Once and for all: Are polycarbonate baby bottles safe? The answer is: "We're still looking into it!" The FDA says bisphenol-A is safe - yet it has formed a special task force to investigate concerns. Canada recently banned the use of bis-A in baby bottles, and Nalgene just announced it won't use bis-A in its bottles anymore. Now Wal-Mart and Toys"R"Us are phasing out those bis bottles. Is this making you nervous? Try one of the many rugged glass baby bottles available at Target, Amazon and Toys"R"Us.
C U in surgery?
If you're planning a Caesarean section, you've got a lot of company. A new report finds that nearly one in three babies is now born by C-section. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report finds that the number of moms who opt for a C has climbed 62 percent in the past decade - even though the procedure brings greater health risks and costs around $500 more than a vaginal birth.
Too many babies are born prematurely in our state - one out of 10! - according to the March of Dimes. MOD sez: Do what you can to carry your baby to full term: Eat a healthy diet and take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid every day. Keep up on your prenatal care appointments and resist urges to drink, smoke, or take herbal products or drugs. With your doctor's permission, try to exercise for 30 minutes every day. And know the warning signs of premature labor; you'll find them at www.marchofdimes.com.
Inside baby's brain . . .
That's where scientists at the University of Washington are going, thanks to a huge new grant from a state agency. The UW's Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS) will use the more than $4 million to buy a special brain-imaging machine and open a new pediatric brain-imaging center - the first of its kind anywhere in the world!
Here's a weird - but cool! - study from England: Researchers there say they've found a link between what a pregnant woman eats and the gender of her baby. Eating a lot, eating breakfast and loading up on potassium-rich food, like bananas, all seem to increase the chances you'll have a boy. Scientists say this fits with evidence that it takes more nutrients to create boys than girls, but that doesn't mean you should pig out if you want a boy, or skip meals if you want a girl - both are unhealthy for your baby!
We love these new Web sites that make parenthood easier (and cheaper!):
BabyPlays (www.babyplays.com): This is a toy rental service, much like Netflix. Get a new box of superclean used toys every month; keep ‘em for as long as you like, then return or buy them. Brilliant!
(www.travelbabees.com): Get strollers, car seats, portable cribs, toys and more delivered to hotels (or Grandma's house) in seven states. No more schlepping!
Also, www.tinytotstravel.com for local rentals.
- Kristen Dobson