#4 Getting enough sleep “Sleep is an often-neglected factor in boosting immunity – and one that often gets sacrificed during travel and the festive holiday season. Try to keep to sensible bedtimes (for the kids and you!) during the holidays,” advises Dr Natalie. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends 11 to 14 hours of sleep for children aged one to two, and 10 to 13 hours of sleep for kids aged three to five, in a 24-hour period (including naps). Children aged six to 12 are advised to get nine to 12 hours, while teens aged 13 to 18 should sleep eight to 10 hours per night. Staying safe and sound in the sky

“Let her be in charge of the advent calendars, for example. Or, if Grandma loves to bake, let her do some baking with the children but choose the recipe together in advance. Remind her that she can spoil the children in so many other ways – for instance, spending time making arts and crafts is a sure winner in the run-up to Christmas, with holiday cards and tree decorations being easy and fun family activities that Grandma can enjoy doing with her grandchildren.” Managing your mental wellness fun, we can get a bit overwhelmed. Temp e r s c a n ge t f r ayed a s people get either over-excited or exhausted,” says Dr Natalie. “Try to build balance into each day – or at least into each week if some days are unavoidably busy. Include ‘activities’ such as reading a good book – and please take the opportunity to read books together as a family during this holiday season; there are so many beautiful and meaningful ones out there! Other activities may include going for a walk or a bike ride in the countryside, and some simple Christmas baking (if you are the kind of parent who doesn’t get palpitations at the thought of baking with kids!). “And remember that a bit of alone time is sometimes exactly what is needed to press the reset button – a quiet stroll or a soak in a bath with a glass of wine can magically transform you into that happy and engaged parent once again.” “Some t ime s , i n o u r d e s i r e t o experience all the

Removing germs right off the bat is always a good idea on airplanes. Dr Natalie suggests wiping down any surfaces with antiseptic wet wipes before seating the children. She also recommends aiming to get the children changed and showered once you reach your destination. To ward off any potential

tears, she suggests getting a child to suck a liquid or lollipop during take-off and landing to stop that annoying pressure from building up in the ears. Another parent pro-tip to help you prepare: “Prefill a couple of syringes with Paracetamol, Panadol or Calpol syrup and put in a Tupperware in your hand luggage so that if your child really is crying inconsolably, you can quickly and easily administer pain relief.” Keeping your nutrition on track Christmas time means seasonal temptations and indulgences aplenty. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw your healthy eating habits out the window entirely! It’s all about balance, explains Dr Natalie. “If you know an extravagant dinner is planned, go for a more simple lunch. Aim for fruits for desserts on non-festive days, saving the indulgent cakes and puddings for occasional treats rather than every day,” she says. “Ensure vegetables are on offer at each meal, and encourage your children, and yourself, to choose water to drink rather than juices or soft drinks.” And, when it comes to Grandma’s love of spoiling the grandchildren with sweets, Dr Natalie suggests sitting down with her and devising a plan that won’t leave your children sick and you stressed.

SBCC Baby & Child Clinic #05-46/47Mount ElizabethNovena Specialist Centre,

38 Irrawaddy Road 6255 5017 |

163 DECEMBER2022

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