Friday, December 09, 2011

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

What to Expect When You're Expecting - Trailer [YouTube]

Michelle Duggar Miscarries [People]

Inattentional Deafness Disorder [NYTimes]

One of the Most Amazing Birth Photos [iVillage]

Famous Women Who Suffered Postpartum Depression [Babble]

Panel Links Teflon Chemical to High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy [newswire]

Pregnancy Scares the #&*%@ Out of Me [xojane]

Stress in early pregnancy can lead to pre-term birth, fewer boys [Eurekalert]

Breastfeeding Ads Through the Years [Babble]

Top 11 Kids Who Made A Difference In 2011 [HuffPo]

My First Postpartum Run [Daily Garnish]

New Website Allows Parents to Rent Toys

There are many reasons to rent toys this Christmas season instead of buying. You might look at your child's overflowing toy box in dismay that he only wants to play with that plastic sword instead of all those expensive gifts he insisted he wanted last Christmas. Like most families this year, you may also be looking to save money and renting toys can be a great way to give kids everything they want without feeling like you dumped your paycheck into a hole of high-tech toys that your child will be bored with after a few minutes. Whatever the situation, a new website is here to help you rent the toys at the top of your child's Christmas list.

Toygaroo offers a variety of service plans in a Netflix-style business model that allows parents to rent out toys. The most inexpensive plan costs $24.99 and provides a box of four toys a month. Parents fill up their queue online with the toys they next wish to receive. If the toy breaks or the parents decide they want to buy it, they can purchase it at a discounted rate from Toygaroo. The toys are all well-cleaned before being shipped to a new family and reportedly arrive looking like new. The toys available are geared towards babies, toddlers and elementary school-age children. There are no late fees, shipping fees and the company offers a free 14-day trial. 

Would you rent toys for your child?

New Service Lets Parents Rent Toys Before Buying Them [CBS]
Toygaroo [Website]

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Babies Quickly Learn Who to Trust

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice - well, apparently, babies aren't fooled twice. A recent study revealed that fooling an infant will quickly put you on their "do not trust" list.

Researchers at Concordia University in Montreal found that 13-16 month-old infants who were fooled by an adult in their study, would not trust that adult in future scenarios. Researchers showed visible excitement when opening a box in front of infants, even though some of the boxes were empty. Predictably, infants were a bit disappointed to find nothing in the box. Researchers then tried to get the same infants to mimic them using their head to turn on a push-on light. The researchers who had previously feigned excitement over an empty box could not get the infants to follow their lead, but the researchers who had shown excitement over a real toy in the box were successful encouraging the infants to push the light on with their heads. Only 34% of the infants in the empty box group followed the researchers example later, compared to 61% of the infants in the toy group.

Have you ever seen your infant lose trust in someone after they were duped?

Babies learn whom to trust at early age: study [GoogleNews]

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy News

<a href='' target='_new' title='Husky Silences Crying Baby' >Video: Husky Silences Crying Baby</a>
Going Past Your Due Date [FitPregnancy]

Robert Downey Jr. & Susan Levin Shine At Premiere [CelebrityBabyScoop]

How to Throw a Kid-Friendly Holiday Party - Plus Recipes [People]

Treating Acne During Breastfeeding [AmericanHealth&Beauty]

Radiation traces found in Japanese baby formula [USAToday]

What's Behind A Temper Tantrum? [NPR]

Tablet computer for babies wins 'worst toy' distinction [Today]

Top 15 Most Awkward Postpartum Clothes Ever [Babble]

Addicts aren't necessarily bad mothers, study finds [smh]

Tips for Surviving Santa [Parenting]

Best Charitable Gifts For Kids [lilsugar]

Smiles Between Moms and Babies Synchronize Heartbeats

Many moms can attest to feeling as if their heart skips a beat when their baby smiles at them, and as it turns out, their heart is essentially doing just that. A recent study found that when mothers looked at their babies with signals of visual affection, such as a smile, their heart beats came into a synchronous pattern.

Researchers at Isreal's Ban-Ilan University observed visual interactions between 40 mothers and their three-month-old infants while cardiac output was monitored. They noted behaviors such as periods of gaze, facial expressions, and vocal exchanges. The biological mothers and their infants both coordinated heart rhythms to one another's during even the most subtle visual interactions. Interestingly, animals also display such bonds with their infants, but they require touch to do so. This study is the first to show that not only do humans exhibit this phenomena, but that they do so without physical contact.

What kind of visual gestures do you exchange with your baby?

