Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...


Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...


Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...


The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

How to...

. . . find a suitable bed

According to Murkhoff, Eisenberg and Hathaway (2003), authors of What to Expect the First Year, the generally accepted rule is: if a child is 89 cm tall or can climb out of a cot on his or her own, then he or she is ready for a bed.


If you believe that it is time to move your tot into his or her very own bed, safety should be your primary concern. If you are looking for a bed that is toddler-sized, you can get them from a variety of stores in different colours, with sides already built in. But if you would like a standard-sized single bed, consider purchasing the top bunk of a bunk bed. Stores will be more than willing to sell you the top half only. It is a completely enclosed bed and you have the option of removing the side bars at a later stage. Specialist children’s furniture shops, with specialist prices, are also worth investigating.


Happy shopping!



. . . find and hire a nanny/au pair/night nurse

 There are a number of South African websites that cater specifically for hiring help. Most offer competitive rates and have done background checks on their workers. Have a look at the following websites:;; and


It is important to interview each prospective applicant and baby should be one of the interviewers. Watch how baby interacts with the potential new nanny/au pair and how easily the interviewee handles baby.


Write down all the questions that you want to ask beforehand and check with your hubby/wife what roles and responsibilities they would like the nanny/au pair to take on.


Cover the following in the interview:

·         Expected roles and responsibilities

o   Looking after baby

o   Cooking

o   Cleaning

o   Ironing

o   Driving

o   Shopping

·         Is it a live-in position or not?

·         Must they have their own car?

·         Discuss working hours

·         Remuneration

·         Overtime

·         Ask to see their references and be sure to follow them up

·         Find out how many babies they have looked after and if they have children of their own

·         It is important to check if the applicant has been on a first aid course. If not, it is easy to book a course. The Fire Department offers one-day courses and they will be able to come to you. It is important for everyone who will be looking after baby to have been on a first aid course.



. . . travel with your baby

One of the most important things to do when deciding to take a trip with baby is careful planning.



·         Time your trip around baby’s schedule.

·         Take enough food with you for baby. Most internal flights do not cater for babies, but international ones do.

·         When taking off or landing, be sure to offer baby something to drink; the swallowing will help with sore ears.

·         Take along your car seat and pram. Both can be handed in just before take-off and will be returned to you as soon as you disembark.

·         Confirm that your flight is on time before heading off to the airport and check all your reservations while you are at it.

·         Most airlines will allow you on to the plane first, but be prepared to disembark last.

·         Make sure to pack enough of everything and take your entire nappy bag as hand luggage.

·         Some airlines ask to see baby’s birth certificate before boarding; remember to take it along, just in case.


Once you are on holiday

Baby’s sleep pattern will most probably be affected (and sometimes the change in routine, even if you are on holiday for only a few days) and will also be affected after you return home.



. . . baby-proof your home

Baby-proofing your home is an ongoing process, but it is a good idea to prepare your home before bringing your newborn baby home.

·         Make sure all prams, baby carriers and car seats are put together and installed correctly.

·         Be sure to move valuable objects out of harm’s way.

·         Never leave baby playing with small objects like marbles, coins or anything that could be easily swallowed.

·         Make sure the plants in your garden are not poisonous and remove any mushrooms as soon as they sprout.

·         Keep all knives locked away or out of reach.

·         Keep all cleaning detergents and alcohol out of reach.

·         Keep all medicines safely stored away.

·         Ensure that your pool or ponds are either fenced-in or covered.

·         Keep handyman tools locked away.

·         Put up stair barriers at the top and at the bottom of stairs.

·         Cook on the back plates of the stove.

·         Always run cold water into the bath first.

·         Have a complete first aid kit in your house.

·         Go on a first aid course and do refreshers on a regular basis.

·         Install smoke alarms and keep a fire extinguisher in the house.         



. . . claim for UIF

Workers on maternity leave are able to claim from UIF. You can apply for UIF at a labour centre of your choice. The Unemployment Insurance Act applies to all employers and employees, but not to:

·         Workers working less than 24 hours a month for an employer

·         Learners

·         Public servants

·         Foreigners working on a contract

·         Workers who are Sole Proprietors

·         Employees who receive their full salary while on maternity leave


Workers can only apply for UIF once they are on maternity leave and can claim for up to 17 weeks or 4 months.


In order to claim, you need to fill out the following 2 forms. They can be found at 

·         UI 2.3 Application for Maternity Benefits

·         U 12.8 Application to Pay Benefits into a Banking Account

And then the UI-4 form on a monthly basis

·         UI-4 Application for continuation of payment for maternity benefits


No tax is payable on the benefits. There are a few companies that will help you with the process; go to or .