Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What Do You Do When Your Toddlers Are Hitting Each Other?

As a mom of two sets of twins, a question posed to One Sassy Doctor about twin-twin toddlers hitting each other was familiar!

Hitting is normal amongst twins and non-twin siblings. Although it is distressing to see one child hit—and another child be hit—it is an expected part of development that becomes more salient when both of the kids are your own! You’re looking at one child thinking, “My baby is getting hit!” and another child thinking “My baby is hitting another child!” Where do you begin?

Monday, December 26, 2011

A One Sassy Doctor Original Holiday Poem

One Sassy Doctor has written a poem for you all to enjoy. Yes, I can’t sing, but I write a mean poem.

It’s holiday time, and the snow is a falling,
And the kids and the kids and the kids are a–calling;

Baby woke early, toddler jumps on the bed;
What hurts more—your back or your head?

Sippy cups dry, diapers soaked wet,
But it’s holiday time! So don’t even try and fret!

Smiles and laughter and presents and food—
Mom’s supposed to be smiling and in a great mood!

But that’s not always easy with all there’s to do,
And when you can’t tell if that brown stain is chocolate or poo!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Should I Allow a 14-Month-Old to Nurse Several Times a Night?

A mom wrote to One Sassy Doctor asking if she should stop allowing her 14-month-old to nurse several times a night. One Sassy Doctor jumped right on that one! Nursing your 14-month-old at night? Well, may not be the best thing for you and your baby. Here’s why!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ho Ho Ho! Think Safety In Your Ho Ho House During the Ho Ho Holidays!

This is not going to be a relaxing blog post. Sorry, One Sassy Doctor fans, we’re popping balloons and pouring egg nog in the toilet for this blog post!

You’re enjoying egg nog: Think: Toddler spills egg nog, so toddler gets burned. Toddler drinks (alcohol-laden) egg nog, so toddler drinks alcohol (not a good thing).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Can Babies Sleep in Baby Swings?

Many people ask about the safety of babies sleeping in baby swings. Safety wise, the best place for a baby to sleep is flat on the back on a surface that is firm & designed for sleep (like a crib), free of any soft bedding or toys. When a baby falls asleep in a swing, they are in an upright position or even slumped over a bit. If you notice that your baby has fallen asleep in a swing, gently transition your baby to a safer sleep space.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Talking To Family & Sitters About Play Safety - Holiday Toy Safety Post #2

You may have a grandma or child care provider around the house when the floodgates of new toys arrive around holiday time. One Sassy Doctor has outlined some basic toy and play safety topics for discussion with anyone caring for your child related to play safety:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

When Your Baby Becomes A Vampire! What To Do About Teething Nursing Babies

Well, mom, you’ve just touched upon one of the ouchiest parts of nursing! Some babies begin to bite the breast during nursing when teething. This can be extraordinarily uncomfortable for mom and potentially dissuade mom from continuing to nurse. Babies engage in this biting behavior because the pressure of biting (on a teething ring, on a finger, or—unfortunately—on a nipple!) reduces the inflammatory pain associated with tooth eruption. It’s a tricky situation—you want baby to nurse as usual, but the biting just doesn’t fly!

Monday, December 5, 2011

One Sassy Grandma – Holiday Toy Safety Post #1

Choosing safe toys for your baby or toddler isn’t just about product labels and age recommendations. We need to understand each child’s developmental level, the play environment and how these factors play into toy selection—a child with developmental challenges, for example, may require toys with capability features specific to their needs.

One super important element to toy safety is the “grandmother effect.” This is as looming as a fork in a light socket (well, kind of a dramatic analogy, but you get the drift). Parents must be super vigilant hawks when it comes to presents received by others.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Breastfeeding & Teething

A reader asked Dr. Jen about how to handle breast biting during teething. We thought we’d share the answer Dr. Jen gave on her website!

Well, mom, you’ve just touched upon one of the ouchiest parts of nursing!

Some babies begin to bite the breast during nursing when teething. This can be extraordinarily uncomfortable for mom, and potentially dissuade mom from continuing to nurse. Babies engage in this biting behavior because the pressure of biting (on a teething ring, on a finger, or—unfortunately—on a nipple!) reduces the inflammatory pain associated with tooth eruption. It’s a tricky situation—you want baby to nurse as usual—but the biting just doesn’t fly!

I would suggest taking the following steps:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Moms & Dads Need a Break: Safe Ways to Take a Moment for Yourself

One Sassy Doctor’s four children know that mommy says pretty much the same thing every day after work: “I can’t wait to hear about your day and snuggle and have fun. But Mommy needs a minute to change my clothes, and stare at the wall. I’ll be down in 10 minutes and I’m all yours!”.

Yes, I lie on my bed for at the end of the work day, sans TV/music/books, and simply stare into space. My kids are welcome to come snuggle during this hiatus from real life—but it’s quiet time. It’s my little way of taking a break. I was very fortunate to have help at home with both sets of my twins, and was able to take a break when I needed to. Not everyone can do that—and that’s why I decided to write this posting. It’s OK to put your baby down (or your toddler, or your teenager!) and take a safe moment for yourself. As parents, we often feel guilty that we feel like we need a moment to ourselves. Wash that guilt right out of your hair, here, today, ok?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gassy Babies & Tummy Time

A reader asked Dr. Jen about using gripe water for help with gassiness. We thought we’d share the answer Dr. Jen gave on her website!

What does the word “gripe” mean, anyway? I looked it up! Gripe means to complain about something. Well, if I was a baby with gas with a teeny tiny tummy just learning to work right, I’d certainly complain!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tummy Time (Part 3): Who’s the Boss?

Did your mommy make you eat your brussel sprouts? What do brussel sprouts and tummy time have to do with each other?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why Does My Baby Have Pimples?

A reader asked Dr. Jen about her one month old’s facial rash. We thought we’d share the answer Dr. Jen gave on her website!

One thing babies and teenagers have in common: Pimples! Why? Hormones! It sounds like your baby has one of the multitudes of rashes that have many things in common:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tummy Time (Part 2): Preparing to Get Started

So, here you are with your young baby wondering how to start tummy time.

Parents shouldn’t start traditional “on the floor” tummy time until one month of age. If your baby has any medical or developmental issues, you should talk to your pediatrician before starting tummy time. This blog post, however, is all about what we can do during the first month to make the start of tummy time a bit easier! This One Sassy Doctor calls it “tummy time” preschool.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Weaning the Pacifier: When & How?

A mom asked Dr. Jen about weaning her toddler from the pacifier. We thought we’d share the answer Dr. Jen gave on her website!

This is a terrific question. First, I am wondering why you want to wean your son from the pacifier at 19 months if he is only using it during sleep and periodically in the car?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tummy Time (Part 1): Why Tummy Time?

There is nothing cuter than a pudgy baby tummy; unless you're One Sassy Doctor (me) and also like to snuggle baby toes. Back to tummy time! Tummy time is a challenging yet critically important part of baby play and development. Although we always hear how important tummy time is from a “doctor advice” angle, it’s not “Should I do it?” but “How do I do it?” that most parents struggle with. This first blog post on tummy time will explore why tummy time is so important. Next week, I’ll give you some pointers on how to get started!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dr. Jen’s Tips on Biting

Having experienced my own children being bitten—and also biting others—I consider myself a mommy/doctor biting control pro!

Why do kids bite, and how should adults respond?

Biting is a way for a child to express frustration, anger and loss of control. It is a normal part of social development, although not an acceptable part. There are certain behaviors that parents, teachers and caregivers should simply ignore and let children work out for themselves. Biting is not one of them.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mom Balancing Act: Be Busy, But Stay Healthy

Last week I shared some general mommy-sanity saving tips. I intentionally left out one of the most important elements of mom’s balancing act: taking care of yourself.

Have you ever felt like your own body and mind come last on the list of priorities? Who can even think about popping in a yoga video when you are covered in poop, the phone is ringing, and your chicken is burning in the oven! Trust me, this One Sassy Doctor is the furthest thing on the planet from a “zen” momma. (Just ask my husband!) However, over the past eight years of being a multi-tasking mother, I have developed four simple tips that I live by and want to share with you:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Working Mother Guilt

Working mother guilt? So many moms face this struggle, and it is one you’ll wrestle with through motherhood. It is absolutely normal to feel this way, and by acknowledging this question and expressing your emotions you are taking the first step.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mom Balancing Act: The Holidays Are Coming

It’s only October and we’re already planning for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays coming up! Ahhhh!

