Toddlers are at the age of discovery and tend to be curious about everything they can see as well as the things that they cannot see. One fascinating subject that toddlers often want to learn The post How to Teach Toddlers About Sea Creatures and ...

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"Preemie Twins Baby Blog" - 5 new articles

  1. How to Teach Toddlers About Sea Creatures and Earth’s Oceans
  2. How to Test Your Little One’s Hearing and Balance
  3. Having Trouble Getting Pregnant? 5 Signs You Need to Try Infertility Treatments
  4. Throwing a Backyard Birthday Party For Your Child
  5. Preventative Parenting: 5 Tips For Babyproofing Your Home
  6. More Recent Articles

How to Teach Toddlers About Sea Creatures and Earth’s Oceans

How to Teach Toddlers About Sea Creatures and Earth's Oceans

Toddlers are at the age of discovery and tend to be curious about everything they can see as well as the things that they cannot see. One fascinating subject that toddlers often want to learn about is the ocean. The ocean is filled with wonders such as colorful fish, huge whales and slightly scary sharks. These four resources will help you to teach your child about sea creatures and the ocean.

Borrow Books from the Library

Your community library is an excellent resource for teaching your child about the Earth’s oceans and the sea creatures living inside of it. You can find books about the oceans in general or a specific ocean. There are also books specifically about certain creatures, such as whales and sharks, or you can choose a more general book about fishes and sea mammals. Consider choosing an array of books to demonstrate the variety of sea creatures, such as books about seals, penguins, whales, sharks and sea horses. You may also wish to choose books about the stationary sea creatures, such as corals. Kids may be excited to learn about vast life structures such as the Great Barrier Reef of Australia or massive geographic features such as the Marianas Trench.

Go to the Ocean

If your home is within driving distance of the ocean, consider taking a family vacation to the beach. Your toddler will be able to see for himself or herself the waves, sand and seashells. Take your time and examine the shells together, checking out the different sizes, shapes, colors and textures. Explain how each grain of sand is formed and how the waves sculpt the beach. Building sand castles together and watching the waves roll in will help your little one to get an idea of the size and power of the ocean. Allow your child to take home a few shells as a souvenir. Be sure that the shells are larger than the diameter of a toilet paper roll in order to avoid a choking hazard.

Visit a Professional Aquarium

When you are not able to visit the ocean, a professional aquarium is a great alternative. Professional aquariums are staffed by ichthyologists, oceanographers and others who have a deep understanding of the ocean and the creatures that live within it. Many of these facilities, like a Las Vegas shark aquarium, offer viewing tanks that are at a child’s eye level, making it easy for toddlers to see colorful tropical fish, the majestic jellyfish, creeping starfish, and surprising sea worms. You may also be able to see some of the larger creatures of the sea, such as sharks and manta rays. Many aquariums offer educational exhibits and demonstrations that are short and interactive to keep your child’s attention. Aquariums often feature hands-on activities and places for your child to explore.

Watch Movies Together

There are many movies about sea creatures and the ocean that you can watch with your toddler. Animated films such as Finding Nemo and Finding Dory offer a story line and creatures to entertain your child.

These movies include educational tidbits that will not overwhelm a youngster with too much information. You can also find shorter movies that are actual recordings of the oceans and creatures in them. Look to sources such as National Geographic or the Discovery Channel for brief videos that will help your toddler to learn about the oceans.

Teaching your child about the oceans and creatures living within them can be an enjoyable experience for both of you. From books to aquariums, there are many resources to try. These tips may help to make the ocean and its creatures seem less scary while also inspiring your child to develop a love of nature.

How to Teach Toddlers About Sea Creatures and Earth's Oceans

The post How to Teach Toddlers About Sea Creatures and Earth’s Oceans appeared first on Preemie Twins Baby Blog.

    

How to Test Your Little One’s Hearing and Balance

How to Test Your Little One's Hearing and Balance

The sense of hearing is vital for a full and healthy life. However, up to 3 out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States has some type of hearing loss. This is often due to genetics but may also be due to medications, birth complications or infections. Because the sense of hearing is closely linked to numerous other fundamental parts of growth and development, including balance, motor skills and speech, it is imperative that parents learn how to detect if their little ones have issues with hearing or balance and that they know what professionals to contact if they suspect a problem.

