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10 Games

At 9 months, your baby is developing at an incredible rate. You can help this development by playing a few easy, but fun games with her. This will trigger engagement and encourage development. Here are 10 games you can use to aid baby’s development.

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10 Tips to keep your child calm

Almost every parent has been through it – when your precious little one has an epic temper tantrum in the middle of a busy supermarket. They’ve even turned themselves purple in an effort to let you know how displeased they are with the situation.

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Active toddlers at play

Both indoor and outdoor play experiences are important for children’s development. While recent research has shown a decline in the number of children engaging in active outdoor play, it is critical to your child’s healthy development.

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Attention seeking

When babies are born, we spend a lot of time holding, rocking and nurturing them. Nature cleverly designed it so that people will readily respond to an infant crying – that is how they survive. During the next few years (i.e. Toddlerhood), our young ones begin to test out their environment and the people around them.

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Baby Dancing

For some children, easy, graceful movements come naturally. They can be as instinctive as rolling over, crawling, and then walking. For every other baby, a little more encouragement and direction is needed.

Once children find their groove, nurturing a love of music, enjoying rhythmical movement every day, and even taking toddler dance classes , can be hugely valuable. Starting dance education in your child’s early years enhances their physical, emotional, and social skills.

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Boys and girls nappies

By and large though, little boys are hardwired to be physically active and less inclined to engage socially with their peers. In contrast, little girls enjoy making eye contact with those around them, have better fine motor skills, and tend to talk much sooner than their male counterparts. Where little boys may appear fearless, these are the crucial years where they need to be showered with cuddles, affection and reassurance that they are loved. Boys may not be able to articulate their needs as clearly, and are more inclined to frustrated outbursts, but their need for affection is much the same as that of your little girl. Little girls thrive on communication and love to sit and listen to you talk.

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Cognitive development

As your toddler approaches age 2, you will probably notice quite a change in his thinking. This is the age when most children develop the ability to think ahead.

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Common eye problem in young children

Learning is mostly achieved through vision. For a young child who is constantly learning about the world at such a fast rate, it is crucial that good eye health is maintained. Visually impaired persons are 1.3% or approximately 600 000 persons, mak¬ing it the largest disability group in South Africa.

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Common Inappropriate Behaviours

It is exciting watching our precious children grow and develop in so many different ways. In the first few years of life they learn an incredible amount of things, from language, control over their bodies, walking and gradually becoming independent. Some of the things that children learn, are taught by us (such as family routines) and some develop naturally (e.g. learning to eat solid food).

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Crying toddler

Why do toddlers cry? That’s a very good question. When your baby becomes a toddler, different things will make them cry – how much sleep they had, whether they are hungry, or they are just in a grumpy mood. In fact, just about anything can set off the crying. They may be frustrated because they want to do something they can’t or you won’t let them. It’s best to try and address the problem before things spiral out of control. Offering a positive alternative or distraction can head the tears off at the pass and help them to move onto another thought or activity without any fuss.

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Developing social skills

Toddlers are fascinated by people their own age and size. Playing with other children on a regular basis lets toddlers develop affectionate relationships that can last for years.

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Ditching Dummy

While many people oppose the use of dummies altogether, there is no denying what a blessing the dummy is for many parents. Apart from being easy to replace if they get lost or damaged, they’re a wonderful way to help baby learn to self-settle.

But when should you ditch the dummy? And, more importantly, how can you do it in a way that minimises stress for you and your little one?

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Drawing development

As parents of young children, we’re excited by so many of their skills. From milestones like crawling and learning to using a spoon, putting on clothes and recognisable speech. But one that’s sometimes overlooked is their efforts in drawing. Yet, as you’ll see shortly, this skill is important for a huge range of developmental reasons. It’s also quiet, inexpensive and enjoyable!

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Emotional Development

The toddler years are full of excitement and change, and have a huge impact on a child’s growth and development. All that they feel – emotionally, physically and mentally – will have a lasting effect on them right through to their adulthood.

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Gender play

Gender researchers suggest that boys and girls do in fact play quite differently and show clear preferences for different toys from an early age. Boys are seen to be more active in their play while girls’ play is more sedentary and focused on verbal interactions. Furthermore, boys’ play is characterised by higher levels of competition and aggression, while girls play is seen to foster creativity and nurturance. Boys show preference for outdoor play activities, and enjoy playing with large toy vehicles, construction sets and climbing equipment; girls prefer puzzles, art materials or playing with dolls.

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Household helpers

Babies, toddlers and kids today have lots of ‘stuff.’ Toys and books are essential for children’s play and learning, but too much clutter can be overly stimulating for children, making it more difficult for them to focus and play constructively.

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Imaginitive and pretend play

Imaginative or pretend play stimulates the senses, creates opportunities for exploration and creative thinking, and helps your child to develop key skills vital for intellectual and emotional growth, as well as social success.

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Nursery to bedroom

Moving your little one from a nursery to a bedroom is an exciting change. The key feature of this move is that your child will make the transition from the cot to a bed. It can be a big step for everyone involved. It is a milestone that with a little planning and organisation can be a positive change for everyone.

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Perfect play dates

It’s an exciting step into new territory when you and your little one start having play-dates. It’s a great opportunity for a tired mom to chat with another person, who understands what it’s like, and for the children it often means a whole new set of toys to play with! Play-dates are a great opportunity for toddlers to develop their communication skills with their peers, and learn about sharing with others.

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Physical Development

With your toddler developing so quickly and experiencing more and more, you could find it challenging to keep up with them. Once your toddler starts running around, parenting gets a whole lot more exciting, and you and your home will never be the same again. They will develop in their ability to think independently, pick up words from you and their surroundings at an astounding rate, and the way they play will evolve as their physical development changes.

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Physical development Toddler sleep problems

There is nothing more beautiful than the image of a sleeping child. However, sometimes there are challenges at bedtime, so here are a few tips and ideas as to how you can help your toddler sleep!

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Play and development

Through play, infants and toddlers learn about themselves, about others, and about the world around them. Finding out what things are and what they do become a key focus of your child’s attention and efforts. Play builds the imagination, stimulates the senses and creates opportunities for success. The benefits of play are so great that every day should be a day of play!

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Raising boys

There is no doubt little boys can be an absolute delight. During the early years their primary bond is with their mother, and it is to her they will show their joy and sorrow. Little boys can be highly affectionate, in plentiful need of cuddles and kisses, as well as constant reassurance that they are loved and safe. Equally, there is no doubt that they can be an absolute handful, driving parents to distraction. It is crucial to learn to set boundaries early on. It allows them to feel guided and supported during a critical phase of their early learning.

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Raising girls

The truth is, there are many differences in raising girls and boys. They are hardwired differently, both physically and emotionally; so alternate parenting strategies are sometimes needed in order to support their social, emotional and physical development. However, boy-girl differences are not as “hard-wired” as many parents today believe. Yes, there are innate differences, but we should be aware of how they become magnified through our own parenting.

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Shyness in toddlers

Toddlers come in all shapes and sizes, with differing personalities to boot. One characteristic that can be a real challenge for parents to cope with is shyness. Psychologists agree this characteristic is one that is a result of temperament and often not related to parenting itself. It appears as if nature has prewired some children to be shy, whilst many children outgrow shyness a small percentage don’t.

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The benefits of music for kids

Both formal research and simple observation demonstrate that music can benefit your child in many ways:

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To Wean or not to wean

Are you confused about weaning your little one? Don’t worry: you’re not the only one! So often, mothers ask me for advice on what to feed their baby when weaning. “My daughter won’t drink cows’ milk, what should I wean her onto?” “How much cows’ milk should my son drink a day?” “What foods can I give my son who won’t drink cows’ milk; I am worried he isn’t getting enough calcium?” Sound familiar?

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Toddler biting

Many babies and toddlers go through a stage of biting. It can be a difficult time for parents, because it may cause them embarrassment in front of others (if the child bites someone else), physical pain, or a complete sense of helplessness in trying to prevent it.

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Toddler bullying

One of the most heart-wrenching moments for a parent is seeing their toddler being “bullied” by another child. As parents, we love our children and treat them with respect and courtesy, and expect that others will treat them in the same manner. But when we see our sensitive and polite little darlings being pushed in the park, or having their toys snatched at playgroup, we become infuriated! Do we step in? Should we discipline the other toddler? Do we approach the carer of the other child? Should we remove our child? Or do we let it go with the thinking that they need to learn to sort things out by themselves?

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Toddler habits

Routines, schedules and timetables are essential for us as parents to put in place to enable our young ones to form good toddler habits.

The toddler habits here cover a number of different areas. Some of these include eating, sleeping, and behaviours that are the building blocks to raising responsible and independent children.

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Toddler routines

Becoming parents is the most privileged role we can ever be given. We have around 9 months (or less for some!) to get used to the idea, and learn what we can about how to do the best for our precious gift. However, even the best-laid plans seem to fly out the door when the reality of the new addition arrives.

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Topt 10 tips for getting your toddler to listen

Toddlers can be delightful, but their inability to listen can be profoundly frustrating for a worn-out parent. So what is the best way to manage your little one when they simply don’t seem to be paying any attention to what you’re saying?

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Using sign language with toddlers

How many parents currently have a toddler going through the “terrible two’s” and wonder is there something out there that could help?

Baby sign language could be the answer you are looking for. It’s also a great way for a child to begin their language development.

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Ways to keep your child talking

Here are some tips and hints on ways to keep your child talking.

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