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Why we decided to add another sibling to our family

Deciding whether your precious first baby needs a sibling is a BIG decision and one we considered very carefully! Walky Talky Baby has been such a success and keeps us pretty busy as it is... and we have actual human children to attend to as well!

Plus there are TONS of toddler play tips on Instagram and frankly kids know how to play anyway… so did we really need to create our Walky Talky big sister, Walky Talky Toddler? 

The answer we decided was definitely YES!

Why?? Here it is our perspective on play and exactly why we created this new product for you... 

After 15 years of clinical experience working with babies and toddlers we have a whole new take on play.  Play is the way children learn and as paediatric clinicians we use it to assess where our babies and children are at, and to support the development of new skills. We teach parents how to connect with their babies and children through play in order to better understand and support their...

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Baby Talk - the first 12 months

'A baby can't talk.....so I don't need to think about their communication in the first 12 months.....do I??'

The short answer? Yes, absolutely!

There is SO much that goes on for your baby in their first year. 

The milestones that stand out?? Rolling....sitting....crawling....standing.

All the gross motor ones!

As a Paediatric Speech Pathologist I get a bit miffed sometimes that the gross motor skills get so much attention.....because what about all those amazing communication skills too?!

Sure, the gross motor skills are more obvious. Plus if your baby is stuck with them, you'll often know about it because they'll be frustrated. And they are absolutely important.

But so are communication skills in the first year too!
This is when your baby lays down the foundations for saying words, and more importantly being able to communicate with others (which is so much more than saying words!).

 

So what communication skills are developed in the first year?

From the moment...

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3 hours of active play a day 😱... how on earth do we fit that in?

Active play is important for everything from building strength and motor skills to regulating and improving mental health… YES the benefits of exercise are there for BOTH you and your kids! 

So how much active play are we aiming for?

The World Health Organisation has some lovely clear guidelines for all of us! More here but in a nutshell...

  • Babies- floor play is key, several times a day and should include 30 mins of tummy time (in small chunks)
  • Pre school Children- 3 hours of active physical play a day. For over 2 years old this should include an hour of moderate to vigorous activity. 
  • School Age Children- 1 hour per day of moderate-to-vigorous intensity, mostly aerobic, physical activity. Should incorporate vigorous-intensity aerobic activities, as well as those that strengthen muscle and bone, at least 3 days a week.
  • Adults- It gets more complicated but 2.5-5 hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity over the week is a minimum. 

At all ages variety is...

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First words....what counts?

communication first words Jan 19, 2022

'My baby just said their first word....I think?'
We're all dying to hear our baby's first words and wonder what it will be. Once they start talking though, it can be tricky to figure out what actually counts as a word! Read on to learn more about it!

First words. Such a big and wonderful milestone for your little baby! What will it be? Mama? Dada? Or something random (one of my baby's first words was 'light'!).

When will I hear my baby's first words?

You'll typically start to hear your baby's first word anywhere from 9-14 months of age. If they haven't produced any words by 18 months, we'd recommend seeing a Speech Pathologist for further assessment.

What counts as a word??

 Those first words won't be very clear. It can therefore be tricky to tell if it is a word or not! You might be saying to each other.....'did she say....?' 'I swear he just said......!'.

Around 6-8 months of age, your baby will start babbling. As they get better and better at this skill, they will...

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And that's a wrap... tying the ribbon on 2021

2021 Dec 27, 2021

2021....it was a big year for us both personally and for our business baby. Our first full year running the Walky Talky Baby Membership and we've again learnt so much from another year!

Here's our wrap up from each of us on the year that was 2021! 

The Walky Wrap Up  

Starting out and setting up

This year was a big one for our very first WT baby model Miss E who started kindy. My focus for the year was setting up some smart systems to make getting out the door each morning and juggling all the extra school information (man there is a lot of it!!) easier. 

I hit the laminator hard and after trialing a couple of options we have a morning checklist and a week plan that have made a BIG difference in getting out the door on time with everyone still in a good mood! 

If you too love a good system, particularly a visual one try out our free printable visual timetable cards. You can download them FREE here and find out all the details from Chiara about why...

