Su Laurent brings us handy hints and tips to make life easier, such as how to get rid of the dummy.
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Nina Sebastiane: Well it’s that time again when our resident Dr. Su Laurent joins us to answer your baby and toddler questions. Now some of the problems we will be tackling today include an eight week old who won’t goes to loo and a tongue tied baby. Welcome Su, I’ve got my mailbag questions here ready for you. First one off, I can’t seem to wean my two year-old baby off his dummy, I am sure this is constellation fit for many people out there including myself. Everytime I take it out, he screams, what can I do? Su Laurent: Well first of all I think what you do is to decide do you really want to get him off the dummy or not. And if it’s a big issue then you can do it quite easily and the way to do it is to decide, today is the day and actually show the baby that you are throwing the dummy away, or show you toddler you are throwing it away and you haven’t got spares anywhere around, they are gone. The thing about children is that if they know there is no other option, there is nothing hidden away and you’re not going to give in and go and get another one, then very quickly they move onto something else. And I’ll give you a very good example. My little one who used to suck his thumb all the time and I was thinking to myself, when am I going to have to try and wean him off sucking the thumb. Nina Sebastiane: How did you do it? Su Laurent: Well, I didn’t. I had this awful thing all at work, which as my nanny saying, he has fallen over and he is on this horrible injury to his thumb and he’d skinned it completely and he might allow us to a clinic, and he just ripped off the skin from his thumb. So I said, get in the taxi, whizz off – you know get one of my nurses to have a look. He done this horrible thing, and we had it bandaged up and we had to keep sort of a checking it and eventually it healed. But he never -- he knew he couldn’t put his thumb in his mouth. Nina Sebastiane: So you saw -- Su Laurent: He just didn’t ask for it. He didn’t ever once say. Oh, I need my thumb or anything and then we took off the bandages and it – they’re gone, his needs to suck his thumb. Nina Sebastiane: Now this baby, the mum whose mailbag does sent this baby is two years-old. Is there a minimum age, I mean for example, with a baby who is 12 months old, you’re not going to able to communicate that they won’t do. Su Laurent: No. And you also need to think about time of day, I mean for some parents, having a dummy at night is fine and it pacifies them and it’s fine but they don’t want a dummy during the day. I think what -- you just have to be sure, if that’s what you really want to happen as a parent you just make sure you don’t do it anymore, it’s the -- giving the mixed messages thing that for difficult thing. Nina Sebastiane: And I suppose planning the right time, because if you are about to go to the supermarket and you said, no more dummy, that’s it, then be prepared for it, you know, hellish two hours? Su Laurent: Exactly, exactly. And if you’ve decided you are definitely going to stop, then you have to then stop. Nina Sebastiane: Well, I’ve considered bribery. Su Laurent: Have you? Nina Sebastiane: Well, I am thinking that may be what we’ll do is, with my daughter say, well, Santa is coming to give you some presents for Christmas but in exchange he is taking all your dummies away. And that’s it, no more dummies because Santa is going swap them for some new toys. Su Laurent: Well, bribery is a very, very good way forward to everything with children. It’s always best to bribe, and I bribe all the time. It’s much better the carrot than the stick, generally with children. Nina Sebastiane: Yeah, okay, well that’s good, bribery works, then fine. Next one, what are the Heal Prick Tests? Su Laurent: All new born babies I think in the world and certainly in the UK will have a Heal Prick Test at about four or five days old. It’s when they are well established on milk feeds, breast or bottle feeds. And they are looking for several rare congenital abno

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