In this post, we’re going to explore mommy’s balancing act, how mom does it all. This time of year is, personally, the most frantic for me. With the kiddos in school, work in full swing, a billion birthday parties (two sets of twins…) and the holidays coming up, each day seems like it flies by. One Sassy Doctor still struggles with balancing it all, but along the way I’ve developed some effective strategies.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What Does One Sassy Doctor Think About Vaccinations?

The American Academy of Pediatrics and I (Dr. Jen) do not recommend any modification of the current immunization schedule. In light of significant buzz about potential vaccine connections to autism and other medical and developmental issues, I want to share some important facts which support why the current schedule is best for your little ones.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Importance of Talking to Babies—Part Two: Ways to Expose Babies to Language

Last week, we discussed why exposure to language is so critical to a baby’s language development. Now we’re going to explore the ways to do it!

There are so many wonderful ways to expose your baby to language during the early stages of development! Here are some ideas:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Pre-Two Terrible Twos!

The “terrible twos” may arrive before the second birthday! Parents of toddlers often ask for my tips on how to handle public outbursts with really young kids. Here are Dr. Jen’s tips on discipline—for pre-two-terrible-twos!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Importance of Talking to Babies —Part One: Why It Is Important

Language development in babies is one of the most magical parts of parenting. Many parents remember the first word and first sentence. Honestly, with two sets of twins, I can barely remember my keys in the morning! But, the first words are impressed in my mind forever—cookie, dada, paci, ball, my four pookies’ first words.

Talking to children (or singing if you have a stellar voice like I do) is one of the most important parts of language progression. In this post, we are going to explore WHY talking to babies is so important.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Healthy Sassy Smiles! Information About Healthy Dental Development

Wow, is this One Sassy Doctor’s husband obsessed with our kids having good teeth. Perhaps that’s because his late father was a dentist. Or perhaps he knows how healthy teeth create healthy smiles and reflect a positive projection into the world. Well, I married him for his glowing smile, so I suppose he’s right (lucky guy…).

Anyhoo … with tooth decay being the primary dental problem among children ages 2 to 5, we’re fortunate that it can be completely prevented! If we encourage healthy dental habits starting from the baby years (sassy baby years, if I may…), this will help foster positive habits and the healthy glowing smiles we want to see when they are all grown up.

Here are some One Sassy Doctor informational tips on healthy dental development—starting from birth!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One Sassy Doctor’s Interview with Speech Pathologist, Ms. Anne Freilich, M.S., C.C.C. Licensed Speech Language Pathologist

Speech and language is the pathway I entered the world of developmental toys & feeding products—and how One Sassy Doctor was conceptualized. My little guy has speech delay, and during a session with his speech pathologist, I came up with the idea for the U-Play Mat. So, the connection between writing this blog and interviewing a speech pathologist feels very natural. As a pediatrician, I really did not understand speech delay and development until faced with this as a parent. Language and speech development have become a special interest for me since, and I’m super excited to bring you this interview today!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Imitation is the Greatest Form of Flattery

It’s ridiculously cute to see a little one imitating mommy, daddy or an older sibling. It’s even cuter when the imitating is just a little bit “off”—for example, my daughter said “in the meantime”, and her little brother later said, “You are going to go into the mean time. Mommy why is time mean?”

Some little ones even imitate themselves!

And, believe me, my little one is certainly imitating my dramatic flair in this shot!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Juicy Advice From Our One Sassy Doctor

When it comes to juice, I draw a line in the sand. I am not the perfect parent (believe me!) and faced some juice challenges when my sons’ daycare served juice. So, this advice is not coming from someone who never gave her kids juice. My kids are heavy water drinkers, but have tasted juice (preferably watered down) at birthday parties and at daycare during meals only (and I limited it to once a day). However, none of them had a dose of juice until they were three years old. Not a taste. We made sure to stick to breast milk, formula, whole milk, lower fat milk and water at the appropriate ages.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When In Doubt, Get Out!

