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INFANT DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES

10 Infant Developmental Milestones and Their Causes!

The day that a baby arrives in the world is one of the happiest in the life of any parent, and from this moment they embark on an adventure as one big family. Parents learn something new every day about their young child, with several milestones occurring that excite and allow parents to see their baby’s growth process. The next 10 major stages come at a specific time for various reasons, which you can learn about now and know what awaits you every month of your child’s first year.

1. Smile (8 weeks)

Every parent is familiar with the exciting moment their soft child charmingly smiles at them and people around them dismiss it and say, "It’s just gas," but is it always true? Well, it depends on your child’s age, since "social smiling" among babies is possible only when they are about 8 weeks old. This is so because eight weeks is the time it takes for the nervous system and babies’ vision to develop so that they can see smiles and respond to them in the same way.

Smiling is actually a baby’s first social skill and it’s how they learn to develop relationships and develop emotionally. When they smile, babies actually show you that they know how to distinguish between different emotional states such as the fact that they are happy when you are around and sad when you move away from them.

2. Turning over (2-3 months)

When babies begin to move and realize that they have control of their bodies, they begin to do some exciting and cute things. One of these actions is turning over. This begins when babies lie on their stomachs and start to move by moving their legs and bodies back and forth until they manage to turn over on their backs.

Turning over in the opposite direction, from back to stomach, takes a little longer, and occurs when infants reach the age of 5 months and requires increased coordination and strength compared to turning over from stomach to back. When they try to do so, it is recommended to be near them to make sure they are safe and to calm them down if they begin to cry, which sometimes happens when they surprise themselves.

3. Grasping (3-4 months)

After a few months, babies begin to gauge where different objects are in the space of the room they are in, allowing them to plan to do things with them, grasping them. The simple act of dropping and lifting objects teaches them that they can manipulate things with their hands. When they lift a toy that makes noise, for example, they learn cause and effect, and that allows them to explore the world.

4. Laughter (4 months)

After going through a baby’s crying stage due to various stomach aches and pains, you reach a particularly enjoyable stage: laughter. At the age of 4 months, you’ll begin to hear this sweet sound coming from the depths of your baby’s stomach, and the real fun is that babies are the easiest people to entertain! Funny faces, strange sounds and a variety of everyday situations that seem perfectly normal and mundane make them giggle their sweet laughter and fascinate us even more.

5. Sleeping through the night (4-6 months)

If you ask new parents what the biggest difficulty is with their new baby, most will answer that a bad night’s sleep is one of their main problems. Sleep is important for both parents and their baby, but it doesn’t usually get better until 4-6 months. This long-awaited moment comes when babies are able to sleep through the night without demanding food.

6. Hugging (5 months)

At the age of five months, children begin to imitate the behavior they see in their environment, and one of them is, of course: hugs. When they see other people hugging each other or hugging them, babies repeat this affectionate movement with everyone they love, dad, mom, their dolls, and anything else that inspires joy and love.

Although there is nothing the warm embrace of babies, there are those who don’t do it often so there’s no reason to feel bad if your baby doesn’t. This is because many babies are busy focusing and studying their environment instead of hugging, and it isn’t indicative of their or your character.

7. Sitting upright (8 months)

One of the milestones in babies’ physical development is sitting upright. This happens when they have sufficient balance and strength in their hands and control over their head, neck and lower torso. At the age of 8 months, babies’ vision improves to a degree that allows them to see things in their direct line of sight, which makes them want to sit up to get a better look.

In the first stages of sitting, babies will hold on to things to support their bodies and maintain balance. To help them strengthen themselves and improve their balance, hold a toy that they love in front of their eyes and move it from side to side to encourage them to reach out, allowing them to stabilize their upper body and legs.

8. Crawling (6-10 months)

Once they learn the important skill of sitting independently, babies move on to the next important step on the list – crawling. This usually starts by placing babies in a new position – standing on all fours. The next attempt is testing their hands, and when they realize that they can support their movement and use them to give them momentum, they will crawl forward! Some babies don’t start crawling forward, but rather drag themselves on the floor or go back and forth in an attempt to move forward, and to help them, make space for them to move around and put things out of reach so they will feel motivated to move towards them.

