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Stages of development: 36 months old

The day has finally arrived. Your baby is 36 months old and is now a pre-schooler. It did not seem long ago that you were juggling bottles, enduring sleepless nights and changing nappies. In this article, we explore what most children should be doing at this age, what skills they may have and suggest some fun activities to do with your baby to help stimulate them and progress their development further. What can a 36 month old child do? One of the first things you will notice about your child at this stage is their ability to talk. Gone are the days where your baby could only gurgle or repeatedly say one word. You should now be able to hold simple conversations with your child most of the time and they will usually express what they want or need. Children at this age also seem to love being independent and it can be something they feel very strongly about e.g. if your child is brushing their teeth and you try to intervene, you may have to deal with an explosive outburst. Your child will now try to dress themselves, although their ability to do this successfully may vary! A simple activity like putting on a shirt should usually pose little problem. At 36 months, your child’s artistic skills have improved dramatically. They should be able to draw straight lines, simple shapes and objects. They will also know how to hold a pencil or pen in a writing position. What are the social skills of a 36 month old child? Social interaction teaches children many important behaviours like sharing. This can be an unknown concept to a pre-schooler, especially those who were born without siblings. The concept of giving, instead of receiving, is very new. Typically, a child will learn that being selfish will not gain them many friends. They will soon learn that giving and sharing means more companions and therefore more fun. Your child may also start to prefer certain friends, showing their growing identity. They may even mention their names or talk about them. Group activities will fascinate your child, but they may have problems taking turns. Again, this is a new concept for them because when they were around you at home, it was always their turn. This is something that your child will learn quickly, which will perhaps make your life easier at home as well. At 36 months, your child’s concentration skills have increased considerably. They will no longer flit between toys like they used to. Instead, they will become absorbed in a single task. This means that they will be more attentive in activities such as story time. It also means that they will be more interested in structured, social games like tag. What changes in a 36 month old child’s routine? You should probably start saying goodbye to your child’s naptime at this stage, which has been getting shorter and shorter as weeks have passed. If you are lucky, your child may still require an afternoon snooze, but this is most likely a micro nap as opposed to a leisurely sleep. It is about this age that children begin to master the potty. They will go off on their own and try to do their business in private. They will still need help afterwards to clean themselves. What is a 36 month old child curious about? The world is still new to your pre-schooler. They have many questions about it, how it works, the whys and the whens. Now that they have a solid vocabulary to communicate, they will use it to question you repeatedly on all types of subjects. Some of the topics they ask about may be slightly uncomfortable to describe e.g. sex and reproduction. It is best at this point to be as honest as possible and not to make elaborate stories about storks delivering newborns in thatch baskets. Keep it simple e.g you grew in my tummy, the older they get the more able they will be to understand the complexities of the world and how it works. It is common for all children at this stage to become interested in their own reproductive organs. They may also want to show them to other children, which again is natural. Letting your child know that penises and vaginas are private things is the best policy. Which toys are best for a 36 month old? Stimulating a three year old is very important to build upon their development. Activities like art will exercise creativity and imaginative play. Your child will now probably spend more time and care when drawing a picture, so art materials like pens, pencils and craft material will allow them to fulfil their artistic talents. Now may be a great time to introduce your child to a tricycle; learning to ride is not only fun, but will also provide exercise. There are tricycles which have removable wheels, turning them into a bike for your child to ride in the near future. Books are always good for toddlers, and they will now become more involved with the reading process, copying what you say and trying to read words themselves. Reading is valuable so that they can acquire more language to communicate. The more you read, the more your child learns. It is also a way to calm your child down when it is time for sleeping. Children love to use their imagination, which is why dressing up is always a fun and stimulating activity. At 36 months old, your child’s imagination is dynamic. They can create scenarios, act out characters and even tell stories.     Construction toys, like building blocks or stacking toys not only develop your child’s cognitive abilities but also gives them the chance to be creative. A 36 month old toddler will be nimble at stacking objects, but will probably destroy it moments later! You may marvel at what your child can now do. At one stage, they were wholly dependent on you, but now they are their own person. Over the next months and years their personalities will blossom. You may begin to realise that your child is growing up fast but you should always remember that they will always need you both now and in the future.
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Baby Wheelies

