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A new mom’s guide to tummy time
A new mom’s guide to tummy time

If you’ve just had your first child, you’ve probably seen a lot of references to “tummy time” but you may not have had a chance to find out what it’s all about and why it’s so important for your baby’s growth and development. Here’s a quick guide from our crèche in Sandton.

What is tummy time?

This is time that your baby should spend on his or her tummy while awake and supervised. Place a blanket or mat on a firm, flat surface like the floor or on your stomach, chest or lap. Then encourage your child to try lift their head and shoulders up. Favourite toys are very useful for giving them something to focus on, and many parents have lots of success when lying down with their babies and encouraging them to copy your actions.

Why is tummy time important?

Babies spend lots of time on their backs, especially when sleeping, so it’s important to change this position to help strengthen neck, back and shoulder muscles. This also helps your child reach important milestones such as sitting, crawling and walking, as well as helping to develop various motor skills. The tummy time position is the starting point from which your child will learn to roll over and support themselves on their arms.

When is the right time to start tummy time?

Tummy time can start as soon as your little one arrives home as long as they are healthy and were born at full term. It’s important to only play in this position when your baby is alert and awake, and to make sure that he or she is on a smooth, flat surface to ensure breathing isn’t obstructed or uncomfortable. Start with short sessions of only a couple of minutes and work up to longer sessions as your baby gets stronger. By 3-4 months, you should be able to do around 20-30 minutes of tummy time.

Find a crèche in Sandton that supports your baby’s growth and development

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.

The benefits of music and dancing for your child
The benefits of music and dancing for your child

Singing and music aren’t just fun forms of entertainment, they’re an important part of almost every culture. For babies, music can also be an important part of their learning and development, say specialists at our play school near Craighall.

What the studies say

There have been lots of studies on music and dancing, and how it impacts on childhood development. One study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute showed that musical experiences can accelerate development of language and reading skills. Other studies have shown how learning a musical instrument can boost mathematical skills, and dancing has been shown to help little ones develop balance, posture, spatial awareness, body awareness and muscle tone.

Other benefits of dancing and singing together include positive bonding experiences, boosts to memory and pattern recognition skills, and helping to sooth and calm your little one.

How to dance and experience music with your baby

You don’t have to wait until your child wants to sign up for ballet lessons or learn the piano – your child can actually begin this development and reap the rewards even as a little baby. Lullabies are the perfect way to start! Here are some other great tips:

  • Hold your baby facing you and look directly into their eyes as you sway and sing.
  • Sing the words to your baby and encourage them to learn and sing the words back to you.
  • Pat your baby to the beat of a song or walk according to the beat.
  • You can spin, but keep it very slow as it allows the fluid in their ears (for balance) to equalise properly.
  • Keep it short and sweet, and suited to your baby’s mood (or the mood you’d like your baby to get into) in order to avoid overstimulation and an upset baby. There are plenty of music options specifically for babies but you can choose your favourite songs too!

A comprehensive play school programme to boost early childhood development

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!

Start swimming lessons early this spring
Start swimming lessons early this spring

If there’s one thing that almost every baby and toddler loves, it’s water! Swimming lessons are a vital way of teaching your child how to stay safe and have fun in water, so why not start this spring?

Swimming lessons for babies

At 6 months, you and your child can start swimming lessons – but at this stage these are more for fun and bonding rather than learning the necessary skills. Supervised classes are held at swimming schools and gyms, and it’s a great way to teach your child to become comfortable around water and other little ones. Your child won’t be able to master useful swimming skills until around age 3-4, so it’s important to stay very close to your child at all times around and in the pool. Instructors will have lots of great tips on how to use these lessons to help your baby’s development, how to safely play with a baby in a pool, and fun games to play.

When to start formal swimming lessons

Little kids love swimming pools, and they’ll be exposed to them through school, at home and at their friend’s houses, so it’s important to get them comfortable and confident in water to maximise safety as well as enjoyment. By 3 or 4 years old, your little one will have the strength, motor control, discipline and ability to follow instructions to start proper swimming lessons. These should be done at certified swimming schools or with certified swimming instructors where children are fully supervised at all times.

