by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 11:31am
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Dehydration happens when the body doesn’t have enough water to carry out its normal jobs.

Toddlers can become dehydrated quickly and need to be watched carefully. This is especially true during hot weather and illnesses such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Watch for signs of dehydration when changing routines, giving new foods or even changing water sources.

The symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Crying with few or no tears
  • Slightly dry mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Fewer wet diapers than usual
  • Fewer dirty diapers than usual
  • Less active
  • More sleepy or tired than usual
  • Muscle weakness
  • Irritable
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

Severe dehydration includes the following symptoms:

  • Very dry mouth
  • Sunken eyes
  • Skin that stays stuck together and doesn’t spring back when it’s gently pinched then released
  • No urine or wet diapers
  • Intense thirst
  • Your child is difficult to arouse or does not recognize you
  • Fast breathing
  • Fast heart rate
  • Cool, grayish skin colour
  • Very lethargic
  • Loss of weight

When mild dehydration occurs, there are steps you can take to stop this:

  • Offer your child fluids frequently
  • Offer fluids such as popsicles, freezies, or water every hour. Consult your doctor before giving any over-the-counter re-hydration fluid.
  • If you can’t get your child to re-hydrate herself, call her doctor or go to the children’s after-hours clinic. If neither is available, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. It’s always better to take a dehydrated child to medical experts sooner rather than later. Re-hydrating quickly is very important.

If severe hydration occurs, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

You can prevent dehydration in your child by frequently offering her fluids she would normally take. Watch for signs that dehydration is getting worse. This is especially true when she has vomiting or diarrhea.


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Sleeping Through the Night

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 04:07pm
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It doesn't take new parents long to begin to understand their babies' sleep patterns…or lack of them. When new parents with young babies get together, one of the common topics of discussion is their babies' sleep! Many ask the all-important question, "When will my baby start sleeping through the night?"

“The term ‘sleeping through the night’ means different things for different parents,” says Karon Foster, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert. “A baby’s sleep schedule is anything but predictable! For some it means their baby sleeps continuously from midnight until 7am, for others, it means 11:30pm to 5:30am with several awakenings in between that don’t wake the parents.

“Babies often wake briefly several times during their sleep; if nothing stimulates them, they fall back to sleep again and parents may not even realize the baby was awake,” Foster continues. “If baby wakes and is hungry, that may cause some crying, it is the only way she is able to tell you that she needs you.”

For the first couple of months, it may be easier to have your baby sleep in their crib next to you. You will begin to hear her stir and can feed her before she starts to cry, which means you may be able to return to sleep a little faster.

By six weeks of age, many babies begin to sleep for a five to six hour stretch between seven p.m. and 1:00 a.m. and have about six feedings in a 24-hour day. It’s normal for a seven-week-old baby to sleep 14-18 hours a day. They may sleep for five to six hours at night and then again in the morning and afternoon and then have a period during the day when they are awake and sociable.

Foster is quick to point out, however, that each baby is unique and that it’s important when your baby is little to do what works for him. If your baby still needs that 5:30am feeding, you should continue it. In another month or so, at around 10 to 12 weeks old, he may only need five feedings in 24 hours and he will adjust his sleep schedule.

Hang in there! Your baby’s night time schedule might not be ideal for you, but it’s probably very typical and likely won’t last much longer.

If you are concerned that your baby isn’t sleeping enough or is sleeping too much, be sure to contact your health care provider.

Click here to learn more about your sleep and your baby.

At what age did your baby ‘sleep through the night?’ How did you deal with your sleep challenges? Add your comments below and let other parents know about your experience!  

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Finding Personal Time

by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 12:17pm
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Before baby, you and your partner probably spent lots of time doing things on your own. Now that baby is here you might find that between changing diapers, feeding baby, spending quality time with baby and getting caught up on everything else that you need to do in a day finding personal time is a whole lot harder.

“New parents sometimes feel like spending time on themselves is a luxury they can’t afford,” says Kris Langille, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert. “Some even feel a little bit selfish for wanting personal time when they have all these other demands, but finding time for you is absolutely vital when you’re a new parent.”

Preserving some personal time for yourself is important for your mental health and for your relationship with your partner. It can help prevent any resentment towards your partner, who might seem to be getting plenty of personal time.

Our experts suggest that new parents should try to fit the following three types of personal time into your life!

  • Personal care time: As a parent, you need some time each week to get your hair cut, take an unhurried shower or go to the dentist without having to worry about your baby or other obligations.
  • Personal unplanned time: You also need a bit of time each week that is all yours—to do with as you please—without anything important planned in advance.
  • Personal social time: Each of you needs to be able to keep up with friends and colleagues—to talk with other adults without your baby or partner present

Remember, bringing your baby with you while you take care of your own needs does not count as personal time!

Take a look at our article on Making Time for You for some suggestions on how to get the most out of your personal time.


How do you find personal time in your busy life as a parent? What did you do when your baby was first born? Leave a comment below and share your experience with other parents just like you.

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Toilet learning when you’re away from home

by Maxine
Posted August 27 2010 02:19pm
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It’s almost inevitable that your toddler will be away from home at some point during the toilet learning process. If your child is regularly in daycare or child care then it is definitely going to happen.

Our experts have put together a few ideas to help with your child's toilet learning (or potty training) when he is away from home:

When taking your child shopping or out for errands, encourage him to use the potty before you leave home. Make sure his clothes are loose, so that you can take them off quickly at a public washroom. Bring along extra diapers, training pants and a change of clothes. While out, check with your child to find out when you should head for the washroom. Take him to the washroom after he has had any food or drink, and make sure to stay with him while he uses the toilet, especially in unfamiliar places.

Teach your child standard terms, like "pee" and "poo" so that daycare teachers and other caregivers will know what your child is talking about when he asks to go.

Talk to your child's caregivers about your expectations for toilet learning. Explain to them what stage your child is at, and what kind of routine he is used to at home. This will help make toilet learning a more positive, consistent experience for your child, no matter where he is.

How did you handle the toilet learning process when your child was away from home? Share your tips and ideas with other parents by leaving a comment below. You can also send in a question on this topic for one of our experts!


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