Category Archives: Health Care and Development

Coping with the heat

With the heat wave we have had in the U.K it can be tough to cope with, with our little ones, and so I wanted to share my tips with how I help my son cope with the heat.

 

Tip#1: Keep them cool at all times

When it is really hot with no breeze this can be tricky, but keeping your children cool as much as possible, and find where it is the coolest in your home or garden, have windows and doors open to let the cool air breeze through.

Invest in a fan.

Wipe them down with a damp flannel if they get too hot and only put on one layer of clothing.

 

Tip#2: Play outdoors, as it isn’t good for children to be stuck in doors all the time.

I find that my son copes better when he has some time indoors, away from the heat in a cool room with intervals of being outdoors. When he stays indoors a lot I find he can fall ill. Of course I clean my home and keep it clean, but heat when hot indoors can cause illnesses and bacteria to increase, so do allow some play time outdoors, but use sunscreen to protect their skin.

 

Tip#3: Cool warm baths always help my son cool down or have a paddling pool outside

My son has always been a hot child and so can get hot quite quickly, so it is important that I protect him from the heat as much as possible, so a warm cool bath does the trick, then just allow him to play indoors in his nappy or pull ’em up, or purchase a paddling pool, a great way to have fun in the sun as a family, making sure sunscreen is applied throughout the day.

 

Tip#4: Have plenty of liquids available to keep your children hydrated

So important, as children can become too hot and can become dehydrated so quickly so I make sure that I have plenty of liquids available, avoiding fruit juices and fizzy drinks as they can cause dehydration.

 

Tip#5: Keep cups and drinks in the fridge

Keeps them nice and cool, and have some water already chilled in their cup, so it will be nice and cold to drink, keeping them cool and hydrated.

So those are my tips for coping with the heat, please share your tips with me too be good to know how you cope with heatwaves and in the summer.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I know now since being a parent

  1. Tiredness and sleep deprivation in parents can last until they are 3 years and older
  2. There is no one way, everyone can have a different style of parenting, who’s judging?
  3. Continues to be challenging, especially come potty training time
  4. Every minute of the day matters
  5. When you get free time to yourself, finally, you can feel lost
  6. If you suffer with Anxiety it can increase
  7. No time off really
  8. Tantrums are non avoidable at times no matter what you try to prevent and stop them
  9. Once your child begins walking you are forever running
  10. You never know what your child is going to do at times, but that’s the joy of it all

I would love to know what things you have learned to.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie

Toilet training

I didn’t expect this would be easy, but you do have to take a chunk of your schedule to go through this new transition, I discovered. I have to accept that Henry will have accidents and it may take several times for my son to get used to the fact that he won’t be toileting in the nappy anymore.

 

We have had some success, 3 times so far, but now it as if he is avoiding going in the potty, but is understanding that if he needs to go, it has to be in the nappy, and so it is teaching him to communicate to us too, that he needs to go. Get used to not having a nappy on. I did introduce pants, but they lasted on him about 2 minutes, so need to continue with this one.

So on Sunday I am going try different techniques and see if we have success.

It is going to take time, but I know I just have to be persistent and start teaching him that soon there will be no nappy and will have to use the potty or toilet.

I will report back once I have learned more.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

Potty training

Yes we are potty training at the moment, and yesterday Henry used his potty for the first time and actually had a pea.

Why am I sharing this?

Well because I know how tricky of a transition it is. One minute they are in nappies next they are having to use this plastic thing and it is a different ball game altogether.

We did have a little accident the day before, I won’t say anymore, but I had to stick Henry straight in the bath, but least it happened in the right place, the bathroom, just not in the potty itself, well some of it was but I hadn’t realised until I trod straight into it.

My fault!

As said before you can prepare yourself but you can never really plan, when it comes to children.

Sorry for the TMI. Henry will probably be totally embarrased if he reads this when he is 18 years old. However it is out of good reason to help and give support to other mums, who may also be potty training now too.

