Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Development Milestones: A Step-By-Step Guide To Your Baby's First Year

 The first year of life is exciting for parents and their new little ones. But, it’s also a period where new parents can feel scared, anxious, and unprepared. There are many things to learn about your baby’s development in the first year. If you’re a new parent, it may be difficult to know what milestones your baby should reach by certain ages. 


Image by Anna Shvets via Pexels


What Should You Be Looking For During The First Year?


There’s so much to be excited about as a new parent or grandparent. And you have so many things to look forward to, not to mention the gifts and well wishes you’ll receive. But there are many aspects of your infant’s development that you’ll want to keep track of during their first year. As well as watching for developmental milestones, you’ll also want to observe the following. 


  • Eating Habits


How often and how much your child feeds will change as they grow. You must keep track of this, as your child’s diet will significantly impact their development. 


  • Sleep Patterns


How long your child sleeps and when they wake up will depend on several factors, including their age and diet. As your child grows, their sleep schedule will change.

 

  • Physical Activity


How often your child moves around will depend on their age and developmental stage. As they grow, your child will become more active and curious. 


  • Health


You’ll want to watch your child’s health, paying attention to any signs of something wrong.


Image by Gustavo Fring via Pexels


0-3 Months: Survival & Start Of The Basics


At two months, your baby will start to practice rooting. This is a reflex that newborns have, allowing them to find their mother’s breast. It’s a good idea to offer your baby the chance to root and suck before they’re ready to feed. At two and a half months, your baby should also be able to: 


  • Lift Their Head


Newborns have very weak muscles, often having trouble lifting their heads. But by two and a half months, your baby should be able to raise its head off the ground. 


  • Sit With Help


Around two and a half months old, your baby should be strong enough to sit with support. If you put your baby in a sitting position, they may stay sitting up without help.

 

  • Respond To Sound


When your baby is two and a half months old, they should start to recognize and respond to the sound of your voice. 


  • Respond To Light


When light hits your baby’s eyes, they should blink. This happens to protect the infant’s eyes from damage. 


3-6 Months: Pushing Up, Smiling, & Showing Interest In Faces


Some major developments start to happen at this integral part of your baby’s life. At three months, your baby should be able to: 


  • Lift Their Head And Chest Off The Ground


Newborns usually lie flat on their backs, but your baby should be strong enough to push themselves up into a sitting position at three months. It’s essential to support their back so that they don’t fall over. 


  • Push Their Palms Against A Hard Surface


At three months, your baby should be able to push their hands against a table or other hard surface. This is the beginning of hand-to-face behaviour. 


  • Smile When Someone Talks Or Makes A Loud Noise


By three months, your baby should be able to smile when they hear you talking or if they hear a loud sound. 


  • Pay Attention To Your Face And Voice


Three months is a great time to start talking to your baby. They should be able to focus on your face and respond to the sound of your voice by the time they’re three months old. 


  • Respond To Having Their Feet Tickled


Your baby’s feet should have a sensation at three months. They should be able to feel a light tickle on the soles of their feet and respond to the feeling


6-9 Months: Recognizable Cooing, Babbling, & Hand-to-Face Behaviors


By six months, your baby’s development will be in full swing. They should be moving around a lot and getting into everything. At six months, your baby should be able to: 


  • Coo With Pleasure


At six months, your baby should start making soft sounds like “coo.” This is the beginning of babbling, and it’s a sign that your baby is feeling happy and content. 


  • Respond To Your Voice


At six months, your baby should be able to recognize your voice. They should react when you speak to them, even if they don’t understand your words. 


  • Smile When They See You


Babies are often happiest when they’re with their mothers. At six months, your baby should be able to smile when they see you, even if they’re not feeling particularly happy.

 

  • Smile Back At Other People


When other people smile at your baby, they should be able to smile back. They may not be able to keep a big smile on their face, but they should be able to react to other people. 


