Is It Necessary To Take A Prenatal Class?

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Is it necessary to take a prenatal class?

When I was around 22 weeks pregnant, I start thinking about a prenatal course. Did I even want to? Did I NEED to? I truly didn’t do a lot of research to help me answer these questions. I asked my doctor what he thought, he said it would be helpful and so I listened.

Do I think it was necessary? Absolutely.

Flash forward to week 30, and we had our weekend long prenatal course and…it was GREAT!! Wow, I learned a ridiculous amount of information plus there were about 10 other couples there in the exact same boat as us: clueless and afraid. It helped us feel less alone and we were able to bond with them over our fears and anxieties.

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Here were the highlights of the class we took:

  • Our instructor was a labor & delivery nurse – and had been for 20+ years so we knew what she told us was true

  • She didn’t sugar coat things: she was honest about the pain and how long labor takes

  • She was open to discussing natural birth and medicated birth. We got all of our questions about both answered

  • She opened up a question and answer session and allowed everyone to ask any and all questions they had. Again, this was a 2 day class (6 hours each day) so it was long, but we needed it!

  • We watched multiple birthing videos – some medicated, some not and everything in between. They really helped me see what was going to happen during the birth and what to expect (for the most part). The videos clearly weren’t scripted and really showed all sides of labor and birth.

  • She showed us some breathing techniques which we wrote down and used during birth. Breathing properly is SO necessary, whether you’re going all natural or not.

  • She also showed us some moves we can do with our partner to help ease some discomfort, which was nice.

  • We took our class in the hospital we were going to deliver in, so the instructor gave us a tour. This was really nice because we got to see the whole floor: the nurses station, the delivery rooms, the recovery rooms, the room with the tub in it, and more. Again, just lessening the amount of unknowns really calmed me down.

  • We also had a chance to freely chat with the other couples which was great because we really felt comfortable enough to let out our fears and learned we aren’t the only ones with these fears!

  • Our instructor passed around instruments sometimes used in birthing: forceps, vacuum, a tool used to break your water, even an IV (with no needle). This lessened more unknowns for me and helped me face some fears.

So, is taking a prenatal class necessary?

If you’re a first time mom (heck, even if you’re not), I’d say 100% yes. However, I recommend finding one that is all encompassing, like the one we found. A Lamaze class may not cover everything that you want to know.  

I felt more prepared and less terrified after the weekend class. I had a better idea of what to expect and I felt more in control. My problem is that I like control and knowing that birth is so out of my hands (mostly) was hard for me to accept. But seeing other women do it on the videos, asking all the questions I needed to ask, and being reassured that my fears were valid was seriously worth it completely.

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is it necessary to take a prenatal course?

Did you take a prenatal class? Did you find it worth your time? Tell me in the comments!

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10 Educational Toys Your Toddler Really Needs

Before we dive into the list of educational toys, I'd like to say a massive "Thank you" to Heather for allowing me to invade her lovely little blog. But don't you worry it's just for the day. Her article is listed on my blog. If you're wondering who am I? Hi, I'm Kinga - a mommy to a lovely little boy and a HUGE coffee lover. I blog about motherhood and how to be a successful mompreneur at Kingascorner.com Enough about me, now let's get back to today's article, shall we? I am constantly searching for toys for my little one. I don't mean just simple toys, but educational toys that can really teach him something. This is extremely important for them (children in general) as they learn everything through playing. The below list is formed out of toys that we already own (exceptions apply) and my baby loves playing with them. There are a few that are "too advanced" for his age, but it doesn't really matter. We're still having fun and learning with them. I just have to watch him closely so he won't put stuff in his mouth, that doesn't really belong there!

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10 educational toys for your toddler

*** this post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you decide to use them I'll get a small compensation (at no extra cost to you). However, all the opinions are my own! For more click here.***

1. Building blocks

This is one of the things we don't have at the moment, but we have something similar. But we have it on our wish list if that counts. We've introduced to him wooden blocks at around 10 months. We already have had a Jenga game around the house and we decided to let him play with the pieces. That's the main reason why we haven't bought the actual building blocks, yet. So why stacking blocks is beneficial for your baby? It develops hand-eye coordination, but most importantly this will teach your baby the basics of geometry. Always a bonus, no?

