Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stranger Anxiety vs Separation Anxiety

I just re-read this post I wrote 2 years ago when my second child was going through separation anxiety.  It is funny because now I'm going through it with kiddo #3 and for some reason, I don't remember the other two being this bad.  My kids sure do have a set of lungs!

I figured I'd clarify the difference between Stranger Anxiety and Separation Anxiety in this post.  Although, a lot of times they do go hand in hand.

Stranger Anxiety
  • this is a normal part of development that usually occurs earlier than Separation Anxiety and may start around 5 months and last to around 18 months (some get it worse than others)
  • child can get upset when he or she sees someone other than their primary caregiver and even if their primary caregiver is still nearby (can be relatives or close friends)
  • child will cling or hide between legs or cry when stranger approaches to interact
  • symptoms seem to peak around 12-15 months
  • reassurance to the child
  • consistency in schedule
  • slowly introduce new faces (may need to be around a few times before leaving child alone with new caregiver)
  • explain to family members or friends so they do not take it personally
  • patience (this will eventually pass)
Separation Anxiety
  • again a normal part of development that usually occurs around the same time as stranger anxiety but maybe peaks a little later and resolves by 24 months
  • child gets upset when separated from their primary caregiver (this is around the time when they realize that there is only one mom or dad and that if they don't see you, you are not there and since they have no concept of time they don't know when you are coming back)
  • can practice separation with short amount of time / distance
  • separate only after naps and feeds so child is not tired or hungry
  • keep surroundings familiar or make new surroundings familiar
  • develop "goodbye ritual" but do not linger or stall
So how do I get little E to not scream his head off at the nursery every Sunday?  He does fine with different caregivers at home.  Unfortunately, I think E has developed a bad association with the nursery because he starts to cry when we approach it from the hallway.  Therefore, I'll have to spend some Sundays with him there to get him used to the room and remove the negative associations.  In the past, we've attended early service on Sundays which was smack in the middle of his morning nap schedule, so that could have triggered this whole separation thing.  We'll have to consistently go to second service until he drops this morning nap.  Then maybe, slowly as he gets older and as we consistently introduce him to the environment, he will get over this.  My other two did!  Let's see how long it takes this time...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bumbo Chair Recall

This news is a few days old but thought I'd throw in a blurb...

My husband got an email from Babies R Us that the Bumbo Chair we got as a baby shower gift in 2007 is being recalled.  Apparently, babies are able to get out and are even getting seriously injured falling from high places like table tops and counters.  They actually did a recall in 2007 which resulted in a new warning label to not put the chair on high surfaces.  I admit we've placed our bumbo on the kitchen table to feed our kid.  Thankfully, none of our kids have gotten hurt.  I actually really like the chair and have even given it as gifts to others!

For more on the recall you can read or watch a clip about it here.

So now, they have this new seat restraint that is supposed to keep kids on the chair.  We just ordered it. Will let you know how it goes once we get it but the thought of having to install it is already not attractive to me.  I usually just leave those kind of projects for my husband to figure out... too much time and energy for my tired brains these days.  I guess it would be too chaotic for them to have folks go and exchange our old chairs for a new chair with the restraints already installed.  They say 4 million chairs are being recalled.

This is what the new chair should look like:

Thursday, August 16, 2012


So I don't remember if my two older girls got this since it is so common, but I'm pretty sure little E got it.  And boy has he been fussy this past week!  Maybe it is in our genes because this boy does not just wimper or cry... he screams!  Poor little guy... had the usual runny nose with mucous all over whenever he sneezes... then developed into a cough with decreased appetite and irritability.. then fever (usually high even above 103 but we didn't actually measure his)... just as the fever resolved he developed the typical red bumpy rash all over.  It is usually at this point that the diagnosis becomes apparent since all the previous symptoms could be any number of viruses.  I do know he didn't have an ear infection since I checked it... but usually with fevers, you have to make sure there is no definite bacterial cause (ears, urine, throat, etc).

Here's the quick 101 on Roseola...

What is it?
It is a common childhood illness cause by a virus.  It is sometimes also called Sixth Disease.

Who gets it?
Usually children between the ages of 3 months and 4 years, though  most common between 6 months and 1 year.  In fact, it is the most common cause of fever in this age group.

