A new study published this week in the journal Pediatrics reveals that children who are exposed to second-hand smoke from an early age on, are 50% more likely to suffer from ADHD, learning disabilities, and other neurobehavioral problems as they get older. I'm sure that for most of you here, it's no news flash that second-hand smoke exposure is bad for all of the obvious reasons, but now we have one more reason to insist that those friends, family members, and acquaintances who smoke, DO NOT smoke around our children! To take it one step further (because I've had this question posed to me before): Smoking outside and/or having smokers change their clothes before holding and caring for children does not protect them from second-hand smoke exposure. The fine tobacco particles remain on the skin, hair, breath, and other articles of clothing well after the cigarette has been extinguished. Just one more study confirming what we've already known: Smoking adults are bad for children's health!View Thread
My middle child had an appetite for mulch. Yes, I said mulch. Take him to the playground when he was in the crawling phase, and within 5 minutes, he'd have 2 cheekfuls of mulch! Here is a run-down on things that your newly-crawling baby may be tempted to swallow, and what to do if she does.
Crayons and play-dough - Luckily these items aren't toxic to little ones. The worst outcome is likely to be a little discolored poop! The only danger with these items is if baby happens to get a large chunk, which can be a choking hazard.
Coins - What is it about shiny round objects that babies just can't resist??! Coins are commonly swallowed objects, and most of the time, they pass just fine. If the coin makes it into the stomach, and the child isn't having difficulty breathing, you will likely find it in her diaper within 2-4 days. In most instances, an xray is only necessary if the child develops symptoms (vomiting, difficulty breathing, or pain).
Medication - It happens all the time. Grandma comes to visit, and that container of blood pressure medicine accidentally gets left within baby's reach. If you suspect that your baby has ingested even one pill, no matter if it's a prescription medication or a vitamin, it's best to take her to the emergency department to have her evaluated. Little bodies can have big reactions to even small doses of medicines designed for big bodies.
Poop - Yuck! That explosive diaper, those octopus-hands... more than a baby or two has been known to eat some of their own, to the shock and horror of their parents. In reality, poop is an organic material, and while it does contain bacteria, it's not likely that it will make your baby sick. If it happens, rinse out her mouth with a wet washcloth and use a baby tooth and gum cleanser to clean her mouth. Other than than, no major steps need to be taken.
Grass, flowers, weeds - It seems like an innocent enough thing, to let your baby crawl around or sit on a blanket outdoors on a nice day. I would never discourage that, and if she happens to get a few blades of grass or weeds in her mouth, there's no need to panic. Unless the grass has recently (within the past 8 hours) been treated with a pesticide, there's no need to seek medical attention. The biggest concern, just like a few of the other items, is a choking risk. My son's affinity for mulch is a great example of bulky things that can block their airway.
This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but it might give you a framework to work from. If your little one is heading into this crawling phase, or even if she's discovered her ability to purposely grab and bring things to her mouth, be on the look-out - they can be sneaky!View Thread
Hi Shelly! I am so glad you're posting this question here. I have an immediate answer for you: Go...
