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  • Newborns (0~2 months old) – there is no distinction between day and night

  • The sleeping cycle of newborns is chaoticBabies wake up and fall asleep erratically Each sleeping cycle generally lasts only 30 minutes to 3 hours, and they are usually awake at night.A more regular and fixed sleeping pattern will develop around 6 weeks. When they are asleep, newborns may sometimes twitch their bodies, suckle or even smile, these are completely normal phenomena.

  1. Carefully observe signs of sleepiness in newborns. When they are tired they often become more agitated, cry or complain; they also tend to rub their eyes, scratch their ears or appear to be absent-minded. When you discover your baby is tired, put him to sleep immediately.
  2. Watch for messages given out by the baby.Newborns may prefer to be cradled to sleep or drink milk while they sleep.
  3. When the babies are sleepy, let them lie down and sleep. Let them sleep on a thick, solid mattress but not hairy, fluffy bedding.
  4. After several weeks, if your baby sleeps too much during the day, you need to actively help him to sleep at night. Make the lights in the room as dim as possible and reduce nighttime playing hours.
  5. Progressively set reasonable sleeping times for the baby. Newborns several months old cannot sleep for long each time during the first few months.
  6. Newborns will usually deprive family members of sleep. It is recommended that the couple take turns to look after the baby, so that neither of the parents become exhausted and lose patience.

  • Babies (2~12 months) gradually begin to exhibit a more regular daily routine.

  • At this time, babies will gradually develop a more predictable sleep pattern. From 2~4 months, the babies' daily sleeping hours will become more regular. From 3~6 months, most of the babies will sleep longer at night. During the first year, the number of times babies sleep during the day will naturally decrease from 3~4 times to 1~2 times daily.

  1. Start to cultivate regular bedtime habits such as: bathing, massaging, listening to music or bedtime stories. Make sure these activities are not too impractical to carry out. For instance, if you want to rock you baby to sleep from 6 months onwards, when he wakes up at night, you must repeat the same movement. You can continue this habit until your child is 2 years old.
  2. Stipulate a regular sleeping timetable for your baby. Setting a nap time and bedtime for your baby will ensure that he receives sufficient sleep. Reducing the nap time does nothing to help the baby's sleeping habit at night; on the contrary, doing so may cause the baby to overtire and he will not be able to sleep soundly at night. However, one must also avoid placing the baby's nap time too close to his bedtime at night.
  3. Let the baby cultivate a sleeping habit at his usual sleeping spot.The last step of night routine must be completed at the baby's sleeping spot.
  4. Put the baby to bed when he feels sleepy.In so doing, he can learn how to fall asleep and will fall asleep again even if he wakes up in the middle of the night. Without you having to coax him to sleep.
  5. Avoid feeding the baby milk at bedtime and making it a habit. Babies 6 months old or above rarely require nighttime feeding. Advance the feeding or breastfeeding time at night to avoid the baby associating eating with sleeping.
  6. Remember, he needs to sleep too. If you have friends or families to offer you help, accept it so as to prevent yourself from becoming worn out.



  • Q: When should I stop breastfeeding?

  • A: According to WHO and La Leche League International, children should be exclusively breastfed until they are 6 months old and breastfeeding should continue until at least 12 months of age, preferably up to 2 years old. Research has shown that the longer the breastfeeding time, the less likely the babies will contract diseases such as cancer, meningitis, osteoporosis, diabetes and asthma etc.

  • Q: If breast milk is watery, is it nutritious enough?

  • A: Each mother's breast milk has a different color and nutritional contents because mothers have different diets, therefore there is no need to compare with one another, just remember to fortify nutritional supplements during the lactation period and eat a balanced diet.

  • Q: Can I go on a diet during the lactation period?

  • A: It is not advised for mothers to diet excessively during the lactation period, otherwise milk secretion will not be sufficient, in turn affecting the baby's growth. Looking after the baby is the perfect way to maintain shape for new mothers.

  • Q: What do babies eat when there is no breast milk?

