It’s night time and your baby has had a long day. He has played with his teddy bear, laughed with his Daddy and made a mess on the floor with all that he could lay his hands on. After so much activity, sleep time should be smooth sailing, right? Well, Moms know better! The problem of babies crying into the night is not a new one but definitely very distressing for moms.
When Rakhi was upset about her baby crying for hours every night, our SOS Moms not only helped allay her fears but also gave splendid solutions to her problem.
Mom Neha Gaurav perfectly identifies the possible reasons your baby could be crying at night (and yes, there are several!): “Generally during initial months some babies cries due to colic pain, reason of which is still not known. However there could be various other reasons also which makes them uncomfortable like hunger, overclothing, temperature difference of environment.” If the problem is colic pain, Neha suggests that drops like colicaid and neopeptine can work. Else, tried and tested solutions like rocking your baby, cuddling, or a good body massage before sleep time can do wonders.
While sleep time crying is normal in babies, there may sometimes be a need for medical advice. Shipra Vishwanath says that if nothing seems to be working, you may try either gripe water or 3-5 drops of “badishep arka”. She recommends administering this solution upto 3-4 times every day.
Did you know that the wrong clothing could also be a reason behind your baby’s crying? Chetana Suvarna Ganatra suggests moms to keep a check on whether their baby is getting over or under dressed. She corrects the common but erroneous perception that babies have to be in a warm condition, even if the current climate is already too warm. The little ones need to be dressed comfortably or else they are sure to get moody.
Sometimes, the trick behind a peaceful sleep-time for baby is very simple: let your baby sleep on their stomach! Mom Sandhya Lal has this interesting idea: “Sing a song that will soothe little one down. Or try and talk to the baby when she/he is sleeping on your stomach. Has always worked with both my babies.” After all, Mom’s comforting words can never fail!
So the next time you are worried about your baby crying, remember that she is still trying to come to terms with the BIG world. From over-stimulus to hunger to random moods, there are plenty of usually harmless reasons behind the crying. Just use the handy solutions given by our SOS Moms and remember, there’s nothing that Mommy cannot put right!
A big thank you to all the wonderful mommies who helped Rakhi out:
Shipra Vishwanath, Sandhya Lal, Chetana Suvarna Ganatra, Neha Gaurav
Constipation is a very common concern among the moms of toddlers. Some of the common causes of constipation in toddlers are toilet anxiety, dehydration and diet. Swati’s two and half your old child has the problem and she came to SOS moms for their advice on the same. Let’s take a look at what our SOS moms have to say to Swati.
Moms Noopur Agarwal, Sowjanaya Kumar, Tanuja Karunakar, Anita Rankar, Shaveta Rahajan, Ritu Mishra Tripathi Sahrvani Aneel, Leena Parikh, Ameena Sayeed, Deepshikha Das, Sakshi Batra, Tanushree Ganguli and Sayonee Mishra all agree that Swati’s little one should be given ripe bananas and papaya in different forms to ease his problem. Both banana and papaya are rich in fibre and can help with constipation. These two fruits can also be given in the form of milk shakes, juice and any other form to make them seem less boring to your active bub.
Also moms like Tanushree Ganguli, Jyoti Kapil, Mridula Shirwali, agree that spinach and greens will help Swati’s child to a great extent.
Moms Sneha Satam, Sathya Ramu, Srividya Mushunuru suggest Swati to feed that the child should be fed black raisins soaked in water every morning. Chetana Suvarana Ganatara suggests that a porridge made of oats and prunes (packed with fibre) will help. Shanti Gupta says dried figs soaked in water overnight will also work wonders.
Preeti Khanna and Manasi Joshi suggest that the little one should be given milk with two drops of ghee in it. Milk may cause constipation but milk with ghee has a reverse impact. Sweta Bharadwaj, Sonia Sonu pipe in with their suggestion of feeding the tot with curd regularly.
Diana Samuel says, “Try 1/2 tsp honey in 1/2 tsp warm water on empty stomach in the morning. It worked for my child when she had severe constipation. Note: water must be warm not too hot nor cold. Give him lots of warm water throughout the day. Hope it might help.” Harsha Rajiv suggests, “ Water intake should be increased. Fruit juice, fresh fruits in puree form is also effective. Fibrous food like palak and other greens in soup can be given. Also Palak kichdi, carrot soup, carrot milkshake etc work. Do include greens in your baby’s diet at least once a week.
Other SOS moms also agree that Swati’s little one should be given warm water throughout the day in equal intervals. Also the child should be made to sit on his potty seat everyday even if he doesn’t pass stool to build a habit. Constipation can be easily resolved with a few key changes in diet and momma’s care of course!
We thank all the SOS moms who rushed in to aid Swati with her problem:
Tanushree Ganguli, Jyoti Kapil, Mridula Shirwali, Noopur Agarwal, Sowjanaya Kumar, Tanuja Karunakar, Anita Rankar, Shaveta Rahajan, Ritu Mishra Tripathi, Sahrvani Aneel, Leena Parikh, Ameena Sayeed, Deepshikha Das, Sakshi Batra, Tanushree Ganguli and Sayonee Mishra, Sneha Satam, Sathya Ramu, Srividya Mushunuru, Harsha Rajiv, Diana Samuel, Pratibha Gautam, Swati Agarwal, Shama Mittal, Nausheen Sharieff, Amrita Singh, Sarika Singh, Dia Bijlani, Namrata Mandowara, Chetna Ganatara, Bindiya Yadav, Sakshi Batra, Simpy Jalan and Reema Verma.
Roshini, a worried mom of a 17-month old toddler, says, “My daughter was a thumbsucker since the beginning -literally. Tucked away in my memories book is an ultrasound image of her’s sucking her thumb to glory in the womb. Now, a year and a half later, she’s still not ready to let it go.”
The answer to Roshini’s and other numerous moms’ problem is rather straightforward. Thumb sucking is a very common reflex that kids engage in when they face a stressful situation. They do this to calm down, fall asleep or just to feel good. It makes them feel safe and comfortable. Also, most of the times, sucking thumb is considered harmless in terms of a child’s growth and speech development.
Paediatricians from all over are of the consensus that as the kid crosses the two year age mark, they start developing other coping skills beyond thumb or finger sucking. They also purport that as long as the child stops the thumb sucking habit by the time he develops his permanent teeth, there would be minimal or no impact on his mouth and jaw.”
One of our SOS Moms, Vandana Anand, mom of 2 kids, says, “Help your kid in resolving his thumb sucking problem and leave it to his will. Don’t force! Give enough love and your baby will leave sucking his thumb”.
Another SOS Mom, Rajnideep Sandhu, doubles up with Vandana Anand and says, “The main thing is when children don’t get the proper attention, they develop such habits. So, just check if your child wants to say something to you, it’s usually a big deal for them!”
We also have Meghna Kattimani who puts forth a different perspective to the problem.
She says, “Identify the triggers – If your kid sucks his thumb in response to stress, identify that triggering factor and provide comfort in other ways — such as a hug or reassuring words. You might also try giving your kid a pillow or stuffed animal to squeeze.”
Lastly, Urvashi Patole proposes, “Maybe you can put a little garlic or any bitter tasting edible on your kid’s thumb. Very soon he will stop sucking his thumb. However, adopt this method only when your kid has become a preschooler (3-5 yrs), but still continues to have this problem.”
So you see Roshini, forcing is not the solution! In most cases, the kid automatically gives up the habit as he grows. There’s no urgency to kick the habit this early, i.e. Before the child turns three.
‘Temporary Stuttering’ is very common in kids between the ages 2 to 5. It normally affects two in every 20 kids. For many kids, it is just a part of learning the use of new words while putting them together to form sentences. It is usually seen that this stuttering and stammering phase outgrows with time and rarely persists into adulthood.
Let’s first understand the reason behind why kids stammer and stutter. Experts believe that a variety of factors are responsible for this speech disorder to happen, genetics being the major causative aspect. It is seen that 60% of kids who stammer are bound to have either of the parents or a close family member who stammered in their childhood.
Besides genetics, some neurological factors are also responsible for the stuttering and stammering in kids. Research says that kids who stammer process language differently; as in there seems to be a problem with the way language is transmitted through their brains. However, they are not able to pinpoint why this occurs.
