Webinar on 25 November 2014 with Riverside Cares expert Jill Wheatcroft - Parenting a baby and toddler.

(20 Posts)
Gulee Tue 04-Nov-14 12:29:12

As you navigate the speed bumps of parenting a baby and toddler, you probably want some direction along the way.
There is nothing more soothing than hearing an expert's view, having the opportunity to discuss parenting topics and health related issues with an Early Years Childcare Lecturer.

Jill Wheatcroft, co-MD of Riverside Cares and London based Lecturer in Child Health is dedicating November 25 to you via the web. She has taught at the Royal London and Barts as well as having carried out community roles in the borough and beyond.

Childcare Expert Jill Wheatcroft will be here to answer your parenting and childcare questions. If you are unable to make it on the day, you are most welcome to post your questions (in advance) below.

GoTowerHamlets Fri 07-Nov-14 21:52:23

My DS (3) has absolutely awful wind problem; it smells like drains and he can't hold it. He doesn't eat much bread or similar wheat products, but plenty of fruits and vegetables. He is still young, but I don't want him to be bullied at school later on because of this issue. Is there anything I can do before making an appointment with doctor?

JonquilleTW Mon 10-Nov-14 10:52:13


I have a 5 months old baby and a 5 year old child.
We recently moved to a new house and my 5 year old is looking forward for the baby to turn 6 months old so they can sleep in the same bedroom.
We bought a double bed for their room. My question is:

Is it safe to put 6 months old with 5 year old in one double bed?
I still breastfeed the baby during the nights. I was thinking may be to come and feed the baby during the night several times and leave them to sleep.
Or is it not safe for the baby?

The older sibling can not wait for them to start sleeping together and if it is not safe I do not know how to break the news without hurting the older one's feelings.
Ah you have to thread the sibling waters carefully.
Especially there is a huge gap between them and it is taking time for the older one to learn to share the parents.

Thanks in advance.

MissRee Mon 10-Nov-14 12:46:06

My daughter is 2yrs and 10 months and we have struggled with bedtime for months now. I work full time so she's up at 6.30am and we're not home to put her to bed until 7pm. We do bath, story and then lights out but we really struggle with her staying in bed and most nights she won't actually fall asleep until 9pm.

We've tried the no talking, putting straight back into bed route (for weeks) but it doesn't help, she still just keeps getting out of bed. We've tried a reward chart but she's not bothered by it. I've tried sitting in with her until she's almost asleep but that takes just as long as she could talk the hind legs off a donkey!

I'm at my wits end and currently 5 months pregnant. I'm dreading bedtimes when I've got a newborn to contend with as well!

Poppelli Mon 10-Nov-14 12:46:39


I have several questions, hope that is ok.

My DS is 22 months and has just started having huge temper tantrums. The last one was because I would not allow him to carry a bag into the house (it was very heavy). It lasted for at least 10 minutes, he was screaming and throwing anything in site. He would not allow me to soothe him and he would hit me if I tried. Eventually he was soothed by me putting on the television, he sat on my lap and snuggled and then it was all over. Are there any other tips? I did allow him to carry something lighter in the house which he just threw because it was not what he wanted to carry.

DS has just started hitting his elder sister. When we tell him no he cries, but then just does it again. I am worried about him doing this when he goes to nursery.

Thank you

risa2014 Mon 24-Nov-14 15:05:49


My 3.5 yr old son is not ready to share his toys with any other kid. In school, teacher says that he is good in everything but very stubborn in what he wants and not sharing toys with his classmates. Also he is hitting the kids who asks the toy he is having.

He is very stubborn and expects positive answer for everything. If we say no, he gets angry and throw whatever he has in his hand. I'm worried abt this behaviour.

How should I tell him? Please give me suggestions on how to deal with this??

