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Monday, August 29, 2011

Zappos shoes coupon codes

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Care of a Baby's First Teeth


Care of a Baby's First Teeth Those pearly whites. From teething to the first visit with a dentist, here is a look at the do's and don'ts of caring for your child's first teeth.

If you have a child around four to six months of age, then chances are her first tooth is erupting, and she'll continue getting about one tooth a month until she's approximately two and a half years of age. For generations we've referred to this as teething, and have blamed the process of teething on everything from crankiness to serious illness. However according to pediatrician Dr. Alan Goldbloom, "teething is not a disease. It's as normal a process as the hair growing on your head, or any other part of growth and development."

Today, most physicians and dentists agree that the eruption of baby teeth causes very little discomfort. In fact, Dr. Goldbloom says if your child seems really upset or uncomfortable then it's important to have your child seen by her physician in order to rule out a serious illness. However Goldbloom adds "teething may produce a little bit of discomfort. The gums may be a little swollen, the baby may drool a little more, the baby may be a little fussy. If you wanted to give them something cold such as a teething ring, or anything hard to chew on that they can't swallow, that's fine."

Caring for those first pearly whites is important. Avoiding sugar, bottles of juice or milk at bedtime and brushing the new teeth with a soft cloth or brush is part of that care. So is the first visit to a dentist. But when is the right time to begin taking your child to the dentist? Pediatric dentist Dr. Richard Kramer recommends parents bring their children in for a check up at around their first birthday. "It used to be that 3 years of age was the magic number, but in recent years they've reduced the age for a kid to go to a dentist down to approximately one year of age. If you go to a pediatric dentist's office they may ask to see him at that age with the rational being if you see a child that young, you may be able to prevent problems before they occur. (It's also) an opportunity to review procedures at home, in order to reduce the potential for decay."

Bottles, Pacifiers & Thumbsucking


Bottles, Pacifiers & Thumbsucking That bedtime bottle may soothe your baby tonight, but the milk or juice inside it could lead to major dental problems tomorrow.

Sucking is a normal, natural reflex for infants. Besides the fact that without this reflex a baby couldn't be fed, it also offers relaxation and comfort, which is exactly why so many babies and toddlers continue sucking well after they need to do so for nourishment. The concern that a lot of parents have is that thumbsucking and pacifier use can cause damage to children's teeth that can only be repaired through orthodontics.

Pediatric dentist Dr. David Kenney says with young children neither thumbsucking nor use of a pacifier is harmful, although most dentists prefer to see a child use a soother. "We actually recommend soothers and the reason we do, is that a child who starts out with a soother will be more apt to give that soother up than if they start out with their thumb. With a thumb you have a friend and constant companion well into the time when the permanent teeth erupt."

Dr. Kenney feels that parents shouldn't really expect two and a half or three year olds to stop sucking their thumb, but that "by five, or five and a half years of age, if the habit hasn't stopped by then there is some risk of damage which may need to be repaired orthidontically later on."

If there is one concern that over-rides all others, specifically when it comes to children and dental health, is the use of juice or milk bottles at bedtime says Kenney, "because at that time the amount of saliva is decreased and the amount of swallowing is reduced. I know that what they do is suck a little bit, then hold it in their mouth, swallow it, then suck a little more, then hold it and swallow. This keeps supplying, constantly, sugar to the bacteria. I see children with rampant decay of their primary teeth from these causes."

The result is what dentists call Nursing Bottle Decay, and according to pediatric dentist Dr. Richard Kramer, it's becoming more common. "Interestingly enough, although decay rates have generally gone down for children, for very young children decay rates have increased due to nursing bottle decay."

The final word is, if your child has to have a bedtime bottle, the only safe thing to fill it with is water.



Overweight Children - Is Your Child Obese Is your child suffering from teething pain and discomfort? Or is teething pain just an old-time medical myth?

Sometime between four and six months of age, most babies get their first tooth, and they'll keep getting a new tooth until all of their primaries are in place by the age of two and a half years.

Any parent that has watched their baby cry in discomfort during the teething years would be hard pressed to say their child isn’t in some pain. But can it lead to illness? For many years people believed teething and illness were synonymous. In fact, as little as one hundred years ago teething was blamed for many infant deaths. So what’s the reality? More than likely it’s somewhere between the two explains Dr. Allan Green, author of From First Kicks to First Steps. "Good studies have shown that some babies experience significant discomfort, low grade fevers and diarrhea with teething", explains Dr. Greene.

But pediatrician Dr. William Feldman says that it also happens that between four months and two and a half years of age children are exposed to many viruses and bacteria, and it’s unwise to automatically blame illness on teething. His concern is that if parents simply chalk up their child’s fever to teething, a more serious illness can be missed. "If there is a fever which accompanies this, it's usually caused by a virus that just happens to be there at the same time," explains Feldman.

If your child is in discomfort from teething, the temptation is to soothe the gums with one of the many over-the-counter topical gels available at the pharmacy. But Dr. Greene does not recommend these. "The topical gels, I'm not a very big fan of. Many kids don't seem to like them very much. They leave the mouth feeling numb and swollen like you've just been to the dentist, they wear off very quickly, and they can decrease the gag reflex in some kids."

Instead Dr. Greene recommends "a variety of solutions for babies who are experiencing difficulty with teething. Massaging of the gums can be very helpful with a clean finger. There are some homeopathic teething gels that are quite gentle and many parents report great success with those."

Over all, while it is hard to see your child suffering from teething pain, remember that in the long run this is relatively short-lived period in your child’s life. Teething rings and massage can be helpful. And if your child becomes ill, don’t automatically assume that teething is to blame. Instead have your child seen by a physician to rule out any other health concerns.

Baby's First Steps


Baby's First Steps Is there anything you can do to encourage your baby to take his first step - or is it all genetically predetermined?

Baby's first step is a developmental milestone that most parents never forget. But waiting for this moment can be an anxious time for parents who may have friends and relatives whose children walked at an earlier age. When it comes to walking, babies are on their own time table and when they take their first step is no reflection of their intelligence, size, or the parenting skills of their mom or dad. Former family clinic supervisor at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, Ruth McCamus, assures us that when it comes to walking, every baby is unique. "On average a child will begin walking at age of 12 or 14 months but considerable differences are likely. Some children begin walking much earlier and some as late as 21 months."

While we can't speed up a baby's first step, there are things that may hold a child back explains McCamus. "Sometimes if a baby is a very proficient crawler or roller he may be happy with this form of mobility for some time." McCamus adds that there's little a parent can do to get their children walking except to "provide an encouraging environment with lots of praise for progress. But baby herself will delight in her accomplishments."

Pediatrician Dr. Marvin Ghans agrees that outside of a little encouragement there's nothing a parent can do to change their child's walking timetable. "Children will walk when they are ready. I think it's good to take them by the hand and walk with them and help support them. But they don't really need lessons", says Dr. Ghans. He also stresses that walkers should not be used. "Walkers have been found to be cause of many accidents including serious head injuries from children falling down steps in them."

Most children are walking by the time they reach eighteen months. If your child hasn't reached this milestone by then, it is advisable to consult your baby's doctor.

Seven Steps to Swaddling

Swaddling is something that parents have done for ages. Many cultures throughout the course of human history have swaddled their babies. Interestingly enough, there is modern research that shows that this ancient custom may actually have some very specific benefits for your baby.

Swaddling your baby helps to create a soothing feeling. This can help him to fall asleep easier, and it can help him to sleep more soundly. Swaddling helps insure that your baby sleeps on his back, which can help reduce the risk of SIDS.

Swaddling also keeps your baby from moving around. By about the age of two months, most experts recommend that you stop swaddling, or that you at least loosen the folds of the blanket gradually to allow some additional movement.

Experts aren’t entirely certain why swaddling is so beneficial for babies. There is the idea that swaddling more closely represents the closed, comfortable environment of the womb, where baby has spent the majority of her developmental time.

Here are the steps to swaddle your baby:
1.      Lay a square receiving blanket out on a flat surface in a diamond shape.
2.      Fold down the top blanket corner, just around four inches.
3.      Place your baby on the receiving blanket. His head should be where that fold is. It’s important not to cover baby’s head.
4.      Fold the right corner over across baby’s body, and tuck it underneath her. You will tuck her right arm, and leave her left arm free.
5.      Fold the bottom of the blanket up onto your baby’s chest.
6.      Now, fold the left corner across baby’s body. This should contain the left arm and keep it from moving. Tuck this fold.
7.      Check your work. The swaddling should be snug, but it should not be so tight that it cuts off circulation or causes pain at all.

As you can see, swaddling is a fairly straightforward process. It doesn’t take much time or effort, and it can help your baby sleep better, and feel more comfortable at those times when she may be overly tired or just simply fussy.

Crib Safety by the Numbers

Your baby’s crib is perhaps the most important piece of safety equipment you will have in your house. You need to make sure that crib is safe and secure, and that it’s a comfortable place for your baby to rest her head at night.

