Standards for Keeping Track of Your Child’s Progress

Posted in Kid's World
on October 11, 2016
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Children are a blessing and knowing that they are progressing properly is a great source of pride and peace of mind.

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We all want to know that the child is doing alright in all aspects as they grow up. So we eagerly keep an eye on them and anticipate each measure of growth and developmental milestone along the way.

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Part of these are body changes. Every change signals whether your child is growing properly.

Sadly, not everyone may know exactly what to monitor. Many people especially new parents may be aware that there will be significant increase in body weight and height as the child grows. Hair will grow, teeth will come in then out, and then come in again.

They’ll know that the child will eventually hit puberty – but still, how exactly should you track these indicators of growth?

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Various entities have developed a number of tools like height charts you can use to  monitor your child’s growth.You have probably encountered these tools at one point or another, perhaps even  without being aware of it.

  1. At the Consulting Room

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Early in the child’s life, you take him or her to visit a doctor regularly for checkups.

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Have you ever wondered what these checkups are all about? What signals are doctors looking for to establish that your child is in perfect health?

These are questions few of us ever stop to ask.

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During each checkup the doctor often records the height and weight of the child. They use these pieces of information to compare with data from other children in the same age group. Doctors put down these details on height charts or a growth chart.

The height chart is a valuable tool, helping pediatricians to determine whether a child is growing at an appropriate rate or if there might be certain problems.

  1. Size and Weight

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These are the most basic elements of growth that parents often monitor. When you visit the doctor’s office, they will be documenting this data of your child to monitor their growth.

It’s important that you understand these elements so you can understand your child’s progression even without visiting your Pediatrician or GP.

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There will be astonishing changes during your child’s first year. On average, babies grow a length of 25 centimeters (10 inches) and their birth weights triple.

Like many new parents, you may be astonished when your child’s growth slows down after that first year.

All that initial growth coming to a stop at the onset of the subsequent years tends to startle new parents. It’s important to understand that no child will continue to grow quickly after infancy.

The baby’s growth momentum slows considerably after age 1. By age 2, kids grow in height steadily – approximately 6 centimeters (2.5 inches) a year until they reach adolescence.

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Use customisable height charts to plot your child’s growth at different ages. This data should stay on roughly the same percentile as that of the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) standardised growth chart when taken accurately and plotted over time.

Nurses (Maternal and Child Health) normally use the CDC percentile charts for children aged between 2 and 18 years old to measure height, weight and the Body Mass Index (BMI).

The World Health Organisation has percentile charts that you can use to measure weight, length and head circumferences for baby boys and girls aged 24 months and below.

Here’s something you must understand. No child will grow at a perfectly steady rate throughout their childhood. So you may encounter weeks or months of fairly slower growth alternating with particular spurts in growth throughout the growth curve.

Thus, some children may also be inherently slow in development. Given this, you might see  smaller figures in their height charts. But you must know that these kids are absolutely normal and healthy. The delayed growth may be genetic especially if the parents are shorter.

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On the bright side, if you have any concerns regarding your kid’s growth, you can consult your GP. They are sufficiently equipped to evaluate your child more systematically and study your family history. This approach will disclose enough information regarding your child’s condition.

In case of any anomaly, the doctor can always order or conduct tests to see if there is any medical condition affecting your child’s growth.

They may then choose to track the child’s growth more frequently on a growth or height chart. They may alternatively refer your child to a growth disorders specialist (pediatric endocrinologist) for enhanced evaluation.

Any problem detected early enough can always be remedied to help boost the child’s health.

  1. BMI

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Body mass index, also Quetelet index is the measure of body fat based on height and weight. It’s a value derived from the height and mass of an individual – weight (kg) / height (m) Height (m).

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 You can therefore use the information recorded on height charts and BMI percentile charts to compute your kid’s BMI. A higher BMI value would signify a greater risk of diseases such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and some cancers.

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The good part is that if you know your child has a high BMI, you would also know the kind of attention that should be given to them.

If your child’s BMI is anywhere between 18.5 and 24.9, rest assured that they are perfectly healthy even if they seem overweight or underweight.

  1. Sexual development

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Here’s a challenging part: your son comes home from his baseball game and you can smell his odor from the other room.

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Your little girl shys off from jogging because her breasts are becoming noticeably bouncy – time to get her a bra. That’s puberty.

It’s a time for a major spurt on growth, usually between 8 and 13 years for girls and from 10 to 15 years among boys.

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Prepare to see a lot of sexual development in your child. Pubic and underarm hair will appear, sex organs will develop and for your girl, menstruation will begin.

Keeping track of these changes should give you that fulfilment that your kid is now becoming an adult.

Final thoughts…

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Personalised height charts are a great way to keep track of your kid’s height. There’s an endless list of adorable personalised height charts to work well with a broad range of wall sticker designs that together should motivate you to monitor your child’s progression in style.

