Thursday, September 30, 2010
Many babies and children are afflicted with asthma, an inflammatory disorder of the airways, which causes attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. If your child has asthma, it is important to work with your child's health care provider to prevent and treat asthma attacks.
If your baby has an acute asthma attack, the lining of his airways will become even more inflamed and produce more mucus. The muscles around his airways will tighten and his breathing tubes will narrow. He may breathe rapidly, cough, or wheeze. You may notice your baby's nostrils flare or the skin around his ribs suck in with each breath.
If left untreated, or there is a delay in seeking medical attention, an asthma attach can be deadly. As soon as you notice symptoms, promptly give your baby the "quick-reliever" medicine prescribed by his doctor. If you don't have any, call 911 or take your baby to the emergency room immediately.
Exposure to allergens such as dust mites, cockroaches, mold, pollens, or animal dander can trigger or worsen symptoms in some children with asthma. This is referred to as allergic asthma.
There is nothing you can do to fully prevent your child from developing asthma if it is in his genes, and you won't know whether he has asthma until he shows consistent symptoms. However, you may be able to minimize the severity of your child's symptoms or delay the onset of his asthma until he is older and his lungs are stronger if you do the following:
• Limit your baby's exposure to dust mites: Encase your baby's mattress in an impermeable cover, remove carpeting and plush toys from his room, use blinds instead of fabric drapes, and wash all his bedding once a week in hot (130 degree) water.
• Keep your baby away from secondhand smoke
• Limit his exposure to air pollution.
• Avoid using a fireplace or wood stove.
• If your child has developed an allergy to a family pet, keep the pet outside if possible.
• Reduce mold in your home. Install exhaust fans or open the window in the kitchen when cooking and the bathroom when showering, for example. Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier, if necessary, to keep the humidity level between 35% and 50%. Repair leaks, which can cause mold growth behind walls and under floors, and clean moldy surfaces using soap and water. Make sure damp or wet clothing or surfaces are dried as soon as possible to prevent mold growth.
Asthma can be scary for you and your child, but remember you're not alone. Many children and families are dealing with asthma, and while there is no cure, most children with asthma grow up to be healthy adults.
Fisher-Price is recalling millions of products in both the U.S. and Canada due to safety concerns.
The number of products sold in the U.S. is significantly higher than those sold in Canada. The CPSC said there are about 7 million sold in the US and 150,000 in Canada.
Here is a full list of products affected by the recall:
- 72633 Hot Wheels Trike
- 72639 Barbie™ Butterfly Trike
- 72642 Lil’ Kawasaki® Trike
- 72643 Tough Trike
- 72644 Tough Trike
- 72792 Kawasaki Trike
- B8775 Kawasaki® Ninja® Tough Trike
- B8776 Barbie™ Tough Trike
- K6672 Nick Jr./Dora the Explorer Tough Trike
- K6673 Go, Diego, Go! Tough Trike
- M5727 Barbie™ Tough Trike Princess Ride-On
- N6021 Kawasaki Tough Trike
- T6209 Thomas & Friends™ Tough Trike
- V4270 Go, Diego, Go!™ Kid-Tough™ Trike
- T4261 Little People® Wheelies™ Stand ‘n Play™ Rampway
- V6378 Little People® Wheelies™ Stand ‘n Play™ Rampway Gift Set
Infant toys with inflatable balls
- 73408 Baby Playzone™ Crawl & Cruise Playground™
- B2408 Baby Playzone™ Crawl & Slide Arcade™
- C3068 Ocean Wonders™ Kick & Crawl™ Aquarium
- H5704 Baby Gymtastics™ Play Wall
- H8094 Ocean Wonders™ Kick & Crawl™ Aquarium
- J0327 1-2-3 Tetherball
- K0476 Bat & Score Goal™
- 79638 Healthy Care™ High Chair
- 79639 Healthy Care™ High Chair
- 79640 Healthy Care™ High Chair
- 79641 Healthy Care™ High Chair
- B0326 Deluxe Healthy Care™ High Chair
- B2105 Deluxe Healthy Care™ High Chair
- B2875 Healthy Care™ High Chair
- C4630 Healthy Care™ High Chair
- C4632 Link-a-doos™ Deluxe Plus Healthy Care™ High Chair
- C5936 Healthy Care™ High Chair
- G4406 Healthy Care™ High Chair
- G8659 Aquarium Healthy Care High Chair™
- H0796 Deluxe Healthy Care™ High Chair
- H1152 Healthy Care™ High Chair
- H4864 Aquarium Healthy Care™ High Chair
- H7241 Healthy Care™ High Chair
- H8906 Close to Me™ High Chair
- H9178 Easy Clean™ High Chair
- J4011 Easy Clean™ High Chair
- J6292 Easy Clean™ High Chair
- J8229 Easy Clean™ High Chair
- K2927 Rainforest™ Healthy Care™ High Chair
- L1912 Healthy Care™ High Chair
To find a contact person in your area go to service.mattel.com.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
When your baby gets their first tooth, it is an exciting milestone, but it is also time to start thinking about your child's dental health and their first visit to the dentist.
