Ten Things to Remember When Your Child is a Baby

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 06:57pm
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1. Long before your baby can talk, he is learning about language.

He is sending you clues about what he needs, wants and feels. He will test different cries, gurgles and facial expressions to see how you respond. Then he’ll keep doing the ones that get the results he wants. As he learns that he can make things happen, he will develop confidence and want to try new things. Keep on talking with your baby. Try repeating the sounds he makes and adding new ones.

2. Learning to “read” your baby is fun, but can be a challenge.

She smiles – you smile back. She reaches out – you touch her hand. If she turns her head away when you speak, that can hurt you. But she may be telling you she is tired. Or maybe she needs your voice to be softer. She may just want to be left alone for a moment. It takes trial and error to figure out what your baby is trying to tell you, so be patient.

3. Babies experience relationships through their senses.

The best way to tell your baby you love him is with lots of talking, cuddling and eye contact. You cannot always be there when he wants a hug. But when he’s “asking” for a hug, do your best to deliver.

4. Your baby forms a secure attachment to you as you care for her.

Through daily routines, your baby learns that she can rely on you. She gains a feeling of safety. This trusting attachment sets the basis for her future relationships.

5. You cannot spoil your baby by responding to his needs.

Babies are born with a need for human contact. In the process of providing it, you learn more about him, and he learns more about you. He learns that he can count on you.

6. Special moments need time.

Not all of your one-on-one moments with your baby will be happy and special. You need to spend lots of time getting used to each other for those special moments to happen. They will happen more if you focus on your child while doing everyday things.

7. Babies are most ready to learn when they are calm and alert, in a quiet environment.

This is a good time to spend with your baby and to play.

8. Toys can’t take your place.

Giving your baby toys and other safe things to play with is good for her development. But playing WITH your child is even more important to her well-being.

9. Even when you are really busy, it’s important to make time for your baby.

Housework isn’t the top priority. If you have a partner, try to take turns with chores and with spending time with your baby. Build a circle of friends, relatives and neighbours. We can all use a bit of help!

10. You don’t have to be perfect to be a terrific parent.

So relax. And your child doesn’t have to be perfect to be a terrific child. You will both make mistakes, and you will both recover. So enjoy each other now because babies grow up quickly!

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by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 12:48pm
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It’s hard not to be worried when you touch your child’s forehead and she’s burning up. Fevers are very common in childhood, but they need to be monitored closely.

A fever itself is not an illness, but rather a symptom of an illness as the body tries to fight off infection. The source of the infection may be a virus or bacteria.

If you think your baby may have a fever, check her temperature by placing the end of a mercury or digital thermometer in her armpit. Bring her arm close to her body, covering the end of the thermometer, and hold it there for the required time:

  • Glass thermometer: 5 minutes
  • Digital thermometer: when it stops flashing or it beeps (see product directions)

Ear thermometers are not recommended for children under the age of 2 years. Pacifier thermometers are not as accurate as digital or glass thermometers.  By the time your child is 4 or 5 years old, you’ll be able to take his temperature by mouth.

Normal body temperature ranges from 36.5°C (98.6°F) to 37.5°C (99.5°F). Fever is when body temperature is elevated above 37.5°C (99.5°F).

Babies can “spike” a fever relatively quickly. This means it may go quite high very suddenly. So, if you think your baby is running a fever, check it often. Babies also respond to fevers differently. Some babies hardly ever have fevers. Other babies seem as uncomfortable with a low fever as those with a very high fever.

The goals of treatment are to lower the fever and to make your baby comfortable.

Go to the hospital if the following occurs:

  • Your baby is under 1 month old and has a fever.
  • Your baby has a fever and a rash or purple spots on her skin.
  • Your baby has a fever and convulsions

Contact the doctor if the following occurs:

  • Your baby is under 3 months old and has a fever.
  • Your baby or child is older than 3 months with a fever of 39°C (101°F).
  • Your baby is 6 months or older with an unexplained fever for longer than 24 hours.

Take the following steps to treat a fever:

  • NEVER give your baby aspirin or acetlysalicylic acid for fever or pain. Aspirin has been linked with Reye’s syndrome, which can affect your baby’s neurological development and liver. Ask your baby’s doctor whether you can give acetaminophen or ibuprofen. At an appropriate dosage, it can make your baby more comfortable.
  • Give plenty of fluids. If you are breastfeeding, feed your baby frequently. It not only provides fluids, but gives your baby the anti-infective properties to help her recover.
  • Remove blankets and clothing that may be keeping body heat in.
  • Try not to make your baby so cold that she shivers. This will produce more body heat and raise her temperature.
  • Do not give your baby sponge baths or rub your baby down with alcohol. These can actually lower the temperature too quickly, causing your baby to shiver and spike the fever again.

A fever is a symptom—not an illness—that is part of the body’s fight against infection. The best way to prevent fever is to prevent infection, which is covered under the following topics.


Has your child had a fever? How did you cope? Leave a comment below and share your story with other parents just like you!


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Good Night Habits: During the Night – 6 to 12 Months

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 04:12pm
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Once your baby is asleep, you still need a routine in place to help you deal with wake-ups, feedings and other disruptions.

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.”

During the Night

Once your baby is asleep, you still need a routine in place to help you deal with wake-ups, feedings and other disruptions.

Don't respond to every noise that your child makes.
Learn to distinguish a real cry from a sleepy whimper. If you're not sure, it's okay to wait for a minute to find out. If your baby is sleeping in your room and his noises are keeping you awake, now might be the time to move your baby to his own room to sleep.

Use the words and sounds that signal to your baby that it’s time for sleep if he seems really awake.

Repeatedly whisper something like “night, night” or “sh-sh-sh” as you gently place your baby on his back and start massaging his temples or patting his tummy. Linking the words with your soothing touch will help your baby link the phrases with going to sleep.

Move to holding and rocking your baby if she’s still crying.

When your baby cries, one of the most effective responses is to provide comfort.

Offer your baby the breast or bottle, ONLY if other soothing attempts have not helped your baby fall back to sleep.

In general, the experts advise against creating a routine that attaches feeding to waking up in the night. However, if other strategies don’t work, then feeding your baby might just do the trick.

Try to put your baby back in bed before she is fully asleep.
When you put your baby to bed while she’s still a little bit awake, she can learn how to fall asleep on her own.

Remember, even if your baby was sleeping through the night, she may start waking again if she’s been through an illness, is going through a growth spurt or is experiencing other changes. These changes may include such things as Mom returning to work, a vacation or a move to a new home. Some changes are longer or more significant than others. If you’re vacationing in a motel or with relatives, you may use a feeding to help your baby fall asleep, rather than disturb others. If your baby is sick for 3 days, you may decide to rock him to sleep every time he wakes. But afterward, it may be like starting over to get back to what used to be normal.

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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Diaper Rash

by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 09:33pm
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When your baby’s bottom is red and sore, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve done something wrong as a parent. But almost every baby gets diaper rash at least once before outgrowing diapers. This can be painful for your baby and upsetting for you, so what is diaper rash and how can you prevent it?

“Diaper rash is a form of dermatitis, which is a skin irritation or inflammation that’s confined to your baby’s diaper area around the buttocks, genitals and thighs,” explains Karon Foster, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert. “When your baby has a diaper rash the skin in one or more of those areas will appear red and puffy and will feel warmer than other areas of your baby’s skin. He might appear fussy or cry, especially when you touch him in that area.”

When your baby is wearing a diaper, that diaper can keep his bottom warm and damp, which is the most common reason for diaper rash. If the diaper or other clothing fits too snuggly it can also chafe and irritate baby’s sensitive skin, leading to diaper rash. Other reasons include urine and stool irritating baby’s skin, a change in stool when your baby begins to eat new foods after six months of age, bacteria or a yeast infection and, occasionally, it is caused by a reaction or allergy to a product such as laundry detergent or lotion, or to the fragrance in such products.

While diaper rash can’t always be prevented, Foster says that there are several things you can do to decrease the chance that your baby with get it.

  • Change your baby’s diapers often, especially when they are soiled with stool.
  • Clean your baby’s diaper area and then apply a layer of petroleum jelly or zinc oxide ointment over the area before putting on a fresh diaper.
  • Make sure the diaper isn’t over-tightened.
  • Diaper liners and breathable covers for cloth diapers can help to keep your baby’s skin drier.
  • Wash cloth diapers in hot water and mild detergent, after pre-soaking them if heavily soiled. Avoid fabric softeners and fragrances.

Have you ever dealt with diaper rash? How did you cope? What worked best for you? Share your experience with other parents by leaving a comment below!

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