Category: Babies

Simple toys deliver big results for lifelong effects on infant and toddler development

Push and pull-style toys may be more critical to the development of your baby’s fine and gross motor skills than you think. They might clutter up the room and perhaps your toddler may only be interested in them for a few minutes at a time, but when it comes to building muscles in the arms and legs, perfecting coordination and balance, and developing spatial skills, there are few toys more invaluable to the physical development of your little one. This is especially true for push and pull toys that also include extra features that stimulate cognitive skills, which would include symbolic play (such as pretending the toy is a pet on a leash, a lawnmower, or a vacuum cleaner).

How Push and Pull Toys stimulate physical and mental development

Giving access to push and pull toys provide a fully comprehensive exercise opportunity for the mind and body of your toddler. Learning to manipulate an object by muscle exertion forces their little bodies to push themselves into using new muscles and new movements, introducing them to complicated, compound exercises that go far beyond crawling, rolling, or walking. It also teaches them how to balance since they are moving themselves and another object that they must also steer or control in some way, teaching them to divide their concentration and move themselves and something else towards the same location. It may sound silly to us, but push and pull toys can be hard work for a little, developing mind!

What kind of toys should I give them?

There are thousands of toys to purchase that will help your child to develop their motor skills, balance, and coordination, but sticking to finely-made, quality toys that will withstand years of abuse (and will be passed down to future siblings or friends) are a must. Brands such as Leo & Friends offer quality push and pull-style toys that are not overly stimulating, are safe to use, and finely made with unique characteristics that will make them special family treasures for years to come. Happy-looking animals can become imaginary pets or friends your child may develop a special fondness for, and the quality components, and soft, painted, wooden surfaces are wonderful, tactile objects they will love to get their little hands on. When shopping for toys for your toddler, never sacrifice quality and safety.

Don’t forget: safety first!

It may seem obvious, but never underestimate your toddler’s ability to hurt themselves as they explore and learn about the world around them. Never let your little one play with their push or pull toys near steps, ledges, or other spaces where they could fall onto a harmful or harsh surface. Make sure the rope or cord attached to the toy is short enough that they won’t be in danger of tangling themselves against something harmful or would cause them to pull or push unnecessarily hard and cause a tumble. If they are especially little, encourage use of the toy during a time and in a space where there will be little distractions and their concentration can be on their own play or you as a guiding presence. Most of all, simply remember to relish the moment with your little one and have fun.

About Leo & Friends

Leo & Friends manufactures and distributes the coolest wooden toys on the planet for toddlers and young kids to help them with learning, problem solving, sharing, and family fun.  From wooden puzzles to activity cubes, and trucks to shape sorting toys, even toy kitchen playsets. There is no other company out there making cooler, safer toys for kids. Learn more about the company by visiting their website at


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Baby sleepsuits, bathrobe, socks, car seat: Learn about the must-have things in your maternity suitcase when going to the hospital for childbirth.

You have been waiting for nine months, and you are now counting days to delivery. Though full of uncertainty, these are happy moments for any mother who can’t wait to see and hold their baby. One way of ensuring that nothing goes wrong on the big day is good preparation. You should pack your maternity suitcase weeks before your expected delivery date to avoid the last-minute rush if the baby arrives earlier than expected. Below is a checklist of the must-have things in your maternity bag.

What to include in the suitcase for mum

While most hospitals provide the basics for delivery, you may need some extra items for more comfort, plus there are some essentials that the hospital won’t provide. Before packing, it is advisable to call the hospital to confirm if there are restrictions about what you should wear or eat. The checklist below will help you determine the mum items you need to pack in your maternity suitcase.

