Babies are cute and babies are adorable. But they're also full of pee and poo, and babies aren't afraid to make you aware of this fact at the most inopportune times. Getting ready to go out, just put on a new diaper, and got your kid's snowsuit on? Sounds like the perfect time to fill that Pampers! Just got to the studio, with no change of clothes, to take some baby-and-family photos? Sounds like the perfect time for some diarrhea.
Bored Panda put together this list of spoiled (or soiled?) baby photoshoots that reveal the dirty side of parenting. Parents out there, look familiar? Vote on your favorite photo, or if you have any baby-shoot fails, post your own pictures below!
1. Many women do not produce enough milk. Not true! The vast majority of women produce more than enough milk. Indeed, an overabundance of milk is common. Most babies that gain too slowly, or lose weight, do so not because the mother does not have enough milk, but because the baby does not get the milk that the mother has.
The usual reason that the baby does not get the milk that is available is that he is poorly latched onto the breast. This is why it is so important that the mother be shown, on the first day, how to latch a baby on properly, by someone who knows what they are doing.
2. It is normal for breastfeeding to hurt. Not true! Though some tenderness during the first few days is relatively common, this should be a temporary situation that lasts only a few days and should never be so bad that the mother dreads breastfeeding. Any pain that is more than mild is abnormal and is almost always due to the baby latching on poorly.
Any nipple pain that is not getting better by day three or four or lasts beyond five or six days should not be ignored. A new onset of pain when things have been going well for a while may be due to a yeast infection of the nipples. Limiting feeding time does not prevent soreness. Taking the baby off the breast for the nipples to heal should be a last resort only. (See Information Sheet Sore Nipples).
3. There is no (not enough) milk during the first three or four days after birth. Not true! It often seems like that because the baby is not latched on properly and therefore is unable to get the milk that is available. When there is not a lot of milk (as there is not, normally, in the first few days), the baby must be well latched on in order to get the milk. This accounts for "but he's been on the breast for 2 hours and is still hungry when I take him off".
By not latching on well, the baby is unable to get the mother's first milk, called colostrum. Anyone who suggests you pump your milk to know how much colostrum there is, does not understand breastfeeding, and should be politely ignored. Once the mother's milk is abundant, a baby can latch on poorly and still may get plenty of milk, though good latching from the beginning, even in if the milk is abundant, prevents problems later on.
4. A baby should be on the breast 20 (10, 15, 7.6) minutes on each side. Not true! However, a distinction needs to be made between "being on the breast" and "breastfeeding". If a baby is actually drinking for most of 15-20 minutes on the first side, he may not want to take the second side at all. If he drinks only a minute on the first side, and then nibbles or sleeps, and does the same on the other, no amount of time will be enough. The baby will breastfeed better and longer if he is latched on properly.
He can also be helped to breastfeed better and longer if the mother compresses the breast to keep the flow of milk going, once he no longer drinks on his own (Information Sheet Breast Compression). Thus it is obvious that the rule of thumb that "the baby gets 90% of the milk in the breast in the first 10 minutes" is equally hopelessly wrong. To see how to know a baby is getting milk see the videos at nbci.ca.
5. A breastfeeding baby needs extra water in hot weather. Not true! Breastmilk contains all the water a baby needs.
6. Breastfeeding babies need extra vitamin D. Not true! Everyone needs vitamin D. Formula has it added at the factory. But the baby is born with a liver full of vitamin D, and breastmilk does have some vitamin D. Outside exposure allows the baby to get the rest of his vitamin D requirements from ultraviolet light even in winter.
The baby does not need a lot of outside exposure and does not need outside exposure every day. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and is stored in the body. In some circumstances (for example, if the mother herself was vitamin D deficient during the pregnancy) it may be prudent to supplement the baby with vitamin D. Exposing the baby to sunlight through a closed window does not work to get the baby more vitamin D.
7. A mother should wash her nipples each time before feeding the baby. Not true! Formula feeding requires careful attention to cleanliness because formula not only does not protect the baby against infection, but also is actually a good breeding ground for bacteria and can also be easily contaminated. On the other hand, breastmilk protects the baby against infection. Washing nipples before each feeding makes breastfeeding unnecessarily complicated and washes away protective oils from the nipple.
8. Pumping is a good way of knowing how much milk the mother has. Not true! How much milk can be pumped depends on many factors, including the mother's stress level. The baby who breastfeeds well can get much more milk than his mother can pump. Pumping only tells you have much you can pump.
9. Breastmilk does not contain enough iron for the baby's needs. Not true! Breastmilk contains just enough iron for the baby's needs. If the baby is full term he will get enough iron from breastmilk to last him at least the first six months. Formulas contain too much iron, but this quantity may be necessary to ensure the baby absorbs enough to prevent iron deficiency. The iron in formula is poorly absorbed, and the baby poops out most of it. Generally, there is no need to add other foods to breastmilk before about 6 months of age.
10. It is easier to bottle feed than to breastfeed. Not true! Or, this should not be true. However, breastfeeding is made difficult because women often do not receive the help they should to get started properly. A poor start can indeed make breastfeeding difficult. But a poor start can also be overcome. Breastfeeding is often more difficult at first, due to a poor start, but usually becomes easier later.
11. Breastfeeding ties the mother down. Not true! But it depends how you look at it. A baby can be breastfed anywhere, anytime, and thus breastfeeding is liberating for the mother. No need to drag around bottles or formula. No need to worry about where to warm up the milk. No need to worry about sterility. No need to worry about how your baby is, because he is with you.
12. There is no way to know how much breastmilk the baby is getting. Not true! There is no easy way to measure how much the baby is getting, but this does not mean that you cannot know if the baby is getting enough. The best way to know is that the baby actually drinks at the breast for several minutes at each feeding (open mouth wide—pause—close mouth type of suck). Other ways also help show that the baby is getting plenty (Information Sheet Is my Baby Getting Enough Milk?). Also see the videos at nbci.ca.
13. Modern formulas are almost the same as breastmilk. Not true! The same claim was made in 1900 and before. Modern formulas are only superficially similar to breastmilk. Every correction of a deficiency in formulas is advertised as an advance. Fundamentally, formulas are inexact copies based on outdated and incomplete knowledge of what breastmilk is. Formulas contain no antibodies, no living cells, no enzymes, no hormones.
They contain much more aluminium, manganese, cadmium, lead and iron than breastmilk. They contain significantly more protein than breastmilk. The proteins and fats are fundamentally different from those in breastmilk. Formulas do not vary from the beginning of the feed to the end of the feed, or from day 1 to day 7 to day 30, or from woman to woman, or from baby to baby. Your breastmilk is made as required to suit your baby. Formulas are made to suit every baby, and thus no baby. Formulas succeed only at making babies grow well, usually, but there is more to breastfeeding than nutrients.
14. If the mother has an infection she should stop breastfeeding. Not true! With very, very few exceptions, the mother’s continuing to breastfeed will actually protect the baby. By the time the mother has fever (or cough, vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, etc) she has already given the baby the infection, since she has been infectious for several days before she even knew she was sick.
