By now, your little one will be busy crawling or shuffling on his bottom whilst trying to reach everything that is of interest. More than ever it is important to remember baby’s safety at all times and as baby becomes more active, you will have to safeguard your home. Please read our baby’s safety articles for more tips and advice.

Crawling baby

Your baby’s physical development:

Unsupported, your baby can sit steadily with a straight back for up to 15 minutes. He can turn his body to reach an object and will look for dropped toys. His interest in objects encourages him to work hard in order to get to the desired toy that is out of reach. At this age, baby can already pull himself up however, he cannot yet lower himself. Some babies may be able to walk around furniture (so-called cruising) and others will make their way across the room by rolling, crawling or wriggling on their stomach. A few babies may already take a couple of steps if held with both hands. His ability to pick up tiny objects with his thumb and his finger (so-called pincer grasp) is becoming more proficient (keep all dangerous objects out of baby’s reach). Baby can manipulate objects by poking and squeezing whilst passing them from one hand into the other. He can also willingly open his hand in order to drop a toy though putting it down voluntarily must still be learned.

By now, baby can play games such as peekaboo or patty-cake (clap with hands) and wave bye-bye. Some babies may even be able to play rolling back the ball and drink from a cup independently.

He can watch a toy which is being hidden and then look for it. This is very interesting as baby shows that he knows that the object still exists even though it is not visible. This is commonly called object permanence.

Your baby’s emotional development:

At around 9 months, baby can understand the word “no” but his urge to explore and discover may be much stronger than his willingness to obey. Baby can recognize familiar faces on pictures by showing real excitement. By now, he also understands his daily routine and knows what to expect after dinner, for instance. Baby loves songs and rhythm which he can show by clapping his hands or moving his upper part of the body when sitting down. Some babies are happy to play by themselves for longer periods of time but most still prefer to be near to a familiar adult. He has started to show his likes and dislikes at meal times which can result in lots of mess at the table!

Baby still loves to take objects into his mouth in order to “feel” them and he may start becoming attached to a comfort toy such as a blanket or his favourite toy. He likes to make lots of noise by banging and throwing so a wooden spoon is a great addition to baby’s toy box.

There are a lot of games and activities that he will enjoy now. Take a look at our activity list for some inspiration here.

At this stage, babies are very busy practising their skills and learning more. They are very happy playing, discovering and exploring their surroundings. If you are worried about your baby’s development, rest assured that she will reach milestones at her own pace.

Crawling Baby

Your baby’s physical development:

She can already bear her body weight on her legs when standing and is eager to learn to feed herself with whatever finger food is available. Baby will try to get to an object which is out of reach and can grasp it in her fist. She also notices when an object is dropped and where so she will look for it. When hearing a voice, she will turn her head towards the source. Baby can pass a toy from one hand to the other and is busy improving her dexterity in her fingers whilst playing. She likes to stand whilst holding on to someone or something and she can also get into a sitting position from lying on her front. Baby will love to play peekaboo!

Some babies can already crawl or shuffle around in order to move towards an object of interest. Pulling herself up into a standing position from a sitting position is a more challenging task she learns. Since she was 6 months old she may have been practising hard to pick up small objects with her thumb and fingers (please remember to keep dangerous objects out of baby’s reach) and she is still learning to master it. By now, baby can open and close her hand at will to drop and throw things.

A few babies may even be able to play patty-cake (clap with their hands) or wave bye-bye. If your baby is confident in standing whilst holding on to furniture, she may not be far away from trying to walk around them (so-called cruising).

Objects are fascinating and baby learns to understand how they relate to one another. She can identify smaller and bigger objects that fit into the other and she can show you the picture of an object you hide.

Your baby’s emotional development:

She has already discovered that she has her own will so you will certainly find out just how much she can object when, for example, her toy is being taken away. Fortunately, baby understands the word “no” which can prove to be quite helpful. She will watch others closely and start mimicking their moods by, for instance, starting to cry when her sibling does. This does not mean that she actually feels the same but she is learning to empathize.