  • A: If you are unable to feed the baby breast milk, the hospital recommends that you feed him manually. Observe the following principle:
    1. never use a feeding bottle. More scientifically oriented hospitals will use measuring cups or baby spoons to feed the baby.
    2. The baby must at least suckle every 2 hours.
    3. When your breasts feel engorged, stop feeding your baby formula milk.

  • Q: Should I stop breastfeeding during a cold?

  • A: The baby will have already come into contact with the flu virus even before symptoms emerge. Breast milk contains the antibodies most needed by the baby. If you abruptly wean your baby off breast milk, it will only create problems for you and your baby. Although the dosage of medicine that makes its way to the breast milk is extremely small, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before taking medication.

  • Q: Can breast milk be stored in a thermos for 10 hours?

  • A: Some mothers want to preserve breast milk pumped in the office into a thermos to maintain it at a low temperature. This is feasible if the temperature is roughly 19 ℃, then the breast milk can be stored for about 10 hours. However, if there is a fridge/freezer, it is best to keep the breast milk frozen.

  • Q: Should I feed the baby as soon as he starts crying?

  • A: Before they can speak, babies can only cry to express their discomfort such as hunger, illness or wet diapers: all these can induce babies to cry. We must analyze different circumstances to determine the reasons for their crying. You don't have to feed the baby milk as soon as he starts crying.

  • Q: Should I wake the baby up to feed him milk when he is asleep?

  • A: When the baby is fall asleep, if you wake him up to feed him milk, he will certainly feel uncomfortable and cry due to sleep deprivation. As a result, it may reduce his appetite. So let him sleep, because if he is hungry, he will naturally wake up.You must understand that sleeping is extremely important for babies' growth.

  • Q: What do I do if the baby takes too long to drink milk?

  • A: Babies always procrastinate when it comes to feeding milk, this is probably because babies spend most of their time sleeping, and time required to drink milk when he is half asleep will certainly be long. Sometimes, perhaps the baby does not want to drink milk or he is not hungry at all. We don't want to cultivate the bad habit of playing while feeding milk.

  • Q: Is the baby full?

  • A: Listen to the baby's swallowing sound, if you can hear him swallow every second to third suck and if he can continue doing this for 15 minutes, you will know that the baby is full. The little guy should feel satisfied after he has had sufficient milk. If he smiles at you or stops crying and falls asleep peacefully, it shows that he is full.

  • Q: How do I go about breastfeeding at night?

  • A: Generally, nocturnal breastfeeding posture involves the mother lying on her side with the baby in her arms, who is also lying slightly on his side. However, this position causes the arm to ache and numb more easily, therefore you can also lie on your side and breastfeed the baby without holding him. Alternatively, you can allow the baby to lie on his back and support yourself with one arm to breastfeed him while bending over him. However, never perform this technique when you are not 100% awake, because you may crush the baby without being aware or cause him to suffocate.

  • Q: How much should the baby eat?

  • A: Mothers should abide by the "Feed on demand" principle, when the baby cries or when the mother feels that it is time to feed, you should feed the baby milk. Baby's feeding frequency can be very irregular, particularly in the first couple of days, where he requires a lot of feeding. Measure the baby's weight regularly to check if your feeding method is correct.

  • Q: Can babies with lactose intolerance be breastfed?

  • A: Usually, babies will not exhibit such a condition, if the baby was born with the condition, he should be fed food specifically developed for babies with lactose intolerance recommended by the doctor. He should not be fed breast milk or powdered milk.

  • Q: How many times do I feed the baby each day?

  • A: Newborns require feeding 10~12 times per day, the frequency will drop to 6~7 times daily at 2 months and roughly 5 times daily after 6 months. Nonetheless, regardless of feeding frequency, the baby should be fed when he is hungry.


  • How do I accompany my children when they are eating?

  •  Problem 1: Playing while eating

  • My son is 5 years old, although he is lively and adorable, his problem with playing while eating has left us helpless. He never sits down to eat and he is always playing while eating. Sometimes he watches TV while he eats, and I often have to chase after him to feed him, as a result, a meal usually takes 2 hours.

