How to Teach Your Kid to Read

It’s always fun watching your child learn something new. Their face lights up and they are excited, and in return so are you! Reading is one of those things, and from a young age most children are fascinated by books and the big pictures, all the colors, and when mommy or daddy read to them before bedtime. While it’s completely normal for most kids to start reading around the age of 6, it’s never too early to introduce books to get their excitement roaring. Today we are sharing ways to make reading fun for your toddler!

 

  1. Begin Young: During infancy, your baby begins to recognize sounds and words. By reading to them, or singing lullabies you are expanding their brain development and language neurons. Studies show reading to your child at a young age exposes them to language and helps develop speech. Reading can also start the special bond between parents and their children, and furthermore it’s calming, and when made a routine it helps kids fall asleep more soundly. In addition when you start reading to your child at a young age you are promoting listening skills and imagination. If you’re thinking about reading to your baby we suggest starting off with singing lullabies before bed!
  2. Make Reading a Routine: Adding reading into your daily routine when your child is still young can be very beneficial. First of all it promotes mental stimulation and reduces stress because you child will be prepared and know exactly what is going to happen during their day. One of the biggest reasons to add reading into your routine is the vast vocabulary and knowledge your child will gain from it. Reading also promotes memory and concentration.
  3. Play with the Alphabet: Learning the alphabet isn’t just important for beginning school, but it will help children recognize words from practicing the alphabet. This is a great thing to sing along to in the beginning during infancy and throughout toddlerhood.
  4. Use Rhyming Words: Rhyming words are fun. It inhibits imagination, creativity, and the brain. Rhyming is not only a fun way to teach reading it also improves spelling, pronunciation, sounds, and vocabulary.
  5. Read Books with Lots of Colors and Big Pictures: Books with lots of colors and pictures helps visualization. Children, and most adults, learn better when they can visualize what is going on in a story. They become more captivated and interested in the material!
  6. Read Books with that Allow Your Child to Touch: There are lots of benefits to sensory play! When you involve material that encourages all of your child’s senses they will have a better engagement in what you are trying to teach them.
  7. Ask Questions While You Read: This is a great thing to do as your child grows into toddlerhood. Asking questions while you read to them will help them think and connect themselves to what they are reading. When you ask question your child will become more aware of what is going on in their book and they will begin evaluating what they have read afterwards.

 

Tips for Decorating the Nursery

Tips for Decorating the Nursery

Decorating your baby’s nursery can be a very exciting thing to do as parents. From all the things you may want, from cute baby products to toys and what color paints to use, the finished project might be your dream nursery or something way over budget. If this is your first baby, planning the nursery can be a big deal. You want the room to be special and a place that is calm and relaxing for their first few years. If this is your second or third you might be thinking even though you want the room to be special and unique, time will come when it’s time to repaint and replace the decorations again.

Today we are sharing helpful and fun options to help you plan for your nursery:

 

Start Early

You’re going to love yourself a hundred times more if you listen to this advice. Organization is key and getting your ducks in a row before your baby arrives will help you immensely later on. There is nothing wrong with wanting to plan ahead, and when it comes to the nursery, it’s one of the first things you will want done. Soon after you find out about your pregnancy it’s a good idea to start making a list of possible items you will need. For example, a crib, a changing station, a rocking chair, etc. You might get many of your must-haves at your baby shower, but having a list will allow you to cross things off and see what you have left.

The Right Room and Space

Picking the right room is crucial for yourself and your baby. Choose a room close to your bedroom so late night breastfeeding will be easy. Also, picking a room with enough space for a crib and a rocking chair is important too. Make sure to measure the room ahead of time to make sure the crib and other furniture fit so you know what to look for before you buy.

Be Unique and Mix and Match

Have fun! Mix and match and be unique with your baby’s nursery. Load it with family pictures, cute and funny signs and paintings, add some color and some life to this little room. You’ll be spending so much time in this space watching your baby grow from their first few days to their first few years!

Following the Trend

Maybe you’re having trouble coming up with a theme for your baby’s nursery?  Looking at different nursery ideas is a great way to help! Here are a few of the most popular baby nursery designs we absolutely love:

-French Vintage

-Tribal

-Soft and calm earth tones, green being a favorite

-Modern with modern furniture

-Gender Neutral

-Wallpaper is back!

