Who is a fussy eater ? How to adapt and tame one .

What is fussy eating?

Fussy eating happens when usually your kid starts rejecting food or seems choosy about what is being fed.

When does a baby turn a fussy eater?

This can be a regular habit or can be at intervals. The baby may have an immature digestive system, which will cure itself with time, or might be teething, have an infection,food allergy, or just may not be ready for solid foods yet.

What symptoms should I look out for?

Your baby may push away the spoon or turn her head from it. She might close her mouth,as you try feeding her, spit out food, or become cranky or tired at mealtime. They might also start throwing food when they are playful.

Suggestions to avoid fussy eating stage

  • Don’t delay introducing lumpy foods. Keep changing frequently between purees and lumpy food.
  • Remember that your child will never voluntarily starve themselves. Hunger and fullness can be very well judged by kids.
  • Do not make a fuss of whether your child is eating or not. Remain calm. All we need to do is to concentrate on making mealtimes enjoyable family events. If an occurrence is enjoyable, your child will want to repeat it
  • Be genuine about the amount of effort you put into making your child’s meals. Don’t feel annoyed when they refuse to eat.
  • Don’t threaten and shout at them. This might make it even more difficult
  • Do not use desserts as bribes.

How do I adjust to my child’s eating habit:?

Part of the problem is solved when parents avoid to force feed a child like a adult.

  • If your kid is in the age of 2 months to 2 years, we need to understand that their stomach size would be small. If they have too much of liquid intake say fruit juice or milk, that might be filling them up and say no to a solid when offered.
  • The meal size should be that is something that should suffice a child- size. If they are hungrier they would ask for more. Ideal plan would be three meals spaced at an equal interval and a snack in between.
  • If the family is used to eating late at nights. This would not suit the child. They might get tired and start getting cranky. So always feed the last meal earlier.
  • Weekly assessment is better than daily.
  • Let the kid decide when they have had enough, this would help them understand their body and make them realize when to stop and when to ask for more.

How to tame my fussy eater?

  • Do not force feed the child. If the child turns the head away and rejects food by closing mouth , it’s a clear sign that they are full, even if it is very little. Trust your kid that they know how much to eat. Despite the above signs, if you still try to force feed it might lead to tension and discomfort.
  • Experiment with food textures. Even babies have food preferences. Some enjoy wet gravy foods, while the others prefer finger food. Some might want o continue with liquids, while the others might want to graze over half a dozen meal. Offer healthy options and he’ll develop a taste for them. But do not trick them with junk to eat the meal.
  • Change the speed. Some babies are fast eaters some are slow. So try changing the pace to see if there is a difference.
  • Do not distract the child. Keep away toys, books and turn off TV. Main focus should only be on eating.
  • It’s tempting to let a picky eater take as long as they want to eat. Keep meal length reasonable. It should not be more than 30 minutes. You can tell them you should eat before your hands become dry.
  • Let the baby touch and feel the food that is being offered. There is nothing wrong in exploring.
  • Follow your baby’s timeline. Most babies begin eating solid foods between 4 and 6 months, but some may start a little earlier, others later. As with crawling, walking, potty-training, and just about every other infant milestone, there’s no perfect time .No baby is unique. So let them take their own time.
  • Encourage self-feeding. By about 9 months, many babies are interested in trying to feed themselves. Although your picky eater is likely to make a mess waving around the mealtime spoon, letting him take control is important to a child’s growth and development. Let them participate, which makes it enjoyable for them.
  • It’s a natural feeling for babies to slow down on their feeds. This is usually at the end of year one babies’ growth tends to slow. So does their calorie need. Be patient; growth spurts are on the way.
  • Keep trying, gently. Some babies may need to try a food eight, 10, even 15 times before they enjoy it, so be patient and continue to revisit a rejected food over time, time as long as there are no allergies.
  • React passionately to a picky eater and even a 1-year-old will understand her power over you. Realize that you want your baby to eat for her own well-being, not to please you — and that baby’s rejection of a food is not a rejection of you. Don’t let on that you’re frustrated or angry.
  • Even if it’s our job to feed the baby, it’s their choice to choose what to eat and when. As long as the child is active and has a healthy weight gain, we needn’t worry.
  • Make meal time educative. Teach them where food comes from.
  • Eating together is a good practice. Make sure at least one of you eats with the child.

Toddler recipes for fussy eaters:

  • Baked sweet potato wheels
  • Dry fruit powdered balls
  • Melon balls
  • Shaped cheese slice
  • Popcorn gobi mildly spiced
  • Mildly spiced ragi or soya chakli
  • Carrot kheer
  • Multigrain balls
  • Rice cakes topped with ghee and sugar
  • Rice crepes with veggie purees
  • French fries shallow fried
  • Bite sized jam buns
  • Mini quesadilla with veggies
  • Dhal rice balls
  • Curd rice cakes
  • Soups of all veggies

I did read through a couple of books to learn about child nutrition.

The gentle eating book by Sarah Ockwell Smith

Eat, delete Junior by Pooja Makhija

These give us a better understanding of our child’s food habits and nutritional needs.

Good and bad. How to teach your kids to make good choices. Observe, think and decide.

Do we know that telling a child “to make positive or good choices” has an important part to play in molding the behavior.

Such challenging behaviors like the one above make parents struggle on a day-to-day basis.

Making good choices could be compared to learning how to tie shoes for your kids; this skill would develop progressively over time as they mature. Children need a lot of molding and support when it comes to learning how to make good choices. They don’t mean to make bad choices; they just need more practice and support in making good ones.

Part of raising kids is preparing them for the world and life on their own by preparing them with the skills necessary to both succeed and cope with failures.

The real world we live in is full of disappointment, consequences, hearing a no, and doing things I would rather not. That’s how life is. Therefore, preparing my child with the means to handle all that is important. Therefore, to inspire my daughter’s independence and to nurture her emotional intelligence, I want to parent her in a way that she knows she is loved and I believe in her, but that she also knows what it’s like to fail or to make the wrong decision.

“Failure is not fatal”. People know me as a perfectionist, to me it felt like mistakes were killing me from the inside. Honestly, I have never emotionally conquered the concept of failure; even small mess ups sometimes feel like the end of the world to me. I waver in my own decision making very often because I do not like living with even the small consequences.

Teaching your child to make choices is one of the most important elements of raising a well-behaved child.

From big choices (“Should I opt for high profile PR job and move to abroad or stay home to take care of the kids?”) to little choices (“Dessert or salad?”), every decision we make has complications.

Being self-disciplined is understanding and taking responsibility for making life’s choices. A major part of parenting well is to help your child learn the challenging skill of making positive, suitable choices. A gain of sense control over own life is gained by a child, when he/she is skilled at consciously making choices will understand their own needs. Choice-making also helps teach internal discipline, organization, and prioritizing. Children learn how to make big choices by watching you do it, and by gaining experience through making little choices.

Teaching choice to your child: TIPS

  • Never give a choice you aren’t willing to follow through on. That means when you say, “Either you tidy your room or we are not going out to eat,” you should be prepared to start cooking. It also means if you say, “Tidy your room and I’ll take you to a posh restaurant in town,” you need to be prepared make reservations.
  • It’s your responsibility to keep your child safe and healthy. Keep food choices healthy, and allow your child to choose what to eat. If your kid chooses to eat only cookies and dessert, stop having them as a choice.
  • Unless your child is very skilled at choice-making and your budget is unlimited, never offer choices without restrictions. Give them an “either/or” if they are young.
  • When a child is making choices about her behavior, you can point out the choice and the consequences of it.
  • Older children can use choices to learn how to prioritize
  • Once a child makes a choice, lay off on the options, don’t continue to offer choices.
  • Once a choice has been made, be clear as to when it becomes final.

What if the child does not like the choice made?

This is hard for a strong, reasonable parent to watch. Nobody enjoys watching a child be disappointed. But making a choice necessitates learning to live with the choice that’s been made. Disappointment is a good teaching tool, and discipline is teaching.

Teaching consequences of choice that was made

  • When she experiences failure or disappointment, she has to handle it with stability and not feel like it’s the end of the world.
  • When her friends are doing something that she feels is not right, she will not blindly follow, but she will have the anticipation to see what consequence may be ahead of her.
  • When she has a decision that did not turned out as planned, she would have emotional stamina to pull herself up and not feel defeated.
  • When she is faced with defending what she believes and her faith she will not hesitate or be embarrassed in any circumstance.
  • When she experiences rejection, she knows that was not her choice and it will just stimulate her to be even better and more assertive.

The book Teaching with love and logic by Jim Fay and David Funk is beautifully written about how to empower children and help them learn how to make good choices. Creating stronger relationships with students can lead to more cooperation is one major take away from this book.

Basically, Love and Logic shows you how to avoid power struggles and offer choices to children. Instead of controlling children’s behavior and making all their choices for them, it empowers children to make their own choices. When children feel empowered they learn more. They learn more because less time is spent trying to control their behavior.

Enforceable statements are invites instead of demands. When you demand that a child does something they may refuse because they feel controlled, but when you invite them to do something they are much more likely to do it.

When kids don’t make good choices:

  • Avoid making demands
  • Avoid making threats
  • Avoid power struggles
  • Offer them choices
  • Use logical consequences

So mommies let us raise a child who is independent to make good choices and live happily because of it.

