Approximately one in ten South African children are diagnosed with asthma. According to the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Cape Town was in the mid-range internationally, with respect to rates of childhood asthma. There is undoubted evidence of a significant increase in the prevalence to asthma amongst all races in South Africa.
Baby bathing can be one of the most enjoyable and relaxing times of the day that you can spend with your baby. When your baby is first born it is easier to use a special baby bath or simply the laundry sink. You can even take baby into the shower or bath with you. Older babies and toddlers love water play and bath time is a great way to have special playtime at the end of the day.
Baby bathing tips
Here are a few bath time tips to keep in mind no matter how old your child is:
Listed below are three massage strokes that focus on the power of touch and skin-on-skin contact to bring you closer to your newborn.
Baby butterfly and froggy excercises
When doing exercises and massage with your baby, smile and blow kisses, look into their eyes, and make encouraging and playful noises. As well as being reassuring for your baby, your constant interaction with them will help to build a loving and trusting bond between you
As much as we hate seeing our babies miserable with a colds or flu, the truth is that there are some positives aspects.Babies develop strong immune systems through catching and fighting off colds. At times, it might seem that your baby has a continuous runny nose – but it’s all part of developing immunity. In fact, you can expect around 6 to 10 colds per year with babies and young children – maybe even more if your child is going to childcare from a young age
Baby colds and flu
The worst thing about colds and the flu is how quickly they spread through the family. Most people don't realise that your hands are one of the main carriers of cold and flu viruses, especially in the first 2-4 days when your little one is coughing, sneezing and dealing with a runny nose.
Colic is very common in young babies, though there is no sure reason as to what causes it or why some babies get it and some don't. It usually affects babies in the first 4 weeks of life, and lasts for about 3 to 4 months .
As any experienced parent will tell you, it is normal to get worried about your baby’s health and even the most minor scare can seem momentous.
Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a recurring, non-infectious, inflammatory skin condition affecting up to 40% of South Africans at some stage throughout their lives. The condition is most common in people with a family history of an atopic disorder, including asthma or hay fever.
Our handy reference table for common childhood illnesses will help you work out your best course of action when your child is unwell:
Baby immunisation involves giving baby a series of vaccines containing tiny, weakened amounts of dangerous diseases. When baby is injected with low doses of a disease, their body builds antibodies against them, so if they do come into contact with a deadly disease their immune system has the ability to fight it off. Baby immunisation programmes aim to improve health by preventing babies from catching and spreading the real disease.
Massaging your baby is a wonderful way for you and your baby to bond. Baby massage has been around for many years and is well known in Asian and Indian cultures, who have developed a range of massage strokes that are still used today. A daily baby massage has been shown to increase brain development and physical health in little ones ' and they love it too!
Baby massage benefits
Baby massage has a great number of benefits and some of them will be completely unique to you and your own baby. Here are some you may be interested to consider.
Baby massage strokes
Baby massage strokes should be gentle but firm. Always respond appropriately to your baby's cues around stress versus comfort. Please check suitability for massage with your baby's healthcare professionals if they have special needs, have recently been unwell or you have any other concerns.
The term silent reflux is really a misnomer as a baby that suffers from it is usually anything but silent – they usually cry and scream in pain. Take a moment and cast your mind back to your pregnancy and recall the pain and discomfort you suffered with heartburn. It certainly is not a pleasant experience even as an adult who can communicate the problem and seek help.
You can start using the shower at any time with your baby. It is really trial and error as to whether they will like it or not. Here are a few tips to make your baby showering experience more fun and a little easier.
Baby sponge bath
Young babies don’t need bathing very often. They don’t get dirty in the way older, crawling babies do. You can keep your baby clean and fresh by giving baby a sponge bath, also known as a ‘top and tail’. It’s also handy for older babies if you are away or even if you just run out of time for the full bath routine. It is recommended to sponge bath your newborn until the umbilical cord stump falls off — which might take up to three weeks.
Baby teeth care
Here are some commonly asked questions and answers regarding the best in baby teeth care.
Teething is when teeth first emerge from your baby's gums. Most babies start the teething process between the ages of 8 and 13 months when the first incisors start to appear. Early developers may start sprouting teeth from as early as 3 months old, while late developers don't start teething until one year of age.
Baby teething chart
Your baby’s first tooth is a momentous occasion. Here’s a keepsake that you can print and personalise for your baby as a permanent record of when each tooth popped through and any of your “teething memories”.
Thrush is a condition that is familiar to many women. Even for those who've never had it, they're almost sure to have heard of it. Thrush is more common during pregnancy, during bouts of illness, or after taking a course of antibiotics.
Back and forth and sweeping the back massage
Everyone loves a back rub and babies are no exception. As well as being a lovely treat, massaging your baby’s back is soothing and comforting and is great for building the connection between the two of you.
Basic baby massage
Every day we ‘massage’ our children without even realising that we are doing it – a gentle touch on the arm, a stroke of the head, or a rub on the back to help them feel better. The power of touch is part of our everyday life, so it makes sense to extend this to a massage routine that can be used every day.
Bathing your growing baby
Your baby will be able to sit up in the water with your help. If you would like your hands to be free, you could use a special support that allows him/her to remain upright. A rubber bath mat is always a good idea too, as it helps to stop your little one slipping around in the bath. Be prepared to get yourself a little wet because, as our baby grows, it will begin to splash a little more. The squeals of delight are more than enough to compensate for a damp mom or dad.
Bathing your newborn
Bathing your baby is about more than getting them clean. It's a chance to play and spend time with them ' and it's fun for both of you, too! It's also a great opportunity for dad to get some hands-on experience and become involved in the daily routine.
Bathing your Toddler
Bathing your toddler can become an experience in itself. Your toddler can now sit up unaided in the bath and play independently. You may have a hard time getting them into the bath, and an even harder time getting them out again.
Chickenpox on babies
Chickenpox is a common disease during childhood, but adults can also get it. It tends to be more severe in adults who run a higher risk of developing complications than children.
Circumcision has been performed for cultural and religious reasons for thousands of years. It was seen as a reflection of your social status and in the 19th centurry it was performed as a means to cure or prevent various ailments and diseases. These days in South Africa, it is unusual for boys to be circumcised unless it is a part of their family's religious or cultural tradition and elective circumcision is not available in most public hospitals or children's hospitals. The South African Medical Association (SAMA), the American Acdemy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) all recommend that boys should not be routinely circumcised.
Colic in healthy babies is a bit of a mystery: it's usually thought to be caused by wind or gas in the bowel, but there is no proof of this. Whatever the cause, baby's inconsolable crying, screaming, tummy clenching and hand-sucking can make even the most confident mother burst into tears and doubt her abilities.
The South African Dental Association (SADA) represents the vast majority of active dentists in the private and public sectors in South Africa. The Association is regarded as the voice of dentistry in Southern Africa and is the most relied on body regarding all aspects of dental practice in the region.
Fahning the foot and squeeing the toes massage
These lovely baby massage strokes are for the feet and toes, which are particularly sensitive parts of the body. Watch for cues that your baby is enjoying it. Some babies don’t enjoy ticklish sensations, while others think it’s hilarious. It should be obvious how your baby feels about it from the noises they make.
Full body baby massage and yoga
Get your little one limbered up with full body baby massage and yoga poses!
Baby Yoga, which is tied closely with infant massage, offers your baby the sensations of holding, movement, touch and deep relaxation.
Growing baby massage
By the time your baby has reached 3 or 4 months of age, you are likely to notice longer periods of time awake during the day (and hopefully longer periods asleep at night!). Some of their newborn reflexes will be starting to subside and more voluntary activity starts taking over.
Hands of clock and I love you massage
This segment completes the abdominal routine started in water wheel of the Huggies baby massage and yoga programme. You can, however, start here.
Health Checks For Infants
Health checks for infants are a way of recording the growth of your baby, so that ' should things go wrong ' it's picked up early and treated appropriately. But remember that babies, like adults, come in all shapes and sizes, so when it comes to health checks, please remember that it doesn't really matter where your child 'falls' on the charts that doctors use to record baby's measurements ' they are called Percentile Charts ' as long as your baby is thriving and growing, then all is generally well.
