Your Baby

FDA Finds Traces of Melamine in U.S. Formula

Traces of the industrial chemical melamine have been detected in samples of top-selling U.S. infant formula, but federal regulators insist the products are safe. "The levels that we are detecting are extremely low," said Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. "They should not be changing the diet. If they've been feeding a particular product, they should continue to feed that product. That's in the best interest of the your-baby."

The Food and Drug Administration said last month it was unable to identify any melamine exposure level as safe for infants, but a top official said it would be a "dangerous overreaction" for parents to stop feeding infant formula to babies who depend on it. Melamine is a chemical that has been found recently in Chinese infant formula, although in much larger concentrations. It has been blamed for killing at least 3 infants in China and causing at least 50,000 other children sick. Melamine is used in some U.S. plastic food packaging. It can sometimes rub off onto what we eat. The Associated Press obtained previously undisclosed tests under the Freedom of Information Act. Those tests show the FDA had detected melamine in a sample of one popular formula and the presence of cyanuric acid, which is a chemical relative of melamine in the formula of a second manufacturer. A third large formula maker told The Associated Press that in-house tests had detected melamine in its infant formula. Those three companies, Abbott Laboratories, Nestle and Mead Johnson, make more than 90 percent of all infant formula produced in the United States. The FDA and other experts said the melamine contamination in U.S.-made formula had occurred during the manufacturing process, rather than intentionally.

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

Kids II Recalls Baby Einstein Activity Jumpers

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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

223,000 Peg Perego Strollers Recalled

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Peg Perego USA Inc., of Fort Wayne, Ind., is announcing a voluntary recall of about 223,000 strollers due to a risk of entrapment and strangulation.

A 6-month-old baby boy from Tarzana, Calif. died of strangulation after his head was trapped between the seat and the tray of his Peg Perego stroller in 2004. Another baby, a 7-month-old girl from New York, N.Y., nearly strangled when her head became trapped between the seat and the tray of her stroller in 2006.

Entrapment and strangulation can occur, especially to infants younger than 12 months of age, when a child is not harnessed. An infant can pass through the opening between the stroller tray and seat bottom, but his/her head and neck can become entrapped by the tray. Infants who become entrapped at the neck are at risk of strangulation.

The recall involves two different older versions of the Peg Perego strollers, Venezia and Pliko-P3, manufactured between January 2004 and September 2007, in a variety of colors. They were manufactured prior to the existence of the January 2008 voluntary industry standard which addresses the height of the opening between the stroller's tray and the seat bottom. The voluntary standard requires larger stroller openings that prevent infant entrapment and strangulation hazards.

Only strollers that have a child tray with one cup holder are part of this recall. Strollers with a bumper bar in front of the child or a tray with two cup holders are not included in this recall.

The following Venezia and Pliko-P3 stroller model numbers that begin with the following numbers are included in this recall. The model number is printed on a white label on the back of the Pliko P-3's stroller seat and on the Venezia stroller's footboard.

Pliko-P3 Stroller Model Numbers: IPFR28US3, IPFT28NA63, IPFT28NA64, IPP328MU10, IPP328MU09, IPP328US09, IPP328US10, IPP329US10, IPPA28US32, IPPA28US33, IPPA28US34, IPPD28NA34, IPPF28NA32, IPPF28NA57, IPPF28NA65, IPPF28NA66, IPPF28NA67, IPPF28NA68, IPPO28US32, IPPO28US34, IPPO28US62, IPPO28US69, IPPO28US70, IPPO28US71

Venezia Stroller Model Numbers: IPVA13MU09, IPVA13MU10, IPVA13US09, IPVA13US10, IPVA13US32, IPVA13US34, IPVC13NA32, IPVC13NA34

"Peg Perego" and "Venezia" or "Pliko-P3" are printed on the side of the strollers.

The strollers were sold at various retailers nationwide, including Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby from January 2004 through September 2010 for between $270 and $330 for the Pliko P-3 stroller and between $350 and $450 for the Venezia stroller. They were manufactured in Italy.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers and contact the firm for a free repair kit. Do not return the stroller to the retailers as they will not be able to provide the repair kit.

