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My baby bites. What's going on?

Is your baby biting everything and everyone he/she sees? It might be possible that he/she is teething. 

Some babies bite not out of spite but because it soothes their irritated gums. If this is the case, try giving him/her a frozen bagel or cold teething ring to chew on.

But what If teething isn't the cause and your child doesn't seem particularly anxious about something? (which can sometimes be behind biting), 

Here are some other reasons why your child is biting: 

  • Expressing emotion: Oddly enough, young toddlers can bite as a way of showing love. Toddlers have really intense feelings but don’t know how to show them. Biting can be a way of expressing their feelings. Mothers often don’t understand why it’s just them who get bitten.
  • Experimenting: Toddlers are learning how their body works – they put things in their mouths, and sometimes bite. It’s impulsive and they don’t mean to hurt. Often, a baby bites someone when they’re teething. Sometimes toddlers bite when they’re over-excited.
  • Defending: Young children learn to bite as a defense, especially if they can’t talk. Sometimes changes or upsets at home can bring on this type of biting.
  • Controlling: Some children know biting is a way of getting other children – or their parents – to do what they want. They don’t always do this consciously. Sometimes the youngest child in the family bites to gain power.
  • Frustrated or irritated: Your child wants a toy back. Or they want a cookie or adult attention, or can’t cope with a situation. They may not understand turn-taking and sharing. Or things may have changed at home or the child feels under stress. Your child doesn’t necessarily mean to cause harm, but just can’t find the words to express themselves.

How to stop it

  • Intervene: Open your eyes – look at how intense, how frequent bites are and what the triggers are. One of the best ways is to act before your child has a chance to sink their teeth into anyone. Sometimes, parents are slow to do this – but it’s one of the best ways. Don’t put them into large groups if that’s where it happens. Plan in advance for their behavior. Children often clench their teeth before they bite – an unmistakable sign. Take the child somewhere quiet to calm down. If a teething child is trying out his or her teeth, find toys to chew and chomp on.
  • Teach them it’s wrong: When your child bites, use simple but firm words. Try, “that’s biting, that’s wrong” or a firm “no”. If you’re in a group, remove them from the situation. Explain that it hurts others and why you don’t like them doing it.
  • Teach them to express themselves: When things have calmed down, try to help your child find a less painful way to express their feelings. This works well with children who are biting to try to show their affection, says Mr. Flower. “If your child’s expressing love, teach them to hug rather than bite whenever they feel strong emotions.” Likewise, if your child bites out of defense, show them how to tell somebody they don’t want him or her too close – to make the “stop” sign (a hand held up) – or even gently to push the other child’s shoulder – which won’t hurt but gives a clear message. Or teach them to come and find you instead if they’re angry.

  • Reduce the effectiveness: When children bite to gain attention, dealing with it is trickier. After the first big talking to, don’t try to continue to reason or explain. Give a firm “no”. Put your body between victim and biter and turn your back on the biter. Give the victim sympathy and the biter a clear message this is an unproductive way of getting attention.
  • If time-out is one of your methods, now’s the time to use it. If the bite was over a toy or treat, remove it for a short while. If a child tries to control his or her mom by biting, try physically putting a part of their body in the way as they go to bite – an arm or a leg, which will stop them in their tracks.
  • Praise them for good behavior: Catch your child behaving well – not biting siblings, playing well in groups, not biting to get his or her way – and be generous with praise. Be specific – “good boy” becomes like water off a ducks back to them. Instead try: “how well you’re playing” or “aren’t you kind and gentle to your little brother?”

Additional Tips: 

Some children learn at different speeds and won’t pick up on things right away – you might need to be more persistent. When nothing works try these additional tips:

  • Stick with it: Keeping to a plan of action is more difficult than it seems. You need attention, energy, consistency and support These methods aren’t rocket science, but need planning and determination. Make sure your family is on the same page – young children find it hard when they receive mixed messages.
  • Give clear commands and be positive: Young children can’t understand negatives, so avoid “don’ts”. Try “we keep our mouths to ourselves” instead. Try not to raise your voice and speak in a firm voice. Don’t overdo explanations: One of the biggest mistakes is to give the warning all over again. If they continue to bite, don’t go into why it’s wrong; just say ‘that’s biting, that’s wrong’.

Be sure that no one laughs when your child bites and that no one, including older siblings, treats biting as a game or ever gives your baby a "love bite." Also never use your child's biting as an excuse to give in to his demands. Make sure that daycare providers understand your approach and are willing to follow it.

When to ask for help: Don’t rush to a therapist; seek help or advice first from friends and other parents, or teachers and nurseries who can also point you in the right direction if you want to take it further.

 

Source: BabyCenter, Supernanny.

 

Type 1 Diabetes in Children


Definition

Type 1 diabetes in children is a condition in which your child's pancreas no longer produces the insulin your child needs to survive, and you'll need to replace the missing insulin. Type 1 diabetes in children used to be known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes.

The diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in children can be overwhelming at first. Suddenly you and your child — depending on his or her age — must learn how to give injections, count carbohydrates and monitor blood sugar. Although type 1 diabetes in children requires consistent care, advances in blood sugar monitoring and insulin delivery have improved the daily management of type 1 diabetes in children.

Symptoms

  • Increased thirst and frequent urination. As excess sugar builds up in your child's bloodstream, fluid is pulled from the tissues. This may leave your child thirsty. As a result, your child may drink — and urinate — more than usual.
  • Extreme hunger. Without enough insulin to move sugar into your child's cells, your child's muscles and organs become energy-depleted. This triggers intense hunger.
  • Weight loss. Despite eating more than usual to relieve hunger, your child may lose weight — sometimes rapidly. Without the energy sugar supplies, muscle tissues and fat stores simply shrink. Unexplained weight loss is often the first sign to be noticed.
  • Fatigue. If your child's cells are deprived of sugar, he or she may become tired and lethargic.
  • Irritability or unusual behavior. Children with undiagnosed type 1 diabetes may suddenly seem moody or irritable.
  • Blurred vision. If your child's blood sugar is too high, fluid may be pulled from the lenses of your child's eyes. This may affect your child's ability to focus clearly.
  • Yeast infection. Girls with type 1 diabetes may have a genital yeast infection, and babies can develop diaper rash caused by yeast.

Causes

The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Scientists do know that in most people with type 1 diabetes the body's own immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses — mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing (islet) cells in the pancreas. Genetics may play a role in this process, and exposure to certain viruses may trigger the disease.

Source: MayoClinic

9th baby dies after heart surgery at a Florida hospital

A baby who had heart surgery at St. Mary's Medical Center in Florida died Tuesday, at least the ninth infant to pass away after such a procedure since the program opened at the end of 2011.

A CNN investigation calculates that from 2011 to 2013, the program had a 12.5% mortality rate for open heart surgeries, which is more than three times the national average.

"Why won't they stop?" asked Nneka Campbell, whose baby daughter, Amelia, died after heart surgery at the hospital.

The same day the latest baby died, St. Mary's CEO Davide Carbone wrote a letter to employees about the CNN investigation, which aired Monday night, expressing support for the program and its heart surgeon, Dr. Michael Black.

"The patients we serve are afflicted with severe life-threatening conditions, and it is impossible to eliminate the risk of mortality," he wrote.

The hospital, which is owned by Tenet Healthcare, says CNN did not get the mortality rate right, but won't say what the hospital believes the correct rate is.

Surgical death rates for babies kept secret from parents

"We are deeply saddened when a lack of institutional transparency may have contributed to potentially unnecessary risk and serious harm," said Amy Basken, a spokeswoman for the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association, a national advocacy group.

Last year in April, the Florida Department of Health sent a team of expert heart doctors to St. Mary's to review the children's heart surgery program. The head of the panel, Dr. Jeffrey Jacobs, a professor of cardiac surgery at Johns Hopkins, suggested they stop doing heart surgeries on babies younger than 6 months.

The baby who died Tuesday, Davi Ricardo Brandao, was only a few weeks old when he had surgery in March for a severe heart defect called truncus arteriosus, according to his mother, Pautilia Gomes. She said her son needed a second surgery later that month.

In April, in response to an inquiry from CNN, St. Mary's spokeswoman Shelly Weiss said a patient with truncus arteriosus at St. Mary's was "recovering well and the prognosis is good."

Davi never left the hospital and was not quite 2 months old when he died. Gomes posted a picture on her Facebook page of an eye filled with tears and the word "LUTO," which is Portuguese for "mourning."

According to St. Mary's, the hospital received the experts' final reviews last year in June. In his letter to employees, Carbone said that since that time, "our mortality rate has been consistent with the national average, and does not significantly exceed the mortality rate of other programs as the CNN story alleges."

He did not say what the hospital's mortality rate was, or whether it included Davi's death. An email from CNN to Weiss went unanswered Wednesday.

Source: CNN