We know we shouldn't say it, but this has been a quick year! We can never tell if it's a sign of so much or so little happening, but 2014 is already upon us. Now's a better time than any other to prepare some useful promises and better habits for all mother's and babies. We're well aware of the routine of dropping the routines New Year's resolutions bring out in us, but these are some good parenting quirks we think are worth hanging onto.
1. Spend More Time OutsideEven if your child is too young to have a go on a jungle gym, we shouldn't need to express how important it is that the two of you develop a fondness for the outdoors and nature. Medically, there's nothing that should deter you from taking your baby out of the house, even in the first month. Fresh air and a decent change of surroundings are certainly a plus, as its really only close contact with other people that can make them ill.
So long as your child is in a docile, content state (after a meal or nappy change is ideal) then you should let them experience the wonderful world of smells, sights and sensations of the world outside your walls. Providing the two of you walk out that door fully kitted and dressed appropriately, then a nice walk or daytrip is bound to be something you'll both and love and benefit from.
2. Prepare More Homemade BabyfoodThere are some disadvantages and drawbacks to being the sole cook for your little one. Time, space and, depending how you approach it, money can take a hit, and the point at which babies eat purée foods is a very small window. That all said, if you approach home prepared meals for your baby with a learned and determined mindset, the benefits are huge. Being able to choose all the flavours and nutrients your child is getting grants huge peace of mind, and it sets a good precedent for when they move onto solid dishes.
As with so much of modernity, the later your child is born the more luxury they will have in terms of food processing technologies. Plenty of gadgets and devices exist that let you purify healthy and delicious foods into easy to store and feed pouches. It's possible to purée everything for your baby, from fruit and vegetables to eggs and meat (properly cooked and without any fat or other trimmings).
3. Read to ThemReading to children is a no brainer, yet its essential for the all knowing brain. The merits are beyond our ability to list, but include the development of early academic ability, communication skills and those first few seeds of understanding abstract concepts and grasping consequences - all from simple stories about Hungry Caterpillars and Big Red Dogs!
It's also a profound way to build the relationship between a parent and child. That short time before bed allows the two of you to share in an adventure or a bit of learning, regardless of how much the story may be above their heads or below yours. It creates fond memories of reading that, with any luck, will continue as they grow older in a world full of other distractions.
4. Learn Baby/Child First AidFirst Aid is an essential life skill to have throughout any point in yours and your child's life. But when they are at their youngest and most vulnerable, learning how to deal with choking, burns, allergies and any manner of injury lets you become the first port of call before emergency services can arrive.
The British Red Cross supply offer fully certified 5 hour, one day training courses around the country for adults 18 and over, teaching a range of first aid skills to cope with emergency situations for babies and children (aged from 0-puberty). As children have their own specific risks and hazards, even if you're already trained in general or practical first aid, these specialized techniques are still highly beneficial.
5. Learn to Tie and Wear SlingsAs Daisy Baby's start in the world of babyware, we do have to say if you haven't discovered the wonderful benefits of wearing a sling, then this is a prime time for learning. A useful tool in both attachment parenting and for a Mum to get her free hands back when working around the house, a well tied sling also reduces the risk of flat head syndrome and promotes better development both physically or mentally.
Available in Mei Tai (one large panel with four straps, also sold with a hood), Ring Sling (one long piece of material tethered by two rings) and Wrap Slings (a multi positional fabric wrap that distributes the baby's weight evenly), all in a variable feast of patterns and colours, you can find full instructions on how to tie a sling in past entries on our blog, or on our YouTube channel:
What New Year's resolutions did you already have in mind for you and your baby? Which are easiest/hardest to keep, in your opinion? Let us know in the comments, and do please share some of your New Year's parenting celebrations on our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages!