Parenting Tips

  • Sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS is not a large problem in India because our family system ensures that there is always someone with the baby.
  • Infants prefer sharp contrasting colours, rather than the pastels generally preferred by mothers!
  • Toys hung for your baby should be hung slightly on the side rather than straight above him. Also think how these toys will look to the baby who is going to see them from below. Most such toys are not made keeping in mind the requirement of babies. They may look nice to the parents but all that is visible to the prime audience, is the unattractive bottom of the toy.
  • Soft toys are not the ideal toys for infants, contrary to popular belief. They not only attract dust and are therefore a source of infection but also tend to lose fur, which is not good for the baby. Also there is the danger of these toys inadvertently smothering the baby.
  • Honey is harmful to babies
    • it is viscous and thick could choke a small baby
    • it is unsterilized and therefore a source of infection
    • it also contains spores that are harmless to adults but cause botulism in children.
      These dangers remain even if honey is only touched to the tongue.
  • The stomach capacity of a newborn is small and the body digests milk in 2-2 ½ hours. Hence the 3 hour feeding schedule. Also breast milk is digested faster than bottle-feed.
  • The massage oil is not important. It is the act of touching gently and singing or talking to your child (as you message) that brings maximum benefit to both of you.
  • One year olds tend to be somewhat farsighted and have limited depth perception. This improves by age two but it is not till roughly 10 years that vision reaches 20-20.
  • Walkers encourage frequent accidents and walker dependent babies often take longer to learn to walk independently.
  • The bladder up to the age of 21 months, can’t hold urine for longer than a few seconds, so it is wrong to expect the child to be toilet trained. It is only once the child is 3 years old that his bladder begins to hold urine for more than 2-3 hours at a time.
  • Don’t save a bowl of food the baby has eaten from for the next meal, since enzymes and bacteria from baby’s saliva will begin “Digesting” the food, turning it watery and causing it to spoil more quickly.
  • It is common practice to warm orange juice before giving it to the child. This not only destroys the Vitamin C in it, but, being acidic, can also cause irritation to the stomach.
  • Minimize the damaging effects of sugary foods by giving a small piece of cheese at the end of the meal. Cheese has been shown to counteract the acid producing effects of sugar.
  • Even if the toothbrush still looks new, change it after six or eight weeks because over time bacteria from the mouth accumulate on the brush.
  • When visiting the doctor with your child take plenty of toys, games and books for your child to occupy him in the waiting room.
  • The first three years of a child’s life largely determines future development in the fields of personality, health, emotional development, educational attainment, social competence, self-confidence and self-reliance.
  • Children by and large grow in spurts. A toddler may remain the same height for a couple of months and then suddenly shoot up an inch virtually overnight.
  • Tired of toddler scribbles on your walls?
    • Try and sit him down to draw with you on a large sheet of paper. Then frame it or hang it somewhere visible and praise it to everyone who comes. Simultaneously every time he scribbles on the wall, make him help you clean it and tell him (without anger) that walls are not the right place for art work..
    • Cover one wall with sheets of brown paper, upto the level of the child’s reach. Tell your child that this is his drawing board and let him run wild!
  • Afraid of taking plane trips with your child for fear of what pressurization and depressurization will do to her ears?
    • Try hot towels. Check that they aren’t too hot and then place over the ears. The heat expands the air in the middle ear, relieving pressure on the eardrum.
    • Try making the child suck on something. A lollipop is ideal for this purpose.
  • To minimize risk of eyestrain because of TV, keep the room lighted, adjust the lighting to minimize glare from the screen, insist on breaks every half hour and make sure the child sits at a distance atleast 5 times the width of the screen.
  • Tobacco smoke increases the risk of ear infection. So keep smokers away from the child.
  • 3-4 is the right age to start swimming lessons for a child.
  • Dental checkups should begin by the time a child is 2 ½ -3 years old.
  • Did you know that tense, anxious mothers tend to have tense, cranky children?

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