Tag Archive | "baby"

Perfect Christmas Presents for Babies and the ones to Avoid

Perfect Christmas Presents for Babies and the ones to Avoid

Perfect Christmas Presents for Babies and the ones to AvoidChristmas is magical – a time of family gatherings, exchanging presents, singing carols, decorating a tree, and of course, shopping. For parents of babies, they can expect to be deluged with gifts that can range from cute and thoughtful to the strange and thoughtless. Here is a guide for shopping for that perfect baby gift and the ones to avoid.

Toys that will keep a baby interested even at a young age are simple toys that have contrasting colors or plays music with the touch of a large button. A rattle or teething toy would also be a welcome gift. If you are looking for toys that the baby will grow into, soft building blocks encourage creativity and development of small motor skills. A soft ball that can be kicked or thrown without causing damage in the house is another great option. Push toys like shopping carts or vacuum cleaners will develop newfound walking skills.

Anything with small parts or magnets is a bad idea. Babies put everything in their mouths. Toys that can be easily swallowed are dangerous. Make sure that the toy is the right age of the baby. Anything too easy or too difficult will not hold their attention. Keep in mind the size of the parents’ house before buying a large toy. Stuffed animals take up space and only a select few become favorites. The rest just collect dust.

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Traveling with a Baby during the Holidays

Traveling with a Baby during the Holidays

Traveling with a Baby during the HolidaysThe holiday season is nearly upon us. Some people love visiting relatives, long day or nights spent traveling, or having meals in different places. There is one specific group of people who dread all of this – new parents. Most would rather stay at home safely ensconced in their cocoon of new baby love than to take their infant out into the hustle and bustle. Traveling with a baby can be a nightmare. The amount of baby paraphernalia parents have to take is cumbersome. Add to that the danger of germs the baby will be exposed to and the disruption of schedules and you realize that holiday traveling can easily become a nightmare.

When traveling, make sure you pack the essentials. Try to have a checklist of all of the products you use every day. Don’t forget to bring a portable crib, blankets, a nightlight, and a favorite cuddle toy. Making any new place feel like home is essential. Pack an extra bottle of disinfecting hand gel and do not be embarrassed to insist that people use it before touching your baby. Try to keep your little one on the same schedule they are at home so there will be minimal disruption. If your baby is getting fussy, you can leave early. People generally understand and will not be offended. Stress free holiday travel is possible; it just takes some planning.

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Baby’s First Not-So-Scary Halloween

Baby’s First Not-So-Scary Halloween

Baby’s First Not-So-Scary Halloween

Halloween is a holiday of thrills and chills. Frightening decorations and scary haunted sites amuse and entertain the little kid in all of us. Somehow, they are not so entertaining for actual little kids. Babies, too young to understand why being scared is sometimes a good thing, might be especially affected by seemingly harmless costumes and decorations. So how do you make Halloween not-so-scary?

For babies, keep the costume simple. While it is tempting to put your little one in the cutest and most elaborate costume, babies will feel confined and hot and that will only lead to an irritable little one. Try using a simpler costume with a minimal amount of accessories.

Don’t expect too much from your little pumpkin. It is a possibility that they may not feel like wearing a costume that night, trick-or-treating might come in the middle of nap time, or they could play shy. You can dress your cherub up in their costume and take pictures any time. Don’t get overly upset. Have a piece of candy or two as a consolation prize.

If you don’t want to be part of the trick-or-treaters this year, that’s okay too. You can dress your little one up for a harvest day party, push their stroller as part of a parade, or just dress up to stay home and give out candy.

Have a safe, fun, and not-so-scary Halloween!

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Nursing in Public, emotions and lessons learned

Nursing in Public, emotions and lessons learned

Re-Posted from the HuffintonPost.com

Nursing in Public, emotions and lessons learned

It was 99 degrees out when we visited Disneyland last week.

Have you ever tried to nurse a 4-month-old baby in 99 degree heat? It feels like your face is melting off. My chubby, sweet boy slid across my chest as his cheeks burned a brighter red than mine. His thin onesie soaked through with sweat, and it stuck to my hand as I tried to hold him still underneath my nursing cover. His little hands pushed at the cover as sweat collected like raindrops on his forehead. Hot tears pooled in the corners of my eyes as I tried to create more space underneath the cover so that I could blow air on his little face. Ben wiggled and kicked, his tears finally falling as he frantically tried to get my milk to let down. I cursed the heat. I cursed the Happiest Place on Earth for being so unbearably hot. I cursed the nursing cover.

And then I took it off.

