Tag Archives: baby


Changing Tables, Diapers, and the World (Part 2 of 3)

As a new family, outings are going to be inevitable. I would imagine that outings are an opportunity to do something different for a change.  Of course, the initial outing one takes with a newborn is different just on its own. In my previous article, the normalcy of going to a retail store was novel in of itself.  My introduction to the lack of access to changing tables at a busy, national retail chain seemed surprising. Although the family restroom was closed, the lack of access in the men’s room was additionally difficult.  The following day proved to have even more interesting and new revelations about what it would mean to be an active father of a newborn.

Our second day going out with our brand new, fresh-from-the-package daughter was for a specific and celebratory event. A co-worker of my wife was celebrating their newborn at a baby naming. The trip to my wife’s work was already charged with anticipation. Namely, we were concerned about my wife, Continue reading

Breakfast With Baby

Changing Tables, Diapers, And The World (Part 1 of 3)

In raising children, being active parents, educators, and dealing with all the things that come with children, men seem to be missing. Yes, over the past twenty years or so, men have stepped up to the plate and men have contributed more to the raising of children then their parental predecessors. My father wouldn’t even change diapers (so I’m told), where as I seem to be elbow deep in the mess. However, it seems that it is still a mommy’s world when it comes to dealing with children; particularly babies. As a new father, I am perplexed by this observation. I am distressed by it, as I was under the impression that, as a community, Continue reading

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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Photo graciously provided by jeff.snodgrass, 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

Car Seat Safety

a toddler asleep in a very unsafe looking car seat from 1961I’m slightly obsessed with car seat safety.  It comes from the scars of my work as an EMT through college.  I volunteered in two rural towns, and though one of those towns was big enough to have almost 1500 Ambulance calls a year, that’s not even close to what paid EMS personnel in big cities witness daily.  However, I did see some pretty horrible stuff and some of these images are hard to shake.  Naturally, those memories have new meaning as a parent.

This morning I read an article about Britax (my personal favorite car seat manufacturer) releasing a new line that will redefine their brand.  The line is due out at the end of August and you can pre-order their new seats through most online retailers as early as today. I research car seats constantly — and not just via online reviews on the manufacturer or retailers websites —  I take my friend’s experiences into consideration.  I want to know two things: the safety ratings and ease of use.  Price point, while important, isn’t the first thing I look into.

I know how to install a car seat.  I watch the videos.  I read the manual.  I’m well aware of the how-to’s, but that little voice in my head always pipes up, “What if I did it wrong?  What if something I did could make a difference in a crash?”

I’ve had car seats in my car since long before I had my own kids.  The youngest of four siblings, I always had nieces and nephews to cart around.  I always made sure the car seats were installed by a certified technician and were seats with good ratings.  When I found out that to become a certified child safety seat technician it took logging roughly 40-hours of classroom time, I was completely shocked.  However, hearing that only validated my will to have the car seats professionally installed.

If you’re in the market for a new car seat, this site (which corresponds with this book has some pretty amazing reviews and ratings when it comes to car seats and other baby gear.  The book was a bible for me when researching the gear I wanted to purchase for our first child. I highly recommend it for anyone expecting their first or their second.  We’re expecting our second this fall and on my list of Baby Prep To Do’s lies a bullet dedicated to this book and checking to see if any of our only two-years-young baby gear has been recalled.

Every state (and country) has unique laws when it comes to children and car seats.  Here in Connecticut, children are required to be in some kind of restraint until they are 6-years old and at least 60 lbs.  Check on your states website for the latest information where you live.

If you already have and love your current car seat, here are some quick tips that can help to make sure your child is secured safely.

  • The seat should not move more than a half-inch in either direction when shaken at the base; in fact, the entire car should move when you shake the seat
  • The straps should be free of all twists
  • The chest buckle should be at nipple or armpit height
  • Straps should be tight enough that only one finger can slip between the strap and the child’s shoulder
  • Shoulder straps should be at or just below the shoulder for rear-facing infants and at or just above the shoulder for forward facing kids (remember, rear-facing for as long as possible is best!)
  • Avoid strapping your child into their seat while they’re wearing a winter coat or snowsuit.

The last bullet is tough.  I live in New England where it gets quite cold during the winter months and I hate that last bullet.  However, strapping a kid into a car seat in a big coat will change the points of restraint.  In a head-on crash the child can be forced forward further than they would without a jacket causing a whipping motion of the head and potentially causing a neck injury.  I keep a heavy blanket in the car and cover my daughter after she’s strapped in wearing only what she’d be wearing if we were inside.  Some people recommend putting the child’s arms back through the jacket arm holes after the child is secured so the jacket acts like a blanket.  The jacket-on, jacket-off, jacket-on routine is painful. But you just never know how much those extra minutes could be worth.

I recommend to all parents I meet that they look up a certified child seat safety technician in their town or city and make an appointment to have their seats installed or, if it’s already installed, have it checked.  The best place to start is the local police department and/or fire department.  Sometimes pre-schools or local businesses (like Walmart or Babies R Us) will have a bulletin board with community events that will list Safety Seat Checkpoints.  It takes just a few minutes to have your seat checked by a professional.  It might be the most valuable few minutes you ever spend.

by Pocklock

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Photo graciously provided by Geek2Nurse, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved