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Diarrhea

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 11:50am
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When your toddler has diarrhea it can be a messy moment for both of you! It can also be worrisome, as diarrhea is often coupled with dehydration or other illnesses.

When your child has diarrhea it can be a messy moment for both of you! It can also be worrisome, as diarrhea is often coupled with dehydration or other illnesses.

Diarrhea, which is also called gastroenteritis, is liquid stool that is passed frequently. Stomach cramps and vomiting sometimes accompany diarrhea. It’s usually caused by a virus or bacteria or sometimes by food that the body cannot easily digest. Like vomiting, diarrhea is the body’s way of getting rid of the virus or bacteria. Diarrhea is common in babies and children – they are the most likely of all ages to get it.

Mild stress can sometimes cause diarrhea, so you may see this as a reaction to changes in your toddlers routine. Always take extra diapers if you are traveling or going to a party, just in case. Be sure to have some hand sanitizer too, in case there is no soap or water available.

“The main goal for treatment of diarrhea is to avoid dehydration,” says Karon Foster, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert. “Diarrhea takes away water and other important matter from your child’s body, if they are not replaced by drinking and eating he will get dry and dehydrated.  Be sure your child gets lots of rest and liquids, as well as any solids recommended by your health care provider.”

 
Don’t give your child medication unless your doctor tells you to do so. And be sure to talk to your health care provider if any of the following things happen:

  • Your child has more than 6 large, water bowel movements in a day or the diarrhea lasts for 2 days or more.
  • There is blood in the diarrhea.

 
There are a few things you can do to try and prevent diarrhea from happening at all. These include:

  • Introducing new foods one at a time. Wait 1 week between each new food to allow it to interact with all of your baby’s systems.
  • Setting up and keeping a predictable routine – especially if your toddler’s digestive system seems to be sensitive to changes in his daily life.
  • Trying to limit contact with others’ illnesses.
  • Washing your hands for 15 seconds before feeding your child or handling food. This is especially important after using the bathroom, diapering, coughing and sneezing. Also, carry hand sanitizer for those times when water and soap aren’t available.
  • Properly handle and store food to prevent contamination from bacteria. This is especially important when preparing or giving your baby food.

 
 

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Good Night Habits: Before Night Time – Birth to 6 Months

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 04:12pm
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Often parents don’t consider what they do during the day when they are trying to set up night time sleep routines. But good going-to-sleep habits don’t just begin at bedtime.

Your baby’s sleep habits are very different than what you’re used to! If your baby isn’t sleeping or is sleeping poorly, we encourage you to check out our articles on those areas, but if you’re wondering what you can do to encourage good going-to-sleep habits (and hopefully more regular sleep), read on to see what our experts suggest.

“Everyone wakes up several times each night for brief periods of time,” says Karon Foster, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert. “As adults, we put ourselves back to sleep most of the time. We often do it so quickly that we don’t even remember the next morning. If your baby hasn’t learned to put himself back to sleep, he may wake up crying in the night, even if he’s not hungry, teething or lonely.”

Before Night Time

Often parents don’t consider what they do during the day when they are trying to set up night time sleep routines. But good going-to-sleep habits don’t just begin at bedtime.

Make sure your baby has a regular daytime schedule
For the first month your baby’s day and night schedule does not vary much; she will eat and sleep about every 2-3 hours. By 3 months, your baby will have a period where she will be awake during the morning, afternoon and evening with a longer stretch of sleep usually between 7pm and 1 am.  For many babies, bedtime seems to go more smoothly if their daily schedule has been consistent. Have your baby nap, eat, play and get ready for bed at about the same time every day; she'll be much more likely to fall asleep without a struggle.

Encourage your baby to get plenty to eat during the day
Except during those times when a baby is going through a growth spurt.  In the first few months this may happen around 2-3 weeks, about 6 weeks, 3 months and later; the spurts usually last for a few days although for some babies may last longer.  During these times your baby will need to feed more frequently. Feeding your baby more often will help to increase your supply of milk. As your baby gets older after 6 months this strategy is especially important if your baby becomes so involved in what he is doing that he forgets to eat. If you help him get enough to eat during the day, he'll be less likely to wake up hungry during the night.

Establish regular naps
A consistent nap routine helps to regulate your baby’s 24-hour sleep/wake cycle.

Create a comfortable sleep environment

Create and tailor a comfortable sleep environment for your child. Some babies need more quiet and darkness than others. You may want to use recordings of soft music, nature sounds or the sound of a gurgling aquarium. These can be very soothing. Also, don't overdress your child or overheat the room. If your child is a light sleeper and rouses easily with noise or changes in light, try using a baby monitor or video monitor instead of opening his door to check him.

For more about bedtime routines, see the following articles:

 

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


Video Alert!
You can also watch this video from our Comfort, Play & Teach video series, Bedtime with your Baby, to learn more.

 

 

 

 

What are your sleep routines with your baby? Does having a routine help? Share your experiences with other parents just like you in the comment section below.

 

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Comfort, Play & Teach and Positive Parenting FAQs

by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 03:48pm

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “Positive Parenting?” Sweet kisses as you lay your sleepy baby in her crib? A heartfelt round of applause when your toddler finally takes to his potty? An enthusiastic cheer as your preschooler sails off on his two-wheeler for the first time?

While these examples are certainly clear demonstrations of positive, loving and supportive parenting—the kind of parenting that children surely respond to—the definition of Positive Parenting digs much deeper than that. We have based our working philosophy around Positive Parenting.

Here are some questions you may be wondering about as you learn more about Positive Parenting and Comfort, Play & Teach.

Why is Positive Parenting important?

Invest in Kids' National Survey of Parents of Young Children, showed that although 9 out of 10 Canadian parents believe that parenting is the most important thing they do, nearly a third of parents could increase their Positive Parenting, a third could be more effective in their parenting and nearly two thirds could decrease their punitive parenting.

Why do we believe Positive Parenting is the best approach?

The Positive Parenting approach reflects the learning from decades of research on parenting style and the impact it has on children's development. Positive Parenting is the most important predictor of children's mental health and success in life. Equally important, Positive Parenting helps create a lifelong warm, respectful and loving relationship between parent and child.

Is Positive Parenting just about being nice to your child?

Absolutely not. Often being a reasonable parent does not feel very positive at the time. Take, for example, setting limits or disciplining appropriately. You may not feel very positive at the time. However, the long-term impacts of Positive Parenting are positive for children, and their relationship with their parents.

Being a Positive Parent seems overwhelming. How can I be that perfect?

While as a concept, Positive Parenting may look challenging, we created Comfort, Play & Teach®: A Positive Approach to Parenting. Comfort, Play & Teach® are the three main how-to's of Positive Parenting. Each is a tried and true, yet simple, way of relating positively to your children.

This sounds too simple. Will it work?

If there's anything that's come out of the scientific literature in the last 25 years, it's the importance of Comfort, Play & Teach with your children. Comfort is clearly supported by the research on attachment, depression, parenting style and discipline, which shows over and over that children do best in environments with high levels of warmth and positive regard and low levels of punitive/angry behaviour. Play, as documented in the research literature, is a critical aspect of learning to talk, becoming creative and getting along with others. And Teach is demonstrated over and over as crucial, not just for intellectual development, but for moral and ethical development as well.

Do I need to buy any special equipment?

Comfort, Play & Teach builds on the activities that you do every day with your child—no special equipment is required.

What specifically is Comfort, Play & Teach?

The Comfort, Play & Teach approach shows how each comfort, play or teach action by a parent leads to a predictable response from your infant or young child. And this is so much fun! You start something, your child picks it up, mulls it over, responds, and what a thrill for you! These Comfort, Play & Teach activities are geared to your child's age from birth to kindergarten. So you enrich your child appropriately as he grows and develops.

But I don't know what to do.

We have developed a whole series of practical, easy-to-do Comfort, Play & Teach activities and videos for you, based on the age and capabilities of your infant, toddler or preschooler. They turn everyday moments and routines into enriching experiences. Best of all, they help forge a strong bond with your child.

Is this complicated?

No. Comfort, Play & Teach are straightforward activities that can be applied across the board. You will quickly connect the dots and learn so much about how children grow and mature. Not just physically, but socially, emotionally and intellectually, too. You will be enhancing all aspects of your child’s development, with ever increasing knowledge, skills and confidence. And it is so easy!

Do I need to set aside time each day for Comfort, Play & Teach activities?

No. Thankfully, the beauty of Comfort, Play & Teach is that it is built on the naturally-occurring activities you already do with your baby, toddler or preschooler. It takes daily activities, such as eating, commuting, or bathing, and turns them into Comfort, Play & Teach moments.

What if I am not very good at comforting, playing with or teaching my child?

Most of these activities are so simple you don't have to be very talented at any of them in order to be successful. Anyway, most children are not harsh judges of their parents, and will likely be delighted with your efforts.

 

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Preschoolers Who Are Shy

by Maxine
Posted August 27 2010 02:35pm
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Some children are shy. They "hang back" in groups. They need your assistance to learn how to become comfortable talking and playing with others.

The main things to remember when trying to help a child like this to cope with new situations are:

  • Don't label a child "shy" or introduce your child as a "shy child." Sometimes children will define themselves as this and never move beyond the label.
  • Don't push your child into situations that he might find overwhelming. It's important that you accept your child's nature and help him develop ways to overcome his shyness - that may take time and patience. Instead of pushing, offer your child opportunities to be involved with others with your support.
  • Prepare your child ahead of time by talking about new situations, such as what she will encounter, or who may be there, and talk with her about ways to become involved in groups.
  • Don't nag your child about being shy. Parents who get irritable or impatient with a child's shyness may find that their child reacts by being even shyer.

Remember, every child is unique. Some children will be shy, to a greater or lesser degree, all their lives. It's important for them to feel valued for who they are.

 

Is your preschooler shy? How do you handle it? What tips do you have for other parents in the same situation? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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