Thanks a lot

riverside1989 Tue 25-Nov-14 11:15:10

Hi Morning Jill Wheatcroft here of Riverside Cares

It's great you're thinking about the impact smelly wind may have on other children when your child goes to school. Flatulence as it is called is caused by swallowing air whilst eating and where gas builds from digesting food. It's a normal process and everyone passes wind regularly however some children will pass wind more than others. There are several steps you can take to help. Firstly if your child eats very quickly try and persuade your child to chew food a little longer. It could be that if they are swallowing larger chunks they are taking in more air in the process.
Although a healthy diet is really important certain vegetables are more likely to cause a child to have smelly wind. Some of the main culprits are beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, artichokes, raisons, pulses, lentils, onions, prunes, apples and of course the king of vegetables - Brussels sprouts. So if your child is eating a lot of these think about substituting other fruit and vegetables to see if that helps. Of course I'm not suggesting avoiding these completely merely cut down and experiment.
Another culprit is fizzy drinks including fizzy water so again if your child is a fan cut back.
An old fashioned remedy was peppermint tea, however there appears to be no medical research to back up its effectiveness!
Warning: If your child is showing any signs of abdominal pain, re-occurring diarrhea or constipation, weight loss, soiling when your child was www.riversidecares.co.uk/ask-jill/ before, blood in stools, high temperature, vomiting or joint or muscle pain you must see a GP.
Hope this helps
Jill Wheatcroft

riverside1989 Tue 25-Nov-14 12:07:07

Hi JonquilleTW

Thanks for your question to Riverside Cares.

My initial instinct when reading your question about a five year old and 5-6 month old sharing a double bed is a loud No, not a good idea.

Cot mattresses are specially designed with babies in mind and the environment is designed as a safe space (subject to you ensuring that hanging window or blind cords are not falling into the cot where they can be grabbed by a baby). The space is also pillow free. An adult bed, even if pushed against the wall, poses a number of problems. These range from the potential for a baby to slip down the side or simply roll off through to whether a boisterous or heavy sleeping five year old might accidentally knock the baby off the bed, or roll on top of them. Current NHS advice is that babies should not be left unattended on a bed.

Making the transition from having a new bro or sis through to sharing a bedroom can run smoothly or need a lot of careful handling and preparing a five year old in advance is well worth the effort. If there is room why not simply put the cot in the five year olds room. To you and I it may feel squished but they will see it quite differently.

As a result of your excellent question we will be adding to our 2015 parenting talks a discussion about the topic of sibling room sharing to our Developing Sleep Patterns session.

Best wishes
Jill Wheatcroft

RHaque05 Tue 25-Nov-14 12:27:10


I have a 7 week old baby daughter and she does not like to sleep in her moses basket or cot, she tends to sleep on me during the day and in my bed at night which is not ideal. I have tried putting her to sleep but wakes up within minutes every time I put her down, please help and advise?

Thank you.

riverside1989 Tue 25-Nov-14 12:36:13

Hi MissRee

Great to hear from you - Jill here. Bedtimes are always a challenge! At 2y10m how much sleep a child requires varies a lot from child to child. It may be that your daughter is having too long a nap during the day and is therefore not tired at bed time. You have a couple of options - one is to shorten sleep times during the day combined with increasing physical activity so she is naturally more tired. Staying with your child until she falls asleep is unlikely to remedy the situation as she will remain stimulated. Another is to let her stay up later and chat to you over supper then put her to bed, it may be that she wants time with you.

Once she starts school she will be more tired and getting her to bed will not be such a problem.

With a new baby on the way you may decide to enforce bedtime. You need to stick to your guns gently, consistently but firmly returning her to her room if she comes down, help her into bed and firmly say goodnight shutting the door. Do not get drawn into the loop of extra stories etc. If she wants to go to the toilet of course do not stop this but back to bed without social interaction.

If you want to try again with a star chart you may want to try linking it to a reward she really wants eg a toy or a trip somewhere it could be that she simply isn't interested in the sticker. Make it something attainable and affordable but that will take a little time to achieve.

As an over view you need big dollops of patience in order to ensure that it is clear that this is a rule that can't be negotiated.

Thanks for your question
Jill Wheatcroft

Philotas Tue 25-Nov-14 12:56:28

Our four year old boy hs in his room a rug that's old and we wanted to get rid of it. But when it was moved out of his bedroom we found him straining to pull it back in and getting upset because it had been taken away. This obviously isn't a big deal but sometimes we need to change things, take away potentially dangerous things and is he always going to react this way?

