Thursday, August 30, 2012
Teething is a necessary, albeit painful, rite of passage for your baby. Sprouting her new teeth is hard work, and can leave her irritable, feverish and with difficulty sleeping as those teeth cut through her delicate little gums and break the surface. Because so many parents today are hesitant to use any over-the-counter medications unless they’re absolutely necessary, there’s quite an interest in more natural, chemical-free ways of soothing the screams and the pain that accompany teething. While each baby is different and will respond to each solution with varying degrees of relief, here are some of the ways that you might be able to cut the pain of cutting teeth without reaching for medication.
- Keep Gums Cool – One of the most cost-effective methods of drug-free relief of teething symptoms is wring a wet washcloth out very well, leaving it only damp, then place it in the freezer. Letting Baby chew on the frozen (or very chilled) cloth not only helps to reduce swelling, pain and inflammation; it also satisfies their innate need to chew, in order to speed the process of the teeth surfacing. The softness of the washcloth versus the sometimes rigid and uncomfortable plastic of a frozen teething aid might be just what your little one needs; remember, all babies are different and will like and dislike different things. Be careful that you supervise her at all times to prevent any chance of choking, and let her gnaw to her heart’s content.
- Choose Teething Rings Carefully – Older teething rings may freeze into very hard and uncomfortable rings, contain the potentially dangerous chemical Bisphenal A, also known as BPA and may not be compliant with all modern safety standards. Teething rings that are hand-me-downs might save money, but they could present a hazard. The problem of freezing teething rings to boost Baby’s level of relief has been addressed in recent years, with newer offerings hitting the market every day that are designed to be placed in the freezer without losing their pliability.
- Rub Her Gums – The first-ever teething aid was Mom’s finger, and things haven’t changed so much that they can’t be used in a pinch to massage a teething baby’s sensitive, inflamed gums. Be sure to wash your hands, however; using gel hand sanitizers can expose your baby to chemicals, dyes and fragrances that should never been ingested. Good, old-fashioned soap and water is best.
- Soothing and Comforting – Sometimes a baby that’s irritable and uncomfortable from the effects of teething just needs to be held, cuddled and soothed to sleep. During particularly rough bouts of teething, it may be necessary to spend more time than usual loving on your little one to get her calmed and feeling secure enough to sleep despite her discomfort.
- Clove Oil – Many all-natural moms rave about the soothing power of clove oil for teething gums, but it’s important to remember that, in its pure form, clove oil is very strong and can increase Baby’s discomfort. Dilute the oil with food-grade carrier oil and test it out yourself before applying it to her gums via massage, and keep in mind that her gums are far more sensitive than your own. If the mixture feels uncomfortable, is accompanied by a very strong taste or is otherwise unpleasant for you, it’s a safe bet that the same will hold true for your baby a few times over. It’s always a good idea to speak with your child’s healthcare provider before using homeopathic remedies.
- Teething Biscuits – Traditional teething biscuits tend to be laden with sugars and preservatives that you probably don’t want your little one ingesting, but there are a wide variety of low sugar or sugar-free, organic offerings on the market as well.
- Cold Spoons – The American Dental Association recommends that teething babies be given a chilled spoon to suck on, to ease their discomfort without presenting a serious choking risk. It’s still important, however, that you supervise her at all times as she gnaws away on the flatware.
Benzocaine and other numbing agents sold over-the-counter and marketed as teething relief ointments do numb your baby’s gums and reduce her pain, but they can also numb the rest of her mouth and her throat. That numbness can greatly increase her chances of gagging or choking, another reason why these remedies should be avoided whenever possible. Also, the drooling that often accompanies teething can cause your baby’s skin to become irritated, so be sure to keep her face, neck and torso as clean, dry and saliva-free as possible to prevent a rash that increases her discomfort even further.
Storytelling used to be the only way families could pass on knowledge from generation to generation. There were no books or computers to keep track of information. Those born in 2012 are looking at the possible extinction of the paper book in their lifetime. E-readers are so compact and can hold so much information that they are much easier and more convenient to hold and take along. Will this change bring back the art of the bedtime story, or further help to get rid of it?
