Category Archives: Toddlers

My Son’s Head Banging Has Become a Nightmare!

Sos-22You’ve tucked your child into bed, after a long day juggling work, family and the infinite pressures of parenthood. You kiss your son goodnight, turn off the light and head off to snuggle into the comfort of your own bed. And suddenly, you hear it. The steady “thump, thump, thump” coming from your son’s room!

What would you do if your son or daughter started banging their head repeatedly? A worried mom came to us with this very query. Her son bangs his head on the floor, on surfaces, on walls and she’s quite at her wits end! Scolding him or banning him from doing so has never worked, and she asks if anyone has a solution for her!

Mariyam Sufi J A says, “Even my baby does this..actually loves doing this! He bangs his head to the walls, chairs, sofa, bed, mattress…to just anything! It’s quite a common occurance in children and you should not worry about it. He will grow out of it soon!”

Almost 20% of babies go through the head banging phase, banging their heads on surfaces on purpose. When your precious baby suddenly bangs his head on the wall, it will surely look scary and disturbing! But it’s usually nothing to worry about as in most cases, babies under 3 years cannot even generate enough force to injure themselves.

Head banging is just a normal part of a baby or toddler’s behavior. Sometimes when babies feel angry and frustrated, they don’t know how to deal with these emotions and use head banging to relieve stress. Some doctors even group head banging into the same category as thumb-sucking – a self soothing technique to calm themselves down.

However, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on how often your child bangs his head and how intensely he does it, and report this to your doctor. Most pediatricians advise parents not to interfere when your child’s banging his head. Kids don’t intentionally hurt themselves and should stop if it becomes painful. Most children under 3 can’t generate enough force to seriously injure themselves anyway.

While head-banging can be a symptom of developmental issues, it’s usually only a problem if it continues beyond age 4 and occurs along with other troubling behaviors, such as repetitive motions (like hand-flapping and rocking), developmental delays, and a lack of social interaction with parents and peers. If your child is otherwise healthy and happy, there’s probably no reason to be concerned.

We hope our Mommy advice has helped this Worried Mom out. We hope her son grows out of his habit soon!

 

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Thank you Mariyam Sufi J A, for coming to the worried mom’s rescue!

When Teenage Daughters Become Rebellious

Dealing with Little Rebels!

Dealing with Little Rebels!

Back-talk, eye-rolling, disrespectful huffs and puffs – if you are Mommy to a teenager, then these are probably very familiar experiences for you! It seems like almost over night, the preteen that thought you were Super Mom turns into a stranger who hates doing what their told and never seem to listen to you at all!

Disrespect can be very frustrating – and it leaves all moms wondering if they were ever THAT bad when they were kids! If you ask your mom, you probably were! There are many reasons why girls can become rebellious in their teens. Hormonal changes can play havoc on their emotions, they might suddenly feel the need to establish their independent identity – one that their mom can’t dictate, they could be imitating badly behaved peers, or they may simply be seeking attention!

Mom Ketaki came to us with a query about how her loving daughter has turned into a rebellious teen who answers every question with a resounding “NO!” Ketaki has started losing her patience and shouting at her daughter, which in turn makes her feel guilty and wish things were okay between her and her princess again!

Shweta Bhardwaj is of the opinion that her daughter is going through a phase when her body and emotions are affected by hormonal changes. She says, “Your daughter must be in a confused state and considers herself as grown up. You should treat her like an adult but with softness in your tone. Be friendly and motivate her to share her feelings with you.”

Pratibha Gautam thinks that Ketaki should give her daughter the freedom she desires – if only for a few days! She says, “Ask why she is behaving this way. Talk to her like a friend, and respect and support her even when she acts out. Give her some freedom for a few days – this way she will know you trust her and stop behaving badly after a few days.”

Pushpita Baruah says, “Support her even if she is wrong but when you get a moment alone with your daughter, talk to her in a friendly way to make her understand where she is going wrong. This is the age when children never listen if you tell them to do something in front of others. They feel as though you are commanding them and they resist your requests. Have some quality time with your daughter, and connect with her again!”

Dias Anissia has, perhaps, the best idea of all! Love her more and more, no matter how badly she behaves! She says, “Hug her more often! Start the morning with a soft hug and call her by a sweet nickname that she loved as a child! Ask for her help. Say that you want to finish some work, but you don’t know how and ask her to help you out. Take her advice and that evening, when she returns home from school, tell her the idea she gave you worked – with hugs and kisses as toppings! When she feels you are a good listener, she will be very comfortable talking to you!”

Give your angry teen love and kisses!

Give your angry teen love and kisses!

We hope our Mommy advice has helped Ketaki find a solution. We hope she and her daughter find a way to peacefully and happily get through the terrifying teenage years!

We thank all the SOS moms who came to Ketaki’s rescue:

Shweta Bhardwaj, Pratibha Gautam, Puspita Baruah, Dias Anissia.

WHEN TODDLERS HIT

Toddlers could display aggressive behaviour for a number of reasons

Toddlers could display aggressive behaviour for a number of reasons

It comes as a shock to many parents when they first learn that their toddler has been hitting others. Most times, toddlers start displaying aggressive behaviour when they are exposed to a new environment (read: playschools). This is a common problem and parents need not stress over it.

Your toddler is still struggling with his linguistic skills and cannot properly communicate what he wishes to. This is also the stage when your little one is learning to be independent and begins making decisions of his own. All of this combines with the impulse to try and control the others make children of this age get physical. A little hitting and biting is completely normal for a toddler, but parents should not ignore this behaviour. Parents should let their toddler know that aggressive behaviour is unacceptable through different ways.

Apoorva came to us with the same problem, recently her 2.7 year old tot has developed the habit of hitting his peers at his school and she is looking out for help. Our SOS Moms gave their two cents to Apoorva on this issue.

Deepti Pathak advices Apoorva to simply stay calm, “Wait for another six months. Your problem is very common”, whereas Rekha Meena observes, “I just can’t understand why today kids develop the habit of hitting others. I’m a mother of 2 kids and both of them are very disciplined. When they misbehave initially, stop them immediately so they come to know what is wrong and right. Mother is the first teacher.”

Harsha Rajiv on the other hand has a logic we parents often overlook, “Usually when a kid gets hurt, elders in the house to console the kid say ‘Wait I’ll hit this thing that hurt you’ and thinking the kid will stop crying. This is really bad. Do divert the attention of kid saying something else, I tell my kid to stop crying so the magical fairy can come. I think problem is if the kid doesn’t like something he hits, even if it is a person. You have to convey a message to the kid with the support of teacher saying that hitting hurts. You have to keep trying to make him understand, don’t give up.”

Bhuvaneshwari Narayanan says, “It may be a reflection of what your kid sees around him. Home environment, wordy duels between parents, cartoons exhibiting hitting behaviours or may be he is hit by either of the parents or elders at home when he troubles you. We have to start talking to the kid who exhibits such rude behaviour. Even if you shout at him or punish him, it is not going to help. Don’t hit him back, instead take time to spend more time with him. Whenever he is cranky give him something to eat. Again don’t feed him with foods loaded with sugar. Give him homemade food. Take him to a park, play area and indulge in physical playing. This will calm him down. Especially swinging him in a swing for 20 minutes minimum daily would definitely calm his aggression.”

A little patience can change your child's behaviour.

A little patience can change your child’s behaviour.

Toddlers can be a handful to their parents. With all the energy and enthusiasm toddlers possess, it can be difficult to deal with them. But no parent should take their kid’s aggressive behaviour lightly, parents should explain to their children the consequences of hitting immediately. Sending quality time and a few measures can solve this problem once and for all.

We thank all the moms who came to Apoorva’s rescue:
Bhuvaneshwari Narayanan, Harsha Rajiv, Deepti Pathak, Rekha Meena, Robe Samarth Gaonkar and Rajnideep Sandhu.

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.

How Do I Stop my Toddler from Sucking Thumb

How to Stop Thumb Sucking

How to Stop Thumb Sucking

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.

Coping with Thumb Sucking in Children

Coping with thumb sucking in children

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.

How do I deal with my Clingy Toddler

How to Deal with a Clingy Toddler

How to Deal with a Clingy Toddler

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.”

Dealing with Clingy Behaviour in Kids

Dealing with Clingy Behaviour in Kids

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.

What to do when your Kid is a Late Talker

Dealing with Late Talking Children

Dealing with Late Talking Children

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.”

Overcoming Late Talking in Children

Overcoming Late Talking in Children

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!

Right amount of milk for the baby solves most of your problems: SOS Moms Reply

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Sabita Padubidri wrote to us about a problem she has with her 2 month old son, she says that he does not sleep well either in the morning or in the night because of which she’s having sleepless nights and days.

Also, her child has a habit of sucking his thumb. He does not take formula milk as she doesn’t produce enough milk.

We put this issue across our community of moms to weigh in on the same and have incorporated their responses here:

Breast Feeding is the best for your baby and Fenugreek (methi) ranks high among the ‘must haves’ for nursing mothers. This is due to the presence of diosgenin in the spice which increases milk production in lactating mothers. You can either have its seeds or leaves in your daily diet. You should also increase the intake of Cumin (jeera), pulses, almond, dry fruits, garlic, milk and milk products to enhance milk generation. Moreover, eating raw papaya curry & drinking rice water, which is prepared in traditional way (i.e cooking rice in additional amount of water), can also serve as a solution.
Bani Pavithra SriRam suggets that you can also consume lactation boosting pills/powder like ‘Lactare’, an ayurvedic medicine, to boost lactation.

A few alternate methods to feed your baby milk are:
Soak a small clean and soft cotton ball in milk and squeez 3-5 drops into his mouth slowly at a time and repeate this for 60 to 80ml of milk. As you said he doesn’t like bottles, this will help fill his stomach temporarily.

Try Playtex VentAire bottles for nursing your baby, these have many advantages like less amount of air gulped in by baby, angular design helps in proper placement during feeding, etc.

Thumb-sucking is normal in babies and most kids stop on their own at age 3 to 6 years. Neverthless, inadequate milk intake by a baby may also be a cause of thumb-sucking. So, you can expect it to decrease gradually once your baby starts getting sufficient milk.

One of the reasons for baby’s sleepless nights and days can be his empty stomach. In such a case, the above mentioned alternative feeding methods can prove conducive.

Also, you can give a nice warm coconut oil massage to your baby and follow it with warm water bath before putting him to sleep. Re-creating some soothing sensations, movements and snug environment of the womb will help him doze off faster.

We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:

Aditya Agarwal, Sandhya Pillai, Poonam Ganesh, Banu Pavithra SriRam, Revathi Phani Krishna, Kam La, Uma Sudharshan, Nainthara Singh, Soumya Harish, Garima S Mamgain, CA Chandana, Pooja Rathore, Lakshmi Karthick, Shilpa Malhotra Sarin

My Child Refuses To Go To Playschool: SOS Moms Reply

three little girls and female teacher in kindergartenSeema Shetty wrote to us about a concern she has for her child, her son refuses to go to play school and throws tantrums when he is in the playschool. She is worried and asked us to advice her on the same.

We asked our community of moms for their suggestions to help solve Seema’s problem and have included their advice below.

It is quite normal for some children to resist a new environment like playschool. Many of them suffer from separation anxiety when taken away from their parents. Usually this fear goes away in a few weeks, but you can help your child adjust to new environment by introducing him to it gradually.

Spend some time along with him in the playschool so that he realises it is not something to be afraid of. Allow him to become familiar with his new surroundings and the new people in his life before you leave. Once he starts to have interact with his new classmates and have fun with them, he will not mind your absence as much.

Ask the teacher to entice him with play, toys and fun activities so he knows that it is a fun place to be. Soon he will begin to look forward to his time in school and with his friends.

We are grateful to the parents below for their input.

Pooja Sandhu Choudhuri, Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh, Cristyl Murray, Insiya Makda, Insiya Makda

 

Finding The Right Books To Read With Your Child

child and mom readingReading 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

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

How To Treat Ear Infections In Small Children

kid with doctorEar 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.

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Daughter Has Head Lice: SOS Moms Reply

head-liceDebolina Choudhury wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 2.5 years old daughter. She says that her daughter has got lice in her hair from playschool and applying Mediker has been of no help. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.

We asked our community of moms for their suggestions and have incorporated it in the article below.

You can use Perlice cream – it is a very effective and popular lice remedy. Just read the manual and follow the instructions. It works wonders and you can say goodbye to lice.

Licil oil is another effective remedy available at most chemists. Just apply it, cover her hair with a scarf for an hour or so and wash with Mediker. For a more natural way to get rid of lice, try buttermilk and salt mixed in water. Gently rub her scalp with it and rinse thoroughly. Repeat after 7 to 8 days.

You can apply camphor in coconut oil. Leave it on for half an hour and use a fine comb to comb out the lice from the hair. Camphor stuns the lice and they lose their grip and can be combed out easily for up to half an hour. Follow it up with Mediker shampoo.

Neem oil is also a tried and tested home remedy for lice. Or you can make a neem paste and apply it in her hair for 10 to20 minutes. Grind tender neem leaves with a little sour curd. Apply on the scalp thoroughly and leave for few minutes. Rinse well with shampoo. Repeat this once a week for 4 washes.

You can also boil a few methi seeds in coconut oil on a low flame, store it and apply it on a regular basis as a preventative. It is also very good for hair growth. You can try a solution called Kesavardhini, found in the supermarket, in the oil that you use to apply daily.

There is a product called Jungle Formula, that helps elimination of lice as well as eggs. There is also a lotion called Scarab that does the same. You can try that also.

For a more drastic way to get rid of the lice altogether, you can just shave your daughter’s head.

Thanks to all the moms below for their wonderful suggestions.

Noorain Yayha, Lopamudra Nayak, Aradhana Mohapatra, Chandra Negi, Pooja Agrawal, Shruti Khanna Soin, Tejpreet Oberoi, Deepti Rahul Singh, Shreya Jiya Vijay, Hima Neeli, Inie Minie, Nishma Aggarwal, Sharmila Chakravarty, Sukoon Jethani Chopra, Toolika Bhatt Singhal, Priyanka Akash Khandelwal, Manisha Rahul Sonawane, Mohita Mathur, Shabana Shaikh, Kavita Mehta, Misha Bhattal, Subharthi Chakraborty, Geet Paryani, Elizabeth Chakma, Jeydevi Venkataraman, Swapna Sahoo.

Image source: naturalbugeliminator.wordpress.com

Playing With Your Kids – Games For Preschoolers

finger paintingIf you take a look at children in today’s generation, you will be surprised to see how smart they are. At the age of three to four, they can do things that might be attempted by a kid of say 7 to 8 years.

The IQ level of kids now is amazing. Since your child is getting smarter, it is also important for you to be upgraded. Kids always love when their parents play with them.

If your kid is a preschooler, here are some interesting games that you can try for your little champion. The games below are sure to help in the overall development of your child.

• Reading alphabets

Whether you are playing games with your kids online or offline, you can let your toddler learn alphabets and letters easily while playing games. If you go to a kids’ store, you can find colorful blocks or wooden trays of English alphabets that will make the learning process of the kid happy and interesting. Many fun online games to help them learn their alphabets are also available.

• Understanding colors

This is probably the easiest thing that the kid learns. You can take balls of different colors and spread them in the room. Now ask your kid to bring different colored balls to you. Just see how the little one runs in the room and comes to you with the colored ball. How proud would you feel when the kid selects the right colored ball!

• Identifying body parts

One of the most common questions that kids are asked during preschool interviews are to identify their body parts like eyes, ears, nose, and hands and so on. Arrange an interesting game at home and let your child learn about the important body parts. Online games are also available that helps the child in understanding his body parts.

• Knowledge on numbers

Teaching kids numbers can be real fun. Bring things that interest them like toys, chocolates and other stuff. Ask them the numbers. Numbers can be taught easily while playing. Also let them identify the numeric. So, next time they see 2 written, they know it is two.

• Songs and rhymes

Any child loves songs and rhymes. You can sing some toddler songs to them or recite rhymes. You will see how much the kid enjoys these games. Once you complete, ask your little one to repeat them. They will repeat the song or rhyme and feel immensely happy when you appreciate them for doing so. There are many videos and singalong CDs available online from where they can learn a lot of fun songs and rhymes.

• Creating art

Fun activities like finger painting, sketching with crayons and creating their own original works of art can be an amazing way to keep your little preschooler busy for hours. Just make safe all their art supplies are safe and that you supervise their efforts. Don’t forget to give them a corner of your home to showcase their artworks. That will make them so happy.

Try and make your kids play physical games as much as possible as it makes them healthy and also lets them experience their world in a real way. We hope these tips will keep you busy entertaining your preschooler for hours on end.

Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Playing With Your Kids – Games For Toddlers

toddler gamesChildren between the ages of 1-3 years are called toddlers. It is quite obvious that during this phase, the child becomes super active. It is also the age of growing, developing various kinds of communication skills and learning new things.

The activity levels of kids are very high at this time as they learn and explore their environment. Since the child can move freely at this age, it is very important to supervise them closely so that they do not get hurt or injured while playing.

Here are some excellent games for toddlers that you can enjoy with them:

• Colored blocks

This game can be enjoyed by the toddler and the parents. Arrange colored blocks of different sizes and shapes. See that the blocks are soft so that they don’t hurt the kid. Try and arrange the blocks in different ways, by making a tall structure or by creating a shape.

You can also make the child learn about colours, letters or numbers with this game. Your child will enjoy making tall towers with the blocks and demolishing them so that the process can be repeated.

• Peek a Boo

For this game, it is important that you clear the place properly so that the child has no chances of tripping over things and getting hurt. Hide yourself under the blanket and as your child to find you. Occasionally take out your head or your hand to attract the toddler’s attention.

See the delight on the little one’s face and their thrilled laughter when they spot you. Try the game with the little one under the towel or blanket. Act as if you cannot find them and then lift up the cover and act surprised to hear their sweet laughter filling the whole room.

• Playing ball

Balls are probably the most favorite toy with any kid, particularly boys. Take the kid to an open space and try playing with the ball by kicking the same.

Let the ball go to the child and see him kick the ball back again. When he is able to make contact with the ball, see the happiness on his face. He can probably play for hours with the ball.

• Catch me if you can

This is one of the most favorite games with toddlers and they can play the same for hours. It is preferable to take the child out in some open area for the game.

Run after the kid in slow motion as if you are trying to catch him. The child will run fast so that you cannot ‘catch’ him. See the fun on his face when you are not able to catch him. Make sure you do this in a safe area where there is no risk of injury to the child.

We hope these games will help you have hours of fun and laughter with your little toddler. Do share the games you play with them in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Jomphong / 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

Toy Safety: How To Choose Safe Toys For Your Kids

baby with toyKids 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.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Toddler Refuses To Drink From a Cup: SOS Moms Reply

child drinking2Srujana Naresh wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 1 year 9 months son. She says that she still bottle feeds him because he refuses to drink from a cup.

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

Backpack Safety: Helping Your Kids Manage Heavy Backpacks

kids backpackIf you notice school going kids nowadays, you’ll see that they carry heavy backpacks on the shoulders.

Some of the kids literally struggle to walk with the heavy backpack and it can be a source of injuries to the child’s back, spine or neck.

Kids usually stuff their bags with all their books, notebooks and stationery items, making the bag very heavy.

Research all over the world has shown that many children carry backpacks, the weight of which is almost 10-15% of the body weight of the kid.

This is actually an alarming weight that is being carried by your child. Here are some of the problems that are caused by heavy backpacks, with solutions to the same:

• Many children take the backpacks on a single shoulder as that makes them look smart. However, this can cause grave injuries as the whole weight comes to a single side of the body.

There are high chances of shoulder and neck straining or there can be injuries to the lower back and spine while trying to adjust the load on single shoulder.

Parents should suggest their children carry the backpack on both shoulders to distribute the load evenly.

• Backpacks which have narrow and tight straps should be shunned completely. When the bag becomes too heavy, the narrow strap tends to dig into the skin of the shoulder obstructing blood flow and also puts pressure on the nerves.

It might lead to various kinds of neurological problems in the arm and shoulder area. Buy backpacks that have wide and soft straps so that the straps can take the pressure and shoulders remain relieved.

• Most the ordinary backpacks lack back support causing immense pain in the back area. While purchasing backpacks ensure that there is firm back support, such as padded protection to the back. That way your kid’s back remains protected from sharp objects that are inside the bag.

• Children tend to stuff all their belongings in a single compartment of the bag. The weight shifts to a single point and becomes too heavy.

It is highly recommended for parents to purchase back packs that have many compartments and ask the child to arrange things in different partitions. This will distribute the load of the bag uniformly.

• You can often see that children fall backwards if they cannot manage their backpack. This happens because the whole weight is towards the back side and losing balance will let the kid fall towards the back.

A waist belt in the backpack can be of help. It will help in distributing the weight effectively over the rest of the body.

For quality backpacks, you can choose from a large selection on Firstcry.com.

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