Ahhhh babies. What's not to love about their aromas, rolly polly knees, their toothless grins and sparkling eyes!
And when you find the babies in Our Babies of 2018 magazine all in one spot, it's even more bundles of fun, gorgeousness and helpful information, put together for you by the Wimmera Mail Times.
You'll find stories like this Food for Babies one.
The amount of advice, opinions and “rules” being thrown around by friends, family and even strangers can make deciding what to do even harder.
As a dietitian specialising in paediatrics and mother to a 17-month old, Peta Adams has some simple advice for families.
Keep it “textually appropriate” for their age and introduce what the family is eating.
“A lot of parents struggle with when to introduce food and what foods to introduce,” Ms Adams said.
“I just tell them – whatever you want them to eat and what the family is eating.”
She said one misconception is that babies must be fed Farex cereal to start with.
“Farex does not have to be baby’s first food, nor is it the most suitable,” she said.
“I don’t know if anyone has tasted it but it’s disgusting.
“Weet-Bix is a similar cereal and there’s a kids version which is iron fortified.”
Between the ages of four to six months the amount of iron stores start to decline, which is why iron-rich cereals are advised.
Some of the most common foods to start with include vegetables like sweet potato and avocado and fruits like banana – foods that don’t have overly strong flavours.
“The most iron-rich food is meat and if you want to start your baby on meat there is nothing wrong with doing that, just blend it into a puree,” Ms Adams said.
Another “rule” most parents are taught is that food must progress from liquids to puree to lumpy to solid to crunchy.
“It’s an old idea, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong,” Ms Adams said.
For advice around assessing your child’s nutritional needs and to assess how your baby is swallowing and chewing talk to a paediatrician, a paediatric speech therapist or dietitian.
Thhen there's this story about How fathers help their children grow!
New research has shown how dads, especially, can help their babies learn faster.
BBC News reports that a combined team of researchers from Imperial College London, King's College London and Oxford University have discovered differences in babies as early as three months of age, with sustained paternal attachment a major factor.
It was found that "children whose fathers were more engaged and sensitive, as well as those whose fathers were less controlling in their interactions, scored higher" on the Mental Developmental Index.
The study, published in the Infant Mental Health Journal, notes previous findings that men often have a "more stimulating, vigorous" playing style where the child is inspired to take risks and explore their world differently, which may stimulate brain development.
There were 128 fathers and babies in the study, with data collected at three months and 24 months of age.
Fathers were filmed with their three-month-olds playing on a mat without toys, while researchers scored their interactions.
Then at age two they were filmed reading a book to their toddlers and graded again.
The two-year-olds also underwent tests involving shape and colour recognition for a cognitive test.
The children who scored lower in the cognitive tests had fathers who displayed more withdrawn and depressive behaviours in the experiments.
The researchers wrote that "it is likely that remote fathers use fewer verbal and nonverbal strategies to communicate with their infants, thereby reducing the infant's social learning experience."
This carries over to the social setting in the home, whereby fathers who give fewer social stimulation opportunities to their infants impact cognitive growth.
To read more stories and to see ALL the babies in Our Babies 2018, click on the link here
"Even as early as three months, these father-child interactions can positively predict cognitive development almost two years later, so there's something probably quite meaningful for later development," research head Professor Paul Ramchandani said.
Dr Vaheshta Sethna also highlighted the importance of fathers reading to their babies.
"We also found that children interacting with sensitive, calm and less anxious fathers during a book session at the age of two showed better cognitive development, including attention, problem-solving, language and social skills.
“This suggests that reading activities and educational references may support cognitive and learning development in these children."
Dr Sethna concluded, "Our findings highlight the importance of supporting fathers to interact more positively with their children in early infancy."
* This story was first published on essentialbaby.com.au.]