Learning to swim has so many benefits! From learning a healthy form of exercise and fun, to making a safe step to all sorts of water-based activities like playing at the seaside, fishing, canoeing, diving, kayaking and surfing!

Give your child the best start in life with our nursery 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 playschool, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Dental health and your infant
Dental health and your infant

Keeping your new baby healthy and happy means lots of weigh-ins, check-ups with nurses and paediatricians, and good nutrition. What many people forget, however, is that your dentist should be on the list too! Having healthy teeth as we grow up means starting with healthy teeth as a baby, so here’s what you need to know from our child care team near Parkmore.

Healthy teeth start before they appear

It’s an understandable idea that we only need to start taking our babies to the paediatric dentist when they start getting teeth – but the reality is that we should do it much sooner. Taking steps early as parents are an important way to help your baby maintain good oral hygiene and develop good habits.

Tips for your baby’s oral hygiene

  • Birth to 6 months: Start by gently cleaning your baby’s gums each day. Simply hold your baby in your arms and gently rub his or her gums with a clean, damp cloth that is wrapped around your finger. This helps your child get used to the sensation as well.
  • 6-12 months: When teeth start to appear, you can change from a cloth to a soft baby’s toothbrush. Using toothpaste suitable for infants, gently brush your child’s teeth after each feeding.
  • Visit the dentist: Find a recommended paediatric dentist in your area and make an appointment for a consultation when your child is between 6-12 months or if you have any dental health concerns. You can get advice, meet the team, get an idea of what happens during a child’s dental visit, important milestones to pay attention to and, most importantly, it gives your child a chance to start getting used to dental examinations.

A healthy, happy start from our child care team 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.

When is the right time to start looking for a crèche?
When is the right time to start looking for a crèche?

Choosing a crèche is a big decision and top crèches are in high demand, so it’s no surprise that many new parents feel stressed about finding the right professional child care centre for their little one. Here is some helpful advice from our crèche near Parkmore.

  • Start early: If you are going to be a working mom and need your child to go to crèche as soon as your maternity leave is finished, start looking as soon as possible. Three months before your baby is due is a good guideline – not only does it mean that you can look around without having to manage your baby at the same time, it also means that there’s one less thing to worry about!
  • Get on the waiting list: Many desirable crèche’s offer waiting lists for parents to ensure a spot is booked for their little one. Space is limited in order to ensure that each baby gets lots of attention and love from trained caregivers, so be sure to confirm that you are on the waiting list, the deposit is paid (if needed) and that your details are correct in their system.
  • Don’t feel rushed: Starting your search for a day care early is a good way to ensure that you get into one that suits you and your baby. You can take the time to look around, evaluate the different options and even do a dry run to see if it works with the location of you and your partner’s work and home to make sure things go smoothly in the mornings.
  • Do lots of research: Speak to family and friends about the day care centres they go to, visit crèche’s in your area to see how they operate, and go to open days so that you can meet other parents and find out what the facility offers. Be sure to talk to them about the daily routine your child will have at the crèche, their hours and when/if they close during the holidays.

Our crèche offers your baby a loving learning environment

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving day care centre and crèche near Parkmore for your baby or children 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.

How to potty train your toddler
How to potty train your toddler

Potty training is a big step for toddlers as well as parents, but with the right advice, this milestone can be achieved with minimal fuss – and mess. Here’s some great advice for any parent interested in starting the process, from our day care near Craighall.

  • Step One: Readiness. In order for potty training to be a success, your child has to be ready to take this step. While children start to recognise by age one that their bowels or bladder are full, they will only be ready to start potty training at around 18 months at the earliest. In fact, some children only start at 3!
  • Step Two: Know the signs. Signs that your child is ready for this next step include being able to follow simple instructions, being able to walk and sit, and being able to take off and put on pants. It’s also important to stat this training when your toddler is comfortable and in a stable environment – a new school, new caregiver or new home is a big adjustment, so wait a few weeks for things to settle down.
  • Step Three: Equipment. You’ll need a child-sized potty or child-adapted toilet seat. This gets toddlers used to the concept of the big toilet. Many children are worried about falling into the big toilet or the noise it makes when flushing, so this equipment forms a comfortable middle ground. Having your child pick out their own potty is a great way of getting them enthusiastic about the process.
  • Step Four: Routine and imitation. Children learn by copying you, so start a routine where you demonstrate how to tell if you need the bathroom, what’s going on with the toilet and how to pull down pants, wipe with toilet paper and wash hands afterwards.
  • Step Five: Repeat and encourage. Fun books aimed at kids about potty training, encouraging your child to let you know whenever they need help with the potty and asking them if they need the loo to help them recognise the signs, will all help keep training on track. Remember, consistency is key, and although there will be a few messes and mishaps, it will all be worth it in the end!