If your child is potty training at the moment too, then my advice is to persist and be patient. If they aren’t ready then do not fear, you will soon know when they are. Henry was even asking for the potty and tells us when he needs his nappy changed. So children do pick up new skills quicker than what we think they do.

So true when it comes to children, every day is different, and you don’t know what to expect, so you just have to continue on, the best you can.

Anyway I will keep you updated on more news and what I am learning as a parent.

Thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

 

Speech and language

Let me begin by introducing my new page I created called “Recommended links”where I have recommended links to websites and videos with useful tips and information, on helping with the development of your child and other subjects too.

I wrote a post last year back in September/October about Henry starting Occupational Therapy to help him with his speech and language. (see link below to read this blog)

https://theparentingadventurestipsandtricks.wordpress.com/?s=Occupational+Therapy

Now he has begun his second lot of sessions to help him with his speech and language.

It really is an insight on how different children are, and how each child responds.

There was one child who when it came to sitting down at the table to do tasks, got really stressed out and began to really cry. Henry kicked off during this part too. One thing that we have been working on. He finds it hard to concentrate at the table, when there so many things to do, and in a room where he doesn’t spend time in that much, of course he wants to be nosy and look around.

Tips#1 The one thing I would suggest is to keep bringing your child back to the chair and encourage him/her to sit down. When they do sit down without wanting to get up and they join in the activity, I would always recommend a reward by praise.

Tell them that they have done something good. We used the words “Well done” from very early on when he was a baby, so he knows now what these words mean “Good”.

In a different environment, it is always going to be tricky.

If he saw other children playing at the table, then the chances are he would then follow.

Henry first session this week was all about outer space and parts of the body. They sang a song which encouraged them to touch their head, knees, shoulders and toes, then sang the song “10 Little Men in a flying saucer” and each child got to take a man off stuck to a piece of paper and then put it down.

Once all children took a man off the paper, they then got to each take turns in sticking the men back on.

The table activities were, finding stickers in a bucket full of rice, another with lentils, which had cups and a ladle in and the another one had sand, to encourage the children to draw lines, and use their motor skills.

This is to encourage the children to concentrate. Part of the occupational therapy is to help with that too, and to help children focus. One skill they will need for when they start school.

Tip#2 The one tip I was given by one of the therapists, because Henry doesn’t like touching sand or even stepping onto it much, was to massage his hands and feet, as it helps warm them up and help them get used to the sand texture.

Tip#3 What I would advise to do, is to put a bath toy that they like to play with into a bucket of sand see how much they can fill it up before it over flows and wet it a bit, and show them how to make a sand castle.

It is good unstructured play and gets in touch with their creative side, and speak to them as you are making the sand castle, keep repeating the word, as I have learned that the more you repeat a word, the more they will say it too.

I found this useful site called Pathways.org, which talks more about Sand Play:

https://pathways.org/blog/sand-play-natures-etch-a-sketch/

Please see my Recommended Tips page, which also has links to helpful ideas on how to help your child with speech and language.

Try not to fret over the fact your child has speech problems. It won’t help you or them.

The Occupational Therapists are there to help and so if you are unsure as to what you can do at home or any activities you could try that would help them, ask the Occupational Therapists. They are there to give you support as much as your child.

They give you home work type activities at the end, to help continue their learning at home.

Children will catch up and they will learn how to communicate once they see it and do it often enough.

Tip#4 So one tip I would give is to put them into social situations as much as possible, example, take them to a zoo, a play cafe, a museum or a park where there are other children there too.

No child is the same that is why they are so unique.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

Hearing test and Eye Test

Henry a couple of months ago, had an eye test and has two lots of hearing tests too.

He does have a bit of development delay, so they wanted to monitor (at the health clinic and our local hospital) out anything that could be causing issues with Henry’s development.

You can’t get him to point at things, very much, but he does know what certain things mean. Like he now knows that water is something he drinks and nappy change is changing his bottom.