Once your baby learns to walk, it is time to pack the play mat away and start thinking about other toys for your baby. Your baby will be very active at this point discovering how to use his new skill. Soon he will be climbing, jumping and running. At this point, it is a good option to find something else to distract your baby. A great toy for this is a baby wheelie or ride on, which will provide your baby with hours of fun while also adding some developmental benefits. In this brief overview, we find out about baby wheelies, what they are good for and how much they will cost. A baby wheelie comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours. It is a large toy, which can take the form of transport such as a car or bus or an insect such as a ladybird. What all these models have in common is that they all are on wheels and are therefore mobile. Baby wheelies usually have a place where your baby can sit and push themselves along and they all usually also have a long handle, around your child’s waist height which your child can hold on to and they can use to push their wheelie along, supporting your child to walk themselves. Wheelie’s are usually bright and colourful and are a great way for your baby to get around. A wheelie allows your child to be on the move, not only is this good for their muscle tone, developing the muscles for them to walk, but it is also something they will enjoy.  Your child can be carried away in their imagination and become a bus driver, ride on a bee or get on their tractor down to their farm; the possibilities for your child are endless. Generally, baby wheelies are suitable for children between 1 and 3 years. Your child will need to be able to support themselves securely as the wheelie provides only very limited support. Usually there are no backs on a baby wheelie so you need to be sure your child will not fall back and hurt themselves. The pros of a baby wheelie are numerous. They provide babies with lots of enjoyment either from riding them or using them to assist walking. Both of these activities help your baby to build their muscles, which is important as they work towards walking completely unaided. Baby Wheelies also provide stimulation for your child, aiding learning and development and they provide the opportunity for imaginative play all of which will make your baby smile. There are few cons to a baby wheelie, the most obvious one being safety. Like other forms of stand-up toys, it is important you supervise your baby at all times whilst they play on their baby wheelie, otherwise your baby could receive an injury. Baby wheelies are in short, a perfect toy for the active baby, one that will distract and excite them for hours on end.
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How should I exercise when I’m pregnant?

If you’re a first time mum, the prospect of exercising with a little person growing inside of you can seem quite daunting but it can work, and work really well at that! We’ve heard from over 50 mums on what they did to keep fit while pregnant and rounded up the top fitness regimes, so you don’t have to do a mad google search on what you can and can’t do. Some mums claimed that these exercises resorted in them having a better body post-pregnancy than before, some claimed these exercises were great in the aiding of a less painful birth and some, of course, claimed they were in too much discomfort to even tackle these, but they wish they had.preg  
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What do I pack in my labour bag for the hospital?

labour bag 1Don’t panic. Preparation is key and we’re here to guide you through everything you need…and some things you don’t really need. It all starts with one of the most basic aspects of labour that some women forget about; always remember that your birthing partner will be with you along the way. This means, they will need to know where absolutely everything is in your labour bag – there’s nothing more irritating when you’re trying to give birth than having someone shouting back ‘where is it?!’ in your ear the whole time! Now we’ve taken care of that, here’s a list of a bunch of things that are either necessities or little extras to make your hospital visit as comfortable as it can be. Self-maintenance: It may seem like the last thing on your list, but when you’re in the hospital and going through labour, comfort will be all you think about. Dry lips, greasy hair and sweat dripping down you will collectively be the last things you will need – if you can prevent this discomfort with no extra effort, then why not? Dry shampoo Lip balm/Vaseline Hair ties and bobby pins Hand fan for a hot summer birth – no woman in labour wants to sweat any more than they have to! Attire: Yes, we’re singing the comfort song again! All of the below will aid you with dealing with the hospital environment, so instead of using their harsh towels and showering with bare feet, you can have little pieces of home with you. The biggest part however, is your underwear; you have to think about every situation, and if a C-section occurs, be prepared with appropriate clothing that won’t irritate the affected area. Flip flops Cosy fluffy socks Towel Leggings/joggers/top/jumper – All loose fitting and high waisted so they won’t dig into scars. Spare underwear – The granny kind, not the pretty kind! And of course, a lot of them! Self-hygiene Let’s be frank, you won’t be feeling your best. You’ll feel a bit disgusting, a bit smelly and (a lot of blogs won’t tell you this) it will be as if those 9 months’ worth of periods will have all come in one go! Here’s how to deal with it: Travel size toiletries – body wash/shampoo/conditioner/moisturiser. Maternity pads and a lot of them…seriously, we mean a lot. Tooth brush tooth paste. Hand sanitizer to keep at your bedside. Food & Drink Comfort food is a woman’s best friend. Chocolate is also a woman’s best friend. Food – Your favourite comfort food for post labour and late night feeds if you stay for long. Mineral water – There’s nothing worse than warm hospital water. A lot of mums take to freezing their water so it remains cold for a long period of time. Tea – We all know hospital tea bags aren’t the best, to say the least. Baby’s Attire You won’t know exactly what to expect from your newborn so you need to be as prepared as you can be! Pack more than what you anticipate you will need because it is better to be safer than sorry. Baby grows and vests – Lots of them as baby may vomit up mucus frequently at the beginning. Mittens Baby wipes - A lot of them! Socks Swaddle blankets – More than one so you can keep baby tightly wrapped up and snug. Breast Care Breast feeding can be painful and when it’s your first time, you need to have the necessary aids to hand to make it easier for you. Breast pads Nipple cream Nipple shields Electronics & Accessories These are definitely things everyone may forget. Often labour bags are overshadowed by the above but it’s important to give yourself and your birthing partner constructive activities to burn time if labour takes a while. Phone charger – So your phone is ready to go for pictures, calls and any emergencies. Hands free set – Great for talking to the 101 calls you will be receiving while you’re holding baby. Headphones – Ideal for blocking out hospital noise for some easy shut eye. Entertainment – Either a book or tablet to keep you company if you have to stay for long.
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What should I look for when checking my baby’s temperature?

