Apr 28, 2009

Reduce Risk of Diaper Rash - Elimination Communication Will Minimize the Time Your Baby Wears Diaper

Discover the ancient, world-wide practice of Elimination Communication (EC), and apply it to your modern life. Part-time, with diapers in between potty visits.

EC, or Infant Potty Training, or 'Baby Pottying' is a holistic and cooperative way for you and your baby to gradually and gently reduce the amount of time your baby wears their diapers. I'm meaning on a daily basis, although often babies experiencing use of the potty from a young age also become toilet independent earlier as well.

Less time in a diaper means less risk of diaper rash. Imagine if every baby wore just one less diaper each day?

Unlike Early Toilet Training, EC is about the relationship and communication between you and your baby, and typically begins in infancy, before baby becomes mobile as it is easier then and baby is less diaper dependent.

By Developing Your Diaper-Free Confidence Each Day You Will Open a Door to:

1. Your baby having less time with waste near their skin automatically reduces the risk of rashes because there is less exposure to waste by-products - ammonia and urea.

2. Your baby having less exposure to chemicals in disposable diapers, in wipes, and medications that baby skin may also be sensitive to.

3. A closer insight into how what your baby is eating may be effecting their digestion. Practicing a spot of EC will then give you an insight into what else may be causing or contributing to the diaper rash, so you can eliminate these factors.

4. Enhanced confidence for yourself in meeting the hygiene needs of your in a more natural way.

5. Finding confidence in how to gradually transition to less use of diapers in this alternative to conventional potty or toilet training.

A simple goal is to strive to use just one less diaper each day. Over three years of diapering that is common these days, that means a massive 1000+ less diapers going into landfill, or for you to wash and dry!

I hear you saying: "One less diaper? That's not intimidating! We can do that!"

You're right. One is easy. Save one, go again another day. It's an easy way to begin practicing baby pottying in a gradual, easy way. Part-time EC and Diaper Rash is a useful resource to discover more about using just one less diaper a day.

With some simple skills in EC, you will begin to skip a diaper today, another tomorrow, perhaps a couple the day after that. Some days you'll use the regular amount. Yet, overall, with a potty break simply at diaper changes, some of the diapers your baby wears will stay dry for longer so they can wear them for longer, reducing the number used overall.

Mar 25, 2009

Cool Down Hot Food

Instead of putting your toddler's food in the fridge to cool down, mix some frozen veggies (corn and peas work great!) into the food. The hot food will heat the frozen veggies and the veggies will cool the hot food. Plus, you get some extra veggies into their diet!

Increase Milk Flow Through Baby Bottles

Baby's frustrated with the low-flow nipple on her bottle, but you can't run to the store right now to buy a high-flow version. No problemo. Heat a pin, insert it into the nipple and leave it there while running the nipple under cold water. Ahhh, if only low-flow boobs were this easy to fix.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breast milk is the perfect food for babies, serving up all the nutrients a baby needs at any given stage of life in exactly the right proportions. A toddler may be drinking from the same breast that he drank from as an infant, but there's an entirely different beverage on tap!

Breast milk is higher in cholesterol than formula. This may not sound like a good thing—after all, isn't cholesterol supposed to be bad for you? But studies of animals have indicated that early exposure to cholesterol may help prepare a baby's body to process cholesterol more efficiently during adulthood, thereby providing some measure of protection against heart disease.

Breast milk is packed with antibodies. This is because breast milk contains immunoglobulin A proteins, which line the baby's respiratory and intestinal surfaces, thereby protecting the baby against certain types of viral and bacterial agents during the period in his life when he needs such protection most—while his own immune system is still very immature. Not surprisingly, studies have shown that breast-fed babies are less likely to develop gastrointestinal infections, respiratory infections, middle ear infections, food allergies, tooth decay, pneumonia and meningitis than bottle-fed babies. Breastfeeding even improves the effectiveness of vaccines, which helps to ensure that your baby will get the ultimate boost from each of his booster shots.

Breast-fed babies are less susceptible to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) than bottle-fed babies. They also enjoy added protection against intestinal disease, eczema, certain types of heart disease, allergies, cancer and obesity—health benefits that last long after weaning.

Breastfeeding helps to promote normal development of the jaw and facial muscles. Bottle-fed babies are more likely to require orthodontic work than their breastfed counterparts.

Breastfeeding helps your uterus to contract after the birth, which reduces the amount of blood lost after the delivery and helps you to regain your pre-pregnancy shape more quickly.

Breastfeeding helps to suppress ovulation and consequently your menstrual periods. If you breastfeed exclusively, you probably won't menstruate for about six months after giving birth, and possibly even longer. In addition to avoiding the inconvenience of getting your period (to say nothing of the cost of all those tampons and pads), you will have the chance to build up your iron reserves once again, because you won't be losing the same amount of iron that you normally do when you're menstruating. The one benefit that you shouldn't count on, however, is built-in birth control. Breastfeeding is not a reliable method of contraception.

Breastfeeding helps you to burn your extra "baby fat" without dieting since breastfeeding a baby requires about 500 calories worth of energy per day.

Breastfeeding may help to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer and uterine cancer later in life.

Breastfeeding may reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis down the road. Some studies have found that older women who breast-fed during their child-bearing years face only half the risk of experiencing bone fractures as women who did not. What's more, the longer a woman spent breastfeeding, the lower her risk of fracture.

Breastfeeding is convenient. There is no best-before date to worry about, and your baby's food is always ready to serve! What's more, breastfeeding forces you to take regular breaks throughout the day—the very thing that a new mother should be doing.

Mar 21, 2009

Top Tips For a Happy Baby Bath

You always need to be gentle when washing your baby. Here are a few tips that may help you learn the basics of washing an infant. Making sure that the water is not too hot, put your baby in the water very carefully making sure that his or her ears are not underwater. There should not be too much water in the sink or tub you wash your baby in.