It is generally recommended that an infant sees a dentist by the age of 1, or within 6 months after his or her first tooth comes in. There are not many problems to detect in this stage, but it is a good time to help parents learn more about dental health care.
The first visit is usually short and involves little, if any, treatment. This gives your child an opportunity to meet the dentist in a non-threatening way. The dentist will check your child's tooth for decay, examine your child's bite, and look for potential problems with gums, jaw and oral tissues. If necessary, the dentist will clean any teeth and assess the need for fluoride.
Your dentist may also want to discuss with you good oral hygiene practices for your child, fluoride needs, oral habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, etc., developmental milestones, teething, and proper nutrition.
You will have to complete medical and health information forms concerning your child, so come prepared with that information.
Once a child's diet includes anything besides breast milk or baby formula, their erupted teeth are at risk for decay. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental problems. Start your baby early on a lifetime of good dental habits.
Sleep positioners, which are supposed to help babies sleep safely, are dangerous and should not be sold according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Food and Drug Administration.
"The deaths and dangerous situations resulting from the use of infant sleep positioners are a serious concern," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum in a joint statement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In the last 13 years, U.S. officials have received 12 reports of infants suffocating because of sleep positioner products.
Sleep positioners are sometimes marketed with the claim that they can reduce gastroesophageal reflux disease, "flat head syndrome", and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But given the risk of suffocation, these products can do more harm than good.
"Right now, our view is that given the risk, the modest evidence of benefit does not outweigh the risk," said FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner and pediatrician Joshua Sharfstein.
The FDA has written to manufacturers of these products in the past month asking that they stop selling the products. The agency said that 5 companies have informally agreed, but it did not release their names. It is unknown how many sleep positioner products are on the market because manufacturers that make no medical claim do not need FDA approval.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Fall is officially here and with that comes a whole bunch of new fall-friendly items for baby. Blankets are always a necessity for little ones, and as the temperatures begin to drop, why not wrap them in cozy fleece? BabyMallOnline, an online retailer offering a wide assortment of baby products, has just introduced new super soft fleece blankets.
These blankets, made by Luvable Friends, are extra large and measure 30 x 40 inches, and really are just as soft and cozy as they say. There are four different prints available in this fabulous fleece. The polka dot print is a fun choice and comes in blue, pink, and yellow, and is available for only $7.99. There's also one with an adorable elephant applique that comes in blue or pink with brown trim for $9.99. Luvable Friends also features a colorful square print blanket in blue with squares and stars or pink with hearts and circles, at a very modest $5.99. Finally, they offer a plush fleece blanket with satin trim and backing. This luxe item will cost you less than $10 and is available in an oh-so-chic diamond print that comes in blue, pink, or tan.
Overall, these items are great quality at a price you can't beat. Definitely one of our picks as a must for new fall products. You can read more about these and new items and deals from BabyMallOnline at their website or Facebook page by following these links:
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Abbott Laboratories announced yesterday that they are recalling millions of containers of the best selling Similac infant formula, due to potential contamination with insect parts. The company stated the containers may contain a small beetle or larvae, which could result in stomach ache or digestion problems.