This time around too, our SOS Moms come to your rescue –
First, we have Anubhuti Seth Mehn, who says, “If your daughter is old enough to go to a play school, do that. Kids tend to pick up things with other kids at a faster pace. Or every evening make it a point to take her to a park where she can find other kids to play with. She’ll build her diction there.”
Another SOS Mom, Priyanka Tamhane says, “It’s always better to take a speech therapist’s expert advise. The doctor will actually guide you if it’s a worrisome thing and will accordingly advise what needs to be done.”
Mum, Shabnam Desai, proposes, “If it is the righttime then you should admit her in a play school. It helps to develop the language of a child. Secondly, there are cases where kids stammer due to stress and anxiety. It may be due to some reasons she cannot express what she wants to say. So please try to comfort her and talk to her, things will be better. Do not make her conscious about her stammering, that will make the matter worst. If she is older, then you should consult a speech therapist.”
Anisha Rodrigues E Pinto suggests, “First don’t make her feel uncomfortable or aware of her speech as wrong. Second, it’s better to take advice from a speech therapist. Third, keep talking to her and don’t focus on correcting. Fourth, let her socialise more often.”
Lastly, we have Bizns Bizns, who says, “Please try homeopathy, works without side effects.”
Also, there seems to be a connection between the kid stuttering and stammering and hefeeling tired, pressured, excited or upset. It also happens because their vocabulary is limited, i.e. They think faster than they can talk. So, don’t point out her stuttering and stammering, and don’t interrupt, it can worsen the condition, because it’ll hamper the kid’s self-confidence. And that’s the last thing we want to happen!
By the age of two, children become independent enough to be walking on their own. As they develop this skill, is also when they regress and suddenly become clingy. They just want to be carried everywhere and throw tantrums when denied. It is at this point that the kid is torn between his independent impulses and the very compelling desire to be attached to the parent.
This is a difficult phase for the parents as well, because every sentence that the kid speaks begins with ‘mom’ or ‘dad’. Every waking moment of theirs is spent carrying the clingy toddler until their biceps burn. To make things worse, in some cases, the other parent is not even allowed to help.
Research suggests that periodic clinginess is normal, and it’s a sign that you and your child have a healthy relationship. However, the kid’s waffling between the two extremes of independence and dependence is very taxing for both, the kid, and the parents. They are befuddled if they should give the kid a pat on the back and tell him to man up, or if they should simply accept the whole scenario as it is.
Again, we bring to you our SOS Moms whose suggestions are based on experience–
At the outset, we have Shabnam Desai, who suggests, “If you are a working mother, maybe the baby is missing you too much. Try to spend more time with your little one. Maybe the baby is afraid about something. Look around for signs if something is going wrong when certain people are coming near the baby, and not only people also check out the toys. Some kids are not comfortable with certain toys, especially soft toys because of the fur. Try to comfort the baby and please keep your cool or matters can get worse. Check whether the baby is teething or any other ailments and consult the doctor”.
Next, Rajni Kashvi Jaiswal adds, “Because maybe now herecognises you as his parents, he has become clingy suddenly.”
Mums, Jyot Kaur, Neha Singh, Shruti Singhal Garg and Sneha Agrawal collectively assert that teething may be the reason the kid has suddenly turned clingy. They suggest the use of ‘Calcarea Phosphorica’ as a solution for teething problem in toddlers. However, this needs to be done only after consulting a paediatric doctor.
Lastly, Chetana Suvarna Ganatra blames the kid’s clingy behaviour to separation anxiety he may be going through.
A tip from our end; try to make walking fun for him and don’t scold the kid. Remember, the kid has shorter legs, so he/she will take more time to cross the same distance. Also, keep the outings on foot brief and have a stroller ready as a backup plan.
Parents of late-talking children are always in a state of dilemma on whether they should ‘wait and see’ if the kid picks up speed in language development on his own, or if they should meet a speech therapist right away. Many of these parents are told not to worry as each kid develops at his/her own pace. Nonetheless, their gut instinct is always to seek help as they strive to do the best for their child.
The ‘wait and see’ approach for late talkers is borne out of a stereotyped observation about typical language development in children. While it is passable that children do develop at their own pace, there are certain age milestones that should be reached by a specific age. It is also true that there are many late talking toddlers who catch up on their own, a few do not.
In this write-up, when we speak about language delay, we aren’t talking about language disorders or physical and developmental delays like Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism or those with childhood apraxia. These conditions require special kind of therapeutics and doctoring. We only speak about those children who seem to lag behind a little in their spoken (or “expressive”) language.
Let’s quickly go through what our SOS Moms have to say about late talkers –
Mum, Anima Bhardwaj, says, “Just one answer! Don’t compare your kid to others for anything. Each child is different and develops differently. Just make sure that he is medically fit. If everything is okay, just relax. Some kids are late talkers… late walkers… late eaters… and so on”.
We have Somita Suri, who suggests, “Depends on what you mean by ‘doesn’t talk very well’. Most kids develop at their own pace just like when they take their first steps. However, do look out for other signs in your child with respect to social behaviour, because it could be linked to autism.”
Next, Julie Ekka Tanti proposes her viewpoint by saying, “Just like my kid who is four years old now, but doesn’t show any signs of eating on her own. I have to force her for each meal! She doesn’t chew and is used to swallowing. I’m pretty much worried, as kids of her age are fond of chocolates and so many edibles, but my child says no to all.”
Shilpi Saha shows a different dimension of the problem by saying, “It depends on how much you all talk at home. If yours is a silent type of house, then give your kid some more time. Moreover, if your kid has completed other milestones and is okay in other behaviours, then don’t worry, give a bit more time. My Lil’ brother also had the same problem because our house was a silent kind of house”.
Last, we have mums, Tanvi Nigam, Pooja Rathod and Noopur Agarwal, who collectively reinstate that parents should not worry about late talking in children. They jointly agree that things will take time and that parents should just have patience.
We conclude by saying that every child is unique in his/her own way and that parents should never compare their child with another child. Keep training your kid the requisite language skills and cherish that kiddish ‘blabber’. Once it’s gone, you’ll miss it badly!
Food jag – a common eating behaviour where the kid only wants to eat one food item for every meal. More often than not, it’s the toddlers and preschoolers who tend go on food jags and only like foods that are of a certain colour or texture. This behaviour is usually impulsive. At times, it can be so sudden that the kid would decide to hate even the foods they loved till one day prior.
Fries suddenly become their favourite ‘vegetable’. Anything green is met with clenched teeth and a loathful face. Whining stops only when a dessert appears and chocolate comes to be considered as a separate food group. While this behaviour is normal, parents should deal with it patiently.
Research suggests that it takes at least 10 – 15 tries before a picky kid eats, or at least gets to like a new food. Also, the lost affinity for any food often returns after a gap of around a fortnight. Our point: Don’t be pushy, but persistent in helping your child love new foods. Although it is a frustrating phase in your kid’s development, understand that it’ll get better with time.
Our SOS Moms share their opinions on dealing with picky eaters
We have Rajnideep Sandhu, who suggests, “Try to take your meals with your baby. Because I have seen that children always want to taste from others plates, though they make a mess, but it’s OK with us.. Isn’t it? ”
Prabha Peri, mum of a 2-year-old, says, “Try to fill his plate with different food items neatly garnished and in colourful or attractive cups or plates.. Once he tries to taste a single item and if he feels it tasty, he will definitely start eating it.. I tried the same with my 2-year-old.”
One of our SOS Moms, Pratibha Gautam, came up with a fantastic idea of mixing the kid’s favourite food with the other food you want him to eat. This will disguise the new food in a way that your kid will down it chop-chop.
Last, we have Anima Bhardwaj, who says, “If he has started picking up food on his own and could eat it, try giving him finger food. Whatever you want him to try, make it in the shape of small balls or small sticks that he could pick up easily. Let him make a mess… Kids enjoy it! Just put the food in front of him and leave him alone with it. Don’t sit in front of him or force him to eat… Let him take his time.”
