How do I know When my Child is Ready?
- Knows words for urine, stool and toilet
- Is somewhat bothered by feeling wet or soiled
- Shows interest in using the potty
- Has an awareness of when they are about to urinate or have a bowel movement
Are You Ready?
Explore Different Strategies
- The hugs-and-kisses approach – give your child praise every time they use the potty correctly.
- The cold-turkey underwear approach – let your child pick out several pairs of “fun” underwear to make them feel special and go from there.
- The get-with-the-program approach – dedicate time to promoting potty use for your child. Stay home and gently steer your toddler to the bathroom at predictable points throughout the day.
- The sticker-chart approach – this is a fun way to encourage your child to begin potty training. Each time they use the potty, they get a sticker.
Tips from Your Pediatrician for Prevention
- Wipe your baby’s gums with clean a gauze pad or washcloth after each feeding.
- Begin brushing your child’s teeth (without toothpaste), when his or her first tooth comes in.
- Clean and massage gums in areas without teeth.
- Floss once all the baby teeth have come in.
- Ensure your child is receiving enough fluoride.
- Schedule regular dental visits by your child’s first birthday.
Despite all of the research supporting the effectiveness of immunizations, many parents still question the safety of vaccines for their little ones. Will they protect my infant from serious disease? Or are the vaccines themselves harmful?
Immunization is one of the best ways parents can protect their babies from serious childhood diseases ranging from tetanus and mumps to whooping cough and seasonal flu—and have been for more than 50 years. In fact, vaccinations have reduced the number of infections from vaccine-preventable diseases by more than 90%!
Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that every child receive the protection that immunization provides.
Do vaccines even work?
Yes, vaccines work every year to protect millions of children from serious illnesses. Because infants are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases, if an unvaccinated baby is exposed to a certain germ, the baby’s body may not be strong enough to fight the disease. Therefore it is very important that parents take the necessary steps to ward off harmful complications through immunization.
Are there side effects?
As with any medication, side effects can occur with vaccines. These side effects are usually very minor and include redness or tenderness at the injection site or a low fever, which indicates that the body is reacting positively to the vaccine. Most babies do not experience any side effects from vaccines, and severe reactions are very rare.
Parents have the power to protect their baby from serious illnesses. Deciding not to vaccinate your child could put him at risk for life-threatening childhood diseases. If you have questions about immunization, talk with your pediatrician. You can also visit the sites listed below for additional information and updated immunization schedules.
American Academy of Pediatrics
Food and Drug Administration
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Network for Immunization Information
Your Pediatrician Shares the Symptoms
- Predictable crying episodes.
- Intense or inconsolable crying.
- Posture changes.
When to Visit Your Pediatrician
- Can’t be soothed, even for a few minutes
- Doesn’t suck strongly at the bottle or breast
- Doesn’t like to be held or touched
- Has an unusual-sounding cry, or sounds like they are in pain
- Has diarrhea or blood in the stool
- Has trouble breathing
- Is less alert or sleepier than usual
- Is eating less than usual
- Is running a fever of 100.4 degrees or more
- Is throwing up
Start Early. Try to introduce a sippy cup at 6 months to get your child acquainted with it before it is necessary for them to give up the bottle. Children than are older than a year often have a much more difficult time with this transition because the bottle becomes a source of comfort and security.
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