For about the first two or three months, a newborn’s eyes tend to drift, wander and appear squint. This squint in newborn happens when the baby is tired or is trying to focus on something very close. However, by four months, babies develop a more-mature eye-hand coordination and depth perception. Thus, the off-kilter gaze, that’s the cause of botheration for many new-parents, is put an end to.
Doctors are of the opinion that newborn squint of eye is a perfectly normal and common newborn characteristic. Most of the times than not, eyes of a newborn are not crossed, but appear to be crossed. This evasive condition happens because some babies are born with extra folds of skin along the inner corners of their eyes, which gives them the cross-eyed appearance.
Besides, there is a phenomenon known as ‘pseudoesotropia’, in which the baby looks cross-eyed because of the optical illusion caused by their flat nasal bridge. Have a look at your nose and compare it with that of your baby – you’ll find yours to be bigger and more defined. You may ask, why is the nasal bridge of a baby flat? To make breastfeeding easier!
As always, we have SOS Moms helping you out with their share of experience.
At the outset, we have Parul Sharma Khatri, who says, “All kids are born that way. Usually, baby eye squint gets resolved within 2 months completely when the eye muscles develop.”
Next, we have Anisha Rodrigues E Pinto, proposing her take, “Hi, at first even I thought the same for my baby. Then, later I read many books and I came to know that it passes off with time. To be out of tension, just get her eyes checked at your next visit to the doctor. Well, you have to be worried only if even by 3 or 4 months your baby does not move her eyes at a moving object kept in front of her face. For a newborn, please relax no need to worry, it will pass off with time.”
Third, Chetana Suvarna Ganatra suggests, “It is very common in newborns to squint. I noticed that at times when my baby kept staring at something particular, her eyes would squint. I simply used to gently shut her eyes for a minute to shift attention. Hope this helps! However, I would also recommend you see a paediatric if it happens regularly.”
Rajnideep Sandhu has a unique way of dealing with squint of eye in newborn. She says, “It happens. You just have to keep one thing in mind that don’t let your baby see straight. Let the baby see more sideways and blink again and again or change the direction for another view. Good luck!”
So to say, don’t worry too much about your newborn’s squint eyes. Remember, most of the time this condition will straighten out by maximum six months of age without treatment. Here’s to your baby’s beautiful baby blues!
Lastly, we extend our thanks to the below mentioned SOS Moms as well for helping Mahek overcome her distress.
Shweta Srivastava, Vinu Gowtham Rao, Shipra Chaubey, Reema Monga Verma, Shilpi Saha, Paulami Shome Roy, Surbhi Sharma, Neetu Vishal Sharda, Robe Samarth Gaonkar, S Hashim Ali Khan, Rajni Kashvi Jaiswal, Asma Kapoor, Pooja Mishra, Grace Dcruz, Shraddha Upadhyay Desai, Naga Deepthi Vedagiri, Vidya Patel, Kamal Mahi, Madhusmita Mishra, Kiran Bobade Chatur, Ramya Shree, Vibha Sharrma, Vividha Aggarwal, Wenencia Savio Fernandes, Ritu Bhargava Sud
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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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
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It’s not uncommon for some kids to develop speech a little late than average. However, as a concerned parent, there is a lot that you can do to move them along the path of learning. Here are some toys that can encourage your little one to start babbling their first words.
Which little one doesn’t love imitating it’s parents talking on their cellphones. Get your child a little toy phone and they will begin to imitate you talking too. The Littles My First Mobile is a great option for tiny hands.
Toys that encourage pretend play can encourage the child to act out different roles, either by itself or with parents or other kids. This not only enhances social interaction but also the development of interactions that encourage speaking. A Sweetheart playhouse can provide hours of exciting pretend play options for your kids and their friends.
Baby Dolls are the best way to give kids a company of their own size and stature. There are so many ways that a kid can interact with a lie size baby doll – feed it, bathe it, dress it, etc. They may even start interacting and imitating parents as they become the care taker of the doll!
Singing with your baby is one of the most enjoyable ways to teach them language. So if you want your baby to learn new words in a fun way, this Disney Pre-School Sing Along CD may be just the thing for you.
It is also believed that the best of toys aren’t toys at all! Run along with your kid, sing with them, speak and cuddle and engage their curiosity. Speak to them in full sentences and soon they will start responding back.
Whether it is the head start you are looking to give your kid or working on developmental delays, toys focusing on hand eye coordination and other motor skills can introduce a combined share or fun and learning.
Toys for developing hand eye coordination have been used from time immemorial. The best we remember are the tinker toys. However, today, we have lot many alternatives, including puzzles, video games and interactive jigsaws.
It is curiosity and the urge to be appreciated that makes kids piece together puzzles. They can be used in a fun way to help their motor skills too.
Construction toys, such as the ones made by Lego, have always been favorite educational gifts from parents. Even today, they are available in several forms.
Construction sets can contain spools, bricks, flags, end caps and everything else that can help the child come up with a single building or a whole empire with guards! Just make sure you buy toys appropriate for your child’s age to minimize the danger of choking on tiny blocks.
Pull Along Toys
Pull-along toys allow for building great hand eye coordination and have been a traditional pick for developing motor skills. A little pull along doggie could be your child’s very first companion, while little girls might prefer a Musical Princess Cozy Coupe.
If your child is old enough to operate the mouse, video games like the Toy Story 3 and Super Mario can be amazing tools to help their motor skills. They foster great hand eye coordination and the graphics ensure that they remain interested and try hard to make it to the last level.
Gaming has become more portable than ever. There are several game apps designed for kids of different ages that seek to improve their hand eye coordination. These are perhaps the easiest options and help to keep kids engaged beneficially.
Other than these there are several crib toys that can be operated on the floor, like this adorable Angry Birds punching bag. If your baby is just leaning to stand up, these toys will help them get their balance and eventually walk straight to these interesting and curious toys. The only thing you need to do is encourage learning and exploring. It is curiosity that makes a kid grow us well.
Hand eye coordination is essential for a child to be self dependent faster. You would definitely want them to learn to manage their potty functions, reach out to things, eat by themselves and other things. Research well and give a more educational edge to toys than just fun and excitement.
Being able to respond and interact with the five basic senses is an important part of a child’s development. As they grow up by observing their surrounding, they are better able to distinguish between good from bad smells, sights, sounds and other sensations.
It is curiosity that helps them interact and understand everything they come across. More importantly, they get to understand themselves better. Curiosity is learning and when buying gifts and toys for your kids, keep this in mind.
• Games and toys are the best way to encourage a kid take an interest in play and understand their surroundings. While kids are more inquisitive about their own belongings – toys, books and other objects – this is also the best way to foster curiosity. Bring home toys that move, make sound, spray water and interact. They will love it and try to understand and imitate.
• Exploring the natural surroundings is a good way to encourage curiosity. Gift your kids toys that have to be used outdoors such as tricycles, trains, remote controlled helicopters and similar things that will make them get out there.
• Building blocks and the urge to create things also helps the development of curiosity. Toys should encourage your little one’s mind to ask questions and understand how things happen. Picture books might be a good option in this category.
New experiences and experiments are at the heart of every kid’s imagination. These are the growing years when they should be allowed to quench their sense of curiosity to the fullest. This is when they ask questions and get to know more about the world.
It is advisable for parents to spend sufficient time with kids such that they have a trustworthy companion they can ask questions and get reliable answers from. Provide them with toys of different colors, different shapes and interesting textures. You might also start introducing them to different smells, flavors and touch sensations.
Toys that stimulate curiosity can include anything like books, building blocks, word search games, sports kits, plane maps, globes, finger painting sets, playdoh, painting supplies. All science inventions start from solving the simple mysteries of real life. It makes children better receptors and improves their mental and physical growth.
You should never do anything to suppress the curiosity of a child. It the garden seems like a dangerous place, accompany them, but never tell them not to go there. Watch them grow knowledgeable and it will change their world and yours too!
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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