Contrary to what the “experts” say, you can teach your baby how to swim. When I say baby, I mean 12 months or older. Six-month-olds can be taught to flip over and float, but it is a bit trickier. Most parents are led to believe by well-intentioned pediatricians or swimming instructors that either they have to be at least 3 to start or that they must be taught by a professional. I am here to tell you that I have taught all four of my children to swim, and it is very do-able.
There are a few things to consider when you are preparing to be a swimming instructor for your own brood. Number one: You have to understand that swimming is a skill, like any other that your child undertakes to learn. Like learning to walk, there will be times when the baby is apprehensive. However, after a while, as he or she gains confidence, frustration and tears diminish and delight and enjoyment take their place. Number two: There will be people who disagree with you for attempting to do this and who will try to persuade you to stop. I know it sounds crazy, but I am reminded of several occasions in which I was literally accosted by onlookers who did not have an understanding about what I was trying to accomplish. This can be avoided by choosing a private setting for your lessons.
Before I go any further, let me just comment on floaties by saying this right up-front: If you want you baby to learn to swim, you must never put even them on their little arms. Floaties provide a false sense of security to a young child. I will never forget one day at the public pool in Kirksville, Missouri when a young child about 4 years of age jumped right into the water next to me at a depth of 4 feet and proceeded to sink straight to the bottom. Luckily, I was right there and I grabbed him before the lifeguard even had a chance to jump in the water. His mother apologized and said, “He usually has his floaties on. He must have forgotten that he can’t swim without them.” I held my tongue then, but now you know. The other thing about floaties is that they encourage an upright position in the water which is counterproductive to the learning of the swimming posture which is horizontal.
The lessons themselves should be short-ten minutes at the most. Your baby will be working very hard during this time, so keeping it short will control for the fatigue that will naturally take place. Be disciplined about this. Make sure that you have a clock to keep the minutes for you. The lessons should also be frequent. I like to do four or five days a week whenever possible. If you have more than one child, you can have them sit out while you work with each one until they can swim well on their own. I make it a rule that they cannot interrupt each other’s swim lesson. Also, make sure that your little swimmer has not just eaten and that he or she is not over-tired (nap-time).
In waist high water (for you), start out by making sure that your baby can grasp the wall at the side of the pool. Do this a few times so that they understand that their job is to get the wall. Move away from the wall an inch and tell your baby to get the wall. If she slips under the water, that is okay. Just watch that she reaches up and grabs it again. By this time, she may be crying. That is okay, too. Now you will be able to hear when she takes a breath more easily and will know when to have her grab for the wall again. Tell her what a clever baby she is for getting the wall. She is learning that she cannot breath under water and that she must hold her breath. She is also learning that the wall is where she is safe. Sometimes the water level is too low, so that it is too far for the baby to reach the edge. This is easily corrected by talking to the owner of the pool.
Three times catching the wall is plenty for this first lesson. Later, you will introduce variations like turning her so that her side is facing wall so that she must turn to get it, having her “fall” into the water with her back towards the wall so she has to turn all the way around before she can reach it and even trying different orientations to the water (ie. head first, entering on her side, etc) when she gets really good.
You want to take her out to the middle of the shallow end now and, holding her on one shoulder, show her how to kick her legs. Do this for a few minutes while saying “kick, kick, kick.” Then hold her out in front of you, pulling her through the water towards you and tell her to get your hand under the water. Right after she inhales a breath, release her and let her glide toward you for a brief one or two seconds. Praise lavishly. Two more times, and that should do it for the first lesson.
Do this for several days until your baby is holding her breath predictably and you feel comfortable taking cues from her. After a week or so, you should be able to tuck her legs under her and let her push off against your thighs to propel herself toward the wall. From that point, you will be able to end her lessons with one or more of these “big swim” to the wall. Your baby will be swimming, and you will have helped her learn.