Parent Checks for Hearing

A parent or other caregiver is often the first person to notice if a baby or toddler is having an issue with hearing. For example, the parent may notice that the baby does not seem to be startled when there is a loud noise. Additionally, a three-month old baby should recognize a parent’s voice, and a six-month old baby should turn his or her head in the direction of a sound. As the infant grows, he or she should start saying simple sounds around one year of age, and the number of spoken words should continuously grow through the second year of life. If by two the child is not talking, the pediatrician will normally recommend that he or she see an audiologist.

Audiology Tests for Hearing

An audiologist is a professional who tests the hearing. Even very young children can have their hearing checked. The very first hearing test is typically performed while the newborn is still in the hospital. Professionals, like Utah audiologists, realize that these tests do not cause any pain. Newborns usually have what is called an otoacoustic emissions test or an automated auditory brainstem response test. In either test, sensors are used to determine the inner ear’s response to small sounds or the brain’s activity during a series of sounds. Children who are over the age of two have hearing tests performed in a fun environment. The test is usually associated with some type of play activity. Children who are older than four are usually asked to raise their hand when they hear a certain sound.

Parent Checks for Balance

Balance is often associated with the sense of hearing. Parents may notice that the infant has problems with crawling or walking at the appropriate ages or that toddlers fall often or walk stiffly. Older children may not want to get involved with sports or other physical activities and may have problems walking on uneven ground or going up steps.

Neurological Tests for Balance

Balance is often checked by the family physician, but if there is a problem, a neurologist may be referred to the family. The neurologist will perform a full physical but will focus specifically on the nervous system, including the five senses, reflexes and motor function. The neurologist will test how the child walks, skips and hops and will determine how well the child can stand upright with his or her eyes closed.

A variety of evaluations can accurately portray any difficulties a child may have with hearing or balance, ensuring that parents are not left in the dark over this matter. In addition, numerous therapies now exist to help children improve their balance while an increase in technology ensures that children with hearing loss have a high likelihood of being able to hear with the help of an assistive device. Because parents are often the first to notice if a child is having a problem with some aspect of growth and development, parents should be sure to share any of their concerns with the child’s physician.

The post How to Test Your Little One’s Hearing and Balance appeared first on Preemie Twins Baby Blog.

    

Having Trouble Getting Pregnant? 5 Signs You Need to Try Infertility Treatments

Having Trouble Getting Pregnant? 5 Signs You Need to Try Infertility Treatments

Many people experience an intense desire to start a family by conceiving a child. If you have been trying to conceive for a while without achieving pregnancy, or you have had one or more early miscarriages, you may feel disheartened. These five signs suggest that it is time to try infertility treatments.

Early Losses

If you have ovulated and achieved fertilization and implantation but then experience an early loss or miscarriage of the embryo, you may have a hormonal condition that is not allowing your body to support the pregnancy. Infertility treatments such as progesterone shots can be used to support your hormone levels. This type of care could help you to achieve a full-term pregnancy.

Hormone Disorders

Many women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypothyroid or ovarian insufficiency have trouble getting pregnant because of variable or inappropriate hormone levels. These chronic conditions can affect menstrual cycles and the ability to conceive. Infertility treatments can help to manage these disorders so that you can get pregnant.

Irregular Ovulation

If charting or hormonal monitoring shows that you have irregular ovulation, this is another sign that you may need infertility treatments. Health care facilities such as Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine offer egg donor programs that use healthy donor eggs. These eggs can be fertilized with your partner’s sperm or donor sperm and then implanted into your uterus to result in a pregnancy.

No Ovulation

Some women have a temporary halt of their ovulation. This may happen to you because of a medication, medical condition, weight loss, weight gain, stress or pre-menopause. If you do not ovulate for several months in a row as shown by ovulation testing kits or ultrasound, infertility treatments may be considered to trigger ovulation so that you can get pregnant.

No Implantation

Some women ovulate and even achieve fertilization of the egg, but implantation does not take place. If you know you’re ovulating and likely achieving fertilization but not implantation, fertility treatments can help. Hormonal injections or medications may be offered to support the implantation of the fertilized egg.

The process of getting pregnant is one of the most amazing parts of adulthood. When things do not go as you expect, arranging for infertility treatments and reproductive health care services can get to the bottom of the issue so that you can work toward conceiving. With appropriate medical care, you may be able to become pregnant and give birth to the child you have been dreaming of.

Image Source: 123RF

The post Having Trouble Getting Pregnant? 5 Signs You Need to Try Infertility Treatments appeared first on Preemie Twins Baby Blog.

    

Throwing a Backyard Birthday Party For Your Child

Backyard Birthday Party

Every parent wants to give their child a fun and memorable birthday party. Most parents don’t want to spend a fortune doing it. Fortunately, parents can throw their own backyard birthday party that’s affordable and fun for kids and adults alike. A little bit of advanced planning will make your party go smoothly. You don’t need a lot of fancy accessories to provide entertainment and laughs to your partygoers.Here are a few tips to help you get started planning your awesome backyard birthday bash.

First, think about what food you’ll be serving. You can save a ton of money on food if you’re willing to prepare it yourself. Offer peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to young guests and appetizers to grownups. You don’t need to serve a full meal if you hold your party in the mid-afternoon after everyone has already had lunch. Make drinks and buy fresh fruit to serve. If your party is on a hot day, buy a couple gallons of ice cream and some toppings, and offer an ice cream bar and kids will never forget.

Next, think about the games and entertainment you want to provide. Consider playing classic backyard games like tag, red rover, and hide and seek. If you want to have something special, pick up some cornhole sets from a trusted supplier like Custom Corntoss. This affordable game can provide hours of lighthearted fun for people of all ages. If your party is in the summer time, you may want to turn on a couple of sprinklers and let kids run around in the water. Or, get some water balloons, but make sure you warn your guests in advance to bring their bathing suits.

Finally, you can make most of the decorations by yourself. A clean backyard is more inviting for most kids than the fanciest party room. Make sure you pick up anything that is potentially dangerous as well as anything that could be easily damaged by the partygoers. Make your own banners and birthday signs, or use affordable crepe paper and balloons to set the atmosphere.

There’s no need to break the bank to hold a party that all of your guests will love. Your kid will have a blast playing in the backyard with his or her friends. And everyone else will love the fresh food and classic outdoor birthday fun.

Image Source: Flickr

The post Throwing a Backyard Birthday Party For Your Child appeared first on Preemie Twins Baby Blog.

    

Preventative Parenting: 5 Tips For Babyproofing Your Home

Babyproofing the House

Commendations to you for being a wise, responsible, and loving parent! Since you’re reading this, you don’t need the incentive of learning home accident statistics. But perhaps you know an adult who’s not as aware as you. If so, here are the numbers. Annually in the US, more than 3.4 million children suffer an accidental household injury. Approximately 2,300 kids die as a result. This is the May 2016 report by A Secure Life.

Can you surmise the leading causes? These are the top seven:

  • drowning
  • burns
  • choking
  • fires
  • falls
  • poisoning
  • suffocating

In children ages 1-4, drowning is the chief cause of injury and death. Just 2 inches of water can drown a baby. Regarding burns, 300 kids are treated in hospital emergency rooms, and two children die each year. The major threat to young children is scalding burns from steam and hot liquids. In this article, you’ll learn how to protect your child from the most prevalent injuries. Here are lifesaving ways to baby-proof your home.

BABY-PROOFING BASICS

Once Baby can move independently, you need to anticipate what could potentially hurt them. Think about objects they could try to play with, push, pull on, grab, or open that pose danger. Envision where they might crawl, climb, or walk. Then, take the necessary steps to protect them. Let’s mentally move through your home, tackling hazards as we go.

BASEMENT

In the cellar, make sure your hot water heater is set below 120°F. Otherwise, at bath time, your child could get a scalding burn. Do you have caustic substances such as paint stored in your basement? If so, make sure they’re sitting safely on high shelves, in airtight containers. On the ceiling, install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors or a combination alarm.

