This guest article is by Marin orthodontist Dr. Don Wilson.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have an orthodontic screening no later than age seven (or earlier if there are indications of a problem).
Why age seven? By the age of seven, most children’s first adult molars have erupted, establishing the back bite. Also, most children’s incisors have begun to erupt so that alignment problems and facial asymmetries can be detected.
Age seven is the best time for an orthodontist to evaluate your child’s bite and jaw relationships, check for functional shifts, and evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. Untreated malocclusions (bad bites) can result in a variety of problems…
Crowded teeth—More difficult to brush and floss properly, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease
Protruding teeth—More susceptible to accidental chipping
Crossbite—May result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear
Openbite—May result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments
Appearance—Crooked teeth, a poor facial profile, and/or speech impediment can damage your child’s self-confidence and self-esteem
This guest article is by Marin infant/toddler sleep researcher and family therapist Angelique Millette.
What do you do if your little one is waking during the night from a bad dream and refuses to go back to sleep? Or what if your little one refuses to go to sleep at bedtime due to a several nights in a row of bad dreams? And what if your child has been waking inconsolable at night but you aren’t sure if you are child is waking due to a nightmare or a night terror? These are common questions parents have when responding to their little one’s nighttime sleep needs.
All children have nightmares at some point, and as long as children are dreaming they may also have nightmares. Interestingly, even infants dream, and according to one landmark study, newborns dream more than at any other time in a young person’s life. Nightmares are bad dreams and can happen at any point in a toddler or child’s life and especially so if a child has just experienced a traumatic event or situation. Several different studies have shown that children may have nightmares following surgery, tooth extraction, and motor vehicle accidents. Nightmares can also begin during periods of developmental phases such as the period between 18–21 months and again right before a child’s third and fourth birthdays. These are periods of individuation, when a child may become more sensitive or emotional as they become more independent.
This guest article is by Marin pediatric nurse practitioner, lactation consultant, and mom Annie St. John.
We all have it. It’s that inner wisdom. Our intuition. We sometimes just don’t know how to tap into it. Especially when it comes to parenting. We often feel too overwhelmed, scared, and exhausted, so we doubt that inner wisdom. Don’t doubt it. It is the key component when it comes to bonding with your baby. Your baby.
Just as we need that wisdom and intuition, we also need resources. “Resources” is defined as:
One’s personal attributes that sustains one in certain circumstances.
The ability to find avenues to overcome difficulties.
Assets that can be drawn on by a person in order to function effectively.
Once your baby is born, it all comes down to feeding your baby and getting to know your baby. During your daily routine of countless cycles of feeding, burping, calming, swaying, swaddling, changing, and sleeping, you, as the parent, start to gain confidence. Your confidence arises from realizing that you do have the resources (either within yourself, from your spouse or partner, or from an outside support person). From that realization you are able to nurture your relationship with your baby and build upon that bond.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission and toy manufacturer Fisher Price are recalling more than 10,000,000 toys, including Fisher Price Trikes and Tough Trikes toddler tricycles and Healthy Care, Easy Clean, and Close to Me high chairs.
With the recent surge in whooping cough cases, we asked local pediatrician and frequent Marin Mommies contributor Dr. Steven Martel to answer some questions our readers had about this potentially serious illness.
The re-emergence of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, has garnered much media attention due to the recent epidemic.
Pertussis is a highly contagious, vaccine preventable disease caused by a particular bacterium. The disease spreads via respiratory droplets which result from sneezing or coughing onto surfaces. The disease usually begins with symptoms that are similar to the common cold, particularly runny nose and fever. Over the course of 7–10 days the affected person develops a spasmodic, difficult to control cough which can make it hard to breathe. The infection’s characteristic “whoop” cough is responsible for its common name. However, the “whooping” sound is uncommon in infants. The cough usually lasts for about 6 weeks.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article by child behavior specialist and Montessori teacher Terese Bradshaw.
Does this sound familiar? Mom has told 2-1/2 year old, Sarah not to run out into the street, but she does it anyway. Mom firmly tells her “No”, but Sarah just gives Mom that devilish little look that seems to say “You can’t make me” and tries to run away. What’s a parent to do? Some parents might believe punishment, like a time-out, slap on the hand or spanking would solve the problem. They believe that these punitive measures would teach the child a lesson. Other parents might believe that explaining to the child the dangers of the road will prevent them from running out into the street. None of these methods are very effective or helpful with a toddler. I am often asked “How do I get my toddler to stop a dangerous behavior like running out in the street or taking off in the store?” First we must understand the world from our child’s perspective. Renowned parenting author Jane Nelsen, of the Positive Discipline series of books, shares her insight into the world of the young child:
Help make your kids' snacking a nutritionally smart strategy! Nutritionist Amber Wilson, MS, RD, offers some tips on healthy alternatives to junk food.
Michelle Obama and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver have embarked on a mission to improve the health of our children. While we wait for a nutrition makeover of school lunches, there’s no better time to look at what our kids are eating outside of school. According to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs, snacking accounts for 27 percent of children’s daily calories. The 30,000 children surveyed in the study snacked an average of three times per day on candy, chips and other junk food, and this unhealthy snacking added almost 600 calories each day to the children’s diets. But all it takes is a little bit of planning and creativity to make snack time both healthy and fun for your kids.
Snacking, when done smartly, is a good strategy for children because they have small stomachs and are unable to eat large meals at one time. Healthy snacks give kids energy between meals, and also help to focus attention and regulate mood. Focus on fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains when choosing snacks for your kids and limit their consumption of sugary, high-fat junk food. Look through your pantry and throw out the cookies, chips, candy and soda.
Marin Mommies presents another guest article by Marin parent coach, infant/toddler sleep researcher, and family therapist Angelique Millette. She works throughout the Bay Area and across the country supporting families and helping them meet life's challenges. You can learn more about her and her services at www.angeliquemillette.com.
So your baby has colic or reflux. Or your baby fights sleep, is fussy, and high-needs. You are not alone! Research shows that early on, up to 25 to 35% of babies may have a more difficult time with sleeping. Possible reasons include digestive issues like reflux, when babies food may come back up just as they are going down to sleep or as they are sleeping. Also, temperament has been shown to play a role in how babies settle to sleep. Difficult-to-soothe or high-needs babies may need a lot more parent help to go from active play or alert time to sleep time. These babies may be very curious and alert and may simply need more "wind down" time in order to fall asleep. And for some babies, they may have more difficulty regulating sleep. These can be colic babies or colic/reflux babies but also some premature babies and babies who may have had medical interventions or procedures at/around birth or early postpartum. For these babies, sleep may present a real challenge. Because sleep cycles and patterns develop over time and with parents help, these babies are going to need a lot more help and time to regulate settling to sleep and sleep patterns.
Drs. Martel and Herbsman are the founders of Child’s Light Pediatrics, Inc., an innovative, house-call based pediatric practice that serves Marin County and San Francisco. For more information, please visit them at www.childslightpediatrics.com.