Tag: child

HOW CHILDBIRTH AFFECTS YOUR RELATIONSHIP

HOW CHILDBIRTH AFFECTS YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Having a child is one of life’s greatest moments. When you’ve found a partner who you adore and you’re both ready and eager to turn that love into a tiny heartbeat, life couldn’t be better, right?

And just like that, two suddenly become three; but once all of the newborn excitement starts to mellow, there is often a shift in our relationship with our significant other. How can we cope when our relationship takes a hit?

Lacking a Good Night’s Rest

The biggest shift in your household after childbirth will be the amount of sleep you and your partner are getting. We all know how much a good night’s sleep can affect our mental state, so with the lack thereof for a new mother and father, it’s understandable if you become crabby easily.

Although the only real remedy for sleep deprivation is, well, sleep, keeping mindful that your partner is going through it at the moment just as you are, can ensure that the peace is kept. Even though one of you is likely to be getting more sleep than the other, try and be as empathetic as possible. And of course, encourage each other to take naps when you can.

Social Life Shortage

Before having a child, our social lives are booming. We go for drinks with friends, out to dinners after a day in the office and take little weekend getaways spontaneously. This young and carefree lifestyle takes a big slap in the face when we become parents. But it’s not all downhill. These aspects of your life will come back, although maybe not as spontaneously and on a whim as before.

The loss of your social life when becoming a parent can take a toll on your relationship. Your partner may become agitated at the fact that you aren’t the adventurous, outgoing couple that you were previously and relationship dynamics can shift.

“Well, What Did You DO All Day?”

Whether you are working a 9-5 to support your new family or staying home to look after your little one, both roles have their challenges.

It’s easy to assume you’ve bagged the hard end of the bargain when your partner is home all day to look after a newborn, and vice versa when your other half doesn’t run to help you with the cooking as soon as they arrive home from work, but communication is key.

Understanding that one role can be just as difficult as another, and expressing challenges you face day to day can dodge negativity and diminish assumptions that being a stay at home parent is a walk in the park.

Shifting Affection

When you bring a baby into the world, everything revolves around them. It is easy to pour yourself into being the best parent you can be, but your shift in direction of affection can often be at your partner’s expense. Mental and physical attraction can decline after childbirth but you’ll find other ways to be intimate with your partner.

Postnatal Depression can affect both males and females, so it is vital to communicate with your significant other and seek professional help when needed. Although parenthood is a fresh and sometimes scary experience, it is an amazing experience worth every minute.

WHAT DO PAEDIATRICIANS HELP WITH?

We have been asked the question – “What does a paediatrician do?” I might start with explaining who paediatricians are.

Paediatricians are doctors who have completed specialists training in medical conditions that affect the wellbeing of children. In Australia a general paediatrician would have completed at least another six years of training to complete the specialisation process. Some subspecialist would then continue further training in a sub-speciality field of their interest.

General paediatricians care for all children, from the day your beautiful baby arrives in this world, until your still beautiful (but maybe a bit grumpy) teenager finishes school. Paediatricians coordinate the healthcare of children to ensure they have access to support where needed. Here are the five most common reasons children are referred to a paediatrician.

  1. Paediatricians ensure your newborn baby arrives safely in this world.

Paediatricians often attends the delivery of newborn babies. Not all deliveries require the presence of a paediatrician but if any complications are anticipated a paediatrician will be called to the delivery. Fortunately most babies do not need much help and the paediatrician are there “just in case.” If a paediatrician is at the delivery, they will examine the baby to make sure that it is healthy. Occasionally a baby might have some difficulties at birth and might need some support, for example, to start breathing properly. In the days that follow the paediatrician would normally do a few more checks to ensure everyone is adjusting well and then do a check before the baby is discharged home.

  1. Paediatricians look after premature or unwell babies.

Unfortunately babies sometimes arrive earlier than expected, are born with medical conditions that affect them at birth or suffer from birth complications. The baby will then likely be admitted to a neonatal unit. In not so serious circumstances, this will be in a nursery or special care baby unit. If the baby is very unwell admission to a neonatal intensive care unit might be needed. General paediatricians often look after babies admitted to nurseries. If the baby is admitted to a NICU then paediatricians who have specialised in neonatal care will take over care of the baby.

  1. Paediatricians look after the growth and development of your baby and toddler.

Common reasons young children are referred to a paediatrician are about concerns with the growth or development of a young child. Paediatricians have been trained to assess growth and development of children. Sometimes the problem might be fairly simple and just need a bit of reassurance and advice. Sometimes the paediatrician will ask an allied health provider to have a more detailed look at the child’s difficulties and provide advice to optimise the child’s development. Occasionally concerns can point to a more serious endocrine, neurological or developmental conditions and paediatricians will then decide whether further tests, such as blood tests or scans, are necessary to find the reason for the child’s difficulties.

