U.S. to Ban Drop-Side Cribs

Pottery Barn Recalled Crib

Pottery Barn Recalled Crib

Heads up, mommies and mommies-to-be! After 153 baby deaths in the past four years, and 9 million drop-side crib recalls over the last five, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to ban them. This move was inspired by today’s recall of 82,000 Pottery Barn Kids cribs after seven babies were hurt when the drop sides detached or otherwise malfunctioned.

Even if you don’t have a drop-side crib, lots of daycares have them, as well as hotel chains, so this ban is important to note. If you have a drop-side crib, contact the crib’s manufacturer for more info.

What’s that rash?

As a new parent, you may be extra cautious about what comes next to your baby’s skin.  But even giving your baby the best care possible may not be able to prevent a rash on your little one’s soft skin.  We’ve outlined four of the top infant skin ailments to help you determine what to look for and how to treat it.

 Eczema:  Eczema can appear anywhere on a body but usually doesn’t show up before 3-4 months.  It will usually show up in dry, patchy areas but it can, in worse cases, look like windburn (think red with possible oozing and pus.)  For mild cases, wash the skin with a gentle, fragrance free cleaner and then use generous amounts of moisturizer.  For ongoing or worsening cases, seek a doctor’s advice.

 Prickly Heat: When your little one gets overheated or is exposed to prolonged heat, tiny red bumps that appear on the face, neck, back or bottom.  As temperatures rise, keep your baby’s clothing loose and cool; the rash should fade within 30 minutes of being in a cooler environment.

 Seborrhea: Often known as cradle-cap when its located on the baby’s scalp and eyebrows; but this rash can also appear on the neck, ears, cheeks and chest.  Seborrhea is most common for babies under 6 months of age.  Although no one knows what causes it, there are two easy methods for getting rid of the problem.  Rub a small amount of olive oil on the area to loosen the dry scales or skin then gently brush them off with a baby brush or you can wash the affected area with a small amount of anti-dandruff shampoo.

 Contact Dermatitis: This rash will look like red bumps at the contact site and may itch.  The rash is simply a skin reaction to something your baby came into contact with such as soaps, detergents or even grass.  If the rash looks dry, apply a moisturizer to the area.  If the itching is causing discomfort to baby, talk with your doctor about a hydrocortisone cream.

Vitamin D Deficiency

I have been doing a lot of reading about Vitamin D lately, and was shocked to find deficiency is thought to be pandemic. I was also surprised to find Vitamin D is more than just your garden variety vitamin. It works more like a hormone, which has many implications for your pregnancy.

Gestational Diabetes, Pre-Eclampsia, C-sections…most of those pregnancy complications we are working so hard to avoid *may* be linked – in some cases – to Vitamin D deficiency.

I’ve recently added it to my regimen, and I’m not even pregnant! My daughter is getting a little extra, too!
Don’t wait -talk to your doctor as soon as possible about this and see what they say. In the meantime, a little bottle of d3 might be worth the investment.

Some natural sources of Vitamin D include:

  • Fatty fishes, such as  salmon, Sardines, Tuna, and Fish liver oils
  • Whole eggs
  • Mushrooms

Visit MayoClinic.com for more information about Vitamin D deficiency.

Over 40 Car Seats Recalled: See If Yours Made The Cut

On Friday, December 18, 447,000 popular infant car seats were recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc. The recall came after 77 separate reports were made about faulty bolts on the child restraint handles of over 40 different models. Loose bolts caused the handles to partially — or in some cases fully — break loose from the car seat base, causing injuries to at least three babies.

Wondering if your car seat is involved in the recall? Here’s the full list:

Child Restraint Model # – Product Descriptions
Safety 1st
22-057 DBY – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-085 DWA – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-057 CLN – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-057 HRT – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-322 HRR – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-322 PTK – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-057 LPH – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-085 LYN – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-322 KDL – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322 LXI – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322OLY – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322PRS – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322 MAI – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-325 COB – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-095 RBK – Safety 1st Explorer Travel System
22-380 LGA – Safety 1st Lite Wave Travel System
22-380 MSA – Safety 1st Lite Wave Travel System
22-627 WAV – Safety 1st Vector Travel System
22-325 PAC – Safety 1st Vector Travel System

22-300 FZN – Cosco Sprint Travel System
22-300 OSF – Cosco Sprint Travel System
22-300 CSF – Cosco Spirit Travel System
22-300 JJV – Cosco Spirit Travel System
22-300 THD – Cosco Spirit Travel System
22-300 TWD – Cosco Spirit Travel System

22-627 AWF- Disney Propack Travel System
22-355 LBF – Disney Propack Travel System
22-305 NAB – Disney Propack Travel System
22-305 PPH – Disney Propack Travel System
22-355 PWK – Disney Propack Travel System

Eddie Bauer
22-627 CGT – Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627 FRK – Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627 SNW – Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627 WPR – Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627KGS – Eddie Bauer Endeavor Travel System
22-655BYTE – Eddie Bauer Endeavor Travel System

What you can do now: If you own one of the recalled infant carriers, stop using yours immediately and order a free repair kit now by heading to the Dorel website or by calling Dorel directly at (866) 762-3316 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST Monday-Friday.
Don’t forget, you can get your car seat installation checked out for FREE! Go to http://www.seatcheck.org to make an appointment.