  • Contribute To A “Conversation”


You may notice that your baby occasionally tries to talk to you. At six months, they should be able to participate in a “conversation” with you. They may not always say something that you can understand, but they should be trying to talk to you. 


9-12 Months: Standing, Walking, and Talking? Maybe Not…


The first year of a baby’s life is filled with many exciting developments, but not all are easy to see. Babies’ brain development is a slow process that doesn’t happen quickly. You can expect your baby’s cognitive development to follow a very different pattern from his physical development. For example, the ability to walk and talk at a certain age does not reflect how developed their brain is.


Next, as your baby enters their 9th and 10th months, they may start to stand. This may sound like a big achievement. However, they likely won’t be able to balance or walk just yet. Instead, they may first use their hands to support themselves as they get to their feet. During this stage, your infant’s entire body will start to become stronger, which means that they may take their first steps at a later stage. 


While many babies learn how to walk between their 12th and 15th months, some may still not be walking at 18 months. In fact, only 25% of babies walk before their first birthday. This is completely normal, and there’s no need to worry if your baby isn’t walking by 12 months.


12-18 Months: Words, Sentences, and Symbolic Behaviors


At about 12 months, you may notice your baby starting to experiment with words. They may even say a few words, such as “no,” “mama,” or “dada.” Most babies, however, do not start putting words together until they are closer to 15 months. By 18 months, your baby should be saying single words, such as “dog,” “book,” “car,” etc. They will also be able to put simple two-word sentences together, such as “walk ball,” “eat car,” etc. They may not be able to have a full-blown conversation with you just yet, but she’s definitely on her way. 


Many babies start to show an interest in letters, numbers, and counting. This is a good sign that they are cognitively ready to learn. You can start reading to your child and encourage him to play with toys that promote cognitive learning. During this time, your little one will also develop their symbolic thinking. This means they will start to see things as more than just what they appear to be. This is a crucial step toward learning. In fact, symbolic thinking is one of the most important developments in early childhood. It means that your baby is becoming more aware of their environment and more connected to their feelings.


18 Months – 2 Years: Language Explosion!


During this period, your infant will likely become a chatterbox! They will continue to use words and sentences and start to understand more complex concepts. In addition, your baby may begin to ask a lot of questions. This is because they’ll see the world around them as something that needs to be understood. 


You’ll also likely notice some changes in your baby’s behaviour. They’ll begin to show signs of being more independent, and they’ll be able to understand more about the world around them. During this time, your baby will also be able to use language more symbolically. They’ll be able to ask complex questions, and they’ll be able to use language to express their emotions.


2 years +: The Road Ahead


As your child gets older, their social skills will continue to improve. They will likely start to enjoy playing with other children, make friends, and want to spend time with other kids. At around 2 years, your child will be able to understand simple concepts, such as sharing, taking turns, and being gentle. You can encourage them to develop these social and cognitive skills by playing interactive games, such as hide-and-seek. 


By the time your child reaches the age of 3, they will be able to understand concepts such as time and money. You can use this time to teach your child about these important things. And your child will likely be completely independent. Their language skills will be near an adult level, so they will be able to understand complex concepts and might be ready to go to school.


Image by Tatiana Syrikova via Pexels


What’s A Normal Delay In Infant Development?


As we’ve mentioned, every child develops at their own pace. Although your baby’s development may follow a typical pattern, they may develop and grow at a different rate than other infants. In addition, your child’s development may be delayed if they experience an illness. During these times, they may be behind in their developmental milestones. 


If you notice some developmental delays in your infant, don’t panic. Instead, simply speak to your paediatrician about a normal delay in infant development. Together, you can work out a plan to help your child catch up to where they should be. There are plenty of sources of information online, too, which will help. Like this blog post about When Can Your Baby Sleep On Their Stomach? 4 Signs To Watch For. Of course, there are negatives about being online, but a positive is that great info and support are available to you at the click of a button. 


