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Why do babies get diaper rash?

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Diaper rash is something that parents hate to see on their child, however common it may be, and even for parents who remember having it themselves (less common now, but in the not-too-distant past variations of diaper rash could occur even into late infancy) it is something that no-one wants to see on their newborn child. The reasons for it are quite simple and entirely commonplace, but it is preventable and treatable. If your child does develop a diaper rash, quick treatment is advisable. And prevention is a matter of following some simple rules and showing diligence at key points which might lead to infection.

The major cause of diaper rash is wetness. This is no big surprise. The reason that it does not occur with any regularity in adults, after all, is that we are able to perform our bathroom rituals ourselves and know what needs to be done – essentially, what feels right and what we have learned. Babies, however, urinate quite often and will sometimes be in a dirty diaper for a while before changing. In addition to this, their stools are generally quite loose and their bowel movements are more frequent than those of adults. Unless they are changed with a regularity bordering on the obsessive, there is a chance of infection. Even then a baby with sensitive skin can become infected.

In an older baby, a time of sickness which is treated with antibiotics can be a risky time, as they are prone to diarrhea and the higher risk of diaper rash that that can bring. In short, even the best parents can have a case to deal with, and it is how they respond that is important.

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Baby Problems

Sleep Talking and Sleepwalking in Children

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Sleepwalking and sleep talking are members of a group of sleep disorders called parasomnias. Though it’s not known just exactly why children walk and talk in their sleep neither are considered to be serious disorders, and are not result of any physical or psychological problem. Both occur during a child’s deep sleep, approximately one to three hours after falling asleep.

Sleep talking occurs more often than sleep walking in children, though they often do occur together. Parasomnias tend to run in families, and children may experience one, two, or all three types.
Of course, the main concern parents have for their sleepwalking child is their safety.

A sleepwalking child does not have the judgment capabilities he normally does during waking hours, which makes the likelihood of injury when sleepwalking great. It may be difficult for parents to protect their sleep-walking children, since they don’t make much noise, which makes it difficult for parents to tell when their children are sleepwalking. The best way to protect their children is to be prepared.

Parents should completely evaluate their child’s room for any potential hazards. Bunk beds or any bed that’s high off the floor is probably not a good idea for a sleepwalker. Toys, shoes, and any other objects on the floor should be picked up and put away prior to bedtime.

Bedroom doors should be shut and windows should be locked, which will help ensure the child stays in his room and does not wander around the house. Alarm systems for doors, windows and even the sleepwalker’s bed might also be considered by parents.

Sleepwalking usually stops by the child’s adolescence, and as long as safety precautions are taken, should not be a great cause of concern.

Sleep talking is much more common parasomnia. Children who talk in their sleep may speak very clearly and be easily understood, while others may mumble, make noises or be incoherent. If children are speaking loudly and seem upset, it might be a good idea for parents to go to their children and comfort them without waking them. If they’re simply talking, it’s best just to leave them alone. The episode will probably end within a short period of time.

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Baby Problems

Moving from the Bottle to the Sippy Cup

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Most children, by the time they are about 9 months old, have the motor skills needed to drink from a cup. If you think your baby’s ready to make the move from bottle to sippy cup, try filling a sippy cup with water and let your child try and drink from it.

Don’t expect perfection with the first tries. He’ll probably drool, spit and dribble a bit, which will probably delight him! But within a few weeks and lots of practice, he’ll be willing to take all his drinks from the sippy cup. He’ll most likely be a sippy cup pro by the time he’s about 14 months old.

If you start the transition from bottle to sippy cup early, you’ll save yourself frustration – the longer a baby stays on the bottle, the tougher it is to get him to kick it. If the bottle is a security object for your baby, choose one with a special favorite animal or character to help increase his willingness to try and use it.

“Bottle rot” is common concern for parents of children who drink from bottles. A child’s teeth are susceptible to decay if he’s always drinking a sugared drink from it — formula, milk, or juice. Natural bacteria in his mouth feed on these sugars and attack the teeth for 20 minutes every time he takes a drink.

What that boils down to is this: if he’s taking sips from a bottle every few minutes for an hour, his teeth are exposed to the sugars for at least 80 minutes. Over time, that causes tooth decay, or ‘bottle rot.’ If he falls asleep, tooth-decay causing sugars can pool in his mouth for hours. Children are less likely to nurse drinks for long periods of time if they’re offered in sippy cups.

The best way to avoid bottle rot is to give your child his drink and have him finish it within about 20 minutes. Then use a toothbrush or washcloth to wipe his teeth clean. Never put a baby in his crib with a bottle or sippy cup.

Finally, consistently emphasize what a ‘big boy’ he is by drinking from the sippy cup instead of his bottle, and he’ll reach for his sippy cup more and more each day.

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