Your Baby

Can Babies Learn Nursery Rhymes in Utero?

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Can a fetus learn from experience before he or she is even born? Absolutely, says an interesting new study.

Researchers from the University of Florida say that they began their study with 32 women who were in the 28th week of pregnancy. They had them repeat the verse of a nursery rhyme, twice daily to their babies, between weeks 29 and 34 of their pregnancy.

Four weeks later, the moms were brought back into the lab to determine whether the rhyme had been learned.

The problem was how to test the fetuses to see if they actually were learning the verse. While tricky to figure out, the scientists came up with a simple solution.  As it turns out studies have shown that a late term fetus’s heart rate will slow down when something familiar is heard.

During the testing, the moms listened to Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” with headphones so they couldn’t hear what was being said. During that time, a stranger recited the same nursery rhyme that the mothers had repeatedly spoken to their babies.

The researchers found that when the babies heard the stranger’s voice recite the nursery rhyme their moms had recited, their heart rate slowed down. But, when they heard the stranger’s voice recite a different rhyme, their heart rate remained the same.

“We were basically asking the fetus, if your mother says this repeatedly, will you remember it?” said the study’s lead author, Charlene Krueger, an associate professor in nursing at the University of Florida. “As a take away message I would want mothers to understand is that their speech is very important to the developing fetus. When a mother speaks, not only does the fetus hear, but also the whole spine vibrates.”

Speech isn’t the only thing that babies absorb while in the womb. Studies have shown that around the 20th week of pregnancy the sensory systems for taste and smell have developed. That allows the baby to experience some of mom’s favorite foods as nutrients pass into the womb.

An earlier study by Dr. Christine Moon, an affiliate associate professor in the department of speech and hearing sciences at the University of Washington and a professor of psychology at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, may show that Kruger’s pre-term research is on the right path.

Moon’s study showed that when healthy one- hour- old infants heard recordings of their mother’s voice, they began to suck faster on a pacifier than babies who heard a recording of a stranger.

Krueger’s study is pushing the envelope as far as when babies actually begin to learn, but the results may suggest that they are capable of acquiring recognition much earlier than originally thought.

While interesting, this type of research is still very much in its infancy.

The study was published in the journal Infant Behavior and Development.

Source: Linda Carroll, http://www.today.com/parents/fetuses-can-learn-nursery-rhymes-moms-voice-study-finds-1D79962083

Your Baby

Recall: Infant Video Monitor Rechargeable Batteries

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In cooperation with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Summer Infant, Inc. announced a voluntary recall to replace certain rechargeable batteries in baby video monitors due to overheating and burn hazards.

The recall involves about 800,000 rechargeable batteries in certain Summer Infant handheld color video monitors. The rechargeable batteries in the monitors are about 1 ½” tall by 2 ¼” wide and are ¼” thick, black, and are marked with TCL on the lower right corner of the battery. 

Monitors are sold with a matching camera and A/C adaptors. The rechargeable battery can only be found in the monitor. Batteries that may be affected will include a letter & number combination in the beginning of the serial number on the back of the battery.

The battery in certain handheld video monitors can overheat and rupture, posing a burn hazard to consumers.

Summer Infant has received 22 reports of overheated batteries and ruptured batteries, including incidents of smoke and minor property damage.

Consumers should stop using this product and remove the battery. You can complete the online form to receive a replacement battery.  The monitor can continue to be used on AC power with power cord.

The product was sold at mass merchants, online retailers and independent juvenile specialty stores from about February 2010 through 2012 for approximately $149-$349.

Consumers can go online at www.summerinfant.com/alerts/batterty-recall to fill out a replacement battery form and for instructions on how to replace the battery. There is also a link where you can view the recalled batteries, battery numbers and the monitors that are affected.

Source: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Summer-Infant-Expands-Recall-to-Replace-Video-Monitor-Rechargeable-Batteries/

Summer Infant battery recall

Your Baby

Co-sleeping Infant Deaths on the Rise

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Some parents prefer the closeness of sleeping with their infant during naps and through the night; often called co-sleeping, bed sharing or family bed. However, the facts support that using a crib is much safer for baby.

Texas, like some other states, is seeing a dramatic rise in infant deaths related to co-sleeping. So far this year in Texas, there have been 164 cases reported, which is on pace to surpass the record of 174 co-sleeping deaths investigated by CPS in 2011.

The state has responded by launching a $100,000 ad campaign to discourage co-sleeping between parents and babies.

“The main message is we want parents to create a safe sleeping environment for their babies,” said Paul Zimmerman, media specialist with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

Children under one year old are at the most risk of dying during co-sleeping according to the DFPS. Of the 164 deaths reported so far in 2014, 160 were under one.

Babies aren’t strong enough to move themselves if they end up face down in a pillow, blanket, arm or chest.  The most common cause of death during co-sleeping is when the parent accidently rolls over on the child.

The DFPS website provides the “ABCs of Infant Sleep.”

  • A - Babies should sleep alone.
  • B - On their backs with no blankets or bedding.
  • C  - In a crib and cool (70 degrees).
  • S  - In a smoke-free environment.

“These are preventable tragedies, and risk can be minimized when parents/caregivers follow some common sense do’s and don’ts,” Zimmerman said.

Other suggestions to help avoid infant suffocation are on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) website. 

  • Place your baby on a firm mattress, covered by a fitted sheet that meets current safety standards. For more about crib safety standards, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Web site at http://www.cpsc.gov.
  • Place the crib in an area that is always smoke - free.
  • Don’t place babies to sleep on adult beds, chairs, sofas, waterbeds, pillows, or cushions.
  • Toys and other soft bedding, including fluffy blankets, comforters, pillows, stuffed animals, bumper pads, and wedges should not be placed in the crib with the baby.
  • Loose bedding, such as sheets and blankets, should not be used as these items can impair the infant’s ability to breathe if they are close to his or her face. Sleep clothing, such as sleepers, sleep sacks, and wearable blankets are better alternatives to blankets.

Co-sleeping advocates say that there are benefits to sharing the bed with an infant such as babies go to sleep quicker and sleep longer. Breastfeeding is easier and mothers are more rested. They often recommend the same safeguards such as a firm mattress and no toys or pillows.

Pediatricians and other childhood health experts, on the other hand, believe that co-sleeping is too risky and that these types of infant deaths are totally avoidable by placing a crib or a bassinette next to the bed instead.

Sources: Blake Ursch, http://lubbockonline.com/health/2014-07-04/texas-launches-campaign-curb-infant-sleeping-deaths#.U8ghVRZUMpE

http://www.healthychildren.org

http://www.dfps.state.tx.us

Your Baby

From Breast to Bottle; An Adventure

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Ah yes, I remember breastfeeding my baby.

As a young and somewhat naïve mother, it was like stepping onto foreign soil. A place I’d never visited before.

For me, the most unexpected part of this ancient ritual was how painful it was at first.  I’d heard about the bonding it would bring, the day and night hours required and how if I ate certain foods before feeding, my baby could end up with a bad bout of gas.

However, no one mentioned that it was going to hurt like crazy until my nipples “toughened up,” (as my doctor was fond of saying) or how my breasts would become milk waterfalls cascading through my blouse while grocery shopping. Eventually, I got the hang of it and it began to feel like a natural extension of being a mom.

When it came time to transition to bottle-feeding, I actually felt a little sad about letting go of what had become a special time with my baby girl. Her fuzzy little head resting against my breast and her curious eyes watching my every expression as she ate.  We had a lot of one-sided conversations with me telling her about my day and her sucking, burping and falling asleep.

Alas though, one cannot breastfeed forever. So I began again with learning how to keep my baby well nourished while trying to figure out how much formula to give her and how to warm a bottle without scalding us both.

I breastfed for about 5 months – give or take a few weeks. Making the changeover left me feeling a little guilty. My little one seemed to really dislike the replacement bottle, so we did it in stages. I also added breast milk to the bottle at first so she would recognize the taste. It was not a smooth transition.

We ultimately came to an agreement that she would drink from the bottle if I would rock her and sing to her and make funny faces. Another caveat was we’d have to do it in short spurts of time – she would refuse-then accept, refuse-accept. I think it was so that she could feel like she had a little control over the whole unsettling situation. Agreed.

Shortly after we started working on the bottle arrangement, my pediatrician suggested that adding small amounts of solid foods to her diet might also be helpful in weaning her off the breasts.