9. Pulling themselves up (8 months)

When babies try to stand, they start by using various objects to support themselves, such as their parents, which allows them to pull themselves up. At the age of 8 months, babies’ legs and torso are strong enough to lift themselves without the support they needed till now. Their confidence is slowly built up by their success in crawling and every small or big milestone they’ve reached so far. At first, babies will still hold things to pull themselves up and but eventually they’ll start standing on their own and without support.

10. Walking (10-18 months)

When toddlers take their first steps, it is certainly exciting for everyone around them, and especially for their parents. These first steps signify great developmental progress because they require strength, coordination, and balance. When babies feel confident enough, their stance progresses to a slow but sure step that incorporates everything they’ve learned so far. Walking allows them to connect with the people around them and develop their social skills in a new way they couldn’t until this long-awaited stage.

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Factors Affecting Baby Development:

The stages described above symbolize the milestones that babies undergo, with each milestone age varying from baby to baby. The difference stems from a number of parameters that also vary from child to child and affect his or her achievements:

1. The character of the child

Each person is born with their own character with some bolder and others warier and unwilling to try new things just because they feel an urge to do so. Each baby progresses at their own speed.

2. Natural strength

Each one of us has strong points, weak points, and areas in which we succeed either more or less. You can see the first signs of this at the age of a year, the age at which children are supposed to walk and talk when some start doing it faster than others. Each child has their own developmental pace and therefore, it’s best not to compare your baby with other people’s babies because there will always be differences between them that hold no bearing on their future development.

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3. Older siblings

Babies with older siblings go through certain milestones earlier than expected because they’re constantly trying to keep up with their older siblings. On the other hand, older siblings can also cause small delays in development, since they don’t care to teach their new siblings and give them toys and other things without trying to motivate them to get them on their own. For your children to develop normally, talk to their older siblings and tell them it’s important to help them, but not all the time because they have to learn to do things alone.

4. Premature birth

Babies born earlier than expected reach the above-mentioned milestones slower than babies born at their intended birth date. There is no reason to fear when this happens, rather start the development count from the date they were supposed to be born, not on their date of birth. For example, a child born a month earlier will reach the 3-month milestones when they reach the age of four months.

Source: Internet, multiple

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NATURAL SINUS RELIEF

Combating Sinus Pain?

There are a number of proven steps we can take to ease sinus pain, and most of them are cheap and easy for anyone to try…

1. Drink Plenty of Fluids

Staying hydrated is an important health concern for many reasons, but it also helps keep your sinuses moist. You should drink plenty of water but avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can encourage dehydration. Fluid intake requirements differ from individual to individual and also depend on the present weather conditions, but as a general rule, you should aim to drink around 68 fluid ounces (or approximately two liters) of water every day.

2. Take a Steamy Shower or Bath

Hot water vapor is an effective way of moistening your sinuses and helping to keep them clear. A hot bath or shower can help remove mucus and debris stuck inside your nose and keep the passageways that serve the sinuses free of obstruction. For a further boost, try dropping some Eucalyptus Oil in the bath with you – it’s a great, natural decongestant.

3. Eat Spicy Foods

Spicy foods are not for everyone but they can help clear your nasal passages. If you are a fan of fiery foods such as curry, hot peppers, and mustard, drop some extra into your evening meal to help open up your nasal passage.

4. Get a Humidifier

A humidifier helps to keep the air moist, providing you with a great way of eliminating arid air that is a leading cause of dry sinuses. You should only use a humidifier during dry summer months wherever you live and keep your eye on it – the humidity levels should ideally sit at around 30-50%. If condensation starts to form on your windows, you need to adjust the settings or turn it off! Any humidifier should be kept clean as mold can form on them – and that can cause allergies in itself.