This is a collaborative post









 












Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Looking After Your Elderly Relatives When They Need It

 

(Image credit)


As we grow older, we realise the value of family. We want to spend more time with our family and loved ones as we move away from spending all of our time with a large group of friends and peers. As we get older, we realise what's essential in life, and the holiday season is all about bringing the family together rather than going out and getting drunk with friends. When you have a few close friends that mean a lot to you and quality family time with the people who matter most to you, you don't need 100 buddies. We all go through it, but once we realise how essential our family is, we want to assist and support them in any way we can. When members of our family get senior, they usually require additional assistance and care. Things may become more difficult for them; they may have various ailments, or they may just be unable to care for themselves as well as they formerly did. They may need help with things like pendant alarms for the elderly so they can get help when they need it. It could also be the case that one of the grandparents has died and the other is left alone, unable to care for themselves without the help of others.


Food And Mealtime Assistance 


As people get older, they may struggle with cooking, chopping, and other tasks because they may struggle or no longer be strong enough to do them. They may also have memory issues and may just forget to eat. There are a variety of ways you can assist in these situations. Signing up for a meal delivery service, where dinners and any other meals they will require will be delivered to their door and plated for them, is one of the more expensive options. These things can be rather costly due to the amount of effort involved, but at least you'll know that your older relatives are eating well, getting the right nutrients, and being looked after in that regard. It's also a terrific way to aid someone without having to be physically present if you don't reside in the same region.


Take The Assisted-Care Step 


Your parents or grandparents will need to be looked after and checked regularly as they grow older. There are a variety of causes for this; they may have a terrible condition that prevents them from caring for themselves, or they may get easily confused. They may be simply too old and require more care; it's difficult to know when to do this, but it's a personal decision. It could have been a sudden event, such as forgetting to turn off the oven, or it could have been a lengthy process, with you being needed more and more and unable to meet those demands. When looking into this changeover stage for them, do your research and look into the top assisted living facilities in the area. You can then organise visits to ensure that they can meet all of their requirements and that they will be satisfied there.


When caring for an older relative, there are numerous tasks to complete, but it is critical to treat our loved ones as we would like to be treated. These are some of the most fundamental, to begin with.



This is a collaborative post.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

How To Keep Your New Smartphone Safe And Secure

 

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When it comes to buying a new smartphone, you'll likely just want a simple device that lets you make and receive calls and stay in touch with loved ones and friends through various messaging and communications apps.

As you will have no doubt gathered by now, the best smartphones on the market aren't cheap, and when they get damaged, for instance, they can be costly to repair. Likewise, if a smartphone ever got lost or stolen, they are not cheap to replace if they aren't insured.

If you're going to buy a tech item like a new smartphone soon, it makes sense to bear in mind some tips for keeping your new purchase safe and secure. Take a look at the following inspirational ideas to get started:

Get Your Phone Insured

It doesn't matter whether your new smartphone costs £50 or £500. The last thing you want to do is spend the same amount of money again buying a replacement smartphone if something happens to the one you've purchased.

That's why it makes sense to consider getting mobile phone insurance. Such policies don't cost much, and they cover things like accidental damage, loss and theft.

You'd only have to pay a few pounds each month for your cover, and you can usually claim whether something happened at home or when you were out and about.

It's worth checking if your household contents insurance policy covers mobile phones as you don't want to pay for such cover if you've already got it.

Buy A Protective Case

Most smartphones are of a "slab" design rather than a "clamshell" layout. One thing you'll have noticed about virtually all of today's slab-style smartphones is that they have large glass screens that can easily crack if they get dropped from a height.

Accidents like those happen occasionally, but one practical way to avoid accidental damage to your new smartphone is by investing in a phone case.

There are many different designs and styles on the market, but you should ideally look at ones that completely cover the rear and sides of the phone for ultimate protection.

