One year ago today we posted our first blog post Maiden Voyage and what an adventure it has been! In honor of Two Peds in a Pod’s first birthday we reprint Dr. Kardos’s post “Let ‘Em Eat Cake”:

After completing my pediatric training, I worked for a couple of years in a large pediatric office before I had any children of my own. I was always struck by the Life Event of a child’s first birthday. This milestone carries so much meaning and emotion for families. My patients’ parents described huge birthday parties with characters such as Elmo walking around or Moon Bounces, large catered affairs with numerous friends, family members, and entire neighborhoods. Often I would see a child sick in my office a few days before such an event with parents who were panicked that their child might be sick on his Big Day, or I would see a child for his one year well check and hear many details about the enormous party. Of course I also saw plenty of children a few days after their first birthday party who became ill, most likely, from a well-intentioned friend or relative who was already sick and passed the illness on to the birthday child at the party. I heard about the kids who clapped for the Happy Birthday song and kids who cried and one who vomited from excitement… all over the birthday cake. Many of my patients had their first full blown temper tantrum during their own over-stimulating first birthday party.

I remember not quite understanding why parents go through such effort and expense to throw a party that their child will never remember at a developmental stage where 99 percent of children are having stranger anxiety and separation anxiety. Well meaning famillies would often forgo daily routine to skip naps, eat at erratic times, and then expect their birthday child to perform in front of a large crowd singing loudly at them. “My husband and I will do it differently,” I would tell myself.

Now, three of my own children later, I must apologize for not quite understanding about that first birthday. I remember waking up on the day my oldest turned one year. My pediatrician brain first exclaimed “Hurray! No more SIDS risk!” Then my mommy brain took over, “Ohmygosh, I survived the first year of parenthood!” This day is about Celebration of the Parent. I finally understood completely why my patients’ parents needed all the hoopla.

Because I am actually a little uncomfortable in large crowds, my son’s first birthday party included all close relatives who lived nearby, people he was well familiarized with. Some pediatric tips I had picked up which I will pass on:

1)      Sing the Happy Birthday song, complete with clapping at the finale, for about one month straight leading up to the birthday. Children love music and hearing a very familiar song sung by a large group is not as overwhelming as hearing an unfamiliar song.

2)      Plan mealtime around your child, not the guests. If you are inviting people close to your heart, they will accommodate. Dinner can be at 5:00pm if that’s when your child usually eats, or have a lunch party that starts midmorning and then end the party in time to allow your child to have his regularly scheduled afternoon nap. Most one-year-olds are usually at their best in the morning anyway.

3)      If your child becomes sick, cancel the party. Your child will not be disappointed because he won’t understand what he is missing. You as parent would have a lousy time anyway because all of your attention will be on your ill child and you will be anxious. Your guests who are parents will appreciate your refraining from making them and their own children sick.

Recently while performing a one-year-old well check I asked about my patient’s birthday party and her parents told me “Oh, we didn’t have a party. It was like any other day, although we did give her a cupcake for dessert.”

Now THIS is a pragmatic approach to parenting because, again, no child will ever have memories of her own first birthday. However, I hope the parents did take time, at least with each other, to congratulate themselves and to feel really good about making it to that huge milestone in their parenting career. I hope they savored their accomplishment as much as their child savored the cupcake.


How far we’ve come, and it is all thanks to you. We’ve watched with excitement as our readership climbed from two hits (from our husbands) to almost 20,000 hits. Two Peds in a Pod now has email and Facebook subscribers. You can find us through directories such as Technorati and iTunes and recently, Two Peds expanded to the West Coast of the United States with a bimonthly column in Family Magazine Group. Some of our Face book friends hail from Canada and we consistently receive hits from the United Kingdom. Looks like our goal to impact one million kids around the world may not be a far-fetched dream.

Our greatest reward is when people say to us, “That blog post was so helpful.” We are thrilled to reach out to many families.

While our main podcast recording studio continues to be our kitchen table, we also recorded with one mom’s group in their living room and another parenting group in a child care center.  From focus group back out to cyperspace!

We still depend on you to tell other families about our site. Our sources of inspiration continue to be our patients, your children and our own clans. Please keep those topic suggestions coming! As working pediatricians and parents like you, we want to continue to be your reliable (and sometimes amusing) source of sound pediatric information.

Thank you for reading, listening, commenting and letting your friends know about Two Peds in a Pod. Let the adventure continue!

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
©2010 Two Peds in a Pod℠


Two Peds in a Pod has made its way from Pennsylvania to California. Check out The Family Magazine GroupThis informative print and online group of family magazines now features a bimonthly article from Two Peds in a Pod.  The Family Magazine Group reaches a print audience of 350,000 and an online audience of about 100,000 each month.

(We’re on page 16)

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD


In honor of Father’s Day, we bring you our second “Top Ten” list.


Top ten skills you acquire as a father:


10. The ability to attract swarms of women if you walk in the park or the grocery store with your infant.


9. Tolerance of temperature extremes at the skating rink or on the ball field.

8. Not being completely grossed out by spit up on your nicely pressed shirt.

7. The ability to sit patiently through a 3 hour ballet recital, school music concert or graduation.


6. The ability to sit patiently through an endless one hour television show featuring some sort of dancing and singing animal and then to stand in an hour long line to buy the stuffed toy version of the animal.


5. The skill to coach teams for which you last played the sport twenty years ago.


            4. The ability to swing a child, “again!”, “again!”,  and “again!”

3. The ability not only to get through a day after one (or many) completely interrupted night’s sleep, but to wake up in the morning having forgotten about the interruptions.