The baby's best protection against getting the infection is for the mother to continue breastfeeding. If the baby does get sick, he will be less sick if the mother continues breastfeeding. Besides, maybe it was the baby who gave the infection to the mother, but the baby did not show signs of illness because he was breastfeeding. Also, breast infections, including breast abscess, though painful, are not reasons to stop breastfeeding. Indeed, the infection is likely to settle more quickly if the mother continues breastfeeding on the affected side. (Information Sheets Breastfeeding and Medication and Breastfeeding and Illness).
15. If the baby has diarrhoea or vomiting, the mother should stop breastfeeding. Not true! The best medicine for a baby's gut infection is breastfeeding. Stop other foods for a short time, but continue breastfeeding. Breastmilk is the only fluid your baby requires when he has diarrhoea and/or vomiting, except under exceptional circumstances. The push to use "oral rehydrating solutions" is mainly a push by the formula manufacturers (who also make oral rehydrating solutions) to make even more money. The baby is comforted by the breastfeeding, and the mother is comforted by the baby's breastfeeding. (Information Sheets Breastfeeding and Medication and Breastfeeding and Illness).
16. If the mother is taking medicine she should not breastfeed. Not true! There are very few medicines that a mother cannot take safely while breastfeeding. A very small amount of most medicines appears in the milk, but usually in such small quantities that there is no concern. If a medicine is truly of concern, there are usually equally effective, alternative medicines that are safe.
The risks of artificial feeding for both the mother and the baby must be taken into account when weighing if breastfeeding should be continued (Information Sheets Breastfeeding and Medication and Breastfeeding and Illness).
17. A breastfeeding mother has to be obsessive about what she eats. Not true! A breastfeeding mother should try to eat a balanced diet, but neither needs to eat any special foods nor avoid certain foods. A breastfeeding mother does not need to drink milk in order to make milk. A breastfeeding mother does not need to avoid spicy foods, garlic, cabbage or alcohol.
A breastfeeding mother should eat a normal healthful diet. Although there are situations when something the mother eats may affect the baby, this is unusual. Most commonly, "colic", "gassiness" and crying can be improved by changing breastfeeding techniques, rather than changing the mother's diet. (Information Sheet Colic in the Breastfed Baby).
18. A breastfeeding mother has to eat more in order to make enough milk. Not true! Women on even very low calorie diets usually make enough milk, at least until the mother's calorie intake becomes critically low for a prolonged period of time. Generally, the baby will get what he needs. Some women worry that if they eat poorly for a few days this also will affect their milk.
There is no need for concern. Such variations will not affect milk supply or quality. It is commonly said that women need to eat 500 extra calories a day in order to breastfeed. This is not true. Some women do eat more when they breastfeed, but others do not, and some even eat less, without any harm done to the mother or baby or the milk supply. The mother should eat a balanced diet dictated by her appetite. Rules about eating just make breastfeeding unnecessarily complicated.
19. A breastfeeding mother has to drink lots of fluids. Not true! The mother should drink according to her thirst. Some mothers feel they are thirsty all the time, but many others do not drink more than usual. The mother's body knows if she needs more fluids, and tells her by making her feel thirsty. Do not believe that you have to drink at least a certain number of glasses a day. Rules about drinking just make breastfeeding unnecessarily complicated.
20. A mother who smokes is better not to breastfeed. Not true! A mother who cannot stop smoking should breastfeed. Breastfeeding has been shown to decrease the negative effects of cigarette smoke on the baby's lungs, for example. Breastfeeding confers great health benefits on both mother and baby. It would be better if the mother not smoke, but if she cannot stop or cut down, then it is better she smoke and breastfeed than smoke and formula feed.
21. A mother should not drink alcohol while breastfeeding. Not true! Reasonable alcohol intake should not be discouraged at all. As is the case with most drugs, very little alcohol comes out in the milk. The mother can take some alcohol and continue breastfeeding as she normally does. Prohibiting alcohol is another way we make life unnecessarily restrictive for breastfeeding mothers.
22. A mother who bleeds from her nipples should not breastfeed. Not true! Though blood makes the baby spit up more, and the blood may even show up in his bowel movements, this is not a reason to stop breastfeeding the baby. Nipples that are painful and bleeding are not worse than nipples that are painful and not bleeding. It is the pain the mother is having that is the problem. This nipple pain can often be helped considerably.
Sometimes mothers have bleeding from the nipples that is obviously coming from inside the breast and is not usually associated with pain. This often occurs in the first few days after birth and settles within a few days. The mother should not stop breastfeeding for this. If bleeding does not stop soon, the source of the problem needs to be investigated, but the mother should keep breastfeeding.
23. A woman who has had breast augmentation surgery cannot breastfeed. Not true! Most do very well. There is no evidence that breastfeeding with silicone implants is harmful to the baby. Occasionally this operation is done through the areola. These women do have often have problems with milk supply, as does any woman who has an incision around the areolar line.
24. A woman who has had breast reduction surgery cannot breastfeed. Not true! Breast reduction surgery does often decrease the mother's capacity to produce milk, but since many mothers produce more than enough milk, some mothers who have had breast reduction surgery sometimes can breastfeed exclusively. In such a situation, the establishment of breastfeeding should be done with special care to the principles mentioned in the Information Sheet Breastfeeding—Starting Out Right. However, if the mother seems not to produce enough, she can still breastfeed, supplementing with a lactation aid (so that artificial nipples do not interfere with breastfeeding). See Information Sheet Lactation Aid.
25. Premature babies need to learn to take bottles before they can start breastfeeding. Not true! Premature babies are less stressed by breastfeeding than by bottle feeding. A baby as small as 1200 grams and even smaller can start at the breast as soon as he is stable, though he may not latch on for several weeks. Still, he is learning and he is being held which is important for his wellbeing and his mother's. Actually, weight or gestational age do not matter as much as the baby's readiness to suck, as determined by his making sucking movements. There is no more reason to give bottles to premature babies than to full term babies. When supplementation is truly required there are ways to supplement without using artificial nipples.
26. Babies with cleft lip and/or palate cannot breastfeed. Not true! Some do very well. Babies with a cleft lip only usually manage fine. But many babies with cleft palate do indeed find it very difficult to latch on. There is no doubt, however, that if breastfeeding is not even tried, for sure the baby won’t breastfeed. The baby's ability to breastfeed does not always seem to depend on the severity of the cleft. Breastfeeding should be started, as much as possible, using the principles of proper establishment of breastfeeding.
If bottles are given, they will undermine the baby's ability to breastfeed. If the baby needs to be fed, but is not latching on, a cup can and should be used in preference to a bottle. Finger feeding occasionally is successful in babies with cleft lip/palate, but not usually (See Information Sheet Finger and Cup Feeding).
17. Women with small breasts produce less milk than those with large breasts. Nonsense!
128. Breastfeeding does not provide any protection against becoming pregnant. Not true! It is not a fool proof method, but no method is. In fact, breastfeeding is not a bad method of child spacing, and gives reliable protection especially during the first six months after birth. It is almost as good as the Pill if the baby is under six months of age, if breastfeeding is exclusive, and if the mother has not yet had a normal menstrual period after giving birth. After the first six months, the protection is less, but still present, and on average, women breastfeeding into the second year of life will have a baby every two to three years even without any artificial method of contraception.
29. Breastfeeding women cannot take the birth control pill. Not true! The question is not about exposure to female hormones, to which the baby is exposed anyway through breastfeeding. The baby gets only a tiny bit more from the pill. However, some women who take the pill, even the progestin only pill, find that their milk supply decreases.
Oestrogen-containing pills are more likely to decrease the milk supply. Because so many women produce more than enough, this sometimes does not matter, but sometimes it does even in the presence of an abundant supply, and the baby becomes fussy and is not satisfied by breastfeeding.
Babies respond to the rate of flow of milk, not what's "in the breast", so that even a very good milk supply may seem to cause the baby who is used to faster flow to be fussy. Stopping the pill often brings things back to normal. If possible, women who are breastfeeding should avoid the pill, or at least wait until the baby is taking other foods (usually around 6 months of age). Even if the baby is older, the milk supply may decrease significantly. If the pill must be used, it is preferable to use the progestin only pill (without oestrogen).
30. Breastfeeding babies need other types of milk after six months. Not true! Breastmilk gives the baby everything there is in other milks and more. Babies older than six months should be started on solids mainly so that they learn how to eat and so that they begin to get another source of iron, which by 7-9 months, is not supplied in sufficient quantities from breastmilk alone.
Thus cow's milk or formula will not be necessary as long as the baby is breastfeeding. However, if the mother wishes to give milk after 6 months, there is no reason that the baby cannot get cow's or goat’s milk, as long as the baby is still breastfeeding a few times a day, and is also getting a wide variety of solid foods in more than minimal amounts. Most babies older than six months who have never had formula will not accept it because of the taste.
31. Women with flat or inverted nipples cannot breastfeed. Not true! Babies do not breastfeed on nipples, they breastfeed on the breast. Though it may be easier for a baby to latch on to a breast with a prominent nipple, it is not necessary for nipples to stick out. A proper start will usually prevent problems and mothers with any shaped nipples can breastfeed perfectly adequately.
In the past, a nipple shield was frequently suggested to get the baby to take the breast. This gadget should not be used, especially in the first two weeks! Though it may seem a solution, its use can result in poor feeding and severe weight loss, and makes it even more difficult to get the baby to take the breast. (See Information Sheet Finger and Cup Feeding). If the baby does not take the breast at first, with proper help, he will often take the breast later. Breasts also change in the first few weeks, and as long as the mother maintains a good milk supply, the baby will usually latch on by 8 weeks of age no matter what, but get help and the baby may latch on before. See Information Sheet When a Baby Does not yet Latch.
32. A woman who becomes pregnant must stop breastfeeding. Not true! If the mother and child desire, breastfeeding can continue. Some continue breastfeeding the older child even after delivery of the new baby. Many women do decide to stop breastfeeding when they become pregnant because their nipples are sore, or for other reasons, but there is no rush or medical necessity to do so. In fact, there are often good reasons to continue. The milk supply will likely decrease during pregnancy, but if the baby is taking other foods, this is not a usually a problem. However, some babies will stop breastfeeding if the milk supply is low.
33. A baby with diarrhoea should not breastfeed. Not true! The best treatment for a gut infection (gastroenteritis) is breastfeeding. Furthermore, it is very unusual for the baby to require fluids other than breastmilk. If lactose intolerance is a problem, the baby can receive lactase drops, available without prescription, just before or after the feeding, but this is rarely necessary in breastfeeding babies. Get information on its use from the clinic. In any case, lactose intolerance due to gastroenteritis will disappear with time. Lactose free formula is not better than breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is better than any formula.
34. Babies will stay on the breast for two hours because they like to suck. Not true! Babies need and like to suck, but how much do they need? Most babies who stay at the breast for such a long time are probably hungry, even though they may be gaining well. Being on the breast is not the same as drinking at the breast.
Latching the baby better onto the breast allows the baby to breastfeed more effectively, and thus spend more time actually drinking. You can also help the baby to drink more by expressing milk into his mouth when he no longer swallows on his own (See Information Sheet Breast Compression). Babies younger than 5-6 weeks often fall asleep at the breast because the flow of milk is slow, not necessarily because they have had enough to eat. See videos at nbci.ca.
35. Babies need to know how to take a bottle. Therefore a bottle should always be introduced before the baby refuses to take one. Not true! Though many mothers decide to introduce a bottle for various reasons, there is no reason a baby must learn how to use one. Indeed, there is no great advantage in a baby's taking a bottle. Since Canadian women are supposed to receive 52 weeks maternity leave, the baby can start eating solids around 6 months, well before the mother goes back to her outside work. The baby can even take fluids or solids that are quite liquid off a spoon.
The baby can start learning how to drink from a cup right from birth or older, and though it may take several weeks for the older baby to learn to use it efficiently, he will learn. If the mother is going to introduce a bottle, it is better she wait until the baby has been breastfeeding well for 4-6 weeks, and then give it only occasionally. Sometimes, however, babies who take the bottle well at 6 weeks, refuse it at 3 or 4 months even if they have been getting bottles regularly (smart babies). Do not worry, and proceed as above with solids and spoon. Giving a bottle when breastfeeding is not going well is not a good idea and usually makes the breastfeeding even more difficult. For your sake and the baby's do not try to "starve the baby into submission". Get help.
36. If a mother has surgery, she has to wait a day before restarting breastfeeding. Not true! The mother can breastfeed immediately after surgery, as soon as she is awake and up to it. Neither the medications used during anaesthesia, nor pain medications nor antibiotics used after surgery require the mother to interrupt breastfeeding, except under exceptional circumstances. Enlightened hospitals will accommodate breastfeeding mothers and babies when either the mother or the baby needs to be admitted to the hospital, so that breastfeeding can continue. Many rules that restrict breastfeeding are more for the convenience of staff than for the benefit of mothers and babies.
37. Breastfeeding twins is too difficult to manage. Not true! Breastfeeding twins is easier than bottle feeding twins, if breastfeeding is going well. This is why it is so important that a special effort should be made to get breastfeeding started right when the mother has had twins (See Information Sheets Breastfeeding—Starting Out Right and The Importance of Skin to Skin Contact). Some women have breastfed triplets exclusively. This obviously takes a lot of work and time, but twins and triplets take a lot of work and time no matter how the infants are fed.
38. Women whose breasts do not enlarge or enlarge only a little during pregnancy, will not produce enough milk. Not true! There are a very few women who cannot produce enough milk (though they can continue to breastfeed by supplementing with a lactation aid). Some of these women say that their breasts did not enlarge during pregnancy. However, the vast majority of women whose breasts do not seem to enlarge during pregnancy produce more than enough milk.
39. A mother whose breasts do not seem full has little milk in the breast. Not true! Breasts do not have to feel full to produce plenty of milk. It is normal that a breastfeeding woman's breasts feel less full as her body adjusts to her baby's milk intake. This can happen suddenly and may occur as early as two weeks after birth or even earlier. The breast is never "empty" and also produces milk as the baby breastfeeds. Is the baby getting milk from the breast? That’s what’s important, not how full the breast feels. Look sceptically upon anyone who squeezes your breasts to make a determination of milk sufficiency or insufficiency.
40. Breastfeeding in public is not decent. Not true! It is the humiliation and harassment of mothers who are breastfeeding their babies that is not decent. Women who are trying to do the best for their babies should not be forced by other people's hang-ups or lack of understanding to stay home or feed their babies in public washrooms.