Install A Smartphone Tracking App

What happens if you misplace your smartphone when you're outdoors? Also, what would happen if your phone got stolen? You'd have to claim on your mobile phone insurance or potentially spend lots of money buying a replacement smartphone in those situations.

Did you know that you can use smartphone apps to track where your device is in case it ever gets lost or stolen?

As this article shows, a simple smartphone tracking app that silently runs in the background on your device can help track where it is, wherever you are in the world. Most smartphones come with built-in tracking apps, but you can use third-party ones too.

Avoid Using Your Device In The Rain

Most of today's smartphones have some degree of protection from water, and a few examples can even survive being submerged in water up to a specific depth for a period of time.

With that in mind, why should you avoid using your new smartphone outdoors when it rains? You might not know it, but some devices have hidden internal markers or dyes that become apparent when they contact water.

Smartphone manufacturers can refuse to repair such devices under warranty as they will claim the damage got caused by the owner rather than through an existing fault that occurred from the factory.

Use Only Genuine Chargers

If you tend to visit family members a lot or even stay over at their homes sometimes, you'll need to charge your smartphone at some point.

When you buy a new phone, you only get a single charger or charging cable, so buying another one you can use whenever you travel makes sense.

However, don't make the mistake of buying a cheap, unbranded charger and the reason is that some generic chargers are unsafe and can be a potential fire hazard. Always stick with genuine branded chargers.

Use Strong Passwords For Your Apps

Last but not least, there will be some services or apps on your new smartphone that will require login credentials to access, such as mobile banking or email.

Using strong passwords for each of those services makes sense to reduce the risk of your login credentials getting fraudulently used by nefarious members of society.

Also, ensure you only use secure Wi-Fi networks when apps or services require you to log into them. Ideally, use mobile data connections instead of unsecured or public Wi-Fi networks for increased password protection.


This is a collaborative post.


Wednesday, 23 March 2022

A 15-Step Guide On How To Prepare For A Family Vacation

 If you're like most families, you're probably planning a getaway to enjoy some much-needed time away from home. But if you're not careful, your dream vacation can quickly turn into a logistical nightmare. Follow these fifteen steps to make sure you're properly prepared for your family vacation!

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A 15-Step Guide On How To Prepare For A Family Vacation

Step 1: Decide where you want to go

The first step in any family vacation is deciding where you want to go. Do some research and narrow down your options until you find the perfect spot. Once you've chosen a destination, start making arrangements for transportation, lodging, and activities. Setting up your travel budget at this point is also a good idea. This way, you'll know exactly how much money you have to work with, and you can start making plans accordingly.

Step 2: Book your travel arrangements

If you're flying, book your tickets as early as possible to get the best deals. If you're driving, map out your route and make sure you have a reliable vehicle. Make sure to factor in any stops you'll need to make along the way for food, gas, or restroom breaks.

Step 3: Find a place to stay

Once you've settled on a destination, it's time to find a place to stay. If you're camping or hiking, make sure to reserve your campsite well in advance. If you're staying in a hotel, look for discounts and coupons that can help reduce the cost of your lodging. Airbnb is also a great option for finding affordable, unique accommodations.

Step 4: Plan your activities

Now that you know where you're going and where you'll be staying, it's time to start planning your activities. If you're visiting a theme park, make sure to buy your tickets in advance and familiarise yourself with the park's layout. If you're hiking or camping, research the trails and make sure you have the necessary equipment. This is often a difficult call if you have an age spread in your children.

Step 5: Pack your bags

Now comes the fun part: packing for your trip! Make a list of everything you'll need, and then start gathering items from around the house. Don't forget to pack clothes for all weather conditions like sports jackets, as well as any essential toiletries and medications. Remember to focus more on practicality than style, as you'll likely be doing a lot of walking. Less is more when it comes to packing, so try to be as efficient as possible.

