My 2.4 Year old Toddler is Active but Doesn’t Speak Much, Should I worry? SOS MOM Reply

My-2.4-year-old-does-not-speak-much“Ma…ma..mammmmaah…!”

“Daddddddhhiieee…!”

The ultimate feeling of sheer exuberance, is what parents experience when their darling toddler speaks these words out for the very first time.

Everything that he does for the first time is the biggest reason for a smile on everyone’s face around him. It is no less than a celebration time for parents. Besides, these first activities are also considered as milestones that indicate the developmental pace of an infant.

All toddlers pave different milestones at different ages, depending upon their individual capabilities. Learning to talk is one of these milestones. Most toddlers are reluctant talkers. This delay in speech doesn’t always spell trouble, hence, should not be seen as a matter of anxiety. Parents must comprehend, that language development process is vast and comes with several roadblocks along the way. Hence, they are required to be patient if their baby does not speak much.

Having said that, if your toddler does not use 3-4 words simple sentences, does not ask simple questions or is unable to call out the names of at least a few objects by 25-26 months, then you must consult a paediatrician for proper advice.

In such situations, perhaps the personal experiences of other parents can also come in handy. Let’s have a look at what our community parents have to say:

Interact, to nail the language lessons. Sarah Singh says, “expose your child to lots of verbal communication. This can be done by talking more to your baby. Even if he doesn’t reply back he will pick up and understand lots of words. To check if he is able to understand your conversation, ask him to do simple things like ‘give me that ball’ and so on”.

Try to read him more and more stories with lots of colourful pictures. The more he listens the more his urge to speak will grow. Don’t give him anything that he points at, instantly. Encourage him to say the name of the object. Also, allow him to play with other children of his age ,who can talk. Kids learn faster from other kids, suggests Asmita Basu Sarkar.

Vidushi Kamal, who has faced a similar issue with her daughter some time back, shares her personal piece of experience that kids who are more active physically tend to focus less on speaking. Hence, there is no need to worry if your child starts speaking late.

Suhasini Vinay has experienced that a baby girl tends to take up speaking sooner than a baby boy. She says, she has witnessed this in her own family and it’s a common phenomenon.

Rakhi Golui Sarkar suggests, that sending your child to a play school may also help as they tend to imitate other kids. This will in turn encourage and teach them to speak sooner.

“Another reason that can contribute to the delay in language development in toddlers is, use of multiple languages at home by the family members. The baby might get confused about what to speak and what not. Therefore, you should try to speak one common language till he is old enough to grasp the other”, says Antonette Presentina

“Speak clearly while talking to your baby. This helps them understand words faster. Avoid using baby talks and prefer clear words”, says Shabnam Desai.

And most importantly, do not ever show any kind of frustration if your child doesn’t speak much.

We thank all the parents out there for sparing their precious time and giving their valuable responses:

Sarah Singh, Asmita Basu Sarkar, Ragini Kadam-Salunkhe, Vidushi kamal, Rajnideep Sandhu, Debolina Choudhary,  Suhasini Vinay Chikkaharuvaiah, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Anushree Saurin Jhaveri, Rakhi Golui Sarkar, Jas Saini, Antonette Presentina, Shabnam Desai and Jassu Sodhi

Help: Teething Baby bites while breast feeding, and refuses formula!

Teething-Baby-bites-while-breast-feedingOur SOS Mom Pooja Yadav is in a situation where her 6 month old baby daughter bites her while breast feeding. Pooja wants to switch her baby over to the formula milk, but her little one refuses it.

Many mothers face this problem when their babies start to teethe. Your baby’s gums are sensitive, irritated and even in pain when they start to grow their first set of teeth. They often find relief when they can bite or chew on something. There is nothing much you can do to help them except massage their gums with a teething gel and allow your baby to bite on something clean and soft like a teething toy or even your finger.

We received a lot of replies on our Facebook page from our rocking SOS moms to help mommy Pooja in her situation.

  1. Gently unlatch the baby- Insert your finger in the corner of your baby’s mouth between her gums and get her to unlatch from the breast immediately when she bites. Your bay will realise that she will have to stop feeding if she bites.
  2. Warn gently and firmly – Unlatch your baby and give her a little strict talk by using a firm voice. Try not to react by shouting or crying in pain so as not to scare your little one away from feeding. Just a gentle warning followed by a hug and restarting the feeding should suffice.
  3. Use Nipple Shield – You can buy a nipple shield or guard to use over your nipple. The baby will not have direct contact with your skin, even if she bites.
  4. Feed only when baby is hungry – Feed your baby only when she shows the signs of hunger. Some babies find breastfeeding as a means of being close to their mom and often end up chewing on the nipple, if they are not really hunger. Unlatch the baby as soon as she is finished feeding. Also, stop feeding if you notice your baby falling asleep. You might get bitten if she falls asleep and tries to close her mouth shut.
  5. Change positions – Try changing positions, or try to shift the baby to the other breast or try feeding in a different place. Sit in a quite, peaceful place where your baby won’t be distracted easily. She may bite unintentionally if she is distracted with the sounds and things around her that are stimulating.
  6. Pull closer – If you notice that your baby finds it amusing to bite you and biting has become her habit, time the feeding time and pull your baby closer to your breast to make her stop feeding as soon as her time is up. Her nose being too close to your breast will make it difficult to breathe for her and she will have to open her mouth as a reflex.
  7. Top up with formula – While most mothers and doctors advise to continue breast feeding even if it hurts, sometimes it may not be possible for the mother. Breastfeeding is a personal choice and there are a number of reasons to supplement with formula feeding. If you decide to give your baby the formula milk, don’t feel guilty over it. Ultimately, you will do what is best for you and your little one.
  8. Pump and feed – If you can’t tolerate the biting anymore but still want to keep giving your baby your breast milk, you can always do so by expressing it with breast pump and feeding through a bottle.
  9. Make sure you are producing enough milk to satiate your baby’s hunger. She may be biting in an attempt to get more milk, if you are not producing enough for her.

