A. Most parents
say that bedtime is a battle in their house. Their child
does not want to sleep and drives them crazy. Most children
are happiest on the go and come to a screeching point
at bedtime. To get your child into a more sleep accepting
frame of mind, set up a regular bedtime routine, which
will help him to unwind.
The following tips will help
in making your child going to bed, a pleasant experience
a bedtime routine : Stick to a bed time routine as
closely as you can and avoid straying away from it,
as far as possible. The routine should be aimed at
creating a relaxed and calm atmosphere. The predictability
of a routine is very comforting to the child and helps
in facilitating the transition. The routine may include
any of the following things :
Cleaning up : a warm
water bath or a sponge is a perfect way of beginning
a bed time ritual.
Changing : make your
child wear something that is comfortable, cozy
and not irritable to the skin. Changing him into
pajamas becomes a clear symbol of nighttime sleeping.
Brushing the teeth
: it is very essential to brush his teeth before
sleeping at night
Reading : before
sleeping at bedtime can be a very healthy routine.
Recaping : spend
a little time talking to your child about his
day, all his experiences and share a bit of your
Saying good night
: this finale helps to separate the child and
gets him mentally prepared for bedtime.
TV viewing : Children with a TV in their room have
the toughest time going to sleep. Any sort of TV watching
seems to energize them, rather then helping them to
relax. Limit your child's TV time, especially as bedtime
solving : Sometimes a child may be unable to sleep
as he may be worried about the happenings of the day
or he may be afraid. Offer him a night lamp if he
is afraid of the dark or play him soothing music at
a low volume.
not use your child's room as a punishment place :
This should be avoided as he will have a difficult
time seeing bed time as pleasant.
calm, but firm : Explain to your child that sleep
is necessary for healthy growth. Speak calmly and
quietly and insist that when the time is up, he must
go to sleep.
I stop my child from hitting other children and grabbing
their toys ?
often express their frustrations as well as demonstrate
their lack of social skills, by hitting or other forms
of aggressive behaviour. Sometimes they are unable to
manipulate their environment or ascertain their needs,
due to which they display aggressive behaviour. Children
do not learn to tame their aggressive instincts naturally,
they have to be taught.
can help your child in the following ways :
good behaviour : Give plenty of attention for good
behaviour and very little for bad behaviour. A child
who does not get enough attention may do anything
to get it.
not loose your cool : Avoid using a heavy hand on
your child. Handle your child in a firm but gentle
way, even though you are annoyed with him.
the rules : Enforce certain rules on your child by
making it clear that use of physical force to settle
a dispute is unacceptable.
his feelings : Encourage translating feelings such
as anger, disappointment, jealousy, etc. into words,
rather than through aggressive actions.
a good example : Your toddlers will imitate your action,
so if he sees you using words rather than actions
in a situation, he will learn to respond in the same
do I deal with a child who has a sweet tooth ?
A. With tummies so small,
appetite tender and taste limited and fickle, there are
just so many bites that parents can expect their toddler
to take. A lot of care must be taken that it should not
be wasted in sugar or sugary foods, as they have no or
low nutritional value.
Sugar imparts instant energy, but it is a kind that does
not last long. As soon as one consumes it, it gets converted,
whereas natural sugar like an apple takes longer to convert
to energy and lasts longer.
Effects of Sugar
under the influence of sugar exhibit hyperactive behaviour.
completely no nutritional value, it provides no vitamins,
no minerals. It is nothing but calories.
usually found in combination with other nutritional
undesirables, unhealthy ingredients such as fats and
refined grains. These foods are called "empty
also be indirectly implicated in the development of
tend to kill a child's appetite.
sugar leads to obesity.
also responsible for early tooth decay. A large proportion
of children have tooth decay by the time they start
It will help if you make an
effort right from start to not let your toddler develop
a sweet tooth. Restricting sugar does not have to mean
restricting sweets entirely. Sweets made with fruit juice
concentrates and fruit sweetener can be just as satisfying
to a toddler, as treats with sugar.
Sugary schedules to stick to :
a good example for your child, cut down the amount
of sugar the whole family eats.
is best to offer your child sweets once he is done
with his meals, as a dessert.
not give sugary foods at bedtime unless you can clean
your child's teeth. A mouth produces less saliva at
night and acid attack goes on for much longer.
to limit sugary foods and juices to meal times. Sugar
does not cause any damage at mealtime since the mouth
produces more salvia, which helps to neutralize acid
and remineralise the teeth.
child pulls her own hair, why does she do it and how can
i prevent it ?
A. Breast feeding is one of
the most gratifying experience for the mother. One should
breast feed exclusively until the baby is atleast 4 months
Most doctors recommend introduction of solids between
4-6 months. Introduction of solids should compliment breast
feeding. Many children are ready to give up breast feeding
around the age of 9 months to 1 year.
Watching a child
grow from one stage of development to another is always
a sweet and bitter experience. Filling you at once with
pride that how grown up he is and with sadness that he
will never be a baby again. It is possible that at first
you may miss the physical closeness to your toddler that
nursing provided. One can replace the time spent in nursing
by other activities like hugging, cuddling, playing together,
reading together which increases the proximity. You should
consider weaning gradually over a period of weeks or even
months. Sudden weaning from the breast may be physically
uncomfortable for the nursing mother. It is most necessary
that weaning should be a very gradual process for both
the nursing mother and the baby. It allows time to the
mother and child to adjust to the end of a very special
era. The adjustment would be easier if you give your toddler
extra love and attention during weaning.
There are few things you should consider while weaning
your child off breast feeding :
sure that your toddler can drink fairly well from
a cup. Sooner or later all children learn to drink
from a cup. The trick is getting them to do it sooner
rather than later. The best time is early in the second
half of the first year, when babies are still relatively
pliable and drinking from a cup is a novelty and not
is one most important key factors. Don't wean if your
toddler is going through other major changes due to
the arrival of a new sibling or any kind of sickness.
If your child is at a high risk for eczema or asthma,
you should plan to exclusively breast feed atleast
for 6-8 months. If your child falls sick often, delay
weaning as breast milk increases immunity of child.
your child wakes up in the morning or from a nap or
is hungry for meal, offer a drink from a cup or a
snack at first. If your child still clamours for breast,
then oblige. Gradually, his milk intake will reduce
which in turn will reduce your milk supply.
to prevent your toddler from falling asleep at the
breast. Nurse before, rather than after regular bedtime
back on the number of daily feedings. Usually, it
is the midday feeds which the toddler is disinterested
in. Eventually cut down to just one feed and drop
the remaining feeds by distracting your child, in
the form of a toy or a book.