Category Archives: Understanding Your Kid

An Awesome Mom’s Easy Manual

A woman’s journey of motherhood begins the moment she finds out she is pregnant! From then, till she delivers her baby, there are several stages that a woman has to cross-over. Each stage presents before her the scope to become an awesome mom. Some women take this rather too seriously and end up getting stressed out.

And then there are other mothers and expecting moms who say goodbye to stress and adopt smart ways of becoming amazing at their role. Here are some of the smart tips that you too must follow!

Here are some of the smart tips that you too must follow!

Smart tips that are easy to follow

1. Give your baby priority – A great mom is the one who makes her child her universe! The little one’s early days are the time for tender love and care that only a mother can give to her child. And a part of it is by getting the right baby products right from diapers to baby clothing. One of the smart ways of doing this is online shopping. Moms and expecting moms can take the benefit of coupons that are available online today and choose from the various branded baby products available.

2. Apt nutrition for your child and yourself – This is a big one! Food is both important for both the mother and her child. Therefore, both during pregnancy and post-pregnancy, eating the right foods with high nutritional value is crucial. You should consult a gynaecologist and a paediatrician to get the best food-chart for yourself and your little one respectively. Also, make sure you consume natural foods like smoothies, shakes, herbs, milk, almonds and other nuts to stay healthy both pre and post child delivery.

3. Keep the surrounding clean and healthy – As a super mom, the least you can do is provide your child with a neat and clean ambience so that the well-being of your little one is ensured. Therefore, make sure that your house gets cleaned at regular intervals. That aside, adopt cleanliness practices like using a sanitizer that has minimal chemicals to keep your hand clean. Ensure that house dusting is done daily and meticulously so that there are no impurities that can enter the child body. The little ones are vulnerable during this stage and you need to be extra careful.

4. Think good and positive thoughts – Research shows that a child’s first traits always come from the mother. Hence, it is of great importance to maintain a positive and a healthy outlook towards life! Give your child the best thoughts by reading positive things and participating in only constructive discussions. It is best during this time to stay away from stress and fear-based thoughts that usually get generated from news and other drama-oriented televised shows.

5. Plan ahead of time – It is always better to plan a bit ahead of time when you’re expecting or are a new mother. Put your imagination into action and arrange the little one’s space in the house with utmost sincerity. So, get all enthused about decorating the room, getting the correct decorative items for your baby, and also choose the perfect colour for the room. Your child, tiny though she is, will experience the joy of knowing that a special space had been created for her even before her birth.

Motherhood is a rewarding albeit challenging journey. However, these simple ways are great starting points to help you out. One thumb rule that you must remember is this – you’re a super mom and are doing a great job already!

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TOO MUCH LIFTING SPOILING YOUR BABY?

Does Too Much Lifting Spoil the Baby?

Does Too Much Lifting Spoil the Baby?

How our heart breaks every single time the baby cries. New parents worry excessively and fuss over their crying baby a lot, but this is all only natural when you are suddenly handed someone so tiny and helpless!

A newborn does not cry to manipulate a parent, crying is merely the little one’s way to communicate discomfort or pain to the parent by crying. It is every mother’s first instinct to pick her crying child, to comfort her baby and make her feel loved and taken care of. Lifting the baby and holding him is an act many mothers consider a gift. While lifting is a mother’s response to her baby’s wails, some people also believe it can spoil the baby.

However, no amount of attention by the mother could possible spoil a newborn. It is a slightly different case with older babies (six months and above) who cry to be sat up or to get to a colourful object. Remember, your baby was jiggled, held tight and swayed while in the uterus; no amount of cuddling or holding can equate the warmth and security of a mother’s womb.

New mom Mayuree’s hubby isn’t too supportive of her lifting their baby every time the little one cries. He feels that Mayuree is spoiling the baby with too much attention. Mayuree came to us looking for a solution, let’s take a look at what our SOS moms have to say to her regarding this.

Shweta Bhardwaj was the first to come to Mayuree’s rescue, she says, “Not at all. He is habituated to having you around him as he was with you for 9 months and feels secure around you. With time he’ll learn to handle things on his own. But right now the body warmth of the mother is necessary for his growth. He doesn’t have words to express his needs.

Namrata Lad Sharma agrees, “I think your baby needs to be attended to as much as you can. Because having the baby know that you’re always going to be there for him/her, builds the baby’s confidence in your love for him so he doesn’t grow to feel neglected and not cared for. Especially if you’re dealing with something like colic. He needs to be soothed, and crying is his way of telling you what’s up since he can’t use words yet. And I do the same thing width my little one.

Dias Annisia reiterates, “The baby gets a habit of being carried around. But, so what? I used to waste no time in picking up my baby whenever she needed me, day or night! It’s so beautiful and loving to hold a baby in your arms. My baby/my daughter is 9yrs old today and she hasn’t developed any negative habits developed because of the carrying. Please do pick up your baby in your arms!

Swati Shukla and and Krishnaveni Sharath also echo their thoughts on how it is good for the baby to be touched and held.

Finally, Arpita Routry adds a quirky reply, “ Husbands can never understand a mom’s heart!” It is indeed true sometimes Arpita.

A Mom Can Never Spoil Her Baby by Lifting!

A Mom Can Never Spoil Her Baby by Lifting!

We recommend keeping the baby swaddled and playing soothing music to comfort the newborn. In fact newborns who are held and comforted grow up to be more loving individuals who trust their parents and families.

We thanks all the SOS moms who came in Mayuree’s aid:

Arpita Routry, Swati Shukla Mishra, Krishnaveni Sharath, Dias Annisia, NAmrtha Lad Sharma and Shweta Bhardwaj.

CONSTIPATION IN TODDLERS

Dealing With Constipation In Toddlers

Dealing With Constipation In Toddlers

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:

A Healthy Diet Rich in Fibre Keeps Constipation at Bay

A Healthy Diet Rich in Fibre Keeps Constipation at Bay

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.

My Toddler Refuses To Sleep At Night: SOS Moms Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

We thank the mothers below for their useful suggestions:

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

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Understanding Your Baby – How Play Helps Your Baby Learn And Grow

mom and baby 4When your baby is a little older, s/he may get involved in various kinds of play and games.

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.

Image courtesy of Jomphong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Child Is Agressive and Violent: SOS Moms Reply

agressive childNitu 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

Image courtesy of Photokanok / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Baby Is Afraid Of Strangers: SOS Moms Reply

baby cryingRashmi 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.

 

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Thanks to the parents below for their contributions.

Jyothi Dorai, Lavanya Reddy, Madhulika Verma, Anwesha Sukul, Pushpa Panwar, Narendra Bansal

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Develop Your Child’s Self-Esteem

confident childSelf-esteem is how people feel about themselves. A healthy self-esteem is like a child’s shield against the many challenges of the world.

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.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Prepare Your First Child for a New Baby

new siblingThe birth of a new infant can bring many changes to a family.

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.

Image courtesy of hin255 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Moving Home: Help Your Child Cope With The Change

kid in a boxOne of the most important skills you can help your child develop is the ability to deal with change.

There are changes every day in a child’s life, such as adjusting to new teachers and friends, birth of a sibling, change of home or a divorce in the family.

On the other hand, few children have the excitement of moving to a new home and having a new neighborhood to explore.

When you are moving to a new home, there are lots of things you can do to help your child develop the skills to handle the change just by understanding their needs and offering encouragement.

Preparing Your Child

Prepare your child about the changes that are going to take place. Talk about what will happen and what the change will mean for them. For example, while moving to a new home, talk about how much fun it will be and what they should expect.

Involving Your Child

It is important to make this new change as smooth and easy as possible for your child. Get your child involved in whatever decisions you take about the change. For example, let your child choose colors for their new bedroom and let them arrange their things when you move in.

Be creative and encourage your child to decorate the room with pleasing and fun things. Generally, children have no control over the major changes in their lives, but by involving them in such decisions, you help them feel more in control.

Gradually Facing Fears

To a young child, the world is filled with things that are difficult to understand. They generally rely on familiar things to make sense of everything else. After a move they may become fearful and clingy and regress into certain childhood behaviours.

