Wednesday, 20 June 2012

New Born Feeding: Breast or Bottle?

Feeding your baby can be very rewarding and a time to enjoy a real feeling of closeness. Babies get far more than just nutrition from a feed - they enjoy the cuddle, the comfort and the satisfaction of a full tummy.
In addition, feeding your baby has an impact on his health, not just in infancy but in the long term, too.
In the UK, most mums start off breastfeeding. Breastmilk supplies all the nutrients your baby needs for about first six months and it's the normal, physiological way to feed a human baby. Take the opportunity in pregnancy to talk about your feeding preferences and get the most up-to-date information you can.
Research shows that babies who aren't breastfed have a higher risk of infection, and are more likely to spend time in hospital during their first year. This difference does not depend on the social or economic status of the baby's family - the gaps in health persist even when these factors are taken into account.
But it's not enough to know that breastfeeding gives your baby a better start. Many mothers need help and support to breastfeed, and access to good information to overcome problems.
If you don't breastfeed, for whatever reason, then your baby will need infant formula milk.
Mixed feeding - giving your baby formula milk as well as breastfeeding - can be a way to maintain some breastfeeding if you return to work, or if breastfeeding alone isn't working out for you.
Because you need to breastfeed often to keep up a supply of milk, mixed feeding can lead to breastmilk production dwindling sooner than you wish. Talk to a breastfeeding counsellor, or other knowledgeable person, to help you work out a plan that suits you.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Baby Summer Safety Guide

There you two are at the park, coated in sunblock, fully hydrated, enjoying the clouds and the birds and the swings when a *%@! bee sticks his behind in your sweetie's chubby thigh and ruins it all. Double *%@! Use our guide to sidestep the season's safety traps, and find out what to do if any bees (or jellyfish or sand throwers) try to cross your path
Sneaky beach bummers
sand It's so soft and squishy, but it can sizzle little feet as well as irritate the mouth and eyes when it (inevitably) becomes airborne.
play it safe Keep your baby's sandals or water shoes on, especially on extra-hot days. When you get to your spot, plop him down facing you so you can keep an eye out for taste-testing, throwing, or blowing sand. If the grit gets in his mouth, do what you can to rinse it (you may have to wipe it out). For sand in his eyes, try to flush them with fresh water -- he'll scream, but getting even a little in will help. If he's still rubbing after an hour, seek medical attention to be sure there are no scratches or particles left under the eyelid, says Andrea McCoy, M.D., director of outpatient pediatrics at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
rip currents These powerful channels of water that flow away from shore can occur at any beach with breaking waves -- the Great Lakes included. Some are so strong you can even lose your footing in knee-deep water, says B.J. Fisher, health and safety director for the American Lifeguard Association in Vienna, Virginia.
play it safe Head into the water near a lifeguard tower, and check the current conditions before you go in (either ask the guard or look for posted signs). Hold your little dipper's hand as he gets his feet wet; and if you go for a double dip, stay close to shore. If you feel yourself getting pulled out, try not to panic (this is very important!). Swim parallel to the beach until you break free -- it won't be far; most rips are quite narrow.
jellyfish These ocean ouchies are frequent problems for swimmers. And you don't even have to be in the water to encounter one -- you can actually get stung on the beach. Some can be hard to spot because they're small and transparent, but other jellyfish can be a beautiful blue that might attract a child to go up and touch it. The big guys (man-of-wars) might even look like soccer balls underwater.
play it safe Avoid, avoid, avoid -- obviously. But should you or your baby fall within a tentacled grip, head straight to the lifeguard station for aid. They'll have supplies that can help minimize the pain.
shells They sure are fun to hunt, but jagged ones can cause big-time boo-boos, and small ones can be easy-to-overlook choking hazards.
play it safe Shoes go far here as well, but, let's face it, some kids just love going barefoot. If yours gets a cut, just head to the bathroom to wash it out with soap and water, then ask the lifeguard for a bandage. If the bleeding doesn't stop after applying ten minutes of pressure, head to the ER. Otherwise, apply an over-the-counter triple antibiotic ointment when you get home, and call your doctor if any signs of infection (redness and swelling) develop.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Antidepressant use during pregnancy linked to increased risk of autism

Several studies have implicated antidepressant use during pregnancy with short term complications in newborns, autism, and other birth defects. A study published in the Archives of General Psychology in July 2011 uncovered a connection between antidepressant use during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism. Increases in autism have coincided with increased use of antidepressants. According to a report in US News, the use of antidepressants in the U.S. has doubled between 1996 and 2005. This dramatic rise in antidepressant use raises questions about the safety of these drugs during pregnancy. The FDA classifies SSRI (antidepressants) as class C drugs, which means they have not been proven safe or unsafe for use in pregnancy. New research is exposing these drugs as potentially unsafe during pregnancy despite the FDA classification.