-Gold Metallic

-Artsy with fun pictures and collages

Using an Object to Create a Masterpiece

A lot of parents find objects, such as pillows, lamps, a picture, or a piece of art they absolutely love and feel inspired by. This is a great way to get some inspiration if you are having trouble deciding which colors or design you want to choose for you baby’s nursery. Maybe you have an old family antique or a frame holding a family picture that could be used to gather some creativeness. Designing your nursery around something unique will be something you can really appreciate as you share the precious moments with your newborn in the special room you made for them.

The “Let’s be realistic” Approach

If you plan on having more than one child, or if you do already and you know the ropes on decorating a baby nursery, you understand a room will eventually be changed from a “baby” room and into a “young adult” room. Your once perfect little nursery you spent months planning and then hours of painting and decorating will soon enough be changed again and again as your baby grows into an adolescent and then into a young adult. If you’re taking the realistic approach you’re probably thinking about making the nursery into a multipurpose room where it’s easy to change with your child’s transformations. You can still make a fun and special room for your little one, but the trick is to be smart about it. Instead of painting the walls a crazy pop color try something a little more neutral and safe. You can then grab some fun a colorful accents, such as the crib, pictures, pillows, and other accessories to jazz up the room. Stay away from things like decorative wallpaper and anything else that’s permanent or going to be a pain to remove. However, a great idea, and something your child will love as an adolescent and even as a young adult is chalk wallpaper. They will be able to draw on the walls and decorate it anyway they’d like!

 

The most important lesson to take away from this is to have fun! This is a room your baby will grow up in, and making it special from the beginning will make the experience of being a parent so much fun. Remember to plan ahead and be realistic with your goals. Your baby is going to love you know matter how much their crib cost. There are always fun ways to decorate your nursery whether you’re on a budget or not, but having the something special to bring your baby home to is all that matters!

 

 

How to Choose a Baby Name

While choosing your baby’s name might be difficult for some, others may have had their names picked out years before even expecting their first child. There are many things to consider before coming up with the right name for your baby, such as spelling, how the name sounds with your surname, how the name and the middle name sound together, what he initials might spell out, or can you see your child with this name as an adult? Don’t forget originality play a part in picking out a name as well. Our country is notorious for coming up with unique baby names!

Nonetheless, if you’re having trouble choosing a name, or maybe you have one picked but no one seems to like it, today we are going to discuss a few ways on how to come up with the right name for your baby!

 

  1. Discuss Possible Names With Your Partner: A great way to get the ball rolling is to discuss possible names with your partner. Maybe you’ve had a name you’ve loved since you were a child, but your partner doesn’t find it flattering. You’ll never know unless you talk about it! Make a list of your favorites and cross them off one by one until you find the best one you both can agree on.
  2. Use a Relative’s of Friend’s Name: If you or your partner have a close relative or friend who you love dearly, maybe think about naming your child after them. It’s such a heartfelt and warming thing to have someone named after you, or to be named after your mom’s favorite uncle or aunt.
  3. Do You Have a Word You Love?: As strange as this may sound, turning your favorite word or part of a phrase into a baby name has been done before. Many words stand for beautiful messages and now a day it’s not so uncommon to have uncommon baby names.
  4. Do You Want to Tell People the Name Before or After?: This can be a tricky factor. Sometimes you and your partner might have picked out a name you both love, but when you tell your parents they absolutely hate it. Sometimes it’s a good idea to keep your baby’s name to yourself until their birth, but other times it’s good to discuss with your family and friends because they might bring to attention something you might not have thought of.
  5. GO WITH YOUR GUT: Always, always, always go with your gut feeling. If you love a particular name, but everyone seems to think it’s strange, it’s okay not to listen to their ideas all the time. After your baby is born no one is going to care if their name is “Shoe” or “Lemon” because babies bring endless amounts of joy and love! Plus, in the end it is your ultimate decision on what you are going to name your child.

 

Follow up with our future blog, “Unique Celeb Baby Names!”

 

Back to School: Getting Yourself and the Kids Ready

It’s back to school time! The summer is almost over and your little ones have, or are about to embark on another school year. Depending on their age and personality some children may have a harder time grasping on to the reality of going back to school, or starting school for the first time. As parents it’s helpful to ease our children’s anxiety by preparing them for what’s to come. Getting yourself and your child ready ahead of time will diminish the stress and fear the first day of school can bring.