  • Essential Documents: You should ensure that essential documents like your picture ID, Insurance card and medical records are in the suitcase. The hospital might need these documents at check-in and for admission.
  • A robe: A comfortable robe is one of the most comfortable clothing during labour and after delivery.
  • A birth plan: Carry several copies of your birth plan to be shared among the members of the medical team. A good birth plan will help doctors give you quality services by outlining your preferences during labour and delivery.
  • Toiletries: Since you may be required to stay in the hospital for a day or two, you should have essential toiletries like a toothbrush, hairbrush, shampoo, lip balm, face wipes and anything else that you find necessary.
  • Comfortable clothes: You need comfortable clothes for the whole time you will be in the hospital, including after delivery. Some of the must-have clothes include a nursing bra, loose pants like sleep pants and a birth lobe if the hospital does not provide one.
  • A birth towel and a pillow: Your hospital may provide a bath towel, but it may not be of the quality you desire. Therefore, you can bring a bath towel from home for the shower after delivery. A comfortable pillow is also a plus as you will be spending most of your time on the bed.
  • Backless slippers, socks and slip-on shoes: Since your legs may get swollen from IV fluids, easy to slip on shoes is the best choice of shoes when going to maternity.

What to include in the suitcase for baby

Once you have packed everything for you in the maternity suitcase, you should move on to the essentials for the new-born baby. You can follow the checklist below.

  • Baby sleepsuits: Sleepsuits are the best clothing choice for newborn babies as they are comfortable and easy to wear and remove.
  • Diapers and wipes: You can pack a medium pack of diapers and wipes for use while at the hospital.
  • A car seat: A car set for the baby is compulsory if you will be driving home. The hospital will not allow you to your baby if you don’t have a baby seat installed in your car.

Once you have all these essentials in your bag, you will be ready to go to the hospital when the baby decides to come.

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Chores. This single word is something that most adults are not excited about. You can only imagine how children perceive this activity.

That is why it is essential to teach them while they are young. With proper guidance, children can embrace chores as part of responsible living. Here are some practical strategies to try.

Equip and Orient Well

When one has what they need at their disposal, it is easy to finish things. The proper installation of an excellent water heater will make dishwashing a breeze. Complete garden materials will make raking or cleaning the yard fun. The idea is to provide the children with the correct equipment, so they will not treat chores as a burden. It does not mean that you have to rely on technology. Even manual pieces of equipment, as long as they are complete, will help finish the work.

Also, as a parent, you have to be clear of the results that you expect. Teach them first how they should go about a chore. You can also tell them what you want to see once they finished doing it. This way, they will try to follow a standard. You can eliminate frustrations on both sides.

Avoid Punishments, Operate on Rewards

One of the pitfalls of giving chores to children is by giving it as a punishment. When a child misbehaves, some parents use chores as a form of discipline. In doing so, the child associates chores with something negative. They begin to hate the chore, not in itself but because they attach a negative experience to it.

Instead of doing this, a child should see chores as a happy experience. You may try to have an equivalent allowance or reward for each chore. It could be money, a small token, or an experience that they wish to have. This strategy also shows the value of earning something. If they want to get something, they have to work hard for it.

Show a Good Example

Children are great imitators. They will copy what they see around them, especially with their parents. They should see that their parents like to do things for the household and the family. It is more beneficial when they see their mother and father splitting chores. This practice gives them the concept that chores are not gender-based. It also gives them the idea that something is easier when more family members get involved in tasks.

Empower with Praise and Feedback

An excellent way to encourage children to repeat a task is when they know that they have done well. Thus, be generous with praise if you see that they did their best to do a certain chore. Be specific, whether it be the skill, the timeliness, or the attitude by which they have done the chore.

You must also be objective in giving feedback if you see that they still need to improve. This way, they will get accustomed to a certain standard of accomplishing a chore. Do not mindlessly praise for the sake of making them feel good.

Doing chores is a strong way to prepare children for adult life. Making them love it when they are young will benefit them in the long run.

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Whether you are looking for a daycare, afterschool care, at-home care or a preschool, choosing your child’s caregivers is important. These individuals have a significant impact on your children. Therefore, choosing the best childcare option requires more than searching for child care Parker CO.

What You Need

Your first step should be identifying your child care needs and desires. For example, how long and for how many days does your child need care? Will the care provider need to help with homework or other projects? Choose whether you prefer in-home care or if you want your child to attend a daycare, Montessori school or other care facility.

Your child’s needs should also be identified. For example, if your child has any medical risks, such as allergies or asthma, or developmental or other needs, look for facilities that can meet these needs.

Referrals and Research

Your next step should be asking your friends, loved ones and peers for referrals. If they have children who are being cared for by someone outside the family, ask detailed questions about the childcare providers or facilities, including how they handle emergencies or behavioral problems and what services they offer.

You should also check for online reviews and licensing. Conduct a Better Business Bureau search, and speak with the local chamber of commerce to ensure the center doesn’t have any outstanding complaints.


Not only should you interview day care centers’ leadership, but you should also interview the workers. Learn about their hours and under what circumstances these hours may be extended. Ask for proof of their accreditation, which childcare centers receive from the National Association for the Education of Young Children and in-home care receive from the National Association for Family Child Care. Ask about and compare costs. Discuss waiting lists and the number of children the provider cares for. You may also discuss immunization, sick kids, caregiver health and other policies.

Observe how the teachers and childcare providers interact with the children. Do they get down on the children’s levels? Do they speak kindly or get frustrated? After a scheduled visit, where you are allowed to observe the care providers on their best behavior, drop by unannounced. You will get a more accurate understanding of the care provided if the staff is unprepared for a formal visit.

Ask the center or child care provider for references, including current and previous clients. You may also speak with parents as they are picking up their children. Don’t underestimate the insight of the children receiving care, though. Ask them questions too.

By conducting a little research, you will find the best caregiver or center for your children.


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When is the perfect time to teach your kids about investment? What kind of assets should you make on behalf of your kids, and how can you teach them about it? It is never too early to think about your kids’ future. Often, parents are wary about providing for their kids when they grow older, and their needs expand. Then, of course, there’s always the constant fear that you’re not going to be around forever, and you may leave them on their own sooner than you expect. Parents want to make sure their kids are taken care of even if they’re not beside them anymore.

Investing in your kids’ future is one of the noblest things you can do. While opening a savings account is a good idea, you have to think outside the box to grow your kids’ money in the future. Since they’re still young, this is the perfect time to make investments they can reap when they grow older. Imagine buying a blue-chip company stock right now at just $100 per unit. How much will that cost in the next decade or more? That money can even go to your kids’ college fund.

Shares and Stocks

The stock market may be volatile, but if you invest in the right companies for the long-term, you can watch your money grow and multiply. You can open an investment account for your kids and buy shares of stocks when you can. When there’s a promising initial public offering, consider investing in it because chances are that you can get them for a much lower price than average.

If you invest your $1,000 in the stock market right now, it has the potential to grow to $5,000 or even more, depending on the performance of the company. Investing in stocks regularly will boost your kids’ investment portfolio. This is one of the most popular ways to give your kids a financial head start.


Buying gold, silver, and other precious metals is always a good investment choice. The value of these metals will only grow in years to come. Though there are good and bad days with gold, it is generally a valuable asset. You can also start buying custom jewelry for your kids. As you well know, the value of jewelry increases, too, as years passed. A collection of jewelry will be a worthy investment to make in the name of your kids. They have the option to keep them as heirlooms or sell them for a profit in the future.

529 Plan

A 529 plan is designed for educational plans. You can grow your kids’ money there through investments and regular monthly contributions. The best thing about this plan is that when you withdraw from it for educational purposes, it is not subject to federal income tax (capital gains from investment). However, if the withdrawal is for non-educational purposes, you’ll have to pay a 10% federal tax penalty. You’ll want to stay clear of withdrawing money from this fund.

Mutual Funds

Similar to stocks and shares, mutual funds refer to money you put into a group of companies based on a principal account holder’s decision. You can choose a company that will handle your kids’ mutual funds investment. Here, you won’t have to worry about reading the market and selling/buying shares when the market becomes too volatile. Mutual funds are highly liquid and have recorded good returns for short- and long-term investments.


Your life insurance can save your kids’ future when you suddenly pass away, or something unexpected happens like unemployment. Most life insurance policies have investment options, too, so your money will grow while you’re paying for it monthly. You can also use it for your kids’ education. By contributing to the fund regularly, you build up financial protection for your kids once they’re in college.

Teaching Your Kids About Investing

Kids as young as four years old can be introduced to the value of investments and savings. If they want to buy a new toy, ask them to save up for it. They can do menial tasks in the house, and you can pay them a dollar for it. Just don’t forget to explain that they don’t always have to get paid to contribute to the household work.