The voluntary recall will affect up to 5 million Similac powder formulas sold in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and some Caribbean nations. However, the recall does not affect any liquid formulas or other Abbott products.
According to a spokesperson for the company, the insects were discovered last week in a section of a manufacturing plant in Michigan. Abbott's Melissa Brotz stated, "We immediately shut down that one area and began an investigation. We're in the process of resolving it now." Abbott has consulted the FDA, which determined that there was "no immediate health risk" from the contaminated containers.
The contaminated Similac products were sold in plastic containers of various sizes, such as 8-ounce, 12.4 ounce, and 12.9 ounce. Consumers can enter the lot number on their containers to see if their purchase is subject to recall. The containers can then be returned to Abbott for a full refund.
For more information visit: http://abbott.vo.llnwd.net/o18/similac/recall/default.htm
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Growth and development, including baby weight, are good topics to discuss with your pediatrician during routine check-ups. However, some parents may be concerned that their child may have too much "baby fat". In this case, consult your pediatrician regularly. The doctor will plot your child's growth on a chart that includes measurements for weight, head circumference, height, and body mass index. This chart can be used as a basis of comparison. But remember that infants carry different amounts of weight at different stages of development. What's important is the trend growth charts show, not just numbers.
Unlike adults, babies need a diet high in fat to support the growth that occurs during infancy. This helps build a myelin sheath that creates insulation around nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. However, according to Dr. Jay L. Hoecker of the Mayo Clinic, too much baby fat can be problematic. "Excess baby fat can delay crawling and walking-- essential parts of a baby's physical and mental development."
He offers some tips to help prevent excess baby fat including:
-Breast feed for as long as possible
-Don't attempt to always soothe baby's cries with breast milk or formula
-Don't offer juice from birth to 6 months (unless used to treat constipation) and after 6 months if you do offer juice, use a cup not a bottle and only 4 oz. a day
-Monitor your weight gain during pregnancy- excessive weight gain can increase a baby's birth weight and lead to a risk of obesity later in life
Always talk to your child's pediatrician about any questions or concerns you may have. As your child gets older teach them the importance of a healthy weight, exercise, and nutrition.
Monday, September 20, 2010
As a parent, it may be your inclination to sacrifice your own well being for your child's. However, one of the best things you can do for your baby is take care of yourself, and this includes eating healthy. Though many new moms want to shed pregnancy pounds quickly, it is important to regularly eat nutrient rich foods to increase stamina. Nursing moms should be aware that the quality of breast milk remains fairly consistent no matter what you eat. This is because if you aren't getting essential nutrients from your diet, your body will tap into it's own stores to provide them. Therefore, it's best for the health of you and your baby to make sure the following 12 foods for new moms are part of your diet.
1. Salmon- This fatty fish is packed with DHA, a type of fat crucial to the development of your baby's nervous system. It can also help prevent postpartum depression. However, limit your consumption to 12 oz. per week to avoid mercury exposure.
2. Eggs- These provide vitamin D and protein. Egg yolk is a natural source of vitamin D which helps baby's bones grow and your bones strong. Eggs can also help you meet your protein needs.
3. Legumes- Beans, especially dark colored ones like kidney or black beans, are rich in iron, and an inexpensive source of high quality, non animal protein. Great for vegetarians.
4. Low-Fat Dairy Products- Yogurt, milk, or cheese are all options that provide protein, vitamin D, B vitamins, and critical calcium needed for your baby's bone development. To meet your calcium needs, include at least three servings of dairy each day.
5. Blueberries- Not only are these berries antioxidant rich, they also provide vitamins and minerals, as well as a healthy dose of carbohydrates. Nursing moms should get two or more servings of fruit or juice each day.
6. Lean Beef- Iron rich foods, such as lean beef, can boost energy for new moms. When your nursing and keeping up with a newborn, you need extra protein and vitamin B-12.
7. Leafy Greens- Leafy green vegetables, like Swiss chard, broccoli, and spinach, provide endless benefits. They are a non dairy source of calcium, have iron, heart healthy antioxidants, and are packed with vitamin A. They're also tasty and low calorie.