Mother and infant coordinate heart rhythms through episodes of interaction synchrony [ScienceDirect]
Mothers and babies can instantly synchronize their hearts just by smiling at each other [io9]

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Parenting Topic of the Week: Arsenic in Juice, Rice

Whether you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or a parent of a young child, you're liable to be concerned about the headlines detailing high levels of arsenic in apple juice and rice. Although it may seem like another overblown fear campaign by the media, the truth is frightening and deserves the attention of parents and parents-to-be. The information on the levels of arsenic found in these common foods is not easy to find and has been misreported by several news outlets. Here's what you need to know about this common poison found in food and water.

Arsenic is naturally occurring, but many apple and grape juices, even those labeled "organic" can contain unsafe levels of inorganic arsenic. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set no safe level for arsenic in juice, but the safe level set for drinking water is no more than 10 ppb (parts per billion) and some organizations advocate lowering that level to 5 ppb or even 3 ppb.

Consuming even low levels of arsenic over time can make people sick in a variety of ways. Low-level exposure has been linked to type 2 diabetes and levels above 5 ppb in drinking water have been linked to lower intelligence. Chronic exposure can cause gastrointestinal illnesses, skin lesions and sufferers may exhibit signs of chronic fatigue syndrome. The World Health Organization estimates that chronic exposure over a period of 5-20 years increases the risk of developing certain types of cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes and reproductive problems.

Consumer Reports recently tested popular apple and grape juices for their arsenic and lead content - the results might surprise you.

100% Apple Juice with High Levels of Inorganic Arsenic

  • 365 Everyday Value (100% Organic, Whole Foods) - 7-7.1 ppb 
  • Apple & Eve - 5-10.5 ppb
  • Gerber (4 oz. bottles) - 5.8-9.7 ppb
  • Gerber Organic - 5.5-5.7 ppb
  • Gold Emblem (CVS) - 3.1-9.4 ppb
  • Great Value (Walmart) - 10.1-13.9 ppb
  • Minute Maid - 6.2-6.17 pbb
  • Mott's - 4-7.9 ppb
  • Mott's (4.23 oz juice boxes) - 4-10.2 ppb
  • Walgreens - 4-6.8 ppb

100% Grape Juice with High Levels of Inorganic Arsenic 

  • Golden Emblem (CVS) - 5.9-7.5 ppb
  • Walgreens - 9.7-24.7 ppb
  • Welch's - 7.1-12.4 ppb

100% Apple and Grape Juices with High Lead Content (over 5 ppb is considered unsafe by the FDA)

  • Gerber Apple (4 oz. bottles) - 3.4-13.6 ppb
  • Golden Emblem Grape (CVS) - 6.5-8.6 ppb
  • Joe's Kids Apple (Trader Joe's, 6.75 oz juice boxes) - 5.3-9.7 ppb
  • Walgreens Grape - 10.1-15.9 ppb
  • Welch's Grape - 3.5-9.2 ppb

*These results do not include organically-occurring arsenic

The arsenic found in juices is a product of the soil the apples or grapes are grown in and other common sources of arsenic abound in the US, including rice and the most common source: well-water. In fact, rice from the US has some of the highest concentrations of arsenic in the world.

Finding out how much arsenic you're consuming and avoiding it is extremely difficult, but there are some things you can do. To find out how much arsenic is in your body request a urine test at the doctor. If you rely on well-water, contact your local water department to have it tested for arsenic. Avoid rice grown in most US states, China and Chile (however, California has relatively lower levels). Rice grown in Nepal, India, Pakistan and Egypt have some of the lowest levels in the world - an important consideration when feeding your baby his first food, which is typically rice cereal. Lastly, avoid juices that have known high levels of arsenic (see list above). Hopefully, now that this issue has come into the forefront of the media, it will encourage the FDA and health organizations to monitor and test products more efficiently.

What juice does your family drink?

Arsenic in your juice [ConsumerReports]

Monday, December 05, 2011

Top Baby Names of 2011

The end of the year is nigh and for expectant parents that means a rear-view look at what names are going to be the most popular for their child's generation. has released it's top 100 baby names of 2011. Aiden and Sophia still topped the charts, but a celebrity baby name is moving up the ranks - Mason (Kourtney Kardashian's little boy). Emily and Liam successfully made the leap into the top 10 and Addison and Caden appear to be going out of style. Here are the full lists:

