Staff Picks: Ms. Stella O’Brien

Stella

 

 

Our guest blogger, Ms. Stella O’Brien, is our resident tween fashion expert. She’s been wearing BabyLegs for years, styling them with everything from skirts to leggings to tee shirts. Today, she pulled on a pair of the ZIGGY style, from our Back-to-School collection to keep her arms warm while helping around the office. You can find Ziggy and all of her other picks on BabyLegs.com.

 

 

 

 

stella staff pick

 

 

 

This gorgeous outfit makes a perfect first day impression… all of her classmates will be wowed by her glamorous ensemble.

 

 

 

 

 

stella staff picks 2

 

 

 

This is a great back-to-school look for boys to start the year on a classic and bright note!

 

 

 

 

 

stella 3

 

 

All babies have accidents…food spills, diaper leaks, and more. This multi-pack of one-piece bodysuits gives moms several changes for one whole day of clean clothes, plus, these suits allow for easy-on and easy-off. You can keep the RECESS leg warmers on while changing baby, so he stays warm, but looks cool!

Pearls of Wisdom: Your Baby and Ear Infections

At some point or another, most babies and children will suffer through the pain and discomfort of an ear infection. The telltale signs may be all you need to know what’s happening… crying, tugging at her ear(s), and temperature are all indicators. In children that have learned to talk, you may hear complaints of throbbing pain or that your child is having trouble hearing. You’ll need to get baby to the pediatrician for treatment and relief of an ear infection.

Middle ear infections, or “otitis media,” is the most prevalent disease of childhood, second only to respiratory infections. There are an estimated 25 million yearly visits to the pediatrician resulting from ear infections.  Accurate diagnosis and treatment of otitis media are important not only because it affects a lot of our children but also because left untreated, it can lead to serious complications like meningitis or brain abscess. Middle ear infections that lead to fluid in the middle ear, known as effusions, could also affect a child’s hearing and subsequently, his speech and language development.

Nearly 86% of children have at least one episode of otitis media by 3 years of age, with peaks occurring from 6-36 months and 4-6 years of age. Available medical data shows that the occurrence of ear infections tends to decrease with age but is higher in the following groups: male children; kids belonging to lower socioeconomic groups; black children, and among those with craniofacial anomalies. Incidence is also higher during winter months and early spring.

Ear InfectionWhen an ear is infected, the “eustachian tube” or the canal connecting the middle ear and the back of the throat gets clogged. During healthy periods, this canal is filled with air; however, during cold weather, when other respiratory infections are present, or when a child also has allergies, this tube can get blocked. When the eustachian tube is blocked, fluid accumulates in the middle ear and attracts bacteria that thrives. As this condition progresses, pressure increases on the eardrum, impeding its ability to vibrate properly. This can affect hearing and cause a great deal of pain.

It is wise to see your pediatrician so he can examine your child’s ear with an instrument called and “otoscope.” After diagnosing him with an ear infection, he may prescribe an antibiotic such as amoxicillin to kill the bacteria and prevent more fluid accumulation. Many times, an antibiotic is not necessary and relief can be attained just by giving acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Antihistamines and decongestants may also be prescribed depending on your child’s symptoms and a physical exam. However, in instances where fever persists and pain worsens despite these medications, he should be re-examined to rule out any other serious concurrent infections. Occasionally, if a child has recurrent ear infections, your doctor may suggest insertion of ear tubes to aid in draining trapped fluid from the middle ear.

It’s important to note that ear infections are not contagious and oftentimes, a child may return to school or daycare after the symptoms abate; however, it is always important to finish the course of antibiotics prescribed. All patients should be re-evaluated 2 weeks after the start of treatment to ensure that inflammation has resolved and the mobility of the tympanic membrane is back to normal.

Periodic follow up is highly recommended for patients with recurrent ear infections. Your pediatrician will also perform a hearing test on your child to ensure that there are no residual effects on his hearing after the infection.

Recurring medical conditions can be very trying for both children and parents. Trust me, I know it sometimes seems as though you see your pediatrician more than you see your best friend! But hang in there… some of my best friends today are parents that were in my office with their kids once a month of more ;)    Silver linings, friends. Silver linings!

I hope you are all having a wonderful, safe, and happy summer!

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All information contained in this blog and on our web site(s) should be independently verified by you by a medical professional of your own choosing and you should always conduct your own research and due diligence before making any decision related to the subject matter of this blog or our web site. 

Dr. Pearl CenonDr. Pearl

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.

Pearls of Wisdom: Infant Nutrition

Infant FeedingWhen it comes to infants and children, basic nutrition choices have a lifetime impact on overall health and are key for satisfactory growth and avoidance of deficiency states. Adequate nutrition helps in the prevention of acute and chronic illnesses; maximizes physical and mental potential and provides reserves for stress. During infancy, it’s all about milk, whether breast milk, formula or a combination of the two. Breast milk and formulas contain enough nutrients needed by babies in the first year of life. Around 4 -6 months of age, most babies can start consuming solid foods like iron-fortified cereal, mashed fruits and vegetables, and pureed meats. As you introduce more foods, keep in mind that a healthy amount of fat is important for the babies’ brain and nerve developments – unless advised by your doctor for particular health reasons, low-fat options can be avoided.