SirWhingeAlot Tue 25-Nov-14 14:48:18


My niece is 2.5 years old and only says a handful of words (not very clearly). Should we and at what point be concerned?

She doesn't go to nursery but she does get plenty interaction in playgroups, etc. Otherwise, she is growing and developing nicely and seems to understand quite a lot.

Thank you very much in advance.

riverside1989 Tue 25-Nov-14 15:02:09

Dear Poppelli

Thanks for your question about temper tantrums. Jill Wheatcroft here.

As you know they are very common for 18m -2.6y children. It is usually due to frustration often linked to a toddler not being able to do something for themselves. It is one of those stages you just have to live through it's all about how you manage it. When you start to see the signs you may be able to distract your child by giving them something else to do but when they are in the midst of a tantrum the best option is to ignore it - do not let it become currency. Obviously you need to assess the safety of the environment they are in. Let them get on with having a scream and lying on the floor kicking - although extremely embarrassing for us adults will actually not do the children physical or emotional harm. Give them some time and when they are ready just carry on as normal. However there are caveats for example if their behavior has impacted on someone else or damaged property you need to address this either in the midst of the tantrum or afterwards, in truth this is not such an issue with a 22 month old but could be with a 2.6- 3year old.
A vivid experience I recall was walking in the park with a small child who had a major tantrum, laying on the ground kicking and screaming. I walked away a little keeping a very close eye. A stern faced woman came towards me I fully expected a negative response from her, instead she praised me for my strength of character. People can be far more understanding than we imagine.
I am not advocating that a child should not be comforted if they are genuinely distress rather that negative behavior should not be reinforced with attention.

When it comes to hitting you need to make it very clear that it is unacceptable to hit anyone as you have wisely picked up this will be a problem in nursery. Pick your moment and reward good behavior such as positive interaction with your son's sister. If he does hit remove him to one side make clear why he is being moved - out of hitting range - and sit down at his eye level and tell him this is not acceptable and tell him how would he feel if someone hit him. 22 months is not too soon to reinforce this important message. He then needs to say sorry to the person he hits. He may cry but you need to ignore this to make clear your message - if the tone and nature of the crying alters to distressed crying then comfort him but avoid giving any positive reinforcement - make clear he still needs to apologize once he's calmed down then he needs to return and say he's sorry- that you love him but that he is still not allowed to hit people.

Nothing is hard and fast if things have moved on and in one of those real life moments, the child who got hit has gone home! then its about realistic managing of the situation

I do also have a consultancy service for one to one sessions but to be honest I think you will be able to nail this one!

best wishes

Riverside Cares

PottyMouther Tue 25-Nov-14 15:58:37

Hi there,
I would love to pick your brains if I may? We have just moved our 2 sons into the same room. They are 2 and 4 and this has also coincided with us taking the sides off youngest's cot as he started climbing out a few weeks ago.
As they are so close in age we thought this would be a breeze and they would love it keeping each other company (plan is to hopefully get bunk beds when they're bigger). However, it's been a nightmare, mainly our youngest now just won't stay in bed. I know it's really down to perseverance as I know it's mainly the novelty of not having sides on his cot anymore rather than his brother being in the room but he just won't settle and wakes his brother up. Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated, many thanks! x

riverside1989 Tue 25-Nov-14 16:10:02

Dear Philotas,

Young children can feel strongly about familiar objects and these help make them feel secure. One option might be to allow him to choose a new rug. If it is about a dangerous object then obviously you need to remove the object but at 4 years old you should be able to explain why you need to do this. Generally it is a good idea to prepare children ahead of time for change by introducing the idea and why it is happening with a date of when it is going to happen possibly circled on the calendar if it is a young child as they may not be able to track time.

