Toddle About Blog

More Than Just Fussy Eating

More than just fussy eatingWritten by Stephanie Elliot, the author of the young adults novel, Sad Perfect.

As a parent, you’ve most likely experienced some sort of picky eating in your child or children. Toddlers are known for – and prone to – refusing foods that don’t taste good, or look funny, or touch another food on their plate. Some kids are just naturally picky, refusing green vegetables or things that look weird to them. But when does it become more than just picky eating? When do you need to worry that maybe your child isn’t getting all the nutrients he needs?

My daughter was an extremely picky eater as a baby and toddler, and we were not initially concerned. We chalked it up to just that – picky eating. But, sandwiched in between two brothers who never refused any foods and excitedly ate lima beans and broccoli, we began to notice that our daughter’s aversion to many foods was becoming problematic. She would cry and scream, sitting at the dinner table, shaking her head back and forth, adamant that she would not be eating what the rest of the family ate. Her main diet as a young child consisted of very basic, plain and white foods, heavy on the carbs, very low on the protein and vegetables. She ate plain bagels and bread, Goldfish, French fries, pizza with the cheese and sauce scraped off, cereal, and waffles (but refused butter and syrup). She ate all sorts of sweets, and on occasion, I could coax her to have a peeled apple slice or a few raw carrots. Her only protein source was peanut butter and Carnation Instant milk. Does this diet sound familiar to you? Continue reading

Children’s Screen Time – How Much is Too Much?

49% of parents under 35 let their children use a tablet before they’re 4 years old.

49% of parents under 35 let their children use a tablet before they’re 4 years old.

Hands up – who has sat down in a restaurant with some friends, toddler in tow, and given them your iPad or iPhone to help keep them quiet? I bet most of you reading this, if you’re being honest, should have your hand in the air.

Now, keep your hand up if you’ve actually bought your child a phone or tablet of their own. A new survey from insurance provider Legal & General has revealed that a surprising percentage of us should still keep our hand in the air.

L&G discovered that 32% of children own their own phone before they’re 9, whilst 65% of children own their own tablet. A staggering 58% of us feel pressured to buy our children their own device, whilst that number skyrockets to 75% for parents who live in London. Continue reading

Why Yoga is Beneficial for the Whole Family

Why Yoga is Beneficial for the Whole FamilyGuest post by Meera Watts, founder of Siddhi Yoga International.

There is no question, yoga comes with many incredible benefits for everyone. There are special breathing techniques that come along with yoga that can quickly diminish anxiety. Mothers are encouraged to do gentle yoga while they are pregnant. It helps to keep the body calm for the baby and raises awareness within the body. Once you’ve begun a family, the benefits are even more prevalent. Studies have shown the benefits for kids, mums, and dads alike. Here are some of the benefits that will positively affect your whole family.

Better Diet Choices

It seems that in the West, yoga is more popular for women. Traditionally, a mum makes the food choices in the household. When you do yoga, you get more into your body which prompts you to feel any toxicity. The body manifests the food we eat so if you notice yourself feeling inflamed or exhausted, you are more likely to make changes in the diet. There is a diet that goes along with yoga to enforce a healthy lifestyle. You are going to be more inclined to eat healthy foods when you have a yoga practice and you will want your family to get on board with it. Continue reading

Creating a Safe Space for Kids to Play in

Creating a Safe Space for Kids to Play InGuest post by Ella Hendrix, a freelance writer.

Kids love to hide away in their rooms and play computer games with their friends online. If they are not doing this, there is a good chance they are traipsing around the house, only paying attention to the tablet they are carrying. It’s fine for kids to enjoy this type of fun some of the time, but they also need to spend some time outside.

Running around outside helps kids to keep fit and healthy. At a time when childhood obesity is a major concern this is important. However, if your kids do play outside, you need to make sure that they are safe. Play areas that are not well-planned and that are not created using safe materials, are a risk to any child.

Why is it so important to consider safety?

Continue reading

Sleeping Tips for the Whole Family

Guest Post by Julia Merrill, founder of BefriendYourDoc.org

Sleeping child

The repercussions of not getting enough sleep can be severe.

Do you ever have a night – or several of them – where no one in the family can sleep? Mum and Dad put the kids to bed, but they keep popping right back out because they can’t fall asleep. Then when they finally do drift off, Mum and Dad are tossing and turning all night long. If this sounds like your family, here are a few tips to help you all get a good night’s sleep.

 

Lack of Sleep

If you haven’t been sleeping well for just a couple of nights, you may be tired and irritable, but it’s not a huge health issue. If your lack of sleep has lingered on for a while, though, you will want to make sure you deal with it. Continue reading

Seriously…Why Would You Take A Baby To A Chiropractor?