Step 6: Prepare your home for your absence

Before you leave for your trip, take some time to prepare your home. If you're gone for an extended period of time, make sure to have someone water your plants and take out the trash. You may also want to unplug all your electronics to save on electricity costs. House-sitters and pet-sitters are a great option if you have the budget for it.

Image Credit

Step 7: Make travel arrangements for your pets

If you're travelling with pets, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork and vaccinations in order. You'll also need to find a pet-friendly hotel or kennel and pack enough food and water for your trip. Alternatively, arrange with a pet-sitter to take care of your furry friend while you're gone.

Step 8: Educate your kids about travel safety

If you're travelling with young children, it's important to educate them about travel safety. Make sure they know how to behave in public, what to do if they get lost, and whom to contact in case of an emergency. This way, you can rest assured knowing that your kids are prepared in case of an emergency.

Step 9: Plan for potential delays

No matter how well you plan, there's always a chance that something will go wrong and your trip will be delayed. Make sure you have a contingency plan in case of travel delays and pack enough snacks and entertainment to keep your kids occupied.

Step 10: Have an Emergency Kit with you at all times

No matter where you're travelling or how long you'll be gone, it's always a good idea to have an emergency kit on hand. This should include a first-aid kit, a flashlight, a whistle, and anything else that could come in handy in case of an emergency.

Step 11: Secure your valuables

When you're packing for your trip, make sure to secure your valuables in a safe place. This includes items like jewellery, laptops, cameras, and other electronics. You may also want to keep a copy of your passport and travel insurance information in a safe place.

Step 12: Stay hydrated and eat healthily

When you're travelling, it's important to stay hydrated and eat healthy meals. Pack plenty of water and snacks for the road, and try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. If you're travelling by plane, make sure to drink extra water to offset the dry air cabin.

Step 13: Stretch before long flights or car rides

If you're going on a long flight or car ride, it's important to stretch beforehand. This will help prevent muscle cramps and fatigue. Bring along a yoga mat or some other type of exercise equipment if possible.

Step 14: Get organised at your destination

When you finally arrive at your destination, take some time to get organised. Unpack your clothes and put them away, make a list of all the places you want to visit and familiarise yourself with your surroundings.

Step 15: Create lasting memories

After all the planning and preparation, it's finally time to relax and enjoy your vacation. Whether you're exploring a new city or lounging on the beach, make sure to savour every moment of your well-deserved time off.

One of the best things about taking a family vacation is creating lasting memories with your loved ones. Make sure to take lots of photos, write down your experiences in a journal, and keep mementoes from your trip. That way, you can always look back on your trip and recall all the happy moments.

There You Have It

A family vacation can be a great way to bond with your loved ones and explore new places. By following these ten simple steps, you can make sure that your trip goes smoothly and without any major hiccups. So pack your bags, buckle up, and get ready for some fun!


This is a collaborative post.


Friday, 4 March 2022

Questions to Ask when Researching Care Homes

 When researching care homes for a loved one, it's essential to ask the right questions. Something we have talked about lately, I do not want my children having to look after me, not fair on them or me. Not all care homes are created equal, and you'll want to make sure that the home you choose is the best fit for your loved one's needs. This blog post will discuss some of the most important questions to ask when researching care homes. Keep in mind that these are just a starting point - you should always tailor your questions to fit your specific situation.

Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels


#1 What are the home's staffing levels like?


You'll want to make sure that the care home you're considering has enough staff to provide quality care for residents. Ask about staff ratios and how many employees are on duty during each shift.


It's also important to ask about the qualifications and training of the staff members. For example, find out what kind of experience they have and whether they're certified in many specialities (like dementia care).


Finally, you'll want to get a sense of the staff members' personalities. Are they caring and compassionate? Do they seem like they truly enjoy their job? These are essential factors to consider when choosing a care home for your loved one in West Sussex.

#2 What is the home's philosophy on care?


