Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...


Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...


Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...


The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

Basic Care


There is a dramatic change in eating patterns during the second year. Suddenly she is picky about what she eats, she seems to have a smaller appetite and may even resist sitting down for a meal. The main reasons for this change is a dramatic slowing down in growth; she may only gain 1.5 kg the entire year instead of the monthly half a kilo when she was a baby. She only needs 1000 calories a day to continue growing. This could all be consumed in one meal time if she is more interested in her wonderfully distracting world.

Food preferences vary from child to child and can even vary from day to day. Favourite foods may be requested for every meal for a week and then refused the following week. Although frustrating for parents, changing preferences are normal. Instead of worrying about how much your toddler eats, focus on what she eats. Research has shown that a toddler will take in the calories that she requires over a day, with the nutritional needs being met over a few days. It will be OK to have bananas today and yoghurt tomorrow. A well-balanced diet for a toddler needs to have foods from the 4 basic food groups. Avoid the processed, sugary, fatty foods.

Make sure that everything that is given to her is still cut or mashed into easily chewable pieces to avoid choking. She will also need less milk now, as most of her calories will be from her food. Meal times can be very frustrating at this age; try not to take the rejection of your tasty meal personally. By offering a small selection of healthy, nutritious foods, she can assert her independence and choose what she wants.

Oral hygiene/ Dental care/Teething

Between 1 year and 18 months most of the primary teeth have erupted except for the secondary molars. These only erupt at about 2½ years. This is a good time to instil regular teeth brushing habits; let them try brush their teeth by themselves first and then do a secondary brush to get the spots they missed. (Read more: Teething)


Please read the Potty Training section


A 1 to 3-year-old still needs 12 to 13 hours of sleep at night and at least one daytime nap. However a toddler seldom looks forward to going to sleep; it means that she might miss out on something fun, she has to separate from you and spend the night on her own. She becomes a master at delaying tactics – just one more hug, one more story, I need the other teddy, one more kiss etc. As she becomes more verbal so the tactics become more elaborate, as she becomes more agile so does the ability to climb out of her cot.

Maintain the same bedtime routine every night, along the lines of  last active play, supper, bath and then quiet story and cuddles and leaving the room with her still awake. This does not necessarily mean she will sleep through the night. Disrupted sleep is common for toddlers, often caused by an erupting tooth or illness. They also start actively dreaming at this age, which can startle or frighten them awake. It is not necessary for you to bring her into your own bed if this happens; rather call out reassuringly from your own bed and hopefully she will be able to put herself back to sleep. You may need to get up to give her a cuddle and a kiss and tuck her in again if it was a really frightening dream.