Thursday, July 22, 2010

Feeding Tip

If you breast feed...To get your baby to sleep a bit longer, top them off with a bottle after they have fallen asleep from breast feeding. You can use pumped milk or formula. Sometimes you can get the baby to take an extra ounce or two and that could help the baby push from 4 hours to 6 hours of sleep. Only do this at the bedtime feed!

Some people suggest doing a feed just before you go to bed. It is often called, "A Dream Feed." This works well the first few weeks, however if you do this after the first few weeks the baby begins to use it as a regular feed and depends on it to eat instead of pushing them to last longer. Also, as the baby gets bigger if you wake it up, it may try to stay awake.

I tried very hard to only breast feed and use no formula. It was a task I put onto myself, and made myself feel guilty for even thinking about formula before 6 mons. That was very silly! With my son, it didn't matter what I fed him-he ate. So switching from breast milk to formula was fine. For my daughter, it was so traumatic-she went on a hunger strike for a whole day. After this experience with my daughter, if I were to have another baby and did not want to use formula for a whole feed; I would try to do the topping of at night with formula. This way the baby would be used to the taste.

Every baby is so different, you need to find what works for you.

Newborn, Day & Night Confusion

Many newborns mix up day and night sleep. You can avoid this for the most part but not always altogether. Here are some simple tips: Wake babies (very new ones) in the day to eat.
Never wake them at night!!!!
Do try and play with them, talk to them and be noisy around them in the day.
Have the baby nap during the day in a place other then the night time bed until day and night is 100% established.
Do wake the baby to go out and live life during the day.

Establish a night routine with your baby as soon as possible. A good pattern is to bath baby, dress baby for night with low lights, feed baby in bedroom (maybe sing to baby), burp baby and put in crib asleep or even if baby is still awake! It is never too early for them to learn to put themselves to sleep.
Infants between the age of 0-4 mons generally look to go to bed between 8-10 pm, infants 4 mons and older look to go to bed between 6-8pm, this is their body clock! If you want a nice life don't mess with it until they are older, just so they are awake when your husband gets home from work!
When an infant wakes at night, smell them ( if they did not poop -don't change them!).
DO NOT TALK TO THEM!!!!!!! Try to not even make eye contact.
Do not put the TV on!
Do not take them out of the room that they are to be sleeping in!
Turn on as little light as possible. A nightlight is best!
Feed the baby, burp the baby and put them back in their bed.
If they cry, pick them up and smell them, burp them and put the baby back in bed.
Do not play with the baby!

If the days and nights are badly mixed this could take up to 2 weeks to fix. Otherwise a few days should do the trick.

Always use your mothers intuition! You know your baby best.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


My family just survived our first full blown family illness. This was not fun and very difficult. We all took our turn having a virus. This made me think about the fact that there are a bunch of things that I did not know the first time my son was sick.
FIRST and foremost go out and buy a container of clear pedialyte!!!!!!!!! You always end up needing it in the middle of the night. While your at it make sure you have a good thermometer, Tylenol (or store brand), Motrin (or store brand-if your baby is 6mons or older), a cool mist humidifier, saline nose drops, nasal aspirator and vicks vapor rib

If your baby has a fever-105 or more call your doctor ASAP
Give the baby a dose of tylenol or mortin. Give the baby a warm bath and gradually add cool water. This will help the fever to come down gradually. A cold bath could shock the baby. If the fever does not come down with the 1st dose of meds, you can give both tylenol and motrin but 2 hours apart. My son needed this. His fevers were always so high they needed every trick in the book to come down.

If they throw up-1 time just watch the babies behavior. If they do this 2 times, wait 30 minutes and you can give the baby 1-2 ounces of pedialyte, continue this for several hours so that the baby stays hydrated. After several hours you can most likely give the baby a bigger bottle of pedialyte. Wait 12 hours before giving the baby a milk product again. Do not give the baby food! Although my daughter did enjoy chewing on a teething biscuit at meal times.

If they have diareah-do not give the baby a milk/formula bottle, switch to pedialyte. You can give the baby simple food. Many people say feed them the BRAT diet. B-bananas, R-rice, A-applesauce, T-toast This helps to bind the baby.

