Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Baby Born in Back Seat of NYC Taxi [YouTube]

New Swedish royal baby named Estelle Silvia Eva Mary [DailyMail]

Felicity Huffman: What Would a Good Mother Do? [iVilage]

Don't Call Me Oscar [tumblr]

Mom's nicotine gum, patches tied to colic in babies [reuters]

Growing Up Before Motherhood - or Because of It? [NYTimes]

How Companies Learn Your Secrets [NYTimes]

Research shows toddlers understand right from wrong at just 19 months [DailyMail]

The Pregnant Brain: How Mothers Think Differently [DailyBeast]

Combo Vaccine May Raise Babies' Risk for Fever-Caused Seizures [WebMD]

Older mothers 'five times more likely to suffer from depression' [TelegraphUK]

Over-Reactive Parents Lead to More Toddler Tantrums

This new study about toddlers picking up coping behaviors from their parents shouldn't come as a surprise, but it is a good reminder of what messages we're constantly sending our children. Researchers discovered that toddlers were more easily upset if their parents over-reacted or became quickly angered by their toddler's behavior.

Over 350 families with adopted nine-month-olds were included in a study of coping mechanisms picked up by toddlers from their parents. Parents considered over-reactive were quick to become angry at their toddlers, even if the behaviors they engaged in were typical for their age. The toddlers of these over-reactive parents in turn were more likely to act out and had more temper tantrums than normal for their age. Researchers followed these children until they were 27 months old and found that the same group of children had the most behavioral problems by 24 months of age. Lead author of the study, Sharon Lipscomb of Oregon State University, believes that negative emotions may have their own developmental processes that lead to the child's later behavior. Lipscomb says: "Parents' ability to regulate themselves and to remain firm, confident and not overreact is a key way they can help their children to modify their behavior. You set the example as a parent in your own emotions and reactions."

Over-reactive parents weren't the only factor discovered in easily upset toddlers, genetics also played a role. The children raised in a low-stress environment, but that inherited negative emotionality from their birth mothers were also more prone to behavioral issues.

How do you cope with difficulties in front of your children?

Photo Credit: Jason Dunn
Toddlers With Angry Parents May Have More Temper Tantrums [HealthDay]

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Is Caffeine in Breast Milk Irritating Babies?

As a new mother you can generally expect to get very little sleep for at least the first few months of your baby's life. During the day, the answer to your woes is pretty clear: coffee, coffee and perhaps the occasional cup of tea. A recent interview with a breastfeeding expert reveals the important considerations breastfeeding mothers should make when they're consuming caffeine.

Dr. Ruth Lawrence makes the case in The Journal of Caffeine Research that although babies only receive small amounts of caffeine through breast milk, they are unable to metabolize it, causing it to build up in their bodies. This build-up is believed to cause irritability and sleeplessness, especially in the first two weeks of a baby's life. Currently, medical professionals advise women to limit their intake to approximately three cups or 300mg of coffee a day, but Dr. Lawrence points out that this recommendation may not fit everyone. Some women and babies are more sensitive to caffeine's effects than others. She also reminds new mothers that caffeine is not just found in coffee and tea, it's also prevalent in soda, chocolate, sports drinks and some over-the-counter medications.

The bottom line explained by Dr. Lawrence is that breastfeeding women should be aware of the possible correlation between a finicky baby and her caffeine consumption. She mentions cutting back on caffeine to see if it's the root cause of a colicky, sleepless or otherwise finicky baby.

How much caffeine do you consume a day?

Warning for breastfeeding moms: Watch your caffeine consumption [EmaxHealth]
Photo Credit: takkk

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Puggles teaches baby to chew [YouTube]

Kourtney Kardashian Is Expecting a Girl [People]

Movie screenings you can bring a baby to take Brooklyn by storm [DailyMail]

Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin: Proud New Parents [CelebrityBabyScoop]

11 Pregnancy Visits to the Doctor Gone Wrong [theStir]

How to baby-proof your home theater [Today]

Want to Be a Good American Parent? Teach Self-Control [NYTimes]

Maternity Leggings - A Soulful Writer Reluctantly Succumbs [HuffPo]

Real Mother of the Year finds harmony in boundaries [statesman]

What's New at the PTA, Dad? [NYTimes]

Motherhood Is the New PED for Lady High Jumpers [Jezebel]

25 Words Every Toddler Should Know

As a parent, you're always on the lookout for those important milestones in your baby and toddler - the first smile, the first step and the first word are just a few of the big ones. If your child doesn't hit the milestones on schedule it can sometimes be a red flag for a developmental delay. Language delays, in particular, may make some parents unsure of how to proceed. Thankfully, one researcher has found a place to start.

You might not be concerned if your toddler doesn't know the word "platypus," but what if she doesn't know the word "dog"? Leslie Altman Rescorla, the director of the Child Study Institute at Bryn Mawr College, has been presenting new research on late talkers around the world, sharing the concept of working on words that toddlers are likely to know when dealing with a language delay. Here are the 25 words she recommends working with before moving on to more difficult ones:

  • mommy
  • daddy
  • baby
  • milk
  • juice
  • hi/hello
  • ball
  • no
  • yes
  • dog
  • cat
  • nose
  • eye
  • banana
  • cookie
  • car
  • hot
  • thank you
  • bath
  • shoe
  • hat
  • book
  • all gone
  • bye bye
  • more
In Rescorla's research, she discovered that while language delays could be a sign of hearing problems or autism in toddlers, that many of the children she worked with were up to speed by the age of four or five and in one study she observed that as teenagers, the late talkers were often excelling in school. Her research gives many parents a good place to start when working with a late talker. 

Were any of your children late talkers? 

Photo Credit: Jennfleur and bohringer friedrich
The 25 Words Your Toddler Likely Knows [ABCNews]

Monday, February 20, 2012

Featured Bellies and Babies of the Week

This week is the first of many to come where we'll feature the best pregnancy and baby photos sent to us through our Bellies and Babies of the Week contests. We receive photos from parents and parents-to-be from all over the world. Here are a few of our favorites.

Our favorite belly of the week comes to us from Eileen. She is expecting a girl in March:
We also loved the pop of color on Marlena's belly - she just had her baby in January:
Stephanie sent us a beautiful image of her belly. She is 29 weeks along with baby Christopher:
The baby pictures sent to us are much harder to choose from, but this image of Aliza Bea and Jesse Lee is one of the most adorable photos we've ever seen. These two are twins:
Lilah was born in April 2011 and we simply can't stop laughing at her adorable expression:
Morgan Avery is just 15 days old in this picture, reminding us how beautiful newborns are:
Thanks to all the parents and parents-to-be who sent us their pictures. You can see the rest of the featured photos on the front pages of PregnancyWeekly and BabyWeekly. You can submit your best belly photos here. To enter your baby picture for the Baby of the Week contest, please click here. Due to the high volume of submissions we receive, it may take many months before your baby's photo is featured.

Fetal Development - Week 9 (Video)

Your baby is about one inch from crown to rump - or roughly the size of a strawberry. Weighing in at two grams, your baby is very active, although it is too tiny for you to feel its movements yet. He or she now has all the major organs, muscles, and nerves; and a Doppler may be able to find its heartbeat.
While his or her testes or ovaries are formed, the external genitalia still appear sexless, which is why it is too early for an ultrasound to reveal its gender. Eyelids are beginning to form and the trunk is straightening and elongating, cartilage and bones are forming, the basic structures of the eyes are in place, and the tongue is beginning to develop. The fingers and thumb are visible, albeit short and webbed.