Sindhuja Pradeep Kumar wrote to us and told us about her 7 month old daughter who doesn’t like to drink water. She says that her daughter just spits the water out and starts crying if you try to feed her water. She is otherwise healthy but Mrs. Kumar is worried about this habit of her little girl’s and asked us for some advice.
We approached our community of mothers and asked them what they thought she should do about it. Here is what they said.
Do not force your child to drink water. She will form an unpleasant association with it. You could instead try putting mishri (crystallized sugar lumps), honey or palm candy in the water and reduce it over a period of time, or give your child fresh fruit juice instead of water. You can also soak khajur (dates) overnight, filter them and feed them to the baby.
Try boiling saunf (fennel seeds), mulethi (liquorice) or dalchini (cinnamon) in water to add some flavour. You could also wash a leaf of tulsi in her water bottle. It is healthy and might get her to try it out of curiosity. You can put roasted ajwain in boiled water, filter it and give it to your baby. You could also use Electral if they like the taste.
Ask all family members to drink water in front of the baby and say good things about it. Babies love to observe and imitate their parents. Also use a sipper cup as they might not like drinking water from a feeding bottle.
Thanks to all these helpful parents:
Bhawna Walia, Rutika Sevak Upadhyay, Nisha Sood, Sonal Kapur Sinha, Anita Arun, Jyoti Rathi Toshniwal, Roshani Hitesh Patel, Vinita Yadav, Jyoti Rathi Toshniwal, Rucha Kamble Shedge, Shikha Sourabh Dixit, Parul Sinha, Amtul AS, N Mukesh Vyas, Richa Arora, Sonal Maner, Nidhi Karan Garg, Anamika Mishra Jha, Brindha Karthikeyan, Brindha Karthikeyan, Rashmi Keshri, Vijayalakshmi Shanmugam, Arshiya Khan, Lavanya Reddy, Shilpa Munagavalasa, Neha Saxena, Greeshma Rahul, Pooja Suresh, Swati Shukla Mishra, Radhika Dhanrajani, Tejpreet Oberoi, Alice Bathija.
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Babies generally develop at different rates, so it’s not an issue if your little one is a little slower than his or her peers. However, this factor can be altered, and to some extent, depends upon play time.
As a parent, you are your baby’s first playmate. Play is how children learn about themselves and other people around them. It helps them build confidence, relationships, communicating and other basic skills.
In fact, play is as important as feeding, bathing and dressing your child. So make sure to find time in your busy schedule to play with your infant.
For the very first year of your baby’s life, play will not involve much of toys. Reading, speaking and singing would be some fun and easy ways to play with your baby.
Encourage babbling so your babies learn to make different sounds using their own voice. Keep on repeating these sounds and slowly turn them into real words. Moreover, read to your baby every day as reading ensures some rich learning and communication experience.
Outdoor play plays a big part of learning and development for your child. Playing outside the house will give the children a chance to explore another environment and create imaginary scenarios. It is also a good idea to include messy play which is enjoyed by most kids and gives them the freedom to express themselves.
Play starts from birth. As your child grows and develops, play changes from you playing with your baby to your baby gradually learning how to play with objects and eventually other children. It is a good idea to closely follow your baby’s instincts with play.
If your baby is enjoying with a single toy, you can label what they are looking at and show them what they can do with these objects. Research suggests that talking and interacting with babies from the very beginning is very important for their language development.
Toys and accessories with patterns and contrasting colors, curves, shape and symmetry stimulates an infant’s developing vision. As vision improves, babies are able to control over their movements and will interact to a greater extent with their environment.
To summarize, you can support your children’s learning curve by introducing toys slowly and by spending a lot of quality time with them. Make sure to look for toys that match your child’s developmental stage and interests, as this will help in developing their learning and attention skills.
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She says that despite trying everything she is unable to stop her daughter from doing so. She is concerned for her daughter’s wellbeing and has asked for advice.
We put this query to our community of experienced moms and this is the advice they gave us.
Try rubbing some Pudin Hara on her thumb. The strong taste could make her stop sucking. You can also apply neem paste on the thumb as the bitter taste will prevent her from sucking it.
Castor oil or mustard seed paste also works for it’s bad taste. Apply coconut oil for the swollen thumb. You could also try homeopathy as there are medicines to stop this habit.
Try to get your child into the habit of using a soother or teether toys instead of her thumb as thumb-sucking can also become more embarrassing for her as she grows. Distract your child with a toy or put something into her hand when she does this. Or tie a cloth around her hand to discourage her.
