Category: My Newborn 0-6 M

Is it Safe to take my Baby out of the House?

By | My Newborn 0-6 M, My Newborn 7-12 M | No Comments

Some parents are concerned about taking a young baby outside. Many cultures, in fact, keep some moms & babies inside a house for up to several months.

Is there a medical reason not to take the baby outside, though, no, there is not.

Fresh air is healthy and learning and being exposed to new environments is critical for a babies development.

If germs are a concern for you, make sure to minimize the amount of contact with areas with many people. Playgrounds, for example, is a place where the baby does not belong. Out in the open fresh air though is great to show baby the new world it lives in.

You do want to stay away from any people who are sick, though. Better safe than sorry.

Take the above advice & with your slow jaunts outside, your baby will naturally be exposed to the essential elements in our air & around our lives and they can do so with no danger to their bodies or immune system.

Do make sure you are properly dressing the baby. The baby can’t communicate well at all and crying is virtually its only tool of interaction. Avoid the baby crying because it’s too cold or not prepared for the weather. Think of the babies needs and plan accordingly from warm clothes in winter to sunscreen in summer.

Best Guide to Infant Teething Symptoms & their Remedies Baby Teeth

The Best Guide to Infant Teething Symptoms & their Remedies

By | First Year, My Newborn 0-6 M, My Newborn 7-12 M | No Comments

Your super-fussy baby might simply be experiencing the painful symptoms associated with teething. Here, you can learn how to identify these symptoms along with the best strategies for pain relief.

Are you wondering when those pearly whites will first start to appear? The majority of babies have their first tooth arrive around the time they are six months old, but your baby’s teeth might appear as soon as they are three months old or even as late as fourteen months old. The timing of the first tooth will greatly depend upon other factors such as how old their parents were when they got their first tooth and whether or not they were a preemie. Preemies typically have their first teeth arrive on the late side. Every baby’s reaction to teething can be very different, too. Some babies show no symptoms at all, while others experience drooling, crankiness and swollen gums weeks before the first tooth appears.

Timeline for the Appearance of Baby Teeth
Usually, infants receive their first teeth in pairs, and these are usually the two on the bottom front. Next, the two top front teeth appear. However, it is very normal for a child to have four bottom teeth and none on the top, or vice versa. Here is a typical tooth timeline:
• 6 months: lower central incisors
• 8 months: upper central incisors
• 10 months: lower and upper lateral incisors
• 14 months: first molars
• 18 months: canines
• 24 months: second molars

Teething Signs
Keeping in mind that every baby’s teething process is different, you can expect to notice these possible signs:

A Constant Urge to Chew
Emerging teeth cause pressure in the gums that is relieved by counter pressure. It is also possible that chewing occurs due to the sensation that something is coming through the gums.

Puffy Gums
Shortly before a tooth pokes through, the gums may be slightly red and swollen. If they appear bruised, your baby may not prefer counter pressure since it can irritated their already inflamed gums.

Increased Drooling
Excessive saliva is normal for many babies so it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are teething. While there is no way to know for sure if the drool is teething-related, it might be if you notice the other symptoms as well.

Fussiness, Especially at Night
Pain and discomfort will always lead to crankiness. Fussiness due to teething tends to happen more at night for two reasons. First, the teething process occurs more at night since this is when the body repairs and grows. Second, your baby will have fewer distractions while they are sleeping, so any pain that wakes them up is certain to be noticed.

Tooth Eruption
When that first tooth appears, you will notice a small, white bump along the gum line. It might be slightly sharp, and some infants experience a small amount of bleeding at the site of eruption.

Ear Pulling
The nerves in the face run from the jawline to the ear, and your baby’s ear tugging might not signal an ear infection. Instead, they could be responding to referred pain from teething.

A Change in Eating Habits
For some babies, the counter pressure that comes from their bottle nipple or spoon while eating may lessen the pain so they try to eat more. For others, this causes more pain, and they may refuse their meals. Any changes in your baby’s eating habits may signal a new tooth coming in.

