December 22, 2014

Will disposable training pants help?

For those of us who have been parents, we know how frustrating it can be to try to potty train a young child. The process is long and difficult; many parents report being highly frustrated by the way their children respond to training. What seems like such a simple and necessary thing to adults is not for a young child. The frustration is made worse by the fact that most adults cannot remember their own potty training. They can’t understand why it would be so difficult to figure out how to use a toilet, despite the fact that it was probably just as difficult for them to do so when they were young. In other words, the situation seems perfectly designed to create real frustration. However, with a little bit of help many people find that the process can be made much easier. Many parents have also reported that training pants have helped their child develop the requisite potty training skills. So, is it better to try to simply work from diapers to a toilet, or to use disposable training pants first?

In many cases parents have found that using disposable training pants can make a huge difference. This is partly because the children who use them can actually take them on and off like regular underwear. This helps the child learn what it will be like when they start to use their own underwear. Realize, however, that simply using training pants will not toilet train your child. It helps them to start behaving more like a grown child, but it doesn’t do any training for you. The child still needs to have regular toilet training or they will simply treat their training pants like they are diapers. Continue to actively toilet train the child, helping them to understand that the training pants are just a part of the process. You can also be a bit more insistent that your child not make a mess in their training pants—treat them like they are regular underwear and help your child to feel disappointed with themselves when they make a mess in their nice new pants.

Many parents don’t realize that they need to change training pants as quickly and frequently as regular diapers. Just as with a diaper, if a training pant is not changed after a child soils it, the waiste can severely damage skin. What a training pant really does for you and your child is to help encourage the child to think more like an adult. When your boy or girl wears training pants they start to feel the expectations of an adult. They realize that if they want to be treated like an adult they will need to use the toilet and avoid messing their nice new pants. The effect can thus be as psychological as physical, but this should no lead you to think that it is unimportant. If nothing else, your child will know how to put on their pants as soon as they are toilet ready.

Although the proper method will vary depending on the child and parents, training pants could be a good method to use when potty training. You don’t want to rush your child from diapers to the toilet, although you aslo don’t want to simply move them from diapers to training pants. The key with potty training is to keep pushing for progress. Your child will not progress on their own so you need to keep working with them. Don’t give up on them or become so frustrated that you neglect their development. If you can think optimistically about your child and the potty training process it will go much faster and will be much easier for both of you.

When to switch from diapers to training pants

Raising a child is one of the most difficult things that any person will do in their lifetime. Children demand constant care and attention. However, they also bring us remarkable joy and growth. Children bring particular developmental challenges for even the most concerned parents. One of the truly terrible things that just about every parent must go through is potty training. It is so difficult to train someone to do something that seems so simple and natural for adults. Frustrations rise and naturally make it difficult for most parent and child; few fo us ever think about the type of training and energy that went into getting us to the basic skill levels at which we currently are. If you think about it you realize just how much your parents really do love you. Potty training is remarkably difficult for various reasons, but that does not mean that you can’t make it easier. There are various programs and tools that you can use to make the process a whole lot easier on yourself and your child. If you are interested in making the whole thing allot easier you should consider switching from diapers to training pants. It is extremely difficult to make the switch directly from diapers to the toilet. Children are bound to have accidents along the way in their underward. However, training pants are a nice inbetween stage because the child can pull them up and down when they go to the restroom. The training pants thus help the children to realize that they are adults and that they need to start doing grownup things in the bathroom.

There is a tipical time over the course of the development of a child to switch from the diapers to training pants. Generally when the child is somewhat toilet trained you will be ready to move forward to the training pants phase. The problem with doing anything too much sooner is that the child does not know well enough how to raise or lower their pants. If they can’t do this they won’t understand how to use the training pants. Once the child has reached this point you can start using training pants and then move to regular child’s underwear. You don’t want to make the switch to underwear unless the child is fairly far alon in the toilet training process. Otherwise you will go through a tremendous amount of child’s underwear very quickly and probably make the child feel poorly about themselves.

Making the switch from diapers to training pants is a big part of the potty training process. As soon as your child feels responsible enough to pull up and down those training pants you will find that they are on the fast track toward total independence. The real difficulty is getting them to the point where they understand the use of the toilet. You can’t force a child to become toilet trained by having them wear either training pants or regular underwear. You need to first get them started on the general road to potty training and then think about some fo these other helps. Don’t be frustrated if training pants take a little while for your boy or girl to become used to. With some time and patience you can help your child get to the training pants stage and then on to the underwear stage. It won’t be easy, but if you are both patient and caring you will see results quickly. Remember, never yell at or attack a child for a problem with toilet training—you will only make the problem worse in this case.

When to start feeding your baby solids

Knowing when and how much food to feed a baby from the time they are born all the way up until they start solids can be a mystery.  The medical field has established basic guidelines for feeding a baby, but the fact of the matter is that every baby needs a different amount of food and will want it at different times.  Certain guidelines have been established to know when to start feeding a baby solid food.  Because every baby is different, be sure to consult a doctor before jumping into feeling a baby solid food.  Below are a few tips for knowing when to start feeding a baby solid foods.

Age

Generally speaking, a baby will be ready for solids sometime between the ages of four and six months.  The exact time will depend on the baby’s development.  Some doctors like to wait until later in the six month period because there is a belief that waiting will help reduce the baby’s likelihood of developing food allergies.

Head Control

One way to know that a baby has developed enough to eat solid foods is if they can steadily hold their head up.  When a baby can do this, it will be much easier to feed them, and they will be able to begin attributing solid foods with sitting with their head up.  This will be a change from always laying down to eat.

Tongue and Mouth Control

A baby must be able to move food to the back of their mouth before they can be ready for solids.  This is a deceiving sign though because it is difficult to know if a baby will use their tongue to help swallow food until they have had solids.  Other tips that give away this ability is teething or less drooling.  If a baby is in the proper age range, and the doctor says it is ok to start solids, it is likely that baby will quickly learn to move food to the back of their mouth with their tongue.

Weight Gain

Another sign that a baby is ready to try solid foods is weight gain.  Generally, if a baby has doubled their birth weight, and they are at least four months old, it might be time to try solids.  A baby’s body must be developed enough to handle digesting solid foods.  A significant weight gain is a good sign of that development.

Growing Appetite and Curiosity

Babies will generally begin to show that they are still hungry despite their regular formula or breast feedings.  If a baby is still showing that they are hungry after eight to ten feedings each day, this could be a sign they are ready for solids.

A parent may also notice that the baby has shown interest in the food they are eating.  For example, when a baby sits and watches their parents eat or even reaches for their food, this could be a sign that the baby is ready to try solids.

Parents should keep in mind that knowing when a baby is ready to begin solids is not an exact science.  By watching for certain tips and consulting with their doctor, parents will be able to know when the perfect time to introduce solid foods to their baby will be.  Also, the doctor will be able to teach parents how to introduce solids to their baby in order to avoid undetectable food allergies and other possible risks.

What milestones to worry about if not reached

Childhood development is a complicated and rich process with lots of ups and downs. It requires tremendous time and patience, both on the part of the parent and the child. Everyone gets frustrated while trying to reach particular milestones in development. Although every child is different from another, there are certain developmental periods and stages that almost all children pass through. If your child is not developing according to the proper milestone you should talk to your doctor. Developmental problems can be serious if they are not caught early. A friend just had a baby and had some serious problems because she did not pay close attention to the important developmental milestones. It was not until the child was almost three years old that her mother noticed some serious problems. Fortunately another friend recognized the problem and advised a medical consultation. The child quickly got proper care, and now at the age of five is at about a normal learning level. If my friend had not caught this problem her child could have suffered from serious developmental dissabilities thorugout life. These sorts of problems often impact life in a very serious way—both social and emotional. If you are concerned about your child’s well being you should consider further education about important milestones.

The basic milestones that you need to worry about if not reached are some of the following:

If your child cannot sit up with support at six months of age you could have a problem. Also, if the child cannot sit without support at nine months of age there is probably some sort of issue. Another major issue relates to speaking; if the child is not babbling in some fashion by six months there is a good chance that some sort of intellectual problem might be in the works. Most children have also shown major preference for one hand. Naturally if you don’t see any type of speech development after the first year you should be very concerned, and if your child cannot stand or walk within the first two years you probably have a problem. There are various other major milestones in early development that you can become aware of by talking with a doctor or developmental psychologist.

A good parent is one who is aware of how their child should develop. Observer your children closely and get the opinion of friends and family. If you see any sign of a problem act quickly to get help. It has been shown that many developmental problems can be fixed quickly if caught early. If you wait too long it will be more difficult to fix the problems in the future. Parenting should not be something you do in a spirit of constant fear, but you do need to be aware of how your child should develop. Because every child is different you should not compare your child to any other. It is better to simply get a doctor’s opinion and make regular visits. Make sure that your child also attends a good preschool where teachers have time to observe the children and recommend courses of action. This type of care can make a large difference in the lives of children. We don’t know everything about development in children but we do know that you can make a major difference with trained professionals who know what to look for. If your child seems to be developing slowly, or not developing at all you should be concerned and act quickly—you might be able to control their future.

Tooth and mouth care

Children start to get teeth as early as four months old.  This can seem like an early age to begin brushing a child’s teeth, especially if there is just one tooth.  Many parents may find knowing how to care for their baby’s mouth to be difficult and may not bother to do anything.  This can result in early cavities and bad brushing habits later.  Here are a few ideas for caring for infants’ and toddlers’ mouths to maintain a healthy set of teeth and gums.

Brushing Teeth

The best time to start brushing a child’s teeth is right when they get their first tooth.  At first, it is better to use a piece of gauze to wipe plaque off of the baby’s one or two teeth.  However, once a baby begins to get more teeth, it may be time to start using a tooth brush.  This should be done twice a day in order to protect the baby from having a cavity.

Toothpaste

Parents should consult a doctor in order to find out what kind of toothpaste to use.  At first, it is all right for parents to brush with just water, especially if the water to their home contains fluoride.  If the water does contain fluoride, brushing with toothpaste could actually be harmful to a child because too much fluoride can be toxic to a baby or toddler.  It is also important to teach children to spit out toothpaste instead of swallow it for the same reasons.  Parents should monitor children that are just learning to brush their teeth themselves to ensure they are thoroughly brushing all of their teeth.

Pacifier

Some parents worry that giving their child a pacifier once the child has developed teeth will somehow damage their teeth.  For the most part, giving a child a pacifier when they have teeth will not cause any permanent damage to the child’s teeth.  However, if a child hangs on to the pacifier for too long, it can cause the upper teeth to push forward toward the lip.  By helping a baby break the habit of a pacifier will allow those teeth to return to their normal position within a few months.  The main danger of allowing a child to use a pacifier after they have reached one year of age is that they will be less likely to want to practice talking because their mouth will be full.

Dentist

Seeing a dentist once the baby has reached one and a half to two years of age is a great way to ensure great tooth and mouth health for a child.  The dentist will be able to give specific tooth and mouth care advice for each child.  Also, they may be able to recommend safe types of toothpaste.  These visits are usually covered under the baby’s health insurance, if they are included under their parent’s insurance.  But, make sure to check the health insurance policy to be sure.

Taking care of a child’s mouth is a very important part of ensuring a healthy and happy child.  Even though it may seem like a waste of time to brush a child’s single tooth, it will help prevent the child from developing cavities, and it will help the child develop the habit of caring for their teeth.  Parents just need to make sure to use the proper kind of toothpaste.

Toddler milestones: Understanding speech and concepts

Babies begin to understand speech and concepts by 4 months old. They can recognize their name by 4 months and can identify “mommy” and “daddy” around this time as well. Some babies can understand what “soft” or “no” means by 8 months of age. By the time a baby develops into a toddler, they can understand several things. By their first birthday, they can say words and can point out things to you, like their favorite toy or the family pet. When your toddler points to something, say the name of the item like “ball” or “cup”, this will help them understand speech and other concepts.

Toddlers normally are interested in animals and they like to understand the names of those animals like “cow” or “duck”. Make the noise of the animal too, as this helps them understand speech. Toddlers will also understand concepts about their body, like arms, head, toes, and nose. Most toddlers can speak around 5-20 words by 18 months, although they can understand more. They can follow directions and will act on their impulse reactions to things.

Once a toddler reaches 19-24 months, they can respond to questions. They can understand the concept of wanting more juice and they can ask for more juice. Toddlers will be able to speak around 50 words, but they can understand about 200. Toddlers will listen to everything and can repeat words quickly, so it is important to be careful about the things you say in front of them. They will be able to make two word sentences like “me eat.” Read books to your child and be sure to point out things to them while you are reading. Ask them to point to the animals in the book by using simple questions like “where is the zebra?” Toddlers will understand speech and the concepts by pointing out the animals and saying the name of the animal.

Toddlers are often focused on their own emotions and feelings and think everyone is feeling how they do. They often have trouble sharing toys and can become jealous and frustrated with other children that have the toy they want. Most toddlers will react by hitting and biting. By the time the toddler reaches 24 months, they will understand speech and they can make three word sentences. Generally they know around 300 words by this age and can add a new word to their vocabulary every 90 seconds.

Once a toddler reaches 36 months, they want to understand everything. This may lead them to take things apart to understand how it works. They will understand speech and will have about 900 words in their vocabulary. Toddlers will ask questions about everything and will talk a lot. Their speech will be developed for other people to understand them and they can understand adjectives, nouns, and verbs. You can ask them to sort their laundry into colors and put they toys into the labeled bins. Toddlers at age three will understand directions and normally follow them.

Every toddler is different, but they normally increase their vocabulary every 3 to 4 months. Discuss their speech with a pediatrician if they are unable to respond to questions by age 3 and they use pointing gestures to communicate with other people. Toddlers that repeat questions to their parents, instead of responding to them, need to be checked for autism. After age 3, toddlers develop at a rapid pace and by age 4; they will understand over 1,200 words and use at least 800 words on a daily basis. Always listen to your toddler when they are talking, as this will help them understand speech and other concepts.

Toddler milestones: Talking

From the time a baby is born, they are exposed to talking. Talking is important as it helps children understand speech and develop a vocabulary. They will understand what sounds connect with objects and they can even figure out how to put a sentence together. Some babies will say common words like “mama” or “dada” around 5 months of age, though they do not understand what it means. They are simply imitating the sounds they hear around them. By the time a toddler reaches 12 to 18 months, they will say around 20 different words. These words may be confusing for many people that are not around the toddler often. Once they reach 18 months, they will be able to place emphases certain words like “up” when they want to be held.

Toddlers quickly realize that words help them communicate their needs. They will combine their words with gestures to show you what they want. It can be a frustrating time for most toddlers because they are unable to effectively communicate what they need or want to other people. This may lead to temper tantrums and physical outbursts. By the time a toddler hits 24 months, they will be able to understand 200 words, but they normally only use around 50 words. Normally they only use the words that associate with things in their daily life like ‘juice’. Children that are exposed to a lot of words will be able to add a new word to their vocabulary every 90 minutes.

Toddlers understand how to create sentences by saying things like ‘hold me’. They often use the word ‘me’ and tell you what they need or want. After age 2, children start learning how to use three words together in a sentence. They will be able to communicate what they want or don’t want, as well as how they feel and think. Up until 30 months, children will start experimenting with modulation. They will understand when they need to whisper and when it is ok to talk loudly. Toddlers will pick up on pronouns and their vocabulary will expand up to 300 words.

Children around 30 months will understand things that happened in the past and they can repeat those events to their parents. They will tell their parents what they did that day and can use plural words. Toddlers will also be able to respond to simple questions, like “where are your glasses?” Toddlers that echo questions instead of answering them need to see a pediatrician because it is a sign of autism. At age 3, toddlers can complete sentences and they understand how to tell stories and adjust their speech tones. Once a toddler hits age 3, their words become more clear to other people and other adults are able to understand them. They will be able to understand what they are saying and they can even repeat their first and last name.