  1. Paediatricians assess and treat children with neurodevelopmental and behaviour difficulties.

Behavioural difficulties are one of the most common reasons parents will request a referral to a paediatrician. For younger children, this could be sleeping, eating or toileting difficulties. Older pre-school or school aged children are often referred for ADHD type assessments because they are extremely busy, unable to sit still or have difficulties concentrating. These concerns sometimes cause difficulties at school and the child might fall behind in their academic work or the child’s behaviour could wreak havoc within the family. Paediatricians also frequently see concerns about possible autistic features, especially if the child behaves in an unusual way, struggle making friends or come across as very different from their peers. These types of consultations are often more complex and it can take time to get to the bottom of the child’s difficulties.

  1. Treating common childhood illnesses.

Children are often referred with a range of common illnesses, such as asthma and other respiratory conditions, eczema and skin lesions, allergies, gastro-intestinal conditions, especially constipation and soiling, urinary tract conditions and neurological problems, to name a few. Most of these conditions are common and relatively easily managed by a general paediatrician in an outpatient setting. Some conditions, such as epilepsy or other neurological conditions are a bit more complex and would likely involve more intensive longer-term care.

The above are probably the most common reasons children are referred to a general paediatrician’s rooms but is by no means an exhaustive list of what a paediatrician does. Many paediatricians work in hospital settings and will look after children when they are unwell with, for example, infective illnesses, heart conditions, respiratory problems, cancers or in the rehabilitation process after they have been in accidents.

Paediatricians also often work behind the scenes to advocate for the health and wellbeing of children, this can be with the child protection system or working in non-profit organisations to develop access to services for children who are marginalised in society or who live in poorer parts of the world.

If you have any concerns about the development or health of your child, feel free to ask your GP for a referral to see a paediatrician.

HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN AFFECT KIDS’ EYES

Technology exists all around us, and while it provides us with a long list of benefits, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. It’s not uncommon to see kids glued to their iPad, computer, or game console, but what harm is this doing to their eyes?

Digital eyestrain is identified as burning, tired, or itchy eyes caused by excessive screen time. This can lead to headaches, blurred vision and a sore neck. While the short-term effects of digital eyestrain are not usually harmful, with many children spending upwards of three hours per day on their digital device, the constant exposure to blue light can cause the eyes to age quicker.

In a digitally-dominated age, exposure to technology is practically unavoidable. So, what can be done to keep screen time to a healthy and safe standard?

Take a break.

It’s recommended that children take a break from the screen every 20 minutes.

Eye exams.

Take your child for an eye exam every year to ensure their eyes are developing properly and not being damaged by screen time.

Get active.

Encourage your kids to put down their device and play outside for at least an hour per day.

Blue Light Glasses.

Invest in a pair of blue light glasses for your child. These can diminish the harmful blue rays that emit from your child’s’ digital device – and help them sleep better at night.

Sleep tight.

Avoid exposure to screens one hour before bed.

While screens are a great source of entertainment for children and adults alike, it’s important to remember the harm they can do and to “disconnect” every once in a while.

PLAYROOM PARADISE

Play is a vital part of childhood and development. Nurture your child’s creativity by giving them a space to unleash their imagination and play to their heart’s content in their very own playroom. Keeping the creative mess contained in one room is an added bonus.

World of their own

During childhood, many children create an imaginative world of their own full of adventure, wonder and discovery. An excellent way to nurture this imagination is by providing kids with a fantasy playset, allowing them to embark on their very own adventures. Why not opt for a pirate ship, farm yard, medieval castle or zoo animal set?

If your little one is a bit too young for itsy-bitsy toy parts, stuffed animals, baby dolls and toy trucks make for a fantastic alternative.

Get crafty

Do you love it when your child presents a home-made craft project from school? It’s actually easy to provide kids with their own craft space at home. From drawing to painting and colouring in, there’s so much that can be created – and all you’ll need is a table, chair, and an array of colourful craft supplies. Position all this in a well-lit space with an old tablecloth and when creativity calls, your child will have all they need ready to go.

Learn, learn, learn

Play is one of the best ways for kids to learn new skills. Learning definitely does not need to be boring. Older children will be entertained while constructing their very own anatomic T-Rex or learning about nature, watering their own plants and watching them grow over time. Younger children can learn their colours by exploring the colourful toys within the playroom together with mum and dad.

A playroom is a space for children to be inspired, have fun and get creative while at the same time boosting problem solving and fine motor skills, and it doubles up as a fantastic space for play dates.

There are some gorgeous storage options to (try to) keep the mess under control. Hopefully parents can enjoy some quiet time as children become engrossed in their play and (you don’t need to tell them) learning!

QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CHOOSING A KINDERGARTEN OR CHILDCARE

5 TIPS TO MAKE DROP-OFFS EASIER FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILD

Dropping off your child to kindy or childcare can be hectic, you can be feeling rushed, they can be upset which can all lead to you feeling sad or anxious making the whole drop-off experience quite stressful.

The good news is some simple steps can be introduced to your morning routine to help make morning drop-offs more and calmer for you and your child.

5 TIPS TO MAKE DROP-OFFS EASIER FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILD

Jane Harpley is C&K’s Children Services Regional Manager for North Queensland, she has been teaching and supporting teachers for many years. Here are her 5 tips to make drop-off time as smooth as possible.

1. Establish an arrival ritual

Rituals are most likely already quite common in your home. At night you might read a book together before bed, in the morning you might eat breakfast before getting dressed. Rituals provide an opportunity for a child to feel secure in knowing what to anticipate and can learn what to expect.

Establishing an arrival ritual can allow your child to feel secure and calm as they are aware of what the next step is as they transition from being in your care to that of their educators.

Arrival rituals can be different for each family, and that is ok. What is important is to be consistent and to involve your child in the ritual. It could include, greeting your child’s educator, putting their bag/lunch/water bottle away, then walking them to an area of the playground or to activity that they particularly enjoy. Morning rituals centre around ensuring children feel welcome while creating a sense of belonging.

2. Bring something familiar

Many children have a toy or blanket that can bring them some comfort.

These items are often referred to as ‘security’ objects and can be a great tool when transitioning children from home or to childcare or kindergarten.

If your child has a favourite toy or blanket, bring it to kindy or childcare with them. It can act like a little piece of home and can help reduce their anxiety or stress.

3. Talk it through

Talking about the morning and drop off will greatly benefit your child. You can say, “we’re on our way to kindy this morning. I know your teachers have a great day planned for you. You’ll play with all your friends, eat, play with toys and then I’ll pick you up.“

Don’t sneak out the door, instead, let your child know when you are leaving and say goodbye. If your child starts to cry or becomes upset from the separation, don’t brush over his or her feelings. Instead, let them know it’s ok to miss you. When we support our children’s feelings of loss or pain, we are helping them understand their emotions, reinforces your bond and help them develop resilience.

5 TIPS TO MAKE DROP-OFFS EASIER FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILD

4. Play together

C&K childcares and kindies always encourage parents to take as much time as needed when separating from their child.

In the morning spend time playing, do a puzzle together, look at some of the toys or features of the room together and talk to your child’s educator. This will help them become familiar and comfortable within their environment.

C&K understands that drops off can be stressful and aim to help parents feel relaxed, unhurried and settled during the arrival period.

5 TIPS TO MAKE DROP-OFFS EASIER FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILD

5. Talk to your educator

Every child is different, and their worries and anxieties are very real and distressing for them. C&K educators are here to help you and your child. Discuss any concerns you have and let your educator know the routines you currently have in place. They’ll be able to give you some strategies and will partner with you to make the transition from home to their kindy or childcare as smooth as possible.


Find a C&K near you today!

C&K is a not-for-profit organisation that has been offering rich and varied learning experiences for Queensland children since 1907. At C&K, children are encouraged to be involved in play that promotes a lifelong love of learning. We nurture happy and healthy minds, hearts and bodies so every child can achieve their full potential.  Visit our website to find a C&K near you today.

WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD'S SPEECH DEVELOPMENT

WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD’S SPEECH DEVELOPMENT

Dear Melanie, what can I do at home to help my child’s speech development and communication?

At home it’s really all about input. One really nice strategy is to allocate 15-20 mins of playtime each day where you focus on feeding in language. No questions, no rules, just lots of talk about what you are doing, what your child is doing, and wondering out loud.

Books are also a great tool. Its worthwhile using book time to talk about what you have read or what you can see on the page. There is so much more language to be modeled than just the words written by the author. You can talk about how characters are feeling, what might happen next, or something similar that you or your child have experienced.

Try to avoid correcting your child, and model the correct word/sentence for them instead. It’s a slight difference but the idea isn’t to tell them that they said it wrong or to expect a correction. Just provide a correct model over the top of the word they found tricky.

If your child is still struggling with their communication, it is worthwhile seeing a speech pathologist for more specific activities.

www.coastalkidsspeech.com.au