Today we celebrate our baby’s first birthday. It has been a long road to get here and frankly I look at this milestone with great relief and thanksgiving to have him still beside me. Born only three weeks early baby … Continue reading
It’s been my experience that many people are uninformed on how to install a carseat. That seems logical to me since installing a seat isn’t usually a daily chore. However, I hadn’t realized how uninformed most are on actually buckling their babies into the seat securely.
With the holidays approaching and many children traveling I want to remind parents of a few carseat safety tips. I encourage you to print this out and keep it with your carseat as instructions for caretakers and a reminder for yourself.
It may be soft, but my jacket must come off.
If you need some help with the strap, buckle me first at my lap.
Pull the string. Give it your best.
Then buckle me across my chest.
Atop my shoulder only one finger should fit.
Then move the buckle so it’s even with my armpit.
Make sure passengers are buckled too so their bodies won’t harm me and you.
Your Precious Cargo
If you have another tip to add please share below. I wish you all a happy and safe holiday!
When I started writing this blog I never imagined anyone would actually be interested. Yet here you are. It has been too long since my last post. I feel I’ve let you down. There is no excuse aside from life’s time-consuming everyday tasks and a few special occasions. Last week I had planned to pen this letter of apology but hurricane Sandy had other plans.
Many of you who read this are not from the States, but I am here in New Jersey. My family and I are all safe and well. We have many friends and relatives who were not as fortunate. There are so many people who lost everything. If you want to help please contact Rebuild Recover.
I promise you I will be writing again soon. This week I will get back to everyone who has emailed me product comparison questions and hope to make a few posts.
Thank you for your understanding.
As a new parent I had always heard the same advice. Sleep while your baby is sleeping. That sounds easy enough but once you become a parent you realize how impossible that is to achieve. These “helpful” people give their words of wisdom on how to neglect your to-do list and take a nap. They completely fail to tell you how to get your baby to sleep in the first place.
Well here it is…the big secret. Like Goldilocks, make sure your baby is sleepy but not exhausted, belly is full but not stuffed, body is warm but not hot, and room has noise but isn’t too noisy. Once you have met all of the above requirements you will likely have no problem getting the baby to sleep in your arms but putting the baby into the crib is a whole other problem.
I know what they say, put baby down drowsy but not sleeping. I’ll admit I do that with my second child but I didn’t with my first. I held my first baby during almost every nap. Everything I read said not to do that. I did anyway. I know a lot of you do too. Don’t feel guilty. It’s your choice. Yes you may pay as I am with my two year old, but it’s not something I regret doing just a lesson I learned.
If your baby does fall asleep in your arms it is a true challenge to set the baby into the crib without waking. Here are my helpful tips:
1) How ever baby is laying on you, that is how you should put the baby down. For example, if the baby is laying on your chest belly to belly then putting the baby down on a cold sheet on their back is sure to wake baby.
2) Have a consistent lullaby. Whenever baby is ready for a nap or bed sing the same song. Your baby will begin to associate this song with sleep. If baby begins to stir in crib quietly sing your song. This is also helpful in the car. (If you don’t want to sing humming or hushing work too.)
3) Once you lay baby down don’t remove your hands from the crib. Keep contact with baby’s body. Slowly lighten your pressure until you are able to walk away.
4) Sleep with baby’s fitted crib sheet in your own bed for a few nights before putting it in the crib. Your smell will remain on the sheet which will comfort the baby.
5) If all of the above methods fail, give yourself and the baby a few minutes. Put baby in crib and leave the room for ten minutes. Yes baby will cry. Yes it will be horrible for you. Don’t expect that baby will fall asleep, this is only a break for you and baby. Go back in and try again. If you do this several days in a row baby may eventually fall asleep before the ten minutes are up.
The best way to get your baby to sleep in their crib is to start early and do it often. Don’t delay start today!
