Babies, Important Information, Learning through play, Parents, Play and learn, Potty Training, Preschool, Smiley Kids, south Africa, Tips For Parents, Toddlers

🍽 Good Table Manners 🍽

Whether you’re eating at home, dining out, or having dinner with friends, good table manners for children are an important part of every meal.
When you teach your child good table manners, you are giving them important tools for social interaction that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

#SmileyKids #earlychildhooddevelopment #preschool #SouthAfrica #tablemanners #Toddlers #Children #Parenting

Babies, Children's Health, Important Information, Smiley Kids, Tips For Parents

Tips To Get Rid Of The Dummy

Dummies are the perfect lifesaver for moms with fussy babies. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Risks of dummy use outweigh the benefits the older a child gets. When it’s time to banish the dummy, try these hacks to get your baby saying bye-bye to their dummy without falling apart.

Timing is everything

Typically dummy habits are broken between 12 months and 3 years old. At most medical institutions they encourage dummy use for newborns, 6 to 12 months old at nap and bedtime to help decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). After 12 months, children start developing an attachment to things making it harder to get rid of. Avoid dummy weaning during life changing events such as moving, going to a new day care, potty training or having a new baby. Waiting too long to break the habit could cause impaired speech, language development including future dental problems. Talk to your paediatrician and your spouse when you feel the time is right to take away the dummy.


Prepare your child. Explain that dummies are for babies, and he/she is are growing up. In a week’s time, it will be time to say goodbye to their dummy, reminding them at least twice a day. When the week is over, make it a special event for example: bury the dummy together with a small plant. This way, they will get to watch the plant grow just like they are growing.

Going all out

Going all out is effective, but it takes great deal of consistency and patience on your part. Take all the dummies away, and do not give it back. Stay strong and do not give in, your child will be dummy-free within a week or two.

Go gradual

This might take more time than other methods, but might be easier on both you and your child. Gradually take the dummy away a little at a time until it disappears all together. Slowly restrict when your child can have the dummy (only at home, in the bedroom, or during sleeping times).

Make the dummy taste unpleasant

Dip the dummy in lemon juice or vinegar to make it taste unappealing. Your child will spit it out and beg you to take it away before too long.

Out of sight, out of mind

Simply remove all dummies (from sight and reach). Soon they will start forgetting about it.

Snip it

Many mothers cut the tip off of the dummy to make it unpleasant to suck, however, once a part of the dummy is demolished, it could fall apart and be a choking hazard. If you choose to use this method, simply show the child it is broken and throw the dummy away.

Go shopping and replace it

Find a new toy or blanket to take the dummy’s place. Take the child shopping, allow them to pick something out and let them “pay” for the new toy at the register with their dummy in exchange for the new toy.

Read a book

Teach them about giving or sharing. Find a “Bye-bye dummy book”, and read it to them. There are several children’s books that may help them relate to their own situation and prepare for dummy parting. If it is time for your child to part from their dummy, explain to him/her that there are babies that need dummies and do nothave any. Help your child to give their dummy to a baby that does not have one.

Have a visit from the “Fairy”

Help your child box up their dummies and leave them for the “Fairy”. After the child goes to sleep, throw away the box of dummies and leave a toy in their place. It is the same idea as the tooth fairy but with dummies.

Wean yourself off the dummy

Dummies are a saving grace for some mothers. You have to mentally prepare yourself to wean your child. It takes patience and determination. When they cry, you cannot just give them their dummy. You can do it!

Know the importance of a dummy

Sucking provide babies with a way to calm themselves. If they do not suck on a dummy, they will suck on a thumb, finger, bottle or breast. A dummy can help satisfy a baby’s need for soothe-sucking and to give mom a needed break. There is a time and a place for dummies. Dummy habits will eventually fade. 

Whatever method you choose, be resilient. It may be a miserable five nights for some parents, but it will pass. You’ve come this far. Don’t give in now!


Babies, Children's Health, Parents, Smiley Kids, Toddlers

Babies & Pacifiers

Although it may seem like a harmless habit, pacifiers can cause a litany of health concerns in children, from malformed soft palates to tooth troubles later on. They can be a beneficial alternative to thumb sucking, but between the two, the ideal may be to introduce neither to your child if possible. Pacifiers offer temporary comfort to infants, but the long-term troubles may make you hesitate before you offer it to your baby. Whether the pros outweigh the cons is your decision: make an informed decision and decide based on what is best for your child’s development.

  1. In some cases, using a pacifier can inhibit a child from gaining weight at a healthy rate for their age. Pacifiers are often used at night to calm crying infants, but nighttime is when a baby consumes about 1/3 of their daily caloric intake through bottle or breastfeeding. Using a pacifier instead of feeding the baby may result in weight loss and nutrition deficiency, leaving your child at-risk for stunted growth.To reduce the risk, try to use a pacifier minimally at night and make certain that your baby’s tears are really cries of sadness rather than hunger cries.
  2. Does your baby seem to constantly get ear infections, and you can’t seem to pinpoint a reason? The source of their pain may be their pacifier. Pacifiers interrupt development of the middle ear and can result in increased ear pressure and infections.
  3. Although not linked to most palate disorders, pacifier usage can change or even misshape the soft palate in your child’s mouth. If your child needs soft palate repair, a pacifier may also irritate or slow the healing process, leading to discomfort and risk of infection after the surgery. Pacifiers are unhealthy for soft palate development and can negatively change a child’s mouth.
  4. Some pacifiers, particularly those worn as a necklace or with large decorations on the front, can be a choking hazard for your baby. When looking at a list of recall items, pacifiers are frequently the culprit of injury reports because they fell apart, wrapped around the baby’s neck, or contained harmful toxins.
  5. Is there a link between pacifiers and speech development? Some speech pathologists have connected pacifier usage with certain speech disorders. Studies found that children who suck their fingers or use a pacifier were three times as likely to develop a speech disorder. Pacifiers inhibit the development of lip and tongue muscles due to its unnatural position in the mouth, and children who are learning to speak may develop a lisp or find speech difficult.
  6. Babies who suck on pacifiers can be at risk for dental problems later on; this is one of the predominant concerns of long-term pacifier usage. Because pacifiers can cause mouths to develop abnormally, your baby’s teeth may come in misaligned or slanted due to what dentists affectionately label “pacifier teeth.”
  7. Some children may exhibit signs of latex allergies you didn’t previously know they had. This can cause any symptoms from mild discomfort to more severe reactions depending on the strength of the allergy. If your child exhibits a rash, redness, or blistering near the mouth and they express significant irritation, your child’s pacifier may be triggering an allergic reaction.
  8. When raising a child, it’s always important to look at habits in the long-term. Pacifiers may not seem like much, but they can cause serious dental problems as your child grows older. A pacifier carries bacteria that can cause cavities later on, especially if the pacifier is not often washed.
  9. Babies cling to what gives them comfort: their mother, situations and places where they feel safe, and objects that give them consolation like bottles and pacifiers. While it’s important to teach children self-soothing skills, you may want to find healthier ways that can carry on into childhood. Giving your baby a pacifier at every opportunity may turn a comfort object into a bad habit. The longer it stays, the harder it is for the baby to let go of it later on.

So, the final question arises: to give your baby a pacifier, or to seek alternative methods of self-soothing? There is no one right answer, but taking precautions when using a pacifier and keeping informed about some risks can help you keep your child’s emotional and physical health strong. Put in research about the pros and cons of pacifiers and decide for yourself what is right for your child.