The ABC Jungle Adventures: ABC for All Ages

Posted in Hippo Blue
on August 23, 2016
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Chatting with Brett Curzon, author and illustrator of Hippo Blue’s new personalised story book The ABC Jungle Adventures, he says, “I wanted to make sure it is a book that children can come back to time and time again.”

True to his words, The ABC Jungle Adventures has many layers. When my two-year-old reads it, he takes away something completely different from my six-year-old. But they both giggle throughout the book. And they have been pulling it out of the bookshelf again and again.

For my two-year-old, it is the ABCs, adorable animals and the actions. He has started to recognise a few letters of the alphabet, and it makes him proud when he sees them. The details of the illustration are amazing – the spectacles on the bear, the hat on the fish… He loves to point at the animals and say the ones he knows. Then, when the hero of the story says “Jump!” my boy likes to leap as high as he can. It makes him so happy.

For my six-year-old, there is the satisfaction of knowing that she is the hero of the story. Not only that, there is nonsense (she gets the animals to jump, paddle, swing), the gross factor (the animals are bringing grubs and worms to the party! Eeeeeeewwwwww!), and the delightful hidden details (I won’t spoil the fun by telling you what’s hidden). But the best part is finding her friends and family appear in a book as animal characters. Mummy is a koala, Daddy is a lion, baby brother is a zebra, and her best friend is a sloth!!! She is howling on the floor in tears by the end of the book.

The true meaning of the book is that these special friends and family in their lives will always stand by them in this adventure called life. The hero of the story puts everyone in a bit of sticky situation, inviting them to a jungle party they have no way of getting to. But they always come through to celebrate with the child.

And that really is the most important lesson of all, isn’t it… Children can do what they want to do and be what they want to be, because they will always have the support and love of friends and family.

To preview your own unique storybook, click here.


The ABC Jungle Adventures: Creating a Truly Unique Gift

Posted in Hippo Blue
on August 23, 2016
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Hippo Blue has just introduced their second personalised story book The ABC Jungle Adventures. It’s a followup to The Adventures You’ll Have. As in the original book, you can select the hero of the story and insert your child’s name. In this followup, however, you are able to personalise all the letters of the alphabet if you wish — with names of friends and family! Children will be delighted to find their loved ones transformed into funny animal characters that accompany them on a jungle adventure.

So how do you create this truly unique book?

I find it easy and quite fun to take a few minutes to think about all the people that are important to the child. Then I jump on the website and start entering all the names. I love that I’m able to edit and add names as I go along. The preview feature is fantastic as well. I get to see the personalised book cover to cover before I drop it in the shopping cart.

For my own child, I was able to personalise 26 names. It was inevitable that I had names that start with the same letter. I found that the trick is coming up with creative and sometimes funny expressions. For example, for the letter S, I had my child’s bestie Sam, Uncle Stephen, and cousin Shannon. I ended up with Sam the Sloth, Uncle Stephen the Urial, and Disco Shannon the Duck (Shannon is always disco-ing in real life, so it was perfect).

For my daughter’s friend, I didn’t come up with nearly as many, but definitely more than enough to have it be truly unique. I entered the names of her family members and the names of their classmates. Voila! Their jaws literally dropped when they read the book. They couldn’t believe there was a book that was so personalised for them. They were touched that someone had created this one of a kind book just for them!

It is truly a unique gift I can give to a child. How awesome is it, to not only have their name, but the names of all their friends and family in one book! I know that they will read it for many years, and perhaps will be one of the books that they will always remember. They might not remember who gave it to them, but I guess that’s not important! :)

To preview your own unique storybook, click here.


Sticker Happy Land

Posted in Hippo Blue
on June 3, 2016
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Are you feeling sticker happy? We totally know that feeling! Here are some fantastic labelling ideas we received from happy parents and kids. At my house, we thought we were fully labelled. Mummy works at Hippo Blue, and my two kids are addicted to stickering. Wrong! These photos had me and my kids flying through our house, fully inspired, stickering and protecting all the items we had missed!

See all the great ideas here, to save you the head and heartache of losing your children’s favourite items, as well as dollars! Continue reading

A Gift To Remember Always

Posted in Happy Island, Kid's World
on June 3, 2016
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We’ve all received THAT gift that made our hearts swell with love. It wasn’t the most expensive gift, it wasn’t the fanciest gift, but it was the most thoughtful.

You can create that magic moment for a special child in your life – your own daughter or son, their best friend, your best friend’s child, your niece or nephew, your neighbour… They will always fondly remember that moment and thank you for it.

Here are a few ways to create that unforgettable moment. It may take a little bit of thought but it doesn’t have to take much time.

Continue reading