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.

Read more on cafemom.com >>

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.

Read More on The ASHA Leader Blog >>

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 >>

5 Common Mistakes (and Solutions) When Dealing with Kids’ Chronic Constipation

By Melanie Potock

As a pediatric feeding specialist, my job includes helping kids become more adventurous eaters by working with registered dietitians, physicians and other team members to ensure a child learns to comfortably try new foods. One frequent issue in kids with feeding challenges is chronic constipation. Why? Because picky or selective eaters often food jag on fiberless “kid food” like chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese.

Read More on The ASHA Leader Blog >>

To Brock Osweiler, Who Gave a Tiny Fan a Wonderful Christmas Surprise

By Melanie Potock

Let me introduce myself — my name is Melanie and I’m a coach. Not the kind of coach you’re used to — I’m one you’ll never need. I’m a “food coach” for little kids, otherwise known as a pediatric feeding therapist. Not a lot of people realize that for some kids, eating and growing is hard work.  Seems like growing is something you did pretty easily — all 6 feet 7 inches of you. That’s cool — you’re a good guy and should stand out in a crowd.

Read More on The Mighty >>

5 Fun Ways to Get Kids Drinking More Water

By Melanie Potock MA

As an SLP specializing in pediatric feeding, I often get parents and physicians asking me how to encourage toddlers and preschoolers to drink more water.

Many young kids in feeding treatment get “stuck” on one type of liquid, typically breast milk, formula or a supplemental high-calorie drink. Introducing water ensures that kids don’t fill their bellies with their favorite milk-like drinks and reduce their appetite for trying new foods. Plus, water is essential for gut health, regular bowel movements, and dental and vocal hygiene.

Here are five fun ways to help young clients enjoy drinking water:

Read More on The ASHA Leader Blog >>

What Is Tongue-Tie?

Could tongue-tie be affecting your baby’s ability to breastfeed? Here’s everything you need to know about this common but often overlooked condition.

Tongue-tied doesn’t just mean being too embarrassed or shy to speak up. Called ankyloglossia in the medical world, it is a condition that occurs when the frenulum — the tissue that connects your baby’s tongue to the floor of her mouth — is too short or tight.

Read more on Care.com >>