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Vomiting

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 12:04pm
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One of the first things you learn as a new parent is that some baby’s throw up quite often. Some throwing up is really more like a hiccup or burp, and is called “spit up.” The medical name for this is regurgitation.  This can happen when your baby is full, is not swallowing completely or there is a gas bubble that brings food along with it. This happens without much effort and is normal. Vomiting happens when the stomach contracts and forcefully pushes out some of its contents.

If vomiting is accompanied by fever, it’s usually caused by a virus or bacteria. This is one of the body’s ways of getting rid of it, or telling us that something is wrong. However, some infants and young children vomit because their digestive systems are sensitive. Other infants vomit because they have allergies to certain foods. Others react to changes in their routine with upset stomachs.

Some vomiting is called “projectile vomiting.” This kind of vomiting is forceful. It expels food far in front of your baby. You would be surprised how far such vomiting can go!

Some babies vomit a lot and others hardly at all. If your baby vomits a lot—whether due to allergies, sensitive digestive system, fever, illness or just a general upset of her routines—keep track of the amount of vomiting. Be sure to let your health care provider know if your baby is frequently vomiting or is having projectile vomiting.

Vomiting can lead to a more serious condition known as dehydration, which can be very serious for babies and young children.

When your child vomits, stomach contents are emptied through the mouth. It may be a single episode or multiple episodes.

When treating vomiting, the main goal is to avoid dehydration. Vomiting gets rid of water and other important matter from the body. If these are not replaced by drinking and eating, your baby becomes dry or dehydrated.

After your baby has vomited, give her tummy a rest before giving her anything by mouth. Wait about a half an hour. When you think your baby’s tummy is calm, try to breastfeed. If your child is not breastfeeding offer small sips of clear fluids. If this stays down, then after one hour other fluids that your child usually drinks can be offered, solid foods can then be gradually added. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns about your child.

Make sure your baby gets lots of rest and liquids.

Do not give your baby medicine to settle her stomach unless instructed by her doctor.

 

Contact your doctor if the following conditions occur:

  • Your baby is running a fever and is vomiting.
  • Your baby is unable to eat or drink, and is vomiting.
  • Your baby is vomiting often and has been vomiting for more than 4 to 6 hours in a day.
  • Your baby is projectile vomiting.
  • Your baby is having fewer wet diapers or dirty diapers than would be expected. See dehydration article.
  • There is blood in the vomit or the vomit is green or brown in colour.
  • Your child received a bump on their head or an injury to their head prior to the vomiting beginning.
  • Your child is also having abdominal pain, or a headache or a sore neck.

 

There are ways you can try and prevent vomiting:

  • Introduce new foods one at a time. Wait a week in between each new food to allow it to interact completely with all of your baby’s systems.
  • Start and keep to a predictable routine—especially if your baby’s digestive system appears to be sensitive to changes.
  • Breastfeed your baby. This helps fight against infection and reduces allergies
  • Try to limit contact with others’ illnesses.
  • Wash your hands for 15 seconds, especially after using the toilet, diapering, coughing and sneezing and before feeding your baby or handling food.  And carry hand sanitizer for those times when water and soap are not available.
  • Teach young children to wash their hands before eating, after using the toilet and after sneezing and coughing.
  • Properly handle and store food,especially breastmilk, fluids or any food given to your baby, to prevent contamination from bacteria.

 

 
Does your child throw-up often? How do you cope? What advice would you give to other parents? Leave a comment below and share your story with other parents just like you!

 

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Good Night Habits: At Bedtime – 6 to 12 Months

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 04:12pm
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Once you have a good daytime routine, your bedtime routine should go more smoothly. Here are some tips to help.

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.”

At Bedtime

Once you have a good daytime routine, your bedtime routine should go more smoothly. Here are some tips to help:

Put your baby to bed early.
Keeping your baby awake to make her more tired is a myth! This will not help her fall asleep sooner or sleep through the night. Be sure to put your baby to bed early. Overtired babies seem to have a harder time regulating their sleep at night.

However, if you need to move your baby from a later bedtime to an earlier one, make the change gradually. Don't suddenly move her bedtime from 9:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Gradually move her bedtime a little earlier each night until you reach the time that seems best for you and your baby.

Stick to a bedtime routine.
You and your baby will both benefit from a regular bedtime routine that is at the same time every night. For most, it’s quiet play, a bath, a book and then lights out. You may want to add or substitute a last feeding, a song or a quiet game. Just be sure to follow the same routine every night. Babies thrive on consistency!

Use words and sounds to signal that it’s time for sleep.
Whisper something like “night, night” or “sh-sh-sh” over and over when you are soothing your baby to sleep—or back to sleep. Soon he'll link the phrase with going to sleep.

Give your baby plenty of chances to fall asleep on his own.

Put your baby in bed when she's relaxed and drowsy, rather than nursing or rocking her all the way to sleep. This helps her learn to fall asleep on her own. Without this skill, she will probably need you to help her fall asleep when she wakes up during the night. Partial wakenings in the middle of the night are normal even after baby is 6 months old; a baby who can self-soothe will be able to fall back asleep without your help and you will be able to get the sleep that you need.

 
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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Emergence of Will (4-10 months)

by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 09:30pm
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Were you warned? Many new parents are. Often, grandparents and other experienced parents pass on solemn warnings to new parents like you about the challenges of dealing with your baby's willful misbehaviour. But, what is the truth and what is fiction? Is it possible that your baby is capable of defying you? Of being manipulative?

It's hard to believe but, as your baby's mind develops, it can happen: Your little angel demands to be picked up or refuses to nap. Our experts have put together some tips to help you find out when this behaviour starts and what you can do about it.

The Beginnings of Will

Let’s take a closer look at your baby’s will. What does “will” look like in the beginning?

You will begin to see glimmers of your baby’s will during the period from 4 to 6 months. By 4 months of age, your baby may begin to cry in an attempt to have you come and play with her. This behaviour doesn’t usually become regular or really purposeful until the end of the sixth month or later.

The onset of your baby’s deliberate crying to call for you indicates that she has trust in your relationship, because you have reliably met her needs when she has cried in the past.

This type of crying is different from regular fussy periods, which often appear at the end of the day. The fussy periods are more related to your baby’s adjustments to her nervous system, along with her ever changing sleeping, eating and activity levels. 

What triggers will?
Your baby’s newfound ability to crawl around independently fuels his developing sense of separateness. From 7 to 10 months, your baby experiences a rapid growth in his awareness of what he can control or cause to happen. What a stage! Babies become accomplished at asserting themselves in both delightful and exasperating ways.

What is will?

At about 9 months of age, willful behaviours tend to emerge. Your baby will begin showing that she has an opinion that doesn’t always correspond with yours. 

There is an important distinction you need to make regarding what it means for your baby to “mind.” Often, what distresses parents is the fact that their baby refuses to have the same mind set as they do. If your baby doesn’t mind, it’s because she’s following her own will rather than listening to you. With a 6- to 12-month-old, this rarely stands for real defiance (as in, “I won’t”).  At this stage, it almost always means that she is simply stating her wishes (such as, “I don’t want to,” or even, “I really, really don’t want to.”) 

Defiance is rare before your baby’s first birthday and is not very typical before 18 months of age. If you think you see an early onset of defiance, ask your baby’s physician for a referral to a child guidance clinic. This type of challenge is most successfully handled in the early stages.

A Helpful Strategy
Remember—a strong will is a sign of good health. Your baby need’s a strong will to achieve all the milestones in the following months and years of life! Don’t be afraid of it. When thinking about and working with your baby’s emerging will, there are two aspects of Positive Parenting that are particularly important.

1. Positive Parents are understanding of their baby’s temperament.

You are an understanding Positive Parent when you:

  • Understand your baby’s temperament and work with it.
  • Build on your baby’s strengths.
  • Are flexible with your baby.

2. Positive Parents are reasonable.

You are a reasonable Positive Parent when you:

  • Are consistent and predictable.
  • Set and communicate clear limits and expectations.
  • Construct consequences for irresponsible behaviour that are natural and reasonable, but not disciplinary.

 
When did you first notice your baby’s sense of will? What did you do about it? Share your story with parents just like you by leaving a comment below.

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Preschoolers and learning to share

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 06:41pm
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Knowing how to share is an important skill for getting along with others, but parents shouldn't expect a child to really understand "sharing" until around the age of four.

It's not surprising that it takes time to be able to share. There is a lot to learn. Children have to be able to control their impulse to grab something. They have to be able to see another child's point of view, understand time well enough to feel that it's okay to wait for what they want and be able to talk enough to sort out who gets what, and when.

Preschoolers spend a fair amount of their playtime working out who will have what, who will do what and who can play. This is normal - it's how they practice the social skills needed for friendships. At this stage, children are better able to exchange both ideas and toys. They like to give and take.

If by age four your child still doesn't cooperate with others, and is hostile, it's best to get some help. Consult your child's physician for referrals to appropriate family services in your area.

 

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