For additional information, call Peg Perego at (888) 734-6020 anytime or visit the firm's website at www.PegPeregoUSA.com

CPSC and Peg Perego warn consumers that these strollers may be available on the secondhand market, in thrift stores or at yard sales. Consumers should not buy or sell these recalled strollers until the repair kit is installed.

NOTE: When using a stroller, parents and caregivers are encouraged to always secure children by using the safety harness and never leave them unattended. To learn more about the importance of stroller safety, see CPSC's safety alert: www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5096.pdf

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12232.html

Your Baby

Pampers® Pacifiers, Bed-Side Sleepers Recalled

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"Pampers ® Natural Stages Pacifier" and “Infant Bed-Side Sleepers” by Arm’s Reach Concepts are being recalled by the CPSC due to choking hazards from the pacifier, and entrapment and fall hazards from the sleepers. Parents are urged to stop using both of these products at once. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued two new recalls for products affecting infants.

The first recalled product is “Infant Bed-Side Sleepers” by Arm’s Reach Concepts. About 76,000 Bed-Side Sleepers have been sold. When the fabric liner is not used or is not securely attached, infants can fall from the raised mattress into the loose fabric at the bottom of the bed-side sleeper or can become entrapped between the edge of the mattress and the side of the sleeper, posing risks of suffocation. CPSC and Arm's Reach have received 10 reports of infants falling from the raised mattress into the bottom of the sleeper or becoming entrapped between the edge of the mattress and the side of the bed-side sleeper. No injuries have been reported. This recall involves a product called a "co-sleeper" by the manufacturer. One side of the bed-side sleepers is lower than the others to allow positioning near a bed and access to the infant for care and feeding. This recall includes all Arm's Reach Original and Universal styles with manufacture dates between September 1997 and December 2001. The manufacture date and model number can be found on a sticker on one of the product's legs. Model numbers included in the recall begin with: Originals - 8108, 8133, 8111, 8112 & 8199  - Universal – 8311 The Bed-Side Sleepers were sold at Burlington Coat Factory, Babies R Us and other retail stores nationwide from September 1997 through December 2001 for about $160. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled bed-side sleepers and visit www.armsreach.com/instructions to view and download assembly instructions and to make sure that the product is properly configured. Consumers should also contact the company by phone or via the company website to receive hard-copy instructions by mail and an assembly/warning label. Consumers who are missing the fabric liner or other components should immediately contact Arm's Reach for an alternative remedy. The next recall is Pampers(r) Natural Stages Infant Ortho and Bulb Pacifiers. The “Pampers Natural Stages Pacifiers” are being recalled due to possible choking hazards.  About 29,000 of the pacifiers were sold at retail stores nationwide from April 2010 through February 2011 for about $6.00. The pacifiers are made in China and distributed through Key Baby LLC, and fail to meet federal safety standards. Consumers should immediately take the recalled pacifiers away from infants and contact Key Baby for instructions on returning the product for a full refund or $10 coupon toward the purchase of any Pampers(r) Natural Stages products. For additional information, contact Key Baby toll-free at (800) 447-1224 anytime, or visit the company's web site at www.key-baby.com Arm's Reach Bed-Side SleeperPampers Natural Stage Pacifiers

Your Baby

Small Birth Size Linked to Sleep Problems Later

Children who were born at a relatively small size may be more likely than their peers to have sleep difficulties, a new study suggests. The study, which appears in the journal Sleep, included 289 8-year-olds born healthy and full-term. It found that the lower the children's weight and length at birth, the greater their odds of having poor sleep or sleep disturbances such as sleep-related breathing problems or nightmares.

