Tag Archives: babies

Breastfeeding: Little Known Facts!

a woman in shadows looking at her breastfeeding infactBreastfeeding lowers your risk of Breast Cancer. For women with an immediate relative who had breast cancer, those who breast fed had a 59 percent lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer.

It’s Slimming! Nursing causes the uterus to contract and return to its original size. You can feel a cramping sensation the first few times you breastfeed, and you’ll know it’s your uterus doing sit-ups! Breastfeeding also burns calories!

Breastfed baby poop doesn’t smell as stinky, seriously.

Think about the night feeds: On the one hand, getting up out of a warm bed, mixing a bottle while your baby bawls, waking the entire family. On the other, the roll-over-and-pop-in-a-boob method. With a little practice, you can feed baby in your sleep!

Many women don’t get their period for AGES when breastfeeding. Bonus!

Breastmilk has NEVER been recalled by its manufacturers because of Ammonia Contamination, Beetle Larvae Bits, Melamine or Perchlorate.

Studies indicate that formula-fed infants have a higher risk of SIDS.

Feed with ease when travelling. Planning a trip to foreign parts? With breastfeeding, you never have to worry about tainted water supplies, electricity cuts, and long waits at airports. And, it’s already packed!

by Nan Sheppard


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I Love Them. That Is All.

birthday candles in a small cakeAs I write this essay, my birthday has come to a close. My husband is playing a few minutes on a hand held videogame. My children are fast asleep. The cat is doing things that cats do late at night. The day was nothing extraordinary, which made it wonderful. It was probably the best day ever, because it was so simple and in that simplicity, so very perfect.

Tonight, I held my daughter’s hand as she drifted off to sleep. I could almost feel how quickly her childhood is passing by. She’s five years old already. I remember when she was born as though it were last week. My own mother probably feels the same about the 40 “something” years I’ve be around. Sitting there, beside my daughter’s bed, I made myself commit that moment to memory and tuck it away to remember on the day she turns 18 and moves off to college.

Long ago, when I would look forward to my future, I didn’t necessarily see children as a part of it. Thankfully, the universe knew me far better than I knew myself. I have been blessed and honored to share my life with two such wonderful human beings that I lack the words to even begin to describe how much they mean to me. They are not perfect (who is?), but they are my babies.

So, I come here to gush, but not about anything in particular. I gush just that they are. I love my son and I love my daughter; differently, equally. I am so very happy that the universe is so very wise.

Best. Birthday. Ever.


by Rocket Science Mom


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Praise The Lord And Pass The DVD Player

view from front seat of car looking at oncoming tunnelRecently, I found myself stuck in a small Toyota Matrix with a four-year-old, and eleven-month-old, a cat, and my husband for more than thirteen hours.

This, as you may guess, was fairly close to one of the levels of hell described by Dante.  Factor in that we traversed the whole of Ohio on a diagonal and had to get through Kentucky (I have a particular hatred for Kentucky after the first 13 hour car ride), and you probably wouldn’t be surprised if I produced a revised version of The Inferno, specifically with parents in mind.

It was a long trip, made longer by the heat, which prohibited us from stopping anywhere with the cat.

I may never get into a car again.

Luckily, we were marginally saved by the wonder that is the portable DVD player.

It’s so unassuming in it’s little plastic box.  It doesn’t have any of the promise that the long-ago car kits my mother packed for us on vacations had.  There’s no license plate bingo.  No sharp new crayons, destined to melt themselves into the backseat upholstery.  It isn’t even particularly shiny.

It is, quite simply, crack for babies.  And heaven for parents.

Back BC (Before Children), I looked at those people who drove down the roads with their car aglow with the flicker of the portable DVD player as practically the equivalent of  the parents who only fed their kids chicken nuggets.

I swore that when we had children, we would neeeever eeeever use the TV as a babysitter, even in the car.

We would take those road trips as an opportunity to get to know our children.  To play car games and forge long-lasting memories.  We would not allow them to sit, in a semi-catonic state, and miss the wonders of the scenery around us.

(To be honest, this was also before I experienced the drive through Kentucky.)

Thousands of miles, and probably a hundred hours of car travel AC (After Children), I still don’t think it’s the best idea to turn on the Yo-Gaba-Gaba when you’re running to the supermarket, but I’m officially a convert.

….but then again, who am I to judge.  My oldest practically lives on chicken nuggets.


by Lisa D.


Photo graciously provided by t-dot-s-dot, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved

Routine, Routine, How I Love Thee.

baby in footie pajamas sleeping on a red carpetWhen my daughter was a baby, she suffered from Acid Reflux Disease.  She would scream for roughly 7-9 hours each day.  It was maddening.  I was a disaster.  As a new mom that knew nothing, I couldn’t believe this was what I had signed up for.  I was purely in survival mode.  For sixteen-weeks she ate when she wanted, slept (or not slept) when (and where and how) she wanted and basically ruled our lives like the tiniest little dictator.

When I had to return to work after four-months, she started daycare at an amazing center with a curriculum in place even for infants.  As ridiculous as it sounds, the curriculum included things like baby sign language, tummy time, baby yoga and teaching Spanish along side English when they learned new words.  I continue to be impressed with this center and the expanding knowledge of my now not-even-two-year-old.