8. Brown Rice- Be sure to incorporate healthy, whole-grain carbs, such as brown rice, to keep up energy levels and provide your body with the calories necessary for producing top quality breast milk. Avoid your urge to drastically cut back on carbs in an effort to lose baby weight, because doing so can make you feel drained and produce less milk.
9. Oranges- Nursing moms need even more vitamin C than pregnant women, so oranges and/or orange juice are a good way to provide vitamin C and boost your energy.
10. Whole-Wheat Bread- Folic acid is critical for baby development in the early stages of pregnancy, as well as in breast milk to provide good health. Enriched whole-grain breads and pastas are fortified with folic acid, fiber and iron.
11. Water- Dehydration can seriously drain your energy, and new moms who are nursing are potentially at higher risk. It is important to drink at least eight cups of liquid a day. You can mix up your choices to include not just water, but milk and juice. Just try to stay away from drinks containing caffeine, such as tea and coffee. Caffeine enters your breast milk and may become concentrated in your baby, so keep your intake low or switch to decaf.
12. Whole-Grain Cereal- Having hot or cold whole-grain cereal is a good way to start the day and boost energy for new moms up and down with baby all night. Most are fortified with essential nutrients and vitamins.
With the plethora of baby products aimed at making your child more intelligent, it's hard to decide what may be best for your baby; and it's natural for parents to want the best for their children. However, according to the director of National Strategies for Success by 6, Nina Sazer O'Donnell, "Now it seems there really is a much more focused attempt, and more worry and concern about doing the right thing to encourage baby's growth and development, particularly brain development."
The critical wiring of brain cells connected to learning are laid down during the first five years of life. Therefore, these formative years have an impact on brain development for the child at that time, but also throughout their life. However, parents need not fret, all your child really needs is you. Your natural parenting instincts play a vital role in your child's brain development and learning.
Smart baby toys, products, and learning videos can be helpful, but only to a point. It is important to use these tools only as a supplement to crucial one-on-one parent-to-baby contact. Infants learn from caring adults, therefore, engaging with your child is really their best learning tool. Playing with your baby, talking to your baby, and paying attention to what interests them are all factors that can stimulate brain growth. One of the best ways to do this is reading. However, do not just read to your child, but rather read with them so that they are engaged and curious, and not just passive.
As far as choosing toys for your baby, select toys that are age appropriate, so as not to frustrate the baby. According to Sandra Gordon, author of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products, "infants are most interested in movement and sound, as they get a little older textural toys they can touch and squish" are optimal. By 9 months, you should introduce your child to puzzles, nesting blocks, and shape sorting toys to stimulate curiosity.
Ultimately, it is key to encourage and stimulate your baby not only with toys and learning products, but by using your natural instincts to engage and interact with them. Pay attention to what interests them and plan activities that follow their biological stages of development.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Shopping for baby clothes and shoes can be a lot of fun - there are so many cute products out there. When shoe shopping for your little one, it is important to know what type of shoes are best for each stage of your baby's developing feet.
Babies' feet have little bones, muscles and tendons that need to grow and benefit from exercise, which can be difficult if they're constantly scrunched in shoes. It is not until they are standing on their own, or actually walking that babies' feet need protection.
You want to look for a shoe with a little bit of a sole to minimize accidents. A leather or rubber sole will help provide the traction your toddler needs.
Sneakers are generally a better choice than boots because they don't constrain the foot and allow for proper development. Also, sneakers are usually constructed out of canvas and pliable leather, allowing the shoe to mold to a child's foot for a good fit.
For young children who are just learning to walk, inexpensive shoes are fine, as long as they fit properly. It might be tempting to use hand-me-down shoes, but this is an item that should probably be bought new. If it is a dress shoe worn once, that is ok, but used sneakers have already molded to someone else's feet and may cause blisters.