There has been some discussions lately about how early you need to start taking folic acid for it to be effective during pregnancy. While this is all very helpful I am confused and disturbed that doctors and pregnant women alike are unaware of the effects of MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) mutations. I want to inform you of this common genetic mutation that could potentially have a devastating effect on your unborn child and your own health.
This is something I have wanted to spread the word about for some time. I am not an expert nor do I want to write a research paper. Instead, I will tell you my experience and leave the research up to you.
After trying to conceive for over two years and seeing three different reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctors) I was told I had two MTHFR gene mutations. Although they tested for it at the first two doctors it wasn’t until the third that I was educated and taught to be proactive. The doctor told me that along with my prenatal vitamin I needed to take folgard (a combination of folic acid and B vitamins). Most of us are informed enough to know that your intake of folic acid aids in the development of your unborn child and lack of folic acid leads to increased risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Someone with MTHFR needs more than the average person. I was also told that in his opinion, I may have conceived but suffered several early miscarriages. The probable cause would have been either from too many chromosomal abnormalities (blighted ovum) or from my body clotting more often. If your blood clots easily, your body could mistake an early pregnancy as a clot and pass it as such. MTHFR mutations can cause high Homocysteine levels which increase risk of blood clots. His theories are certainly just his opinion and research is conflicting. However, in many ways I felt that this doctor was my last hope and certainly our last stop before adoption. I followed all of his instructions. In the two and a half years since that office visit, I gave birth to two healthy babies.
What confuses me most about this issue is that doctors don’t generally do this blood test. Why when you go in to see the doctor at your first prenatal appointment do they not check for MTHFR mutations? They are already drawing blood. It is a simple test with a simple solution. Not only is this test important for your knowledge during pregnancy but after a child is born as well. Research proves most children diagnosed with autism have at least one MTHFR mutation and may benefit from folate treatment. You should get tested for yourself as well due to an increased risk of stroke, thrombosis, aneurism, and a number of other health problems.
It is possible to have healthy children without addressing this mutation but now armed with this knowledge, why take the chance? I encourage you to do some research. Be proactive. Talk to your doctor and insist on a test.
My current favorite baby feeding product is the mesh feeder. For those of you who haven’t yet tried one, you are missing out. It is a little mesh pouch with a rattle-like handle. You open it up and can put pretty much anything edible inside and baby can’t choke on any big pieces. The baby chews on the mesh essentially pureeing the food inside.They advise you put in fruits or vegetables the consistency of a baked apple. However, I have put frozen grapes and even an ice-cube on occasion to help with teething.
This product, like most, is not without its flaws. Baby will get messy and they are very difficult to clean. Both of these issues can be exacerbated by what you choose to put inside the feeder. The worst of which is bananas. They do make a feeder with replacement mesh so you could be soaking one while using the other or dispose of it while you’re out and about.
If you are bringing this product out with you, you will need to bring food. Your least messy options are apples and pears. I try to travel with only the necessities so if I know I will be dining out I don’t bring my own food. If you do this, keep in mind that not all restaurants have fruit other than what they use as garnish. This means if you don’t want your baby to eat lemons or oranges bring your own food. Of course steamed carrots are always a good option.
Try it out and let me know what you think.
Tip: Use the plastic backing of baby’s disposable place-mat as a string to tie feeder to highchair.
It’s funny, when I had only one child I dreaded bath time. The production. The length of time. I would sit there bored. Now with two I give them their baths together. It is now enjoyable, entertaining, and a highlight of my day.
Everyday at about four thirty in the afternoon my children go haywire. I’m not sure why. They could have been angels all day but the clock strikes and they lose it. On bath nights I know all I have to say is “How about we take a bath” and as soon as those words are spoken my two angels return. My two-year old stops jumping on the couch he knows he shouldn’t be standing on, and my eight month old stops banging on the gate he is desperately trying to climb.
