Archives for April, 2008
It can be a bit more challenging beyond the infant stage, but every child can be taught to self-soothe and fall asleep by himself,” says Parents advisor Judith Owens, MD, coauthor of Take Charge of Your Child’s Sleep. There are different ways to get him snoozing solo. Choose the one that works best for your lifestyle and your child’s temperament.
The hard-line strategy: You put your child to bed and leave. Try your best to ignore any protests, and if he comes out of his room escort him back and simply say, “You need to stay in bed.” Some experts suggest putting a gate up so there’s no escape. This technique can be tough on both parent and child but often works well and quickly, says Dr. Owens.
The graduated method: You put your child to bed but tell him that you’ll come back in five minutes to check on him — and you follow through with that promise. Then, keep checking on him, waiting successively longer intervals of time before going back into his room. Eventually, your child will get bored waiting and fall asleep. This is the method most parents choose.
The gentle approach: You stay in your child’s room but don’t lie in his bed or interact with him. For example, the first night sit in a chair by his bed. Each night, move farther away from him. Ideally, by the time you’ve edged your way out of the room he has learned to fall asleep on his own.
Recent studies show that the way you feed your kid may reduce his risk of developing symptoms down the road. Stock your grocery cart with plenty of these.
Tomatoes, Eggplants, Cucumbers
Children who regularly load up their plates with these veggies, along with green beans and zucchini, are nearly 40 percent less likely to develop symptoms of allergies and asthma compared to kids who rarely ate them, according to a study published in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. The exact link is not known, but Scott H. Sicherer, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, believes explains that these antioxidant-packed, so-called “fruity-vegetables” may protect your body’s cells from everyday damage, which makes the immune system healthier. When the immune system’s in check, it’s less likely to attack foreign substances in food, triggering an allergic reaction.
Children age 7-18 who eat nuts at least three times a week are less prone to wheezing, found a study recently published in the journal Thorax. This healthy snack is packed with vitamin E, an immune-boosting antioxidant, as well as magnesium, a mineral that may reduce asthma risk. Got young kids? To reduce choking risk, chop nuts up completely or only serve them to children over 4, advises the
The same study found that children who ate the most omega-3-packed fish had fewer allergies and were less likely to develop asthma by age 7. This follows research revealing that children of women who ate more fish during pregnancy also had reduced asthma risk. “The fatty acids in fish like salmon are believed to boost the immune system by reducing inflammation,” says Sicherer.How soon to introduce fish to your kid’s diet? Most children can start after they’re comfortable with other solids like cereal and veggies, but check with your pediatrician first. He may suggest waiting longer (especially for shellfish) if your infant already has allergic problems or if there’s a strong family history of allergies.Stick to low-mercury fish like salmon and trout; avoid high-mercury types like swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish. Tuna is safe in limited amounts; keep your child’s intake to one ounce of light canned tuna a week for every 12 pounds he weighs (a 36-pound toddler could safely eat half a can a week, for example).