Parents and Kids

People often tell new parents to avoid sing-song “baby talk” with their new addition to the family because it will slow the child’s language development.

But evidence shows it does the opposite; baby talk plays an important role in development and babies prefer it to other types of speech.

Who uses baby talk?

Scientists used to call baby talk “motherese”. Now it’s referred to as infant-directed speech because not only mothers, but fathers, strangers and even...

In the interests of dental health, everyone knows it's important to brush, brush, brush — preferably with a fluoride-containing toothpaste — twice a day. And children should be taught to do so as well, even before their permanent teeth erupt. Flossing too (as an example of interdental cleaning), while its efficacy has been questioned of late, is still advised by the American Dental Association (ADA). Of course such interventions are aimed at reducing the risk of dental caries and gingival (gum) disease, as is advice to minimize consumption of sugary, sticky foods. A...

The 'conscious uncoupling' of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, the Apple watch, the ice-bucket challenge, John Travolta's inability to say a name correctly - these are all events that occurred two years ago - in 2014. 

If you think back, you may also remember that a mysterious illness made headlines that summer - a previously unknown disease that looked a lot like polio left children paralyzed. And, as the case numbers grew (there were 120 cases between August and December that year) and people became more frightened - scientists grew more baffled. 

Now, we know a bit more about what happened in 2014 - although still not much. The illness that was making headlines is called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM.)  The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been...

"Breast is best" is a common phrase heard on the maternity floors of hospitals. Although breastfeeding is recommended by the American Association of Pediatrics, the campaign to promote breastfeeding can put unnecessary pressure on new mothers.

Breast milk has health benefits that are not found in formula, such as antibodies that ward off infection. However, we at the Council respect that breastfeeding (or pumping breast milk) may not be the best choice for a new mother and support the idea that every parent should choose what works best for their family, without judgment or guilt. 

A new non-profit group, "The Fed is...

A teething baby is a challenge for the most level-headed experienced parent.

Teething can bring sleepless nights full of non-stop crying. Although seeking out one of the teething products marketed to ease the baby's pain may be tempting - the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning against it.  

recent FDA news release cautions that homeopathic teething tablets and gels may be harmful to babies and children and recommends not using them. Possible complications to be aware of when using these homeopathic teething remedies are "seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or...

Co-Authored By Jordan Wells

  My co-author and niece, Jordan, said to me, “I want to write an article with you on role models.”  Since she is my life coach and I cut her cord when she was born, the mere suggestion was heartwarming and completely exhilarating.  

  I charged her with the task of finding the research to support her hypothesis that they matter to children and youth development, in general.  Because National Aunt’s Day — obviously there is one— is in July and the requisite Niece Day is in December, we split the difference and did the analysis now.  

  Passionate about psychology and understanding behavior and its origin, her theory was the advice itself and point-of-view from a non-parental adult is different from what...

Video games have come a long way from Frogger and Pac-Man. With their incredible graphics and enticing missions - kids can't get enough. Although most parents allow some gaming, there are still many questions regarding the impact that video games have on children such as - which games should they play (or avoid) and how long should they play for? 

A recent study in Annals of Neurology gives the parents of kids who game reason to breathe easier and feel less guilty about the time spent in front of a screen. The researchers studied 2,442 children in Barcelona, aged 7-11 years. Using parent questionnaires, the number of hours per week that children played video games was estimated and used to analyze...

Parents across the country are celebrating the first week of school. But back to school also means back to germs — eek!  Here's a few tips from Dr. Jamie Wells on how to avoid spreading the germs this school year. 

Credit: Shutterstock Credit: Shutterstock

People buy organic food for many different reasons, most of which are factually incorrect. Quite possibly the biggest myth about organic food is that it is grown without pesticides. That is simply untrue. Others have been led to believe that organic food is...

Nowadays, people are becoming nutrition savvy and choosing healthier foods. Particularly in the Western world, the quest for the ideal weight-loss-diet is driving the popularity of a high-protein/low carbohydrate lifestyle. 

The importance of protein for muscle-building and cell functions was discovered in the 1830's, but there is still some controversy regarding what is considered an ideal source of protein for overall health.  

What we know for sure is that humans cannot produce all the components of protein (amino acids) and must rely on food to meet the body’s protein requirement.  Protein is in many food sources, i.e., plants (grains, nuts, beans, and legumes) or animal products (dairy, eggs,...