent\’s assistance?

Therefore, you need to select the right toy for your baby as it will serve as an investment. The child will be able to learn one or two things while playing with the toy, which will help in the child\’s development. It must also encourage creativity in the child. The child must be able to develop different things from using the toy. The toy will also be a source of great pleasure that will grow with the child.

Read Also: 5 Brain Boosting Nature Activities for Your Baby’s Health

What are the best baby toys to improve your baby\’s development?

There are many toy options available for parents when selecting toys for their baby\’s development. Some of these toys include (but not limited to):

  1. Sassy floor mirror. This toy is suitable for social skill development. Social skills are needed in effectively interacting with other people. Also, it enables us to read and interpret communications easily. A baby develops social skills right from birth and continues to improve it as they grow. Sassy floor mirror encourages your baby to observe human behavior, especially when they look into it. They see a perfect reflection of themselves and how they act. Hence, the mirror is necessary for your baby\’s social skill development.
  2. Infantino textured multi-ball collection. It includes balls made of different textures, shapes, and sizes. Infantino textured multi-ball collection is best for babies because they can use their hands and mouth to explore the toy. It is essential for sensory play and development. Because the toy has different textures, it makes it ideal for sensory play. Sensory play assists in developing your baby\’s senses, including touch, smell, and taste.
  3. Rolling car or bicycle. It helps in developing cognitive skills. This type of toy focuses on imaginary play and helps your baby start processing information, reasoning, and expressing emotions. The cause and effect are learned as they push the car or bicycle to let go. You can use simple commands like \”stop or go\” while playing with the toy. Cognitive skills will help your baby to learn how to understand and solve problems.
  4. Touch and feel learning toy board book. Board books are the best toys for encouraging language and speech development. You can assist them by using their hands to scribble letters on the board. You can also use their hands to point at pictures and explain what they mean, as this will sharpen their expressive language skills. Babies develop their language and speech skills at their own pace. Parents are usually happy when they heard their baby speak his or her first word. When you read and talk to your baby always, it will encourage the development of language skills.
  5. Sprout ware stacking cups. When your baby plays with a set of stacking cups, your baby will develop objects permanence skills. It is the skill that enables your baby to recognize that objects such as favorite toys, mom, or dad still exist even when they are out of sight. Toys that involve hiding will hasten the development of this skill.
  6. Basics snap-lock beads. Beads are usually versatile toys that enable kids to learn how to grasp, manipulate objects with the hands, push, and pull. This kind of toy is very portable to carry around at any time. This toy enables babies to develop their excellent motor skills, which are involved in the coordination and use of small muscles like the hands and wrists.
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Amazing Things Babies Learn in the Womb

It is easy to assume that because your baby doesn\’t see the world outside the womb, he cannot pick anything while in the womb. But research has shown that babies do and learn more than we know. Fetal intelligence is now known to exist in the womb.

Between twenty-two- and twenty-three-weeks\’ gestation, your baby begins to hear your voice and sounds around you. They experience the effect of your happy, sad, angry, and not so pleasant emotions, stress, and movement. Babies begin to develop their taste buds to taste the food and spices you take in and respond to touch. All these are to prepare your little one for life outside the womb and bond with you.

This means you can start training your baby\’s cognitive abilities and help his developing central nervous system at every stage to prepare to meet you and life outside the womb. You can do this by reading to your child, singing to your baby, playing music, and musical instruments, touching your stomach while speaking greatness to your baby. 

Although some experts argue that babies only begin to learn after birth, several instances suggest otherwise.

What can babies learn from the womb?

Identify sound and language

At twenty-two weeks, your baby starts recognizing sounds and starts getting used to your voice. At 34 weeks, your baby can understand nursery rhymes and musical sounds already. Your baby starts learning to differentiate his mother\’s voice from other people\’s voices. Research has shown that baby\’s start learning a language in the uterus. Their ear is developing every day to adapt to life outside the womb; they begin to recognize their mother\’s voice and learn her language. You should feel free to talk to your baby. Speak your mother tongue to your baby, sing, and communicate what is happening around to your baby. 

Sense of taste

One of the things that develop early in babies is the taste bud. At thirteen weeks of gestation, your baby\’s taste buds have developed. Babies can begin to differentiate the various tastes of food and spices their mothers consumed and begin to have a preference.

Studies have found garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and some other spices present in the amniotic fluid. This shows that babies can taste some of what the mother eats directly from swallowing the amniotic fluid. When the baby is born and takes the mother\’s breast milk, he doesn\’t find it strange.

When my daughter was born, she didn\’t take breastmilk for three days. On the fourth day, when I discovered I was lactating, I paused my mother to feed her the formula and put her to the breast. The moment she tasted breast milk, she became glued to me. When we offered her the formula again, she refused to date. The baby formula was strange to her but not the taste of my breastmilk.

That is why it becomes vital for a pregnant woman to vary her diet as much as she can. This will help your baby not be a picky eater, but that doesn\’t mean that babies won\’t be picky eaters.

Recognize their mom through smell

A baby\’s sense of smell will help him identify his mother. In the womb, a baby not only learns to taste but also to smell. This is because amniotic fluid supports their survival and carries the spice scent which the mother consumed. A baby identifies his mother by his sense of smell and taste and only starts identifying with his sight after a few weeks.

Ability to see light

A baby\’s eyes are sealed until about seven months of gestation, but babies cannot see anything because the womb is dark. Studies have shown that when light is pointed at a pregnant woman\’s tummy, the baby reacts to the light by turning away. Towards delivery, babies begin to open and close their eyes in preparation for the outside world.

Sense of touch and movement

Babies start responding to touch by eight weeks of gestation. When you feel your pregnancy bump, your baby will move in response to your touch, especially when you touch your baby\’s face. As your baby gets bigger, he gets to move more. This is a baby\’s way of exploring his environment. Babies can turn in opposite directions and take different positions until the space in the womb becomes limited. If you learn to touch your bump often while also speaking to your child, you will be bonding with your baby from the womb. As you practice some workout moves, your baby will also respond to the movement and learn it too. Babies would also be able to relax from the exercise. 


Babies learn to swim from the womb because they are surrounded by amniotic fluid. They grow and survive in the amniotic fluid. Babies are said to have their swimming abilities until they are six months. After six months, babies who are not taught to continue swimming begin to lose the ability to swim and would have to relearn it.


Have you ever wondered how many babies learn to suck when put to the breast with little or no difficulty? Babies learn this reflex from the womb. The moment they are put to the breast, it begins to look like an old tradition. Babies suck their fingers when they are in the womb, this makes it easier for them to be able to suck their mother\’s breast when placed to latch properly.

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When Can a Baby Start Drinking Water?

There are a lot of things that amaze me when it comes to a baby. Should we narrow it down to baby and fluid or baby and sleep? All these are the common attributes found in them. The commonest is baby and fluid. This is because right from birth, they have been feeding on fluids but breast milk only. They are so dependent on it because, at that point, that is all they are given and can at the same time consume. But with time, it will get to a growth stage (a certain age) that not just breast milk alone any longer but other fluids, especially water.

Water and its importance as well as associated risks

Water is a basic necessity for all living souls. A lot of benefits have been attached to water consumption. It includes dehydration control, constipation prevention, excretion processes through perspiration, urination, and the likes. 

Breast milk is sufficient to keep babies hydrated because of the presence of water present in there. Even after the first few days of birth, the colostrums are all that is needed to keep the baby well hydrated. A well-breastfed baby does not require additional water. Also, formula-fed babies do not need extra water. On no account should a baby be given water before six months old without consulting pediatrics for guidelines even if it is hot outside.

Water supplements may come with several risks like excessive weight loss, loss of nutrients (malnutrition), poor nursing, jaundice, etc. At times, the water might not be free from dirt for the baby\’s intake, and that can result in infections. 

Breastfed baby versus formula-fed baby

According to the World Health Organization, babies that breastfeed well do not require additional water. This is because breast milk already contains more than 88% of the water needed by the baby. It is also recommended that babies should breastfeed for the first six months of their life. Do it without substituting any other supplement in between, except the medicines they take. 

