Pacifiers, sippy cups, and bottles might not be as harmless as you’d think

When manufacturers stopped making pacifiers that could break apart and a lot of people switched from glass bottles to plastic (BPA-free, of course), we thought the big dangers were gone. Maybe not.

Proving my theory that babies and toddlers are constantly searching for new ways to scare the hell out of their parents, a new study comes out showing that an average of 2,270 children under three are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for injuries involving pacifiers, bottles and sippy cups (the majority are one-year olds).  According to the study, which looked at ER data for the past 20 years, two thirds of the accidents involved bottles and 86 of the injuries involved falling down. In 14.3% of cases, the culprit was the seemingly harmless sippy cup.

Binkies, bottles and sippy cups: Handle with care

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Stay with Me!

Dear Mr. Dad: My 3-year old has been going to the same daycare for 8 months, but he’s still anxious and nervous every time I drop him off. I know that young children can have anxiety problems about unfamiliar places and people, but hasn’t this gone on long enough?

A: I remember dropping off my oldest daughter (now 22) on her first day at daycare, and how hard it was to say goodbye and leave her in the care of people who couldn’t possibly love her as much as I did. And I still remember how she cried and didn’t want to let me go. She got over it within a few days (although it took me a lot longer), and most kids will do the same. But unfortunately, when it comes to separation anxiety, there’s no way to tell you what’s normal and what’s not.

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Wandering Toddler

My year-old child has begun to climb out of the crib at night. I am concerned she will get into something and hurt herself. I worry so much about her at night, I can’t sleep. How do I keep her safe?

Start by thinking about her environment in larger and larger circles, from the crib to the door. First, the crib. There get rid of all those bumpers (those oh-so-cute fabric pads that used to protect your baby from banging her head against the inside of the crib). Bumpers make great stepping stones for climbers. Also, take all those big stuffed animals, pillows, and heavy comforters out of the crib. These items were dangerous as suffocation hazards when your baby was small. Now that she’s bigger, they’re tickets to freedom.
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Technology For Toddlers

My husband recently bought a computer for our 18-month old daughter. I think he’s nuts, but he says that it’s never too early to get kids computer literate. I’m concerned that pushing computer literacy at this age will put too much pressure on our child, making her feel like she has to be an over achiever. Is he right or should we wait?

You and your husband have stumbled into one of the 21st century’s parenting hot spots. A lot of parents have some legitimate questions about the sensibility and worthwhileness (and even the danger) of starting kids on computers and/or computerized toys at such an early age. Unfortunately, making the right decision-assuming there is such a thing-is nearly impossible, given the heated debate among academics, software designers, and advocacy groups.
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Imaginary Friends

My three-year-old daughter has an imaginary friend named Maggie. She talks to her all the time, draws with her, and “reads” her favorite books to her. I even have to set an extra place at the dinner table for Maggie or my daughter won’t eat. Is this okay or should I be concerned about my child’s sanity?

Having imaginary playmates is a pretty normal part of growing up–especially in the toddler years-and they serve several important functions:
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22 Discipline Ideas that Really Work

My three-year-old is a real handful at times. My wife and I have struggled to find the right approach to disciplining our spirited toddler. There are so many different parenting approaches out there, and as his mom and dad, we want the best for our child. We just don’t know which discipline approach to take. Do you have any suggestions?

At one time or another, all parents struggle with discipline-establishing and enforcing limits, and getting their kids to speak to them respectfully and do what they’re supposed to do. But remember: discipline isn’t only about correction. It’s also about teaching kids to control themselves and care about others so they can grow up to be productive members of society. Here are some approaches you can use to help your kids to do just that:
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