Thumb Sucking: How Can you Help your Child Stop this Habit

May 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Problems

how can you help your child stop this habit.Thumb sucking is a common habit among children. Babies have sucking reflexes by which they transition to breast feeding or bottle feeding quickly. Babies have natural rooting which make them put their finger(s) into the mouth, sometimes seen prior to birth too. Few children place their thumb into the mouth, other few put two fingers- index finger and middle finger into the mouth. I’ve observed babies try to put their toe into the mouth.

My neighbors son has a habit of putting two fingers in the mouth. He is 12 years now and the thumb sucking is intense when he watches TV or when he is in bed. The skin above the nails have become thick and hard too.

The main reason babies put their finger into the mouth is because it is very soothing. When the babies get bored, they are hungry , lonely they tend to put their fingers in the mouth. Thumb sucking in children are also due to factors such as anxiety and receding from the general environment and letting himself off to another world. Babies protect their fingers by covering their face with a bed sheet.

Most of the children stop thumb sucking between 2 to 4 years. Few children continue thumb sucking beyond 5 years also. The Doctors claim that the reason is insecure feeling. The child is having an emotional problem and is finding comfort in thumb sucking.

Prolonged thumb sucking will lead to major dental problems when the permanent teeth surfaces. The teeth line up and the pressure impacted on the roof of the mouth indicates the type of teeth that develops.

If the thumb sucking is aggressive the front tooth will be raised , improperly aligned with orthodontic problems and treatment . Thumb sucking will make the child to be aggressive and stubborn.  Speech problems are generally associated with thumb sucking. The child will have difficulty in spelling words with T’s, D’s , lisping and thrusting out the tongue while talking.

If you are anxious about your child’s habit consult your pediatrician for further guidance. Positive reinforcement is generally more effective than negative reinforcement. Do not constantly remind the child of the habit. Pay no attention for a few days after you see a change in your child’s behavior and routine.

how can you help your child stop this habit.Few homemade remedies are to cover the thumb sucking finger with tape, place a ball of cotton dipped in vinegar for wiping his finger . The smell will not allow him to place his finger into mouth, place gloves on the hand after baby sleeps to avoid sucking finger. ensure he does not take the finger to his eyes. Rubbing freshly cut ginger, garlic are also good way to make them stop thumb sucking.

There are over the counter sale products to deter the child from sucking fingers.

Keep in mind that positive reinforcement is generally more effective than negative reinforcement. The child will further be intolerant to your advices. Don’t shame or punish your child for thumb-sucking. This will only lower your child’s self-esteem.

You need to spend time in observing your child’s patterns for the day or two. Then you will understand what is causing the baby to suck the finger. Relieve baby of the stress factors.  Do not scold or shout in public, the child becomes more withdrawn and tensed. In fact gently remind the child of the issues he will face in the long run. Maybe your Doctor will be able to explain better.

After the talk if you see the baby has gradually decreased his thumb sucking habit then you can praise child for not sucking. Gift him small things as a reminder of the change.

Look out for toys that could keep his hands engaged and his focus is shifted. To spare embarrassment in front of others, you might alert your child to the thumb sucking with a special hand signal. Make your child comfortable.

Studies have indicated that babies whose mothers are away to work, etc are more prone to this habit than the ones whose mothers are available with them.

Easy Methods to Treat Baby Eczema Effectively

May 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Problems

easy methods to treat baby eczema effectivelyYou may have observed your baby having patches of red skin. The skin is dry, rough and always itchy. In young babies, eczema is most prominent on the cheeks, forehead, and scalp. At 6 to 12 months of age, it is often worst on the crawling surfaces, the elbows and knees.

Around the age of two the distribution changes and tends to involve the creases of the elbows and knees, the wrists, ankles, and hands. It may affect the skin around the mouth and the eyelids. Older children and adolescents may have eczema only involving the hands.

Eczema is an immune system reaction that can be triggered by certain soaps, creams, allergies, and detergents, and may worsen with stress, heat, and sweat. Heredity is a big factor for the child to have eczema problems. There are no cures for eczema, fortunately eczema can be controlled.