Healthy eating equals healthy teeth
Diet plays a critically important role in the health of your child's teeth. Developing healthy eating habits early in life will help ensure strong and healthy adult teeth.
Hug and glide and Indian milking massage
This routine continues our guide to baby massage.
You don’t have to follow the exact sequence in Huggies baby massage and yoga. Do what you are able to do, mix them around, make up some moves and strokes of your own, and trust your intuition.
The process of immunisation protects your child from some serious diseases that are in our community. By immunising against them, the likelihood of your child being affected by these diseases is dramatically reduced and, if as a community we are vigilant, we may be able to eradicate these serious diseases just as happened with small pox.
This routine of 3 baby massage strokes is designed to soothe and relax little arms and hands. It will make baby feel wonderful and offers a great way for baby to let go of any physical tension.
Local reactions and management
This is the age of climbing for many toddlers who, once they have mastered walking, seem to want to see the world from a higher vantage point. Couches, chairs, benches and even bookcases will all provide an opportunity for your 16 month old to scale onwards and upwards on their sturdy little legs. You’ll be constantly surprised this month about how they interpret different household objects and the imaginative ways they’ll use them. Containers become hats; empty tissue boxes are really shoes and your handbag the latest “must have” fashion item to be paraded around the house. When you have a toddler in the house, everyday life takes on another dimension. They tend to be noisy little people too, with little consideration for other people’s needs or belongings. For a 16-month-old, what’s yours is theirs; what they want they get and there are no social niceties to adhere to.
Lower body massage and yoga
Learn some of the best lower body yoga and baby massage techniques available for your little one!
Closely related to baby massage, yoga for your baby will have them introduced to the sensations of touch, movement and a deep relaxation.
Taking time out to massage your baby can be a gift for both of you. It is a time to focus on each other in an uninterrupted way. Then as you see the comfort and joy your baby gets from your strokes, you will begin to feel that comfort and joy also.
Nutrition for eczema
Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis and has skin symptoms like flaking, red patches, cracks, weeping, crusting and itchiness. Bleeding and bacterial infections can also occur. Having a family history of eczema, hay fever or asthma increases your child's chances of inheriting eczema. Eczema may be controlled or eliminated through dietary changes, especially if your child is over the age of one.
This is the last routine for arms and hands in Huggies baby massage and yoga programme. While you practice these baby massage strokes, tell baby what you're doing, explain the different actions you're using and name the body parts you're stroking.
Oral hygiene for babies and toddlers
Babies and toddlers are just as much at risk of dental decay as an older child or adult. Caring for your baby’s teeth begins at birth. With good oral hygiene habits early, as your child grows and develops, they will be well equipped to have healthy teeth for life.
Pain and fever relief
A child with a fever is a parent's worst nightmare. Sleepless nights and cranky moods are just a few things that a feverish children may bring to your home; but how do you know what's the safest option, and the right dose, for your child?
Premature babies massage
As you will realise, there are degrees of prematurity. Extremely premature babies (i.e. under 28 weeks' gestation) stay in hospital neonatal units for a long time, and the experience is tough both for them and their families, sometimes with long-term implications. Even being born between 28 and 32 weeks' gestation can mean a long stay in hospital with quite a lot of medical support. Most babies born under 36 weeks gestation will spend at least their first week in hospital and, in any event, will be more delicate and vulnerable than babies born on or around their due date.
Preperation for baby massage
For a full body massage you will need 30 minutes of uninterrupted time.Your baby needs to be 'quiet alert'. This means they are not hungry, nor too full from a recent feed, not too alert or irritable, and not so tired that they really need to go straight to sleep.
Prevent tooth decay
Sugary snacks taste so good — but they aren’t so good for your teeth or your body. The candies, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods that kids love to eat between meals can cause tooth decay. Some surgary foods have a lot of fat in them, too. Kids who consume sugary snacks eat many different kinds of sugar every day, including table sugar (sucrose) and corn sweeteners (fructose). Starchy snacks can also break down into sugars once they’re in your mouth
This routine continues the back massage started in back and forth in Huggies baby massage and baby yoga programme. There is no limit on how long or how often you should do these back massages. So if you’re both enjoying it, keep going. Both you and your baby will benefit from the release of feel-good hormones, promoting your health and well-being. You can give your baby a back massage practically anywhere, and you can adapt the strokes to suit you both.
