Archives for November 2015

Benefits of Baby Yoga

Stretching and movement is extremely important for both men and women. Just like adults, babies need movement as well to build strength and development. One way to do this is through yoga and building strength within their bodies to promote muscle development along with other beneficial simulations.

The practice of yoga is practiced all around the world and has been known to be extremely beneficial because it builds a healthy body and wellbeing. While this has helped many adults, studios have been popping up that cater towards baby yoga. Today we are sharing five reasons why baby yoga is beneficial:

 

  1. Promotes Digestion: When a baby practices yoga with their mothers they are able to do specific movements that aid towards their digestion. Yoga promotes regular bowl movements and lessens the chance of your baby becoming constipated. Regular knee movements and stretches will release tension in your baby’s stomach which will give them relief from gas and any other troubles.
  2. Stimulates Muscle and Nerve Development: Through yoga babies can become more aware of their bodies, specifically their arms and legs because they will be strengthening their muscles. Yoga also promotes upper body and neck strength. This can be done when you lay your baby on their tummies and they are more prone to trying to lift their head to see what is going on. These movements will further flexibility and balance as well. In addition, yoga stimulates a baby’s senses once they become more aware of their bodies and their movements.
  3. Reduces Stress: Because yoga is a calming exercise it reduces the stress hormone cortisol. This is true for babies as well. When stress and anxiety are reduced in your baby they often times will have a more restful behavior, which can lead to better and longer sleep.
  4. Creates a Stronger Bond between Parents and their Babies: Parents can become more in tune with their baby’s needs when they practice yoga or daily movements with their child. Yoga promotes confidence in parents and gives them more self-assurance when handling their baby. Yoga also encourages play and interaction between baby and parent. When a parent is more confident they are able to recognize their child’s needs and wants.
  5. Promotes Socialization for both Mothers and Babies: Baby yoga isn’t just relaxing it can also be fun and promote socialization for moms and babies. When moms participate in classes they can meet other moms, and babies can become accustomed to seeing other children and people.

 

Breastfeeding Diet: Thanksgiving Foods while Breastfeeding

If you are a breastfeeding mom this Thanksgiving, you may need to slightly alter your typical festive meal to avoid adverse reactions for your baby.  Most traditional Thanksgiving foods are fine for your breastfeeding diet, but beware of certain items and even hidden spices that can harm your baby, induce gas or reduce your milk supply.  We’re going over the typical Thanksgiving meal and examining the best and worst Thanksgiving foods while breastfeeding.

The good news is that most traditional Thanksgiving foods such as turkey, vegetables, sweet potatoes, corn and breads are completely fine to eat while breastfeeding.  These dishes can be enjoyed freely without concern for how they may affect your baby.  If these are not foods you typically eat, your baby will be able to delight in these festive flavors through the taste of your breast milk.

 

Breastfeeding Diet:  Thanksgiving Foods while BreastfeedingDo be aware of traditional casseroles, stuffing or any recipes that require multiple herbs and spices.  Certain spices can cause gas or an otherwise upset stomach for babies.  Anything that is spicy (such as strong pepper) or even garlic may irritate your baby.  Other herbs and spices including sage, parsley and peppermint can reduce your milk supply when consumed in large quantities.  The amount you would likely have in one Thanksgiving meal would probably not significantly reduce milk supply, however if you are eating days upon days of leftovers that include these ingredients, you may experience a reduction of milk.

The two most common foods to avoid during pregnancy are alcohol and fish high in mercury.  Some pediatricians may approve one occasional alcoholic beverage while breastfeeding, while other healthcare professionals recommend avoiding alcohol completely due to potential neurological affects on your baby.  High mercury fish should be limited to two servings per week.  While fish is not what we typically think of for our Thanksgiving meal, the first Thanksgiving did include many fish items.  If you are incorporating this original tradition, be sure you select low-mercury fish and don’t over-do it on leftovers after the holiday.  High mercury that passes through breast milk can also cause neurological problems for babies.

Caffeine is another food that often aggravates babies either by causing gas or stimulating wakefulness.  Caffeine is OK in moderation, but better left for earlier in the day.  If your Thanksgiving meal usually ends in a cup of joe, you might want to make it a decaf this year.  Also remember that chocolate has caffeine so limit chocolate candies and desserts during your festive meal too.

As with any foods you consume during pregnancy, be aware of how you and your baby react and change your diet accordingly.  If you or close family members have allergies – perhaps to nuts or milk – be careful how you introduce these items into your breastfeeding diet.  Also, if some traditional Thanksgiving foods cause you gastrointestinal issues, they may have the same negative effect on your baby as well.  For instance, pumpkin is often hard for some people to digest due to its high fiber content and cranberries and some seasonal citrus fruits can be particularly acidic.  Also, vegetables high in fiber like broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts can be rough on the digestive system.

We hope you and your baby enjoy a variety of delicious Thanksgiving foods while breastfeeding.  Happy Thanksgiving!

How to have a Calm and Happy Thanksgiving with your Family

How to have a Calm and Happy Thanksgiving with your Family

With all the joy and gratitude that is spread during Thanksgiving, sometimes holidays can be stressful too.  We often put pressure on ourselves to make holidays super special and memorable, which may ultimately take away from your family’s experience and your own.  This year, work to have a calm and happy Thanksgiving with your family by following these 5 tips.

Tip #1:  Be Prepared

Waiting until the last minute to pull together your Thanksgiving holiday is usually ill-advised.  When you add kids to the mix, it can be a downright disaster.  When your kids are home from school and you have a house full of family, getting things done may prove more than difficult.  Start preparing for Thanksgiving early – yes, like, today!  Organize your to-do list, pull out recipe cards, shop when you can focus (perhaps without the kids in tow), make foods that you can refrigerate or freeze several days in advance, and keep the house tidy to avoid tons of last-minute housework.  Not preparing causes major stress and anxiety that often finds its way to your kids through your irritation and sour mood.

Tip #2:  Incorporate Family

Thanksgiving is a family holiday, after all, so get the entire family involved in preparing for the big day.  As they say, life is about the journey, not just the destination.  For Thanksgiving, the “journey” may include having family members help cook, set the table, clean the house and decorate the house.  Spending this precious time together getting ready for Thanksgiving will also give you time to reflect on gratitude and celebrate the spirit of the holiday.

Tip #3:  Have Fun Activities Available

Breaks from our everyday lives are meant to be somewhat chill, but do have some stimulating activities available should boredom overcome your clan.  These activities can be as simple as Thanksgiving crafts, board games or a fun new toy.  Of course we don’t recommend spending too much time in front of the screen, especially for little ones, but consider a special showing of a favorite holiday movie to curb the doldrums in your household.  For your youngest crew members, have something small for them to do at the Thanksgiving table to help avert tantrums.

Tip #4:  Beware of Picky Eaters

Festive meals are a great time to challenge your family to try new foods, even your pickiest eater.  But if you do have a picky eater in your group, have a few back-up items so your Thanksgiving meal isn’t filled with frowns and hunger.  Don’t give in to offering too many sweets as a solution for not wanting protein and vegetables because sugar overload can stir up meltdowns.  Rather, have a hard boiled egg or bag of plain carrots available as substitute items.

Tip #5:  Keep a Cheery Attitude

Your kids and entire family will feed off of your mood over the holiday season.  Even if you feel moments of stress, use methods of relaxation such as deep breathing, a positive mantra or taking a moment to yourself to calm down.  Remember that with many personalities and being outside of your normal circumstances, sometimes you have to let things slide, even minor infractions on the part of your kids.  The bottom line is, if you expect your family to be well-behaved and happy, you, too, should exude a cheery attitude.  Positivity and happiness are contagious to those around you and will help everyone have a wonderful holiday.

Have a calm and happy Thanksgiving with your family!!

Thanksgiving Movies for Kids

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remember why we have so much to be thankful for. This year get the family together and watch a few classics to remind us what this holiday is really about. Below we have the top Thanksgiving movies for the whole family to enjoy!

 

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114148/

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114148/

Pocahontas: This 90’s film is definitely on the list of Disney classics. We all know the story of Pocahontas and John Smith as a loving and good-hearted movie. As a great Thanksgiving movie, share this one with the kids and learn what compassion is really about!

The Blind Side: Life changes for the best for a young African American boy and a wealthy family living in Tennessee. This extraordinary movie tells the story of family, acceptance, and the importance of following your dreams. It’s definitely on the list of Thanksgiving movies for kids and the whole family.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Charlie Brown is in many of our childhood memories. This Thanksgiving watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and share the laughter, humorous bickering, and a delicious Thanksgiving meal with Charlie Brown and the kids!

Mouse on the Mayflower: This film follows the smallest pilgrim on the Mayflower, a mouse! When the Mayflower falls into trouble due to a storm, Willum, the mouse must help save the day and the future of Thanksgiving!

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Steve Martin and John Candy are a hit in “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!” As Martin’s character tries to get home in time for Thanksgiving dinner he runs into Del Griffith, John Candy’s character, who is an obnoxious and funny man who offers Martin a ride. Their journey home is nothing far from entertaining.

 

 

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101635/

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101635/

A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving: In a collection of memorable adventures, Winnie the Pooh and his friends try to find the right ingredients to help Rabbit make the best Thanksgiving dinner!

Dutch: Dutch is a classic 90’s film where Ed O’Neil plays Dutch, a guy who is trying to get to know his girlfriend’s son. He decides to pick to boy up from school in Atlanta and drive the two of them to Chicago for Thanksgiving dinner. Of course the boy is handful and their cross-country journey takes them through plenty of humorous and unplanned adventures. It’s a cute and heartwarming film that will teach your child about appreciation and caring.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin’s Thanksgiving Celebration: Alvin and his gang sure know how to have a good time and ruffle a few feathers. In “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin’s Thanksgiving Celebration,” Alvin invites the family over for Thanksgiving dinner to show off in a play he is trying out for. As things take a turn for the unexpected, Alvin gets himself in something we all know he will: trouble!

Curly Sue: An orphan and a drifter make the perfect pair to scam money out of random strangers. Both Bill Dancer (James Belushi) and Curly Sue (Alisan Porter) take on their biggest conquest yet, which is to scam a wealthy lawyer (Kelly Lynch). While Bill and Curley Sue think they are about to win the jackpot they come to realize money isn’t everything.

Miracle on 34th Street: While this might be a Christmas favorite, “Miracle of 34th Street” opens up with the Thanksgiving Day Parade where Kris Kringle takes over the position of the tipsy Santa Claus. A perfect kids movie, learn what the holidays should really be about: family.

 

 

Thanksgiving Snacks for Kids

We know Thanksgiving is all about being thankful and appreciative of your family and what you have. However, during big holidays we know people can become a little impatient after the long and anticipated Thanksgiving meal, especially the kids. You may begin to notice your thankfulness has turned a little indifferent after the 10th time you are asked, “When will dinner be ready? We’re hungry!” In order to keep your cool and not kick the kids out of the kitchen, we have some Thanksgiving snacks they will keep their bellies full and out of your hair!

 

Today in our blog we are sharing a few Thanksgiving snacks for kids that are healthy and a few that are more on the sweet side. Depending on your arrangement you can set them all out at once or keep the sweet treats for after dinner. Whatever you plan to do you can relax by knowing your children have snacks to keep them happy before dinner!

Healthy Thanksgiving Snacks:

Fruit Turkey: You can make this into a bunch of different and creative ways. If you want to do something simple all you need to do is chop up some fruit and lay them on a plate in the shape of a turkey. There are other ways you can do this, and that is by using a single piece of fruit, such as an apple or pear, and turning that fruit into a turkey. For example, if you want to use an apple you can grab a few tooth picks and cranberries to make the feathers and legs, and a banana slice to make the head.

Trail Mix: Trail mix is pretty easy to make and it’s great to set out for people to snack on during any holiday or small get together. Your basic ingredients are pretzels, nuts of your choice, Chex mix, M&Ms, and Bugles. If you want to make it a little more festive you can add candy corn, caramel popcorn, and yogurt covered pretzels!

Cheese and Cracker Turkey: This is a simple appetizer that only takes a few minutes to make. All you need are cheeses and crackers of your choice, and then lay them out in the shape of a turkey. It’s a great grab-and-go dish, and the kids will love everything that’s shaped like a turkey!

Popcorn Turkey: Popcorn turkey is perfect for an easy snack for the kids! With little creativity, it’s effortless to make and will keep the kids happy with something yummy before dinner. All you need are two bags of popcorn and some construction paper. With the construction paper you will need to make two turkey legs, and after fill them with popcorn. Tape the legs onto the big bag of popcorn and you will have a turkey!

Pumpkin Pie Almonds: If your child doesn’t have a nut allergy this is a yummy dish you can set aside for those who are hungry. All you need are almonds, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. Lightly dust the almonds with the seasoning and you can either serve warm or cold!

Pull-Apart Pepperoni Turkey Bread: Similar to monkey bread, you can make your own easy appetizer with biscuit dough, pepperoni, and cheese, and then lay the dough into a turkey form! If you’ve ever made your own pull-apart pizza bread before than you already know the basic components! The kids will get a kick out of this snack, and it tastes great!

Sweet Treats:

Oreo and Peanut Butter Cup Turkeys: Chocolate and Oreos always go hand in hand! This sweet treat is great for the kids and it’s delicious! For this snack you’ll need peanut butter cups, Oreos, candy corn, whoppers, and some frosting. It’s super cute and the kids will love it!

Pumpkin Pie Bites: While this treat might take some creativity and cooking skills, it’s definitely a mouthwatering snack you’ll love to have. To make pumpkin pie bites you’ll need a pumpkin cookie cutter, ready to roll refrigerated pie crust, a mini muffin pan, and pumpkin pie filling. When they are finished you have the option of leaving them how they are or drizzle with chocolate sauce!

Turkey Krispies: Turkey Krispies are just like rice Krispies but with extra yumminess! Roll your rice krispies into small balls and once hard stick one Oreo on the bottom and one Oreo on the back. Then you can use candy corn to make the feathers and the face.

Chocolate Coved Strawberry Turkey: We love chocolate covered strawberries, and we know the kids do too! Before everyone comes over coat your strawberries in milk chocolate and use candy corn to make the feathers and face. If you’re feeling creative you may use other items to be more precise. When you’re finished stick them in the freezer to cool for desert!

Pilgrim Hats: Pilgrim hats are really cute and work great as a little snack after dinner. All you need are chocolate wafer cookies, chocolate peanut butter cups, and frosting.

Caramel Corn Popcorn: This snack is so effortless you’ll love it! Pop a bag of popcorn and drizzle it with caramel and then let cool for an hour. When the kids are ready you can set out this sweet treat for then to enjoy before or after dinner!

 

 

Thanksgiving Foods for Babies

If your baby has started eating solids, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to introduce the joys of new flavors to your tot.  But you may be timid to test new foods for fear that your baby may have a bad reaction.  If you’re wondering which Thanksgiving foods your baby can eat, you’ve come to the right place.  We’re breaking down Thanksgiving foods for babies here.

Every thanksgiving table offers a different scrumptious selection of foods and each family has traditional recipes.  Depending on what ingredients you use, most classic Thanksgiving meals offer a variety of choices for babies.  And that’s good news for parents who don’t want to make a separate meal for their babies when they are already doing quite a bit of Thanksgiving cooking.  Usually, the purest foods are the best options to serve to younger babies who are just getting used to solids, while more advanced combinations are OK for older babies.  Also keep texture, size, temperature, spices and food restrictions in mind as you prepare your Thanksgiving feast for your baby.

Thanksgiving Foods for Babies

Thanksgiving foods for babies

Many of your favorite pure Thanksgiving foods are acceptable to feed your baby on Thanksgiving.  This includes turkey, ham, green beans, peas, carrots, potatoes or sweet potatoes and pie filling are all Thanksgiving foods your baby may enjoy.  Do keep in mind that any of these items prepared with milk or other dairy products, honey or spices might not work for your baby.  If you are making most of your Thanksgiving dishes, the best way to avoid added ingredients is to put aside these foods before seasoning them with spices, glaze or gravy.  That way you can puree, mash or chop them to meet your baby’s needs prior to the meal.  If you are not doing most of the cooking yourself, you can simply rinse off other ingredients and bring a handheld device to churn traditional Thanksgiving foods into baby-friendly choices.

The same rules for consistency apply that you would use with any other meal you serve your baby.  For the youngest solid eaters, puree Thanksgiving foods to a smooth texture.  You may want to combine them with breast milk to achieve the right consistency and to add a familiar flavor.  Older babies can eat mashed or chunked foods.  Never serve a baby meat straight from the bone, however.  Also, ensure all food has cooled enough for your baby to enjoy it.

Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid for Babies

Some traditional foods are better left for future Thanksgivings.  For example, casseroles and stuffing have multiple components that may contain ingredients that are off limits to young babies, such as dairy products.  Even glazed carrots may contain honey, which babies should not eat.  Cranberries tend to be acidic and should only be served to older babies and corn often causes digestive issues in infants.  Onions, raw vegetables, nuts, crispy toppings, pie crust and other similar components should be avoided too.  Also avoid highly fatty foods that don’t add nutritional value to your baby’s meal.  If there is ever a time to teach healthy eating habits, it’s while your children are young.

Additionally, don’t forget the one new food every three days rule.  You may want to start introducing Thanksgiving foods several weeks prior to your feast to ensure your baby can tolerate the items without an adverse reaction.

On the big day, try to serve your baby a little of each of the Thanksgiving foods that are safe for babies to give him a full dose of the Thanksgiving experience.  It will be a fun and memorable holiday for all of you when your baby can partake in the Thanksgiving meal.

Happy Thanksgiving!

How to Make the Kid’s Table Fun this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Kids Table

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and with all the running around and dinner planning it might be easy to forget about what you have planned for the kid’s table. While you’re organizing your decorations for the main table this year, try to do something a little fun for the kids this year. Planning a few games and setting up snacks will be just the thing to keep them busy and having a great time! Learn how to make the kid’s table fun this Thanksgiving with these simple ideas:

 

Change the Table Cloth to Construction Paper:

The kids will love this! Simply substitute the table cloth for a big sheet or construction paper and give each child their own cup full of crayons for them to draw with. If your kids are younger you can copy pictures onto the paper to make it easier for them. When it’s time for dinner you can substitute their coloring creation for a clean sheet of paper. This way they won’t make a mess on their drawings and you can cut them out at the end of the night and give them their pictures to take home!

 

Make Name Cards:

Have the kids make decorative name cards for their seats! This is a great way to make them feel as if their kid’s table is important. After all it is! Set up a small craft station at their table before dinner. Have the name cards already cut out for the smaller children and give them each a cup full of crayons.

 

Crafts at the Table:

Make the kid’s table double as a craft station before dinner. There are a bunch of Thanksgiving crafts you can find on Pinterest or anywhere online. Just a few ideas are Pilgrim hats, Indian head bands, turkeys out of toilet paper rolls or pinecones, and even a paper chain that has what your children are thankful for written on the paper.

 

Coloring Books:

If you’re looking for less of a mess to clean up at the end of the night, set out coloring books at the kid’s table. It’s still a great way to get them engaged and enjoy themselves while you prepare dinner!

 

Snacks:

It’s always a good thing to have snacks sitting around for everyone to nibble on before dinner, especially for the kids! Make a small snack station at their table of simple treats. You can even make a center piece out of it!

 

Popcorn Turkey Center Piece:

This goes along with the snack idea. Popcorn turkeys are a big hit right now for Thanksgiving. Pop two bags of popcorn and make chicken legs out of construction paper. Fill the legs with popcorn and tape them to the other bag. Viola! A turkey and snacks for the kids!

 

Treat Bags:

At the end of the night when you’re family is dividing up the leftovers; make sure to have something the kids can take home as well. Stuff a few bags with anything you’d like. This can be candy, Thanksgiving pencils, crayons, and so on. The kids will love it and it will be a Thanksgiving to remember!

