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A toddler holding a TV remote

Vocabulary-building DVDs aren’t helping your baby.
Every year, parents spend millions of dollars on DVDs that are supposed to smarten up their children and give them a bigger vocabulary. But a study shows that the DVDs are not doing what they’re supposed to. Researches, led by Judy DeLoache Ph. D., a psychology professor at the University of Virginia, analyzed the responses of 96 families with kids between 12 months and 18 months old, according to the website MedicalNewsToday. Some of the children watched a best-selling DVD several times a week over a four-week period; half watched with a parent, and half watched alone. Another group of children didn’t watch the DVDs at all, but were taught the same words on the DVD by their parents. All the kids were tested to see what they’d learned, and the unsettling result was that they’d learned nothing. Whether the kids watched with a parent or by themselves, or whether their parents taught them, none retained the vocabulary words. As for the parents themselves, if they enjoyed the DVDs themselves, they tended to believe that their kids had benefited from them. “Your kids are going to learn language anyway,” said DeLoache. She said the best way to help them learn language skills is simply to talk to them. (medicalnewstoday)

Read Betty’s Weekly Parenting Dish: Sarah Jessica Parker’s Diaper Chronicles

An ill woman

Your mother may have passed on her severe morning sickness to you. Thanks, mom!
Morning sickness is one of the most unpleasant parts of pregnancy. And if you’ve got a bad case of it, that may due to a family history of it, according to a recent study.

Researchers found that women who experienced a severe form of nausea, hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), were 17 times as likely to have it if their sisters suffered from it as well. And among pregnant women whose mothers had experienced HG, 33 percent had it themselves. The condition, marked by excessive, continuous vomiting and nausea, puts women at risk for malnutrition, dehydration and a low birth weight for their child. Almost 75 percent of moms-to-be suffer much milder forms of morning sickness, but HG, which affects 1 percent of pregnant women, can require hospitalization.

The study’s author, Dr. Marlena Fejzo of the University of California Los Angeles, said further study of the genetic factor in HG may help researchers develop treatments that will target the cause of the condition, not just the symptoms. (msnbc)

Jane Farrell is a senior editor at Betty Confidential.

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