Today we are sharing helpful tips on how to prepare yourself and your child for school:

 

Preschool

Preschool is a big step for your little one. It means they are growing up and taking on new responsibilities. They will be interacting with other children on a daily basis and learning new things such as, sharing, reading, art, and learning how to be polite. Before your child begins school it’s important to be aware of their schools curriculum, and how you will prepare yourself and your child for what’s to come. Preschool will bring new, exciting, and also intimidating factors your little one might not be used to. They will be around other children their age more, and they will be taking orders from someone else besides their mommy. It’s important to make them aware of this before they begin school.

A great way to do this is by talking and reading books about school with them, teaching them the importance of patience and how to follow rules, planning play dates with other children during the summer, teaching them how to share with others, and most importantly, urging them to be creative and themselves. Giving your child a sense of what they will expect will make those first couple weeks a little easier for the both of you.

It’s also very important to think about how you’re going to say goodbye that first day. It’s more than likely your child, and even you, will become upset when it’s time for you to go and say goodbye. You’re little one will assume you’re leaving them to a room full of strangers, and may become frantic. It’s vital you stay calm and remind them you love them and will be back as soon as school is over. Think about creating a goodbye ritual before school starts to practice with your child. This way they will be a little less nervous when it’s time for you to go.

 

Kindergarten and Elementary School

The anxiety might have resided a little from preschool, but starting Kindergarten is still something to plan for. While preschool was only a half day, your child will have to sustain a full day away from mom, and Kindergarten will bring another new set of responsibilities and assignments for them to master. During the summer think about practicing simple guidelines your child will follow in school such as, following bathroom rules, spelling, reading, writing, remembering their address and phone number, and counting. It’s also fundamental to encourage them to be social at school. Get them involved with extracurricular activities during the summer where they are participating with kids in their classroom. If they are shy, talk to them about it. Inspire them to put themselves out there and always nurture their independence, even though it might seem hard.

Just like Preschool, it’s important to teach them the importance of patience and sharing. Go over the same things as mentioned above. A few weeks before school starts reestablish some of their school routines to get them ready, like waking up a littler earlier instead of sleeping in.

Elementary school is much like Kindergarten is many ways. You’ll want to prepare them for their school curriculum and remind them about their responsibilities as students. Establishing a routine on ways to study, organize themselves, and listen are major things to set in with your children. These skills will help them with the extra homework and other assignments they will be in charge of completing.

 

Middle School

Middle School is another big transition for your child. Instead of being part of one classroom they may now be part of a home-room, and will be switching rooms and engaging with new students. While their atmosphere is changing, so are their emotions. It’s important to be attentive to your child’s needs, but also give them the space they need. Always let them handle their own situations, unless you feel your presence is needed. By giving them their independence you are helping them grow and be responsible adults.

Begin the summer before school knowing what your child needs to know. Their levels of education will be expanded into broader and more complicated areas such as, the scientific method, nonfiction books, and current affairs. Start discussing these issues with your child to prepare them for the new school year. It could also be significant for you and your child to plan a visit to their new school where they can walk around and meet some of their teachers.

 

Transitioning for Parents

Parents, this will be an emotional roller coaster not only for your children, but for you as well. Every new school year brings a new and more mature child. It can be emotional watching your children grow and become their own person, but it’s also very exciting! As a parent it’s your job to be attentive to their needs, while encouraging them to succeed. Make it your mission to be there at the first day of school meeting, parent/teacher conferences, sports games, music recitals, etc. Make attendance a priority for both you and your child, and that tardy slips are a big deal.

Another important thing to remember is to be excited, but realistic when your child is beginning school. Talk to them about their concerns and their fears. Try to stay away from saying things like, “It will be the best time of your life!” or “There is nothing to be afraid of.” School can be an emotional time for some kids, and by giving unrealistic remarks can be a real let down.

 

 

No matter what grade your child is beginning, the best thing to do is encourage them to be themselves and be there for them as a parent, not a friend. Love them and cheer them on as they succeed and grow!

 

 

Life as a Single Parent

Life as a Single ParentFor whatever reason, you find yourself taking on the roles of being both mom and dad to your child. It can be a challenging position to overtake, especially if you are your only support system. Being a single parent, nonetheless, married and having the support of the other parent, means you must put your needs aside, and put all your efforts towards giving your child the best possible life you can offer them. We are in no way saying spend every penny you have to make them happy, but instead shower them with love and compassion as those are two very important qualities to instill on their cute little brains.

Life is notorious for throwing us curve-balls, and if you find yourself being the only outlet and means to your child’s future, the feeling can be extremely overwhelming. Although your responsibilities may have doubled, and the journey that awaits you will have its bumps, remember that when life gives us a curve-ball there is always a possibility of a grand slam. Today we are going to share some helpful tips to overcome some of the obstacles single parents may face:

Tip #1: “A Bad Attitude Won’t Get You Anyway!”

Being a single parent won’t be easy. It’s a constant emotional roller coaster that will have you at times so exhausted you might not know what to do. Take a breath, count to ten, and know everything is going to be okay! Even though you’re the head of the house and the one making all the decisions just remember that even though you might be alone raising your child, it’s still an awesome experience teaching and watching them grow up. Keeping a good attitude will not only keep you from feeling stressed, but it will also help improve your child’s attitude as well. When they see mommy happy, they will be happy.

A huge helpful hint is to never talk about your ex in a negative manner. A positive attitude is a healthy attitude, and something you should model for your child. If they occasionally bring up the missing parent try and keep it short and simple. Don’t dwell on the past and crush your child’s persona of their parents. Even though it might hurt you, you’re child had nothing to do with the past and whatever decision was made. Talking bad about your ex in front of your child is irresponsible and nothing good will come out of it.

Tip #2: Learn to Multi-task

You’ll become a pro at multitasking in no time. Learning how to make dinner, pack school lunches, and settle a meltdown will be so much easier to tackle in time. The key to this is practice. Learn how to practice patience and find the best ways to handle certain situations, like your child not wanting to eat what you made for breakfast when you have to get ready for work and ironing to get done. Make a schedule and a routine for them to follow daily. This way you’re always prepared and they always know what to expect.

Don’t burn yourself out with a million projects. Get done what you need to get done and then move onto another. Things will be a little difficult at first when your child is a baby and a toddler, but once they get a little older, and can take care of themselves things will get better. A fun thing to do when you have a bunch on your plate, and your child is having a meltdown, is to try and come up with a game to keep them preoccupied. For instance, if you’re folding laundry or making dinner try involving them into the process. Talk about shapes and colors and different foods. This will make things go a little smoother.

Tip #3: Find a Work Schedule that Works for You and Your Family

If you have a family member or friend who is able to pick up your child from daycare, school, sports practices, etc. that’s awesome! But if you’re not so lucky, try talking to your boss about a different work schedule. If you’re able to come in an hour earlier, work on your lunch break, or maybe take some of your work home with you, don’t be afraid to ask. Your child is your main priority and nine times out of ten your boss will understand.

Tip #4: Somethings You Can’t Control

Although you’ve mastered to ease the meltdowns and have finally found a schedule that works for everyone, realize not everything can be controlled with effort. Extra expenses are going to come up when your child is in school and they need field trip forms signed, sports registration payed for, camps, etc. Child support will help with the basic necessities, but much will come from you. Don’t stress yourself out over the little things. Learn to live within your means. Life will be a lot more comfortable and happy that way.

If your ex neglects your child remember it is their loss, not yours! Again, don’t stress over things you cannot change. Giving your child with love and stability is the best thing you can do for them. One day they will recognize your efforts and what is really right in the end.

Tip #5: Be Proud of Yourself!

Last but not least, don’t forget to be proud of all your accomplishments. While it can be a stressful road raising your child all by yourself, trust that you are giving it your all as a parent. Being a single parent isn’t an easy task, and at times you may be the only one there to give yourself a high-five when you’ve mastered a milestone with your child. Be proud when you reach limits you didn’t think possible because you will get there. When you believe you can achieve.

 

 

Breakfast of Champions: Weaning Your Baby to Solid Foods

Breakfast of Champions: Weaning Your Baby to Solid FoodsYou’ve decided it’s time to start weaning your baby to solid foods. Congratulations baby! You’re becoming the age where it’s still appropriate to eat with your fingers and make a mess, but you’re saying bye bye to the mush! Depending on your child, you can start introducing solids as young as 4 to 6 months. Although every baby is different, and their tastes and intake vary, it’s okay to start off with incorporating small bits of soft foods into their daily meals. However, we can understand that substituting breastmilk for applesauce can be a little intimidating. If you’re a parent, and you’re a little scared to stick a bunch of cheerios in front of your baby and let them have a go with them, we know how you feel. Going from liquids to solids is a big deal; but it’s also very exciting. If you think starting off slow is a good idea than that is just fine. You’re the parent, and you make the decisions!