Active Family ChiropracticWritten by Melanie Rogers DC, Active Family Chiropractic

One of the most common questions I get asked by people when they see my leaflets on Chiropractic care for babies in my treatment room is, “Why would you take your baby to a Chiropractor? They don’t get back pain!” Well, allow me to explain…

Firstly, it’s a common misconception that Chiropractic care is all about back pain – it’s actually about helping the body to move its best, optimising health and the body’s ability to express life. And it’s not just adult bodies that need help sometimes… even newborn babies can often benefit from a helping hand.

The human body is governed by the nervous system – your brain, spinal cord and nerve network control every single movement and action your body makes, from blinking and digesting to crying and temperature regulation. Babies’ nervous systems aren’t as well developed as grown-ups yet – they rely on us to protect them and supply all their needs, and they usually have a very vocal way of letting us know when their needs aren’t being met!  Those first few months are spent with their brains in primitive function – it’s all about survival. Continue reading

Everything You Need To Know About Reflux

RefluxWritten by Water Babies Bucks and Beds – fun baby swimming lessons that improve water confidence and brain development.

Reflux – when babies bring up milk during or shortly after feeding – is pretty common. It isn’t usually a cause for concern and you don’t normally need to get medical advice if your baby seems otherwise happy and healthy, and is gaining weight appropriately.

However, in some cases, babies suffer from extreme reflux – also known as GORD (Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease). This is a long-term form of reflux where the stomach contents rise up and irritate the child’s throat. It can be painful and is often misdiagnosed as colic.

What causes GORD?

The muscle and valve that lead into the stomach are not working properly, which allows the feed, along with gastric acid, to be regurgitated causing the contents of the stomach to flow back up into the oesophagus. You can also have “silent reflux”, when the child is not actually sick. Continue reading

Tips for Water Safety – Child Safety Week 2018

Written by Jo Wilson from Swim Works

Baby in the bath

Shockingly, most babies that drown, drown at home in the bath or in the garden

Did you know babies can drown in as little as 5cm of water? It’s hard to believe when you think just how shallow that is, but this National Child Safety Week is the perfect time to think about how we can keep our little ones safe in and around water.

Most babies and small children who drown, drown at home in the bath or in the garden so not leaving babies alone in or near water, even for a moment, is best. Scarily, babies drown silently so you might not even hear any noise or struggle. It’s such a horrible thing to even think about, but having it at the front of your mind will keep you more mindful of the dangers.

Here’s a few quick tips from the Child Accident Prevention Trust, especially with summer coming up:

  • Always empty your paddling pool after use
  • If you’re visiting friends, ask about ponds or water nearby and be alert
  • Explain to older children why they should never swim in rivers or canals
  • At the beach, teach older children to swim between the two-coloured red and yellow flags that mark the areas with lifeguards
  • And keep children off inflatables when an orange windsock’s flying – the water might look calm but a wind blowing off the land can quickly sweep inflatables out to sea.

Continue reading

Early Signs of Autism Every Parent Should Know

You can start noticing signs of autism in your child as early as 6 months old.

You can start noticing signs of autism in your child as early as 6 months old.

Guest post by writer, Annabelle Short.

Worrying that your child is developing differently to their peers can be very frightening, however it’s important to take action early to ensure your child maximises their potential and gets help with anything they find challenging.

Learning your child may have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may sound like bad news, yet many people on the Autistic Spectrum live full and happy lives, with successful jobs, hobbies, partners and families of their own. ASD is a developmental disorder that comes in varying degrees and manifests itself in early brain development. Outcomes can be very different when parents take the initiative to get a diagnosis and apply strategies to assist their child, removing invisible barriers and obstacles that neurotypical children don’t encounter. Continue reading

Giving the Gift of Parenthood

Surrogacy is fast becoming an accepted pathway to parenthood for many people in the UK

Surrogacy is fast becoming an accepted pathway to parenthood for many people in the UK

By Sarah Jones, Chair of Surrogacy UK.

There has been a lot of talk about surrogacy in the news in recent weeks. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West announced the arrival of their third child who was born thanks to a surrogate. More recently, Tom Daley and his husband Dustin Lance Black announced that they are expecting a child through surrogacy.

These high-profile cases bring surrogacy into the spotlight, but they often bring up more questions than  they answer. So what is surrogacy really all about? How does it work, who uses a surrogate and why would a woman carry a baby for another couple?

What is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy is a way for a childless person to become a parent, with a surrogate carrying their child. People who want to have a child in this way are referred to as intended parents, or IPs. It is an amazing gift from a surrogate and her family to a person who, for many reasons, is not able to conceive a child themselves. It can be a wonderfully rewarding experience for everyone involved.  For surrogates, it is a chance to do something truly extraordinary and create a family for someone else. For those who are unable to have children by any other means, surrogacy can be a light at the end of a very long tunnel. Continue reading