2. An ability to seize the moment and create great memories for your child: you ignore the dishes, the garbage, and the dirty bathrooms in lieu of an impromptu wrestling match.

1. Ability to love more than you ever thought possible, and the ability (finally) to understand just how much your father loves you.

Happy Father’s Day from Two Peds in a Pod!

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD

© 2010 Two Peds in a Pod


As Mother’s Day approaches, we give you our first Two Peds in a Pod “Top Ten List.” 

Top Ten Skills You Acquire as a Mother

     10)  Not being completely grossed out by another person’s poop.

 9)  Ability to sense the “moment before the vomit” and to hustle your child to the nearest garbage can or toilet before it’s too late.

 8)  Ability to lick your own finger and then use it to clean a smudge completely off your child’s face.

 7)  Ability to get through a day (after day after day) after one (or many) completely interrupted night’s sleep.

 6)  Willingness to show up at work or just go out in public with dried spit-up on your shoulder.

 5)  Ability to use your “momometer” by touching or kissing your child’s forehead to tell if he has a fever (with fair degree of accuracy!).

 4)  Ability to see through walls in order to tell that your child did not wash his hands after using the bathroom.

 3)  Ability to see directly behind you to know that your child is getting into trouble.

 2)  Ability to wield the Magic Kiss that can make any and all boo-boos better.

 1)  Ability to love more than you ever thought possible, and the ability (finally) to understand just how much your mother loves you.

Rejoice in your abilities!

Happy Mother’s Day from Two Peds in a Pod.

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
©2010 Two Peds in a Pod


Our Face Book fan page was stagnant until now… we’ve finally figured out how to get our posts  out to our fans. Become our fan on Face Book and tell parents about us . Fan page is called Two Peds in a Pod  .What’s the use of an advice blog if no one is listening? 
We’re determined to grow baby step by baby step. 

Drs. Lai and Kardos

Haiti, one of the poorest countries in theWestern Hemisphere, was struck by a devastating earthquake last week.

If you are looking for a way to help the children, consider donating to the American Academy of Pediatrics Friends of Children Disaster Relief Fund. The American Academy of Pediatrics has used this fund in the past to respond to disasters that affect children in the US, such as hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and worldwide, such as recent earthquakes in China.

 The fund provides emergency relief to pediatricians and the children they treat by:

 Addressing primary health care needs ofchildren;

 Supporting medical services (example: power generators for medical facilities, replacement of medical equipment damaged by the disaster);

 Supporting future disaster preparedness and response programs with a special focus on children.

 Naline Lai, MD and Julie Kardos, MD
© 2010 Two Peds In a Pod 


“Three things we know for certain: a child is a gift, being a good parent is a blessing, and being a pediatrician is a privilege.” –author unknown

This Thanksgiving, we want to thank you, our readers, for allowing us to help you help your children. We are grateful to you for telling other families about Two Peds In A Pod because when you get right down to it, our information is only good if it reaches people. Thank you for your comments and questions. Keep them coming!

From both of our families, we wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
©2009 Two Peds in a Pod


We noticed Atom 1.0 readers did not pick up the podcast. Try the RSS 2 feed instead.

Let us know about any technical glitches.  We are still very new to cyberspace and appreciate your feedback.  We say in our podcasts, “Right now our recording studio is our kitchen table”…. you should see our computer help desk

Naline Lai, MD and Julie Kardos, MD


If your child’s health care provider prescribes the liquid form of Oseltamivir, brand name Tamiflu, to treat your child’s flu, pay particular attention to how you dose the medication.

The dosing syringe that comes with the manufacturer’s liquid formulation is marked in milligrams (mg), not in the customary milliliters (ml) or teaspoons (tsp).

Also, be aware that if your pharmacist makes up a liquid version from the tablets (because the liquid formulation is in short supply), the concentration (amount of medicine per amount of liquid volume) is different than what the manufacturer makes. The manufacturer makes 12mg/ml and the commonly used receipe your pharmacist will use for making a liquid formulation makes a 15mg/ml formulation.

Confused? Before you leave the pharmacy with Tamiflu, just make sure you clarify the proper amount to give with your pharmacist.

Naline Lai, MD and Julie Kardos, MD


We just returned from this year’s American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Washington D.C. It  was heartening and motivating to meet with thousands of pediatricians from across the country all dedicated to improving the health and welfare of children locally and globally.  We attended numerous seminars, workshops, and lectures and even ran a 7 a.m. 5K race to benefit the American Academy of Pediatrics Friends of Children Fund.  We plan to incorporate what we’ve learned these past few days both in our offices and in future blog posts.

We were fortunate to find other pediatricians who promote pediatric education outside of the office setting.  We enjoyed exchanging ideas with fellow pediatric blogger Dr. Roy Benaroch ( In addition to writing his blog, Dr. Benaroch has authored two books for parents: A Guide to Getting the Best Health care for Your Child and Solving Health  Behavioral Problems from Birth Through Preschool: A Parent’s Guide.  Also, we spent time with Dr Kardos’s medical school friend Dr. Laura Jana (, author of Heading Home with your Newborn, from Birth to Reality and Food Fights. She is also a pediatric media spokesperson. It was also nice to meet Dr David Hill from North Carolina whose work can be found as well on the internet.  

With pediatricians like these, the health of our nation’s children is in good hands.

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD