Archive | March 6th, 2013

Bed Sharing – The Pros and Cons of Sleeping With Children

Bed sharing, also known as sleep sharing means sharing a bed with a toddler instead of sleeping independently. It is a concept that is being practiced all over the world. But, is sleeping with children a good idea? Here are some pros and cons of sleeping with children you must consider before making the choice.


Offers Security

Bed sharing promotes intimacy among family members. Toddlers thrive on cuddles and they want to feel safe and warm beside their parents. For instance, a toddler with nighttime fears might not be able to sleep well in his own room. As a result, he stays up crying and awakens family members causing them to lose sleep as well. But when a toddler sleeps with his parents, he gets a feeling of comfort knowing that mommy and daddy are beside him making it possible for everyone to get a good night’s sleep.

Needs Are Met

When a toddler sleeps beside his mommy, the mother becomes more attentive of the toddler’s conditions and may be able to respond instantly to the toddler’s cues. You no longer have a difficult time figuring out the reason behind your toddler’s sudden outburst because you are aware of his needs.

More Time Spent Together

Bed sharing is also an excellent way for working parents to squeeze in some bonding time with their toddlers at the end of a long day. According to research, sleeping with toddlers helps parents regain the “closeness” that they missed during the day. The shared time with toddlers while sleeping creates a fostering bond that strengthens parent-child relationship.

Improves Overall Development

Studies show that toddlers who share a bed with their parents grow up more confident, satisfied, have less behavioural issues and are less apprehensive as compared to toddlers who sleep on their own beds.


Lack of Sleep

Some parents complain about not being able to sleep with a wriggling and restless toddler next to them. Your toddler can also get used to sleeping next to you making it hard for him to sleep when you are not around.

Encourages Dependence

While studies reveal that bed sharing is beneficial to a child’s development, other child developmental experts claim that toddlers who sleep with their parents will become very dependent which may cause problems in the long run.

Puts A Toddler’s Health At Risk

If one or both parents drink, smoke or use drugs, there is a big possibility that the toddler’s health will be at risk. Cigarette smoke can seep into pillows, blankets and bed sheets where the toddler will breathe in the chemicals causing inflammation in the lungs. Parents who suffer any contagious health condition (e.g. cough, chickenpox and fungal infections) can also endanger a toddler’s well-being.

Affects The Relationship of The Parents

Bed sharing can also cause intimacy problems between the husband and wife. It can also lead to arguments if the spouse is uncomfortable with the arrangement.

The decision to share the family bed with your toddler is a personal one. This set-up might work for your friends but it may not work for your family. Hence, it is important that you take the needs of all family members into account.

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Heat Rash Treatment For Toddlers

Heat rash is common in children. Although it is usually not a serious condition, it can cause discomfort in toddlers. The following are some heat rash treatment tips to relieve a toddler’s itching and distress.

Stay In A Cool Place

Start by taking off your toddler’s clothing and moving him in a shady area or airy room and let the cool natural breeze dry the sweat. Stop your toddler from playing or racing around so he can cool down. Use a mini fan if you are out during a hot day. Run an air conditioner or electric fan in your toddler’s bedroom to circulate air to keep him cool and comfortable at night.

Keep Your Toddler’s Skin Cool

You can lay him on a cotton towel to absorb sweat from the skin. Cool the affected areas with a wet washcloth. Make sure to pat, not rub or scrub the affected areas. Rubbing his skin will only aggravate heat rash or cause an infection. Give your little one a quick lukewarm bath if he is okay with it. You may add baking soda or ground oatmeal powder (2 teaspoons per gallon) to bath water as these can help relieve irritation. Let him air dry.

Use Lotion or Ointment

If your toddler’s pediatrician approves, you may apply a small amount of calamine lotion or 1% hydrocortisone cream on the heat rash to cool it. Do this 3 times a day until the rashes fade away. But, make sure not to put some near the eyes. It can come into contact with the eyes and cause irritation once your toddler rubs his eyes. Be careful when choosing lotion or ointment. Avoid those that are heavily concentrated.

