Two Can Learn Better than One!

Tags: comfort



Night, Night, Teddy!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Toys and Games, Days out , Tags: bedtime, comfort, hotels, paddington, prince charles, teddies, teddy bear, winnie the pooh

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One third of British adults take a teddy bear to bed with them, according to a recent survey which also found that over half of the adult population has an old teddy bear in their home dating back to their childhood.  This makes the average age of teddy bears 27 years old!

Over 6,000 adults were questioned on behalf of the hotel chain Travel Lodge.  It found that a quarter of businessmen take a teddy with them on business trips because it reminds them of home!  Allegedly, the hotel chain receive hundreds of worried telephone calls each month from owners who fear they may have left their teddies behind in their bedrooms.

The survey also found that traditional teddies were most popular followed by Winnie the Pooh and Paddington.  It has also been said, by the American writer Christopher Andersen, that Prince Charles even travels with his childhood teddy.

Although we may claim to love our teddies and take them all over the world, we are not always that careful.  Over 75,000 Teddies are lost and reunited with their owners each year by Travel Lodge staff alone!



Swaddling a Baby

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Babies, Health , Tags: babies, calm, comfort, cot death, reflexes, sleep, swaddling

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Swaddling a baby is a good way to help them sleep and you can even get some pre-wrapped swaddling blankets that are easy to fit and remain in place.

Why Swaddle?

  • It's a good way to calm an unsettled baby.
  • New babies are used to the closeness of being in the womb or being in their mother's arms. They are often unprepared for total freedom and it unnerves them. By swaddling, you recreate this closeness which makes them feel calm and secure.
  • For many, swaddling is vital as its stops their limbs from flaying while they are trying to sleep.
  • It's a way to calm the Moro Reflex, that startle reflex that all babies are born with. They have an innate fear of falling and so throw their arms out if they are startled. This reflex can be triggered even when parents place babies in their cot for sleeping.  Swaddling helps prevent this from happening.
  • Studies have shown that swaddling can enhance the development of low weight babies.
  • It may reduce the risk of cot death.
  • It soothes overstimulated babies.
  • It can help with colic.

Do you need any more excuses to give your baby a special cuddle?!



The Cuddle Factor!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Family , Tags: comfort, cuddle, hormones, oxytocin

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Research has found that children and babies react as warmly to their mother's voice as to her hugs.  American scientists claimed that children who talked to their mother on the telephone when they were experiencing anxiety were comforted becuase of the release of what they called a 'cuddle hormone'.  This cuddle hormone produced the same effect as getting a warm cuddle from the mother.

The study was done by researchers at Winconsin University.  Levels of the hormone oxytocin surged when children were cuddled and when they spoke to their monther's on the phone.  Oxytocin helps mothers and their babies form emotional bonds.

Dr Leslie Seltzer, who was the leading scientist on the study, said that the children who actually interacted with their mothers had practically the same levels of the hormone as those who just had the phone call.  It had previously been thought that the hormones were only released when physical contact took place, i.e. an actual hug rather than a phone call.  However, these new results contradict this idea and suggest the mother's voice is good enough!

The test was done on 7-12 year olds and it found that after a grueling maths test (which made them all very stressed) the group who had spoken to their Mum on the phone was as calm as those who had received a hug from their Mum.  They were all much calmer than those who went to watch a film and had not received cuddles or phone calls.

Of course, this could be relevant too for adults needing comforting!  A call to a Mum (or a Granny if you have kids) could make you feel better than reaching for a tub of ice cream to try and cheer you up!



Stop Crying!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Babies, Health, Childminders and Childminding , Tags: babies, comfort, crying, unsettled

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A baby's cry can go on and on - it can be loud and so relentless and sometimes no matter what you do it seems it will never stop.  However, we must remember that a baby's cry is a useful tool as a means to communicate.  During the first few weeks a baby is completely helpless and has only one way to let you know he or she is not happy... and that is to cry!

Babies cry on average about 1 - 2 hours a day and we must realise that it is completely normal!  If your baby is crying much more than this then perhaps you should seek expert advice, but for the most part it is okay!  What makes it hard is when a crying baby cannot be comforted.  No amount of cuddles, food, songs, rocking or pushing round in a buggy will make the crying stop.  This is when it get stressful and difficult to cope with.

In order to stop the crying, we need to ascertain why it started int he first place... so here are a few reasons why babies cry.

Baby is hungry. Yesterday they were happy with small feeds, today they want more!  So, in the first instance offer more milk.  Their feeding needs fluctuate and growth spurts can catch you off guard.  During a sudden growth spurt, feeding will often be more frequent.

Baby needs a cuddle. Perhaps baby is unsettled and hasn't had a cuddle for a while.  Give a lovely warm cuddle and hold him for a while.

Wind. Perhaps he has some trapped wind which is making him uncomfortable.  Try and burp him.

Dirty nappy. Perhaps she needs a change.  Some babies don't even notice a dirty nappy.  Others do.  Sometimes just the activity of changing a nappy can distract a baby and stop the crying.

Temperature. He may be too hot or too cold.  If he is warm and rosy, he may be overheating, so remove a layer.  If he is pale and has cold feet, then put another layer on and make his warmer.  The ideal temperature for a baby is around 20 degrees Centigrade.

Too much going on. A loud noise, a bright light, a police car siren, these unusual disturbances can unsettle a baby.

Bored. Even babies need a bit of stimulation.  A teddy, a mobile, a ball in the cot or some nice music may soothe and entertain a new baby.

Unsettled. Perhaps your baby is facing a new situation that they are not used to?  The first sessions with a new childminder and away from Mummy, or any other environment that is new could cause uncertainty and distress. Ease your baby gently into new situations.

If the crying seems unusually pitched or doesn't stop, then do seek medical advice - you recognise your own baby's cry better than anyone else and are best positioned to notice any abnormality.



Keeping a Glow with Nightlights

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Toddlers, Babies, Health , Tags: comfort, duled bulbs, led, nightlight, osram, security, short-sight

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Children often find it comforting to have a dim light on throughout the night to help them orientate themselves should they wake at night.  There are lots of fun night lights available, either as special lamps or dedicated low light bulbs.  Here are some considerations that you should take into account when choosing a nightlight:-

  • Research shows that leaving a light on during the night might increase the risk of developing short-sight in later life, keep light levels as low as possible, and indirect whenever possible
  • It is better to place a nightlight outside your child's bedroom rather than inside if possible
  • Try not to introduce a nightlight at all, leave it for your children to request one if they desire
  • Don't turn lights on if you go in to comfort your children at night - they will begin to associate light with security and this encourage them to want ambient light overnight later on
  • Look for LED based nightlights which consume less power and are cheaper to run

With rising electricity costs and better environmental awareness, you will want to choose as efficient a light as possible - look for the lowest wattage in a light that suits your needs.  Old fashioned filament bulbs at 15 - 25W are fairly dim but also inefficient.  LED based lights will give you a much lower wattage, less than 5W.  We particularly like Osram's 'Duled' range of bulbs.  These offer a compact fluroescent bulb with a tiny inset LED bulb.  Switch the light on and the CF bulb lights at 8 - 15W (depending on model), but turn the light off and on again and it switches from the CF bulb to the LED bulb - a cluster of two LED's consuming just 0.3W energy.  What a bright idea!

 



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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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