 

What if your baby refuses formula milk?

  1. Some babies are not that fond of formula and refuse it straight away at the first offering. But keep trying different brands, different formula feeding timings with your doctor’s advice.
  2. In the beginning, you can mix some part formula milk with your expressed breast milk and feed it to your baby. As your baby gets used to the taste, she may start liking it. Gradually increase the portion of formula milk into the breast milk.
  3. Apply some formula milk around your nipple when you breastfeed your baby, to introduce her to the taste of the formula.
  4. Don’t force your baby to drink formula as she may not yet be ready to let go of the comfort of breastfeeding. Wait for few more days and try to introduce the formula again.
  5. Don’t formula-feed when she is too hungry. Give her the breast milk when she is crying of hunger and offer the formula milk in between the breast feeds. She is most likely to refuse the formula when she is sleepy or feeling low.

We thank all our SOS moms who replied with very helpful and interesting solutions to this problem that many mothers face.

Prakriti Metikurke, Kiran Aradhya, Lalitha Acharya, Priyanka Tmahane, Sujan Patel, Adhunika Prakash, Jas Saini, Shahwar Ali Khan, T M Manzoor Manz, Shalini Agarwal, Rathi Madan, Smita Goswami- Chakraborty, Akshara Bachkheti, Cristyl Murray, Dr. Ritika Gupta, Rachna Somani, Sapna Sunny, Nidhi Jain, Priya Prabu, Dhanya Ranjit, Monika Vasisht, Enakshi Moon Goswami, Asmita Basu Sarkar, Pratibha Tyagi, Radhika Singh, Nisha Singh Bhalwal, Nelopher Hasan and many others.

Help! Toddler Doesn’t Want to go to School, Cries and has Sleepless Nights!: SOS MOM Reply

Child-does-not-go-to-schoolWe have all experienced the crushing sight of our little one’s sobbing face and temper tantrum, while dropping them off to a pre-school or a day-care. You’ d be really lucky if you have a child that turns his back to you and doesn’t even look back to you to say good-bye,  as soon as he enters the school premises. Starting school should be an exciting experience to the parents and children both, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with a lot of parents.

The most common reason behind this is the separation anxiety, that most children experience during some or the other phase of their toddler-hood. Especially if you have always stayed home with your child or you have always carried him everywhere you go or he has always been surrounded with family and relatives and never been left in the care of professionals.

It is very natural for him to feel that he is suddenly being abandoned, albeit for a few hours of a day. This insecurity might turn your happy-go-lucky child into a cranky, irritated one.

Our SOS moms suggest some ideas to help you to make the schooling experience enjoyable for you and your toddler.

  1.  Explore it further! Is your child crying to school just because of separation anxiety, or because of meeting new friends or due to the behaviour of school authorities and teachers or even bullying from other kids at school? If possible, try to be with your child as soon as the class is over and talk to her. Make her feel secure.
  2. Ask the child about what makes her uneasy about the school. Before checking with the school authorities, do speak once to your child
  3. Sometimes, it’s better to wait for a few more days or weeks until your kid shows the readiness to be without you and go to school.
  4. Find out from school authorities if you can participate in her class for a day or two to get the feel of how the teachers deal with the kids. You’ll also get a good idea about how other kids behave.
  5. Check if your child is uncomfortable with any staff or teacher or the routine of the school. It can be quite demanding on the child to suddenly start following a set routine of learning, playing, eating and even napping.
  6. The child may even start loving his school after a few days of crying. Just give him some adjustment period.
  7. Offer him a treat for a few days if he goes to school happily. Positive encouragement often achieves what rules and force can’t.
  8. Make sure that your child gets enough sleep and has a healthy diet, when at home. Sleep deprived and mal-nourished kids don’t make for happy students.
  9. Also, make sure that the reason for his crying is not some health ailment.
  10. Let him take a day or two off from the school, if possible. We all get bored of the monotonous routine. A break is always refreshing.

We thank our SOS moms for the tips and experiences they shared with us.

Deepa Jha, Shaily Bhatia, Sushma Malik,Sheetal Modi Bajaj, Gita Keswani, Ragini Rai, Misha Amar Bhattal, Kalvakota Vasanthi, Shriya Sharma, Keerthana R Rao.

Is It a Matter of Concern If a Child is 6 Years Old And Hasn’t Lost His Milk Teeth: SOS MOM Reply

milk-teethLosing baby teeth is something that most kids take as a matter of sheer happiness. They love showing their fallen tooth or discussing it with their friends. It gives them the feeling of growing up, as losing a baby tooth is the ultimate sign of becoming a big kid.

Baby teeth fall as their roots dissolve thereby making a way for permanent teeth. Most children start losing their milk teeth at the age of 5 or 6. But it is completely fine if a child does not start losing his teeth at this age. It can also happen when a child is as old as 8 years old.

Let us see what other parents have to say about it:

Kashish Dua, a dentist by profession says, it is not something to be worried  about if your child has turned 6 years old and has not started losing milk teeth. The age at which children lose teeth may vary from child to child and may happen slightly late in case of some children.

Sowmya Anand says, that her daughter started to lose her milk teeth when she was 8 and is losing them.

Richa Vyas says, that the upper and the lower front teeth generally start erupting at the age of 6-7 years. So you might want to wait if your child has jusr turned 6.

The last factor but definitely not the least – sometimes milk teeth arrive late so they drop off late, so it is okay to wait, suggests Parminder kaur

We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time and giving their valuable responses:

Richa Vyas, Parminder Kaur, Kashish Dua and Sowmya Anand

Baby Eats at Day Care But Not at Home, What to do: SOS MOM Reply

Baby-eats-at-day-care-but-not-at-home-what-to-doOne of the biggest problems that a mommy faces with her young kid is making him eat a sufficient amount of food every day. It’s  a considerable challenge for her to deal with her fussy eater and the problem doesn’t end with mealtimes at home. The story still continues for those mothers who send their kid to a day care. Their kid will not only be a fussy eater but may also choose to eat only at the day care and not at home. Strange but true!

Dealing with this problem is even more challenging. A few tips listed below can prove helpful  to these mommies:

  • Such a phenomenon occurs potentially because in a day care  a child is surrounded by other kids and all of them eat in a group. A group activity encourages them to finish their meals without any fuss. So one of the best ways to tackle the problem can be – ask all the members in the family to have dinner together with the kid. This will give him the same feeling as that of a day care meal time, says Deepshikha Roy.
  • “Let the baby eat on his own. He will relish it and meal time will become fun. It will be messy for sure but you can always clean it up”, says Nidhi Jain.
  • “Play some rhymes on television or laptop, or, put on his favorite cartoon program during his meal time”, says Sandhya Prasad.
  • “Go creative and present the meal in an interesting way. For instance, make chocolate monster paratha or their favourite home-made paratha pizza or fruity pancakes”, suggests Nandini Rathore.
  • “Let your kid ask for the meal on his own. Also, ensure that there is at least a gap of 4-5 hours between the two meals. If the kids is hungry, he will definitely eat a good amount of food”, says Payal Chhajer.
  • “Ask your kid to give you a bite and then you give him the next. He will enjoy this at least for some time”, says Anamika Chauhan.
  • Encourage your kid to have a competition, of finishing the food first, with you.

We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time and giving their valuable responses:

Neha Singhai, Deepshikha Roy, Nidhi Jain, Payal Chhajer, Sandhya Prasad, Radha Naveen, Anamika Chauhan, Nandini Rathore

How to Make Homework Time Interesting for Preschoolers: SOS MOMs Reply

How-to-make-homework-interesting“Sit down and complete your homework!”

Are you also tired of repeating the same dialogue every day?

If yes, then this post is definitely for you.

Parents are often found nudging their kids to complete their homework. On the contrary, kids hate to have the word ‘Homework’ in their To-Do list. In such a situation, making homework fun is no piece of cake for parents while for their kids, ‘homework’ and ‘fun’ can never go hand in hand.

However, with a few tricks and a proper approach you can make homework enjoyable, at least to a certain extent, for your child. For instance:

Make homework interesting:

  • “Draw an apple/smiley tree and put it up somewhere in the room, tell your kid that every time he does the homework he can color one apple. If he doesn’t like coloring, then you can color the apple for him.
    Buy a strip of stickers of his favorite character like Tom n Jerry or Chotta Bheem, etc. When the tree gets full of apples give him one sticker to stick on his bed or cupboard”, says Jacqueline Pereire who practiced it for a few days and has stopped now. She is now happy to see her daughter completing her homework every day without any fuss.
  • Make it an inclusive activity by sitting down with your child and pretending you’re writing/doing your ‘homework’ while he does his. Sit together in your garden or balcony with some juices or candies as if on a picnic, suggests Sheena Talwar.
  • Get him a new colorful study table or color pencils to write with, to increase his interest.
  • Make a hand puppet and allow your child to wear it only while doing the homework, create a story around it and encourage your child to do his homework with the puppet.

Develop a habit:

Make a habit of sitting with your child everyday with his school books and get him involved in them. Make him follow a routine. Consistency in routine eventually helps a child understand the importance of finishing a task on time and enables him to stay stress-free.

Building a habit cannot be accomplished overnight, hence, parents must be patient in helping their child acquire the habit, of doing homework, gradually.

Understand the reason:

It can be a plain lack of interest, or, there can even be possibilities of something bothering your child. Try to find out why exactly he refuses to write and then figure out a constructive approach to solve the issue, says Shridevi Kamath Bhat.

Practice Positive Reinforcement or Appreciation:

Appreciate your beginner for his work, handwriting or even for a single line that he writes. It plays a key role in encouraging kids to finish their homework with interest. Sarah Singh says, “having kids sit for their homework through forceful parenting will only make it a disliked chore for them”. Other parents, Yachna Jain, Shaily Bhatia and Sadhad Hassan, share the same view.

 

We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time and giving their valuable responses:

Madhumita Kar Gupta,Jacqueline Pereire, Shridevi Kamath Bhat, Minakshi SaiKaulogist, Nisha Unadkat Kotecha, Ashwini Bagare, Sheena Talwar, Deepty Mundhra, Shaily Bhatia, Yachna Jain, Sarah Singh, Poonam Ganesh, Priya Suresh, Firdos Mogal, Snehal Vinayak, 

A special mention to Sadhad Hassan, a father.

Is too much juice bad for a toddler: SOS Moms Reply

Unttled-1Mahima Verma expressed her concern about her little one year old angel who initially started enjoying juice in her sipper but now refuses to drink water and wants juice instead, all the time. She wants to know if juice is good for her at this age.

