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Family Life

Breastfeeding and COVID

Breastfeeding and COVID-19

Breast milk is nature’s perfect food for a newborn. It contains the right amount of nutrients, immune-boosting antibodies, and is easily digested. Babies who are breastfed tend to have fewer bouts of diarrhea or constipation, less reflux, more protection against ear infections, pneumonia, and asthma, and a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  The benefits of breast milk seem to be endless. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends to start breastfeeding as early as one hour after birth and to continue exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months. They also recommend continuing breastfeeding even after solid foods are introduced, until at least 1 year of age.  Can You Breastfeeding If Positive for COVID-19? But what if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19? Is it safe to start or continue breastfeeding? While there are still so many unknowns when it comes to coronavirus, it’s widely known that you can spread COVID-19 to your infant through tiny […]

The Pandemic Can Disrupt a Good Night’s Sleep Too

The Pandemic Can Disrupt a Good Night’s Sleep Too

Sleep quality is central to our physical and emotional well-being. Not getting enough sleep negatively influences physical health and performance, learning, development, and emotional regulation.  During quarantine, many kids – especially those with developmental concerns – have been thrown off their routines, and sleep has been impacted. If children are not sleeping well, they don’t think as well, learn as well, or behave as well. Further, poor sleep quality makes children more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.  And anxiety is a major cause of sleeplessness. So it can become a vicious cycle. The bottom line is that the body needs to rest, rejuvenate and restore its physical and chemical properties in order to function well. Prioritizing sleep quality is essential to health. It’s just as important as diet and exercise. Give your family the opportunity to sleep by providing an environment and a bedtime routine that is sleep-promoting. Keep the […]

COVID quarantine: an emotional tipping point for teens

COVID-19 Quarantine: an Emotional Tipping Point for Teens

Fall is usually a busy and fun time of year for our teens. Back-to-school shopping, high school football, track meets, student government elections, band, orchestra, choir, drama, debate club, homecoming, Halloween, haunted houses … #normallifewemissyou. But teens are actually missing a lot more. They’re missing opportunities to work on the critical tasks that help them mature emotionally: Acceptance of one’s body image (height, weight, and sexual development); they can’t master this task if they have more free time to become obsessed with their bodies and convinced that there’s a problem. Achieving independence from their parents; they can’t master this task if they’re quarantined together. Growing through peer interactions; they can’t master this task if they’re not socializing in groups. Establishing their identities, including sexual identities; they can’t master this task six feet apart. What happens when they don’t master these tasks? Many problems. A few examples: At 3 p.m., a […]

How Can Children Socialize During a Summer Pandemic?

How Can Children Socialize During a Summer Pandemic?

Your family’s summer plans during the COVID-19 pandemic have likely been canceled or at least shuffled around. In the first part of a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs), below are answers and ideas about how your children can socialize during the summer and out-of-school months. Can my children have playdates? For social distancing to truly work, there shouldn’t be playdates, especially inside your home. The best option is still to do a virtual playdate via FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype. A good compromise is an outdoor playdate, where you can keep that six-foot distance. Get a few kids together for a bike ride or hike. Remember to have rules: be sure that kids over 2 years wear face masks when possible make sure that they wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. If you decide that an indoor playdate is a good choice for your family, […]

A boy pretends to be an airplane while his dad lifts him in the air.

Keeping Your Kids Busy During Social Distancing

Healthy Ways to Avoid Crowds and Keep Kids Engaged during the Coronavirus Pandemic The COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic has changed Americans’ daily lives due to cancellations and closures just as many parents and kids prepared for spring break. Schools and other organizations are now closed for at least two weeks in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. Kids are thrilled, but parents are… well, not. Here are some things parents can do with kids while avoiding crowds, and coronavirus, and keeping some level of sanity. Make a nature bracelet.When I was little, my grandmother took me on “nature walks” in her neighborhood. She made a bracelet for me out of tape, turned sticky side out, and I would pick flower petals, leaves, blades of grass, and other items from nature to “decorate” my bracelet. Put on a show with homemade puppets.We’ve all created puppets out of cotton […]

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