After soaking baby's washcloth in the bath water with a little bit of mild baby soap, ring it out and use it to gently wipe your baby all over. Beware that using bubble bath or harsh soaps containing perfumes in your baby's bathwater may cause rashes so it is best to avoid them. Using a few drops of baby oil in the water will help keep your baby's skin soft. When washing your baby, make sure to wipe the head and neck, behind both ears, and between fingers and toes. Be sure to always support your baby's head while he or she is in the tub.

Although it is not necessary to bathe your baby daily, you should still clean the face, diaper area, or any other spot on their body that becomes soiled by wiping gently with water and a soft washcloth. You only really need to wash your baby's scalp about once or twice a week with a mild baby shampoo. Every other day it is fine to wash your baby with just water and a soft cloth.

Mar 18, 2009

Baby Sleep Tips

Improving Your Infant's Sleep Without Crying

"Does your baby sleep through the night already?! What did you DO??

Recognise the situation? Everybody else's babies seem to sleep through the night in a snap, but yours...

What did they do that I don't???

Well, chances are that the lucky parents didn't do anything, if the infant is still really young.

There are actually babies that sleep through the night already at the age of 2 months without any help at all.

If your baby is like that - well, congratulations! Head on to other parts of this website, or better still, immediately share your tips with all other mothers hungering for sleep.. Drop me an email and I'll post your tips right here!

(Desperately in a hurry to read the baby sleep tips? Here they are!)

For the rest of us, things do get better. 50% of all babies sleep through the night at the age of 1. Ehh, wait, 50%.. What about the rest..? Yeah, there are definitely good reasons to learn some about baby sleep patterns and how you can help your baby sleep through the night. What you do as well as where the baby sleeps might have a real impact.

There are also safety issues to think about, to decide where you baby should sleep as well as in what position.

As I'm sure you've heard, babies should sleep on their back, to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

But wait, won't they get a flat head then? Or choke? Click here for answers.

Our oldest child slept through the night at the age of 4 (years!). My second when she was one year old and my youngest at 4 months old. But then he started waking up again as many do at around 4-5 months old. A few months later he slept through the night again with no problems at all.

The big difference between how we acted with our kids is when we started helping them to sleep better. Still, I now know I started way too late with our girl (Not to mention our oldest son; no training at all!) - when she was 10 months old. In just a few days she went from waking up every second hour to twice a night. Two months later she slept the whole night.

With our youngest baby, we gently started his baby sleep training when he was two months old.

So what's the clue?

Well unfortunately there is no magic key that will solve all your baby sleep problems. The goal is though to teach the infant to fall asleep by himself and to get to used to eat only at day time.

Before listing the tips, here are a few words about baby sleep patterns. Would you want to sleep like a baby..? Probably not!

Babies, especially really young ones have much more light sleep than adults and older children. This means that they have more opportunities to wake up and when they do, many infants need help to get back to sleep.

Think about it, while in your stomach, the baby's "bed" was in constant movement, rocking him gently back to sleep. Food supply also never stopped. Quite different from a steady, roomy crib and no food for many hours..

Follow this link to learn some more about your baby's sleep pattern.

So other then biding your time, waiting for your child to get older, the key is to teach him to self-soothe and go back to sleep on his own.

If you're wondering how much your baby "should" be sleeping day and night, click here for a sleep schedule per month.


Mar 15, 2009

How do I find a good babysitter?

There is a positive side to the lack of good babysitters … and to the high rates that they charge, as Jerry Toher, managing director of MINT said, "Some parents are devising clever solutions to recruit babysitters such as sharing a babysitter, or teaming up with other parents to form a 'babysitter bank'. Parents want to ensure their children are in reliable hands at all costs but this does not have to mean the much deserved nights out by themselves have to be forfeited." It certainly doesn't.

Babysitting circles are a popular choice amongst some babyworld members like Jill, "I'm part of a babysitting circle but mostly I'm the babysitter for one couple who also have three children, like me. Usually, my husband babysits; since they don't have a TV, he gets loads of work done!"

This situation also works for Lisa, who gets to let her hair down once a month for the cost of a box of confectionary. "We have a babysitting club amongst four friend - we take it in turns to be the babysitter so, once a month, I get a night out and, once a month, I am around someone else's house babysitting… it works well and all it costs me is a packet of fancy biscuits and a small box of choccies."

Babysitters that you don't know

For some babyworld members, however, finding a babysitter presents more worrying issues than monetary matters. The mere fact of allowing a relative stranger into the house is unsettling for many mums like Hannah, "I don't think I'd feel comfortable leaving my son with someone who I would have to pay, not because I would have to pay them, but because the people who I would trust wouldn't expect payment, ie family and close friends. (Though they may expect a pizza on arrival!) I can't imagine leaving my son with a babysitter whom I didn't know, fully qualified or not."

Fredi has never employed a babysitter for her son, after an incident with a childminder. "I don't like the idea of leaving my son with someone i''m not related to. The only exception is a childminder who's a good friend of mine, but I'm having doubts about that now too, as last time he came home with a huge bruise on his head. She told me he'd fallen down the stairs. I am not happy. I get my parents or sister to babysit. If they can't do it, I don't go out."

Ships that pass in the night

It's one thing worrying about where the babysitting money will come from but quite another to never be with your children as a couple due to different working patterns. In another recent survey by IdentifyMe, seven out of ten parents admitted that they split time spent with their children rather than looking after them as a couple. This means that an average dual-income couple spends three or fewer hours together taking care of the kids, as opposed to families where one parent stays at home. Given a choice, parents would prefer to have more time together but the financial and other pressures of modern life means that they are often having to adapt to shift work in order to bring in the much needed money. Babysitting doesn't sound like an issue to them, but being able to spend time together as a family certainly does.

Mar 10, 2009

Learn to read your baby's cues

Websites, books, your baby's doctor, and other parents can all help as you figure out an appropriate schedule for your baby. But your child will be an important guide, and he'll tell you what he needs — if you learn to read his cues.

"When parents take the time to be with their baby, the information they receive gets sifted through their own experience. 'Instincts' come from learning about your baby's temperament and what works for him," says pediatrician Daniel Levy, president of the Maryland chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland.