Those who are offended need only avert their eyes. Children will not be damaged psychologically by seeing a woman breastfeeding. On the contrary, they might learn something important, beautiful and fascinating. They might even learn that breasts are not only for selling beer. Other women who have left their babies at home to be bottle fed when they went out might be encouraged to bring the baby with them the next time.
41. Breastfeeding a child until 3 or 4 years of age is abnormal and bad for the child, causing an over-dependent relationship between mother and child. Not true! Breastfeeding for 2-4 years was the rule in most cultures since the beginning of human time on this planet. Only in the last 100 years or so has breastfeeding been seen as something to be limited. Children breastfeed into the third year are not overly dependent. On the contrary, they tend to be very secure and thus more independent. They themselves will make the step to stop breastfeeding (with gentle encouragement from the mother), and thus will be secure in their accomplishment.
42. If the baby is off the breast for a few days (weeks), the mother should not restart breastfeeding because the milk sours. Not true! The milk is as good as it ever was. Breastmilk in the breast is not milk or formula in a bottle.
43. After exercise a mother should not breastfeed. Not true! There is absolutely no reason why a mother would not be able to breastfeed after exercising. The study that purported to show that babies were fussy feeding after mother exercising was poorly done and contradicts the everyday experience of millions of mothers.
44. A breastfeeding mother cannot get a permanent or dye her hair. Not true! I have no idea where this comes from.
45. Breastfeeding is blamed for everything. True! Family, health professionals, neighbours, friends and taxi drivers will blame breastfeeding if the mother is tired, nervous, weepy, sick, has pain in her knees, has difficulty sleeping, is always sleepy, feels dizzy, is anaemic, has a relapse of her arthritis (migraines, or any chronic problem) complains of hair loss, change of vision, ringing in the ears or itchy skin. Breastfeeding will be blamed as the cause of marriage problems and the other children acting up. Breastfeeding is to blame when the mortgage rates go up and the economy is faltering. And whenever there is something that does not fit the "picture book" life, the mother will be advised by everyone that it will be better if she stops breastfeeding.
46. Breastfeeding mothers cannot breastfeed if they have had X-rays. Not true! Regular X-rays such as a chest X-ray or dental X-rays do not affect the milk or the baby and the mother may breastfeed without concern. Mammograms are harder to read when the mother is lactating, but can be done and the mother should not stop breastfeeding just to get this done. Furthermore, there are other ways of investigating a breast lump. Newer imaging methods such as CT scan and MRI scans are of no concern, even if contrast is used. And special X-rays using contrast media? As long as no radioactive isotope is used there is no concern and the mother should not stop even for one feed.
Herein are included studies such as intravenous pyelogram, lymphangiogram, venogram, arteriogram, myelogram, etc.
What about studies using radioactive nucleotides (bone scans, lung scans, etc.)? The baby will get a little radioactive nucleotide. However, as we often do these very same tests on children, even small babies, and the potential loss of benefits if the mother stops breastfeeding are considerable, the mother should, in my opinion, continue breastfeeding.
If you feel you must stop for a period of time, express milk in advance so that the baby can be fed your milk and not formula. After two half lives, 75% of the compound will be out of your body. This is surely waiting long enough (the half life of technetium, which is used in most radioactive scans is only six hours, so that 12 hours after the injection, 75% of it will be out of your body). The exception is the thyroid scan using I131. This test must be avoided in breastfeeding mothers.
There are many ways of evaluating the thyroid, and only very occasionally does a thyroid scan truly have to be done. If the scan must be done, doing it with I123 requires the mother to stop breastfeeding for 12 to 24 hours only depending on the dose. Check first before taking the radioactive iodine—the test can wait until you know for sure. In many cases where the scan must be done, it can be put off for several months. Incidentally, lung scans with radioactive contrast no longer is the best test to rule out a lung clot. CT scan is now the preferred test to prove or disprove the diagnosis. [See also Information Sheet Breastfeeding and Medications)
47. Breastfeeding mothers' milk can "dry up" just like that. Not true! Or if this can occur, it must be a rare occurrence. Aside from day-to-day and morning-to-evening variations, milk production does not change suddenly. There are changes which occur which may make it seem as if milk production is suddenly much less:
The birth control pill may decrease your milk supply. Think about stopping the pill or changing to a progesterone only pill. Or use other methods. Other drugs that can decrease milk supply are pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), some antihistamines, and perhaps diuretics.
If the baby truly seems not to be getting enough, get help, but do not introduce a bottle that may only make things worse. If absolutely necessary, the baby can be supplemented, using a lactation aid that will not interfere with breastfeeding, or by cup if the baby will not take the aid. However, lots can be done before giving supplements. Get help. Try compressing the breast with your hand to help the baby get milk (Information Sheet Breast Compression).
48. Physicians know a lot about breastfeeding. Not true! Obviously, there are exceptions. However, very few physicians trained in North America or Western Europe learned anything at all about breastfeeding in medical school. Even fewer learned about the practical aspects of helping mothers start breastfeeding and helping them maintain breastfeeding. After medical school, most of the information physicians get regarding infant feeding comes from formula company representatives or advertisements.
49. Pediatricians, at least, know a lot about breastfeeding. Not true! Obviously, there are exceptions. However, in their post-medical school training (residency), most pediatricians learned nothing formally about breastfeeding, and what they picked up in passing was often wrong. To many trainees in pediatrics, breastfeeding is seen as an "obstacle to the good medical care" of hospitalized babies.
50. Formula company literature and formula samples do not influence how long a mother breastfeeds. Really? So why do the formula companies work so hard to make sure that new mothers are given these samples, their company's samples? Are these samples and the literature given out to encourage breastfeeding? Do formula companies take on the cost of the samples and booklets so that mothers will be encouraged to breastfeed longer? The companies often argue that, if the mother does give formula, they want the mother to use their brand. But in competing with each other, the formula companies also compete with breastfeeding. Did you believe that argument when the cigarette companies used it?
51. Breastmilk given with formula may cause problems for the baby. Not true! Most breastfeeding mothers do not need to use formula and when problems arise that seem to require artificial milk, often the problems can be resolved without resorting to formula. However, when the baby may require formula, there is no reason that breastmilk and formula cannot be given together.
52. Babies who are breastfed on demand are likely to be "colicky". Not true! "Colicky" breastfed babies often gain weight very quickly and sometimes are feeding frequently. However, many are colicky not because they are feeding frequently, but because they do not take the breastmilk as well as they should. Typically, the baby drinks very well for the first few minutes, then nibbles or sleeps. When the baby is offered the other side, he will drink well again for a short while and then nibble or sleep. The baby will fill up with relatively low fat milk and thus feed frequently.
The taking in of mostly low fat milk may also result in gas, crying and explosive watery bowel movements. The mother can urge the baby to breastfeed longer on the first side, and thus get more high fat milk, by compressing the breast once the baby sucks but does not drink. (Information Sheets Colic in the Breastfed Baby and Breast Compression). Also see videos at nbci.ca
53. Mothers who receive immunizations (tetanus, rubella, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, etc.) should stop breastfeeding for 24 hours (3 days, 2 weeks). Not true! Why should they?
There is no risk for the baby, and he may even benefit. The rare exception is the baby who has an immune deficiency. In that case the mother should not receive an immunization with a weakened live virus (e.g. oral, but not injectable polio, or measles, mumps, rubella) even if the baby is being fed artificially.
54. There is no such thing as nipple confusion. Not true! The baby is not confused, though, the baby knows exactly what he wants. A baby who is getting slow flow from the breast and then gets rapid flow from a bottle will figure that one out pretty quickly. A baby who has had only the breast for three or four months is unlikely to take the bottle. Some babies prefer the right or left breast to the other.
Bottle fed babies often prefer one artificial nipple to another. So there is such a thing as preferring one nipple to another. The only question is how quickly it can occur. Given the right set of circumstances, the preference can occur after one or two bottles.
The baby having difficulties latching on may never have had an artificial nipple, but the introduction of an artificial nipple rarely improves the situation, and often makes it much worse. Note that many who say there is no such thing as nipple confusion also advise the mother to start a bottle early so that the baby will not refuse it.
Four Baby Care Snippets Every Parent Should Know
New parents face many problems and issues that they are expected to understand and deal with immediately. Unfortunately, new-borns do not come with an instruction book so here are a few topics that you may need to know about.
New parents face many problems and issues that they are expected to understand and deal with immediately.
Bathing your baby: Until your baby’s umbilical cord falls off one to two weeks after their birth, only give them sponge baths. A cotton ball or cotton swab dampened with alcohol can help to dry the umbilical stump or follow your paediatrician's directions. After the stump falls off, you can give him a bath in a sink or shallow tub.
Circumcision does not cause long-term emotional problems for your child.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a frightening fear for most mothers.
SIDS is often referred to as crib death, and is the sudden death of an infant who stops breathing. It is rare, affecting less than 2 in 1000 infants in the US, but the fear of it plagues all new mothers.
Many studies have been done regarding SIDS. Although the cause of SIDS has not been definitely defined, there are some correlations that have been made between SIDS and the following things:
Male babies are more likely to die from SIDS than females
Prematurity makes it more likely
Minority children are affected by it more often than non-minorities
More children of young, single mothers die from it
Children who live in a home with one or more smokers are more likely to be affected
Some people say that sleeping with your baby can reduce the risk of SIDS, but the American Academy of Pediatrics disagree with this statement and go on to say that there is a greater risk of SIDS in babies who co-sleep.
Back sleeping is what most paediatricians recommend for babies to decrease the SIDS risk.
The reason for this is widely debated between health experts. If you have concerns, talk to your paediatrician.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is rare, affecting less than 2 in 1000 infants in the US, but the fear of it plagues all new mothers.
Who needs to be worried?
SIDS was once thought of as random, striking healthy babies, which made it all the more frightening. But, in reality, there are some things that can indicate that a baby is at a higher risk for SIDS. The first is any baby that has previously had an episode where he has turned blue or had to have breathing revived.
Premature or low birthweight babies are more susceptible. In addition, mothers who have had poor prenatal care or smoked during pregnancy are more likely to have a child with SIDS. Children with diagnosed heart or lung conditions are also at risk, and boys are more susceptible than girls.
So, what do I do?
First and foremost, take care of yourself during pregnancy and don’t smoke. Have regular prenatal doctor’s visits, and follow your doctor’s recommendations. Secondly, put your newborn to sleep on his back, or his side. There does seem to be a connection between SIDS and babies who sleep on their stomachs, particularly if they sleep on a soft mattress. Don’t put unnecessary items, even blankets in the crib with the baby, and don’t let him get overheated. Learn infant CPR – so you are prepared in the event you need to resuscitate your child.
What if my baby has had an episode?
If your child has an episode – stops breathing or turns blue, notify your doctor immediately, even though you were able to revive him. Your doctor will want to run tests, and, if he fears that the baby is likely to have another episode (though 95% do not) he might suggest a monitor for the baby. These monitors will alert you in the event the baby stops breathing, but are only used in high risk situations. The monitors are quite cumbersome, and tend to have lots of false alarms, making Moms even crazier.
When Can I Stop Worrying?
The threat of SIDS is over once your child reaches his first birthday, and declines dramatically once he is six months old. In fact, most SIDS deaths happen between the ages of two and four months.
Take some precautions, but unless your baby has an elevated risk, remember that SIDS is actually rare, and is not something to obsess over.
Parent-Child Bonding Experience
What are the Essentials in Parent-Child Bonding?
How can a parent establish a harmonious relationship with her child?
Generally speaking, love is the answer! Showing genuine love and affection will definitely bond your ties together!
Bonding experiences starts from the time when a mother conceives a baby in her womb. Since the baby is a product of genuine love of the parents, the tendency of the mother as well as the father, is to take care of their little one until he/she comes out.
As a mother, parent-child bonding in this case would be as simple as --feeding your baby, by means of feeding yourself with healthy foods and giving yourself with the right vitamins needed for the baby’s development.
Studies have proven that those children, who feel loved since birth, are the ones who possess exceptional kindness.
Those children are also known to have extraordinary skills, talents and intelligence.
In general, the kind of parental upbringing determines the skills and interests of a child. A child learns how to play chess, when his parent trains him how to play chess.
Obviously, one cannot do it, if he does not even know how to play it.
Bonding moments are very essential in child rearing.
This keeps mother and child or father and child connection alive.
It helps maintain an open communication in your family as well.
Whether you’re a single parent or not, find the best bonding experience and share it with your child. It can either be any hobby or any kind of endeavor. Just make sure that it would be enjoyable for both you and your kid!
How to Pick the Right Hobby
As a parent, you should know your kid’s likes and dislikes. You should be the one who knows his interests, skills and talents.
However, you will not be able to recognize his interests if you do not discover it yourself.
What are the activities is your child fond of doing? Be watchful, vigilant, and sensitive. When you get the chance to discover his interests, try to get hold of it and slowly incorporate it in your learning so that when you already know how to do it, you can enjoy doing it together.
For example, if your child likes basketball and you don’t, you can learn how to play it. As you enjoy playing with your son, you’ll notice that your social relationship with him will grow stronger.
If he sees you wiping the car, and he’s pretty curious of doing the same, allow him to join you, even if wiping takes such a long time to finish. Just make sure that your child won’t be too tired such as letting him do all the wiping.
What are Your Hobbies?
COOKING is a healthy hobby that can be shared with anyone. This is a good activity to share with your little girl. Get a copy of easy recipes and cook together. It will not only teach your child how to prepare some special food, but it will also be a memorable moment for her to cherish.
BASKETBALL is a very enjoyable sport for active people especially kids. If you are a father, you may grab that ball and shoot your way to the ring with your little boy.
WATCHING A MOVIE together is an excellent choice. However, you just have to be careful of the kind of movie you are going to watch. Make sure that it has no porno scenes and be aware of the dialogues of each character. When you watch a movie with your kid, better choose those wholesome ones.
FISHING is an outdoor activity that requires patience and skill. Sharing this hobby with your child will teach him patience as you enjoy the bountiful catch of yummy fishes in the pond!
Aside from these pleasurable activities, there are some other hobbies to share with your child.
These are: swimming, badminton, camping, hunting and going to the spa.
Whatever it is, always remember that you are doing it for the welfare of your beloved child.
Be an adventurer!
Try new things together as a family. If it will cost you to hike or wall climb and you don’t know how -- learn how to discover it and enjoy it together.
The Rewards of a Responsible Parenting
Parenting is a process by which parents establish a certain kind of relationship with their children. It encompasses all the responsibilities concerned from childbearing to child raising.
The responsibilities of a parent never end as long as their child lives.
In the American society, parenting has become a very important issue.
The kind of upbringing American parents give to their children is mainly focused on independence.
During teenage years, youngsters already learn how to live by themselves.
At the age of eighteen, they already acquire their parents’ blessing of moving out of their homes.
At this age, they start to provide for themselves by working.
They buy their own food, they rent their own house, and they even sustain their own education.
Despite this situation, it does not mean that parents already resign from being parents to their children.
Their responsibility as parents will be a lifetime duty.
The family is a very essential aspect of society. It is a major factor by which people build individual personalities and characters.
As one saying goes --Parenting runs in the family! --
It is also the main indicator whether a person would be a good parent or not.
However, studies have shown that majority of the American youth today have been struggling from different kinds of addictions, while some develop a bad attitude, some may have become very shy, timid and insecure.
Why is this?
The reason would be improper parenting.
Most of the time, children are left in day cares because parents don’t have the time to look for them because of work. By this, parents miss having a personal touch in training and educating their own child.
This scenario has touched the hearts and minds of some of the modern parents today.
The schools, government, and especially some religious institutions have been the major factor why parents were enlightened. They have formulated several parenting programs that suit each and every American family.
In reality, parenting is an intrinsic ability of each and every human being in the world.
Every individual has his own way of nurturing and training his child to the best person he can be.
The only question is –how can one create a child with good character?
How to Create a Child of Good Character?
Why do children become rude and disobedient? Several studies have proven that disrespectful parents raise disrespectful kids. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be tagged as a disrespectful parent.
All you have to do is to discipline your child and make him realize bad things from good ones. Set your parameters and be consistent! But sometimes, kids still become naughty despite all the values taught to them.
If this is the case, you may want to follow some of these parenting tips:
Setting parameters is not that easy especially when it comes to entertainment.
Psychologists advise that babies are not supposed to be exposed to television until the age of two. This is to prevent the child from being exposed to harmful elements such as crimes, pornography etc.
Besides, any type of entertainment when introduced at an early age would probably cause you difficulty in getting his attention. Train your child by yourself because if you do, you’ll reap the lifelong benefits of being a parent.
Learn how to communicate in a nice way. Being a parent would be the most difficult task in a person’s life especially when it comes to communication. Discuss with your kid about what’s right and wrong. Share your experiences with him.
Set your own rules and relay them to your child with authority but with gentleness.
Be firm in everything you say.
If you restrict your child from watching TV until 7pm, be firm enough to shut it off. Joining him from not viewing TV will even strengthen your bonding moments.
Apply the reward system.
If you see that your child is excelling in school, treat him in some way that you know he will enjoy.
Make him feel that his deeds are appreciated.
This way, your child will strive harder.
It’s so easy for Aretha Franklin to spell it in a song but it is a lot more complicated teaching it to children.
Respect is one of the values that a parent must teach his child. This is a core quality that he should possess even at a young age and must maintain through adolescence and adulthood.
Respect is not similar to obedience. Look at it this way: a child obeys quickly because he’s afraid. But if he respects you, then he will obey you because he trusts that you know the best for him.
Therefore, in that paragraph alone, you already see the connection between obedience and respect.
The best way you can actually teach respect to your child is to show him respect yourself.
You have to respect your child. In doing so, he will do the same to you because he would feel its importance.
Remind him the golden rule:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
A child, even if he is in his grade school years will already understand this.
Instill in him that respect is an attitude and he can succeed in life if he has this value. Tell him that if he doesn’t respect his peers, his authority or even himself, there will always be personal obstacles.
You should also tell the child that respect does not only mean one-on-one interaction. It could also be taking care of the belongings of other people.
It could also mean doing what is expected of him, or his responsibilities.
A respectful child gets along so well with his peers because he is mature enough to understand that he is not the only person in the entire universe.
He is also aware that his actions can affect others around him.
Respect, even though it is taught at school, must also be learned at home.
Parents have more influence with regards to respect when compared to the teachers.
When the children see how respectful their parents are of other people, then they will do the exact same thing.
Here are some tips for the parent to show respect to their children.
1. If you do something wrong, admit your fault then apologize. Be honest. You may be the parent but that does not mean that you cannot make mistakes.
2. Never insult, embarrass or make fun of your child – especially in public. This will only affect his self-esteem. Always compliment them.
3. When your child is old enough, let him make his own decisions and take responsibility of the consequences from that action.
4. Always let your child have the liberty to explain his side. Let him say his peace and listen.
5. Be there for your child. Give him your full attention.
6. Children can easily learn from anything the parent says or does. Make sure that you as a parent are a good model when it comes to respect.
8. Show that you are concerned about the welfare of others: people, animals and environment.
9. Whenever you see a public figure that you can refer to as a poor model, discuss them with your child. Make your child aware that these actions must not be done.
10. By teaching your child to respect himself, he will then respect other people. It all begins with self-respect. Once we can respect ourselves, then respecting others is a cinch.
11. Their parents’ opinions matter to them. If the parent believes that the child can succeed, then the child’s confidence will be boosted, thus allowing him to progress more.
12. Build the child’s independence. Give them responsibilities that they can easily handle – like chores around the house, paying the bills, watching over a younger sibling and the like.
13. Set rules in the house but explain to the child why it must be obeyed. Stick to the rules you make as well.
15. Honesty is the best policy. Remind your child that if they were able to pull off fooling other people, they can’t fool themselves. Lying, cheating and stealing is not only harmful to others, it is also detrimental to one’s self.
16. Last but definitely not the least, show love! In fact, say, "I love you" often. Hugs and kisses are great.
Helping Children Build Self-Esteem
The child's growing up years is very crucial as this stage is formative and will set the overall personality of the child as he heads towards adulthood. That is why, as much as possible, children should develop healthy self-esteem during childhood years.
Positive self-esteem would certainly be a child's asset as he moves on the journey and conquer the world's many challenges. Take note that children who have healthy self-esteem tend to succeed when facing life's negative pressures and conflicts.
Low self-esteem transforms children to become individuals who are frustrated and anxious about how the world works. Such children tend to become societal problems and deprive themselves of the many opportunities that may otherwise come their way.
Children with low self-esteem also become apparently self-critical, withdrawn, depressed and passive. They tend not to become open to challenges and natural changes and underestimate their own capability.
Before attempting to help children develop positive self-esteem, it is imperative that you first know the nature and meaning of self-esteem.
Self-esteem is self-perception and is the set of beliefs and feelings one has about him or herself.
Self-esteem is directly implicated with confidence and fighting spirit; the very significant factors that help every individual accomplish tasks and head towards achievement.
Psychologists emphasize that self-esteem begins to be manifested early in life. As a toddler, you may probably remember the sense of achievement you attain when you start learning how to stand or how to reach for objects.
It is important to note that one achievement would pave the way for another achievement. As life goes on, those accomplishments become parts of a chain that define the overall personality of a person.
If the child develops low self-esteem, he may tend to be critical of himself and doubt his ability, leaving him to just sit and not exert effort to achieving any other attainments. Such a situation is truly dangerous.
In contrast, children with high self-esteem exhibit boldness and courage to keep on trying to achieve goals. They are not afraid to try, even fail. They treat failures as learning experiences that would be of great help to achieve many other goals in the future.
Here are several simple tips on how you, as a parent, could help foster high self-esteem in your child.
Be careful of what you say. Sometimes, people tend to say out loud expressions that may be taken as comments on people. If you say something bad after learning what your child did or failed to do, like 'stupid', s/he may retain that and tag himself as stupid.
Remember, children are very sensitive to the words their parents say to them.
Try to be as positive and praise your child for any achievement, be it simple or great, he may attain.
Helping children build self-esteem
Set a good role model.
Children will always look up to you as a model, so try to act as appropriately as you can, especially when they around. They would tend to imitate your manners and deeds, so be extremely careful in setting out examples.
Be affectionate. Aside from moral and emotional support, experts assert that children need to be loved. Remember, you can never boost your child's self-esteem without making it clear to him that he is unconditionally loved. Another point, if the child perceives that his parents do not leave, he might start wondering, who else will?
That would make him feel insignificant.
Give praise. Praise your child whenever he does good deeds or achieves a simple goal. Be lavish in praise and subtle and constructive in criticism. For example, if your child fails a math test, tell him you are proud that he made his best instead of putting pressure by saying that he should have done better.
Make the home his sanctuary, his source of nurturing and love. To do so, make sure you and your spouse do not stage a fight in front of the child.
A child who may witness ugly encounters may tend to be depressed and become withdrawn, leading him to a lower self-esteem.
If you think you cannot easily and effectively handle that, try seeking advice and professional help from a child or family counselor.
Do not hesitate to do the best you can to develop healthy self-esteem in your child.
It is your responsibility to raise him to become a good and achieving individual in the future.
Don't Forget to Praise Your Child
The Long-lasting Rewards of Encouragement: Don’t Forget to Praise Your Child!
How can we explain why there are kids who grow up lazy, timid, and very shy, with lots of insecurities and without self-respect? They grow up rude and don’t even respect elders including their parents as well.
How about those kids who lack intelligence?
No matter what you do, you have already provided all the books that he need, enrolled him in a good school and tutored him almost everyday, but still he has no interest in education! Why is this?
If, for instance, you are a parent who experiences this kind of dilemma, maybe you should ask yourself why! Perhaps, the fault is in you! Examine your relationship with your child. Are your efforts enough? Maybe not!
Studies have shown that those kids who normally excel in school are those who experience an abounding love from their parents. They are the ones who are well disciplined in school, healthy and lively! They are friendly, playful, and obedient and know how to respect elders.
Parenting is a big factor by which children are moulded the right way.
However, different people have different ways of showing love and care and others are very authoritative while some are not.
In parenting you should consider both being authoritative and gentle at the same time. As a parent, you should also learn how to be consistent in carrying out rules to your children. By this way, you’ll be able to inculcate in your child a sense of respect.
However, you need not always demonstrate a very strict attitude, to the point that your child becomes intimidated. It is also important that you let him practice his own authority over things. Just don’t forget to guide him. And whether he succeeds in his decisions or not, always praise him!
Regular praise and encouragement help a child develop self-esteem and confidence. These two factors determine why children succeed in whatever endeavour they are in, whether in academics, sports, music and arts.
As a parent, you feel so fulfilled when you see your child stand out, right?
But, it is not a good reason to always push your child to excel in academics if he is not good at it. The best thing to do is continuous encouragement and guidance.
Take note that not all kids have the same learning capacities.
One research about grade school students, who came from different socio-economic settings, showed that children do succeed in such activities if they are praised.
This study has emphasized that praises would not only mean recognizing their ability and performance towards their work but also their efforts to do it.
As one psychologist quoted – when you only pay tribute to the achievements of your children without seeing their effort and eagerness, you’ll put them to eventual frustration when they fall short of doing well.
Always remember that kids feel a sense of belonging by how their parents communicate certain words and actions.
They understand the relevance of doing their best by how the parents respond and react with their works.
They also learn how to cooperate outside their homes as they experience some domestic responsibilities within the family.
How to Create a Competitive Child
Creating a competitive child is an enduring process included in the pursuit of good parenting. It is impossible to motivate and train a child overnight.
Certain values and standards are understood and applied through the process of internalization and constant reminder.
It is not bad to constantly remind your children about doing their homework, just don’t sound like you are nagging them.
A competitive child is determined by his or her self-esteem and confidence. You can say that your child is competitive when he or she genuinely believes in his or her capabilities. It will definitely show in his actions and responses.
Children usually acquire self-esteem from the influence of the parents. It can be genetically acquired or learned through training and education.
If the parents don’t have confidence, there is a possibility that the children would not have it also. However, it can be developed through proper training, reminder and encouragement.
How can you promote confidence to your child?
You can simply do this by letting him know that he belongs in the family.
Showing unconditional love would assure him that he is part of the family.
Let him learn to do new things.
Allow him to participate in some household chores.
This way, he will learn how to contribute responsibly, thus will make him more confident when tasked to do things on his own.
As you follow these simple steps, you’ll see a remarkable difference.
You will notice that your child becomes more confident in doing schoolwork. Eventually, you will reap the benefits of seeing your child succeed in his life.
How to Stop a Biting Habit
A growing child is truly a work in progress. Children at their very early years normally develop several habits that are inappropriate. These habits maybe annoying as in thumb sucking, destructive as in temper tantrums and dangerous, as is the case of biting.
If you have a pet dog, you may probably have observed that there are times when the dog inevitably bites anything that comes it way.
From simple objects, to slippers, to small furniture, the dog will surely have its way to make those objects its outlet of outrage.
In children, especially the toddlers to preschoolers, the same also may happen. Be aware that children are learning a lot and at a rapid pace about the environment. Thus, as they learn, they recognize their own limitation.
The limitation to effectively communicate what he usually feels or desires is the major cause of disappointment, frustration and anger among young children.
Alas, these kids could not appropriately say the words, so they manifest their feelings through action instead. Thus, some children develop the habit of biting.
The habit of biting
Children tend to bite anything that comes their way from simple objects to other people. Yes, some kids tend to bite other kids, which make the habit very dangerous.
Experts claim that biting may occur at toddlers to preschoolers. It is at the age range of about 18 months to 3 years that most children who develop the habit manifest it.
In some cases, even infants, especially those aged at least six months tend to bite, and this habit is indicated when the infant, who must be teething by that age, starts biting the nipple of the breastfeeding mom.
Reported cases also show that most children with the biting habit show off their biting abnormality at kids' social functions, like a play session, a party or at daycare classes.
Take note that during these times, the child is with other children. The biting must then be a product of frustration and annoyance with other kids. Usually, some kids bite other kids who bully them around. By that, the biting habit becomes somehow a defense mechanism.
Helping the child outgrow the biting habit
Experts assert that the biting habit usually, and should, recede by the time the child reaches the age of four. Biting is just one of those unusual habits developed by the child, who is struggling very hard to cope with the environment.
Psychologists say that unusual habits of children, like biting, occur when the child aims to get attention or aims to get something they want.
Set a good example.
If these measures fail to gain results, perhaps it is time to seek professional help because the problem may aggravate and linger in the child until he grows up.
It is normal for children to develop the biting habit.