If you’re very concerned about what your picky toddler eats, maintain a diary of all the food and drink items he has over a week. Make sure he has something from each of the four main food groups, i.e. starch/carbohydrates, proteins, dairy and fruits and veggies. If you know that he has eaten food from all these food groups, you shouldn’t be worrying about his nutrition.
Sometimes, it’s alright to allow the picky eater to choose foods that appeal to them. When averaged over several meals, you’ll realise that they choose well. Trust those little bodies and discern that the child’s world and his gastronomic horizons will expand as he grows and starts attending preschool.
Getting kids, especially those who have been sleeping with parents for more than a year, to sleep in their own beds is not easy.
We can say that it’s sort of like ripping off a band-aid… The kid will cry, there’ll be tantrums and a whole lot of havoc. However, you’ve to decide whether you’ll transition quickly or will take your own sweet time.
Many parents typically opt to have their kids sleep on separate beds by the kid’s will and desire. However, this can be confining for the parents, as the kid will keep growing dependent on the parents to get a night of peaceful sleep.
The key to establishing a workable bedtime routine is to set firm expectations and then maintain consistency. Before moving ahead with the decision, you should feel strongly enough for the mission of moving the kid to his own bed. Ambivalence over your decision will not help.
To make things easier for you, our SOS Moms are giving out a few suggestions–
“Make his best soft toy his best friend and sleep mate. Let him sleep with the toy and tell him that his friend (the soft toy) will be alone and cry if he doesn’t sleep with him”, recommends Swati Thakur, mom of a 1 year old.
Swati also says, “One more thing you can try is, when he’s fast asleep just put a pillow over him at your place, so that he gets a feeling that it’s you and not the pillow. Maybe that can help as it does help me and my son is only 1 year old.”
Next, we have Neha Kapur, who says, “Put your T-shirt on a pillow and place it next to him… Sometimes, it’s your smell that comforts them.”
We also have Ranjani Anoop and Saheti Krishna Kasam, who have tested the methods suggested by Swati Thakur. They double up with Swati to say that the pillow method really works.
One useful tip from our end – think of the things that will offer some comfort to the kid during the transition. Play a CD of soothing lullabies, light a brighter nightlight or an LED projector lamp that’ll create an effect of a starry night sky onto the walls and ceiling of his room.
So, be prepared for a bumpy ride while getting your kiddo to sleep in his own bed, but keep your eyes on the prize: an independent kid who sleeps all by himself and one less elbow in your back at night!
One 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
Mahima 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.
Swati 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.
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.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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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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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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
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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Kaur Gagan wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 6 month old baby. She says that although her baby is healthy and active, she faces a problem with her child who constantly puts everything in his mouth including his toes. She is concerned for her baby’s health and hygiene and has asked us for some advice.
We asked our community of mothers for their point of view and have incorporated their feedback below.
It is perfectly normal for a baby to put everything in their mouth at this age. Unless it is something that he can choke on or swallow, it is safe to provide him with options such as safe toys and teethers, such as Silicone Soothers to chew on.
Hygiene is not that much of an issue at this stage, as kids of this age are building their immune systems and there are studies that show that kids who are exposed to dirt and germs have healthier immune responses.
Research shows that early childhood exposure to germs and certain infections helps the immune system develop and prevent asthma. According to MayoClinic.com, children growing up in rural areas, around animals and in larger families seem to develop asthma less often than do other children.
The habit of putting fingers or objects in the mouth is a normal part of development and there is no indication that it affects your child’s fingers. However, do supervise your child and see that he is not putting any unsafe object in his mouth. It is a good time to child-proof the house and keep anything harmful out of reach.
We are grateful to all these parents for their valuable advice:
Kirti Jethava, Nazee Akbar, Lakshman Ladi, Sarika Singh, Taniya Lohani, Taniya Lohani, Alekhya Suresh, Manju Janarthanan, Pallabi Goswami Sarma, Ratna Biswas, Lavanya Reddy, Sabina Yasmin, CA Ketki Dagha, Laura Visirin Jain, Sumitra Datta, Dharmendra M, Anshita Tiwari, Kokila Rohith, Narendra Bansal, Nidiya Menachery, Anita Arun
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net