  1. Aiden
  2. Jackson
  3. Mason
  4. Liam
  5. Jacob
  6. Jayden
  7. Ethan
  8. Noah
  9. Lucas
  10. Logan
  11. Caleb
  12. Caden
  13. Jack
  14. Ryan
  15. Connor
  16. Michael
  17. Elijah
  18. Brayden
  19. Benjamin
  20. Nicholas
  21. Alexander
  22. William
  23. Matthew
  24. James
  25. Landon
  26. Nathan
  27. Dylan
  28. Evan
  29. Luke
  30. Andrew
  31. Gabriel
  32. Gavin
  33. Joshua
  34. Owen
  35. Daniel
  36. Carter
  37. Tyler
  38. Cameron
  39. Christian
  40. Wyatt
  41. Henry
  42. Eli
  43. Joseph
  44. Max
  45. Isaac
  46. Samuel
  47. Anthony
  48. Grayson
  49. Zachary
  50. David
  51. Christopher
  52. John
  53. Isaiah
  54. Levi
  55. Jonathan
  56. Oliver
  57. Chase
  58. Cooper
  59. Tristan
  60. Colton
  61. Austin
  62. Colin
  63. Charlie
  64. Dominic
  65. Parker
  66. Hunter
  67. Thomas
  68. Alex
  69. Ian
  70. Jordan
  71. Cole
  72. Julian
  73. Aaron
  74. Carson
  75. Miles
  76. Blake
  77. Brody
  78. Adam
  79. Sebastian
  80. Adrian
  81. Nolan
  82. Sean
  83. Riley
  84. Bentley
  85. Xavier
  86. Hayden
  87. Jeremiah
  88. Jason
  89. Jake
  90. Asher
  91. Micah
  92. Jace
  93. Brandon
  94. Josiah
  95. Hudson
  96. Nathaniel
  97. Bryson
  98. Ryder
  99. Justin
  100. Bryce
  1. Sophia
  2. Emma
  3. Isabella
  4. Olivia
  5. Ava
  6. Lily
  7. Chloe
  8. Madison
  9. Emily
  10. Abigail
  11. Addison
  12. Mia
  13. Madelyn
  14. Ella
  15. Hailey
  16. Kaylee
  17. Avery
  18. Kaitlyn
  19. Riley
  20. Aubrey
  21. Brooklyn
  22. Peyton
  23. Layla
  24. Hannah
  25. Charlotte
  26. Bella
  27. Natalie
  28. Sarah
  29. Grace
  30. Amelia
  31. Kylie
  32. Arianna
  33. Anna
  34. Elizabeth
  35. Sophie
  36. Claire
  37. Lila
  38. Aaliyah
  39. Gabriella
  40. Elise
  41. Lillian
  42. Samantha
  43. Makayla
  44. Audrey
  45. Alyssa
  46. Ellie
  47. Alexis
  48. Isabelle
  49. Savannah
  50. Evelyn
  51. Leah
  52. Keira
  53. Allison
  54. Maya
  55. Lucy
  56. Sydney
  57. Taylor
  58. Molly
  59. Lauren
  60. Harper
  61. Scarlett
  62. Brianna
  63. Victoria
  64. Liliana
  65. Aria
  66. Kayla
  67. Annabelle
  68. Gianna
  69. Kennedy
  70. Stella
  71. Reagan
  72. Julia
  73. Bailey
  74. Alexandra
  75. Jordyn
  76. Nora
  77. Caroline
  78. Mackenzie
  79. Jasmine
  80. Jocelyn
  81. Kendall
  82. Morgan
  83. Nevaeh
  84. Maria
  85. Eva
  86. Juliana
  87. Abby
  88. Alexa
  89. Summer
  90. Brooke
  91. Penelope
  92. Violet
  93. Kate
  94. Hadley
  95. Ashlyn
  96. Sadie
  97. Paige
  98. Katherine
  99. Sienna
  100. Piper
Is your baby's name on the list?

100 most popular baby names of 2011 [BabyCenter]

New Guidelines for Treating Psoriasis during Pregnancy

Pregnancy has a way of intensifying the worst skin conditions. Acne, melasma and psoriasis are just a few of the biggest contenders. Unfortunately, many of the most effective treatments are risky to use during pregnancy. New guidelines released by the National Psoriasis Foundation can help pregnant and breastfeeding women suffering from a common condition to find safe treatments.

The first line of treatment recommended for psoriasis during pregnancy and while nursing are topical and over-the-counter moisturizer and emollients. The organization specifically mentions using petroleum jelly to relieve irritated areas. These gentle treatments can help reduce the itchy, red spots without any known risk to a developing fetus or infant.

Expectant and nursing mothers should consult their doctors about a treatment plan, however some medication appears to be safe if moisturizers and emollients aren't working. Topical steroids can be used in the second and third trimesters, beginning with mild to moderate potency and moving on to stronger concentrations only as needed.

Another second-line of treatment that is considered safe is UVB light therapy, which involves sitting in front of a UVB light regularly under medical supervision. Narrow band or broad band can be used.

The last resort for treatment is a class of immune-suppressing drugs called TNF inhibitors or a similar drug known as cyclosporine. These drugs should be used with caution only in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended while taking them.

Do you suffer from psoriasis?

New Guidelines for Treating Psoriasis When Pregnant or Nursing [USNews]