Archive | December, 2012

How To Get A Toddler To Sleep In His Own Bed

It is important for toddlers to learn how to be independent. One way to practice that is by encouraging your toddler to sleep in his own bed. Here are some tips on how to get a toddler to sleep on his own.

Create A Safe and Comfortable Bedroom

Make your toddler’s bedroom feel secure and inviting. Have him choose his own bedding and pillows to make him feel connected to his bed. Give him a “lovie” (e.g. stuffed toy, pillow, special blanket, etc.) he can sleep with. Hang blankets on bed posts to create a tent so he feels like he is camping. Play soft music to help soothe him while he sleeps. Install a nightlight in your toddler’s room so he will not feel scared when he wakes up in the middle of the night.

Establish A Bedtime Routine

Give your little one a warm bath, put on pajamas, give him a glass of warm milk, read a bedtime story, take one last trip to the bathroom, tuck him to bed, give him a kiss goodnight and then lights out. Make sure you do the routine consistently. A bedtime routine helps your little one transition to sleep and makes your toddler feel calm and relaxed, making him more secure about going to bed.

Take It Slow

It is not a good idea to pressure your toddler to sleep in his own bed when he is accustomed to sleeping with mommy and daddy. Take small steps. Place a folding bed or air mattress beside your bed in case you little one visits at night. This way, your toddler gets to be close to you without interrupting your sleep and it is not so comfortable that he will decide to sleep in his own bed for good. You may also let him stay in your bed for 15 minutes and then bring him back to his bedroom.

Minimize Your Presence

When you have said your goodnight, do not linger in your toddler’s room as this will only make him dependent on your presence. If you need to stay in his room for awhile, do not talk to your toddler or lie in his bed. Once you have attended to his needs, leave the room at once.

Offer Rewards

Create a reward system. Toddlers need motivation and this technique is proven to be very effective. Hang a calendar on the refrigerator or his bedroom wall. For each night he sleeps in his own bed, let him draw a star or put a smiley sticker. Once he has collected 10 stars or smiley’s, give him a small reward such as a trip to the candy store or to the zoo, cooking his favorite food, buying him a small toy or extra 5 minutes of playtime or TV time.

Do Not Give In

Be firm. Do not give in to your toddler’s pleas or allow him to sleep in your bed because he is sick or has difficulty sleeping after watching a scary movie. You can offer comfort to your toddler without inviting him to your bed.

With some time, effort, patience and ingenuity, you can teach your toddler to sleep independently so the two of you can get a good night’s sleep.

Posted in Health, Toddler SleepComments (1)

Common Toddler Feeding Mistakes Parents Make

Keeping your toddler in tiptop shape includes managing what your toddler eats. However, there are certain toddler feeding blunders parents make. Here is how you can avoid them.

Mistake # 1: Setting A Bad Example

The most common mistake parents make when it comes to feeding their children is setting a bad example. If you do not eat well yourself, how can you expect your toddler to do the same? Eat a lot of nutritious foods in front of your toddler. If you say no eating of chocolates before dinnertime, do not sneak out and grab a bar. When your toddler sees you enjoy fruits and vegetables, he will more likely have a healthy attitude towards eating right.

Mistake # 2: Force Feeding

If you pressure your toddler to eat a certain food, you create a power struggle which will only upset the two of you and make him feel he has no freedom. Remember, children do not accept new foods right away. They need time, so try not to make a big fuss when your toddler refuses the food you offered. Serve him foods you know he will like and just try again after a couple of days.

Mistake # 3: Short-order Cooking

Do not serve your toddler a different dish just because he is a picky eater as this will only increase the bad habit. Offer your toddler the same food you prepared for the family but give him choices. For instance, if you are having sandwich for breakfast, have him choose between peanut butter and jelly or tuna filling. If you are having vegetables for dinner, make sure there is at least one item your toddler will enjoy. Hide vegetables in food (e.g. broccoli mac and cheese, puree vegetables and mix them in dips or sneak them into soups or meat).

Mistake # 4: The Clean Your Plate Rule

Asking your toddler to finish his food will only result to overeating and make him uncomfortable with food. Serve your little one child-size portions so he is more encouraged to eat. Also, if he stops eating because he is full, let him leave the dining table.

Mistake # 5: Giving Up Too Fast

Just because your toddler did not like green beans once does not mean he will never like it again. According to pediatricians, it takes about 10 to 15 tries before a toddler accepts new food. Let him watch you eat it. Place a few servings on his plate. Have him touch it, put it in his mouth and let him spit it into a napkin - eventually he will accept it.

Mistake # 6: Depriving Sweets

Minimizing your toddler’s sweet and sugar intake is fine, but completely eliminating them to his diet is not okay. Children love sweets and the more they are deprived, the more likely they will overeat them. Plan balanced snacks. Allow him to eat dessert after dinner. Try healthier dessert alternatives such as low-fat pudding or yogurt or strawberries with whipped cream.

The secret to avoiding these mistakes so you can provide your toddler a nutritious diet is to strike a balance between controlling his foods and giving him some freedom of choice.

Posted in Food, Toddler FeedingComments (0)

How To Spot and Treat Childhood Rashes

Rashes are very widespread during childhood. Since children have sensitive skin, exposure to elements can instantly trigger all sorts of itchy infections. Here is a guide to help you recognize and treat the most common childhood rashes.


Also known as varicella, chickenpox is a transmittable disease that starts off with a few itchy, red fluid-filled bumps (often mistaken as insect bites). During the first few days, a toddler with chickenpox will have fever, a headache, feel exhausted and lose his appetite. The spots will turn into blisters that break open then crust over. It can appear all over his body, including the scalp, ears, mouth, throat and groin. Chickenpox typically lasts 5 to 10 days.


Keep your toddler at home until he has fully recovered to prevent him from transmitting the disease. You can give him acetaminophen to reduce the fever and ease his discomfort. Control his scratching by giving your child a proper dose of OTC antihistamine (oral Benadryl). Bathe him in warm water every 3 to 4 hours and add baking soda or oatmeal to bath water to further relieve itching. After bathing, apply calamine lotion to the itchy bumps. Keep his fingernails short to keep your toddler from scratching which can cause scaring.

Diaper Rash

A toddler’s diaper area will appear red and irritated and skin will look swollen and warm when you touch it. This often occurs when a toddler is exposed to a wet or soiled diaper, chemicals in diapers or has had a bout of diarrhea (when toddler is taking antibiotics).


Change your toddler’s diaper often. Clean his bottom by washing it with warm water instead of diaper wipes and air dry the area. After which, apply a small amount of diaper rash cream (choose one with zinc oxide) to protect his skin. You may also leave your toddler’s diaper off to expose the area to air which speeds up healing.


An infectious bacterial illness that look like small, delicate bumps that penetrate through a bug bite, wound or an open cut.


Gently clean the scabs with antiseptic soap and warm water. Dab a thin coat of antibiotic cream and cover it with a gauze bandage.


Small, rough brownish-red spots that appear on a toddler’s face and neck and spreads down to the body and legs. Measles is also accompanied with fever, severe runny nose, cough and red eyes. If left untreated, it can lead to meningitis, ear infection, pneumonia and in some cases, brain problems.


Give your toddler acetaminophen or ibuprofen to alleviate fever and pain. Cool compress his eyes. Make sure he gets adequate rest. Sprinkle oatmeal to his bath water to relieve itching. Have him drink plenty of fluids, particularly water. Give him vitamin C to boost his immune system.


Looks like tiny, flesh, pink or white-colored puffy spots with a dimple in the center that is spread by skin-to-skin contact or through contaminated toys, clothes, towels and pool water.


Molluscum does not require treatment as it goes away on its own. However, you should wrap the bumps with clean gauze during daytime to keep your toddler from nicking them.

Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac

Also known as contact dermatitis, exposure to poisonous plants can cause inflamed, itchy rashes (with blisters) on the face, arms and legs.


This childhood rash has no cure. You just have to wait it out until it goes away. But, you can help ease your toddler’s discomfort by washing the area with soapy water, bathing him in water with baking soda or Epsom salts, cool compressing his skin and rubbing ice cubes to the affected area for 10 minutes, twice a day.

Prickly Heat

Prickly heat or heat rash looks like red rashes with small blisters that appear on the forehead, lower back, trunk and in skin creases due to overheating.


Dress your little one in lightweight, loose-fitting clothes made from breathable fabrics such as cotton to allow proper air circulation which will keep your toddler fresh. Cool compress the affected areas and apply cornstarch (not baby powder) to relieve the rashes.

If you are still clueless about your toddler’s rash, the best thing you should do is to call the doctor so appropriate diagnosis and treatment can be given.

Posted in Child Health Issues, HealthComments (0)

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December 2012
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