You could put some fear of the consequences of thumb sucking into your little one’s mind. For instance, stories of thumbs getting cut off because of sucking might scare them into stopping altogether. But make sure you tell them the truth later.
Make sure she is not feeling insecure as thumb-sucking could be a sign that she is feeling neglected. Give her the attention she needs at this age. It is also a comforting habit at the time of teething. Or she may be hungry or need soothing.
All in all, thumb sucking is not really a big concern and goes away as the child grows up. Preventing it could cause her to repress her feelings, which is not healthy.
Thanks to all these super-helpful parents:
Pooja Sharma, Ankita Chandra, Amardeep Kaur Kaur, Ankita Chandra, Ankita Chandra, Swati Mohapatra, Narinder Kaur Hanspal, Yogitha Sundar, Vijaya Reddy, MaKaa Kabilan, Swati Mohapatra, Garima Grover, Yogitha Sundar, Arina Singh, PraTika NarVekar, Subhrajyoti Chakrabarti, Safina Ahmed, Appasamy Pradeep, Saman Farooqui, Ramzia Mohiuddin, Priya Tamang, Solomon Palani, Ramzia Mohiuddin, Nitin Motdhare, Aaparna Das Mohanty, Manvi Suri, Niharika Bedi Bilochi, Supreetkaur Arya, Kirti Jethava, Kavitha Kavi, Harkirat Singh Bedi, Ankita Chaubey, Sakina A Burhani, Sakina A Burhani, JJ Sonia Kathet.
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However, going to preschool comes with its fair share of emotional ups and downs for both the child and the parents.
To ensure you and your child benefit from a good relationship with other kids, it is important for parents to take an active role in their children’s nursery life.
Read on to find out more about the developmental milestones of preschool years, as well as suggestions for how you could help your kids learn to enjoy their preschool years.
Easing Your Child’s Fears
Spend time with your child and talk about preschool much before it starts. Right before the first day of their school; introduce them to activities that would take place in their classroom.
For instance, a child familiar with scribbling on paper with crayons at home will find it comforting to find the same crayons and paper in their preschool classroom.
On the very first day of preschool, spend some quality time understanding what your child did on the first day. This interaction is very important for you and will tell you about the child’s experience, activities, opportunities and games that can be planned for your child as they begin to settle in, grow and discover.
Also don’t be too anxious about leaving your child alone, if they start crying when you leave them. The most effective way of parting is to smile and explain to them that you will be back soon.
If your child is reluctant to go to preschool, make sure that there is a staff member who is ready to help with the transfer from your care to the classroom when they arrive there.
Some kids might just get along really well with their classmates, while other kids might need a private cuddle or maybe a story from their teacher before joining the group.
Many children take time to adjust to their preschool days, but eventually they do settle down to the routine and form a good bond with their teachers and peers.
Moreover, it is very important for them to prosper in this area, as when he or she gets older; they will be expected to go through even more social interaction at other academic institutions.
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We learn that infants often bite to relieve their teething or gum soreness, while pre-schooling kids generally bite because they haven’t developed good coping skills to deal with stress appropriately and to express their needs.
Whatever the reason is, we know that this behavior is inappropriate and very upsetting (especially for the person getting bitten).
As a parent, your job is to get rid of this annoying behavior before it becomes a habit. Here are few steps which you can use to get your child to stop biting others.
Be Calm But Firm
Speak to your child with a firm, “no biting” stance. Make sure you keep it easy and simple for your child to understand. Make it clear that biting is wrong, but also avoid lengthy explanations until your child is old enough to understand them. Lastly, stay as calm as possible to help resolve the situation more quickly.
Teach Appropriate Expressions
Teach your child to express themselves to you in more appropriate ways. When things calm down, help your child find a less painful way to express their feelings to you.
This generally works well with children who are biting to show affection to their parents. So, if your child wants to express love to you, teach them to hug instead, and not bite when they feel such strong emotions.
If your child has started biting, distract them with a toy or a book. For example, ask them to look out of the window or take them for a short walk outside. This would help reduce tension and shift the child’s attention from biting to other activities.
Substitute People with Objects
Give your child a substitute. When you sense your child is about to bite, give them a teether or toy to draw their attention away from the biting.
As kids grow older, they tend to learn how to express themselves in words and learn to control impulsive behaviour. If you are consistent with your control, chances are even the most determined biter would stop biting.
Just in case, your child does not stop biting, don’t rush to a therapist who might recommend different treatments. Sometimes, it just takes time, support and appropriate training from friends and family. Only, after a certain age should you consider taking medical help.
