Toddler Sense

Gentle protection for the whole family

I am writing this blog from our deck overlooking the Olifant’s river in the Lowveld. For the last 20 years, we have spent our annual holiday in the Lowveld of South Africa on the game farm we have a small share in. It is an ideal place for a bush holiday – restful and quiet. I have always been hyper-vigilant with my children’s health and even more so when holidaying in the bushveld or tropical areas. James, Alex and Emily have been coming to the farm from the time they were [...]

By | April 13th, 2017|Baby Sense, Blog, Sleep Sense, Toddler Sense|

Toddler Tantrums and how to manage them

Tantrums are a hallmark feature of the toddler years and occur for a few reasons: Your toddler may feel misunderstood and frustrated as his expressive language lets him down – he is unsure of whether you understand his intent and what he wants. Tiredness and hunger and basic primal instincts may underlie your toddler’s tantrum – a hungry toddler is like a lion and a tired or sore toddler is as dangerous as a bear. An expression of will. As your toddler develops his own personality, he will assert himself [...]

By | October 22nd, 2016|Toddler Sense|

Sleep: Toddler boundaries

Whether you battled your way through sleep deprivation in the first year of your baby’s life or if you were gifted with a little one who slept through early, you may well be in for a turbulent time in the toddler years.  Toddlers can be very poor sleepers and there are usually one of four reasons for this: Your toddler may become a picky eater and require extra nutritional support with a toddler milk or by bulking up the fats and proteins in his meals. Your toddler may experience fears [...]

By | September 23rd, 2016|Toddler Sense|

Preparing to potty train

Potty Training is probably one of the more challenging aspects of parenting a toddler. Some toddlers simply fall into the task with ease but for many any number of things can go awry. This brings up many questions from parents: How do I know when the right time is to start encouraging potty training? Most toddlers are ready to be potty trained between 18 and 24 months of age. You can watch out for the following signs that your toddler is ready: Your toddler tells you when he is about [...]

By | September 18th, 2016|Toddler Sense|

Managing temper tantrums

There are few parenting moments that are more embarrassing than the veritable toddler temper tantrum while out in public. As your toddler throws herself down, screeching and banging her head you know that every on-looker is judging you. Toddler tantrums can be almost entirely avoided with a few tools in your toolkit: Sleep – Toddlers need a lot of sleep. They are still sponges for information and without regular day sleep and good quality night sleep, toddlers become very susceptible to overstimulation. An overtired toddler is a recipe for a [...]

By | September 10th, 2016|Toddler Sense|

Look who’s talking

The human baby is strongly wired to be a social being. Part of being social is the development of language. Language is the way we connect with the world and much of our learning is dependent on language. Babbling begins at two months of age as your baby starts to verbalize. Although these pre-speech sounds appear meaningless they are the vital first step of practicing language for your baby. By babbling and cooing your baby starts to learn to control his larynx or voice box as well as the intricate [...]

By | September 5th, 2016|Baby Sense, Play Sense, Toddler Sense|

Toys for your tot

One of the tasks of early parenting is to stimulate your baby to ensure optimal development. In the book Baby Sense, I outline four elements to keep in mind, using the acronym TEAT: Time – choose the right time to stimulate your baby when she is in the calm-alert state. Environment – Without any toys your baby’s environment can be stimulating – walks in a carrier or a trip to the beach are wonderful environments for little ones to learn from their world. Activity – Activities such as a Mom [...]

By | August 28th, 2016|Play Sense, Toddler Sense|

Hard habits to manage

Habits emerge slowly and insidiously over the first two years of your baby’s life and before you know it, you wake up one day and realize you are held hostage by a ritual, habit or routine that is inflexible and difficult to maintain. It’s time to manage that habit and here are some tried and tested tips to get you there. Sleep habits – Sleep is a common arena for negative habits. They entail rituals for getting to sleep that are dependent on mom or dad and these habits prevent [...]

By | August 28th, 2016|Sleep Sense, Toddler Sense|

Meg Faure’s Monday Minute with Nuk: Packing your nappy bag

A nappy bag is an essential tool for getting out and about. If it is packed with all the essentials, it makes travel and outings more pleasurable with your baby. These are my essential for packing in a nappy bag: Essentials Pack a nappy per two hours of an outing plus one spare Nappy wipes – get a small dispenser or put 10 wipes into a ziplock for the outing Hand sanitizer is an essential for after you have changed a nappy and for before a breastfeed when [...]

