Friday, November 1, 2013

A Little Help On The Road To Talking with Baby Sign Language

From the moment your baby is born, they begin to learn language skills from the people and environment around them. They slowly go through various stages of language development from babbling to gesturing until they finally develop speech. This final stage of language development is acquired through your baby listening to people talk, talking to others and also playing with sounds and words.So how can you as a parent help your baby on the road to talking?By introducing baby sign language into your home you can assist with your baby's language development and vocabulary building. Baby sign language helps bridge the gap of communication for parents by enabling pre-verbal babies to communicate using basic sign language.Baby sign language can help your baby's receptive and expressive language skills. Receptive skills are where your baby begins to understand what they are hearing. These receptive skills then later develop onto expressive skills or speech.To help encourage speech:- Talk to your baby.Talk to your baby frequently and make sure that you speak slowly as this will allow your baby the opportunity to listen to the words you are saying and the sounds you are making.- Focus on single words from your baby's everyday life.Baby sign language can help as you introduce one key word and sign at a time from your baby's environment such as eat, drink, milk, more etc.- Use a variety of other words.While focusing on the keywords that are important in your baby's life don't forget to use a variety of other words around your baby to help expand their understanding of their environment.- Wait for responses from your baby.Give them a chance to "talk" back, listen to the sounds they make as they try to communicate. Also watch for those early gestures as they try to imitate signs you have introduced to them.- Encourage their efforts.As they begin to express new sounds imitate these sounds back to them and praise them for their attempts.- Listen to your baby.When playing and talking with your baby listen to them and what they are trying to communicate to you, the same as you would in an adult conversation.- Play with your baby.Use games such as hiding games or peek-a-boo to encourage actions, facial expressions and sounds.- Read to your baby.Use books with bright colours and pictures. As your baby develops, their interests in books change. To find out more information on early literacy visit http://www.australianbabyhands.com/baby-sign-language-articles/earlyliteracy.html.- Sing to your baby.Have a list of songs that you sing regularly to your baby. Singing traditional nursery rhymes that make you repeat words over and over may be a tedious task for you but it is great for your baby's learning.- Develop your baby's hearing skills.Point out sounds to your baby as they occur such as a dog barking, the doorbell ringing, a car starting or a plane flying by.Most babies' begin on the road to talking between 12 and 18 months of age. Once this occurs, your baby will be constantly adding to their vocabulary and by the age of two and a half, will begin joining words together. Baby developmental guidelines for baby's from one month to 24 months can be viewed here http://www.australianbabyhands.com/baby-sign-language-articles/development.htmlSo When Should I Seek Help Concerning My Baby's Language Development?As highlighted by Speech Pathology Australia on their website, here are some pointers to look out for if you are considering seeking help concerning your baby's language development:- your baby does not seem to listen to you, enjoy sounds or respond to them- your baby has difficulty sucking, chewing, swallowing or biting- your baby isn't using real words by 18 months of age- your toddler is frustrated by not being able to speak to others- your toddler has trouble understanding what you say- your toddler stutters- your toddler has an unusual voice, for example it sounds husky- your toddler isn't trying to make sentences by two and a half years.As a parent you play a very important role in your baby's language development. By using any of the points mentioned above you can actively assist in your baby's language learning and help your baby on the road to verbal communication.

Incorporate Creativity In Your Baby Shower Invitation Ideas

Incorporating creativity in your baby shower invitation ideas will set you apart from others and will prepare the stage for a wonderful pregnancy celebration. The baby shower invitations are an expression of your intense desire to cordially invite your friends and relatives to the baby shower party. As such, these invitations should reflect your intense emotions to invite your near and dear ones to come to the baby shower and share your happiness. You can base your baby shower invitation ideas on the theme that you might have selected for the party. There are many other ideas for the same and some of them are being enumerated below.Baby Bassinet IdeaBaby shower invitations based on baby bassinets are one of the most attractive baby shower invitation ideas. The invitation for the baby shower is decorated with baby bassinet that has a baby inside it. This works for both boys and girls but if twins are expected, then you can use two baby bassinets.Baby Bib IdeaUsing the baby bib is also a great baby shower invitation idea. The invitation can be made in the shape of a baby bib and this invitation can be used for both boys and girls.Baby Blocks IdeaThis is one of those baby shower invitation ideas that use baby blocks of alphabets and numerals for decorating the invitations. These invitations can be used for both girls and boys.Baby Bottle IdeaYou can use any item connected with a baby to make the invitation. A baby bottle would also be a great baby shower invitation idea. The invitations could be made in the shape of a baby bottle or the invitation edges could be decorated with petite baby bottles.Stork IdeaTraditionally, the stork is depicted as bringing the newborn baby. As such, this is a great baby shower invitation idea. You can find plenty of such invitation cards in the stores and you can select the cards that have pictures of a stork delivering a baby. Such an invitation card can be further decorated by you and you can add a cute caption and your personal touch in the form of a loving message.Lovely AnimalsBabies love cute animals such as furry teddy bears or small dogs. As such baby shower invitations in the forms of these animals would be a great idea. Small furry teddy bears, dogs, ducks or butterflies can be placed on the invitations for decorating the same.In general, any item connected with a baby would be an excellent idea for incorporating in an invitation card for a baby shower. These items could be any of the following: burp cloth, bib, basket, towel, diapers, baby bottles, nipples, bottle cleaners etc. If you know the sex of the baby, you should use blue color for a male baby and pink color for a female baby. If you do not know the sex, you can use neutral colors like yellow and green.There are many baby shower invitation ideas that you can incorporate in the invitations but using your creativity will enhance the effect greatly.

Babies and Pets

Babies and pets require some preparation in order for the combination to work well.A large number of pets are taken to the shelters when they're family members find out that they are expecting a child. It is very sad for the pet and for the family to relinquish a favored family member because a new arrival is expected. In most cases it is not necessary to give your pet away just because you are expecting a baby.With a little effort and patience the transition can be made and all members of the family can remain intact.One of the first things you, as your pet's care giver has to remember is, your pet has been "your baby" for a good while and has enjoyed all of your attention. The new baby is certainly going to diminish the amount of time you have to give your cat or dog.So what do you do?Start the "weaning" process as soon as you are aware that there is going to be a new arrival. Cats and dogs thrive on routine. Routine is what makes their world go round and it is up to you to gradually change the routine to accommodate the new routine you will have with the baby. Your pet needs and thrives on your attention, but it does not need it 24/7. Gradually reduce the amount of time you spend pampering your pet. I am not saying stop giving your cat or dog, pets, pats and time; I am saying "tone" it down a little.A great way to give your pet attention without having to stop what you are doing is to talk to your cat or dog. Our pets love the sound of our voices and if you repeat your pet's name and just talk about what you are doing, you pet will feel it is getting the attention it wants.Sounds silly, doesn't it?Just think about it for a minute, you can talk to your pet while changing the baby, feeding the baby, bathing the baby, rocking the baby and just plain holding the baby. You can do all those things and not have to stop to pet or pat, and your pet will feel satisfied. It won't hurt to toss your dog a treat or two during the whole process and that will add more pleasure to the experience.The secret here is to plan ahead. Cats and dogs rely on their sense of smell and their hearing. So, during that 9-month waiting period, you are going to give their noses and ears some new smells and sounds to hear.Babies smell and look different then grownups, they don't smell like dogs or cats, they smell like babies. The plan here is you are going to invest in some baby oil and baby powder, which you will from time to time rub on your hands and let your pet smell them. It wouldn't hurt to rub some on towel and put the towel within reach of your dog or cat's nose. Do not, however, allow your dog to drag it around. That's a "no, no." All you want to do it make your pet aware of the smell.Having a baby means "new" furniture. Whether you are buying new or getting furniture from family or friends, start bringing it in. Allow your pet to smell it and get used to its presence. All the while this is happening talk to your pet about the "baby."There are tapes available of baby sounds, crying, gooing and all the other sounds, babies make, buy or borrow one, so your "kids" get used to the sounds babies make.If your pet is a dog, a good idea is to buy or borrow a fairly life sized doll. Dress it in some baby clothes, carry it around the house, talk to it and your dog, go through all the motions you would be going through if it were your new baby.I would start doing this as your time is getting nearer as it will get your pet used to the new routine. If you don't feel silly, try taking your "baby" out in the carriage or stroller and having your dog walk with you.What we are trying to avoid here is jealousy. Some dogs are possessive and will get jealous. If you while you are awaiting the arrival of your baby, take the time and have the patience to go through all these motions, your dog will be used to having the baby around, and it will not be so threatening to him/her.Here are a few more things to consider if your pet is a dog: Make certain that you provide some "one on one" time for just you and your pet. Remember this was the baby for a good while before the "real baby" came along. Dogs and cats are creatures of routine. If you are gong to change the place where they eat, sleep or have their toys, DO IT ahead of time. Do not wait until a few days before you are to give birth. If your dog has not been obedience trained, now is the time to go to obedience school. You will be so glad you did. You need your dog to obey your commands. Expose your dog to as many babies and/or toddlers as you can. Always keep a leash on your dog when it encounters the little ones. This way you have control inside the house or outside the house. Be certain to give your dog praise and treats when he/she behaves well around a child. Do not lose your patience with your dog if he/she doesn't seem too happy around children. Keep calm, do not yell or scream at your dog. By keeping calm, giving treats and praise, you can try again and eventually, your dog will realize babies are okay. Babies do not look like "big humans" and your dog may be frightened of them. Let the dog be in your baby's room with you, give it a special place to sit or lie down (this is where obedience school fits in) and expect him/her to stay there. If at all possible before you bring the baby home, have someone bring a blanket, hat, towel or anything else that has the baby's scent on it for the dog to smell. When you are coming home with the baby have someone else carry the little one in and you give your dog your full attention. It is important that you greet your dog just as you normally would if you left the house and came home. Let your dog smell the baby, if he/she barks and starts to carry on have someone take the dog and put it either in its crate or in another room to calm down. Above all do not let anyone yell, hit or scream at the dog. BE CALM and give the dog another try in a little while.This is a new member of the pack; the baby is an extremely new concept for the dog to acknowledge. The baby looks like nothing your dog has seen in the household before. Keep in mind your dog is a dog and not a person that understands English or babies.Get a large amount of treats to have on hand, as it is necessary to make a big fuss every time your dog behaves appropriately toward the baby. Keep a leash on the dog in the house; let him/her drag it around. The leash gives you control.Do not exclude your dog from the family and the baby. Do not put an "inside' dog outside or in another room just because you have the baby. It is important for the dog and baby to form a bond and a bond will never form if you treat the dog as a second class citizen and banish it away.NEVER and I mean NEVER leave the dog and your baby alone together. No matter how good the dog is with the baby. You will never know what motion or sound the baby makes that might excite the dog and it may attack.Any dog attack on a child that you read about in the paper will have these words, "the child was on a swing or playing "alone" in the yard with the dog," we just don't know what happened. Believe it or not, it was not the dog's fault; it was the parents or the caregivers.You will never know what provokes the attack, but most likely the child did something innocently that upset the dog. You are the adult and the one with the intelligence use it.The preparation for the baby when you have a cat is very similar to that of a dog. If your cat is an "indoors only" kitty it will take some time and patience, indoor/outdoor cats other than being curious have a life of their own.This doesn't mean you should suddenly put kitty outside because of the baby, especially if the cat is "declawed."Cats live in a smell and hearing world just like dogs, only I think smell is more important to cats. So it is up to you to do the baby powder and baby oil routine on your hands? Play the sounds from the baby tape; only for cats start out softly and increase volume a little at a time.Bring in the furniture and allow kitty to climb and smell it.If possible bring in friends with babies and small children, more than likely kitty will run and hide, but give it a try. Make certain kitty has a place to escape to. Prepare a sanctuary for kitty before hand so the cat has had time to get used to it.Put all the "old wives" tales of cats sucking out a baby's breath or laying on a baby to smother it out of your mind. I have lived a long time and never have I heard of a cat that did either of those things. Yes, a cat will get into the crib, but usually only after the baby has left it and the spot is "warm." Cats love warm spaces. Let kitty smell the baby things.Keep a diaper pail tightly covered as female cats have an inborn instinct to clean up after their kittens and kitty may try to help you by helping to clean the diapers.One helpful hint in helping keep kitty calm is spraying the baby gate; door and doorjamb to the baby's room with Feliway, a wonderful product that will help keep kitty calm. In fact I would spray the furniture and the stroller just as an added measure. Feliway can be purchased at pet stores and on the Internet.If you are concerned about toxoplasmosis, which is a rare disease in the United States. HEAR THIS it can be avoided. True it can be found in the feces of cats. The cats can get it from infected raw meat, wild birds, mice or contaminated soil. If YOU were to get it, you would have to eat the cat's feces or put your fingers in your mouth after cleaning the litter box. You could also get it from eating and handling raw meat.So what do your do?Wear rubber or latex gloves when: gardening or cleaning the litter box. Avoid handling raw meat or eating uncooked meat. Wash all cutting boards and counters that may have come into contact with raw meat. Feed your cat a good commercial cat food and stop worrying.If you practice cleanliness and feed kitty well, so that it will not go out hunting, all should be well.If you have not had your cat or dog neutered or spayed this is the time to do it. Animals that have been neutered or spayed make better pets, will not have raging hormones and will behave better.The truth is, if you are calm, take necessary precautions, and treat your pets, as members of the family all should be well.This may all sound like a great deal of work, when one quick trip to the animal shelter would settle the matter, but is that what you really want to do?All these things can be done within the 9 month time frame, slowly and with good results if you take your time, be patient and use common sense.Good luck and enjoy your baby and your pet!

Baby Slings - Why You Need One

Looking for a great first baby carrier? Then consider one of the best things ever to happen to modern parenthood - a baby sling.A baby sling is a baby carrier made out of fabric that wraps around the wearer's body from his or her shoulder to the opposite hip and back up to the shoulder, creating a pocket for the baby to sit or lie down. Very common in many cultures around the world, the use of baby slings, or "baby wearing" as it is sometimes called, is gaining popularity in the United States as parents are realizing the many benefits associated with baby slings.Benefits of Baby Slingso Baby slings are "hands-free." They allow your baby to be with you at all times when you are running errands or tending to chores around the house.o The baby finds comfort in the sling environment which simulates the pressure, motion and warmth sensations they experienced before birth in the womb.o Slings are great bonding tools for fathers, grandparents and other caregivers.o Slings may aid in reducing crying and colic, and lower the baby's stress hormones.o Slings often make it easier to nurse in public.o A baby sling can be used for newborns and babies up to 35 lbs.One of the more popular types of baby slings is the pouch sling, also referred to as the tube or pocket sling, where the baby is carried in a semi-prone position. This type of sling often fits around one arm, with baby hanging at about stomach level. There are other types of slings which can be worn like a backpack, with the baby facing in or facing out.Using a baby sling is often more convenient than trying to carry your baby around in his or her car seat, and much easier on the back. A baby sling also provides a great way to carry your baby around if you don't want to pack a bulky stroller.Padded or Unpadded?Padded or unpadded, that is the question many parents must decide, and there are pros and cons to both. Many parents like padded slings because they give their baby's head some support, and feels more comfortable on the shoulders. Many parents dislike padded slings because they feel padding makes the sling too bulky, and keeps the sling from being adjusted very tightly because the padding won't move through the rings. They also like unpadded slings because they are more easily shared between two people of different sizes. One option would be to choose a lightly padded baby sling which gives support to the baby's head, yet lightly padded enough to slip through the rings.Popular Brands of Baby SlingsPopular brands of baby slings include Maya Wrap, The Peanut Shell, Moby Wrap, and Hotslings, and will generally cost in the neighborhood of $35 to $70. For hot summer days you might want to check out slings made out of Solarveil(TM) , a breathable material with UV protection, blocking out 95% of the sun's harmful rays. You can also use the Solarveil (TM) sling in the pool, shower or beach.Baby Sling TipsWhen using baby slings, it's important to keep the following in mind:o A baby sling should not be used instead of a car seat or other infant protection device.o Do wear your baby in a carrier while cooking at the stove or oven, as there is the risk of hot substances splashing on your baby.o Always keep one hand on your baby when bending over, to prevent your baby from accidentally falling out.o Remember that babies can be bumped by doorways or sharp corners, so be aware of those things while walking with your baby.

Baby Blankets For Your Baby's Comfort

Baby blankets are essential for the wellbeing of newborn babies because they are still not fully developed and as such are prone to catching cold and getting infected with virus and diseases easily. The babies need to be protected all the time and wrapping a blanket is the best way of taking care of your baby. You should also make sure that the blanket provide sufficient warmth and be soft on the baby's tender skin. Moreover, it should be lightweight so that it does not exert too much pressure on the child.Baby Blankets Made Of Fleece Are Ideal Fleece baby blankets answer all the requirements as stipulated above. They provide the right amount of warmth and coziness to the baby and are soft to touch. Fleece is very light and is available in many colors. The babies remain comfortable in fleece baby blankets for a long period of time. These blankets are relatively inexpensive and are ideal for being given as gifts for newborn babies. It's also possible to give a personal touch to these baby blankets when you are giving them as gifts by writing the baby's name and its date of birth.As compared to woolen or woven blankets, baby blankets made from fleece provide greater warmth and comfort to babies. The main reason is that fleece soaks up moisture and keeps the babies dry.Fleece Blankets Look Smart And Are More Durable Besides looking smart because they are available in many colors, fleece baby blankets are also very durable. They might look thin and be soft to touch but they have plenty of durability because fleece is a long lasting polyester fabric. These blankets can be washed repeatedly without any sign of wear and tear. Moreover, since they dry quickly, they are an essential part of a baby's trousseau.Buy Or Make? Either fleece baby blankets can be bought from the market or you can make them at home. You can buy the fleece material, cut it to the size that you want and then stitch the periphery with a different colored thread. During the pregnancy period, an expectant mother can do some handwork on the baby blanket to give it a personal touch.If you don't want to make it, you can buy it along with other baby products. Naturally, buying will be a more expensive option although some fabrics cost almost as much as buying a new baby blanket.Baby blankets are sort of replacements for the warmth of the womb when the baby is born. It was cozy inside the mother's stomach but when it comes out it has to face the harsh realities of life, especially the weather. So, make it cozier outside. A baby blanket will give it the warmth and the tight wrap that it deserves.Feeling Of Satisfaction When you have a fleece baby blanket wrapped around your baby, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that the baby is comfortable, safe and cozy much in the same way that it was before its birth. What a great feeling of satisfaction! So if you are expecting a new addition to your family, you should just go across to the nearest department store and buy a fleece baby blanket.