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Formula Shortages: Where To Buy
Formula shortages are causing undue stress on parents who are already stretched thin with caring for their baby. Here are some places you can turn to for buying formula. These brands have traditionally been available on Amazon. Given the formula shortages, as long as your baby does not require any special type of formula, and your baby does not have any allergies, it is usually okay to switch between brands of formula as well as the different types of formula. This means if you were previously using powder, but can only find ready to feed, it is okay to switch between the two. Remember that you should always follow the instructions on the package, because diluting formula with water or changing the proportions of it can be very dangerous and even lethal for your baby. Remember to always check with your doctor or baby's pediatrician for personalized medical advice for your child.1. Similac Infant Care 3602. Similac Alimentum with 2'-FL HMO Hypoallergenic Infant Formula 3. Similac 360 Total Care Sensitive Infant Formula 4. Enfamil Neuro Pro for Premature Baby5. Enfamil Neuro Pro 2 oz Ready To Feed - Great for middle of the night feeds Formula companies often drop off samples to both ob gyn offices and pediatrician offices. It is possible they may have samples for you to use. Many stores, such as Target, will list their local store inventory. You can buy this ahead of time online, and then head to the store to pick it up. This may save you the hassle of going store to store in search of what you are looking for. In Canada, parents generally start cow's milk on their children around 9 to 12 months. This is not a great option for children under 9 months because their gut is not mature enough to handle this. If they are over 9 months, discuss this option with your pediatrician. If you are giving your baby cow's milk, there is an increased concern for iron deficiency anemia, so be sure that your baby has enough iron in their diet. Femhealth's pediatricians have created an educational guide to help parents navigate the formula shortages. You can download it for free here.Sources:https://learn.femhealthproject.com/formulashortage
3 min read
How Often Newborn Bath Should Be Done
The early days of being a parent are very overwhelming. One of the questions many parents have is, "How often should I bathe my newborn baby?". In the early days of a baby's life, parents do not need to bathe their child very often - just a few times a week. In the beginning, you give them a sponge bath. You can sponge bathe your newborn 2 to 3 times a week. When the umbilical cord falls off, the newborn can have a bath in a baby tub. The umbilical cord typically falls off around the first 1 to 3 weeks of the baby's life. Check out one of our favorite newborn tubs here. We love it because it can go from the early newborn stage to many months later. Newborn tubs with grates must be used in the shower, so it's not a great option if you plan to bathe your baby on the countertop next to the sink. The first newborn bath for your baby is usually done in the hospital. Typically, it is not done until the baby is 1 or 2 days old. If you are having difficulty establishing breastfeeding, you may want to delay the newborn bath so that you do not have too much time away from your baby. Or, be sure to make a request to the nurse taking the baby for the bath that you would like the baby to come back for their feed. If you have a home birth, you can do the first sponge bath on day 2 or 3 of your baby's life.Until the baby's umbilical cord has fallen off, you should keep the area dry and clean. This means that your newborn will not be able to go into a baby tub for the first few weeks of life. The umbilical cord falls off around 1 to 3 weeks of life. In the beginning you will give your baby a sponge bath. Mix clean warm water in a bowl with a lather of baby soap. Then, use a clean soft towel to pat the baby's skin. Do not scrape against the newborn's skin with the towel. After you have cleaned the baby with the warm soapy water, use a damp cloth without soap to pat the skin again. Finally, gently pat a dry towel over your baby's skin to dry them off. Remember to apply baby lotion right away to lock in moisture to the baby's skin. It is important in the first two weeks of life to keep the umbilical cord area of the baby clean and dry. Good umbilical cord hygiene will prevent your baby from having an infection in the area of their belly button. When you give your baby a sponge bath, make sure you avoid the area of the belly button and the umbilical cord. When you are changing the baby's diaper, be sure to fold the diaper down so that the umbilical cord stump is outside the diaper. Once the umbilical cord falls off you can start to bathe your baby in a baby tub.Give your newborn baby a sponge bath two to three times a week for the first two weeks of life. After the umbilical cord falls off, you can bathe your newborn in a newborn tub. You can bathe your baby as often as you’d like, but it’s not necessary to do it daily.
3 min read
Signs Of Food Allergies In Babies
Your child ate something and is now neither looking nor feeling too good, but how can you tell if it’s a food allergy or simply a food intolerance? Because of the overlap of symptoms and lots of outdated and some misinformation out there, it is often hard to differentiate food allergies versus food intolerances. Food allergies and food intolerances differ at the physiological level. A true food allergy is the result of your body creating an immune response (using an “antibody”) to the food you are eating (the target of the antibody, or the “antigen”). This is similar to a vaccine targeting a particular bacteria or virus. The type of antibody made is called IgE, and it is specific for a particular type of food. When it binds to that food, it releases something called histamine which ultimately leads to the symptoms of an allergic reaction and sometimes, anaphylaxis (a more severe allergic reaction) (2). Some IgE-mediated food allergies are outgrown in early childhood, and some stay for life (2). IgE to particular foods is something a doctor can measure through a blood or skin test. Food intolerances are characterized by problems with your child’s digestion and/or digestive system (1). These are generally less severe and easier to treat, as many food intolerances can be treated by changing either the form of the food or what it is taken with to aid its digestion (1). For example, taking lactase pills before consuming lactose will likely allow an individual with lactose intolerance to consume lactose-containing items (1). Food intolerances are often referred to as “non-IgE mediated allergies”, although this term is misleading and confusing for parents. Unlike those with food allergies, individuals with food intolerance are not at risk for anaphylaxis (1).Some causes of food intolerance are unknown. Some food intolerances also may not last long, especially at a young age. There are some food intolerances that have an identifiable cause. These include: Symptoms of food allergies can range from mild to severe. Since they induce an immune reaction that affects various organs in the body, the symptoms can be diverse (1). Some signs of food allergies include (3):• Skin – Itching, flushing, hives (itchy, raised red bumps) • Eyes – Redness or swelling • Nose and mouth – Sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, swelling of the lips or tongue• Lungs or throat– Trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing• Digestive system – Vomiting, diarrhea or pain leading to fussiness • Other signs include - limpness, lethargy On the other hand, since food intolerance is more targeted to digestive system problems, symptoms are often (but not always) limited to vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain (1). Some babies will develop constipation or gas with certain foods or even a change in stool pattern. These symptoms are often not consistent with an allergic reaction and you should discuss with your doctor to help determine if they are indeed allergic in nature. In almost all cases, the answer is yes. Babies with food allergies and intolerances can continue to breastfeed. Generally, the mother does not need to remove the allergenic food from her diet prior to breastfeeding unless the baby is exhibiting immediate symptoms or if the baby is intolerant to cow’s milk protein (4). For babies that have cow’s milk protein intolerance, moms have to remove dairy from their diet, and in some cases soy, if they want to continue breastfeeding. Otherwise, they have to place the baby on a soy formula (if tolerated), a hydrolyzed formula that partially or fully breaks down the milk protein, or an elemental formula which does not contain any intact proteins. The good news is, most babies outgrow this intolerance by around one year of age! Currently, there are no official recommendations on other foods not to consume when breastfeeding when concerned about an allergy or intolerance, but research in that sector is constantly evolving (4). If you are concerned about your baby reacting adversely to your breast milk, it is best to consult with an allergist, who will help you determine the next best steps.The most challenging part about feeding babies with concerning symptoms is determining what they are allergic to. Allergy testing can be done in babies but are often not reliable and need to be interpreted by an expert (4). Therefore, unless a specific food is identified that you are concerned about, specialists do not recommend a panel of allergy labs “just to see” if your baby has an allergy. This can lead to unnecessary elimination of foods from a child’s diet and can lead to nutritional deficits. Therefore, it is always recommended you see your pediatrician or allergist to discuss any concerns you may have with your baby’s diet and they can help you take the proper next steps. Sources
5 min read
How Long To Breastfeed?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age, but many parents still want to know how long to breastfeed their children. Exclusive breastfeeding means that the baby receives only breast milk for nutrition and any medically necessary supplements, such as Vitamin D, for the first six months. Many parents will choose to continue breastfeeding beyond 6 months. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until a minimum of two years, with the added suggestion that parents may continue breastfeeding even beyond 2 years. There is no evidence to support that weaning a child after one year is more difficult, but there is some evidence to support that breastfeeding for as long as possible may have benefits for the child and for the mother. One thing to note is that daycares and preschools in some states discourage the use of breast milk after one year. This may impact a breastfeeding schedule or weaning process. Be sure to have a plan in place on how to handle this especially if you want to continue giving your child breast milk. If you would like to continue breast milk in your baby’s diet, this is an important question to ask when evaluating the right daycare that meets both your baby’s and YOUR needs.It is also important to be very clear with your child’s caretaker as to how to prepare and dispense breast milk. You should carefully go over how to prepare, store and save portions that are intended for use when you are not present. Feeding the baby breast milk in smaller bottles when you are not home will allow for complete usage of the breast milk and avoid unnecessary wastage. Ultimately, the decision should be made based on what is best for the baby and for mom, and rest assured there is no cut-off point for breastfeeding. For some parents this may be 6 months, for others it may be 2 years, and for some it may extend beyond these age milestones. There are a few situations where mothers may need to stop breastfeeding, like the use of certain medications or if you’ve been diagnosed with HIV, common illnesses like the cold and flu are not transmitted through breast milk.If you just have the common cold or a mild illness, there may be some protective benefit for the child. When someone is ill, their body produces antibodies to protect them against reinfection. These antibodies pass through breast milk, meaning that a baby may get protective benefits from their mother when nursing. Nursing through illness may give your child powerful antibodies to the sickness you’re experiencing.You can continue to breastfeed your baby well into their toddler years if you would like to. Remember that the addition of foods should begin around 6 months and this is something that should be discussed with your doctor. Be sure to also discuss Vitamin D supplementation (400 International Units) with your baby’s doctor as most breastfed children will require this. While getting pregnant in the early days of breastfeeding is unlikely, this becomes more common the older the baby gets. Remember that breastfeeding does not protect against pregnancy. Discussing a birth control method that is appropriate for you and that will not affect breastfeeding is important. Options include, but are not limited to, barrier contraception such as condoms, as well as a progestin only pill, often called “the mini pill.”. It is important to note that the progestin only pill has a higher failure rate over the combined estrogen and progestin oral birth control pill. Once you stop breastfeeding, it is important to choose an appropriate birth control method. (Cleveland Clinic)Breastfeeding may reduce chances of pregnancy - but there is no guarantee and any contraceptive abilities of breastfeeding are temporary. Remember that you will ovulate before your first period comes back. If you happen to have sex during this time, it is possible you could become pregnant without realizing. If you are certain you do not want more children for the next year or more, talk to your doctor about what options are available to you.Ultimately, breastfeeding can be a wonderful way to provide your baby nutrition while also encouraging mother-infant bonding. However, there are many ways to bond with your child even if breastfeeding is too difficult or not an option for the child or mother. Remember, although breast milk has so many wonderful nutritive and immunologic benefits, fed is best – and this can include exclusive breastfeeding, partial breastfeeding, exclusive pumping, formula or a combination of any of these!
4 min read
Feeding For Newborn: How Much? How Often?
Feeding newborns can seem like a daunting task. Remember that each baby is unique and has different needs, but here are some general tips to keep in mind to have a happy feeding journey.At this age, your baby has a tiny belly, so prefers smaller, more frequent feedings. Your baby will likely feed 1 to 3 ounces every 1 to 3 hours. Breastfed infants often take less at each feed but they will feed more frequently than formula-fed infants. If breastfeeding, feeding frequently (every 2 hours or on baby’s demand which could be even more often) in this initial time period helps with increasing lactation and allows your baby to practice sucking and swallowing in order to efficiently empty the breast(1).For exclusively breastfed babies, the average interval between feedings will usually increase from 1 to 3 hours to 2 to 4 hours but sometimes, they may feed as often as every hour (especially in the first month) or with gaps up to 4 hours (1). Most infants will feed 8 to 12 times in 24 hours for 10 to 15 minutes on each breast (4). For formula-fed babies, the average interval between feedings is 2 to 4 hours (1). Most infants will feed 6 to 10 times in 24 hours and up to 4 ounces at a time depending on their interval. If your baby hasn’t been fed in 4 hours during the first month of life, try gently waking your baby up to feed. At this young age, babies can not maintain their blood sugar levels and need to be fed in order to do so. Your pediatrician can help guide you if healthy weight gain is an issue. Keep in mind that your baby goes through mini growth spurts (around 2-3 weeks, then 3-4 weeks, then 3, 4 and 6 months) and during that time their feeding demand will increase. Your baby’s milk needs should roughly increase by about 1 ounce per feeding per month until they reach a maximum of 7 to 8 ounces per feeding. In 24 hours, your baby should not be drinking more than 32 ounces (3). If you notice your baby’s average feeding needs falling under or over this rough estimated amount, please talk to your pediatrician. In the first 3 months of life, your baby should be gaining about 25 to 30 grams a day or approximately 1 ounce per day. This is about 1 pound (16 ounces) every two weeks (2). For most parents, there is no need to regularly weigh your baby at home, unless indicated by the doctor. During this time period, you will be seeing your child’s pediatrician frequently so they can monitor growth and development. At 6 months, both breastfed and formula-fed infants can be introduced to solid foods. However, breastmilk and/or formula still remain their primary source of nutrients. It is natural for your infant to start gradually decreasing their breast milk or formula intake as solids are introduced, but it still remains a staple part of their diet until 12 months of age (1). At 6 months, infants drinking formula milk should consume 6 to 8 ounces of formula over 4 to 5 feedings in 24 hours. This can total anywhere between 24 and 40 oz in one day.A general rule is that your baby should be consuming about 2.5 ounces of formula a day for every pound of body weight. This is just a rough estimate, as each baby’s feeding needs are unique, so base your baby’s feeding schedule on cues your baby gives and guidance from the doctor (3).Below are suggested guidelines to follow when determining how much to feed your baby. Remember your baby is unique and these are only suggestions. Always discuss your newborn’s care with their pediatrician.Only introduce solids below if your child can break down food and swallow appropriately. Talk to your doctor about when and how to introduce nutrition beyond breast milk and formula. Only introduce solids below if your child can break down food and swallow appropriately. Talk to your doctor about when and how to introduce nutrition beyond breast milk and formula. *Healthy babies require little or no extra water for hydration. However, in extremely hot temperatures or sometimes after solids are introduced, they may need some water. Water should not be fed to infants less than 6 months. If your baby consumes too much water, it may discourage them from drinking breast milk or formula which is more nutritious than water. During the first few weeks, your baby is rapidly growing. Dynamic changes in their feeding schedule is necessary to supplement them with enough nutrients during this growth period. Each baby is unique so try experimenting through this feeding journey to find what works best for you and your baby. Although it might be hard at times, it is a chance to get to know your baby better. If you ever have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your baby’s pediatrician. Happy feeding!Sources
6 min read
Baby Formula: 5 Things You Need To Know
Many people use formula to supplement breast milk and breastfeeding, and you may also be using it as the primary source of nutrition for your child. While formula is generally very safe, there are a few very important things to know about formula before using it.Ready to feed formula is formula that is pre-mixed and can be opened and given to your baby right away in most cases. Because it does not require preparation it is very convenient when compared to powdered formula. More importantly, however, is that ready to feed is much less likely to be contaminated with bacteria that can harm your baby. The downside is that ready to feed formula is almost always more expensive than powdered formula.Due to the risk of contamination in powdered formulas, it is strongly recommended that you boil water which can help to kill any contaminants in powdered infant formula. This preparation must then be cooled in order to be safely fed to your newborn. The process is as follows: boil water, then mix hot water with powdered formula, then cool to a safe temperature for your baby to consume without getting burned. One of the most common reported contaminants is a bacteria called Cronobacter. Cronobacter can cause a life-threatening infection called sepsis. It can also cause meningitis which is an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine and there have also been reports of this bacteria causing bowel damage.If you are using powdered formula it is very important that you combine the correct proportions of water and formula. DO NOT dilute infant formula as this could result in your baby getting inadequate nutrition. Follow the instructions on the formula packaging to correctly prepare the bottle for your baby with the correct proportions of powder to formula. Your baby does not need any additional water other than the exact amount that is needed to prepare powdered formula or the hydration that is already present in ready to feed formula preparations. There have been reports of contamination in formula and periodically the FDA will release announcements on the recall of certain formulas. It is very important to pay close attention to this so that you can immediately stop using any products that have been recalled. Cronobacter and Salmonella have been reported as contaminants in infant formula and have contributed to hospitalizations and even death in babies. You can use your search engine to set up alerts regarding this so that you are aware.If you are able to breastfeed or provide pumped breast milk to your child, it should be strongly considered when possible. Not only does breast milk have certain immune properties that aren’t found in formula, but you also do not have to worry about contaminants or mixing the right proportions, or heating and then cooling. Additionally, if you are able to directly feed your baby at the breast, then you also do not have to worry about sterilizing and cleaning bottles. And, breast milk is free! If you want to learn more about the basics of breastfeeding, you can download the free Breastfeeding Basics In 10 Minutes E-Book here.
3 min read
When To Stop Swaddling Your Newborn
Many parents use a swaddle in the early days of their baby's life. However, once your baby starts to roll, it is time to stop using a swaddling on the baby. This typically happens around 2 months of age, but it can happen earlier. It is important to watch your baby for signs of rolling. If your baby shows signs of rolling, you should stop swaddling your baby immediately. Swaddling is safe only when done correctly and before a baby can roll. Swaddling your baby once the baby is able to move or roll, on the other hand, is unsafe. This is because the baby could roll over and due to the swaddle not be able to roll themselves back. Generally, if a baby is able to roll from their back to their stomach they should be able to roll from their stomach to back. However, if their hands are trapped in the swaddle they will not be able to do this. In this situation, their face could get caught in the bedding material and they could suffocate. It is very important to stop swaddling once a baby can roll. Swaddling helps to prevent the Moro reflex which is the startle reflex. In this reflex, the baby's arms go up and away from the baby's body. The baby usually awakens and is startled by their own reflex. The baby can have the Moro reflex several times during a sleep session and swaddling helps to prevent this reflex by keeping the baby's arms close to their chest. The Moro reflex, or the startle reflex, may stick around until the baby is almost 6 months old. It varies from baby to baby. Because babies will begin to roll around 2 months old and the startle reflex may last until 6 months old, there is likely going to be a period of time when your baby will awaken from the startle reflex. It is important to help your baby learn how to self-soothe so that they can put themselves back to sleep. This will help the baby sleep better and help you sleep better.It is very important to give your child lots of tummy time. When doing tummy time, make sure the baby is being supervised. Tummy time is important because it helps to build the baby's core, neck and back muscles. If the baby happens to turn themselves onto their stomach, having strong muscles will help them to flip over onto their back. Tummy time should be done every single day. You can slowly increase the amount of tummy time as your baby gets older. In the early days of their life, even 5 minutes a day of tummy time is enough. Ask your pediatrician what amount of tummy time is right for your child's age.There are many different types of swaddles. Swaddles that keep your baby cool are important. It is dangerous for babies to overheat. A swaddle is simply a cloth that you wrap in a certain way to contain the startle reflex. Some swaddles are just small thin blankets. Some companies also make swaddles that are pre stitched so all you have to do is zip them up and velcro them to keep your baby from lifting their hands. Read more about our favorite types of swaddles here. Swaddling must be stopped immediately once you see signs that your newborn can roll. If your baby is rolling, swaddling them is dangerous. This is because if they roll over onto their stomach while swaddled, they will not have the ability to roll themselves onto their back. This can cause them to suffocate and die. Rolling typically begins around month 2, but your child may begin to roll sooner than this. The rate of SIDS is highest between months 2 and 4 and this is thought to be because babies are beginning to roll and they get caught in the bedding. It is important that your baby sleeps in the same room as you (but not the same bed) during the first 6 to 12 months of life. You are more likely to hear them move or struggle if you are sleeping in the same room as them.
4 min read
Baby Teething Pain Relief
Try out these helpful tips to see what works best for your little one:Cold temperatures can help to relieve pain in a baby's gums and emerging teeth. Freeze a clean and wet cloth or rag. Once frozen, give it to your little one for them to chew on. You may even massage your baby’s gums using the rag. This can decrease inflammation around the gums. You can also feed them cold soft foods like yogurt, applesauce, or frozen fruit, if they eat those solids. Most babies will not start on solids until 4 to 6 months old. Teething rings and toys may be great to give pressure required for soothing sore gums, though make sure you choose ones made of safe material. You can refrigerate these toys and give them to your little one for the cold to soothe their gums.Teething biscuits can be used for those who are 8-12 months old, though be wary of their gum hygiene, wiping the gum area with a clean cloth after feeding them the biscuits.Another option is that parents can rub their gums gently with your clean fingers or wet gauze, with the pressure easing their discomfort. Besides the treatments mentioned above, make sure that you avoid the following: Do NOT put anything in your little one's mouth that has no scientific proof that it helps soothe teething. There are even a few teethers or teething aids that aren't safe, especially ones that have liquid inside, are made with breakable materials or are frozen solid. This is dangerous for your toddler to bite into and can hurt them. Avoid using materials with harmful substances or choking hazards. If you do choose a teether, get one made of rubber or safe medical grade silicone.It is never okay to use a teething necklace. Teething necklaces are dangerous and they can strangle your baby. Any baby jewelry is dangerous and has the potential to break, and your little one can choke on the parts of the baby jewelry. Teething necklaces, teething bracelets, or anything the baby wears other than their well fitted clothes can pose a hazard to your child. Don’t use over-the-counter teething gels or liquids with benzocaine, which has rare but serious side effects. Always consult your pediatrician before giving any pain relievers or medications to your baby, even topically. Teething is probably one of the most dreaded milestones for parents as their little ones head on to their toddler years, as this is a very uncomfortable time for them. While toothless smiles are adorable, this won’t last long, as babies will start growing their baby teeth, which may have you staying up at night from their pain! It's painful watching them cry from the discomfort but don't worry, there are safe and effective ways to treat teething pain in babies. Read on to find out! Most babies begin teething when they reach between four to seven months old, though some begin later. Each baby has his own timetable, so don't worry if it doesn't seem like he's growing his first set of pearly whites just yet. Even if teeth aren’t popping up yet, you’ll know when your little one begins teething based on these symptoms: · They feel more fussy or irritable, crying even more· Have swollen and tender gums· Have a slightly raised temperature around 101 degrees F or less· Lots of drooling· Gnawing, chewing, or even biting· Coughing· Pulling their eats· Rubbing their cheeks· They bring their hands to the mouth· They have a change in eating and/or sleeping patterns If your little one starts to feel more pain to the point they have rashes, pus, or blood in the gums, high fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, do send them to the doctor immediately, as these are not typical signs of teething and you need to take them to their doctor right away.Teething is an uncomfortable time for your baby, but it doesn’t mean there are no remedies to help relieve them a bit! Make sure to use any recommended remedy by your doctor and to avoid dangerous or unproven methods.
4 min read
Best Teether For Molars In Baby?
Teething hurts! Every parent needs to have a great teether handy for when the molars start to come in. A teether for molars is important because it is especially painful when these larger teeth in the back of the baby's mouth come in. Here are some of our favorite teethers that are commonly used by patients and doctors alike.The banana-shaped teether is a great option because of the design. The loops on either side of the teether means that it is easy for the baby to grab the teether. Given that you will want to rinse and clean anything the baby drops at a young age, a teether that is less likely to fall is always a great idea. Older babies will also be able to more easily manipulate the teether into a position that helps soothe their pain. The design of the teether also allows it to get to the teeth in the back of the mouth. It also has bristles so you can use it when you begin to brush your baby's teeth after they come in. It is a good idea to buy at least two so that you always have one handy to use while the other one is being cleaned. The cactus shaped teether is also a great option for molars because of the three prongs. It has multiple teething surfaces and this can help your baby easily manipulate the teether into a comfortable spot. It is also BPA free and has bristles. This means it can also double as a toothbrush when needed. Though it is a little harder to hold on to because it does not have loops like the banana teether, it has 3 far reaching areas to get to those tough to reach molars in the back of your baby's mouth. Having one of each of these teethers is likely a good idea. This is a great option as your baby's first teether and likely less useful for molars. It is great though because it can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher for frequent use. It also has a bumpy surface which helps with soothing sore gums and tactile stimulation. Finally, it's easy to put in the freezer and give to your baby as something soothing and cold for their first few teeth. So which teether should you buy? Most families will need at least 4 to 8 of teethers for the first year of life. Especially before 6 months of age, babies are very fragile and you want to make sure that the teether is always very clean, if not sterile, before they use it. Given that your baby is likely to drop their teether frequently, it's important to have plenty of back up options. This is important so you are not spending your precious time washing teethers throughout the day. Remember to never use teething necklaces or any teethers that have smaller parts which could come apart inside your baby's mouth. Remember to pay attention to your baby when they are using their teether.
3 min read
Nipple Cream When Breastfeeding? What Are Your Options?
While breastfeeding your baby has many benefits for both mom and baby, it is not exactly "easy" to do. Breastfeeding has many challenges and one of them is sore and cracked nipples. You can also have painful nipples if you are pumping breast milk as well for your baby. When breastfeeding, buying an appropriate nipple cream can be very helpful in your breastfeeding journey. If breastfeeding parents are not in pain, they are more likely to be able to breastfeed their baby longer and also with more enjoyment. So, what is the best nipple cream while breastfeeding? Let's take a look at some of the popular products on the market so you can understand your options. Be sure to purchase a nipple cream for breastfeeding either towards the end of your pregnancy or immediately after your child is born, as you may start to experience sore nipples right away. The early days of breastfeeding are the most important in terms of establishing your breast milk supply. This means getting the baby to the breast very often (almost every 2 to 3 hours), or using the breast pump every 2 to 3 hours. If your nipples are in pain, then this can directly affect your ability to not just feed but it can also affect your milk supply long term. You will want to be as prepared as possible for your breastfeeding journey.This is one of the most popular breastfeeding products out there. In order to minimally expose your newborn to this, place the ointment onto your nipples just after you have finished a feed. One of the best parts about this nipple cream is that it comes in a variety of sizes so you have options. We recommend buying 2 to 3 of the smaller sizes and keeping it in different locations in your house and one in your handbag. That way you aren't running around looking for it when you need it.This nipple cream is popular because it is a lanolin free option (but remember that many breastfeeding persons use lanolin nipple cream without any problems). Motherlove nipple cream is made of extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, marshmallow root, and calendula flower. This nipple cream is also USDA Certified Organic, and it is also non-GMO. One of the downsides to this nipple cream is that it only comes in jar form. It is not as convenient for being on the go and of course the glass of the jar can break. You may want to have this option at home and use the Lanolin breastfeeding nipple cream for when you are on the go.A nipple shield can help in the early days of breastfeeding by protecting the nipple and by making it a little easier for the baby to latch. For parents who are concerned about putting a cream or substance on their nipple, nipple shields can be a way to help with sore and cracked nipples. Unfortunately, nipple shields do not work well for everyone and keep in mind that they must be sterilized and cleaned just like a bottle. However, it is a good option to have one available to you if you are struggling with nipple pain or getting the baby to latch onto the breast properly. Many people will also use a small amount of breast milk over their nipples before or after a feed to help soothe sore nipples. People really like this option since it is viewed as the most natural and many parents are concerned that any products applied to their nipples could be harmful for the baby to ingest. If using breast milk as nipple cream works for you, it is a great option. However, for most breastfeeding parents, this is unlikely to be enough soothing for nipples that are painful and cracked from breastfeeding and pumping. Many people use the above options for nipple cream safely during breastfeeding. It is always a good idea to discuss any products you use with your baby's pediatrician.It is important to be as prepared as possible for breastfeeding. In addition to having nipple cream handy, you may also want to consider a nipple shield. Remember to talk to your doctor about what is safe for your baby. While breastfeeding should not be painful, the reality is that until your baby learns how to properly latch, it can be a painful learning process. Learning how to breastfeed is something that requires guidance and practice, so do not be discouraged if it doesn't "happen naturally." If you want to learn how to breastfeed newborn babies, download Femhealth's physician developed educational guide for free at learn.femhealthproject.com/breastfeeding.