  • Problem analysis:

  • Children develop the habit of playing while eating for a number of reasons, but mostly it is because parents do not feed their children scientifically. For instance, even when the child is full, parents still insist that he must finish the fixed amount of food, or they will add more food. Other parents spoil their children by allowing them to do whatever they want. Some parents fail to establish a regular lifestyle for their children by forcing them to eat while they are still eager to play. Some families do not teach their children appropriate dining etiquette.

  • Fix the problem at its roots:

  1. When the child has reached 3 years old, guide him to sit down properly to eat. Do not allow him to play while eating.
  2. When the child is full, do not force-feed him.
  3. Family members should obey the same dining etiquettes. For instance, everyone should pay attention to who is still missing at the dining table so that the children can appreciate that dining is more than eating food but it is also time to interact with other family members in a pleasant ambiance.
  4. Try to remove as many elements that will evoke playing interests during dining time. Also, avoid watching TV while eating. Parents must act as role models.

  •   Problem 2: Picky eater

  • My daughter is 4 year old and loves to drink beverages and eat snacks. She is extremely picky during eating times and refuses to eat things such as carrots and yolks etc., therefore she looks a lot smaller and skinner than other girls.

  • Problem analysis:

  • A child's picky eating habit is an expression of 'self-awareness' to some degree, which indicates that they have learnt to make their own decisions and choose food according to their preferences. If a child has encountered allergic or negative experiences about certain types of food due to physiological reasons (discomfort or poor appetite), they may end up rejecting the food. If adults yield to their children excessively over eating, they will become picky eaters. A child's eating habits are, to a large extent, inherited from the family's dietary habits, therefore when children start being picky about food, parents should think whether they themselves are picky eaters.

  • Fix the problem at its roots:

  • Let the children have freedom of choice; just like adults: there are foods that children like and dislike. How do you let your kids choose? Here are several tips:

  1. Create a cozy dining atmosphere, decorate the dining table together with your children and let them choose tableware and seating arrangements. Engage in light conversations while dining.
  2. For foods that are disliked by the children, the mother can adopt a persuasive talking technique (for example: what food should be eaten before other foods, what foods can be eaten together etc.) However, freedom of choice does not equal to yielding to their picky eating habits. Some parents often seek their children's opinion about what they want to eat: this is undoubtedly teaching them to become picky about food. Usually, children are given the freedom of choice when they express unwillingness to eat.
  3. However, if children exhibit a change in appetite due to physiological reasons, never express excessive concern or anxiety in front of them. Simply observe closely and adjust their eating habits accordingly, and everything will be fine after a period of time.
  4. Stimulate the children's interests in food as often as possible.Parents can use small stories to inspire their children. For instance, tell them that someone they know consumed certain types of food to grow so tall and become a champion, or that a certain cartoon character became so powerful by eating eggs. Alternatively, parents should stimulate the child's appetite by commending them.
  5. Thoughtful mothers need to vary their food design and culinary approaches as much as possible. When kids dislike a certain type of food, analyze if there are problems with cooking. For instance, don't repeat the same type of food for several days in a row, because there needs to be variation in the food; you can combine the foods that your children like with those they dislike.
  6. Give judicious guidance to different children and offer timely encouragement. Try to correct the child's picky eating habit when they are have a good appetite.

  •  Problem 3: Eating too little

  • My son is 3 years old, he often lacks appetite when eating and shows no interest in any food. When dining, he always routinely takes several bites and refuses to eat after that; my coaxing, persuasion and encouragement efforts have all been futile. We have even been to the doctors in hospitals, all of them said that there is nothing seriously wrong with my boy, some have prescribed medications to stimulate his appetite. None of these seem to work though.

  • Problem analysis:

  1. Lack of exercise causes lack of energy consumption, thereby resulting in loss of appetite.
  2. Excessive consumption of snacks and drinks result in loss of appetite during dinner.
  3. Confirm if the child indeed has a small appetite. At the same time, there exist adjustment phases during a child's growth; for instance, a 3 year old child will exhibit a period of reduced appetite due to physiological adjustments.

