POSTS WITH TAG: baby health

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    Infant massage may sound a little woo woo, but hey, who doesn't love a little pampering? And as the benefits of infant massage continue to grow, more and more moms are giving it a try. "Some of the benefits of infant massage include helping you to bond with your baby, as well as helping babies relax, improving their sleep, digestion, and bowel movements, and developing their body awareness, which is important for movement," explains Diane Bahr, a certified infant massage instructor and author of Nobody Ever Told Me (or My Mother) That! Some studies also suggest that it can enhance a baby's immune system, which is particularly important for premature babies.

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    Sometimes, poop isn't just poop. When babies are really little, stools are an obsession. Moms, in an effort to determine if their baby is eating enough (particularly a mystery for breastfeeders who can't measure their infant's intake), often track the number of soiled diapers per day -- it's akin to a full-time job. And until you have a baby, who even knew there were so many colors and textures and types of excrement? No wonder it can cause so much anxiety. To help you separate the true potential health problems from what's completely normal, we've put together a color-coded baby poop decoder (and don't worry, these photos won't make you gag). Whatever's going on down there in diaperville, we've got answers and advice on what to do if you do spot something worth worrying about.

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    If you thought you knew everything about baby dental hygiene, think again. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just released a new report that names tooth decay as "the most common chronic disease in children in the US" and urges parents to start using fluoridated toothpaste when baby gets her first tooth.

    But before you start running out to your pediatrician and consulting the pharmacy on which new tube to buy, the AAP has set some very strict guidelines on how much parents should use and when. Fluoride, after all, can be toxic to babies when ingested in large amounts.

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    When you have a sick child, there isn't one decision you make that's an easy one. You doubt yourself at every turn and pray your next move will be the one that takes your child's pain away for good.

    We can only imagine how UK mom Elouise Davis felt when she found out her 10-month-old son, Jacob, was the perfect bone marrow match for his 2-year-old sister, Seren-Rose. The little girl suffered from a rare disease called mucopolysaccaridosis, or MPS, which causes developmental delays and can lead to death. Elouise was faced with a harrowing choice: risk her baby's health in order to save her older child, or hope for the best and take a chance by not taking chances.

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    Every mom knows there are a bevy of reasons her little one might be crying -- from hunger to teething or tiredness. But just like grown-ups, babies may get fussy thanks to an annoying, uncomfortable ailment: the all-too-prevalent stomachache. "Breastfeeding mothers will want to see if there is something they are eating in their diet that could be upsetting the baby," says pediatrician and certified lactation educator Christine Wood, M.D. "Common things can include milk and dairy products, and spicy foods." However, gastrointestinal upset may also occur as the result of another wellness woe, such as colic or indigestion.

    Here, 5 causes of babies' upset tummies and the best tricks for addressing each.

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    The summer my daughter was born was a hot one. As I sweated buckets and downed gallons of Poland Spring to stay hydrated, I couldn't help but look quizzically at my infant and wonder: Does a breastfeeding baby need to drink water, too? At the time, my daughter was nursing exclusively, but that just didn't seem sufficient in this sweltering heat. Was she slowly dying of dehydration? After all, don't all living things need water?

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    Moms have heard countless recommendations related to infant sleeping risks, but new studies keep coming out warning parents again and again. The latest, which looked at 8,207 cases of infant deaths during sleep and was published in Pediatrics, concluded that even when parents take steps to remove unsafe items from their bed, bed-sharing -- also referred to as co-sleeping or sleep-sharing -- remains a risk factor for SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant deaths (such as accidental suffocation and strangulation). In fact, 69 percent of all deaths occurred while infants were bed-sharing.

    The lead author of the study, Jeffrey Colvin, a pediatrician at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri, tells USA Today that so many of the deaths in the study were "in the context of bed sharing" and "there were no other objects in the bed that would have made an additional risk." In other words, he says that it's "impossible" to make co-sleeping safe.

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    Amanda and Peter Grab have taken to throwing monthly birthday parties for their baby. No, they're not spoiling their 5-month-old. Or maybe they are, but it's only because they never know when it will be their last chance. Kinsley Grace Grab was born with spinal muscular atrophy or SMA.

    Doctors can't tell her parents if the baby girl with bright blue eyes and a tuft of blond hair will live for months, for weeks, for days. SMA is fatal. There is no cure.

    And as Amanda told The Stir, "Nobody thinks it can happen to you, but it CAN," she said. "It happened to us."

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    With the summer sun out in full force, moms are quicker than ever to coat their little ones in sunblock in an effort to protect their delicate skin. But unnervingly, sunblock itself could burn kids. A mom in Alabama named Amber Reece says her daughter Sydney experienced this firsthand.

    Reece told WHNT News 19 that back on Mother's Day, she applied Banana Boat SPF 50 stick sunscreen to her 11-month-old daughter's face, under her eyes, and across her nose. Just minutes later, the little girl's skin started to turn red, Reece says. 

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    From bacteria or heavy metals in our food when we're pregnant to bisphenol-A (BPA) and other hormone disruptors in baby bottles, moms may feel like they're constantly ducking and hiding from worrisome toxins. Now, there's controversial new buzz about fluoride that may perk up some parents' ears.

    A retired chemistry professor named Paul Connett, co-author of the book The Case Against Fluoride, is speaking out about eliminating fluoride from municipal water supplies. He recently published a list of reasons why he believes water fluoridation must be stopped ...

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