Toddlers & Preschoolers

A Look at Early Child Development

Mom and child with book

Crawling, walking and talking are just a few of a child’s developmental milestones parents eagerly anticipate. But an overabundance of developmental details just a click away on the Internet and other parents touting their children’s advances can make parents anxious about their own child’s progress. So when should you be concerned? Brian Tang, M.D., a specialist in behavioral and developmental pediatrics at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, answers questions parents frequently ask about their child’s development. Read More

Speech Development in Children




A child’s first word, whether it’s “mama,” “dada” or the family pet’s name, is one of parents’ most eagerly anticipated milestones. One word usually leads to many others, and soon parents are enjoying the creative ways their little ones are communicating. But what if a child experiences speech issues, such as delayed speech or stuttering?

“Keep in mind that there’s a wide range in what is considered normal speech development,” says Debra Barra-Stevens, M.D., a board-certified pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

In this blog post, Dr. Barra-Stevens answers common questions from parents about speech development.

What are the typical milestones in a child’s speech? Read More

How to Handle Toddler Tantrums

Toddler screaming

Parents are often horrified when their sweet toddler turns into an unrecognizable monster, kicking, screaming and writhing on the floor because they can’t get what they want. Although it may seem that time is standing still when your child is having a tantrum, these fits of temper are a normal part of a young child’s development and he or she will eventually grow out of them.

Palo Alto Medical Foundation pediatrician Nina Rezai, M.D., answers common questions she hears from parents about toddler tantrums and offers tips on surviving the “terrible twos.”

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Constipation in Children: What to Do

A child is constipated if it hurts to pass a bowel movement. While it may be normal for many children to go two to three days without a bowel movement, going four or more days can be considered constipation, even though this may cause no pain in some children and even be normal for a few children. (Note: Large bowel movements are not necessarily constipation.)

Constipation is usually caused by a lack of fiber (such as fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods) in a person’s diet. Fiber makes stools larger, softer and easier to pass. Another common cause of constipation is the repeated postponement of the urge to go the restroom because of embarrassment about public toilets or long waiting times for the home bathroom. After your child feels better, be sure to keep him or her on a high-fiber diet to prevent constipation.

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Preschool Pointers – How to Give Your Preschooler a Healthy Start

Babies no longer! Your young child is ready to enter the big wide world of preschool, start the journey of learning and exploring, sticky art projects, circle time, sharing and singing, and making first little friends. Swati Pandya, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, offers the following health tips to ensure your little one has the best possible start at preschool and develops life-long healthy habits. Read More

Bye Bye Diapers – Potty Training Q & A

Iris Kaddis Hanna, M.D., PAMF Pediatrics

The economic crisis, strife around the world, natural disasters and the latest celebrity scandal may feature big in the daily news but eavesdrop on any group of parents of preschoolers and one of the top topics under discussion will probably be – potty training! Questions abound from when you should start training to the best way to go about it. The most important thing for parents to know is that much like crawling or walking, potty training readiness is a developmental milestone. According to Iris Kaddis Hanna, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, every child will reach this step at a different age, when they are physically and emotionally ready to ditch the diapers and take the trip to the toilet. In this blog post, Dr. Hanna answers some commonly asked questions.

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