Let’s start with breakfast; after all, it’s the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is a great opportunity to spend some time on your baby’s first meal and make it a little special. You can be creative and jam-pack it with key vitamins and minerals. There are tons of awesome breakfast ideas for your baby, but today we are going to talk about five of them:

Avocado and Egg Yolks

Avocados are a great source of vitamin a and potassium, and egg yolks have a lot of good cholesterol and iron in them. They are both also very high in monounsaturated fat, which is really good for a baby’s brain development. For breakfast slightly puree the two and serve it to your baby as a healthy meal. Both already have a creamy texture so don’t worry about adding liquid when you puree. After your baby becomes used to the food and the texture, try slicing them into chunks instead of pureeing!

Yogurt or Cottage Cheese with Fruit

If you are aware that your baby is not allergic to milk products, try yogurt and cottage cheese for breakfast or even for a great snack! Both of these foods will give your baby numerous vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, vitamin d, and protein! Cut up, or puree, soft fruits like berries or peaches into your baby’s yogurt or cottage cheese for an even healthier breakfast.

Sweet Potatoes and Mashed Tofu

The nutritional value of sweet potatoes and tofu is amazing! Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin a and e, and they are rich in calcium and folate. Tofu is a great source of protein and calcium. However, some parents might think tofu isn’t for their babies because of its strange sponge-like texture and their fear of their child having an allergic reaction to soy, but it’s actually really recommended to try because of its richness in proteins and iron! Just like avocados, sweet potatoes and tofu are easy to puree and slice so your baby will have no problem with this yummy breakfast!

Cheerios Soaked in Applesauce

Cheerios have long been known as baby’s “first finger food.” They are 100% whole grain oats, dissolve easily in the mouths, low in sugar, and have many vitamins and minerals. Applesauce is high in fiber and great for your baby’s digestive system. They have also been proven to help keep a healthy weight and cardiovascular health. Soaking cheerios is applesauce is great for beginners because it will soften the already soft cereal and give it a little more flavor!

Hummus w/ Pita Bread

If your baby already loves other fruits and vegetables, and they don’t mind expanding their palate, try out hummus with small bits of soft pita bread. Hummus is made from chickpeas and ground sesame seeds, which makes it high in protein and amino acids. It’s also rich in iron, folate, potassium, and vitamin e. Pita bread is great to pair with hummus even if you’re not a baby, but try to find the soft bread and tear it into small chucks that are easy to swallow.

 

To make sure your baby doesn’t have any allergic reactions to certain foods, consult your pediatrician first before you try anything new. Once you know your limits with your child’s food you are free to try a number of awesome breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that will be easy to wean them off liquids and onto solids!

 

 

How to Control Pregnancy Cravings

How to Control Pregnancy CravingsWe’ve all seen the commercials of the man driving his pregnant wife during the middle of the night so she can indulge in a double bacon cheeseburger from Wendy’s, or the smell of Gain’s laundry detergent. Maybe your pregnancy cravings were nothing like that, but they still happen to every woman experiencing the unstoppable hormones.

During pregnancy your body will experience hormonal shifts. You might begin to notice your emotions are all over the place due to the hormones affecting your levels of neurotransmitters, or how your senses have intensified. Your sense of smell is one of these things and that can be a cause of many of your food cravings. Because of your precipitous change of emotions and your all of a sudden love for chocolate covered bacon, you might not notice that many of your cravings are actually you “emotionally” eating. In fact, many pregnancy cravings are in fact just that. How do you control them? Today we are going to discuss a few ways to control your pregnancy cravings, and why it’s important for your health, and your baby’s.

Pregnancy cravings can be hard to shake. You might be really craving something sweet like a chocolate chip cookie, or maybe it’s something greasy and fried. No matter what it is your best bet is to try to take your mind off of it. It will be hard, but try calling a friend, your partner, or maybe going for a walk or cleaning. Doing simple things like this can help take your mind off eating unhealthy. Sometimes the cravings won’t go away, and it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, but just remember to never over-consume.

Over-consuming unhealthy foods can be a life altering to you and your baby’s future. Studies show that if you over eat during your pregnancy and indulge in sweet and fatty foods your baby is very likely to follow those unhealthy eating habits through their lives. Even if you try and teach them how to eat properly, and to choose healthier options, they might always have a craving for junk food.