Mom Liana Scott says paying close attention to 9-month-old Keaton has helped her anticipate his needs, which makes life easier and more fun for both of them.

"Now I'm able to feed him before he's really hungry and put him to bed before he's overtired and fussy," says Scott.

Learning what your baby needs when takes time and patience. But you'll see patterns emerge over time. And if you log your baby's naps, feedings, playtime, and so on in a notebook or on the computer, you can use this record to come up with a timetable for doing things.

Teach your baby the difference between night and day

Many babies mix up their days and nights at first, sleeping long stretches during the day only to perk up once the sun goes down. Helping your baby learn to tell day from night is a key first step to getting into a workable routine.

Amy Shelley, mom to 8-month-old Alex, offers these tips: "During the day, keep the house bright. Do the exact opposite at night: Keep the house dim and quiet. Don't talk to your baby much during night feedings. Let him learn that night is for sleeping and daytime is for socialization and playtime."

Get your baby used to a bedtime routine early on

Once you have a consistent bedtime worked out, a daytime routine will fall into place, says Tanya Remer Altmann, a pediatrician and editor-in-chief of The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate the Major Developmental Milestones.

And the easiest way to establish a regular bedtime is to start a predictable bedtime routine that you and your baby can depend on night after night.

"The bedtime routine is the most important thing to consider when establishing a schedule," says Altmann. "You can't force it in the first few months, but you can start practicing at around 2 months."

Altmann says to keep it simple: a warm bath, jammies, a feeding, then lights-out. It's fine if feeding lulls your baby to sleep in the early months, Altmann says, but by 3 or 4 months you may want to try putting him down awake so he'll learn to fall asleep on his own.

Mar 2, 2009

When Should Your Baby Wear Shoes?

There is actually a bit of controversy about this
question. Some pediatricians recommend that your
baby not wear shoes until at least 15 months of age.
Others feel that a child should start to wear shoes
as soon as they're walking.

Why should your baby wear shoes?

You have to consider where your baby is walking. If they are cruising around your own home, then there is usually no need for shoes. But what about outdoors? Obviously you wouldn't want your child running around barefoot on cement or in the dirt. Babies should be wearing a firm shoe in this case to prevent injuries (and dirty socks).

Shoes are also protection from sunburn, cold weather, scratches and bumps. Plus they are just way too darn cute! Just make sure that when your baby has the opportunity to go barefoot, take their shoes off. And don't keep shoes on for too long at a time.

What kind of shoes should your baby wear?

If you do purchase outdoor shoes for your baby, make sure they fit properly. Their tiny toes should not be cramped. Also, make sure they are flexible enough that their feet can still wiggle in them.

After hearing so many moms rave about Robeez footware, I decided to check them out for myself. I absolutely love them. These little shoes are the closest thing to your baby going barefoot, but with the protection they need from cold floors or rough surfaces outside. They also provide better grip on smooth surfaces, like a kitchen floor. They're also great because they're the only shoe I've found that actually stays on my baby's feet.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it's for the best interest of your child. Don't make them wear shoes all the time for the sake of looking cute. Barefoot is best at home, and when they are outdoors, make sure they have a soft sole for the most natural fit.

How To Deal With A Screaming Toddler

A screaming toddler can be a nightmare for parents, especially when you're at the grocery store or a restaurant (I have a few tips to avoid tantrums at restaurants here). Most toddlers go through this stage - in fact, some toddlers go through this stage more than once. Both my children are little screaming maniacs right now and they're 1 and 3 at the time of writing this.

Sometimes it may seem like your toddler is screaming just to frustrate you, but this isn't the case. It's usually a cry for attention, or it may be simply that they just feel like it. Screaming in a big building like a mall can generate a pretty cool echo, so it's only natural that they'll want to experience it.

In a lot of cases, screaming means they want something which is normally something they can't or shouldn't have. My son threw a hissy fit in a store the other week because he wanted out of the cart. I had to cut my shopping trip short and take him out to the car.

Dealing with a screaming toddler

Don't retaliate - Sometimes you may want to scream right back at your child, but believe me, this doesn't work. In the end, it turns out to be a competition to see who is louder and the outcome is nothing but some sore throats and maybe a few tears.

Distraction - A better bet is to use distraction as your weapon against a screaming child. For example, if your child spots some candy in the grocery store and starts screaming, try pointing out some healthy snack options instead. Or you can try playing a game like "Eye Spy". This works well in my case, although a lot of times I have to try a few different things before I'm successful. For my little guy who is almost 2, I point things out that are new to him and get him to repeat what I'm saying. I say it with as much enthusiasm as possible so that he gets excited too.

Prepare - Planning ahead is a great idea when you have errands to run. I always have snacks in my purse along with a sippy cup. If it's going to be a long day, I'll also throw in a few toys. I try and keep separate toys just for our outings so that they're always interested in them because they're special.

Schedule - Before you head out, make sure your toddler is well-rested. A good time to go out is right after nap time or right after she wakes up in the morning. You'll also want to make sure she's got a full stomach. Toddlers can get pretty cranky when they start to get hungry.

Get them involved - Involving the kids as much as possible is also a great way to avoid screaming. My daughter loves to press the "OK" button on the ATM machine when I run to the bank. She also loves to help pick out grocery items. This keeps her mind occupied on the task at hand, and not on something else that she can't have.

Choose family friendly places - If you're planning on eating at a restaurant with your toddler, opt for the more family friendly places rather than a quiet or more formal setting. I always choose one particular restaurant in town when I take my kids out. It's always packed and noisy. That way, if my kids start screaming it won't be as noticeable. I also order a "baby plate" as soon as we sit so the kids can eat right away.

Indoor voice - Something as simple as asking your toddler to use their indoor voice may just do the trick. I'm always surprised at how well it works. I learned that from watching Barney! That funny purple dragon or whatever he is sure comes in handy sometimes. Or is he a dinosaur? I can never remember.