Let them carry around objects which they are attached to. Allow them to stick to daily rituals like regular mealtimes, reading stories before bed and watching TV programs. This will help calm your child and help them adjust to the change.

You must, however, be prepared as many kids don’t adapt quickly and there might be tears and tantrums when forced to accept a new environment. All children adjust to changes at different rate, so you need to be patient, and help them build valuable life skills along the way.

Finally, always remember, your child will be positive only if you are confident about an upcoming change. Do share your stories of helping your child adjust to major life changes, in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Daughter Won’t Stop Sucking Her Thumb: SOS Moms Reply

baby sucking thumbYogitha Dhanashekhar wrote to us and told us about her 1 year old daughter, who frequently puts her thumb in her mouth which leads to her thumb getting swollen.

She says that despite trying everything she is unable to stop her daughter from doing so. She is concerned for her daughter’s wellbeing and has asked for advice.

We put this query to our community of experienced moms and this is the advice they gave us.

Try rubbing some Pudin Hara on her thumb. The strong taste could make her stop sucking. You can also apply neem paste on the thumb as the bitter taste will prevent her from sucking it.

Castor oil or mustard seed paste also works for it’s bad taste. Apply coconut oil for the swollen thumb. You could also try homeopathy as there are medicines to stop this habit.

Try to get your child into the habit of using a soother or teether toys instead of her thumb as thumb-sucking can also become more embarrassing for her as she grows. Distract your child with a toy or put something into her hand when she does this. Or tie a cloth around her hand to discourage her.

You could put some fear of the consequences of thumb sucking into your little one’s mind. For instance, stories of thumbs getting cut off because of sucking might scare them into stopping altogether. But make sure you tell them the truth later.

Make sure she is not feeling insecure as thumb-sucking could be a sign that she is feeling neglected. Give her the attention she needs at this age. It is also a comforting habit at the time of teething. Or she may be hungry or need soothing.

All in all, thumb sucking is not really a big concern and goes away as the child grows up. Preventing it could cause her to repress her feelings, which is not healthy.

Thanks to all these super-helpful parents:

Pooja Sharma, Ankita Chandra, Amardeep Kaur Kaur, Ankita Chandra, Ankita Chandra, Swati Mohapatra, Narinder Kaur Hanspal, Yogitha Sundar, Vijaya Reddy, MaKaa Kabilan, Swati Mohapatra, Garima Grover, Yogitha Sundar, Arina Singh, PraTika NarVekar, Subhrajyoti Chakrabarti, Safina Ahmed, Appasamy Pradeep, Saman Farooqui, Ramzia Mohiuddin, Priya Tamang, Solomon Palani, Ramzia Mohiuddin, Nitin Motdhare, Aaparna Das Mohanty, Manvi Suri, Niharika Bedi Bilochi, Supreetkaur Arya, Kirti Jethava, Kavitha Kavi, Harkirat Singh Bedi, Ankita Chaubey, Sakina A Burhani, Sakina A Burhani, JJ Sonia Kathet.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is Your Child A Biter? How To Get Them To Stop

child biterDo you have a biter on your hands? This is among the most embarrassing of kid behaviors for many parents.

We learn that infants often bite to relieve their teething or gum soreness, while pre-schooling kids generally bite because they haven’t developed good coping skills to deal with stress appropriately and to express their needs.

Whatever the reason is, we know that this behavior is inappropriate and very upsetting (especially for the person getting bitten).

As a parent, your job is to get rid of this annoying behavior before it becomes a habit. Here are few steps which you can use to get your child to stop biting others.

Be Calm But Firm

Speak to your child with a firm, “no biting” stance. Make sure you keep it easy and simple for your child to understand. Make it clear that biting is wrong, but also avoid lengthy explanations until your child is old enough to understand them. Lastly, stay as calm as possible to help resolve the situation more quickly.

Teach Appropriate Expressions

Teach your child to express themselves to you in more appropriate ways. When things calm down, help your child find a less painful way to express their feelings to you.

This generally works well with children who are biting to show affection to their parents. So, if your child wants to express love to you, teach them to hug instead, and not bite when they feel such strong emotions.

Distraction Works

If your child has started biting, distract them with a toy or a book. For example, ask them to look out of the window or take them for a short walk outside. This would help reduce tension and shift the child’s attention from biting to other activities.

Substitute People with Objects

Give your child a substitute. When you sense your child is about to bite, give them a teether or toy to draw their attention away from the biting.

As kids grow older, they tend to learn how to express themselves in words and learn to control impulsive behaviour. If you are consistent with your control, chances are even the most determined biter would stop biting.

Just in case, your child does not stop biting, don’t rush to a therapist who might recommend different treatments. Sometimes, it just takes time, support and appropriate training from friends and family. Only, after a certain age should you consider taking medical help.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Learning Disorders: How To Spot Them

hearing disorderLearning disorders in children are not a problem with motivation or intelligence, or kids being lazy or dumb. In fact, most of these kids are as smart as their peers. However, it’s just that their brains work in a very different manner from the rest.

Often children being taught a second language show symptoms of a learning disorder as they get confused between the language of communication.

Thus, before any remedial steps are really taken, an assessment should be made to see whether the child is fluent in a particular language and a second language learner.

Here are some common symptoms that can help you figure out if your child has any kind of learning disorder.

Impulsiveness In The Classroom

In some cases, children might get impulsive at situations and tend to shout repetitively. For example, when asked to raise hands before speaking, they tend to get impulsive and shout rather than following discipline.

Additional symptoms include throwing books off tables or other stationary when they don’t want to complete a particular task. Such behavior is more indicative of a learning disorder rather than behavioral problems.

Difficulty Learning Numbers

Reading, doing math and writing letters might be tough for your child at first. But when those early troubles don’t fade away after a certain age and repetitive trying, it may be possible that your child has a learning disorder.

Some kids may have particularly language disorders, meaning they have trouble understanding language and understanding what they read.

Auditory Processing Disorder

If your child has a problem with distinguishing sounds from background noise and following spoken directions, or may find it difficult to remember things they have heard or have a problem in telling the difference between similar-sounding words, it may be a symptom of an auditory processing disorder.

Disruptiveness

As children begin doing print based work in kindergarten and have trouble focusing or paying attention to what is being taught to them, they tend to get distracted and avoid tasks.

Moreover, some also become aggressive and tend to behave as if they just don’t want to follow instructions. Distraction is a major symptom of a learning disorder.

Visual Disorders

If your child has trouble interpreting visual information, he or she will not be able to read or tell the difference between two things that look similar. These children usually have trouble with hand-eye co-ordination, which explains their visual processing disorder.

In simple words, children with learning disorders can see, hear and understand things in a different way as compared to their peers. These disorders are very difficult to diagnose because there is no definitive list of symptoms that fits every child. To add to the difficulty, many children also try to hide these problems, making it very difficult to diagnose.

However, if you sense a learning disorder in your child, it is important to take proactive measures about your child’s learning difficulties. The quicker you are able to diagnose, the sooner you would be able to deal with the child’s problems.

 Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What Are The Main Reasons Kids Can’t Sleep?

sleepy childSleep problems are one of the most common issues parents face with kids. Some children have chronic sleep problems and many are actually going through their days sleep deprived. If you too are facing such issues with your child’s sleeping patterns, read on for some information to alter the way your kid sleeps at night.

Bedtime Curtain Calls

Kids generally make bedtime curtain calls for many reasons. You can’t force them to stay in bed. However, it is a good idea to talk to them over these visits to your room.

Most bedtime curtain calls generally occur because kids are afraid of the dark. You can make them less frequent by helping your child deal with their fears or putting a night light in their room.

Food Habits

Make sure not to give solids to your kids before the age of 6 months. In fact, if you are giving your baby solids before they turn 6 months, their system will not be able to digest it completely, making their sleep pattern worsen due to colic and tummy ache.

Moreover, for babies that eat solids, it is a good idea to keep a gap before the child’s meal and sleeping time as a baby with indigestion is not likely to sleep throughout the night due to tummy discomfort.

Nightmares

Nightmares are common among kids between the ages of five to ten. At this age, children start getting a wider sense of the world and little worries can play on their little minds.