5 min read
What is Colic in babies?
Colic in babies is one of those mysterious diseases that come upon some babies and not others. A healthy infant who is neither hungry nor needs a diaper change but who cries for more than three hours a day, more than three days a week, and/or more than three weeks, is diagnosed as colic. Here are a few things we do know about it:• Onset is at bout 2 weeks of age for a full-term baby but later for a prematurely born child.• Dissipates at about 3 or 4 months of age, without any medical intervention.• Can happen without regard to gender, birth order or whether they are bottle fed or nursed.• There are no long term or residual effects. The child will grow up normally. There is no definitive explanation for colic. There are, however, some theories:• Muscle spasms in a growing digestive system.• Hormones• Sensitivity to stimulation like lights or noise• Development in the nervous system• Early form of childhood migraine• Emotions like fear, frustration, or excitement If you have ongoing concerns, there are tests the pediatrician can order to rule out other issues like:• Infection• Acid reflux• Stomach issues• Eating disorder• Sensitivity to formula or milk• Issue with the eye like a scratch• Uneven heartbeat• Injuries• Inflammation in the brain or nervous system The symptoms usually appear in the evening, but if not then, usually at the same time each day.• No apparent reason for the crying• Appears that they are in pain• Clenched fists, stiff arms, arched back, curled legs• Turning bright red The persistent crying can cause the baby to swallow too much air. This can accumulate in the stomach as gas and give the infant a tight or swollen belly. Colic is a diagnosis of exclusion. That is after other possibilities are eliminated, colic is what is left. The doctor will probably want to know about the symptoms and any other medical issues the baby may have or had. The physical exam will include looking at:• Energy level• Skin color and tone• Breathing• Temperature• Weight There is no standard treatment for colic and the condition usually remedies itself at about 4 months old. There are some recommendations the doctor will make. • If you are breastfeeding, check any medications the mother is taking or foods that may be causing the baby to form an allergy.• Try changing the baby's position from lying down to sitting up.• Walk around with them or rock.• Swaddle• Hold them bare skin to bare skin• Use white noise• Put them in a swing or vibrating seat Parental Self Care Being a new parent is a challenge in itself. Couple that with colic and parents are going to get more testy, overwhelmed, or express other emotions. It is just as important to take care of yourself as the baby. Ask for help from friends, family, or babysitters. The baby will recognize when your own stress has been lowered and will respond.
3 min read
Each of us is born with ingrained abilities; things no one needs to teach us, like blinking. Here are some of those infant reflexes we all came equipped with at birth. • Newborn crying: The sound every parent wants to hear is that first burst of crying at birth. As you spend more time together, you will begin to recognize differences in the pattern and identify a hungry cry from a distress cry.• Sneezing: Sneezing is an automatic reflex to get rid of irritants and excess mucus from the nasal area. It does not necessarily mean a cold is coming on.This is an automatic response of the baby that includes sucking sounds when the baby's mouth or lips are touched. This is a stimulus to eat and helps the baby find and latch onto the nipple. This will only happen when the baby is hungry. This should last until around the four month period.• Sucking and Swallowing: This is the innate ability of feeding. This ends between the second and fourth month when the baby is able to seek the nipple by choice.• Stepping: As you hold your baby by the armpits and the baby's feet touch the floor, you will usually see one leg bend and the other straighten. This is a reflex the baby developed in the womb in order to move around and prevent pressure sores. At about two or three months this asymmetry • Calming: There are several techniques to soothe an upset baby. Swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking all will aid the child to calm down and in turn ease the stress on a parent. Experts think that this is developed to prevent the baby from too much movement just before birth to avoid breech positions. It always gives an adult great pleasure when a baby grabs onto a finger with that tiny hand. Actually in the animal world, it is critical to some species like apes and koalas that cling to their mother's fur while climbing trees. Just be careful with your own child because before long those fun fingers will find their way to jewelry, glasses, and other tempting items. This is sometimes called a startle reflex or “I'm falling”. It is when the baby's arms open wide and then close into a bear hug. This is to catch themselves from falling or thinking they are falling. This will extend until the baby is about four or six months old. Swaddling will prevent it from happening. If it is not controlled early, it can result in over-sensitivity to other stimuli. Growing up it can lead to impulse control, motion sickness, and anxiety. There are a number of other infant reflexes that you can learn about. If you find that your child is not demonstrating one or more, consult with your doctor to rule out other problems. Similarly, if they do not disappear when scheduled, talk about it. Maintaining some of these conditions could indicate an underlying problem that you want to identify as quickly as possible.
3 min read
Infant Eczema - What you need to know
Eczema is also called atopic dermatitis. It is dry, flaky skin. In infants it can appear in the first few months of infancy. Many children simply outgrow it but it is also easily treatable. Eczema will look different on different babies. Usually children with lighter colored skin will demonstrate patches of red skin. For babies with darker skin, it can appear purple, brown, or gray. It is more often harder to determine in children of color. Whatever the color, it is dry, itchy, and rough. Generally it is on the face and in the joints of arms and legs, but can appear anywhere on the body. Cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis) is similar. Cradle cap is generally confined to the scalp, sides of the nose, eyelids, and behind the ears. It is less itchy and usually clears by eight months of age. Eczema occurs when the body does not make enough fatty cells which makes the skin lose water and become dry. Another possible cause is that the barrier of the skin allows too much moisture to seep out and allows germs to creep in. If a parent suffers from eczema, it is likely the baby will as well. The condition usually disappears on its own before school age, but it may persist into adulthood as dry skin. There are triggers can are easily avoided.• Low Humidity – Dry, winter air can make the skin drier and itch more.• Irritation – Soaps, laundry additives, perfumes, and scratchy fabrics can all contribute to the itch.• Foods – There is a theory that some foods like eggs, some fruits, and cow's milk can affect eczema. You can try eliminating those foods one at a time to see if there is an effect.• Stress – Stress becomes a factor in many conditions and can trigger eczema flares. There are some easy home remedies you can try.• Moisturizing – Fragrance-free creams or ointments are available over the counter or through a prescription. Even petroleum jelly will work. Applied after the baby's bath, it will help retain moisture.• Soaps – Switching to mild, unscented laundry products should help. Antibacterial or scented hand soap can also be rough on a baby's delicate skin.• Cleansing – Keep your baby clean but it may not be necessary to wash the entire body with soap every time. Pat dry rather than rubbing.• Soaking – Placing your baby in a lukewarm bath for about 10 minutes can ease the discomfort.• Clothing – Always wash new clothes before you put them on the baby. Don't overdress or use too many blankets because the heat and sweat can cause the condition to flare.• OTC – Hydrocordisone may help but please ask your pediatrician before using anything to be sure they recommend it for the condition. If the condition does not clear within a week, check with your pediatrician. If the condition worsens, or you see anything new like blisters, make an appointment to have this checked out to rule out an infection or other condition.
3 min read
How Long Should Babies Sleep?
