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Month: November 2017

We answer the most popular questions asked by new parents!
We answer the most popular questions asked by new parents!

Here are some answers to some of the most common questions asked by new parents, from the team at our crèche near Parkmore.

Is my baby eating enough?

If you’re breastfeeding, it can be difficult to tell just how much food your little one is getting. And for formula-fed babies, the tin is simply a guideline. The best way to tell if your baby is eating enough is through regular weigh-ins that your paediatrician can schedule. They can also tell you how much weight your child should be putting on, what you can expect and give you advice on how to increase feeds.

How do I teach my baby to sleep at night?

Infants will wake up for feeds and nappy changes, but there ways to teach your child to sleep predominantly at night – being diurnal is something they have to actually learn! During the day, be energetic and upbeat, and go outdoors with your baby. At night time, lower the lights and choose calm, soothing activities like a gentle bath and lullaby. This will start teaching your baby what’s expected at different times of the day.

How can I bond with my baby?

Despite popular thinking, bonding doesn’t always happen instantly, and new parents shouldn’t worry. Take a slow and gradual approach to bonding with your little one and remember that you’re adjusting to a big change in your life, so don’t be hard on yourself. Some activities that can help the bonding process include breastfeeding, carrying your infant in a close-body carrier, spending time with your child in the calmer parts of the day, and even giving yourself a time-out to relax and re-energise.

What is the right age for starting crèche or day care?

If you ask this question, you’re going to get a lot of different answers, but if you are returning to work or want your child to attend day care, most specialists agree that it’s best to avoid crèche when your baby is less than 6 months old. The best advice we can give you is to choose a facility that specialises in your child’s age group, however, as they will have the training, equipment and expertise to give your child the right support – and to give you peace of mind.

Meet our talented, loving team at our crèche near Parkmore

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving day care centre and crèche near Parkmore for your baby and toddler from 18 months to 4 years old. Fully supervised by our qualified, loving staff, our professional child care ensures that your little one will have fun, learn and explore the world while giving you complete peace of mind – you can see for yourself right here! To find out more about our daily routine or to visit our play school, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Great tips that will help your infant sleep through the night
Great tips that will help your infant sleep through the night

Sleep is important for parents and babies, keeping us physically healthy and mentally fit. It’s also critical for your infant’s brain development, as this is the time when new neural pathways are strengthened as they learn new skills. Unfortunately, many new parents struggle to get a good night’s sleep. Here are some tips from our day care near Craighall for getting your infant to sleep through the night.

  • Swaddling: For newborns and up to 4-5 months old, swaddling is recommended by baby specialists. This method of wrapping your baby prevents their instinctive startle reflex from jerking them out of sleep. If you don’t know how to swaddle your baby properly, ask your paediatrician or nurse to show you this useful technique!
  • Create a routine: We are all creatures of routine, and by associating specific activities with bedtime, parents can help infants get into the right mode to fall asleep. Try quiet, quick activities, like a warm bath and putting on soft pyjamas followed by a lullaby. The last part should always take place where your baby is going to sleep.
  • Strategic nappy changes: Nappy changes are not something most infants enjoy, and feeding is far more soothing, so change your baby’s nappy before you do your late night feed. This will help calm them and make falling back to sleep much easier.
  • Teach them to self-soothe: This is essentially about teaching your little one how to fall back to sleep by themselves. Lay your baby down to sleep when he is drowsy but not yet asleep. If you hear gurgling, wait and see what happens rather than rushing back in. If your baby cries, wait a few moments to see if they can fall asleep and then go in and soothe your baby for a few minutes without picking him up (only do this if he is very upset) and see if he calms down. Repeating this will help teach your little one how to fall asleep independently.
  • Comforting smells: If your baby is over 6 months, you can give them a bedtime comforter like a soft toy or blanket. This works best if it smells of you, so keep it with you for a few hours. If your baby is younger than 6 months, these comforting objects are a health risk, so it’s better to include your scent in a different way – for example, making sure the swaddling blanket smells like you.

Supported early learning and development at our play school near Craighall

At Doodlebugs Play School near Craighall, we know that this is a critical time of learning and development for your little one. We aim to support it through a holistic curriculum that teaches through fun, safe and age-appropriate activities. With plenty of peers to play with, extensively trained crèche and professional child-care staff members to oversee all activities and a fun, childproof environment, we’re looking forward to bringing out the best in your child.