2. Shape sorting cube

A shape sorter is a perfect toy to develop baby's problem-solving skills. It also encourages logical thinking in order to solve a problem or a puzzle. I introduced him with one of these toys about 2 months ago and he loved it. He doesn't really know what to put where, but if I show him what piece to put where he will do it. Sometimes he stacks them one on top of each other and he's so happy, he even claps. There are many benefits of this toy, besides the obvious ones like learning about colours and shapes. It can also teach them about the "cause & effect", it can develop problem-solving and fine motor skills. Another great thing about this little toy is that you can create one of your own at home. It doesn't really need to be perfect, as long as it's safe for your baby, you're good to go!

3. Wooden puzzle

I'm mostly referring to these early learning puzzles. We have similar to these ones at the moment, but obviously, any puzzle work just fine. This is one of my favourite toys for him. I guess I enjoy them more than he does, but he'll have plenty of time to learn. He doesn't know to "play" with them yet. At the moment we have our own little game that involves him throwing the pieces on the floor and mommy puts them back on the board. It's the perfect little game, believe me! These puzzles are meant to develop fine motor skills and what's really important is that they develop baby's tiny brain.

4. Books

These can be any books. We have quite a variety of them touch and feel, musical, animal sounds, storytelling and he loves them all. Be aware that your baby might get bored of the books really easily. I know for sure that these can get really expensive in time. Therefore I would recommend checking out your local library. It can be a HUGE lifesaver and pocket saver as well. It's not a secret that books are meant to teach your baby stories, words, sounds, textures, colours, numbers and lots more. They can also stimulate curiosity and feed their imagination. Personally, I think books are essential in your baby's life, but it's up to you of course.

5. Bath time crayons

We were gifted some bath time crayons by one of my mommy friends. I never knew they existed before! I don't live in a cave, I promise! My little one loves drawing with them. So easy to clean, they don't leave marks on the bathtub and they don't contain any harsh chemicals. Which is always a plus. You don't have to use these specific crayons, but you can always use a regular pencil and a piece of paper and let your baby "get creative". I saved up his first ever "drawing" which was at 10 months. It's only a mixture of lines, but it doesn't really mater. We had so much fun that day! So, how is drawing good for children? Well...that's how they express their feelings and it also prepares them for writing. Ever wondered why philologists exams involve drawings? What we draw can say a lot of things about our desires, inner thoughts and what we truly wish for. I won't bla about this too much, but in summary, psychology is related to what people are drawing. Such an interesting subject! Maybe is just me.

6. Magnetic board + magnets

Magnets can be extremely dangerous for young children. However, if you watch them closely and you don't leave them unattended while playing you won't have any issues. I am also aware that these might be too advanced for a 14 month old toddler, but it can be very entertaining for them. It's a good activity for a rainy day and I can assure you that your little one will be busy! We have animal, letters and numbers magnets. I plan on buying some fruit and veggie magnets as well (not quite sure yet). These are really good to show and teach them various animals, numbers and the alphabet. Magnets are also a good way of teaching them the "cause & effect", which is another problem solving skill.

7. Playing cards or Flash Cards

Similar to flash cards, but specially designed for toddlers. These are meant to teach your child new words and its associated picture. Later on, when he's old enough you just show them the card and they can name whatever they see on it. I found them very useful and I love that we can all play together. It's a different and more enjoyable way of teaching your toddler. It most certainly captures their attention and they get more excited of this way of learning.

8. Cup stacker

To be honest with you I don't "understand" this toy, but I do know that it keeps my baby busy for a little while. He plays with them in a different manner, but he'll get around it eventually. Whenever I stack them for him, he'll always destroy my little tower. As simple as this toys seems to you, it's very beneficial for your baby's development. Fine motor skills, visual and spatial perception, balance and creative play are some of them.