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5 features of a good supportive shoe!

5 ways to play shoes walk Oct 17, 2021
A special treat for you! GUEST BLOG! written predominantly by Liba Bielik. She is the owner of an Australian online store named Shoe Baby Shoe
Liba started her business after her son was told by a physiotherapist that he required good quality supportive boots to support his feet, but that they couldn't be bought in Australia for less than $300!  Liba now exclusively stocks good quality leather shoes for supporting the feet of babies and children. 

When evaluating good quality supportive footwear for very young children, we are looking at everything we can see and touch, and then also what we can’t see with naked eye – everything that was used in making of the shoe.

Here are our tips for 5 ways to spot the supportive shoe that is right for your baby;

1. Heel Counter- the part of the shoe that accommodates the heel. Heel counter provides stability to the foot, and also gives the shoe its shape (and keeps it that way long term). You can...

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Top Toy Tips for supporting development

Play is everything! The way babies and children learn about themselves, have fun and understand the world. SO how do you choose what toys to add to play?

Toys facilitate play and if you’re like us you LOVE watching how your baby or toddler explores and learns from new experiences.

However we all have some limit to our storage and play space and concern about the growing global waste problem we can’t have ALL the toys no matter how much our kids (yeah sure it’s us) would like them!

Here are our top tips for getting the most bang out of your buck when it comes to toys

  1. Choose quality over quantity- if they break easily you aren’t going to be able to relax and allow your baby and toddler to really investigate. Trust us your baby is WAY better at play than you so it is important you are confident they can play safely with the toy alone. 
  2. Choose toys that support development- this is a biggie, think about the skills your baby is developing and which...
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5 Ways to Play with...Musical Instruments!

Musical Instruments are wonderful toys for developing your baby and children's creativity, confidence, motor development and they are FUN!

Plus there are so many benefits to singing with your baby for language development….and adding instruments to your music time is a perfect way to make this time even more special and entertaining!

Some of the benefits of music for your baby include:

  • Language in itself is musical and when you sing, just as when you speak, your baby learns about words, language and communication
  • You introduce new words when you sing to your baby. Lots of nursery rhymes are very repetitive and have actions that go along with them that help your baby learn the meaning of those words
  • Music can support motor skills development, for example songs about body parts can help your baby learn about their body and action songs can help your baby understand how you want them to move

Here are our ideas on how to play with instruments with your baby or...

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5 Ways to Play with... Books!

Reading to your young baby might not seem intuitive when they can’t read the words themselves! There are, however, SO many benefits from reading to your baby from a young age (you can start from day 1).

If reading is a good idea surely there isn't that much to it? Are there really 5 ways to play with books? Read on for expert tips from our paediatric speech pathologist, Chiara on HOW to read with babies and children plus a couple of movement ideas from physiotherapist Alison as well. 

Why is reading together with your baby or child so important?

  • Helps your baby get familiar with sounds and words. The more words your baby hears over time, the more words they will learn. 
  • Develop early literacy skills
  • Develop understanding of language
  • Ignite their imagination
  • Learn to value books
  • Wonderful 1:1 time with an adult!

Chiara's number 1 tip... You don’t have just read the book from front to cover though….here’s some different ways to change up your book...

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5 Ways to Play with... Squigz!

Variety in play allows your baby to learn and develop in a variety of ways too. Suction toys encourage your baby to experiment with combining objects on a vertical surface. Our favourite suction toys are squigz, because they actually stick and they are durable, easy to clean and very colourful. 

Vertical surface play provides a different challenge for your baby and toddler’s balance and works the muscles in the back and shoulder girdle in a different way. PLUS they’ll love pulling the squigz off surfaces so there’s lots of opportunities to model language, get them to follow instructions and encourage them to ask for help. 

1. Moving on; vertical kneeling play-  2 point kneeling is kneeling upright on the knees. This is a great preparation for standing as your baby is learning to stabilise their position with the muscles around the hips and pelvis. Squigz stuck to the mirror, door or fridge will entice your baby into this position. Even trickier...

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