If the baby cannot keep anything in for 4-6 hours, you need to call your doctor. The most important thing is that the baby not get dehydrated. You want to avoid a trip to the emergency room!

If the baby is coughing-there is no cough meds to give kids anymore. You can steam them in the bathroom. You turn the shower on hot, put a towel under the door and stay in the bathroom until the water starts dripping down from the ceiling like rain. Usually about 20 minutes! This will moisten the lungs and helps the baby breath and not cough as much. IT SUCKS! YOU GET SOAKED AND YOU ARE COLD WHEN YOU COME OUT OF THE BATHROOM! Make sure the baby is stripped into their diaper before you do this and wrap them in a towel before you come out so that they stay warm. It really works if you do it correctly. Also, make sure that you use a cool mist humidifier and vicks vapor rub is good too when you put them to sleep.

If their nose if congested-lay the baby down on its back, squirt the saline into their nose. Wait about a minute or 2 and you can use the nasal aspirator. Usually you will get a little bit out this way. If you can see stuff in their nose and you cannot get it with the aspirator, you can gently use a Q-tip around the outer edge. That usually gets it out.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Weight After Baby

Many people say it takes nine months to gain it and it takes nine months to loose it! It took me a year to loose it all with my son. It sucked! I did everything and then some to get all the weight off.

When I was pregnant with my daughter I ate better, gained less but 6 months postpartum, I still have 12lbs to go.

I breast fed both of my children for 6 months and people always say when you breast feed the weight melts off.

I am living proof and so are about 10 other moms that I have recently spoken to, the last 10-15lbs do not come off (typically) until after you are done breast feeding. We are pretty sure it is hormones. It is also very hard to cut calories to what you really need to, to get that last bit off.

Breast feed your babies as long as you wish, but just understand that you cannot expect to reclaim your former weight and your former body, until you are done 100%. I have tried it and failed. Be proud to breast feed your children if you choose to and it works for you and baby. Do not knock those that don't! And, don't be hard on yourself to look perfect too quickly. When your all done feeding your baby, you can focus on the rest. You are doing a selfless act!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Waking at Night After 4 Months

You can sleep train your baby at about 4 months of age. Typically when your baby is double their birth weight or some variation. Some people say they need to weigh 12lbs, others say 14lbs. No matter what you read, check with your doctor first. Often this topic comes up at about 4 months.

These are 2 methods and books that I have used. There is no magic answer and all babies are different. They will wake again if something is bothering them! You should be in tune with your baby and their needs. Don't just ignore them and let them cry all the time after they have been sleep trained. Set your own standards and always give into your mother's intuition!

For my son the Ferber method worked really well. I could not imagine that this method would not work for everyone because it came so easy for him. Many people refer to this method as the, "Cry it out!" method. It is and it isn't! This method is letting the baby cry with a plan. You have to be strong and it works really well. My son is 3 and a half, he still sleeps 11 hours a night and naps 2 hours a day.

When I had my daughter, Ferber did not work at all! I used the Weissbluth method. And some Ferber ideas. Weissbluth has a lot to say about post colic children. When I read the chapters on colic, it was as if the chapters were written about my child-specifically.

I suggest that you read both books and take what you can handle to sleep train your baby. You will find it hard at first but be so grateful in the end. My children sleep 10-12 hours a night. They nap every day too! They are always well rested and happy! (Not always perfectly behaved!) My husband calls me the sleep notzie! But a well rested baby makes a happy (well rested) mom.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
by: Marc Weissbluth, M.D.

Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems
by: Richard Ferber, M.D.

Toddler Behavior

I was a teacher for young children, I did my undergraduate thesis on behavior and transitions, my masters is in children psychology, I could not control my son at 15 months. One day I found him standing on the dining room table swatting at the crystal chandelier.

What is a mom to do???
I reached out at this point to all of my new mom friends and learned a few tips. But the best advice I received was to bye and read the book 1,2,3 Magic by Thomas W. Phelan. I have used this book in its form or my own modified form for the last 2 and a half years.

At first my son would not sit for the time outs. So I sat with him on my lap and crossed my arms over his for 1 minute. Eventually he sat for his timeouts. Now he sits in a rocker in his bedroom with an egg timer that he turns off when it beeps.

This has saved my sanity!

Constipation for Babies

Both of my children have had issues with constipation as infants. My son's issues came as he switched from breast milk to formula and my daughter seems to have been born constipated.

My son's issues seemed to be of the more typical kind, he just wasn't going. We tried prune juice and that seemed to work most of the time. The rare occasion that the prune juice did not work we would try a glycerin suppository.

My daughter's issues have been entirely different on the other hand. My daughter was solely breastfed and became constipated. She would go to the bathroom fine for the first half of the day, then she seemed to not go the second half of the day. She would have smelly gas and act like she was trying to push and nothing was coming out. She would not eat, she cried a lot and then when she went it would be like an explosion. Most breastfed kids poop after each feed, especially when they are really small. (I am not sure of the amount for formula fed kids).

The first thing I did was adjust my diet. I tried to drink a lot more water and eat as healthy as possible.
Then we tried: A tea spoon of dark brown sugar and 2 ounces of warn water-that did not work for her.
Next we tried prune juice at 6 weeks of age, 1oz, one time a day. That worked for a short time. Then we added it two times a day, that seemed to work for a while and as she got bigger we increased the amount to 2 ounces twice a day.
On occasion I would still have to give her a suppository.
At 6 months I have had to put her in miralax, this seems to be working at the moment.

She seems to be doing well. I am hoping she grows out of this soon. I guess as far as issues a baby can have, this seems to be no big deal. However when you are living it, these issues are all consuming with a baby that cannot talk. It keeps them and you up at night!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Swaddle or Not to Swaddle

There is no set amount of time to swaddle your baby. Usually the baby lets your know when they are done being swaddled by breaking out of it during the night.
The best swaddle blanket, that holds the tightest and lasts the longest is the Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe. It is better then just using a blanket and stronger then the miracle blanket.

I found out the second time around the reason for swaddleing-they should tell you this before you leave the hospital...
Besides the obvious reasons, making the baby feel safe and warm, like it is still inside.
Swaddleing keeps the babies hands down and controlled. Babies do not have all their reflexes in check when they are born and move while sleeping. Babies tend to actually hit themselves in the face and wake themselves up. When swaddled, they sleep better and longer.
And, don't be afraid to swaddle tightly!

Baby Items, What Do You Really Need?

A good friend of mine was having a baby and she asked me what I loved and thought she really needed. I have pasted the list below because I took great care into really looking at all the items that I actually used and like.

Places to look at besides babies r us:

stroller: city mini by baby jogger (best ever for folding, comfort and everything) city select is also nice, I have that now because it can be a double too! (I have had 5 strollers!)
Changing table
rocking chair or glider
baby hangers
7 a m Enfant, is the best bundle me to go over the stroller because it is good from infant-toddler. All the other ones you have to buy in every size.

Car seat- I have the graco safe seat (infant car seat) and its fine, not too sure of the other ones out there. I also have the (toddler seat) britax marathon, I like that too!
To cover car seat in winter, the best thing ever is called the kiddopotamus posh pouch or cozy up.

You definitely want the Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe, at least 3 of these. You will use it every night when you put the baby to bed.

Swing- I really love the Fisher Price Cradle Swing

Bouncer Seat- Fisher Price infant to Toddler Rocker

Monitor- movement and sound, angel care monitor

If you only have space for one thing, I would get the fisher price jumperoo, over the exersaucer.

I love the prince lionheart wipes warmer.

I like the diaper dikor trash can

Highchair- I love the svenn or the stoke, they are easier to clean and can be used for much longer.

As for pack and play, greco is fine but I actually hate them. You really don't need it unless you want the bassinet part and the changer part. I really like the Phil and Teds traveller bed, very easy to travel with, very small fold up and not heavy at all!