This is our #1 family motto in the Canter house. When those winter days are getting to you, get out of the house! When it is spring or fall, and you can take a leisurely stroll, do it! When it’s summer and you can get into some safe water play, or have a social interaction with friends/family outdoors, motivate. I am a big believer in getting outdoors—for your own enjoyment and to set an example of healthy lifestyle.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Strolling Along, Sassy Style

Wow, did we go through a lot of strollers with these two sets of twins! I’m going to refrain from specific product suggestions here, but give you some of my tips for a start:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Go-Go-Go in the Car, Sassy Style

We’ve posted all about car seat safety in the past here on the One Sassy Doctor blog. Now we’re going to go into how to make car rides, the longer ones, more enjoyable for you and for your little one.

Here are One Sassy Doctor’s tips for a fun, safe and chilled out car ride:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Our Double Twin Travel Adventure!

We’re hopping and bopping over here at Sassy—on the move and in the groove. Getting up and getting out is a wonderful part of parenting, but it presents challenges as well. In this first blog post in our series on “Get Up & Go, Sassy Style”, I’m going to share a personal story about my family’s trip to California a few years ago—where my husband’s family lives. Here are the preparation and execution steps we used for this massive undertaking! I’m also going to share the mistakes I made and lessons learned. At the time, our twin girls were close to four years old, and our twin sons were close to one year old.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Playground Safety: Dr. Jen's Take on the New York Times Piece

A repost from

As a pediatrician with a sub-specialty in child abuse, and a mother of two sets of twins, I read the New York Times article Can a Playground Be Too Safe? with significant concern. In this piece, John Tierney explains the history of New York City’s playgrounds and safety. Specifically, regarding a 10-foot-high jungle gym in Manhattan near his childhood home, he explained that as long as he was the parks commissioner, the monkey bars were going to remain in place. This was despite researchers at the time, who cited accident statistics and the importance of safer playgrounds. Fast forward to 2011, and this article, in accordance with Mr. Stern’s 1990’s edict - critics saying that playgrounds may “stunt emotional development, leaving children with anxieties and fears that are ultimately worse than a broken bone”.

Wow, do I disagree.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dr. Jen’s Favorite Grill Recipe

I cannot express enough how much I love going to the local farmer’s market, picking up whatever is fresh and abundant, and plunking it on the grill. Although I’m careful to avoid charring (not good for little ones!), I do grill veggies and serve to my kids. I also used to put veggies on the upper rack and serve as finger food (cut in small pieces) for my kids when they were toddlers. I do not recommend pureeing grilled veggies for baby food. Please read my posting on food safety.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ticks & Lyme Disease FAQs

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Lyme Disease, thanks to the awesome American Academy of Pediatrics resource, Healthy Children!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ticks & Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease and other tick-bourne illnesses are a serious health issue—and we can engage in activities that reduce the risk of getting bitten by a tick, and responding appropriately when we notice a tick. I chose to write about this topic on the One Sassy Doctor blog for two reasons—it’s a growing problem nationwide, and I have had personal experiences that have made spreading awareness about this topic very important to me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Toddler Play & Fun Tips

A repost from

It’s not easy to be alone with a toddler all day long, but you can spice it up and still stick to the routines that are so important to children. Here are Dr. Jen’s tips on toddler play, fun ways to engage with your toddler more, and some ideas on toddler activities!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dr. Jen's Tips for Water Play & Safety with Children

Summer time means more water play! One Sassy Doctor wants you to hear loud and clear: Water can be a lot of fun, but safety should be number one! (A rhyme, remember, bear with my goofy sense of humor!)

Here are Dr. Jen’s Tips for Water Play & Safety with Children:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dr. Jen’s Tips for Dealing with Stranger Anxiety

This is a repost from

An 11-month-old is in the peak period for stranger anxiety, and it’s a challenging phase. And it will end. As my grandma, my mother, and now I like to say when we face many of life’s challenges, “This too shall pass.”

Here are Dr. Jen’s Tips for Dealing with Stranger Anxiety:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Outdoor Play

My husband often says, “When in doubt, let’s go out!” I believe getting outside, even for a brief period of the day, is a very important part of raising healthy, active, adventurous children.