5. Use a Warm Compress

Warm compresses can help with sinus pain as they help keep the nasal passage moist. Put uncooked rice or oats inside a clean tube sock, and add some lavender or cinnamon for a more pleasant fragrance. Microwave the compress for 30 seconds then test it. If you are happy with the level of warmth, remove it and apply it on to the nose and surrounding areas. Alternatively, fill a large bowl with steaming hot water, place a towel over your head to stop the air from escaping and lean over the bowl to breathe in the air. Again, adding some eucalyptus oil to the water can be beneficial.

6. Use a Saline Solution

A saline solution can be as effective as a decongestant in combating blocked passageways that can lead to sinus pain. A saline wash thins mucus so that it can flow more effectively through the nose and surrounding chambers. Studies have concluded that saline solutions are some of the best lines of defense against sinusitis and can be used daily to prevent symptoms from developing.

7. Guard Your Bedroom Against Allergies

Allergy flare-ups are a common cause of sinus pain and we can take steps to avoid them. As allergies often flare in the evening, ensure your bedroom is kept free of factors that can contribute to irritation. Dust covers on your pillows and quilts can help eliminate pesky dust allergies and although it may leave you heavy of heart, stopping your pets from sleeping in your bedroom can help as well. If there are flowering plants in your room, you may also consider removing them if you are experiencing pain or irritation.

8. Try Bromelain Supplements

Bromelain is a protein found in pineapple stems and can be bought as a supplement from health food and natural remedy stores. It has been used by boxers and other combat sportsmen to reduce inflammation after fights and there is evidence of success when it is used to reduce swelling around the nose associated with sinus problems. You should, however, consult your doctor before taking Bromelain if you are on any other medication, as it may interact with them. Be sure to read the dosage instructions carefully.

9. Avoid Antibiotics Until You Have Exhausted Natural Remedies

Most sinus problems are viral, not bacterial. So antibiotics should not be used in the majority of cases. Antibiotics are our best defense against bacteria but they are not effective against viruses and are not an appropriate treatment for them. Overuse of antibiotics can actually lead to bacterial resistance and make you more susceptible to superbugs. Natural remedies and over-the-counter medication should be your first port-of-call and if problems persist – move to point 10.

10. See Your Doctor When Problems Persist

If the natural and over-the-counter remedies fail to improve your condition, you should consult a Doctor. Doctors can make a referral for a scan which may uncover anatomical blockages that require surgery, or they can send you to be allergy tested. Your Doctor can also refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist if your problems require a more involved or integrated form of treatment than natural remedies can provide.

How To Make a Saline Solution at Home

You can buy saline solution from your local pharmacy, but if you want to make your own you can do so. Mix half a teaspoon (2.5g) of salt and half a teaspoon (2.5g) of baking soda in 1 cup of water at room temperature. Use clean bottled water if possible. If you use tap water, sterilize it and let it cool until it is lukewarm.

To apply the saline solution, whether it be homemade or purchased:

  • Use an all-rubber ear syringe which you can buy at a pharmacy.
  • User a water flosser, set on low.
  • Pour the solution into your hand, and sniff it up each nostril separately.

Aim the solution towards the back of your head, not the top, and it should run through your nasal passageways and into the back of your throat. Once it arrives in your mouth, you can spit out the remains, so apply when near to a sink.


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TRUTH BEHIND HEALTH MYTHS

1. An apple a day keeps the doctor away

To a certain extent, eating an apple a day can keep the doctor away. According to researchers from Cornell’s Food Science and Toxicology Department found that one fresh apple contains the antioxidant properties equal to 1500 milligrams of vitamin C. To keep your immune system functioning, your body needs vitamin C. However, German researchers in 2009, found that vitamin C can’t prevent you from catching something like a cold virus, or make it any less severe. Still, sufficient levels can reduce the duration of the illness in healthy persons.

2. Bundle up or you’ll catch a cold

As such, a virus is what causes a cold, not the cold weather itself. However, there is some truth to this partial health myth. According to a 2016 study at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, “most strains of rhinovirus (the common cold virus) replicate better at cool temperatures.” This means that while you won’t catch a cold from the cold, the virus is more likely to stick in lower temperatures.

