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Are pacifiers bad for baby teeth?

Not if they're used for a limited time. I usually recommend that parents choose the square, orthodontic type of pacifier (look for the word "orthodontic" on the packaging), because it maintains a more natural alignment between the upper and bottom teeth. Pacifiers with nipples that resemble those found on a baby bottle tend to promote malalignment (buckteeth) if used beyond 3 years. A child shouldn't use any kind of pacifier beyond about age 4, because it could cause problems with permanent teeth. Also, never dip a pacifier in a sweet liquid, because that can cause tooth decay, or honey, which...

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How to Soothe a Teething Baby

My baby has a fever and a touch of diarrhea. Is that because he's teething? Some doctors don't buy into the idea that these symptoms are related to teething, but other pediatricians, myself included, see a connection. The usual scenario is that a parent will bring in an irritable 6-month-old who has a low-grade fever (less than 100.5 degrees) and some mild diarrhea. The child is also drooling and chewing on his fingers or anything else near his mouth. An exam doesn't show any problem, and the parent is sent home with instructions for managing the fever. Then, two or...

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What to expect and how to care for your baby's new teeth.

TeethingParents think of teething as the few days of swelling, discomfort, and irritability before a baby's tooth erupts, but tooth development actually begins before birth. Primary or "baby" teeth from below the gum line around the sixth week of pregnancy, and they're covered by hard enamel during the third to the fourth month. Permanent or "adult" teeth also begin developing at this time. During pregnancy, you can get your child's teeth off to a healthy start by following your doctor's advice and eating a well-balanced diet, including calcium-rich foods such as yogurt and dark leafy greens. And once your baby...

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What's Wrong with this Nursery?

Trouble Spot 1: A crowded crib "The safest crib contains a snug mattress with a tight-fitting sheet, and that's it," says Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, an organization that advocates for children's product safety. In the first year, an infant can suffocate on a blanket, stuffed animal, pillow, or any other soft objects. Keep Baby warm with a wearable blanket. Trouble Spot 2: A drop-side crib In June, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a ban on sales of cribs with this feature, due to suffocation hazards. (The sides are prone to detaching, and babies can...

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Refusing the spoon is normal. But it's scary (for parents).

Refusing a spoon is actually an important milestone—no less significant than the first tooth or the first step. Most babies go through this developmentally appropriate stage at around 9-11 months when they do not want to play a passive role in feeding anymore. They want to do it all by themselves! Of course, all children develop at different rates and some babies are happy to be fed with a spoon longer, especially those who were born prematurely or have oral-motor delays. But a vast majority of babies rebel against the spoon shortly before they turn one. As parents, we choose to control...

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