Still, the reverse is the case for formula-fed babies due to one reason or the other. Their feed is usually prepared with water. Therefore, their water intake began at this point. The water present in breast milk is so pure, which protects the baby from all forms of infection. But over time, that water might no longer be sufficient with time (age), and the baby will need to start drinking water. 

Related Article: At What Age Should Moms Stop Breastfeeding Their Babies?

Recommended age a baby can start drinking water?

Now, the question is, when can a baby start drinking water? When it comes to baby and water, you consider a lot of factors before giving him water to drink. Not just any kind of water, but which type in particular and at what quantity? This is necessary so that you don\’t end up causing unnecessary bowel movements, infections, or malnutrition for the baby.

Experts suggest that once the baby is six months old, you can start giving him or her a small amount of water. That should not substitute breast milk or infant formula because proper breastfeeding should last at least twelve months of age. Also, when solid food intake is introduced, which usually takes six months or more, you can add water to the diet. No matter what you are proposing, it should not affect the nutrient intake and overall growth. 

Therefore, all need to be balanced. The water might be introduced as a beverage or juice. As the child continues to grow, the water level intake also increases naturally. And after a year, water is used to quench thirst between meals. By then, the baby would have been consuming regularly scheduled meals and snacks.

What type of water is considered safe for the baby to drink?

The type of water that is considered suitable for babies\’ consumption must be safe and includes:

  • Tap water: The one that comes from cold tap water. It is left to run for a long time to flush out any built-up contaminants like lead or copper that usually accumulates in the pipes. Also, the hot water taps typically contain a high level of metal contaminants than the cold tap. This is because heat dissolves these metals, and therefore, it should not be used.
  • Well water: The one that meets the standard of safety. How is this tested? Well water should be treated regularly. It should be tested for chemicals and bacteria three times per year. Babies should take only the ones that meet both standards (chemical and bacteria tests). This water testing can also be used to measure the level of fluoride within well water.
  • Commercially bottled water: Natural spring water or treated water with low mineral content.

All these are not sterilized water. There is no cause for alarm if given to babies of ages six months and above. At this stage, their immune system is strong enough to contain these kinds of water. Asides this, babies should not take some water. They include mineral water, flavored water, carbonated water, softened water, etc. All these can cause health problems and should be avoided.

Related Article: When to Introduce Your Baby to Spoon

Water intake recommendation for babies

For now, there is usually no recommended amount of water that should be taken by babies of six months and above. The amount should be limited to avoid interference with breast milk, formula, or solid food intake. Experts suggest that 2-3 ounce of water at a time is appropriate for a baby from six to twelve months old. It would not interfere with the intake of any other foods. 

Older babies between nine and twelve months should take more. Once the child celebrates his or her first birthday and starts eating solids, it is not harmful to allow the baby to drink water freely, but only between meals.

Once you know when a baby can start to drink water, you don\’t need to bother yourself how to go about it. There is no right or wrong way. It depends on what the baby can quickly adapt to and find comfortable. It can be from a bottle, sippy cup or regular cup, or straw. 

Therefore, mothers must be aware of when a baby can start drinking water. It will enhance the proper monitoring needed for the baby\’s further growth.

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When to Introduce Your Baby to Spoon

Introducing your toddler to spoon and fork is an important milestone. Between nine and fourteen months, most babies begin to show interest in using cutlery, mainly because they have watched you with keen interest as you used your spoon. But some toddlers do not pick interest in the use of cutlery, as they prefer the use of their fingers.

Some parents are asking, \”At what age should my child use cutlery?\” While some will say do not introduce spoon to your child before fourteen-month, I say otherwise. Introduce your child to cutlery as soon as your baby starts eating solids. And allow the child to try a spoon on his own as soon as he shows interest in using cutlery.

What developmental skill does introducing my baby bring?