We put forward this issue for our SOS mom community to weigh in and are glad to have received a list of tips and advice to help mommy Mahima overcome her problem.

FirstCry says: Toddlers tend to over-consume fruit juices simply because they are sweet in taste. While juices are known to be beneficial for health, they can also be harmful if over-consumed.  According to the AAP(American Academy of Pediatrics), the quantity of juice that an infant, 6 to 12 months, can consume is  120ml to 170ml. Toddlers and Preschoolers aged 1 to 6 years also, shouldn’t consume more than 170 ml per day.

Moreover, juices should be offered to kids in a cup and not a bottle. Prolonged exposure of teeth to the sugar in juices may lead to tooth decay or a cavity, says mom Sindhu Anand and Nimisha Sinha.

Avantika Gidh writes that too much fruit juice may also lead to diarrhoea, so mums need to be careful with the quantity.

A few tips to increase your baby’s water intake over juice are:

  • Dilute the juice with water and gradually increase the water ratio to the juice ratio.
  • Add Glucon D or ORS to water to give it a flavour. You can also boil the water with some cumin seeds (jeera), it changes the color and flavor of water and enhances the quality of voice.

If none of the above works, then you’ve got to make water drinking a fun activity for your toddler ;). Encourage her to have a competition of finishing water first with you. Or, simply buy her a special new cup, give her company in drinking water and say “Cheers!” before starting, says mom Poonam Ganesh.

We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:

 

Sarah Singh, Annanya Jha, Poonam Ganesh, Yogita Chand, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Sona Rohilla, Mahira Patel, Avantika Gidh, Janki Shah, Sudha Thavamaniraja, Kam La, Smriti Sharma, Sindu Anand, Sultana Parween, Lipsy Pattnayak, Shruti Gulati Rathore, Sudeshna Patnaik, Akanksha Malhotra Maggo, Madhumita Kar Gupta, Nimisha Sinha, Vidita Tayal

Aspecial mention to Subir Ranjan Das, a father.

Right amount of milk for the baby solves most of your problems: SOS Moms Reply

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Sabita Padubidri wrote to us about a problem she has with her 2 month old son, she says that he does not sleep well either in the morning or in the night because of which she’s having sleepless nights and days.

Also, her child has a habit of sucking his thumb. He does not take formula milk as she doesn’t produce enough milk.

We put this issue across our community of moms to weigh in on the same and have incorporated their responses here:

Breast Feeding is the best for your baby and Fenugreek (methi) ranks high among the ‘must haves’ for nursing mothers. This is due to the presence of diosgenin in the spice which increases milk production in lactating mothers. You can either have its seeds or leaves in your daily diet. You should also increase the intake of Cumin (jeera), pulses, almond, dry fruits, garlic, milk and milk products to enhance milk generation. Moreover, eating raw papaya curry & drinking rice water, which is prepared in traditional way (i.e cooking rice in additional amount of water), can also serve as a solution.
Bani Pavithra SriRam suggets that you can also consume lactation boosting pills/powder like ‘Lactare’, an ayurvedic medicine, to boost lactation.

A few alternate methods to feed your baby milk are:
Soak a small clean and soft cotton ball in milk and squeez 3-5 drops into his mouth slowly at a time and repeate this for 60 to 80ml of milk. As you said he doesn’t like bottles, this will help fill his stomach temporarily.

Try Playtex VentAire bottles for nursing your baby, these have many advantages like less amount of air gulped in by baby, angular design helps in proper placement during feeding, etc.

Thumb-sucking is normal in babies and most kids stop on their own at age 3 to 6 years. Neverthless, inadequate milk intake by a baby may also be a cause of thumb-sucking. So, you can expect it to decrease gradually once your baby starts getting sufficient milk.

One of the reasons for baby’s sleepless nights and days can be his empty stomach. In such a case, the above mentioned alternative feeding methods can prove conducive.

Also, you can give a nice warm coconut oil massage to your baby and follow it with warm water bath before putting him to sleep. Re-creating some soothing sensations, movements and snug environment of the womb will help him doze off faster.

We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:

Aditya Agarwal, Sandhya Pillai, Poonam Ganesh, Banu Pavithra SriRam, Revathi Phani Krishna, Kam La, Uma Sudharshan, Nainthara Singh, Soumya Harish, Garima S Mamgain, CA Chandana, Pooja Rathore, Lakshmi Karthick, Shilpa Malhotra Sarin

Struggling to spend quality time with your child: SOS moms reply

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Sowmya Raghav wrote to us about a concern in regards to spending time with her son.  She is not able to give enough time to her 3 year old son due to her work commitments, especially in the evenings. She feels guilty about the same and wanted to know how to engage her child with activities that do not need her presence.

We asked our community of moms for their suggestions to help solve Sowmya’s problem and have included their advice below:

It is important to devote a fixed time for your child, irrespective of your work schedule.  Half an hour in the morning and after 9pm in the evening is an ideal time to spend with your child. Make sure that you are away from your phone, as it would allow you to completely utilise the time with your young one.

You can also take your child along with you to the temple, local market or a friend’s place so that you can spend more and more time with him.Another option is to hire a maid who would take care of the cooking and other household chores. This provides you with the extra time along with your child and also respite from house work.

We are grateful to the parents below for their input.

Aashi Jiwani Mehta, Nisha Yatin Patel, Nazneen Kazi, Pavithra Reddy, Perminder Kaur, Chital Pancha, Deepa Shailesh Narti, Sunitha Raj.

 

Does use of an iPad for a 2 year old child makes sense: SOS Moms Reply

Amruta Kale wrote to us regarding a concern she had for her 2-year old daughter. She is worried about her daughter grabbing it and crying loudly if not given it to her and asked us to advice her on the same.

ImageWe asked our community of moms for their suggestions to help solve Amruta’s problem and have included their advice below.

A lot of parents these days are facing this issue with their young ones. It is quite normal. Children like to imitate their parents. Try to lessen the usage of gadgets in front of them. If you keep it hidden, they will forget about it.

Being more interactive with your child helps too. Children like it when their parents indulge with them while playing. They prefer to play with their parents more than anything else. Also it’s better to show her some colorful and attractive cartoon books which will grab her attention and slowly her interest will also change.

Alternatively, you can load rhymes, stories, and educational games for your little one and only give iPad to her for a limited time and then distract her with something else like taking her out to play or reciting rhymes to her.

Try to communicate with her in a subtle way that using too much of iPad or any other gadget can be harmful and that she should not be using it very frequently.

Also, try not to update anything on it for a few days like no new apps, no new pictures etc and she might just get bored of watching the same thing again and again and will stop asking for it eventually.

We are grateful to the parents below for their input.

Jyothi Potturi, Lavanya Reddy, Rajnideep Sandhu, Paridhi Tapan Upadhyay, Vani Amarnath, Anucrati Benjamin, Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh, Vani Amarnath, Jas Saini, Payal Jain, Shama Desai,Pallavi Peter,Vinod Komiri, Deepa Shailesh Narti, Ranjini Ramesh, VenkataBuvana Pulusu, Aditi Taparia Maheshwari.

My Child Refuses To Go To Playschool: SOS Moms Reply

three little girls and female teacher in kindergartenSeema Shetty wrote to us about a concern she has for her child, her son refuses to go to play school and throws tantrums when he is in the playschool. She is worried and asked us to advice her on the same.

We asked our community of moms for their suggestions to help solve Seema’s problem and have included their advice below.

It is quite normal for some children to resist a new environment like playschool. Many of them suffer from separation anxiety when taken away from their parents. Usually this fear goes away in a few weeks, but you can help your child adjust to new environment by introducing him to it gradually.

Spend some time along with him in the playschool so that he realises it is not something to be afraid of. Allow him to become familiar with his new surroundings and the new people in his life before you leave. Once he starts to have interact with his new classmates and have fun with them, he will not mind your absence as much.

Ask the teacher to entice him with play, toys and fun activities so he knows that it is a fun place to be. Soon he will begin to look forward to his time in school and with his friends.

We are grateful to the parents below for their input.

Pooja Sandhu Choudhuri, Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh, Cristyl Murray, Insiya Makda, Insiya Makda

 

My Child Won’t Let Me Brush His Teeth: SOS Moms Reply

child toothbrushSwati Iyer wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 1 year old son who refuses to let her clean his teeth. She is worried that her child will start getting cavities and wants advice on how to teach him to follow good dental hygiene.

We asked our community of mothers to weigh in on this issue and have included their responses below.

At this age a child may have only a few teeth and may not be ready for brushing his teeth. It takes about three years for the complete set of teeth to come in. However, you can introduce the concept of dental hygiene with gentle rubbing on his teeth using a clean finger and a soft cotton cloth.

You may think that because these baby teeth are destined to fall out anyway, they don’t matter. But that’s not true because they act as guides for our permanent teeth which may not come in properly if the baby teeth are lost due to cavities and decay.

Dental hygiene is an important concept to teach our kids because a large number of children have cavities by the time they are in kindergarten. This is primarily due to diets that include too many sweets and poor dental hygiene.

Some kids may be defiant about not allowing you to clean their teeth. You can get a soft Baby Training Toothbrush that is fun for your baby to use. Also allow your baby to see you and your spouse brushing your teeth so that they want to imitate you.

You can read your child some children’s books that discuss the importance of keeping one’s teeth clean. Show them some funny videos, like the one about the adventures of Dr. Rabbit and the Tooth Defenders from Colgate. You can also devise some fun activities or games to play while brushing so your kids learn to associate it with fun. Never mind if it gets a little messy at times.

Each child will have their own time table of when they will learn to use a brush or allow you to clean their teeth. Be patient with your child and be consistent in teaching them to keep their teeth clean. Don’t use toothpaste until your child is old enough to rinse and spit it out.

Our thanks go out to the parents below for their advice and suggestions.

Janki Shah, Lipsa Das, InderpreetKaur, AditiJagtapDeshmukh, ShilpaKhandelwal, Rosalin Mishra, ViditaTayal

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Finding The Right Books To Read With Your Child

child and mom readingReading is an extremely healthy habit that all of us should develop. Good habits have to be inculcated in a child right from his childhood so that it remains with him all throughout his lifetime. If you develop reading habits from a very young age, your child will retain the same later in life.

It is even recommended that would-be-mothers create the habit of reading good things as it impacts the child growing inside. Even while your kid is very small, try reading different things to him. You will notice that he will develop the habit of listening to things while you read out aloud to him.

Choosing books for toddlers

It is quite natural that toddlers will not be interested in books, which have only black texts in them. Rather they will find books interesting that has lots of colors, pictures and attractive items with minimal text in them.

There are interesting toddler books explaining simple actions like saying hello or bye and child learn fast when they see something and do the same. There are bedtime stories books as well which parents can read to their child and make him fall asleep. Interesting graphics and pictures in these books make them a favorite with the kid.

Books for pre-school goers

This age is a delicate one when the child is around 3 to 4 years old. At this stage children love story books as they can read some simple lines. Fairy tales are also very popular with kids. It is quite interesting to see that, on hearing different kinds of stories from the books, children create a new world of their own using their own imagination.

Reading fairy tales helps build your child’s imagination and creativity. Along with fictional books, various kinds of non-fictional books also attract kids through which they learn new things while enjoying reading. At this age, kids are also fascinated by ebooks available online. It may be worthwhile to invest in a few that they can read on your tablet or iPad.

Books for school-going kids

Along with interesting story books, kids are also interested in books that have fascinating facts about the world, books on general knowledge, poems and classic stories. Some kids are extremely fond of historical books and they create imagery in their mind about the past. The Amar Chitra Katha collection and Tinkle books are a fantastic addition to any child’s library.

It may be worthwhile investing in an online encyclopedia on CD, that often comes along with interactive features. Along with enhancing knowledge, reading books also improves the vocabulary of the child considerably.

There are only benefits to introducing your child to the world of books and as the saying goes, “Children are made readers in the laps of their parents.” So take your child in your lap today and introduce them to a world of knowledge and fantasy.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Toddler Refuses To Sleep At Night: SOS Moms Reply

sleeping toddlerPooja Rai wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 15 months old son. She says that her son does not sleep the whole night. She has tried everything but there is no change in this habit. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.

We asked our community of mothers for their suggestions and have incorporated their answers below.

Setting a bedtime routine may be the best way to get your child to go to bed without a fuss. Ensure that your child is active and playful all day and don’t let him sleep for too long in the daytime, so that he is tired and ready for bed at night.

Remove any distractions like television and bright lights from his environment just before you start his bedtime routine.

You can set a bedtime routine that includes a soothing massage and warm bath at night. A good dinner and a glass of lukewarm milk should help to get him sleepy. Sing lullabies or play soothing music just before bedtime to let him know that it is time to wind down. You can also read him a story once he gets into bed. Then switch off the lights and tell him that he needs to sleep now.

Ensure that everyone else in the house knows his bedtime routine and cooperates with you in maintaining it. Once he gets to know what is expected of him, he will be able to keep to this routine more effectively.

We thank the mothers below for their useful suggestions:

Revathi Phani Krishna, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Swati Shukla Mishra, Manali Langer, Surabhi Verma, Ramya Venkat, Shilpi Gupta, Shubha Murthy, Garima Grover, Pooja Rai, Mithu Ganguly, Sapna Chauhan, Dolly Omkar Jha, Joyce D’cunha De Souza, Keeya Chaudhuri, Sudeshna Patnaik, Akanksha Singh, Komal Vijayan, Deep Brinderjeet Saini, Shweta Dua, Akshaya Sampathkumar, Priya Candida, Sridevi Roshan, Dipali Phopse, Shiwangi Bist Joshi, Shiwangi Bist Joshi.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Treat Ear Infections In Small Children

kid with doctorEar infections are one of the most common health problems seen in children. If the kid is very small and cannot even talk, it might take some time to understand that he is suffering from any kind of ear infection.

You will notice that the child might scratch his ears or rub his ears again and again. Sometimes there is inflammation in the ears and they become hot to touch.

In cases of the worst infections, there might be formation of pus inside the ear, which might come out as discharge. The pain in the ear can also be accompanied with slight fever.

Taking the child to the doctor

There might be many factors responsible for the ear infection in children. Sometimes unclean nose and mouth can also lead to ear infections as the ear, nose and throat have a single pathway. So chances of infection traveling fast are quite common.

Taking the child to the doctor will help in understanding the right cause for infection. Some babies have complaints of chronic ear infections and need to be treated by antibiotics quite often.

It is also important to know which part of the ear is infected. Depending upon the kind and extent of the infection medications are prescribed. While some kids might need antibiotics as treatment, some might not.

Home remedies for dealing with ear infections in small kids

Many moms have used garlic oil for dealing with ear infections and pains in their kids. Natural garlic oil is available readily in many stores and you can keep a bottle handy to treat your child’s ear infections.

Put few drops of this oil into the infected ear so that it reaches the Eustachian tube of the kid. Usually a single dose of this treatment is enough for combating the infection. But if required, the process can be repeated as well.

Dry heat can also be applied to the ear. This will help in loosening up any liquid deposition inside the ear and drain it out. The heat also helps in providing relief from the pain and discomfort caused by the infection.

Encourage your kid to drink loads of fluids during the infection. Swallowing the fluid will help in moving the fluid deposition in the ear to pass out via the Eustachian tube. Keep your child away from passive smoke as that might cause irritation in the Eustachian tube.

Take your child to the doctor as soon as possible as ear infections can be very painful for a small child.

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My 7 month Old Has Diarrhea And Won’t Eat: SOS Moms Reply

child cryingKanika Modi wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 7 month old son. She says that her son has lost his appetite and weight since a week. Also, he has loose motions, 10-15 times a day due to which the private area has turned red and the baby has become cranky and irritated. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.

We asked our community of helpful moms for their suggestions and included their comments below.

If a child is ill, the first thing to do is take him to the doctor immediately to rule out any serious illnesses. Once your doctor has started treatment, you can use home remedies to make the child more comfortable.

Feed the child light foods – like dal pani, rice water, coconut water, apple or banana mash, a few spoons of pomegranate juice – that are easy to digest and will not cause discomfort. Give him ORS (boiled water with a pinch of salt and sugar) and lots of fluids to ensure that he does not get dehydrated because of the loose motions.

Apply a diaper rash cream, like Siloderm, Protectoderm or Mothercare rash cream, on the baby’s private parts to prevent the rash from getting worse. Avoid diapers. Apply coconut oil every so often for some relief from the rash. Wash the baby’s bottom with water instead of using tissues which can aggravate the rash.

If your child has started teething, it could cause some of these symptoms. For the baby’s tummy upsets while teething, you can start a homeopathic medicine called BC21, after taking your baby to a registered homeopathic physician. You can also start homeopathic calcium tablets, called Calcarea Phosphorica.

Rub mugli ghutti on the baby’s teeth regularly twice a day. Give your baby safe toys and teethers to chew on to relieve the pain of teething. You might also want to ask your pediatrician if your baby needs the rota virus vaccination.

We are grateful to all the parents below for their advice and feedback.

Rekha Subramanian, Dolly Singla Bansal,Yamini Arora, Avani Tippani, Ritu Dhingra, Bharti Mudgal, Bharath Kumar, Aishwarya Bharath Kumar, Kuheli Khan, Chandra Negi, DrRitika Gupta, Christine Tan, Poonam Ganesh, Vaishali Chitara, Revathi Phani Krishna, Jizza Sudharsan, Sarika Singh, Ragini Rai, Ratanjeet Kaur, Akanksha Sood Verma, Yamini Arora Kanika Malhotra , Bhaskar, Sabah Riaz, Harman Sehgal, Pallavi Dubey, ViroNica Virender Nisha, Rachana Nanavati, Aarpita Arora, Urvashi Rajan Puri, Anukaul Anand, Anukaul Anand, Janki Shah, Sapna Chauhan, Doc Shruti Bhargava, Smita Goswami Chakraborty, Sabbineni Sravanthi, Anvita Pant, Meenakshi Kimti Sharma, Devpriya Ekka, Jas Saini, Jas Saini, Neha Mehta, Shikha Khanduja Kaul, Astha Aggarwal, Priya Kulkarni, Anu Sabarish, Deepika Agrawal Gupta, Ruchi Sinha Shetty, Ramya Sriram, Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh, Manali Langer, Sharmila Chakravarty, Urvashi Rajan Puri, Vani Amarnath, Shobha Ojha, Sangeeta Chauhan Salve, Dolly Omkar Jha, Hetal Rana, Deepti Gautam Talwar.

Playing With Your Kids – Games For School-Age Kids

bowlingSchool-age kids have high levels of energy and have the capacity of carrying out work and play at their respective times. As a parent you might want to participate in the various games that school-age kids play.

Since this is their stage of development and growth, you can think of games that promote these in an effective manner. Children at this age love to indulge in physical activities as that gives them immense happiness and joy.

Here are some activities that you can always enjoy with your school-age kids:

• Chain game

For this game, the more the numbers of players, the more the fun you can have. One person is chosen as the tagger and he has to run and tag another person. Now both of them join hands and chase the others.

Children who are tagged have to hold hands and form a chain and run together to chase others. It is a game of coordination as all taggers have to run in the same direction. Sometimes the chain is broken into small groups so that children don’t trip or step on other’s toes. But often the enjoyment is in the uncoordinated fun that can result.

• Treasure hunt at home

Treasure hunts are great fun for any kid. Decide on various kinds of interesting things that you can hide in various parts of the house including the garden or the lawn. Keep smart clues for the hunt so that things cannot be found that easily.

You can also arrange for a jackpot so that anyone who wins the game gets a special reward. Explore the adventurous mind of your kids through this game and see your little detectives making their way in finding the hidden items. If there are many children, create groups for the hunt.

• Bowling with bottles

If you think that your kids do not know about bowling, you are wrong. Try giving them a bowling game experience at home so that they can display their target skills. Arrange plastic bottles in various shapes and sizes in a row or in many rows.

Take small soft balls and try to knock down as many bottles as possible with them. The numbers of bottles that can be knocked down will decide the winner. The game can be divided into two groups and a competition can be started. Adults can keep a note of the time.

Playing with kids of this age can take you back through memory lane when you used to play such games with your friends and your parents grinned with joy at your happy face.

Image courtesy of cuteimage / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Daughter Has Head Lice: SOS Moms Reply

head-liceDebolina Choudhury wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 2.5 years old daughter. She says that her daughter has got lice in her hair from playschool and applying Mediker has been of no help. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.

We asked our community of moms for their suggestions and have incorporated it in the article below.

You can use Perlice cream – it is a very effective and popular lice remedy. Just read the manual and follow the instructions. It works wonders and you can say goodbye to lice.

Licil oil is another effective remedy available at most chemists. Just apply it, cover her hair with a scarf for an hour or so and wash with Mediker. For a more natural way to get rid of lice, try buttermilk and salt mixed in water. Gently rub her scalp with it and rinse thoroughly. Repeat after 7 to 8 days.

You can apply camphor in coconut oil. Leave it on for half an hour and use a fine comb to comb out the lice from the hair. Camphor stuns the lice and they lose their grip and can be combed out easily for up to half an hour. Follow it up with Mediker shampoo.

Neem oil is also a tried and tested home remedy for lice. Or you can make a neem paste and apply it in her hair for 10 to20 minutes. Grind tender neem leaves with a little sour curd. Apply on the scalp thoroughly and leave for few minutes. Rinse well with shampoo. Repeat this once a week for 4 washes.