When she started there, they explained to me that they’d feed her every three hours and that in the beginning she could nap whenever, but they’d attempt to put her on a two nap a day schedule; one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  I told them that she prefers to sleep on her belly – and they shook their heads.  That was against policy.  She’d have to learn to sleep on her back, swaddled.

“HA!”  I thought, “GOOD LUCK!  That kid will NEVER sleep on her back and she DETESTS that swaddle with the firey hate of one thousand suns.”

I also told them that I have to rock her to sleep and that she’d only ever fall asleep in my arms.  Again I was met with pitiful glances and shaking heads.  I was assured she’d fall asleep and stay asleep on her own.  On her back.  In a swaddle.

(Right)

I left there freaking out about the disaster baby I’d be picking up later.  One that hadn’t napped all day.  As if my life as a working mother wasn’t already difficult enough, I was going to wind up picking up a monster at 6pm.

Within two weeks, my kid was a different kid.  I had started to emerge from the newborn haze.  We were really doing it!  She was eating every three hours.  She was falling asleep in the swaddle and staying asleep for good, 3-4 hours clips.  I was completely blown away.  That schedule was the best thing to ever happen to us.

Over the course of her short little life, she’s moved up a couple of classrooms and the schedule has changed.  At home we change right along with it.  I follow their lead.  They’ve led the move from crib to cot, from two naps to one, from snacks I sent to snacks they provide.

On the weekends or any days she does not attend the center, we keep her schedule exactly the same.  She eats at the same times; including snacks.  She naps at the same time.  Weather permitting, we play outside at the same times.  Our evening schedule is the same each night; dinner at 6, playtime from 6:30-7:30, bath at 7:45, in bed by 8:15.

The routine works.  She loves it.  We love it.  We’re all more sane because of it.  We do deviate from time to time and we make it through, but not without some kind of exhausted stress typically resulting in a meltdown.  Just tonight, we met friends for dinner and naturally, right around 8:15, my Toddler stands up in her chair, looks at me and says, “My wanna go home!  Go night-night!”

My response?

“Check please!”

I mean, really.  Who am I to argue?

Do your kids thrive on routine?  Are you a scheduled family or does a less rigid lifestyle fit you better?

by Pocklock


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Photo graciously provided by Nicolas Hoizey, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved

Traveling Easier – Baby Rentals

a baby in a crib in front of a hotel window overlooking another hotel towerSince my two boys have been born, we’ve done a lot of traveling.

The year that my older son (let’s call him Squeak) turned two, he saw both oceans and the gulf, all in the same year.  By the time he was three, he had his first frequent flyer reward.  If you consider that we didn’t buy him tickets for the first two years, that’s a lot of plane time for such a small guy.

So how did we do it and retain our sanity?

There was a lot of trial and error involved.  Not everything worked (hello, 7AM flight), and so we changed our tactics.  We still run into the occasional travel glitch, but for the most part, our family is a well-oiled traveling machine.  Squeak can now get through the airport lines better than some adults, and his little brother (we’ll call him Fuzz) is on his way to being a travel veteran as well.

I know a lot of people shake their heads in amazement when we tell them all the places we’ve schlepped our kids to.  Many of those people stare in horror, other look on in some sort of awe.

Really, the secret to retaining your sanity while traveling with kids is all in the planning.  By nature, I like to plan.  I like to research and figure out all my options and then line everything up neatly.  From here on out, I’ll be posting hints and tips, travel merchandise reviews, and even guides to some of the places we’ve taken our little guys.

One of my favorite hints is to look into baby rentals if you’re traveling a long distance for a long period of time, especially if you’re traveling by air.

Let’s face it, with airlines tacking on extra fees for baggage, it can get pretty expensive to pack the travel crib and all of junior’s gear.  Even if you fly one of the few carriers left that don’t charge you for your seat cushion, getting all of that stuff through the airport, through security, and to your final destination can be as difficult as handling an extra child.

This is where baby rental companies come in.

If you’re traveling to a large city or a tourist destination (like Disney World or the beach), there are companies that will rent you baby equipment on location.  Most of the companies will even come and set up the equipment in your hotel or condo before you arrive, so that a crib or highchair, even food and diapers, will be waiting for you.

Baby’s Away and Visiting Baby, Inc. are two of the larger baby rental companies across the U.S., but there are other smaller companies that can be equally as good.  For a more complete list of baby rental options by state, you can check out this site.

Most rental companies require a bit of time for a reservation, especially in the high season.  Some may ask for a deposit or for the payment in full before the equipment is delivered.

Before using a rental company, you’ll want to look over their website carefully for their policies and fees and ask the following questions:

  1. What equipment will they deliver?  Has it been checked against recall lists?
  2. What is the delivery charge?
  3. What is the process for delivery and pick up of the equipment?
  4. Is there a cleaning fee?

Be sure to look at package options that each company offers.  Many locations near the beach, for example, will offer packages that include beach toys and umbrellas at a cost far below renting equipment on the beach or buying expensive equipment from over-priced souvenir shops.  You may also want to compare the difference between rental options.  A travel crib may be a bit small for your toddler, but for not much more you can get your child a full-size crib.

So before you worry about how you’ll get everything through the airport or about how you’ll fit everything into your Prius, think about renting instead of lugging.  You’re going to have enough to worry about with the kids, leave the gear at home.


by Lisa D.


Photo graciously provided by dav, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved