TIPS FOR PARENTS

How to Encourage Healthy Physical Development in Kids

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THE BREAST IS BEST (AT LEAST FOR THE FIRST 6 MONTHS)

During the first two years of a child's life, nutrition is critical because of the rapid amount of growth of both the brain and the body. Breast milk has been shown to be the best option in infancy due to it's higher fat and lower protein content and also the unique fats and proteins that it does have. Breast milk does not need to be supplemented with other foods until the baby is 6 months old. Breast fed babies tend to be leaner which may prevent obesity later in life. Antibodies are transferred from mom to baby to enhance the immune system. Breastfed babies also tend to have fewer illnesses and allergic reactions. Breastfeeding prevents malocclusion and protects against tooth decay. Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from gastrointestinal problems and constipation due to a different bacteria which grows in the guts of breastfed babies. Because breast milk is so digestible, breast fed babies are hungry every few hours, which can be a challenge for working moms. The mother-infant relationship does not appear to suffer at all for bottle-fed babies in industrialized nations which is something mothers fear who do not or cannot breast feed. (Berk, 2012)

HOT TOPIC: POTTY TRAINING


  • Physiologically, toddlers are not ready to be potty trained until after 24 months of age
  • At this point, children can better recognize the signals they receive when their bladder or rectum are full and they can release these muscles at the appropriate place and time
  • Children who are bothered by a wet or dirty diaper and stay dry for several hours are showing signs of readiness
  • Potty training before 27 months just seems to delay the process
  • A regular toileting schedule, encouragement and praise are the keys to successful potty training at the time when children are developmentally and physically ready (Berk, 2012).

By Lauren R. Myrtetus RN, BSN, CSN