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Baby Calendar Month 22

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Baby Development

Toddlers are learning so much at this age. Help your toddler develop his fine motor skills by introducing some fun homemade toys and activities.

One simple idea is to take brightly colored craft foam and cut out some basic geometric shapes. Using an X-acto knife or a large hole punch cut out holes around the edges of the shapes. Use yarn or shoelaces to lace up the shapes. Put a knot in one end of the yarn.

Make some play dough using a simple recipe from the Web and let your child create the afternoon away.

Make your own family puzzles from enlarged color copies of family pics glued to cardboard (recycled empty cereal boxes work well) covered with clear contact paper and cut into large pieces.

Also make bath time fun and a learning experience by supplying cups, water droppers and squeeze bath toys.

However, your toddler also needs some gross motor play every day as well. Encourage your child to run, climb, jump and explore. Playgrounds can become competition fields by taking a stopwatch and timing how many times your toddler can jump in one minute or how long it takes to climb the slide and get down.

Toddler Health & Nutrition

If your toddler awakes with a bright red bloodshot eye complete with greenish-yellow gunk matting it almost shut, you should suspect Pink Eye. Most cases of pink eye can be attributed to bacterial conjunctivitis. Doctors will usually prescribe topical antibiotic drops and comfort measures such as a warm or cool compress. Remove matting and discharge from the eye gently, with a cotton ball. Remind your child to wash his hands frequently to keep from spreading the infection to the other eye. If the infection persists after treatment you should see your physician again to make sure another more difficult infection hasn't flared up.

Food allergies are more common in younger than older children and affect five to eight percent of younger kids. The most common reactions include:

A severe reaction may cause swelling of the throat or mouth, difficulty breathing, decreased blood pressure, and shock. Anaphylactic shock can occur in severe cases, possibly causing death.

Lactose intolerance is more common and not a true allergy. Medication can help and lactose free milk is available also. The most common food allergies are:

If you suspect your child has a food allergy, speak to your child's pediatrician to determine what you should do to handle the allergy.

Tips for Mom and Dad

Toddlers often struggle with fears, many seem really unrealistic or odd but try not to laugh them off. You want to listen and be empathetic but approach the fear with a problem-solving mentality. Talk to your child about her fears and discuss ways to make her feel safer. If your son is terrorized of the possibility of going down the drain at the end of his bath, by all means don't pull the plug while he is still sitting in the bath. However, while he is safely wrapped in a towel and sitting a safe distance on your lap show him how his toys will not disappear when you drain the tub.

Nighttime fears are usually more pronounced and night terrors are fairly common at this age. Make sure your child has a regular comforting nighttime routine and a comforting object to sleep with. Perhaps a special nightlight will help allay some fears as well. Rest assured that most irrational toddler fears will disappear in time without undue attention. However, mocking or ignoring them will likely cause them to stay around longer.


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