What's more, mothers' prenatal drinking -- a habit that can impair fetal growth and development -- was linked to a greater risk of childhood sleep problems. The researchers report it is possible that in some children, smaller birth size is a marker of alterations in nervous system development, which might affect the body's sleep regulation later in life. "We showed that even within children born healthy and at-term gestation, smaller body size at birth increases the risk for poor sleep," said lead researcher Dr. Anu-Katriina Pesonen, of the University of Helsinki in Finland. That does not mean, however, that every child born at a relatively small size is destined for sleep difficulties. For one, birth size is partially determined by genetics, and Pesonen said it's possible that the current findings do not pertain to newborns who are simply naturally on the smaller size. On the other hand, she said, factors that can impair normal fetal growth -- which, besides prenatal drinking, include prenatal smoking and high chronic stress levels -- may help set the stage for sleep problems later on. For their study, Pesonen and her colleagues had each child wear an actigraph -- a watch-like device that measures sleep and activity patterns -- for one week. Their parents also completed a standard questionnaire on childhood sleep disturbances. In general, the researchers found, the smaller a child was at birth, the greater the likelihood of sleep disturbances or low sleep efficiency. Sleep efficiency refers to a person's ability to fall asleep and stay asleep once the head hits the pillow. In this study, 26 children had low sleep efficiency -- spending roughly three-quarters or less of their time in bed actually asleep. The researchers also found an association between sleep problems and mothers' prenatal drinking, even at relatively moderate levels. Among children whose mothers had consumed more than one drink per week during pregnancy, the risks of short sleep duration -- less than 7.5 hours per night -- and low sleep efficiency were about three times higher compared with other children. Prenatal smoking was not linked to sleep problems. However, Pesonen's team notes, this could be because few mothers in the study said they had smoked during pregnancy, limiting the study's ability to find an association. For now, the researchers conclude, the findings suggest that even moderate levels of drinking during pregnancy, and birth size variations within the normal range, may affect children's sleep later on.

Your Baby

Walmart Recalls Baby Dolls Due to Burn Hazards

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Twelve children have suffered incidents, including two reports of burns or blisters from “The My Sweet Love” and “My Sweet Baby” dolls sold nationwide at Walmart stores and online.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Walmart is now recalling these dolls. Consumers should immediately take the dolls from children, remove the batteries and return the doll to any Walmart store for a full refund.

The circuit in the chest of the doll can overheat, causing the surface of the doll to get hot, posing a burn hazard to the consumer.

The My Sweet Love / My Sweet Baby electronic baby doll comes in pink floral clothing and matching knit hat. The 16-inch doll is packaged with a toy medical check-up kit including a stethoscope, feeding spoon, thermometer and syringe. The doll’s electronics cause her to babble when she gets “sick,” her cheeks turn red and she starts coughing. Using the medical kit pieces cause the symptoms to stop. “My Sweet Baby” is printed on the front of the clear plastic and cardboard packaging.

The doll is identified by UPC 6-04576-16800-5 and a date code that begins with WM. The date code is printed on the stuffed article label sewn into the bottom of the doll.

Walmart has received 12 reports of incidents, including two reports of burns or blisters to the thumb.

About 174,000 dolls are being recalled and were sold from August 2012 through March 2014 for $20.00.

Consumers can contact Walmart Stores at (800) 925-6278 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT on Saturday, and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT on Sunday, or online at www.walmart.com and click on Product Recalls for more information.

Source: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Wal-Mart-Recalls-Dolls/#remedy

Walmart Doll Recall

Your Baby

40% of Parents Start Baby on Solid Foods Too Early

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When should babies be introduced to solid foods? Many physician groups and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend waiting till your infant is at least 6 months old before solid foods are introduced into his or her diet.

But a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that 4 in 10 parents start feeding their babies solid foods before their four-month birthday.

Why should parents wait? According to the AAP, it’s partly because early solid foods have been linked to obesity and other chronic conditions. Public health experts also agree that a mother’s breast milk or nutritionally fortified formula is best fed exclusively till the baby is about 6 months old.

"Introducing solid foods early means that the baby gets less breast milk over the course of their infancy, and that decreases the ability to get optimal benefits, like protection against infection," said Dr. Alice Kuo, from the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities.

Choking on solid foods is another concern experts have noted.

"Infants should be able to sit up (and) take food off the spoon," said the CDC's Kelley Scanlon, who worked on the research." Sometimes if they're not ready, if they get presented with the food, they might not open their mouth… or they might spit it back up."

The team’s research included 1,334 new moms who filled out questionnaires each month about what their baby had eaten in the past week. The surveys were conducted between 2005 and 2007, when AAP recommendations called for starting solid foods no earlier than four months of age. Just over 40 percent of parents reported their babies were eating solids, such as cereals and purees, before that point.

Why were the mothers feeding solid foods so early? They gave several answers. They thought their baby was old enough, their infant seemed hungry – even after being breastfed or given a bottle, and surprisingly many reported that their doctor or nurse had recommended they start introducing solid foods.

"There's not clear communication of the recommendations or the potential health impacts of early introduction," Scanlon told Reuters Health.

9% said they had actually introduced baby solid food before their child was one-month old according to findings published in the journal Pediatrics.

Women who reported exclusive breastfeeding during their baby's first couple of months were less likely to introduce solid foods earlier than recommended compared to formula-feeding mothers, the CDC researchers found.

Mayoclinic.com says that between 4 and 6 months old, babies begin to develop the coordination needed to close their lips around a spoon as well as move solid foods from the back of the their mouths for swallowing.

Starting solid food too early can:

- Pose a risk of aspiration — or sucking food into the airway — since most babies don't have the oral motor skills to safely swallow foods before age 4 months.

- Cause a baby to get too much or not enough calories or nutrients.

- Increase a baby's risk of obesity.

Kuo said the new findings are further evidence that pediatricians should tailor their messages about breastfeeding and solid foods to each particular parent and child - rather than always giving "the same spiel" about introducing solids at the four-month visit.

"The decision to start solid foods in babies has to be a compromise between what makes sense for the baby and what makes sense for the mom, who most likely is working," she said.

And what about the old wives tale of feeding a little solid food at night will help baby sleep better? Research has shown that it doesn't.

Genevra Pittman, http://news.yahoo.com/many-parents-introduce-solids-4-months-cdc-195553198.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/starting-solids/AN02145

Your Baby

Mother’s Migraines linked to Colic in Babies

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No one knows for sure why babies get colic. Colicky babies cry non-stop and don’t respond to being comforted. It can push a new parent over the edge and even the most experienced parent, who has to watch their baby cry in pain, can be moved to tears themselves.

A new study from the University of California, San Francisco suggests that mothers who suffer migraine headaches are more than twice as likely to have babies with colic than mothers without a history of migraines.

The study raises the question - are the two linked? It’s an important question because excessive crying is one of the most common triggers for shaken baby syndrome, which can cause death, brain damage and severe disability, the researchers said.

"If we can understand what is making the babies cry, we may be able to protect them from this very dangerous outcome," said Amy Gelfand, MD, a child neurologist with the Headache Center at UCSF who will present the findings in April at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th annual meeting.

Colic in healthy babies has long been associated with gastrointestinal problems. But, after 50 years of studies no defining link has been established. Babies who are fed solely breast milk are as likely to have colic as those fed formula, and giving colicky babies medication for gas does not help.

In the UCSF study, Gelfand and her colleagues surveyed 154 new mothers bringing their infants to the pediatrician for routine checkups at two months, the age when colicky crying typically peaks. The mothers were surveyed about their babies' crying patterns and their own history of migraine, and those responses were analyzed to make sure the reported crying fit the clinical definition of colic.

Mothers who suffered migraines were found to be 2 1/2 times as likely to have colicky babies. Overall, 29% of infants whose mothers had migraines had colic compared to 11% of babies whose mothers did not have migraines.

The researchers believe that colic may be an early manifestation of symptoms known as childhood periodic syndrome. These symptoms could be a precursor to migraine headaches later in life. Babies with colic may be more sensitive to a stimulated environment; much like migraine sufferers are affected by light and loud sounds.

The UCSF researchers’ plan to study a group of colicky babies over the course of their childhood to see if they develop other childhood periodic syndromes, such as abdominal migraine.

If you believe your baby has colic, check with your pediatrician. There are comfort strategies that have helped some babies respond positively.

Source: http://news.nurse.com/article/20120220/NATIONAL02/102270023

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