Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Amazing Free Service: Parenting Advice

I have recently discovered the new FREE service sponsored by NIH: the NIH Parenting Coach!

This flyer describes the service. But basically you email the coach and she writes back to you with advice. I've done it! She's nice, and sensible. Here's the email address. Try it: NIHparentcoach@lifeworkstrategies.com.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mom stress: I think they think this is news

New survey of moms and their stress levels... this doesn't much seem like news. I think the finding that 3 is the most stressful number is an artifact of the relative commonness of two-child households and the rarity of the 4+. Or maybe that those moms of 4+ are biologically different from those of us who look at the two sets of muddy shoes at the entryway and decide that we're done.

With my little one just one little year old I haven't totally decided that we're done, though my husband has. But the chief reason I think we won't go for three is this: though I am doting on the second baby, I feel every day the gap in the amount of attention I am able to give my first baby. And to think I worried I wouldn't love the new one. Silly me. I hope that as the baby gets older and a bit more independent (and stops nursing!!), I will have more time and patience for the one who made me a mother nearly five years ago. I miss our special bond and I'm tired of yelling at him nearly all the time. I am working on this. Every day. To be more patient and less "judge"-y and strict. Not to say we aren't disciplined... I hope you get my meaning.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New findings on infant consciousness

Very cool article in Science News today about consciousness in babies--apparently it starts around 5 months! Check out the story.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The value of reading aloud

In case you were wondering about whether you still should be reading to your school-age children, check out this article on the value of reading aloud.

This was another piece circulated on the NIH Parenting Listserve, but I thought it was worth sharing. If you're not already on the Listserve, consider joining. Lots of great information...

Friday, January 25, 2013

The science behind play

This article was shared by someone on the NIH Parenting Listserve today, but I thought it was worth reposting to help remind us of the importance of play.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Bath time: wrinkled fingertips have a purpose!!

With credit to Science....

Not Slippery When Wet

FigureThe pale wrinkles that adorn fingertips after an extended soaking may be unsightly, but they serve a purpose: They help us get a stronger grip on slippery objects.
Long thought to be caused by osmosis-induced swelling in the outer layer of skin, the wrinkles are in fact produced by the autonomic nervous system, recent experiments indicate. But the purpose of the puckering—which occurs on hair-free skin of the hands, feet, and toes but nowhere else on the body—hasn't been clear, says Tom Smulders, an evolutionary biologist at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom.
In 2011, a team of neuroscientists suggested that the wrinkles served to enhance our grip on wet or submerged objects, just as treads on tires help improve traction on wet roads. "That seemed like a clever hypothesis that would be easy to test," Smulders says.
So he and his colleagues designed a test in which volunteers picked up 45 submerged objects—such as glass marbles and lead fishing weights—from a bin one at a time, passed them to their other hand through a postage stamp–sized hole in a barrier, and then dropped them through another hole into a box. When test subjects had wrinkly fingertips—induced by soaking their hands in 40°C water for 30 minutes—they completed the task about 12% faster than they did when their fingers hadn't been soaked, the team reported on 8 January in Biology Letters. When performing the same task with dry objects, wrinkly fingertips didn't provide an advantage.