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Baby Problems

Health Scares And Their Credibility

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There are no small amount of health scares that persist in this day and age – as adults we see them ourselves in cases of epidemics and “epidemics“, some of which are credible and some which are, to be charitable, less than helpful.

In the case of babies’ health there is no less controversy, and there have been more than a few scares that have been shown to be unfounded. This has the highly unfortunate and undesirable effect of making people naturally skeptical, which can cause harmful indecision in times of genuine illness. Pediatricians are understanding and well-trained, so if you have a cause for concern it is worth taking it up with them.

One example of scare mongering having a negative effect is one that happened in Britain, when a medical paper written collaboratively by several doctors included a single line that raised the possibility that the MMR vaccination that had been in circulation for quite some time may be linked to autism in children.

Although this line was written by one doctor, who had not even definitively claimed that the link was real and provable, the national press picked up on it and made it into a huge story.

Although the other doctors involved in the study distanced themselves from the claim and it emerged that no evidence existed for any such link, the press had their story, and many parents were understandably reluctant to have their child immunised with the vaccine. When it comes down to it, getting medical advice from the media is not advisable.

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Baby Problems

Sleep Talking and Sleepwalking in Children

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Sleepwalking and sleep talking are members of a group of sleep disorders called parasomnias. Though it’s not known just exactly why children walk and talk in their sleep neither are considered to be serious disorders, and are not result of any physical or psychological problem. Both occur during a child’s deep sleep, approximately one to three hours after falling asleep.

Sleep talking occurs more often than sleep walking in children, though they often do occur together. Parasomnias tend to run in families, and children may experience one, two, or all three types.
Of course, the main concern parents have for their sleepwalking child is their safety.

A sleepwalking child does not have the judgment capabilities he normally does during waking hours, which makes the likelihood of injury when sleepwalking great. It may be difficult for parents to protect their sleep-walking children, since they don’t make much noise, which makes it difficult for parents to tell when their children are sleepwalking. The best way to protect their children is to be prepared.

Parents should completely evaluate their child’s room for any potential hazards. Bunk beds or any bed that’s high off the floor is probably not a good idea for a sleepwalker. Toys, shoes, and any other objects on the floor should be picked up and put away prior to bedtime.

Bedroom doors should be shut and windows should be locked, which will help ensure the child stays in his room and does not wander around the house. Alarm systems for doors, windows and even the sleepwalker’s bed might also be considered by parents.

Sleepwalking usually stops by the child’s adolescence, and as long as safety precautions are taken, should not be a great cause of concern.

Sleep talking is much more common parasomnia. Children who talk in their sleep may speak very clearly and be easily understood, while others may mumble, make noises or be incoherent. If children are speaking loudly and seem upset, it might be a good idea for parents to go to their children and comfort them without waking them. If they’re simply talking, it’s best just to leave them alone. The episode will probably end within a short period of time.

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Baby Problems

Moving from the Bottle to the Sippy Cup

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Most children, by the time they are about 9 months old, have the motor skills needed to drink from a cup. If you think your baby’s ready to make the move from bottle to sippy cup, try filling a sippy cup with water and let your child try and drink from it.

Don’t expect perfection with the first tries. He’ll probably drool, spit and dribble a bit, which will probably delight him! But within a few weeks and lots of practice, he’ll be willing to take all his drinks from the sippy cup. He’ll most likely be a sippy cup pro by the time he’s about 14 months old.

If you start the transition from bottle to sippy cup early, you’ll save yourself frustration – the longer a baby stays on the bottle, the tougher it is to get him to kick it. If the bottle is a security object for your baby, choose one with a special favorite animal or character to help increase his willingness to try and use it.

“Bottle rot” is common concern for parents of children who drink from bottles. A child’s teeth are susceptible to decay if he’s always drinking a sugared drink from it — formula, milk, or juice. Natural bacteria in his mouth feed on these sugars and attack the teeth for 20 minutes every time he takes a drink.

What that boils down to is this: if he’s taking sips from a bottle every few minutes for an hour, his teeth are exposed to the sugars for at least 80 minutes. Over time, that causes tooth decay, or ‘bottle rot.’ If he falls asleep, tooth-decay causing sugars can pool in his mouth for hours. Children are less likely to nurse drinks for long periods of time if they’re offered in sippy cups.

The best way to avoid bottle rot is to give your child his drink and have him finish it within about 20 minutes. Then use a toothbrush or washcloth to wipe his teeth clean. Never put a baby in his crib with a bottle or sippy cup.

Finally, consistently emphasize what a ‘big boy’ he is by drinking from the sippy cup instead of his bottle, and he’ll reach for his sippy cup more and more each day.

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