Posts for tag: Infants
Most young children use a pacifier or suck on their thumb or fingers. Sucking is a natural instinct for an infant and often sticks around as a comforting habit into the toddler years. However, this can be troublesome if your child persists sucking a thumb or pacifier past the age of four or when the permanent teeth begin erupting. The risk of these habits can lead to include overcrowded and crooked teeth, problems with the development of roof and mouth development and bite problems. Sometimes the front teeth may even tilt toward the lip or not come in properly.
Pacifiers and thumb sucking usually stop on their own when your child begins pre-school or kindergarten due to the peer pressure associated with begins around other children their age. However, if your child is having trouble giving up thumb sucking or a pacifier, your pediatrician can offer you some helpful suggestions.
How to Stop Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Dependence
As a first step in dealing with your child’s sucking habits, ignore them. Most often, your child will stop on his or her own. Instead of forcing a change, your pediatrician offers these helpful tips:
- Praise your child when he or she isn’t sucking their thumb or pacifier. Be positive and do not punish him or her.
- Reward your child if he or she does not resort to thumb sucking or a pacifier during stressful situations or falls asleep without sucking.
- Try trading the pacifier for another special toy.
- Don’t make it into a power struggle or a dramatic experience trying to wean your child off the pacifier. Be patient and always remain positive.
- Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety that may be causing your child to be dependent on sucking their thumb or a pacifier.
- Bandage the thumb or place a sock over the hand at night to remind your child of the habit.
- If serious enough, your dentist may also suggest a mouth appliance to block the ability to suck.
- In infancy, avoid ever dipping your child’s pacifier in honey, sugar or syrup.
For more advice or counseling about your child’s thumb sucking or pacifier habits, please visit your pediatrician. With their help, you can successfully wean your child off of their thumb sucking and pacifier habit.
Teething is an important part of your baby’s development. Although it can be an irritable time for your baby, there are many ways you can help ease the pain. Most babies get their first teeth around 6 months, but they might come anytime between 2 and 12 months of age. Teething does not cause a high fever or vomiting and diarrhea, so if your baby does develop these symptoms, it is important that you contact your pediatrician immediately.
Helping Ease the Pain
When your baby is teething, all you want to do is help ease the pain. Your pediatrician offers a few tips to keep in mind when your baby is teething:
- Wipe your baby’s face often with a cloth to remove drool and prevent rashes from developing.
- Give your baby something to chew on, but make sure it is big enough so that it can’t be swallowed and that it can’t break into small pieces. Teething rings are a popular choice for babies to chew on, as well as plush toys that are crunchy on the inside.
- Rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger.
- Never tie a teething ring around your baby’s neck, as it could get caught on something.
- If your baby seems irritable, ask your pediatrician if it is okay to give your baby a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease discomfort.
Cleaning Your Baby’s New Teeth
Once your baby’s new teeth have arrived, they are susceptible to plaque buildup just like adult teeth, which can lead to discoloration and dental complications. However, do no use toothpaste on your child’s teeth until they are old enough to spit—around the age of 2 or 3. Until then, brush their teeth with a small, soft toothbrush and water. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that kids visit the dentist by age 1, when six to eight teeth are in place, in order to spot any potential problems and advise you about proper preventive care.
By visiting your pediatrician, you can establish proper care for your child. Your pediatrician can help guide you in caring for your child through teething so that they are more comfortable.
When it comes to caring for your baby, nail care is often overlooked. In the first few months of life, you may not be too worried about caring for your baby’s nails. But at some point your little one will take a swipe at you, and you will quickly find out how sharp those nails are. Baby nail care is easy—for the most part. Your pediatrician is available to offer helpful tips to ensure proper care for your baby’s nails.
Proper nail care can be as simple as trimming the nails when they get long enough to scratch you. However, your baby may squirm and move around, which makes cutting his or her nails difficult. Your pediatrician, we want the process of cutting your baby’s nails to be as easy as possible, which is why we are available to offer friendly advice.
There is no wrong way to cut your baby’s nails, as long as you do not nick the baby, and the nails get trimmed. Your pediatrician shares some basic tips:
- Clean your baby’s hands, feet and nails during regular bathing.
- Hold your baby’s finger and palm steady with one hand and trim with the other.
- Press down on the fleshy pad of his or her fingertip to move the skin away from the nail.
- Cut along the shape of the nail and snip any sharp corners or use an emery board.
While these tips may be easy to follow, some parents may still remain concerned about cutting their baby’s nails. If you are still concerned, follow these tips to make the job easier:
- Have your partner hold the baby while you trim the nails.
- Do it while your baby is sleeping.
- Use only baby nail clippers to trim the nails.
- Wait until your baby is in a good mood and find something to distract him or her, such as a new video, toy or snack.
Visit your pediatrician for more information on how to care for your baby, including proper nail care.