Stay calm - Keeping your voice and your tone quiet and gentle will help set a good example for your child. As much as you might want to raise your voice, maintaining a neutral tone will keep from making the situation worse. This can be extremely hard to achieve, but it's worth it in the end. It will also take a lot of practice, but I'm sure that by the time your toddler has grown up you will have plenty of it!

Bail - If you're out in public and nothing you're trying seems to be working, it might be best to just leave with your toddler, even if it means leaving a grocery cart full of food in the middle of aisle 12.

Acknowledge, but don't give in - If your child is screaming because they're upset about something, acknowledge their feelings and help them work through it. If they're screaming because they want something they can't have, don't give in just to have some peace and quiet. That's only going to make things worse in the long run.

One thing to remember is that this stage will pass. It may be hard to think about that when you're in the middle of a crowded place and you feel like everyone is staring at you because your child is screaming at the top of their lungs. Chances are however, that none of those people will remember you the next day. What matters is your family, and how you deal with them at difficult times. Don't sacrifice an opportunity to encourage good behavior for the sake of a few strangers' opinions.

Feb 27, 2009

How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night?

Every parent has had those sleepless nights where
baby just won't settle down. Unfortunately, a lot of
parents go through this every night. Whether you
stay at home with your baby, or you leave
the house
to work during the day, endless nights of waking up
around the clock will eventually wear you down.
You'll get exhausted, moody and won't be able to
even think straight! Or maybe this already sounds
familiar to you.

Most parents suffer from sleep deprivation at some point. Its just part of parenthood. Even those lucky enough to have babies who are good sleepers eventually have to deal with getting their toddlers to stay in bed.

What gets really frustrating is reading so much conflicting information about getting your baby to sleep through the night. But what you must understand is that every baby is different, so not every sleeping method works. That's why there are so many different opinions out there. But I'm not here to give you an opinion or tell you what to do. I'm just going to tell you exactly what I did to get my son to sleep through the night.

How I got my son to sleep through the night

First, you have to understand that I only breastfed my son until he was seven weeks old. I had to have surgery shortly after he was born and couldn't breastfeed for a few days. I tried hard to pump and keep my milk supply up, but I finally had to stop torturing myself and my son and start feeding him formula.

A few weeks after that, he started sleeping through the night. What also happened at the same time is I started putting him down awake (breastfeeding would always put him to sleep). At just over 2 months, I was sure that it wouldn't work, but to my surprise it did. The trick was to put him down at the precise moment he started to get sleepy. I watched him like a hawk and eventually I could tell when he looked tired. His eyes would get red around the rims and they would start to look heavy. This was the only sign. Occasionally he would yawn, but his eyes would give him away sooner.

I had always read to watch for babies rubbing their eyes when they were tired, but neither of my babies did that until they were a little older.

I had also read to create a bed-time routine, but I have yet to do that with my son and he's now 8 months at the time of writing this. My daughter didn't have a bed-time routine established until she was almost a year old. So far, both my children have been excellent sleepers.

Why does it work?

Now, you may be wondering how putting a baby down when he's awake will help him sleep through the night. Here's my thoughts from experience. When a baby is put down after they are asleep, they'll eventually stir and will probably wake up. If they aren't being held in your arms anymore, they might get upset and want to be back in your arms. So they'll cry until they are.

If you put them down while they're awake and they fall asleep on their own, they won't be startled when they wake up because they'll be right where they were before they fell asleep.

Of course, I have no idea what goes on inside a baby's head - so this is just what I think, not what I know. I do however know that when my babies were put down awake, they slept through the night more than they did if they were put down already asleep. They also slept longer into the next morning which is sure nice. The better they sleep at night, the better they nap during the day. And the better they nap during the day, the better they sleep at night.

If my son does happen to wake up in the night, I usually just put his pacifier back in his mouth and he falls right back to sleep. Some mothers may want to crucify me for this, but hey - it works! He's happy, healthy, and well rested. (And so am I!)

Getting your baby to sleep through the night probably won't happen in one day, so here are a few things to think about to keep you sane during those sleepless nights:

Listen to your instincts. Remember you know your baby best. Take all advice you get as what it is, "advice". Never let it replace your own personal judgment. You know your baby best and only YOU know what's really right for him. If it feels right to rock your baby to sleep, then do it. If it feels right to bring your baby into bed with you then do it.

Stop the guilt. Don't take it personally. A lot of us suddenly feel instant guilt when our baby cries. Are we doing the right thing? Does she need feeding? Is his diaper wet?And on and on…

Comfort them. Remember your baby could be crying for a number of reasons and some are out of your control. Did you know that babies are born with the crying reflex but not the laughing reflex? Well they are… it's instinctive for babies to cry. We're going back to primitive times. Babies cry to have their needs met. Sometimes those needs are just to simply cry it out for a bit while feeling the warmth and comfort of their most loved person … you!

Become an expert. Go online or to the library and read a few books on baby sleep and sleep patterns. Arm yourself with all the knowledge that you can so that when others come your way offering advice you can politely say you know exactly what you're doing.

Whatever you decide, the main thing to remember is that sleepless nights are part of having a baby. Do what feels best for you and remember that this is a normal phase of your baby's development and will soon end. Those tiny little treasures will soon be running all over the house creating havoc. So enjoy each precious moment (even if its a sleepless one) as much as you can, because it sure doesn't last long.

Does Your Toddler Hate Bath Time?

Why is my toddler afraid of the tub?

Sometimes, for no apparent reason, your toddler may decide she hates having baths. Even if you don't know why she is afraid, it's best to keep her out of the tub for now. Forcing her to stay in the tub will only make the problem worse.
First of all, make sure your toddler doesn't have any cuts or rashes that could be irritated by the water. If there isn't anything obvious, there might have been an experience from last bathtime that was scary for her.

Did she slip in the tub? Did she get soap in their eyes? Did she swallow some water? Maybe there is no 'real' reason for her fears. Sometimes toddlers (and even adults) develop fears for no apparent reason.

How do I get my toddler to bath again?

There are a few things you can do to gradually ease your toddler back into the tub. This is a common phase, and one that usually does not last long.