It was 99 degrees at Disneyland. My 4-year-old and my husband were darting from air-conditioned ride to air-conditioned ride. I had spent most of the trip holed up in our hotel room with the baby, cooling off. But I wanted to be a part of this vacation. I wanted to see the look on my big boy’s face when he came running out of a wild ride. I wanted to take a family picture in front of Cinderella’s castle. I wanted to feel ridiculous in a pair of those stupid mouse ears, and actually participate in the vacation that we had been waiting so long for.

So I took my cover off. I took my cover off because Ben needed to be able to breathe while he ate. I took my cover off because his latch is still not perfect, and it’s too hard to fumble under the cover with one hand while only half-holding him with the other. I took it off because he was batting at it and yanking it and crying when it covered his eyes. I took it off because it was SO DARN HOT. I took it off because it was time.

It was time to be brave. It was time to be free. It was time to exercise my legal right to nurse in public, without fear of what others would think or say. As embarrassed as I was, as frustrated as I was, it didn’t matter. What mattered was that Ben needed to eat. He needed to stay hydrated. He deserved to eat while being part of the world, not in a bathroom, and not hidden away in a corner. So I took a deep breath, and tucked the nursing cover underneath the stroller. While I was turning my body away from everyone in line at Captain EO, and discreetly pulling my breast out and popping it in Ben’s mouth, I realized a few things.

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Soothing your crying baby

If you are a parent, you have been there. Your darling sleeping baby has somehow morphed into an angry force to be reckoned with. Calm breathing has been replaced by screams of anger, fear or even worse for a breast-feeding mommy, hunger. This sudden change is enough to frazzle the nerves of even the most experienced of caregivers. My mother used to tell me, “Birds fly and babies cry.” She wasn’t kidding. Coming to terms with the fact that all babies will cry is the first step to being able to soothe your weeping bundle of joy.

Babies cry. It is the only way for them to communicate with you at this stage in their lives. The first step to calming a crying baby is to be a calm parent. An infant cries in order for us to fulfill whatever need that is not being met at that particular time. When a parent is behaving frantically, the baby will pick up on that, which will unfortunately lead to more crying. A parent who is relaxed will be better able to recognize why a baby is crying and be better equipped to provide what is needed to calm the baby quickly.

When you want to understand the source of baby’s distress, try to follow a process of elimination. The usual suspects are a dirty diaper, hunger or just feeling lonely. Babies have a tendency to swallow a lot of air while crying. Try holding your child while rubbing his back gently in order to loosen trapped air pockets and bring the baby instant comfort. This method also gives you and baby some extra snuggle time. If, by chance, your little one drifts off to sleep while being held, congratulations! Problem solved.

If not, next thing you want to do is to check for a soiled diaper. Your baby should be relatively calm now, but be warned, your baby may not like the fact that his diaper is being changed. Try speaking softly or even singing to your baby using a calm, gentle tone. If you can’t think of a song, no problem – try humming. Speaking softly to your baby, singing and humming are great ways to create a distraction from whatever is bothering your infant. It also helps to keep a parent relaxed at the same time. It is so important for a parent to maintain a calm, relaxed demeanor during this time. Babies feed off of the energy around them. A relaxed parent equals a relaxed baby. A frustrated and frantic parent will result in an unsettled and upset baby.

While changing the diaper, watch for signs that your child may be feeling hungry. Possible signs of hunger include opening and closing the mouth, sucking on lips, tongue and fingers and turning his head when something is near his mouth. You may find that, although baby wasn’t hungry when the crying started, he may very well be ready for a feeding now. After feeding the baby, another diaper check may be necessary before putting the infant back down to sleep. It’s better to check now than to have baby’s diaper leak while he’s sleeping. Leaving baby in a soiled diaper could also lead to diaper rash and irritation of his sensitive skin.

Still, there are other times that no matter how many times you feed baby or change his diaper he just wants to be held. Unfortunately, this too can be tricky. Some babies enjoy being swaddled. It mimics the environment they were housed in for roughly nine months of their lives. On the other hand, some babies hate being confined and prefer to have their arms and legs free. It all depends on each individual baby. Some enjoy the motion of a rocking chair while others prefer to feel your body as you walk back and forth. Very few, however, are satisfied with a stationary parent as movement itself is comforting. If lullaby lyrics are long forgotten, time to brush up on the family favorites. Your baby may also respond more to one song than another. Repeating your child’s favorite lullabies is a great way to establish a sense of calm between the parent and the infant, as well as creating a bedtime ritual.

Please note that if you think your child’s fussiness and crying are excessive due to a possible medical condition, do not hesitate to contact your pediatrician.

With that said, enjoy your new arrival. Your baby’s first days and weeks may seem overwhelming, but they go by very quickly. Remaining calm and relaxed during those frustrating moments will give you more time for those loving moments between you and your child. In the end, those will be the memories you keep with you forever.

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