Now, at the head of the stairs leading down to the basement, install a safety gate. Avoid using the pressure-mounted type, since your child might push it down. Secure the gate with screws drilled into the connecting surfaces, using hardware mounts. Note that the gate should open away from the staircase. In the event Baby leans on the gate, they won’t fall toward the steps.

Also, be on the lookout for indoor pests. Those harmful for children include mice, rats, roaches, ants, lice, fleas, bed bugs, spiders, and mosquitoes. Indian meal moths can infest your food. Termites, silverfish, and moths destroy wood, paper, and fabrics, respectively.

To rid your home of unwanted animals and insects, hire a pest control professional such as those at Ace Walco and Sons Termite and Pest Control. Professionals like this can explain how to deter pests and treat those with established nests. For the complete inventory of pests to guard against, see this pest identifier.

KITCHEN

Several types of accidents can occur in the kitchen. With Mom busy cooking and cleaning, it’s hard keeping tabs on an active baby. Here’s how to protect your child from suffocation, cuts, toxic ingestion, burns, falls, and choking.

Keep plastic and paper bags in high drawers, along with sharp objects. In bottom cabinets, store relatively harmless items, such as paper products and plastic containers. Did you know that dishwasher and laundry pods look like candy to kids? If your baby puts a pod in their mouth, it can explode! Therefore, stock pods, detergents, and cleaning supplies in top cabinets. Then, affix safety latches to all cupboards containing hazardous materials.

Do family members take vitamin and mineral supplements? If so, keep containers in a hard-to-reach cabinet or drawer. Supplements also look like candy to a baby, and they can easily overdose. You can’t rely on childproof caps. A persistent tyke can open them.

Prevent stove accidents with knob covers, so your baby can’t turn on the burners. When cooking, try to limit burner use to rear hotplates. If not possible, ensure that pot handles are turned inward, so curious hands can’t grab them.

Did you know that highchair accidents are ever increasing? Each year, more than 9,400 injuries occur when babies stand up in their chairs or fall from them. These statistics translate to one highchair injury every hour. Prevent such accidents by securing your child with chair restraints and belts. Non-skid rugs also help protect against injury.

Do you display magnets on your fridge? As a choking hazard, please keep them out of reach. Cords dangling from appliances invite toddlers to tug on them. Head trauma and bruises can follow when kids pull down machines. When not in use, unplug appliances.

Though tablecloths minimize messes, they’re best avoided since a toddler can yank on them, spilling hot food. Climbers will take advantage of step stools and chairs to access a nearby stove or table. You many not catch your innocent perpetrator in the act! Therefore, prevent tumbles by removing climbing aids. Lastly, equip your kitchen with a fire extinguisher and smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Hopefully, you’re not feeling overwhelmed at this point. We have one more especially risky room to cover, with the other rooms in your house more benign.

BATHROOM

Bath time can be one of the most fun events in Baby’s day! Yet, most drowning accidents involving babies occur in the tub. One foolproof way to prevent this is to always keep your hands on your child. If something needs your attention outside the bathroom, take Baby with you.

Set the stage for safety by lining your tub floor with a mat, secured with suction cups. To ensure the proper bathwater temperature, check it first with a thermometer. Clear cosmetics from sink and tub ledges since they can be poisonous. Speaking of toxic chemicals, keep emergency phone numbers posted near all landline phones and also stored on your cellphone.

While bathing your child, keep them a safe distance from fixtures to avoid getting bumped. After bathing, your child’s skin can be slick. When removing them from the tub, make sure your hands are dry. Also, sidestep slips and falls with non-skid rugs.

Believe it or not, toilets also pose a drowning risk, preventable with a toilet lock. Store harmful products on high shelves and medicines in locked cabinets. To avoid electric shock, keep corded appliances out of reach. Above all, never leave Baby alone in the bathroom, always keeping it locked from the outside.

LIVING ROOM

In this room, the greatest hazards are collisions and falls. Create buffers on sharp corners with soft cushioned guards. Apply them to all furniture with jutting edges. Falling against them can result in puncture wounds and stitches.

If you have a fireplace, surround it with a gate or screen. Move pokers and firewood out of reach. Run extension cords behind furniture, so Baby doesn’t trip or chew on them. Also, keep the cords of laptops and phone chargers beyond reach.

Houseplants are so tempting! There’s dirt to play with and leaves to chew. Ingestion poses the risk of poisoning, upset stomach, and allergic reactions. Below are toxic houseplants to keep away from your baby. Scientific names follow common names in parentheses.

  • daffodils (Narcissus)
  • dumb cane (Dieffenbachia)
  • Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum)
  • English ivy (Hedera helix)
  • golden pothos – (Epipremnum aureum)
  • heart leaf plant (Philodendron)
  • oleander (Nerium oleander)
  • peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
  • sago palm (Cycas revoluta)
  • ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Refer to this Better Homes and Gardens article for plant photos and additional information.

In the living room, you also need to be vigilant about climbing. Move furniture away from window ledges so baby can’t use it for leverage, possibly falling through an open window.

Tykes regard knickknacks as toys, so make them inaccessible. Cords for blinds and drapes are also off-limits since they’re strangling hazards.

Hopefully, you don’t smoke, but if you do, lock up lighters, matches, and tobacco products. Empty ashtrays immediately after use. If you have liquor in the house, lock it away in cabinets. Here’s a sobering statistic. Every 30 minutes, a child is injured by a TV or furniture tip-over.

Anchor TVs and lamps to a table or entertainment center, so your toddler can’t knock them down. Alternatively, mount a TV to the wall, along with hutches and bookcases.

It’s wise to vacuum daily. This habit will protect your wee one from ingesting debris and dropped items, such as paperclips and loose change. To prevent skin burns, cover heating vents and radiators.

NURSERY

Place a thick rug or carpeting under the crib as a cushion against potential falls. To be on par with current safety standards, your baby’s crib shouldn’t be more than five years old. Until your child is six months old, keep stuffed animals, pillows, and fluffy blankets out of the crib, to avoid suffocation.

When Baby can reach for items, take down decorations and toys strung across the crib. Once Baby can stand, remove bumper pads and crib toys which can be used as leverage to climb out.

When putting your sweet pea to sleep, lay them on their back, to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Also known as crib death, this term refers to the death of a baby during sleep for no apparent reason and without warning. Here are more tips on preventing SIDS.

Make sure a changing table has three raised sides and a restraining belt. A lidded toy box can trap Baby’s head, so keep toys in an open bin instead. On doors, install finger pinch guards. Station a video monitor in the nursery, ensuring cords are out of reach. Use UL-listed night-lights and replacement bulbs.

Parents.com offers free videos on how to baby-proof your home, available here.

ON ALL FLOORS

Install safety gates at the bottom and top of each staircase. On every level above your main floor, store an escape ladder. Available in 13-foot and 25-foot lengths, escape ladders fold compactly and can be extended quickly. In the case of a fire or storm emergency, you’ll have a safe means of exit from an upper level. Also, keep a fire extinguisher on each floor of your home.

Avoid furniture tip-over by bracketing down desks, tables, and chairs. Outside each bedroom, install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Every year, approximately 2,000 children end up in an emergency room after inserting a finger or metal object into an electrical outlet. It can occur with even tiny items, such as a paperclip or spoon handle. Here’s additional information on electrical shock.

To prevent electrocution, use sliding door outlets. Whenever you remove a plug, its cover automatically shifts over the outlet. It’s also wise to cover power strips and surge protectors.

Here’s a helpful resource. In February 2016, Safety.com reported on the best baby-proofing products, including reviews and prices. You can access the article here. The ideal safeguard is a responsible, focused adult. However, even with all your staunch efforts to protect your child, bumps, booboos, and falls are part of babyhood. You survived, and with your loving care, your child will too!

Image Source: Flickr

Preventative Parenting: 5 Tips For Babyproofing Your Home

The post Preventative Parenting: 5 Tips For Babyproofing Your Home appeared first on Preemie Twins Baby Blog.

    

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