June 29, 2016

Big Bottles Mean Fat Babies, Experts Say

A new study conducted by experts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that babies who drink from large bottles are more likely to become overweight by 6 months, in contrast to babies who drink from smaller bottles.


Researchers started tracking the weight of infants aged two months, based on the size of their feeding bottles. The feeding bottles ranged from 2 ounces to 10 ounces. From the data they have gathered, the researchers suggested that infants who were fed using big bottles gained at least a half-pound weight by six months.


“Every baby is different, but we know that a two-month-old infant will generally take four ounces per feed,” said Dr. Charles Wood, lead researcher. “Larger bottles may mean parents are more likely to overfeed their infants, contributing to more weight gain."


The study focused on 386 formula-fed infants from different backgrounds. According to the NY Post, 35 per cent were Hispanic, 41 per cent were Black and 23 per cent were white.


According to their research, babies who used big bottles started at 7.1 pounds when they were born. By the time they were two months, they weighed 11.7 pounds and then 17.6 pounds by six months.


Meanwhile, those who used smaller bottles weighed 11.2 pounds at two months and 17.2 by six months.


Meanwhile, in 2010, Professor Atul Singhal from the MRC Childhood Nutrition Research Centre at the Institute of Child Health in London said that 20 per cent of babies who were bottle-fed are more likely to become obese when they grow old.


“The danger, according to Singhal, is that they will be offered more than they need, building up an appetite for the future,” The Guardian reported.


"When they are exposed to high-protein, high-fat foods, they are more likely to become obese," said Dr. Singhal.

June 16, 2016

Experts Reveal How Much Sleep Babies Need By Age


Babies sleeping patterns are often unpredictable. Sometimes their waking hours shift and you have no choice but to move your schedule around to fit theirs. This is why most adults with babies and young children have poor sleep, which is one of the biggest contributing factors to life-threatening diseases like obesity and heart disease.

But this problem isn’t exclusively an adult problem. With the intrusion of tablets and smartphones, even kids these days lack sleep, too.

As a result, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine have recommended a set of sleeping hours based on age, TIME reports. Based on 864 studies tracking children’s sleeping patterns, they found that children who slept less had behavioral problems as well as learning deficiencies. Based on the studies, here are the recommended number of hours for children, according to their ages:

For babies:

                4 to 12 months – 12 to 16 hours

For children:

                1 to 2 years – 11 to 14 hours

                3 to 5 years – 10 to 13 hours

                6 to 12 years – 9 to 12 hours

Teens – 8 to 10 hours

Some of the negative effects of sleep deprivation are explosive tantrums, mood swings, difficulty focusing and concentrating, hyperactivity, clumsiness and others.

June 09, 2016

How To Keep Your Baby From Developing A Sweet Tooth

Most of the time, risks in becoming an obese adult starts with the eating habits people develop during their toddler years. In this case, parents have the responsibility in making sure their children do not grow up to become obese. One of the toughest things to do is to discipline your baby – including drawing the line when they have had enough sweets.

 According to experts, developing a sweet tooth develops in childhood. During these years, children and toddlers’ taste buds are introduced to different, distinct tastes. It could be quite an exciting time for them but on the other hand, it could be the years when bad eating habits begin. So how can parents keep their babies form developing a sweet tooth?

 Dr. Tanya Altmann, a pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, had offers advice for parents.

 "Avoid juice and other sweet-tasting beverages," Altmann told ABC News. "Get her used to the taste of plain water at this age. Keep giving her sips of plain water and she'll grow up to love the taste of plain water."

 In Altmann’s book entitled “What To Feed Your Baby,” she also offers tips on how to develop the best eating habits for children and infants, as well as research data on food allergies.

 Altmann added that it takes at least 10 times for babies to get used to certain foods, so when they refuse to eat the healthy stuff, it’s best not to give up right away.

 "Throw veggies in to make smoothies, you can make cute shapes out of fruit and you can steam and cut veggies into tiny pieces to dip into hummus and other healthy items,” she said.


June 02, 2016

Having A Baby Makes You Smarter, Neuro Says

Despite what they call the “Mommy Brain” or the state of mental fogginess most moms go through a few months after giving birth, an expert says that that having babies make parents smarter.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Pilyoung Kim, director of the Family & Child Neuroscience Lab at the University of Denver said that mothers’ brains adapt to become better at remembering things after giving birth.

“If we borrow from animal research, we can extrapolate there is evidence to suggest that multiple pregnancies enhance memory,” said Dr. Kim, adding that in previous studies, rodents showed an increased hippocampus function multiple times, which resulted to better memories in finding food. “For them, sourcing food is critical to raising their babies.”

Hippocampus is a small part of the brain that regulates emotion and plays a vital role in long-term memory and spatial navigation.

On top of that, new fathers have shown a significant increase in brain activity during the first few months after their baby’s birth, particularly in the striatum or the parental-instinct part of the brain. However, the increase were fewer compared to that of the mothers’, possibly because fathers spent less time with their babies.

May 26, 2016

3 Breastfeeding Tips From A Lactation Expert

Breastfeeding is a part of the whole experience of being a mother. Aside from feeding purposes, the act of feeding your baby through a delicate part of your body reinforces the bond between mother and child.

Several studies have previously confirmed that breastfeeding results to a better emotional connection between a mother and her infant and fortifies the baby against various diseases. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 76.5 percent of American moms breastfeed their babies.

In a report by Romper, Lactation expert, Leigh Anne O’Connor gave a few breastfeeding tips that first-time and (non-first timers) mothers need. Here are a few of those tips:

  1. Make Sure Your Baby’s Mouth Is Wide Open

One of the challenges of breastfeeding is sore nipples. But this is only due to a wrong latch-on. According to O’Connor, making sure that the baby’s mouth is wide open prevents soreness and chapped nipples.

  1. Find A Comfortable Position

Sometimes, traditional breastfeeding positions don’t always work and end up hurting either mothers or babies. This is why mothers shouldn’t always rely on the traditional practices of breastfeeding especially if it feels uncomfortable. "I honestly think there is too much emphasis on trying to master a specific position with a specific name," O’Connor told Romper. "The best nursing position for a mom is one where she is comfortable, not hunched over, and her baby is super close. We are all different sizes and shapes, so there is no one size fits all."

  1. Use A Breastfeeding Pillow

Letting your baby hang from your breasts may potentially cause nipple sores, back pains and other physical problems, reason why O’Connor recommended the use of nursing or breastfeeding pillows. "Many moms let babies lay on the breastfeeding pillows and hang from their breast, causing sore nipples," O'Connor said. "The mouth needs to be open very wide for effective and comfortable nursing, and a good latch and position can help you avoid sore and chapped nipples."

May 25, 2016

Drinking Diet Soda During Pregnancy Linked To Overweight Babies


New research says drinking diet soda during pregnancy may cause babies to be overweight by the time they reach the age of 1. About 3,000 Canadian mothers who gave birth to healthy babies from 2009 to 2012 were given questionnaires by JAMA pediatrics researchers during their pregnancies. According to the data shown from the questionnaires, 30 percent of them drank diet sodas and other beverages with artificial sweeteners during their pregnancy.


After monitoring the women’s breastfeeding duration, maternal body mass index, maternal diabetes, the time when solid foods were introduced to their babies and other pertinent factors, researchers have found that those who drank diet soda at least once a day increased the risk of having an overweight baby. The study, however, clarified that the increase in weight was not associated with infant birth weight. It suggested, however, that the effect is post-natal.


“This is an association, not a causal link,” said lead author, Meghan B. Azad, as reported in The New York Times. Azad is an assistant professor at the University of Matinoba. According to him, the study raises the question of whether or not sweeteners found in most fizzy drinks are harmless.


“It’s not time to ban them or tell everyone not to consume them,” Azad said. “-- but there’s no great benefit to consuming these drinks, so there’s no harm in avoiding them.”

May 09, 2016

Tips To Prevent Babies From Throwing Tantrums While Travelling

If you’ve ever travelled with a baby, then you know how much of a challenge it could be. Babies are sensitive to just about anything – noise, light, a change in temperature… the list goes on. This could prove to be very stressful and you may sometimes feel apologetic to people around you. Of course, there should be no shame to this because crying is natural to babies. However, there are a couple of things you can do to minimize the possibility of tantrums during your travels.


  1. Offer a bottle during a plane ride

Ever wonder why babies almost always cry during a flight? This is due to the fact that babies can’t yet deal with the changes in air pressure as the plane takes off. Because of their incapability of neutralizing their ears (by yawning, stretching their jaw or popping their ears), the air pressure could become quite painful. The solution, according to some experts, is to have them suck on a bottle or pacifier during take-off and descent. This could help release the pressure from their ears and relieve them of the pain.


  1. Make them tired before travelling

 Try to play with your baby right before travelling or getting on a plane. Any activity that would use up their energy right before travel time is good so that they are ready to take a nap when it’s time to take off. Plus, when the baby wakes, chances of a crying session would lessen because they feel energized and in a better mood.


  1. Don’t overfeed 

Travelling means a lot of movement: bumps on the road or air pressure during a flight could cause disruption in your baby’s digestive system. While eating may keep the crying at bay, this could also cause for colic, which would then result to long periods of crying. Overfeeding the baby is especially discouraged if you’re getting on an airplane, since the change in air pressure could add up to 20 percent more air in the baby’s stomach.


  1. Distract them with toys

Letting a baby play with toys, stare at colorful books and chewing on teething rings is a good strategy to keep a baby from having a meltdown. Try to make them as comfortable as possible by bringing their favorite objects and entertaining them with the different things they can see during the travel. Be creative – sometimes all a baby needs is a distraction.

Travelling with a baby or a toddler indeed is very challenging but you can also lessen the stress by coming up with different methods to keep tantrums and meltdowns at bay. And don’t worry too much about what fellow travelers will think. Deep down, they know babies just cry whether anyone likes it or not.

April 07, 2016

How To Help Children Adjust To A New Sibling

Bringing a new baby into the house doesn’t just mean new adjustments for you and your partner. This would also mean big changes for the rest of the family – including your other children. Children may react differently to a new baby in the family.

Your toddler might behave strange to the changes, trying to regain your attention by demanding things that and objects that you normally only give to your newborn like asking to drink milk from a bottle or wearing a diaper.

This would add a new challenge for you and your partner. Below are some of the things you can do to help your older child adjust to his/ her new baby sibling.

  1. Acknowledge your child

Ever since your child could remember, he/ she has been the center of your attention. So when the new baby arrives and the spotlight is suddenly away from him/ her, it feels strange and unfamiliar. Instead of scolding him/ her, acknowledge his feelings and opinions. Doing otherwise would make your child feel left out and may cause him/ her to resent the new baby.

  1. Let him/ her be the big brother/ sister

Let your child take on his/ her big brother/ sister role. Allow him to take certain, small responsibilities like fetching diapers or a new set of clothes for the baby. You can also ask your older child to watch over the baby but only within your range of sight. You can also help your child realize his role by reading him stories about being an older sibling.

  1. Bond with them

You have to bond with your older child like you used to before the baby. It can be a few minutes of playing or watching cartoons or reading a story – just the two of you. This will remind them that even with the new baby, they are still special to you.

  1. Let your older child have his/ her own space

Giving your older child his/her own space ensures him/her that he/she is not being edged out of your life. Let him have his own room where he won’t be disturbed and he can do whatever he wants. Sometimes, children cope with the changes of having a new sibling by being distant for a little while. In time, they will come around if you keep trying and assuring them time and again that they still hold a special place in your heart.
March 22, 2016

Stress-Prone Babies

Babies are the best thing in the world. Innocent and gentle, babies have the ability to lighten up the mood and turn a silent home into a happy one. Of course, the chaos is part of having a baby but sometimes, all of that chaos becomes overwhelming, especially if you have a baby that’s prone to stress.


Just like adults, babies can feel a variety of feelings without rational thought or reason. Often, when babies are stressed out, they can cry or throw a tantrum anytime and anywhere, sometimes for hours on end. So what causes stress in babies?


A study conducted at the University of Denver suggests that babies who are prone to stress may have been wired that way from the womb.


Dr. Elysia Davis, lead author of the study, studied the effect of pregnancy women’s stress reactions on the fetus, particularly a hormone called cortisol.


“Cortisol plays an important role in regulating the maturation of the fetus, such as lung development,” Dr. Davis told Newsweek. “These stress systems in the body aren’t just there to cause damage or harm us.”


Although cortisol naturally increases during pregnancy, the study found that women who displayed unnaturally higher levels of cortisol had babies that were more sensitive to stress. Dr. Davis and her colleagues also studied the babies all through their toddler years.


“These toddlers consistently showed more fearful behaviors in response to what are standard laboratory measures,” she said, citing examples like toddlers that would normally freeze up or run away from strangers. “They showed more fearful expressions than normal.”


“Not only are mothers reporting that the children show anxious behavior, such as being scared of going to school, but we can see differences in the way their brains have developed,” Dr. Davis said.


Davis emphasized that women should pay attention to their mental health just as well as their physical health during pregnancy.


“Whether it’s going out for a walk or hanging out with friends, we all know what we can do to take care of our mental health,” Davis said.


How to Keep A Stress-Prone Baby Happy


  1. Pay attention to your baby’s likes and dislikes

Your baby has things that he or she likes and dislikes, same as you. Some babies may like to be cuddled all the time while others may feel uncomfortable. Of course, like all people, their preferences may change so observe their facial expressions and reactions on certain things.


  1. Make your presence felt

Stressed babies need to feel protected and loved. When your baby throws a bad tantrum, offer your soothing presence. You don’t have to pick him or her up all the time, but you can pat him or her, run your hands up and down the baby’s back, sing a song and others.


  1. Make things comfortable

Often, babies becomes stressed out when it’s too hot, too cold, too noisy or too bright. During infancy all the way through toddlerhood, babies can get overstimulated by the things that they see, feel and hear from their new environment. Make sure you’re eliminating things that may cause them discomfort like very loud music, harsh lighting, wrong temperature setting and so on.


  1. Correct breastfeeding position

Colic babies are often restless and always in a bad mood – this is often due to a wrong positioning when breastfeeding. In addition, a wrong breastfeeding posture could hurt the mother, too and cause sore nipples, engorged breasts and so on.


Avoid this by using a nursing pillow when you feed as well as great quality breastfeeding pumps, baby bottles and other products that may assist you and eliminate colic.


Stress in babies can be avoided and completely eliminated. After all, if you deal with your baby’s stress, your baby will not only be happier, YOU will also be more relaxed in the end.