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Expert Advice

Expert Advice

If you've got kids, you've got questions. From bright-eyed toddlers to "big kids" transitioning to school, our experts give you the inside scoop as well as tips and trends to help every step of the way.

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What Our Experts Are Saying About Preschoolers
My son is 4 years old and I am 8 months pregnant with my second child. My 4 year old seems to be very excited about the upcoming addition to our family, but in recent months he has started to have separation anxiety when I drop him off at school. He never cried at school before, not even on his very first day. Is this just a phase or does it have something to do with the new baby? Nicole, Acworth, GA
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

First and foremost, congratulations on the upcoming addition! With your delivery date approaching there are likely many changes that are occurring in the home – the nursery is being set, the new... See More Details
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My son is 3 years old and is very shy. What can I do to help him become more social? Sangeeta, Austin, TX
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

Every child has a different temperament. It sounds like your child may have one that is slow-to-warm and may need a little more time or help to be social. You can help your son while he's on the... See More Details
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My son is two and half years old but is more advanced than most kids his age. What are some teaching techniques that you would recommend to keep him interested in learning? Jennifer, Ardmore, OK
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

Preschool flash cards and workbooks might be a good way to keep your child engaged and learning. You could also try reading some books and offering toys that are more advanced. When teaching your... See More Details
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My daughter is 3 years old and enjoys listening to me read bedtime stories to her. We have a ton of books, but she only wants me to read the same ten books over and over. I fear she is no longer learning as much because she can recite the books line by line - so I worry she's not reading the book. Is she still learning even though she has the books memorized? And any suggestions as to how I can break new books into our nightly ritual without upsetting her so she no longer looks forward to story time? Jeanne, Temple City, CA
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

Your struggle is like the struggle of many parents. This actually happens quite often. There are a couple of things that you might try that could help her branch out into different books. Perhaps... See More Details
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My daughter is almost 4 years old and she refuses to eat any fruits or vegetables, so I give her juice and soup made of vegetables instead. Even then, she will only drink the broth of the soup. Will that give her enough nutrition? Any other suggestions? Yen, Gainesville, VA
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

A 6 ounce glass of 100% juice can substitute for 1.5 servings of fruit. If she likes vegetable soup, then try adding blended vegetables to the broth. This should help make your broth nutrient dense.... See More Details
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My son will be four in July and is still not potty trained. We have tried everything for a year now. He refuses to tell me when he has to go. He sneaks off and poops in his underwear. I need help! What should I do? April, Martinsville, IL
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

You may need some assistance from your health care provider on this one. If you believe he feels the sensation to poop - but then opts to sit behind the couch or go off to his special place then you... See More Details
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My 4.5 year old daughter is a VERY picky eater. She is also a "smeller," she smells out every food before she puts it to her mouth. I fear she is missing out on a lot of good foods that she refuses to try because she thinks they smell bad. Any good suggestions to get her past this? Casey, Shaker Heights, OH
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

There are many choices of nutritious foods that have appealing smells. This is a great time of the year for many fruits and berries. She is old enough now to both enjoy and help make a smoothie. This... See More Details
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My son, who will be turning 3 in July, has always been quite timid. He is very shy when we first go places and stays stuck to my side. Then when it is almost time to leave, he is finally ready to stay and play/participate, which causes even more problems. I would like to be able to sign him up for summer activities, but I'm afraid that he'll continue this pattern and cling to me crying too much to enjoy the activity. What can I do to help increase his confidence, so he can participate in more things with other kids? Sarah, St. Paul, MN
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

Sounds like your little guy may need just some warming up to new places. I would definitely sign him up to participate in summer activities. What might be helpful is asking the center if you could... See More Details
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My daughter will turn 5 after the new school year begins, so she will have to wait to start kindergarten and is stuck with kids that are younger than she is. She is quite gifted for her age. What's the best way to keep her learning at the pace she is capable of instead of regressing to the level of her age group? Valerie, San Antonio, TX
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

Your little one is in the same situation as many other kids whose birthday falls after the school year. You can definitely start working with her now to develop the additional skills to start school.... See More Details
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My daughter just turned 4 and her sleep habits are all over the place. She gets up around 7:30am every day and if she doesn't take a nap she goes to bed at 7:30pm. If I have her take a nap during the day, she won't fall asleep till after 10:00pm, even though I have her lay down around 8:30pm. Should I take the naps out or only let her nap for a certain amount of time? Sometimes it seems like she needs that mid-day nap. Ana, San Antonio, TX
Yinka Davies

Dr. Yinka Davies, Pediatrician, Mother of Two, says:

It sounds like your daughter has outgrown her naps. I bet if you take out her naps during the day she will sleep at a more appropriate hour and sleep well through the night. Waking up at 7:30 in the... See More Details
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