K is for Kangaroo Care

K is for Kangaroo Care

Kangaroo Care is just another way of saying skin-to-skin contact.  It is called kangaroo care due to the similarities it has to a mother kangaroo carrying her baby joey in her pouch.  This doesn’t mean you are both naked.  You or your partner are simply topless and your baby will still be in a diaper.  You can then wear a robe or jacket, or wrap a blanket around your both to stay warm.  When your baby is a bit older you can even hold them skin-to-skin with a wrap. Kangaroo Care can be one of the best ways to help your preterm baby, and is great for full term babies as well!  When you hold your baby skin-to-skin you help your baby stabilize their heart rate and respiratory rate, improve their oxygen saturation rate, and help them regulate their body temperature.  Helping their body with all of these tasks helps them conserve energy and thus they will be less likely to lose too much weight. Kangaroo care can also help with brain development and immune system function. The benefits are amazing!  Most tests and procedures can be preformed while you hold your baby skin-to-skin…

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Balancing Being a Mom and an Entrepreneur - Guest Blog

Balancing Being a Mom and an Entrepreneur - Guest Blog

People sometimes ask me how I balance being a mom of three kids, a wife and the co-founder and president of I See Me! Personalized Children’s Books, which is the largest publisher of personalized children’s books in the U.S. As a bit of background, our company has sold millions of copies of our personalized books on www.iseeme.com and through retailers such as Nordstrom, Shutterfly and Pottery Barn Kids. Our customers include A-list celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Brooke Shields and Courteney Cox, as well as hundreds of thousands of moms, aunts and grandparents who buy our personalized books as new baby gifts, baptism and holiday gifts.

My answer is that there is no perfect balance. The word “balance” implies that the same amount of weight is on each side of the seesaw. If I think about my kids and family being on one side of the seesaw and my business on the other, I seem to shift my weight from one side to the other, depending on the needs of each at any given time…

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J is for Juice

J is for Juice

Something that can be a topic of conflict between new parents and grandparents is when it is okay to give your baby water or juice.  Grandparents may be telling you to give your baby extra water or juice to fill them up more or to help cool them down; this is now outdated information and should definitely be avoided in babies under 6 months.

Babies under 6 months should only be drinking breastmilk or formula.  Do not give your baby juice or water until they are 6 months old.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding any juice until your baby turns one year old…

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I is for Infant Massage

I is for Infant Massage

Do you feel refreshed and relaxed after having a massage?  I know I do.  Having the tension in your muscles worked out can make you feel like a new person.  Believe it or not, newborns can benefit from massage therapy as well – and it is safe to start as soon as you would like.  Birth was a difficult journey and they are growing rapidly inside and out, so they are bound to have a few kinks that can get worked out.  Infant massage is a great way to help relax your baby, decrease stress, relieve their gas, and bond.  While they may benefit from professional massage or chiropractic therapy, there are some basic massage techniques you can do from home.  If you are in the military I highly recommend contacting your local New Parent Support Program (NPSP) and scheduling a group class or private home visitation where they can provide hands on instruction for massaging your baby safely…

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Car Seat Safety - Guest Blog

Car Seat Safety - Guest Blog

My certification to be a CPST - Child Passenger Safety Technician, was 5 day course! There are a myriad types and styles of car seats, from those that laydown for preemies, special seats for special needs children and youth, to low back boosters for 10-12 year olds and then the cars are all different and, not all cars are compatible with the seat that has been chosen.

Creating your wish list for the baby shower invariably includes choosing a car seat or travel system. But there are so many options, so many variables! In actual fact, choosing the car seat really does come down to personal choice and how much you want to spend. There are, however, a few car seat options that don’t fit well in certain cars, but those are mostly in the high end cars and high end car seats. For example, not all Mercedes are intended to be a family car…

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Babywearing - Guest Blog

Babywearing - Guest Blog

Parenting is hard. Some moments it’s the absolute greatest, but then there are times where one kid is pouring soap on the floor, one is repeatedly flushing *something* down the toilet, and the baby is crying while you try to make a healthy dinner that they will inevitably refuse to eat because it’s not in the shape of a dinosaur. I have no advice for that, but there is something that can help soothe babies and keep toddlers out of mischief: babywearing!

The term babywearing is actually fairly new, originating with famed pediatrician Dr. Sears. The actual act of babywearing, however, has been going on for centuries across many cultures. The Mexican rebozo, African khanga, Inuit amauti, and Japanese onbuhimo to name a few…

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H is for Heel Stick

H is for Heel Stick

The heel stick is likely the first blood draw your baby will have.  When this is performed on your newborn a small lancet will be used to prick your baby’s heel and then your baby’s foot will be squeezed until an adequate amount of blood has been obtained.  This heel stick typically occurs at the 24 hour mark and is part of the newborn screening which includes a hearing test and sometimes a congenital heart disease screening.  The newborn heel stick tests for serious genetic medical conditions.  Which specific conditions your baby is screened for varies by state, to learn what your state tests for you can visit Baby’s First Test.  Virginia screens for 31 different conditions.  Screening your newborn at birth will allow any medical conditions to be diagnosed and treated early, possibly saving your baby’s life.  The newborn screening is required in all states, but can be refused for religious reasons…

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Cloth Diapers - Guest Blog

Cloth Diapers - Guest Blog

There are so many decisions parents are faced with. One that often gets overlooked is what kind of diaper baby is going to wear. The hospital hands you your new baby in a disposable and often, that’s that! But why? Cloth diapers have a reputation for being more work and, well, gross. Thankfully they are nothing like they used to be! They are better designed with new fabrics and actually have quite a few benefits!

