Archives for November 2017

Baby’s First Thanksgiving: Photo Ops

Baby’s First Thanksgiving: Photo OpsEvery “first” in the first year is an exciting milestone for new parents. And if you’re like most, you’re going to want to have your camera ready for photo ops. If your baby’s first Thanksgiving is coming up, check out these adorable photo ops you won’t want to miss.

Dressed Turkey

Your little gobbler is sure to look absolutely adorable in baby’s first Thanksgiving outfit. Whether it’s an ironic bodysuit, pilgrim costume, colorful tutu, suit and tie, or custom t-shirt, be sure to snap “gobs” of pictures in the outfit you’ve selected.

Family Fun

For many families, holidays like baby’s first Thanksgiving are met with new introductions to many members of the family tree. Taking photos of family fun and meaningful multi-generational shots of baby, parents, grandparents and (for those lucky enough) great-grandparents is a wonderful way to commemorate the holiday.

Pucker Up

Is your baby trying a new food during your Thanksgiving meal? If so, have your camera ready to capture the moment the turkey, cranberries or pumpkin pie meets the taste buds. It could be an uproarious scene that you’re going to want to a picture of.

Hats Off

Pilgrim top hat, knitted turkey cap, pumpkin topper or a colorful fall-themed ribbons and bows headband are all cute adornments for your baby’s head. Of course you’ll need lots of pictures of baby in hats or headbands to remember baby’s first Thanksgiving.

Rolling in Fall

Spend some time outdoors enjoying the beautiful fall weather. Let your baby explore the scenery and changing leaf colors down on the ground. Leaf photos are usually vibrant and with the addition of your baby they’ll also be cute as a button.

Pumpkin in a Pumpkin

For those who are carving up their own pumpkins for fresh pumpkin pies and pumpkin bread, give the pumpkin an extra scraping to make a fun seat for your little love. You can place your smaller baby in the hollowed pumpkin, or for babies who can sit upright, cut out leg holes for your photo op. She’ll probably love sitting in her cool new orange gourd chair.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We wish you many wonderful memories and photo ops of baby’s first Thanksgiving!

Breastfeeding on Vacation

Taking your first trip with your baby is thrilling but also a little nerve-wracking. The packing list, the accommodations, your baby’s schedule – there’s so much to consider. Breastfeeding on vacation, however, should be one of the easiest parts of planning and enjoying your trip because it’s pretty simple. Mom and baby is all it takes!

Breastfeeding On Demand

Whether you’re traveling by car or plane, breastfeeding on demand is the best way to ensure your baby is nutritionally satisfied and your milk supply is not compromised. This may mean a few extra pit stops on the road or sitting down for a breastfeeding break at the airport, but it’s worth it for you and your baby.

Breastfeeding on VacationYou Are Enough

Up to six months of age, and longer if your pediatrician agrees, your breast milk is all your baby needs to eat or drink. Even if you’re traveling somewhere hot (you lucky duck) you do not need to supplement with water under six months. After that, be sure to follow precautions for safe drinking water and introduce new foods slowly, especially if you are away from home.

Carry in Comfort

A sling or wearable baby carrier is one of the best ways to travel with a baby. She’ll love being close to mommy (and sometimes daddy too) and your hands are free. Also, breastfeeding on vacation couldn’t be simpler than when your baby is in a sling. She’s in position, you both have discretion and you can still use your hands. It’s a win for everyone!

Relieve the Pressure

Many moms find it helpful to nurse during take-off and landing during air travel. The air pressure changes during this time can bother some baby’s sensitive ears. Sucking on a breast (or pacifier if your baby is not hungry) can help relieve the pressure and keep your baby calm. Also, the sensation and noises of assent and descent may be frightening so breastfeeding and holding your baby close may comfort her.

Pump with Care

If you plan to bring along your pump, follow the same sanitation guidelines you would at home. Wash your hands before handling your pump, bottles, nipples or storage containers. Sanitize each item with baby-safe soap and water after use. Keep your breast milk chilled in a cooler bag or refrigerator if you will not use it within 5 hours of pumping. Your pump and breast milk should not be a TSA issue when traveling by plane so feel free to carry it on as needed.

Watch Out for Travel Bugs

Travel may introduce your baby to some new germs and breastfeeding on vacation is the best way to combat them. While it’s normal for babies to catch a bug or two this time of year, you can help protect your little one with your breast milk because it’s filled with vital antibodies that strengthen her immune system. Also, wash her hands and keep her close to avoid contact with harmful germs.

Sleep Safely and Soundly

It is tempting to co-sleep with your baby on vacation, especially if you are breastfeeding in the night. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends rooming-in but having your own sleep spaces. Many hotels offer complimentary cribs or you can bring along a portable crib. Some are quite small and easy to pack. Remember, nothing should be in the crib with your baby while she’s sleeping. Breastfed babies and their mothers tend to get more sleep on average so you should be able to catch some zzz’s on your vacation.

Have a great trip and happy breastfeeding!!

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and BabyCenter

When Baby Gets Sick: Part 3 – Treating the Symptoms

When baby gets sick, it is no fun for anyone. Watching your sweet baby struggle through a cold is heartbreaking for many new parents. Not only do you hate seeing your baby suffer, but you also feel helpless in making her feel better.

Earlier this week we discussed ways to prevent babies from getting sick as we head into cooler weather and the germiest seasons. But knowing that catching a bug this season is highly likely, we also shared the symptoms that warrant a call to the doctor. Today we’re talking about ways to treat symptoms when baby gets sick.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is on our list again. We already mentioned how breastfeeding can help protect your baby from illness this season by over 60%. But it also helps your baby if she does get sick. That’s because the nutrients in breast milk will hydrate and nourish your baby with the best food on the planet for her.

When Baby Gets Sick: Part 3 – Treating the SymptomsChances are you were exposed to the same pathogens that are making your baby sick but your body is able to fight it off because you have a stronger immune system. By giving your baby breast milk with antibodies for the very thing that is causing her to be sick can help her get stronger, faster. And staying hydrated when battling a cold, flu or stomach bug is essential, especially if your baby is vomiting or has diarrhea.

Of course breastfeeding is also comforting so while your baby is muddling through being sick you can nurse and cuddle her as often as you like. If your baby is having trouble sleeping, breastfeeding may be the relaxation she needs to drift off to la-la land. You may need to find new positions if your baby is congested. Breathing with a stuffy nose while breastfeeding can be tricky so a more upright position or one where her nose is not restricted is a better choice.

Keep Baby’s Nose Clean

It’s so hard to watch your baby struggle to breathe when she’s sick. Keep her nose clean by using a bulb syringe or other baby-friendly gadget to suck out mucus. Saline spray is a terrific way to help loosen and thin out mucus so you can suck it up.  You can also sit with your baby in the bathroom while you let a hot shower steam up around you.

Use a Humidifier or Vaporizer

The dry cold air does not help matters when baby gets sick. Try to keep her sleep-time air moisturized with a humidifier or vaporizer. This will help relieve congestion and reduce coughing.

Take it Easy

If ever there was time to chill it’s when baby gets sick. Your baby doesn’t understand why she’s feeling so lousy and looks to you for comfort and security. She’ll need your TLC more than ever. Spend the days lounging, playing calmly and sleeping as much as possible.

Ask Your Pediatrician about Medication

Before administering any medication, speak to your pediatrician to make sure it is safe for your baby at her age and appropriate for her symptoms. Many doctors have different recommendations than pharmaceutical companies, especially about children’s cough medications.

We wish you and your baby the healthiest fall and winter possible!

Sources: Parents, Ask Dr. Sears and Baby Center

 

When Baby Gets Sick: Part 2 – When to Call the Doctor

Welcome back to our series When Baby Gets Sick. We’re helping you navigate cold and flu season with your baby. Yesterday we reviewed prevention so you can help protect your baby from the germs her immature immune system cannot yet combat.

But it’s inevitable that your baby will get sick at some point. Today we’re helping you determine when to call the doctor when baby gets sick.

Your pediatrician is there for a reason: to help you manage the health of your baby. Therefore, if you are ever in doubt when baby gets sick whether or not to call the doctor, you should call. Even in the middle of the night. Even on a holiday. Even during major sporting events. If you are seriously worried, you should call the doctor.

With that said, here are the standard guidelines for concern when baby gets sick:

Fever

When Baby Gets Sick: Part 2 – When to Call the DoctorAn elevated temperature is the body’s way of fighting off an infection. Although fevers can be scary, they are a sign that your baby’s immune system is working properly and doing its best to take care of the issue at hand. However, fevers can be dangerous in certain circumstances. Always call your pediatrician in these cases:

  • Your baby is under 2 months with a rectal fever of 100.4 degrees or more.
  • Your baby over 2 months has a fever with other symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, rash, extreme fussiness and refuses to eat.
  • Your baby over 2 months has a prolonged fever of more than a few days even if it is low grade.

When you call, be ready to provide information including how long your child has had a fever, her temperature throughout her sickness, and any other symptoms she may be experiencing.

Coughs and Colds

Coughs and colds can last for a week or more in infants and one may run into another. The problem is, you just don’t know if it is a really long cold or something more serious. Therefore, call your doctor if your baby is sick for more than a few days or if you feel your baby is getting worse, especially if a fever develops.

Gastrointestinal Issues

You’re probably intimately familiar with your baby’s spit-up these days but vomiting is another story. If your baby vomits more than a few times and/or has diarrhea, call your pediatrician and do your best to keep your baby hydrated. If ever you see blood in stool or urine, call immediately.

Ears and Throat

Ear and throat infections are common in little ones. Often these occur after a cold because fluid drains into the ear canal. If your baby is tugging at her ears or if there is drainage coming from her ears, an ear infection is likely. If your baby is scratching her throat or refusing to eat, a sore throat may be the culprit. Your pediatrician will probably want to take a look.

Rash

Any rash that does not go away within a few days or seems to be worsening or spreading should be looked at by your doctor. Take note of your baby’s demeanor as well. If the rash is coupled with lethargy and fussiness, it could be more than meets the eye.

Sources: WebMD and HealthyChildren

 

When Baby Gets Sick: Part 1 – Prevention

When Baby Gets Sick: Part 1 - PreventionBrace yourselves, parents. Your baby is likely to get sick at some point this fall and winter. In fact, your baby may get sick several times before it’s all said and done. On average, infants have some type of infection around 6 to 12 times in their first year alone. And each could last a week or more. That’s a lot of sick days for your little bundle of joy.

The reason your baby is so incredibly attractive to those pesky microbes that cause infection is because her immune system is quite weak. She doesn’t yet have the antibodies necessary to combat the major germs that she’s exposed to on a regular basis.

Also, it’s not the cold weather that causes babies and children (and adults) to get sick. Rather, it’s that more people are staying inside and spreading microbes in small spaces. With runny noses and coughs spewing germs in every direction and leaving them on surfaces, plus contaminated air being re-circulated within a confined space, your baby is bound to pick something up at some point.

This week we’re helping you manage cold and flu season, from advice on how to prevent sickness, to ways to ease symptoms and when to call the doctor when baby gets sick.

Today is all about prevention so hopefully you can curb some of your baby’s likelihood for illness this season.

There’s no need to be militant about germs in your home but a few simple steps can cut back on a lot of sickness. It’s important to realize that some exposure to microbes is good for your baby’s immune system as it develops and strengthens.

Also, your baby is a baby and she’s going to crawl on the floor, put things in her mouth and do other things that you will find less-than-sanitary and downright disgusting. (Shoe licking, anyone?) Most germ exposures are not likely to land your baby in the hospital. It’s just a matter of doing what is reasonable to protect your baby as much as possible.

Here’s what experts say helps keep babies healthy during cold and flu season:

Breastfeeding

If you want your baby to be 63% less likely to have a cold, ear infection or throat infection this fall and winter, continue breastfeeding. Yes, your simple act of love and nourishment can help keep your baby significantly healthier, according to studies. Plus breastfed babies are less likely to get respiratory and gastrointestinal infections too. So nurse on, strong mamas!

Vaccinate and Flu Shot

Staying on top of recommended vaccinations for your baby and ensuring your baby gets the flu shot (if she’s over 6 months) are two excellent ways of keeping her healthy and preventing sickness. Without vaccinations babies may be at risk for serious and life-threatening illnesses that can be spread through coughing, sneezing, touching exposed surfaces and respiratory droplets.

Limit Exposure

Speaking of coughing and sneezing, keep your baby close and away from anyone who may be sick or spreading germs. Wearing your baby in public is one of the best ways to protect her from airborne exposure. If your baby goes to a daycare, ask about their sick policy and how they keep their facility clean to ensure germs are not repeatedly spread among the children. Also, for the health of your baby, ask friends or family to stay away if they are sick.

Wash Hands

It may not be your first instinct to wash your baby’s hands if she’s not eating solid foods yet but it’s a good idea to take a play break and wash every now and then. One good way to remember is to wash each time you are transitioning from one activity to another. Washing cuts down on an exorbitant amount of germs your baby may put in her mouth, eyes or other orifices, especially if she’s been outside your home.

Wipe Surfaces

Spend a few minutes daily wiping down the surfaces and toys your baby uses most often. Find a baby-safe cleanser and be sure to machine or hand-wash lovies and stuffed animals too. Germs can live on surfaces for many hours so wiping after company has been over is wise.

Sources: Parents, Ask Dr. Sears and Baby Center

Burping your Baby

Burping and breastfeeding usually go hand-and-hand for at least the first four to six months. Those tiny baby burps, and sometimes unexpected loud belches, are not only adorable, but also helpful to relieve uncomfortable gas in your baby’s body. Today we’re giving you all the details on burping your baby.

Why Burping Your Baby is Necessary

Burping your BabyNewborns and younger infants tend to swallow air while feeding, although breastfed babies do so less than bottle-fed babies. The air that is trapped in your baby’s belly may make her uncomfortable and fussy. Burping your baby helps release the gas so your baby feels better and is able to feed longer. Burping babies can help reduce spit-up and relieve some of the pain caused by GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

There is no exact formula for burping your baby because every baby feeds differently and has different needs. The best rule of thumb is to burp when your baby seems fussy or uncomfortable. This is a simple first step to soothing your baby even when you’re not feeding because sometimes babies swallow air outside of nursing hours.

If your baby never seems to have the urge to burp, most experts recommend trying when you switch breasts during a feeding or any time your baby pulls off the breast naturally. This will help her settle her stomach and then she can decide if she wants to continue feeding. As long as a feeding is going well, there is no need to pull your baby off the breast (or wake her if she falls asleep) to burp.

Some babies are very easy to burp and will release one as soon as she’s in the burping position. Others hold on to their burps for dear life, even if they are visibly uncomfortable. Keep working at it and try different burping positions to determine which supports your baby the best.

3 Ways of Burping Your Baby

Although burps can come at anytime, anywhere, there are three main ways of burping your baby.

Over the Shoulder: This is the most common position for burping your baby. While you are sitting or standing upright, place your baby’s belly on your shoulder with her chin resting on top of your shoulder. Rub and pat your baby’s back gently. The light pressure along with the encouraging love pats can help release the burp.

Lap Lying: This is similar to over the shoulder but requires you to lay your baby across your lap while in a seated position. Her head will rest on one leg and her belly on the other. Then gently rub and pat her back. Again, the pressure from both directions coaxes burps out of the tummy.

Sitting Up: With your baby seated on your lap, support her head and chin with one hand. Use the other hand to rub and pat her back. Lean her forward slightly.

Remember, keep a burp cloth under your baby’s mouth and protecting your clothes at all times while burping. It’s highly likely you’ll see some spit-up when burping your baby. Also, gently rocking your baby can help relax her and encourage burping.

Sources: BabyCenter, Babble and Kid’s Health

Baby Shower Gifts New Moms Really Need

Baby Shower Gifts New Moms Really NeedWhen you’re shopping around for baby shower gifts for other moms-to-be, you certainly want to give something thoughtful and useful. While receiving blankets and adorable outfits might make her “ooh” and “aah,” there are many other things that new moms really need as baby shower gifts.

Check out our ideas of unique and clever baby shower gifts:

Stationary Gift Card

Between baby announcements and thank you cards, new moms have a need for stationary. That’s why a gift card to a stationary e-boutique is a perfect baby shower gift. The mom-to-be honoree can select her own design and customize it with the name and photo of her new bundle of joy, thanks to your thoughtful gift.

Nursing Tank Top

Set up your new mom friend for breastfeeding success with a comfortable and stylish nursing tank. This will help her begin her breastfeeding journey with the support and functionality she needs. It’s a must-have for her hospital bag and every day thereafter.

Stroller Caddy

You can never have too much storage space on your stroller. An attachable stroller caddy will help your new mom friend take all of the necessary “stuff’ with her when she’s out with her baby. She may not realize how awesome this gift is until her baby arrives and then she’ll be thanking you for it every day.

Stocked Diaper Bag

A diaper bag is a fantastic baby shower gift but stocking it with one of everything a new mom will need in it is even better. New moms often don’t know exactly what they’ll need so you’re taking the guess work out of packing a diaper baby. Be sure to include a diaper changing pad, diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, an outfit change for baby, burp clothes, nursing pads and a few toys for distraction.

Baby Food Maker

It may feel like a long time before the bun in the oven can eat solid foods, but helping your new mom friend prepare for the time beyond newborn is a wonderful gift. Baby food makers will help new moms serve freshly prepared foods that will complement breastfeeding for a healthy start in life.

Baby-Proofing Supplies

Outlet covers, drawer and door stoppers and safety gates may not be the sexiest baby shower gifts but they will be incredibly important as your friend’s baby grows older and gains mobility and curiosity. If you’re the “safety first” type of thinker, this is a great gift to give.

Baby Library

Collect a gaggle of board and other baby books and gift a library selection to the mom-to-be. If she’s an eco-friendly gal, buying used books may be the most economical way to give the most books. Goodwill and other resale shops often have books for less than a dollar each.

Sound and Light Projector

Babies are easily distracted by sound and light. Help your new mom friend get some much-needed zzz’s by helping soothe her baby to sleep with peaceful sounds and interesting lights from a projector.

Batteries

Parenting requires a lot of tenacity, love and batteries! Over the years your friend will go through more batteries than anyone would care to count. And that adds up! Gift her a variety of batteries to help her get through the first year with baby.

Sources: Parenting and BuzzFeed

 

Love your Postpartum Body

Love your Postpartum BodyYour body has just been through one of the most amazing phenomena of the human experience: growing a baby and giving birth. It is nothing short of incredible and something that is awe-inspiring to the entire universe.

When you start feeling down about some ideal you may or may not have realized with your postpartum body, remember the extraordinary powers you have of being a mother. And then, pick yourself up and embrace the body that created another life.

We challenge you to love your postpartum body and here are some tips on how you can do it:

 

 

Buy New Bras

You’re breastfeeding now so your bras should reflect that in size and functionality. Most moms go up at least one size while they are breastfeeding so it’s essential to buy nursing bras that fit your new breasts. Just like your regular bras, you should select styles that make you feel amazing, whether that’s cute patterns, sexy lace or unbeatable comfort. It’s so hard to love your postpartum body if you’re stuffing yourself into bras that don’t fit and then struggling to remove them every time you feed your baby.

Buy New Clothes

Stop the tear-fest in you closet every morning. You deserve to have clothes that fit your new body. Just because you buy jeans that fit now that you’re a mom doesn’t mean they are “mom jeans.” Even if you size out of the clothes in a few months, you will feel so much better right now and that’s what you need.

Wear a Smidge of Makeup

If you’re terrified of your reflection when you see yourself in the mirror, take 2 minutes to put on a dab of makeup. Even if the only other people seeing you that day are your baby and your husband, do it for yourself.

Wear Postpartum Shapewear

If the flab hanging over your yoga pants bothers you, check out our line of postpartum shapewear including briefs, boyshorts and a nursing tank. These will help smooth your look and wrap you in comfort so you can go about your day with confidence.

Go for a Walk

Getting some fresh air and moving your body can help refresh your attitude. Your brain releases wonderful feel-good chemicals when you exercise, even if it is a stroll. So let your body chemistry work to your advantage while you and your baby enjoy some time outdoors.

Get Some Sleep

This is such as hard one for new moms but sometimes you have to hand the baby to a loved one and take a nap. Your perspective on EVERYTHING, including your postpartum body, will change after you get some zzz’s.

Breastfeed Your Baby

The whole miracle of life thing is never so evident than when you’re breastfeeding. It is the most glorious feeling to hold your baby close and nourish her every need. If your body had to go through all those changes and you spend a few moments resenting it, look down at your baby while she is nursing and know that it was totally worth it.

Sources: Parents, Fit Pregnancy and Your Tango

 

 

Blood Pressure during Pregnancy

Blood Pressure during PregnancyYour blood pressure will be checked at each of your prenatal check-ups and often while you’re in the hospital. That’s because your blood pressure during pregnancy is an important vital sign that gives your medical team clues about your health and that of your baby. A normal blood pressure during pregnancy, within a certain range, can help prevent some serious side-effects for both of you.

Abnormal and Normal Blood Pressure during Pregnancy

Normal blood pressure during pregnancy (and for non-pregnant women) is around 120/80 mm Hg. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, begins at 140/90 mm Hg. It is common for blood pressure to drop slightly during the early months of pregnancy because the rise in hormones can dilate blood vessels.

Types of High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy

Chronic hypertension is a pre-existing condition, meaning that a woman had high blood pressure prior to becoming pregnant. Women who develop high blood pressure during pregnancy have gestational hypertension and this usually subsides after childbirth.

Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia occurs when a woman has pre-existing high blood pressure that worsens during pregnancy and develops into preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is high blood pressure that develops after 20 weeks and is combined with other symptoms indicating organ systems are damaged including the kidneys, liver or brain. Signs of preeclampsia include: protein in urine, swelling of hands and feet and persistent headaches.

Causes of High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy

Hypertension is a growing health condition, including during pregnancy. Beyond women who have pre-existing conditions, high blood pressure during pregnancy may occur if a woman is overweight prior to pregnancy, is carrying multiples, has a family history of hypertension or is over the age of 40. Women in their first pregnancies are more likely to have high blood pressure than women in subsequent pregnancies.

Risks of High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy

High blood pressure isn’t always dangerous during pregnancy but should be monitored. Doctors may want women with high blood pressure to check their own levels daily and report back if blood pressure elevates.

Moms-to-be who experience hypertension are at increased risk of preterm birth and low birth weight, which can cause health and developmental problems for babies. Placental abruption – when the placenta detaches from the uterus – is possible with hypertension during pregnancy as well as a cesarean delivery.

How to Reduce Risk of High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy

Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a wholesome diet and not smoking or drinking are ways women can reduce risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy. Daily exercise and working with a nutritionist can be great steps to ensure normal blood pressure levels too. Also, developing coping techniques for stress can significantly reduce risk of pregnancy complications due to hypertension.

Sources: Mayo Clinic and Healthline