Old Wives’ Tales About Childcare
There is knowledge in parenting that has been passed down through the generations. Some of this is good advice, sound, common sensical wisdom handed down from grandmother to mother to child and treasured as a gift. Some of it, however, is nonsense. Let’s talk about some things your grandmother may have passed along that are not quite right. Which as much scientific knowledge as we have in the modern era, there’s no need to cling to old wives’ tales about childcare.
- Many myths persist on the topics of standing and walking. For instance, many people believe that wearing shoes will help babies learn to walk sooner, when going barefoot is actually better. Soft-soled shoes that look like moccasins are wonderful for babies learning to walk, because they are flexible and help the baby feel the ground. Children who are walking need comfortable, flexible shoes. Another walking myth is that babies learn to walk sooner when they use a walker. Actually, baby walkers slow down a child’s progression into sitting, crawling, and walking, and are, in fact, dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics has even suggested a ban on walkers. A better alternative is an exersaucer.
- Let’s look at some myths about the mouth. It is commonly thought that thumb sucking causes buck teeth, but that is, in reality, not the case. Thumb sucking is natural, and often begins before birth. As long as children stop sucking their thumbs by about age four, it should not cause a problem. Thumb sucking over age five can cause buck teeth, but peer pressure usually discourages this behavior. Another common myth is that teething can cause a child to run a fever, or have diaper rash, a fever, or a runny nose. Other problems attributed to teething include sleep issues and lowered resistance to infection, but teething does not really cause any of these things. When a teething baby has some of these other symptoms, it usually indicates a virus; babies who are teething are also building immunity at the same stage.
- Myths about milestones can make new parents nervous. No, you don’t need to worry that something is wrong with a baby who gets teeth late, and feeding babies solid food early won’t help them sleep through the night. Babies who are late talkers do not necessarily have autism, and babies who are nervous about strangers when they are four to six months old are not insecure and unloved, they are going through a perfectly normal stage of development.
- We know more about environmental concerns than we did when most of these myths were started. Some people worry that taking a picture of a baby using flash photography is dangerous, but that is not true. There is also an old wives’ tale that air conditioning is bad for a baby, and another that says cats are dangerous to infants because they will steal the baby’s breath. Think about some of these concerns logically, and you will see there’s no need to worry.
- There are far too many myths about medical care. Let’s get the weirdest one out of the way first: people used to think blowing smoke into a baby’s ear would cure an ear infection by warming the ear canal. As we now know, second hand smoke raises a baby’s risk of respiratory infections and ear infections. That’s far from the only myth about taking care of a sick baby, though. Many grandparents still believe that you should treat a fever by plunging a child into a cold bath to lower the temperature or piling on blankets to “sweat the fever out.” Neither of these are good ideas, and both could actually exacerbate the illness. Treat a child’s fever with acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and see a doctor if it goes above 100.5°F in a very young baby or 104°F in an older child. Another myth is that wounds should be allowed to “air out,” but it is recommended to cover a cut or scrape to prevent exposure to contaminants. Never put butter or ice on a burn, but put the affected area under cool water to bring down the temperature and numb the area. Similarly, don’t put alcohol on a teething baby’s gums, but relieve teething pain with teething gel, teething toys, or a cool washcloth. One final old wives’ tale: that you should tilt a child’s head back if he or she is experiencing a nosebleed. A more effective option is to tilt the head forward while pinching the soft part of a child’s nose, below the bridge. This will allow blood to flow out of the nose instead of into the throat, and the nose-pinching will eventually stop the flow of blood.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love making the world better by helping people grow their families and offering good advice to new parents. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
How to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Did you know that heart disease makes up almost 25 percent of all deaths in males in the United States each year? It is the number one killer of men, and half of men who die suddenly of heart disease did not experience symptoms ahead of time. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, too, but it affects more men than women. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease.
There are certain factors that increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. These include:
- A higher than normal heart rate
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- History of smoking
- Family history of heart disease
- Lifestyle factors
So, what are some signs of heart disease in men? Chest discomfort with physical exertion that goes away when you rest, shortness of breath, jaw pain and pain in the left arm are all symptoms. Cold sweat and nausea are also typical signs of heart disease. Atypical symptoms include a feeling of faintness or light-headedness, a squeezing sensation in the back, and abdominal discomfort.
Of course, there are different symptoms for different heart problems. A heart attack can cause pain the chest, left arm, and jaw, a feeling of pressure or heaviness, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and sudden shortness of breath. Heart failure, on the other hand, causes shortness of breath during exercise or while lying flat in bed, waking up gasping for air in the middle of the night, and swelling in the ankles.
So, what can you do to keep your heart healthy? It starts with awareness. Know your family history, to understand your genetic risk. Pay attention to your overall health, too, having your blood pressure and blood sugar checked regularly. Keeping your blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, blood sugar, and waist circumference numbers in the healthy range can go a long way towards protecting you against heart disease, so make sure you’re paying attention to these numbers. Additionally, take the following measures to stay in good heart health.
- Exercise regularly. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week. Aerobic exercise is great for your heart, so try biking, swimming, or even just taking a walk. Practicing yoga is another good way to get in some exercise, and it can help with stress reduction as well.
- Eat a nutritious diet. Pack your diet with nutrient-dense foods, like berries, spinach, avocado, and fish with omega-3 fatty acids. Plant-based and Mediterranean style diets are good for your circulatory system, and eating enough fiber is good for your heart. Cut down on unhealthy fats like butter, high-fat meats, and fried foods, and increase your intake of good fats, found in salmon, nuts, and seeds, as well as some vegetables. Talk to your doctor about supplements that can help support your heart health. While you are eating well, make sure to limit your alcohol intake and drink plenty of water.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is restorative, and helps your body repair itself. Deep sleep helps blood pressure to regulate and can decrease stress. The amount of sleep that’s needed varies from person to person, but it’s generally somewhere between six to eight hours a night.
- Manage your stress. Stress is a major risk factor for heart disease, especially continuous stress or stress that is handled with unhealthy behaviors like smoking, overeating, or reacting with hostility. Look for ways to lower your stress and find ways to manage the stress you can’t avoid. Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, mindfulness, and even just brief period of rest are all good stress reducers.
- Don’t smoke. It is somewhat surprising that anyone still smokes in this day and age, when we know how bad it is for our bodies. Smoking can damage your arteries and other blood vessels, raise your risk of developing blood clots, and cause inflammation that hurts your heart. What’s more, chemicals in cigarette smoke cause plaque build-up in the arteries that is a major cause of heart disease. The good news? The minute you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease begins to drop.
- Take care of your teeth. Poor dental health can raise your risk of a heart attack. In fact, multiple studies have shown a connection between bacteria from gum disease and tooth decay and heart disease, because that bacteria can travel through the bloodstream from your mouth to your heart.
- Talk to your doctor about medication. If your risk of heart disease is amplified by another condition, ask about medication that can help manage it. Your doctor may want you to take blood pressure medication, for example, or medication to combat high cholesterol. Brush twice daily, floss once a day, and see your dentist twice a year to protect the health of your mouth and your heart.
Interestingly, there is a link between heart health and erectile function. This is because the penis, like the heart, depends on healthy blood flow and blood vessels to work properly. What’s more, some of the same conditions that increase your risk for heart disease also increase your risk of erectile dysfunction. These include hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and increased body weight. Interestingly, low testosterone creates a higher risk of heart trouble, but testosterone levels that are too high can also increase your risk of heart attacks and blood clots. Working with your doctor to stay in a healthy range can improve both your heart health and your fertility.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
How Staying Hydrated Can Improve Your Reproductive Health
By now, you know that drinking water is good for you. It flushes toxins from the body, lubricates your joints, gives you better skin, and just basically makes all your body’s systems work a little bit better. Did you know, though, that staying hydrated can improve your reproductive health? Read on to learn more about this somewhat surprising fact.
First, let’s just point out that water keeps all of the organs and cells in your body functioning the way they should. This includes the reproductive cells, egg and sperm, along with the reproductive organs, the brain, ovaries, uterus, testes, and thyroid. Men need to stay properly hydrated so that semen production and volume stay at the right level. Sperm in semen thickened by dehydration will have trouble swimming.