Start early in investing in your kids’ future, as well as in their financial knowledge. While you can start investing for them, they will also take care of these investments in the future. Aside from the investment portfolio you will leave to them, your greatest gift is to provide them with the knowledge to take care of their finances in the future.

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In this world, there are only two types of people: those who love kids and those who dislike them very much. The first type of people believes that despite the annoying nature of children, they are little angels who bring happiness and joy to everyone around them. People who dislike kids, on the other hand, just see them as annoying little creatures.

If you belong to the first type of people mentioned above and you have a knack for science-based medicine, then you must be destined to have a career in the healthcare industry. It’s not an easy choice to make, but pursuing a medical career that cares for children can be very fulfilling.

There are a variety of areas you can specialize in within the industry; it’s just a matter of deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life. To give you an idea of the possible professions you can be in, here are four jobs that will allow you to work with children daily:


If you want to provide general care for children, you can become a pediatrician. This specific field of medicine deals with the physical, behavioral, and mental health of all children until their 18th birthday. You can be handling minor illnesses, viral infections, birth defects, or serious diseases that will require your service.

In this area of specialty, you can go one step further and focus on a subspecialty. You can become a pediatric surgeon who performs minor to major surgeries on babies, children, and young adults. Or you can become a pediatric dentist who takes care of children’s baby teeth and promote proper hygiene.

Working in pediatrics isn’t just like working with small people. Children are much more fragile than adults. Their situations are more complex on the basis that they might not fully comprehend what is happening to them. And that’s why working in this specialization can be immensely fulfilling to the right people.

Speech-language Pathologist

If you want to help children with communication and swallowing issues, you can become a speech-language pathologist (SLP). This specific field of medicine deals with problems that can involve a person’s speech sounds, language, literacy, and social communication.

Being an SLP means that you’re willing to work with children who have stutters or those who suffer from phonological disorders. It can also pertain to issues with a child’s cognitive functions such as their attention, memory, and problem-solving skills.

Art Therapist

If you want to connect with children and their emotions through art, you can become an art therapist. This specific field of medicine combines the complex nature of mental health as well as the arts and humanities through the process of creation.

Being an art therapist means that you are helping children become more expressive about their identity and their complicated feelings. This can help them develop interpersonal skills and learn how to communicate without having to use words. Art therapy can also be used to identify existing cognitive problems in children.

Child Psychologist

If you want to help children cope with their problems and deal with their emotions on a psychological level, then you can become a child psychologist. This specific field of medicine also deals with mental health, but it makes use of emotional and behavioral patterns to diagnose potential problems and respond with the appropriate treatment.

Being a child psychologist may be harder than usual because you’ll be dealing with individuals who may not be able to express themselves very well. But having this job also promotes the concept of valuing mental health at an early age, which can be crucial in today’s time.

There are a lot more professions in the healthcare industry that deal with children and their physical, mental, and social well-being. But most of these jobs would require additional years of education or training so that you can learn about the child-centric specialty you choose.

A healthcare professional who works with kids on a daily basis is much different from a regular physician. Pediatricians can work on a regular physician’s patient, but this situation can’t work the other way around. Medical professionals who work in pediatrics are qualified to work with children to that degree. They underwent proper training to know how to handle a children’s quirks, emotions, and temperamental nature. Doctors in pediatrics were also taught how to respond to these situations in the best possible way, which is why they are valued that much.

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While handling kids’ tantrums can be a sport for parents when it comes to their health, including diet and exercise, there are some habits which when implied might give out wonderful results for managing your toddler tantrums. Here’s how:

1. Diet

Provide for your child a healthy, balanced and delicious diet, including the very nutrients necessary for their growth as a toddler to induce healthy eating habits for kids. Monitor their body weight and try to regulate it by their age. Add milk and milk products to their diet for their growth requirement. Make sure they’re hydrated throughout the day, so that they may stay filled with liquids through the day. Include fruits, yoghurt and milk to enhance the taste and health of the food, add colours to make the food attractive and interesting to eat. Set definite times for breakfast, lunch and dinner to organise efficiently. Maintaining balance in both time and kind is important.

