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Q. My child was very friendly, but nowadays he seems to be scared of strangers ?
A. About the age of 9 months, your toddler who used to be a sweet sociable baby suddenly becomes a nervous clinging baby. There is no reason for despair, as this reaction to strangers (or even those who aren't strangers) is a normal part of your baby's growth and development and it will pass. The clinging of your baby indicates that she is becoming more attached to you and feels insecure when another person comes closer.

It is best to reassure the baby and allow her the time she needs to feel comfortable, even if this means asking someone to wait a little bit before holding her. This phenomenon is "Stranger Anxiety" is very common among toddlers.

Q. Of late, my child has started holding on to his teddy bear, before sleeping ?

A. One way that a baby copes with anxiety is to develop an attachment to a security object. Suddenly you notice that your baby has become very attached to a certain toy, stuffed animal blanket. These special objects seem to soothe, calm, and comfort your baby especially during the sleeping time. This attachment to security objects are very common and should be considered normal and even healthy. Children outgrow their attachment between the ages of 3-6 years.

Q.  What is the right age gap to have another baby ?
A.  There is no 'right time' to have another baby. There is no wrong time either. It's just the way you percieve  it.

Having a baby further apart may give you some rest between the two, whereas having children closely spaced can present a host of challenges in the short run, but an efficient use of time in the long run.

Children with wider age groups, won't fight so much whereas children with narrower age gap would accompany each other and be very good friends.

It was believed that a gap of 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 is ideal  since it is long enough for one child to be more manageable and less demanding as compared to a one year old.

However, with a wider age gap sibling rivalry seeps up further while with a narrow age gap the children grow together.

However, it is advised that less than 18 months between pregnancies is stressful to the mother's body and may rob the older child of the chance of being a baby of the family.

Contemplate and discuss with your spouse, make a list of the pros & cons and come to a decision that suits the most.