  • Fix the problem at its roots:

  1. Let your children decide how much to eat, don't force them to finish a standard food portion, set by the parents. Let the children dine independently. For older children, allow them to choose dining hours or decide how much food to eat.
  2. You can let your children's companions dine together with them.
  3. Limit snacks in terms of quantity and time (no snacks one hour prior to dining).
  4. Children must be exercised regularly everyday (stimulates blood circulation and fosters digestion).
  5. For children who exhibit a sudden loss of appetite, the mother should observe closely to see if they have an upset stomach or if it is an emotional issue. Analyze the problem and address the problem.

  •  Problem 4: Eating too slowly

  • My daughter eats extremely slowly. For instance, if she starts eating breakfast at 07:00 in the morning, it will usually take her more than one hour to finish her breakfast, in turn delaying our time to go to work.

  • Problem analysis:

  1. Children are born slow eaters, it is in their nature, and therefore parents do not need to hurry them repeatedly.
  2. Chewing carefully and swallowing slowly is a good thing, it is beneficial for your children's health.
  3. When children exhibit a loss of appetite and eat intermittently, either their attention is distracted or they have encountered food that they don't like.

  • Fix the problem at its roots:

  1. The two aforementioned conditions are not actually problems, nevertheless, pay attention not to allow the meal to become too cold. You can try to fill their plates or bowls with a small amount of food each time and refill them when empty.
  2. If the children show a lack of appetite, let them eat less.
  3. Make sure to cook food that is easy to chew and something that your children will enjoy.

  • Friendly reminder:

  1. The fundamental prerequisite for stimulating your children's appetite is to maintain a pleasant dining ambiance.
    If your child refuses to eat, never force him to do so, rather allow him to leave the dining table, because children will never starve themselves every meal, therefore as long as you uphold the policy of no snacks, his appetite should return for the next meal. This is much better than nagging him constantly to no avail. If this approach still doesn't work, you should analyze the problem; please refer to the aforementioned dining situations to determine the specific course of action to resolve the problem.
  2. Small children need guidance from their parents, but please do not offer excessive advice, reminders or try to hurry them along too much. Neither should you become too eager to feed your children or fill their plates and bowls with food, because the last thing you want is to teach your children that being stubborn will attract attention at the dining table.
  3. Don't expect your children to eat the same amount of food every meal, because even adults eat differently depending on the mood. You should endow your children with a certain degree of freedom.
  4. Don't chase after your children with chopsticks and bowls, let them understand that eating must be done at the dining table. However, don't make the mood too serious and intimidating.
  5. Pay attention to your children's chewing ability while eating, because chewing properly not only aids digestion but also stimulates their intellectual development.
    According to research, the repeated contraction and relaxation of the masseter muscle stimulates cerebral circulation as well as various sensory organs, thereby fostering intellectual growth. In addition, chewing also increases digestive secretions and stimulates the hippocampus, which is responsible for learning and memory.



  • Q: How do I know if the baby is suffering from diarrhea?

  • A: To determine if the baby has diarrhea, you must first understand the definition of diarrhea. Diarrhea must be compared to the baby's usual stool form and bowel movement frequency. If the current stool contains excess water, mucus or color variations, or if the bowel movement frequency has increased, only then will you start considering if the baby is having diarrhea. Babies drinking breast milk or milk formula tend to have a slightly watery and sour-smelling stool with beautiful yellow color. Babies poop as few as 3~5 times to more than a dozen times a day. The more frequently they poop, the smaller the amount each poop will be. As long as the baby can eat, play and sleep, and as long as his face is ruddy and expressions are normal with a steady increase in weight, then such stool form is considered normal for the baby, and not diarrhea. Furthermore, before the baby is one month old, since his digestive function is still unsophisticated, therefore regardless of the type of milk you feed him, his stool will always be gooey and watery. Only after several weeks will his stool gradually take form.

  • Q: What are the reasons for a baby's diarrhea?

  • A: This can be analyzed via three facets:

  1. Food related: Food is unhygienic or difficult to digest, allergic to milk, powdered milk is insufficiently diluted, lactose intolerance, inappropriate addition of non-staple foods.
  2. Disease infection: Including enteritis caused by viruses or germs.
  3. Organ related: Inflammation of the intestinal tract or anatomic anomaly.

