When to Stop Using a Pacifier to Soothe Your Baby

When a baby starts crying, one of the first things many parents do is offer a pacifier. As the child ages, it’s natural for parents to wonder how long they should keep using the pacifier, no matter how effective it might be at calming a fussy baby. For all its benefits, parents and those working in child care services should be aware of the negative effects of pacifiers as well as when a pacifier should no longer be used.

No Hard and Fast Rules

While some experts are under the belief that pacifiers become more of a habit and less of a useful implement after six months, most say that a child should no longer use a pacifier after turning two. There’s also the debate between baby pacifiers vs thumb sucking. Thumb sucking can be just as harmful as a pacifier for a child’s developing mouth. What type of harm you ask?

The Dangers of Pacifiers

One of the biggest issues surrounding prolonged use of pacifiers is that they can lead to ear infections. This is because after a while of sucking on a pacifier, your child’s auditory tubes can open up more than normal. When this happens, throat secretions work their way into the middle ear where they can cause infections. There’s also evidence that suggests that pacifiers and thumb-sucking can damage the alignment of baby teeth, but that same evidence indicates that the damage isn’t permanent.

Weaning a Child Off Pacifiers and Thumb-Sucking

As children age, many suck their thumb or pacifier as a way to relieve the stress of starting school or being stuck in a car for a long period of time. While these methods of stress relief are no reason for you to be alarmed, you should take steps to wean your child off of both the pacifier and their thumb. Specifically, it’s best to start helping a child stop using a pacifier or sucking her or his thumb well before the age of three. Without taking preventative steps, it’s possible that the child’s upper row of teeth will start to tilt forward and lead to dental problems in the future.

Besides the baby pacifiers vs thumb sucking issues mentioned above, there’s a chance a child might develop speech problems due to prolong use of a pacifier. Pacifiers and thumbs can make it troublesome for a child to practice speaking. There are some great articles online to suggest ways to stop thumb sucking in toddlers and we encourage our readers to read these 9 tips on WebMD.com

It can be difficult to break your child of his or her pacifier habit. This post highlights some of the dental problems caused by pacifiers such as a posterior crossbite or an open bite.

Kitchen Designs That Seniors Appreciate Most

Kitchen Design For SeniorsWhile everyone has their own unique style when it comes to interior decorating, special considerations have to be made when it comes to designing an interior spaces for senior citizens that may struggle with tasks once considered easy. Not only should the home be visually appealing, it should be functional and made according to the unique needs of an aging body. Kitchens, in particular, often have to undergo the most alterations to adequately provide senior citizens with a comfortable and safe space. Learn the basics of a solid age in place kitchen design.

Counterspace

Individuals in wheelchairs need lower counters to feel comfortable while in the kitchen. Additionally, cabinets, appliances and everything else on the counters needs to be positioned so that someone in a wheelchair can easily reach everything without overexerting themselves. There are also special cabinet handles that can be installed to help those who have trouble with arthritis.

Sinks

Just like counters, sinks might need to be lowered for senior citizens. Those in wheelchairs are sure to appreciate sinks with a roll-under design that makes it easier for them to be used while a person is in a wheelchair. Besides roll-under sinks, installing a motorized sink is another good idea. Such sinks allow a person to adjust the height of the sink to one that suits them best.

Appliances

Appliances included in an age in place kitchen design should have a universal design. They should also be easy to use and understand and include convenient features. For instance, refrigerators with side-by-side doors are commonly easier for senior citizens to use. It’s also best to go with a model with the ice and water dispensers on the outside of the door. Also, it’s a good idea to aim for energy efficient kitchen designs to save money, which is great for everyone involved.

Floors

Floor material in kitchens frequently used by seniors should be slip- and skid-resistant. While it’s often easier to simply add a rug or two to the kitchen floors, senior citizens can easily trip over them, which can lead to the very accidents you want to prevent. It’s best to simply opt for slip-resistant flooring.

