Hygiene plays a crucial component of a baby's overall care. Practicing a good hygiene is extremely important to keep your baby happy and healthy all the time.

Eight essential hygiene rules for your baby. Here are eight simple good hygiene practices to adopt when you have a baby.

  • Washing your hands with a good antibacterial soap is essential for removing harmful bacteria and germs that cause colds, flu, diarrhea and other infections. Be sure to dry your hands properly and wash your hand towels regularly. It's especially important to wash your hands before feeding your baby, after handling raw food, after changing a nappy or going to the toilet yourself, after touching pets, after touching anything dirty such as dirty nappies, rubbish or food waste.
  • You don't need to clean the house every day from top to bottom with disinfectant, you just need to pay particular attention to the surfaces that are most likely to harbour germs and bacteria. Focus on the areas that have a lot of contact with food, bodies and hands, such as bathrooms, kitchen benches, tables, crockery, cutlery and glassware. You need to be cleaning these properly. Use hot water with detergent for crockery, cutlery and glasses, while kitchens and bathrooms will need a thorough clean with a good disinfectant. Pay particular attention to taps, toilet seats, benches and door handles. Dry surfaces as well if they are not in a well-ventilated area with natural light.
  • Babies love to put things into their mouths, and toys are often the closest thing to hand. Be sure to regularly give your child's toys a clean with a good disinfectant. Wipe hard plastic toys down and make sure you rinse them thoroughly or put plush toys through the washing machine.
  • A good bath is essential for keeping your baby clean and tidy, but you need to make sure you are not over-washing as this is damaging to your baby's sensitive skin. In the first year of your baby's life a full bath is necessary only two or three times a week. Check out our step-by-step guide to bathing your baby.
  • These are three areas that need some special attention. Always keep your baby's nails well-trimmed so that they can't scratch themselves — the best time to trim them is when your baby is asleep. Be sure to use baby-sized nail clippers and not to cut the nails too short as these will hurt your baby.
  • Only wash the outside of your baby's ears, never the inside, and never insert cotton wool buds into your baby's ears. If your baby is unhappy and touching their ears repeatedly, this could be a sign of infection — be sure to get this looked at by a medical professional.
  • Clean any dried mucous from your baby's nose, as this can cause difficulty breathing. Use a damp wash cloth to gently remove the dried mucous. A nasal syringe may be needed to help remove excess mucous, but consult your baby's health practitioner before using one of these.
  • Be sure to keep your baby's eyes clear of any dried mucous. Use damp cotton wool to gently clean their eyes and seek medical attention if you notice your baby's eyes are irritated.

Your child’s eyesight development from birth to three years

Your child's eyesight development from birth to three years

Find out what her beautiful eyes are seeing in the first year, and how you can develop your child’s vision. By Dr Claire Cullen, ophthalmic surgeon specialising in paediatric ophthalmology.

The post Your child’s eyesight development from birth to three years appeared first on Living and Loving.

Your child's eyesight development from birth to three years

Find out what her beautiful eyes are seeing in the first year, and how you can develop your child’s vision. By Dr Claire Cullen, ophthalmic surgeon specialising in paediatric ophthalmology.

The post Your child’s eyesight development from birth to three years appeared first on Living and Loving.

Your child's eyesight development from birth to three years

There’s a saying that there’s not seven wonders in the eyes of a child, but seven million. The remarkable truth about your child is she’s not born seeing like you do. Just like your baby will reach certain milestones at certain times in her development, her eye development goes through various stages before it reaches maturity.
Of all your child’s senses, her sight is the least developed at birth. As she grows, so does her ability to see objects clearly, focus on them at various distances and follow them when they move. Babies show rapid development in the first few months of life in nearly all visual functions and capacities.

ALSO SEE: Track your baby’s vision development with our eyesight check list


  • At birth, a baby can see for a distance of about 20 to 25cm – about the same distance from your baby’s face to yours, while cradling her in your arms. This limited vision means she will be attracted to the darker colour of your nipples, encouraging her to feed and helping to establish breastfeeding.
  • Don’t get despondent when you’re “oohing” and “aahing” and your baby responds by looking everywhere except at you. It is estimated that a newborn’s vision is about 10 to 30 times weaker than that of an adult, so things are pretty blurry for her.
  • Before you jump to conclusions about your child’s eye colour, remember that your baby’s eyes will continue to change for up to six months. This is due to an increase in the number of pigmented cells in the iris (the coloured part of the eye).

