How to teach your kids to stay safe

Parenting is challenging. It’s ok, go ahead and smile at this understatement. Possibly the most difficult part of parenting is finding the balance between opposing positions. And then something that is on most of our minds: finding the balance between raising a warm and friendly child who will go to anyone and a child who shies away from strangers or even familiar people.

Posted by Claire Toi on October 24, 2017

Should my baby use a dummy?

Dummies can help a baby comfort themselves and settle off to sleep. They’ve been known to help (particularly those born prematurely or who have difficulties feeding) develop good sucking patterns, and they also give parents a little much-needed peace and quiet. But there can be a downside to dummy use, so how do you decide what’s best for your baby? Read more to find out.

Posted by Carianne Vermeulen on September 26, 2017

How and when to start disciplining your child

As responsible parents of the future generation, we desire to raise well-adjusted individuals who will be able to tackle what life throws at them. So when do you start to teach your child to understand right from wrong, how to follow some rules, cope with disappointment and work through frustration?

Posted by Lourdes Bruwer and Carly Tzanos on September 5, 2017

Baby walkers and jumpers – developmental help or hindrance?

Nowadays, parents are bombarded by toys, baby aids and equipment and knowing what toys to introduce is becoming more and more important. “Your baby's brain is developing so much in her first 1000 days and the way the brain fires and wires is determined by environmental stimulation or lack thereof. Any toys which interrupt normal developmental patterns should be carefully considered

Posted by Lourdes Bruwer and Carly Tzanos on August 15, 2017

Toddler Talk – Mastering pronunciation skills

Speech and Language Therapist for My Learning Baby Lindi Bester shares what you need to know about your child’s speech production skills and when to ask for help.

Posted by Lindi Bester on July 25, 2017

How to get your toddler to co-operate

Ever had one of those moments? Or many of those moments? Does it sometimes feel like the Holy Grail of parenting is getting your toddler to cooperate? Deep breath. There are strategies that you can try with your independent little one.

Posted by Claire Toi on July 4, 2017

Promoting speech and language development in everyday activities

Through simple daily interactions and experiences, you can help your toddler acquire new speech and language skills. Speech and Language Therapist, Carianne Vermeulen, shows us how easy it is to create learning opportunities from everyday activities.

Posted by Carianne Vermeulen on June 13, 2017

Potty Training - a sensory perspective

Are you feeling pressured to get your toddler out of nappies? It becomes increasingly stressful for parents when play schools require a toddler to be potty trained before being allowed to enter the school system. This places a deadline on a milestone that requires patience and tolerance and does not respond well to timelines.

Posted by Lourdes Bruwer & Carly Tzanos on May 23, 2017

Your baby's hearing development

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, a time to raise awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the various forms of communication disorders and the management available. As a Speech and Language Therapist, I find it valuable for people to understand the importance of hearing development in babies, what parents can expect in terms of development and when to seek professional help. I hope that this will not only be valuable to parents but to all family and friends of your babies.

Posted by Lindi Bester on May 2, 2017

Fine motor development - the first 1000 days

Fine motor development is the refinement of all the small muscles of the body. It’s how your baby learns to control and coordinate his hands and fingers to feed himself and use tools such as scissors, tongs or tie shoelaces.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on March 28, 2017

Thinking and reasoning development - the first 1000 days

Thinking and reasoning is a complex area of development which includes skills such as being able to pay attention to a stimulus; concentrate; being able to store information in memory and retrieve that information.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on March 7, 2017

Sensory development - the first 1000 days

Sensory perception is the ability to accurately register and interpret information we get from our senses.  Sensory information forms the basis of all general learning.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on February 14, 2017

Our best articles of 2016

It's nearing the end of the year and I hope you will find a little free time to relax over the festive season. Here are some of this year's most popular articles. Read on for interesting and informative articles from our experts.

Posted by My Learning Baby on December 13, 2016

Speech and language development - the first 1000 days

Speech and language are the skills we use to communicate with others. We form these skills during the first years of life. The most intensive period of speech and language development for humans is during the first three years of life, a period when the brain is developing and maturing rapidly.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on November 22, 2016

Social and emotional development – the first 1000 days

Social development entails learning how to interact with other people and what kind of behaviour is appropriate in different contexts. Emotional development focuses on learning how to identify and label different emotions in oneself and in others, as well as how to regulate these emotions.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on November 1, 2016

Gross motor development - the first 1000 days

Gross motor development is the process of refinement of all the big muscles of the body. It’s how your baby learns to coordinate his legs, mature his balance and use his body to run, jump, hop and skip. 