Thanks for your question
best wishes
Jill Wheatcroft

riverside1989 Tue 25-Nov-14 16:18:45

Dear Risa2014

Being unwilling to share toys is not an unusual behaviour for a 3.5y old, but you are spot on it is good to start intervening as soon as you are aware of a potential issue. You need to lay some ground rules and talk to your son about how he would feel if he wanted a toy and another child would not let him play with it. It might be good to play some games which include turn taking and give lots of positive praise when he allows the next person to have a go. You could also talk to the teacher at nursery school about how they manage this behaviour as a consistant approach is important.

The hitting needs a strong intervention. You need to clearly explain to him that this is unacceptable and remove the toy concerned for a short period of time so he is aware that this behaviour will have consequences. He needs to say sorry to the person he has hit before he rejoins play activities.

best wishes
Jill Wheatcroft

riverside1989 Tue 25-Nov-14 16:45:54

Dear Rhaque05

Answering your question about settling down to sleep your 7 week old daughter, now is the time to start getting her into good habits. There are various things you can try, after she has finished her feed and been winded try putting her in the cot before she goes to sleep, stay with her and reasure her that you are there by talking to her, rubbing her back, or whatever she finds soothing. The idea behind this is to get used to her finding her cot as a haven and a nice place to be. You can also use a piece of your clothing which smells of you to put securely and safely somewhere in the cot so she can smell you. Do allow her to have a little whinge when you first put her down and just talk and reassure her until she goes back to sleep. This is particularily important at night as this will help her develop good sleep patterns. It may take a little while and some pesistance she will get used to it. Think also about getting a cot mobile - at 6 weeks most babies can see movement more clearly and appreciate the sounds of music emanating from a mobile.

I would not advocate having a baby in your bed other than when you are feeding. Of course I am making this sound easy and for some babies this period of learning to settle is far from easy, what is required from the caregiver/parent is consistency and reassurance that this is a safe place.

Jill Wheatcroft

riverside1989 Tue 25-Nov-14 17:03:03

Hi SirWhingeAlot,

Thanks for posing a question about language skills at 2.5y.

As you have identified a lot of children at this age will have more language than your niece appears to have. However every child develops at their own pace and it's partly about whether she making progress i.e is she learning more words gradually or has she halted. You may want to check her hearing, if children have reduced hearing due to something as simple as 'glue ear' it can slow their language development.

One issue for young children can be if they are an only child or if they have a very helpful sibling they do not need to utilise language as the people around them react to them pointing towards their needs or crying as a way of conveying a need. In this case it can be good to encourage them to actually use language.

It may be worth doing some intensive playing which encourages language not forgetting to repeat back words which she articulates unclearly, as they should be said. Think of utilising games involving singing and rhymes or using a basket of everyday objects which you encourage her to name.

If you feel no progress is being made it is always worth having a word with your health visitor or GP. Many children's centres offer sessions encouraging language skills.

A thought: In a dual language home the dynamic of how many words said is different.

Best wishes

Jill Wheatcroft

riverside1989 Tue 25-Nov-14 17:18:39

Dear PottyMouther,

Thanks for posing your question regarding getting 2 year olds to settle at bedtime.

It is always a challenge when a child moves from a cot to a bed. I was not sure from your description if both children go to bed at the same time in which case it might be worth having separate bed times so that the two year old is asleep first. As usual with this age it is about gently but firmly returning them to bed and saying goodnight and closing the door. You could try a reward system such as a star chart leading to a little present.

Lets talk a little further about the returning to bed routine. Working on the premise that you embrace the idea of seperate bed times even if only by 30 minutes lets drill down about that routine. The bath followed by a bedtime story is a well proven one some children need a few minutes of reading and others up to 30 minutes. If during story time your child attempts to wander around the room you stop the story until they get back in bed - the link is being set between the two. It is good for children to have a set routine make this each nights, end of day, go to bed set pattern.

As you identified in your question perseverance is key and so is being chilled, the more relaxed you are the more your child picks that up.

Best wishes
Jill Wheatcroft

Gulee Tue 25-Nov-14 22:05:36

Fantastic job, Jill!

Thank you very much for all the detailed answers and helpful information you shared with us today. We highly appreciate the time you took to reply to every single question of our members.

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