Soothing the Pain
It may take some experimenting to find the pain relief technique that works best for your baby. Some infants enjoy gnawing on a washcloth that has been wet with water and frozen in the freezer. Teethers with different textures can also be of help.

Early Teeth Care Tips!
During the teething process, many babies prefer to chew on their crib rail, which can cause damage to their baby teeth. Use plastic guards to protect those chompers.

Massage
When a tooth is still below the gums and it has not caused any bruising, counter pressure can be applied using a clean finger. Simply rub the area to see if it helps ease your baby’s crankiness.

Distraction
Similar to a headache, teething can cause constant, low-level pain that is frustrating. Distraction from the pain can work wonders during these times. Spend some extra time with your child, cuddle or surprise them with a new toy that can help keep their mind off of teething.

Teething Tricks to Avoid
• Chewing biscuits and other hard foods such as frozen bananas, zwieback crackers and melba toast. Although they can help with the strong urge to chew, they can break into chunks that pose a risk for choking.
• Applying a little brandy on swollen gums. This old home remedy is now known to be unsafe. Even tiny amounts of alcohol are poisonous to babies.

When to Contact a Doctor
Since many of the symptoms of teething can mimic other conditions, you may need to call the doctor if they continue without the appearance of any teeth. Babies who haven’t had their first tooth appear by 15 months may also need to visit a dentist for x-rays to make sure they are developing normally.

You can expect for teething to continue for approximately two years, but don’t worry…it gets less painful as time goes on. No one is certain why this occurs, but experts believe that babies get used to the sensation after their first several teeth erupt. Remember that it is time to brush that precious little tooth as soon as it appears. Just use a fingertip toothbrush or a clean washcloth, and brush it twice a day. Also, never let your baby fall asleep with their bottle since the pooling juice or milk can lead to decay. While the teething process can be tough, keep in mind that it doesn’t last forever, and soon you will be enjoying every moment when you see your baby flash their beautiful smile.

babies are smart, 8 Brilliant Ways Babies Are Smarter Than You Think

8 Brilliant Ways Babies Are Smarter Than You Think

By | First Year, My Newborn 0-6 M, Parenting | No Comments

Sure, babies are chubby, cherubic, and drooly. But babies are more than just lovable lumps, according to intriguing new studies that reveal the genius behind those “ga-gas” and “goo-goos.” Babies are smarter than you think!

Infant brains develop at an astonishing rate—doubling in size by the time a newborn turns one year old. Their brains grow to full adult size by the time they reach kindergarten four years later. To aid this growth and learning, babies’ brains have around 1,000 trillion synapses (connections between brain cells). That’s twice that of an average adult!

It’s no wonder that new parents and grandparents look at their babies and think, “Just what is she thinking?” These days, there’s more proof than ever that your child has a lot going on upstairs.

Babies know when a different language is being spoken.

We’ve long known that babies’ brains are uniquely suited to learning more than one language. Recent research helps explain how they’re able to do this. A University study found that even four month-olds can discern from visual cues when a different language is being spoken (based on the rhythm of speech and the shape of the speaker’s mouth). According to a university press release, the “babies growing up in a bilingual environment advantageously maintain the discrimination abilities needed for separating and learning multiple languages.”

Another study revealed that babies who live in bilingual homes have a longer length of time when their brains are flexible enough to learn different languages. This window only lasts a short while though, suggesting that a baby’s propensity to pick up a new language is a bit of a “use it or lose it” situation.

Babies understand others’ emotions.
Even infants who have had few interactions with dogs were able to match sounds of angry barks and friendly yaps with photos of dogs displaying threatening or welcoming body language, according to a study published in Developmental Psychology. Previous research from the same lab at the university found that infants can pick up on mood swings and changes in Beethoven’s music.

Very young babies “understand” what words mean.

Certain child development experts believe that infants don’t understand the link between images of objects and object names (knowing a picture of an banana is the word “banana”) until around age one, but a University study found that babies as young as six months old can possess this ability, long before they are able to say these words themselves.