A great place to find well constructed, comfy and cute shoes at a great price is babymallonline: https://www.babymallonline.com/catalog/booties.php
Baby Buggy, a non-profit organization founded by Jessica Seinfeld in 2001, recently launched a year-long partnership with Target to expand the charity's mission of helping families in need. The partnership offers Target guests an exclusive Baby Buggy line of affordable baby essentials and facilitates the donation of basic necessities from select Target vendors to families living in poverty. Avent, The Boppy Company and Huggies will donate $25,000 quarterly - totaling $300,000 for the year.
Through these donations, Baby Buggy will server partner sites in 7 cities, beginning in New York City with the Little Sisters of the Assumption in Harlem. Other sites include Harlem Children's Zone, Head Start programs in D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, and Minneapolis; and Nurse Family Partnership sites in Los Angeles and Dallas.
During September, Baby Buggy will distribute the following products: 3,000 BPA-free 4 ounce bottles, 3,000 weaning spoons and 336 teethers from Avent; 1,050 Boppy pillows along with 366 changing pad sets from The Boppy Company; and 836 cases of Huggies diapers (approximately 103,900 diapers).
The Baby Buggy collection at Target features exclusively deigned baby items. Ten percent of the purchase price from the Target Baby Buggy collection will go to support Baby Buggy's efforts. Target has a long history of supporting communities across the country, Since 1946, the company has given 5 percent of it's income to support education, the arts, social services, and volunteerism. Today, that equals more than $3 million a week.
Posted by Sarah at 9:11 AM
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The process of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, is still relatively young. The first baby conceived through IVF, Louise Brown, will turn 32 this year. Millions of couples choose IVF as a solution to fertility problems nowadays. However, because the oldest IVF baby is only 32, questions arise as to whether these babies will be healthy later on in life. The American Association for the Advancement of Science had their annual press conference this year and infertility specialists addressed these questions.
The lead researcher, Carmen, Sapienza, stated, "By and large, the kids are just fine. It's not like the kids have extra arms or extra heads or anything."
One reason sparking cause for concern is that babies conceived using IVF tend to have lower birth weights than those traditionally conceived. Low birth weight babies often have more health issues in the long run; and are at risk for conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension by age 50. Despite the fact that IVF babies have a higher chance of being twins or multiples, even single IVF babies can more often weigh less than 6 pounds as compared to traditional children.
Scientists are continuing to study genes from IVF and natural conception babies to determine if differences between the two could result in health issues later in life.
Though some perceive these studies to be an "attack" on IVF, scientists refute this. They claim that more studies mean more data, thus being able to provide IVF children and parents more information about their health. Sapienza says, "If it turns out that children who were conceived by IVF had a higher risk of, say, colon cancer, it would be useful to be able to tell them to get screened earlier." Because the oldest IVF child is only 32, there is no evidence to predict what the future holds health-wise for these children. For now, all we can rely on are the studies and data these scientists are trying to produce.
As a parent of an infant, it is easy to get stressed out about germs. Some can cause serious illnesses, but it is important to remember that germ exposure is just a part of life, and babies have immune systems that are stronger than you may think. That being said, there are steps you can take to protect your baby from harmful germs.
The most common way to catch an infectious disease is by touch. Keeping your baby's hands clean can greatly reduce the chances that he will get sick. Following the recommended vaccination schedule will also help prevent illness.
The kitchen and bathroom are the areas of the home that tend to harbor the most germs and should be cleaned and disinfected often. Food-borne illnesses are always a risk, so make sure that surfaces in your kitchen are clean. The bathroom counter, sink, toilet and floor should be disinfected regularly. This is especially important if a family member has been sick with vomiting or diarrhea.
It is a good idea to sterilize baby bottle and nipples with boiling water after you buy them. After that they can just be washed by hand or in the dishwasher. Disinfecting things like doorknobs and toys is usually not necessary. Trying to wipe down everything in your house will make you crazy.
If your baby eats something disgusting, like rotten food or a pet's feces, chances are your baby will be fine. When it comes to babies putting stuff in their mouths, the biggest risks come not from gross things, but from choking hazards and poisons, like medicines and cleaning agents.
When your child is very small, below 3 months, experts say that it is best to keep them away from crowds to avoid contagious illnesses. When dining out with your baby, it is usually a good idea to bring some antiseptic wipes to wipe the highchair and table. It is not a bad idea to wipe down the grocery cart too when shopping.
The key to keeping your baby healthy is to take some basic precautions, like hand washing, and some cleaning and disinfecting, and then go with your instincts. If you want to be extra cautious about germs, that is ok, but you don't have to. Remember not to beat yourself up if you find your child with a mouthful of dirt, it happens.
Monday, September 13, 2010
New parents are making decisions about baby products with the environment in mind. An American study of 6000 new and expectant mothers last year found that 81% were concerned about the environment and 70% said they planned to change their purchasing behavior this year in order to protect the environment.
Sophie Rondeau, writer and mother of 4 is finishing a book that will be published this winter full of advice for being more environmentally friendly in regards to raising their children. The book is called 100 Green Tips for New Parents. "From one baby to the next, I discovered new things, and I became more aware of different environmental issues, " Rondeau said. "I wanted to share what I learned with other parents."
Rondeau was curious about changes she could make that would be better for the environment and wound up on an online forum for Quebec moms called Vert Bebe. "I've gotten all kinds of ideas there, like how to make a diaper rash cream for my daughter," Rondeau said. "It really inspired me to write this book."
Environmentally friendly baby products are much more readily available than they were even just a few years ago. For example, eco-friendly diaper used to only be available at specialty boutiques. Now Walmart carries them.
Raising a greener baby doesn't mean you have to spend more money. Using hand-me-down toys and used furniture, and cleaning with natural products like vinegar and baking soda are ways to go green without breaking the bank.
"Previously, there weren't a lot of people who composted, recycling wasn't widespread, and people used only plastic bags at the grocery store," said Rondeau. "Now it's becoming more a part of our way of life - of course, there is still a long way to go. But people want to make the effort, and it's not really that much more difficult to do."
Using a known sperm donor, rather than a anonymous one, is becoming more commonm especially in the gay community. Parenting agreements between mother and sperm donor can be easily found online.
These casual arrangements can cause a lot of problems when relationships sour, or somebody changes their mind. These cases raise complicated questions about the rights of sperm donors and what is best for the child now that reproductive technologies are creating new kinds of families.
Karen B., a Los Angeles writer in her 40s, found a sperm donor through Craigslist when she decided to have a baby that she would raise with her lesbian partner. The donor, Daniel C., signed a layman's agreement that the child would live with Karen and she would make all parenting decisions. He would have some visitation rights.
As the pregnancy progressed, Daniel interjected himself into the couple's life, telling the doctor that he was Karen's husband and insisting that she get a passport for the baby after the birth because he wanted the child to visit his native Brazil. When she refused, Daniel sued her for joint legal and physical custody.
The courts eventually ruled in Karen's favor, allowing Daniel to visit twice a month, but his involvement in her son's life has continued to be problematic. Karen ended up spending $60,000 in legal fees, and she often wonders if Daniel will disappear to Brazil with her son, who is now 3, during his visitations.
The visitations have been psychologically confusing for her son, according to Karen. Daniel showers him with material gifts and tells him her shouldn't call Karen's partner , "mommy".
The lawsuit was also extremely difficult. "It was almost 2 years in and out of court, dealing with horrible emotional stress," she said. "The legal fees could have been my son's education."
"Women should use caution," she said. "I know a lot of gay and straight friends who are contemplating using a friend and I think they are unaware of the potential dangers of doing this."
Friday, September 10, 2010
Baby's require many items from bottles to strollers for everything from feeding to a day at the park. With a child's developing immune system, parents must be cautious and clean to ward off germs for their little ones. Therefore, there are 6 key items every mom should pack in their diaper bag.
1. A diaper pad: This provides a barrier between your child and the unknown germs/substances on public changing tables.
2. Cleaning wipes: Useful for killing germs on potentially unclean surfaces, such as high chairs at restaurants, shopping carts, stroller rentals, etc. However, be careful not to use wipes with harsh cleaners directly on baby's skin or anything they may put in their mouth.
3. Travel/Disposable place mats: These offer another barrier for between baby and restaurant tables.
4. Hand Sanitizer: A small bottle of alcohol based hand sanitizer or wipes are good for cleaning off germs after the playground or diaper changes.