Let’s get back to basics. When you take a temperature, you are trying to measure how hot your child is inside their body. This is called their “core temperature”. To do this, you want to measure the temperature in places that are closest to the inside temperature.  These include you measuring the temperature inside the mouth (oral), under the arm (axillary), or in their outer ear canal (tympanic). In hospital temperatures are sometimes measured in the bottom (rectal). The latter is the least appealing amongst mothers and understandably so, however professionals do recommend you do not measure your child's rectal temperature at home. The temperature inside your child’s body that you want to see is around 37 degrees Celsius. Your child’s brain helps control their core temperature and to keep it around that level. After 3 months of age, their body temperature changes with a daily rhythm - rising to 37.3 toward the end of daytime, before dropping to 36.8 shortly after going to sleep at night and then slowly coming up to about 37 in the morning. New babies are not as good at controlling their temperature as older children, so when their temperatures fluctuate it’s always good to keep an eye. There is usually a fever when the temperature is more than 38 degrees Celsius. A fever by itself does not indicate whether your child is seriously sick or not. If you have serious worry or your child’s temperature is abnormally high, we recommend you take your little one to the doctors straight away. Waste no time in making sure your child is safe.
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Do you read to your baby? You will after this

imagesECYC3N0OIt’s something a vast majority of us are guilty of – we don’t read enough. It’s far too easy to find yourself engrossed in an article on your smartphone and a heck of a lot more convenient to sit your little one down on a tablet while you wind-down. As easy as this is, it shouldn’t become a habit. Reading to your children is more significant than you will ever know and only a shocking 48% of children are read to every day.

Reading to any child is significant to instil a good work ethic, but it is especially necessary in children who perhaps don’t excel in communication with others; reading can act as a form of escapism for them and could lead to a love of literature. I know that when I was a child I hated English…until I read my first book, then I never looked back. As March is Read Aloud month, there is a national challenge given to parents all over to read aloud to their children for just 15 minutes a day. The non-profit Read Aloud are dedicated to make it the new standard in child care to read to kids for those few minutes…will you be taking part?
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How do I cut my newborn’s nails?

Newborn_fingernails_BRAND-P_ENHaving a delicate newborn makes it hard to make the reflex decisions you make with yourself; if you have a long, jagged nail, you simply whip out the nail cutter and cut away, things aren’t as easy with a newbie. It is always a good idea to keep your newborn’s nails short; even though they are soft, they can still scratch your baby's skin. One of the easiest ways to shorten you baby’s nails is simply by peeling the excess away gently. Another approach some mothers opt for is to gently suck your newborn’s nail and you will notice how it easily comes away. However, as easy as this method seems, it isn’t always recommended as the bacteria in your mouth could cause an infection. Now, if you don’t want to risk either of the above and want to opt for a full-proof approach, just fetch an emery board and gently file your baby’s nails, and because the nails are so soft, the surplus will easily file away with minimal risk! Of course, there are mothers who won’t want to risk any of the above, and for you lovely mummies we recommend (if the weather allows it) that you pop mittens on your baby’s hands to avoid any itching or irritation. It may be the case that your child gets annoyed by them initially, but give them a chance and they should soon adjust. If baby doesn’t get used to them after a while, it may be best to remove them all together – a calm baby is a happy baby! As for your baby’s toenails, they are less likely to grow as fast as fingernails (as is the case with older children and adults) so they shouldn’t take too much maintenance.