If you find yourself emotionally eating, instead of eating when you’re hungry, take a closer look at your diet. Your body could be trying to tell you that you’re missing certain nutrients. When you find yourself craving certain foods such as, potato chips, your body might actually really needing food high in choline, which is something needed for a healthy digestion. Or if you’re craving sugary foods your body could be in fact telling you it needs sulfur or calcium, and you should be eating things like fruits or cheese instead. Keep in touch with valuable nutrients your body needs to thrive. If you do this then you will come to recognize your “pregnancy” cravings dwindling down.

One of the best ways to do this is by remembering your portion sizes and never setting yourself up to fail. If you keep to the same diet you had before your pregnancy, or you if you want to begin a new healthier lifestyle, add two to three healthy snacks a day to your regime. Even though you’re eating for two now, you still need to remember to stay healthy and strong in order for your baby to grow up healthy and strong. Try drinking more milk throughout your day, or eat foods rich in calcium for your snacks. You don’t need to excessively keep track of your calories, but do keep in mind how much you eat during the day. Try not to stock up the pantry with junk food. If you are aware you have chocolate covered donuts in your kitchen then you’re likely to eat them. That’s hard for anyone to resist. If you don’t have junk food in the house, it’s more probable you’ll stick to your diet.

Making your own versions of your favorite snacks, but in a healthier way, is such a great way to have fun with your food and be healthy. There are tons of different ways to make nachos or your grandma’s homemade brownies, that you will have no problem staying away bad food. Even though it might not taste exactly the same, or have grandma’s special ingredient, try it out. You never know, you might actually come to like it!

If you’re craving non-foods such as, rocks, laundry detergent, or something else, immediately contact your doctor. This could be a form of an illness called pica, and you will want to be treated right away. Try to remember every pregnancy is different from woman to woman, and even from child to child. You’re cravings might be really hard to pass up with your first child, but then with your second you barely notice. It’s okay to indulge every once in a while as long as you remember to never over-consume! Being pregnant is a beautiful thing, even though it’s a whirl-wind of emotions. When that baby finally comes you’ll know keeping yourself healthy was well worth the pain because of that sweet bundle of joy!

 

 

World Breastfeeding Week 2015: Let’s Make it Work!

How are you spending your week of August 1st through the 7th? Join us in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, an annual week-long event that engages women from all around the world with breastfeeding news, support, and community building. This year marks the 24th year for the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, the founding group and champions of moms and babies across the globe. This year’s initiative is “Breastfeeding at Work: Let’s Make it Work!” in remembrance of the 1993 theme: “Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative.”World Breastfeeding Week 2015: Let's Make it Work!

 

In 1992, The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action founded World Breastfeeding Week to bring awareness to deadly infant diseases, fight world hunger, and overall promote breastfeeding worldwide. The World Health Organization and UNICEF joined as partners with the WABA and together they formed the WBW celebration as way to remind mothers, doctors, and family members that breastfeeding an infant yields the best, most cost-effective nutritional diet available. Mothers receive countless health benefits from breastfeeding as well. In 2007, the CDC reported that only 11.3 percent of new mothers exclusively breastfed their child for the first 6 months. In an effort to raise awareness and extend breastfeeding beyond a week or two, the WABA and partners tirelessly champion breastfeeding support so mothers and babies can benefit from the guidance they need for successful nursing.

This year as we follow the 1993 theme, “Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative,” which sadly is still a struggle many women face today, we spread the word and encourage employers and the general public to stop criticizing women for nursing in public but instead embrace the healthy and natural process of breastfeeding. If you would like to help spread the word you can find countless La Leche chapters across the nation hosting Latch On events, and WIC offices are always opening their doors to new mothers facing breastfeeding troubles. Look at your local chapters and see how you can volunteer or participate. Leading Lady/ Loving Moments by Leading Lady is donating nursing bras to WIC offices around the country so nursing moms get the support they need for successful, comfortable breastfeeding. Join the conversation on our Facebook page and share your stories with moms just like you!

 

 

Breastfeeding Adopted Baby

Breastfeeding is a beautiful way a mother can provide beneficial nutrients to her baby. A special bond is created through the precious moments of skin on skin contact. By supplying your baby with food from your body, some mother’s believe it’s the greatest experience they can have in their lives. But what about mothers who have chosen to adopt? Many women might not be aware, but breastfeeding your adopted baby can be done. Even if you’ve never given birth or breastfeed before, your body is still capable of producing breast milk. Today we are going to discuss how breastfeeding your adopted baby is beneficial to their health and the bonding experience, along with ways to prepare your body before they come home.