When your baby begins to learn to feed himself, he is developing his fine motor skills. Every time your little one tries to take food into his mouth, and he either successfully gets it in or splashes it around his table and clothes, he is building his muscle strength and improving on his hand to mouth coordination aspect of his brain. This motor skill will grow stronger as your child grows, and it is this motor skill that will help him write legibly, brush his teeth and hair and carry out other activities that require a motor skill.

Don\’t shy away or delay your child from feeding himself because you are afraid of the mess. Mess helps them grow better and faster.

How to introduce your baby to spoon

The use of spoon in babies is an indicator of the development of fine motor skills. For a baby showing interest in using a spoon, you should start by introducing a spoon with meals like yogurt, oatmeal, pap, and some puree. Wear a bib around your baby\’s neck and be prepared for a messy mouth, hands, and apron. Hand the spoon to your baby and watch him scoop some quantity while you guide the spoon to his mouth because the probability that much of it will spill from the soon is high.

In this case of a child not picking interest in the use of a spoon, it becomes a conscious effort to help the child do so. You should come to the table with two spoons. Fill the spoon with the nutritious meal you have prepared for him and take it to his mouth. Then feed yourself; this is because babies learn by watching. Your child will watch you keenly and, after some time, will be willing to try taking their spoon into their mouth with little or no content.

Your baby is still likely not to master the use of spoon efficiently before eighteen months, but that is okay—no need to drill your child or beat yourself over that.

Another way is to use the hand over hand technique. You place your hand over your baby\’s hand and scoop some puree or yogurt into his spoon and lift it into his mouth. When you do this often with him, it will build his hand to mouth coordination.

When should you introduce fork to your baby?

Your baby doesn\’t necessarily need fork before fourteen months. Babies prefer using their fingers to feed themselves finger foods and any food that they can generally hold in their hands. But since you, as the mother, understands your baby more than anyone else, you should pay attention to his clues to see if he is ready to use a fork. 

Some mothers have something to say about the introduction of the fork.

\”My baby started picking up my fork every time we ate spaghetti or noodles and wouldn\’t want to start with her hand, so I gave her a plastic fork designed for babies when she was eleven months.\” – Lauren

\”My son preferred using his fingers to eat finger foods. He didn\’t start using a fork until he was fifteen months.\” – Grace

What type of utensils should your baby be using?

I would not recommend using spoons and fork with metal or steel prongs and scoop before the age of three. A child can easily hurt himself either by poking themselves and their mouth with the metal prong and bowl of the spoon.

  1. A BPA-free plastic utensil is safe for a child.
  2. Get a soft and safe spoon and fork with round prongs.
  3. A silicone handle that is short, fat, and round to enable the baby to get a proper grip of the spoon or fork. 
  4. Don\’t get any utensils with a super long handle for your baby to self-feed with.
  5. The tip should be one with a narrow bowl that will safely fit into the mouth.
  6. A spoon with a bowl too deep isn\’t suitable for a baby learning to use a spoon.
  7. A bump at the back of the handle to stabilize the eaten utensil when at rest.

Warning signs to look out for

Signs that your baby may not be suited for self-feeding yet either because he is at risk of poor oral structures or experiencing a delay in developing motor skills are:

  1. Your baby easily chokes on food or can\’t do without gagging
  2. He is experiencing difficulty with chewing and swallowing solid food.

In the case that you are beginning to introduce solids, you should pay attention to allergies that might arise and possible intolerance such as lactose intolerance. Sign such as

  • Rashes
  • Wheezing
  • Hives
  • Runny nose after feeding
  • Swollen lips
  • Discoloration in body
  • Stuffy nose
  • Swollen gum or tongue
  • Vomiting

The possible presence of food allergy, and it becomes necessary to pay attention to ingredients or food that isn\’t going well with his body. Always wash and sterilize your baby\’s spoon and fork. Do not handle it carelessly.

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Learn Early Nutrition and Meal Plan for Your Baby

Baby Nutrition

Proper nutrition means getting the right amount of nutrients from healthy foods in the right combinations. Having nutrition knowledge and making smart choices about the foods you eat can and will help you achieve optimum health for your little one over their lifetime. It is key to avoiding obesity, illness, and many of today\’s most prevalent chronic diseases.

Nutrition is just one key to growth and development, as well as maintaining good health for your little ones. Good health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being — a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

Offering your baby a varied diet is a great way to ensure your little one is getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow and develop. Every spoonful you feed them should contain the required nutrients.

Weaning Process 

Weaning is, however, the most important transitional phase for a baby. They start tasting and eating foods that aid their growth and development. The need to wean babies generally begins from the age of 6 months and can go on until that of 12 months to 2 years, depending on the baby\’s intake and the weaning foods and portions. But since their stomach is still very delicate, they need food, which is easy on their digestive system. 

The foods that parents can start with once a day are cooked and mashed vegetables, soft fruits, and baby cereals mixed with breastmilk or formula. New, nutrient-rich foods mean that your baby now has access to all the nutrients required for growth and development. With breastmilk no longer being the only source of nutrition, your baby\’s body can have its share of iron, protein, minerals, etc., from a varied set of food items.

Read Also: Foods That Will Make Your Kids Grow Tall

Types of Weaning

Natural or Baby-led Weaning: 

This occurs when your baby starts to accept a larger quantity and a wider variety of solid foods while still nursing on demand. With natural weaning, you must take note of your baby\’s behavioral cues and go along at their pace. Babies who are weaned naturally usually tend to stop breastfeeding only between the ages of two and four years.

Planned or Mother-led Weaning: 

This occurs when mothers themselves decide to start the weaning process. Planned weaning could happen for several reasons – insufficient milk production, their return to work, and so on.

Partial or Gradual Weaning:

Partial weaning combines the best of both worlds for you and your little one. Here, one or more solid food feedings are substituted with breastmilk from time to time. Partial weaning works well for working mothers who still want to continue to breastfeed.

However, weaning your baby from 6months of age is extremely important. They begin to need nutrients from real foods such as iron, which has already diminished at 6 months of age.

Several nutrients play a crucial role in growth and development, depending on the age of your child. For example, from ages 6-12 months, fat, protein, and other micronutrients are vital for your little one at that stage. While from 12 months, carbohydrates, protein, and fat, as well as other micronutrients, plays an important role at that stage. 

Getting a Baby Meal Plan

It is imperative to get a well-prepared healthy baby Meal plan to guide and assist you in choosing a variety of foods from each nutrient to help your little one\’s growth.

There\’s nothing more frustrating than having to think of what to give your child. Especially, when you opt for healthy nutrition for your little one. Seeing what your little one is eating for a couple of days, week/month written down, can alert you to any patterns of bad habits. This might give you the push to try new recipes, which can only be a good thing for your little one to explore different foods, as well as varieties of nutrients. 

With a meal plan, you can buy what your child needs, and not being swayed by special bulk offers. You can avoid throwing out lots of food you haven\’t been able to eat in time (before the expiry date) and, in turn, save money.

Babies, as well as toddlers, can be fuzzy when they are hungry, which can be so stressful for moms. But getting things figured out, which is a vital key, is why you need a meal plan for your baby.


It is important to note that nutrition plays a vital role in strengthening the immune system. Good food helps our body\’s natural defence to fight viruses, infection, etc. Especially that of our little ones whose immune system are still developing.

Remember your little ones needs all the nutrient they can get from real foods. Let\’s raise healthy kids together.

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Sleep Regression in Children: Signs, Causes, and Tips

Your child has been sleeping well since she was born, and you have been thankful that you did not have to go through the sleep problems you had with the older child. All of a sudden, your baby\’s sleep pattern then changes without warning. It is frustrating because it is crossing into the second week, and you are wondering if your baby is sick or not adequately fed. Sleep regression in children causes exhaustion because if your baby is not sleeping well, it means everyone else and most especially the mother is lacking sleep too.

What is sleep regression in children?

Sleep regression in a child is a period that usually lasts between three to six weeks in which the child experiences a setback in sleeping well, especially one who was sleeping well earlier. The child starts waking at short intervals at night, having short or no naps for no apparent or explainable reasons.

