Baby talk: Ask the paediatrician

Q: My two-year-old hates bath times. Why? What can I do about it?

A: He may have had a bad experience. Perhaps the bath water was too cold or too hot or he may have slipped partially into the water.

Use a little water in the bath so that he is not intimidated and get into the bath yourself. Give him some bath toys and some water pistols to splash him with. You could use squirt guns yourself to wash away the soap suds.

Q: My husband does not take an interest in our child’s school work or activities. What can I do?

A: Both parents must take an active interest in the child’s school activities, home work, extracurricular activities and in the parent teacher association.

When both parents take an active interest, the child is more confident, happy and will enjoy and benefit from school

Have a ‘man to man chat’ with him!

Q: I am new to Cayman and my 18-month-old son is very isolated. I feel he will benefit from meeting other children. How do I do this?

A: Yes, your child will definitely benefit from meeting other children. He will learn to socialise and his speech will improve. Join a toddler group run by a church or nursery.

Q: My six-year-old daughter has very long curly hair which gets tangled and is very difficult to manage.

I have offered to cut it short but it drives her hysterical. What can I do?

A: Play hairdresser! Give your daughter a baby doll with hair. Ask her to do the dolls’ hair while you do hers, so that she sees that hair can get tangled. She may need a trim to make her hair manageable. Visit a good children’s hairdresser.

Q: My four year old is a picky eater with me but eats well with the helper when I am at work. Does he not like me going out to work? What can I do?

A: You may be right!

He may resent you going away and leaving him. And this is his way of showing it.

Ask the helper to stay and feed him in the evening.

Take a non-confrontational stand with him and don’t try to force feed him; children never come to any harm by not eating!

Place a wide range of food on his high chair tray and let him get on with it with gentle encouragement from you.

Q: I had my second child recently and my elder son has started getting into our bed at night. Is this normal?

A: He is obviously feeling threatened.

He is jealous, feels left out and that he is the displaced child and wants to reclaim his place in your affection.

Reassure him repeatedly that the new baby is his and make a big fuss over the elder child.

This should really have been done when you were expecting the second baby.

As a compromise, you could move his cot into your bedroom but get him to sleep on his own, not in your bed – you need a good nights’ rest!

Dr. Asoka Thenabadu is an experienced paediatrician who has been practicing in the United Kingdom for 33 years. He is undertaking a three month locum in Cayman in the office of Dr. Gordon Smith. Email your questions for Dr. Thenabadu to [email protected]

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