Tag Archives: infant

“Baby Einstein” is Actually “Baby Falls Behind”

As a new parent and a medical student, I’m always on the lookout for the latest in pediatric research. Now, although the research I’m presenting here is several years old, I still think it is important to make it more well-known. Many people, parents in particular, are completely unaware that the latest technology claiming to increases the baby’s IQ is just another scam. So, without further ado, here we go!

Everyone has seen the DVDs lining the shelves of Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, and the like that are supposed to make your baby the next Albert Einstein. The problem with these DVDs isn’t just the fact that they don’t work. In actuality, they cause more harm than good! I won’t go into the details, and will leave that to the links I’ve included below. However, the main point is that children exposed to more technology are less likely to excel in language development and social relationships. Many studies have even determined a link between watching television and the diagnosis of ADHD later in life.

Babies develop intelligence through social interactions and imagination. The greatest asset to developing superior cognitive abilities in your growing little one is to promote their having a variety of social experiences. Thus, parking them in front of a television (or iPhone, iPad, computer, etc.) is not going to help them learn! Furthermore, one of the greatest predictors of happiness for any age, is the strength of a person’s relationships with others. If you have a wonderful parents, amazing friends, or a loving spouse, you are much more likely to live a happy life.

It is generally accepted amongst child development specialists that a child shouldn’t be exposed to television until 2 years of age. However, for some parents, T.V. provides their only opportunity for relief from the challenges of parenting. Obviously, this poses a problem for those parents. I am by no means calling anyone a “bad parent” for letting their kid watch T.V. Just limit the amount of time they watch to the best of your abilities. It’s not going to be the end of the world if you let them watch an episode of Dora the Explorer so you can get the laundry done.

As a side not, you don’t have to look far to see the detriment of technology for the younger generations. Go out to dinner and you’ll see kids texting or playing games rather than have face-to-face conversations with their peers or family. Studies have shown time and time again that children spending more time using technology (e.g. more television) are far less adept at social interactions. You can’t develop the ability to read body language if you spend your life talking via typing. If the impact of technology on the adolescent population is this substantial, it should come as no surprise that the impact on the rapidly developing mind of an infant is detrimental as well… perhaps even greater!

I love technology as much as the next person, and enjoy playing with all of the latest gadgets. However, I also know that it can be abused. Just limit your kid’s time with television, computers, etc. and you’re one step closer to giving your child the tools to developing into the person you always dream they’ll become!

For more information, I’ve included some links to various articles regarding the topic.

Baby Einsteins: Not So Smart After All – TIME

No, your iPhone won’t turn your baby into Einstein

Mayo Clinic Article

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My Baby Girl!

As I’ve said previously, it’s been a lot harder to keep up with everything on here since medical school started. Combine that with a newborn baby, and things can get pretty crazy at times!

My baby girl is officially 2 weeks and 2 days old today. My wife and I were blessed with a wonderful little girl who usually only cries if she actually needs/wants something. She isn’t on the greatest sleep schedule yet, but she’s definitely getting better. The one thing that she seems to absolutely despise is her car seat. She will cry for as long as necessary until we take her out of it. If she has the same persistence to meet her goals when she’s older, she will undoubtedly achieve anything she sets her mind to!

It still amazes me that I contributed to the creation of a human life. I find myself staring with awe at her little features and thanking God for sending me a healthy baby. I wish I was able to be home with her and my wife more often, but I make sure to cherish the time we do get together. I know it’s tough on her to be away from each other so often, but she’s been much stronger than she gives herself credit. She is a wonderful wife and an amazing mother!

Baby Brain Aneurysm – Saved by Superglue!

Baby Brain Aneurysm – Saved by Superglue!

Here is a great story about a 20-day-old girl named Ashlyn who was saved by physicians at The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City. After being examined by physicians, it was discovered the newborn had developed a brain aneurysm. Physicians approached the situation with caution since brain aneurysms in infants are a rare phenomenon. The approach used for adults could not follow the same guidelines on this tiny human being, and the necessary tools for completing the procedure that was chosen don’t even exist.

Fortunately, with some quick thinking and ingenuity, physicians were able to save the child’s life using a micro-catheter and superglue. Ashlyn’s improvement has surpassed her surgeon’s expectations, and doctors say they expect her to make a full recovery with no long-term effects.

Baby’s brain aneurysm halted – by superglue

Article posted by CNN’s Leslie Tucker on 10 June 2013

Medications During Pregnancy

Since yesterday was officially week 25 in my wife’s pregnancy, I saw this article and immediately felt like I had to post it.

With the rising number of medications people are taking on a daily basis, the safety of both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medication should be a concern for every mother-to-be (and father-to-be!).

A few standout statistics from studies mentioned in the article include:

  • Over 70% of women take OTC or prescription medications during their first trimester.
  • About 1/2 of women take at least 1 prescription medication during pregnancy
  • Fetal risk is “undetermined” for over 95% of the medications that have been approved in the last decade.

Since most drug trials fail to include pregnant women, although they may meet safety guidelines for the general population, safety during pregnancies are largely unknown. Even successful safety studies on animals don’t necessary apply to humans since the biological mechanisms can be completely different.

The safest course of action…. don’t take any medications if you can avoid it! I know Tylenol has been deemed safe for use during pregnancy, so you could use it to relieve any nagging aches and pains, but do your growing child a favor and try to avoid medications as much as possible. There are just to many unknown variables to take the risks.

If you’re pregnant, your spouse is pregnant, or even if you know someone who is pregnant, I highly recommend you read through the entire article.

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