Is There a Downside to Early Potty Training? A New Study Says…

New Study Shows Kids Potty Trained Before 2 Suffer from Daytime WettingWhen it comes to potty training, sometimes earlier isn’t always better, new research shows.

According to a small new study published in Research and Reports on Urology, researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center looked at 112 children ages 3 to 10 who experienced daytime wetting or urinary urgency/frequency and found that “early trainers” (kids who learned to use the toilet before they were 2 years old) were nearly four times as likely to have daytime wetting issues.

“Parents who train their children early to meet preschool deadlines, to save landfills from diapers or because they think toddlers are easier to train should know there can be serious repercussions,” study author Dr. Steve Hodges, an associate professor of pediatric urology at Wake Forest Baptist, said in a news release.

Because younger kids are more likely to hold their pee in, they’re more likely to also be affected by bladder contractions and reduced bladder capacity, the researchers stated.

Researchers also noted that early trainers were three times more likely to have constipation issues and that constipation can actually cause these bladder mishaps at times.

Of course, this isn’t to say that no 2-year-old (or younger) child should begin potty training. Dr. Hodges noted that a very important factor to consider before you begin potty training is that your child is not showing any signs of constipation.

“There is nothing magic about the age of two,” Dr. Hodges said in the statement. “If parents opt to train early or late and are meticulous about making sure children void on a regular schedule and monitor them for signs of constipation, I suspect the incidence of voiding dysfunction would decrease.”

Do you think your child is ready to start potty training? Take our quiz to find out when the time is right for you and your tot.

Potty Training Girls vs. Boys
Potty Training Girls vs. Boys
Potty Training Girls vs. Boys

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Potential Dads: Cut Back on Drinking, Study Suggests

Men's Habitual Drinking Decreases Sperm QualityWomen hoping to get pregnant aren’t the only 0nes who should cut back on alcohol consumption, new research suggests.

According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal men who drank alcohol “moderately”—that’s five or more drinks a week—were found to have poorer sperm quality than those who drank less.

“Quality” was defined in the study as total sperm count and sperm size, among other factors.

The study looked at roughly 1,200 Danish men ages 18-28 who, besides their sperm quality, were otherwise considered healthy.

Drinking alcohol in the preceding week before the men were tested was also linked to changes in their reproductive hormone levels—testosterone levels rose while sex hormone binding globuline (SBHG) fell.

Researchers are wary to say just yet that alcohol consumption causes poor sperm quality because this is the first study of its kind. The findings could also show that men who naturally have lower sperm quality are more likely to drink more.

But, they left the bottom line at this: “It remains to be seen whether semen quality is restored if alcohol intake is reduced, but young men should be advised that high habitual alcohol intake may affect not only their general health, but also their reproductive health.”

Trying to get pregnant? Give our ovulation predictor a try.

Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes

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A New Way To Help Babies Learn Language: Study

Improving Language Skills Before Babies Can TalkWhile a baby’s first words aren’t typically spoken until around 12 months of age, new research from Rutgers University shows that through specific auditory training, a baby’s brain development can be sped up to improve overall language acquisition and processing.

The research, which was published in Journal of Neuroscience earlier this week, states:

 ”The researchers found that when 4-month-old babies learned to pay attention to increasingly complex non-language audio patterns and were rewarded for correctly shifting their eyes to a video reward when the sound changed slightly, their brain scans at 7 months old showed they were faster and more accurate at detecting other sounds important to language than babies who had not been exposed to the sound patterns.”

“If you shape something while the baby is actually building it,” April Benasich, director of the Infancy Studies Laboratory at the University’s Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience said in a news release, “it allows each infant to build the best possible auditory network for his or her particular brain. This provides a stronger foundation for any language (or languages) the infant will be learning.”

While this research has not been carried out long-term, the team that worked on the experiment plans to continue it until the babies that were initially involved reach 18 months old.

Your baby’s brain is a sponge, ready to soak up and learn about all of the sensory stimuli around him. Follow these tips to help him learn to talk.

Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play
Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play
Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play

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Could Taking Antibiotics Make Your Kids Obese?

Antibiotics Can Cause Obesity Before If Taken Before Age 2Just as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month wraps up, a new study is out from JAMA Pediatrics showing that children who repeatedly take antibiotics before age 2 have a higher risk of obesity by age 5.

Researchers tracked the health records of more than 64,000 children living in urban Philadelphia and surrounding areas between 2001 and 2013 found that 69 percent of those children took some broad range antibiotics before they were 2 years old, but only “broad spectrum” antibiotics seemed to be associated with obesity.

Broad spectrum antibiotics are typically used to treat more serious infections and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

“If you use the stronger medications as the first line of defense, your child could develop a resistance, and those drugs won’t be as effective if and when she really needs them,” Dr. Ari Brown told Parents

TIME reports that taking so many antibiotics at such a young age can actually kill off bacteria that can be helpful for digestion in the gut. Studies with mice have proven this theory, so it is thought that something similar could be occurring in the bodies of young children, too.

Approximately 12.7 million children ages 2 to 19 are obese in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Help your kids stay fit and promote a healthy lifestyle in your home with these tips.

Kids and Chronic Health Concerns
Kids and Chronic Health Concerns
Kids and Chronic Health Concerns

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Babies’ Babbles Linked to Hearing Ability

Baby Babbling Links To Hearing AbilityYou know those precious gaa gaa goo goo sounds your baby makes can melt your heart. But it turns out your little one loves to hear those sounds as much as you do!

A study conducted by the University of Missouri found that “infant vocalizations are primarily motivated by infants’ ability to hear their own babbling.”

The researchers examined a mix of babies, some with normal hearing and others that were candidates for cochlear implants, and found that the babies who had suffered hearing loss were less likely to babble as much as their peers (though “non-speech” sounds like crying and laughing were not affected by this either way).

The good news is after the babies with hearing loss received their cochlear implants, their levels of babbling reached the same as those who could hearand in a span of just four months!

“Babies learn so much through sound in the first year of their lives,” Mary Fagan, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders in the MU School of Health Professions, said in a news release. “We know learning from others is important to infants’ development, but hearing allows infants to explore their own vocalizations and learn through their own capacity to produce sounds.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that up to 3 out of every 1,000 infants are born with some sort of hearing impairment. Is your child one of them? Read on to learn more about caring for a baby with hearing loss. 

Baby Development: Age 6 Months
Baby Development: Age 6 Months
Baby Development: Age 6 Months

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