Some parents start by giving their toddler a sponge bath each time. This can be done on a towel, in the sink, or beside the sink. Then after she is used to that, try sitting her in the sink with some water in it. If this is comfortable for her, you can gradually reintroduce her to the tub.

Try to make bath time really fun to distract her. Bring lots of colorful toys to the tub or sink, or try blowing bubbles. You might need two people at first, one to play and one to wash. By the time your toddler is done being washed, she may not have even noticed that she was in the water.

My daughter suddently became afraid of the tub a few weeks ago. The last bath I gave her, she was her usually cheery self. She played with her toys and splashed in the water.

The next time I put her in the tub, she cried hysterically and wouldn't calm down. She refused to even stand in the tub. I was forced to take her out without washing her.

Instead of putting her in the tub alone the next time, I sat in the tub with her. She was hesitant at first, but she didn't cry. She sat in my lap for awhile and played, then she worked up the courage to sit on her own while she splashed in the water. Now, bath time is just like it used to be. (Check out what I've discovered that makes bath time even more fun!)

Accept the fear

Don't ignore your toddler's fears. If they are genuinely afraid of bath time, don't increase their fears by forcing them to bath anyway. You will only instill the fear, and you will jeopardize the trust they have in you.

When Should Your Baby Start Drinking Juice?

Many moms like to think that as soon as their baby
turns 6 months of age, they should start giving
them juice. But this couldn't be further from the
truth. In fact, juice is not necessary for an infant.

Here's why:
  • Because of the sugars in juice, it can cause diarrhea.
  • Too much juice can cause a child to be overweight or obese.
  • Juice contains sugars and acids that can cause tooth decay.
  • Giving your baby too much juice can hinder growth and development, and can cause malnutrition and anemia due to lack of nutrients like proteins and complex carbohydrates.
  • If you are still breastfeeding, juice can cause your baby to nurse less.

Although juice contains Vitamin C and other nutrients, you don't want to give them too much. It should never be considered a supplement. If you must give your baby juice, consider these guidelines.
  • Choose juices that are 100% juice and not fruit medleys or cocktails. Check the nutritional labels to make sure.
  • Wait until your baby is at least 6 months old. But even then, babies at this age still do not require it.
  • Dilute juice by at least half and half with water. Most grocery stores have a baby aisle with juice specially diluted for babies. These juices also contain more Vitamin C than regular juices, but are also more expensive.
  • Never give your baby juice from a bottle. And never give them juice from a cup to suck on all day. This can cause tooth decay.
  • Don't give your baby juice at bedtime.
  • Babies shouldn't have more than 150ml (one half cup) of juice a day.
  • Instead of giving fruits in liquid form, try giving them real fruit!
  • If your baby is thirsty, give them water instead. If your baby doesn't like water, try flavoring the water with a little bit of juice.
  • If you start feeding your baby water from the beginning, they won't naturally prefer juice instead of water.

How To Wean Baby Off The Bottle

"Here's how I successfully and easily weaned my babies from the bottle. It was quick and painless!"

Weaning baby from the bottle can be difficult for both you and your child. By following these tips, the transition of weaning your baby from bottle to cup should be a lot easier on you both.

Why and when should you wean your baby off the bottle:

Your child should be sitting on their own, eating from a spoon and showing interest in solid food when they are ready to be weaned. Meals and snack times should be consistent to help your baby get into a feeding routine.

The longer your baby is fed from a bottle, the more likely they are to develop tooth decay and improper
dental development.

By not weaning your child, the solid foods they should be eating during the day are replaced with milk. While milk does provide some nourishment, it does not provide enough for a growing baby or toddler.

Parents are finding that the Thinkbaby 9oz Trainer Cup with Handles are the best sippy cups for picky babies who refuse to drink out of any other sippy cup.

Most importantly is that these sippy cups are BPA free!
Things you should know before weaning your baby from a bottle:

When you decide to wean your baby, make sure there is nothing else going on at the time - like renovations, a new baby, moving, etc. This can cause distractions and make the weaning process longer and a lot more difficult.

Never let your baby use the bottle as a toy or pacifier. If your child only associates the bottle with eating and not as a toy or form of comfort, they will be less concerned with the transition. This should be implemented from the first time they drink from a bottle.

When feeding from the bottle, always hold it yourself. I never let my daughter hold the bottle, and weaning was a snap. I learned this trick from my mother who did the same thing with myself and my brother. We were also weaned quickly and easily.

Your baby may need some extra comfort and attention during this period, so be prepared to give them the extra attention they need to help them overcome the transition phase. You may want to introduct a blankie or stuffed animal for them to comfort themselves.

When you and your baby are ready to wean from a bottle to a cup:

Introduce a sippy cup at around 6 months of age. Your baby will probably use it as a toy for awhile which is fine. Every few days, re-introduce the cup and by 8 - 10 months, they should be able to drink out of it fairly well.

As soon as you start the weaning process, stay consistent. It is extremely important that you stick to your plan or the process will just continue to drag on.

Once your child is familiar with a cup (around 8 - 10 months), use it for one feeding each day for a week. The next week, replace another bottle with a cup. Do this each week until your baby is completely weaned from the bottle. Remember to stay consistent.

Feeding your baby from a cup can take a lot longer than a bottle, so you must be very patient. As long as you keep cool and persevere, it will pay off in the end.

Things you shouldn't do while weaning your baby off the bottle:

Never feed your baby juice from a bottle. Juice should also not be fed by cup while weaning, or your child will expect it instead of milk. Feeding them juice will only prolong the weaning process.

Don't switch back from cup to a bottle if you are getting frustrated. This will only confuse your baby and make the weaning process even longer.

Feb 21, 2009

Is Your Baby Ready for Solid Foods? Learn About Baby's Signs of Readiness for Solid Foods

How Will You Know When Your Baby is Ready to Eat Solid Foods?

How do you know if your baby is ready for solid foods? Your baby may be 3 months old or 4 months old when you start to feel she may need "something more" than formula or breastmilk. Maybe she is beginning to awaken more often at night or eat more often than "usual" and you wonder if introducing solid foods may be what she needs.