Sleep is a critical element in overall physical health. During sleep, the heart and blood vessels make any necessary repairs. It allows for better concentration and productivity as well as more energy for physical activities including exercise. So, how long should babies sleep? Especially for children, sleep is important for good brain function, emotional development and behavior factors. Parents often wonder if the infant, child, or adolescent is really getting enough satisfactory rest to perform well during the day.Until they are about 3 months old, infants should be sleeping 14 to 17 hours during a 24 hour day. A good routine would be two or three naps during the day and a longer stretch at night after a feeding. From age 4 months until they are almost a year, babies should get between 12 and 15 hours of sleep, with 3 or 4 of that coming during the day. Beyond that a toddler of 1 or 2 years old should be sleeping 11 to 14 hours; preschoolers about 10 to 13 hours and elementary school age at least 9 to 11 hours at night. There are a number of factors that affect the proper amount of sleep. If you have concerns, check with your pediatrician. A key factor is establishing and maintaining a bedtime routine. Bathing, singing, and reading to infants and children are all good signals that it is the end of the day and time for rest. Keeping a consistent pattern will help your child adapt to the routine. One way to do this, depending on your parenting style, is to put the baby in a crib while still awake but drowsy. This helps the child learn to fall asleep on their own without rocking. Some movement and even a bit of crying are normal. If your baby is not hungry, ill or need a diaper change, leave him or her alone for a few minutes to see if he or she settles down and falls asleep on their own. When the baby wakes during a time when you want it to sleep, keep the lights low and don’t play. Speak in a low voice but don’t talk for long periods of time. In other words, try to avoid activities that will stimulate the baby and keep him or her alert. It may take a bit of time to establish the routine, but when successful, you will be glad. At around 6 months, a baby should have an extended night time sleep regimen. If not, don’t worry. Children develop at their own rate.Naps are very common and most children nap until they are 3 to 6 years old. Newborns and infants will sleep during the day for three or four hours. As the child ages, the nap time will decrease. Research has discovered that frequent napping helps children consolidate memories and that these memories are important for learning and brain development. Even if you think your baby is getting enough sleep, be sure to add it as a discussion item with your pediatrician. Your understanding of what is normal for your child is important and can help you gauge when he or she is not feeling well.
3 min read
Infant Eczema: Baby skin care and Baby Diaper Rash Care
When it comes to baby’s skin, less is more. The gentler we are with their delicate skin, the more we can enhance the skin’s natural barrier properties. Infant skin is the gateway to healthy immune functioning, healthy bacteria development, and may be a route for prevention of food allergies. Thus, skin care is paramount to healthy growth and development. 1. Don’t be scared to give baby baths Though daily baths are not necessary, a “soak and seal” with moisturizer is a great way to help soothe babies with dry skin. Soap is not needed every day and can be applied to only visibly soiled areas. Baths can also serve as part of a night time ritual that prepares baby for a consistent bed time routine, which is key to building good sleep habits. 2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturizeIn some studies, moisturizing the skin has been shown to prevent the development of atopic dermatitis, a form of eczema. In a study of pre-term infants, babies who were applied sunflower oil, rich in linoleic acids, developed less infections while in the neonatal intensive care unit.1 Linoleic acids are naturally anti-inflammatory and can help build the skin barrier, protecting the superficial layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. 3. Avoid excessive wipingSome baby wipes contain chemicals that can cause contact dermatitis, a form of skin irritation.2 Excess wiping of the face after feeds can degrade the stratum corneum, which can create openings for allergens, and irritants to enter the skin. Use a barrier ointment before feedings, such as petrolatum, that will protect the skin against irritation from foods and wiping. I recommend use of soft washcloths if necessary, made of organic cotton or bamboo, and plain water.4. MassageIn many South Asian and East Asian households, such as the one that I grew up in, massaging skin and scalp is a weekly ritual to keep skin and hair healthy. I can still hear my mother chastising me in the winter “you are not massaging your skin, this is why you look so dry”. Turns out mom was very right. In Ayurvedic traditions, abhyanga or daily oil massage is recommended to help not only the skin, but also circulatory, muscular, and neural health. Massage can help reduce stress levels and help build a bond with baby.3 5. Use commercial diapers and diaper cream every time While super absorbent diapers are a problem to the environment, from a skin perspective, disposable diapers that keep moisture away from the diaper area reduce diaper rashes and skin irritation.4 A barrier cream, such as zinc oxide, with every diaper change will protect the skin against chafing, and provide a barrier against irritation from pee and poop. 4Medically reviewed by Dr. Rupam Brar is a Board-Certified Pediatric Allergist & Immunologist at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital part of NYU Langone Health, who specializes in eczema and food allergies. Dr. Brar also has specialized training in Pediatric Dermatology.References:1. Darmstadt GL, Saha SK, Ahmed AS, Chowdhury MA, Law PA, Ahmed S, Alam MA, Black RE, Santosham M. Effect of topical treatment with skin barrier-enhancing emollients on nosocomial infections in preterm infants in Bangladesh: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2005 Mar 19-25;365(9464):1039-45. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)71140-5. PMID: 15781099.2. Chang MW, Nakrani R. Six children with allergic contact dermatitis to methylisothiazolinone in wet wipes (baby wipes). Pediatrics. 2014 Feb;133(2):e434-8. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1453. Epub 2014 Jan 13. PMID: 24420805.3. Basler AJ. Pilot study investigating the effects of Ayurvedic Abhyanga massage on subjective stress experience. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 May;17(5):435-40. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0281. Epub 2011 May 13. PMID: 21568717.4. Blume-Peytavi U, Kanti V. Prevention and treatment of diaper dermatitis. Pediatr Dermatol. 2018 Mar;35 Suppl 1:s19-s23. doi: 10.1111/pde.13495. PMID: 29596731.
4 min read
What Are Baby Sleep Regressions? What to Know and How to Handle Them
Is your little one waking up every 20 minutes and keeping you from having a good night’s sleep? He may be going through baby sleep regressions!After becoming a parent, you’ve probably heard about these sleep regressions without really knowing what to expect. To learn more about what they are and how to move past them, read on! Baby sleep regression is the time when your little one’s sleep patterns start to shift. They will wake up more throughout the night, having a difficult time sleeping again. Unfortunately, once they awake, so will you. It’s frustrating, but manageable, especially when you know how to handle it well and know why it happens. Baby sleep regressions are totally normal and fortunately, a temporary period. But why does it happen? Sleep regressions may mean that your little one is going through a growth spurt, and/or that his brain is going through some development. Since the brain is developing, your baby is starting to learn new skills and master existing skills, such as rolling over or sitting up. With every major milestone or development, a sleep regression usually is there to accompany it. During this time of growth, development and learning, it might be tiring, stressful and frustrating for your little one. As a result, it impacts their sleep patterns. That is what is called a sleep regression. It’s not truly a regression in that is just means there is less regular sleep or a change in sleep to a pattern you may have seen more when they were infants. Baby sleep regressions usually begin when your little one turns four months old. Note that there may be more regressions occurring in the future, usually every two to three months until they reach the toddler stage. Usually, the first sleep regression at four months old is the hardest for parents, as it is the first they’ll experience and they may have had better quality of sleep for a period before it. This period can last between three to six weeks or longer, and it can catch you off guard! Your baby may have been sleeping well, only to begin waking up more at night, taking shorter naps, or even skipping them without an obvious reason. You will know when your baby is going through a sleep regression when you notice a sudden worsening of their sleep patterns. • Waking up multiple times at night • Less napping • More fussiness • Appetite changesWhen it does happen, don’t worry! This usually doesn’t mean something is wrong. Reassure yourself that this is temporary and it means your little one is growing and learning new things as regressions occur, as they are engaging with their environment even more. But if your little one experiences other symptoms such as fever or other signs of illnesses, do consult their doctor. While baby sleep regressions are a technically sign of a good thing (development), I can’t deny that it’s frustrating for parents as well. Baby sleep regressions don’t last forever. With the right knowledge, coping strategies, and tips, you can help them learn new skills as the entire family sleeps healthier. Good luck!
