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

Being a dad to a toddler

dad_toddlerAs your child grows up, your relationship with him or her will evolve, but what remains the same is the huge impact you will have on their future development, health and happiness. The relationship children have with their fathers affects their sense of self, how they do at school, and the ways in which they interact with others.

When your child is about to have a major meltdown and you have exhausted all options of redeeming the situation, bring out the “special papa bag”. The “papa bag” is a small canvas bag/ small container that is easy for kids to open and is filled with things from your life. Constantly change the contents and allow your child to guess, “What’s inside the bag?” Items that go into the bag have to be; things they have never seen before, things that they don’t usually get to play with, things that have buttons, or things that can be done and redone over again. For example, a tiny lock, a dead cellphone, a harmonica, rubber bands, or fake credit cards.

You may not have much time but young children love having your undivided attention and enjoy doing anything with you; whether it is reading a story, helping with the chores, playing a simple game or just chatting. The more time you spend with your child, the greater the positive effect you will have on your child’s well being. Adrienne Burgess, author of Fatherhood Reclaimed: the Making of the Modern father, refers to this as the “dose effect”. It is the quality of your interactions that counts, not necessarily the time frame. Encourage your child to help you with chores or include them in activities. For example, if you are sweeping, give them their own little brush. If you are shaving, allow them to soap your face. This will bring you closer and make your toddler feel that they are valued and helpful. You can also give your relationship a boost by making use of basic household items and creating stimulating games. Fill a basket, bucket or saucepan with items such as spoons and help your child “make music”. Alternatively, keep your toddler busy with two plastic cups and show them how to pour water from one cup to another. Your child will be delighted and this activity helps to develop hand-eye coordination.

Each child has their own unique personality and will reach developmental milestones differently. Toddlers in particular, require praise and reassurance while they are establishing a sense of autonomy. Compliment your child’s efforts and love them unconditionally, to help them build a healthy self-esteem.

Traditionally, one of dad’s main roles has been that of protector. From a safety point of view this includes child proofing your home, setting a good example by always wearing a seatbelt, etc. Financial protection is also important. Have life insurance, adequate medical cover and a properly executed will.

Children crave and need physical contact. Dad’s shouldn’t be afraid to show affection- snuggle with your child, hug them and show them love.

Be a hands-on dad. Help with bathing, changing diapers/ potty training, bedtime, and mealtimes. Not only are you sharing in parental duties; but these tasks also provide the perfect opportunity to bond with your child.

Be good to and make time for yourself and your partner. It is important for parents to have time to themselves and as a couple in order to be the best parents they can be.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

No matter how physically or emotionally stressful your occupation, there is no job more demanding than being a full time parent; but there is also possibly no adventure that is more rewarding. There are very few men or women who are naturally born mothers or fathers; and becoming the best parent you can be generally requires on-the-job training, persistence and love. You may not always feel you know what to do; but if you relax and trust yourself you will develop a parenting style that works for you and your child. Most importantly show your toddler that you value them, talk and listen to them, praise the things they do and teach them how to be competent with encouragement and positive reinforcement. In the words of Armin Brott, a.k.a Mr. dad: “Great Dads aren’t born… They learn over time.”

This touching Chinese song is about the love and warmth of parenthood. The powerful life lessons a parent wishes to convey to a child, how they would like to protect them from the world and how one day they have to set them free, and allow them to be independent. - !

You Have to Walk Your Own Path

I know the world is a little complicated for you

I know you are willing to contribute but don’t know how

I know you don’t like the pretense of the grown-ups

I know you have your own thinking about the future

There is a reason for the existence of everything

No one has the right to give up on himself

I will hold your hands but you have to walk your path

When you are faced with a decision, listen to the quiet corner of your heart

One day I will let go of you because you have to walk your own path

When you are at a crossroads, remember to lift up your head and look at the sky



Murkoff, H.E., Eisenberg, A. & Hathaway, S. (2002). What to expect: when you are expecting. Pocket Books: UK.