A Growth Spurt May be Confused with a Readiness for Solid Foods

Please keep in mind that a growth spurt will occur between 3-4 months of age. Your baby may begin to wake more frequently at night for a feeding and/or may begin to eat non-stop (cluster feed) as she once did as a newborn. This growth spurt often accounts for the increased hunger in your baby and it should not be taken as a sign that your baby needs solid foods added to her diet!

Try offering your baby more frequent nursing sessions and/or bottle feedings instead of solids; you will find that within a week or two, your baby is oftentimes over the growth spurt and back to feeding "as usual".

Here are a few "signs" that may indicate your baby is ready for Solid Foods:

Loss of tongue-thrust reflex - This allows baby to drink and swallow liquids with ease; with the tongue-thrust reflex still present, baby may simply drink in liquidy purees or push the food back out. According to Dr. JimSears, in the first four months the tongue thrust reflex protects the infant against choking. When any unusual substance is placed on the tongue, it automatically protrudes outward rather than back. Between four and six months this reflex gradually diminishes, giving the glob of cereal a fighting chance of making it from the tongue to the tummy

ready for solids Ability to let you know she is full from a "meal" with signs such as turning away from the bottle or breast. This is important so that baby is able to self-regulate the amount of food being eaten. This helps stop baby from accidentally overeating as parents may continue to feed baby thinking that she is still hungry.

ready for solids Ability to sit up and hold head up unassisted

ready for solids Interest in your food (we tend to disagree with this one as when a baby reaches the age of 4-6 months, he is interested in putting everything in his mouth!)

ready for solids Doubling of birth weight

ready for solids Frequently waking in the middle of the night when a solid sleeping pattern had been established. This may not be the best indicator that your baby is ready for solids! Please keep in mind that a growth spurt will occur between 3-4 months of age, 6-7 months of age and also 9-10 months of age. Baby may also be waking due to an illness or teething.

I know Many Baby's Who Started Solids "Early" - Why Shouldn't My Baby?

Many parents say that their own pediatricians or their friends' pediatricians have said that it's fine to start solids (typically cereal) at 4 months of age. It is still common for pediatricians to just say "start solid foods when your baby is 4 months old" because this has been the norm for many years. You will find that the vast majority of pediatricians are not experts in pediatric nutrition and many are not aware of their own governing body's guidelines!

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) acknowledges that there are no "strict" age guidelines on introducing solid foods to your baby. However, the AAP, along with the CDC and the WHO do recommend that you offer nothing but breast milk and/or formula until you baby is at least 6 months old.

This ensures optimal nutritional exposure and may stave off food allergies amongst other issues. Further studies have shown that an infant's gastrointestinal tract has not or may not have matured enough to properly digest/utilize solid foods until around 6-8 months old! (See page end for reference links)

Studies show that babies are highly individual in developing a readiness for solid foods. One baby might seem to be ready for solids at 4 months, while another shows no signs of readiness until around 6 or 7 months. Just because your friend's baby may have began eating solid foods at 4 months of age does not mean that your baby should. Don't be pushed into starting solids and don't feel like you are a "bad Mommy" if you feel your baby is ready prior to 6 months of age!

**Please keep in mind that "outward" signs of being ready for solids do not mean that your baby's inner digestive system is mature and ready! You should thoroughly discuss starting your baby on solid foods with your baby's pediatrician.

If your pediatrician insists that you start your 4 month old infant on solids, ask him or her to explain the benefits of starting solids early. You might be surprised to hear the answer is not based on nutritional science!

And remember, you never HAVE to begin introducing complementary foods simply because your pediatrician has suggested that you do so! Only when you have thoroughly discussed the pros and cons of introducing solid foods with your pediatrician will you be able to have a better grasp of just when you should begin offering baby solid foods.

Won't My Baby Sleep Through the Night If We Start Solids?

Some parents believe that if they start solids "early" then their infants will sleep through the night sooner. As your baby grows, his sleeping patterns as well as eating patterns change continually.

Around the time a few parents begin to offer solids early is just about the time that an infant may be sleeping for longer periods at a time. This is a natural progression as an infant ages and it oftentimes coincides with the addition of early solids. This coincidence perpetuates the dangerous myth that early offerings of solid foods will help an infant sleep "through the night".

To further this explanation, let us recall that between 6-8 months old, baby is often back to waking at night for a feeding. By this time baby should be eating solids and it appears that those solids are no longer helping baby sleep through the night. In reality, baby is hitting another growth spurt and may wake again during the night for more feedings regardless of eating solids! This really is "normal" and your baby may wake again during the night for more feedings regardless of eating solids!

The best advice when considering starting solid foods for your baby, "Watch the Baby - Not the Calendar!" This is true for both breastfed and formula fed infants. Follow your baby's hunger cues and you'll never go wrong!

My Parent's Insist That My Baby Needs "Real Food"

Some parents may be tempted to give in to relatives, grandmothers and sometimes even their own mothers, who say "Give that baby some real food, she's starving!" or "Nursing that baby isn't enough to, he needs some real food".

Remember that "real food" is breastmilk and/or formula and these contain all the important nutrients that an infant needs to develop properly! Breast milk in particular, and/or formula, will be enough to sustain your baby's nutritional needs for up to age 1 year old! In fact, introducing solids too early may displace the important nutrition your baby needs to receive from breast milk and/or formula!

more baby food links

Vegetable Baby Food Recipes for Making Homemade Baby Food Vegetable Purees.

Easy, Fresh & Nutritious Vegetable Puree Baby Food Recipes that your baby will Love!

Avocado for babies 4 to 6 months +
Avocado is actually a fruit - you will find this recipe double posted to our Fruit Recipes page
Vitamins: A, C, Niacin, Folate
Minerals: Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium

1 Ripe Avocado


1. Peel and take out the pit of a ripe avocado - do not cook
2. Cut “meat” out and mash with a fork
3. There should be no need to use a machine as just like bananas, avocados have a very soft consistency and texture. Avocados do not need to be cooked!