Factors and reasons are not common in children to have eczema. Listed below are common eczema triggers you can avoid for your baby:

  • Dry skin:  This is often caused by low humidity. During winter when homes are well-heated and the air is dry, baby’s skin becomes itchy.
  • Irritants:  Wollen clothes, perfumes, body soaps  and laundry soaps makes the baby’s skin become itchy and triggers the patches / flare ups.
  • Stress:  Major reason for increase in eczema flares. Children may react to stress by flushing, which leads to itchy, irritated skin.
  • Heat and sweat: Both heat and sweat can make the itch of infant eczema worse.
  • Allergens: Certain food items do not gel with the baby. You need to be alert and identify when the patches develop suddenly and that food needs to be excluded from diet to minimize eczema symptoms.

Caring for your baby’s skin is the only solution to manage baby eczema when the condition is mild. The methods are easy to adapt and make your baby’s childhood days enjoyable.

  • Moisturizers : A good moisturizer will help your baby’s skin retain its natural moisture. Apply immediately after a bath, especially when he baby’s skin is wet. Preferably select  fragrance-free cream, or ointment such as petroleum jelly,
  • A lukewarm bath: Avoid hot water for bath. Baby’ skin becomes dry by losing the natural protective oils. A lukewarm bath helps hydrate and cool the skin, and may lessen itching.
  • Topical steroids:  Consult your Pediatrician on the condition of baby eczema. The doctor may prescribe Over-the-counter steroids like hydrocortisone creams and ointments which help lessen the redness and inflammation of a baby’s eczema, when used as directed. Apply the topical steroids only on the red itchy skin area.
  • Caution regarding topical steroids: Though these creams are safe, they can lead to thinned skin and other issues if applied for too many days to the same part of the body. Do not apply more than 2 times a day at the affected areas.
  • Bleach baths: Bleach baths are safe and are similar to bathing in a chlorinated swimming pool. Bleach baths are made by pouring ¼ cup of bleach into a half-filled bathtub. For babies with eczema, 1 to 2 teaspoons of bleach may be added to 4 liters of water in a baby tub. Ensure the bleach is totally diluted in water to avoid baby’s skin coming in contact. Bleach baths can be done twice a week.

If the eczema begins to ooze pus – or small yellowish blisters appear in the eczema, consult a doctor at once. The eczema is probably infected and will need medication. It indicates baby eczema is severe in the child, skin care can be complemented with:

  • Ultraviolet light therapy
  • Antibiotics for rashes that become infected

Practices to be followed at home to minimize the baby’s eczema conditions:

  • Bathe your baby for no more than 10 minutes in warm water. Hot water  to be avoided.
  • Use mild, unscented body and laundry soaps. Perfumed, deodorant, and anti-bacterial soaps can be rough on a baby’s sensitive skin.
  • Use soap only where your baby may be dirty, such as the genitals, and hands and feet. Simply rinse off the rest of your baby’s body.
  • Pat your baby’s skin dry; don’t rub the skin.
  • Apply a moisturizer while your baby’s skin is wet.
  • To minimize the irritation of clothing rubbing on the skin, dress your baby in loose clothes made of cotton.
  • The baby itches and scratches the rashes. Therefore keep your baby’s nails clean and short so he’ll be less likely to infect any broken skin. In the nights use cotton mitten or old socks to prevent baby itching. He may dislike and pull them off when awake.
  • Always wash new clothes before putting them on your baby.
  • Use a mild, fragrance-free detergent to wash your baby’s clothes.
  • Avoid overdressing your baby as it can make your baby hot and sweaty, triggering an eczema flare.
  • Keep your child away from cigarette smoke.

Best Preventive measure for baby eczema.

Doctors advise continuing breast milk for at least up to six months (preferably one year) as you introduce your baby to solid food.

Baby eczema isn’t contagious, but because it’s intensely itchy, it is very uncomfortable, and scratching is a major problem. If untreated, the rash can be unsightly, so it may become embarrassing for the child and parents in social gatherings. Fortunately most children outgrow the itchy irritation of eczema before school age.

