Coping with Kids: This pacifier won't drop on the floor

| Monday, March 17, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Parents and caretakers know how much children like to play the pacifier game, where they toss their pacifier to the floor so Mom or Dad can pick it up and hand it back, and the game starts all over again.

Not only does this get tiring for parents, it's also unsanitary when the pacifier falls to the floor. Mom Julie Tabor Thompson wanted to find a solution to this problem and keep parents and baby happy, so she invented the new PullyPalz toy.

PullyPalz was awarded the Huggies Mom-Inspired Grant Award and the 2013 Next Big Zing Award. PullyPalz is an infant pacifier retriever that works similar to a pulley system. The toy holds two pacifiers, so that when baby drops one pacifier it falls to the side, but another pacifier is still in view and within reach.

Baby will grab the one that's in view and pull it toward her mouth so then, the pacifier that was dropped will come back. Pacifiers will always stay attached to the toy so they will not fall to the floor and get dirty, or get lost.

The toy helps babies retrieve their own pacifiers and will keep baby entertained while Mom or Dad is busy in the kitchen.

The pacifier sells for $24.95 with free shipping at

Epidurals may make labor longer than originally thought: study

While an injection to relieve labor pains is known to increase the time it takes for women to deliver babies, a new study says the increase may be longer than originally thought.

Researchers found some women who received epidural anesthesia during labor took more than two hours longer to deliver their child, compared to women who didn't receive the pain-reliever, according to a report from Reuters Health.

Bedroom TVs tied to weight gain among kids: study

Putting a television in a child's bedroom may be setting them up for excess weight gain over the next few years, suggests a new study from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College that was published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Researchers found that children who slept in bedrooms with TVs gained more weight each year over the next few years than kids without TVs in their rooms. The JAMA Pediatrics article said an estimated one-third of U.S. children and teens are overweight or obese. Previous studies have also linked TVs in children's bedrooms to an increased risk of being overweight.

Help reduce teen stress during school months

A recent study from the American Psychological Association found that teens during the school months can feel even more stressed than adults. Consider these tips from Mandy Ginsburg, chief executive officer of for helping adolescents cope.

• Schedule homework time, so it's a routine — preferably, right before or after dinner.

• Set aside a space in your home for a homework zone.

• Help your kids set goals and prioritize, and figure out which assignments to do first.

• Know when to get help. If your kids take a break, then still have difficulty solving the problem, they might need help.

• Wrap things up each night, and have your child walk you through the completed homework. Keep them motivated by acknowledging their accomplishments.

Don't lose weight during pregnancy

Overweight and obese women who gain too few pounds, or even lose weight, during pregnancy may be putting their unborn child at risk, a new study suggests.

“While many people recommend that weight loss in pregnancy, particularly for very obese women is OK ... (there) may be adverse effects,” said Dr. Patrick Catalano, director of the Center for Reproductive Health at MetroHealth in Cleveland.

Send parenting news to Coping With Kids in care of Rebecca Killian, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212, or e-mail

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