Watching unsuitable movies and serials can lead to scary dreams or nightmares which would definitely disturb their sleep. Avoid watching scary movies, even those made for kids, before bedtime. Make sure you discuss such fears with them and try to figure out what really is troubling them.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is another major problem for kids under three years of age which forces them to cry at night. By 9 months or so, they learn that their parents exist even if they can’t see them.

Nevertheless, kids start building their inner confidence only after the age of three. Waking up in the night mostly decreases quickly after this period.

Bedtime Routines

Many kids end up waking up in the night because they don’t have a fixed bedtime routine. Ensure, you set up a bedtime routine and stick to it every single day. This would help your child’s body and mind get ready for bed and increase the chances of them sleeping through the night.

Lastly, make sure that you tuck your child in. Spend some quality time and communicate with your child when you are putting him or her to sleep. Try reading a story or singing a lullaby and allow them to tell you about what’s going on in their minds so as to relax them. Following the above tips should surely change the way your child sleeps at night.

So how have you dealt with your child’s sleep problems? Do share with us in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Toddler Tantrums: What’s The Best Way To Handle Them?

tantrumAlthough tantrums are part of daily life with most toddlers, they are much less frequent with some. However, you can definitely prevent many meltdowns by organizing your toddler’s life so that they end up throwing fewer tantrums.

Why Toddlers Have Meltdowns

Parents need to understand that, as your little baby grows and explores their world, they begin to realise that more and more things are within their control. They are also naturally exploring their limits and those of their caregivers. There is a reason why the Terrible Twos deserve that name.

Tantrums or meltdowns are a natural process of your toddler gaining more independence and control over their functions and actions. Parents should not take these meltdowns personally, but instead avoid creating situations that can exacerbate them, such as when your child is tired, hungry or just cranky.

It isn’t easy to deal with tantrums, but there are few tricks which could help you deal with such scenarios. The key is to get inside their little heads and outfox them before you get to the stage of failing to win with grown-up logic.

Don’t Lose Your Cool

A tantrum is definitely not a pretty sight. Kicking, screaming, pounding the floor, throwing and hitting things are quite common among toddlers. If you find yourself getting frustrated, then just calmly leave the room for a few minutes and return to your child after they have stopped crying. By keeping your cool, you will help your child to calm down too.

Bring Out The Toys

One of the many reasons why kids don’t always want to do what you ask them to do is because they are engrossed in what they are already doing. For example, a child who doesn’t have any underlying bath time issues might ignore you if you ask them to take a bath; yet would come along willingly when you ask them which toys they would like to take along. The same works for going from bath to bed or for any other matter.

Don’t Try Reasoning

Trying to approach a child’s anger logically will not work. Toddlers are not logical creatures and when they are in the middle of their tantrum, talking is not going to work. Thus, the best possible thing to do would be to divert their attention from what it is that is upsetting them. For example, try giving them a hug or a toy to distract them. As toddlers generally have very short attention spans, it just might work.

Cut Down On Junk Food

Certain foods can make your little angels turn into complete rascals. For example, sweets generally trigger blood sugar fluctuations which can cause mood swings and caffeine in drinks makes them hyper. Avoid sugary foods and never give your child energy drinks, tea or coffee.

If your child’s tantrums seem to be occurring on a frequent basis or if they are hurting themselves or other people, then seek help from an expert. The expert would be able to discuss your child’s behavior with you at routine checkups, help figure out reasons for such behavior and ways to deal with it.

Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Attachment Parenting – What Is It? How Does It Help?

father cuddling daughterAttachment Parenting refers to a style of upbringing that would eventually bring out the best in the baby. It is something that comes to parents instinctively and more importantly comes naturally to parents.

Attachment Parenting can take several forms and really depends upon the bond between parents and the baby. Parents learn to realize the baby’s demands from behavioral cues.

Whenever a cue is responded to, the baby becomes more adapted to the behavior. Over time, babies become better cue givers and parents, better cue readers.

Key components

Attachment parenting is more “child centered” than “parent centered”. Parents in this case need to read cues and be responsive to the demands of the baby. This will basically involve:

• Co-sleeping: This could either be in the same room (safety precautions in place) or in the same bed. The bedtime is regulated as per the baby’s demands and not the parent’s schedules.