The authors of this study had six- to nine-month-old babies look at images of food and various body parts. Next, their parents gave them simple directions (“Where’s the ear?”). The researchers found that the babies looked more at the item that was named than any other image, indicating that they knew the word’s meaning. The study authors say this is proof that parents should talk to their babies, even if they seem unresponsive to the words they are being told.

Young toddlers can gauge fairness.

Every parent of a toddler is familiar with the phrase “that’s not fair!” What you may not know is that babies learn about “fairness” as young as 15 months. Scientists at the University studied babies watching videos in which milk or crackers were distributed either equally or unequally between two people. The babies paid more attention when the distribution was unequal, indicating they can tell—and were surprised by—the difference.

Fascinatingly, the babies who were most sensitive to the violation of fairness in the food task were also most likely to show signs of altruism (by sharing their own toy) in a subsequent study.

Babies appreciate rightfully deserved punishment.

Babies may not appear vindictive, but children as young as eight months old seem to enjoy when bad things happen to bad people. Last year, University researchers presented different scenarios of puppets acting either negatively or positively toward other characters. The babies were shown puppets either giving or taking away toys from these “good” or “bad” puppets. The babies preferred the puppets that mistreated the bad puppets in the first scenario compared to those who treated the bad puppets nicely.

The study authors think this may be a precursor to social behaviors kids express later in life, such as tattling on “naughty” kids. This indicates that this may be an innate trait rather than a learned one.

Young children value altruism.

Young kids and babies may seem selfish, but a study published earlier this year found that toddlers are actually happier when they give things to others. The researchers gave a group of toddlers Goldfish crackers and asked them to give them to a puppet. Then the toddlers were given an extra treat to give to the puppet (so they could keep one and give one away). When researchers videotaped the toddlers’ behavior and rated their happiness, they found the children were happier when they gave away their own treat as opposed to the “extra”.

Toddlers’ desire to give suggests that the capacity to derive happiness from helping others is an innate part of human nature.

Toddlers are influenced by peer pressure.

According to a 2012 study published in the journal Cell Biology, if you want your baby to share, eat his vegetables, and take good naps, you should surround him with well-behaved friends. Researchers found that two year-olds were more likely to copy behaviors when three or more of his peers were doing it, compared to just one–a sign that even young kids are susceptible to peer pressure.

Music makes babies’ brains thrive.

Most parents have heard about the link between music and IQ. New research even suggests a link between playing an instrument during childhood and a reduced risk of dementia later in life.

Recently, a Canadian study suggests that even young babies can benefit from making music. One-year-olds who took interactive music classes (learning hand motions to songs and “playing” percussion instruments) showed better communication skills (including pointing at hard-to-reach objects, waving goodbye, and showing less distress in new surroundings) than babies who took classes that only used music as background noise.

So. Babies are much smarter than they appear. Babies are thinking much more than they let on. How we interact with them while learning this information is what will help us make better parenting decisions.

6 Moments You Need to Let Dad Have With Baby

6 Moments You Need to Let Dad Have With Baby

By | First Year, My Newborn 0-6 M | No Comments

Do you love watching your partner interact with your baby? I definitely do. One of the most meaningful and energizing things that I experience is watching my husband interact with our son. I may be biased, but my husband is patient, playful, and attentive. On occasion, I will sneak outside of the door to listen to them make noises at each other. It is adorable!

As a mother, I feel like it is my responsibility to help grow the bond between my husband and our son, because our son spends most of his time with me. Because of that, I know their time together is important and imperative for establishing a strong relationship.
 
Here are a few ways we do this at our house:
Let dad feed the baby
Since I breastfeed our son, it is rare that my husband gets to actually feed our son. Especially because I use breastfeeding as a bonding time with our son when I get home from work (he has pumped breast milk at daycare). Does that mean dad is excluded from feedings? No way! My husband takes over when it is time to burp and we usually end up laughing at the mess he makes. This has created a family ritual for us that has let our son be close to his dad.
 
Let dad and baby cuddle!
Evenings are hectic. Between caring for a newborn, handling feedings, doing diaper changes, folding laundry, making dinner, and even just spending a little time with your spouse. One thing that has helped a lot is letting dad and baby have their alone time to cuddle. Sometimes I will ask my husband to just relax on the couch with our son. This gives me both hands to get some long overdue housework done fast, and encourages them to have some great bonding time together. This is a win for everyone!
 
Make bath time a family event
Do you love bath time with your baby? Our son loves the water, and he loves getting a baby massage. We have found that when the whole family participates in bath time, it is more fun and much easier. While my husband washes his body, I wash his hair. Some of our greatest memories up to this point have involved bath time. It is also great watching dad increase his confidence while holding our slippery, squirmy son.
 
Make dad a part of your established morning routine
Morning routines vary from household to household (read more about our’s here!). Dad’s prepares baby for the day by giving him a dry diaper and dressing him. He then plays with him for a little while while I finish getting ready for my day. Those early morning moments are really meaningful to my husband and are a wonderful little boost of time with the baby before going to work. While this might not work out exactly for your schedule, be creative! I am sure there are ways that you can combine quality bonding with your needed morning routine.
 
Let dad and baby develop their own thing
Sometimes as a mom (or woman?)I like to have control over everything. Is this something you relate to? However, I have found that one of the best things is when I just let my husband do his own thing with baby. That may simply mean tummy time, reading a book, or looking at the Christmas tree, I can see that they find really fun things to do with each other and enjoy it a lot more when I take a step back.
How does dad and baby bonding happen in your life?

A Guide to Baby Poop, Pee and Spit Up Everything you wanted to know about baby’s bodily fluids (and then some)

A Guide to Baby Poop, Pee and Spit Up Everything you wanted to know about baby’s bodily fluids (and then some)

By | My Newborn 0-6 M | No Comments

Babies are just like little adults, so it should come as no surprise that what comes in must also go out. Your baby is going to pee, poop and spit up way more than you can even imagine, leaving you to wonder if anything is actually getting through. Don’t worry; your little one is not going to wither away to nothing due to malnutrition. This is completely normal, and any other parent is going to sympathize with these feelings. No matter the case, there are a few things you need to understand about your baby’s bodily functions.

Mind Your Pees and Qs
First, you should know that it takes just a few days for the baby’s system to really start working. If you choose to breastfeed, your milk does not fully come in for up to five days. Once this happens, your baby will start to make up to 10 wet diapers each day. When you are in the hospital, staff members will help keep an eye on production. When you get home, you need to ensure that the initial five wet diapers increases after two to three days. It is important to contact your baby’s pediatrician as soon as possible if urine output fails to increase soon.

Today, disposable diapers tends to be super-absorbent. In fact, it might be tricky for you to determine if the diapers are really wet. We advise that you become familiar with the texture of the diapers you intend to use. Get to know what they feel and look like when they are dry, examining the layers and puffiness. These diapers work with gels that inflate as urine absorbs into them. As a result, the diaper feels heavier than when it is dry. You might even notice a slight sag.

If you still aren’t sure that the diaper is wet, take a whiff. You can smell the front leg area of the diaper for that unmistakable scent of urine. It’s not the most fun way to spend these early years, but it can save you plenty of trouble in the long run.

Let’s Talk About Poop
You have already heard that babies who are breastfed tend to have runnier bowel movements. You might even notice that they tend to be more mustard-colored than normal feces. This tends to happen after the first week or so, and it’s totally normal.

Immediately after birth, babies tend to produce poop that is thicker, almost like tar. This is called meconoium, and the nurses tend to handle things like this. You might not ever see it.

Once you get home and start to breastfeed or use formula, you will notice that stools become pastier. Babies who are fed formula will continue with this type of stool, except that it becomes more formed and colors may vary. Breastfed babies will experience thinner, yellow stools.

Next, you need to know how often you should expect to change a soiled diaper. Breastfed babies often soil their diapers during or right after each feeding, but this is not the case for each little one. Babies who are fed formula experience bowel movements after nearly every feeding. Babies who are fed formula are definitely less frequent to create soiled diapers. It may take several days for some.

Unfortunately, this irregular system can create some concern in new parents. It is easy to see when babies are passing stools; they tend to strain and grunt; however, it is also easy to see when they are constipated. Fortunately, this is not very often. Babies simply have their own bowel habits. Any pediatrician is likely to halt your concerns. Just make sure to check the stool to make sure it is soft. If it is hard, there could be a problem.

It is important that you pay attention to the amount of iron your baby is getting. In adults, iron supplements can cause severe binding. With babies, this is not the case. Low-iron formulas are not a good idea, and most medical experts agree. Your baby needs lots of iron for her brain to develop properly. Best of all, it will not cause constipation. Your pediatrician may even recommend iron supplements if your baby is breastfed. Don’t let anybody talk you out of this; it’s important.

Spit Happens
While the mouth may be at the opposite end of the body, it creates fluids of its own. Babies can spit up as many as 12 times each day. Sometimes it’s a major eruption, and other times the spit sort of trickles out. No matter the case, it can be pretty messy. Baby is going to spit up on you or herself at some point. It may be a nuisance, but it’s a pretty big one.

Why do babies spit up so often? It has a lot to do with the digestive tract and the muscle between the stomach and esophagus. It is quite immature, failing to tighten up until the baby is about six months old.

You don’t need to concern yourself with spitting up. There is not very much nutrition lost to spit up, usually only one tablespoon, but it may seem like more. Just make sure that you have lots of bibs, towels and a change of clothes ready. You might want to consider keeping an extra change of clothes for yourself while you are at it.

Try these tips to minimize spit up:
Provide more frequent feedings throughout the day, but make them smaller.
Don’t force your baby to finish a bottle if she seems to be full.
Keep your baby in an upright position post-feeding. The gravity helps your baby digest food.
Make sure to burp the baby regularly.
If you use formula, discuss spitting up with your pediatrician. You might find that some brands are easier for your little one to digest than others.

Spit-up warrants medical attention in only a few situations. For instance, if your baby becomes irritable and fussy after feedings, you may have a problem. It is also a problem if your baby becomes prone to spitting up all the time. The issue could be as simple as reflux, which is easily solved via medication prescribed by the doctor.

You also need to pay attention to the spit-up itself. Make sure your baby is not vomiting, which includes expelling a large amount of her stomach contents. You also want to make sure that your baby is not experiencing diarrhea, bloating and lack of weight gain in addition to spitting up. Milk allergies are also not uncommon in babies, so you should discuss concerns about the condition with your doctor. While these conditions may not be the most common, they do happen. If you notice your baby is spitting up blood or there is a yellow-green bile blockage, it is important to call your doctor.

Doctor Has A Great Trick To Calm Crying Babies In Just Seconds

Doctor Has A Great Trick To Calm Crying Babies In Just Seconds

By | First Year, My Newborn 0-6 M | No Comments

Dr. Hamilton, a pediatrician in Santa Monica, CA shows how to calm a crying baby using “The Hold”. This technique has been utilized by Dr. Hamilton (Dr. Bob) to quiet infants during office visits. Parents have learned it and have experienced great success at home. You can too. His Pacific Ocean Pediatrics is in Santa Monica http://pacificoceanpedriatics.com. He also leads Africa medical missions with Lighthouse Medical Missions http://lighthousemedicalmissions.com.

Baby Milestones, 0 to 6 Months

Baby Milestones, 0 to 6 Months

By | First Year, My Newborn 0-6 M | No Comments

Every baby learns and develops at his or her pace. While you look at a list of developmental milestones, please know that this information is an estimate of when your child will begin to do the following developmental tasks. Don’t be worried about your child’s development unless you notice some of the warning signs mentioned.

Milestones to Notice at One Month Old

Your baby’s eyes can only focus on objects about one foot away. Shapes and patterns are interesting to your baby at this age. Your baby should be able to respond well to sounds. Even though your baby can lift his or her head for a moment or two, the baby’s head and neck still need to be supported. Your baby may also be able to find his or her mouth with their hands.

