Parenting Lesson 18- Daily care of your child (Part II)

Topics covered in this lesson-

  1. What are safety steps for easily childproofing a family home?

  2. How to know that my baby is teething and what to do?

  3. How to get the toothbrush done?

  4. When and How should i start toilet training my child?

  5. What are the best kinds of toys or play equipment for my preschooler?

What are safety steps for easily childproofing a family home?

Children don’t know what could be really harmful to them and need to be given an environment which does not have hazardous things.

Some of the common prevention steps are -

  1. Install safety latches on cabinets and drawers to keep children from potentially poisonous household products. Or the best way is to keep all poisonous things locked up.

  2. Store medicines and other products in their original containers away from reach of a child

  3. Install toilet locks to keep toilet lids closed. Children are more top-heavy than adults and can lean and fall into a toilet easily. They also can drown in just one inch of water. Never ever keep a vessel full of water near a child such as bucket or tub

  4. Take warm water in a bucket or a tub and temperature check it before giving your child a bath. Remember their skin is very delicate and can get a third degree burn in just few seconds with boiling water coming directly from your geyser.

  5. Unplug hair dryers and electric rollers after use to prevent electrocution from contact with water in the bathroom. Also keep them away from curious children to prevent burns.

  6. Cover unused electrical outlets with outlet protectors or safety caps. Make sure outlets in the bathroom and kitchen -- or near any water source -- are updated with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), which turn off electricity if appliances fall into water. For outlets in use, especially those low to the ground, there are devices which make it difficult to pull out plugs.

  7. Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs and in the doorways of rooms with hazards. Gates with expanding pressure bars should not be used for the top of staircases. Use gates hardware-mounted to the door frame instead.

  8. Use doorknob covers to keep children away from rooms and other areas with hazards, such as swimming pools. Be careful, though, that these devices are easy for adults to use in case of emergency.

  9. Put corner and edge bumpers on furniture and other items like a fireplace hearth to protect against injury.

  10. Place furniture away from high windows so children won't climb onto windowsills. Screens aren't strong enough to keep children from falling through windows.

  11. Never keep a sharp object near a child, it is one of the most common injury items

Above all, always be conscious of what could hurt your child and try to avoid doing the same.

How to know that my baby is teething and what to do?

Teething can be a time of great frustration for caregivers, in this post I will list some of the most common symptoms, explain how they relate to teething and share some insight on how to help soothe your little one during this potentially uncomfortable time.

When Does Teething Begin for Infants?

Teething usually starts around four to eight months with the lower front teeth and continues until 30-36 months of age when the last set of molars appear. During the teething period there are symptoms that include irritability, disrupted sleep, swelling or inflammation of the gums, drooling, loss of appetite, rash around the mouth, mild temperature, diarrhea, increased biting and gum-rubbing and even ear-rubbing. These symptoms were reported by 70-80 percent of parents according to an article from the British Dental Journal. So, why don’t all infants experience teething symptoms? Keep reading to find out.

Below is a list of commonly reported teething symptoms, with ways to help your infant at home and when to call the doctor:

Irritability: This is caused by the discomfort of the teeth erupting through the gums. Often the first teeth and molars are the most uncomfortable.

How to help your infant’s irritability: Cuddle, cuddle, cuddle! Every baby can use some good cuddle time when they are having a hard time with teething. The extra time spent with your baby can help alleviate their pain, by providing feelings of being comforted and reassured.

Drooling/Skin Rashes: Teething can stimulate drooling and many babies drool a lot!

How to help your infant’s drooling: Excessive drooling can cause a rash around the mouth, cheeks, chin and neck area due to the extra bacteria on the skin from the saliva. Try to keep the area as clean and as dry as possible by periodically wiping the area. Applying a simple barrier cream can help with the dry, chapped and sore skin.


The extra saliva produced during teething can cause an occasional cough or gag.

Low Grade Fever

A low grade fever is defined and caused by the following:

A temperature ranging from 98-100 degrees.

It can be caused by an infant putting their unclean hands in their mouth. If the fever reaches above 101 degrees or continues, contact your infant’s pediatrician because it may not be the teething but a more serious illness.

How to help your infant’s cheek rubbing and ear pulling: Try rubbing and massaging the gums with a clean finger for one to two minutes to help with the discomfort.

Teething and Diarrhea

Many believe that the increased saliva produced during teething can cause stool to become slightly loose.Keep in mind, diarrhea can be a sign of a more serious infection so contact your infant’s pediatrician if the stool becomes watery, because your infant could be at risk for dehydration. Contacting your infant’s pediatrician is especially important if the diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting or a high fever.

How to get the toothbrush done?

Here are five ways to make tooth brushing a fun — and regular — part of your child’s daily routine.

Start oral hygiene early.

It’s never too early to make brushing and flossing a part of their morning and nightly routines. In fact, dentists recommend starting dental care even before your child’s first tooth arrives. During infancy, wipe down their gums nightly with a soft, damp cloth. Switch to a toothbrush when their teeth come in (usually around 6 months of age), and floss once teeth start touching (typically around age 2 or 3). Schedule a visit to the dentist by the first birthday, regardless of how many teeth they have.

Set a good example.

When it comes to teaching good dental hygiene, practice what you preach. A child emulates whatever a parent is doing, So if your child regularly sees you flossing, she’s more likely to floss. For added fun, pretend to be a mirror the next time you and your kid brush together, and encourage them to copy your every move.

Turn toothbrushing into a game.