My first response to this perfectly sane idea was... “What real foods? Biscuits and gravy? Scrambled eggs and toast? Shouldn’t I put these foods in a blender or something? I don’t think she can eat them straight-up.”

“Uh, no” she responded calmly. “Let’s start with a small amount of baby cereal.”

And so, a new tradition began. Here’s how it went.

Make a little baby cereal. Put it on a tiny little spoon and attempt to delicately get it in her tightly shut mouth.

Taste the baby cereal (to make sure it is not too hot, not too cold.)

Stir cereal and try again to get the itty-bitty spoon into her itty-bitty securely shut mouth.

Lead by example.

“Watch mommy. This is really good cereal. Mmmm – I think this is the best cereal I’ve ever eaten.” Actually it’s not bad.

Stick finger in cereal and rub on baby’s squeezed tight-as-a drum, never to be opened mouth.

Switch to a much larger spoon and start scooping.

“You’re missing out on some amazing cereal, sweetie. Yum, yum, yum.”

Repeat as necessary.

“Oh look… it’s all gone. Good job!”

It took awhile to finally make the switch from breast to bottle. It was quite an experience for both of us. Two important goals were eventually accomplished; my sweet baby survived and flourished and my breasts’ finally quit hurting.

If you’re breastfeeding, someday you’ll introduce a bottle, sippy-cup or spoon to your child. Expect a battle, it’s ok. Keep a grip on patience and humor. You’ll need them both.

Warm compresses can ease the discomfort of sore breasts and gradually nursing or pumping less will signal your body to stop producing copious amounts of milk.

I’d recommend keeping a small towel in your purse (speaking from experience.) You might also want to stash an extra shirt in the car – and a bra -just sayin.

And you know what? You can ask for help. Have daddy or grandparents, other family members or good friends hold the bottle and make funny faces. Sometimes it actually helps to have someone without your familiar breasts, smell and voice take part in introducing the bottle to your baby.

Every mother who has breastfed has her own stories to tell when it came time to wean her infant. You’ll have yours and most likely you’ll smile and say softly – Ah yes, I remember breastfeeding (and baby cereal). 

Your Baby

Baby’s Delicate Skin

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A baby’s skin is delicate and prone to a variety of irritations. 

Probably the most common skin problem babies suffer from is diaper rash. Most rashes occur because either the diaper is too tight or wet for too long. Some babies are more sensitive to a particular brand of diapers. If you’re changing your baby’s diaper quickly after it’s wet and using a mild detergent, try another brand of diapers and see if that helps. Treat diaper rash by keeping the diaper area open to the air as long as possible, changing diapers as soon as they are wet, wash the area with a clean warm cloth and apply zinc oxide cream.

Another skin problem is often referred to as “baby acne”. It’s not really acne that teens and adults get, but looks similar. Tiny pus filled spots on the baby’s nose and cheeks may be more related to yeast than oil production. These tiny pimples usually clear up within a few weeks by themselves so there’s no need to apply lotions.

Eczema is an itchy, red rash that may or may not occur in response to a trigger. Children who come from families with a history of asthma, allergies or atopic dermatitis often will have eczema as a baby. Eczema may occur on baby's face as a weepy rash. Over time it becomes thick, dry, and scaly. You may also see eczema on the elbow, chest, arms, or behind the knees. To treat it, identify and avoid any triggers. Use gentle soaps and detergents and apply moderate amounts of moisturizers. More severe eczema should be treated with prescription.

Sometimes parents will notice that their newborn’s skin is peeling or very dry. Not to worry, this often happens when babies are born a little later than their due date. The underlying skin is healthy, soft and moist. If your baby’s dry skin persists, you should have your pediatrician take a look.

Sweating because a baby is overheated can cause prickly heat rash. It usually appears on the neck, diaper area, armpits, and skin folds. A cool, dry environment and loose-fitting clothes are all you need to treat prickly heat rash -- which can even be brought on in winter when baby is over-bundled.

Yeast infections often appear after your baby has had a round of antibiotics, and show up differently depending on where they are on your baby's skin. Thrush appears on the tongue and mouth, and looks like dried milk, while a yeast diaper rash is bright red, often with small red pimples at the rash edges. Talk to your pediatrician: Thrush is treated with an anti-yeast liquid medicine, while an anti-fungal cream is used for a yeast diaper rash.

