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Birth & Babies with Nurse Rita

Q: Will sex while pregnant hurt the baby? And if it doesn’t, when should we stop?

A: It is perfectly safe to have sex during pregnancy unless your doctor advises otherwise. There are some specific pregnancy problems where a doctor would advise “pelvic rest” meaning no heavy lifting, no housework, no exercise and no sex. This could be for a few weeks or for the entire pregnancy. Most women enter pregnancy at optimum health, and the hormonal changes give them a sexual surge. Partners often feel like they will hurt the baby but need reassuring that all is well.

Q: Our son is two and still does not sleep through the night. We put him in his own room, but he cries and ends up in our bed. I do not want him there, but it’s the only way we can get a good night’s sleep. How can we get him to stay in his bed all night?

A: What happened to disrupt the previous sleep routine? Perhaps it was teething, illness or travel, as these are the main culprits for a change in an established sleep pattern. Once this happens the parents have a tendency to relax the routine and it goes on for much longer than necessary. Leaving your children in your in bed with you seems much easier than walking back and bedtime is important in order to prepare for more fun tomorrow.

Of course, they will cry and be unhappy that they are no longer in bed with you and every parent hates to hear their child cry. Remember that this cry is because you have now changed the rules and they will be displeased with this new change. Be strong! Your child is smart and will adjust if you are firm. Stick with your decision!

Q: At what age should we take the bottle way from our child? I see three and four-year olds but I think that’s too old. I say two but my husband says it’s too soon.

The removal of the bottle may cause emotional discomfort for you as you transition from infant need to toddler needs. This change is more of a parent issue than a child development one. I would suggest both of you have a discussion on your shared sense of how fast time is moving; your once gurgling baby is now a small child with their own personality. Your child is now ready to move on to the next phase, but the parents may not be so enthusiastic.

The use of a bottle should end between 12-18 months. Prolonged use of the bottle may create tooth misalignment and cavities. The need for milk is much reduced to about eight to 12 ounces a day.

Most babies are offered a sippy cup between nine and 12 months old, with milk or water several times a day. This is to encourage drinking instead of sucking. By this age your older child should be eating a varied diet rich in iron, calcium, minerals and vitamins.

Nurse Rita Stevens is the owner of BirthPlus. To book a consultation, email her at nurserita94@gmail.com. BPM