Breastfeeding Adopted BabyPreparing yourself for breastfeeding your new baby can be difficult. Although it’s not an easy task, and it takes a lot of time and real dedication, it can be done and the benefits you will gain are well worth it. Creating that mother/baby bond is the most important thing you need to focus on because most infants who are adopted are known to experience and feel loss and abandonment after delivery. Babies can recognize their mothers right after they are born once they are placed on their mother’s chest. They can identify them through smell and touch. If they are not placed directly in their adoptive mother’s arms they could develop a fear of separation and begin performing a distress call/cry. By supplying your baby with your natural milk you are not only giving them the best nutrients possible, but you are also enhancing the bond and creating an even stronger relationship with your child that they need to feel loved and secure.

Getting your body ready to breastfeed isn’t a tricky process, but it can take a while before you are able to produce enough breast milk to fully feed your baby. Adoption can be an unpredictable course. Some women have no time at all to prepare while others might be given several weeks or even months. If you don’t have time you will still be able to produce milk for your baby, and don’t get turned off if it’s a very small amount at first. What’s amazing about a woman’s body is we can produce breast milk once a baby begins breastfeeding. The suckling sensation triggers our bodies to think we have just given birth! Women who have more time before their child is brought home can have the chance to teach their body how to produce enough milk. You can practice by gently massaging your breasts a few times a day. It’s also recommended and encouraged to try breast pumping to stimulate your breasts even more. The more your breasts are stimulated, and the more milk you pump, the more breast milk your body will produce.

Many women who have trouble producing, or want to make more milk, can be prescribed hormones from their doctors to influence their bodies even more. This can work for several women. Other options include formula or you can try a donor’s breast milk. Whatever you chose just remember it’s all about the bonding experience you share with your little one. And always talk to your doctor or lactation consultant about what’s right for your body and baby if you have any questions or concerns when it comes to breastfeeding.

Nipple Cream for Breastfeeding Moms

Nipple Cream for Breastfeeding MomsWhen it comes time for you to decide if you want to breastfeed your baby you might be wondering about the effects it will have on your breasts. While breastfeeding has the best nutritional benefits for you and your child, it can also leave you with dry, cracked or even bleeding nipples if not cared for properly. Nipple cream is an essential when it comes to breastfeeding. A good nipple cream is able to soothe and heal, while locking in moisture and keeping your breasts rejuvenated and pain-free.

Over the Counter Methods

Many breastfeeding moms turn towards hypoallergenic and all natural products. It’s best to look for nipple creams that don’t necessarily need to be wiped off before breastfeeding because that way your baby won’t be harmed if a little gets in their mouth. Lanolin nipple creams are one of the bests. Lanolin is a fatty substance in sheep’s wool. It contains about 25% water and is used immensely to make moisturizers, soaps and various other creams. You should always make sure the lanolin cream you are using is 100% pure. Lansinoh Lanolin nipple cream is a good one to try out. Other suggested nipple creams are Mother Love, Earth Mama, Nipple Nurture Balm, and My Best Friend Cream. All are made from all natural products.

Alternative/Homemade Remedies

Some mothers use an alternative method and have made their own homemade nipple creams with things they have in their homes. Coconut oil is a great substitute compared to conventional nipple creams. What’s great about coconut oil is that it’s not only awesome for your health but it promotes skin rejuvenation, moisturizes, and fights off infections like thrush. Olive oil, shea butter and cocoa butter are other products that work well with dry or damaged skin. As long as these products are all natural they are safe for your baby. Also, using your own breastmilk is said to work in relieving dryness.

Things to Avoid When Considering Nipple Creams

You should never use creams, lotions or ointments if you are not experiencing dry or cracked nipples. This could lead to serious issues if you breasts are being excessively moisturized, including mastitis or thrush. Numbing creams or Vitamin E should never be used because it’s harmful towards your baby if ingested. Also, scented products are always a no no because it can alter the taste of your breastmilk causing breastfeeding to be difficult at times if your baby has grown used to the flavor.

The Best Option for YOU

Always ask your lactation consultant or doctor before choosing what to put on your breasts for sore nipples when breastfeeding. Some products may say “all natural” but it’s safer to ask a licensed professional who knows you and your body before you use something that could harm you or your baby.