7 harmful habits that your child should break

By Lynn Wee   — January 02, 2017
  • 1. Hanging onto the bottle
    1 / 6 1. Hanging onto the bottle

    It can be unusually hard to get your children to switch from the bottle to a cup.

    Not only is drinking from a bottle easier, it also provides a sense of comfort to the child because of its familiarity.

    But drinking too much milk can cause your tot to skip meals and miss out on calcium-rich foods, and falling asleep with a bottle can actually cause infant tooth decay and cavities.

    Related: 3 things you should know about milk feeds after baby starts solids

    Help your child transition to a sippy cup with a straw to help with the switch.

    (Click on arrows in photos to find out more) 

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  • 2. Nose Picking
    2 / 6 2. Nose Picking

    For some unknown reason, children are fascinated with their own snot.

    We know plenty of kids who think nothing of sticking their little fingers out their noses, picking out a booger and sometimes even popping it into their mouths.

    Help your child to wipe and blow his nose regularly and remind him to keep his fingers out of his nose. If your child has a cold or infection, a salt water saline spray or gel can clean out his nose and moisten the lining.

    For babies and toddlers, a bulb syringe can help too.

    Related: How to stop nose picking

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  • 3. Prolonged Pacifier Use
    3 / 6 3. Prolonged Pacifier Use

    Sucking on a pacifier is soothing to a child but using a pacifier for too long can actually cause more harm than good by increasing the risk for ear infections, lead to dental problems, and may affect language development.

    Putting an end to the pacifier is easy because you can actually get rid of the object but do so slowly.

    When your child starts to walk, it’s a good idea to limit the pacifier to naps and bedtime to keep it clean and limit the time he uses it.

    Related: How to help your toddler stop the pacifier use

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  • 4. Picking Eating
    4 / 6 4. Picking Eating

    If you have a child who snubs his vegetables, refuses to eat anything new and only eats a handful of foods, it’s not only unhealthy for his growth and development but it can create a ton of stress in your home.

    Don’t force anything on your child, let them explore a pea-sized amount of new foods so that they’re armed with information about new foods and will feel safe and empowered to eventually accept them.

    Related: 4 reasons why kids are picky eaters

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  • 5. Snacking All The Time
    5 / 6 5. Snacking All The Time

    Allowing your child to eat every time he asks not only creates a power struggle, but it teaches your child that temporary hunger must be quelled fast.

    Grazing all day long, especially on sweet, salty and crunchy snacks, also means your child won’t eat their meals because they’re not hungry.

    Instead of allowing your child to graze all day, decide on a meal and snack schedule. At snack time, offer fruits and vegetables.

    Related: Battle of the snacks

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  • 7. Thumb Sucking
    6 / 6 7. Thumb Sucking

    It’s common for babies and toddlers to suck their thumbs or their fingers to soothe themselves.

    But depending on how intense they suck and how long the habit lingers, it can affect the way their jaws grow causing a crossbite or overbite.

    You can help your child stop sucking his fingers with a special nail polish that tastes bitter, a cotton glove or a finger guard. But in many cases, the child will stop on their own.

    Related: How to stop a thumb-sucking habit

    This story first appeared in The Singapore Women’s Weekly

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

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