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Baby Massage

Hanz’s Note : This is schedulled post.
Am away for 2 days in a row for outstation.
Will miss chit-chat & chat-hop to others.

Baby massage isn’t just about learning strokes; it’s about learning a language that builds a relationship of trust and togetherness between parent and child.

The benefits of baby massage for your child:

  • Smoothes transition from womb to the world
  • Develops baby’s first language touch
  • Teaches positive loving touch
  • Develops a feeling of being loved, respected and secure
  • Develops body, mind, awareness and coordination
  • Can help to reduce the discomfort of colic, wind and constipation
  • Helps to regulate and strengthen baby’s digestive and respiratory systems and stimulate circulatory and nervous systems
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Can help to reduce fussiness and improve quality of sleep
  • Improves skin condition

The benefits of infant massage for parents :

  • Helps parents to understand baby’s non-verbal communication
  • Enhances parents confidence and competence in dealing with baby
  • Can help with postnatal depression
  • Both parents and baby relax together
  • Promotes lactation in breastfeeding mums (through stimulation of hormones)
  • Promotes nurturing instinct (through stimulation of hormone oxytocin)

Hanz’s Share: Me did’nt massage my boys, but rub backside during nursing and sleeptime.During confinement till my boys about 4 months, rub both their legs to avoid wind especially behind the knees and feet.It helps rather you rub the tummy itself.

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Attachment Parenting, Hanz's Notes, Just Baby, Natural Parenting | 5 Comments

Review on Baby & Toddler Educational Videos

Baby Hambali is also homeschooling & among age-appropriateness tools we used for his HS are books, toys and educational videos. Initially, he was not so into watching videos as he is more mobile & active than his brother at this age. Plus, Baby Hambali’s attention span is lesser.But, I’m still keen on getting him to sit still (fully focus) for few minutes to enjoy the show & educational purposes in mind.Finally, now he’s addicted! Ha! Ha!

Baby Hambali : Tulah Mama nak sangat Adik tengok VCD, kan? Kang adik dah ketagih. Asal balik rumah vcd adik mesti on..bangun pagi pun vcd adik mesti on. Padan muka Mama tak dapat tengok tv…he,he..

This review is based on Baby Hambali’s preferences & from the eye of certified educator cum mother. :D

Bee Smart Vocabulary Builder

Age range : 2 months to 36months

Duration : 28 minutes

Features : This video series will helps infants begin to categorize objects & to build word meanings by providing multiple & varied examples of examples of each vocabulary word. These cognitive skills will impact your child’s language development for years to come. It is a great intoduction starter pack for setting your child on the road to learning & discovery with wonderful classical music by Mozart, Handel, Haydn & more.

Verdict: Baby Hambali can stay watching those for 5 minutes then off wandering about. I found it bored too as the background music a bit slow & no graphic illustration with bright pictures to pass on. And, I don’t get it why it must be repeated the whole session before the videos end. Baby & toddler must do revision, is it? Gosh! They should know that a very young child’s attention span is very short.

Rating : 2 star out of 5

Brainy Baby

Age range : 6-36 months

Duration : 45 minutes

Features : The Brainy Baby Learning Library is the pioneer in infant development videos. It is the first video series that can help stimulate cognitive development.

Verdict : Though the duration is long, we found it never bored us till the end. We love that it features other babies as we know babies love to watch & learn from other children at play. Also entertining as brightly colored objects help develop cognitive skills & spatial reasoning. Additionally, featuring fascinating animation with real life objects babies recognize.

Very entertaining, simple, straight to the point. I love it that the fact it has range topics chosen age-appropriateness. The background music too is catchy. Baby Hambali will dance when he heard upbeat music is on.

Rating : 4.5 star out of 5

So Smart

Age range : 3 to 36 months

Duration : 30 minutes

Features : Bright, bold animated scenes & an appropriate pace for little ones totally suits young babies. A playful music soundtrack young children & parents will love. Simple stories without any voice / narrator as it needs the parents / child-minder to do the interpretation, interaction & improvise the subject that grow with the child’s age.

Verdict : The first & foremost videos I’ve introduced to both my boys & it never failed to educate & entertain them! Hanafi loves it since the age of 4 months till now at 5 years old & his little brother feels the same way too since 6 months old till now. Feeding time would be less stressful if we just on this videos for Hambali & he seems ‘moved’ by it. I must emphasise it’s the bright illustration that captures any child’s attention span. No interruption of human voice in it!

