Coughing is a normal reflex that clears the throat and airway of mucus, saliva, and other irritants. In children, it’s usually a sign of a viral upper respiratory infection. “Coughing is the body’s way of ridding itself of foreign irritants,” says David L. Hill, M.D., a pediatrician in Boone, North Carolina, and author of Dad to Dad: Parenting Like a Pro.
In simplest terms, a cough is the body’s way of protecting itself by clearing out the airways. It’s a normal response to things like postnasal drip, phlegm, and food stuck in the throat.
There are two kinds of coughs:
- Dry Coughs
- Wet Coughs
Dry coughs occur when your baby has a cold or allergies. The dry cough helps clear out postnasal drip or irritation from a sore throat.
Wet coughs occur when a respiratory illness accompanies a bacterial infection. A wet cough causes mucus to form in your baby’s airways. Mucus contains white blood cells to help fight germs.
Keep Track of Your Baby’s Coughs:
One of the best memories when being a parent is playing I Spy with your kid. Instead of finding a spotted something-or-other, you’re trying to figure out what’s causing the baby’s cough.
Coughing is a protective reflex we have that helps clear the throat and lungs of irritants like dust, smoke, or germs. But it could be an early sign of illness. If your baby is coughing, don’t panic—just listen closely and act accordingly.
Children younger than 4 months don’t cough a lot, so it can be severe if they do. Suppose a newborn is coughing terribly in the winter, for example. In that case, it could be a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a dangerous viral infection for infants.
However, if your baby is older than 1 year old, a cough is much more likely to just be a cold. So how can you tell? To help you differentiate between a wait-and-see cough and one that demands immediate medical attention, all you have to do is stay calm, listen carefully to the baby’s cough, and follow the directions below.
Common Cold or Viral Flu
Nature of Cough: Dry Cough
However, based on how severe the cold is, there is a possibility that your baby could have rattling mucus and a slight fever, especially during the night.
The best thing as a parent you can do for your little one is probably something you’re already doing: Helping them get lots of fluids, plenty of rest, and as much comfort as possible when he’s feeling miserable.
The AAP recommends that babies with colds suck on a pacifier dipped in honey (just be sure your child is at least 1 year old before you give them honey). If you prefer, prop the baby up on pillows and let them have some breast milk or formula.
You can also help clear mucus from your baby’s nose with saline nose drops. A cool-mist humidifier will keep the baby’s airways nice and moist.
Compared to adults, babies are not severely affected by the COVID-19 virus. However, there may be asymptomatic cases and instances where babies develop a wide range of symptoms of COVID-19, such as cough, upon direct exposure to the virus. These usually occur during 2-14 days of exposure.
Nature of Cough: Dry and continuous. Some babies may also have a wet cough.
Mild to moderate fever
Shortness of breath
It is extremely rare, but there can be instances where babies experience severe symptoms of COVID-19.
If you think your little one may possibly be having COVID-19, don’t panic! Call your health care provider, and they will arrange the testing. If they do test positive, isolate them along with their primary caregiver from the rest of the family. Seek immediate medical help for alarming symptoms, such as:
-breathing or feeding difficulties
-an inability to wake
Baby Croup is a condition that is caused by a viral infection that irritates your baby’s upper airways (commonly the trachea) and causes them to swell. This can cause difficulties in breathing.
Nature of Cough: Similar to a bark. Babies will also gasp for air.
The most common symptom of a croup-induced cough is hearing your baby coughing continuously at night with a noise similar to a barking wheeze accompanied by difficulty in breathing, hence the name ‘croup.’ The barking noise, which resembles a seal, appears at the point of inhalation and not during exhalation. A slight fever can also occur.
It is more common among children under the age of 5 and begins as a normal cold before developing into croup. This is not a severe condition. It usually clears up after 3-4 days from the first time you notice your baby coughing during sleep. If it doesn’t subside after four nights, contact your doctor.
First, try to get your baby to calm down—the more they panic, the more they’ll struggle to breathe. Hold your child and talk to them in a soothing voice.
Once they’ve calmed down, consider one of the following techniques:
- Run your shower and close the bathroom door. Then let your child breathe in the steamy air. If you don’t have a shower, try boiling some water and pouring it into a bowl for your child to breathe in.
- If it’s a mild evening, then take them outside; the damp air will be effective in making it easier for them to breathe.
- Have your baby breathe the air from a cool-mist humidifier.
Bronchiolitis is a respiratory infection affecting children under the age of 3, especially those younger than 6 months. The vast majority of these cases result from the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is generally one of the most frequent reasons kids visit the emergency room. For children above the age of 3, the condition usually occurs as a common cold. But for toddlers and infants younger than that, bronchiolitis can be potentially life-threatening if left untreated.
Nature of Cough: Wheezing cough
Common symptoms include a cold, running nose, and wheezing. However, this can be easily confused with asthma. However, bronchiolitis can be distinguished from asthma because it occurs mainly during autumn and winter and would also induce a slight fever and loss of appetite.
If your baby has bronchiolitis, you can treat it at home once her breathing is under control. Babies need plenty of fluids, rest, and a cool-mist humidifier to help them breathe easier. You should be monitoring your baby’s respiratory rate. If it gets higher than 50 breaths per minute, then your child is in respiratory distress. In this case, call 000 immediately.
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
This is a life-threatening bacterial infection that affects unvaccinated babies. (DTaP Vaccine)
Nature of Cough: A loud and consistent ‘whoop’ sound
Tongue Sticking Out
Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, make sure that your baby is immunized via three doses of the DTaP vaccination.
If you believe that your baby is suffering from whooping cough, call 000 immediately. By the time coughing fits develop, then the child must be hospitalized immediately so they can receive oxygen during the coughing spells. Your baby and every member of your household will be prescribed the antibiotic erythromycin to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease. When your child comes through the initial attack, pertussis should run its course. This can take many months of isolation.
Nature of Cough: Wheezing cough
Retractions due to respiratory distress
Itching (especially the eyes)
Whatever your baby’s case, it’s always best to call your doctor when you hear your infant wheezing. Commonly, despite arriving at a definite diagnosis of asthma, doctors often use asthma medication to treat most bouts of wheezing.
Your doctor might prescribe a liquid form of albuterol to open the airways, or a nebulizer may be used if the attacks are very severe. If your child has an itchy, runny nose and has difficulty breathing, call your pediatrician immediately. As it is with bronchiolitis, you should observe your child’s respiratory rate. If it gets too high, which is 50 breaths per minute or more—your child is definitely in respiratory distress. Call 000!
Nature of Cough: Wet and phlegmy cough
Phlegm expelled in shades of green and yellow
The first step is to call your doctor, especially if your baby has a fever.
Once your doctor identifies whether the pneumonia is bacterial or viral, they can make a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Bacteria cause most cases of pneumonia, and bacterial pneumonia is usually more dangerous than viral pneumonia. Viral pneumonia can cause serious complications in some babies. Still, it is less of a concern in a healthy baby than bacterial pneumonia would be.
The most common source of bacterial pneumonia is what is called Streptococcus pneumoniae (also known as “strep”). The pneumococcal vaccine can help prevent this kind of bacterial pneumonia.
Expelling Foreign Objects
Since babies always stick things in their mouths, persistent cough is a common culprit.
Nature of Cough: Small, persistent cough, gasping for air.
Persistent cough and sometimes wheezing
Pneumonia due to swallowing food the wrong way (peanuts most commonly)
If the baby’s airway is blocked completely, they will:
Turn pale or blue
Make no sound at all
Appear very distressed
First thing’s first: If you see that your baby’s airway is totally blocked, turn them over immediately and deliver five back blows between the shoulder blades. If you’re unable to remove the foreign object, call 000.
If the object is only partially lodged, tilt Baby’s head down and give them a few gentle pats on the back, so they’ll try to cough it up. If you think your baby is suffering from a partially lodged object, and they don’t appear able to cough it up, get them a chest x-ray. If a bit of food is found stuck, the doctor will refer you to a specialist who can perform a bronchoscopy. During the procedure, the child will be put under general anesthesia, and a tiny fiber-optic tube with tweezers at the end will go down the airway to pick out the foreign body.
Fetal movement during pregnancy can be one of the most thrilling (and nerve-wracking) aspects of carrying a child. Most pregnant women will experience a fetal movement of some kind, whether it’s a light flutter or a strong kick. Before we move on to our article, let us tell you this. While the fetal movement is generally normal, it can sometimes be a sign of a problem. Talk to your doctor when you’re worried about your baby’s movements. They will be able to listen to your baby’s heart and assess how they are moving. If there is cause for concern, your doctor will likely order additional tests.
Every pregnant woman experiences fetal movement differently, and there is no right or wrong answer to any of these questions. Movement is simply one way your baby communicates with you. So how do you interpret the kicks, punches, and hiccups? When is the fetal movement most likely to occur?
Fetal movement is most frequent during the third trimester. At this time, you will probably feel your baby moving between 10 and 20 times per day. Fetal movement typically increases as you near your due date.
How often should you feel your baby move?
The average woman will feel her baby move about 8-10 times a day in the second trimester and about 15-20 times a day in the third trimester. Each time your baby moves, you will probably feel a little flutter in your stomach or side. You may also get the sensation of your baby kicking.
In addition to feeling the baby move, there are some other signs that your baby is healthy and growing:
Baby Alert: A Mom’s Perspective
Your abdomen will start getting bigger as the uterus expands to make room for the growing fetus. The uterus grows from the small size of a pear to the size of a grapefruit by the end of the first month.
When the baby is around 5½ inches long and weighs about 6.5 ounces, they are getting ready to make their first movements, which may feel like flutters. Your uterus will have now grown big enough that you can feel the baby’s kicks—but they won’t be strong enough for you to notice them yet. You might have felt a little “flutter” when you were carrying the egg, but now the movements and kicks will start feeling more pronounced. The baby is, after all, continuing to grow at a rapid rate, doubling in size every week. Your uterus would have grown so large that it’s pressing against your diaphragm and restricting your breathing.
What You Look Like: You might have started showing already—you’ll know for sure when someone comments on it! If not, don’t worry—it will happen soon enough.
What You’re Feeling: Excited! Scared! Thrilled! Nauseous! Heartburn! Sleepy!
What You Look Like: Pregnant. That’s right; you look pregnant. Many people will comment on your “baby bump,” and some might even ask if you are expecting.
When can you feel your baby move?
You will notice find that your baby is more active under the following circumstances:
- Bed Time: When you’ve wrapped up your day and settled down for the night, you’ll likely notice that baby is more active. The movement of your own body can put her to sleep during the day, and you’re typically preoccupied with other things. You’ll be more likely to notice what the baby is up to if you’re relaxed and tuned in to your body.
- Post Munch: After you’ve had a bite to eat. Your baby may experience a burst of energy due to the spike in your blood sugar.
- Jitters and Shivers: When you’re feeling nervous and jittery. The production of adrenaline will have the same effect and provide a surge of energy for your child.
- Hiccupotamus: When your child develops a case of the hiccups. Have you ever noticed small flutters of subtle but rhythmic tics that linger anywhere from a minute to an hour? Your baby is most likely experiencing a harmless and very common episode of the hiccups. It’s very natural not to have them as well.
Kicks-Galore! What does it mean to carry around a super-active baby?
Your baby may be active and sharpening its tiny muscles before birth. If you are pregnant, try to take a deep breath and relax. It doesn’t mean that your child will grow up to be uncontrollably hyperactive or that their life is predetermined to be an Olympic level runner nor the next great wing three-quarter for the Wallabies. I mean, they could be, but that’s not the key takeaway.
Kicks should simply be seen as a healthy part of fetal development. They’re like an “exercise routine” and help strengthen all of those growing muscles and bones before the baby is born.
As your baby grows, their living area will become considerably smaller. That poor unborn baby, you might think, but hold on! You might not realize how strong babies are! They might be cramped and uncomfortable, but by the third trimester, they would still manage to kick up a storm! The average baby can kick with a generated force of around 11 pounds (around 49 Newtons) by the end of their 6th month. Kicks are an important part of fetal development, so be sure to share your kick counts with your doctor.
No matter what you’re experiencing, remember, this is just the third trimester. You’ve got it made! Just a few more weeks, and you’ll be holding your little one in your arms.
If your little one’s favourite pastime of going full Virgil Donati in your belly becomes too much for you to bear, try a different position. Sit or lie down on your side. Your baby will likely find this new position and continue with their playing. If a foot (or feet) starts to pester your ribs, take it as your cue to change positions and since you would most likely be suffering from uncomfortable feet in the last few weeks of pregnancy, try some pelvic tilts. A gentle nudge is sometimes all that’s needed to change positions.
Tracking Your Baby’s Kicks:
As a parent, it’s your duty to keep track of your baby’s movement. A baby will kick and punch less frequently in the morning and more often in the evening. So, set aside sometime twice a day to do kick counts. In the morning, count movements like kicks and punches. In the evening, count movements like kicks, flutters, or rolls. Keep an eye out for 10 movements of any kind within an hour. When you reach 10, stop counting and note the time. If it takes more than two hours to count to 10, that is a typical red flag for you to contact your doctor or midwife for evaluation.
Incoming! Going into Labour
Do you know those movements felt in your baby’s first 30 weeks? They’re about to change when you are about to go into labour. Typically, around two to three weeks before labour, your baby’s head drops down into the pelvis as they start to prepare themselves for their grand entrance. This preparation period will result in a change in their internal activity patterns.
When you’re about 32 weeks pregnant, your baby may start to move less. Don’t worry—this is normal for the last few weeks before delivery! Some activity patterns vary widely and can change from week to week. Some babies become less active in the last few weeks, but others manage to keep up an energetic pace until the big day.
Regardless of the position your baby takes in your womb; you should still feel your baby move every day. You will feel more movement before labour than you will right after birth, but even then, you should still feel a slight movement. If all movement ceases or there is a significant decrease of movement when you are close to delivery, consult your doctor immediately!
When can you expect decreased movement?
Sex: At the end of a long day, many pregnant women find themselves sleeping after sex. The rocking movements and uterine contractions that happen post-orgasm and the release of oxytocin and vasopressin often lead to a quick snooze for both mom and baby. However, some babies become more active after sex. Either way, these changes are expected – and should never be a sign that sex during pregnancy is unsafe unless explicitly advised!
Second Trimester: If you don’t feel movement during the second trimester, don’t panic. This is normal. It is common not to feel regular movement at this stage and with your baby still relatively tiny. It might be because they are in the fetal position or because you sleep right through the most active periods of the night.
Third Trimester: The third trimester is one of the most crucial stages for moms-to-be. Your baby has now established a fairly regular sleep and wake cycle. Count the number of fetal movements a few times a day and be sure to report any sudden decreases to your doctor. Any sudden decreases during this period should not be taken lightly.
If your baby is moving less than usual, you might feel worried. Don’t hesitate to give yourself a little reassurance: Have a quick snack and sit or lie down for about half an hour. If your baby responds to the food by moving 10 times or more, then it’s safe to assume that everything is fine. And if you don’t feel 10 movements, call your practitioner to make sure – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Feeling your baby move is one of the most exciting milestones of pregnancy.
And while lightening or Braxton-Hick’s contractions can be a little alarming at first, fetal movements are very real and a sign of the life growing inside of you. So, sit back, relax and enjoy! Just don’t forget to do those kick counts during the third trimester!
Ah, the intricate process of fixing up a car seat! This daunting task would usually leave you questioning your confidence as an adult.
Haha! Despite the apparent exaggeration, fixing up a car seat for your child is an important skill to learn as a parent. It may seem quite complicated at first. However, you can be happy to know that we have cracked the code to easily install and reinstall your child’s seat with minimum hassle and a boatload of confidence.
How important is it to learn the proper process?
Installing your kid’s car seat should be done with great care and attention. Learning how to fit and secure the seat correctly is essential for ensuring your child’s safety.
Let us tell you why: Studies show that 7 out of 10 child restraints aren’t fitted correctly according to the required standards. A baby or toddler who is not restrained correctly could easily be killed in case of an accident, at a speed as low as 8 kilometers per hour. To put it into perspective, that is just above the average pace of an adult walking with no hurry. Your child is precious, and they are incredibly fragile for the first few years. If they are thrown forward during an accident due to the lack of proper restraint, they could die, injure themselves and could also injure or even kill other people sitting in the car.
How do we start?
Firstly, read the instruction manual that comes with the seat. Be careful when you make your purchase, and always buy from a reputed dealer. The instructions manual will vary from brand to brand, so do not attempt to wing it if you have had prior experience.
We know that reading the instruction manual is no thrilling task. Yet, it’s a non-negotiable deal that comes along in the universal code of baby care. Follow the instructions given to a dot and do not gamble with any provided step.
Trust us; it does pay, albeit non-financially, to take extra time and care to fit your seat correctly and securely.
Could you do it by yourself?
You absolutely could. However, it is recommended by safety experts that you get your child’s car seat fitted professionally, especially when you are doing it for the first time. This is due to certain products such as capsules and rear-facing or convertible seats, which would guarantee the best safety for your child could often be tough to fit. It would provide a challenge to an inexperienced parent.
As an added precaution, and to make your life easier, you can observe the car seat fitting expert when they go about their business; you can record them with consent and ask many questions about the procedure. This will help if you are at the helm of fixing the car seat. We would also recommend that you store away the seat’s instructional manual in a safe place for future usage. If neither of these is possible, you can refer to instructional videos online.
How to Choose a Proper Car Seat
All child car seats sold within New Zealand must adhere to the Australian and New Zealand Standard 1754. It is one of the most rigid child restraint standards globally, which ensures that your child’s safety is given utmost priority if this standard is met. Child car seats marked with this standard offer better protection for your child in a crash. It should be noted that since 1995, all new passenger cars in New Zealand have been required to install anchor points to support child restraints.
Legal Note: It is illegal to transport a child under the age of seven years old without using a child
restraint or booster for seating them when traveling in a car.
- The following are the laws in New Zealand that regulate which car seat you need for your child from birth to 16 years:
- Up to six months: Your baby should be restrained in an approved rearward-facing car seat specific to a child. Such as an infant capsule or even a convertible car seat that is designed for babies.
- From six months to four years of age: Your child should be secured in either an approved rearward-facing or forward-facing car seat for children.
- From four to seven years of age or older: Your child must be secured in either an approved forward-facing child car seat with an inbuilt harness or a booster seat restrained by a correctly adjusted and fastened adult lap-sash seatbelt or an approved safety harness.
- Once your child is 145cm or taller: Your child may use an adult lap-sash seatbelt, properly adjusted and fastened. Although it is legal for children to stop using a booster seat once they are seven years old, safety experts strongly recommend that children between seven and 16 years old who are less than 145cm tall continue to use an approved booster seat.
Points to Consider: There are two critical factors that you should consider when choosing a car seat for your baby:
- The age and size of your child
- The size of the car seat (Whether it will fit in your car)
When it comes to fitting capsules, rearward-facing, or convertible seats, the expert advice on the subject follows a similar premise. Usually, it is safe to transport children under six months old in an infant capsule. However, there is a possibility that your baby may grow too fast and would not fit in an infant capsule before the age that they require to be shifted into a forward-facing seat. Then you would then need to install a larger rearward-facing seat until they are big enough to be safely moved into a forward-facing seat.
Let us now walk you through the process of installing the different types of seats that your baby requires for safe transportation.
1.Fitting a Baby Capsule
- Capsules bases are a little complicated to fit. Check for the right anchor points and thread the harness, seatbelt, and tether strap as directed.
- Pull the tether strap taut and firm after attaching it.
- As your child develops, adjust the capsule harness straps. This includes adjusting the shoulder straps to be just above or at the same level as his shoulders.
2. Fitting Rearward-Facing or Convertible Seats
- Fully extend the bottom stabilizing bar and tilt the seat back as far as it will go so that your infant is resting backward at a 45-degree angle.
- Attach the tether strap firmly to the anchor point and pull it tight
- If you’re using a standard car seat, thread the seatbelt through the base according to the manufacturer's directions, ensuring it’s secure and free of tangles.
- Alternatively, ensure the connections are securely attached to the anchorage points if you’re using an ISOFIX-compatible car seat.
- Rock the seat from side to side and backward and forward to ensure nothing is loose or poorly fastened.
- Check that your child’s shoulders are inside the markers, that the straps are untangled and firm against his body, and that the buckle snaps into place properly.
- Adjust the harness straps as your child develops.
3. Fitting a Forward-Facing Seat
- Check that your forward-facing seat has the appropriate anchor points and that the harness is threaded through the correct slots.
- Always attach the tether strap to the anchor point firmly and make sure to pull it tight.
- If you’re using a standard car seat, follow the directions for threading the seatbelt through the base. Make sure that the seatbelt is securely fastened and that there are no tangles.
- Alternatively, if you’re using an ISOFIX-compatible car seat, confirm the connections are securely attached to the anchorage points.
- Rock the seat from side to side and backward and forward to double-check that nothing is loose or poorly fastened.
- As your child grows, adjust the car seat harness straps. This entails repositioning the shoulder straps to the one closest to his shoulders but not more than 2.5cm below them.
General Tips to Ensure 100% Safety
- Before each trip, make sure the harness is adjusted correctly. It won’t entirely protect your youngster in an accident if it’s too loose. Between the strap and your child’s chest, you should only be able to fit two fingers.
- To keep the lap area of the harness across your child’s pelvis and not resting on his stomach, the harness buckle should be as low as feasible.
- Make sure your child is properly strapped in, untangle the harness, and adjust it correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- When the restraint is used, make sure the tether strap is tight and strong. Check sure the seatbelt is tight and firm and is still fastened if you’re using a standard car seat. Check the connections are firmly secured to the anchorage points if you’re using an ISOFIX-compatible car seat.
Your little infant is cute, precious, and apart from the usual tear fest, not a problematic creature to manage. However, your infant is not going to remain an infant forever. As soon as your baby makes the transition to a certified toddler, that’s where things start to get a tad bit harder. Toddlers simply love to roam around, explore, and stick their fingers into virtually everything that is accessible to them. A toddler’s curiosity is one of the most precious things about humanity. However, the fun would come to a screeching halt as soon as they start discovering hot ovens, stairways, cupboards, cabinets, and other potentially hazardous household items that could reward their curiosity with pain, injury, or worse. Be it your toolshed, your cleaning products, or something as harmless as an indoor pond. Your baby has a natural tendency to feel, smell, touch, and observe each and everything in their path.
As a responsible parent, the important thing is not to let your baby’s curiosity cause them any harm. This is the point at which a baby safety gate becomes a necessity in your home.
What is a Baby Gate?
A baby gate is a small gate that is specifically designed to block off potentially hazardous areas to keep your baby confined within a safe and secure place that has no potential to cause them any physical harm. Baby gates are typically constructed of metal, plastic, and/or wood and can be expanded to fit in a range of doorway widths. They are designed to fit your doorways, hallways, and extra-wide spaces and are equipped with a child-proof latch.
Well then, buckle up because we are about to lay down a list of things that you should consider when you are out scouting for the perfect baby gate for you as well as a helpful list of top baby gate brands available in New Zealand.
Baby Gate Fundamentals
Type of Gate:
Barrier gates for babies are divided into two types:
- Hardware, wall-mounted safety gatesare used to seal off high-risk areas such as stairs, fireplaces, and kitchens by screwing directly into a solid wall or wood post. These gates are the safest to use since they are more secure and do not have a crossbar at the floor level (a nasty trip hazard). These gates allow you to quickly release or remove the gate for events or between babies, and they’re also ideal for grandparents.
- Pressure-mounted safety gatesare simple to install and dismantle. Between two solid wall surfaces, the gate is tightened. These operate well in solid wood doorways, but they cannot endure the same amount of pressure as metal, wall-mounted gates. If you are a renter who cannot draw marks on the walls, you may benefit from pressure-mounted gates. Just keep in mind that they feature a crossbar running down the floor that is a potential trip hazard and must be put at least 1 meter away from the very first step of the stairway.
Height of the Gate
To prevent any accident that may occur, your baby safety gates should be a minimum of 60cm tall and at least three-quarters the height of your toddler.
Size of the Gate
Gates come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and you may need to purchase extensions to make your gate fit according to your specifications and requirements. Make sure you have precise measurements and that you understand what extensions are available and how far they extend.
Gate slat openings must be between 50 and 95 mm to prevent babies from forcing their heads through. (Yes, this is a common occurrence) There should be no places where a child’s head or torso can become entrapped. As time passes by, you would notice that toddlers carry within themselves a surprisingly decent knack for amateur mountaineering. They enjoy climbing over anything that is accessible for them, so gate slats must always be vertical to prevent them from sustaining a nasty bump.
The perfect latch for you to purchase is one that you can operate correctly and efficiently and one that is simultaneously impossible for your toddler to operate. Consider the different scenarios within the day that might cause difficulties for you. For example, is it possible to open it with one hand while holding a baby or a laundry basket?
We recommend that you consider dual-action latches, which require a downward push before swinging the door open, or locks that require a squeeze or pull. Climbing over a safety barrier is never a clever idea, especially if you’re holding your baby.
Suitability for Stairs
Some gates are equipped with a horizontal bar that crosses the floor under the gate, causing tripping hazards while the gate is open. When you are installing a baby gate at the top of the steps, never employ a safety gate with a horizontal bar across the floor. (Ensure that it is at least 1m away from the first step).
We have prepared a comprehensive list of the best baby safety gates available in New Zealand. Simply scroll down and pick what best suits you!
Disclaimer: We did our best to investigate the most popular safety gates on the market, but we have not individually tested each gate and thus cannot make any guaranteed safety claims. Ensure that the gate you select complies with current New Zealand Standards before purchasing. We recommend that you refer to independent reviewers such as CHOICE, which follows a system basing their test procedures on various existing Australian standards for similar children’s products such as cots, folding cots, and toys. They also draw upon elements of overseas standards, including the European standard EN 1930:2011. You may refer to their reviews on various brands available in Australia and New Zealand via https://www.choice.com.au/babies-and-kids/children-and-safety/child-safety-devices/articles/how-we-test-safety-gates.
Imagine this; you are in the prime of your life; you are, as the saying goes, “young, wild and free.” You cruise through life without an ounce of care in the world, and bam! You have a baby on the way.
Once your baby comes along for the ride, all notions of risk and tomfoolery get thrown out of the window. It’s time to get rid of your ‘no time for caution’ mentality and buckle up for a long ride of safety, caution, patience, and responsibility. Do not get anxious, though; it is not something you cannot handle with a little bit of information and a possible prep level.
Your little one will soon become ready to step into the outside world and take a stroll along with their mommy or daddy. Ideally, you should have a completely functional and fully equipped stroller prepared to go when it comes to that point.
(For the best prams and strollers in New Zealand, visit: https://www.baccaniprams.co.nz/)
Modern strollers often come equipped with the best safety features. They are manufactured according to international safety standards and are compelled to follow many guidelines before being made available for purchase. It’s all good, yes. But regardless of the guarantees provided by the manufacturer, you, as a parent, have a part to play in this ordeal as well.
Let’s look at a few tips on how you can handle your stroller in the safest way possible:
Check for Standard Requirements by the Manufacturer
When you purchase your stroller, you are given assurance of the standard safety requirements from the manufacturer. These standard requirements include the locking mechanism in the wheels and the seats, a proper harness, belt and safety mechanism, and the required warning labels.
Read our locked-and-loaded-the-ultimate-pram-stroller-safety-guide to learn more about standard stroller safety requirements.
With that out of the way, here are some tips on what you can do from your end to ensure your baby’s safety:
Keep Your Baby Close
It has been scientifically proven that your baby is more comfortable when you are within their range of vision. It provides them with a psychological boost and has a calming effect. This goes both ways as well. For you as a parent, it is always better to have your baby within your sight to remain as calm and as comfortable as possible. It reduces the level of anxiety on your part, and you can obviously concentrate better with the rest of your work, knowing that your baby is safe and sound.
When handling your stroller, you must place one hand on it at all times. However, it is understandable that this is not always possible. But, whenever it becomes difficult, we recommend that you exercise enough caution to place yourself at a range where you can grab the stroller or your baby in case the need arises. It can be an emergency or just the simple act of consoling your baby when they burst out in tears. Regardless of the situation, however, keep your baby close.
Exercise Caution With Toys
Giving your baby a small toy to keep them entertained is a great way to stimulate them and minimize the fuss. You may either use a small, vibrant toy or a noise-making toy to achieve this purpose.
However, you should exercise caution when handling toys because certain toys can cause a choking hazard depending on the baby’s age. Just keep on the safe side; avoid giving them any toys with removable parts or small enough to swallow.
Double Check the Harness
To ensure that your baby is safely tucked into the stroller, you should double-check that your baby’s safety harness is firmly fastened. Howsoever, if you are busy and are in a hurry, a pro tip we can give you is to listen to the click of the harness. If it clicks without an issue, you can rest assured that your baby is safely strapped in.
Park Your Stroller Safely
Be cautious where you park and leave your stroller. Do not park it in any place that may cause potential harm to your baby.
Always ensure that it is parked on a flat surface and that the stroller wheels are correctly locked. However, even though the stroller wheels might be locked, we cannot rule out the chances of the stroller tipping over or sliding if it is left on sloped terrain. Avoid leaving your stroller on such a landscape at all costs!
Apart from this, always keep your baby attended when you are not on the move.
Do Not Leave the Stroller Under the Sun
Don’t do it. Just don’t do it. As it is with rainy and windy conditions, prolonged periods under the sun can cause harm to your baby. We understand that you can’t keep moving all the time and that you need to catch a breather. However, find some shade to place your baby, even if the canopy is pulled out.
Especially during the warmer months, it is quite natural for you to head towards a park or a pool. When doing so, always use the canopy and keep your baby covered from the sun’s rays. And as we said earlier, avoid prolonged periods under the sun as it can heat the metal components of your stroller very quickly and hurt your baby’s sensitive skin.
Do Not Leave Your Baby Overnight
Do not let your little baby sleep in the stroller overnight. They might be comfortable in it, but it is unpredictable, and the chances of your baby suffocating in the stroller would increase if left unattended.
While strollers can be extremely comfortable for babies and can make for an excellent short-term bed for supervised naps, they are absolutely not meant for a whole night’s sleep. They are probably not as comfortable as an actual crib/cot or toddler bed, and there is also the risk of your baby falling out or the stroller tipping over from the baby shifting too much.
Always put the baby in a proper bed for a full night’s sleep.
There should be a warning sign on this fact on the label of your stroller.
Do Not Fold Your Stroller Near Your Baby
Your baby is curious, and it’s beautiful. However, their curiosity does come with some cons if left unattended. When your little one becomes curious and fiddle around the stroller, it may damage their fingers. Make sure that the stroller is folded securely and is kept far away from your baby. The more unreachable it is, the better.
Place Your Bags Accordingly
You have to make sure that you keep all the bags in the compartment designed explicitly for that purpose below the seat bottom. It is convenient to hang your purse or small bag around the handles of your stroller. However, do not do this as it increases tipping risk and creates an inconvenience in maneuverability. Keep them in the storage space provided below the stroller, and you can mitigate any risk associated with it.
Maintain Your Stroller Regularly
Wear and tear are as dangerous as they come. You always have to ensure that your stroller is in tip-top condition to guarantee your baby’s safety. Read our article on pram and stroller maintenance here.
Pro Tip: When the grip of your handle starts to wear off, the best thing that you can do at home is to use tennis racket grip tape to wrap around your handles when the material begins wearing off. The tape is made for people to have a good, comfortable grip, and it comes in a variety of colours.
Pay Attention To Recalls
Return the stroller warranty card so that you will be duly notified in case of a recall. If you’re considering buying a used stroller, check that the stroller hasn’t been recalled.
In conclusion, the safety of your baby lies in the hand of two parties: yourself and the manufacturer. Purchasing the best stroller possible is vital and playing your part in ensuring your baby’s safety follows in a parallel motion right next to it.
You can visit our website to purchase the highest quality strollers and prams in New Zealand. If you’re a reader from overseas, follow our blog and immerse yourself in previous articles we have published to learn all about making the proper purchase for your growing family.
With that note, let us bid your adieu. Do go through these instructions again, and do not shy away from doing a bit of additional research on your own. It’s the 21st century, and Google is your friend. To you and your bub, hope you are well. Good luck and stay safe!
Ahhh, the magical period where your baby’s ‘coos’ and ‘goo-gahs’ turn into words that make sense. As your baby’s vocabulary takes form, you may have spent many a sleepless night trying to be the first person to hear their precious first words. Is it ‘mama’? or is it ‘dada’? Parenting is not a competition, but hey! What’s life without a few bragging rights?
Before your baby begins to talk, they start absorbing vocabulary words and conversation skills. This happens way before they start uttering their first words. They are highly observant, mind you. So it is pretty important to create a conducive environment for your toddler to grasp things fast and to equip them with the verbal skills they require in conversation as early as possible.
But how can we do that, you ask?
Well, first, let us give you some expert tips on the matter. Afterward, the ball will be in your ballpark, do with it as you will.
Step 1: Understanding Child Language Acquisition
Being a widely accepted theory in the field of linguistics, Child Language Acquisition examines the inherent ability that a child possesses in acquiring a specific language.
The theory has proven that all healthy children acquire language quickly and easily without a load of effort or the use of formal teaching methods. It happens automatically and does not depend on whether their parents make an active effort to teach them the language or not. They are born equipped with this evolutionary ability to acquire language.
The first 36 months of your child’s life is generally considered to be the crucial period of language acquisition. You may wonder how these 36 months could be broken down. Simple, a list! We love lists here at Baccani.
So here are the six stages into which your baby’s language learning adventures could be broken down:
- Pre-talking stage / Cooing (0-6 months)
- Babbling stage (6-8 months)
- Holophrastic stage (9-18 months)
- The two-word stage (18-24 months)
- Telegraphic stage (24-30 months)
- Later multiword stage (30+months)
That’s child language acquisition, in a nutshell.
Wait, so does this mean that a parent should sit around and do nothing while their child goes about their business mastering a language?
Step 2: Creating A Conducive Environment
Although the initial stages of your child’s language acquisition do not require formal teaching by their parents or caretakers, you do have an important role to play in this regard. You should know that a child who is never spoken to would never acquire language. You should engage and talk with your baby directly. In the initial stages, if the baby is not paid enough direct attention in this regard, they will fail to develop their conversational abilities.
It has been proven that children under the age of 2, who are regularly exposed to television and radio but are not directly involved in communicating with the adults in their vicinity, fail to learn how to speak. As they are genetically programmed to acquire language through direct language communication with adults.
Children are programmed to learn language through interaction. They interact not only with their parents but other adults and also with other children. All healthy children, growing up in a typical household and surrounded by frequent conversation, will acquire the language that is constantly being used around them.
Miraculously, children are also equipped to acquire two or more languages simultaneously as long as they have regular interactions with speakers of those languages. This is extremely difficult for an adult to do, but hey! That’s why we say that children are indeed a miracle.
Step 3: Teaching Your Baby How To Converse
Before they can start speaking fluently, your baby should learn how conversation works. Here are some tips that you can try with your little ones to improve their grasp of conversation.
- Pause – Be mindful of pausing when you speak to your baby. Leave little gaps in the middle of your sentences when you want them to respond or when they attempt to talk back to you.
- Copy – Once your little one starts making sounds, encourage them to keep doing that by repeating their sound and making similar sounds. This is a suitable method of providing positive reinforcement for your baby early on and helps them understand the basic concepts of conversation.
- Tonality – Remember that your tone is important. You should be mindful to adjust your vocal tone depending on the nature of the conversation. Speak with emphasis on important words, and adjust your volume depending on the topic.
(Speak louder on an exciting topic, use a soft tone when describing something scary and so on)
Step 4: Building Your Child’s Vocabulary
Until your baby reaches a certain age, their vocabulary will be limited to a small number of words. Their vocabulary will expand through the years, and you have to be patient with them. Well, to be honest, you don’t need to practice patience because your child learning how to talk would be one of the cutest and most exciting things in the world.
However, you have to remember that each child is different, and their vocabulary develops at a different pace. Just because the neighbourhood kid started talking earlier, do not worry. Allow your baby to take it at their own pace and comfort. Also, what you can do is support your baby to develop an expansive vocabulary that covers a wide range of expression and conversation.
Here are a few things that you as a parent can do:
- Read With Your Baby – One of the best methods to develop vocabulary is reading together with your child. Picture books are a great way to start. The concept of a picture book is based on labelling. Labelling each picture to its meaning will result in vocabulary growth. It is easier for a toddler to recognize familiar things like body parts, nature words, and animals. Reading together would also contribute to the development of your baby’s curiosity and inquisitiveness.
- Do Not Hesitate To Use Big Words – Respect your baby’s intelligence. Plain and simple. Some parents share the attitude that they should only use small words that their baby can understand. And our thoughts on that? No, just no. Don’t do it. Remember that every word is a new word to them. ‘Dumbing down’ your vocabulary would only hinder their growth. Instead, encourage your little one to ask for the meaning of words that they do not understand. When they are a bit older, you can do a fun exercise where you ask your child to use the new word they learned later in a sentence.
- Play Cognitive Games – Playing games like treasure hunts, Name the Thing, Simon Says aid in language development, social and emotional development, and cognitive development. They will specifically learn how to follow instructions and be familiar with preposition words.
- Play Pretend With Toys – Setting up imaginary tea parties with your toddler’s toys is a great way to get them started on having conversations. Encourage them to ask questions from their toys, and you can answer on behalf of them. Make up an effective back-and-forth exchange to get the maximum benefit from this activity.
- Sing Songs & Nursery Rhymes – It is scientifically proven that rhythm aids in memory. Allowing your toddler to learn words to a rhythm will help them remember new words and expand their vocabulary. Take the time to sing songs together with your child, and as a fun side-game, make up catchy songs about whatever you are doing at the moment.
- Build On Your Child’s Utterances – Whenever your baby utters a word, a small phrase, or maybe even an incoherent sentence, encourage them by adding on to what they already said. If your toddler says something like: ‘That’s a dog,’ add on something like, ‘Yes kiddo, that’s a fluffy, playful dog.’
- Explore, Explore, Explore – We can’t stress this enough. Your baby is the ultimate bundle of curiosity. Do whatever it takes to satisfy their natural curiosity and inquisitiveness. Take road trips, vacations, walks in the neighbourhood, or anything else that would get your toddler out in the world and expose them to language as much as possible. Always try to maintain a conversation with them while you are out. Ask them about what they can see and how they feel in a specific moment.
- Positive Reinforcement Is Key – Do not be overly critical of your baby and avoid correcting their mistakes as much as possible. It’s natural for them to make plenty of mistakes during the first couple of years, especially when it comes to grammar. The plurals, passive voice use, and the proper use of the past tense will come later; for now, just encourage them for trying and be patient.
A Closing Note: As soon as your toddler starts responding to you regularly, try to keep it up for around 10 minutes of back and forth between you. As we mentioned earlier, each baby reaches a conversational level at their own pace. However, suppose your baby hasn’t started babbling or speaking at least a few words by the time they are 18 months old. In that case, you should consult your paediatrician about it. It is natural for some kids to start talking pretty late, but speech therapy and doctor’s advice would help speed up the process.
Like any other product in the consumer market, Strollers and Prams have developed and expanded through the years. These products have undergone profound structural, design, and engineering changes that have guaranteed a better consumer experience along with various technological advancements. New features installed in modern-day strollers cater to making your baby’s ride safer and more comfortable. In contrast, other features are specifically designed to meet the needs and improve the comfort of parents.
In the past, we have taken you through a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best prams and strollers for your little ones. Today, let us walk you through the specific safety features and security essentials that you should add to your checklist when purchasing the best stroller/pram imaginable.
Safety Standard Label
If you’re buying a new pram or stroller, the first thing is to check if it meets the mandatory New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2088. Look for the New Zealand Standards label, which should be mandatorily placed on the product. If you are unsure, please ask the retailer for the necessary proof of safety.
When purchasing a stroller, make sure to choose one with a sturdy safety belt and a crotch strap. These two accessories keep your baby or a toddler from slipping as well as sliding out of the stroller and risking severe injury. Mostly, the safety belt and crotch strap are made out of a thick nylon webbing. According to Australia/New Zealand safety standards and ASTM safety standards, a crotch strap is mandatory when a waist strap is used.
When checking up the buckles installed on the harness, make sure that you purchase a stroller with buckles that are convenient for you to operate but would be difficult for your baby’s tiny hands to unfasten. It is better if you can shop with your baby so that you can place them in the pram/stroller. This allows you to check if the seat belt is strong, durable, and fits around your child so that it doesn’t cause them any discomfort.
In some strollers, the safety restraints are limited to waist and crotch straps. We do not recommend that you purchase a model of that caliber. However, you can be rest assured that most modern-day strollers in the market are equipped with an adjustable five-point harness that meets the required safety standards. A five-point harness, much like the safety harnesses found in car seats, have two straps going over the baby’s shoulders, two for the thighs, along with a crotch strap. This mechanism will quite effectively keep your baby from slipping, sliding out, or falling off. It mitigates their ability to climb out of the stroller whenever you need to divert your attention elsewhere. Apart from this, check if the straps are height-adjustable, ensuring a proper fit and if they too are anchored to the stroller securely.
When testing your stroller out, pay a lot of attention to its parking brake and functionality. Its mechanism should be convenient for you to operate, and the brake should essentially lock two wheels. Having parking brakes operating through two wheels provides an added margin of security to your stroller.
The mechanism of a two-wheel parking brake may vary from product to product. Some brakes are activated with a single stroke by a bar that is installed in the rear of the stroller frame. In contrast, other brake systems require two actions, which need two foot-operated tabs that are installed above each rear wheel. Regardless of the applying mechanism, when the brakes are activated, the plastic cogs engage with the rear wheel’s sprockets and effectively bring the stroller to a halt.
In addition to the parking brakes, most strollers are equipped with hand-operated brakes similar to those installed on bicycles. If you use a jogging stroller, this mechanism comes in handy for you to quickly slow down when you’re cruising at a faster clip.
Remember! It’s all about your convenience. If the brake system hurts your foot when engaging and disengaging the mechanism, just avoid that product. Ideally, you should test it out using light shoes or bare feet. The same theory applies to the hand brakes. If it hurts, move on to the next. Simple as that!
In current times, it’s almost hard to distinguish SUV wheels from those of their stroller counterparts. (A slight exaggeration, although you know what we mean) Equipped with larger and more rugged wheels, most modern-day strollers come cruising with an almost off-road appearance. However, this does provide a particular functional advantage; the larger the wheels, the easier it is to maneuver your stroller over rough surfaces, curbs, and other unfriendly terrains.
On the flip side of the coin, when you have larger wheels, this means more trunk space than you can afford when it comes to transporting your stroller in your vehicle. This may create an inconvenience based on your trunk capacity. Therefore, choose a stroller with wheels that suit your convenience in addition to its safety and functionality.
Your stroller’s front wheels may or may not swivel based on the type of stroller you buy. Most modern strollers come equipped with two wheels that swivel, making steering a lot more convenient. There are two positions that such front wheel’s feature:
- Full Swivel – For smooth surfaces
- Forward Facing Lock – For rough terrain
The mark of a well-engineered stroller has wheels that are aligned uniformly with the ground even when a baby is inside.
Certain three-wheeled strollers, however, may have a front wheel that doesn’t swivel. We do not recommend such a purchase unless you’re ready for a whole lot of elbow grease.
The leg holes are an essential safety mechanism that should function properly in your stroller. Since your newborn or toddler cannot fully control their movements, the stroller should have leg holes that close, which would not allow an infant to slip through it. Most manufacturers install a mesh, fabric shields, or a hinged and molded footrest that raises and clamp over the leg holes, increasing its security. According to industry standards, a stroller containing leg holes that cannot be closed should not recline fully. This is meant to prevent its use with your newborn.
As a multipurpose weather protection unit, a canopy is a mandatory accessory that should come with your stroller. Regardless of glaring sunlight, heavy winds, or rainfall, a canopy functions as a protective unit for your baby, who is safely tucked in.
Canopies are available in a wide range. From a simple fabric strung between two wires to semi-automated pull-down versions that can shield the entire front of the stroller, canopies are available to meet your needs as you wish.
There are reversible canopies that have the ability to protect your baby from the sun and wind regardless of the direction. Some canopies come with a peek-a-boo feature, a transparent plastic shield on top so that you can keep an eye out on your baby during your stroll time.
Some Important Safety Tips For You:
If your child falls asleep inside the pram unless you’re in a position to observe them at all times, it’s best that you move them to a cot. It is dangerous to leave your baby unattended in a pram or stroller when they are asleep. Most babies tend to wriggle around, and this may increase the risk of the pram tripping over. A severe mishap could even result in suffocation or strangulation.
Annually, several children are hospitalized due to pram or stroller-related injuries. The primary cause of this is the risk of your pram tipping over, due to your baby wriggling while asleep or when they are unattended. Therefore, make sure that you always act with caution and vigilance. As an added safety measure, do not add a large amount of weight to your stroller in the form of bags and shopping items.
Physical activity is an essential part of your child’s growth. As a parent, you should be mindful about dividing your baby’s time to receive a good amount of rest as well as a good amount of activity. Do not let your baby remain idle inside a pram for extended periods, as this may hinder their growth.
So, there we have it! These are our expert tips on identifying and maintaining proper safety standards and keeping your baby secure during their stroll and pram times. Have another read if you are not sure about something. Make sure to religiously go through the New Zealand Standards for Prams and Strollers before making your purchase.
You can check it out via: https://www.standards.govt.nz/shop/asnzs-20882013/
Our vehicle, we are very particular about it, aren’t we? Well, think of your pram or stroller as a vehicle for your baby, and its care should come as second nature to you. Letting your car catch rust or allowing it to lose its lustrous exterior is a huge ‘no-no’, and the same goes for its interior. No one wants to go for a ride in a smelly car. A pram is where your child sleeps, eats, plays, and explores the world. To keep things fun, enjoyable, and comfortable for your baby, you have to ensure that their ‘residence’ remains clean, tidy, and devoid of unpleasant odours. Yes, this may seem like more work, but, as we always say, your baby’s needs are non-negotiable. To keep your pram in tip-top condition, there are several things that you can do regularly. These actions will help you and your baby so let us walk you through a few helpful tips.
Note: Regular maintenance would keep your pram in pristine condition while keeping its functionality intact. You don’t have to do an inch-by-inch clean-up every single time you take your pram out for maintenance. However, we recommend that you do a ‘deep clean’ at least twice a year.
Step 1: Refer to Your User Manual
Most prams and strollers are sold along with a user manual that provides a basic rundown of fundamental care. The user manual is usually equipped with a detailed breakdown of the parts and components of your pram. It also comes along with comprehensive instructions on removing the specific elements of your pram for cleaning and maintenance.
Step 2: Start with Your Accessories
Start with your fabric accessories. Generally, the fabric components of a pram or stroller can be machine washed without any hassle. Set your machine up to a ‘delicate’ or ‘wool’ setting. Don’t forget to ensure that the temperature does not exceed a temperature of 30°C.
Use a mild detergent and fabric softener according to your preference. A good smelling pram is always a bonus. After washing, straighten the fabric out and leave it out to dry in the shade. Placing it under direct sunlight would result in the colour burning off in certain fabrics. Therefore, a shady surface is highly recommended.
For your plastic accessories, use warm and soapy water. After cleaning them thoroughly, rinse the parts and let them dry under the sun.
Step 3: Dust On – Dust Off
Your stroller is like your baby’s residence. Therefore, the accumulation of dirt, crumbs, and dust is inevitable. Use a vacuum cleaner to give your pram a thorough cleansing. You can also use a brush for this purpose. Suppose your vacuum cleaner or cleansing brush cannot reach the tiny particles hidden beneath certain nooks and crannies, especially beneath the joints and moving parts. In that case, you can use a soft toothbrush to clean them up.
It is advisable you pay special attention and care to clean out the following parts and accessories:
- Belly bar sockets
- The handlebar
- Safety harness and buckle
- Seats recline latch
- Canopy connectors
- Folding joints (collapse the frame when doing this)
- Inside the wheel hubs (front & rear)
- The area where the brake connects to the wheel
- In and around all buttons
Step 4: Wipe! – Time To Get the Liquids Involved
First, use a soft sponge or a cloth and soak it in warm water with a mild detergent. Use this to give your dusted pram a thorough cleansing. While doing so, you may encounter a couple of tricky spots that simply refuse to leave your pram alone. Let’s see what can be done about those:
– The best natural substance to remove mould is clove oil. Add the clove oil (about a regular bottle cap) to a spray bottle, add 2 tablespoons of salt and fill it with warm water. Spray the solution directly onto the mould. Then give it a thorough scrubbing, which would loosen up the mould spores. Leave this for around 1 hour and use a cloth and a bucket to wet the surface again and wipe it off. This will ensure that you completely wipe off all traces of the fungus.
Note: Clove oil can leave a residual brown streak on fabrics and may cause allergic reactions in some people. You may use a solution of white vinegar and water mixed at 3:2 respectively, as an alternative.
Stubborn Stains –
For tough stains, use a solution of white vinegar and water mixed at a 1:1 ratio. You can also use vinegar with bicarb. As we did with the mould, use a spray bottle, directly spray it onto the stain, and leave it for a few minutes. Afterwards, use a cloth to wipe it down and rinse the spot well with clean water.
Note: Using vinegar will cause some damage to the colour, depending on the fabric. Use it at your own discretion.
Step 5: Cleaning the Wheels
Before you start cleaning your wheels, you should remove them. Please do refer to the user manual for instructions on how to remove your wheels. Use the same cleaning solution of a mild detergent and warm water and spray it directly onto the wheels. Use a hard brush and give them a good scrub to remove all dirt and build-up. Make sure that the elusive dirt around the wheel hub receives your undivided attention as well.
Step 7: Lubricate Joints & Moving Parts
It is essential that you quickly inspect the moving parts in the pram and ensure that they are in perfect working condition. These parts are:
- Locking Devices
Upon inspection, if you feel like any of the devices are difficult to operate, remain stiff/immovable or create a squeaking noise due to friction, it is due to a lack of lubrication.
To lubricate these parts, use a sprayable silicone lubricant. Ensure that the lubricant is applied evenly through every single part, including areas that remain elusive or difficult to access. Excessive lubrication may increase the build-up of dirt. Therefore, you should only use the necessary amount.
Step 8 – Final Touch-ups
Once your pram is air-dried, you can do some paint touch-ups to improve its appearance. For example, in a pram with a black or darker coloured frame, scratch marks and other signs of damage are more visible to the naked eye. Therefore, you can use some paint and spray over the frame to keep the pram in pristine condition.
Prevention Is Better Than the Cure
Rust, Mould & Mildew
Regularly tending to rust and mould build-up in your pram can be a gruelling task. To ensure that your hassle remains minimum, you should take some preventive measures.
Suppose your pram is exposed to wet or damp conditions. In that case, you should leave it fully opened in a ventilated, warm environment to air dry and prevent the build-up of rust and mould. If your pram got really wet, you could use a soft lint-free cloth to wipe it up before leaving it to dry. With the fabrics, you can detach the soaked parts from the pram and put them in the dryer. If you do not take these preventive measures, rust, mould, and mildew build-up is inevitable.
Refrain from leaving your pram inside your car on days where the weather sides with extreme heat. Similarly, do not leave it near any heat source or fire. When storing the stroller, do so in a safe, dry and well-ventilated place while ensuring that you do not place heavy items on top of it. To avoid the colour burning out and fading, be mindful of leaving the pram under direct sunlight for extended periods.
When replacing dysfunctional or broken parts of your pram, make sure to purchase spare parts that comply with the latest safety standard – AS/NZS 2088:2013.
Well, that’s about all the tips we can offer! Once you buy a pram, maintenance comes along with it. To ensure that your pram serves its entire period of durability, you have a role to play in it as well. It is your job being the parent to ensure that your child is comfortable and safe at all times. Follow our instructions to a ‘t’, and you will be fine! Whenever you need more help or guidance, do a little bit more research online, and you’ll be good to go!
We hope you found this information useful. If you have any difficulty following the given instructions, then please get in touch with your manufacturer. They will be happy to help. Until next time then! Happy parenting!
Ahhh, a sleeping baby! In terms of pure cuteness, they are in a league of their own. The average newborn sleeps through much of the day and night, and that’s just how it is. They do wake up, though, with a loud wail and mind-blowing tenacity, announcing to the whole neighborhood that they, the Royal Highnesses, are now hungry and ready to be fed. But hey, every baby is Royalty. They are their parent’s treasure and should be treated as such.
Figuring out your baby’s sleeping patterns can be a bit of a mystery at first, especially if this is your first rodeo with a baby. For the first couple of weeks, however, there is no set schedule. This makes it hard for a parent to figure out how often and how long their newborn would sleep.
What is my baby’s sleeping schedule, you ask?
Well, until your baby grows a couple of inches, neither you nor we would know the answer to this question. Like us, the baby remains confused. Many newborns have their days and nights in a twist. One day they are sleeping soundly at night, and the next night they have you questioning the very reason of your existence. But this confusion is part of the process, and you have to simply try and understand your baby while moving through the motions. This process should be followed until your baby is old enough to operate at a predictable schedule.
Is there any discernible newborn sleeping pattern at all?
Well, although there is no definite pattern when it comes to a baby’s sleeping habits, there are certain traits that you as a parent can work around when dealing with it.
Here are a few common sleeping traits among newborns:
- A newborn usually sleeps for a total of around 8-9 hours during the daytime and about 8 hours during the night within a 24-hour period.
- Since they have a small stomach, they will wake up once every few hours to be fed.
- Baby’s start to sleep through the night in 6-8 hours intervals once they reach around 3 months since birth.
- However, in some newborns, this may take up to nearly 12 months, so do not worry if it doesn’t happen soon.
Refer to these 4 facts, and they are sure to help you out!
Having said that, after they fall into a predictable sleeping pattern, you will notice that your baby will wake up once every 3 hours for their feeding time. Take this as a cue to have their meals ready on time.
The frequency of hungry-time nagging will often depend on the baby and what they are being fed at their age. Before you make any decisions on a fixed feeding schedule, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a licensed healthcare provider to figure out if you need to wake your baby up, set certain feeding intervals, and what to feed your baby at a certain age.
You must understand that you and the baby are in this together. We can often get lost in comparisons and question why your baby is not behaving a certain way. However, you must realize that each baby is unique, and understanding your own, is the key to mitigate any issues that may arise with their patterns.
However, you should take particular care to watch for changes that may occur in your baby’s sleeping patterns. A slight deviation is acceptable, and there is nothing to worry about. But, if your baby has constantly been sleeping or keeps waking up suddenly and more often, there might be a problem. Of course, there is also the possibility that your baby is simply going through a growth spurt and needs more nom-nom. You can just refer to your doctor and feed them more if that is the case.
Pro Tip: Manage Overstimulation
Some sleep disturbances occur exclusively when your baby goes through changes in development or when the baby is overstimulated.
What exactly is overstimulation?
Overstimulation happens when children are swamped by more experiences, sensations, noise, and activity than they can cope with.
For example, a newborn baby might get very unsettled after a party where they’ve interacted and have been cuddled by a lot of grown-ups.
When your baby grows up, especially during the first five years of their life, they need a stimulating environment that provides plenty of different activities that pave the way to play, learn and practice what they learn. But they also need some tranquility in a safe and familiar environment to recharge, feel secure, and calm down.
What is the best home remedy for this?
If you see your baby is overwhelmed, take them somewhere quiet, peaceful, and, if possible, with low light. Your baby will start to calm down in such an environment. The best option you can use is the baby’s cot, and if you are out with your baby, you can use your pram. First, tuck them in tight and cover them with a blanket or a light wrap. Ensure that they receive a continuous airflow, and one will notice that the baby will start to calm down after a while. This is the best remedy we can suggest for overstimulation.
Let’s Talk Alert Phases!
The level of alertness in a baby may vary during the time that they are awake. Let us now walk you through all the different alert phases of a newborn.
Quiet & Active Alert Phase
As soon as a newborn wakes up at the end of the sleep cycle, they go through a calm alert phase more often than not. During this time, the baby remains very still, but they are awake, stimulated, and taking in and adapting to their environment. So, what does a baby do when they are in this phase?
They will mostly stare into a blank space or at particular objects and respond to external stimuli such as motion and sound. The quiet alert phase would then gradually progress into the active alert phase, where the baby will still react to external sounds, activity, and sights. Still, in contrast with the quiet alert phase, their responses will be more active, and they will move around more.
What follows the two alert phases is the crying phase. Babies are easily overstimulated during the crying face, so they will start moving around quite erratically. This is also accompanied by crying and buckle up because it is going to be loud!
It is best to feed the baby before they progress into the crying phase. Once they enter the crying phase, they may be so upset that they will vehemently refuse the breast or the bottle. In newborns, crying is usually a sign of hunger. Therefore, reserve your feeding time to the quiet alert phase, right before overstimulation occurs.
Following the steps under ‘best home remedy for overstimulation’ to manage this phase as we explained above. It is recommended that you find a way of calming the baby and switching the environment or making the existing environment calmer by removing all overstimulating factors is the ideal solution for this. Hold your baby close to you or tuck them in their pram/cot to keep them calm. Apart from this, the best traditional remedy to calm down an overstimulated, crying baby is swaddling.
What is swaddling?