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Learning disorders in children are not a problem with motivation or intelligence, or kids being lazy or dumb. In fact, most of these kids are as smart as their peers. However, it’s just that their brains work in a very different manner from the rest.
Often children being taught a second language show symptoms of a learning disorder as they get confused between the language of communication.
Thus, before any remedial steps are really taken, an assessment should be made to see whether the child is fluent in a particular language and a second language learner.
Here are some common symptoms that can help you figure out if your child has any kind of learning disorder.
Impulsiveness In The Classroom
In some cases, children might get impulsive at situations and tend to shout repetitively. For example, when asked to raise hands before speaking, they tend to get impulsive and shout rather than following discipline.
Additional symptoms include throwing books off tables or other stationary when they don’t want to complete a particular task. Such behavior is more indicative of a learning disorder rather than behavioral problems.
Difficulty Learning Numbers
Reading, doing math and writing letters might be tough for your child at first. But when those early troubles don’t fade away after a certain age and repetitive trying, it may be possible that your child has a learning disorder.
Some kids may have particularly language disorders, meaning they have trouble understanding language and understanding what they read.
Auditory Processing Disorder
If your child has a problem with distinguishing sounds from background noise and following spoken directions, or may find it difficult to remember things they have heard or have a problem in telling the difference between similar-sounding words, it may be a symptom of an auditory processing disorder.
As children begin doing print based work in kindergarten and have trouble focusing or paying attention to what is being taught to them, they tend to get distracted and avoid tasks.
Moreover, some also become aggressive and tend to behave as if they just don’t want to follow instructions. Distraction is a major symptom of a learning disorder.
If your child has trouble interpreting visual information, he or she will not be able to read or tell the difference between two things that look similar. These children usually have trouble with hand-eye co-ordination, which explains their visual processing disorder.
In simple words, children with learning disorders can see, hear and understand things in a different way as compared to their peers. These disorders are very difficult to diagnose because there is no definitive list of symptoms that fits every child. To add to the difficulty, many children also try to hide these problems, making it very difficult to diagnose.
However, if you sense a learning disorder in your child, it is important to take proactive measures about your child’s learning difficulties. The quicker you are able to diagnose, the sooner you would be able to deal with the child’s problems.
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When your child is grown up enough to start cleaning their own room and begin attending school, it’s time for them to learn some organizational skills which would help them in succeeding at school and in their career later in life.
It is true that a few kids are naturally organized; but for many organization is a skill which requires learning over time. Most importantly you will be the perfect person to teach your child these skills. Here are some tips to help your child get more organized.
Help your child inculcate the habit of keeping a to-do list. With the help of checklists, they can post assignments, reminders and make a list of materials that need to be brought to class. Your child can also keep a small notebook which would be dedicated to listing homework assignments and other important tasks.
Planning For Each Task
Encourage your child to get organized by thinking ahead and planning their homework around other extracurricular activities. Time planning tools such as lists can help children keep schedules and help prevent them over estimate what they can get done. A weekly planner or diary will definitely help older students to get organized.
Finishing up means getting the work done, checking the work and putting on finishing touches. For example, remembering to put a homework paper in the right folder and putting the folder inside the backpack, so it is well-organized for the next day.
Try to reserve a shelf or a cabinet for your child by the front door for all the items they need to take to school every day. Label them with color stickers so that the wallet, bus passes and glasses can easily be found. Also you could hang a hook underneath them for their backpack and sports bag.
Time Management Skills
Teach your child time management skills. Your child should know how to complete a particular task within a specific time frame, which would help them to learn how to develop organized methods for completing those tasks.
Remind them when their tasks need to be completed or when their appointments must be met. For example, tell them that they must finish cleaning their room within 15 minutes or until dinner gets ready.
Lastly, reward and support children when they complete organizations tasks properly. Your child might find organizing a challenge, so help them develop their routine and give them a treat for a job well done.
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It takes a lot of will to not over-load your shopping cart with all the cute and trendy clothes that brand manufacturers are making nowadays. However, what really is important is having just enough comfortable clothing for your active 3 to 5 year old.
At the age of 3, your toddler would be walking and running. Moreover, they would like to stay independent by doing everything by themselves. Thus, it is important to buy clothes that do not obstruct their daily routine and make it easy to do things by themselves without your assistance.
It is important not to splurge too much on toddler clothing. It can be difficult with the amount of variety of clothes available in the market. However, with the rate that your toddler is growing, it is important to restrict over-buying so as to ensure everything is used optimally.
It is a good idea to wait for sales and other bargains and shop during them. Moreover, during off-season sales, consider buying clothes for the next season.
It is important to buy good quality or durable clothes for 3 to 5 year olds as, in addition to the wear and tear during play time, their clothes get dirty quickly and go through multiple washes.
At the age of 3, most kids have certain choices of patterns, images, colors or their favorite cartoons. Try looking for clothes with their favourite characters or patterns to suit their liking to make them exciting and fun to wear.
Toddler skin is soft, sensitive and delicate and it is important to dress your toddler in comfortable, soft and breathable fabrics. Ensure all hooks, snaps, buttons and appliqués are well secured and routinely checked. Make sure there are no loose buttons or detachable objects that can pose a choking hazard.
Buying the correct size is very important. As a general guideline a 3 year old would wear 3T sized clothes that are perfect for those who weigh between 28 to 32 lbs and are 35-37 inches in length.
If your toddler is bigger or smaller than the average peer size, you would have to consider buying bigger or smaller sized clothes.
Consider Your Child’s Independence
Most toddlers like to do things themselves, like pushing their own stroller, feeding themselves or wearing clothes by themselves. Thus, it is a good idea to buy clothes that they can easily wear or take off by themselves with as little frustration as possible.
Trousers or skirts with elastic waists are easier to put on and remove than zipped or buttoned bottoms, while shirts with wider necks or snaps are easier to put on and remove.
Do let us know what your toddler’s favourite clothes are and what you would like to see in the Firstcry.com store.
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Once your child is a toddler, they are more active and need clothes that can take more wear and tear. Soft denims, leggings and rompers are perfect for active toddlers and protect those tender knees while they are crawling around or taking their first steps.
When buying clothes for kids, it’s important to know what you really need before heading to the store as with a wide variety of colors and styles available nowadays, it can be very difficult to make a decision.
Moreover, finding the right size and comfortable style are other important factors to consider. Here are some ways you can choose the ideal clothes for your 1 to 2 year old baby.
Most clothing brands have a size tag on them. Therefore, in all probability a 1 year old would wear clothes with 1 year or 12 months written on them. However, as all children grow differently, a bigger baby might require a slightly bigger size, while a small baby could do with a size smaller.
Due to the confusion created, many infant clothing brands have started printing an approximate weight and length on their clothes, which is a better way to select the right size.
Type of Clothes
It is very important to buy comfortable clothes to complement tender skin. Turtleneck t-shirts with snaps at the neck make them easier to wear and remove them.
When buying pants for 1 to 2 year olds, check inside the waist for an adjustable waistband attached with buttons to adjust the waist size. This will ensure that you can use them for a longer time.
Also, it’s a good idea to buy pants with a snap closure rather than button closures as it would easy to handle put them on and take them off. Ensure there are no loose-fitting tags, buttons or strings on the clothes to avoid strangling or choking.
It is important to decide the budget for clothing and accordingly head towards an appropriate store. Departmental stores are reasonably priced but don’t usually offer variety and durability of clothes. If funds are low, it may be a good idea to find quality clothing at thrift stores.
Children specialty stores tend to price their goods slightly higher than others, but offer excellent variety and quality. Additionally, shopping during sales and off-season can help save you a lot of money.
It is a good idea to team up your clothing with other clothes and accessories while you are at the store itself. For example, a shirt can be paired with matching trousers or skirts, along with some accessories like hats, shoes or headgear.
It is also a good idea to have some formal or dressy outfits for special occasions and going out. This saves last minute trouble of having to buy clothes in a hurry.
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Baby clothing comes in standard sizes. However, all babies are of a different size and shape and moreover, each brand has a specific sizing standard. Thus, it is very important to consult a baby clothes size chart and check your 6-month olds weight before investing in clothes.
Some babies tend to grow quickly and fit straight into bigger clothes while some are slower at 6 months, and this it is best to decide individually, rather than buying a standard 6 to 9 month outfit. The article discusses basic smart guidelines to keep in mind when investing in 6 month old clothes.
Ignore Standard Sizes:
This makes it difficult for parents to buy clothes for their little ones. However it is not that difficult as most major baby clothes brand carry a tag on them that includes the weight and length information of the baby for which it would be apt.
Moreover, most brands have their own sizing charts that can usually been seen at the baby clothes section or on their websites. Considering the baby weight and length when buying clothes would eventually save you from wasting money on baby clothing that may not fit or be used for a very short span of time.
You may also consider buying bigger clothes unless you are buying pajamas or sleepwear. It sounds absurd to buy clothes that would stick out or not fit appropriately.
However, babies tend to grow out so quickly that they would be perfect in just a couple of weeks. This should surely be followed when buying baby gifts and when you are unsure of how big the baby is.
