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  • Growth Curve

    Baby-led weaning won’t necessarily ward off extra weight

    When my younger daughter was around 6 months old, we gave her mashed up prune. She grimaced and shivered a little, appearing to be absolutely disgusted. But then she grunted and reached for more.

    Most babies are ready for solid food around 6 months of age, and feeding them can be fun. One of the more entertaining approaches does not involve a spoon. Called baby-led weaning, it involves...

    07/21/2017 - 07:00 Child Development, Health
  • Growth Curve

    Here’s how a child sees a Van Gogh painting

    One of the best things about having young children is that they give you a new way to see the world — a total cliché, yes, but true. Rainbows in water fountains are mesmerizing. Roly-poly bugs are worth stopping for. Bright blouses on strangers are remarked on, loudly. It’s occasionally embarrassing but always fun to see how this gorgeous world captivates children.  

    An inventive new...

    07/02/2017 - 08:00 Child Development
  • Growth Curve

    Babies categorize colors the same way adults do

    Lots of newborn decorations come in black and white, so that young babies can better see the shapes. But just because it’s easier for babies to see bold blacks and whites doesn’t mean they can’t see color.

    Very few studies of color vision in newborns exist, says Anna Franklin, a color researcher at the University of Sussex in England. “But those that have been conducted suggest that...

    06/01/2017 - 07:00 Child Development
  • Growth Curve

    Drugs for reflux disease in infants may come with unintended consequences

    When my girls were newborns, I spent a lot of time damp. Fluids were everywhere, some worse than others. One of the main contributors was milk, which, in various stages of digestion, came back to haunt me in a sloppy trail down my back.

    I was sometimes alarmed at the volume of fluid that came flying out of my tiny babies. And I remember asking our pediatrician if it was a problem. We...

    05/24/2017 - 07:00 Health, Child Development
  • Growth Curve

    Toddlers’ screen time linked to speech delays and lost sleep, but questions remain

    One of the most pressing and perplexing questions parents have to answer is what to do about screen time for little ones. Even scientists and doctors are stumped. That’s because no one knows how digital media such as smartphones, iPads and other screens affect children.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recently put out guidelines, but that advice was based on a frustratingly slim body of...

    05/12/2017 - 09:00 Child Development, Guidelines
  • Growth Curve

    Long naps lead to less night sleep for toddlers

    Like most moms and dads, my time in the post-baby throes of sleep deprivation is a hazy memory. But I do remember feeling instant rage upon hearing a popular piece of advice for how to get my little one some shut-eye: “sleep begets sleep.” The rule’s reasoning is unassailable: To get some sleep, my baby just had to get some sleep. Oh. So helpful. Thank you, lady in the post office and entire...

    04/26/2017 - 07:00 Child Development, Health
  • Growth Curve

    Language heard, but never spoken, by young babies bestows a hidden benefit

    The way babies learn to speak is nothing short of breathtaking. Their brains are learning the differences between sounds, rehearsing mouth movements and mastering vocabulary by putting words into meaningful context. It’s a lot to fit in between naps and diaper changes.

    A recent study shows just how durable this early language learning is. Dutch-speaking adults who were adopted from South...

    04/05/2017 - 14:00 Child Development, Health
  • Growth Curve

    For kids, daily juice probably won’t pack on the pounds

    I’ve been to the playground enough times to know a juicy parenting controversy when I see (or overhear) one. Bed-sharing, breastfeeding and screen time are always hot-button issues. But I’m not talking about any of those. No, I’m talking about actual juice.

    Some parents see juice as a delicious way to get vitamins into little kids. Others see juice as a gateway drug to a sugar-crusted,...

    03/30/2017 - 07:00 Health, Child Development
  • Growth Curve

    Touches early in life may make a big impact on newborn babies’ brains

    Many babies born early spend extra time in the hospital, receiving the care of dedicated teams of doctors and nurses. For these babies, the hospital is their first home. And early experiences there, from lights to sounds to touches, may influence how babies develop.

    Touches early in life in the NICU, both pleasant and not, may shape how a baby’s brain responds to gentle touches later, a...

    03/22/2017 - 12:30 Child Development, Health
  • Growth Curve

    Anesthesia for youngsters is a tricky calculation

    If your young child is facing ear tubes, an MRI or even extensive dental work, you’ve probably got a lot of concerns. One of them may be about whether the drugs used to render your child briefly unconscious can permanently harm his brain. Here’s the frustrating answer: No one knows.

    “It’s a tough conundrum for parents of kids who need procedures,” says pediatric anesthesiologist Mary...

    03/06/2017 - 09:00 Child Development, Health