RSV 101: What Every Parent Needs to Know

As summer winds down, we begin bracing ourselves for the cold: thick coats, gloves, winter boots are all moved to the forefront of our closest.  While we may have a love/hate relationship with Old Man Winter, we can all agree that the illnesses that present themselves during this time are by far the worst part.  One potentially serious illness that affects our young children is Respiratory Syncytial Virus, also known as RSV.  RSV is a very common virus, but has the potential to do some serious damage to infants.

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Discover the secret to keeping mittens on toddlers

Tobogganing, building snowmen, snow forts, who doesn’t love to romp and play around in the snow? Parents of toddlers. That’s who. Constantly having to tuck mittens back under coats so the snow doesn’t get in and little hands turn to popsicles, losing mittens half way down the sled hill, looking (for what seems like hours) only to find it’s disappeared into thin air. It’s a never ending battle: parents vs toddler mittens. Well, these parents finally had enough of being on the losing end and figured something out (cue victory battle scene music).

Introducing! MittGrips! A genius, simple solution to keeping your toddlers mitts on, and the snow out. Why someone hadn’t thought about this years ago is a mystery, but parents and future parents? Worry no more!

Brilliant invention? Skeptical? Let us know what you think!

Photo credits:

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Safe Prenatal Testing with a Routine Blood Draw? A Reality!

We have great news for newly pregnant mommas!

 Natera, a genetic testing company, has released a new NON-INVASIVE prenatal screening test, Panorama.

Panorama is a safe and very accurate non-invasive prenatal test that screens for common genetic diseases. “Panorama is the only NIPT that uses Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) to differentiate between and analyze both the maternal and fetal DNA. It is a sophisticated blood test that examines placental DNA in the maternal bloodstream to determine whether your baby is at risk of Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18), Patau syndrome (trisomy 13) or a sex chromosome abnormality, such as Turner syndrome.”
Through a simple blood draw that can be performed in a doctor’s office, Panorama can screen for chromosomal abnormalities as early as 9 weeks gestation. And great news for those of us who are more impatient than others, the test can determine the baby’s gender with the results available within 7-10 calendar days.

This is amazing news for those women who would normally select more invasive procedures, like amniocentesis that can result in a miscarriage or an infection.

Based on the recent survey of 500 new and expecting mothers, the majority of women are anxious before receiving prenatal resting results but after the testing comes up, they feel relieved, excited, calm and better prepared.  79% of moms surveyed decided to learn the baby’s gender before he or she was born. 

The results of the survey can be viewed in the Natera Infographic below.

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 This survey was sponsored by the new Panorama™ NIPT, created by Natera, that enables women in the first trimester of pregnancy to be screened for more than a dozen leading genetic diseases as early as 9 weeks gestation. Additionally, the test has an optional gender screening that is >99% accurate.  Because the test is performed with a routine blood draw, it does not come with a risk of miscarriage that more invasive tests (like amniocentesis) carry.

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A Baby’s First Hour

In a 2011 publication in Acta Paediactrica, researchers in Sweden created a timeline of the instinctual behaviors of newborns within their first hour of life. Below is a summary of some of their amazing discoveries of behaviors exhibited in the first hour and 10 minutes of a newborn baby’s life.

  • 0-1 Minutes: A loud, robust cry to wake up the lungs and take the first breath of fresh air.
  • 2 Minutes: The baby is briefly still and calm. Researchers hypothesize that this is due to babies trying to be still to keep away from predators. 
  • 2-3 Minutes: The baby opens his/her eyes and begins to move her/his head and mouth.
  • 8 Minutes: The baby becomes more active, begins to grow interest in eating by making “hungry” noises and moving hands toward their mouths. Their eyes are open for five minutes or longer at a time.
  • 18 Minutes: Time for another rest.
  • 36 Minutes: Using their strong sense of smell, the baby moves toward his/her mother’s breasts for their first meal.
  • 62 Minutes: Babies nurse (if available) and begin filling their tummy with colostrum, the pre-milk liquid jam-packed with immune molecules and protein. This early feeding also is beneficial to the mother–the suckling stimulates the uterus to contract back to its pre-pregnancy size.
  • 70 Minutes: Time for another rest–on a full belly.

Does this timeline sound familiar to your own experience with your children? Hospitals are beginning to take additional steps to become more baby-friendly by immediately laying the baby on the mother’s chest–even after a cesarean, and encouraging nursing mothers to breastfeed within the first hour. Hopefully studies such as this will further encourage these changes for both the benefit of the baby and the mother!

To read more, visit Science News and Acta Paediactrica to read the original study yourself.

Photo Credit: Joshua Rappeneker (CC)

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YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!! New way of undressing in public!

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Getting out of that sticky wet bathing suit or sweat drenched workout gear when you’re ready to go home is a pain in the you know what. NOT ANYMORE!!! These clever folks have come up with the game changer in undressing in public areas. No more wrestling with towels or flashing your behind in your oversized t-shirt that clearly isn’t doing it’s job. This is awesome!
We want to know your embarrassing changing in public stories!! Share if you dare!


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Swim, then make your pool disappear!

Swimming pools and toddlers are a scary combination. Yes?

Imagine if you could cover your home swimming pool into solid form. Not having panic attacks that your little one has run out back and fell into the pool when you took your eyes off him for one second to take dinner off the stove.

What’s that worth to you? Because we’re close!

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11-year-old uses medical marijuana!

Autism.  10 years ago there were a handful of people who knew what this was.  Today it seems to be a regular topic of conversation because it affects so many people directly or indirectly. 

The levels of Autism severity differ from case to case.  This Oregon family has an 11-year-old boy who is on the severe side, hurting himself by hitting and banging his head off walls until he is bloody.  They tried everything to control the fits of rage, but nothing had worked.  Until they applied for the use of medical marijuana for Alex’s seizures.

Since they started administrating the drug, Alex’s behavior has changed drastically for the better.  His temper has leveled and he doesn’t hurt himself anymore. 

The use of medical marijuana is still a fairly new concept, some accept it, and others do not.  Put yourself in this families place and weigh in. 

What are your thoughts on giving a child medicinal marijuana?  


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Autism linked to time interval between siblings

There is a new study from Columbia University that has found that children who were conceived less than one year or more than 5 years from their previous sibling are more likely to be diagnosed with autism. Researchers analyzed the records of over 7000 children born in a 18 year time-span in Finland and almost a third had an autism diagnosis.  This study does not confirm that the interval of time between conception is a cause of autism, but there is merely a relationship between the factor and the diagnosis.  The analysis factored in many other relationships including parental history of psychiatric disorders, parent’s age and prior number of children.  

The chance of an autism diagnosis was one and a half times more likely for those babies who were conceived within 12 months after their sibling. Those who were born 60-120 months after their sibling had a 30% chance of having the diagnosis. For the children who were born more than 120 months were 40% higher.  

What are your thoughts? Is this a surprising factor to consider? 

You can read more at:  Higher risk of autism found in children born at short and long-term intervals interpregnancy intervals.

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