For more information on our daily routine or to visit our day care centre, please contact us today. We look forward to meeting you and having your child join our family!

Imaginary friends: Worrisome or wonderful?
Imaginary friends: Worrisome or wonderful?

Have you ever heard your child chattering away into thin air? Or have they spoken to you about games they play with a companion that doesn’t exist? Your child has an imaginary friend! While many parents become concerned about these creatures, characters and confidants, the reality is that imaginary friends are a healthy part of early childhood development. In fact, they can boost the development of many essential skills! Here’s some more information on these fantasy friends, from our play school near Hurlingham.

How common are imaginary friends?

Most children act out their imagination by creating games and events with their toys, stuffed animals and dress up clothes, but almost 37% of children take this a step further by creating a fantasy friend. These can be human, animal or a creative mixture of both, and can be present singularly or in groups. These friends are often incredibly detailed and vivid when described, from how they look and how they behave to rules they follow (they only like juice or turn purple in the sunlight or you have to sing a certain song to invite them over).

Why do children invent them?

Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that children with imaginary friends are not necessarily more lonely or isolated than other children. In fact, these children often have better social skills than children who do not have them. Occasionally, they can appear after a traumatic event, like the loss of a parent, and psychologists say that they are a very helpful coping mechanism in those cases.

What are the benefits?

Studies have shown that children with imaginary friends are usually:

  • More sociable and have better social skills
  • Have high levels of creative thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Have stronger language skills and are able to articulate their thoughts better
  • Have better self-esteem

Come play and learn at our play school near Hurlingham

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, educational day care centre and play school near Hurlingham for your baby and toddler from 18 months to 4 years old. Fully supervised by our qualified, loving staff, our professional child care and holistic educational curriculum ensures that your little one will have fun, learn and explore the world in a safe and caring environment. To find out more about our daily routine or to visit our nursery school, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

How to teach your child all about self-control
How to teach your child all about self-control

One of the important parts of early childhood development is learning self-control. Children are impulsive by nature, but life is all about taking those impulsive urges and channelling them into the self-discipline they need to become productive, balanced and happy individuals. Self-control isn’t about willpower or even restraining their lively spirits – it’s about teaching them the tools they need to make situations work to their advantage, to help them reach their goals. Here are some tips for teaching your child how to properly exercise self-control, from our nursery school in Sandton.

  • Age-appropriate learning: Brain development determines when your child has the ability to start learning to control their impulses. The part of the brain responsible for these behaviours, the prefrontal cortex, develops slowly from 6 months old and only reaches maturity in your child’s mid-20s. This means that you can only expect to start teaching self-control through the toddler stages, and that a lot of patience is needed to stimulate these neural pathways and develop these skills.
  • Develop trust: Young children start developing their self-control when they can trust that it will be rewarded. For example, asking your little one to sit on a chair and wait while you fetch the food they want is rewarded when you hold up your side of the bargain – bringing the food. Trust like this soothes anxiety and impatience, allowing your child to develop the skills to wait patiently because they know that this is how they will get what they want, and each time it happens, this behaviour is reinforced.
  • Being a role model: Parents are the primary role models for kids, so we have to keep a close eye on our own behaviours to ensure that our kids are learning good skills from us. For example, when we react angrily or personally to challenging behaviour, we are teaching them that this is the right way to react. It takes a lot of effort, especially when it’s been a rough day, but taking a deep breath and regulating your own emotional responses will pay off in the long-term, as your child will start to copy your self-control.
  • Repetition: This is the primary way that children learn, and it applies just as much to learning self-control as it does to learning to clap hands, sing a song or speak. Every time the skills are repeated and copied by your child, it strengthens the neural pathways in their brain responsible for learning in this area – and the more often you do it, the stronger and more resilient they get.

Age-appropriate, holistic learning at our nursery school in Sandton

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving play school in Sandton for your baby from 18 months to 4 years old. Fully supervised by our qualified, affectionate staff, our professional child and day care centre ensures that your little one will have fun, learn and explore the world while giving you complete peace of mind. To find out more about our daily routine or to visit our nursery school, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.