I also like the phil and teds lobster chair to travel with (if you get a squishy placemat you can even put it on a dining room table)

I like born free bottles and sippy cups, and avent passifyers

I would not register for any receiving blankets. I have never used one, especially in the summer. I would actually not register for any blankets bc people will buy them for you anyway.
I bought myself and love the aden and anais muslin blankets and sleep sacs all year!

Best diaper bags are the ones that wipe clean. DanteBeatrix wipes clean, fleurville and so does burberry, there are others but not a lot.

I have the bjorn with back support, it is fine. But a lot of my friends are in love with the ergo baby carrier. They claim it is 100 times better.

I really like the Eurobath, it is good till toddler age.

You need to get sheet savers, 2
Crib mattress pad, 2
At least 4 crib sheets (in case your kids spits up a lot.)
Changing table pad covers, about 3
You need a mobile from about 4 weeks on they can see them. Fisher price and tiny love make good ones.
Fisher price makes great crib toys, the baby can use it from sitting up-any age.
A gym play mat
sleep gowns are great for infant sleeping
packs of onesies
packs of socks--trumpet are so cute
a cool mist humidifier
ear and butt thermometer
diaper cream, I like A&D with and without zinc
nasal aspirator
nail clippers and baby file
medicine dropper and syringe
breast feeding cover
brush and comb
lotion-I love california baby items
baby soap
gripe water
infant tylenal
saline nose drops
medela-pump in style, advanced double electric breast pump
hands free pump bra (at 1800 diapers or online)
lansinoh cream
avent breast pads
breast milk storage bags
crib wedge
sleep sac, you use this instead of a blanket

I didn't use Dreft, I used tide all the time but I do love the smell of method squeeky green baby detergent, now I use that.
I never used a bottle brush. I put everything in the dishwasher.
I really like pampers because the stretch. But huggies overnight diapers when they fit into a size 3.
Huggies wipes, I like the smell and texture

Toddler Potty

I found the best toilet seat ever. I had tried so many for my son and we got pee everywhere. The seats would fall apart after some time, never clean correctly and guests would break them by not noticing that they were there.
The last straw was my 3 year old son, closing the toilet lid and pressing down so hard that the real seat broke off because it does not close over the potty seat.
The seat is called the family seat, from one step ahead. It is awesome! The little seat folds into the big seat. It fits properly on the toilet, so no more pee on the floor!!!!!!!

Your Baby At Week 3, Reflux & Colic

No one had ever told me that your baby seems to wake up at week 3. My son must have been the perfect baby and I did not know it.

When my daughter was 3 weeks old she was out of control. At this point I was too tired to read any of the books on the market and needed information fast. I was sorry I did not take the time before the baby came out to read all the books in Barns and Knoble but who ever has all of that time. I skimmed what I could at this point.
From process of elimination over many weeks we found out that she had both reflux and colic. Lucky Me!!! My pediatrician told me that these two things can begin as early as week three in a babies life.
This is what I learned:

-They have many of the same symptoms

-Reflux happens often and does not mean that your child is spitting up.
They can even just arch their back and make their body stiff and straight.
It does seem to bother them most at night but does affect the baby all day as well.
The baby often keeps trying to eat, they think this makes them feel better.
Also, all babies spit up! A reflux spit up smells like throw up. The baby is usually not a happy spitter.
Sleeping in a swing helps or just upright!
*If you have to put your child on meds for reflux, they are such a big help. If you do prevacid, get the solutabs. They work the best! Give them to the baby when he/she is flat on their back in a syringe. Shake the syringe and squirt a little, shake again and repeat. That is the best way to give the meds and they really do work 100% better then the liquid, the liquid separates and becomes not as effective.

-Colic happens at the same time every day!
Usually in the evening.
Almost nothing that you do will make it better.
You may will feel like you want to throw the baby out the window (this is normal BUT DO NOT DO THAT), so get help from everyone who offers and ask those that don't realize they need to offer.
Your partner should be involved 150%.
If you can afford a baby nurse, that is a big help.
Accept help from all family members and friends that offer.
You will try gripe water, mylicon, getting gas out, feeding, shushing....etc...
Nothing really helps 100% All methods help a little.
*If anyone out there really has a colic baby, let me know. I will give you a bullet point list of ideas to go through each night.