2. Engaging in activities and games

Being active is essential for toddlers and babies as they’re in their growth period and they need to run and fall and get up as much as they want to. Not letting them out because they may hurt or dirty themselves is being overprotective, and may harm them in the long run. They need to participate in run-chase games, jumping and falling. It is a part of their development process, hindering which, they end up being lazy as they grow up.

3. Moderating sleep schedule

It is pretty important to construct an efficient and moderate sleep schedule for your young one. Ponder upon the number of sleep hours required according to their age and set a time for sleeping and waking up. Try to get them to bed early so that they wake up fresh and happy; they wake up relaxed and ready to grasp new ideas. Less, disturbed or timeless sleep can irritate them and make them less manageable. While going to day care or preschool in the early hours of the day, a child sleeping later may get irritated and lose interest in the activities that await them. Their mood depends a lot on the quality of sleep they get.

4. Limit screen time

This generation might have brought about with it an affection for screens. Although this may be a great distraction for your kids to leave you free for other chores, this harms them a lot. Concentration issues, weaker eyesight, irritating behaviour and inability to obey might creep into their lifestyle. Monitor and limit their screen time appropriately according to their age and make sure they’re watching quality content.

While introducing new habits in your kids may be a little challenging and tiresome initially, following the same daily helps them get their routine in order and stay healthy and fit. Make sure to follow one baby step at a time and stay consistent in this daily schedule, but once it’s in practice, it gets better for the all-round development of your toddler.

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Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown presented almost all areas of society with huge challenges which have continued to run over the last 12 months.

Nowhere has this been more important than in education.

With our return to school now delayed, technology is playing an even bigger role than it did before.  In particular, app technology is becoming increasingly essential for mission-critical processes and procedures such as sickness and absence management not to mention communication with pupils and parents.

Better Communication

One of the key benefits of school apps is that it enables better communication across the board. Parents and other stakeholders can easily download a dedicated app onto their smartphone or tablet and have immediate access to all the information they need.

School apps allow two-way communication which has proved invaluable during the pandemic. That means, for example, notifications can be sent to parents.

Communication tools can be used for updates to processes, to tell parents about emergencies such as if a school needs to close, more importantly, it can be used for providing groups and individuals that may be at risk additional support.

Disseminating Learning Materials and Options

While not all the teaching and learning has been passed onto parents, many mums and dads have taken up the mantel of providing key education to their children. Apps allow schools to better order their provision whether it’s live online classes or tutorial materials that pupils can access on demand.

Not every parent, for example, is skilled at using the latest tech such as video conferencing software that can be employed to deliver lessons. Not every parent makes a good homeschooler. Apps help bridge the gap for these individuals and ensure that a more coherent education provision is still available, even during difficult times.

Providing Support

Parents are often not just worried about the educational needs of their kids but have their unique stresses relating to work. Some have been furloughed, many others are faced with the prospect of unemployment because the business they worked for has failed. There are those doing frontline jobs who are working long hours and potentially putting themselves at risk of catching the virus or passing it onto others.

School apps deliver an easy win for headteachers – an online support system that can be tailored to school needs as well as those of parents and pupils. Parents have a clear, one-stop technological solution to get the information they require, all at the touch of a button or in this case an icon.

Updating Regulations

There’s no doubt that one thing we’ve had to get used to is things changing suddenly. At the beginning of the term in the New Year, many of us were expecting to head back to school before the government u-turned overnight. Apps are a great way to get urgent information and updates on the rules out to parents without putting too much pressure on admin.

The Future Benefits of School Apps

Many schools that had previously stuck to the traditional website for communicating with parents are beginning to see the benefits of switching to a more easily accessible app.

Even outside the challenges of the pandemic, this type of technology not only allows for more streamlined services that are available for all but they can help reduce costs and administrative load at the same time.

Hopefully, in the next few months, we’ll begin to start getting back to normal. Beyond the pandemic, school apps provide a responsive and versatile method of communication that can make a huge difference on a wide range of levels.

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It is very common for toddlers to be fussy eaters. As they grow up, they develop a sense of liking and disliking. Refusing food is a way of self-expression and independence for them. Toddlers do not like the color, shape, taste, and smell of some foods. We can also see, one day they are eating something happily but the next day, they are throwing tantrums eating the same food. It all depends on their mood and appetite. To make your toddlers eat every food without throwing tantrums, you must understand their problem in depth.