Each care home has its own unique approach to providing care. For example, some Care homes focus on independence, while others emphasize a more hands-on approach. Some homes also offer specialized care services, like dementia care or palliative care. If your loved one has specific needs, it's important to find a home that can accommodate them. 


Ask the staff members about their philosophy on care and how they implement it in day-to-day life at home. This will give you a good sense of whether the home is a good fit for your loved one.

#3 What are the home's living arrangements like?


Care homes in Worthing area come in all shapes and sizes, with a variety of different living arrangements. For example, some homes have private rooms, while others have shared rooms. Some care homes also offer apartment-style living, which allows residents to live more independently. Ask the home about their living arrangements, and find out what would be the best fit for your loved one.


Keep in mind that some care homes require residents to sign a contract committing them to a specific length of stay. So if you're not sure whether your loved one will feel comfortable at home, it's important to ask about this before making any decisions.

#4 What is the home's policy on visitors?


Many care homes have a strict no-visitors policy. This is because they want to ensure that residents are able to get the privacy and quiet they need. However, some homes do allow visitors, either during specific hours or anytime they're not busy with other activities.


If you're considering a care home for your loved one, it's important to ask about their visitor policy. This will help you decide whether the home is right for your family. Keep in mind that many care homes offer occasional family events, like holiday parties or barbecues. If you're not able to visit often, these events can be a great way to stay connected with your loved one.


These are just a few of the critical questions to ask when researching care homes. By taking the time to ask these questions, you can be sure that you're choosing the best possible home for your loved one.


This is a collaborative post



Thursday, 6 January 2022

How Much Should You Spend On A Watch?

 When it comes to buying high-end goods, we don’t always know what we should be spending. It can often be the case that we buy something at a budget price, which lasts for years. Or, the moment we spend a few hundred - the item goes on sale, and we feel like we missed out. 


While they do go on sale, Watches and jewellery tend to hold steady at a single price point. This can often mean that you need to compare models instead of comparing prices. This is where comparison guides like this Rolex watch comparison guide are incredible. It can help us make the right decision about what we are about to buy. 


It doesn’t matter if you buy the watch for yourself or someone else. Here are some tips on how much you should be spending on a quality watch that makes a statement. 


Photo by Carlos Esteves on Unsplash

Love it

When it comes to a watch or other timepiece, you need to love it, not just like it. If you like it a bit, you will be tempted to upgrade it, or worse - never wear it. 


If you are buying the watch for something else, you can look at the style of watch they already wear. Or take into consideration their lifestyle and the rough brands and cost of the rest of the accessories they wear. 


After looking at the watch for more than a few minutes, if there is any single thing on it that you don’t like - from the strap to the face, then keep looking until you find the one you love. 

Limited Edition

Anything that says limited edition will likely have a higher price attached - but more often, they won’t come back around. When it comes to limited-edition watches and timepieces, you should expect to pay a few hundred more. 


Don’t settle for limited edition watches and timepieces with extra features or a completely overhauled look. It won’t feel special when sitting side by side with others in the same brand if the only differentiator is a slight colour variation. 

Upgrades

Buying a mechanical watch considers that you will need to pay for cleaning and eventually a mechanic upgrade. It might not be for another 25 years - but it will happen. 


Watch services can cost anywhere between $500-$1000 depending on the brand of the watch and what is included. 


To guarantee accuracy, waterproofness, and good general maintenance a regular maintenance is required for most high-end watches. 

More than one

Let’s assume you have around ten thousand pounds to spend on a watch. Do you want to buy one single watch with it? Or would you prefer to have several timepieces that can be worn for different occasions? 


For high-end branded watches, you can expect to pay anywhere between 2,500 and 10,000. Watches in the high-end bracket are an investment that will stand the test of time and hold its value, which should always be considered when you make the final call. 


If you are in the middle of saving for a stunning timepiece, then this guide can help you save even more: Fun as a Gran: Save Money on Your Purchases Anytime of Year


This is a collaborative post.