Conquering Thumb Sucking
Help Your Child Conquer the Habit of Thumb Sucking
Studies suggest that about 75% of all babies who are born in industrialized nations develop the habit of thumb sucking. The number is lessened in countries where the babies can easily and readily gain access to their mothers' breast for feeding.
Through that data, you may clearly infer that the habit of thumb sucking develops in babies and toddlers due to their reflexes when they are hungry. Those babies somehow get the perception that they may extract milk from sucking their thumb.
Thumb sucking is regarded as one habit that is comforting and relaxing to children. Experts assert that babies, even prior to birth, may already have developed the sucking habit when they were still in their mothers' wombs.
Thus, some babies are born with calluses in their wrist, finger or thumb, evidence that they may have already been hooked to the habit even before they were born.
Statistics also suggest that babies in industrialized countries to develop the habit more compared to their contemporaries in third world nations. It is because moms in industrialized nations are usually out for work and thus, the babies are not fed regularly by their nannies, wherein those from poor countries easily have access to their moms' breast.
Comforting and calming
The comforting and calming effect of thumb sucking makes babies truly hooked on the behavior. Almost all the babies have resorted or developed the habit at one point of their infancy.
In most cases, babies overgrow the thumb sucking habit when they reach at least three years old. Babies aged one year to three are the most susceptible to developing the habit. Another trivial concern is that 75% of baby girls tend to develop it more, compared to baby boys' 60%.
Take notice that babies are calmed and quiet whenever they suck their thumb. This, for some parents are blessings in disguise. However, some parents may not realize that the habit may tend to be destructive, especially when the child fails to outgrow it.
The findings of a 1970s report were alarming. The report showed that 10% of children around the world who are older than five years old still retain the habit of thumb sucking.
Parents fear that if their child still does not overcome the habit until they reach the age of five, thumb sucking would last until the child grows up. Thumb sucking may become a fixation that would be hard to resist.
Conquering the habit
That is why measures should be taken by parents to help their child conquer the habit of thumb sucking.
Normally the habit ceases when the child reaches the age of four years. Thumb sucking usually recedes by itself even without the child being aware that he is losing the habit.
Otherwise, it is high time, you as a parent take simple and practical steps to step in and break the habit for your child's own welfare.
One measure you may adopt is to pre-empt the habit with other fun and interesting activities.
Remember, children with thumb sucking habits execute the annoying activity during idle hours.
Thus, if you keep the child pre-occupied with different activities, he may not suck his thumb. It is also an opportunity to make the child productive.
Second attempt is to divert the child's attention whenever he sucks his thumb. For example, during such hours, give him snacks or perhaps sugarless chewing gum.
Monitor the development of the child each day.
For example, if the child forgot to suck his thumb for an hour, the parent should take note of that. Then set goals for a whole day, then, for two, then for a week, until the habit is completely eradicated.
Do not resort to punishments as it may push the child into rebellion and further drive him towards thumb sucking. Other concerns and behavioral problems may also arise when the child is punished for a habit he is not aware is bad.
The childhood years are formative years and are crucial to the overall development of children.
These years will make and unmake children, so help them by break out from inappropriate habits.
Breaking a longstanding habit is difficult and some children may need additional help. Talk to your child's dentist, who may recommend inserting a device in the child's mouth that prevents sucking. These oral appliances go by names like "palatal bar" and "crib" and come in fixed and removable versions.
If the problem seems particularly resistant to treatment, this may be a signal that your child is troubled about a deeper problem, Goldstein says. In this case, you may want to seek the advice of a mental health professional
Handling Temper Tantrums
Every child undergoes a period when he is becoming less patient and is somehow frustrated at how limited his abilities can be. This disappointment and struggle to grasp greater control of things is vented through an activity referred to as temper tantrums.
Experts claim that temper tantrums often manifest in children aged one to three years. Temper tantrums are usually the nightmares of parents who often also grow impatient over their children's terrible behaviour.
Temper tantrums are manifested through crying, screaming, and breath holding, hitting and kicking. The loud screams and cries usually annoy people. The parents almost always want to just run out of the location where their child is throwing tantrums. Alas, they can never do that.
Psychologists remind parents that temper tantrums are a normal part of the child's growing up years. Some children may throw up regularly, but there are also some who occasionally burst out. It’s also true that some children are more prone to developing the habit of throwing temper tantrums and some tend to cease the habit.
Another setback to this behavioral problem in children is that you will never know when a child will suddenly burst out, and you can never tell where. You might have seen children throwing tantrums at places like the movie house, the grocery, and church or even at the bank.
That is why it is imperative that parents know the basics over handling temper tantrums in their children. First-time parents especially should be educated about the subject. All parents, even those who already have children, can also use a refresher.
Moreover, experts warn that not all parents are dealing with the temper tantrums appropriately. While others may be satisfied with their small strategies to pacify their children, it is not assured that those schemes are healthy.
Dealing with a child who is throwing temper tantrums
There are many simple means on how parents can deal with their children amid a temper tantrum episode. Take note of the following simple guidelines.
Be sure to be firm and in control.
Moreover, do not throw tantrums yourself. Spanking and yelling at the child during such episodes is not helpful. Doing this only triggers the child to cry and scream louder.
If it is clearly indicated that the child is having tantrums just to get something, remember not to give in to the child's demands. Children may be small and younger, but do not underestimate them. If you pamper them just to keep them quiet, you may develop an impression that he should just throw tantrums whenever he wants something or whenever he wants a person to do something for him.
When the child throws tantrums at home, just put him in a room or his crib, where he can scream, kick and cry as freely as he chooses. Let him ventilate his frustration. Within a few minutes, he will tire and realize that there is no point continuing the activity. It may be significantly annoying hearing the child do so, but endure it. If the child is put in a room, then close the room until crying ceases.
If you cannot leave your child alone while he is having an episode, just sit away from him. Do not lift a finger or try to pacify him, let him do it voluntarily. Avoid developing eye contact with the child during the tantrum episode.
If you happen to be in a public place when the tantrum occurs, take the child to the car. Put on his seatbelt and let him vent his frustration inside. You may opt to remain inside or step out of the car during the duration of the episode.
If, unfortunately, you are in a long line in a grocery, let the child have his moment. Still, do not try to pacify him. He may be smart enough to capitalize on the fact that there are other people around just to get what he wants. Ignore the nasty comments and the glares of all other people in the line. It is funny how the line will move quickly when there's a child throwing tantrums. Of course, the cashier will aim to move faster just to get rid of the child. That way, you are doing everyone a good and practical favor.
Talk to your child after the temper tantrum episode. Emphasize that what he did was wrong and very inappropriate.
Toddlers also understand what his parents tell him, so talk to him also as gently and as patiently as possible. Teach the child the habit of just saying, "I’m angry!" whenever he feels frustrated and disappointment.
Seeking experts' help
Of course, there are situations when the parent should start seeking professional help, like when the parent still feels his measures are inappropriate or when the parent becomes uncomfortable with the recommended responses to the episode.
Professional help should also be sought if the child starts hurting himself amid tantrums, or if he learns to be destructive and throws objects.
Sometimes, tantrums can also be mistaken as regular crying sessions, when the child could not express unbearable pain or discomfort. He may be feeling ill, so check the body temperature for any indication.
Children are born with tantrums.
The best way parents can deal with the situation is to be in control.
Remember that when your child throws another temper tantrum.