IHAVE AN EIGHT MONTH OLD SON AND AS YET HE HAS NOT
developed sleep pattern. This is making all of us irritable. Please tell me how to make him sleep properly or is it too early to start doing the same. This is the right time to develop a proper sleep pattern. To help him do so you could set a routine for every night and adhere to it. Put the baby to sleep at the same place so that he associates the place with sleep. Keep the area dimly lit and quiet so that he understands the difference between night and day. Do not switch on the lights even while feeding. Quickly burp and change his nappy without talk or play. You could put him to sleep by patting, singing to him, rocking or walking him around in your arms or in the pram. If he wakes up after he has settled down, gently soothe him back to sleep. Do not take him to the hustle bustle area of the house that will provoke him to wake up. Such rituals may take up to an hour initially but after a month or so your baby will get the ‘ it’s time to sleep’ message and will miraculously fall asleep within minutes.
PLEASE TELL ME WHAT SORT OF NAPPIES SHOULD I USE FOR MY child? The disposable ones are too expensive and I do not know if cloth ones are good. Also please tell me how often should I change the diaper and what is the right way of doing it?
You could use cloth nappies, disposable ones or a judicious mixture of both - the latter while going out and cloth ones at home. You would probably need 10 diapers a day. Before changing the diapers make sure that everything you need is at hand so that you do not leave the baby unattended. After each bowel movement or if the diaper is wet, lay your baby on his back and remove the dirty diaper. Use the water and cotton balls, washed cloth or wipes to gently wipe your baby's bottom and genital area. When removing a boy's diaper, do so carefully because exposure to the air may make him urinate. When cleaning a girl child, wipe her from front to back to avoid infection. Do not powder the local area. Wash your hands thoroughly after changing a diaper.
IHAVE A SIX YEARS OLD SON WHO IS VERY FOND OF SWEETS. Recently I read in the newspaper that the artificial colouring in sweets can be harmful. Is this true? If so what harm do they cause?
Most colours are tested for safety before being used. However, recent studies have indicated that they can cause side effects similar to lead poisoning. Besides causing behavioural problems they can lead to low IQ. Till further studies confirm or rule out this observation, it will be better if you cut down his intake of sweets.
IHAVE TWO TEENAGE CHILDREN WHO WILL BE SITTING for the tenth and twelfth board exams in due course. Please tell me how to reduce their stress and increase their retentive powers.
First and foremost do not pressurise them to perform beyond their capabilities. After all, every child cannot come first in class. Do not compare them with others as this will generate an inferiority complex which will make matters worse.
Set a time table with adequate breaks and see that they adhere to it. Certain foods help individuals to use their brains better. Antioxidants like vitamin A, B, E, C, beta carotene and folic acid reduce cell damage and help brain functioning. It is best to obtain these from natural sources than from vitamin pills.
They are present in carrots, nuts, green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits. Central nervous system stimulants like tea and coffee are not good beyond a certain limit. Drugs are a definite no.
Adequate sleep is essential to allow the brain to function efficiently. Similarly a thirty minutes walk or any other form of mild exercise will suffuse the brain with oxygen besides reducing stress. Stress can also be reduced by relaxation techniques like deep breathing or listening to music.
HOW WILL I KNOW THAT MY CHILD HAS CHICKEN POX?
Chickenpox causes a rash of red, itchy spots that turn into fluid-filled blisters. Later they crust over to form scabs, which eventually drop off. Some children have only a few spots, but in others they can cover the entire body. The spots are most likely to appear on the face, ears and scalp, under the arms, on the chest and belly and on the arms and legs.
Your child is likely to have fever at least for the a few days before the appearance of spots. The spots are very itchy making the child irritable during the course of the disease.
FOR HOW LONG IS CHILD WITH CHICKEN POX INFECTIVE?
A child with chicken pox can infect others from up to 2 days when the child has fever, before the red spots appear and until around 5 days after all scabs or crusts are dry. In most children, the blisters crust up and fall off naturally within one to two weeks. The incubation period for chickenpox is between 10 and 21 days.
There are a lot of myths and taboos, dos and don’ts associated with chicken pox or the ‘visitation of the Mata’ in our culture.
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