  • Q: What are the most frequent causes of infant diarrhea?

  • A: In Taiwan, the cause of the majority of acute diarrhea in infants is the rotavirus. The rotavirus enterogastritis season is less evident in tropical nations such as Taiwan.

  • Q: How is rotavirus transmitted?

  • A: The most common transmission route is the fecal-oral route. What is meant by fecal-oral route? This means that the virus enters the baby through his mouth, after reproducing in the digestive tract, large numbers of rotaviruses are passed out of the body via the stool. Since infants don't have very good personal hygiene, they often spread viruses in the stool onto toys or table and chair surfaces through touching. When a healthy baby comes in contact with the virus with his hands and puts them in his mouth, it will result in rotavirus enterogastritis.

  • Q: How are rotavirus symptoms different to that of conventional diarrhea?

  • A: First, the child will suffer from 1~2 days of continuous vomiting and slight fever followed by reduced vomiting and increased watery diarrhea, averaging 5~10 times a day. There should not be blood traces or white mucus in the stool, and the stool should emit a pungent acidic smell. The watery diarrhea enterogastritis should last 5~7 days before the child will gradually recover.

  • Q: What are the symptoms of diarrhea induced dehydration?

  • A: When acute diarrhea is coupled with insufficient hydration, dehydration will occur.Mild dehydration- the child only exhibits skin, mouth and lip dryness as well as a slight indentation of the orbit and fontanel. Moderate dehydration – More evident indentation of the fontanel or orbit, reduced urination, this is often combined with shortness of breath caused by acidosis. Severe dehydration –life threatening complications such as shock and acute renal failure.

  • Q: How do you look after babies with diarrhea?

  • A: (1) Stop feeding him for 1 or 2 meals to rest his digestive system, but avoid prolonged fasting. Feed him half milk.The so-called half milk has half the concentration of whole milk. In other words, reduce the quantity of milk powder by half but retain the same amount of water. Each feeding should be less than 150ml. At this moment, it is best to feed your baby multiple times in small quantities everyday rather than eating too much in one meal, which can cause digestive problems.
    (2) Thin rice gruel is an excellent substitute for milk powder during diarrhea because rice gruel is easier to absorb and less concentrated. It is also a mild astringent. However, it has very low protein and should not be consumed for long periods of time.
    (3) Replenish electrolytes. All sports drinks available on the market can be used, but their sugar content and osmotic pressure are often too high, therefore they don't meet the requirement of electrolytes as recommended by the WHO. Consequently, when feeding sports drink to smaller infants, you can add water in a 50-50 ratio, or you can use medical oral electrolytes that are more suited to physiological needs.
    (4) Choose milk powder with lactose free formula. The lactose formula is designed specifically for babies suffering from diarrhea, causing them to lack lactose in their intestinal tracts. However, the intestinal tract often takes 2~3 weeks to recover, therefore by continuing feeding your baby "lactose free milk formula" and progressively switch back to the original milk formula is a safer approach.

  • Q: Why are my baby's eyes red?

  • A: Newborns often exhibit symptom of cornea bleeding, if it is not serious, the symptom will subside, there is no need for parents to worry too much. If the symptom persists or if you are really concerned, seek medical advice.

  • Q: How do I observe for strabismus in my baby?

  • A: Strabismus causes the eye to squint, this is due to the fact that the eyes are not properly aligned with each other, and the condition requires medical attention. You can wave colorful and noisy toys in front of the baby's eyes to observe his line of sight, if he does have strabismus, early treatment is required.

  • Q: My baby like to rub his eyes, what do I do?

  • A: Babies' eyes itch due to foreign objects, an eye allergy or a cold. You are advised to conduct treatment focusing on the cause of the itch and keep your baby away from allergens as well as prevent him from rubbing his eyes with his hands.

  • Q: My baby seems to be suffering from seborrhoeic dermatitis, what do I do?

  • A: Seborrhoeic dermatitis will cause secretions, simply clean the outer area of the ears. If there is a lot of secretion and the condition is serious, you can apply some topical steroid to avoid inflammation.

  • Q: My baby is crying and burning up but there appears to be no other major issues, is he suffering from tympanitis?

  • A: It is uncommon for newborns to contract tympanitis, otitis externa is more common. If your baby is crying and having a fever, try antibiotic treatment.

  • Q: My baby has a peculiar shaped ear, does this affect his hearing?

  • A: Peculiar ear shapes can be attributed to microtia or anotia, an audiometry test should be conducted to avoid impairing the baby's hearing development.

  • Q: My baby breathes loudly, why is that?

  • A: Newborns often sneeze, causing secretions that becomes hard mucus over time. When hardened mucus blocks the nostrils, the baby's breathing will become loud. Parents need to ascertain whether their baby has a cold, or blocked nostrils. Observe the baby's feeding and sleeping conditions, if everything is normal, then it is not caused by a cold. You can clean the baby's nose once every 1~2 days. Even if you don't clean his nose, sometimes he will sneeze out the mucus by himself.

  • Q: If I cannot clear the mucus, what else can I do?

  • A: You can roll tissue paper and try clean the mucus with it, but pay attention not to poke too deep into the nostril. You can also suck it out with your mouth, soft mucus deep inside the nose can be sucked out gently using your mouth while pressing the other nostril.

  • Q: How do I choose the type of cotton swab to clean mucus?

  • A: You can use baby's cotton swabs or even adult ones, this way you don't have to worry about poking too deep. Hold the cotton swab like a pencil by holding its base to clean the mucus.

  • Q: What is thrush and how can it be cured?

  • A: Thrush causes thick white or cream-colored deposits in the oral mucosa. A doctor's prescription is needed; apply the medication to infected areas once or twice a day. It will be cured after 2~3 days, there is no need to be concerned.

  • Q: Why is there an odd smell on the baby's breath?

  • A: For some people, they will emit odd odor in their breath whether they have eaten or not, and this indicates the existence of potential disease, even newborns are the same. You can let your baby drink more water and rinse his mouth. Or you can use swabs to clean his mouth after feeding him milk to prevent odor from generating.

  • Q: Is it normal for a baby to be born with teeth?

  • A: Some babies are born with teeth, if they are rigid, you can ignore them for the time being. When the baby grows a little bit older and starts teething, and if the new teeth are affected, you should take the baby to a dentist. If the baby's teeth were born wobbly, you can have the doctor remove them. Some babies develop pearl-like protrusions on their gum, there is no reason to be alarmed, because the condition will subside in due course, and parents do not need to panic.


  • Q: Do small babies need pillows?

  • Adults require pillows to sleep, so is it necessary to buy small pillows for babies? Actually, this is not necessary, because babies can fall asleep in any posture, hence choosing pillows designed especially for babies is pointless. It is recommended to buy your child a pillow when he is a little older and develops a fixed sleeping posture.

    Is the pillow the decisive factor determining the child's head shape? The answer may not be what parents expect. Experts emphasize, as long as parents turn over the child's sleeping posture every 2 hours and prevent him from sleeping in the same position for long periods of time, it will effectively sculpt the child's head shape.

  •  "Select pillows carefully to avoid the danger of suffocation!" 

  • Don't overlook the importance of a pillow! According to HOMY assistant general manager Shu-min Lan, the pillow's most important function is to support the cervical vertebra, and one's sleep quality will be considerably reduced without it!

    Do newborns require pillows? The answer is no, according to Shu-min Lan, newborns have straight cervical vertebras, hence when they lie flat on the bed, their cervical vertebras remain straight and no pillow is needed for support. Besides, using a pillow that is too soft before the baby reaches 6 months old poses the danger of suffocation.

    Bei-ye Zhang, director of the Pediatric Surgery Division of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital emphasizes that pillows are not a necessity for infants, especially soft pillows, because they are not sufficient to support the pressure of the babies' head when they lie down. Furthermore, since the baby is mostly curled up inside the mother's womb, therefore he can sleep in almost any posture: there is no need for a sleep aid.

    When the baby is one month old, he will have enough strength to move his head, hence if you observe the baby closely, you will discover that usually one hour after he falls asleep, his head will no longer be on the pillow. Therefore, pillows are obviously useless for babies.

    When are pillows needed then? Bei-ye Zhang believes that a pillow is only necessary when the child grows a little older and has developed a fixed sleeping position.

  • Q: What do I do if the baby keeps sucking his hands?

  • A: For many 2~3 month old babies, their favorite thing to do is to suck their hands. According to experts, babies and infants suck their hands for different reasons.

  • A baby sucking his fingers exhibits a sign of intellectual development, which also means he is beginning to develop finger differentiation and hand-to-eye coordination; therefore parents should not interrupt the baby. Usually a newborn can only clinch his fists and wave them about, his brain cannot yet issue the command to put his hands in his mouth. When the baby is 2~3 months old, he will gradually develop 2 movements as his brain develops.

    One is to look at his hands with his eyes, and the other is to suck his fingers.。

    For them, sucking is a form of learning and playing. Initially, they simply put the entire hand into their mouth, then they will begin sucking on 2-3 fingers, and ultimately they will be able to suck on just one finger. From sucking the whole hand clumsily to agilely sucking on one finger: this demonstrates the baby's ability to control his behavior. The finger sucking movement fosters the baby's hand-eye coordination, in turn laying a firm foundation for the baby to accurately grab hold of toys around 5 months old. In addition, babies at this age often use their mouths to understand the world around them; they consider the hands as something belonging to the outside world, therefore they like to suck their hands to feel them. Normally, as the baby's movements develop rapidly, he gradually learns how to sit, crawl or stand freely, while their finger movements also become more refined. When he is old enough to play with toys on his own, the finger sucking phenomenon will be significantly reduced.

    Moreover, attentive parents can also discover that the children are usually very quiet while sucking their fingers; they don't cry or complain. Actually, sometimes a baby sucks his fingers to calm himself down; this explains the importance of finger sucking for the baby's psychological development. Consequently, parents should not be overly concerned about their babies sucking fingers, and they don't have to force them to stop. If the baby sucks his fingers too frequently, parents can touch his hands and wave them often to divert the baby's attention away from sucking fingers. They can also put toys in his hands to let him wiggle and play with them; by keeping the baby's hands preoccupied, he will not have time to suck his fingers. Parents need to keep the baby's little hands clean and keep the area around his lips clean and dry, so as to avoid eczema. If the child reaches 3-4 years old and still sucks his fingers, this is considered as a bad habit and the parents should pay attention to understand the cause of the problem and patiently make corrections accordingly.

    Six ways to "cure the hand sucking habit":

  1. When the mother is breastfeeding, do not be impatient and make sure that you offer the baby sufficient touching. Touch the baby's head, cheeks and call his name.
  2. For babies drinking milk, making sure to pick the teat with the correct sized opening for the feeding bottle is important: it must not be too big, nor too small. Let your baby have enough time to satisfy his need to suckle.
  3. When the baby is awake, don't let him stay in the crib for too long in case he becomes bored and starts to suck his fingers.
  4. When the baby sucks his fingers, divert his attention by gently moving his hands away and let him play games with his hands. This way, he won't be able to suck his fingers.
  5. For babies with addiction, parents can use pacifiers and pull their sleeves over their hands to cover their fingers.
  6. For older babies, you can try reasoning and rewarding. Let him participate in different games to forget about the urge to suck fingers.

  • Q: Is it normal for babies to stick out their tongues?

  • A: The baby's saliva glands start secretion at roughly 2 months, when the baby licks his saliva, he will appear to be sticking out his tongue. If the baby has constipation, eats very little and appears to be lethargic, please seek a pediatrician. Furthermore, if the baby still exhibits this behavior at an older age, he should be corrected before it develops into a habit.

  • Q: My child is 3 years old, usually he is quite activeBut sometimes he can be a little weird; for example, when there are visitors in the house, he appears to be timid, won't say hello and is unwilling to play with other children, even if they are relatives he has met before several times. Is he being rebellious or just shy with strangers?

  • A: According to Educare supervisor Ming-fen Xiao from the Nursery Section of the Child Welfare League Foundation: As mentioned earlier, children older than 2 are undergoing significant emotional transformation such as increased cognition and socialization, therefore they are more susceptible to feelings such as fear, fright and anxiety. However, they don't always express their feelings directly, instead they express them through certain behaviors such as being silent, crying or being apathetic; the behaviors vary from child to child. Therefore, parents should not habitually tolerate, worry about or reprimand a certain behavior, but instead try to understand and think about the reasons behind the child's behaviors.

    For such problems, the best method is for the parents and children to be prepared in advance. For instance, when you know that during a certain afternoon, auntie is bringing her little daughter for a visit, the mother should inform the child several days in advance and discuss with him the potential situation that might happen during the day of visit. She should also come to some kind of arrangement with the child such as pick out several toys he is willing to share so that he can play with the little sister on that day. On the day of the visit, when the doorbell rings, it is recommended that the parents guide their child to open the door proactively (use words of encouragement rather than negative tones). It is believed that most children will not be afraid and are eager to open the door to greet visitors. If you have not informed your child in advance, it is very likely that he will say no and tend to resist. This can be misconstrued as being overbearing.

  • Q: Although the MRT is convenient, I am okay to take my child on short journeys but I get a bit concerned about taking him on long journeys. If the journey lasts more than 40 minutes, I am afraid that my child may become impatient and start to cry, what do I do?

  • A: According to Educare supervisor Ming-fen Xiao from Nursery Section of the Child Welfare League Foundation "Most children are curious and easily distracted by surrounding things." In particular, since the MRT travels across several regions, the quick transition of sceneries along the way should be quite novel for the child. Actually, during the MRT riding process, parents can introduce various parts of the city to their children; it will help them to gain an understanding about the environment.

    However, according to regulations, no eating or drinking is allowed in the train or station areas, therefore smaller children are more of a problem since they frequently demand drinks or snacks. There was one incident in MRT where a mother was sitting in the train with her child. After a while, the child told her mother that he was hungry, although he wasn't very loud, it was still audible to the others. The mother told him to "keep it down" and anxiously observed the looks of other passengers around them. A short while later, the child said he was hungry again and the mother told him to keep it down; however, the child kept repeating the words and he was getting louder and louder.

    For this problem, the key is to address the issue in the first instant by following the recommended measure below: The mother should not care too much about or try to guess what other people think, she can tell her child, "Hang on, eating is not allowed in the MRT train!" Then she should show him the "No Eating or Drinking" sign so that he can understand the regulation. It is believed that the child will understand and be willing to cooperate. If the child has shown obedience, the mother should take him to eat something as a small reward after exiting the MRT station.

  • Q: Our whole family was shopping in the department store, when he saw a radio controlled car, he desperately wanted to get one but I wouldn't allow it, so I quickly took him away from the scene. If something similar happens next time, what should I do?

  • A: Director of Taipei Municipal Beitou Nursery School Xiu-luan Lin: "I believe many parents have witnessed or experienced firsthand the situation in public where their children want to buy a certain toy, and when the parents refuse, they start to make a scene. This is truly a major headache." If I don't buy it, I am afraid that he will make a scene and affect other people around us. If I buy it, I am concerned that once I set a precedent, the next time he might think that he can get whatever he pleases?

    Every parent's concerns have the potential to become a reality. In order to avoid these situations, the parents must make arrangements with their children beforehand. For instance, they can tell them that the objective of today is only to eat, shop around a little and then go home, no purchase of any kind is allowed. If the children start to make a scene, it is in violation of the agreement and everyone must go home immediately.

    At the scene, if the children abide by the agreement, parents can reward them after returning home. If the children exhibit any unrestrained behavior, the parents should remind them: "Aren't you forgetting what we agreed at home? If you start to make a racket, you are breaking our agreement and we will go home right now." The parents should enforce the rule unambiguously. If you are concerned about causing hassle to other people, we suggest that you divert your children's attention (without buying anything) and take them away from the scene. After they calm down, make sure you take the opportunity to educate them by explaining what was right or wrong about the situation.