4 min read
What Are The Benefits Of Infant Massage?
Infant massage is a process of gently rubbing the muscles and body of infants or babies in a manner designed specifically for them. Baby massage can be performed by a certified and professionally trained infant massage therapist or the parents, grandparents, or guardian of the baby who have been taught to properly to do it. Infant massage can provide several health benefits such as helping them sleep. Let us have a look at how massaging your baby can help your bundle of joy in several ways. Massaging, when done properly, may help to support the proper growth and development of your baby. Research studies have shown that infant massage is beneficial even for preterm infants including those admitted in the NICU. It can, in some cases, shorten their length of stay in the NICU, improve weight gain, and support the feeding tolerance of the babies. These studies have also shown that infant massage may promote neurodevelopment thereby improving the functions of the brain and nervous system. Infant massage is commonly linked to improved muscle tone. The gentle massaging action would increase the circulation of blood through the muscles, ligaments, and tendons thereby strengthening and nourishing these tissues. It would promote healthy muscle growth and improve muscle tone. This may help your baby learn to walk or perform other physical activities with better ease and efficiency. Massaging your baby may help to improve bone density and make their bones stronger. This benefit is also observed in preterm babies. Regular massage of preterm babies would support the development of the bones and improve bone strength. This is one of the reasons why infant massage is highly recommended. Baby massage may help to provide relief from respiratory disorders such as asthma in infants and newborn babies. It is believed that infant massage can promote the elimination of mucus from the throat and lungs and allow smooth flow of air through the respiratory passages thereby providing relief from breathing difficulties. Infant massage is beneficial not just for the baby but even for parents. Research studies have shown that massaging your baby would improve your attitude toward childbearing and enhance maternal or paternal satisfaction considerably. It can also improve the bond between you and your baby and fill the moments with smiles and laughter. This would ease stress and anxiety in first-time moms and dads and increase their confidence about being able to take good care of their baby. Infant massage can also be helpful for babies with gas and colic. ConclusionA gentle and caring touch is good for all. However, for infants, it holds more importance as they are new to the world and need assurance of having someone special caring for them. Other than this, massaging your baby can also help him or her in several other ways by improving blood circulation and relieving muscle stiffness. If you are due for delivery or have already welcomed your baby into the world, make sure you gift the goodness of massage to your bundle of joy. The caring touch will make your baby happy and his smile will bring more joy to the experience of parenthood. Just be sure to learn how to do it properly. References:1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31059673/2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6617372/3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2844909/4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5457772/5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28866286/6. http://www.healthofchildren.com/I-K/Infant-Massage.html#ixzz6aM4JrAnr
3 min read
5 Signs of Postpartum Depression to Watch Out For
About 10% of moms who have just given birth experience postpartum depression. Unfortunately, not many moms even know they are depressed, thinking that this is the way all new moms feel. But while being tired with a newborn is normal, feeling sad and hopeless all the time isn’t. That’s why it’s important to learn about postpartum depressions and to watch out for the signs. This will allow you to intervene and have you feel like yourself, enjoying your time with your new family. 1. The Baby Blues Don’t Go AwayIt’s typical to experience low moods during the first two weeks after giving birth. Afterward, you should slowly be feeling better and begin focusing on the next stage of your life. However, if you still feel sad, or even hopeless, after a few weeks, and these feelings are getting intense, then it may be more than just the typical blues. 2. You Start to Lose Interest In ThingsAre you beginning to lose interest in the things you used to love doing? Do you still feel affectionate with your partner or enjoy your favorite foods? Or are you feeling down and just want to stay in bed because nothing seems to cheer you up? Another sign is if you start to lose care and have trouble making any decision, no matter how simple it is. If you aren't able to decide to get out of bed and shower or not or to even change your little one's diaper and spend time with them, this may be an early sign of postpartum depression. If ever you don’t find anything exciting or interesting anymore, especially when it comes to caring for your baby, then it’s time to talk with your doctor about these mood changes and new habits. 3. Continuous Sadness and Guilt FeelingsFeeling sad or upset once in a while is typical, especially as you adjust to the new changes and care for your little one. But if you’ve been experiencing a lot of random crying spells or even feel unhappy about being a mom, this is something more. Furthermore, if you feel guilty and talk yourself down as a mom, then this is one of the first signs or symptoms of postpartum depression. Another thing to note about is your feelings towards being a mom. Sure, all moms worry about not being a good mom, but if you have constant doubts as a mother despite doing well, it could mean something else. 4. Sleep Patterns Changed… WeirdlyOf course, your sleeping patterns have changed with a baby crying every few hours for feeding! This is normal. But once you aren’t able to even take a nap or feel rested while your baby is napping or sleeping, or if you’re sleeping all the time, then this might be something other than adjusting to a new sleep pattern. This is because changes in mood, appetite, and even sleep are one of the early signs of depression. 5. You Have Thoughts About Harming YourselfDo you have thoughts about hurting yourself or the baby? Or even suicide? This is an advanced sign of postpartum depression that must be addressed immediately. If ever you do feel like harming yourself or anyone around you, do reach out for help and call your doctor right away to get the treatment you need. For new mothers who have experienced one or more of these signs, do reach out to your partner and loved ones, as well as a medical professional. You are not alone and can get through postpartum depression!
3 min read
When Do Babies Start Laughing? The Developmental Stages to Know
As your little one begins to grow and achieve milestones, you’re excited to have them hit certain ones, especially when they begin laughing! After all, what parent doesn’t want to see their little one smile and laugh? Seeing your little one laugh is one of the best parenting moments new moms and dads wait for, and once they start, you won’t get enough! However, their laughter won’t happen the moment they’re born. You’ll need to be patient and wait until that time comes. When do babies start laughing anyway? Read on to find out! When Do Babies Start Laughing? Most babies will first laugh out loud when they hit 3-4 months old. However, the first laugh might come at later months for other babies. Just like any other milestone, the timeline varies from baby to baby, so be patient and let it come on their own time. You can even help your little one discover their first laugh, with many ways to have them feel delighted enough to chuckle. Their first laughs would usually be inspired by anything that makes them happy, from simple things like their favorite toys, or even seeing you laugh, too! Another interesting motivator for their laughs is their curiosity- They want to hear their own voice and see the positive reactions of others around them! Once your little begins to laugh, he’ll start to laugh even more, as it feels great, it’s a cute sound, and he’ll love seeing you do the same. If it takes a bit longer than 4 months and they haven’t laughed yet, there’s nothing to worry about. Some babies are naturally serious, not laughing as much compared to others. This is okay, as long as they are meeting all of the other developmental milestones. Focus on all the age-appropriate milestones (like smiling, recognizing people, and making other sounds), not just this one! If you’re worried about your child not laughing or meeting the other developmental milestones, then it’s best to bring it up with your baby’s doctor during his next check-up. His doctor will ask about different milestones met, so take note of these for a complete ‘report’. He will give you professional advice based on his evaluations, recommending therapy or other exercises as needed. There are also other ways you can encourage your baby to have their first laugh, such as: · Make funny noises like kissing or popping sounds, talk in squeaky voices, or blow your lips together. These are more interesting noises than your normal voice, which can have your baby laugh. You can also give them noisemakers, provided that these are safe toys to play with· Tickle or blow on your baby’s skin gently, or kissing their hands and feet· Play fun games like peek-a-boo, which is a great way to have babies begin laughing Among the many memorable events you can’t wait to experience with your little one, laughing must be one of the top of your list! This wonderful milestone will be reached eventually, only taking a few months. If not, this is totally OK, your little one will learn to laugh eventually, and your home will be filled with that adorable giggle. Hopefully, we answered your question, ‘when do babies start laughing?’ Wait patiently and allow your little one to take time until they learn different actions, they’ll be giggling in no time!