What are the symptoms?
  • eye redness
  • irritability
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • swollen glands
  • diarrhea (even vomiting but both of these are rare)
  • high fever (usually above 103)
  • after fever resolves about 2-3 days in, rash appears (rose-colored, small bumps, slightly raised)
  • rash does not itch and can last few hrs to days to weeks
How do you treat it?
There is no specific treatment and the disease usually gets better on its own.  Supportive measure for comfort can be taken.  For example:
  • tylenol or motrin for fever
  • encourage fluids and rest
  • lots of love (see prev post here about sick babies and toddlers)
Is it contagiuos?
Yes!  It is probably contagious about 2 days before the fever starts to 1 to 2 days after the fever resolves.  It can be passed through bodily fluids (like saliva, runny nose, cough) and it can be 7 to 10 days after exposure before you get symptoms.

How do we prevent this?
Wash hands!  But this is so tough in a the 6 month to 1 year age group since they are putting everything in sight into their mouth like all the time.  So it is no wonder this is so common in this age group!

When do I go to my doctor?
It never hurts to call and get medical counsel on whether or not your child needs to be seen.  But if your child has any of the following, make sure you seek medical attention immediately:
  • decrease urinary output (less than 3 diapers/day)
  • listless and lethargic
  • fever that does not resolve with tylenol or motrin
  • having seizures (can sometimes get febrile seizures as a complication)

Monday, August 6, 2012


I love the beach!  I love the soft sand, the crashing waves, and the soft serve ice cream cones that taste different when you eat them at the beach.  One of my favorite things to do in the summer time is to go to the beach.  Around here, the closest beach is the Jersey shore.  It is not exactly like the crystal clear waters and bright clean sands that you may find in Kauai (my favorite being Hanakapi`ai beach which you have to hike to on the Hanakapi trail...  and which so far is the most scenic trail I've ever hiked)  However, Jersey Shore has a culture of its own with greasy fried boardwalk food, games, rides... so for lots of folks around here, Jersey Shore is a tradition.  My favorite Jersey shore beach at the moment is Ocean Grove.  It is the shortest drive for us and is quiet and never too crowded during the times we've been there.  Further more, I think it has the best quality sand and water compared to the other Jersey Shore beaches we've been to.

Now, going to the beach with little kids is a whole different ball game.  This past weekend, my two older girls made friends with these other two girls exactly their same age but they had an older brother instead of a younger brother.  I got talking to their mom and she told me that this is the first year where she finds herself really "relaxing" while at the beach.  Her youngest is two and a half and her oldest is six.  So all her kids are capable of playing on their own with some supervision.  Previous years, she still had to deal with sand eating.  Well, that's about the stage we are at with our youngest who just turned one.  However, different from his sisters, E actually fell asleep while I was bjorning him and I was able to transfer him to our beach tent where he stayed asleep for greater than an hour!  He did this two days in a row.  The crashing waves must remind him of his sound machine that we use in his room when he naps and sleeps at night.

So couple of tips I found helpful when going to the beach with little ones:

  • using the spray type of sunblock is much faster to apply on the kids and less greasy especially when it is time to reapply and there is sand everywhere!
  • having some sort of beach tent is huge when there is a baby involved because if they can fall asleep under some shade then you've just bought yourself some "relaxing time"  (i suppose a towel and an umbrella would work too but if baby wakes up and you want them out of the sand a little longer they may play in the tent if u have enough entertainment for them)... if possible get the kind that just pops open without all the poles.  I miss our old tent that does that.
  • we didn't try this yet but a friend of ours would bring an inflatable kiddie pool... fill it up real good once and may save lots of back and forth trips with little buckets for the kiddos' sand creations... plus they can splash in it or just play in it and be entertained for hours again buying more "relaxing time" for mom and dad
  • water shoes helpful if lots of shells on the beach or if sand is super hot
  • keep reapplying the sunblock!
  • beach toys... gotta have lots so they stay entertained and best if more than one of each type is brought to decrease the chance of fighting
  • so how to lug all this stuff to the sand?  we've used a wagon... or their stroller... may be hard to drag on the sand but I think it's still easier than carrying it all by hand
  • finally, decrease expectations, relax, and have fun!

Anything else you all can think of?