Rating : 5 star!

Baby Einstein

Age range : Varies according to topics

Duration : 20 minutes

Features : Combined topics with funny puppet shows & sound effects, computer animated clown & captivating real-world visuals & accompanied by the beautiful classical music.

Verdict : I enjoy it too! Simple, catchy, bright illustration & this is the videos that Baby Hambali can stay watching till it ends. Very,very entertaining & educating.Must get more as varieties of topics available & age-appropriateness!

Rating : 5 star!

Hanz’s Note : Previous chat, I have shared on tips to introduce & getting your child to utilise the videos wisely. Click here :=> The Idiot Box Can Babysit Your Child.

October 23, 2009 Posted by | Hanz's Products Reviews, Just Baby, Just Toddler, Parenting in General | 9 Comments

Be careful when choosing baby bottles

Getting a bottle for your baby, do look for those BPA free one.

What is BPA & why?

Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that mimics the action of the human estrogen, can leach from polycarbonate plastic. A lot of studies has been conducted & briefly among the findings of effects of BPA found is as follows:

1. Early onset of puberty & stimulation of mammary gland development in females

2. Changes in gender-specific behaviour

3. Changes in hormones, including decreased testosterone

4. Increased prostrate size

5. Decrease sperm production

6. Altered immune function

7. Behavioral effects including hyperactivity, increased aggresiveness, impaired learning & other changes in behaviour.

8. Linked to impaired female reproductive development

9. May lead to miscarriage

10. May lead to obesity & diabetes.

If you like to read an in-depth about this, you can go to this link:-

Hanz’s Note : Orang dulu2 pakai botol kaca susukan anak. I saw one at Bangi Kopitiam among Kid’s Search Collectibles. It’s your safer bet but inconvenience somehow for out & about. Your child still needs milk eventhough you have stop breastfeeding. So, try train your child to drink milk in a cup as soon as can be.If finding BPA free is not easy, glass-based cup is the best!

Mama to Adik : Adik, Mama dah dapatkan adik botol baru, straw punyer.Nanti mesti minum EBM Mama tau! Jangan takmo2 aa…Mama pening kepala Adik takmo minum EBM tapi nak ‘fresh’ container jugak…Camno dik, Mama kan keje…sedih Mama bekalkan Adik EBM tapi Adik liat nak perabihkan…

October 19, 2009 Posted by | Just Baby, Just Toddler, Parenting in General | 10 Comments

10 Reasons To Sleep Next To Your Child At Night

1. Family co-sleeping takes full advantage of the ease of breastfeeding, as there is no need to go to another room to get one’s child. A breastfeeding mother in a “family bed” can easily feed her child without having to wake fully, and can continue to get the important rest she needs. Thus co-sleeping encourages mothers to continue breastfeeding and all of its numerous benefits until the child chooses to wean.

2. According to sleep researcher James McKenna, co-sleeping increases the chances that a parent can successfully intervene to help prevent a death, whether that is due to a physiological condition or to a physical accident. He reminds parents that “co-sleeping gives the parent the best opportunity to hear the baby in crisis and to respond.” He adds that “since protection from SIDS may be related to the frequency and duration of breastfeeding, and because babies breastfeed more when co-sleeping, this practice may help to protect some breastfeeding infants.”

3. Gaps in breathing are normal during the early months of infancy, and it is likely that the mother’s breathing provides important cues to her infant, reminding him to take a breath following exhalation, preventing a SIDS situation from developing. Even if this reminder system fails, the mother is nearby to help by arousing the infant. A breastfeeding mother and baby tend to have coordinated sleeping and dreaming cycles, making her keenly sensitive to her baby. If she is sleeping close by, she will awaken if there her baby is having difficulty. But if the baby is alone, this type of life-saving intervention cannot take place.

4. Any nighttime danger to a child is reduced if there is an adult close by. Babies and children have perished in fires, have been sexually abused by visiting relatives, have been abducted from their bed, have been attacked by pets, have suffocated after vomiting, and have died or been injured in various ways that could have been prevented had a parent been nearby to help.