Does my baby love me ? How do I know that ?.Read through the signs to know

Talking in reality, babies are small and cannot be expected to reciprocate or give a feedback after the tiring hours of delivery and sleepless nights. But as time goes one, we got along and got to know each other forming a blissful bond. As I started taking care of her, she loved

me more and reciprocated in her own ways.

Babies can recognize their primary caretaker within the first few weekswhich actually would be the mom in most cases. This is definitely with the help of the tiny nose. A baby can rightly identify mom by the scent of the milk.

Most important point to note is we need to be an expert to know what they cry for. Persistent and desperate usually means they are hungry and need a feed, unexpected might mean discomfort, and more lamenting can signal discomfort. This is all possible only by trial and error, eventually grasping nuances that will confuse outsiders. The better we understand their language, the better we can attend to their needs. As parents if we respond when she is in distress she learns she can count on them for comfort and relief and that she is important to us. In fact, research shows that caregivers are in perfect sync with their babies only about 40 percent of the time. It does take time for us to learn to recognize and retort when she needs us.

Within the first month, she started responding to my facial expressions and without thinking about it, I started doing it right back at her. I mean the little smiles, the meaningful looks, timidly looking away and back again. These kind of games appear to be as important in strengthening a baby’s affection as your responses to her physical needs. Face-to-face interaction is part of how babies learn about positive give-and-take. She started realizing that with a single look, she can show me how pleased she is to have me around; and that it’s a feeling worth sharing, since I’ll smile back.

The first true social smiles start between 6 and 8 weeks. The signals that the baby is starting to associate your face with feeling good. The bond deepens!

Babies start giving out kisses at about when they are one-year-old. No these are not the peck on the cheek kinds. I was lucky enough to experience this when she was four months. These are wet but loaded with love. Babies love being held, but at six months they have the physical and cognitive ability to hold arms up and ask for pick-me up. This would express how much they’ve trust and adore their parents. And on days when we feel gloomy or depressed this one hug or pick-me up is enough to make it all gone away… Far far away I mean.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery must have known to toddlers. Whether she’s running around with a handbag or putting on a stole, she shows me how cool I am. Toddlers imitate the activities and behaviors of the people they love most.

The fact that your toddler runs to you for comfort—and then can dry her eyes and run off—means she loves and needs you.

Babies don’t have to be that hurt to come to you weeping. Even a minor mishap can make for big drama if the mother is around to see it. My girl gives me pout lowering her head seeking attention. Now that’s a plea for attention, but it really does make her feel better to get proof that I love her as much as she loves me.

She reserves her bad behavior only for me. When I have people visiting her or I leave her at mom’s place to run an errand all I get to hear is “She’s such an angel”. When I am actually at home I be like” Tell me about it!! “.

She gets possessive when I lift other kids. She is all normal and suddenly gets too hyper when I lift another kid. Sometimes I do that only to get her attention.

So Mommies shower your love and get that bond building up.

Does Your Baby Suffer Stranger Anxiety/ Separation Anxiety? What, When And How To Tackle?

This is usually demonstrated by crying when an unknown or unfamiliar person approaches. Normally it starts at about 8 – 9 months and usually subsides by age 2 years. S

tranger anxiety is related with the child’s developmental task of distinguishing the acquainted from the unacquainted. Both the duration and intensity of the nervousness(anxiety) vary greatly among kids.

Some babies show a strong preference for one parent over another at a certain age, and grandparents may suddenly be viewed as strangers. Anticipating these happenings during visits helps prevent misinterpretation of the behavior. Comforting the child and avoiding overreaction to the behavior are usually the only therapy needed.

If a new person is coming, having that person spend some time with the family before the actual day makes sense. When the event arrives, having parents spend some time with the child and sitter before they leave is prudent. If grandparents are coming to watch the child for a few days while parents go away, they should arrive a day or two early.

Stranger anxiety of pronounced intensity may be a sign of more generalized anxiety and should prompt evaluation of the family situation, parenting techniques, and the child’s overall emotional state.

The day-to-day relationship between baby and parents, not the degree of anxiety when meeting strangers is the best measure of emotional health in the baby.

Stranger anxiety is a normal part of a child’s cognitive development Parents are concerned about educatingtheir children to be cautious when approached by unfamiliar people. However, we need to find a balance between concern and encouragement of their natural inquisitiveness and friendliness, while at the same time teaching them that they should always rely on parental supervision and consent in dealing with outsiders.

Stranger anxiety can sometimes upset friends and relatives, who may feel rejected by a suddenly introverted child. The baby may reject a caregiver he/she was previously comfortable with or grow hysterical when relatives visit. This can be unsatisfying for us, since the baby may reject the parent who is not the principal caregiver. Parents should respect the child’s fear and allow her to approach people as she is able. If the child does not want to be hugged by or sit with a relative, it is ill-advised to force her. In the long run, children outgrow their fear and become more easy-going with strangers.