Toddlers can learn how to talk by listening to their parents. From the time they are born, talk to them, let them know what you are doing. Point to things like the family dog and say the dog’s name. Read books to them and start pointing to the pictures. As your child becomes familiar with books, they will be able to start understanding the pictures, like a picture of a cow and they can relate the word to the picture. Once toddlers start talking, they may talk about everything and it can impossible to get them to be quiet. Encourage your child’s talking skills by paying attention to them. Point to things and say the name when you are talking to them. Try to avoid using baby talk with your child and use complete sentences and routine daily conversation with others. If your toddler still has not said any words by 15 months, you need to contact their pediatrician to see if they are autistic.

Toddler milestone: Socialization

Toddlers learn socialization through watching their parents interact with others. Toddlers learn how to interact with others through the encouragement of their parents. For the first 2 years of life, a child is completely dependant upon their parents. Their parents are their friends and they turn to them when they are ready to develop their socialization skills.

Most toddlers enjoy spending time with other people during their first year of life, but they generally prefer to be with their parents over other people. Once they reach around 12 to 18 months, they are interested in the world around them and they want to discover everything. This also means they want to become social with other people besides their parents. They like to see reactions from other people besides their parents. Toddlers feel comfortable socializing with others when their parents are around, but it can be hard for them if their parents leave. Separation anxiety usually starts around 6 months and it can last until age 3.

Toddlers like being around other children their age, but they have difficulty learning how to share. They also tend to lash out at other toddlers with physical violence like hitting and biting. Normally they react this way because they are unable to communicate what is frustrating them. Once the child learns how to express their needs, they stop biting and hitting, although they may continue this behavior until age 3. If your child seems unusually violent, you need to speak with their pediatrician.

Once a toddler reaches 24 months, they want to be around other children their age. Toddlers learn how to socialize with other children, but they still have troubles sharing with their friends. Toddlers cannot comprehend the future, so they are only thinking of the present, which is why it is hard to share. Taking turns does not make sense to them, especially if they really want to play with a toy that their friend has. Toddlers can also have problems communicating with adults, especially adults that they do not see a lot. Unfamiliar faces tend to make them shy and they often bury their faces in their parent’s legs or arms. Some toddlers run away from people and hide in familiar places, like their bedroom. The more you expose your toddler to other people, the easier it will be for them to become comfortable around them.

Normally toddlers become more selfish between the ages of 2 and 3. They do not understand that other people have feelings and they assume everyone will feel how they feel. It is important to keep your child around other toddlers at this age so that they begin to understand how to share. Toddlers will demonstrate socialization at this age by playing with the same friends or mentioning them when they are at home. They will be able to recognize people in photographs. Toddlers will also start to learn manners like saying ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’.

It is normal for toddlers to develop imaginary friends around 36 months. Imaginary friends help children understand how to form attachments to other people besides their family members. They start to understand the behaviors of other people and they identify that other people have feelings. They will understand when people are sad or hurt. They are learning how to develop these skills so it doesn’t always mean they will demonstrate empathy at appropriate times. Toddlers learn from example, so pay close attention to your manners to them and others.

Once toddlers reach age 3, they start demonstrating more independence and become more reasonable and confident. They normally stop throwing temper tantrums and they start becoming more curious to understand why things work. Toddlers at age 3 will develop good friendships with other children and they will look forward to being social with other toddlers and adults.

Toddler milestone: Separation and independence

Once a baby reaches the age of 6 months, they begin to develop some separation anxiety. Depending upon the child, this separation anxiety may last until they are 2 years old or longer. Toddlers will start developing skills and they will start becoming independent. Independence is good because a toddler can be left with daycare providers and babysitters without making too much of a fuss. The only bad thing about independence is that many children develop temper tantrums because they are expressing their independence.

Most children develop their independence around their first birthday. They are developing several things like awareness and begin to realize they can do things without their parents. Children are prone to temper tantrums during this time because they cannot quite express what they are feeling. Toddlers want to act grown up and do things on their own without the help of others. This independence can cause several toddlers to become frustrated and even frightened. They are developing their own identity during this time and it will pass soon.

Toddlers often show separation anxiety because they do not understand that their parents will come back. They may be fine while their parents are in the room, but begin to fuss once they can no longer see them. Some children even become very upset to see their parents leave. Most children will develop this type of separation anxiety around 18 months and it lasts until they are around 3 years old. The easiest way to deal with separation anxiety is to just let your child deal with it. Tell them goodbye and let them watch you leave, as mean as that sounds it actually helps the child understand that you need to leave and it is better than sneaking out when they aren’t looking.