Click here for more about choosing the right baby gear for your baby.

Germ-Free Kids

So, there’s this doctor out there promoting a book saying he can teach you how to get and keep your child free of germs. Oh really? Do tell. Barring bubble wrap, I’m not sure how this would be done. Yes, sickness is no fun, and if you’re a working mom — like me — it’s inconvenient, can lead to missed days at work, a cross boss and a miserable child. So, yes. Sickness bad. But germ free?

Your kids are exposed to germs everywhere. At home, at school, at daycare and at the doctor’s office. On doorknobs, on the public bathroom faucet, in your grocery cart and on mom. There’s no way to avoid them. And a little germiness here and there may not be a bad thing at all. At least Baylor College of Medicine pediatrician Dr. Sara Rizvi thinks so, and I think whatever she thinks (I heart Dr. Rizvi). Dr. Rizvi and I also spend a little time in the following interview talking about probiotics (the good stuff in yogurt) and their impact on immunity…

Listen to what Dr. Sara Rizvi has to say about germ free kids here

I don’t know about you, but I want my kid to play with other kids and touch things and go to the store with me and generally be a kid, even if she catches a cold. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to host a pox party anytime soon, but I also refuse to hover over my three year old with a container of wet wipes. Sure, reasonable precautions are in order. We do frequent hand washing, and Dr. Rizvi has inspired me to run out and get some hand sanitizing gel for my impatient child, but a life in a bubble is not for my girl.

Of course, if your child has compromised immunity for any reason, please disregard everything I just said.

By the way, Dr. Rizvi is also featured in our podcast on Caring For Your Newborn. Check it out!


Your Stroller Choice May Impact Your Child's Development

According to a new study out of Dundee University’s School of Psychology, anyway. It suggests that if you put your baby in a stroller that is facing away from you, you are far less likely to talk to and interact with them. Developmental psychologist Suzanne Zeedyk led the study, and she says this can lead to developmental problems and anxiety in babies, meaning even bigger problems as they get older.

Wow. Hmmmm. That’s an awful lot to put on a mommy who is trying to decide what to put on her baby registry. Her stroller choice could ruin her baby’s life!

Well, not so fast. While I think there is something to this, it’s not as apocalyptic as the headline might imply.

We all know babies need interaction. They need to be touched and talked to and held and caressed. We may have lost just how important these things are to child development, or we wouldn’t be spending the amount of the most recent government bailout on infant DVDs and developmental toys when all your baby really needs is a good game of peek-a-boo, but I think we all know it’s important.

That’s where this study hangs its hat.

Zeedyk’s study included an experiment in which 20 babies were wheeled in strollers for a mile, spending half the trip facing their parents and the other half facing away. The research found that children not facing the person pushing them were significantly less likely to talk, laugh and interact with their parents (thank you, captain obvious). Those with their babies facing them talked to them much more. The study suggests those babies — in turn — were less likely to exhibit signs of stress.

I spoke with a developmental pediatrician at Baylor College of Medicine about this. Dr. Lane Strathearn led the study that discovered that when a mommy sees her baby smile, the reward centers of her brain light up. He thinks the finding from Zeedyk’s study is an interesting reminder that we need to interact with our babies, but he doesn’t think forward facing strollers are the end of the world. He says what’s important is the quality of the time we spend with our babies when they’re not in their strollers.

Listen to what Dr. Lane Strathearn has to say about strollers and development

OK, so bottom line? As you’ll hear in the interview, I tried very hard to find a stroller for my baby in which she would face me, but they all cost eleventy billion dollars. I don’t even have eleventy dollars, so I got her the kind everyone else in the world who is not Gwyneth Paltrow has, the kind that faces forward. I’m not a runner, or anything, so she didn’t spend enough time in the stroller to really get “stressed”, I tried to sling her as much as possible, and her out-of-stroller-time was jam packed with hands-on interaction (Remember, you can’t spoil and infant! Hold them all you want!), so I don’t think her forward facing stroller did any permanent damage.

Yours won’t either.

The end. ;)

PS…I also am not-a-hater of child development DVDs and toys. They have their place — like for the odd time when you remember you need to brush your teeth in the weeks after your baby comes, and you need them occupied — but they are not necessary for your baby to become the next Einstein. All your child needs for that is a lot of holding and talking and eye contact and a lot of off-key momma singing.

I think I hear the Nobel Prize Committee calling right now!

By the way, everything you need to know about baby gear can be found in this Pea in the Podcast. :)