Q&A Time: Strange toddler tendencies

April 8th, 2009 1:23pm

We have a couple of fun stories/questions for you this week. Don’t you just love your little adventuresome toddlers? They certainly know how to keep parents busy with their impossible curiosity!

Q: I rounded the corner of my kitchen today to find my toddler had muscled her way past my poor dog during his breakfast and she was proceeding to devour the entire bowl! How bad is dog food for tots?

A: Well, first of all I have to congratulate you on owning a dog that would be that willing to share his mealtime with someone else! But more importantly, you should know that most pet food isn’t harmful to toddlers. The main ingredients are meat products, grains and veggies. The only negative side effect if they consumed a large amount would be possibly a tummyache or vomiting back up the food. Not a fun mess to clean up but at least you can rest assured that you don’t need to rush off to the emergency room just because your toddler got the munchies and followed the example of her pets. Contact www.petsweekly.com for more pet-related Q and A’s.

Q: My toddler wants to hear the same story every night and sometimes all throughout the day. It’s getting very tiresome and really annoying at times! Is this normal development?

A: My four kids have all been a little different this way. My first daughter liked reading certain stories so much that I had at least 5 or 6 memorized at any given time. In fact, it was rather helpful in calming her out of a tantrum…I would just start reciting the story and she would immediately stop crying and sit quietly and listen! I found this same experience with almost all of my children. Consistency is important to kids. It offers them security and gives them some predictability to their experience. It is also important for language development. They listen to the rhythm of the language, hear the different sounds and intonation, and begin to learn about predicting events and logical sequences. All are extremely important to their development. So for now, get comfy in that rocking chair! You can make your experience a little different each time by asking questions while you read, like “What sound does that animal make?” or “How does the puppy feel in this picture?”. Your child will be ecstatic that you are taking such an interest in something they obviously value.

Q: My toddler likes to play in my cupboards while I get dressed in the morning and I am usually very good about keeping any harmful products out of them. But one morning, I raced out of the shower as I saw my toddler attempting to guzzle a bottle of nail polish I had missed!

A: Ok, I admit it…I found the answer to this one the hard way…experience. After flushing out my 16 month olds mouth with water and a quick call to poison control, I discovered that as long as it is non-acetone based nail polish remover, the worst that can happen is she might vomit it back up. They also recommend having your toddler drink plenty of milk. Luckily for me, we didn’t even have the vomiting.

For more info: In January 2002, the government unveiled a new toll-free poison control number that serves all states, cities and townships…1-800-222-1222. Another great resource is www.babycenter.com.