Parents may find thumb sucking just a normal thing for their babies to do. However, it can become a habit until their babies grow as children and this can become difficult to overcome later. Parents may prevent this from becoming a habit by understanding more how they can deal with it. Babies thumb suck because they need to be comforted or they may just be hungry. They may also do this because they are trying to explore their physical body. Parents are advised not to pull their babies’ thumb right out of their mouths if they see them doing it. They may only be encouraging their babies to develop the habit instead.
Most babies are able to stop their thumb sucking problem by the time they reach the ages of 3-6. Parents though have to understand that their babies may just be not getting enough fill when they are breast fed or bottle fed so they suck on their thumbs by instinct. Mothers have to see to it that they feed their babies at regular intervals like every three hours so that their babies’ hunger needs are met as this would prevent them from turning to thumb sucking. Babies may start sucking their thumbs even before they are born but parents can help their babies stop it from developing into a habit.
Experts say that most breast fed babies are usually more satisfied during their feeding time and as such, they do not usually tend to resort to thumb sucking. Mothers who bottle feed their babies on the other hand will have to see to that their babies are able to finish their bottles for about 20 minutes. They have to check that the nipples do not have too large or too small holes and they also have to replace the nipple with new ones from time to time. There are also times when the feeding time is not the problem as thumb sucking can also be observed when teeth start to come out. Mothers who are aware of this will understand that the thumb sucking is a way for their babies to relieve the pain and the discomforts that are brought about by teething.
Parents can help their babies by providing the love and the care that they need. They do not have to make their babies feel very conscious about the thumb sucking problem. Babies may be given toys to play with so that they get distracted and for them to refrain from developing the habit. Parents have to remember that corrective measures are most of the times not the best ways to stop the problem. They may instead encourage their babies to stop sucking their thumbs without threatening them in any way.
Full term babies may not have so much of a problem in terms of their weight when they are born. However, most premature babies may not reach the expected normal range of weight upon birth and the succeeding months of life. It is necessary that mothers know how to take care of their premature and underweight babies. Most often these babies have lower immunity levels and are more prone to health problems. Pregnant women may be able to prevent such problems by going for their check-ups regularly. It is also important that they do not take any medication without the advice of their doctors as at times it can cause problems to their babies’ health as well.
There are certain things that mothers have to do in case they give birth to premature and underweight babies. They can for example try breast feeding their babies as soon as they can after childbirth. Their babies are expected to grow at a faster rate than babies who have reached full term. These babies will then require more nourishment to catch up with their weight gain that is expected for the next months of their lives. Mothers may want to put their babies on bottle feeding but they should try to refrain from doing so as much as possible.
However, there are times when premature and underweight babies have to be fed on tubes because they are not able to such milk from their mothers. In such cases, mothers will have to hold their babies close to them in order to help them feel better. Their tiny bodies need special care especially when lifting them up. These babies also need to be fed more often because their bodies do not also have enough reserve unlike normal babies. Mothers should not let their premature babies to be sleeping on their stomach because of the danger of SIDS.
Mothers may put on a little more effort in taking care of their premature and underweight babies. They have to make sure that everything is clean and that their babies do not get in contact with anyone who is sick. These babies can easily catch infection because of their lower immunity levels so it is best for mothers to prevent any sick person from getting too close to their babies. With diligence and sufficient care, premature and underweight babies can grow and catch up with the rest of the normal babies in terms of physical and mental development.
New mothers have to understand their baby’s soft spot which is called the fontanel. This is the soft spot that is seen and felt on top of a baby’s head. This part allows the bony plates that comprise the skull to be flexible so that the baby’s head may be able to get through the limited dimension of the birth canal. However, the soft spot or the fontanel closes when the baby is about 18 to 24 months old.
A new mother may be scared or hesitant to touch her baby’s soft spot or the fontanel. This part is made up of materials that are fibrous and it covers the brain of the baby just beneath the top of the head. Though it is soft to touch, it is able to protect the baby’s brain. The structure of the fontanel also protects the baby when he or she falls head down first. This is often the case as babies’ heads are quite bigger and heavier than the other parts of their body.
Although the sizes of the baby’ soft spot or fontanels vary, extra large ones may indicate some medical conditions. Further tests and medical examinations may be needed for babies that are found out to have some medical conditions. At times the condition of the fontanel may tell something more about the health of the baby. As such, when a mother observes her baby’s soft spot or fontanel to appear sunken, it may indicate that the baby is dehydrated.
When the fontanel is bulging, this may indicate that there is pressure building in the brain of the baby. However, mothers have to make sure so they need to bring their babies to their pediatricians or to medical doctors to determine what may be causing it. Though the fontanel may be the baby’s soft spot, it is safe for the new mother to touch it and to wash the hair on it at bath time.
Though the fontanel is expected to close at a certain time, premature closing may also happen. In some instances it may not close even if the baby has reached 27 months already. In any of the cases, mothers will have to bring their babies to their doctors for proper diagnosis and treatment if necessary. New mothers do not have to worry about the baby’s soft spot or the fontanel. In time, it will close and as their babies grow and develop.