Hi Shelly! I am so glad you're posting this question here. I have an immediate answer for you: Go for it. You absolutely can use this approach with a 10 month old. Make no mistake...there will be nothing easy about it. Just talk to the other mothers who've been through it. You have to be really prepared and absolutely committed to seeing it through. (It sounds like you're "there" already.) The issue that you're struggling with is a common one - needing to rock and soothe your son back to sleep, whether it's at the beginning of the night or in the middle of the night. Let me use an example to explain why this is counterproductive for both of you. Suppose that tonight, you did your normal bedtime routine, washed your face, brushed your teeth, and happily dozed off to sleep in the comfort of your bed and down comforter. Now suppose that around 2am, you awoke, to find yourself, in the backseat of your car, in your garage. It would be a little unsettling to say the least, right? The same sort of feeling is happening to babies, everytime they fall asleep one place (i.e. your arms) and then awake someplace else (i.e. by themselves in their crib). It's imperative for children to develop good sleep habits for the rest of their lives, that they are able to soothe themselves to sleep. That doesn't mean that you have to give up the rocking and the snuggling. It simply means that you should put him in his crib while he's still awake. This will no doubt, be met with great resistance on his part. Never mind that he won't like a change of routine, but also add to that, that he's in the "throws" of the separation-anxiety stage that all children go through between 6-12 months of age. What this means, is that, although the "out of sight, out of mind" saying applies to younger babies, for a 10-month old, he absolutely is going to miss having you there with him, and understands that you're gone, after you've left the room. Now, don't let this be a reason not to try this method. If anything, let this be a reason that illustrates the urgent need to set this issue straight now. Okay, urgent may be a little overly dramatic, but I do feel like you absolutely need to do this sooner, rather than later. Everything else that you describe - the fact that he doesn't eat in the middle of the night, the fact that his diaper is fine until morning, and the fact that you and your husband are really on the same page - all of that is setting you up for success. Don't let the "you should have tried that months ago" advice hold you back. It can work now for you. Sleep awaits all of you! I hope that offers you the answers and support that you're looking for. Best of luck to you, and I hope to hear some happy reports back soon!View Thread
I absolutely undertand your hesitancy. I will say this, though. I exclusively breastfed all three of my children and was able to get them all sleeping 10-12 hours at night around 4 months, even prior to introducing cereal. None of them failed to thrive, and all of them seemed to "blossom" when this gift of sleep was given to them. I point this out, not to say that my way is the best way, but simply to offer support and reassurance, if you feel that you're ready to give it a try. In the end, you have to feel comfortable with whatever approach you take. I started this thread, because I hear lots of tired parents with overtired babies coming to me asking for advice, some desperate to achieve some much-needed sleep in their household! If you're there, then I am offering this up as a suggestion, and if not, that's fine too. I can't say that there's a happy medium. To explain why I say there's no happy medium, let me offer up a piece of wisdom that was shared with me by a developmental pediatrician: "Let's say that you let your baby cry last night for 5 minutes before going in to get him. Now, let's say that tonight you're considering trying to let him cry, but after 20 minutes, you can't take it anymore, and go in and get him. By doing this, (letting him cry a little longer than last night, but still "rescuing them"), you haven't come any closer towards the goal of him learning how to self-soothe." Letting babies cry, is somewhat counterproductive, unless you are committed to seeing it through. We've all experienced the fact that a lot of a babies get more ramped up the longer and longer they cry. Unless you're ready to let him cry to the point of him self-soothing, no matter how long it takes, all that will result from you letting him cry "a while" until you just can't take it any more and go get him, is a very worked up baby, and an emotionally-spent parent. And that is miserable, heartbreaking, and exhausting in itself! This method truly, honestly only works, when you're ready to let them cry, no matter how long. Listen, I've told many parents that they'll never get a lecture from me about sleep until they ask me for it, and this board is no different! For many parents, it's either the sleep-deprived fog that they can't funtion in any longer, or it's the fussy, frustrated infant they're trying fruitlessly to figure out, that finally becomes the reason they decide to give the cry-it-out method a try. No hidden agendas here. It can be done, it absolutely works, and there's nothing unsafe or psychologically harming about it. But, and this is a big but - just like anything else with your children, if you're not 100% "go" with the idea, don't force the issue. It's not for everyone, but if it's for you, you'll know if and when you're ready to give it a shot. Thank you for responding, and I hope that helps put some perspective on the issue for you!View Thread
Hi Phoenix31674! You are a such a valuable resource in this community and always give such well thought-out advice to all of our parents! I completely understand your nighttime tactic so far. Having him in your room certainly changes the dynamics -- spouses deserve to sleep too, and since those nighttime feedings have been a short-term solution, I understand that approach completely! Since you mentioned that you were thinking of moving him to a crib in a room across the hallway, this would be a perfect opportunity stop those nighttime feedings. Like I said in my post, he'll protest for sure, but try to think of it as an older child protesting to get candy at the check-out counter of a store. You wouldn't give in then, because you'd know that not only did your child not need the candy, it might actually be bad for him. The same is true for nighttime feedings. At his age, he doesn't need them for nutrition and growth, and it might actually be detrimental to him, since it can create an overtired baby and impact his interest in solids during the day. I am looking forward to hearing how things go with the move to the new room, and hope that you are successful with the bottle. Keep us updated! Martina, I am glad to hear that the same advice worked for your DD when she was 4 months old! I would love to hear from other mothers who may have had similar experiences with getting their babies to sleep through the night.View Thread
I absolutely love the discussions in this newborn community! I have noticed lots of discussions lately about sleep issues in babies that all seem to be variations on the same theme...the what/when/how/why of babies sleeping through the night. Keep in mind, that I'm well aware there are many approaches to sleep with babies. The tips that follow may or may not gel with your personal parenting approach. I do, however, claim some "street cred", - I have three children of my own - each very unique in personality and temperment, and each brough their own unique issues to the table when it came to sleeping through the night as babies. I feel comfortable dishing out advice, because I've been there. I also have 3 great sleepers now, and I absolutely do not believe it's by chance, luck, or some sort of "law of averages." Here are my tips/opinion, for what they're worth!
