Month: February 2016


I field umbilical cord care questions every day. The problem is that the cord has a kind of wide end as it dries (from the clamp) which is easily caught on things like a diaper. If it gets knocked/ripped off too early it will inevitably bleed. It’s no surprise that a bleeding belly button in a brand new baby causes parents a lot of stress. The good news is that it is generally not a big deal and nothing to be worried about. I see it so frequently, that my guess is that it happens at least half the...

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I was in an adolescent well exam the other day and routinely asked the teenage boy what social media accounts he had. Before the boy could answer, his dad angrily replied, “What does that have to do with anything? I trust my boy, I don’t need to follow everything he is doing.” Interestingly, in the one-on-one confidential portion of the visit, the adolescent admitted to all sorts of concerning activities. My questioning gave me opportunity to do a lot of counseling with that teen. I have thought a lot about that encounter since. That dad was doing what he...

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Why do binkies get such a bad rap? I don’t understand it. Binkies can be a breastfeeding mother’s best friend (sore boobs need a break from being sucked on for comfort only). It’s a total wives tale that they cause nipple confusion. In fact, binkies are often used to teach sucking skills to premature babies. Binkies help sooth a crying baby. Binkies decrease the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). And most importantly, I can take a binky away (unlike a thumb) when I’m ready to break the habit. Just don’t let your old child have a binky—it’s...

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I saw a teenager this last week in clinic with a really common complaint: “I can’t sleep.” He has trouble falling asleep at night, can’t get up in the morning, and is dying tired when he gets home from school. So, he takes daily naps.  The problem is clear to you and me, but never to the teen. STOP TAKING NAPS! The teen’s reply is always the same, ‘But, I’m so tired. It’s the only way I can get by.’  The teen doesn’t realize that the naps are at the root of the problem. It’s poor sleep hygiene. To...

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I firmly believe in the mantra of always be honest with child (but only give an age appropriate explanation). So I’m getting ready in the bathroom and the girls are playing next to me. Baby opens the drawer with feminine products and pulls out a pad. My 4 year-old picks it up. 4 yr old: Mom, what’s this? Me: A pad. 4 yr old: What’s it for? Me: To catch your period. 4 yr old: Like when it falls. Me: Yes. (End of sentence.) -Photos courtesy of Some of the Products I Love FOR BUTTS: DIAPERS – PAMPERS...

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Dr. Monica Wonnacott

I'm a pediatrician and a mom. is my blog where parents can get the straight scoop on their child's health, largely based on my experience in the office and at home. I don't diagnose on the site, so please don't ask. These are just my opinions. Use this site as a resource. And trust your parent gut.

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