But it’s not always easy! In my stomping ground, good old New York, it’s cold for a fair portion of the year. We all have our own reality—mine in the winter is:
  1. 12 boots 
  2. 12 gloves 
  3. 12 hats 
  4. 12 scarves 
  5. 12 coats 
Although we do engage in fun winter outdoor play (stay tuned, we’ll write about that on One Sassy Doctor in the future!)—the start of spring & summer really do boost the mood of the entire family. Welcome sunshine and warm weather! Whoo hoo!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Liquids vs. Solids: How Much & When?

A repost from

Figuring out exactly the right amount of milk/formula intake for a who's starting solids (and when that curiosity kicks in!) can be challenging. An 8-month-old baby is well into solid soft foods and probably will start pincer-grasp self-feeding within a short period of time. A baby at this age may start “weaning” herself from a more liquid diet to a more solid one, which is a natural part of development. Every step babies take in the eating category is a step toward more independence. Further, the fine-motor skills she's learning will lead to self-feeding.

Here’s Dr. Jen's handy way to think about volume of liquid nutrition for a child who has started solids:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Do’s and Don’ts of Properly Storing Breast Milk

A repost from!

The thought of a freezer overflowing with breast milk sounds like a dream come true to a new mom. Having nursed two sets of twins myself, I’ve been there—double time! If you’re fortunate enough to be facing this embarrassment of breast milk riches, you should definitely know the 5 Do’s (and Don’ts) of proper storage. So here goes:
  1. Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness When handling breast milk, make sure you are working in a clean area and wash your hands (well). Also make sure that you are using clean containers/bags for expressed milk storage. If you’re storing your milk in re-usable nursing storage bottles, pick one of these options: use a microwave steam sterilizer, wash with hot soapy water, or run them through the dishwasher. 
  2. Forget About Those Ice Cube Trays Use hard plastic bottles specifically designed for storing breast milk, with a screw cap or tight fitting lid; or use heavy plastic bags designed for breast-milk storage. Store milk in amounts that make sense for your baby’s age and the amount he or she may drink in one session. For example, you may want to store 4 ounces per container for your 2 month-old, but 6 - 8 ounce s per container for your 4 month-old. 
  3. Chill Out In the fridge, breast is BEST within 24 hours of refrigerated storage. If you refrigerated your milk more than 72 hours ago, throw it out. 
  4. Freeze Ease If your freezer is attached to a refrigerator (the kind most of us have in our homes), milk is good there for one month. If you have a deep freezer (am I dating myself here to say like the kind in Sam’s Butcher Shop on the Brady Bunch?), you can store breast milk up to six months - but it’s best to use it within 3 months. Make sure to keep milk at the back of the freezer where the temperature is coldest.
  5. Quick Thaw McGraw To thaw for frozen milk in advance, put in the fridge for up to 24 hours. For immediate usage, you should place frozen milk in a bowl of lukewarm water. Never (ever!) use a microwave to defrost or heat breast milk or formula, as heating is uneven and may result in scalding your baby’s mouth. Once milk is frozen and defrosted, do not refreeze it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dr. Jen’s (Grandma’s) Chicken

In my last couple posts, I mentioned how much my family loves my chicken, so I thought I would share the recipe with you!

  • 1 roasting chicken (4 to 6 pounds) preferably with a pop-up thermometer! 
  • Salt & pepper 
  • Fresh thyme (bunch) 
  • Two soft lemons cut in half 
  • 1 head of garlic 
  • 10-15 whole carrots, peeled with stems cut off
  • Large sweet potatoes or yams peeled 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Baby's First Foods

These are some fun initial foods for baby, some may surprise you! Remember please (please!) that these foods should be pureed—super duper pureed—soft MUSH.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

From More Mush to Mostly Mush!