You can also boil a few methi seeds in coconut oil on a low flame, store it and apply it on a regular basis as a preventative. It is also very good for hair growth. You can try a solution called Kesavardhini, found in the supermarket, in the oil that you use to apply daily.

There is a product called Jungle Formula, that helps elimination of lice as well as eggs. There is also a lotion called Scarab that does the same. You can try that also.

For a more drastic way to get rid of the lice altogether, you can just shave your daughter’s head.

Thanks to all the moms below for their wonderful suggestions.

Noorain Yayha, Lopamudra Nayak, Aradhana Mohapatra, Chandra Negi, Pooja Agrawal, Shruti Khanna Soin, Tejpreet Oberoi, Deepti Rahul Singh, Shreya Jiya Vijay, Hima Neeli, Inie Minie, Nishma Aggarwal, Sharmila Chakravarty, Sukoon Jethani Chopra, Toolika Bhatt Singhal, Priyanka Akash Khandelwal, Manisha Rahul Sonawane, Mohita Mathur, Shabana Shaikh, Kavita Mehta, Misha Bhattal, Subharthi Chakraborty, Geet Paryani, Elizabeth Chakma, Jeydevi Venkataraman, Swapna Sahoo.

Image source: naturalbugeliminator.wordpress.com

Playing With Your Kids – Games For Preschoolers

finger paintingIf you take a look at children in today’s generation, you will be surprised to see how smart they are. At the age of three to four, they can do things that might be attempted by a kid of say 7 to 8 years.

The IQ level of kids now is amazing. Since your child is getting smarter, it is also important for you to be upgraded. Kids always love when their parents play with them.

If your kid is a preschooler, here are some interesting games that you can try for your little champion. The games below are sure to help in the overall development of your child.

• Reading alphabets

Whether you are playing games with your kids online or offline, you can let your toddler learn alphabets and letters easily while playing games. If you go to a kids’ store, you can find colorful blocks or wooden trays of English alphabets that will make the learning process of the kid happy and interesting. Many fun online games to help them learn their alphabets are also available.

• Understanding colors

This is probably the easiest thing that the kid learns. You can take balls of different colors and spread them in the room. Now ask your kid to bring different colored balls to you. Just see how the little one runs in the room and comes to you with the colored ball. How proud would you feel when the kid selects the right colored ball!

• Identifying body parts

One of the most common questions that kids are asked during preschool interviews are to identify their body parts like eyes, ears, nose, and hands and so on. Arrange an interesting game at home and let your child learn about the important body parts. Online games are also available that helps the child in understanding his body parts.

• Knowledge on numbers

Teaching kids numbers can be real fun. Bring things that interest them like toys, chocolates and other stuff. Ask them the numbers. Numbers can be taught easily while playing. Also let them identify the numeric. So, next time they see 2 written, they know it is two.

• Songs and rhymes

Any child loves songs and rhymes. You can sing some toddler songs to them or recite rhymes. You will see how much the kid enjoys these games. Once you complete, ask your little one to repeat them. They will repeat the song or rhyme and feel immensely happy when you appreciate them for doing so. There are many videos and singalong CDs available online from where they can learn a lot of fun songs and rhymes.

• Creating art

Fun activities like finger painting, sketching with crayons and creating their own original works of art can be an amazing way to keep your little preschooler busy for hours. Just make safe all their art supplies are safe and that you supervise their efforts. Don’t forget to give them a corner of your home to showcase their artworks. That will make them so happy.

Try and make your kids play physical games as much as possible as it makes them healthy and also lets them experience their world in a real way. We hope these tips will keep you busy entertaining your preschooler for hours on end.

Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Playing With Your Kids – Games For Toddlers

toddler gamesChildren between the ages of 1-3 years are called toddlers. It is quite obvious that during this phase, the child becomes super active. It is also the age of growing, developing various kinds of communication skills and learning new things.

The activity levels of kids are very high at this time as they learn and explore their environment. Since the child can move freely at this age, it is very important to supervise them closely so that they do not get hurt or injured while playing.

Here are some excellent games for toddlers that you can enjoy with them:

• Colored blocks

This game can be enjoyed by the toddler and the parents. Arrange colored blocks of different sizes and shapes. See that the blocks are soft so that they don’t hurt the kid. Try and arrange the blocks in different ways, by making a tall structure or by creating a shape.

You can also make the child learn about colours, letters or numbers with this game. Your child will enjoy making tall towers with the blocks and demolishing them so that the process can be repeated.

• Peek a Boo

For this game, it is important that you clear the place properly so that the child has no chances of tripping over things and getting hurt. Hide yourself under the blanket and as your child to find you. Occasionally take out your head or your hand to attract the toddler’s attention.

See the delight on the little one’s face and their thrilled laughter when they spot you. Try the game with the little one under the towel or blanket. Act as if you cannot find them and then lift up the cover and act surprised to hear their sweet laughter filling the whole room.

• Playing ball

Balls are probably the most favorite toy with any kid, particularly boys. Take the kid to an open space and try playing with the ball by kicking the same.

Let the ball go to the child and see him kick the ball back again. When he is able to make contact with the ball, see the happiness on his face. He can probably play for hours with the ball.

• Catch me if you can

This is one of the most favorite games with toddlers and they can play the same for hours. It is preferable to take the child out in some open area for the game.

Run after the kid in slow motion as if you are trying to catch him. The child will run fast so that you cannot ‘catch’ him. See the fun on his face when you are not able to catch him. Make sure you do this in a safe area where there is no risk of injury to the child.

We hope these games will help you have hours of fun and laughter with your little toddler. Do share the games you play with them in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Jomphong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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