How to Select an Avocado
When selecting an Avocado, you want a dark green colour with bumpy texture. The fruit should be firm yet yielding when gently pushed. When an avocado is sliced in half, the flesh colour should be a green that gently transforms into a buttery yellow around the pit. Visit our Avocado Topic for More Information


Beans - Green for babies 4 to 6 months +
(this method may be used for Peas as well)*
Vitamins: A, C, K, Niacin, Folate
Minerals: Potassium, Sodium, Phosphorus, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium


1 pound fresh or 16 ounces of frozen green beans


1. If using Fresh Beans, snap the ends off the beans and wash the beans. If using Fresh Peas, open the pods and scrape out the peas from the pod. If using frozen of either Peas or Green Beans, cook according to package directions.
2. Place fresh beans into a steamer basket in a pan with a just enough water to slightly show through in the basket.
3. Steam until very tender; be sure to check on the water level.
4. Reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the beans.
5. Place into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing. It is best to use the setting that makes the finest liquid purees - green bean and pea skins are rather difficult to completely puree.
***Using a blender rather than a food processor or stick mixer might be better as well. ***

6. Add the reserved water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency
7. You may wish to push the green beans (or peas) through a sieve or mesh strainer to get rid of any remaining skins.


Squash (winter like acorn, butternut or hubbard) for babies 4 to 6 months +
(nutrient info for squash of all types may be found at our "Squash for Baby Food Recipes" page)


1 or 2 medium to large sized winter squash (or as many as will fit in your oven!)


1. Cut acorn, hubbard, or butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds
2. Place an inch of water in a baking pan, then place squash halves "face" down
in the pan. Check on water level while baking
3. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes or until the “shell/skin” puckers and halves feel soft then scoop squash “meat” out of the shell
4. Place squash "meat" into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.
5. Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.
6. You can also peel the squash, scoop out the seeds and then cut into chunks and boil/steam until tender (like when boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes) then follow steps 4 and 5

How to Keep Love Alive During Pregnancy

It's never easy to understand women when it comes to sex and they often experience changes in their sexual drives when they're pregnant: some pregnant wives claim to feel sexier than ever while others feel nauseated just thinking about the act. That said, you should know what to do with the desire when it arrives.

Sex opens up many pathways of communication between couples. And don't forget: women love to be reassured and seduced, especially when they are feeling bloated and uneasy about their bodies. It's the fact that you love her in spite of the facts of her appearance which is truly touching for a woman.

Here are a few strategies to make your pregnant wife fall in love with you again:

* Dinner with flowers: Nothing says you love your woman more than an average pizza and apple pie served by a waiter. If you can order out from your pregnant wife's favorite restaurant, that will be bliss itself. Consider this a major part of the foreplay. On the other hand, if eating out is a constant thing for you, actually making her dinner yourself may be the required angle here. Romance is done around the dinner table, so figure out what will be the big mood changer for your pregnant wife.

* Spice it up: In case you're wondering, here's what you do with the flowers. The idea is to lay out your bedroom with petals and flowers, put on some Marvin Gaye, and do a little dance-who knows? Your pregnant wife might appreciate the comical element.

* The main course: Presuming that you have already allayed her fears about sex, you may now proceed with the main course. Lay your pregnant wife on her back gently and caress her with the tip of your fingers. A massage is not a bad idea provided it doesn't put her to sleep.

* The right stuff: Use a love-making position that is comfortable, one that doesn't put pressure on her abdomen. Be gentle and loving.

* Plan B: If your pregnant wife is uncomfortable with regular intercourse (because of fears for the baby or other discomfort), you might hint at oral sex (for her, not you, dummy. You just have to hope an even trade might be part of the bargain.)

Things to avoid

* Don't get hasty. Work up to things slowly. Don't be inconsistent with your responses to her body. This will be a sure turn off for your wife, pregnant or not.

* Don't try too hard. If she's been suffering from cramps and aches, it's best to just give her a massage and tuck her into bed. Believe us when we say you will get no points for being whiny with a pregnant wife about your rotten sex life.

* Don't force her to do anything she doesn't want to do. It's always your pregnant wife's prerogative to say "no."

* Avoid the missionary position when you make love since this can put too much pressure on your pregnant wife's stomach.

Valentine's Day celebrates romance. It is only natural that you celebrate the occasion by giving your spouse a Romantic Valentine's Day gift.

Paul Banas is a founder of GreatDad.com. As a dad, you want to make sure you do everything to make Valentines Day a memorable day to your kids and family.

Feb 19, 2009

Feb 18, 2009

A Crib Rail Cover Is A Safe Way To Protect Your Teething Baby

Have you brought a crib recently? If this is true, you may want to purchase a Crib Rail Cover. Having a Crib Rail Cover will help your teething baby in the crib. Crib Rails are commonly made of a solid material. A Crib Rail Cover has been made to lay over this hard wood like substance and to cushion it. Crib Rails are ordnarily sealed with a varnish or some other form of paint. This has the potential to harm your baby. Once your young tot commences to teethe he or she might try to chew on the sides of the Crib Rail. The Crib Rail Cover is created to safely cushion and guard your teething tot from the harmful effects that stem from chewing upon the Teething Rail.

A Crib Rail Cover is a item that you may want to purchase in case the need arises. Teething children enjoy biting on things. The Crib Rail Cover provides the perfect testing ground for new babies to practice using their new teeth. Sometimes teething tots will stand upright in the crib and bite on the sides of the Teething Rail and this is not safe. Often times the infant can incidentally chip their teeth on the sides of the Teething Rail. The Crib Rail Cover will help stop these accidents from happening. The Crib Rail Cover was made to help safely protect your teething infant from chipped wood and harmful paint.

Teething is a very special time for tots. All children react and respond differently to the teething process, but teething is a passtime that all teething tots like doing. The Crib Rail furnishes teething babies with the perfect chewing opportunity. The Crib Rail Cover will assist you and your teething tot during this period of time. It is essential that you make sure that you purchase the right kind of Crib Rail Cover. When you decide to purchase a Crib Rail Cover it is very important that you make certain that it is made of a soft safe fabric. You will notice that some Crib Rail Covers are made of a flexible plastic. This should wrap over the wooden part of the crib rail, but it may be too hard and it could still harm your tot's brand new chompers.