From the age of 6-9 months to 9-12 months, your baby will go from just starting solids to feeding mostly solids and hopefully a well-rounded diet with plenty of colorful options. Your baby’s breast milk or formula intake will decrease over this time period to about 3 or 4 8-ounce bottles (or nursing feeds) a day. One Sassy Doctor’s favorite feeding game was the good old fashioned airplane with a splash of train tunnel and race car for my little boys. Making meal time fun is a great start to healthy family eating habits!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wet To Mush: The Transition Period From Liquid Intake to First Foods

One Sassy Doctor (aka me, Dr. Jen!) loves Twitter. Over 30,000 tweepies follow me (which I think is pretty miraculous considering I can’t get my husband to listen to a full sentence I say most days). So, I decided to survey my followers on favorite first foods:

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I’m going to share some personal information here, maybe TMI (too MUCH information) for some readers, but I want you to feel comfortable that I’m no white coat perfectionist doctor—I’m a normal(ish) parent like you, realistic and sassy. (Get it?)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Overview of Baby’s First Year: What Goes IN

We’ll save “What Comes Out” for a later blog posting—right now I’m too pooped to write about that (ha ha). Pardon me.

So what happens during that magical first year of life—where baby goes from complete reliance on mom’s body during pregnancy to self-feeding by the age of one?

It’s a magical—and sometimes messy—transition! We’re setting baby up for healthy lifetime eating habits during this first year, and One Sassy Doctor has some research for you to back this up!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dr. Jen’s Sassy Foods: Sweet Potatoes

Let’s get this out of the way early on in my blogging: I love to cook. I am a great cook (as opposed to being a “great” singer), but I don’t measure. I am not a professional chef, and I use some silly words to describe what I do in the kitchen.

I’m going to share some of “Dr. Jen’s Sassy Foods” on this blog. This means:
     Adaptable – for baby (over 6 months!) & parent(s)
     Super Healthy
     Super Affordable

One super duper SASSY food is sweet potatoes! This is a great first food for baby and a fabulous nutritious and easy food for mom & dad. For older kids, think healthy sweet potato baked fries!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No Grief Baby Teeth!

A repost from!

Ahhhh. Baby is finally sleeping through the night and, just maybe, you are too? YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER THE TEETHING ZONE. We’ve all been there! And we’ve all gotten through it. But those periods when your little one is uncomfortable can be made better if you understand Dr. Jen’s TOOTHY advice:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hearing & Play

I think I have an absolutely amazing voice. My husband does not agree; most adults would also not agree (and probably cover their ears).

Recently, my now 7-year-old daughter said, “Mom, you really can’t sing. You think you can, but you can’t.” Then she added, “But what I love about you is that you do it anyway.”

Rock it around your babies! Babies love to hear you sing. Use expression, use your fabulous range, and let it go! This is one way to work on language development, expression and show a baby—early—that being goofy can be a lot of fun. I happen to be a huge Barbara Streisand fan. It’s kind of mortifying; I’ll share some stories in the future. My girls were signing “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” by the age of 18 months. I spared that tune for my boys.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Touch & Play

Your baby's sense of touch is getting better. The sense of touch is most developed in their lips and gradually develops to your baby’s arms and legs.

Provide colorful objects of different textures, shapes and sizes for your infant to hold and explore. This is a good age to introduce an infant gym with interesting objects that dangle for your baby to bat at. Or hold a toy just out of reach for your baby to reach for, swat and grab hold of. Just don't string up toys on cribs or other baby equipment — your baby could get tangled in them. An infant gym will also provide a soft textured surface for baby to learn to roll over on as she gets a little older.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Toy and Play Safety Tips for Caregivers, Nannies and Babysitters

Repost from

While it is important for you children to have fun while in the care of others, it is even more important for your child to be safe. I’ve outlined some basic toy and play safety topics for discussion with your caregiver below:

1. Make sure your caregiver understands how toys are intended to be used, and that instructions are understood.

2. When opening new toys, it is important to discard plastic wrappings. When assembling toys or changing batteries, it is important to secure small parts and batteries in a safe place. Also, tools used such as a screwdriver, may present their own safety hazards.

3. Make sure your caregiver understands age recommendations for toys and what your expectations are for safe play between different aged siblings. Do you want older children to play with small parts in a designated area of the house? Do you want your caregiver to double-check after clean up?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vision & Play

As a baby’s vision improves, she is better able to distinguish between different shapes, colors and movements.

While babies are able to see from birth, your baby is very nearsighted and can only focus on what is about a hand’s distance from her face. Guess what! That is about the distance your face is when you are feeding or holding her! So, make sure she gets plenty of opportunities to stare at and become familiar with your friends and family’s faces because, while she may be smiling at you from the day she is born, your baby will take a little time to get to know the others around her.

One pretty cool thing I learned, I was the best looking thing in the world to each of my babies. With no flaws, no imperfections, momma is every baby’s fashionista super model!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Car Seat Recommendations: What You Should Know

A repost from

The American Academy Of Pediatrics (AAP) stepped up recommendations for car safety in a new policy, issued in a recent issue of Pediatrics. Based on an important 2007 study in Injury Prevention, the AAP now recommends that parents keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2, or until the reach they maximum height/weight capacity for their car seat.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What is Play?

Babies love to be played with and also should be encouraged to play alone. Although not yet capable of engaging in play with other children until the age of 12-18 months, babies love to watch older children play and be the object of (massive amounts of) affection. Cuddles, “raspberries” on the tummy and peek-a-boo are examples of ways an adult or older child can play with a baby. Passive forms of entertainment, such as watching a mobile or enjoying a small dose of a developmentally appropriate video, are also opportunities for babies to benefit from play.

To this day, my kids love when we pretend we each are a pizza maker and a pizza—we roll each other out on the ground, spread out cheese toppings (tickling), flatten each other out and then gobble each other up! That was a baby game, that became a silly, goofy family tradition. (I promise, kiddos, I won’t do that at your weddings!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Please, Please Hold That Baby's Head! AHHHHH!

A repost from!

Have you ever seen someone holding a baby and think “Uh oh! Please support that baby’s head!”? Do you say something?

Well, I sure do! It's a bit different than hemming and hawing over whether you tell someone she has a run in her stocking! There is definitely an important foundation behind the "support the baby's head" belief.

Newborn babies have large heads in proportion to the rest of their body. This coupled with neck muscles that are not yet strong enough to support the head; means the head must always be supported.

So, how does one properly hold a baby?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Play & Development

There’s a lot behind the expression, “We’re not just playing around!” While playing, babies are exploring their new magical surroundings, bonding with those around them and learning about their amazing little body. Close your eyes for a moment, and imagine waking up in an entirely new world, one with new sensations coming at every wink and complete awe everywhere you turn.

When my little two-month-olds were unable to sit up and clap or play with blocks—was there benefit to interactive play at this age? You betcha! Babies develop through play—physically, cognitively and emotionally.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dr. Jen® Family Fun Tips: Baby Toes

And there’s no pun intended with that title (tips, get it, tippie toes!). You’re going to have to get used to One Sassy Doctor’s sassy sense of humor, just laugh, ok? Tootsies, there's something magical about baby feet. To a baby—yes! But also to this momma!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dr. Jen® Family Fun Tips: Snuggles

Parenting is exhausting! There are so many responsibilities – some fun, some not so fun – that go into life as a parent. No matter how tired we were after long work days and poopie diapers, we always had one sacred “zen” moment in our house: snuggle time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

SLEEPY Tips for Soothing a Fussy Baby

A repost from

Dr. Jen’s SLEEPY Tips for Soothing a Fussy Baby:

Swaddle: Babies under the age of four months may be safely swaddled in a thin blanket designed for swaddling, or a regular thin blanket used in an appropriate manner.

Love: Holding your baby and showing physical affection through rhythmic rubbing (stroking her belly, rubbing his back) may serve as a calming measure to a fuzzy baby.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Who is Your Baby? (Part 3)

As parents of two sets of twins, my husband and I learned early on that genetics (which some call “nature”) have a lot to do with personality!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Who is Your Baby? (Part 2)

Is birth a clean slate? Can a baby become the outgoing, bubbly type or the quiet, academic if we as parents create the ideal environment for our choosing? Nope!

First of all, what is personality?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Who is Your Baby? (Part 1)

Meet your baby.

This is the baby who you’ll change over 2,000 diapers for in his first year of life! This is the baby who will be your toddler sputtering sweet potatoes all over the place! This is the little one you’ll put on the school bus for the first day of school, who you’ll put a bandage on for a skinned knees, and who you’ll do art projects and bake cookies with. It all starts here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Blogging and inventing were the last things on my mind when I became a pediatrician 10 years ago and a mother seven years ago. Now after two sets of twins (little girls, and then little boys) and my invention (the U-Play Mat®), I’ve become One Sassy Doctor. How did that happen?