The hearing and the eye test both went well. With children the hearing test is done via the Audiology department of in my case Epsom and St Helier Hospitals.

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Hearing Test

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The first appointment was late afternoon and wasn’t our usual hospital under Epsom and St Helier but in Bourne Hall in Ewell Village. I didn’t get to choose the appointment this time round as sometimes it is what they can fit in. You will usually be sent a letter and they will let you know of numbers to call, if you need to rearrange. However it was quite close in date and so I thought it won’t harm just one afternoon.

So we went along, and what the hearing test consisted of was two speakers and the Audiologist starts to play with some toys, like building bricks or a puzzle for example, and then the speakers either side will make a sound, and if Henry turns towards the right one of the speakers that is making the sound then it will light up, and inside each of the speakers is a cuddly toy.

Henry was very co-operative during this point and did really well but then shortly after he started to get fed up and began throwing some of the toys. So then his ears were checked inside and then they test for any water in the ear that could effect his hearing, but Henry had enough by then and was not going to co-operate, but the Audiologists said that they couldn’t see any issues and his hearing was fine, but another appointment would be arranged. I advised for it to be booked in the morning, as later in the day can be tricky and Henry can be a bit less co-operative due to tiredness and it was around near his dinner time.

He did have another hearing appointment and has another, coming up, but they aren’t too concerned at all. The second appointment did go a lot better, but when it came to having his ears check inside again, he began to fuss. So they will try next time.

However it was a learning curve for me, as I had no idea until the first appointment how they check a babies and toddlers ears, and was an insight for me aswell as Henry.

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Eye Test

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Two or so months ago I finally get a letter for an eye appointment for Henry to attend his first eye test, to check that he has no eye site problems. I already had to change his first appointment because it was early and at St Helier hospital in Sutton, where Henry was born, and was too much of a trek to get to, so I asked for the appointment to be moved to a later time or to my local hospital.

Very happy it was changed. Still an early appointment, but was moved to our local hospital around the corner to me. The eye test consists, of seeing the eye nurse first who will go through some tests. to see if he sees the bright lights on some squeaky finger toys, so she can have a look at the front of the eye. Then she holds up boards with pictures and letters, but as he does have speech delay and won’t always talk when asked, he didn’t say any of the shapes shown. However she said that the front of the eyes appeared to be okay.

Then I was asked about my medical history and other members of the family whom have or had eye site issues in the family. Then thought great all done. However the bomb shell was hit, I had to stay there for another hour for them to put eye drops in Henry’s eyes, then have his height and weight checked.

So I was like oh great, so I changed his nappy to save a bit of time and then put some bits on my phone to entertain him, plus some snacks. I just wished I had, had more of an idea of what the eye test consisted of as a heads up, so I knew to bring some of Henry’s toys with me.

However least I know for next time. They have to wait 20 minutes or so for the eye drops to work, they basically help clean the eyes so the doctor can check behind the eyes.

Henry did okay, they put some special glasses on, which at first i could see he was like “What, what are you doing?”. Then he began to laugh but then did become restless.

It didn’t take long once seen by the doctor who was pleased but again, another appointment has been arranged in a few months time to make sure. They think that Henry has a slight Astigmatism like me, and may later on need glasses but are not too concerned for now.

I just wished I knew more of what they involved before going along, and had a bit of an idea of how long I and Henry would be waiting. Children, especially Henry don’t always know about waiting. They don’t understand the concept, they just know that their legs travelling and their eyes can see, so want to run around and explore.

I hope you fellow parents find this blog helpful, so I can give those who like me had no idea what these were about and to help give heads up so you do.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X

Occupational Therapy

 

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So if you are like me, have not had children before and you are new to the parent world too, then you may have your own first child about to attend Occupational Therapy. I can reassure you if you do have any worries, there is no need. They are really great way to help your child’s development.