Your child will thrive at our loving day care near Craighall

At Doodlebugs Play School, we know that this is a critical time of learning and development for your little one and 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!

Planning the perfect birthday party for your preschooler
Planning the perfect birthday party for your preschooler

Birthday parties are a great opportunity for bringing family and friends together to celebrate your little one! Planning one, however, can be stressful for parents – but it doesn’t have to be. Read these helpful tips from our play school near Hurlingham.

  • Choose a theme: A theme might sound like a lot of work, but it can be very helpful, as it limits the activities for the party. It’s best to look through the shops first and then give your little one a choice between themes that you think they’d like. Not only does this make them excited and involved in the event, it also means that you know there are goodies and decor available for that theme.
  • Write up a guest list: While some parents want to invite the whole class of kids, their parents, as well as other friends and family, others prefer a smaller and more intimate event. It’s also important to think about what suits your child – introverted children often enjoy the company of a few close friends, while extroverts thrive in big groups.
  • Venue: If your home isn’t suitable for a birthday party, or you’d like to have more space for activities, take a look at venues in your area. Parks, child-friendly restaurants, fire stations, child-friendly museums and countryside venues offer great spaces for children to play and explore – and you often don’t have to clean up after!
  • Food: This depends on who is coming to the party and how long you want the event to last. Shorter birthday parties can get away with cake, ice cream and a few savoury snacks, while longer parties are going to need more catering. Choose foods that are easy to eat as snacks on the go rather than sit down meals, or make it part of the event, like a design-your-own pizza party, where adults and kids can get creative.
  • Ask for help: Party planning can be a lot of work, even for the most organised parents, so don’t try and do everything yourself. Ask friends and family for help and let them pick jobs that suit them. Granny might want to bake the cake, a friend might have the perfect garden to host the event, and other guests might want to help bring food, set up or clear up after. Everyone is usually happy to chip in a little, especially if you’re there to volunteer to help at their events!

Expert early education in a loving environment at our playschool near Hurlingham

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, educational day care centre and play school near Hurlingham for your baby or children 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 playschool, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

How to dress your kids for winter weather
How to dress your kids for winter weather

For parents, dressing your child for the day feels more like an art than a science, especially during the winter months. Johannesburg weather is especially tricky, with its hot, sunny days and icy cold mornings! Here are some tips for dressing your child for preschool during these months, from our nursery school in Sandton.

  • Young children are more affected by the cold: With their smaller bodies, little children and toddlers find it more difficult to retain body heat, making them vulnerable to the effects of cold weather than adults. This often doesn’t seem like the case, as many kids insist on running around in a t-shirt and nothing else even on the coldest days! This is because they are also less likely to realise they are getting cold, increasing their vulnerability.
  • Layers, layers, layers: This is especially important up in the Highveld where the temperature rises during the day but plummets as the sun sets. This allows them to strip down to a light jumper while playing outdoors in the sunshine, but quickly bundle up when it’s needed. Layering also creates pockets of air between clothing that heats up and keeps your child warm.
  • Don’t overdress: It sounds like a contradiction, but too many layers are as bad as too few. This is because your child can end up overheating, triggering the body’s sweat response which can chill your child. Three layers are ideal – a long or short-sleeved top in a light cotton material, a warm jersey or tracksuit top, and a jacket for additional warmth when needed. On very cold or windy days, a snug beanie is also a great addition.
  • Label your layers: Because winter layers get taken off and put back on through the day, it’s very important that all your child’s clothing is labelled to avoid confusion and make sure that there are no mix ups or forgotten/lost items.
  • Well-fitted shoes: Bare foot may be the name of the game in summer, but in winter those toes need to be kept snug and warm. Make sure the shoes fit well enough that they don’t slip off while playing or walking, but that they aren’t so tight that they cause blisters or restrict circulation.

Our nursery school offers a fun, safe learning environment for your little one

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving day care centre and nursery school environment in Sandton for your baby 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. To find out more about our daily routine or to visit our nursery school, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Preparing for your child’s first day in day care
Preparing for your child’s first day in day care

Congratulations, it’s your child’s first day in day care! This is a big step for many parents as well as their children, and that can make it quite a stressful event. If you want it to go smoothly and stress-free for you and your child, follow these tips from our day care near Parkmore.

  • Explain the schedule: If your child is preschool-age, they’re going to want to know exactly what will be going on during their time away from you. Talking about what happens at day care as often as they want will help reduce their anxiety and help them feel more confident in this new environment.
  • Visit the centre with your child: When you’ve chosen a day care, speak to them about planning a visit with your child before they formally start. This will help your child get familiar with the environment and warm up to this big change in their lives. Often day care centres have open days, which are another great way for you and your child to find out what’s in store and meet teachers and peers.
  • Make it special: Keeping a positive attitude will show your child that there’s nothing to be scared of and that day care is something fun. You can help make their first day even more special by having a new outfit for the day. This should help your child feel confident and excited to spend the day at day care.
  • Don’t rush: Mornings are a busy time of day, so give yourself and your child some extra time to get ready. This will help prevent the stress and anxiety that comes with rushing around, ensures that nothing is forgotten, and that your child arrives at day care feeling happy and calm.
  • Settle in but don’t linger: Arrive a few minutes early at the day care to help your child to settle in and take a little tour of the area. However, don’t linger too long as this will discourage your child from exploring and meeting new people independently. If you feel you are getting stressed or emotional, give your child a short, sweet and calm goodbye and try not to let them see it as it can bring up their fears. You can always phone the centre later in the morning to see how your little one is doing.
  • Treat yourself: Starting day care is a big step for parents as well as kids, so it’s important to reward yourself for it. Whether you can treat yourself to a morning at a spa or your favourite pastry, it’s good to take some time for yourself on this special day.

A warm, loving day care near Parkmore

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving day care, crèche and nursery school environment near Parkmore for your baby or children 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.

Learning to care for our communities as kids
Learning to care for our communities as kids

Building a strong community for our children to succeed in starts with us as parents, teachers and adults. Developing community awareness in kids from a young age is all about teaching kindness and compassion, and these are qualities that will help your child live a happy and more fulfilled life. Here are some tips from our playschool near Craighall.

  • Giving and receiving: We support our children’s wellbeing when we teach them that kindness is about giving as well as receiving – that helping someone can be its own reward. Acts of kindness help build new friendships, stronger relationships and more positive connections with peers, which boosts self-confidence and wellbeing.
  • Volunteer: Age-appropriate volunteer activities are fun as well as fulfilling, so it’s worth setting aside one day a week or even one a month where you can volunteer your time as a family. Try pick activities that your kids already love, so that they are enthusiastic about the event. Visiting an old age home to share crafting activities with the elderly, participating in a walk for charity or walking dogs from your local shelter are all fun and rewarding family activities.
  • Caring for animals: Getting a pet isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly, but they are a great way for teaching your child responsibility, empathy and kindness. Each family member can take on an age-appropriate job, like brushing your pet, feeding them, helping with a bath or taking them for a walk. If you’re unsure if a pet is right for you, visit your local shelter and volunteer some time as a family to see how your children respond.
  • Talk about kindness: When you see examples of kindness, talk to your child about what a great thing you think they are and encourage them to look for kindness around them. When someone gets a reward for a job well done, donates old toys to charity or you see someone helping someone else, focussing on their kindness and how good it feels to help someone will teach them to value these feelings.

Teaching kindness through fun at our playschool near Craighall

At Doodlebugs Play School, we know that this is a critical time of learning and development for your little one and 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 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 centre, please contact us today. We look forward to meeting you and having your child join our family!