 

 

Back Pain during Pregnancy + How to Stretch your Back during Pregnancy

Back pain during pregnancy is quite common as your body is changing in many ways.  Between hormones relaxing the pelvic ligaments, muscles separating in your abdomen, stress, weight gain and the growing size of your belly offsetting your balance, back pain during pregnancy can cause moms-to-be a real back ache.  However, there are ways to help prevent, reduce and relieve back pain during pregnancy including lifestyle habits and stretching your back.

Let’s start with the easy stuff.  A few simple ways to reduce back pain during pregnancy are your basic lifestyle habits such as posture, sleeping positions and the shoes you wear.  Good posture is always important for back health but this has never been truer than during pregnancy.  Be aware of your posture and find a comfortable way to maintain good posture during every activity.  Even when picking up objects keep your back straight and bend from your Back Pain during Pregnancyknees.  Sleeping on your side, preferably left side, will help reduce pressure on your back overnight, and also helps blood and oxygen flow for you and your baby.  Wear comfortable shoes that allow your feet good mobility and breathability.  That means limiting high heels and sticking to mostly flats.

Using heating and cooling devices may help alleviate back pain during pregnancy.  Start with cold packs for several days and then switch to a heat source for a few days.  But limit use of heating pads to around 20 minutes at a time to be sure you’re not getting overheated. You can also try acupuncture or a pregnancy massage to work out some of the kinks and tension residing in your back.  Even counseling can help improve back pain during pregnancy if your pain stems from stress.

Stretching your back is another great step in preventing and relieving back pain during pregnancy.  There are several back stretches that are safe and effective during pregnancy.  First, start with child’s pose, which can be done when you are on your hands and knees and then sit back on your heels for a full vertical back stretch.  If this position is uncomfortable, place a pillow under your belly for support.  Next, stand upright with your feet wider than shoulder distance apart.  Lean one hand down your leg and raise the other in the air for triangle pose.  Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.  This stretches your back at different angles.

Your chest, neck and hamstrings are all connected to your back and can help you stretch out your back too.  Standing tall, clasp your arms behind your back and pull up for a proud chest stretch.  Then sand with your head cocked to one side and use your hands to gently push your head and neck further down towards your shoulder.  Hold this position on each side for 20 seconds.  Lastly, try a hamstring stretch by cocking one foot out in front of you and bending forward until you feel your hamstring and lower back stretch.  Repeat on the other side.

If your back pain during pregnancy becomes severe, consult your OBGYN as she may have additional solutions to relieve your achiness.  Usually back pain subsides shortly after giving birth when your body begins to shed the extra pounds and regain its normal hormonal and anatomic balance.

First Foods for Baby: Vegetables

first foods for babiesWe shared last week: First Foods for Baby: Fruits, and today we are continuing our post with the first veggies for baby. Vegetables are very important to our daily nutrition, and even more important to a baby who is first beginning to take real foods.

Learn which veggies are best, their nutrients, and how to prepare them:

Carrots: Carrots are one of the many vegetables high in beta-carotene, which is a wonderful antioxidant for your baby. Carrots are also rich in Vitamins A and C, calcium, folate, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and have small amounts of iron, copper, and zinc. Before you buy your carrots, make sure you are buying the proper ones. Baby carrots are an industrial made product, and more than often they contain less of the valuable nutrients your baby needs compared to regular, large carrots. If you find baby carrots that say “baby cut” than they are fine. You can serve the carrots either steamed or boiled and then mash them.

Sweet Potatoes and Regular Potatoes: The consistency of a potato is very soft and easy to mash. While both are going to be fairly easy to feed to your baby, you might find the sweet potato too be easier due to its sweetness, which is similar to breastmilk. Both sweet and regular white potatoes have are good sources of Vitamin C and potassium. They are also rich in fiber and great for your baby’s digestive system. When you baby becomes used to solids you can finely chop the potatoes and serve them whole. They are great finger foods as well!

Butternut Squash: Butternut squash and acorn squash are the perfect first foods for your baby! Butternut squash contains lots of vitamin and nutrients your baby needs in their first foods. With a smooth consistency, it is also easy to mash and puree which will make preparation simple. Butternut squash is high in Vitamin A, folate, calcium, and potassium. The sweet flavor might also be easy to feed your baby because they are already used to the sweet taste of your breastmilk. Be careful if you’re making it homemade because you will need to properly wash the vegetable to rid all pesticides and germs. Butternut squash can be served mashed or pureed, and once your child is ready for solids you can serve them baked and finely chopped.

