Bicycle built for 2

For safety’s sake, most health care professionals agree that children must be at least one year old before riding in a bike trailer or seat. The risks involved have less to do with crash safety and more to do with repeated mild trauma to the brain associated with everyday road conditions. There’s no safe way to keep those bumps in the road from jostling little heads.

“If you had to pick a time when it is most important to protect the brain from excess vibration or bumps and jostling about, it would be during that first year of birth,” says Dr. Tord Alden of Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Before taking children for a ride, check with your pediatrician to see if the child is ready. Make sure whatever device you use — carrier, trailer, sidecar or backpack — properly accommodates your child’s weight and size.

Take your device for a test ride, using a jar of milk as a test dummy. Follow one of your regular routes and check the foam level of the milk when you stop. If your milk is frothy, then you know it’s a route that’s too bumpy.

Baby tooth care

As soon as baby’s teeth break through the gums, they need attention and care. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends daily cleaning of infant and baby teeth with a piece of gauze or damp cloth. By age 2, they should have their teeth brushed once a day, preferably at bedtime. Use a small, soft brush and help your child hit trouble spots on back teeth. Make sure they rinse with water after every brushing.

The sweetest sound

When a baby is born, their hearing isn’t 100 percent because the middle ear is still filled with fluid. The one sound they will recognize above all others is mother’s voice. Babies learn in the womb to recognize their mother’s distinctive voice. By 25 to 29 weeks, babies can hear sounds from the outside world. They not only hear the ambient sounds but also experience it as vibrations through the mother’s vocal cords.

Changing bones

Since adults are bigger, one would assume we have more bones than babies, right? Actually, babies are born with 270 bones. By the time we reach adulthood that number drops to 206. The adult human head consists of 26 cranial and facial bones (not including the jaw) fused together along moveable joints called sutures. At birth, many of those bones are not yet fused. They are joined together by fibrous membranes called fontanelles. The fusing process continues until a person reaches their 20s.