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April is “Financial Literacy Month,” which makes it an opportune time to shine a spotlight on the importance of economic and financial education for your kids. A recent study from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 40 percent of adults gave themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their

Unhappy Pre teen girl in school
We’ve seen the headlines and heard the horrific stats about child sexual abuse. But for many of us, teaching our young children about private parts safety can fall into the “I must do that” bucket, which means it may never get done or when we do, it’s not effective. There

Toddlers are so picky, which makes it hard to know how much to feed them when they won’t eat so many things, and, if they’re not refusing to touch a morsel of food, they’re famished. Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics has released new toddler feeding guidelines that can help you navigate this

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Pregnant ladies, the struggle is real. Sure, preggo food cravings scream “pregnancy stereotype,” but none of us are laughing when we’re rummaging through the fridge with a hankering for something salty or sweet at 2 in the morning. While pregnancy cravings can range from the weird to the delicious (chalk,

The house was eerily quiet. From outside, I heard squeals of children being shepherded into their cars for the last few days of school before summer vacation. This was the first time I had been home on a weekday, and I had no idea what to do with myself. I

Teething is typically one of the least fun aspects of parenthood. One child might not have any symptoms or adverse effects from teething and your other child might turn into a tiny little monster in the days and weeks leading up to a new tooth breaking through. It’s the unfortunate

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If you’re the parent of a fussy eater (and most parents I know are, including me), then chances are you’ve tried lots of different ways to get your child to eat different foods. Maybe you started off quite patiently, being very encouraging and trying a variety of tactics to make mealtimes fun. Several

Ah, summer. Lazy days, balmy nights spent around the campfire and vacations spent traipsing from sea to shining sea. Just kidding! When you’re an autism mom, those magical summer moments can feel more like nightmares—or at least require the same amount of planning as a full-fledged military campaign. Don’t get

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Diaper rash is a common condition that affects most babies at some point in their new lives. It appears on the buttocks, thighs, or any area covered by diapers. It is characterized by a red rash and may be caused by a number of things. Diaper rash affects the baby

Mother and adopted Chinese daughter (3-5)
Bob and Karen tried for years to have a child. After six emotional miscarriages, they finally agreed to adopt. “I brought up adopting several times, and we could never agree on whether that was our next step,” Karen explains. “Then one night he came home and said he thought we should

The next time you take your little guy to the pediatrician, you just might come home with an unexpected prescription for swimming lessons. A new Water Smart Babies program is gaining traction in a few warm-weather states, which is great news considering that children ages 1 to 4 have the

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Mother talking with daughters (10-11)
I was trying to do two things at once—cook (in the kitchen) while deciphering some paperwork (in the next room). I’d been interrupted a thousand times with requests for snacks, shrieks over spilled paint water, questions about what squirrels like to eat, and arguments over whether clouds could be blue

When I was pregnant with my first child, my momma bear instinct was in its initial phases. It was just starting to develop and blossom into its full potential. And although it was small, it was mighty. I had no idea how mighty until I walked away from a friendship

Watching your baby take her first steps is an exciting milestone for you and her. And now that she’s cruising, you may want to consider purchasing her first pair of baby shoes. Numerous types of shoes are on the market, but which ones are best for supporting a new walker? The

When you’re home with a newborn, it’s tempting to cocoon. After all, even a trip to the grocery store can be daunting: Do I really need to pack a change of clothes if I just need a carton of milk? We sought out veteran mamas for advice to help you

Traveling with your baby or young child can be challenging, especially when it comes to keeping his or her naptime and bedtime routines. Getting good rest is the key to keeping your little one in a good mood when you are away from home, so keep these five tips in

For years I’ve been committed to (some would say obsessed with) the idea that the cleaner I keep my home, the healthier my kids will be. Many of us parents have spent hours scrubbing floors, sanitizing toys and wiping down countertops. We’ve shielded our newborn babies from pets and strangers and insisted our kids wash their hands a dozen times per day. Now a new study suggests that moms like me have been doing it wrong. In fact, early exposure to allergens and bacteria may be linked to lower incidences of allergies and asthma later in life. The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, looked at 467 children from birth through 3 years old. Participants were screened for allergies every year, and their homes were tested for allergens and bacteria. Researchers were surprised by the results. Children exposed to mouse and cat dander, as well as cockroach droppings, before they turned 1 year old actually experienced lower rates of allergies and wheezing by age 3 than kids who were not exposed. In fact, kids who were not exposed were three times more likely to have allergies and experience wheezing. Exposure to bacteria was also linked to lower rates of allergies. However, exposure after the first birthday did not have the same result. “We’re not promoting bringing rodents and cockroaches into the home, but this data does suggest that being too clean may not be good,” study co-author Robert Wood, chief of the division of allergy and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, told NBC News. The study has some very interesting implications for how we think about our families’ environments, especially since, as Wood notes, “a lot of immune system development that may lead someone down the path to allergies and asthma may be set down early in life.” “This study confirms what a lot of us believe, which is that one of the reasons asthma, allergies and food allergies are on the rise is because of our sterile environment,” says Amy Shah, who specializes in asthma, allergies and immunology at Valley E.N.T. in Arizona. “The ‘hygiene hypothesis’ basically says that too-clean environments promote allergies, including food allergies and asthma, because there is not enough exposure to various bacteria and allergens in early life,” Shah says. “Westernized countries have double the risk of asthma, allergies and eczema. Asthma affects as much as 40 percent of the population in regions of New Zealand, Australia and the United States. By contrast, most third world countries continue to have much lower rates of all allergic diseases.” Shah notes that a previous study found that kids who grow up on farms also have a lower risk of allergies and asthma. Although researchers are still working to translate their findings into practical tips for parents, Shah offers these suggestions, which challenge traditional thinking in terms of raising kids. Let your kids get dirty! Don’t over-sanitize children’s hands. Avoid antimicrobial soaps and sprays. Most cuts and scrapes can be cleaned with an alcohol wipe, and kids’ bodies need just plain soap and water. Be very judicious with the use of antibiotics. Most ear infections, sore throats and colds don’t require antibiotics, so work with your pediatrician to wait it out at least 7-10 days. Don’t be afraid to share food and water with your child. In fact, for babies, parents’ saliva is actually beneficial. Perhaps this study will lessen many parents’ fears about their kids getting dirty or being exposed to bacteria. At the very least, it may mean less guilt if you don’t have time to clean the bathroom right away!  

Breastfeeding is fantastic for babies because it offers a wide range of health benefits and provides bonding time for mommy and baby, but a study has discovered that nursing a child past 2 years old can lead to infant tooth decay. The more frequently a mother breastfeeds her child during the

Mealtime can be stressful if you're a parent of a toddler. Here are six tips to help tame your child at dinnertime and make mealtimes enjoyable again: 1. It is the parent's job to offer healthy food options, and it is the child's job to choose what and how much

Mother and daughter having an argument
I recently got a gift certificate for a massage for my birthday—one of the best presents ever!—and since I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had one, I rushed to set up an appointment. But as I lay down on the massage table, my mind was racing with the million things

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