5. Empty plastic bags: Good for putting used and germ filled diapers in (especially if there isn't a garbage can immediately on hand).
6. Extra toys, teethers, and pacifiers: Babies often drop their pacifiers and toys on the dirty ground and floor. Therefore, if you have extras on hand, you can swap for a clean one.
These key items are essential for any mom, but especially in the upcoming months as cold and flu season approaches.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
A study published in the September issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association has found that the timing of delivery may affect the risk of the baby developing cerebral palsy. Babies delivered at 37 or 38 weeks - or at 42 weeks or later - are at an increased risk for cerebral palsy compared to those born at 40 weeks. Still, the overall risk of developing cerebral palsy is considered extremely low.
"The absolute risk is still very low, and the vast majority of children being born some weeks away from 40 weeks will not develop cerebral palsy," says study researcher Dag Moster, MD, PhD, of the University of Bergen, Norway. "It would be hasty to recommend intervention on delivery time based on this study."
For this study, the researchers looked at the association between timing of delivery and cerebral palsy risk in 1,682,441 single births in Norway from 1967 to 2001 between gestational ages of 37 and 44 weeks with no birth defects.
Babies born at 37 weeks had about a 90% increased risk for cerebral palsy, compared to babies born at term. Babies born at 38 weeks has a 30% increased risk for cerebral palsy and those born at 42 weeks had about 36% increased risk for cerebral palsy. Babies born after 42 weeks were at about 42% increased risk.
What exactly causes cerebral palsy is unknown, but a complicated labor and delivery, including preterm delivery, are known to increase the risk, which was reinforced by this study. It is unclear why post-term delivery affects the risk. "One possible explanation may be that the neonatal brain is especially vulnerable the more the baby is born away from a gestational age of 40 weeks," speculates Moster. "An alternative explanation may be that fetuses prone to develop cerebral palsy have a disturbance in timing of birth, making them more prone to be delivered either early or late."
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, SIDS, is a primary concern for new parents. SIDS is the diagnosis given for the sudden and inexplicable death of an infant less than 1 year old, however, the causes of SIDS are still unclear.
Dr. Duane Alexander, director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) says that, "Scientists are [gradually] identifying the underlying problems that may cause SIDS, but until SIDS is better understood and can be prevented, there are some basic strategies to reduce the risk of [it]."
Putting babies to sleep on their back or side is the first simple precaution to take. In 1994, the NICHD launched the Back to Sleep campaign, to encourage parents to put children to sleep on their backs.
In addition to this campaign launch, more technologically advanced home monitors are being used to reduce identified risk factors for SIDS. Parents now have the opportunity to not only hear, but also watch their infants with monitors.
Because no one really knows what causes SIDS, multiple studies have attempted to determine whether or not home monitoring may help prevent it. In 2001 a study funded by the NICHD, called the Collaborative Home Infant Monitoring Evaluation (CHIME), suggested that episodes of prolonged cessation of breathing or prolonged slowing of heart rate in infants, believed to be potential indicators of risk of SIDS, primarily occurred before the developmental age when most SIDS deaths occur. Researchers have assumed that if such events can be detected, for example with a monitor, they can also be interrupted, thereby preventing SIDS.
Here are some tips to help reduce your child's risk factors for SIDS:
The NICHD recommends parents take the following precautions to help minimize SIDS risk factors:
1. Place infants to sleep on their backs, even at naptime.
2. Do not smoke if you're pregnant.
3. Do not smoke around infants.
4. Place infants on a firm mattress.
5. Remove soft, fluffy bedding and stuffed toys from infants sleep area.
6. Do not put too many layers of clothing or blankets on infants.
7. Keep blankets and other coverings away from the infant's nose and mouth.
8. Make sure all of the infant's caretakers know that infants should be placed on their backs to sleep.
Check out this audio/visual baby monitor from www.babymallonline.com:
900 MHz Portable Handheld Day/Night Color Video Baby Monitor
or find it on Amazon.com by following this link:
First-time parents should expect to spend about $7040 getting ready and then raising the child through that initial year, according to Alan Feilds, co-author of the Baby Bargains shopping guide. More than 1000 parents were surveyed in 2010 about what they spent on baby staples not including medical bills, child care or college savings. This breakdown also assumes that the mother breastfeeds for the first 6 months.
• Crib, Mattress, Dresser, Rocker: $1500
• Bedding/Decor: $325
• Baby Clothes: $600 - Disposable Diapers: $860
• Maternity/Nursing Clothes: $1,130
• Nursery Items, Highchair, Toys: $475
• Baby Food/Formula: $950
• Stroller, Car Seats, Carrier: $600
• Miscellaneous: $600
A little strategy can help you avoid unnecessary costs. You won't need to buy everything at once. Before the baby arrives you will need to buy a car seat, a stroller and something safe for the baby to sleep in. Once you have these core items, you can save up for other purchases and adjust your shopping list based on your baby's specific needs.
An experienced parent can advise you on what products you will really need to buy or register for, and help you avoid gimmicks.
Be open to gifts. Veteran parents like to clear space in their homes by unloading used baby equipment on first-timers. This can mean big savings to you.
A few things are worth splurging on. A breast pump that is comfortable and easy to use can be worth the investment. You want to make sure you are comfortable when you are pumping. Hospitals and lactation consultants can tell you how to rent one, so you can test before using. A good, lightweight stroller can be worth the expense, which can be between $200 and $300. A more expensive car seat may be worth it too because more expensive models may be easier to use and adjust, and offer additional safety elements such as side-impact protection.
A new study suggests that new mothers often get a decent amount of sleep in their babies' first few months, but it's not good-quality sleep.
The study, which followed a group of new moms, found that on average, the women got just over 7 hours of sleep per night during their babies' first four months. That is within the amount that is usually recommended for adults, and more than the average American gets. However, the sleep is frequently disrupted. the women are usually awake for a total of 2 hours overnight.
The finding may seem obvious, but it does challenge an assumption about new mother's typical sleep patterns, according to lead researcher Dr. Hawley E. Montgomery-Downs, an assistant professor of psychology at West University in Morgantown.
This assumption is that new moms are sleep-deprived - that is, not getting enough hours of sleep. The advice on how to avoid being sleep deprived, such as "nap when your baby naps," doesn't help with the fact that their sleep is so fragmented that they are not getting a good quality sleep.
"We need to think about what kinds of strategies can help consolidate sleep," Montgomery-Downs said. Breastfeeding moms could pump milk and store it so that they do not have to be the ones to always get up with the baby. While quick naps may not be helpful, if you baby tends to naps for at least 2 straight hours, taking that time to sleep could help.
Daytime fatigue can contribute to postpartum depression as well as other problems such as unsafe driving, or poor performance at work.
Montgomery-Downs said that mother's fragmented sleep and daytime fatigue call for reconsideration of maternity work leave in the U.S. Right now, national policy states that workplaces with 50 or more employees have to offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave; the U.S. is the only Western country that does not mandate some amount of paid parental leave.
Two agencies who were investigating claims that Pampers Dry Max by Procter & Gamble Co gave children severe diaper rash, reported Thursday that they have found no specific cause linking the diapers to rashes.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada separately investigated the diapers in response to nearly 4,700 reports of diaper rash being caused by them.
The Dry Max diapers were promoted as bring thinner and more absorbent that other brands, but became a public relations disaster for P&G when a group of parents filed a lawsuit and angry parents formed a Facebook group asking P&G to return to the old Pampers formulation.
Both agencies found no link between the diapers and health complaints they have received but will continue to consider consumer complaints, according to a CSC statement.
"We hope today's announcement will reassure the millions of moms and dads and child caregivers who place their trust in Pampers and Dry Max every day," said Jodi Allen, vice president of Pampers, in a statement Thursday.
Allen said diaper rash is a common condition in babies, a response P&G gave parents when complaints surged in May. CPSC said it received about 85% of complaints during that month.
CPSC said it could not rule out the possibility of a health problem for some babies. Parents who think a diaper is giving their child a rash should talk to their pediatrician.