Parents

Crib notes: Dirt doesn't hurt... and it may do some good

Feb. 27, 2011 at 6:59 PM ET

In yet another example of our over-sanitary lives making us sick, a new study shows that kids who live on farms and are exposed to farmyard bugs and "dirty" bacteria are less likely to develop asthma. Study leaders are hopeful that with more research the exact bug that helps improve the immune system can be located and used to develop a vaccine against asthma. This is music to the ears of any parent who has had to listen to their child wheeze and gasp for breath.

"I'll have a single scoop of Eew, Gross in a waffle cone please." A London ice cream parlor is now selling breast milk ice cream, called Baby Gaga, for $23 a serving (the price is almost more disgusting than the product).

Speaking of breast milk, how are your child's manners when it comes to the boob? While many mothers fall into the "if they're old enough to ask for it, they're too old to have it" camp, some are content to let 'em suckle away for years. One pro-breastfeeding-of-toddlers mom has some suggestions for good nursing manners. Wonder what Emily Post would have to say about this?

The poopy diapers and constant spit-up on your shirt you can handle. It's the sleep deprivation that'll really get you. While many a groggy mom will do something a little wacky like, say, put the roll of aluminum foil in the refrigerator, one Australian mom actually forgot her sleeping newborn at home and went to pick up her older son from school. When she arrived at the school, she noticed the baby was missing and immediately dialed emergency services, who got to her house before she could return. In a happy ending, the baby slept through the entire ordeal, the older son was delighted to have firefighters and policemen at his house, and the police were sympathetic and didn't arrest her. One suspects her husband volunteered to take the night shift for a while after that as well.

Depression is never easy but when combined with motherhood, it presents a whole new host of challenges. A new study reveals that depressed mothers respond differently (and less) to their babies' cries than healthy mothers do. A professor of psychology at the University of Oregon noted that how a mother responds to her infant's cries can affect that child's development.

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