Reading 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.
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Pooja 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.
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Ear 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.
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Kanika 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.
School-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.
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Debolina 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
If 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.
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This is very important as playing helps the baby grow and learn about the world around them. In fact, it gradually shapes the overall development and personality of a child.
The development of sense of colors, textures, sounds and other senses takes place in most kids through play. They are drawn towards bright colors and parents can use this platform for teaching them about those senses.
Try and cut out large and attractive shapes and hang them around in the house. Your child will love to see them flying in the wind and learn all about colors too.
Some kids are very fond of music from a very young age. They enjoy listening to various kinds of music and respond to them as well. It is like a game to them. Take this opportunity to recite nursery rhymes to your child. Try and make the rhyme sound rhythmic and musical so that the child develops interest in the words and rhythm. Also try reading to the child as this is a very good habit to inculcate.
Make eating time interesting to the child. In a small bowl put some healthy food and provide a spoon as well. Give the bowl to the child, while you feed him from a separate bowl and spoon. See how the child learns to hold the spoon by imitating you and how he learns the skill of taking food from the bowl with the spoon and attempting to eat it. Things might be very messy at first, but your kid will love the learning process.
Take the baby to the park and let them enjoy the sounds and smells of nature. Do not interfere with his movements, but keep a strict watch on what he is doing. Let him move around, play with kids of his own age and interact. This will help him in developing interactive and communication skills. Even if he falls down while playing, as long as the injuries are not serious, let him get up on his own. Let his confidence level build.
Kids learn about the world around them through interacting with objects, people and things. Games and play are some of the best ways to teach them about all these in a fun and memorable way.
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Nitu Singh wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her son who is almost 4 years old. She says that he is violent and aggressive at home as well as in school and has also started hitting people wherever he goes. She wants to know how she can handle this behaviour of his. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.
We asked our community of parents online for their advice and have incorporated their feedback below.
Although it is shocking, aggression can develop even in normal kids, who may react to fearful incidents or to other people with violence. A lot of the time it happens because kids are unable to express themselves in healthier ways, such as verbally.
Most kids outgrow such behaviour as they learn to express themselves verbally. However, this does not mean it is acceptable behaviour.
First, assess whether it is something in your child’s environment that is causing the aggression. Too much exposure to violent cartoons can cause behavioural changes in kids. Limit his exposure to television and any violent games or influences.
Ensure that he is not being abused, either physically or emotionally, by a maid or a member of the household. Ensure that you and your spouse are dealing with your differences in a healthy manner. If there is any abuse or violence in the household, the child will pick it up as acceptable.
Respond quickly to any aggressive or violent behaviour. Do not wait until it gets too bad and never lose your own temper. Stop your child calmly, but firmly, and give them a brief “time-out” to cool down. Remove them from any situations where they may cause harm to themselves or others.
Be consistent in setting limits. Do not give in at any time and never allow them to get away with hitting or any other acts of violence. Ensure that there are consequences, like missing out on fun with others, or taking away their games or toys until they calm down.
Try to get your child to talk about their frustrations when they have calmed down. Make a genuine attempt to understand what they are going through. You could also keep a behaviour chart and reward good behaviour with stars and a treat at the end of the week.
Make sure your child is expending his energy in a healthy way. Let him take up a sport, perhaps something that you can be part of, so that he vents in a healthy manner. Spending more quality time with your child may also help.
If all your efforts fail, take your child to a child psychologist for an evaluation.
Our thanks go out to all these helpful parents:
Puneet Wadhwani, Nivedita Poddar, Misha Bhattal, Pooja Ahuja, Vyona Lobo Ribeiro, Pooja W. Mazumder, Bharath Reddy, Madhusmita Mishra, Misha Bhattal, Aman Tiwari
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Kids and toys seem to be inseparable from one another. If you enter a kid’s room, you will find all kinds of toys here and there. It is sheer joy to note the happiness on your kid’s face when you bring a new toy for them.
However, it is also important to note that if the right kinds of toys are not chosen, they might cause injuries to the child. In some unfortunate events, toys have also caused death in children.
Here are some safety rules that you must follow while purchasing toys for your little one:
- Purchase toys that are made of natural and non-toxic materials. This is highly applicable for kids who are 1 year old or younger. At this age, children have the tendency of touching everything and then putting it directly in their mouth.
- Buy toys according to age recommendations. This will help you in buying the toy that will be suitable for your kid’s age and his skill level.
- For very young kids, choose to buy toys that are large in size. This is so that, in case they put the toy in their mouth, there are no chances of getting choked by the same. Good toy shops have testers that help test if the toy is safe for the child.
- Do not give small kids things like coins, marbles, small balls and other small objects as these can be swallowed easily and can cause immediate choking. These might get stuck in the windpipe leading to difficulty in breathing and might cause death if right action is not taken at proper time.
- Before handing over the toy to the child, check the same minutely for sharp edges or small loose parts. The child might get hurt from the sharp edges. Also if parts of toys like eyes, buttons, wheels etc are loose tighten them first. See that there are no loose ends on the toy.
- If toys are battery operated ones, see that the case of the battery is closed tightly with screws. Do not give battery operated toys to small children. Children have a tendency of opening the case and taking out the battery. Sometimes there might be leakage from the battery and opening the case might cause serious problems.
- It is also recommended that you avoid toys that have cords and strings attached to them as they might cause strangling.
So, next time before buying a toy for your little one, keep these simple things in mind for their safety and help your child enjoy their time playing with their toys.
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She wants to know how she can make him have his milk from a cup. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.
We posted the question to our ever-helpful community of parents and have included their advice below.
It is not unusual for kids to resist new things. You might want to try a transition from a bottle to a Sipper cup, instead of a normal cup. A sippy cup with a straw might be easier to drink out of.
Get your child an attractive sippy cup with a cartoon they like. You could try adding sugar or jaggery in the drink to tempt them. You could also try distracting him with television or stories or songs.
Put him in a group with other kids who drink from cups. Also encourage other family members to drink from cups in front of him. He is more likely to try to imitate them and want to drink from a cup.
The main issue is not to get stressed about it. Every child is different and transitions to a new behaviour in their own time. It might take time and patience on your part, but your child will ultimately start drinking from a cup when he is ready to do so.
Thanks to all these moms for their helpful advice:
Poonam Botadra Mehta, Roopa Mahesh, Revathi Phani Krishna, HS Meshaha Clair, Angel Aman, Shirin Mandviwala, Sunitha Raj, Bhuvaneshwari Suryanarayanan, Richa Agrawal, Priyanka Dhadve Gosavi, Chital Panchal, Bhuvaneshwari Suryanarayanan, Janki Shah, Hema Bhat, Nandini Mangla, Zahin Shaikh
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Some of the kids literally struggle to walk with the heavy backpack and it can be a source of injuries to the child’s back, spine or neck.
Kids usually stuff their bags with all their books, notebooks and stationery items, making the bag very heavy.
Research all over the world has shown that many children carry backpacks, the weight of which is almost 10-15% of the body weight of the kid.
This is actually an alarming weight that is being carried by your child. Here are some of the problems that are caused by heavy backpacks, with solutions to the same:
• Many children take the backpacks on a single shoulder as that makes them look smart. However, this can cause grave injuries as the whole weight comes to a single side of the body.
There are high chances of shoulder and neck straining or there can be injuries to the lower back and spine while trying to adjust the load on single shoulder.
Parents should suggest their children carry the backpack on both shoulders to distribute the load evenly.
• Backpacks which have narrow and tight straps should be shunned completely. When the bag becomes too heavy, the narrow strap tends to dig into the skin of the shoulder obstructing blood flow and also puts pressure on the nerves.
It might lead to various kinds of neurological problems in the arm and shoulder area. Buy backpacks that have wide and soft straps so that the straps can take the pressure and shoulders remain relieved.
• Most the ordinary backpacks lack back support causing immense pain in the back area. While purchasing backpacks ensure that there is firm back support, such as padded protection to the back. That way your kid’s back remains protected from sharp objects that are inside the bag.
• Children tend to stuff all their belongings in a single compartment of the bag. The weight shifts to a single point and becomes too heavy.
It is highly recommended for parents to purchase back packs that have many compartments and ask the child to arrange things in different partitions. This will distribute the load of the bag uniformly.
• You can often see that children fall backwards if they cannot manage their backpack. This happens because the whole weight is towards the back side and losing balance will let the kid fall towards the back.
A waist belt in the backpack can be of help. It will help in distributing the weight effectively over the rest of the body.
For quality backpacks, you can choose from a large selection on Firstcry.com.
However, for some women, becoming a mother brings with it emotional turmoil leading to post partum depression. One of the reasons for this is the hormonal imbalance that takes place in the body post child-birth.
Post-partum depression can begin in a woman after 1 to 2 weeks of child birth and can linger for a few months. She might be suddenly very happy and become tearful right the next moment.
She might feel extremely sad and lonely and lose her appetite. Sometimes the depression can continue for long and it becomes important to seek proper medical attention if things go out of hand.