Apply Cornstarch

Another option is to apply a light dusting of cornstarch to help prevent heat rash in your toddler’s folds (neck, armpits, back of the ears, behind knees and elbow folds). Never use talcum powder since this can be hazardous for your toddler when inhaled.

Dress Your Toddler For The Heat

Dress your toddler in lightweight clothes. Opt for light-colored, loose-fitting clothes that are made of cotton to let the skin breathe and allow him to perspire more efficiently. Avoid clothes made of synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester since they trap heat.

Increase Fluid Intake

See to it your little one is getting enough fluids into his body. Encourage him to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day or give him ice chips or popsicles if he dislikes drinking water. Limit caffeinated and sugary beverages as these can cause dehydration.


If your toddler becomes very uncomfortable, you may give him oral anti-itch medicines such as Benadryl and Claritin to relieve itching. If your toddler has a fever, giving a correct dose of acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) may be necessary to lower his temperature. Never give aspirin to a young child as this can cause Reye’s syndrome – a fatal disease.

Most heat rash will clear up within a few days. But, if rashes seem to be getting worse or your toddler’s temperature is 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, visit your doctor immediately.

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Dehydration In Children

Children are more prone to dehydration than adults. It occurs when the body lacks enough fluid. Dehydration in children can be lethal. Here is a guide to help you become more aware of this condition so you can protect your toddler from this life-threatening illness.


Lack of Fluids

The most obvious reason why a toddler gets dehydrated is because he is not drinking enough liquids, especially during the summer season or when doing vigorous activities.

Viral and Bacterial Infections

Dehydration is most often caused by a viral infection like rotavirus and adenovirus (infections of the lung, stomach, intestine and eyes) or a bacterial infection such as salmonella or e-coli. Viral and bacterial infections can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea and a decreased ability to eat and drink, draining the body of important body fluids.

Parasitic Infections

Parasitic diseases such as Giardia lamblia – a parasite responsible for a transmittable form of diarrhea.

Medical Conditions

Cystic fibrosis and medical conditions that cause excessive urination such as diabetes can cause dehydration. Some medications that are prescribed to toddlers can also lead to fluid loss.

Signs and Symptoms

If a toddler is dehydrated, he may show one or more of these symptoms:

  • Decreased frequency of urination (may go up to 12 hours without urinating and if he does urinate, his urine looks darker and smells stronger than usual)
  • No tears while crying
  • Dry or sticky mouth and tongue
  • Sunken eyes
  • Lethargy (feeling exhausted and sluggish)
  • Extreme fussiness
  • Fever
  • Increased thirst

When To Call A Doctor

If your toddler is dehydrated, it would be best to call the doctor for advice and to make sure your toddler is not seriously dehydrated. But, if you notice your toddler shows serious signs of dehydration - temperature is higher than 103 degrees Fahrenheit, severe abdominal pain and frequent vomiting, take your toddler to the emergency room right away.


Increase Fluid Intake

If your doctor recommends it, you may let your toddler drink an oral rehydration solution such as Pedialyte and ReVital. You may also offer freezer pops, flat soda, ice chips and clear soup. If he has trouble keeping the solution down, try giving him 1 tablespoon of liquid every 15 minutes. Steer clear of plain water, gelatine, juices, sodas, chicken broth and sports drinks as they do not have the necessary electrolytes to replace the lost fluids in the body.


Give your toddler the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apples and toast) 4 hours after vomiting stops. After 24 to 48 hours, you can continue on your toddler’s regular diet.

Keep Your Toddler Comfortable

Stay in a well-ventilated place. Dress your toddler in lightweight clothing. See to it your toddler gets plenty of rest and do not allow him to play physically demanding games for the mean time. Read a book, talk, listen to music or play board games to keep him entertained.

IV Fluids

For severe dehydration, your toddler might have to stay in the hospital and receive IV fluids through an intravenous tube until he is rehydrated.

Dehydration is a serious condition. But, you can prevent your toddler from getting dehydrated by making sure your child is consuming plenty of fluids throughout the day, maintaining a healthy diet and getting adequate rest.

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