The recent study in the Archives of General Psychology raises questions about the safety of these drugs in pregnancy and about the fact that a discussion about alternative treatments for pregnant women should be initiated. This study evaluated nearly 1800 children including 298 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Researchers found that the children whose mothers took SSRI antidepressants one year prior to birth had double the incidence of autism. Researchers concluded that prenatal antidepressant exposure particularly in the first trimester causes a modest increase in autism risk. Due to safety concerns some medical professionals support alternative treatments for pregnant women that do not pose risks to the unborn child.

Dr. Mason Turner, Assistant Director of Regional Mental Health for Kaiser, stated that alternatives to medication should be discussed with pregnant women. He suggested the use of stress reduction techniques, support groups, psychotherapy, reducing work hours, and discussing familial support. Many women express concerns over taking medication during pregnancy and physicians must offer women alternatives to medication particularly when that medication has not been proven safe for use in pregnancy. According to The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), several short-term complications have been seen in newborns due to SSRI exposure in-utero.

The ACOG issued a press release on antidepressant use in pregnancy detailing some concerning complications seen in newborns. "Exposure to SSRIs late in pregnancy has been associated with short-term complications in newborns including jitteriness, mild respiratory distress, excessively rapid respiration, weak cry, poor muscle tone, and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit." The ACOG also mentions an unpublished study that found exposure to a common antidepressant during the first trimester associated with an increased risk of congenital heart malformations. In light of all the risks associated with antidepressant use in pregnancy women should seek out alternative forms of treatment where appropriate.

Dr. James Gordon, a Psychiatrist and founder of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, has found success treating depression for over 35 years using diet, exercise and meditation. Dr Gordon has published a study on the efficacy of his program. The study involved 139 children from Kosovo suffering from post-traumatic stress. After completing 10 weeks of the program, the children suffering from PTSD went from 88 percent to 38 percent. Studies highlighting the efficacy of drug-free treatments offer pregnant women safer alternatives in treating depression. Pregnant women should be informed about the treatment options available for depression and should discuss them with their health practitioner.


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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

How To Talk To Your Baby - And Understand What She's Saying Back

It is incredible, but within a years time your baby will progress from random crying to talking. This is quite an achievement for your baby and in a very short period of time. In this chapter we will look at your baby's development when it comes to language. You'll also discover what you can expect to see every month but it's important to remember that these stages of your baby's development are broad and because every baby is different these are not meant as exact milestones. One month. Your baby will be able to understand speech long before actually talking. From birth he will look at your face and listen to your voice. He may make a small range of noises that will start to mean something to you - these may be made when he experiences feelings of hunger or pain (such as crying and certain sounds while he is breathing). When your baby is eating, you may notice him making sucking type noises and sounds of contentment. The way that your baby cries is an important communication method while he is actually unable to talk. Crying lays the foundation for speech as your baby learns to control his vocal cords. Crying is also a baby's way of indicating hunger, discontentment, or general discomfort. Through responding to this crying you let your baby know that she is important to you - and this can really be reassuring for a young infant. Two months. As a child enters his second month he is far more aware of the world - things such as sounds, even that of your voice, will amuse and fascinate your child. Change the tone of your voice and this will keep him amused. Your baby will respond with a variety of cooing sounds, vowel-like sounds, and sometimes some consonant sounds such as a "k". You will find that your baby has quite a collection of cooing sounds that she uses to communicate with you as well as discover how to use the sound of her own voice. During this time, try and talk with your baby - this will encourage her response and help in the development process. By looking into your baby's eyes you are communicating an important thing to her - that you are listening. Three months. By now you will find that your baby is able to recognize your voice and may come to you or face you when your voice is heard. You may notice him laugh out aloud and may even scare himself by doing this (as he does not initially know that he is the one making the sounds). Your baby will be making sounds such as "ahhhh gooo". He will squeal when he is happy and content, again often startling himself as he learns his own abilities. At this stage you should not only talk to your baby but also introduce other communication forms such as singing and story telling. The greater your effort in trying to talk with him, the better his response is likely to be. Four months. By now more and more communication should be taking place with your baby. You may notice a greater amount of smiling - while his babbling may have a noticeably singsong quality to it, often ranging into a high pitch that delights him as he learns to like the sound of his own voice. There will be lots of repetition to the sounds that your baby makes. It is important that you always respond to your baby's "oohs" and "ahhs" and whatever other communication methods she is using - respond with your own voice tones. This is your chance to have a "chat time" with your baby and you should take advantage of these times - you are helping him to discover the art of conversation. There will also be certain times when your baby may also not be in the mood for talking. He will turn his head in the other direction and may put his arm over his face. He may be showing signs of anger or frustration by crying out, especially if something is taken away from him. Five months. As each month progresses you will find that your baby is becoming better at communicating. It's possible that you will notice him imitate some sounds and gestures. By now he'll most likely be able to let you know if he's happy or sad. When attention is wanted your baby will babble until he is given the attention he feels he deserves. Interestingly, if you always respond to his communication efforts (whatever these may be) he'll repeat them whenever he wants your attention this way. During this month it's likely that your baby will be looking at your mouth moving while you talk. Talk to him from across the room and he'll be able to find you with ease. He is learning to control his vocal sounds as he watches your response to his sounds. Six months. Your baby may now be using consonant-vowel combinations. It's quite possible that he has discovered his mirror reflection and is probably having conversations with himself. Your baby's language is becoming much more precise. Here are some ways that you can help your baby develop her language skills: · Speak very slowly and clearly. · Identify and point out items, objects and people as you talk about them. · Use shorter sentences sentences. · Using repetition when singing songs and nursery rhymes helps the learning process. · Reading to your baby is a good idea and should be done as often as possible - ask your baby questions and point things out to make the process as interactive as possible. · Let your baby respond in his own way when communicating with her. Seven months. Your baby is now continuing to learn how to use his newfound language skills. He may be able to do things such as wave goodbye and may accompany his wave with babbling sounds. He can say "mama" or "dada". Eight months. Your baby is playing games such as pat a cake and peek-a-boo. Even though he can't speak the words that belong to these games, he can babble and talk to himself. It's likely that your baby knows what the word "No" means by now as well. Nine to twelve months. It's possible that by now your baby understands requests and commands such as "give it" or "don't touch that". Similarly, she may understand simple questions such as "where's your rattle?" At this time you should be encouraging your baby to use gestures (and you should respond to them). For example if your baby indicates she wants to be picked up then say "you want to be picked up?" while picking her up. This helps the learning process. You should also talk about everything that you do, and use gestures (and short sentences) as you're doing them. Here are some ways to help your baby with the learning process: · Look at books and talk about the pictures in simple languages. Where possible try and use books that your baby is able to hold. · Talk often to your baby using simple words to identify objects in his life. Name trees, numbers, colours, and animals as you take your baby for a walk. You should also use your baby's name often - this way she will be able to recognise it. · Talk back to your child when she talks with you. · Introduce concepts to your baby, such as the "big" dog or the "little" mouse. · Give your baby time to get his words out; don't be tempted to complete sentences for him. · Continue to read to your baby as much as possible. Reading should be part of your daily routine. · From day one start to talk in a simple, short and uncomplicated way with your baby - even though she will not understand what you are saying this is laying the foundations for learning language. Twelve months. After one year babies are generally able to say one or two words and are able to understand 25 words or more. For example if a person in the room asks, "where is daddy?" your baby will look for you. Your baby is also able to point at things (and ask for things in this way). Keziah Engineer is the author of the best selling ebook “THE BABY CARE BOOK” – a resource that teaches new parents absolutely everything they need to know about their newborn babies: [] Article Source:

Monday, 11 June 2012

Newborn Baby Checklist - A Complete List of Newborn Needs For the New Mom

The long awaited day is almost here! Soon you will hold a precious baby in your arms, and you want everything to be perfect!
Bringing home a newborn baby, especially when it is your first, can be daunting. Such big changes and unknowns can cause a new mom stress. "De-stressify" your preparation with this newborn baby checklist. It will help give you the confidence to know you are prepared!
The following newborn baby checklist can be used as a guideline in the quest to be prepared for your new arrival. While no checklist will have you prepared for EVERYTHING (like finding out your mother-in-law will be coming to "help" for a few weeks), this one ought to come close!
Clothing - Newborn babies grow into the next size very quickly! Don't go crazy purchasing the tiny newborn clothing items, or you may find that your baby has outgrown them before he/she has even had a chance to try them on! By the time your baby is about 8-9 pounds, you will need the 3 month old clothing (these will last until your baby is about 12 pounds). Some larger babies even skip the newborn size altogether!
The quantities listed here are based on the assumption that you will be washing your laundry at least 2 times per week. 
  • 5-10 newborn sized outfits
  • 2 sweaters
  • 5-7 sleepwear
  • 2-4 wearable blankets or sleep sacks
  • 4-6 onsies
  • dress clothes
  • 2 pairs of mittens (for preventing scratches)
  • hats - one for warmth and one for shade
  • snowsuit - do NOT use when your baby is in his/her car seat
  • 6-10 pairs of socks (more is better because they are so little that they get lost or "eaten" by the washing machine)
  • accessories - such as shoes, hair decor, jewelry
  • mild laundry detergent
Bathing and Grooming - When my first baby was born, we had very little in the way of baby supplies - and nothing for bathing. Do you know what we discovered? We didn't really need much. He got perfectly clean when I bathed him in the bathroom sink and washed his hair with the kitchen sink hose.
So why did I include most of the following items in this newborn baby checklist? Convenience. There is a LOT to be said for convenience when you have a newborn baby in the house! 
  • baby tub or baby bathing sponge
  • 4 baby washcloths
  • 2 hooded towels
  • baby lotion
  • baby brush
  • infant nail clippers
  • baby shampoo/body wash
  • bath thermometer
Nursery Items - A beautifully decked-out nursery is a fun way to prepare for your new baby. Giving the baby's room personality and then putting away the items he/she will be using makes it start feeling like he will REALLY be arriving soon! Consider:
  • dresser
  • baby size hangers
  • rocking chair
  • cd player with soothing cds
  • night light
  • nursery decor - wall hangings, window coverings, bed skirt
Diapering - "Changing a diaper is a lot like getting a present from your grandmother - you're not sure what you've got but you're pretty sure you're not going to like it." (Foxworthy) No baby checklist would be complete without "covering" this.
  • wet wipes - either commercial or home-made
  • changing table with a water-proof pad
  • 3 washable changing pad covers
  • hand sanitizer
  • diaper rash remedy
  • wipe warmer
  • diaper disposal or diaper pail with liners
  • basket or diaper holder for keeping diapers orderly If using disposable diapers:
  • 10-12 disposable diapers per day OR If using cloth diapers:
  • 24-36 cloth diapers
  • 8-10 diaper covers
  • inserts and liners
  • diaper pins if the chosen system calls for them
  • diaper sprayer
Feeding - After you have decided whether you will be breastfeeding or bottle feeding, you will want to consider which items you will need to assist you in growing a healthy baby.
    Breastfeeding Needs:
  • 3-5 nursing bras
  • nursing pads - washable or disposable
  • breast pump
  • nipple cream
  • breast milk storage containers
  • breast feeing pillow
  • nursing cover
  • 10 burp rags
    Bottle Feeding Needs:
  • bottles (BPA free) - start with just a few until you know what your baby will prefer
  • nipples (clear silicone)
  • formula - don't stock up until you know it will "agree" with your baby
  • 10 burp rags
  • bottle brush
  • bottle warmer
  • drying rack
  • sterilization bags
Sleeping - Newborn babies spend about 18 out of every 24 hours sleeping. At least some of that time you will want to put him/her down to tend to your own needs. Your baby's safety during that time is paramount. Providing a safe, comfortable, familiar place to sleep will help your baby establish good sleeping habits which will in turn facilitate YOUR sleep. You will need:
  • sleeping place - crib with mattress, portable crib, bassinet, Moses basket, or co-sleeper
  • 2 mattress pads
  • 3 fitted sheets
  • 6-8 receiving blankets
  • baby monitor
  • a small fan for air circulation and white noise
Traveling - Whether it is across town or across the country - you will want to show off your baby (or at least re-stock on diapers). Traveling with a newborn is more complicated than grabbing your keys and walking out the door, but you will be prepared for any trip if you have:
  • car seat
  • diaper bag
  • replacement car seat cover
  • stroller
  • baby sling or carrier
  • blankets of varying thicknesses
  • car seat travel bag for air travel
  • portable crib
Health - No one likes to think about their baby becoming ill, but sooner or later it is bound to happen. Be prepared by having the following items on hand:
  • nasal aspirator/bulb syringe
  • petroleum jelly
  • digital thermometer
  • rubbing alcohol & q-tips (for umbilical cord care)
  • infant acetaminophen - use with newborns only under advisement of your pediatrician
  • saline nasal spray
  • a great pediatrician
  • Don't forget to add your baby to your health insurance policy!
Safety - Your newborn won't be mobile for a few months, but you will want to have safety items in place well before that occurs.
  • safety gates
  • corner/edge bumpers
  • safety locks
  • outlet covers
Development and Entertainment - Most of your newborn baby's early development will come from the cuddling, singing, talking, and interaction provided by the ones who love him/her the most. A few items that will stimulate and entertain him/her while you are occupied will be beneficial to you both.
  • baby mobile or a plastic mirror for the crib
  • a few toys of differing textures
  • baby swing and/or baby bouncer
  • baby book for recording all of the milestones
A common "rookie mom" mistake is caring for her baby to the exclusion of caring for herself. Don't forget to make "mommy care" a priority, too. Add your favorite bubble bath to your newborn baby checklist - and then use it!
Laurie Grismore is the busy mom to 8 great kids ranging in age from 2 to 15. She is the owner of a site devoted to educating and encouraging parents in caring for their newborn babies. Check out to find a printable checklists along with great tips and practical advice for making the first weeks with your newborn baby go smoothly.
Copyright - you may freely republish this article provided the text, author credit, the active links, and this copyright notice remain intact.