Whether you’re 6 or 66, dentists recommend brushing teeth twice a day, for two minutes at a time. That’s because studies show that the longer you brush, the more plaque you remove. Try one of these creative games to help them meet the two-minute mark:

Brush during the commercial break.

During each 30-second commercial, have your child brush a quadrant of their mouth. By the time they’re done, Kennerly says, their show is back on. Just remember to turn off the TV at least a half hour before bedtime to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Set a timer. Overturn an egg timer filled with colorful sand, and challenge them to keep brushing until all the sand has reached the bottom. Or buy your child a toothbrush that blinks or plays music for two minutes.

Choose the right tools.

Brushing and flossing can be difficult for little hands. Opt for age-appropriate tools, such as toddler toothbrushes, flossers without sharp edges, and power toothbrushes, which experts say mimic little circles for accurate brushing. Small kids don’t have manual dexterity, a power toothbrush gives kids the boost to get that plaque off. If your child is hesitant to try one, let them feel the movement of the whirring bristles on the palm of their hand before starting. Also let your child pick out their favorite toothbrush and favorite flavor of toothpaste.

When and How should i start toilet training my child?

You might see signs that your child is ready for toilet training from about two years on. Some children show signs as early as 18 months, and some might be older than two years.

It might be time for toilet training if your child:

  1. is walking and can sit for short periods of time

  2. is becoming generally more independent, including saying ‘no’ more often

  3. is becoming interested in watching others go to the toilet

  4. has dry nappies for up to two hours

  5. tells you with words or gestures when they do a poo or wee in their nappy

  6. begins to dislike wearing a nappy, perhaps trying to pull it off when it’s wet or soiled

  7. has regular, soft, formed bowel movements

  8. can pull their pants up and down

  9. can follow simple instructions like ‘Give the ball to daddy’.

Not all these signs need to be present when your child is ready. A general trend will let you know it’s time to start.

Equipment for toilet training

Potty or toilet

Children can start toilet training using a remote potty seat or the family toilet. Your child might like one better than the other. Or you can encourage your child to use both. A potty seat is easy to move around, and some children find it less scary than a toilet. On the other hand, the toilet is where everybody else does wees and poos.

If your child will be using the toilet, you’ll also need:

  1. a step or footstool – your child can use this for getting onto the toilet and resting their feet while sitting

  2. a smaller seat that fits securely inside the big toilet seat.

  3. Training pants and pull-ups

Your child is more likely to understand going to the toilet if they’re no longer wearing a nappy. So it might be time to get some training pants and/or pull-ups:

Preparing your child for toilet training

Well before you start toilet training, you can prepare your child for this big step.

Here are some ideas:

  • Start teaching your child some words for going to the toilet – for example, ‘wee’, ‘poo’ and ‘I need to go’.

  • When you change your child’s nappy, put wet and dirty nappies in the potty – this can help your child understand what the potty is for.

  • Let your child watch you or other trusted family members using the toilet, and talk about what you’re doing.

  • Once or twice a day, start putting training pants on your child – this helps your child understand the feeling of wetness.

  • Make sure your child is eating plenty of fibre and drinking lots of water, so your child doesn’t get constipated. Constipation can make toilet training harder.

What are the best kinds of toys or play equipment for my preschooler?

Preschoolers and kindergartners have longer attention spans than toddlers. Typically they talk a lot and ask a lot of questions. They like to experiment with things and with their still-emerging physical skills. They like to play with friends—and don’t like to lose! They can take turns—and sharing one toy by two or more children is often possible for older preschoolers and kindergarteners.

Good toys for 3- to 6-year-olds:

  • Things for solving problems—puzzles (with 12 to 20+ pieces), blocks that snap together, collections and other smaller objects to sort by length, width, height, shape, color, smell, quantity, and other features—collections of plastic bottle caps, plastic bowls and lids, keys, shells, counting bears, small colored blocks

  • Things for pretending and building—many blocks for building complex structures, transportation toys, construction sets, child-sized furniture (“apartment” sets, play food), dress-up clothes, dolls with accessories, puppets and simple puppet theaters, and sand and water play toys

  • Things to create with—large and small crayons and markers, large and small paintbrushes and fingerpaint, large and small paper for drawing and painting, colored construction paper, preschooler-sized scissors, chalkboard and large and small chalk, modeling clay and playdough, modeling tools, paste, paper and cloth scraps for collage, and instruments—rhythm instruments and keyboards, xylophones, maracas, and tambourines

  • Picture books with even more words and more detailed pictures than toddler books

  • a variety of music on any kind of device.

  • Things for using their large and small muscles—large and small balls for kicking and throwing/catching, ride-on equipment including tricycles, tunnels, taller climbers with soft material underneath, wagons and wheelbarrows, plastic bats and balls, plastic bowling pins, targets and things to throw at them, and a workbench with a vise, hammer, nails, and saw

  • If a child has access to a computer: programs that are interactive (the child can do something) and that children can understand (the software uses graphics and spoken instruction, not just print), children can control the software’s pace and path, and children have opportunities to explore a variety of concepts on several levels

Safety and children's toys

Safe toys for young children are well-made (with no sharp parts or splinters and do not pinch); painted with nontoxic, lead-free paint; shatter-proof; and easily cleaned.

make sure there are no small parts or pieces that could become lodged in a child’s throat and cause suffocation.

It is important to remember that typical wear and tear can result in a once safe toy becoming hazardous. Adults should check toys frequently to make sure they are in good repair.


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