Why Is My Baby Pulling At Their Ears? They’re Trying To Tell You Something

By Shannon Evans

When it comes to infants, parents can drive themselves crazy reading into every nonverbal cue they give. You’re constantly on the lookout for common ailments like ear infections, so when you see tiny hands heading towards those ears, your antennae prick up. But are infections always the culprit? When parents ask, “why is my baby pulling at their ears?” they’re likely to come across a large spectrum of explanations.

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Iron Chef, Dysphagia Style

By Melanie Potock

Picadillo ground beef from the Dining With Dysphagia cookbook.

What do a coconut-milk-infused shake, spicy risotto, and macaroni and cheese have in common? They are just a few examples of the winning recipes from a cooking competition created for people who have difficulty swallowing. Sampled by professional and celebrity chefs in New York City, these culinary creations were developed by students taking Interdisciplinary Care-Based Management of Dysphagia.

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Sippy Cups: 3 Reasons to Skip Them and What to Offer Instead

By Melanie Potock

In the article Step Away from the Sippy Cup, I discussed how the sippy cup was invented for parents, not for kids. An engineer got fed up with his toddler spilling juice on the carpet and the rest is history. Today, sippy cups are marketed to parents as a vital piece of feeding equipment, causing parents to consider sippy cups an essential part of a baby’s development. As a speech-language pathologist and feeding specialist, I beg to differ on this point. Here’s why:

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21 Tips for Navigating the NICU

By Michelle Crouch

The odds are on your side that your child will be born full-term and perfectly healthy. Still, about one in 13 babies in the United States spends some time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). And a recent study by The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the Geisel School of Medicine found that 43 percent of these infants are not even premature—they are full-term babies who need more care. For new parents, having a newborn in the NICU can feel scary and overwhelming, so we asked top medical professionals, as well as moms who’ve been there, for their best coping strategies.

Read more at FITPREGNANCY.COM >>

12 Foods & Drinks That Will Help Your Kids Poop

By Liz Alterman

Here’s an unpleasant truth: Kids get constipated. For a variety of reasons that range from diet to just not wanting to stop playing and take the time to poop, little guys and gals can end up going days without taking a number two — which becomes uncomfortable for everyone. We asked parents, pediatricians, and nutritionists to share the foods they’ve found help keep kids regular.

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Study Up on PANDAS: A Little-Known Disorder With Big Effects

By Melanie Potock

Tomorrow—October 9—is PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day. Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated With Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) includes a little-known set of symptoms that occur when strep creates inflammation in a child’s brain. According to the PANDAS network, the child then “quickly begins to exhibit life-changing symptoms such as OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder], anxiety, tics, personality changes, decline in math and handwriting abilities, sensory sensitivities, restrictive eating and more.” PANS—Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndromes— might result from a different bacterial infection, virus or an environmental trigger.

Read More on The ASHA Leader Blog >> 

Tip Back That Tongue! The Posterior Tongue Tie and Feeding Challenges

By Melanie Potock

 

In a March 2015 post titled Just Flip the Lip, we explored how the band of tissue or “frenum” that attaches the upper lip to gum tissue can affect feeding development if the frenum is too restrictive. Today, we’ll focus on the lingual frenal attachment that is the easiest to miss: The posterior tongue tie (sometimes referred to as a submucosal tongue tie), a form of ankyloglossia.

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Just Flip the Lip! The Upper Lip-tie and Feeding Challenges

By Melanie Potock

While many pediatric professionals are familiar with a tongue-tie, the elusive lip-tie hides in plain sight beneath the upper lip. Because I focus on feeding difficulties in children and an upper lip-tie can be a contributing factor if a child has trouble feeding, then I probably encounter more lip-ties than some of my colleagues. Still, I’d like to encourage my fellow SLPs to just flip the lip of every single kiddo whenever assessing the oral cavity. And document what you observe. Help increase general knowledge among professionals on different types of upper lip-ties by raising awareness of how they may impact the developmental process of feeding.

Read More on The ASHA Leader Blog >>