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It's not perfect. It's parenting.

Sometimes you need answers to the little everyday things that parents encounter. And sometimes, you just need someone to encourage you through all of the craziness and challenges of parenthood. Welcome to Parent-ish, a blog from the experts at Children's Mercy.

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Category: Infant

Dad is feeding baby some pureed food while mom sits on the bed in the background.

New food allergy guidelines: What parents need to know

The infant stage is exciting as you see your child learn to sit up, grasp things and grow. There are so many exciting milestones, but when it comes time to introducing many food allergens, some parents may have worries. Here’s what you need to know as you expose your child to common food allergens.

The number 1 rule about cleaning out earwax

Let’s set the scene - you look over at your kid and there’s a bunch of earwax in their ear. You may feel immediate panic to clean it out. There’s no way you can let them walk around like that. So, you run to get the cotton swabs you know you shouldn’t use. But, before you do anything, here’s the No. 1 rule about cleaning out earwax.

Close up of a child's back of the head while a doctor uses an otoscope to look in his ear.

Ear infections in children: What you can do and when it’s time for ear tubes

Ear infections are one of the most common medical issues among young children and can be frustrating for both parents and kids. As a parent, we know you want to do everything possible to keep your child healthy.  Here’s what to know about ear infections and when to talk to your doctor about discussing ear tubes.

Young teen looks at a pill bottle while in front of a mirror.

6 Ways to keep kids safe around medications

You might be pretty good at home security. Many people have doorbell cameras, security alarm systems, door locks, window locks and child locks. But have you ever thought about medication storage? Medications are often left in places where curious children can find them, like bathroom cabinets, purses and nightstands. It helps to have a strategy to prevent kids from accessing medications.

Young girls looks at arm while a nurse is giving her a vaccine and using a ShotBlocker.

Ways to comfort children for vaccine appointments

If you’ve ever wished for a way to help your child not feel pain, you’re not alone. We’ve all had vaccines or drawn blood and know it does come with some discomfort. The Child Life team at Children’s Mercy works every day to comfort children before needle procedures like routine vaccines or blood work and they’re sharing ways parents can help prepare kids—and even help kids cope with pain.

Developmental milestone updates: What parents need to know

Developmental milestones help track how children are progressing in physical and behavioral ways like talking, walking, playing and learning. They are also used to help detect autism and developmental delays in children. These milestones have just been updated for the first time in 18 years. Here is what’s changed and how it will affect parents.

Diaper changing hacks to save you time and from a blowout

It’s estimated a 6 month old will have used about 1,440 diapers. The pie chart of spending time with a new baby has got to be 80 percent changing a diaper. Here are some top diaper tips to save you from a blowout, save you some time and save you some sanity.

Young boy holds hand to throat and winces in pain.

All about strep throat

Along with all the other infectious diseases in our community right now, one we typically see in children is strep throat. Strep throat can feel awful and impact your energy and eating. Here’s what symptoms to be on the lookout for and ways to feel better.

Newborn baby wrapped in a swaddle and yawning.

Newborn sleep tips

Bringing a baby home is one of the most incredible feelings. All that time waiting for this precious little person and then, they are here. And awake! Here is the real talk about newborn sleep, so you can sleep sound, too.

Parents beware: gruesome injuries caused by toy

Any parent or pediatrician can agree – children will try to swallow almost everything. Some say, there is nothing quicker on Earth than a child’s hand reaching for something they shouldn’t have. When kids are young, they use their mouth to explore the world. But, when they are playing with certain toys, it can be extremely dangerous.

Four rules of lawn mower safety

Spring has sprung! We all know what that means…mowing season has arrived. You probably have the one friend who LOVES to mow, but for most people it is a hot, sweaty and dirty task at the bottom of the “adulting” to-do list. Kids may even find the ride on lawn mowers exciting. But when it comes to kids and lawn mowers, things can turn dangerous quickly.

Family with young baby holding baby food jar in a grocery store.

Toxic metals found in baby food: what you should do now

With the recent news that the US House of Representatives found multiple baby food brands were tainted with high levels of heavy metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, it can send any parent into fear mode.  We should be concerned, but not panic. Here’s why.

Newborn baby resting on mom's shoulder

How new parents can avoid social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bringing home a new baby can be stressful for parents at any time, but COVID-19 has added a new layer of complication. But, with a little creativity, parents can still stay connected to their “village,” to each other and to themselves.

Testing food allergies early in children

Studies have shown that, for at least some children, early introduction of food can help children to avoid the development of food allergies. Here’s what introducing those foods can look like.

What you should know about elderberry remedies

Families commonly ask about ways to help keep their children well and ward off infections such as the flu. Many parents are looking for natural remedies and some may even grow their own elderberry to use as medication.