Safe attachment and social referencing

Around 8-9 months’ babies would have reached an important milestone in the development of an attachment to their mother. Babies with a healthy attachment relationship prefer being near their mother, because mother is the person who helps them with their physical and emotional needs.

Although they may move away from mother to explore, they will still look back at her face for assurance when they’re not sure about something. This is called ‘social referencing’.

Person permanence

Most babies at this stage would have developed an understanding of person permanence (that people still exist when they can’t be seen). Whereas before they had to be able to physically see mother to know she existed, they can now hold a picture of her in their mind.

When baby can’t see mother, they may become upset and terrible in response to the separation. It’s still better for mum to tell baby she’s leaving, rather than hoping baby won’t notice her going.

So always wave a goodbye and say that you will be back sooner to comfort the child.

Separation anxiety- what is it?

Separation anxiety is when a baby becomes worried or upset when they’re separated from the person who cares for them the most — often it’s the mother. Babies understand that people leave before they learn that people return. They can tell from your actions that you are about to leave. Anxiety begins to build even before you leave. Upset and crying occur at the time of separation , sleep difficulties are common.

This usually develops in the second half of the first year.

How can you reduce this or tackle this?

    1. Practice to stay away for short durations.
    2. Introduce strangers early.
    3. Try distracting the baby when you leave
    4. Always leave when she feels good that when she well fed or not sleepy.
    5. Learn to say goodbye which would signal that you will not be available.
    6. Don’t look back.
    7. Don’t fall for the tears, they are short lived.

What is potty training ? When and how to start ? Do’s and dont’s

What is potty training?

Potty training is training your toddler to use potty, so he/she can get rid of wearing diapers.

What the best age to start potty training?

Healthy children aren’t physically and emotionally ready to start using a potty until they are between 18 months and three years old. Boys tend to be ready a few months later than girls. Most parents start the training when their children are between two years and three years old.

The physical maturity and readiness skills needed for successful toilet learning appear at the same time in girls and boys-between 18 and 30 months of age. The average age for girls to be toilet trained is 29 months, and for boys it’s 31 months.

Please note these are just the average months and not exact.

Age shouldn’t be the deciding factor in beginning potty training.

This varies individually among each child and is something that needn’t be compared to.

The key is making sure your child is physically and developmentally ready

How do you know that your child is ready to be potty trained?

· Pulling a wet or dirty diaper.

· Hiding to pee or poop.

· Interest in others’ use of the potty

· Copying adult potty behavior.

· Having a dry diaper for a longer-than-usual time.

· Awakening dry from a nap.

· Telling out that they’re about to go, are going or have just gone in their diaper.

Bowel or bladder control? What comes first?

Most children achieve bowel and bladder control between 24 and 48 months of age. Bowel control occurs before bladder control.

Sequence of control

· Bowel control at night

· Bowel control during the day

· Bladder control during the day

· Bladder control at night

It is normal to wet the bed until age six for a girl and age seven for a boy.

Steps to train your toddler

· Let them watch and learn – Show them how it is done ie. How to undress and sit.

· Buy the right equipment – Getting the right type of potty seat plays a vital role in your training. Try going for choices which would make the kid want to come back and not whine, when taken.

· Help your child get comfortable with the potty – make sure the child feels comfortable sitting on it.

· Motivate with cool underwear- Make them wear underwear with their favorite cartoon characters or motifs. Make them wear it without fuss.

· Set up a training schedule- Prepare a schedule, and stick on to it. It will slowly become a routine.

· Teach to sit and wipe- Help them sit on the potty or if you are using a toilet seat cover, make sure its sturdy when they sit.

· Set aside some naked time – Give them some diaper/ underwear free time. So that they will feel the urge when they need to pee/poop.

· Celebrate triumphs – Once they start doing it the right way, keep encouraging them with small treats.

Role of book and videos in potty training:

Everyone Poops, by Taro Gomi, is a lasting favorite. Where’s the Poop? and Once Upon a Potty, comes in a version with a doll and miniature potty. Potty by Leslie patricelli is another good book.

Several board books are now available to encourage children and make them learn in a fun way.

Gender specific titles are also available.

You could also show them an animated video, showing them how their favorite character also is being potty trained.

Many parents deal with potty training as something over which they have total control. Parents are a big contributor to their child’s development, but they don’t really control it. Parents are there to facilitate, to guide, to reinforce and to praise, but parents shouldn’t put pressure on themselves that if they do a series of steps, the children will achieve a certain outcome.”

If you feel like you’ve been changing diapers forever, you’re not alone.

Do not compare your child, this varies individually and is not something to boast about if your child has mastered it very early. Children take their own time to get comfortable and used to it. After all, its nature’s call and cannot be missed but would be taken at the right time and right place.