Posts Tagged ‘ babies ’

The Way You Talk to Your Baby Could Impact Her Social Skills

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Mom talking to babyWhen it comes to baby talk, there are some ways to communicate with your little one that are better than others. New research from the University of York shows that how moms talk to their babies can actually influence their kids’ understanding of others’ emotions when they grow up.

The study, published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, examined 40 mother/baby pairs at four different points—when the babies were 10, 12, 16 and 20 months old. During each visit, psychologists recorded maternal language while mom and baby played for a total of 10 minutes. The psychologists noted whenever a mother made a comment about her child’s thought processes, which researchers called “mind-mindedness.” For example, verbally acknowledging when your baby may be feeling frustrated.

The mom/baby pairs were revisited, when the kids were 5 or 6 years old, to have the kids’ socio-cognitive ability assessed to decipher how well children understood another person’s thoughts.

Researchers found that children were able to relate better to others at the age of 5 if their mothers had frequently used mind-mindedness comments or phrases.

“These findings show how a mother’s ability to tune-in to her baby’s thoughts and feelings early on helps her child to learn to empathize with the mental lives of other people,” said lead author Elizabeth Kirk, M.D. in a press release. “This has important consequences for the child’s social development, equipping children to understand what other people might be thinking or feeling.”

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Signs Your Baby Is Learning to Talk (8-12 months)
Signs Your Baby Is Learning to Talk (8-12 months)
Signs Your Baby Is Learning to Talk (8-12 months)

Image: Mom talking to baby via Shutterstock

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Are You Getting Conflicting (Confusing!) Baby-Care Advice?

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Baby careWhen it comes to caring for a baby, parents receive a great deal of advice from plenty of sources—but how much of the advice is accurate? A new study published online in the journal of Pediatrics further proves you can’t believe everything you hear.

More than 1,000 U.S. mothers of infants aged 2- to 6-months were surveyed about advice they had been given on various parenting topics—vaccines, breastfeeding, pacifiers, and infant sleep (position and location)—as well as who gave it to them (medical professional, the media, and family members).

The study concluded that although moms get the majority of their advice from doctors, this guidance is often contradictory to what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends. Specifically, 10 to 15 percent of advice from doctors about breastfeeding and pacifier-use did not align with the AAP. Advice about sleeping positions (26 percent) and safe sleep locations (29 percent) also differed. Perhaps most disturbingly, 50 percent of new mothers reported receiving no counseling at all from doctors about sleep location or pacifier-use and about 20 percent did not get advice on breastfeeding or sleep position.

Related: Most Doctors Are Delaying Vaccines Because of Parents’ Request, Study Says

“I’m not so sure most parents realize how much recommendations differ from doctor to doctor and nurse to nurse, or that many of us give medical information that is just plain wrong,” stated pediatrician Clay Jones, M.D., who was not involved in the study.

Guidance that was passed along by family members (sorry grandma!) or the media was also frequently inconsistent with AAP recommendations. The bottom line? Stick to reputable sources—lead author Staci Eisenberg, M.D. recommends the AAP and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—when you’re looking for medical information online.

Related: Many Parents Are Still Confused About Antibiotics

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Baby Care Basics: Choosing the Right Doctor
Baby Care Basics: Choosing the Right Doctor
Baby Care Basics: Choosing the Right Doctor

Image: Baby at pediatrician via Shutterstock

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Regional Anesthesia Is Best for Infants, Study Says

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Anesthesia ToolsThe best type of anesthesia for infants has been disputed in the past, with some experts believing that general anesthesia, if given to a baby during the first year of life, could increase the risk for development and learning issues. One study even linked general anesthesia in infancy to the development of ADHD.

But recently published findings concluded that regional anesthesia, an injection that blocks pain from a large area of the body while leaving the patient conscious, yields better outcomes for infants recovering from certain types of surgery.

Research from two separate studies, released by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), examined the effects of general and regional anesthesia by measuring the extent to which apnea (a temporary cessation of breathing) occurred after the most common procedure infants undergo—hernia repair surgery. Researchers from the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in Australia compared rates of apnea of 722 infants, and found that regional anesthesia decreased the chance of apnea in the first half hour following surgery.

“Our research provides the strongest evidence to date on how babies should have anesthesia for hernia repair—the most common procedure among infants,” said Andrew Davidson, M.D., study author and associate professor, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. “We found that spinal anesthesia is safer than general anesthesia.”

This research is also a part of an ongoing study focused on the long-term effects of anesthesia on neurodevelopment outcomes.

Related: Brain Scans Reveal Babies Feel Pain the Same Way Adults Do

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

When to Worry: Hernia
When to Worry: Hernia
When to Worry: Hernia

Image: Anesthesia via Shutterstock

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Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Baby Sleep in a Car Seat, Swing or Bouncer

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Sleeping infantBabies need between 12 and 16 hours of sleep each day depending on their age. But where they sleep is even more important than how much they sleep—and a new study set to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics found that “sitting devices” like car seats, swings, and bouncers can lead to injury and even death if babies are allowed to sleep in them.

Researchers examined the deaths of 47 young children under the age of 2, all of which occurred while in a device made for sitting or carrying. Two-thirds of the deaths occurred in car seats, while the rest occurred in slings, swings, bouncers, and strollers.

Asphyxiation (positional or strangulation) was the cause of death in 46 cases; 52 percent of the deaths were caused by strangulation from the device’s straps.

Related: How Safe Is Your Baby’s Sleep?

Sleep-related deaths are the number one cause of death in kids between 1 and 12 months old. To avoid injury or death, experts urge parents to never, under any circumstance, leave infants and young children unsupervised—sleeping or awake—while in these devices. They also advise that car seats should only be placed on a firm, stable surface and any buckles should be fastened correctly.

The best place for your baby to sleep is on her back, in a crib that has a firm mattress and is free from any loose bedding. To be sure your baby’s sleep environment is as safe as can be, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Safe sleep guidelines.

Related: Safe Sleep for Your Baby: Watch This!

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Baby Sleep: Get the Facts
Baby Sleep: Get the Facts
Baby Sleep: Get the Facts

Image: Sleeping infant via Shutterstock

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Brain Scans Reveal Babies Feel Pain the Same Way Adults Do

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Brain scansUntil now, some people have argued that a baby’s brain isn’t developed enough yet developed to feel pain, but recent research has showed that babies not only feel pain when they get shots. And a new study shows that babies and adults share the same pain threshold.

Through the use of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner, researchers at the University of Oxford have discovered that babies’ brains react similarly to adult brains when exposed to the same degree of pain.

Related: Yes, Babies CAN Feel Pain When Getting Shots

These findings could potentially alter current guidelines dealing with infants and pain management during painful procedures. “As recently as the 1980s, it was common practice for babies to be given neuromuscular blocks but no pain relief medication during surgery,” reports Science Daily.

As of now, this is a small-scale study; in total, researchers have only examined 20 healthy individuals: 10 infants between one and six days old, and 10 adults between 23- and 36-years-old. Of the 20 brain regions that are active when adults experience pain, 18 were also active in babies (see the MRI image here).

In fact, scans showed that babies’ brains that were given a weak “poke” had the same response as adults who were given a “poke” that was four times as strong. This suggests that babies are not only feeling pain, but they also have a significantly lower tolerance for the feeling. Of course, further research will be needed to draw a better conclusion.

However, because babies are unable to verbalize when and how badly they experience pain, this information is especially important in establishing the best ways to deal with pain relief in the future.

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Baby's First Year
Baby's First Year
Baby's First Year

Image: Doctors examining brain scans via Shutterstock

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