Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Do’s and Don’ts in Childcare

As parenting books will tell you-- Trial and error is a method that just cannot be used in bringing up a child.  For effective parenting you have to keep reminding yourself that a child does not have the sturdiness to withstand certain things which pose no hardship to an adult. A child is like a flower, a tender little seedling, and he or she needs attention.

           Attention is exactly what a child craves and he will do anything to get it. Babies cry and toddlers throw tantrums. Why? For Mommy’s attention of course! An infant who has not yet learnt to crawl is easily satisfied by a cuddle or by being rocked in his cradle or by toys dangled above his cradle.Babies, less than three months, usually cry when they are hungry or uncomfortable,  and a feed or a diaper change will quieten them. It’s different when they grow a little older. It is very important to give your child companionship and love.

 In India mothers like to have their babies sleep beside them at night. This habit is frowned on in the West. The Indian mother is well aware that the gentle weight of her hand on the baby’s body will make him feel secure even while he sleeps. If not in the same bed, a child could sleep in a cot beside the bed, within touching distance. This would be a positive parenting skill.

           Summer months in India are killing. It is advisable to never ever leave a child out in the open in the sun. Protect a child from dehydration by making him drink water.  Small children should   be given unchilled water rather than aerated drinks. Babies and toddlers under six (and in fact the whole family!) should be given water that has been boiled first and then cooled. The paediatric doctor should be consulted over food and liquid intake. It is best to follow the doctor for parenting advice.

              I remember shifting all breakable things from shelves that my son could reach as soon as he learned to crawl. The glass and china were replaced by stainless steel utensils. Scissors, knives, forks,needles were consigned to locked cupboards.

        I kept the flat clutter-free and saved myself worry. Prevention is always better than cure. Above all be alert – the safest environment can have hidden dangers! Mothers are guardian angels –so stay on guard.

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