You might be looking for answers for why your infant or toddler is losing sleep. I can understand because this frequent waking up is exhausting. Though all children are not the same, sleep regression is common in children. It\’s just that every child doesn\’t suffer sleep regression at the same stage.

Sleep Regression Ages in Children

There are certain ages when children experience sleep regression.

4-months sleep regression: 

Sleep regression experienced at this age usually becomes permanent changes to their sleep patterns. Typically, at four months, your baby is sleeping longer at night or through the night, but when sleep regression sets in, she begins to have several short periods of sleep with fussiness and short naps.

Related Article: Newborn Sleep Schedule: Birth to 3 months

8-months sleep regression: 

Sleep regression at the age of 8 months is associated with the developmental milestones that occur with this age. Learning to crawl, stand, walk, building, and forming language skills are typical milestone babies of this age experience. Some are teething, and some are resting for a bit from teething. All these and all the brain and internal development going on are what would cause a sleep regression 

9-months sleep regression:

Mostly a continuation of eight months sleeps setbacks. Some children don\’t experience sleep regression until they are nine months. Your baby is okay if she hasn\’t experienced a sleep regression yet.

10-months sleep regression

Regression at ten months is a continuation of eight and nine months of sleep regression. Like most other regressions, it should pass away after six weeks, and they can return to their normal sleep and napping schedule.

11-months sleep regression:

Sleep regression at eleven months isn\’t so common but still occurs. Babies who experience sleep regression at this age skip their naps or experience short naps, generally between napping between ten to twenty minutes. I know nap time for a child is very important for a mother because that is when you get to do some things without worrying that your child is getting up to something again. But treat this phase like others because it will pass within a short period. Babies are not yet developmentally ready to give up their three naps a day at eleven months until they are almost two years.

15-months sleep regression:

Sleep regression at this stage is mostly due to developmental milestones and transitions. Your baby may be transitioning to one nap and learning to walk and speak multiple words could be interrupting her sleep. Although there is no three to six weeks duration at this stage of sleep regression, you should treat it as one. You will also start learning to schedule your child\’s sleep now to help her deal with the changes occurring to her sleep pattern.

18-months sleep regression

We expect babies to be sleeping through the night at this age. Some babies, for some reason, suffer sleep regression at eighteen months. For some, it could be because they are bringing out their molars at this time. 

Babies developing molars can be painful and uncomfortable and could be affecting their sleep. Some children decide that night time is when they want to wake, throw a tantrum, scream, and play, and you can\’t seem to settle them back to sleep.

2-years sleep regression

A 2-year-old, sleep regression can be attributed to several factors that could be disrupting his sleep. At two years, there are several transitions taking place in the life of your toddler. Potty training, a new sibling taking all the attention, moving her into her bed, separation anxiety, and possible nightmares could be causing your child\’s sleep regression. 

While you might notice that at two, your toddler stops napping altogether, and you are probably asking, \’when do toddlers stop napping?\” What is happening is likely a sleep regression. It might not be permanent. Most toddlers don\’t stop napping until they are between three to four years, but there two-year-old that give up napping completely. You should try helping your 2-year-old to nap again because a 2-year-old needs rest at least once a day and ten to twelve hours of sleep.

Tips for handling sleep regression

  1. Add more feeding. Your baby might sleep longer if she feeds better. But don\’t be too disappointed if you feed your baby more, and she wakes up thirty minutes later to feed, it will soon pass.
  2. Don\’t introduce your baby to a habit that isn\’t good for you both in the long run while trying to comfort your little one. For example, if you have weaned your child from the pacifier, don\’t let exhaustion and frustration make you return to it.
  3. You can introduce activities and games that will enable your toddler to exhaust all his energy; This can make him sleep longer.
  4. To prevent being too stressed, ask for help from persons you know would be willing to assist in taking care of your child while you rest.
  5. If you need to introduce an earlier bedtime in your baby\’s schedule, please try it. 
  6. For a toddler, sleep training her might be the way to help her begin to sleep better.
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