Jennifer Lau, a Speech Language Therapist with The Speech and Language Centre in Hong Kong explores baby signing as a form of communication and its impact.
Baby sign language can be an effective communication tool allowing parents and their babies to communicate with them before they are even able to say their first words. The theory behind this is that the rate of development for the motor system e.g. hand movements occurs before that of the speech system. Thus, babies who learn to sign will produce their first signs slightly earlier than their first words. We already know that children have a natural tendency to use iconic gestures i.e. those that are recognized by both you as the parent and your child, for example, drink, food, toilet, bye-bye, and sleepy. Baby signing simply takes gesturing a step further, by introducing an ordered sign system expanding their limited selection of natural gestures. The more successful and easily used signs are ones that resemble things they stand for e.g. fingers to lips for ‘eat’, or fingers to eyes for ‘look’. If parents and caregivers reinforce particular gestures or sounds then their babies will develop those communication skills.
Fine motor skills are those skills manipulated by small muscle movements: those that occur in the finger, in coordination with the eyes
Fine motor skills are those skills manipulated by small muscle movements: those that occur in the finger, in coordination with the eyes. As a child develops there is a natural progression of fine motor skills. A child learns to control his/her body from the inside out or by naturally starting at their shoulder and moving their way down to their fingertips. Obviously, when a child picks up a crayon for the first time, he/she does not hold it with a perfect, mature-like grasp. In general, three year-olds do not know how to use a scissors (which is a good thing most times).
My husband doesn't often ask me not to read a book, but a few months ago, he did just that. My bed time reading was The Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford, and each night, after reading a few pages, I would disturb his slumber by my constant muttering and moaning, along the lines of, "that woman," and "someone needs to tell her that they are not HER babies." So much for a relaxing read before drifting off! Contented Little Health Visitor I certainly was not!
Our user’s guide to pacifiers is essential reading for any parent considering the pacifier for their children.
Love them or hate them, parents have used dummies, pacifiers, or soothers for centuries. As the names suggest, they are used to soothe and settle babies and sometimes, toddlers too. While some mums (and dads) wouldn't be able to survive the day without giving their baby a dummy - other parents strongly disapprove of their use. The dummy debate has raged for a number of years and remains an area where parents are often given conflicting advice. Hopefully, this article will help you make a more informed decision on whether dummies are really harmful or a (plastic) blessing in disguise.
Although febrile convulsions are very rare, it can be terrifying for any parent or caregiver. Learn to prevent, identify and what to do if your child suffers a febrile seizure.
What is a febrile convulsion?
Some babies and young children may develop a sudden convulsion when they have a fever, resulting in a short loss of consciousness. The body, legs and arms go stiff and the limbs begin to jerk. Their eyes loose focus and roll back. They often turn very pale and sometimes the face appears to be blue. This attack usually ends after a few minutes and they then become limp. The colour and consciousness return slowly and the child is drowsy or weak for about an hour afterwards. This is called a febrile convulsion, fit or seizure.Febrile convulsions are very rare. However the aim of this article is to help you to prevent, identify and manage a febrile convulsion.
Establishing a healthy nap routine helps your baby to sleep better at night.
It is common to think that if your baby or toddler is sleeping relatively well at night, then the daytime naps don’t really matter so much. However, research and experience show that the length and quality of naps taken during the day can affect night time sleep – and that poor night time sleeping affects the daytime naps. Hence both night and day sleep is important in establishing a good, healthy sleep pattern for your baby.
Yvonne Heavyside of The Family Zone dispenses some sound advice for new mums coping with life with baby in Hong Kong.
This may seem a strange question to be raised by a health professional making her living from advising parents about the care of their baby. Nevertheless it is something which I have become increasingly concerned about. Many mothers I am in contact with are becoming more and more dependent on books, health professionals, the internet and their domestic helpers for advice and information on how to care for their babies.