Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

You'll need JavaScript enabled to use this site effectively.

You're using an old verion of Internet Explorer. Our site is better viewed in virtually anything except IE8 or below.

June 20, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and Levine Children’s Hospital: Potty Training 101

Summer is a great time to start potty training, so we recently interviewed Dr. Corinne Watson, a pediatrician at Cotswold Pediatrics, to get her insight and tips.  If you’re just starting the process, we hope this article serves as both inspiration and education for you.  A big thanks to Dr. Watson and Levine Children’s Hospital!

What age should parents expect to start potty training their child?

Many children are ready to start potty training at 2 years old, and almost all are ready by 3. However, parents can start introducing the concept before children are developmentally and physically ready. As early as 18 months, parents can start teaching the vocabulary of going “pee” or “poop” and going in the potty.



What are some signs that a child is ready to be potty training?

– Child expresses interest in going to the bathroom
– Child can imitate parents and put things where they belong
– Child can express that favorite word “no” indicating a sense of independence
– Child can indicate when he or she needs to “poop” or pee”
– Child is able to take clothes on and off

How often should you ask a child to go to the potty?

There is no perfect science for how often kids need to go potty. Look for potential signs, such as grimacing or pulling at the diaper when wet, a signal he or she may need to use the bathroom. If your child goes two or more hours without urinating, you may want to ask. Other good times to try include immediately after naps or about 20 minutes after meal time. Read More →

June 15, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: All About Audiologists

By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. has nearly 100 healthcare providers with different jobs and titles. What do these titles mean and what care does everyone offer? This is the third in a series explaining who our providers are and what they do to keep you and your family healthy.

What is an Audiologist?

Audiologists are medical professionals – usually doctors – who test, diagnose, and treat hearing loss in babies, children, and adults. They also fit patients with hearing aids or other hearing-enhancing instruments, and diagnose other hearing- and ear-related conditions. At CEENTA they also work closely with the ear, nose, and throat doctors to provide a continuity of care if more serious medical concerns are detected during an audiology exam. Unlike hearing instrument specialists, who primarily do just hearing aid fittings, audiologists also can perform full diagnostic evaluations of a patient’s complete auditory system. This means they can diagnose the cause of hearing loss and determine if it needs medical attention before the patient gets hearing aids.Swanson

How does someone become an Audiologist?

After receiving an undergraduate degree, future audiologists get a master’s degree or doctorate in audiology through a graduate program. In addition to the classroom portion of the degree, the third and/or fourth year of their program involves getting hands-on experience through an externship program. In fact, CEENTA has its own externship, where fourth-year students work with patients in three separate educational tracks. Students rotate through clinics for cochlear implants, pediatric audiology, tinnitus retraining therapy, vestibular testing electrophysiology, diagnostics, hearing aids, and practice management. CEENTA is currently accepting applications for the 2018-19 program, and interested students can email Audiologist Tracy Swanson, AuD, F-AAA, at Read More →

June 1, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: Seasonal Allergies – A Smarty Podcast


Welcome to our brand-spankin’-new Smarty podcast series! CSP is excited to partner with Southeast Psych’s Shrink Tank to host our first-ever Smarty podcast series. We’ll be talking to experts from all over Charlotte on relevant parenting topics from health to education and everything in between. Feel free to listen while you’re commuting to work, making dinner, folding laundry, exercising, or just watching your kids in the pool! We LOVE the podcast flexibility!

In this week’s podcast, we talk about the differences between colds and allergies with Dr. Hunter Hoover and Dr. Darrell Klotz of Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates. Both are ear, nose, and throat doctors who practice in CEENTA’s SouthPark office. Dr. Hoover practices comprehensive pediatric and adult ENT care and specializes in allergies, sinusitis, and sleep apnea. Dr. Klotz practices comprehensive ENT care and is fellowship-trained in voice disorders.

Dr. Hoover

Dr. Hoover

Dr. Klotz

Dr. Klotz

If you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Hoover, Dr. Klotz, or any of the doctors at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates, you can call 704-295-3000. More information is available online at

Charlotte Smarty Pants podcasts are powered by Shrink Tank, bringing you videos, podcast, and articles that showcase psychology and mental health found in popular culture. Find out more at

May 30, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and Levine Children’s Hospital: Early Peanut Eaters May Avoid Allergies Later On

This post was originally posted on the Carolinas Healthcare System blog. A big thanks to them for allowing us to post it here for our readers!