As a general rule, most 6 month old babies can wear a 9 to 12 month olds outfit. However, it is important to take into consideration seasonal clothing as winter clothes are of no use in summer and vice versa.
Consider pre-buying clothes of different sizes so that you have a variety of sizes to choose from at any particular age. This way you can also save on some money by shopping during festive or sale season or when you see some attractive bargains.
Do Not Overstock:
Ensure you only invest in what you really need and what you would really use. Do not overstock on any particular size and ensure you’ve got different sizes to cater to your 6 month olds growth.
As a general note, for the 6 month age group you will need a couple of long sleeved or short sleeved bodysuits depending upon the weather, a couple of turtleneck t-shirts or shirts and pants, some outfits for going out, long sleeved jumpers and jackets for cold days, comfortable sleepwear for the night, cotton or warm beanie hats, mittens (if your baby uses them) and lots of socks and booties.
Good luck shopping for your 6-month old baby. Let us know what your favourite items are from the Firstcry.com store.
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She also says that her super active baby adamantly refuses to be potty trained. She is worried for her baby’s health and hygiene and has asked for some advice.
We asked our community of experienced moms for advice and these are the suggestions they sent us.
Most kids are fussy eaters. They would rather play than eat. Often they are just seeking attention and if you run after them, you will only be encouraging such behaviour. Keep them active so that they get hungry and want to eat by themselves.
Eat your meals in front of them and encourage them to feed themselves. Serve their food in attractive cutlery and make it look colourful and yummy. Some kids forget to eat and get cranky. Don’t wait for them to ask you for food. Set a routine for meals and feed them at the same time every day.
You can start cutting down on their milk intake, giving it only twice a day so that they feel hungry and eat more often. Milk takes hours to digest and fills them up very quickly. Keep a gap of at least 3 hours between meals. Try giving them different kinds of food, such as chapati with ghee, or salads with cheese.
Add more variety to their meals. Make up stories about their foods while you are feeding them. It will make the meal more entertaining. Some kids eat better while distracted by the TV, but its best to avoid getting them into that routine as it creates bad food habits.
Make sure they do not have worms. You can give them omum water for few days for deworming and to increase appetite. You can also give Bonnisan ayurvedic drops to improve their appitite. Also keep an eye on their hemoglobin levels and ensure they are not anemic.
Most kids do not respond to potty training until they are 2.5 years old. You can make them drink lukewarm water in the morning and after meals. Take them to the bathroom and make them sit on the potty with their favourite toy. Go here for more potty training tips.
There are no formulas or instant solutions for these two problems. It will take time and patience to change these behaviours.
Thanks to these parents for their helpful contributions:
Deepali Manthalkar, Radha Navin, Arefuzzaman Mohammed, Lilpieces Akaf, Rashmi Ravi, Shweta Rustgi Gupta, Azaad Chaturvedi, Siya Borkar, Radhika Dhanrajani, Lavanya Reddy, DrAnchal Singh, Grishma Jeegar Doshi, Nisshi Yadavendra, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Ritu Sharma, Sameena Suhail, Anita Salwani, DrAnchal Singh, Garima Grover, Kriti Verma, Monty N Gauri, Mamtha Yogesh, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Shahana Mv, Surabhi Verma, Neha Kshitij Sagar, Deepti Sahni, Ummi Amjad Ali, Afa Pervez, Ramona Castillo.
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Sleep problems are one of the most common issues parents face with kids. Some children have chronic sleep problems and many are actually going through their days sleep deprived. If you too are facing such issues with your child’s sleeping patterns, read on for some information to alter the way your kid sleeps at night.
Bedtime Curtain Calls
Kids generally make bedtime curtain calls for many reasons. You can’t force them to stay in bed. However, it is a good idea to talk to them over these visits to your room.
Most bedtime curtain calls generally occur because kids are afraid of the dark. You can make them less frequent by helping your child deal with their fears or putting a night light in their room.
Make sure not to give solids to your kids before the age of 6 months. In fact, if you are giving your baby solids before they turn 6 months, their system will not be able to digest it completely, making their sleep pattern worsen due to colic and tummy ache.
Moreover, for babies that eat solids, it is a good idea to keep a gap before the child’s meal and sleeping time as a baby with indigestion is not likely to sleep throughout the night due to tummy discomfort.
Nightmares are common among kids between the ages of five to ten. At this age, children start getting a wider sense of the world and little worries can play on their little minds.
Watching unsuitable movies and serials can lead to scary dreams or nightmares which would definitely disturb their sleep. Avoid watching scary movies, even those made for kids, before bedtime. Make sure you discuss such fears with them and try to figure out what really is troubling them.