Sunburn is a painful reminder that baby’s skin needs extra protection under the piercing rays of the sun.  You can use baby sunscreen on infants at any age. Hats and umbrellas are also good for babies. But for the best protection from sunburn, keep your infant out of direct sunlight during the first six months of life. For severe sunburn, take your infant to the pediatrician or hospital for treatment.

Instead of soothing or protecting a baby’s skin, some baby skin products can actually be the cause of skin irritation. Avoid products that contain dyes, fragrances, phthalates and parabens.

Most baby skin rashes and problems aren't serious, but a few may be signs of infection -- and need close attention. If baby's skin has small, red-purplish dots, if there are yellow fluid-filled bumps (pustules), or if baby has a fever or lethargy, see your pediatrician for medical treatment right away.

Source: Hansa D. Bhargava, MD http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/ss/slideshow-baby-skin-care

Your Baby

Evenflo Recalls 1.3 Million Child Seat Buckles

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Evenflo Company Inc. is voluntarily recalling 1.3 million convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats due to the risk that during an emergency a child may not be able to be removed quickly.

The buckles on the car seats and booster seats may become stuck in the locked position. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the buckles used in the recall models were manufactured between 2011 and 2014.

Evenflo’s website states that “These select models use a harness crotch buckle which may become resistant to unlatching over time, due to exposure to various contaminants (like food and drinks) that are present in everyday use of the convertible car seat or harnessed booster by toddlers. This condition may make it difficult to remove a child from the vehicle. There is no such risk if the buckle is functioning normally. These convertible car seats and harnessed boosters meet all requirements for crashworthiness under the federal FMVSS 213 safety standard and can continue to be used to transport your child safely, if you are not experiencing difficulty unlatching the buckle. Importantly, Evenflo has received no reports of injuries to children in connection with the use of this buckle on the seats that are subject to this recall.”

The recall models include:  

  • Momentum – Model number prefix- 385
  • Chase - Model number prefix- 306, 329
  • Maestro – Model number prefix- 310
  • Symphony - Model number prefix-345, 346
  • Snugli All in One - Model number prefix- 345, 346
  • Titan - Model number prefix- 371
  • SureRide - Model number prefix- 371
  • Secure Kid & Snugli Booster - Model number prefix- 308

Evenflo is providing consumers a remedy kit, free-of-charge that includes a replacement buckle and instructions for installing the new buckle. The remedy kit is available by placing an order with Evenflo on their website at www.buckle.evenflo.com, or calling 1-800-490-7591.

Evenflo requests that consumers not return the convertible car seats or harnessed boosters to retailers.

The website also contains a link for instructions on cleaning the buckles.

The NHTSA is also investigating the safety of Evenflo’s rear-facing infant seats.

Source: http://www.mbtmag.com/news/2014/04/evenflo-recalling-13m-child-seat-buckles

http://safety.evenflo.com/cs/sc/cssc99_RD.phtml?rid=EFR36&src=WEB

Your Baby

Recall: 600,000 Angelcare Baby Monitors After Two Deaths

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Angelcare Monitors Inc.®, of Quebec, Canada, is announcing a voluntary recall to provide cord covers for 600,000 Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitors with Sensor Pads. The cord attached to the baby monitor’s sensor pad is placed under the crib mattress, which poses a strangulation risk if the child pulls the cord into the crib and it becomes wrapped around the neck. 

Angelcare and CPSC have received reports of two infant cord strangulation deaths. In November 2011, a 13-month-old female died in San Diego, California, and, in August 2004, an 8-month-old female died in Salem, Oregon.  In both fatalities, the infant pulled the cord from the sensor pads, into the crib. In addition, there have been two reports of infants who became entangled in cords of Angelcare baby monitor models, which did not result in fatalities. In these incidents, it could not be determined if the “sensor pad cord” or the “monitor cord” was involved in the incident. 