You may have heard of Occupational Therapy and associated it with the older generation, but they also provide these sessions to babies and children too, for free in the UK. If you feel your child will benefit from these sessions speak to your local Health Clinic or Doctor for advice.

All children develop at different stages, some can walk before they can talk and others can talk before they can walk. These classes are to encourage the power of speech using different activities. The sessions only go on for about 45 minutes and in Henry’s sessions they have two other children and no more.

It is very interesting to see how children are so different. There is one little boy who is into everything and as soon as he sees a toy he wants, it is very difficult to distract him, then there is another little boy does and follows wherever he is told to go, but does not say anything unless he is really pushed too, and even then it is very quiet.

With Henry he is still understanding words. We talk (my husband and I) to Henry all the time, and he is picking up a lot of words now, but I can see he can still be a bit puzzled as to understanding what the other person is saying.

Henry learns by observing a lot, like many children, and when he sees another child doing something he straight away will try and copy.

So I see him watching the other children and then I see him working out what he has to do. Or what the occupational therapist is trying to say.

See below a video which is an example of an Occupational Therapy Trust in Greenwich.

At the beginning of the session: Every child is encouraged to take of their shoes and socks

Then occupational therapist encourages them to sing the greeting song “Hello (Child’s name” for the child to say Hello.

They have to sit on a coloured dot or a bubble cushion.

Middle of the session: Playing different activities which includes a theme, last week it was different fruit and vegetables, which they had to pick up and put down, then put back into the basket.

They again sang a song to encourage these skills.

We all then moved to playing at the table and each child is given and object or a piece of paper. The first session the children had a clowns face and they stuck cut out pieces of paper onto the clowns face.

Then they each get a toy to choose. Every child gets a turn twice each.

At the end of the session: They do an assort course and then are encouraged to put their shoes and socks back on and sing the end of session song, again to encourage them to say goodbye.

Once the session is over we (the parents and guardians) are given homework to do, to help continue on what they had learned in the Occupational Sessions, last week it was various activities involving fruit and vegetables. Playing shops. Getting the children to point out a fruit and vegetable or pick them up.

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These have been an education to me aswell, being the parent and I had no idea there was a different type of signing you can do aswell to help encourage a child’s speech. Speaking to my mum about it, a friend whom is a childminder does this too.

See this video which shows examples of signing you can do to help encourage your child to talk with the skill of their hands.

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Games I invent at home to help Henry’s Development

We often play a game, called “Where’s Spongebob”. basically we hide his cuddly toy SpongeBob and Henry will go and find him. As he gets nearer we say if he is getting colder or warmer. Giving a clue or providing encouragement really helps him to stay focused on the game, as they can quickly lose interest.

It is a great game as it teaches them to use their site for observation and make decisions. Thinking is a great way to get their mind active and using the right tools to complete tasks. This hand in hand will help them in the future too.

You can do this game with any cuddly toy. Pick one they always play with regularly and put in a box or on the sofa with a blanket over the top and say “Where is SpongeBob?” for example and encourage them to find it, and look every where. It is good if you look like you are looking for it too.

The other games we play is if I see a Rainbow and train, I will say Henry there’s the train, or there’s a rainbow and point, great at grabbing their attention and learning what they are interested in. Then you can use that to help build their skills more. Show them pictures and encourage them to say what it is they see. Get them to make choices of items. Not too many as they can easily get overwhelmed, but for example I will get two boxes of variety cereal, show him and say “Which one the one with the tiger or the one with the monkey picture on it”. It is great way to help them identify pictures and make associations with words.

Now I am off because my son now wants play time so we are going to have that time.

I would recommend Occupational Therapy as it is a weight off your shoulders too. We always think as parents we should know how to help our children’s development, but why should we? We aren’t robots who are programmed but living creatures who go on what we think is right most of the time, and question ourselves, but getting that expert help can make all the difference.

Many thanks for reading,

 

Carrie X