Be­hav­iour

Mother & Baby (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Q My two-year-old gets up­set when I drop him off at nurs­ery. How can I make morn­ings eas­ier for him? Deb­bie White­head, Sus­sex

It’s time to up your com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the nurs­ery staff. First of all, ask if your son can bring a com­forter, and if it’s ok to leave him some­thing of yours, such as a jumper, to look af­ter – this gives him some­thing that smells of you to snug­gle into, as well as an im­por­tant job to focus on. Chat to staff the day be­fore about the next day’s ac­tiv­i­ties, so you can talk about what he can look for­ward to do­ing. And make a plan for drop-off together. It’s best not to pro­long the good­bye, or turn back for another cud­dle when you see that wob­bly lip. Your son will pick up on your emo­tions, so smile, even if you’re wor­ried on the in­side! Then call the nurs­ery to check how he’s do­ing af­ter five min­utes. AT

Q My lit­tle girl is al­most one but can’t get the hang of crawl­ing! Liz M C Der­mott, Dundee

The more your daugh­ter can prac­tise her co-or­di­na­tion and strengthen the mus­cles she needs, the bet­ter. Make sure she spends plenty of time out of car seats and high­chairs, and that the space she has to move around in is safe and com­fort­able, with a soft rug or blanket to cush­ion any tum­bles. Let her spend time in just a nappy, too, now that it’s warmer – it might be that she’s find­ing clothes re­stric­tive, and a lit­tle more free­dom will do the trick! Of­fer gen­tle en­cour­age­ment by putting in­ter­est­ing toys just out of reach. If she gets frus­trated, though, do move them closer and try again to­mor­row! Chil­dren learn to crawl as late as 17 months, so your daugh­ter has plenty of time to get the hang of it. The key is not to push her, as get­ting up­set and frus­trated will put her off try­ing. AT

Q My 20month-old is re­ally good at talk­ing but hasn’t said ‘mummy’ yet. What’s go­ing on? Rosemary Jenk­ins, Cardiff

If your tod­dler comes to you for com­fort and cud­dles, rest as­sured he loves you – even if he hasn’t ut­tered the magic ‘M’ word yet! He might not be us­ing it for some very pos­i­tive rea­sons. Are you the per­son your tod­dler spends the most time with? If so, he might not hear you be­ing called ‘Mummy’ all that of­ten, com­pared to the many times you chat to him about ‘Daddy’ com­ing home or ‘Nanny’ vis­it­ing. Ask fam­ily mem­bers to chat about ‘Mummy’ in the same way when they’re look­ing af­ter your lit­tle one. Also, your child might not have a strong need to call you if you’re al­ways around and re­spond to what­ever he says. An easy way to cre­ate this need in a fun way is to ask your part­ner to hold your tod­dler, and call ‘Mummy!’ as you hide. Then pop up from your hid­ing place. Your young­ster will soon join in the game. AT

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