Children under the age of 21 months are entirely unaware of themselves. Toddlers under the age of 21 months do not quite understand that they are their own independent person. Around age 21 months, they will clearly understand that they are a separate individual and they can recover from separation anxiety easier. Although they may still throw a temper tantrum when you leave them, it will be shorter and they will calm down because they are becoming more secure. They are starting to understand that you will come back because their memory is developing more during this stage.

At age 21 months, toddlers often like to do things on their own, like feeding themselves or buckling their own car seat. Doing things on their own is another sign of their independence. Be weary of doing things for them because it may make them frustrated that you still have to help them. If they seem upset or frustrated, ask them if you can help them.

One a toddler reaches age 2; they will test the limits of their independence. This can be simple things like refusing to hold your hand when they walk. They will do things that can be frustrating to their parents, like coloring on the walls or refusing to sit in time out when they did something wrong. Children will continue struggling with their independence until their third birthday. Generally toddlers have overcome their separation anxiety and they do not have problems when their parents leave them with babysitters or at other places.

Once your toddler has hit age 3, start giving them choices. Allow them to choose between the t-shirt they are going to wear. Choices can help them learn how to think for themselves and it builds their independence. Every child develops differently, however if your toddler is unable to do anything without you or your spouse by their side, you should seek the advice of their pediatrician.

Toddler milestone: Self-control

Over time, toddlers begin to develop new skills like self-control. Children under the age of one normally do not have self-control, and they should not be expected to have self-control. Self-control can come at various stages for children. It may take longer for some children to understand it and begin practicing it. Here is a brief guideline to toddler self-control:

12 to 18 months – During this stage, toddlers will begin to listen to their parents. They will try to understand what their parents are saying and will obey simple requests. Depending upon how the child feels, they may or may not listen to their parents. They will understand what they parents want them to do, but it is up to them to follow their parent’s wishes. Toddlers in this stage may do things, even if they know it is bothering their parents. The best advice for parents during this stage is to take a deep breath and calm down. You will need to have a lot of patience during this time, as the toddler is learning new things.

19 to 24 months – This stage is when parents often encounter the “terrible two’s”. A child will have a hard time resisting temptation, but it definitely improves during this stage of development. Toddlers will understand the wishes of their parents and they normally follow their instructions. Toddler’s self-control is in its early stages and they will make slip-ups once and awhile. Children will have temper tantrums during this stage when they are interrupted from doing something they like. It is much easier to give your child a warning before interrupting them, or give them a specific time frame in their terms. For example, if you need to leave the house by 1:00, let your toddler know you need to leave after one episode of their favorite television show. They do not have a clear sense of real time, but it helps to warn them about things before they happen so they do not become upset. Children are also learning how to share in this stage and they tend to have lots of fights over sharing. They can quickly turn from nice to a terror that is biting, kicking, and screaming. Toddlers during this stage unusually lash out physically until they are able to learn how to comprehend what is truly bothering them. They quickly become frustrated and become torn between their impulses and their parent’s rules.

25 to 30 months – These 5 months are very exciting for toddlers because they are understanding how to put complete sentences together. They begin exercising more self-control and become more assertive with their actions. They will repeat things they are told and they want to act more grown up. Praise their behavior with positive re-enforcement when they do things like cleaning up their toys. Distract their disruptive behavior with other things that make them feel grown up. Toddlers are learning to control their impulse behaviors because they are developing a conscience.

31 to 36 months – Self-control during this stage is teaching them how to be patient. They will learn how to wait for things like their turn on the carousel. They understand that they will get a turn to do something in the future, but they can still become impatient at times. Toddlers will understand other people’s feelings and they will take that into account before they react to certain situations.

Keep in mind that every toddler develops differently. Some toddlers may be developing skills much faster than others. As long as you notice steady improvement in your toddler over time, your toddler is developing normally. Children that are overly aggressive toward others need to be controlled and you will need to take them to a doctor to help understand what is bothering them. Children learn by example, if you want your child to share; you need to practice this character trait with them and other people.