The feeling of ease between infant and mother is essential to successful infant feeding. When mom can establish a comfortable, satisfying feeding practice, the result is usually emotional well-being of both the mother and infant. Remember that mom’s feelings are readily transmitted to the baby and greatly influence the emotional setting in which feeding takes place. Hence, a tense, anxious, and emotionally labile mother is more likely to develop a difficult feeding relationship with her baby. It’s helpful if she receives appropriate guidance and support from an empathetic family member, friend or physician.

Infant FeedingImmediately after birth, the infant can safely tolerate feedings to ensure a smooth transition from fetal to extrauterine life, to promote maternal- infant bonding and prevent hypoglycemia and electrolyte imbalances. It is critical that your infant receives enough fluids so he will not develop dehydration. Moms who wish to initiate breastfeeding in the delivery room are definitely encouraged to do so. Subsequent feedings either by breastfeeding or bottle feeding are given every 3-4 hours a day and at night. That’s a lot of eating! This is based on the time it takes for the infant’s stomach to empty and varies from 1-4 hours. Do not expect your baby’s feeding schedule to be consistent immediately after birth.  However, by the end of the first month, 90% of babies will establish a more regular feeding schedule. Majority of healthy formula-fed infants will want 6-9 feedings per day by the end of the first week of life. Some babies are satisfied with every four hour feedings, while others who have a faster gastric emptying time will want to eat every 2-3 hours. Interestingly, most breast-fed babies get hungry quicker and require more frequent feedings with shorter intervals. This just reinforces the fact that individual feeding needs vary and one infants’ feeding would not be expected to fit the pattern of another. The best parameter of successful infant feeding is weight gain by the time the baby reaches the second week of life.

Infants cry for various reasons and babies do not need to be fed every time they cry. Usually, sick babies are not interested in feeding and if an infant refuses food, this should act as a red flag to see your pediatrician. If your baby is constantly waking up every 1-2 hours, he may not be receiving enough milk at each feeding or be suffering from infantile colic. This can be addressed during your doctor’s visit and may involve discussions about formula choice and feeding practices. It is important to know that babies cry for reasons other than hunger. Some may just need to be picked up and held, others may continue to cry even after feeding so it’s important to carefully evaluate your infant’s health and behavior for other potential causes of distress. Try to discourage the habit of frequent small feedings, holding and feeding to pacify crying as he may become too reliant on you to calm him.

Infant FeedingThe post-partum period is oftentimes a period of much anxiety and insecurity for first-time parents who may be overwhelmed by the responsibilities that comes with having a new baby. The questions are endless: Am I feeding her enough?  Is she having diarrhea? Should I switch formulas? The list goes on and on. This is why anticipatory guidance sessions should be scheduled between you and your pediatrician. During each office visit, your doctor is already tracking your baby’s weight gain and monitoring whether her weight is steadily increasing. Normally, babies in the first four months of life gain 1 ½ lbs-2 lbs per month and grow 1-1 ½ inches. By the time he is a year old, he would have tripled his birth weight.  Breastfed babies also tend to be chubbier than formula-fed babies in the early months of life however they become leaner by nine months to one year of age.

Parents need to understand the goal of infant’s “self- regulation.” Once the infant establishes a regular feeding schedule, other family members are able to resume their normal daily routine with minimal disruptions. It doesn’t take long to achieve the confidence and calm of an experienced parent. Your baby will give you enough signals and clues as to how she likes to be treated, talked to, held and comforted.  This very special bond, once established will guide you through this challenging stage and the next.

All information contained in this blog and on our web site(s) should be independently verified by you by a medical professional of your own choosing and you should always conduct your own research and due diligence before making any decision related to the subject matter of this blog or our web site. 

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Dr. Pearl

Dr. Pearl Cenon

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.

Pearls of Wisdom: Picky Eaters

Although your toddler is beginning to develop his own taste palate and show preferences for food, he can be quite unpredictable when it comes to what he will eat at mealtime, with variations from day to day. Oftentimes their favorite food, or what you thought was their favorite food, could end up on the floor the next day. Likewise, the meal that ended up on the floor the day prior could turn out to be the food they can’t get enough of. Hot and cold as each day passes – just like the plate you put in front of them!

Most toddlers are — plain and simple — picky eaters. Others eat only certain foods – or refuse to do so as a way to assert independence. The amount of food they consume from one meal to the next can also change constantly and this inconsistency can cause a good deal of frustration to a parent or caregiver. The good news is, over time, your toddler’s eating patterns will reach equilibrium. Continuing to offer them healthy food choices and allow your youngster to find something he likes with or without you pushing them to do so will establish a regular and healthy diet.

Until they reach the age of four years old, children have not mastered the grinding motion essential in chewing food, so offer your picky eater safe finger foods such as baby crackers or a thin slices of banana; stay away from foods that could be choking hazards such as nuts, grapes, hard candy, hot dogs etc. Allow him to enjoy feeding himself and sit with him while he eats. This gives him a sense of independence and establishes a routine of sitting with the whole family during meals. Parents can utilize this time at the dinner table to model healthy eating habits that you want him to adopt as he gets older.  Remember that showing your children what to do and how to do it is much more effective than telling them without backing up those words with actions.

If your child refuses one food from a food group, offer him another form of the same food group. For example, try giving him chicken, pork or fish if he refuses to eat beef. If he won’t drink milk, substitute this for low-fat cheese or yogurt. Try pairing a food that he loves with a food that he refused in the past. Keep offering a food that was refused before repeatedly with breaks in between. Sometimes, it may take a few attempts before he actually develops a taste for it. Make food attractive and playful. For example, serve food with bright colors or make smiley faces or animal shapes using cut vegetables or fruit strips. Try to kick up a notch the nutritional value of dishes by adding healthy ingredients. For instance, you can add non-fat dry milk to shakes and soups or mixing fruits and vegetables like zucchini, sweet potatoes or apples to muffins, breads, meatloaf or pasta. Finally, be a good role model by practicing healthy eating habits and having sit down meals as a family at least 3-5 times a week.

Children have different nutritional requirements than adults.  Your child’s food portions are smaller compared to yours. A child who is thriving and energetic is more than likely getting enough food substrates to sustain both his growth and his energy requirements. If you have serious concerns about your child’s eating habits and are worried about his growth and development, make an appointment with your pediatrician. He can show you where your child’s height and weight is on the growth curve relative to other children his or her age, offer some reassurance and determine whether it’s necessary to pursue further workup or testing to look for any underlying medical problems.

All information contained in this blog and on our web site(s) should be independently verified by you by a medical professional of your own choosing and you should always conduct your own research and due diligence before making any decision related to the subject matter of this blog or our web site. 

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Dr. Pearl

Dr. Pearl Cenon

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.

Fashion Friday: Camp’s In

In the early morning hours along the tree-lined streets of New York City’s Upper West Side and Upper East Side neighborhoods, kids dressed in matching T-shirts and cotton shorts are mingling on sidewalks as moms and nannies spray them down with bug spray—this ritual means only one thing: summer camp season is finally here.

School is out, the fireworks have been set off and now that everyone has had their fill of hot dogs and ice cream, kids are getting into their summer routine. This year summer camp options are as diverse as ever, as camps catering niche interests like filmmaking, culinary arts, and jewelry making are springing up across the country. At Michigan’s Museum of Natural History, Muggles can channel their inner-wizard at a Harry Potter themed science camp, or test their survival skills at Hunger Games camp in Alexandria, VA.

Traditionalists can still get their fill of the Great Outdoors. According to the American Camp Association, 47 percent of camps are overnight programs. And the most popular camp activities skew tried-and-true. ACA reports recreational swimming, arts and crafts, rope challenges, archery, and aquatic activities to be the hottest items on camp itineraries.

Those activities may seem basic, but the camp business is a $15 billion dollar industry and as any parent knows, it takes a lot more than just bug spray to get kids prepared for the their summer adventure. Luckily, apparel and outdoor brands are offering smart, kid-friendly camp essentials to make their summer memories even brighter.

So take out your summer camp packing list and check off these must-have items!

The Grasshopper Backseat

 

 

 

Carry On

From flashlights and sunscreen to an extra set of clothes, campers must be prepared for anything. Backpacks are the easiest way to tote around these essentials, and bags from the likes of Keen go a step further with a built-in seat for when tots need a break. The Grasshopper Backseat pack features a back panel that folds down into a camp chair.

 

 

ByeByeBugs

 

 

Bug Off

Between dunks in the pool and sweaty games of Capture the Flag, kids are bound to need a second shot of insect repellent spray. Treated with EPA-approved, all-natural Insect Shield®, which repels insects like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, ByeByeBugsleg and arm warmers offer an extra layer of protection from summertime pests.

 

 

Ouchies

 

 

 

Band Camp

What’s a summer without a couple of minor scratches and scrapes? When a trip to the camp nurse isn’t necessary, bandages from Ouchies will do the trick with colorful and zany prints likes zoo animals, dinosaurs and candy.

 

 

 

 

 

Itzy Ritzy

 

Make a Splash

When a plastic grocery store bag just won’t do, wet bags from Itzy Ritzy help keep damp clothes separate from dry items and pricey electronics that kids might sneak in. The bags have sealed seams to prevent leaks and odors and are available in funky, colorful prints that make it easy for even the youngest kids to find them in their jammed-packed backpacks.

 

 

Lifefactory

 

 

Keep Cool

When exploring the Great Outdoors, do the Earth good with eco-friendly water bottles by Lifefactory. The BPA-free glass bottles are outfitted with a protective silicone sleeve that provides grip and helps prevent breakage and they won’t fill up a landfill.

 

 

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About the Author:

Angela Velasquez

With 4 years of experience as a children’s stylist and magazine editor, Angela brings you an insider’s perspective on trends and seasonal looks that will make babies and toddlers shine in their holiday photos and at birthday parties!  Angela also has a way of making everyday clothes and accessories look special — she’ll show you how.