Things to look out for:

  • When filing or cutting their fingernails, always file in the shape of the natural curve to put ingrown nails at bay.
  • If you do cut the toenails, ensure they are cut or filed in a straight line to avoid any ingrown toenails.
  • Don’t trim too low on their nails as you may not be able to tell which bit of the nail is still attached to the quick. If you cut too low, the finger will bleed, become sore and will be at the risk of infection.
  • Two hands are better than one: get someone to help you control baby's wriggly arms and legs while you cut or file them.
  • If you do nip baby’s skin, don’t panic. Simply hold a piece of clean and damp cotton wool against the fingertip with a little bit of pressure: this will stop the bleeding.
  • Avoid using a plaster on your baby as this could be a choking risk.
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What to have in your baby’s changing bag

A043540-City black - lifestyle800When you’re a new mum, leaving the house with your little one can be one anxiety packed journey. But don’t you worry, it’s completely normal. There are a few things that are a necessity whilst on the go and others that are precautionary; there’s nothing worse than feeling ‘trapped’ with your little one. If you want to stay out at a friends house a little longer, head out for a meal or even get stuck somewhere, it’s always good to be prepared.

 Here’s a list of the must haves and extras – you can never be too well prepared!

  • wipesMilton antibacterial wipes – great for multipurpose use like dropped soothers, changing tables, cutlery etc.

  • Nappies & nappy bags – obvious reasons of course

  • Muslin – brilliant investment to use as a bib, cloth, changing mat over layer and anything your hear desires

  • A change of clothes and a spare vest – for any accidents or messiness

  • 4 nappies- you never know when ti will strike

  • Sun hat - depending on that time of year, it’s always best to be prepared

  • Bottle with extra teat just in case- self-sterilising bottles are a great option

  • Soft silicone tipped spoon & a jar of food

  • DEF_UC4A2308Teething gel – if required

  • Calpol satchels – in an emergency it is best to be safe than sorry

  • Soother with sterilising box

  • Toy to keep baby occupied

  • Sleepsuit just in case you are out later than intended

  • Nipple cream and breast pads for breastfeeding

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Disney as told by Emoji: The Frozen edition.

Yes, this is a thing. We aren't entirely sure why, but it's here and Frozen is its first victim. Disney will be releasing a series called "Disney As Told By Emoji", where they retell Disney classics in text speak, using lock screens, galleries, text threads and of course, emoji's as the illustrations! Who saw this coming, eh?

frozen emojiWe have to hand it to Disney, however, it's quite a clever way to engage little ones who just can't keep their hands off of their mummy's phone! Children will engage with both the classic Frozen songs like "Let It Go" and "Do you Wanna Build A Snowman", as well as the sound effects they hear on smartphones. As mentioned, Frozen is the first to fall victim to this "Disney As Told By Emoji" series; still to come our way there is Tangled, The Lion King and our friend, Winnie The Pooh!

Show your kids and let us know their reactions: Love it? Hate it? Don't get it? We want to know!

Hashtag #BabycityUK on twitter

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So, what exactly is a Muslin?

muslinWhen you find out you're pregnant and you're inevitably doing your mad dose of research, words pop up every now and then which you can do nothing but...stare at. What the heck is a Muslin? Is that a spelling mistake? Who is that? All fair questions. I first thought that when I saw the M word, too. But honestly, it will probably be the best, most used and possibly the grossest item you will ever purchase. Rather than talking you through paragraph by paragraph, here's a short list of pretty much everything you can gain our of a trusty muslin cloth:

Great for Mop-ups

Great for covering your shoulder when burping

Work brilliantly as a comforter for your baby

When feeding, place under baby's chin to catch and drips and dripples

As grim as it may sound, they absorb pee exquisitely.

Handy for covering while breast feeding

Use as a cover on top of your baby's moses basket etc - avoid constant sheet changing

Great at mopping up sick (grim and exquisite as ever)

An easy and light way tp cover any cold changing mats and tables

A sunshade for the car or the buggy

And the list can well and truly go on! Remember, being a mum is all about practicality and a muslin really can be your best friend forever. You'll buy a lot of junk at the beginning but make sure that a muslin is at the top of that list!

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