By | June 11th, 2016|Toddler Sense|

Help – my toddler is a biter!

You are sitting at a tea with your friends and their toddlers when there is a blood-curdling shriek from one of your friend’s toddlers. Little Amy is crying inconsolably, with a bright red imprint of a full set of teeth on her cheek. Your blood runs cold as you realise the perpetrator is you little angel. We all love our children unconditionally and actually we want the world to think they are great too! So when your toddler gets labelled as naughty or a biter, nothing feels worse. Why do [...]

By | April 24th, 2016|Play Sense, Toddler Sense|

Planning a playdate!

Human babies are wired to be social and as parents, we too can do with social interaction as we parent in what can be very isolated circumstances. Play dates naturally are a way to not only socialise your little one but also to get some greatly appreciated adult time with your friends too. Here are some tips on socialising your little one: Who – Socialise your baby with someone who’s mom or dad you get on well with - someone from a mom and baby group, your antenatal class or [...]

By | April 17th, 2016|Play Sense, Toddler Sense|

Meg Faure’s Monday Minute: Winter indoor play

As we approach winter, we will need to get creative with how we play with our little ones – the days are shorter, cooler and in some places wetter. But that doesn’t mean your little one will stop playing. Its very important we do not rely on TV during indoor playtime but rather have opportunities for fun indoor games. Here are a few indoor games you can play: For gross motor skills, you can make an indoor obstacle course with chairs, tables and blankets to make tunnels For [...]

By | March 26th, 2016|Play Sense, Toddler Sense|

Meg Faure’s Monday Minute: Choosing a mom & baby group

There is great value in signing up for a mom and baby activity group, such as Moms and Tots and Moms and Babes. Aside from the wonderful stimulation opportunities, the one on one time with you is just what your baby wants. Of course it’s also a great way to meet other moms who are feeling just as isolated by mothering as you are. To choose a group bear in mind the following: Choose a group near to your home so that the travel time makes the 90 [...]

By | March 26th, 2016|Play Sense, Toddler Sense|

Meg Faure’s Monday Minute: Play Sense

Play is your baby’s work. Not only does your baby occupy his time with play but through play he learns about his world and himself. Through play your little one develops his gross and fine motor skills as well as his perceptual abilities – all very important for learning later on. Imaginative play allows your little one to develop creativity as well as play out the tricky situations he has to deal with in life, life a trip to the doctor or hearing you and dad have a [...]

By | March 26th, 2016|Play Sense, Toddler Sense|

Meg Faure’s Monday Minute: Summer Outdoor Play

Living in sunny South Africa means that we get the pleasure of long warm summer days. There is no better opportunity to play outdoors than during the summer months. Playing outdoors has great benefits for gross motor skills as your little one gets to practice balance and coordination through large body movements. When playing outdoors, always remember to either cover your baby up with long sleeved swim vest and a hat or to put a high factor sun cream on your little one. Here are a few ideas [...]

By | February 28th, 2016|Play Sense, Toddler Sense|

Meg Faure’s Monday Minute: Toddler Play School

When you decide it’s time for your toddler to go to school, try to ensure the group is no more than 4-6 children per carer. Here are some tips to handling your toddler's stress while adjusting to the school environment: Do not start playschool at the same time as another life upheaval such as the birth of a sibling. Talk about playschool and about the fun activities she does there. Arrive earlier than the other kids for a few days so that she is settled when they arrive [...]

By | January 23rd, 2016|Play Sense, Toddler Sense|

Ask Meg: Starting Play School

Question:  My toddler has just started attending play school for the first time, and is having trouble settling in. She clings to me and cries when I drop her off in the mornings. How can I help to make the transition easier for her? Meg Faure answers: I am sorry you are having such a tough time. It’s always difficult when your toddler has difficulty separating. Here are a few nuggets of sense to help you: Firstly, you do not mention your toddler’s age. Up to three years old it [...]

By | January 17th, 2016|Play Sense, Toddler Sense|

Meg Faure’s Monday Minute: Summer loving with your baby

With summer holidays around the corner, now is a great time to start planning and preparing for outings with your baby - here is my recipe for a fun and happy outing… Enjoy these precious times of making memories with your baby. Dress your baby in 100% cotton if possible. A rule of thumb is that your baby will be comfortable in one layer more than you are wearing but on a really hot day, your baby can frolic in only a nappy, as long as his tender [...]

By | December 13th, 2015|Play Sense, Toddler Sense|
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