At this age, many babies already show signs of separation anxiety when less familiar faces or strangers are around. There are many different theories of how to deal with baby’s anxiety to be away from mummy or daddy. We don’t believe in “training” baby to understand that mummy or daddy will always come back by leaving her with a less familiar person. This phase is typical for baby’s development and allows her to assess the situation, the people and how her own parents deal with them. She learns a lot by watching first before trying it out for herself.

Baby is also learning about the concept of cause and effect: by banging, dropping, throwing and shaking her toys, she discovers that her doing can result in a rattle to make a noise for instance. So if you find yourself picking up the same toy over and over again for her, don’t despair!

There are a lot of games and activities that she will enjoy now. Take a look at our activity list for some inspiration here.

The La Lèche League advises to exclusively breastfeed baby for at least 6 months. You can continue to feed your baby exclusively after this time, if you wish so. However, many babies develop a desire to try solid food or they need filling up more. Banana or baby rice are a great choice for starting baby on solids. Your baby can also try pureed fruit and vegetables, raw or cooked. They are easy to digest and taste great. He will also enjoy nibbling a bread crust or rusks. Please read more tips about baby’s first food baby’s first food here.

Happy mother and baby

Your baby’s physical development:

Baby should be able to hold an object in his hand and feed himself i.e. with a cracker. He smiles often and confidently when being interacted into play and talk. Baby can sit without support and bear some weight on his legs when held standing. He may also be able to pull himself up into a standing position when sitting. He will object if you try to take his toy away from him and also try to reach for a toy by moving towards it. Baby is becoming more independent by the day – and more confident. He looks for a dropped toy and tries to pick up an object in his fist. When hearing somebody baby turns his head towards the direction of the voice. Peekaboo is now a great game!

He may already be able to creep or crawl by now and pass an object from one hand to the other. Maybe he can also get into a sitting position from lying on his front. Waving bye-bye and clapping hands is another challenge which some babies may have already learned. A few babies can also pick up tiny objects with their finger and thumb and walk whilst holding on to the furniture (so-called cruising).

Your baby’s emotional development:

At this age, baby is learning about cause and effect: when his hand releases the ball it will fall onto the floor. This is an important discovery and will take some more months and plenty of experiments to understand.

Slowly, baby starts to understand the meaning of often repeated words, such as “no”. This little word has a strong meaning and will thus be picked up quicker than other words.

Baby simply loves social interaction: play, talk and cuddles are all important for developing his confidence and trust. He is keen to imitate sounds, simple movements and facial expressions. This helps him to communicate as well as to get to know his physical abilities. He loves attention, especially when he feels frustrated about not being able to reach his favourite toy. Baby can express his anger very strongly now and your duties as parent will shift from caring to taking a standpoint when being confronted with his strong emotions.

There are a lot of games and activities that he will enjoy now. Take a look at our activity list for some inspiration here.

crying_boy.jpgMy two babies have been very poorly. They endured all the symptoms of a real cold, including shaking and fever. It was a living nightmare – as it is for every parent of young children or babies! I found myself rushing around the house to find some medicine – any medicine to make them feel better. In fact, one night my daughter’s fever seemed so bad that my husband got the sachet of Calpol out (the last we had in the house). His panic of that moment made him think that she needed something instantly! I forbid him to give it to her. The alternative paracetamol that she can take was in the kitchen so I made him walk downstairs to get the right medicine. We had a big argument about what to give to her as I would not give in. I explained to him that Calpol is full of food dye and E-numbers which are absolutely unnecessary. We once spilled some of it on our new beige carpet which is now stained forever as the dye is simply too strong! My point is that the added chemicals in this drug cannot be good for our daughter’s young and immature system – at least not in the long run.

I think our biggest problem that night was to find out what we believe to be best for our daughter: is it a fast solution to help relieve her pain and discomfort as quickly as possible or are we prepared to let her suffer that little bit longer just so that she will be healthier in the long run? What a dilemma! Every health-conscious parent has experienced the same dilemma – I’m sure of that.