For men, the need to drink water for a healthy reproductive system goes much deeper than that, though. Drinking enough water increases the plasma and blood volume in your body, allowing blood vessels and arteries to work more effectively and oxygenating the vital organs. When a person is dehydrated, the blood vessels and arteries conserve water by restricting blood flow to the organs. For men, this means that there will not be enough blood circulating in the penis to allow for a firm erection. Water also helps slow the aging process by flushing out toxins and free radicals, and when you’re hydrated, you have more energy for whatever you’re doing, including sex. Being dehydrated cases the body to release stress hormones that interfere with your natural hormone levels and make you feel fatigued. To sum up, drinking more water leads to a healthier sex drive, better erectile function, and better sperm quality.
Is drinking water as important for women as it is for men? Absolutely! For women, dehydration can result in poor egg health. It can also mean less cervical mucus, which is important for transporting sperm to the fallopian tubes. If she does get pregnant, her body will need water to create the right environment for the growing embryo. Water plays key roles in every aspect of fetal development, from fertilization through birth. It helps carry nutrients to the placenta, flushes toxins away, and makes the uterus a hospitable place.
So, how much water is necessary for good overall health, including reproductive health? A good rule of thumb is to drink enough ounces of water to correspond with the number of pounds in half your weight. You can tell if you’re properly hydrated because your urine will be pale, like straw or lemonade. Urine that is a deep, dark yellow means you are dehydrated. However, if your urine is colorless, you are drinking too much water, and this can cause your body to lose important salts and electrolytes. You can also tell if you are dehydrated if you are not urinating enough throughout the day. A healthy person should need to urinate seven to eight times each day. Paying attention to how much water you are drinking each day and making sure you’re not dehydrated can be an important part of starting your family.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love making the world better by helping people start healthy, happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
How to Transition Your Toddler to Their Own Room
There are so many milestones in a toddler’s life, and the transition out of mom and dad’s room is a big one. Whether you have been co-sleeping or just had the crib in your room, and whether you are about to have a new baby or you just feel it’s time to reclaim your adult space, it can be upsetting to your child. After all, your little one has shared this space with you since birth! Your toddler may not make this big change easily, but there are some things you can do to help smooth the way.
- Take your time. If you are expecting a new baby, make sure to begin the transition long before the new little one’s arrival. That way, you can make the move gradual, for less drama. You never want your older child to feel supplanted or replaced by a younger sibling, because that can create lasting resentment. Begin the process by bringing some of your child’s most treasured belongings into the new room, like toys and stuffed animals. Play together in the new room, making it a place with positive associations, and incorporate the room into your bedtime routine, perhaps reading a bedtime story in that room.
- Make it a big deal. You want your child to feel excited about the move to the “big kid room.” Talk it up, getting excited about how much space there is for playing in that room, and start decorating it especially for your toddler. Give your child some control over the décor, allowing involvement in picking out the colors, the sheets, etc. Of course, you don’t need to hand over the reins to your opinionated little one, but do things like offering choices between two different colors or patterns. This gives the child a sense of control and makes the change feel less intimidating.
- Keep things the same as much as possible. For instance, if your child is not yet ready to leave the crib, move it into the new room rather than trying to change rooms and beds at the same time. Don’t change things like bedtime, and leave the bedtime routine as similar to the old routine as possible. When your toddler knows what to expect, the adjustment will be easier to manage.
- Fade yourself out of the picture. There is a technique called fading that is very useful in getting a child to sleep solo or in his or her own room. The first night, the parent sits on the bed with the child until the child falls asleep. The next night, the parent moves further away, perhaps into a chair beside the bed, leaving after the child falls asleep. Each night, the parent moves a little bit further away, until, finally, once the bedtime routine ends, the parent leaves the room. If the child wakes up in the middle of the night, the parent should return to wherever he or she was when the child fell asleep until the child goes back to sleep.
- Make it a party! What toddler doesn’t love a good party? Once your child has transitioned to the new room, throw a celebration to build excitement, perhaps getting your child a small surprise gift, like a new nightlight or lovey. Point out all the new and special things about the room, expressing excitement about what a cool big kid room it is.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love making the world better by helping people grow their families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
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