What You Can Do to Stimulate Your One Month Old

You can’t spoil a baby. Make sure she is cuddled, loved, changed and fed. Other activities you can do to stimulate your child’s development are:

· Place your baby on his tummy.

· Put toys a bit out of his reach so he can stretch and strengthen his muscles.

· Take your baby for walks and to spend play time outdoors to experience many various people, places, and things. Your child also needs the Vitamin D that the sun provides.

· Provide lots of eye contact and physical contact with your baby.

· Mimic the sounds your baby makes.

· Learn to read what your child needs if he is tired, hungry or needs a diaper change.

Behavioral Concerns for Your One Month Old

You need to be concerned if your one-month-old:

· Doesn’t suck well or seems to feed slowly.

· Doesn’t appear to be able to focus her eyes.

· Doesn’t seem to notice bright lights objects moving by her.

· Does not react to sounds, especially loud ones.

· Seems very stiff or very lax and floppy.

If your one-month-old displays any of these concerns, contact your baby’s health care provider right away. Babies do develop at widely varying rates, so consult an expert if you aren’t sure your baby is making real progress.

Milestones to Notice at Three Months Old

Your three-month-old responds to your interaction by smiling at this age. He makes babbling sounds and may begin to imitate some of the sounds you make. He may not need you to support his head and can lift his head and chest away from the ground. He can close his hands as well as open them. He actively plays with toys by touching them and trying to put them in his mouth. He can also push with his legs if you hold him in a standing position.

Your baby’s hand to eye coordination as well as his vision is improving. He can see you and recognize you even across the room as well as watch shiny or other interesting items. .

What You Can Do to Stimulate Your Three Month Old

· Respond to him quickly to help him feel that his needs are being met. Offer him his pacifier or let him suck a thumb to begin to learn to self-sooth.

· Continue to use tummy time to develop his muscles.

· Spend lots of time interacting with your baby by cuddling, talking to and playing with him.

Areas of Concern for a Three Month Old

While every baby develops at his own rate, you may need to check with a pediatrician if your child:

· Can’t hold up his head very well.

· Can’t grab toys or other objects.

· Doesn’t follow moving objects with his eyes.

· Doesn’t smile or respond to your interactions with him.

· Doesn’t react to new faces.

· Doesn’t respond to loud sounds.

· Is upset by new surroundings or people.

Milestones to Notice at Four to Seven Months

At four to seven months, your child responds to the world by smiling, babbling, laughing and mimicking you. He responds well to people and his surroundings. By seven months old your baby can move by himself. He can bounce when you hold him as well as roll from his tummy to his back. He can also sit up with very little, if any, support. She uses a raking grasp to pull objects closer and can hold toys and move them from one hand to another.

Your baby responds to your voice, simple commands such as “no,” and responds to her name by looking at you. She loves to play games that find hidden toys and play Peekaboo. She loves to study objects as they move, and can appreciate colors. She also loves to gaze at herself in a mirror.

What You Can Do to Stimulate Your Four to Seven Month Old

Playing and interacting with your baby is one of the most important activities you can do for his development. Continue to provide cuddling, singing, talking to and playing with your baby. Some other activities you can do to enhance your baby’s development at this age are:

· Read to your baby every day, naming objects and making appropriate noises to go with the pictures in the book.

· Give your baby many opportunities during the day to move, stretch and strengthen his back by placing him on his back and stomach and allowing him to move.

· Make sure your baby’s environment is safe and baby proof so he can move around safely.

· Be sure he has toys or safe household objects to play with, like measuring cups, wooden spoons, etc.

· Establish routine playing, sleeping and feeding times.

· Start solid foods at about the age of six months or as recommended by your baby’s healthcare provider.

Areas of Concern for a Four to Seven Month Old

Contact your baby’s healthcare provider if you notice:

· She seems quite floppy or quite stiff.

· She can’t hold up her head well.

· She can’t sit up alone.

· She doesn’t react to loud sounds or noises.

· She doesn’t respond to her family or those close to her.

· She doesn’t play with or reach for objects.