5. Suffocation is often listed as a danger of family co-sleeping. However, this is a real danger in only two situations: a young infant sleeping on a water-bed, thus unable to push himself up when needed, or a parent who is too intoxicated by alcohol or drugs to attend to a child’s needs. Obviously, a child who is suffocating for any reason (such as a ribbon on sleepwear getting around her neck, vomiting during sleep, asthmatic attacks) is far more likely to rouse a parent who is sleeping nearby than one sleeping in a different room. A child cared for during the night receives constant reassurance of love and support.
6. Family co-sleeping is often misunderstood as facilitating sexual abuse of children by a parent. However, the opposite is true. Parents who develop deep emotional bonds with their children by remaining close by and responsive at night, as well as during the day, are far less likely to turn to abusive behavior of any kind toward the children they love and cherish. Conversely, the fact that a child sleeps alone has never been adequate protection against a parent who intends sexual trespass, and may even make it easier for one parent to keep such activity secret from the other.

7. Shared sleep can further prevent child abuse by helping all family members to obtain the rest they need, especially if the child is breastfeeding. The child does not have to suffer needlessly or cry to bring his mother, and the mother can nurse half-asleep. The entire family awakes refreshed, with no lingering resentment toward the baby for having disturbed their sleep the night before. An exhausted parent is far more likely to abuse a child than a well-rested mother or father who has enjoyed the presence of a happily resting child through the night.

8. Crying is a signal provided by nature that is meant to disturb the parents to ensure that the baby receives the care he needs. But prolonged crying is stressful to all the family members. The sooner the baby’s needs are met, the more rest the baby and the entire family can have, and the more energy they will have for the next day. A mother sleeping next to her baby can utilize the instinctive response a new mother has to her baby’s first whimper, thus preventing the need for the hard crying that is so stressful to the baby and to all other members of the family.

9. A deeper sense of love and trust often develops between siblings who sleep near each other, lessening sibling rivalry during waking hours. Siblings who share the night as well as the day have a greater opportunity to build a deep and lasting relationship. Babies and children who are separated from other family members during the day (parents at work, siblings at school) can partially make up for these absences and reestablish important emotional bonds by spending time at night together, and by the delightful early morning family time that is otherwise often missed. Of course, home businesses and unschooling can minimize separations and deepen family bonds during the day, just as co-sleeping does at night.

10. Studies of adults in coma have shown that the presence of another person in the room significantly improves heart rate, heart rhythm, and blood pressure. It seems reasonable to assume that infants and children derive similar health benefits to having others in the same room with them.

A child who is cared for during the night as well as the day receives constant reassurance of love and support, instead of having to cope with feelings of fear, anger, and abandonment night after night. Children who have felt safe through the night as well as the day with a loving parent close by become adults who cope better with the inevitable stresses life brings. As John Holt put it so eloquently, having feelings of love and safety in early life, far from “spoiling” a child, is like “money in the bank”: a fund of trust, self-esteem and inner security which the child can draw on throughout life’s challenges.

Hanz’s Note : This great article was written by Jan Hunt from The Natural Child Project. Thanks for sharing this great article and I love to share all about natural parenting here, from today onwards.

October 7, 2009 Posted by | Attachment Parenting, Hanz's Notes, Just Baby, Just Toddler, Natural Parenting, Worth-read Articles | 9 Comments

Teach your child how to expand use of sign language

There’s never too early or too late to learn signing yourself and then teach it to your child.

As a parent, you can begin using simple signs with your babies and toddlers just as they would spoken words. Identifying favourite foods or objects with a single sign is a good way to start. Holding up a stuffed toy like lion and making the sign for ‘lion’, or pointing to Papa while signing ‘father’.

Using signs labelling emotions & feelings is a logical next step. Signing ‘baby sad’ or ‘I’m happy’ can affirm your young child’s perception of what is happening in & around them. It won’t be long before your child is offering up signs of their own to communicate how he is feeling in the moment.

Learning signing is a good way to help your child become multilingual.

Children of preschool age group are actively expanding their receptive skill. They will be able to understand signed communication quite naturally with practice. Finding songs to sing, sign & dance to will help remember signs & provide a great deal of fun.

An older child can serve as a model for a younger brother or sister by identifying familiar objects with sign. Learning to fingerspell, or spell out words using the signed alphabet, can assist your child in learning the alphabet & later in learning to spell. Signing the alphabet while signing letters uses both sides of the brain & maximizes learning. Practicing spelling words by finger-spelling is a fun way to learn spelling.

Older children can also enjoy sign language. Having a secret ‘second’ language to share with others can build friendships. Learning & teaching others how to sign at this age coincides with a child’s developing sense of self as an individual with special skills & talents.

Sign language can also be a fun way to enrich the relationship between you & your child. Incorporating a few key phrases into your everyday family such as ‘Don’t forget to brush’ or ‘I love you’.

This is also a time when your child become more empathetic & increasingly aware of the needs of others. Finding a deaf friend or visiting a club for the deaf can expand your child’s view of the world & can build compassion for others.

In other words, sign language can be an important interpersonal skill.

September 3, 2009 Posted by | Attachment Parenting, Baby Sign, Just Baby, Just Preschooler, Just Toddler, Natural Parenting | 3 Comments

The Settled Baby : Four to Twelve Months

Excerpt from the book :-“Smart Baby, Clever Child”
written by Valentine Dmitriev, PH.D

As your baby enters this new phase, it is important for parents to keep up with their baby’s rapid changes & advancement. His independent mobility is increasing and so he begins paying more attention to objects in his environment. He is developing new awareness.Hand-eye coordination improves and actions become more & more deliberate. With this is mind, there are 3 goals to aid in this new stage of development.

First Goal: Plan ways of promoting your baby’s mental & fine-motor attainment to provide him with the novelty of new & interesting playthings. Playthings need not not be limited to store-bought educational toys but suitable household things would be greatest value too.

Second Goal:- Give your baby an opportunity to learn how to initiate & carry out his own entertainment.Accomplish this by giving your baby independent playtime on a mat & by giving him 2 new playthings every third or fourth day (or when your baby is no longer interested in the toys at hand). It is tempting for parent to surround a baby with a heap of toys, however be reminded that too many things or stimuli presented all at once will defeat your intention to provide a learning experience for your baby.When an infant is satisfied with what he has learned from one particular toy, he will no longer handle it. That will be your cue to bring out something else. However before your baby’s interest begins to lag, you can step in & show him other new ways of playing with the toy.

Third Goal:- Add to your baby’s self discovery-to broaden his horizons by playing with him & his toys. You can show him that he can clap his hands or move his body to music.

Tip:- When you first give your baby a new toy, simply hold it out & tell him what it is. For example, show the toy to him & say,”Look, here’s a bunny rabbit.” If he reaches for the toy, give him the toy & repeat with a smile, “Bunny rabbit.” If your baby does’nt reach for the rabbit, simply lay it on his lap if he’s propped up, or place it on the floor beside him & move away. Allow your child to discover the toy on his own. When it appears that he no longer knows what to do with the rabbit, step in & show your baby other ways that he can play with the toy.

Sample Activity Schedule

Daily Gross-Motor Activities & Fine-Motor Activities

1.Pull to sit. Hands held, after each diaper change.

2.Scooting.Scooting is an activity that strengthens a baby’s back & legs. It is done while on the stomach, & consist of pushing forward or backward by using the legs & knees.It gives mobility enabling him to reach toys.Three to five lunges, until baby is able to creep or push himself forward without help.

3. Roll from back to stomach, stomach to back.

4. Head & Chest lifts when prone.Place baby on his stomach, better yet, use the Roll-to Stomach maneuver to get him into the prone position. Use enticing toys, bells or puppets to encourage baby to lift his head & chest up, supported by his folded elbows or extended arms.Interact with baby in this position from three to five minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.Once baby has mastered rolling over from back to stomach, it will no longer be necessary to practice head & chest lifts. Baby will be lying & playing in a prone position as a natural result of being able to roll over from his back.

5. Propped sitting. Allow baby to remain seated with toys, or when you play with him & his toys for ten to thirty minutes or as long as he appears to be happy in that position. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.

6. Weight-bearing stance. Place baby in an upright position, feet planted firmly on the floor.Hold him up for one to 2 minutes. Repeat 2 to 3 times a day.

7. Playtime on the mat. Baby plays alone 10 to 30 minutes
or longer if he is happy;2 to 3 times a day, morning, after midmorning nap & perhaps in the evening.

8. Peek-a-boo game. Baby & parent play this game once a day.

9. Mom or dad toy playtime with baby. Baby engages in playtime with either parent for 5 or 10 to 15 minutes, 2 to3 times a day.

10. Looking at book pictures. Baby & parent engage in this activity for 5 to 10 minutes, once a day.

Hanz’s Note: Me up this chat atas request Mama Afif aka Farah lildreamz. My method sepanjang both my boys masa baby senang saja as my most important tools for them is books & educational vcds…you can have a look on that as well…& include your baby as much as you can in your daily activities…kalau susah nak pegang nak buat kerja, itulah bagusnya if you wearing your baby (babywearing).Hope this shorten notes would be helpful to those yang baru dapat baby (wink!) & are having baby about this age.Happy playing with your baby!

July 24, 2009 Posted by | Child's Play, Early Childhood Education, Just Baby, Parenting in General | 6 Comments

Love to read : Reading to baby & toddler

Based on findings from self-interest research & compilation from various resources. Read on. Hope my chat on this topic helps a lot. More chat about reading will be up next round.

Guidelines on successful reading to baby

**A newborn can only focus 25-30cm, so look for cloth or cot books with both simple and complicated geometric patterns and faces (babies love faces) that will stimulate visual interest.

Book example:- Ladybird series

**Once a baby can grasp an object, look out for small, and square ‘block books’ great for tiny hands.

Book example:-**At around 6 months, start to seek out books with brightly coloured, simple pictures and lots of rhythm. An obvious choice would be boldly illustrated collection of nursery rhymes. Baby Faces by Dorling Kindersley,SPOT block books by Eric Hill

Book example:-Humpty Dumpty & Other Rhymes by Opie & Archibald, Meg & Mog series by Nicoll & Pienkowski, Lucy Song by Vera Williams

**At around 9 months, introduce books that feature everyday objects

Book example:- I Spy by Scholastic, Baby Animals by Dorling Kindersley, The Farm by Dorling Kindersley, Clothes by Dorling Kindersley, Pat, The Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

** Include the ‘Lift the flap’ books from this age onwards.

Book example:- Berenstein Bears series, Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, Henry’s Ball by Rod Campbell, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Kipper & Wibbly Pig by Mick Inkpen, Dinosaur Roar by Paul & Henrietta Strickland

** As reading books out loud, point objects in the pictures and make sure baby sees all the things that are fun to see and do.

** Vary the tone of your voice, play peek-a-boo with the pictures and with whatever is under the flap, bounce knee, make funny faces, basically DO ANYTHING to stimulate baby’s interest.

** If practical, allow babies’ access to books at all times. Have either a book box or low shelving. It’s quite tempting to treat books as precious objects that need to be treated with care and only brought out under adult supervision.

**When reading to a baby, be brief but read often. In theory, should also let baby and child see you read and enjoy your own reading time.

Guidelines on successful reading to toddler

** As children develop and start to understand stories, continue to look for books with plenty of repetition and rhyme, good use of language and a decent but simple plot. Children love predictability, so knowing what comes next becomes fun.

** If you are bored with reading the same story for the umpteenth time, bear in mind that we adults also love hearing the same story over and over again.

** Pick a book with a repeated phrases and poem. After reading through the story a few times, your child will soon join in with the refrain. As the story become more familiar, pause and give her the chance to fill in the blanks.

** Encourage your child to pretend to read especially books that contain repetition and rhyme. Most children who love reading will eventually memorise all or part of a book and imitate your reading.

** Do not expect that your child will actually start to read at this stage but bear in mind that learning to read is a physical as well as mental act involving hand-eye coordination.

** When you read, involve your child by getting them to point things out in pictures and by following the words with your finger. It is only necessary at this stage to give a very basic understanding that words go from left to right across a page and that pages turn from left to right.

** When you feel your child is ready, take your child along to do a child-friendly bookstore and let your child choose books own self. You may not like the illustration or story line, but it is great fun to see what they come up with.

Book example:- Slinki Malinki by Lynley Dodd, Hairy Mclary by Lynley Dodd, Mr Mc Gee by Pamela Allen, Bertie & The Bear by Pamela Allen, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle, The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle, Green Eggs & Ham by Dr Seuss, The Cat In A Hat by Dr Seuss

P/S – Hanz’ personal favourite : Eric Carle, Dr Seuss & Sandra Bonyton

April 1, 2009 Posted by | Early Childhood Education, Hanz in Reading, Just Baby, Just Toddler, Parenting in General | 5 Comments