One benefit is cost savings. A child can be diapered from birth to using a toilet for around $200, and those can be used again on future children or resold. To put that in perspective, disposables and wipes cost around $2500 per child! Cloth diapers are also better for the environment. Disposable diapers do not decompose well especially in a landfill. Yes, you use water to wash cloth diapers, but water is also used to manufacture those disposables, so it’s a wash (see what I did there?). By using cloth you know exactly what is touching baby’s skin, unlike disposables, which are not required to disclose what chemicals the diapers contain. Cloth’s breathability helps decrease diaper rash, too! Lastly, I know you don’t think that sweet, adorable little baby is capable of this, but as any veteran parent or caregiver will tell you, babies can poop with unimaginable velocity. This causes the diaper blowouts you may have heard of. Thankfully these are almost unheard of with cloth!

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G is for Gas

G is for Gas

Gas is very common in babies.  Most gas in babies is caused when they are digesting milk or food; it is a normal byproduct of digestion!  Digestion gas usually passes through the bottom as a toot instead of as a burp.  But gas can also occur from swallowing air – this gas usually comes out as a burp or spit up.

When they eat, cry, or use a pacifier babies may swallow some air, which can pass as a toot or a burp.  This may make your baby bloated, fussy, have a hard tummy, cry, burp, or toot.  Unless your baby seems to be in constant pain, there is nothing to worry about with gas.  It is okay for your baby to cry, and even redden when passing gas, but as long as he/she goes back to his/her normal behavior after passing the gas, all is well.  Sometimes the gas is passed very loudly, often startling everyone in the room including your baby.  As your baby grows and his/her organs grow, gas will be less common or at least more tolerable…

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F is for Feeding

F is for Feeding

There is so much involved with the different options of how to feed your baby.  I will not be able to go into that much detail on this blog post, but if you have specific questions about anything to do with feeding your baby please comment or send me a message and I would be happy to help.

There are essentially three ways you can feed your baby.  Breastfeeding, bottle feeding pumped milk, and formula feeding – or any combination of the three.  I will present the basic information covering the essentials of each option…

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E is for Erythromycin

E is for Erythromycin

The gel that nurses or doctors put in your baby’s eyes after birth is call Erythromycin Ointment, although some simply refer to it as “the eye goo”.  Erythromycin along with a Vitamin K shot, and Hepatitis B vaccine are routinely given to baby’s shortly after birth.  It is recommended to give the ointment to babies within 24 hours after birth to prevent ophthalmia neonatorum, commonly known as pink eye, which in severe cases can cause blindness.  Pink eye in newborns is much more serious than the infection is in adults.  The previous treatment was silver nitrate drops; thankfully they no longer use this method of treatment…

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Recognizing Infant Cues - Guest Blog

Recognizing Infant Cues - Guest Blog

So, let’s talk about that amazing newborn and how your baby starts to interact with you and the world around her.  At first, your baby is fascinated with the newness of her new environment. Once your baby adjusts to the brightness, your baby will look around and make smacking or licking motions with her mouth, and usually your baby will seek a familiar friend, her hand!  If your baby is placed on your tummy and allowed to “do her thing”, your baby will gradually crawl towards your chest and place herself on the breast to explore and enjoy her first meal, all by herself!  Your baby will stay wide-eyed and curious for up to four hours before she crashes from her first birthday party!  Your little one will be pretty out of it for the next twenty hours or so; coming out of the party hangover at about twenty-four hours of age and ready to nurse, nurse, nurse!

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D is for Diapers

D is for Diapers

By diapers I don’t mean what kind of diaper you should buy or how to put one on your baby, I mean what your baby is making for you inside those diapers!  Whether you cloth diaper, or use Pampers or Huggies or some other type of diaper, isn’t of concern – although you may want to wait a few days to use cloth diapers.  What you see in your baby’s diapers will change during the first week of life…

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C is for Cradle Cap

C is for Cradle Cap

…Or what most parents frustratingly or accidentally call cradle crap-- it just rolls off the tongue so much easier than cradle cap.  Cradle cap looks like scabs or scales and can completely cover your baby’s scalp or may be in patches.  DO NOT WORRY!  This doesn’t itch, hurt, or irritate your baby.  These scales are thick and white or yellow of color and are nearly IMPOSSIBLE to remove!  Cradle cap usually affects babies from newborn to about three months old, but can last a year or more.

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B is for Bilirubin

B is for Bilirubin

Bilirubin is a pigment in blood that causes neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, jaundice, in newborns.  This happens when the red blood cells break down.  The pigment is orange-yellow, and excessive levels can cause the skin and/or eyes to appear yellowed, this is referred to as jaundice.  Normally the liver removes the bilirubin from your baby’s blood and excretes it through the initial stools, or meconium.  High bilirubin levels can be caused by two key things: blood breaking down at a faster than normal rate or by a liver that isn’t functioning properly.  High bilirubin levels in adults can be a sign of cirrhosis, hepatitis, gallstones, or sickle cell disease…

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A is for APGAR

A is for APGAR

APGAR is a test that is performed on your baby twice after birth, at 1 minute and at 5 minutes of life.  The tests can be done while you hold your baby as they are merely observations.  The score at 1 minute indicates how well your baby tolerated being born and the score at 5 minutes indicates how well your baby is doing now that he/she is outside of the womb.  If the scores are poor at 1 and/or 5 minutes the test may be performed again at 10 minutes…

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