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5 Incredibly Useful Illustrations That New Parents Shouldn’t Miss

5 Incredibly Useful Illustrations That New Parents Shouldn’t Miss

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Being a new parent.

It’s so difficult to know what’s going on. How long should they sleep for, and how long should they be awake?

What sort of food should you feed them? Are they developing normally?

It’s all so nerve-wracking. You want to do your best, but it’s hard to know what that is.

It would be great if the little dudes just came with instruction manuals.

You know that’s never going to happen, but here’s the next best thing: a bunch of infographics that cover the essentials.

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With these in hand you won’t be one of the new parents left worrying, you’ll have all the information you need!

1.  Early Cues

You know your little one is nearly ready for a feed, but sometimes you need to push them a little; like when you’re out grabbing some much-needed groceries, having a medical check-up, or getting a short sanity break with other new parents.

Here’s how to know when your baby is hungry, really hungry, or getting agitated (and needs calming before feeding.)

Below: Chart from the official website of the Government of Western Australia’s Department of Health.

crying cues

    2.  Sleep / Wake Cycles

    How much sleep does your baby need? How long should they sleep for, and how long should they be awake?

    Knowing this stuff is critical because it helps you plan your day in a way that works for both of you.

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    You can work out how much you can achieve (or how much sleep you can catch up on) while your baby is asleep.

    You can plan outings for the time that they’re awake- and you can work out if they’re about to reduce the number of naps they take each day.

    Below: Chart from She Knows.

    sleep

      3. Healthy Eating

      Solids. That’s a minefield isn’t it?

      Everyone has different opinions on when to introduce solids and what to feed babies of specific ages.

      You can spend ages yourself researching all the different foods appropriate for each age group, or just use this indispensable infographic.

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      Below: Image from New Born Baby Zone.

      food

        4. Motor Skills

        You know your baby is an amazing, talented, wonder child.

        But how can you be sure? What exactly should they be able to do at this age?

        Worry not, we’ve got you covered in this department as well.  This infographic shows what your child should be capable of doing at what age, when to be concerned and how to promote gross motor skills at home. (It covers kids from birth to six years).

        Below: Infographic from North Shore Pediatric Therapy.

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        motor skills

          5. Language Milestones

          Maybe you think you don’t need to be worried about language. Most kids start talking when they’re about a year old, right?

          Well, yes. But babies actually start communicating and preparing to talk almost as soon as they’re born.

          Infants prepare to talk by imitating sounds and learning about communication. So how do you know if your child is on track to call out “Mamma”?

          Just refer to this handy chart that tells you milestones for each age, when to worry, and where to look for help.

          Below: Chart from North Shore Pediatric Therapy.

          language milestones

            Featured photo credit: Baby Sleep Guidelines / SheKnows Australia via sheknows.com

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            12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

            12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

            Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

            But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

            I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

            Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

            1. Nuts

            The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

            Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

            Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

            Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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            2. Blueberries

            Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

            When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

            3. Tomatoes

            Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

            4. Broccoli

            While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

            Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

            Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

            5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

            Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

            The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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            Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

            6. Soy

            Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

            Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

            Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

            7. Dark chocolate

            When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

            Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

            15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

            8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

            Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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            B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

            Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

            Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

            To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

            9. Foods Rich in Zinc

            Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

            Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

            Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

            10. Gingko biloba

            This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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            It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

            However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

            11. Green and black tea

            Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

            Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

            Find out more about green tea here:

            11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

            12. Sage and Rosemary

            Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

            Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

            When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

            Reference

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