A key aspect is the use of emollients (moisturizers that soften the skin), particularly as substitutes for soap. In this way, the illness can sometimes be controlled. Moisturizers are classified based on their oil and water content. The more oil a moisturizer has the more effective it is in treating dry skin

Do follow the easy methods to treat your baby’s eczema and make her look like a princess.

What to Feed when my Baby has Watery Motions – Diarrhea

May 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Problems

What to feed when my baby has watery motions-diarrheaDiarrhea in children is a stress for the mother and the child. Baby will suffer and will be restless crying due to tummy pains and repeated watery stools and the mother becomes tired with frequent nappy changes, having to cuddle the baby and unable to focus on anything else.

The stools will smell foul and at times have a different color. Babies even tend to vomit all that he had. He will be hungry but will refuse all feed given to the baby.

Diarrhea can also result from milk intolerance, food allergy, exposed to unhygienic conditions at home, during travel. Keep water containers closed. Preferably give boiled and cooled water (room temperature) to the baby, plenty of fluids to balance the health of the child.

Watch out if baby has blood in the stools. Baby may suffer from ear pain and high fever too due to viral / bacterial infection.

Diarrhea in children can lead to dangerous medical conditions. You need to consult your Pediatrician who will recommend a temporary change in diet to alleviate your child’s loose stools and shorten the time his diarrhea lasts. The ABC diet limits your child to high-fiber foods that add bulk to his stool.

What is ABC Diet for Diarrhea

The ABC diet consists of high –fiber foods that makes less mushy stools. The diet consists of apple sauce, mashed bananas , steamed carrots , boiled potatoes and rice cereal. You need to follow this diet for a few days till babies stools have resumed normalcy. ABC diet is recommended for babies less than a year old suffering with diarrhea.

Can baby be fed with milk

Avoid dairy products. If the baby is less than a year old, continue Breast feeding. Breast feeding quickly brings down the infection in baby’s stomach, the recovery rate is quicker.

What is BRAT Diet for Diarrhea

What to feed when my baby has watery motions-diarrheaAlternative diet for toddlers and older children is BRAT diet consisting of bananas, rice, applesauce, toast. Digestion happens well when they are fed with this diet. This change is only for a few days till system becomes normal.  BRAT diet is recommended when the child has stomach upsets and diarrhea.

How to avoid dehydration

Severe diarrhea conditions lasting for more number of times and longer duration, it can be a major health concern as the baby is losing plenty of liquids. The input quantity is not matching the output and baby becomes weak and dull. It could be fatal too, therefore you need to act promptly to reduce the viral / bacterial infection by consulting a doctor.

Symptoms of dehydration include lack of urine for 6 hours, sunken eyes, no tears and dry, sticky mouth.

Do not give over the counter medications as the infection could vary and wrong diagnosis can be even dangerous. Consult a pediatrician. Your baby needs to be in safe hands.

Pediatricians may also recommended ORS packets (Oral Rehydration Salts ) to balance the dehydration condition. Baby will recover quickly and become active. You can resume normal diet. Keep observing for any change in baby’s health.

There will be small challenges in the journey of motherhood. Face the challenges boldly. Seek help of elders and experts in your neighborhood. Interact and you will feel much lighter.

Traditional practice

In India , a practice called nazar utharna is followed by elders in the family, also known as “drishti theeyadam”, “kannu matuva” in South India. This is done when baby is active and suddenly become dull especially after the baby had a long day out , after a party or get together , looking cute and bubbly wearing colorful bright clothes.

The symptoms seen are: baby becomes sick, vomits, do not have appetite to take regular feeds. The elders in the family takes immediate action saying Baby ko nazar lag gaya hai.

A pinch of salt is held tightly between fingers and is taken above the baby from head to toe 3 times in anti-clock wise direction and then thrown off in running water. It is believed that the evil eye or nazar will be cast away. The other option is taking a dry chilli over the baby and disposing it on fire. If there is a bad smell with cracking sound, it will indicate baby had problem of evil eye and is cast off.

Nowadays everyone are into gas stove or induction top,  so the second option is totally off. Every Indian woman may have experienced this practice being done for a child in their lives . It is a psychological way to assure mother that all is well. The mother takes extra precaution by putting a black dot of kaajal  / eyetex under the feet of the baby to prevent such happenings .