3 min read
When to Start Sippy Cup: The Best Time for Your Baby
Are you unsure about when you should introduce the sippy cup to your baby? In short, it depends, but there are signs to be aware of to see if your child is ready to make the move. What is a Sippy Cup?Sippy cups are training cups usually made of plastic, having a screw or snap-on lid and spout so your little one can drink without spilling the liquids. Some models come with and without handles, along with sippy cups with different kinds of spouts.These cups are a good way for your little one to transition from bottle-feeding or nursing to drinking from regular cups. It also improves hand-to-mouth coordination and motor skills, so they have independence without making a huge mess.When to Start Sippy CupThere isn’t an exact time to introduce the sippy cup to all babies, as it depends on their preference and if you feel like they are ready. The typical time to introduce the sippy cup is between 6-12 months, many recommending starting the sippy cup when your baby reaches 9 months old. In fact, a recent Pediatrics study found out that 9 months is the “ideal” age when transitioning little ones from the bottle, and that they should begin drinking exclusively from a sippy cup when they reach 12 months old.Besides that, other signs that your baby might be ready include: Prolonged bottle use may lead to cavities and/or iron-deficiency anemia, and it may encourage them to drink even more milk than needed. So it is recommended to work to have your baby transition to a sippy cup sooner rather than later. This may increase the risk of obesity, tooth decay, and even affect the development and positioning of adult teeth later on in life.How to Introduce Your Little One to the Sippy CupNow that you know when to introduce your little one to the sippy cup, how can you do so gradually? Here are quick tips to follow:Talk to your pediatrician if you have more lingering questions regarding the sippy cup transition. Don't stress! You will make the right decision when makes the most sense for your family.
3 min read
5 Sleep-Training Methods For Babies You Can Follow
As new parents, it may be difficult adjusting to your baby's sleeping habits, especially when they wake up crying in the middle of the night! Once they reach a few months old, it's time to begin training them to sleep peacefully on their own, and at the right time. How can you do it?Here are the 5 different sleep-training methods for babies you can consider trying: Also known as the Check-and-Console Method, there are different variations but a similar principle: Continue checking on your little one at preset intervals but you don't feet or lull them to sleep, as this would mean they won't sleep on their own. Once you go through the typical bedtime routine, put your little one in the crib and leave the room, waiting for a specific amount of time (a minute or two). Then go in and reassure your little one with a few words or a simple pat or rub. Do NOT pick the baby up and leave the room again, continuing to leave and check on them until they fall asleep. While effective, some parents report that going into their room would aggravate their baby more. With that said, consider the next option, CIO. You do not respond to any crying as your baby tries to sleep. Go through the bedtime routine and put them in their crib and walk out. This is a controversial sleep-training method that's still up for debate. What you do next is what works for you and your little one. Expect a lot of crying, though it's short-term and as long as you know they are safe (check through a baby monitor and camera), then it's worth a try. This is a gradual sleep-training method that needs a lot of patience and discipline. Prep your little one for bed but instead of walking out, stay near the crib and sit down. Once they fall asleep, leave the room but once they wake up, sit back in the chair until they are asleep again. You should console them from your chair, if possible, and not closer. Every few nights, move your chair further away until you are outside the room. If your baby is younger than seven months, then this is a suitable method where you’re staying in the room without having to provide too much help for your baby to fall asleep. Simply stand over your baby’s crib and start shushing him by patting his tummy for reassurance. You can also let your baby fuss over for a short while and pick him up, then put him in his crib before he falls asleep. These methods work well for younger babies but it may make some babies more upset because of overstimulation. With the Bedtime-Routine Fading technique, simply continue whichever sleep-training method works for you. But every few days, decrease the amount of time spent doing it until you won't have to do it anymore. As for the Bedtime-Hour Fading, you place your baby in the crib at the typical time they start dozing off, then make that their bedtime for a few nights. Then start to slowly move the bedtime at an earlier time, such as 20 minutes earlier until your little one nods off at the desired bedtime. Beyond these sleep-training methods for your baby, make sure that you do much more research and talk to your doctor for more advice. What can work for others may not work for you and your baby, so trial-and-error is needed here, as well as a lot of patience. The good news is that for most babies, sleep continues to improve over time regardless of which sleep training methods you use. Good luck!
4 min read
When to Start Cow’s Milk for Baby: Making the Switch
If you are considering making the switch to cow's milk for your baby, there are a few things to consider, including when to start cow's milk. It varies slightly, but a consensus is, around a year.When to Start Cow’s Milk for BabyBased on the advice of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, it’s best to wait until your baby turns a year old or over that. Once they hit the 1-year milestone, you can begin switching out breastmilk and/or formula with cow’s milk. As you introduce cow's milk, make sure you start with whole milk, not skim or non-fat. The fat in whole milk is beneficial for the brain, which is crucial for better development during their first 2 years. But if you have a family history or are at risk of heart diseases or obesity, then it’s best to speak with a pediatrician regarding the best choices of milk for your little one.Why Wait to Start on Cow's Milk?You’re probably wondering- Why wait for a year rather than start weaning off breastmilk or formula? Sure, it’s tempting to begin introducing your little one to cow’s milk sooner than a year old, but you shouldn’t rush it.Breastmilk and formula contain iron, vitamin C, among other important nutrients that you don’t find in cow’s milk, or at least not in adequate quantities for your little one to develop well. But when your baby reaches a year old, they can compensate for lost nutrients once they begin eating solids, having a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and dairy. To add to this, here are reasons why you shouldn’t replace breastmilk or formula with cow’s milk too soon:The Benefits of Cow’s MilkMilk is a great source of calcium and vitamin D, which is good for bone development and to protect your body from various conditions, like diabetes and cancer. Just make sure that you feed cow's milk in appropriate amounts, 2-3 servings a day. Wrapping It UpIt’s important to learn when to feed your little one the appropriate and nutritious foods. With cow’s milk, you’ll need to wait for at least a year, and once you do, they can enjoy the health benefits this yummy drink has to offer.
3 min read