Posted by Joanne Lillie on October 11, 2016

What you need to know about SIDS

Cot death (or SIDS) is one of the scariest phrases you can hear as a parent. The lack of a clear explanation behind the devastating loss makes it all the more difficult to bear. Here’s what you need to know to protect your baby.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on September 20, 2016

What you need to know about stimulating your baby

As parents and carers, having a good understanding of stimulation is key if we want to provide the optimal environment to ensure our baby's healthy learning and development.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on August 30, 2016

Boost your baby’s brain in just 5 minutes a day

There’s one magnificent (and free) method that every parent can use to improve their child’s learning abilities.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on August 9, 2016

9 ways singing enhances learning

Through music, your baby learns a myriad skills essential for language development, and early learning. My Learning Baby speech and language therapist, Carianne Vermeulen, explains how music makes learning more meaningful.

Posted by Carianne Vermeulen on July 19, 2016

Your child safety guide

Keeping your baby safe at home becomes more challenging as he or she learns to move. Start getting prepared by child-proofing the nursery, kitchen, bathroom and even the car with these handy tips.

Posted by Dr Martin Bailey on June 28, 2016

Fun ways to get your kids doing chores

Most of us want to encourage our children in the habit of helping around the house, and there’s plenty they can do from a very young age. Here are some fun ways to get your kids stuck into some chores, while providing opportunities for learning and development.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on May 31, 2016

Being a joyful mom

We all want our baby’s entry into the world to be ‘perfect’. We want nothing less for their nursery, nutrition, stimulation and milestone progress. But the lofty ideal of perfection might be getting in the way of being present – and being truly happy.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on May 10, 2016

How to cultivate your child's curiosity

Children are naturally curious. You’ll know this if you’ve ever seen your little one squish his finger into a plughole or put a Tupperware box on his head. They are stimulated by and interested in new objects and experiences. Encouraging this interest can help them develop a lifelong love of learning.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on April 19, 2016

Recipe for a song

There are a few ways to enjoy music with your baby. One way is to sing well-known children’s songs, like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “The Eensy Weensy Spider”. But another way to share music is to make up a song especially for your baby.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on April 11, 2016

How music makes learning more meaningful

Singing optimizes language learning. To get maximum benefit from music, mix it up! My Learning Baby’s speech and language therapist, Carianne Vermeulen shares how to make your home more musical.

Posted by Carianne Vermeulen on March 25, 2016

How to boost your baby's development

Until a few years ago, scientists believed that a baby’s development depended on genes and the environment. But, more recently, we’ve learned that early experiences are what shape brain-development. Take advantage of these windows of opportunity to boost your baby’s development.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on March 8, 2016

Why bonding with your baby is so important

We all know that bonding with your baby is important. Meg Faure, Occupational Therapist and co-author of Baby Sense, Sleep Sense and Feeding Sense explains why and advises how to go about it.

Posted by Meg Faure on February 16, 2016

Why play is so important

Play is the primary vehicle for childhood learning. Yet opportunities for play seem to be diminishing, giving rise to a host of sensory and learning difficulties. Here’s why play should be preserved for as long as possible and why play is so important.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on January 19, 2016

Our best articles of 2015

It's nearing the end of the year and we hope you will find a little free time to relax over the festive season. Here are some of this year's most popular articles. Read on for interesting and informative articles from our experts.

Posted by My Learning Baby on December 17, 2015

Do your children eat enough fruit and veg?

For many parents it is a battle to get their kids to eat enough fruit and veg; but is it worth the fight?

Posted by Dr Kim Comline on December 1, 2015

It's never too early to start learning language

The foundations of good speech and language are laid down in a window of time soon after a baby’s birth. Here’s how to give your baby the best linguistic launch pad.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on November 17, 2015

How to choose the right toys for your child

If you are like most moms, you’ll do anything in your power to give your baby everything of the best. This may lead you to being tempted to install every mod con, sign up for every class, and buy a multitude of expensive ‘educational’ toys. When it comes to toys and activities, what do children really need?

Posted by Joanne Lillie on November 3, 2015

Why family meal time is important

It’s never too early to start bringing the family together for meals. Doing this while your kids are young means that it becomes part of what you do as a family.

Posted by Louise Jacobs on October 20, 2015

How to encourage your baby to walk

One of the most precious milestones you’ll celebrate with your baby is when he or she begins to walk. Here's how to encourage your baby to walk.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on October 6, 2015

How to choose the right books for your baby

By reading regularly with your tot, you build skills that last a lifetime. But what books to choose? Here’s your guide to the best books for your babe.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on September 22, 2015

Are our children doing too much?

While there are many benefits to participating in group classes, it’s wise to start slowly and keep plenty of playtime on your tiny tot’s schedule.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on September 8, 2015

Beat those winter bugs with Vitamin C

When our children get sick, the finely balanced functioning of our lives comes crashing down and we have to go into survival mode.

Posted by Dr Kim Comline on August 25, 2015

How can I tell if my child is stuttering?

Does your child battle to complete sentences sometimes? Repetition of sounds and words is a common part of speech development. Here’s what you need to know about ‘disfluency’, and when to take action.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on August 11, 2015

Lunch box ideas

When I opened up my last lunch box on my last day of school, I remember thinking “Thank goodness I never have to see one of those ever again”...well, that was until I had children of my own!

Posted by Lousie Jacobs on July 28, 2015

Help! Is my baby overstimulated?

Understanding this one word might just be the key to a peaceful and harmonious first few months with your newborn. Here’s what overstimulation is and how to manage it.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on July 14, 2015

Is teaching our kids to share harmful or helpful?

Most of us feel we should encourage sharing to be socially correct. But is teaching our kids to share doing more harm than good?

Posted by Joanne Lillie on June 30, 2015

Does your baby really need to crawl?

Some say crawling is vital to proper development. Others argue it’s not essential. How do you know what’s best for your baby, and whether to intervene?

Posted by Joanne Lillie on June 16, 2015

Is messy play beneficial for your baby?

A beautiful mess. That’s what we call it in our house when yoghurt meets juice and balls of bread in the cup in a delightful squishy melee.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on June 2, 2015

Is it a temper tantrum or sensory meltdown?

The emotional reactions of a sensory meltdown can look similar to a temper tantrum. What you do in response can make the difference between calm and chaos.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on May 19, 2015

9 simple ways to boost your baby's social skills

Like all skills, social competencies are learned. But for toddlers who have not yet mastered self-control, it’s not always easy! Here’s how to help your social butterfly spread her wings.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on May 5, 2015

How to prepare your little one for a new sibling

Your concerns around the arrival of your second child may be very different than your first; top of which might be how to prepare your little one for a new sibling. Expert help is at hand…

Posted by Joanne Lillie on April 21, 2015

Why it's wrong to compare your baby to others

It’s very tempting to compare your baby to his playmates. But there are some strong reasons why we should not.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on April 7, 2015

How to establish an effective bedtime routine

As a parent, one of life’s greatest (and rarest) pleasures is a good night’s sleep. By establishing an effective bedtime routine, it’s possible. Here’s how.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on March 24, 2015

Why motherese is so great for your baby

New research in infants shows that speech sounds stimulate areas of the brain that plan speech, long before a baby’s first words are actually spoken.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on March 10, 2015

8 ways for dads to bond with baby

Since a baby’s biological dependence on his father is far less than on his mother, dad can be forgiven for feeling a little left out of the early stages of his baby’s life. Here’s how to get in on the action.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on February 24, 2015

5 helpful tips to ease separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is a normal part of emotional development – here’s how to reduce the stress for mom and baby.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on February 10, 2015

Single sex or co-ed schools. What is best for you?

Read the latest research on how to make the best school choice for your kids.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on January 27, 2015

Is your child ready for school?

So where is she going to school? Friends may ask the minute your little angel turns two. And indeed, many two-year-olds benefit from different stimulation than they would get at home.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on January 13, 2015

How to become a conscious parent

Learn how to become a conscious parent and why it's so important.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on December 2, 2014

How to read to your toddler

Reading to your toddler has endless benefits but it isn’t always a simple task to accomplish when your little one would rather play than stay!

Posted by Joanne Lillie on November 18, 2014

Do you know your child's sensory personality?

Children all enjoy different levels of sensory stimulation: sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on November 4, 2014

How to deal with temper tantrums

Oh, boy! You know what it looks like: A good old fashioned screaming, foot-stamping, fist-banging, red-faced temper tantrum is easy to spot. What’s not so easy, though, is knowing how to handle it effectively.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on October 6, 2014

The benefits of a mother's love

Face-to-face interaction with your baby is the most powerful tool for brain growth.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on September 23, 2014

Why TV is so harmful to your baby

How much TV is ok for your toddler? Increasingly science is showing us that the only TV that’s good for our small children is no TV.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on September 8, 2014

Why kids love repetition and why it's so good for them

Repetition is a powerful tool for learning and luckily kids love love love it!

Posted by Joanne Lillie on August 26, 2014

Why you should stop worrying about reaching developmental milestones

Reaching a milestone shows that part of your baby's brain has been wired and is ready to be used and is something to be celebrated in it's achievement - not a measure to be used to compare with other babies.

Posted by Joanne Lillie on August 12, 2014