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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Myths About Picky Eating to Ignore

By Melanie Potock

No kid will starve. Kids who eat a very limited number of foods are indeed starving. They are deprived of adequate nutrition. Most won’t die, but they won’t grow well, stalling in both height, weight, and brain growth. Some extreme picky eaters may appear to grow well, because their diets are limited to fast food and calorie-laden juice or soda. But nutritionally, they are starving.

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Why Does My Baby Hate Their Pacifier? There Are A Few Reasons

By Shannon Evans

I’d read enough Mommy 101 lit to know better than to let pacifiers do my parenting for me, but I wasn’t expecting to have the opposite problem.  It seemed like everyone else’s baby was perfectly content sucking on a pacifier every once in awhile, but not mine. What’s the deal? I would constantly wonder in frustration.Why does my baby hate their pacifier?

It turns out, there’s more to pacifier magic than simply popping it in like a cork and expecting peace. Timing, as they say, is everything.

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What Is Hippotherapy?

By Barbara Smith

Horses are essential in hippotherapy, a form of neuromuscular therapy that can improve the posture and coordination of a child with disabilities.

Horses are special animals and their healing powers have been recognized for thousands of years. Hippos is the Greek word for horse and hippotherapy means the therapeutic use of horses. But hippotherapy shouldn’t be confused with therapeutic riding — hippotherapy is a medically based treatment tool, whereas therapeutic riding involves teaching people with disabilities equestrian skills. Although Hippocrates first mentioned using horses therapeutically in his ancient Greek writings around 400 B.C., it wasn’t until the 1960s that physical therapists (PTs) in Europe began using horses to help patients with neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy or brain injury. Physical therapists believed that the horse’s movement created neurological changes that helped improve a person’s postural control, strength, and coordination.

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Does Your Child Need Early Intervention?

By Barbara Smith

If your child is experiencing developmental delays, don’t worry. Here’s what to know and what you can do to help.

Soon after birth, your child will show off her personality and develop skills such as briefly gazing at objects, communicating that she wants to be held, and fussing to be fed. Although children develop at their own pace, most achieve certain milestones — crawling, walking, saying first words — at around the same age. When children are not reaching expected milestones and are showing significantly delayed development, parents may worry. Suspecting a “delay” is scary, but there may not always be a problem.

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What Is Speech Therapy?

By Barbara Smith

If your child has a speech disability that includes trouble pronouncing words, speech therapy may help improve language development, communication, and pragmatic language skills.

Speech therapy is an intervention service that focuses on improving a child’s speech and abilities to understand and express language, including nonverbal language. Speech therapists, or speech and language pathologists (SLPs), are the professionals who provide these services. Speech therapy includes two components: 1) coordinating the mouth to produce sounds to form words and sentences (to address articulation, fluency, and voice volume regulation); and 2) understanding and expressing language (to address the use of language through written, pictorial, body, and sign forms, and the use of language through alternative communication systems such as social media, computers, and iPads). In addition, the role of SLPs in treating swallowing disorders has broadened to include all aspects of feeding.

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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.

Read more on the ASHA LEADER BLOG >>

7 Surprising Baby Safety Mistakes You Might (Still) Be Making

By Tamekia Reece

September is National Baby Safety Month. Check out these surprising “don’ts” that many parents still do.

Picky Eating Prevention Plan

With Nancy Ripton, co-author of Melanie’s baby book, Baby Self-Feeding

Many times parents don’t worry about picky eaters until it’s too late. Once you already have a picky eater, it’s much more difficult to change the way your child looks at food. The good news for parents who haven’t yet started solids is that you can do a whole lot to prevent picky eating by the way you introduce first foods. 

Read more on Just the Facts Baby >>

How Your Picky Eater Changes the Dating Dynamic and What to Do About It

By Melanie Potock

You’ve finally made the step to introduce your child to that special someone you’ve been dating. Problem is, most dates involve at least a snack, maybe lunch, and God forbid a fancy dinner. If your child is a picky eater, the dinner options narrow down to anything with a kid’s menu, but if the chicken nugget isn’t cooked just so, or the French fries are crinkle-cut and not skinny, or the macaroni and cheese is beige and not made with the preferred orange powdered cheese… all bets are off.  The dating dynamic changes once your child’s idiosyncrasies with food are revealed.

Read more on the Wellness Blog >>