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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q. My child loved having a bath. Now I cannot understand why he refuses to take one ?

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A. Whenever a child develops a fear, it is crucial to accept it. If you are tempted to shout at his aversion to baths, think about your own fears and the way you feel when you confront them. Never resort to force, because it can have a long lasting hatred towards bathing. Give up bathing, if necessary and switch to a sponge bath temporarily.

Try to analyze the root cause of the fear. Whether he slipped or hurt his head or urinated in the water or whether soap went in his eyes. If you can pinpoint the source of your child's aversion to taking bath, talk to him and tell him you understand him. Comfort him as far as possible. A child's fear passes off as quickly as it arrives, if it is handled tactfully. Divert his mind by making him play with bath toys. Make bath a fun time. Focus his attention on playing and not on having a bath.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q. How do I get my toddler to sit down on his chair and eat ?

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A. Even the most appetizing meal is hard to swallow, when it is offered in an unpleasant environment. Make certain the environment is relaxing. Eliminate any kind of distractions that may keep your child from eating. Be it the television or other children playing near the dining area.

If your child is willing to sit at the table and eat, encourage him to do so. He may not do it for a short while, but keep trying. Your child may sit on the chair and eat a bit since he is hungry. So encourage his enthusiasm for food and his new independence to eat.

Instead of serving mountains of food, which can overwhelm and intimidate him, causing a toddler to give up eating even before starting, give small portions of each food. Limit liquids, too much to drink between and during meals can leave a tummy too full of fluids, to fit in any solids. Do not press him to eat more than he wants. Do not make him stay at the table when he is finished. One day he will understand that it is good manners to stay put, until others have finished eating. Do not try to enforce this rule now, you will only risk his happy eating.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Q. My son hardly ever eats, and when he does, he does not take more than a bite or two. He has been growing well according to his doctor, but I do not see how long he can keep that up, without nourishment ?

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A. Nearly every child is a picky eater at one time or another especially between the age of 2 and 6 years. A healthy child will not starve himself. Trying to force a child to eat is a losing battle. Your goal should be to make eating a pleasure and not a power struggle.

Study after study has shown that given the opportunity, healthy children whose eating habits have not changed inspite of parental pushiness will neither starve nor over feed themselves. They will eat as much as they need for normal growth. It is the parent's job to provide nourishing food.

There are practical ways to handle a picky eater. There are some workable solutions to most common mealtime battles.

a.     Avoid morning rush : Children do not feel like eating when they are rushed or upset. Start the day a little earlier, so the child does not feel rushed.
b. Offer non traditional foods during breakfast : A peanut butter sandwich or a slice of pizza instead of a standard cereal.
c. Practice what you preach : Children imitate their parents action. If a parent skips a breakfast meal, so will the child. One of the best ways to encourage children to eat well, is to be a good role model.
d. Do not push : Do not assume he is hungry, just because it is meal time. Always ask the child if he is hungry.
e. Give smaller meals at more frequent intervals : Serve smaller portions. Your child will be more responsive, if he does not perceive, that there is too much food in his plate.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q. My baby keeps pulling at the ear. How do I know if he has ear pain?

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A. Babies are very susceptible to ear infections because their eustachian tubes are short and narrow. Most of them, eventually outgrow this susceptibility.

Symptoms

1. Ear pain, which is worse at night, baby pulling at her ears or holding them crying, or refuse to suck the breast may indicate ear pain
2. Fever which may be slight or high.
3. Fatigue and irritability.
4. Nausea or vomiting.
5. Loss of appetite.
6. Occasionally there may not be any symptoms at all.

Complications that arise due ear pain

1. Because of the child's crying the pressure can burst the eardrum, releasing pus into the ear canal, resulting into Acute Otitis media. Treatment should be given with antibiotics to prevent further damage.
2. Hearing loss - which is temporary, but can become permanent if the condition persists for many months untreated.
3. Mastoid Infection.
4. Meningitis bacterimia, pneumonia.
5. Brain Abcess and Facial Paralysis.

Season
All the year round, but it is much more common in the winter, and usually follows a cold or 'flu.

Prevention
There is no sure way to prevent infection, but the following may reduce the risk of baby's falling victim

1. Overall good health through adequate nutrition, plenty of rest and regular medical care.
2. Breastfeeding for atleast 3 months.
3. An upright feeding position, especially when a baby has respiratory infection, or an elevated sleeping position (putting pillows under the babies head and of mattress) when the child has a cold.
4. Decongestants for children with colds or allergies, particularly before an air flight. Make the baby suck on breast or bottle during take off and landing, as most ear problems occur then.
5. Low dose of antibiotics (as prescribed by your doctor) for children with frequent ear infection.
6. Smoke-free living space.

Chances of recurrence
Some babies may not have any episode of ear pain, and some may have 1-2 episodes of pain with no repeats and others may carry on the infection repeatedly into toddlerhood and preschool years.

Diseases with similar symptoms

1. Any foreign body in the ear may cause ear pain.
2. Ear pain is very commonly seen in swimmers.
3. Any respiratory infection can mimic a ear ache.

 


 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q. My child has developed the habit of biting people. Why does he do this and how can I prevent it?

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A. Children, too express their feelings especially negative feelings (such as frustration, disappointment, anger) in different ways. Biting, may be the choice of weapon. As they cannot express it verbally so they use primitive ways like biting.

Frustrated by their inability to manipulate their environment or make their needs and desires clear and aware that their words won't have that effect, they simply resort to biting.

Children really can't put themselves in their victim's shoes, usually they don't even realize how much it hurts the other child.

Reason for biting

1. Too much restraint and control at home.
2. Sibling jealousy which carries over fear and resentment to all other children, as if they are competitors.
3. Too little chance to get used to other children and imagines them to be dangerous and threatening.
4. Tactics to receive more attention.


Strategies that can help diminish biting

1. Sometimes a child bites since he's hungry. Provide a nibble to prevent biting.
2. Give him lots of positive attention when he is behaving well.
3. Try to redirect his attention to another activity.
4. Make him feel wanted if he feels threatened by his younger sibling.
5. Prevent biting your child's toes or finger playfully or allow the toddler to take a nip.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q.  My toddler insists on being carried, even though he can walk. I am concerned if he is getting too dependent?

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A. Walking is a novelty for toddler, when he first  puts one foot in front of another. Every step he takes, deepens his tender feelings of pride and accomplishment. Then the novelty wears off. Walking  then starts to be a responsibility - something that was expected, and often required of him. True to his two year old negativity, he began to  respond to parental pressure to perform with    refusals. "If they want me to walk" he may reason "that's probably a good enough reason not to walk" and this makes him cling to his parents to carry him.

Suggestions to make your toddler back on his feet :

1. Make the walk recreational : Divert the child's minds from the task of walking by pointing out interesting sights on the road, playing games ("lets see if we can step over all the cracks") or singing songs.
2. Appoint him your assistant : Toddlers love to be helpers. When you are walking to the shop, ask him to carry the shopping list, and also give him a small light bag of purchases on your way home, in order to make him feel "big".
3. Try not to rush or push him : Never try to rush or push your toddler as his walking strides are much smaller than yours. Give him enough time to walk in his own stride pattern. However if he feels tired or goes limp and tries to sit in the middle of pavement, then it is advisable to pick him up and carry him.
4. Praise his efforts on two feet : After a walk, congratulate him and tell him how grown up he is getting,and point out that walking is one of the many fun things he can do now, that the babes in the arm cannot.
5. Do not criticize his failures : Don't call him a baby or fuel any possible existing jealousy by telling him that you cant carry him because you are pregnant or because you have to carry the infant sibling.
6. Make a deal : If the walk is too long, then try cutting a deal "you walk this street, I'll carry you the next". Alternate until you are home free.
7. Set an active example : If everyone in the family walks a lot, eventually your child will too especially if you don't make an issue out of his reluctance now.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q.  My child has a habit of hitting other children. How can I stop this ?

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A.  Hitting is very common at all ages, but it should never be encouraged but can be stopped in the following ways :

1. Provide  loving, consistent  and  firm care to your toddler.
2. Make sure that your toddler knows that hitting is not in the rules for children.
3. If the  hitting  tends  to become aggressive, then the behaviour  of  the  child   should be observed, and if necessary counseling may be done.
4. Try  to  keep  the  child out of a situation, where he tends to start hitting.
5. Never, under  any circumstances, try  to  hit your child  to teach him a lesson. Some parents do this to show the child "how it feels" and it only encourages the child to think that hitting is o.k.