At that point, you can add more variation to the swim routine. You can add a flip over to a back float to take a breath in the middle of her swim to catch your hand. You can also add floating on her back and flipping over to resume her swim to catch your hand or the wall. By this time, she will be having so much fun, she may even jump in to the water from the side and swim over to you. This is fun to show off at the public pool, especially if you have been shunned there before. I have had people who criticized me when I started come up and remark what wonderful swimmers my children were and that they were surprised at how much they could do at such a young age.
Of course, no matter how well your baby and children can swim, you will never stop watching them very closely around the water-but you knew that. If any of this makes you feel uncomfortable, by all means don’t do it. This is certainly not what I think you should do. All I am saying is that if you really want to teach your baby how to swim, you can. I did. Four times.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/621653
By Rana Burr
Among the numerous attributes that can easily be made to children at an early stage in life, one which clearly stands out is that of swimming; once learnt, it is rarely, if at all ever forgotten. In fact that is the reason that a lot of emphasis is often placed on teaching children to swim right at their infancy stage, viz. when they are still babies. That is because; this is a stage which has practically no fear attached to swimming whatsoever. Otherwise, over time, a lot of young adults develop a fear for water – what is commonly referred to as aqua phobia.
Besides the obvious aspect of more focused and fearless learning, another clear advantage that baby swimming offers is that it can be so much fun for adults! Parents in particular tend to rejoice in the prospect of seeing their infant children being able to swim with complete nonchalance. Along the way, various memories are formed which in turn go on stay for life! Take for instance, the first time that an infant manages to stay afloat in water all by itself; or the first time, that an infant actually takes rapid strides while swimming, once again completely unaided and all by itself. These are memories which when captured on film become a part of lifelong memories which parents and the infant too will cherish, long after it has grown up!
Another clear advantage that baby swimming offers is the feeling and spirit of camaraderie. That comes about since babies tend to learn in an environment which in turn has fellow babies also looking to hone their skills in swimming. In such a scenario, they often end up making friends and acquaintances that go on to become a part of their circle of close associates, even much later in life. The same holds true for parents as well who also get a clear opportunity to enhance their social network amongst other fellow parents also looking to teach swimming to their kids.
Overall, if you are looking to groom your children as athletic and health conscious individuals in their youth and adulthood, then baby swimming would certainly be a very good instrument for you to actually do so. It has in fact been observed that in most cases, once babies are taught the nuances of swimming, they tend to continue pursuing the same, well into their adulthood as well.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5953125
By Abhishek Khandelwal
Parenting babies can be a daunting task as you may find it hard to communicate with them. Babies do actually communicate but they do so in different ways. These tips will hopefully make it a lot easier on yourself and baby.
They didn’t come here to manipulate you. Babies will cry but only to get your attention to help them with something. They aren’t out to annoy you. They either want a changed diaper, they are too hot or cold, teething, stomach/wind pain or may just even be scared.
- Close contact is essential with a baby. They want to be close to their mom or dad. You can never be too close to them. It doesn’t turn them into dependent babies, it teaches them that if they are need comfort someone is there for them, hence they tend to be more confident in exploring the world.
- Let them explore the world around them. Don’t keep them in a playpen, baby proof your house and let them crawl around. It will keep them entertained more than any toy and help them practice crawling, which in turn helps them develop many more neurological connections.
- Talk to them like an adult. Babies will only learn language if they can hear it. So if they only hear baby talk that is all they can learn. Introducing them to adult conversation early will help them pick up language a lot faster.
- Your babies health is most likely one of your biggest concerns. While everything is new there is a tendency to panic about most minor things. Remember that billions and billions of children have gone through the first years of their life and survived in sometimes much worse conditions than we live today. So while it is always important to keep an eye on your babies health and speak to your health care practitioner should you have any concerns, you will most likely have little to worry about.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3580707
By Adam P
Congratulations on your new baby! Newborns may not seem like they do much at first, but they are constantly learning by using their senses. New babies soak up information like a sponge and they do so by looking, touching, and hearing. Seeing your baby learn new things on a daily level can be exciting! Great developmental toys for infants can help your child grow their senses and assist them in learning about their environment.
In the first three months, infants will adore toys with bright colors and funny shapes. Toys with bright patterns will help your baby distinguish certain objects from each other and hopefully promote them to reach and grab. Toys that encourage movement is very important! Funny shapes and textures help them to expand their realm of touch and you may even catch your infant trying to “figure it out”.
Soft toys are also great for newborns because they are easy to hold and can be very entertaining. Baby rattles and squeaky toys do wonders for increasing their sense of hearing and motor skills. The crinkle textured toys really fascinate babies and offers them a different sound that can grab their attention. Soft toys are also good for soft baby gums which can come in handy when your infant needs an oral fixation. Do not worry parents, putting toys in their mouth is a good thing and helps them get a better idea of their surroundings.
Scientists believe that when a baby is born there are certain neurological connections that are not yet formed and playing with toys helps connect the dots. The learning process for your newborn in the first three months can actually be very complex. Skills must be learned in a certain order and build on each other. There are not just one or two types of toys that are going to pave the proper brain paths that your baby will need for their senses. Soft toys are good for strengthening hands and fingers. Mobiles are great for the eyes and sight and music toys train the listening and hearing senses.
The first three months of your newborn’s life are crucial in sensory development. With each milestone your baby has there should be a toy that can help your little one reach the next neurological step. Playing is your infant’s full-time job and they need the right tools to get the job done! Newborn toys can help offer your child a multi-sensory familiarity of their environment that can build onto the next stage of infancy. Parents should be looking ahead for more developmental toys such as an activity table to prepare your baby for the next three to six months.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2721971
By Jim K Ford
From the time babies are born they start learning new skills and their brain begins evaluating and storing understanding. Baby toys are the ideal items to help a baby develop these new skills and stimulate development in dexterity and brain function. Because babies initially spend most of their waking time lying on their back lovely bright mobiles suspended above them will encourage eye co-ordination and promote hand and leg movements as they are stimulated by the movement of the toy.
As your baby grows older and becomes more mobile, other toys can be introduced to strengthen this new found skill. Toys that move on their own accord or change shape when handled are preferred at this stage. A string of large coloured wooden beads can be manipulated between their hands or a ball which makes a sound when moved is likewise appealing to your baby. Baby toys which can be easily pushed and retrieved are a good idea, such as toys on wheels that can be pushed away and pulled back by way of a string or handle.
Babies will quickly start sitting unaided and begin to examine their toys in more detail, shifting them from hand to hand and offering them for others to see. They will babble happily at their toys as they play thus helping advance their speech development. Bricks and blocks can provide hours of fun with its bright colours and attempts to build encourage the growing dexterity of the baby. Simple picture books can be introduced for educational purposes and also be an interactive device between the parent and baby.
Once baby starts to crawl everything is within their reach. At this time baby toys that have a push and chase element can retain baby’s interest and a great source of fun. Your baby is now increasingly able to manipulate toys and the idea of taking something apart followed by putting it back together provides great fun. Thus, toys like blocks or beads that clip together or a box with slots for things to go through are much valued. Your baby will also enjoy hiding and re-appearing or something as simple as a play tunnel can provide hours of crawling through and sitting in out of sight. Such toy will help enhance awareness of space and self-confidence within your baby.
When babies reach the end of their first year they must have acquired significant milestones aided and encouraged by their suitable baby toys. Simultaneously their mental and physical development has been much improved by the play and experimentation with sound, touch, colour and movement which these toys provided. Baby toys help build a solid foundation during your baby’s first year and will develop their physical coordination, social interaction and mental aptitude.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6722263
By Kathie R. Dionisio
Radio controlled toys have been around for decades and remain one of the biggest selling toy categories among children of all ages. After all, who can resist a car, truck, plane or boat that you control yourself? It puts the power and the decision-making in the user’s hands, which makes play time more exciting. But before you buy an RC toy, you need to take a few things into consideration.
