Growing Up: Babies to Big Kids

News you can use for your child right now.
By Holly Pevzner



Colic Hope
According to a recent Cochrane Review, gentle manipulative techniques, like osteopathy and chiropractic care, may safely reduce the crying associated with colic. In fact, researchers found they can spare you about an hour of wailing every day. Find a pediatric chiropractor at

Dive In!
While it’s no shock that kids who start swimming at a young age achieve physical milestones earlier, Australian scientists have found that these children also reach social, cognitive, and linguistic milestones sooner. 

The Reason: Swim teachers use a ton of spatial language (up, down, through) and counting. With both, kids associate a mental activity with the physical, which boosts learning.

Autism App
Load MySocius onto your phone or tablet and snap photos of your child’s favorite activities and things. Once the app’s gallery is stocked, use the pics to prompt your child to ask for an activity. This in-home teaching tool has been shown to bolster an autistic child’s desire to interact, focus, and learn. iTunes, $25.

Cartoons To Soothe
Wait. SpongeBob can be good for you? Yup. Watching a favorite ’toon before a routine surgical procedure, like a tonsillectomy, can significantly reduce a child’s pre-op stress, finds a study in Anesthesia & Analgesia. More than 40 percent of toon-watching tykes had little or no anxiety before going into the OR compared with 23 percent of kids who played with a favorite toy. Distraction is the key to SpongeBob’s success.

Read Now!

A new poll of 2,000 parents of children 11 and under has found that one in six moms and dads never read to their children, according to a report commissioned by publisher Pearson. Yikes! Carving out some read-aloud time isn’t as hard as you think. Start by tossing a book into your bag. Break it out during all those moments in  our day when you and your child are stuck waiting somewhere together. Easy!

Embrace Bieber Fever
Celebrity swooning is an honest-togoodness milestone. For many young girls, the star-induced squealing and crying is less about physical attraction and more about their trying to understand where they fit in, says one Kansas State University researcher. Moreover, these crushes help kids decipher what qualities are important to them in a (way-in-the-) future partner.

Boogie Away The Blues
More than 50 teen girls who were dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and/or neck and back pain enrolled in a twice-weekly dance class for eight months (a similar group had no lessons). Guess what happened? Not only did the booty-shakers experience significant improvement in their symptoms, but the benefits lasted up to eight months after they hung up their dancing shoes, according to a new study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. No surprise then that 91 percent of the girls said the classes were a blast.

Holly Pevzner is a health and parenting writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She's the only female in her house of two sons, a husband and tabby cat.

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