The recall involves the Movement and Sound Monitor manufactured by Angelcare. This design of baby monitor includes a unique sensor pad placed inside the crib, under the mattress, to monitor movement of the baby.  An electrical cord about 11 feet long is permanently connected from the sensor pad to the nursery monitor unit. A cord within reach of a baby inside the crib creates the hazard. The cord can be pulled into the crib and can wrap around the child’s neck. The recall involves ALL versions of Angelcare sensor monitors including model numbers that did not include rigid cord covers offered in the remedy, such as:

  • AC1100
  • AC201
  • AC300
  • AC401
  • AC601
  • 49255

To find the model number, look on the back of the nursery monitor unit. The monitors were manufactured between 1999 and 2013. 

Angelcare is providing consumers with a repair kit that includes rigid protective cord covers through which the sensor pad cords can be threaded, a new, permanent electric cord-warning label about the strangulation risk, and revised instructions. 

The recalled baby monitors were sold at Babies R Us/Toys R Us, Burlington Coat Factory, Meijer, Sears, Walmart, Amazon.com, Target.com, Overstock.com, and nearly 70 small baby specialty stores, from October 1999 through September 2013 for about $100to $300. 

Consumers should immediately make sure cords are placed out of reach of the child and contact Angelcare toll-free at (855) 355-2643 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at www.angelcarebaby.com to order the free repair kit.

Source: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Angelcare-Recalls-to-Repair-Movement-and-Sound-Baby-Monitors-After-Two-Deaths/

 Angelcare Movement and Sound Baby Monitor

A hand holds the cord that can be pulled into the crib.

Your Baby

Kids II Recalls Baby Einstein Activity Jumpers

1.45 to read

Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumpers are being recalled due to impact hazard, the sun toy can snap.

About 400,000 units in the U.S. have been sold and 8,500 in Canada.

Description: This recall includes Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumpers with model number 90564. The model number can be found on a tag attached to the underside of the seat. These stationary activity centers have a support seat covered in blue fabric attached to a large white metal frame and include a variety of brightly colored toys surrounding the seat. The yellow sun toy is attached to the seat frame on a flexible stalk with either three or five brightly colored rings. A date code is located in the lower right corner of the sewn in label on the back of the blue seat pad. The following date codes, indicating a manufacture date prior to November 2011, are included in the recall: OD0, OE0, OF0, OG0, OH0, OI0, OJ0, OK0, OL0, OA1, OB1, OC1, OD1, OE1, OF1, OG1, OH1, OI1, OJ1 and OK1.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received 100 reports of incidents including 61 injuries. Reported injuries include bruises, lacerations to the face, a 7-month-old boy who sustained a lineal skull fracture and a chipped tooth to an adult.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the product and contact Kids II for a replacement toy attachment.

Sold at: Target, Toys R Us and other retails stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com between May 2010 and May 2013 for about $90.

Importer: Kids II Inc., of Atlanta, Ga.

For more information on this recall you can go to; http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2013/Kids-II-Recalls-Baby-Einstein-Activity-Jumpers or

Consumer Contact: Kids II toll-free at (877) 325-7056 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.kidsii.com, then click on the Recall link at the bottom of the page for more information.

Kids II Recalls Baby Einstein Activity Jumpers

Your Baby

Oeuf Recalls 14,000 Sparrow Baby Cribs

1:45 to read

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recalling 14,000 Oeuf Sparrow cribs.  The slats/spindles and top rail can detach from the cribs and pose an entrapment hazard to a child.

The recall includes four models of Oeuf Sparrow cribs. The cribs were sold in the colors birch, grey, walnut and white.

The recalled cribs were manufactured between July 2007 and January 2014 and have one of the following model numbers:

  • 1SPCR
  • 2SPCR
  • 4SPCR
  • 5SPCR

The manufacture date, in the MM-YYYY format, and the model number are located on the warning label attached to the crib's mattress support.

Oeuf received four reports of the slats/spindles and the top rail detaching from the crib. No injuries were reported.

As with all recalled products, consumers should immediately stop using the cribs and contact Oeuf to receive a free repair kit.

Information on obtaining a repair kit and instructions are available on the Oeuf website at www.oeufnyc.com, and also by calling the Oeuf toll-free number at (844) 653-8527 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

The cribs were sold at independent juvenile specialty stores nationwide and online for about $800.

Source:http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Oeuf-Recalls-to-Repair-Cribs/#remedy

Sparrow crib recall

Sparrow crib model number

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DR SUE'S DAILY DOSE

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