Lighting

It’s especially important to have proper lighting in a kitchen design for seniors. High light output LED bulbs are the way to go to keep elderly individuals from squinting and straining their eyes. Accent lights could be added over the sink and under cabinet kitchen lighting is helpful to keep seniors from having to turn on all the lights when it’s not necessary to do so.

A well-thought out age in place kitchen design makes life easier for senior citizens, and it’s great for their sense of independence. Let us know if you need help implementing these ideas.

Early Intervention Speech Therapy Helps Tremendously

Intervention Speech TherapyFor children with auditory processing disorder, early intervention can help toddlers get on the right track. Parents and other family members often work alongside speech therapy professionals to establish concrete goals for therapy. The early intervention can go a long way toward helping your toddler work through his language processing difficulties and even provide a headstart for them once they reach 1st grade.

How Early Intervention Works

Early intervention helps a child overcome communication difficulties before an official diagnosis is even made, and it also helps children who do have a processing disorder minimize its long-term effects. The child learns communication strategies that aid him in everyday life. Speech therapy for toddlers involves receiving EI services at home or in a classroom setting found at an early education program or at a daycare center.

Wherever the child is most comfortable should be where the language services should be offered and best if it takes place where the child interacts with others on a regular basis. The parents, guardians, care workers, etc., set goals and objectives through focused interactions, and these interactions should occur naturally in the child’s daily life. They often involve speech modeling and communication in a way that encourages the child to participate.

Early Intervention Techniques

It’s important to tailor the intervention to the child’s individual struggles and environment. However, there is quite a bit of flexibility in what works. For example, when you read or play with your toddler, make sure he is engaged with the book, object or toy. He will then be more likely to relate your words to the item, which fosters joint attention skills. You can also encourage sharing and good play habits with the toddler, by pairing an action with a sound and then encouraging the child to mimic that sound. This helps the child practice meaningful exchanges.

Another positive way to encourage verbal interaction is by incorporating words into your toddler’s playtime with you. For example, if he takes a broom and begins sweeping the floor, you can talk about the broom, about how clean the floor is getting, etc. The toddler doesn’t need to respond to your narrations, but he will likely process what you have to say. If your toddler shows interest in something and involves you in his play, listen to his nonverbal communication quest and repeat it back to him verbally. For example, he may pick up a ball and show it to you with enthusiasm. By verbally showing equal enthusiasm, you in effect help him translate his excitement into words.

Speech therapy for toddlers can help them overcome or minimize a communication disorder. With auditory processing disorder treatment, parents, guardians and a speech pathologist in Mercer County can work together to enhance the child’s way of life.

Drug Addiction Do’s and Dont’s

Drug Addiction SupportDrug addiction can be difficult on friends and family, as well as on the person suffering from the addiction. You naturally want to help, but may be unsure how to do so effectively. A drug intervention specialist can often help your loved one get on the right track, and this method can aid in his rehabilitation before he ends up in jail..

Don’t: try to do their recovery.

While it may be tempting to carry your loved ones’ burdens, only they can go through the recovery process. Someone who struggles with addiction may find themselves relapsing, and this is not an uncommon occurrence. There is little you’ll be able to do to prevent this from happening if your loved one is on a mission and is not yet been through treatment, no matter how strongly you want to manage your loved one’s life.

Don’t: try to make them quit.

Recovering from an addiction must come from one’s own volition. You can stage an intervention, and even use a drug intervention specialist. Interventions can be helpful, because the person suffering from addiction often realizes the toll the addiction is taking on those he or she loves. However, after the intervention, it is up to him or her to take the necessary steps for treatment. The specialist can guide you to best options but the decision to change old ways must be a personal decision for the alcoholic.

Don’t: try to bargain with your loved one.

It can be tempting to offer rewards for good behavior, including monetary incentives. But these don’t seem to help the loved one in the long run. Instead, he or she often ends up breaking promises and becoming elusive, because the pull of the drug is too strong. Instead, it’s important to keep boundaries and explain these boundaries to your loved one. When you do this in love instead of anger, it demonstrates what you will and won’t accept. For example, you may decide that your adult child needs to move out of the home if he or she doesn’t seek help.

Do: keep the lines of communication open.

Those who struggle with addiction are often ashamed of their actions. They may feel weak for not being able to stop the addiction on their own. Talking frankly with your loved one, without judgment or shaming, can help him or her feel accepted. This acceptance often encourages the loved one to find help.

Do: seek support.

You may decide to seek out a support group like Al-Anon or speak with a trusted friend or family member. Sharing your struggle can often help you find some solace that doesn’t solely depend on your loved one’s recovery.

There are no easy answers for supporting someone you love who suffers from addiction. However, a drug intervention specialist can help your loved one get on the right track and perhaps choose rehabilitation vs incarceration. Sometimes all the loved one needs is a push to make a change, and getting an alcohol intervention in Philadelphia is not so elusive. There are several qualifies drug interventionists who know how to best foster the communication between all parties.

What Are Those White Spots on My Baby’s Teeth?

white spots on baby teeth As a parent, you want your children to be healthy, and that includes their teeth. Baby teeth may be replaced in a few short years by the permanent set, but they still require care to prevent decay and other more significant issues. Any untreated dental problems may affect their adult teeth if left untreated.

Perhaps you have noticed white spots on your child’s teeth and have wondered what causes them. In most cases those white spots are no cause for alarm, but they should be evaluated by a dentist to determine if treatment is needed. There are two main causes for white spots on baby teeth, overexposure to fluoride and tooth decay. Luckily, both of these conditions can be diagnosed and addressed to protect your young child’s dental health.

The Good News

Fluoride is one of the best ways to protect young teeth from cavities caused by the buildup of plaque, which is why it is added to water supplies in most areas. If your child drinks a lot of water, be happy that floride is being delivered via the water supply. White spots may develop on his or her teeth due to too much fluoride, a condition known as fluorosis. While it may be concerning, you should not worry too much. There is little risk that these white spots will affect the development of adult teeth; in fact, the exposure to fluoride may strengthen the enamel of adult teeth as well while they begin to form under the baby teeth. Check with your dentist to see if fluorosis has caused these white spots to appear. You may also want to make sure your child is not using too much toothpaste when brushing to limit the fluoride intake.

And the Not So Good News

The other main cause of white spots on your baby’s teeth is decay. Tooth decay can result from not enough brushing and flossing to remove bits of food. When bacteria has the opportunity to take hold, you may notice white spots near the gum line and other signs of tooth decay in toddlers, such as puffy gums and bad breath. A trip to the dentist for a cleaning and checkup, followed by a fluoride treatment, can take care of your child’s baby teeth to keep them healthy and prevent cavities or deeper infections.

Teach your child proper dental hygiene now to take care of teeth for a lifetime. Colgate Oral Care Center has lots of good tips to help you instill healthy habits at any age as well as more information on white spots on baby teeth and other dental concerns. This is just one of the signs of tooth decay in toddlers that you should keep an eye out for. Even the best pediatric dentist in Langhorne can’t force you to teach good dental hygiene at home. This often comes from patient persistence between the caregiver and the child.

 

Faucets & Fixtures That Liven Up a New Kitchen

Kitchen FaucetWhether you are building a new home or remodeling your current one, you have the opportunity to incorporate popular trends to suit your lifestyle and your aesthetic pleasure. More fixtures used throughout the home these days are geared towards new technology that offer better function, while at the same time giving you choices for the look you want. Take kitchen faucets, for example; you have more options than ever to add beauty while taking away a bit of the work. These kitchen hardware ideas may spark your creativity when you select fixtures for your new kitchen.

Fabulous Features

It’s time to make your kitchen faucet earn its keep! Today’s fixtures can do more than let water flow. These faucet ideas may appeal to you:

  • Pot fillers: tall faucets extended 8 inches higher than most faucets or an additional wall mount can make filling a large stock pot easier.
  • Pull-out faucets: these can be used in place like a regular faucet or pulled away from the main hardware to be used as a sprayer for rinsing..
  • Aeration faucets: you can reduce your water usage with faucets that add air flow to a reduced water flow to keep water pressure the same. This idea is great from our eco-friendly kitchen designer.
  • Motion sensors-faucets with a hands-free motion detector will only activate when it detects hands or objects under the faucet. This wastes less water for hand washing sinks.

Fancy Finishes

Remember when kitchen faucets were only chrome? Today you have a slew of other finishes to consider as well. Brushed nickel and bronze continue to be popular, but some of the newer finishes offer more than just looks. Stainless steel and matte black mask both water spots and fingerprints. You can also look for different textures, such as smooth, shiny, or oil-rubbed for a more unique touch in your new kitchen.

Fresh Fittings

What if you want a more custom look for your home? A new kitchen hardware idea incorporates a pop of color in the faucet trim. Look for a white, red, or black inset against a metal finish for a bold statement. Very popular for 10+ years is the single handle design over separate hot and cold handles for more simplicity and easier use. A kitchen designer with creativity can show you all the latest styles at various price points to make your kitchen more appealing to you and your guests.

How do you know if any of these features in kitchen faucets for new kitchens are right for you? Consumer reports and sites like Best Reviews takes the guesswork out of fixtures by testing products and sharing the results with consumers to keep you informed before you buy.

Kitchen Lighting Gets Risqué for Gen X’ers

Ktichen LightingDeep within all of us is the deep love for that traditional Rockwellian home setting that offers warmth and comfort due to its perpetual association with family. Yet there is a reason why such nostalgia is buried deep. While such a setting is often longed for during holidays and special occasions, it isn’t one that typically jives with the lifestyles and personalities of today’s Gen X’ers.

Take your kitchen, for example. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking only of the space’s function, and then designing around it accordingly. However, if you truly stop to analyze things for a second, you’ll come to the realization that the kitchen is the epicenter of your home. Almost all activity originates from there. Thus, given the amount of time that you as well as your family and friends will spend in there, should you not then plan on putting a little bit of yourself into the space with your lighting?

Successfully Combining Style and Function

Is this possible without sacrificing function? Believe it or not, style and function are not mutually exclusive. In fact, when it comes to kitchen lighting, one can enhance the other. If you’re like most plugged-in people, then you’ve likely designed your kitchen in a contemporary style. You owe it to the space not to stop that style pattern once you start installing your lights.

How can you apply the level of sophistication assigned to your generation in your kitchen lighting while still seeing to the space’s optimal function? Consider the following tips:

  • Mixed recessed lights with stylish fixtures: Many feel as though recessed lights and hanging fixtures don’t mix, yet the truth is quite the opposite. Stylish hanging fixtures are typically used for task lighting, while recessed lights provide ambient lighting. Yet it’s important to know where to place canned lights. Putting them under cabinets or in over sinks ensures that they won’t take away from your hanging fixtures.
  • Get creative with your pendants: Hanging pendant lighting over kitchen islands and prep areas offers you a wealth of possibilities when it comes to design. Keep in mind that these fixtures will figure prominently in your design, so don’t be afraid to get a little crazy and creative, like choosing colors contrasting your cabinetry or hanging lights unevenly.
  • Incorporate sculpture: If you’re looking to go really bold and risqué with your lighting, any kitchen designer with creativity will tell you to consider a sleek, monorail style fixture that snakes its way over your surfaces from which you can hang fixtures at differing intervals.

Who says that your kitchen lighting ideas have to be boring and bland? Your home is the canvas on which you imprint your personality. Why, then, would that same principle not also apply to your lighting? Find yourself a lighting designer with creativity and fresh new design concepts. Add under counter kitchen lighting to illuminate the floor and lower storage spaces. Go ahead and make a bold, risqué statement to your kitchen with your own personal style.