Reflux management tips
Every parent is desperate to find some way to help their baby who suffers from reflux.
Here are a few ideas that may help, however we strongly recommend that you talk to your doctor or healthcare professional for more information.
These gentle strokes focus on your baby's head and face. They're a really effective way to settle and calm your baby before a nap or when they're restless. Nose stroking is especially good for sending little ones off to sleep.
Scoopining the foot
This routine continues the leg and foot massage begun in the foot push of Huggies baby massage and yoga. But if you wish, you can start with this routine instead.
Seeking medical help for babies
Babies can’t tell you when they aren’t well – and that’s what can be worrying.
It’s up to you to decide whether your baby is feeling poorly, and how seriously to take it. Sometimes, you will worry when there’s nothing much to worry about, but that’s part of being a parent! You will find you become more confident as your baby gets older. Toddlers can at least tell you or show you where it hurts.
SIDS and reflux
You may read some websites or hear individuals suggest that tummy sleeping is better for babies who suffer from reflux, however it is recommended that back sleeping is the best way to sleep your baby from birth to prevent the risk of SIDS, even for those babies that suffer from reflux.
Signs of reflux
Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux, commonly known as reflux, is a condition where a baby’s stomach contents are being spit up after a feed. It is quite common in babies however its severity differs from being a wet burp, burping up or spitting up. Most babies regurgitate, vomit or chuck up after a feed in the early weeks; this is due to their digestive systems being immature, it peaks by 6-7 months and usually babies outgrow it by 18 months.
This session is a continuation of the previous face massaging session. If you'd like, you can simply start here.These 3 strokes help you to bond even more with your baby. Jaw circles can also release any tension from crying and even aid with teething. Ear curls are a big hit with many babies and are known to turn cranky grunts into coos of delight.
Follow these easy do's and don'ts to help keep your family safe from colds and flu.
The South African Vaccination schedule
The process of immunisation protects your child from some serious diseases that are in our community, here is a chart to help you gain deeper insight.
The wonderful thing about baby massage is that the strokes can be adapted as your child grows.If your toddler has been receiving massage regularly for some time, they may be happy to just lie down and continue to remain still and focused; as they always have; OR they may be wanting more input and control over what happens.
So now that you've worked out how to take care of your children's teeth, the question is; how do you encourage them to eat healthy foods that are good for their teeth? Of course some sweets are unavoidable; any parent who has had to do grocery shopping with children can probably confirm this. These are fine in moderation, but don't forget to give their teeth a thorough clean afterwards.
This touch relaxation segment features three strokes for your baby's chest. Both are great for soothing and settling tired, fussy or cranky babies, and are especially valuable lessons in the Huggies Baby Massage and Yoga programme.
Upper body massage and yoga
Discover a range of upper body baby massage and yoga poses for your baby!
Similar to baby massage, yoga for your little one will help them experience being held, moved, touched and gently relaxed.
Water and flouride
Now I must confess I stand undecided myself on the whole issue, we filter our water, but then we also ' I believe ' eat a lot of foods that are likely to contain fluoride and we use fluoride toothpaste (which I insist must be well rinsed afterwards).
This routine is the first in lower body baby massage in the Huggies baby massage and yoga programme.These strokes aid baby's digestion, so it's important that you only do them when baby is between feeds. Abdominal strokes ease constipation and colic symptoms, so practise them regularly to prevent or improve these conditions.
Whooping cough-Pertussis vaccine
Another name for whooping cough is pertussis, which is caused by the Bodetella Pertussis bacterium and is highly contagious. A whooping cough is an infection that affects the lungs and airways. In South Africa the DTaP vaccine is used to protect us against it.
Winter vaccines for the family
As we head into winter with the inevitable colds and flu to welcome us, the question of immunisation becomes an important one. In addition to the ones recommened by the Department of Health, what about the flu shot? How do we prepare our children for the shots, and what about side effects?