You need to recognize just how important that crib is. Here are some facts about your baby’s sleep habits and his time in the crib you might not know:
  • Your baby is going to sleep an average of 16 hours a day for the first two months. That adds up to 960 hours, and the vast majority of the time is going to be in the crib.
  • The following four months – from age three months to age six months – that sleep amount drops slightly to about 14.5 hours a day. That gives you another 1,300+ hours, much of which is crib time.
  • The remainder of the first year gives you an average of another 2,500 hours of sleep time.
All told, you’re looking at nearly 5,000 hours of sleep in the first year. Assuming ¾ of that is in the crib, you’re talking about 3,250 crib hours. Now, you can begin to see why the crib needs to be safe, secure, and comfortable.

Here are some things you can do when buying a crib to help baby be safe:
  • If you’re buying a used crib, check out the Consumer Products Safety Commission to make sure there hasn’t been a recall on that particular model. Crib recalls are common, so do the homework before you buy used.
  • On any crib, the slats should not be any greater than about 2.5 inches apart. If you can put a can of pop through the slats, your baby can probably get his head stuck in there.
  • Corner posts should not have the potential for snags that can catch your baby’s clothing or blanket.
  • Headboards and footboards should not have cut-out designs.
  • Make sure the crib’s dropping side has a minimum of two locks so that your baby – as she gets older – isn’t able to accidentally release the crib side.
  • When your baby begins climbing, consider switching to a toddler bed as soon as possible.

Preventing SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, stated simply is when an apparently healthy baby dies of unexplained causes, usually while she is sleeping. Most SIDS deaths occur in infants between two and four months old, with occurrences being quite rare for babies under a month old or over six months old. There is no sure fire way of preventing SIDS. It can happen despite all of the best practices. However, by following these tips, you can significantly reduce the chances of your baby dying of SIDS:
  • Always place your baby to sleep on his back. Never lay a baby down to sleep on his stomach. Extensive efforts have been made to educate parents about this since the 1990s, and the occurrences of SIDS related deaths have dropped dramatically as a result of parents laying baby down to sleep on his back.
  • If you smoke, stop. If anyone in the home smokes, encourage them to stop. If you can’t stop, at least smoke outside, away from the baby. Second hand smoke, as well as mothers smoking while they are pregnant, has been shown to contribute to the risk of SIDS.
  • Don’t overheat your baby. Babies should generally have on about the same amount of clothing layers as adults. If you think your baby might be cold, one additional layer is generally OK, but no more. Overheating your baby has been shown to increase the risk of SIDS.
  • Use a firm mattress in baby’s crib. Don’t lay baby down to sleep on a soft mattress, pillow, or other soft surface. Not only will she not sleep as soundly, but these things increase the risks of suffocation and SIDS.
  • Make sure that your baby’s crib mattress fits securely in the crib. You should not be able to place any more than two fingers comfortably in between the mattress and the side of the crib.
  • Put your baby to sleep with a pacifier. Not only will it help her fall asleep and potentially stay asleep a little longer, but it has also been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Sleeping Like a Baby

Have you ever wondered where the phrase “sleeping like a baby” comes from? We’re not sure either, but let’s venture a guess and say it came from someone who has never tried to help a fussy baby fall asleep.
Of course, babies sleep a lot. Newborn infants average anywhere from fourteen to eighteen hours of sleep per day. Still, that sleep comes in brief two to four hour spurts, so it can feel like a lot less to parents who have spent the majority of their lives sleeping for eight hours at a time. 

Of course, newborns have a very good reason for waking up so often. Their little tummies just can’t hold very much. Combine that with an ultra fast digesting liquid diet, and you have a formula (no pun intended) for a hungry infant who needs attention on a regular basis. Breast fed babies especially need to wake up often, as breast milk digests even faster than commercially produced formula.

As your newborn grows, so will her stomach, and she will gradually be able to eat enough at one setting to stay satisfied for longer periods of time, allowing her (and you) longer rest and sleep periods. Babies differ as far as their sleep patterns go, but generally speaking, your baby should be able to start sleeping through the night somewhere between six months and one year of age. 

Of course, five hours of uninterrupted sleep is considered “sleeping through the night” for babies. We’re still trying to figure out who came up with that number. To be sure, though, by the time your baby is sleeping five hours or so at a time, it will feel like a full night’s sleep comparatively.

Until your baby is three or four months old, there really isn’t much you can do to help her sleep for longer periods of time. The most important thing is to take care of her needs. Change her, feed her, burp her, and take care of any other needs she may have, and then rock her back to sleep. The best thing you can do for yourself during this time period is to take as many naps as you can while the baby is sleeping.