This short Crib Rail Cover Article was written and conceived by John Hall. John is a prolific writer and site designer. You can contact john for more information about purchasing a Crib Rail Cover.

Baby's First Year - What to Expect

As a new Mom, you are probably wondering about many things: how will he react to his new surroundings? when will she sleep for more than 2 hours? what can I expect in the following year? an so many other questions.....

Each baby is different. Your baby's rate of growth, appearance, and personality, will all be unique to him or her. As you embark on this journey with your new baby, take time to enjoy their presence in your life.

Here are some of the milestones to watch for in the first year of your baby's development:

Newborn stage

You have just brought your baby home from the hospital to his or her newly decorated nursery, and we are sure you are very excited. In these early days, your baby may have a pointy head from the delivery process, or jaundice – yellow eyes and skin tone. These things are perfectly normal, and should go away in a few days. It is important to cuddle and love your child as much as possible now, as this is when mother/child bonding begins. Breast-feeding is very important to your child's health both now and in later years. Newborn babies often sleep 10-12 hours per day, but will wake every 4 hours or so for feeding.

From 1 – 3 Months

Babies will begin moving more, discovering their hands, and making little sounds. They will smile now, and follow the sound of your voice as you move through their room. Babies love seeing their faces in a mirror now, and the addition of a brightly colored, baby-safe mobile in their cribs will provide them with great entertainment and stimulation. Babies can now lift their heads, move them from side-to-side, and focus on objects that are 8-12 away.

From 3-6 months

This is one of the most exciting times in your baby's growth; many changes appear in this period. At the end of the third month, your baby will be opening and closing his little hands, holding his head up with control, reaching more and more for objects, and imitating sounds. In the fourth month, he can usually sit up with some help and is probably sleeping six hours at a stretch. It will become clearer that he or she recognizes familiar faces, and will coo and show how happy he is to see you when you enter the nursery! In the fifth and sixth months, your baby will be rolling over, making two syllable sounds and drinking from a cup. You will also be introducing solid baby foods at this time. Now is the time to baby proof the house, as your baby may be crawling during this period as well.

From 6-9 months

During this high growth period, many babies say their first words. Even if they don't yet start talking, most begin enthusiastically babbling to themselves and develop a much wider range of facial expressions at this age. He or she will have developed specific cries for specific needs now, and will react differently to different family members. Babies in the seventh and eighth months will start to feed themselves basic finger foods, and will enjoy throwing food or dropping it on the floor to see what happens! A cuddly blanket or bear may become a favorite item now, and your baby may be stressed when separated from it. Baby will now sit unsupported too.

From 9-10 months

During this month, baby will reach for toys, try to grab the spoon during feedings, and in general, become quite a bit more active. He or she will be waving goodbye to the delight of the grandparents, will be able to pick up things using opposable thumbs, and will also start to look for things that have been dropped, like favorite toys. She will also be able to move from crawling to a sitting position, and will be quite mobile!

From 11-12 months

Baby is much more curious now, and responds well to new sounds, colors and shapes. Story time is much appreciated, and he or she will enjoy cuddling on your lab while being read to. Babies now understand and can mimic simple gestures, and can say simple words. Before turning one,your baby should enjoy stacking objects, and filling and emptying containers. Short play sessions with other children are a good idea now, and can teach baby a great deal about sharing and other social skills.

Babies are a wonderful reminder of how precious life is!

Enjoy your child's first year of life – it will go by quickly.

Adriana Copaceanu is a busy mom of 2. Visit her Busy Moms Online if you are looking for ways to maximize your precious time. And if you are a new mom, you'll find everything you need to know at her Baby's First Year website.

Simple Step By Step Procedure To Changing A Baby's Diaper

Change your baby's diaper in a safe, sturdy place. In fact, I you should create a permanent diaper-changing area equipped with everything you need close at hand. Diaper changing tables are generally ok, but a lot of them wobble, and you don't have access to a sink. If you don't want to pay the money to buy a changing table, use your bathroom counter (if it's long enough). Set up the bathroom counter by removing all your makeup, cologne, or whatever may be in the way, and put it somewhere else. You don't want anything close at hand that your little one can grab and pop into an eager mouth.

Put a clean towel down as a cushion, and set aside one of the drawers that's close at hand for all your diaper-changing paraphernalia: diapers, butt-wipes, ointment, and so on. Be sure to include gadgets and toys to keep your baby's mind off the actual diaper-changing process. Mobiles are great to hang over your changing station.

This bathroom sink setup is a great alternative to changing tables. You have at least one wall to keep things secure so that baby doesn't fall off, and you have a sink in which to wash diaper bottoms that are truly messy from those explosive diapers - when those tiny little baby wipes just won't do the job.

If you want to be really careful, you can buy straps and side bars to turn your bathroom counter into a changing table. Also, consider your child on a changing table just like you do the ocean or a class of kindergartners: Never turn your back on them. Always leave one hand on a child who's on the changing table.

Changing a diaper is not like brain surgery, but there are some similarities. Both are delicate procedures in dealing with sensitive body parts - just at opposite ends of the body. Both can be very messy, both take special tools and equipment, and it would be nice if you used a mask for both - although when it comes to diaper changing, we seldom take the time to put one on. The only difference is that brain surgeons get paid a lot of money and parents don't. And once an operation is finished, the brain surgeon doesn't have to go back and do it over and over and over again.

1. Open and unfold the new diaper. Lay the baby wearing his used diaper on top of a new diaper.

2. Unfasten the used diaper: If it's a boy baby, open just a little bit at first because air tends to make a baby want to go right then and there.

3. Gather the baby's feet and lift. Remove the dirty diaper, wad it up, and dispose of it.

4. Gently Clean your baby.

5. Gently lower your baby onto the new diaper.

6. Fasten the diaper securely on the baby while saying something cute to make him feel all warm and fuzzy.