Swaddling is a traditional practice of wrapping your baby up as gently as possible in a blanket that is light and breathable. This will help them calm down and fall asleep. A swaddled baby’s head should never be wrapped and instead should be kept exposed to the air. The idea behind swaddling a baby is to help your little one feel snug and secure, recreating the conditions in your womb.
Take caution as you swaddle!
- Since swaddling keeps their arms and legs from flailing, it is recommended to practice this only on newborns.
- When your baby is 2 months or older, do not swaddle them as they can roll over onto their stomach. Doing so would increase the risk of SIDS.
- Give your baby enough room to move their hips and legs. Tightening the blanket too much will affect their skeletal development. It would also increase the risk of hip dysplasia and dislocation.
- Be mindful of the weather conditions; do not use a thick blanket when it’s hot and vice versa. Keeping your baby at the right temperature is vital.
Helping your baby sleep
You can put your baby to sleep when they start showing signs of sleep readiness.
- Rubbing Eyes
- Looking Away
Not all babies are capable of putting themselves to sleep. While some parents rock their babies to sleep or make them fall asleep while breastfeeding, it is good not to let these become a pattern because the baby will become overly reliant on such conditions. However, this is totally fine during the newborn phase.
After the newborn phase, the expert recommendation is to allow your baby to feel sleepy in your arms and then placing them on their bed while they are still awake. Doing so would allow the baby to learn how to go to sleep on their own. If you want some extra support, playing some soft music would always be effective!
When taking care of your newborn, you may have referred to many a site and infant care blogs. During your educational escapades, you may have come across many articles and child-care tips that enthuse the importance and benefits of using organic products. As a modern-day trend, many moms, dads, and parents-to-be are shifting towards using natural bath and body items to mitigate any complications that may arise with the use of chemical materials and prevent health complications in infants. A great deal of attention is taken on this fact during a baby’s initial trimester.
The crossroads to shifting towards organic products do not appear on every parent’s path at the same juncture. Some parents discover it before they plan a pregnancy, and some do so after a couple of years. But it doesn’t matter just as long as you take the correct decision before it is too late. Going organic is essential to maintain your child’s health at an optimum level. Just as it is important to shift towards organic foods that are free of added antibiotics, fertilizer, and hormones, you must pay attention to the use of organic baby clothes that ensure the absolute protection of your baby’s skin.
Organic baby clothes, you say?
Putting some miles in between chemicals and your baby
Cotton is one of, if not the most popular fabric that is used throughout the world. It is a light, soft, and natural fabric which is renowned for its feel and durability. On the flipside, cotton is basically a pesticide city. Being a chemical-intensive crop, cotton is sprayed abundantly with pesticides to ensure the majority of the clothing in our wardrobes is delivered to us as cheaply and efficiently as possible. Chemicals such as permethrin are classified as carcinogens by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This fact applies to many pesticides in the market, so cotton may not be as harmless as it may sound.
Are synthetics the answer?
No, despite being a popular choice in manufacturing baby clothes, synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon, and rayon can contain a wide range of petrochemicals and plastics. Despite existing in microscopic amounts in certain instances, there is no guarantee that such clothing is entirely harmless. One should never take your baby’s safety for granted. It is non-negotiable.
Going organic can reduce even the most minuscule risk associated with buying clothes for your baby. It will minimize the risk of skin irritations, skin infections in your baby and, as an added advantage, would help you remain less anxious about your choices. Furthermore, if your child has eczema, you can relax and take a breather with this information because organic clothing can help with the complications.
Comfort, comfort, comfort
When wearing organic cotton, your baby is less likely to be affected by neonatal acne and their skin breaking out. Organic cotton is an excellent option in terms of your baby’s comfort within your home or outdoors! It is a fabric that is equally adept at keeping your baby comfortable and at an optimal temperature regardless of the climate in your region. During a balmy day, organic cotton has the ability to wick away sweat and moisture from your baby’s skin and hair follicles. Its structure allows ventilation and helps create a cool, conducive environment for your little one. As a parent, you can thereby rest easy knowing that your baby is less likely to be drenched in sweat or uncomfortable due to the heat.
Similarly, its weave will function as a structure that would retain warmth during the winter. The same gaps that allowed ventilation during a hotter climate would now adopt into a material that contains thermal insulation. This is a unique property of cotton. It is a global product that can be equally effective in colder regions as well as subtropical climates. We recommend buying baby clothes for every season, as it is much more convenient. Keep organic cotton as your sole option, and you won’t have to worry if you have to take your baby along for a tropical vacation or simply snuggle up during the winter.
Resilience and Durability
Your baby’s growth can happen in the blink of an eye, and unfortunately, so does the cost of buying clothes for them. As the prices stack up, it would do you well to settle for durable options. Organic cotton is strong and resilient, just as much as regular cotton, without a load of embedded pesticides and chemicals, to boot. Unlike industrial cotton, organic cotton farmers put in a significant amount of care and delicate touch to their product, which would allow you to enjoy better quality with your purchase. It is quite wash-resistant and takes away your worries of having shabbier and fragile clothes.
With organic cotton, if you are compelled to replace your baby’s clothing immediately, it would only happen if your baby were going through a growth spurt and would just bust out of their clothes on a weekly basis. When this, and only when this happens will you be forced to buy clothes more frequently. However, the advantages would certainly outweigh the disadvantages.
Organic cotton is also an excellent material to produce beanies, gloves, and hats for babies. When you purchase these accessories, we recommend buying items that would fit several age groups. By doing this, you can ensure that you get more mileage out of your purchase.
Climate change is real, people! If you are like us, you should be conscious of your carbon footprint. We recommend that you do everything you can to create an eco-friendly environment in your household and provide solutions and alternatives that minimize all adverse impacts on the environment. Organic cotton farming is a sustainable practice that ensures that farmers detoxify the lands on which they practice agriculture. Organic farming includes nature-friendly practices such as crop rotation, mechanical removal of weeds, and using natural pesticides and repellents. They use organic fertilizer and refrain from treating their seeds with chemical fungicides.
Furthermore, using natural pest repellents mitigates the destruction of bugs and other animals that are vital to the respective ecosystems in which they exist. Neither do they use genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to assist their farming practices. Organic cotton tends to use less water during its production. Also, less carbon/fuel and energy consumption.
Actively promoting a greener future when making choices of baby clothing is a terrific way to start. It is important to be at service to your loved ones and your community at large. You can also feel good about yourself because, with every organic choice you make, you ensure your baby’s safety as well as the safety and sustainability of Mother Nature.
Disclaimer: As it is with every piece of advice we provide on our blog, please make sure to consult your doctor before choosing a material to buy. There may be certain rare complications and conditions unique to individual babies, so it is recommended that each of your choices are made with the approval of a licensed Health Care Professional.
Having said all that, let us now quickly walk you through some International Brands that are renowned for producing affordable and adorable organic baby clothes.
Best International Organic Baby Clothes Manufacturers
Best For Swimwear, sleepwear
Primary Products: Swimwear, sleepwear, baby apparel, baby accessories
Price Range: $17-$90
Shop Via: https://www.hannaandersson.com/
Best For Patterns & Colours
Primary Products: Sleepwear, accessories, toys, gifts, baby apparel
Price Range: $12-$65
Shop Via: https://coloredorganics.com/
Best For Baby basics
Primary Products: Baby apparel, nursery items, baby accessories
Price Range: $17-$80
Shop Via: https://katequinn.com/
Best For Multi-packs & baby outfits
Primary Products: Sleepwear, baby accessories, baby apparel
Price Range: $13-$180
Shop Via: https://babymori.com/
Monica + Andy
Best For Baby bundles
Primary Products: Baby apparel, nursery accessories, swimwear, gifts
Price Range: $15-$70
Shop Via: https://monicaandandy.com/
Best For Graphic bodysuits
Primary Products: Bodysuits, baby tops and bottoms
Price Range: $15-$70
Shop Via: https://wearpact.com/baby
Best For Sweaters, sweatshirts & leggings
Primary Products: Baby apparel, swimwear, baby accessories
Price Range: $17-$370
Shop Via: https://www.minirodini.com/en-us
Best For Preemie clothing
Primary Products: Baby apparel, nursery accessories
Price Range: $20-$85
Shop Via: https://goumikids.com/
So that we’ve covered all that, we hope that you are excited to take this path of going fully organic with your baby’s apparel needs. If you made it towards the end of this article, it is proof that your baby’s comfort and safety are your utmost priority. Have no fear. You are a fantastic parent! Just take these tips to heart and have a wonderful time parenting!