Shaken Baby Syndrome

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Amniotic fluid problems

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Choosing a pre-school

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Newborn reflexes

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Pelvic floor exercises

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Antenatal Classes

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  • 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


When your toddler doesn’t want to eat

‘My baby won’t eat’ is a common complaint at this age. There are several factors that need to be borne in mind that may provide you with assurance that your infant won’t starve:

·       What one child eats may be very different from what another child eats.

·      During the first year of life babies grow a lot, tripling their birth weight on average. Therefore their nutritional requirements are greater during this time. From 1-2 years of age, their growth rate decelerates, as does their need for so many calories.

·      Toddlers are constantly busy exploring their worlds and are unlikely to cooperate, sit for lengthy periods, 3 times a day for a meal. They are also picky eaters by nature. If your child doesn’t seem to eat enough at one meal, she is likely to make up for a small or missed meal at the next mealtime. This patternless eating is normal for the busy toddler.

·      If your child seems healthy, energetic and is growing, her eating behaviours are not a cause for concern. If you have any concerns about your child’s growth in relation to her picky eating, talk to your doctor (American Academy of Family Physicians, 1994-2010; Leary, 1990).


What to do if your child is a picky eater

Being a picky eater is a normal behavioural pattern for many toddlers. They may like fresh vegetables and eat them over and over again, and then may refuse to eat them at all. Similarly, they may eat well one day and then ‘eat nothing’ the next. Toddlers with their growing independence, enjoy making choices. Offer your child a variety of nutritious foods and allow her to explore, and experiment on her own. Do not force your child to taste new foods; you may need to offer them something several times before they are willing to try it. When introducing new foods, also include something your toddler likes. New foods should only be added gradually, no more than one every few days. Meal flexibility is important at this age, e.g. if you are making stew and you know your toddler will only eat potato and carrots, cook some of these vegetables separately (American Academy of Family Physicians, 1994-2010).


If your toddler is becoming increasingly disruptive at the table and there is a constant battle of wills, capitalize on her desire to do things on her own and her love of imitation

·       Set your toddler her own place, using her own utensils at her high chair. When she sees the rest of the family enjoying a meal together, it is likely that she will want to join you and imitate your eating. Allow her to do so at her own pace.

·       Offer your child small portions of tasty, visibly appealing food. In general, 1 tbsp of each kind of food, for each year of your child’s age, is a good starting point. If your child is still hungry, you can serve more. If your child is no longer hungry, do not force her to clean her plate.

·      Small frequent  feedings are more effective and a healthier way of eating in general. Keep in mind that toddlers have small stomachs and that they cannot eat a great deal at one time. In order to supply your child with sufficient calories and nutrients, it is recommended that she is given 4-6 small meals per day. Place nutritious snacks within your toddler’s reach, so that she can eat them when she is hungry, in her own time.

·      Another effective method is to place a little table and chair in the kitchen, thereby enticing her to her own dining room.

·      Do not use bribery (offering a sweet as a reward), threats or punishment to make your child eat. If she doesn’t want to eat, accept her refusal. Showing you are upset or disapprove provides your child with negative attention, and she might seek it again at a later stage (American Academy of Family Physicians, 1994-2010; Leary, 1990).


Other tips for feeding toddlers

·      Dietary advice for adults is not always applicable to children. For example, a high-fibre low-fat diet is not suitable for toddlers and preschoolers. Low fat products are not recommended for children under the age of 2.

·       If your child refuses to try a particular food, reintroduce it in a different form. Carrots, for instance, can be served raw, cooked, mashed, mixed with potato, or cut into different shapes. Offer your child a dip such as hummus or avocado to have with their raw vegetables.  

·       Your child will begin to develop her own food preferences; we all have our likes and dislikes. As long as your child is eating a variety of foods, respect preferences – you wouldn’t want to be forced to eat a food you dislike.

·       Keep sweets, chocolates and crisps for special occasions, if possible (Collins, 2003).