It seems like common sense to avoid foods you’re allergic to. But new evidence reveals that sometimes, it might be better to do the exact opposite.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that exposing children to peanuts at a young age could actually prevent the development of a peanut allergy later in life. Researchers fed peanut products to infants between 4 and 11 months old who were at high risk of developing a peanut allergy. Compared to a high-risk group of infants who weren’t fed peanut products, those who ate peanut products were far less likely to be allergic to the food by the time they turned 5.

Dr. Ekta Shah, a pediatric allergist with Carolinas HealthCare System

Dr. Ekta Shah, a pediatric allergist with Carolinas HealthCare System

Ekta Shah, MD, a pediatric allergist with Carolinas HealthCare System, thinks the researchers may be on to something. “We’ve suspected that the late introduction to peanuts is associated with a higher risk,” she says. “This is one of the first studies to demonstrate that the early introduction of an allergenic food can be beneficial.” Read More →

May 22, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: How to help your family sleep

By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

Sleep is very important for a person’s health. Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night and children need 10. However, only about a third of us get the sleep we need. May is Better Sleep Month, so if your family has difficulty sleeping, now is a good time to talk to them about what they can do to get the rest they need.

Sleep has a number of health benefits, such as healing and repairing your heart and blood vessels. Sleep also releases hormones in the bodies of children and teenagers that help them grow normally. The same hormone also boosts muscle mass and repairs cells.Abbasi

A lack of sleep, however, can lead to a number of health problems, such as raised blood pressure levels and stress hormone production. Immune systems can weaken. People can find it harder to concentrate or remember things, may have mood swings, and may be more irritable or depressed.

The same basic guidelines for getting more regular sleep each night apply to you, your children, and your parents. It’s best if you get on a regular sleep/wake schedule and sleep in dark, quiet, comfortable environments. It’s also recommended that adults drink no caffeine or alcohol later than six hours before bedtime. It’s also best to not eat heavy or spicy meals before bed. Read More →

May 21, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and Levine Children’s Hospital: Rooming-In and Pediatric Hospitalists

CSP Team Note: We recently chatted with Dr. Melissa Schutt, a pediatric hospitalist at Levine Children’s Hospital, about the benefits of rooming-in and pediatric hospitalists. We appreciate her thoughtful answers and for taking care of our Charlotte babies!

What does rooming-in mean for the mother and baby?

The term “rooming-in” means that after delivery, the mother and baby share the same room until being discharged from the hospital. Unless there is a medical reason that requires separation, the baby and mother share the same room at all times.

The goal is for the mother and baby to establish a bond and to be viewed as a co-dependent unit that provides physical and emotional support to each other, leading to the best possible outcome. Rooming-in eliminates the artificial separation after birth and promotes early and unlimited access for both mom and baby.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

What are the benefits for the mother?

The benefits of rooming-in for the mother are numerous. There are many studies that demonstrate a link between rooming-in and breastfeeding in particular. Mothers who have unlimited access to their newborns are better at recognizing infant feeding cues. They also report an improved breastfeeding experience and are more likely to exclusively breastfeed their babies for a longer period after discharge from the hospital. There are studies suggesting that women who can room-in with their infants also produce milk sooner and in greater quantities.

What are the benefits for the baby?

The newborn baby receives a lot of very important medical benefits from staying with his or her mother. Just after birth, babies who have unlimited skin to skin contact with mom have more stable body temperatures and blood sugars. They also have lower levels of stress hormones, and they breastfeed sooner and more easily. In fact, one of the “treatments” we give to newborns who are having difficulty transitioning after birth is putting them on their mother’s chest skin to skin. Read More →

May 13, 2017

Town Hall on Social Media Parenting Resources

Thank you to everyone who came to our first ever Town Hall on Social Media Parenting. It was a big success, and accomplished what we set out to do: get the conversation going. We plan to hold these types of events twice a year – once in the fall and once in the spring. Be on the lookout for our next Town Hall date. In the meantime, here are some resources we pulled from our education partners on social media and parenting. We will be adding to this list as more are published.

CSP Town Hall on Social Media

Charlotte Country Day School

6 Things to Think About Before You Turn Over a Smartphone to your Child

Social media platforms weren’t designed for children, and the skills required to fluently navigate these worlds are ones that most kids simply don’t possess: self-restraint, savviness about marketing techniques, sophisticated social skills, an understanding of audience, media literacy skills, and time management skills. Read More →

May 5, 2017

Fitness Friday: Flywheel Sports Teen Program

Flywheel Smarty Teens

As school spring sports are wrapping up and summer is just beginning, it’s the perfect time for your teens to try new workouts. Well Smarties, we have just the workout for your athletic teenagers – Flywheel and FlyBarre Charlotte!

Whether your teen is a competitive athlete or just looking for something to get him/her in shape, Flywheel has something for everyone. Flywheel is the perfect supplement for your teen’s sports workouts, for boys and girls alike. I mean if Cam, Greg & Luke can hang here in their off season (just spotted last week:-), then you know this is the best kick-booty workout in the QC!

Keeping your teens busy is important, it keeps them out of trouble. There is nothing better than an intense cycle class or even better, a double with cycle and barre, followed by a juice from Juice Bar next door on a Friday night (or Leroy Fox if they are really hungry)! Best part, they can invite all of their friends to join the competition.

My teen has been loving Fly for a few months now and she absolutely loves the high energy workouts, the overall vibe of the studio, the FlyGear (she wears Fly’s AHH-Mazing leggings out pretty much every Friday night!) and best of all, I love the teen discount rates. Here’s what they look like. Read More →

April 29, 2017

Smarty Mom: Shelley Miller

IMG_4219 (1)

By Smarty Guest Blogger Lisa Farley

Anyone who knows Shelley knows that she is passionate about health and fitness, quick with a smile, and an empathetic listener. My bet is that these traits stem from her early childhood experiences. Growing up in a very active family, she developed a lifelong love of competition and sport. Shelley is the oldest of four children, with a younger sister and two younger brothers, she is a natural care-taker. When she was a teenager her baby brother, Chris, was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was just five years old. Watching him fight a 3-year battle and survive, beating the odds at that time, set a foundation of compassion that is integral to who she is today and gives her a joyful perspective on life. I am blessed to have Shelley as a friend and am honored to introduce her to all you Smarty Moms.

Smarty Mom: Shelley Miller

Married to: Jason
Children: Lauren, Jordyn and Madison
Pets: Skeeter (dog) and Shadow (gerbil)
Hometown: Woodbridge, VA
Years in Charlotte: 20
Occupation: Stay-at-Home Mom / CPA / Volunteer
Alma Mater: Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!)
Favorite Charity: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)

Your younger brother had cancer as a child, what was that like for you:

Chris was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) when I was thirteen, so I was definitely aware. The medicines that he took made him really sick so it was a very scary time. I saw firsthand what he went through; many blood transfusions, bone marrow transplants, hospital stays and chemotherapy treatments. We were hopeful he would go into remission, but there were no guarantees. It was really hard when Chris lost his hair because people would often stare. Not that they meant to, it’s a natural reaction, but I just remember being very protective of him. I also remember times where he was sick and had to miss out on things. Once while we were on vacation in California, Chris got sick and my dad and my siblings and I and went off to explore while my mom had to stay back with Chris. That was tough. Shelley & Chris

When I look back now, I see that my parents did a lot to make sure that my other brother and my sister and I had as normal a childhood throughout those three years as possible. Now that I have children of my own, I realize just how strong they were. My mom spent a lot of time with Chris the hospital, and that was hard, but both my parents really just kept everything as even keel and as normal as possible for the rest of us.

Thankfully Chris did go into remission at age 8 and is now 36, cancer free, and living in Portland, OR, with his wife, Caitlin. Read More →

April 17, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and Signature Pediatrics: What’s the latest word on sleep?

By our Smarty friends at Signature Pediatrics

Did you know that driving a car when sleep deprived is as dangerous as drunk driving? The effect of being awake for 24 hours and then driving is equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of 0.10! That’s worse than drunk driving which has a cutoff of 0.08!Kid Sleeping

What has that got to do with kids? We all know how lousy it feels to be sleep deprived, but few of us realize how much our thinking and reaction time has suffered from sleep deprivation. Inadequate sleep really and truly has a detrimental effect on brain function. And as true as that is for adults, it has an even greater effect on the developing brains of children.

New guidelines for sleep in childhood have come out from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Age & Recommended Hours of Sleep per 24 Hours
4-12 months – 12-16 hours (including naps)
1-2 years – 11 – 14 hours (including naps)
3-5 years – 10-13 hours (including naps)
6-12 years – 9-12 hours
13-18 years – 8-10 hours

Regularly getting less than the recommended amount of sleep is linked to difficult childhood behaviors and certain pediatric medical problems. These include irritability, difficulty concentrating, obesity, headaches, high blood pressure and depression. In fact, the exact behaviors that can lead to a diagnosis of ADHD are identical to behaviors seen from inadequate sleep. Read More →

Tell A Friend.

Message to Friend