Author: Dr. Monica Wonnacott

STOP giving juice

The juice manufacturers are good. They have effectively marketed the idea to parents that kids need juice. The fact is: Kids DO NOT NEED juice. Juice is empty calories. It doesn’t matter if it is 100% fruit juice (parent’s favorite rebuttal to me), it is still just fruit sugar. Kids do not need the extra sugar. They should drink milk or water. The official recommendation from The American Academy of Pediatrics is that a child should limit juice consumption to no more than 4 ounces a day (i.e., half-a-cup at the most). The most common reason I recommend juice...

Read More

Fact or fiction: Walkers help babies walk sooner

FICTION Walkers have nothing to do with teaching a child to walk properly. In fact, walkers are a HUGE safety hazard. Children need to learn to walk by learning to support and balance their own body. Learning to feel the floor and detect slight motion corrections with their whole feet is another integral part of learning to walk. Walkers create an artificial walking environment and are dangerous. Your child can easily fall down stairs in their walker, or crash into objects that then fall on them. I recommend staying away from walkers for your...

Read More

Stages: 12-13 years

Early adolescence (12-13) is filled with drama. Dramatic physical changes of puberty and dramatic mood swings. Young adolescents are egocentric and intensely focused “how do I look?” They have bright minds and great ideas. The difficulty is in balancing guidance and open communication with their increasing need for privacy. Safety Substance Use and Abuse: As a parent, you gotta talk about this. It’s not unreasonable to expect your adolescent should NOT use tobacco, drugs, alcohol, inhalants, diet pills, etc. However, adolescents see through double standards. Don’t tell your adolescent not to smoke if you smoke. Show him or her a good example; stop....

Read More

When Puberty Starts: Girls vs. Boys

Stages of puberty for girls: Typically girls show signs of puberty 2 years earlier than boys. Thelarche (breast development), adrenarche (pubic hair development), pubarche (growth), menarche (first period/menses) The average age for greatest growth/height velocity in a girl is 12.1 years old (with a range of 10.4-13.9 years). It is normal for a girl to start her period somewhere between the ages of 9 and 16. Stages of puberty for boys: Enlargement of the testes, lengthening of the penis, appearance of pubic hair, physical growth The average age for greatest growth/height velocity in a boy is 14.1 yrs old...

Read More

Dr. Monica Wonnacott


I'm a pediatrician and a mom. PediatricAnswers.com 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.

Subscribe Now