Why does fever cause a fast heart beat and rapid breathing?
Jul23

Why does fever cause a fast heart beat and rapid breathing?

Have you freaked out about a high fever and fast breathing or rapid heart rate only to find a dose of Tylenol turns a floppy mess of a toddler back into her usual playful self? You check on your little darling and find she is burning up with fever, breathing really fast and looks simply terrible. If you haven’t rushed off to see a doctor under such circumstances, the thought certainly has crossed your mind. Usually sometime around...

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Latch-on: Simple solutions to common breastfeeding problems
Jun29

Latch-on: Simple solutions to common breastfeeding problems

Any mom who says breastfeeding is easy just doesn’t remember the first few weeks! At some point every new mother has difficulty breastfeeding. If you have been advised to supplement with formula, don’t give up on breastfeeding entirely. Every ounce of breast milk a baby gets will help them grow and thrive in ways that formula manufacturers will never be able to match. Fortunately, the two most common breastfeeding problems,...

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Blue lips, hands and feet mean a warm heart
Apr27

Blue lips, hands and feet mean a warm heart

Babies can be colorful – literally. A young mother noticed that after she nursed her six-week-old baby boy the skin around the baby’s lips was always blue. He didn’t seem in distress, and would lay peacefully afterward in her arms, content and relaxed in a “milk coma.” The mom finally mentioned the color change around the baby’s mouth to her husband when he came home from work. He was alarmed that it was a sign that the baby was not...

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Don’t blame teething for baby’s ills
Feb18

Don’t blame teething for baby’s ills

Teething has had a bad reputation for over 5000 years. Hippocrates, Homer, and Aristotle associated teething with serious diseases1. Since then teething has been blamed for ailments from seizures, to infections like cholera, meningitis, tetanus and even penile discharge. In 18th century France, about half of all infant deaths were attributed to teething. Obviously, it’s ridiculous to blame the eruption of a new tooth for...

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What’s autism, what’s not?
Nov22

What’s autism, what’s not?

Don’t freak out if you catch your child head-banging, echoing others words’ or hand flapping. Yes, those are symptoms of autism, but they don’t define your child as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Every regular developing kid will do many of the same things that autistic kids do at some point. Many “autistic” behaviors are part of normal development and are simply stages kids go through as their nervous system wires itself...

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Bedtime snacks help kids sleep
May10

Bedtime snacks help kids sleep

If dinner is at 5:30 p.m. it makes perfect sense that your child will be hungry again at 8:30 pm. So, go ahead and give them a bedtime snack. They aren’t necessarily trying to postpone sleep; they might just need some calories to get them through the night. Toddlers who wake up with the sun may have a circadian rhythm that tells them to get up very early (and apparently tells them to wake everyone else!) But these kiddos might wake up...

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Righty or Lefty? When will you know?
Apr15

Righty or Lefty? When will you know?

Will your child be an accomplished athlete or mathematical genius? We grownups love looking for subtle clues to our child’s future self. Surely you’ve seen your baby reach with his left hand and wondered – could your genius-athlete be a lefty? A preference for one hand can be determined around 6 months. So if you suspect your baby is right-handed, you’re probably correct. However, children’s hand use fluctuates until...

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The secret to rolling over: an unpredictable milestone
Mar02

The secret to rolling over: an unpredictable milestone

When and how should a normal baby roll-over and what does it mean? Rolling over is the most mysterious of the milestones. Some babies roll from front-to-back before they roll back-to-front and others choose the opposite order. Some babies roll over once and never again, and some babies log roll to get around rather than crawl. And all of the above are perfectly normal. Four months is the most typical age to start rolling, but anytime...

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Pulling on Ears is Super-Fun According to Kids
Jan14

Pulling on Ears is Super-Fun According to Kids

Every parent (including myself) has suspected that their child has an ear infection when in fact they don’t. How does such deception occur?  According to my two-year old source, it is very cool to play with your ears. This 21 month-old patient I saw in the ER admitted to me that she discovered that when she puts her fingers in her ears it sounds really cool.  And the sound is even more interesting when she chews!  Thanks to this...

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Growing pains caused by living life
Nov23

Growing pains caused by living life

Growing pains cause real pain, but it’s not from growing. If your child has arm or leg pain at night, without warmth or redness of the joints, and the pain is gone the next day, they have growing pains. You don’t need to worry your child has some dangerous, mysterious disease (like cancer or an infection). They do have a mysterious disease, but it’s a common, benign one. Nobody knows exactly what causes growing...

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Birthmarks and baby spots
Oct09

Birthmarks and baby spots

Have you been surprised to find a new spot on your child and wondered where it came from? The word “birthmark” is really misleading. They can be present at birth, but they don’t have to be. Birthmarks often appear when a child gets older and demonstrate that a baby’s body is still developing. Like the rest of their body, babies’ skin pigmentation is not mature at birth. Most kids get a little darker all over as they get older....

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Kids be trippin’ (and stumbling)
May14

Kids be trippin’ (and stumbling)

Worried that your toddler is limping, has a neurologic problem, or worse, is just clumsy?  Toddlers walk with an awkward, unsteady gait because the angle between their thigh and foot has not yet established their normal set point. Kids need to spend a few years growing while bearing weight on their legs for the legs to straighten out correctly. Towards the end of pregnancy when their living situation gets a bit crowded, babies’ thighs...

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