• On-demand feeding: The baby is allowed to set his own feeding schedule (bottle fed / breast fed). This is also accompanied by self-weaning.

• Cry responsiveness: Parents need to get the cue early on and reach to a child’s distress before it gets uncontrollable. Not letting the child “cry it out” will foster a permanent behavioral response.

• Touching and holding: Regardless of the child being cradled or cuddled, AP suggests keeping the child physically near. This may even involve wearing a backpack arrangement.

How does it help?

A secure attachment with parents ensures the baby’s trust and they are better able to communicate their feelings. A loving empathetic relationship can be the core of a confident childhood. This is your child’s foundation to interacting in the social community later in life.

According to a recent study, babies who get constant cuddling tend to sleep better, manage stress more easily and exhibit better autonomic functions, such as heart rate. Oxytocin – the feel-good, bonding hormone – increases in both mothers and babies during cuddle sessions, and it is likely to rise similarly in breast milk too, giving babies an additional boost every time they nurse. (Source)

Attachment Parenting helps in:

  • Enhancing the sense of well-being
  • Building self-confidence
  • Balanced emotions
  • Fulfilling intimate relationships
  • Better rebound from loss and disappointment later in life
  • Support-seeking and sharing personality

Parenting is not just about an emotional bond but a disciplined behavioral model that is set with some values. With so much being said about the different types of parenting and the roles that each parent play in a baby’s upbringing, parents are often confused about the best path to take.

However, attachment parenting is something that comes naturally and cannot be forced. The nurturing connection forms a secure relationship that continues for a lifetime. The proponents of attachment parenting believe it is the best way to raise independent, empathetic and secure children.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

My 2 Year Old Is Very Stubborn: SOS Moms Reply

crying toddlerShvetta Goyal Batta is worried about her 2 year old son who is very stubborn. The little one is not adapting to school even after 8 months and throws a tantrum every morning by refusing to bathe.

We asked our community of mothers for advice and these are the suggestions they came up with.

Adapting to Playschool

Sending a child to school at 1.5 years of age may not be a good idea. The child may not be equipped to handle school at this tender age. It’s quite normal for a child to cry at this age due to separation anxiety and the stress of meeting strangers at school.

However, you can make the transition easier by narrating fascinating stories about school, teachers and activities, to help your child look forward to going to playschool. You could also try first sending your child to summer camp where they have fun activities, so they get used to the idea of going to school.

Take the child to school half an hour early to show them how all their friends come to school without crying. Stay with the child until they are calm. You can try giving some small gifts to the teacher that they can then hand to the child as they come in. This will help them look forward to going to school.

Ask the teachers to help them adapt by allowing them to play only as it is not time to study at this age. Share your child’s likes and dislikes with the teachers as there is no issue with letting them indulge the child at this age.

Most kids love to be with other kids and they should settle down and start enjoying school in a month or so. You could ask your baby if there is some aspect of the classroom that is bothering them. It may be cold, or they may not like the teacher, or perhaps they are being bullied by other kids.

Taking a Bath

Proper time management is essential to get kids into a routine. Early to bed, early to rise is a good practice to follow. Teach them that brushing and bathing are good habits. YouTube has some nice videos for kids showing why cleanliness is important. You can find ones featuring characters like the Teletubbies that your child loves.

Try getting the child some fun bath toys to play with in the tub while bathing. Let them have fun and only start cleaning them with soap when they are enjoying the water. You could wait till afternoon to give them a bath. Not everyone likes taking a bath in the morning, especially in winter.

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Thanks to these amazing moms for their input:

Geetanjali Kirti, Seema Kukreja, Grishma Jeegar Doshi, Neelam Das, Dr.Kirti Bansal, Neelam Das, Prerna Mahajan, Papiya Dawn, Panchami Praveen Shamain, Radha Vishwanath, Lavanya Reddy, Deepti Chaturvedi Roy, Pooja Sharma, Shweta Koul, Jayshree Banerjee, Aditi Dahiya Khera, Sindu Anand, Papiya Dawn, Savita Chaudhary, Chitrashree Harsha.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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