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Caring for Your Baby After Vaccinations

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Nobody likes getting shots when they go to the doctor. But as a parent, it can be even more difficult when it’s time for your baby to receive one. Sometimes a baby will have a mild reaction to a vaccination, and might have trouble sleeping as a result.

You can help decrease your baby’s discomfort by making sure he’s comfortable and well-rested when visiting the doctor’s office and you can use home treatments to help relieve some of the more common minor reactions to vaccinations.

If your child develops a slight fever, try giving him acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil). This can help reduce a fever and alleviate any pain felt in the location of the shot. Remember to never give aspirin to your baby because of the risk of Reye’s Syndrome. The injection site might also become red and swollen.

A cool compress or ice pack applied to the site for approximately 10 to 20 minutes can also provide relief. A mild skin rash might develop 7 to 14 days following the injection, particularly with the chickenpox or measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Though this type of rash can last for several days, it usually disappears on its own without treatment.

You might find your baby is more fretful and restless and refuse to eat following a vaccination. If you can keep the commotion down at home, and cuddle and hold your child when he needs it, it will help him feel more comfortable and relaxed when it comes to bedtime.

Also make sure he has plenty of liquids. Keeping the house and the room baby sleeps in at a comfortable temperature will also help, as he’s more likely to be fussy and restless if he’s too warm. Try to keep in mind that if your baby does become a bit restless in the night that the discomfort is only temporary, and he’s most likely to get right back on track with his sleeping and eating schedule soon.

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Baby Tips

Your Personal Parenting Style and Your Child’s Sleep

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Good mothers and fathers come in many styles. Each one of us has different strengths, interests, and values that make us great parent.

Don’t let yourself become discouraged or disappointed when others ‘give you advice’ that doesn’t seem to mesh with who you are. Maybe you’re not a roll around on the floor kind of parent with your child.

Maybe you’ve decided to hang back and let your little one explore. That’s great! As long as it works for you and your child, nobody should be able to convince you that your method is incorrect or wrong.
Once you recognize and embrace your own personal parenting style, you can stop trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations and get on with the business of enjoying being a parent.

It’s important to keep in mind too, that these well-meaning advice givers don’t know your child as well as you. They aren’t there with your child night and day, watching him grow, learn, explore, play, eat, and sleep.

Only you know what’s best for your child, and you know what works best in your household and for your lifestyle. As with anything, figuring things out along the way will involve trial and error.

So when you receive yet another unsolicited piece of advice regarding your child’s napping or nighttime sleeping habits, keep both your and your child’s personal style in mind.

You’ve done the legwork, you’ve experimented, and you’ve learned together what works and what doesn’t work.

The cues should come from your instincts regarding your child and from your child directly. There’s no such thing as a hard-and-fast rule for sleep habits among children other than it is needed!

As your child grows, his cues may change, but as long as you stay in tune with him, his sleep habits shouldn’t have to suffer as a result. And neither should yours.

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Baby Tips

Taming a Tough Toddler at Bedtime

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Putting your toddler to bed can sometimes be an exercise in frustration. If you have experienced this, you might want to consider one of the following techniques to make bedtime a peaceful time.

Be consistent about bed times and waking times. Your toddler is more likely to respond positively if he’s used to a specified schedule. The earlier your child’s routine is established, the easier it is to put them to bed without incident.

Make the activities the same every night, and make the time before bed quiet and peaceful. Whether a parent tells the child a story, provides a bedtime snack, puts in a short video, or plays quiet games before putting the child in bed, consistency is the key.

Try not to lie in bed with your toddler until he falls asleep. This might actually have the opposite effect, and might encourage your child to stay awake, and ask for drinks of water and more bedtime stories. An alternative might be telling your toddler you’re going to complete a chore and that you’ll come back in and check on them in a few moments.

It’s most likely that the child will fall asleep while waiting for mom or dad to return. You might also want to talk about your child’s day with them. Keep your tone soft and quiet, and try not to excite your child in the process. Turning this into a nighttime story with your child as the main character is a fun option as well.

As the child grows older, if a consistent bedtime is maintained the task will become easier. The most important issue is consistency and repetition. If the child can expect the same thing every night, and these customary tasks are pleasant, bedtime can become a delightful family ritual.

If however, your child is continually resisting sleep, talk with your child’s pediatrician, as their might be a medical problem at the root of it.

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