MAM Moms and Dads, please allow us to introduce you to a friend of ours: Dr. Jane Scott, mother of 4, neonatologist, pediatrician, and founder of Tortle Products, who has made it her mission to end the Flathead Syndrome epidemic throughout the world.
Dr. Jane Scott
Millions of babies each year are being diagnosed with Flathead Syndrome in the US alone. Every baby is at risk for developing Plagiocephaly (a flattening of the skull) or Torticollis (an imbalance in the neck muscles). Infants are born with very soft skulls, their heads are heavy and their neck muscles are weak. These qualities, along with the fact that infants spend the majority of their time sleeping on their backs, promote the right environment for baby to develop some form of Flathead Syndrome within the first six months of life. Many studies have now shown that Flathead Syndrome may not only be cosmetic. Babies may also develop sight and hearing abnormalities as well as developmental delays as a result of having Flathead Syndrome.
Fortunately, Flat Head Syndrome is almost always preventable, especially when parents and caregivers are educated about the issue and proactive in their prevention efforts. Repositioning the baby every 2-3 hours may help in the prevention of Flathead Syndrome, as well alternating the arm in which a baby is held or fed. Car seats and strollers keep our babies safe when traveling, but are another important place to remember repositioning the baby every few hours. Even while wearing babies in slings or carriers, reposition often to prevent the development of flat spots or imbalanced neck muscles. Another way to help prevent Flathead Syndrome is to practice supervised tummy time right from birth so baby becomes familiar and comfortable in this position. One new product, Tortle, makes it easy for busy parents and caregivers to prevent Flathead Syndrome. The Tortle is an FDA-cleared, simple, safe, and comfortable beanie designed to aid parents in repositioning their infants. By alternating the Tortle’s positioning roll from side to side with each feeding, parents prevent the development of flat spots and neck tightening. For more information about Tortle and Dr. Jane’s mission, visit Tortle.com.
Dr. Jane Scott- Board Certified Neonatologist, Pediatrician, and Founder of Tortle Products, LLC
As a neonatologist and pediatrician, babies and moms are Dr. Jane’s life. Not only does she have first-hand experience as a mother – she had four premature babies – she works with infants who have severe medical conditions and understands how difficult this can be for families.
Born in Kenya, Dr. Jane attended the University of Western Australia Medical School in Perth. Years later, after moving to the United States, she attended the University of Colorado Medical School and completed her residency in Pediatrics and fellowship in Neonatology at Duke University while simultaneously raising four young children. She was soon recruited to build up St. Luke’s Magic Valley Hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho from a Level 1 NICU to a Level 3A NICU. She returned to Colorado in 2010 and currently practices in Centennial.
Throughout her career, Dr. Jane has worked with parents to help avoid and correct problems associated with an abnormal head shape, known as positional plagiocephaly. The incidence of this condition has increased dramatically, from parents following the protocol introduced by the American Academy of Pediatrics of placing babies only on their backs to decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
In addition to educating new parents on the prevention of plagiocephaly, Dr. Jane created Tortle, a non-invasive affordable solution that not only treats mild cases and early diagnosed positional plagiocephaly and torticollis in young infants, but can prevent it from ever occurring. The Tortle is a patented, FDA cleared device that Jane hopes will eradicate flat head syndrome while allowing moms to safely follow AAP’s important Back to Sleep protocol. Dr. Jane is currently writing her first book on plagiocephaly, which is slated for release in Spring 2013.
Dr. Jane’s work is her passion, but when she’s not working she enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.
What is more adorable than a little grin full of healthy baby teeth? We’ve compiled a few tips to help you keep your baby’s cute smile in tip-top shape by providing the absolute best oral care possible!
- Oral care should begin from birth.
One of the most common questions we hear in speaking with our wonderful MAM Moms and Dads is “When should I start providing oral care for my baby?”. A common misconception is that oral care need only begin from the emergence of the first tooth; in truth, however, oral care needs to begin from birth. Twice a day, a clean, wet washcloth can serve as an effective tool for you to massage bacteria off your newborn’s gums. Not only will this clean baby’s mouth, but the routine familiarizes baby with the routine of cleaning the mouth- this will be incredibly helpful when it comes time to begin brushing baby’s teeth. Another option, rather than a washcloth, is the MAM Oral Care Rabbit. Especially designed to expertly clean baby’s gums, the Oral Care Rabbit features ultra-soft microfiber ears parents can slip their fingers into for easy, effective maneuvering about baby’s mouth that a bulky washcloth does not allow.
Cleaning baby’s gums is simple and enjoyable with the MAM Oral Care Rabbit.
2. Baby’s teeth need to be brushed daily.
We know—life with a baby is hectic and jam-packed with activity! Certain things can be lost in the shuffle and at the end of a long day, brushing baby’s teeth may slip. This, however, should really not be the case: it is simply too important! With your baby’s first tooth—which most babies will receive around 6 months of age, although variations in age of first tooth emergence are very common-- comes plaque formation on that tooth. Brush baby’s teeth at least twice a day (once after breakfast, and once after the last feeding of the day) to avoid cavities and painful infections.
Brushing technique: First brush the bottoms of your baby’s teeth, where the most contact between foods and teeth occur. Use a circular brushing motion with the bristles of the toothbrush aiming down, where the tooth and gum meet as this is where the majority of plaque forms. Use gentle up-and-down strokes while holding the brush vertically.
3. Make brushing time easy for parent and baby- minimize struggles with these techniques.
Brushing does not need to be a struggle between parent and child. To normalize the routine of brushing your baby’s teeth and therefore make it less of a struggle between parent and baby, try a few of these techniques:
- Link it with another daily routine. In the morning, brushing can be linked to getting dressed, followed by brushing, followed by breakfast. At night, brushing can precede a bedtime story and giving baby a pacifier.
- Set a great example for your little one. After all- monkey see, monkey do! Your baby looks up to you, naturally. Seeing you brushing your teeth is the ultimate motivator for your little one to do so as well. They want to be just like mommy and daddy!
- Come up with a silly brushing song that spans the two minutes or so it takes to brush. We all know how much babies love to sing- adding this element to brushing time can be the difference-maker between brushing being an exhausting chore or a fun bonding experience.
- Invoke your baby’s wild imagination. Come up with a brushing story- such as your toothbrush is their favorite animal, and is running around the jungle, eating up the germ bugs. Adding fun to the equation makes the experience nicer for everyone- the lack of resistance this can result in is just priceless.
- Involve your baby. Supervise them while they use the MAM First Brush or allow them to hold onto the brush with you using the MAM Trainer Brush, and encourage them to squeeze just enough toothpaste with you to cover the red indicators on their MAM toothbrushes. We designed our toothbrushes with this indicator based on the amount of toothpaste recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry- but all your little one needs to know is that this is a fun little task that they can work with mommy and/or daddy on!
4. Avoid these common mistakes.
These are some common mistakes parents make related to oral care. Most often they occur due to incorrect advice from peers or just due to parents playing copycat without realizing that these techniques are not advisable.
- Do not ‘clean’ your baby’s pacifier by inserting it in your own mouth. The bacteria in your saliva can seriously harm your baby as their immune system is much more fragile and less-developed as yours.
- Similarly, do not share cutlery with your baby and do not allow siblings or family members to share toothbrushes.
- Teething gels are commonly recommended as a solution for teething. These gels should most likely be avoided for children younger than 2- the FDA has issued a warning to consumers about the use of benzocaine, the main ingredient in many of these over-the-counter gels intended to relieve teething pain in babies younger than 2. Benzocaine is associated with a rare but serious condition called methemoglobinemia, which greatly reduces the amount of oxygen carried through the bloodstream. Because of this, the FDA recommends that benzocaine products should not be given to children younger than age 2 unless under the supervision of a health care professional.
We hope you find this post helpful as you look into providing the absolute best oral care for your little one! What did you find especially interesting? Are there additional questions you have? Please let us know in the comment section below- we look forward to hearing from you!
For additional information on MAM Oral Care:
- Join our “Brush, Baby, Brush” Twitter Party at 1 P.M. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 15th, 2011! Hashtag is #MAMBaby and in addition to great education and great fun, prizes including some of the products briefly mentioned in this article will be available.
- Watch our MAM Oral Care Video on YouTube!
- Check out the MAM Oral Care section of our website: http://bit.ly/mamoralcare
 . "FDA Drug Safety Communication: Reports of a rare, but serious and potentially fatal adverse effect with the use of over-the-counter (OTC) benzocaine gels and liquids applied to the gums or mouth." FDA- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA, 04-07-2011. Web. 15 Nov 2011. <http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm250024.htm>.
September is Baby Safety month and in honor of this, we want you to share your baby proofing tips with us and other MAM Moms and Dads. What are some things that first time parents should know in order to prepare their house for their little one?
With Father's Day coming this Sunday, we would like to take this time to ask all of our MAM Dads what tip they would give to any first time Fathers? Whether it's something you learned after your little one was born or a helpful tip someone shared with you, we want to hear it. Post your comments below!
We're a few days early but Happy Fathers Day to all of our MAM Dads!
How often do you get to voice your thoughts on the type of topics you receive updates on in your inbox? Well, here is your chance! We at MAM know that you are bombarded with tons of emails and information, so why not pick the topics that interest you? Our goal for the MAM Blog is to provide our MAM Moms and Dads with tips, product information and hopefully usefull facts to help them in their day-to-day lives.
Post your comments below with the types of topics you want more information on. Whether it is about MAM products or not, we want to know what you are interested in! Throughout the weeks to come, we will make every effort to include the topics you suggest.
If you have had a hard time locating MAM products in Canada, your search has just gotten easier! Now you can find a variety of great MAM products in various retailers throughout Canada.
Want updates, product information, or chances to win product from MAM? That’s easier now too! ‘Like’ our MAM Canada Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, check out our blog, and join the MAM Club for exclusive contest, product information and tips. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for informational videos on our products.