Separation anxiety is another major problem for kids under three years of age which forces them to cry at night. By 9 months or so, they learn that their parents exist even if they can’t see them.
Nevertheless, kids start building their inner confidence only after the age of three. Waking up in the night mostly decreases quickly after this period.
Many kids end up waking up in the night because they don’t have a fixed bedtime routine. Ensure, you set up a bedtime routine and stick to it every single day. This would help your child’s body and mind get ready for bed and increase the chances of them sleeping through the night.
Lastly, make sure that you tuck your child in. Spend some quality time and communicate with your child when you are putting him or her to sleep. Try reading a story or singing a lullaby and allow them to tell you about what’s going on in their minds so as to relax them. Following the above tips should surely change the way your child sleeps at night.
So how have you dealt with your child’s sleep problems? Do share with us in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
An important task when you have a baby in the house is to make it safer for your child. When it comes to baby proofing your home, all you need to do is employ these simple child safety starters and you are on your way to creating a safer environment for your little one.
Pay a visit to the nearest superstore with a baby-proofing aisle and you are sure to find many products that are available to ensure safety for your baby. All you need to do is to include these simple child safety products and implement simple safety measures in your house.
Make sure that the kitchen cupboard, drawers and fridge have locks. Put sharp utensils and cutlery away to where they are not easily accessible by babies.
Don’t let your baby touch the oven door and make sure you do not push any hot drinks and knives to the back of your workup surfaces. If possible, keep your dustbin in a cupboard with a child resistant catch and store plastic bags out of your child’s reach.
Create Safe Havens
Make sure that your baby’s bedroom is well protected with electrical outlet covers, drawer latches, and furniture brackets and definitely with stairway gates. Your baby can then play safely in these spaces without you having to be around always.
Likewise, you may want to mark out certain rooms, like the formal living and dining rooms as baby free zones, so you can still enjoy some adult décor.
Always turn your home water heater down to 120 degrees to prevent the risk of burns on your baby’s soft skin. Never ever leave a child unsupervised in the bathtub with any kind of liquid.
Install toilet seat locks to prevent drowning and place all the medications and cleaning liquids out of your child’s reach. Keep the bathroom door closed when not in use to prevent your child from crawling inside.
If you have a pool, surround it with a fence that has a child resistant gate. Lock away all the garden equipment and pesticides in a secure shed area and check that there are no gaps in your fence or else you may find your little one finding their way out.
In addition, always ensure that low-level windows or doors have safety grills. The carpets shouldn’t be loose and make sure you tie up all blinds and curtain cords, keeping them well out of your baby’s reach. Install smoke detectors and fix latches and fly screens on the windows so they cannot be fully opened.
Even though child proofing is a never-ending task, how much or how little you do is completely up to you. But more than anything, it is constant supervision by one or more members of the family that is the finest safety measure of all.
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Although tantrums are part of daily life with most toddlers, they are much less frequent with some. However, you can definitely prevent many meltdowns by organizing your toddler’s life so that they end up throwing fewer tantrums.
Why Toddlers Have Meltdowns
Parents need to understand that, as your little baby grows and explores their world, they begin to realise that more and more things are within their control. They are also naturally exploring their limits and those of their caregivers. There is a reason why the Terrible Twos deserve that name.
Tantrums or meltdowns are a natural process of your toddler gaining more independence and control over their functions and actions. Parents should not take these meltdowns personally, but instead avoid creating situations that can exacerbate them, such as when your child is tired, hungry or just cranky.
It isn’t easy to deal with tantrums, but there are few tricks which could help you deal with such scenarios. The key is to get inside their little heads and outfox them before you get to the stage of failing to win with grown-up logic.
Don’t Lose Your Cool
A tantrum is definitely not a pretty sight. Kicking, screaming, pounding the floor, throwing and hitting things are quite common among toddlers. If you find yourself getting frustrated, then just calmly leave the room for a few minutes and return to your child after they have stopped crying. By keeping your cool, you will help your child to calm down too.
Bring Out The Toys
One of the many reasons why kids don’t always want to do what you ask them to do is because they are engrossed in what they are already doing. For example, a child who doesn’t have any underlying bath time issues might ignore you if you ask them to take a bath; yet would come along willingly when you ask them which toys they would like to take along. The same works for going from bath to bed or for any other matter.
Don’t Try Reasoning
Trying to approach a child’s anger logically will not work. Toddlers are not logical creatures and when they are in the middle of their tantrum, talking is not going to work. Thus, the best possible thing to do would be to divert their attention from what it is that is upsetting them. For example, try giving them a hug or a toy to distract them. As toddlers generally have very short attention spans, it just might work.