Apart from seeking help from a medical professional, new moms can try these tips to help deal with post-partum depression, to some extent:
• Cry when you feel like it
Hormone levels remain at an all time high during pregnancy. After the child birth, all the hormones fall back to their normal levels. Experts believe that hormone secretion takes place through tears. So if you cry, it is a natural way of getting rid of those hormones, and also of the stress of being a new mom. In fact, you could feel much better after crying.
• Re-evaluate your balance
When you become a mother for the first time, there will only be one thing on your mind and that is your baby. However, there are many things that need attention along with your baby. Try and carry out a re-evaluation of the time required for everything, so that it will not stress you and let you handle your life while retaining your balance.
• Sleep as much as possible
When you become a new mum, you will sorely miss those peaceful sleeping hours at night. You will have to wake up to feed the baby, to see if it is dry and so on. But getting adequate sleep is also very important. If there is no one else to take care of the baby when you are asleep, catch up on your own sleep when the baby sleeps.
• Eat healthy and get some exercise
Regular exercise works to boost the levels of good hormones in the body and helps you fight depression. With increasing levels of endorphin due to exercising, your depression will reduce. Also eat a balanced and healthy diet to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need.
Following these tips, along with proper medical counseling, will definitely help combat the phase of postpartum blues that so many new moms go through.
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They play in the heat and might quickly become victims of heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat strokes.
Summer heat can be very dangerous, going well into the 40s in many places in India, and it is important to take the right kinds of preventive measures for kids to avoid any kinds of problems.
Heatstroke in kids often occurs when the child’s body is not able to regulate its own temperature. For instance, if the kid keeps on playing in the scorching sun or does some rigorous physical activity, it will lead to loss of fluids from the body.
There have been cases where kids have been locked inside the car accidentally on a hot humid day and have suffered heatstroke as the body cannot control the temperature as per its needs. The excess rise in body temperature might lead to brain damage and other fatal consequences.
If your kid has been affected by heatstroke, here are some tips on how you can treat them:
• It is very important to shift the child to a cool and shaded area, preferably inside the house where the heat does not reach directly. The fan or air conditioning should be switched on to beat the heat.
• If there is high body temperature, undress the kid and sponge with cold water. Pouring cold water will lower the body temperature quite a bit.
• If the child loses consciousness, do not try to administer any fluids as that will only add to the problem. However, if he is in senses and behaving normally, giving fluids is highly recommended. Ask the kid to take in the fluid in small sips instead of gulping it down all at once.
• Appropriate clothing is an important part for dealing with heatstroke. Make your child wear light-colored and fully cotton clothes. The clothing should preferably be loose fitting, so that there is enough ventilation.
• Drinking adequate amounts of fluids is highly recommended in the summer season. Even if your kids are not involved in any physical activity, make sure that they drink a good amount of water and other refreshing drinks to keep themselves hydrated (Do not give them aerated drinks). Fruit juices are great sources of energy as well as help in keeping the body cool and nourished.
Even if your child starts recovering from the sunstroke with some basic first aid, take them to a doctor for a complete checkup and proper medical treatment.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Rashmi Kabibar Padhan wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 2 years old son. She says that her son behaves nicely at home and gets along with everyone but once she takes him outside he behaves exactly the opposite.
If anyone tries to take him on the lap he starts crying. She is worried for her son and has asked us for some advice. We asked our community of mothers for their advice and have incorporated their input below.
Firstly, it’s important to know that it is perfectly normal for most babies to show a fear of strangers or of unfamiliar people around the age of 7 to 9 months. Most babies also go through a phase of separation anxiety, when they are afraid of being apart from their parents.
Experts believe this is because babies are better able to remember and recognise familiar faces and places around this age. This is nothing to worry about, other than it can be embarrassing when introducing your baby to new people and family members.
This phase will pass by the time your child is older, but being present when introducing your child to new people may help them adjust better to new situations. Encourage your family members to come over more often so they become familiar to the baby.
Greet new people in a warm and friendly voice, so your child learns not to be afraid of them. Let them approach your child slowly and gently. Also do not encourage others to touch or pick up your baby as this may provoke fearful reactions.
Thanks to the parents below for their contributions.
Jyothi Dorai, Lavanya Reddy, Madhulika Verma, Anwesha Sukul, Pushpa Panwar, Narendra Bansal
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Kids who are aware of their strengths and weakness are more positive, feel confident, find it easier to handle pressures, and are more optimistic.
On the other hand, children with low self-esteem find it challenging and are relatively more anxious and frustrated than others.
A child’s self-esteem affects their day-to-day activities and affects their relationships with others.
A positive self-esteem helps the child to believe in their own values, make right decisions under pressure, confidently interact with others, handle stress and challenges and make healthier choices.
Read on for some tips to help foster your child’s self-esteem.
Love and Acceptance: Love your child to the utmost and spend lots of quality time. A child benefits the most when you are able to accept him regardless of their strengths, weaknesses and abilities. Give him or her plenty of kisses, hugs, cuddles, pats and affection.
Focus on the Child: By listening to them and playing with them. Show interest in things, games and activities that they enjoy and let them guide play. This makes them feel important and valuable.
Consistency: Decide and enforce clear rules that must be followed by the child at each stage of life. Tell him what you expect and what punishment would be given if the rules were not followed. This helps them to feel safe and secure and grow more confident in making own decisions.
Support Change: Encourage the child to try something new, like make a new friend or try a new food. There is always possibility of risk, but the chances for success are also equally same if not high. Try letting them explore and experiment to build their self-esteem by finding the right balance between the need to protect him or her with the want to embark upon new tasks.
Problem-Solve: Offer various chances to solve problems so that the child understands he or she has control over his or her own life. Help the child correct the mistakes and talk about how it can be done differently the next time.
Offer Empathy and Encouragement: If your child feels frustrated because he cannot do things like his peers, empathize and then emphasize on of his or her other strengths. This will help them learn their own personal strengths and weaknesses. Young ones also require ample amounts of encouragement from their parents and loved ones to feel good about themselves.
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Parents end up spending a huge sum of money on preparations and once the baby arrives, a great deal of attention is spent on meeting the new baby’s basic needs.
Unfortunately, all this can become really taxing for the first child. It is very important to communicate with the elder sibling and let them known their importance.
Parents can prepare their first child for an addition to the family by appropriately discussing it. It is important to be patient and to also answer all their curious queries.
For example, a 4-year-old child may point at your belly and ask you what is there in side or is this where babies come from? Such questions may be difficult to answer, but you can try explaining it at your child’s level of comprehension.
In order to prepare your first child for their new sibling, read on for some tips that maybe helpful:
Have your child experience the child kicking and have them touch and hold the baby if they want to, but don’t force them, only let them do it if they like and want to.
Go through the child’s own baby photos with and tell them how excited you were when they were born. This will be fun for them and help them understand and learn what a newborn looks like.
Make your child understand that they will have a new member joining the family who would be sharing everything with them, including the parents time. It is important to make them feel equally important and loved.
Handle all disruptive behavior firmly and fairly. It is usual for siblings to behave crankily as they feel displaced by the younger sibling. This is primarily because the parents tend to spend more time with the newborn to satisfy his or her needs.
Most children feel uneasy when they see mothers focusing on the birth of a new family member. All that you really can do at this time is provide lots of love and support so that they regain their confidence.
Tell the child, that they will now be an elder brother or sister and must set an example for the younger one. This will make the child feel more confident about their position.
Finally, at this crucial point of your life, do not make big changes like changing your job or shifting to a new house, as these will pose additional pressure on your already-stressed child. Try maintaining the same routine that you had been for the last few months.
So what was your experience introducing your first child to a new baby? Do share in the comments below.
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And neither she takes bottle or baby formula milk, she only accepts mother feed. She is concerned for her baby’s health and asked us for some advice.
We asked our ever-helpful community of Moms to provide Sakshi advice for her son and have included their responses below.
Not all kids take to a change of food easily. As long as your child is growing and healthy, and eating her normal foods, you can continue giving her what she likes.
But if you want to try something new, you could start with something like ragi. Also try giving her dal ka pani or dalia, sweet or salted according to her taste. You could also try mashed bananas, which most kids love.
You could try to nurse or bottle-feed before giving the baby one or two teaspoons of pureed solid food or cereal mixed with formula or breast milk. Start with a small amount of food using a soft-tipped plastic spoon to avoid injuring your child’s gums.
Try introducing her to new foods while you and others in the family are eating it. Babies love to imitate their parents and older siblings and are more likely to accept food that you are eating.
Try distracting your baby with music or cartoons, while introducing her to new foods. The trick is not to give up. Just keep trying new things every few days or so and you will find something that works for your baby.
We thank the moms below for their invaluable input.
Shilpi Dhama, Munmun Jain Goel, Sumi Hmin, Sovana Dalai Patnaik, Deepa Shailesh Narti, Rakhi Golui Sarkar, Puja Gupta, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Manpreet Kaur Bajwa, Sakeena Ali, Shreya Chakravarty Bhattacharya, Rekha Sonthalia Kedia, Sudeshna Patnaik, Rubal Gupta, Sharmila Chakravarty, Janki Shah, Rituparna Mitra, Taniya Lohani, Tarannum Miski.
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