They rush to the bathroom. I’m prepared for them. I have two towels on top of the hamper along with two pairs of pajamas and two diapers. They hang on the ledge of the bathtub waiting for it to be filled. While they are standing still, mesmerized by the bubbles I undress them. First the youngest as he’s not too steady on his feet. Once undressed I seat him in his bath seat, one of the most useful baby products I’ve come across. Then it’s the two-year old’s turn. When he is undressed I ask him to use the potty since accidents in a tub for two are extremely inconvenient. Once they are both settled I bathe them both and they are free to splash around.
They have no need for bath toys since they are each others entertainment. The youngest leans back in his seat and kicks, splashing his brother. The oldest swims back and forth trying to decide if he wants to be splashed. This movement is apparently hilarious as it causes the baby to giggle uncontrollably. Their laughing is infectious. I sit and watch them in amazement. I’ve traveled back in time to my childhood. All four of us in the tub. Happy to be together. Sympathizing with each other as our hair is washed one by one. Only now, I am on the other side of the tub pouring the bucket.
I don’t rush them. I’ve started bath time early enough for them to play. I want it to go on as long as possible. They are both happy. Nobody is pulling on me or begging me for something they can’t have. Yes I’m drenched from head-to-toe but what do I care? I’m getting fifteen to twenty minutes of pure joy.
As the water drains from the bath I take the baby out and sit him on my lap to dry, lotion, and dress him. I put him in the gated hall outside the bathroom while I remove his brother from the tub and repeat the same tasks. Bath time is over and there are a few hours still left before bed but I can handle it. I am refreshed too.
If your infant has grown out of the baby bath or sink you may be looking for an alternative. You could move baby straight to the bath but it can be very difficult to keep the baby from slipping and sliding. I’ve tried the inflatable baths and they are convenient for travel but don’t solve the problem. Then I found the bath seat. Alas, problem solved. The baby is able to sit somewhat securely. You obviously can’t leave baby unattended but you can give the bath without having to hold baby up. There are several different brands. I have used two different kinds and they were very similar. If bath time is stressful for you, and your baby can sit up unassisted, I suggest you give the bath seat a try.
Note: The two different types of bath seats are one that suctions to the bottom of tub (as pictured) and one with an arm that attaches to the side of the tub. The one that suctions to the bottom will eventually lose suction (can be replaced). With the one that connects to the side you do not have to worry about that problem. However, their is no lap bar which makes it more difficult for washing baby and not as secure.
As a mom I wanted to do it all. It was getting overwhelming. Then I figured out how to “do it all” by using three simple words. Ask. For. Help.
Why are we as people, and especially as parents, so afraid to do this? We want to be a hero. Supermom. Yet even a “hero” has help. Batman has Robin, Superman has his powers, even Thunder Cats were a team. Everyone of them relied on something or someone on a daily basis.
We should stop accepting help only when we are desperate. We shouldn’t feel embarrassed. It doesn’t mean you have failed or even that you couldn’t have done it yourself. It means you are courageous to have asked for help.
As a new parent I wanted to refuse everyone’s help. I learned the hard way that I needed time to regroup. Life isn’t easy and I needed bits of time away from mommy-hood to clear my head. Even if that meant taking five minutes to shower. I took what I could get. I know that the help I receive from others makes a difference in my parenting. I don’t have to stretch myself so thin and in turn I’m a better parent.
Perhaps our “superheros” are not the real hero. Maybe the hero is the person who was smart enough to have asked for help in the first place.
Today my family and I celebrated my Grandfather’s 92nd birthday. I can’t imagine all of the things he’s seen and experiences he has had. I am always moved by the image of him with his great-grandchildren. It reminds of my own childhood and how much of a role my grandparents played. I am grateful for all of the memories and all of the time I’ve had with them.
It struck me though, that of my children’s eight great grandparents they have been blessed to meet only four, and gotten to know just three. I know that having three living great grandparents is still more than most. It’s just that I know how great an impact the missing few had on my life. I wish my kids could know them as well as I did. That is why I make a real effort to keep to tradition. Sing the songs that were sung, the stories that were told, lessons that were learned, and most importantly the love that was shown.
How much of an effort do you make to include the loved ones of your past in your present?