Eggplant: Compared to the rest of the vegetables on this list, eggplants will have the smallest amount of nutrients. However, they are packed with Vitamins A and K, folate, and calcium. Eggplants also contain fiber, which is important for your baby’s digestion. You can serve eggplant pureed with the skin or peeled. Some experts say if you baby is having trouble with their digestion then peel off the skin before pureeing. Make sure to always wash your veggies before you serve them to your baby.

Cauliflower: Cauliflower is a wonderful first food for your baby. This veggie is jam packed with Vitamins A and C, and contains a healthy amount of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, folate, and lutein. Although this vegetable might make your baby a tad bit gassy, cauliflower holds lots of phytochemicals which are said to fight against cancer! The best way to prepare cauliflower for your baby is to steam it and then mash it. Steaming your vegetables will keep all the nutrients inside. When your baby is ready for the next step you can either bake or roast the cauliflower for small finger foods.

Zucchini: Zucchinis are great during the colder months because they are at their peak and loaded with vitamins and minerals. This vegetable is also really great because it can easily be steamed and mashed and ready to serve in less than 20 minutes. Zucchini is rich in Vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, potassium, and folate. It works wonderfully with your baby’s digestive system and will help with constipation. Zucchini can be served in a number of ways. It can be steamed or boiled and then either pureed or mashed. It can also be frozen into tiny ice cubes to give to your baby while they are teething.

 

 

Baby Sleep Solutions: Baby Sleep and White Noise

Baby Sleep Solutions:  Baby Sleep and White NoiseNavigating baby sleep is one of the most challenging parts of early parenthood.  It is often a guessing game of trial and error based on many factors, some of which are completely out of a parent’s control.  Using white noise is a baby sleep solutions tactic that many pediatricians and sleep experts recommend for luring babies to sleep.  We’re taking a closer look at baby sleep and white noise today.

Can you train your baby to sleep through noise?

Many new parents are given the advice to train their babies to sleep through noisy situations in an attempt to make them better sleepers in any circumstance.  This is a lofty idea but not necessarily possible.  Newborns sleep soundly most of their days and nights regardless of their environment and the level of noise around them.  At about six weeks, infants become more aware of their surroundings during wakeful times but still can sleep almost anywhere at any time they are tired.  By around four months, however, babies are much more likely to be affected by sounds that could potentially keep them awake as they begin to have periods of deeper and lighter sleep.

Therefore, the theory of training your baby to sleep through noise doesn’t really work beyond early infancy when it probably would have happened anyways.  Bummer!  But there are other noise-related sleep solutions to try.

How white noise can help your baby sleep

White noise is a constant droning noise that blocks out other noises.  Examples are television static, vacuum cleaners and rushing water.  Parents often use white noise to help babies fall asleep and stay asleep starting at a young age.  Babies enjoy white noise because they are used to constant sounds they heard in the womb, such as their mother’s heartbeat, digestion and blood flow.  These familiar sounds are much more appealing than silence.

Besides drowning out household noises, it also helps create healthy sleep habits as babies recognize the white noise sound as time for rest.  White noise machines are available at most baby product stores or you can use a white noise app or download white noise files onto your mobile device or tablet.

Hazards of white noise

Do be careful where you place the white noise in your baby’s room and how loud it is.  A recent study showed that several white noise machines may cause permanent hearing damage when turned on to a high volume setting.  The consistent loud noise for 8+ hours a night might lead to hearing loss later in life.  Be sure the white noise you select is set at approximately the volume of a normal conversation.  Also, keep the noise machine at a safe distance from your child’s ear.

Remember, all babies are different and white noise is not a one-size-fits-all baby sleep solution.  Some babies who are colicky, have digestive issues, are jaundice or are just not sound sleepers may not appreciate white noise as much as others.  Baby sleep and white noise is something to try but you may need to seek other baby sleep solutions to get your baby into a successful sleep routine.