Cut Down On Junk Food
Certain foods can make your little angels turn into complete rascals. For example, sweets generally trigger blood sugar fluctuations which can cause mood swings and caffeine in drinks makes them hyper. Avoid sugary foods and never give your child energy drinks, tea or coffee.
If your child’s tantrums seem to be occurring on a frequent basis or if they are hurting themselves or other people, then seek help from an expert. The expert would be able to discuss your child’s behavior with you at routine checkups, help figure out reasons for such behavior and ways to deal with it.
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Over time, parents also tend to decode all the communication and understand their needs. New research states that baby talk, or high-pitched, extended vowels from parents, help babies learn language quicker and pick up words faster.
What is Baby Talk?
Baby talk or ‘parentese’ is not about using language or words to attempt to sound like a baby. Rather, the language used to communicate with babies is the same that is used when chatting with an adult. However, the way it is spoken is more simple, repetitive and exaggerated.
Research states that baby talk or cooing helps babies develop several capabilities, such as the ability to differentiate different speech sounds, notice the line between words and a flow of speech, and learn the skills of getting acquainted with discrete phrases.
How to Support your Baby’s Language Development?
Studies have found that kids whose parents talked in parentese, i.e. talked to them at a higher pitch and with elongated vowels had learned nearly three times more words by the age of two. (Source)
This comparison was made against kids whose parents used more adult-directed language. So using baby talk can actually help improve your child’s vocabulary, which is probably why parents do it instinctively.
Keep in mind these guidelines to help support your baby’s language development. Foremost, respond to all your baby’s cries. In the first couple of months and for some even a year, communication is mainly through crying. By responding to their cries, babies are assured that they would be listened to and that their needs would be met.
Secondly, try and initiate conversations with your little one. Emphasis on responding to their coo’s before you coo back. This conversation practice helps them understand that they would be responded to when they try to communicate.
Try to talk to your baby naturally and at all instances. It is a fact that babies understand many things before they actually speak. By regularly talking to your baby and listening to them, they will eventually comprehend and speak your language.
It may feel awkward the first few times you do this, however, it is sure to make an impact. Talk to your baby about daily happenings and about things that you are going to do with them. For example: “Mommy is going to feed you some stewed apple. Do you like it?”
Emphasize singing and storytelling as finger plays and movements and teach them words with physical prompts attached to them. For example the baby can ask to listen to the clapping song by clapping their hands, even before he or she actually learn how to say it.
Story books and other books with attractive pictures are a hit with most babies. Repetitive reading will encourage more steps for interacting with the little ones. To summarize, the most important thing to help babies learn language is to enjoy language and communicate with baby talk at all instances with them.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It went away but left her eye swollen and now her left eye is infected and the green mucus is coming out throughout the day. She is concerned for her daughter’s wellbeing and has asked for some advice.
We asked our community of moms for advice and these are the suggestions they came back with.
Don’t waste time in taking the child to a good doctor. Do this as soon as possible. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops to help clear the infection. If one eye is infected, the other one is bound to get infected.
You can also clean your child’s eyes with cotton dipped in clean water. Or you can use warm water to clean the child’s eyes.
Thanks to the moms below who made the time and effort to give their valuable advice:
Jyoti Dixit, Ishita Bishnoi, Arti S. Peter, Rekha Vaz, Garima Grover, Vanela Kohli, Nivedita Bose Chakraborty, Alekhya Suresh, Siya Borkar, Amrita Singh, Bhavana Shukla, Annavarapu Ahuja, Aditi Sharma, Sangeeta Apoorv, Sharmila Chakravarty, Christina Harijan, Janki Shah, Monika Guleria Mukheja, Sewanti Ghosh
Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Adult viewers may find several patchy segments in the plot of “All dogs go to heave” but for the younger viewers, this shouldn’t matter. The movie is an animated story set in the plains of New Orleans where a German shepherd learns the lessons for love, friendship and greed.
It is a delightful watch for the younger audience and is something that could be appreciated by all parents. The key message of the film is that of friendship between a man and a dog and that their relationship is so strong that it can follow every event and be redeemed.
Charlie, and his friend, Itchy, break out of prison where they had been punished, after being framed by their friend, Carface. When Charlie returns for his share of the business they ran, he is killed by Carface.
Now the actual story starts when Charlie goes to heaven and finds it too dull a place to be existent. To return to the Earthly world, he steals a life span watch and when he is back here, collects his resources to build his business again.
Along the process, he is helped by Itchy and a girl named Anne Marie, who can communicate with animals. Charlie uses Anne Marie for his greed while making false promises to unite her with her parents. While Anne Marie eventually learn how she is being played, she decides to forgive Charlie and at the end Charlie is inspired to help Anne find her parents.
After this, Charlie returns to heaven to get things on the right track. He understands that there are better things in this world than money to think of and helping others and making friends all along is the true essence of a worthy living. The movie acknowledges the difference between right and wrong and is certainly a unique departure from the usual movies that Hollywood studios come up with.
After watching the movie, families can sit together and talk about the benefits of forgiveness and gaining the trust of other people. The young audience will definitely realize that it is highly important to keep your promises and that love comes when you love back.
Overall, a great movie to watch with kids and this certainly will be a recommended viewing all families across the globe. The graphics are incredible but most points goes to the scriptwriter and the presenter of the story.
You can purchase this movie on www.firstcry.com
Imagine that your baby could tell you when they are hungry, want to eat more, completely full, feeling too hot or cold, need to go to toilet or just want a hug.
For most parents, this would mean much less frustration and lead to a better understanding of their little one’s needs. Plus there are other benefits to teaching your baby to sign.
According to one study, at 8 years, kids that had learnt to use sign languages early as babies scored an average of 12 points higher in IQ than non-signing kids.
Unlike a full sign language for the mute, there are a limited number of stand-alone signs that help babies communicate with parents and their caretakers using their fingers as early as 6 months.
Generally, the first five signs that they are taught and exposed to are Mom, Dad, Milk, Eat and Dog. These are the everyday things that a child is most motivated by, and are also the words frequently used throughout the day.
Advantages Of Sign Language
- Minimises frustration:
It will initially take a lot of patience on your part to be able to teach your baby to sign. However, when the learning is done, it gets so much easier and means less frustration both for the baby and parents. The next time your little one wants something, all that is needed is a sign.
- Creates a closer bond:
Sign language promotes better understanding on part of the parents and this simultaneously fosters a closer bond between the kid and the parent.
It is wonderful to understand what is going inside that little head and if you can reach out to them before they have to cry for it, the confidence and trust of the baby increase manifold.
- Helps language development:
Many parents fear that sign language might interfere with normal learning processes ahead but it is actually the opposite. Signing might actually help vocabulary and language development.
Signing is a communication process and the first steps to interacting and social learning. This way you and the baby will spend more time signing and talking and this promotes speech development.
Some common signs
- Mom – Spreading the dominant palm and tapping the thumb against the cheek
- Dad – Spreading the dominant palm and tapping the thumb against the forehead
- Milk – Open your palms and close it into a fist. Repeat twice
- Eat – Move your fingers and thumb together towards and away from the mouth
- Dog – pat the dominant palm against the thigh
Teaching babies to use sign language involves less tantrums and eliminates the frustration of the baby not being able to speak. This improves the bonding and quality of time spent with the family.
Further the baby will get to understand and speak earlier, have a greater understanding of vocabulary and this certainly improves their ability to learn and comprehend.
So did we manage to get you interested in using sign language with your baby? Let us know in the comments below.
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
We asked our moms community for advice to help Amrita’s baby sleep better. Here are some of their valuable suggestions.
Give your baby an evening massage half an hour before bedtime. Apply oil on the head and give it a head massage, Your baby will love it.
You can also apply garlic and kala jeera in warm mustard oil on the baby’s legs before sleep. Ensure that the baby doesn’t have colic which could make it restless.
A heavy dinner can help. Don’t let the child sleep on an empty stomach. Give your baby 4 spoons of Cerelac or half a bowl of foods like daliya (oatmeal porridge), moong dal khichadi (rice and lentils), chapatti (unleavened wheat flatbread) to help them sleep at night.
Milk and almond paste helps. Two spoons of ghee sheera could also give good sleep. Give the baby milk or feed it fruit or dry fruit when it wakes up at night.
You could try deworming your baby. As they eat a lot of bland foods, worms are a common problem in infants. Any medicine, however, should only be given on the prescription of a doctor.
Thanks to these helpful parents:
Sneha Maheshwari, Yaminee Dwivedi, Vandana Joshi, Alekhya Suresh, Leena Kakani, Sakeena Ali, Manisha Gautam, Garima Grover, Diksha Bisht, Neetu Kalyan Budholia, Lavanya Reddy, Sharmila Chakravarty, Sakeena Ali, Adi Vinny, Gurpreet Singh Kaka, Narasimha Naik.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net