1. Babies are capable of sleeping through the night from 4 months on. This applies to 99.9% of babies, excluding those with medical conditions that might interfere. (Example, I had a patient with both hips, legs casted from his waist down, with a lovely bar between his legs, making it very difficult to find a comfortable position.) Aside from major medical issues of that degree, there is absolutely no reason that babies cannot sleep 10-12 hours a night, without waking, from 4 months on. 2. Parents have to truly want their babies to sleep through the night, in order for this to happen. I am well-aware that many parents desire a family bed, and adhere to an attachment parenting theory. That's absolutely fine, and in these instances, I acknowledge that parents probably aren't looking for their baby to sleep through the night at an early age. You won't catch a judgemental stare from me - I simply recognize that my advice really won't apply in these situations. 3. Rarely have I met a baby who refuses food in the middle of the night. I've been there! The baby that ravenously attacks the breast in the middle of the night when offered - I know her well - she sleeps down the hallway from me! Nighttime eating beyond 4 months is a habit. It doesn't matter how much they appear hungry. Feeding and cuddling feel good to a baby, and there's not one on the planet, that I know of, that will refuse it, if offered. 4. Habits are said to be hard to break for a reason! A baby, older than 4 months, who is still getting middle-of-the-night feedings, will protest if/when you try to shut this down! My oldest daughter has an extremely feisty and persistent personality, even now at the age of 8, and believe me when I tell you that she protested when I stopped offering nighttime feedings to her at 4 months of age! I lost count of how many hours she cried, (and in all honesty, I turned off the monitor!). What I didn't lose count of, was how many nights it took of her crying, before she got the message loud and clear: three. That's right - three nights and she was sleeping through the night. It would have taken much, much longer, had I broken over and "rescued her" and the older a baby is, when they're still waking and feeding at night, the harder that habit is going to be to break. 5. Babies who are not allowed to sleep through the night are chronically sleep-deprived. What does this look like? Here's the picture: a baby who is overly fussy, doesn't nap well during the day, may or may not be gaining weight well, only sleeps in someone's arms or a carseat or swing, and would be described as having a "high-maintenance" personality. Babies who are well-rested, wake up happy, not crying. The more tired a baby is, the more fussy he or she gets. Remember that crying doesn't always signal that they need us to pick them up, cuddle them, or feed them. Sometimes crying is a signal that they're exhausted and need to sleep.
Those are just a few highlights, but hope it helps! View Thread
Ever wonder how tall your baby might be when he or she grows up? There are lots of theories out there about how to figure out how tall your child might be, from looking at the growth chart in their chart at the doctor's office to doubling their height at a certain year check-up. The reality, is that one of the best predictors of adult height is genetics! To do a quick calculation, use a formula called the Mid-Parental Height Formula: 1. Take mother's height in inches (example: 5'4" would be 64 inches) 2. Add to father's height in inches 3. For boys, add 5 inches to that. For girls, subtract 5 inches. 4. Then divide that number by 2. That will give you your child's predicted adult height in inches. Take in to account that things like nutrition and chronic illnesses can affect this number. Also take into account that this formula is just an estimation, and there is room for error on either side of that number. Have fun with it!View Thread