ALSO SEE: Newborn milestones – the first four weeks

6-12 weeks

  • Your baby will be able to focus on, and follow, the light from a torch or toy more accurately now.
  • At this stage, she can recognise your facial features and expressions, and smile in response. Depth perception also develops now.
  • It’s a good idea to introduce black and white toys to your child as she will now be attracted to contrasting patterns and colours.
  • At her six-week check-up, your healthcare provider will check your baby’s sight by moving an object in front of her and noting whether she can focus both her eyes at the same time and follow the moving object.

8 weeks

  • Your baby’s colour vision is improving, but it may still seem that her eyes are working independently of each other. She may also appear to look around the room aimlessly. This should improve by around three to four months, but if your baby is still having difficulty focusing both eyes, check in with your paediatrician who’ll arrange an eye exam with an ophthalmologist. The specialist will be able to confirm if your baby has a pseudo squint, which is due to the flat, broad bridge of her nose. If there is a family history of squints, a routine examination for this would be essential.
  • If a true squint, or strabismus, is diagnosed, the ophthalmologist will suggest treatment options. Early referral can lower the risk of sight loss in the squinting eye, called amblyopia or ‘lazy eye’. In this case, an eye patch will have to be worn over the good eye to encourage the other eye to work harder. Even young babies can be prescribed glasses if the problem is quite noticeable and an operation to realign the eyes may be necessary.

2-3 months

  • Your baby can finally see your face clearly and she’ll now easily focus on objects as her eyes are working together.
  • She will also close her eyes if objects are suddenly placed in front of her.
  • Don’t be shocked if she seems to stare at objects with wide eyes as if she’s had a fright. Most of the time, this is just her way of trying to focus on something and will lessen as her eyesight gets stronger.

3 months

  • Your baby should now follow slow-moving objects with ease. If you hold a toy about 25cm from her and slowly move the toy towards her nose, her eyes will turn in. This ability to converge ensures that the image of the toy appears at the same place at the back of each eye, which is vital for the development of three-dimensional vision, or depth perception.
  • Babies at this age should start reaching for objects as their hand-eye coordination continues to develop, making playtime with your baby a delight. Encouraging sensory activities, like peek-a-boo and tummy time is a great way to aid development while bonding with your little one.
  • Singing action songs and rhymes accompanied by plenty of movement will also encourage your baby to focus on you. Buy a safety mirror, because babies love to explore faces.

ALSO SEE: How your baby’s hand-eye coordination develops

6 months

Your baby’s eyes should now be working together as an efficient team. Her depth perception will also be established, so your baby can now tell how far away an object is from her and she’ll be enjoying seeing in three dimensions and full colour.

8 months

You’ll need to be more vigilant about what you leave lying within your baby’s grasp as she’ll now be able to spot and pick up an object as small as a crumb. At this stage, a greater concept of depth, size, colour and shape increases her visual awareness. By the end of your child’s first year, she’ll realise that her favourite toy looks smaller when held further away, but is actually the same size and shape as when it’s closer.

3-3½ years

Your child’s eyesight can now be tested objectively and she should now have a comprehensive eye examination. At this stage, your child’s vision should be equal to yours.
Unfortunately, vision problems tend to start at an early age and can be hard to detect in everyday life. As we have two eyes and children are able to adapt well, you may not realise your child has an eye problem until it’s picked up at in school that she’s struggling to read or see the board. It’s advisable to have your child’s eyes checked – the earlier a problem is picked up and treated, the earlier it can be corrected. If you or your partner are short-sighted, have your child’s eyes tested regularly, because it can be hereditary.

ALSO SEE: 7 signs that your child needs an eye examination

The post Your child’s eyesight development from birth to three years appeared first on Living and Loving.

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