Sick all the time?
Apr29

Sick all the time?

Does it seem like your child is sick all the time? You’re probably right. Should you be worried? It’s the end of the winter when the average child will have had 8 different illnesses. A new illness every two weeks is common for kids under age five. If you are normal, you’ve worried that your child has an immune system problem or even cancer. And there are a few other things you could worry about: ‘periodic fever syndromes’ and...

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What’s the deal with baby drool?
Apr15

What’s the deal with baby drool?

Hint: It’s not caused by teething. Drooling is not a sign of teething. It signals that your baby’s salivary glands started working. Teething starts after 4 months (typically around 6 months) but a baby’s mouth fountain begins around 3 months. Some kids drool a little, and some a lot. And the only thing to worry about is the chin rash that will appear if your baby is an enthusiastic drooler. Babies don’t actually make much saliva until...

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What color is your baby poop?
Apr02

What color is your baby poop?

How does Plain Jane milk come out the other end as Technicolor poop? Baby poop’s unique color is a combination of intestinal bacteria, bile and whatever was swallowed. Two jars of squash equals orange poop. But even when baby is only taking formula or breast milk, the color changes daily and even diaper-to-diaper as the relative composition of these components change. The characteristic yellow or green hue comes from bile. Bile is...

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Kids’ yellow teeth are an optical illusion
Feb01

Kids’ yellow teeth are an optical illusion

Don’t whiten your child’s teeth just yet. Their new permanent teeth aren’t really yellow, they just appear that way. We all think that the enamel on the outside of teeth is white, but really enamel is semi-translucent. So tooth color is mostly determined by the color of the material inside the tooth. As it so happens, the dentin inside teeth is quite yellow. The edges of teeth may sometimes look slightly blue because...

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Babies’ sweaty forehead sign of health
Nov20

Babies’ sweaty forehead sign of health

Did your baby run a marathon? Why so much sweat from simply napping and feeding? Babies don’t sweat before they are born. They live in a liquid environment and mom controls their body temperature. So they don’t need to be able to sweat. Nobody knows exactly why, but sweat glands do not work until a baby is born. And then they work a lot. In the first days, babies can only sweat on their foreheads even though they are born with sweat...

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Don’t let bedwetting make bedtime scary
Nov06

Don’t let bedwetting make bedtime scary

Normal, healthy, potty-trained 5-to-8 year-old kids can wet the bed at night. Nighttime bedwetting simply indicates that a child’s nervous system is still developing. And that’s a good thing! You want them to keep growing and changing. Bedwetting is absolutely not a physical illness or a psychological problem. So, don’t waste any of your precious mental energy worrying about whether your child has a psychological issue or any other...

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New Treatment for Tics Discovered at Mom’s Kitchen Table
Sep17

New Treatment for Tics Discovered at Mom’s Kitchen Table

Eye-blinking, sniffing, throat-clearing, finger-flexing, shoulder-shrugging – they are all simple tics, most of which go away. Pediatricians will advise you to ignore them. And that’s fine. Tics are really common, about 1 in 5 elementary school children will have one at some point, and only about 1-2% of those kids will go on to have a true Tic Disorder like Tourette Syndrome. But, in the meantime, tics are kind of annoying. I was...

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Is your newborn constipated? The real reason your little one can’t poop.
Sep07

Is your newborn constipated? The real reason your little one can’t poop.

She turns red in the face, grunts, pushes…and nothing comes out. I know what you’re thinking. Poor baby, she hasn’t pooped in days. You’ve called your doctor, or consulted a baby book; you may have tried all the poop-producing tricks like the “thermometer in the bottom” and massaging her belly. Still no results. So what’s going on? The truth is that pooping is way more difficult to accomplish than you would guess. Not only does your...

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It’s not a seizure. Great baby fake-outs
Aug27

It’s not a seizure. Great baby fake-outs

Every parent has thought at some point that a weird baby movement was a seizure. So I’m here to tell you about my favorite baby seizure fake-outs. Movements during Sleep: All babies have some abnormal movements during sleep. Babies don’t have muscle paralysis during REM sleep the way that adults do. So they can move a lot, and grunt, smile or kick, and still be in a deep sleep state. But another very common phenomenon called “benign...

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