3. Fresh fruits and vegetables are healthier than frozen produce

A study conducted in 2015 at the University of California, looked at eight different veggies and fruits. While the results varied, researchers found that fresh peas had more vitamin B than frozen ones. Meanwhile, a 2010 study from the Department of Public health in Parma, Italy, discovered that when fresh, vegetables such as cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower maintained more antioxidants and phytochemicals.

4. Chicken soup can cure your cold

Chicken soup has long been deemed as a universal remedy for all that ails you. And, there is scientific evidence that this dish does make a difference. In fact, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, chicken soup provides our bodies with protein, vitamins, and antioxidants that boost our immune system.

5. Milk does the body good

Milk is great for our bodies, but not in the ways we knew as children. Back then, many of us heard that milk gives us strong bones. But, according to a 2014 study published in the British Medical Journal, there was no link between milk consumption and bone fracture risk. With this in mind, a 2011 study from McMaster University found milk to be more hydrating than water for children. This, researchers concluded that milk is better than sports drinks and water because it is a source of high-quality protein, carbs, calcium, and electrolytes.

6. Cholesterol is bad for you

While some cholesterol is bad for you, there are two types, LDL, which is bad, and HDL which is good. According to the American Heart Association, “Too much of the bad kind, or not enough of the good kind, increases the risk that cholesterol will slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain.” High cholesterol is linked to a heart attack and stroke because of this build-up in your arteries, which narrows them, making them less flexible, and preventing proper blood flow.

7. Garlic can relieve a toothache

You’ve likely heard that garlic cures toothaches, and this has turned out to be true. Dr. Steven Lin, author of The Dental Diet says, “When you crush garlic cloves, they release allicin. This is a natural antibacterial agent, and it can help you with your tooth pain. Consider chewing on a piece of raw garlic, or rinsing with garlic water.” Of course, if your tooth pain persists, be sure to get it checked by your dentist.

8. Eating before bed will give you nightmares

Eating too late, be it sugar or something else, will impact your ability to stay asleep. According to Dr. William Kormos of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, “Nocturnal eating can interrupt your sleep in various ways, [including] prompting a recall of disturbing dreams. For example, eating a large meal, especially a high-carbohydrate meal, could trigger night sweats because the body generates heat as it metabolizes the food. Also, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), caused by lying down with a full stomach, may trigger symptoms that wake you up.”

9. You should always eat your crusts

Crusts are the most nutritious part of the bread. In fact, according to a German study conducted in 2002, it was found that bread crust has powerful antioxidants, containing as much as eight times more antioxidants than the bread itself.

10. Eating too many carrots will turn your skin orange

While hard to believe, this is actually true. You’d have to eat a lot of carrots for it to happen though. According to the University of California, Santa Barbara, carrots are rich in beta-carotene and consuming too much can cause excess beta-carotene to enter the bloodstream where it is not properly broken down. So instead, it is deposited in the skin, which leads to an orange skin discoloration called carotenemia. This is a common and harmless condition that affects infants when they begin to eat solid foods. However, your body will eventually break down the excess beta-carotene, and your skin will return to its normal color.

Source: Internet


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RESEARCH NEWS: ULTRAPROCESSED FOOD

In the United States, 61% of an adult’s total diet comes from ultraprocessed foods, in Canada, it is 62%, and in the UK, that proportion is 63%, a recent study found. Yet research also indicates that eating ultraprocessed foods can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and cancer, the study authors say. Ultraprocessed foods are mostly consumed in the form of snacks, desserts, or ready-to-eat or -heat meals.

Takeaway: Avoid Processed food


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LATEST NEWS: LIMIT YOUR KID’S TOOTHPASTE CONSUMPTION

Too many young kids are using too much toothpaste, increasing their risk of streaky or splotchy teeth when they get older, according to a government survey released Thursday. About 40 percent of kids ages 3 to 6 used a brush that was full or half-full of toothpaste, even though experts recommend no more than a pea-sized amount, the study found.