It’s not that children aren’t getting bedtime stories. They are, but they are stories read from a book. With millions of books available it’s often easier to grab one of those than to come up with you own story. According to Rick Polito, creator of Shake-N-tell, by reading books to our kids we are showing them how to be consumers and not creators. Though reading books is very important in helping children learn to read, hearing original stories helps them learn to imagine.
Kids enjoy stories that are about things that have happened in their family. You could call these stories non-fiction. Tell your children about adventures you had when you were young. Let them know how you spent your days. In the days before computers and massively complicated video games kids actually played outside and made mud pies. Use your stories as a jumping off point. If you were once chased by a bumble bee, put yourself in the character of the bumble bee and tell the story from that perspective.
It seems that it’s easier and quicker to just grab a book at bedtime. Parents are tired and want to sit down, put their feet up and relax a little before going to bed. Keep in mind that your kids are only young once and if you make up stories for them at bedtime it is likely that they will do the same for their children.
Telling and sharing stories puts a personal spin on them. There’s something about hearing stories that connects the teller and the listener. Watch how differently your child looks at you when you read them a story versus when you tell them a story. There are no pictures to look at because you are creating pictures with your words in their imaginations. The stories are more interactive because the kids can ask questions about the characters. When you read a book it’s not really possible to get into the author’s head. Kids really like being able to find out the “back story” and will be that much more drawn in. If you can help your kids use their imaginations they will be more prepared for all of the writing they will do in school. Teachers ask the kids daily, to write a page about … fill in the blank. If you have laid the ground work with your kids in story telling they will have no trouble writing these stories in school.
Then there are those people that say they can’t come up with their own stories. They say that they are just not good at it. You know the saying, “There’s an app for that!” Well there is and it’s free. It’s called Shake-N-Tell. This application helps by providing the bones of a story and lets you use your imagination to embellish the details of the story. The kids can help tell the story too. Even if you don’t use it as a bedtime tool it would be a fun way to make a long car ride go by faster.
The creator of this application, Rick Polito, is a newspaper reporter turned stay-at-home dad and it occurred to him after talking with some of his friends that this application might help those people that are tired from a long day and are unable to come up with their own stories. He wanted to give people the tools to create their own stories and possibly jump start their imaginations and get them to create their own after a while.
Give storytelling a try with your kids tonight and watch their imaginations grow.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Whether you’re looking to get a bit more mileage out of a few favorite articles of clothing, passing along outgrown items to a friend or relative with a new baby, or trying to bring second-hand clothes back to serviceable condition, it doesn’t take too many forays into a restoration project to learn that babies can stain their clothes in impressive and persistent ways. Even infants, who seem to do little more than eat and sleep, can create messes in delicate clothes require series attention when it comes to removing them. The trick to removing most stains successfully is to treat each type of stain with the proper substances; these hints can help you restore your baby’s clothes to all of their adorable former glory.
- Protein-Based Stains – Formula, breast milk, diaper leaks and spit-up stains are considered protein-based stains, and are fairly easy to remove. Enzyme cleaners and stain pre-treatments are recommended for protein based stains; applying them by rubbing with a soft-bristled brush is exceptionally effective. Because the enzymes digest the protein base of the stain, they’re particularly useful for such purposes. Soaking clothes in cold water after treating for a few hours before laundering boosts effectiveness even further, but be sure that all traces of the stain are removed before items are dried. Repeat the process if necessary.
- Oil or Grease Stains – Solvent-based stain removal products and pre-treaters are the best option for greasy or oily stains; liquid dish soap is also effective. Work pre-treater or dish detergent into the stain and rub gently, then launder in the hottest water that is suitable for the fabric. Because oily stains tend to be particularly stubborn, you should always inspect the stained area before drying, and reapply solvents or detergents before washing a second time. Greasy stains that have been exposed to the heat of your dryer will almost always set, becoming all but impossible to remove completely. Before applying pre-treatments to oily stains left by diaper rash ointment, lotion, or petroleum jelly, douse the area liberally with cornstarch or baby powder. After the powder has set for fifteen to twenty minutes, briskly scrape or brush with a soft-bristled laundry brush. The cornstarch will absorb much of the oily base, making it easier for solvents to penetrate the remainder.
- Fruit and Vegetable Stains – Berries, brightly colored fruits, and vegetables are all healthy choices for a baby’s diet as he graduates to solid foods; they can also, however, create some of the most stubborn food stains known to man. Removing these stains almost always requires immediate attention as well as the right pre-treating substance for the job. Enzyme and surfactant combination treatments typically work well, followed by soaking the garment in cold water and then laundering as usual. As with almost all other stains, be sure to reapply treatment as needed before drying to avoid setting the stain and making removal even more difficult.
- Yellowing and Storage Discoloration Stains – Heirloom clothing like christening gowns and other antiques may be stored for years between uses, and also tend to be white or very lightly colored. Over time these pale fabrics can become yellowish and dingy; removing storage and age discoloration can be difficult, but is also a priority for garments that are intended to be worn on special days and for special occasions. To restore aging white clothing to a like-new gleam, it may be necessary to think outside of the box a bit. Oxygen cleaners are great commercial options, but denture tablets are also reported to work wonders on gentle fabrics. Mixing a half cup of white vinegar and a half cup of salt in a bucket of water, adding the garment, and stirring for at least thirty minutes is also an effective, if exhausting, method. Launder as you normally would, but be advised that delicate special occasion clothing may not hold up well to machine washing.
- Blood Stains – No one wants to think of their baby’s clothing being stained by blood, but unfortunately learning to crawl and later to walk can be dangerous business. Enzyme cleaners are usually effective for blood stains, but peroxide tends to be a more effective method and has the added bonus of not resorting to harsh industrial chemicals. Dab the area with peroxide and allow it to set for a minute or so before soaking the garment in cold water, then toss in with the rest of your baby’s laundry.
Because your baby’s skin is so sensitive, it’s best to launder them in fragrance-free detergent that contains no dyes or potential allergens; it may not be necessary to opt for more expensive specialty brands, however. Gentle detergents marketed towards adults with allergies or skin sensitivity should do the job just as well.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Subject: LETTER TO NIGERIAN PARENTS (So true for Uganda too!)Forwarded by a brother. Long, but worth reading.
Friends and colleagues’,
Let me add the benefit of my time as a student and then resident in the UK - and I live in Lagos now. The first thing that I discovered about UK-born, white, English undergraduates was that all of them did holiday or weekend job to support themselves - including the children of millionaires amongst them. It is the norm over there - regardless how wealthy their parents are. And I soon discovered that virtually all other foreign students did the same - the exception being those of us status-conscious Nigerians.
I also watched Richard Branson (owner of Virgin Airline) speaking on the Biography Channel and, to my amazement, he said that his young children travel in the economy class -even when the parents (he and his wife) are in upper class. Richard Branson is a billionaire in Pound Sterling. A quick survey would show you that only children from Nigeria fly business or upper class to commence their studies in the UK. No other foreign students do this. There is no aircraft attached to the office of the prime minister in the UK - he travels on BA. And the same goes for the Royals. The Queen does not have an aircraft for her exclusive use.
These practices simply become the culture which the next generation carries forward. Have you seen the car that Kate Middleton the lad married to Prince William drives? VW Golf or something close to it. But there's one core difference in them and us (generally speaking). They - the billionaires among them work for their money, we steal ours!
If we want our children to bring about the desired change we have been praying for on behalf of our dear country, then please, please let's begin now and teach them to work hard so that they can stand alone and most importantly be content, and not have to "steal". This seem to be the norm these days.
"30 is the new 18", which seem to be the new age for testing out the world in Nigeria now. That seems to be an unspoken but widely accepted mindset among the last 2 generations of parents in Nigeria.
At age 18 years, a typical young adult in the UK leaves the clutches of his/her parents for the University, chances are, that's the last time those parents will ever play "landlord" to their son or daughter except of course the occasional home visits during the academic year.
At 21 years and above or below, the now fully grown and independent minded adult graduates from University, searches for employment, gets a job and shares a flat with other young people on a journey into becoming fully fledged adults.
I can hear the echo of parents saying, well, that is because the UK economy is thriving, safe, well structured and jobs are everywhere? I beg to differ and I ask that you kindly hear me out. I am UK trained Recruitment Consultant and I have been practicing for the past 10 years in Nigeria. I have a broad range of experience from recruiting graduates to executive director level of large corporations. In addition, I talk from the point of view of someone with relatively privileged upbringing.
Driven to school every day, had my clothes washed for me, was barred from taking any part-time job during my A-levels so that I could concentrate on studying for my exams?! BUT, I got the opportunity to live apart from my parents from age 18 and the only time I came back home to stay was for 3 months before I got married!
Am I saying that every parent should wash their hands off their children at age 18? No, not at all, of course, I enjoyed the savings that I made from living on and off at my parent's house in London - indeed that is the primary reason for my being able to buy myself a 3 bedroom flat in London at age 25 with absolutely no direct financial help from my parents!
For me, pocket money stopped at age 22, not that it was ever enough for my lifestyle to compete with Paris Hilton's or Victoria Beckham's. Meanwhile today, we have Nigerian children who have never worked for 5 minutes in their lives insisting on flying "only" first or business class, carrying the latest Louis Vuitton ensemble, Victoria 's Secret underwear and wearing Jimmy Choo's, fully paid for by their "loving" parents.
I often get calls from anxious parents, my son graduated 2 years ago and is still looking for a job, can you please assist! Oh really! So where exactly is this "child" is my usual question. Why are you the one making this call dad/mum?
I am yet to get a satisfactory answer, but between you and me, chances are that big boy is cruising around Lagos with a babe dressed to the nines, in his dad's spanking new SUV with enough "pocket money" to put your salary to shame. It is not at all strange to have a 28 year old who has NEVER worked for a day in his or her life in Nigeria but "earns" a six figure "salary" from parents for doing absolutely nothing.
I see them in my office once in a while, 26 years old with absolutely no skills to sell, apart from a shiny CV, written by his dad's secretary in the office. Of course, he has a driver at his beck and call and he is driven to the job interview. We have a fairly decent conversation and we get to the inevitable question - so, what salary are you looking to earn? Answer comes straight out - N250,000.00. I ask if that is per month or per annum.
Of course it is per month. Oh, why do you think you should be earning that much on your first job? Well, because my current pocket money is N200,000.00 and I feel that an employer should be able to pay me more than my parents. I try very hard to compose myself, over parenting is in my opinion the greatest evil handicapping the Nigerian youth. It is at the root of our national malaise.
We have a youth population of tens of millions of who are being "breastfed and diapered" well into their 30s. Even though the examples I have given above are from parents of considerable affluence, similar patterns can be observed from Abeokuta to Adamawa! Wake up mum! Wake up dad! You are practically loving your children to death! No wonder corruption continues to thrive. We have a society of young people who have been brought up to expect something for nothing, as if it were a birth right.
I want to encourage you to send your young men and women (anyone over 20 can hardly be called a child!) out into the world, maybe even consider reducing or stopping the pocket money to encourage them to think, explore and strive. Let them know that it is possible for them to succeed without your "help".
Take a moment to think back to your own time as a young man/woman, what if someone had kept spoon feeding you, would you be where you are today? No tree grows well under another tree, children that are not exposed to challenges, don't cook well. That is why you see adults complaining, "my parents didn't buy clothes for me this christmas", ask him/her how old are you? 30 years +. Because of the challenges we faced in our youth, we are where and what we are today. This syndrome-my children will not suffer what I suffered is destroying our tomorrow.
Deliberately, reduce their allowance or mum-don't cook on Saturday till late afternoon or evening-do as occasion deserve.
I learnt the children of a former Nigerian head of state with all the stolen (billions) monies in their custody, still go about with security escort as wrecks. They are on drugs, several times because of the drug, they collapse in public places. The escort will quickly pack them and off they go, what a life! No one wants to marry them. Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.- Henry Ford. Hard work does not kill, everything in Nigeria is going down, including family settings. It is time to cook our children, preparing them for tomorrow. We are approaching the season in Nigeria where only the RUGGED, will survive. How will your ward fare?
If the present generation of Nigerian pilots retire, will you fly a plane flown by a young Nigerian pilot, If trained in Nigeria? People now have first class, who cannot spell GRADUATE or read an article without bomb blast! Which Way Nigeria?, Which Way Nigerians!! Is this how we will ALL sit and watch this country SINK?What do you think?IT IS WELL WITH US [ NIGERIANS ]
Monday, August 27, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
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