Archive for July, 2008

Try Baby Massage to Calm Your Infant

It may seem that massage is a technique used only for adults who lead stressful and demanding lives. With so many ailments that strain both our minds and bodies, it is no wonder that parents benefit so much from the comforting and healing power of massage.

What about babies and even infants? It may seem strange to think that these small little bundles of joy could have any reason to feel stress or pain of any kind, but that is not the case. While somewhat new to the United States, infant massage and baby massage are making their mark and proving just how important massage is to the care and development of all babies and especially infants.

Not only will massage provide the needed touch and care that your baby’s needs and desires, but it will build a close relationship between you and your child. Experts emphasize that getting Dads. Moms, and even Grandparents involved in baby massage is a great idea.

The benefits of infant massage are exciting, and most parents would not trade the short time that they spend each day massaging their infant for anything. Infant massage contributes so much to the growth, development, and overall happiness of the child and parents.

Some of the benefits of baby or infant massage:

~Relaxation- Helping to calm your baby and their muscles, while teaching them how to relax and the importance of relaxation in life.

~Relief from pain- An infant with colic can be a strain on the entire family. Certain massage techniques can help to relieve the gas and spasm that the infant exeriencenes, and can help the digestive system to work more efficiently.

~Bonding- Spending one on one time with your infant and creating a special bond that may be hard to find in our busy lives.

~Sleep- Massage helps the baby to be relaxed and pain free, helping them sleep better, and in turn helping you sleep better.

~Health- Massage is good for your infants overall health. It promotes proper blood flow as well as increased sensory awareness and normal brain development.

There are many important techniques involved in infant massage, and likewise there are many resources available to help parents know how to properly perform infant massage.

Books, instructors, and even instructional videos are available to help you get the most out of the time you spend massaging your baby. In the meantime, get your infant in the habit of spending this relaxation time with you each day.

The environment in which you perform your infant’s massage is vital. A room that is cool and well lit does not promote the same calming effect as one that is at a comfortable temperature with dimmed lights and soft music playing. Try to create an atmosphere that would be appealing to you if you were to receive a massage. Experts suggest using a vegetable or plant oil to massage your baby rather that mineral based baby oil, which may not absorb as well.

Any way that we can start our children on the path to health and happiness in life is so helpful to both them and us as their parents. Spending the short amount of time needed to massage your baby each day will benefit them for years to come, and the bond that you will form will be priceless.

Details on infant massage techniques

Naptime help for your toddler at Child N Parent

By: Vanessa Lee

Add comment July 26th, 2008

Protect Your Baby from Heat Exposure in the Car

The hot sweltering months of summer are upon us.  We moms’ pull out the artillery and arm ourselves with air conditioning, sun screen, ice cream cones, slushies and more than a few trips to the pool.  When traveling by car, the heat can really take its toll.

With these important safety tips you can protect your baby or tot from heat exposure in the car.

1.  Use a stuffed animal toy as a visual reminder that your child is in the back seat.  Position the stuffed animal toy in the passenger seat or in a safe spot on the console.  Take the toy and put it in the empty car seat after taking your child out of the car.  When you put your child back into the car seat, switch it back to the front to remind yourself that your child is again in the back seat.

2.  Never ever leave your baby or tot in a parked car.  According to the NTSA “Cars parked in direct sunlight can reach internal temperatures up to 131 F- 172 F.”  The NTSA goes on to say that even at lower temperatures with the windows slightly rolled down, a car will still reach a high internal temperature in a matter of minutes.

3.  Cover the car seat.  Dr. John Chiles of Pueblo Pediatrics recommends that you protect your child from temperature absorbing car seat fabrics by covering an empty car seat with a white dishtowel or sheet.  Dr. Chiles also recommends that you position a frozen water bottle on the metal buckles of an empty car seat to protect your child from nasty metal buckle burns.

4.  Get tinted windows or use a sun shade.  Tinted windows can cut summer heat by up to 60%.  Check your local state laws regarding tinted windows on automobiles. A well designed sun shade will keep your baby comfortable and help prevent heat stroke.

5.  Keep plenty of drinking water and formula on hand when traveling. Dr. Chiles says that babies 4 to 6 months need an intake of 36 ounces of either formula or breast milk a day.  Newborns to six months do not need extra water.  If you are breast feeding, drink extra water so that you will have an adequate supply of milk to keep your baby hydrated.   He also recommends that babies and tots over six months have small 4oz servings of juice three times a day.   Pear, apple, and white grape juice are great for keeping kids hydrated.

More help to keep you and your child safe and cool through the hot summer months.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Summer Safety Tips for Children.

The CDC’s official guide on protecting yourself and your child from extreme heat.

Health and safety tips for your child from Dr. John Chiles of Pueblo Pediatrics.

By Debby Hoffer

Add comment July 11th, 2008

Drug Therapy for Treating Children with ADHD

Many children suffer with the condition known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder also known as ADHD.   ADHD symptoms are described in our article at Child N Parent.   Children with ADHD are often treated with a combination of behavioral, psychological and drug therapies.  Fortunately, new, more effective drugs are being developed having fewer side effects for children.

A child with ADHD usually feels bombarded with environmental sights and sounds.  This sensory overload coupled with an impulse for movement causes behavior difficulties and an inability to cope with situations in a step by step manner. The drug methylphenidate helps a child’s brain deal with social and educational situations in a step by step format.

Ritalin,  the most commonly prescribed drug for treating ADHD, is a form of methylphenidate.  It mildly stimulates the central nervous system to increase chemical messages between the nerve cells of the brain and improves focus and overall concentration.

Other drugs used to treat ADHD that contain methylphenidate include Concerta, Metadate CD, Metadate ER, Ritalin LA and Ritalin SR.  Focalin XR is a combination of drugs designed to be released at a steady rate throughout the day.  Focalin XR has the advantage of fewer side effects for children and is effective longer.  Adderall is another stimulant drug used to treat ADHD with a long lasting effect.  Consult your medical professional to find the best drug with the fewest side effects for your child.

A new drug, called ABT-089, is currently in phase II clinical trials under the sponsorship of Abbott Labs.  The effectiveness of ABT-089 in children is being tested now in one clinical phase II trial.   Two more projects are being prepared with one recruiting participants and one study by invitation only.  Project completions are scheduled for October 2008 and July 2009.  In a recent press release from Abbott, the drug was found to be a “potentially safe and effective treatment” in adults with ADHD.

Drug therapy is just one of the many treatment solutions available for children with ADHD.  Carefully research your medical options to decide which therapies are best for your child.

Find symptoms and treatments available for ADHD at our article in the Child Health section at Child N Parent.

Facts of methylphenidate use including precautions at the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Description uses and cautions for Ritalin

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) report on the ADHD study currently recruiting participants.

By:  Debby Hoffer

Add comment July 2nd, 2008


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