Reason: too much fluoride when teeth are forming can lead to tooth streaking or spottiness—known as dental fluorosis. In extreme cases, teeth can be pitted by the mineral, though many cases are so mild only dentists notice it. Past studies have suggested fluorosis has been increasing for at least three decades, and can affect as many as 2 out of 5 adolescents.

Takeaway: Limit toothpaste to the size of a pea.


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Body Signals

The human body is a magnificent machine. Of course, from time to time, our body does suffer the occasional health problem, but it’s well equipped to deal with many of them, by sending us signals explaining the problems in our insides. Here are a few body signals.

1. Dark Circles Below Your Eyes

It’s recommended that you sleep between seven and eight hours per night. If you don’t, it will usually be visible to other people in the form of dark circles underneath your eyes. Yet, this is not the only reason you may have dark circles. Anemia (a lack of red blood cells) is one condition that can result in the same symptom.

2. Your Fingers Changing Colors

Have you noticed any change in the color of your fingers? If so, we strongly urge you to speak to your doctor about it. Reynaud’s Syndrome can result in this symptom. With Reynaud’s, low temperatures lead to blood vessel spasms, which change the skin color of your fingers.

3. Blurry Vision

Do you get tired eyes and blurry vision more than you used to? If you sometimes feel that you can’t recognize or read things that you’d expect to be able to, you could well have astigmatism or short-sightedness. We advise that you make an appointment to see an optician.

4. Blobs and Stripes in Your Eyes

There are many different types of obstructions that can suddenly appear in your field of vision, though they are often found in the presence of bright white light. These dots or stripes known as ‘eye floaters’ could be an early sign of cataracts or other eye problems; therefore, you should consult an optician for a thorough examination – particularly if they persist for more than a week.

5. Rumbling in Your Belly

Processes ongoing in your intestines often make a kind of rumbling sound, which we tend to associate with feelings of hunger. Yet, if you begin to hear these noises regularly even when you are not about to eat or have finished eating, you ought to see a doctor straight away – especially if the sound is accompanied by pain. If, however, the sounds are quite rare, you need not be concerned.

6. Peeling Skin

If your skin is peeling, you probably lack essential vitamins. Fortunately, you can remedy this by improving your diet, and making your meals more balanced. If, however, your peeling is accompanied by an itch, you may have a fungal infection. In which case, we recommend you go see a doctor as soon as you can.

7. Loss of Sense of Smell

As we get older, damage to our nervous system reduces the sharpness in our sense of smell. Yet, sometimes this loss occurs in young people too. If you notice this, and you are young, please see a doctor right away. Your symptom could be caused by a viral infection or a strong cold.

8. Twitching Eyelids

If your eyes are tired from overwork, they may start twitching involuntarily. To stop this, all you need to do is wash your eyes using cotton pads that have been soaked in cold water. However, if this remedy doesn’t stop your twitching, you will need to see a doctor. You may be experiencing twitching because of a grave problem with your nervous system.

9. A Ringing in Your Ears

Known as tinnitus, constant ringing in the ears is a common problem that many people feel tempted to ignore, in the belief that it’s unrelated to their health. In most cases, the sound is caused by spending time in certain types of noisy environments. However, it could be that tinnitus is caused by an underlying illness. Check with your doctor to make sure.


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Latest NEWS: MEASLES AT ALL TIME HIGH

Measles outbreaks make 2018 a near-record year for U.S.

In 2018, 349 individual cases of measles were confirmed in 26 states and the District of Columbia.

People who are fully vaccinated against measles have very little risk of becoming infected.

The vaccine provides upwards of 95 percent protection.

But measles is one of the most infectious viruses known and will infect 90 percent of people who breathe it in.

Although some people argue that measles is a relatively harmless childhood illness, it can kill.

Measles causes encephalitis and pneumonia and before mass vaccination began in the 1980s, measles killed nearly 2.6 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization.

It still kills more than 100,000 people a year, mostly children under five. One in 1,000 people who catch measles die of it.

Takeaway: Vaccinate people.