9. Lego Duplo

If you didn't know Lego Duplo is the "smaller" version of Lego. Meaning that they are designed for children that are 1/5 years old. The pieces are a lot bigger, making them perfect for younger kids as well. Lego has many benefits not only for your child, but for you as an adult as well. Here are some of the main benefits:
  • Constructive skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Teamwork
  • Organisational skills
  • Better focus and concentration
  • Creative skills
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Lateral thinking and planning ahead
  • Develops problem solving.
I remember that I also had something similar to Lego when I was little. I loved playing and building stuff. Many people are inclined to think that Lego is a boys toy. That's totally wrong! Girls are enjoying Lego too, so don't be reticent to try it out.

10. Ring stacker

This is one of the simplest, yet very effective toy I grew up with. Maybe that's one of the reasons why I wanted my little one to have one as well. All its benefits are similar to the cup stacker and the building blocks, so I won't repeat myself here. But I wanted to mention it so you have more options to choose from.

Conclusions

That's everything I had to share with you today! And again, HUGE thanks for Heather for having me onto her blog today. I hope that you found this article helpful and if you enjoyed it, please hop over to my blog as well. Until next time take care & stay beautiful! xoxo Kinga

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Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Use A Pacifier With Your Young Baby

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why you shouldn't be afraid to use a pacifier with your young baby

I can’t tell you how many times a random person has said to me “wow, you let your baby use a pacifier?” And he’s 6 months old! How dare they say that to me? What is it about having a baby that makes people think they can say whatever they want to you? Sigh…but that’s a whole separate blog post.

 Anyway, yes I use a pacifier and yes, I think it’s actually a GOOD thing! Liam doesn’t have a pacifier in his mouth 24/7 – he uses it for comfort when he’s trying to sleep or is upset. Without it, we probably would be struggling to get through the night still!

 Our only issue is he only uses the Wubbanub. He won’t take any other type; but that’s not really a big issue. We bought 2 so we have a back-up! 

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So why are pacifiers so scary?

One of my favorite parenting books, Touch Points, goes into a little more detail on why pacifiers are NOT bad (before a certain age). The author is a pediatrician and from what he’s learned is that many people are afraid of two things when it comes to them: 

-Crooked teeth
-Being unable to wean off of it

And these are absolutely valid concerns. However, a baby under the age of 4-5 needn’t worry about crooked teeth due to the use of a pacifier or thumb for sucking, and as long as you drop the pacifier early enough, its a non-issue.

In my experience, dentists don’t usually begin to worry about thumb sucking until a child is five years old
— Touchpoints author, T. Brazelton

As far as becoming addicted to it, many experts recommend weaning your baby off their pacifier before 1 years old. After that, it becomes much more difficult (but not impossible). I’ve even read that 9 months should be when you decide to wean them off. Before 9 months, the association isn’t as strong and taking it away shouldn’t be an issue.  



Liam is approaching this age so we are starting to think about weaning him. I’ll admit – I am nervous! Again, he doesn’t use it constantly but he it’s a huge help when he’s fussy or upset or on the brink of sleep. He has started using his thumb more lately, though! We’re hoping he will forget about this Wubba and just go for his thumb.  

Another thing Brazelton mentions is that it’s perfectly healthy and even encouraged that a young baby has something they can use for comfort. He mentions that fetuses even suck their thumbs in the womb and even goes so far to claim that sucking a pacifier can help reduce the risk of SIDS (he says that some medical journals have shown this). Not allowing your baby that comfort item (thumb, or pacifier) is only putting stress on him/her. So if your baby wants to use their thumb or a pacifier, let them! Show them that you are there to help through hard times and that these simple actions, such as sucking a thumb or paci, are something he can rely on when he’s upset.

I’m absolutely an advocate for using a pacifier, or even sucking a thumb. It’s imperative to wean them off at an appropriate age, but when your baby is young (less than 9 months), then please, let them use it!

Any mama’s afraid of the pacifier? Any swear by it? What about babies who never wanted one?! Tell me in the comments!

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