We are faced with a conscientious decision as we try to give our babies the best start in life, yet reality can be in the way of every well-meaning parent. As babies and kids are most vulnerable when they are poorly, they fully rely upon their parent to help them feel better. If we decide to use herbal remedies, we know that it may take that little bit longer until the effects can be felt and seen. It can be difficult to explain to little ones why they are still poorly. With time and experience parents as well as their children learn how remedies work in the individual and how the weakened body tends to recover.

My two little ones have eventually found their feet back on the grounds and are now jumping and shouting again J

I hope you have been enjoying this blog as much as I have sharing some of my thoughts with you; I look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions.

Good health to you all

Tina Rychlik

Nurture your baby naturally at www.babysbest.co.uk

Breastfeeding Positions

March 10, 2008

As new mothers become more confident in breastfeeding their little ones, they will also discover new feeding positions. However, in the beginning most of them start off with the cradle hold as this seems to be the natural position for both mother and baby. The baby lies on his side, facing the nipple. While mother can hold him comfortably in both her arms without loosing control over what is happening, baby feels close, protected and warm. This tummy-to-tummy position seems ideal for a more relaxing experience, especially in the beginning.

The clutch hold: This position is ideal when you had a caesarean and you don’t want to put too much pressure on your abdomen. It may also facilitate breastfeeding for mothers with large breasts or if you are nursing twins. You hold your baby at your side, holding his legs under your arm. It is recommended to use a pillow to bring baby up to the level of the nipple, so holding baby should not become a strain. You support baby’s head with the right hand if he is feeding from the right breast (and vice versa).

The side-lying position: This position is preferred when baby needs a feed in the middle of the night or when you are having a rest. You lie on your side with baby in front of you on his back. He may either turn his head towards the nipple or lie on his side, so tummy-to-tummy. It is important that his mouth is in line with your nipple. You may find it helpful to support your breast with your hand. Putting a pillow behind baby’s back to keep him from rolling back (if he lies on his side) may also be helpful.

Nurture your baby naturally at www.babysbest.co.uk

arrivalchecklist.jpgarrivalchecklist.jpg

Nowadays, we wouldn’t even leave the house without it: the changing bag! Some parents cannot imagine leaving the house with a big bag full of necessities. This basic phenomenon can be particularly daunting for new parents as they feel insecure and don’t know yet what to expect from day to day life with their new offspring. They feel pressured to take everything they can in order to anticipate every possible scenario.

Let us investigate what can be found in a changing bag:

For each baby/toddler:

2-3 nappies (dependent on how long you go out for)
nappy wipes
nappy bags
a changing mat
nappy rash cream
tissues
1-2 bottles of water
the equivalence of milk powder in a dispenser for 1-2 bottles
a jar
some fruit (fresh & dried)
some snacks like rice cake or cookies
a spoon
a bib
muslins
breast pads (if breastfeeding)
a spare bra and top for mum (if breastfeeding)
a blanket
some toys
2 dummies
a book
spare clothes in case of accident
a portable potty
anti-bacterial handwash/wipes
a mini first aid kit
a
ppropriate outdoor clothing (coat, hat, gloves in winter, sunhat and sun cream in summer)

This list depends on whether you breastfeed, the age of your child and his developmental stage.

By the time we get home there seems to be even more in our bag: everything needs to be sorted and a new bag packed for the next day.

It is a steep learning curve to start cutting down on things we take out. Eventually, the frustration of having to run around the house in order to find all the things to pack, the weight of the bag and the chances of missing your appointment are increased by 150%! This makes parents start to think about the changing bag again. Do we need all this? Can we survive going out for an hour without anything but a drink? The answer is: yes, of course! We have to learn it though. Over time we get to know our little ones better and understand their needs so that we can adjust accordingly. Planning our trips around our baby’s routine can help reduce the size of the bag significantly.

As the saying goes: “Little people, little problems – big people, big problems”. New parents tend to make little peoples’ problems too big!

Keep it simple at www.babysbest.co.uk