Reasons for becoming a fussy eater

Many reasons can kill the appetite of your kid. Some of them are mentioned below;

  • In between snacks

If your kid has a bad habit of eating snacks now and then, they may lose their appetite. Snacks may seem light but they kill our hunger.

  • Less physical activity

If a kid sits idly the whole day, they may not feel hungry at all. As a result, they throw tantrums during mealtime and become fussy eaters.

  • Physical growth

The rate of growth also affects appetite. If the growth rate of your kid is slow, he not she may not feel hungry that much.

  • Pampering parents

Too much of anything is bad for anyone. If the parents give too much attention and love to their kids, they will throw more tantrums while eating.

So, these are some of the reasons that make a toddler a fussy eater.

How to handle fussy eaters?

No matter what, every patent wants to give their toddlers healthy food for their healthy growth. But, it becomes harder when you are dealing with fussy eaters. Here are some best tips which can help you to deal with your toddler.

Make easy breakfast recipes for kids

There are numerous easy breakfast recipes that you can make for your toddler. Always present the food in an attractive way. Mix up different ingredients and combine different colors to make the meal look tasty.

  • Never force food

Forcing food to your toddler must be avoided. Let your kid set his own pace. Give a small amount of food each time. Keep the mealtime relaxed and happy.

  • Play games

Kids always love to take part in games. To make your toddler eat healthy food items, play food games with them. Thus, they will eat their meal playfully.

  • Maintain time

If you are offering food to your toddler on a fixed time daily, they will get habituated to eating at their time.

  • Physical activity

Engage your toddler in different physical activities. Take him outdoors to play games or make him exercise regularly.

  • Avoid junk foods

Junk foods are big appetite killers. They seem light but affect our health terribly. So, avoid junk food altogether. If you are not eating junk foods, your toddler will follow you automatically.

Thus, these are some ways to handle fussy eaters and make them eat healthy yet tasty.

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Parenting is not an easy job. It will be more challenging if you are becoming a parent for the first time. The growth and development of the child should be the prime concern of every parent. Parents should look after both, the physical and the mental growth of their toddlers and aid in the developmental process. Some health tips for children are discussed below, which every parent should follow.

  • Physical health

A healthy body can keep the mind fit. To ensure the physical health of their kids, parents should take care of few things like;

  • Nutritious food

During the child growth and development stage, every kid should eat healthy food items that contain all the vitamins, minerals, iron, zinc, amino acids, and healthy fats. All these aids in their developmental process.

  • Good food habit

Maintaining a good food habit is essential for kids. Kids should not consume too much oily, junk, or spicy food items. Parents should also control their daily sugar intake. Following a specific diet is highly recommended for parents.

  • Daily exercise

Daily exercising keeps our body fit and active. Every kid should practice exercise regularly for sound physical growth. Parents can also engage their kids in various outdoor sports.

  • Good sleep

Good, undisturbed sleep is needed for every kid for good health. Disturbed sleep can cause irritation and illness in your kid.

  • Physical activities

Parents should arrange indoor and outdoor activities for their kids to keep them engaged and active. It reinforces good health.

  • Mental health

Mental health is equally important for a kid’s growth. If they are not happy they will not be able to engage in physical activities.

  • Cognitive growth

Cognitive development is very important for problem-solving and thought processing. Parents should always encourage their kids to solve new problems, learn from their experiences, and nurture their creativity.

  • Brain development

A healthy brain plays a big role in one’s overall growth. Parents should always look after the development of the mental capabilities of their kids. Solving puzzles, riddles, and other games can nurture brain health.

  • Emotional management

Kids are too young and naive to manage their own emotions. Parents should carefully help their kids to channel their emotions in the right direction. They should teach the young ones to express and deal with their emotions in the right way.

  • Positive environment

A positive environment is very important for the proper mental growth of a child.

  • Relationship between parents
  • Relationship between other members of the family
  • Nature of the parents and other family members

All effect the mental development of a kid. When the family environment is positive and happy, the kid also gets positive energy and attitude.

So, these are some of the health tips for children that can aid in child growth and development. All the new parents should follow them to ensure the proper mental and physical growth of their child.

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