If you are looking for radio controlled toys for younger children, toy grade is your best bet. Toys designed specifically for children aged 1-5 should have bright colors, simple controls and no small pieces that can break off and be swallowed. The antenna is usually larger and covered in rubber, which makes it more forgiving when it is inevitably used as a handle to carry the toy around.
Older children can handle more complex RC toys with more controls. While the toddler variety tends to have a controller with just two buttons, one for turning on and moving forward, one for turning or backing up, those for older children may have several buttons allowing for a wider range of movement.
One thing to bear in mind when buying radio controlled toys is where the toy will be used. If it will be an indoor toy, used where space is more limited, you’ll probably need to go with something smaller. If it will be used outdoors, you can go for a larger toy and will likely want something that can handle moving on grass and dirt.
Of course, any toy that works by radio control will necessarily need a radio frequency to operate on. Pay close attention to which frequency a toy uses. If you are buying more than one toy for children to use together, they need to operate on different frequencies to avoid control issues. Most RC toys will have the frequency clearly stated on the label along with other important manufacturer’s details.
Because radio controlled toys have intricate moving parts, they are frequently subject to safety recalls. Be aware of any safety related issues before you buy a toy by checking the recall list at the Consumer Product Safety Commission. You also need to be careful not to let yourself be won over by marketing hype, which can be particularly overblown when it comes to RC toys.
Nothing beats the feeling of “driving” your own radio controlled toy. By shopping wisely, you can be sure that you get not only the best deal for your money but a toy that your child will treasure for years to come. So do your homework and introduce your child to the wonderful world of RC toys today!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7190892
By Tom Gruich
When it comes to swimming babies they have all of the advantage. Their parents understand the importance of having swimming babies in their homes. While a lot of parents are worried about introducing their children to swimming lessons at a young age, it is quickly becoming apparent that more parents should have swimming babies. We discuss in this article five reasons that you should start giving your child infant swimming lessons as soon as possible.
Special Needs: Water is like a healing power for children with special needs. If your child is a special need child then you definitely need to start them on infant swimming lessons as soon as possible. Water has a cool and calming effect on children. They should be encouraged to stay there as long as possible.
Confidence: Children who start swimming from a very young age almost seem to have a stronger confidence. They are learning to swim and learning to look after themselves in the water. This does a lot for a child. You should always praise your child for a job well done.
Physical: Of course if your child is swimming several times a week they will notice a physical change in their appearance. You will help your child grow stronger and healthier through exercise. You will also be instilling habits in them for later on in life, when exercise is even more important.
Other developmental advantages: Experts have proven that if you start your infant swimming that there will be significant advantages. Several of the advantages are an improved intelligence, the ability to concentrate longer and they will learn alertness. Children who swim from a young age have fantastic perceptual abilities. They get a great improvement in their social and emotional development.
These five advantages prove that swimming babies are a positive way to raise you child.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6089290
By Melanie R Thomas
During the first 24 hours after your baby is born, he will have his first medical checkup. This should be carried out in front of you and your partner so that the medical professional can reassure you that your baby is in perfect condition.
Weight and Length
Your baby will be measured the moment he is born but your doctor will measure him again during the medical checkup. Normal newborn weight ranges from 5lb 8oz and 10lb. Normal newborn length is between 18 inches and 20 inches.
Your doctor will also measure the head circumference of your baby. This will help the doctor rule out any abnormal brain or skull growth, such as hydrocephalus, microcephaly and craniosynostosis.
Heart and Lung function
Using a stethoscope, your doctor will check that your baby’s heart is steady, and his lungs are strong. However, it is not uncommon for babies to have harmless heart murmur.
You will also see your doctor poking your baby’s tummy. This is to check that your baby’s internal organs are in place and are not swollen. Your doctor will also check the pulse on your baby’s groin.
The doctor will also check that your baby’s arms are the same length and his legs align. She will also check for any sign of club foot.
Your baby will not be happy with this, as it is uncomfortable, but your doctor will check your baby’s hip joints looking for any dislocation or listening for clicking sound. The clicking sound suggests that the hip is unstable and may be prone to dislocation later on.
Baby boys get their genitals check to see if their testes have descended. Testes descend when the baby is full term. If the doctor can’t feel it, it is possible that it is retractile. It means that it had descended but went back up the abdomen as a reaction to a cold touch. If your baby’s testes haven’t descended, it may need to be persuaded down later.
Spine and Anus
The doctor will put your baby on his back and check that his vertebrae are aligned, and his anus is not blocked.
Eyes and Palate
Finally, your doctor will put her fingers on your baby’s mouth to suck while she checks her eyes and at the same time checking for any cleft on his palate.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7220034
By Hope Varnes
Feeding a baby just starting out on solid foods is not just your job; your child has a major role in this as well. Feeding will be easier, more interesting and more nutritionally and emotionally satisfying if you follow your baby’s lead. Don’t worry about them needing to eat a certain amount of a certain food at a certain time of day. By carefully observing your child you will soon become quite good at realizing when they are hungry and when they have had enough to eat. New eaters won’t eat much at first as they are becoming accustomed to new textures and tastes. Most of their nutritional needs are still being met from breast milk or formula. Closer to 1 year of age your baby’s solid food intake will expand in quantity and variety. Then their nutritional needs can be met by the solid foods. Use the list below to keep feeding focused on your baby’s needs, not yours. Mindfully observe your child, let them do their jobs and you do yours.
- Choose appropriately textured foods
- Choose 1-2 foods, if rejected- meal is over
- Baby strapped in high chair
- (Hold baby in lap for beginner eaters)
- Keep baby upright to avoid choking
- Have baby face forward, looking at you
- Talk calmly to baby, don’t entertain
- No toys, TV, games
- Allow baby to explore food
- Use spoon or let baby self feed, or both
- Follow baby’s lead for hunger and satiety
- Follow baby’s lead for tempo of eating
- How much to eat, by signaling fullness
- Whether they eat or not, whether they open their mouth or not
- Paying attention to each spoonful
- Touching food in dish or spoon
- Set tempo for feeding
- Self feed if they want, with which ever hand or both
How Often to Feed
- Offer solids once per day until 2 tablespoons is consumed, then increase to two feedings per day
- When that feeding reaches 2 tablespoons, add another feeding
- Continue until you are feeding 4-6 times a day
- Formula or breast milk can be fed with or separate from solids
- Where to Feed
- At the table and in a baby safe chair
- In an adult’s lap
- Never feed in a reclining position
- Watch your baby carefully the next time you feed them or share a meal
The newest solid food eaters are usually willing to let a parent feed them, but many want to touch the food and/or spoon before it gets to their mouth. This being impolite behavior for an adult, we stop this action. But remember that this whole experience, sitting in a chair, having a spoon move toward your mouth, having something solid in your mouth, and having new taste is all novel.
Of course babies want to examine the food before they let it in. So let your baby check out the situation. Let them know that now they will be eating in a chair just for them. Show them the spoon, without food, let them mouth it. Then tell them that you are helping them learn to eat. Try not to push their inquisitive hands back to their laps. Put some food on their tray and let them explore. While this is happening, offer a small spoon of food by putting the food up to their mouth. If they are ready, they will open their mouth. Their table manners will conform to societal norms as their coordination develops and they start to observe others eat.
Each baby experiences foods in their own way. Some babies will grimace, some will smile, and others will look surprised or excited. However your baby reacts, don’t read meaning into it. When your baby is done chewing, offer another bite. Keep this up until they show you that they are done exploring and eating. As your baby becomes accustomed to foods, they will not need to explore as much. But they will probably still want to use their hands, and/or try to use the spoon to self feed. They want to do it themselves and are very proud of this accomplishment. So your job is to sit back, smile and let them know, “I see you can feed yourself.”
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7044863
By Beverly Pressey