Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pacifiers revisited, New Research

Photo: Baby with pacifier

New research from the University of Wisconsin indicates that pacifier use may interfere with the ability to mimic facial expressions related to emotions, which in turn leads to more difficulty in understanding and reading emotions later in life. This seems to affect boys more than girls. The article suggests that use of pacifiers to sleep does not have any relationship to this but having a paci in the mouth during most of the waking hours, especially during times of social play, will impact a boys ability to read other people later in life. The research was triggered because it was noted that older people who used botox were unable to move their faces to express their emotions and, subsequently, indicated that they did not feel emotions as strongly. The researcher thought about what this might mean if you always had something in your mouth that did not allow you to make facial expressions during critical growth times in infancy. Their research seems to show an effect of heavy pacifier use during waking hours in infant boys. Another thing to consider for your infant. There are some benefits to controlled use of pacifiers but the key is limit the use for the maximum benefit and the least damage. There is a previous post in this blog about pacifier use that discusses the issue as well. The link below leads to one article on the subject. The research is published in The Journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology this month. The picture is from the Wisconsin news article sited below.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Repost- favorite playthings.

This is an article by a mother who noticed that her daughter prefers to play with common household items rather than her (expensive) toys. Check out what her baby plays with and see if they are the same things your baby prefers. Some will be familiar. The one that was missing from this list was mom's cell phone, always a favorite.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Repost about cutting baby's fingernails.

baby nails 300x300 7 Ways to Make Cutting Your Babys Nails EasierHere is an article from a mom who has tried everything. Tips on cutting your babies fingernails. Read them all and you will find something that works for you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How Is Hannah!

I recently wrote a general article about childhood cancer because my sister's granddaughter was in the process of being diagnosed with cancer at the age of three. At the time we did not know what type of cancer she had or much of anything else. Boy have we all learned a lot in a short month.
Hannah finally got a diagnosis of Rhabdomyosarcoma. This is a type of cancer that affects the soft tissue around the bones, mostly the muscles. It involves a fast growing tumor which is usually the first sign. It is most commonly located in the arms or legs, the pubic area or near the eye but can be located near any bones. It accounts for about 5 percent of all childhood cancers and the prognosis varies depending on the location and the stage.
In Hannah's case, the starting point was in the chest and by the time she was diagnosed it had spread to her lymph nodes. The treatment of choice for Hannah is very strong Chemotherapy over the next year. She has already started the treatments and responded very well the the first dose of the treatment and was able to go home for a week in between. A chance to see her sister. She is not out of the woods yet but everybody is hopeful at this point.
She and her father shaved their heads together. Her hair had just started to fall out but shaving your head is a fashion statement not a sign of illness. There are three intrepid Canadians (two men and one women) who plan to shave their heads as part of a fundraiser for Hannah.
In fact, I have to say that all of Canada seems to have rallied to support the family. Of course, Hannah's mother has stopped working and her father has missed a lot of time ( his company has been very supportive, so far), so the efforts are very much appreciated. I have said it before but I will say it again, I have always liked the Canadian attitude and never more so than now. We have all seen the news stories of families hit by such traumatic events but never thought it would be our family. Now that it is my family, I appreciate the efforts people put into each other. I will include a link to one of the facebook groups that is supporting Hannah and her family (there are three or four) but with no obligation. They do include photos and descriptions of the many events that are taking place on Hannah's behalf. This one is called Hannah updates. Hannah is just doing the best she can at this time.!/groups/345556032195563/

A New How to Get Baby to Sleep Study.

This is an article leading describing another study in the long running battle about how to get baby to sleep through the night. Recent studies expressed concern at the "cry it out" technique that has been suggested for at least the last 30 years. This Australian study is not exactly about crying it out but about gradually withdrawing the support with two techniques, Controlled comforting  and Camping (further) Out. In both techniques parents slowly withdraw from the babies room until baby sleeps without needing then there. Further information is available at the first site below which is the video of the news story on MSNBC and the second which is a article in a parenting blog on the same subject. The picture goes with the second link. The third link is the original study as published in the journal "Pediatrics" online September 10 and in Print in the October issue.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Great Parent Lecture Series.

The following is a link about a free online lecture series called How to Be a Great Parent. Check it out if you are interested. One featured speaker will be Dr. Laura Markham from Aha Parenting.