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Saturday, 9 June 2012

How to Breastfeed Your Sleepy Newborn Baby

It is very often a frustrating situation for the mother if her new born baby is in deep slumber for hours which results in insufficient breast feeding. This is not at all desirable as the baby may not gain the sufficient weight and remain under nourished. New born babies are notorious for their long spells of sleep as if they are enjoying the comfort of being in mother's womb.
Generally a baby must feed 8-10 times a day with frequent spells in the day time and short spells at night. Assuming the baby is satisfied if he sleeps for longer hours does not always prove that the baby is properly nourished. If there are long gaps in nursing, the milk supply of mother will be inadequate, as the mother's milk supply is dependent on the demands of the new born. This problem of breast feeding the sleepy new born is faced in the initial weeks post delivery and this goes off as the baby develops the reflex to demand the nourishment when he is hungry. Then the feeding-on-demand strategy can be applied.
Reasons for the new born being sleepy
1. In case the delivery and the labor is difficult and long and the mother is given special medication to relieve pains.
2. If the baby suffered from jaundice or any other infection or circumcision he may be weak and tend to be sleepy.
3. Too much intake of milk can also make a baby sleepy.
4. Inadequate supply of milk can lower the blood sugar levels of the baby making him weak.
Useful tips to nurse the sleepy new born
It is often very difficult to wake up the new born from deep slumber and breast feed him, but some postures and strategies work to nurse the sleepy baby:
1. By observing the sleep cycle of the baby by his rapid eye movements and facial expressions it is easy to wake him up and start nursing. In light sleep cycle the baby starts showing the above expressions and some body movements.
2. By removing the diapers and undressing the swaddling clothes the baby can be made alert and it becomes easy to wake him up and start breast feeding.
3. Switching off the bright lights and putting the dim lights on helps the baby to open their eyes as they are sensitive to bright lights and tend to shut their eyes and go off to sleep.
4. Position of the body is important to avoid his sleepiness during feeding. Talking to the baby, rubbing the feet, arms, spine gently helps to keep him awake aiding in proper feeding.
This feeding must be monitored in the initial weeks and the output of urine and stool must be observed which is indicative of the proper nutrition of the baby.

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Friday, 8 June 2012

Newborn Parenting

While planning their first baby, couples often remain conscious about things they need to consider about baby care, when it arrives. However, the knowledge in such case depends upon their exposure level to other babies and their active participation in those babies upbringing. One more point getting a considerable place in their knowledge is how much and what they've studied and asked relating preparations for child's birth and their care. Often it happen that some couples don't know about what they should expect from new baby's arrival, while some get crazy about their coming new ones.
When you get the news regarding a new baby's arrival, it's good to clear any queries you have, and gain knowledge by studying about new born's care before and after its arrival. You should not only prepare yourself but also the older siblings for playing a part in new baby's care. Bringing up a child is a great deal, but a new born requires you to concentrate over basic skills relating baby care. However, for many couples most of these come naturally in their behavior, but the extremely important things for baby care of their love for the new born.
Talking about love, the need for it is imperative to the feeling of happiness, security, and well being. Although, there's no skill required for the couples to feel love for a new born, it's quite important to acquire some skills to make sure that the baby knows it, always. Though, modern living has affected lives to great extent but to have a baby is a great opportunity for taking a step back while viewing love in a much natural, pure, and innocent form.
You should start preparing for baby care even before the baby actually arrives by knowing and getting the things required and precautions you need to take. To get related information you can explore books, visit several websites, and do the best by asking your elderly ones like mother, mother-in-law, etc for their experiences and knowledge about baby care.
Well, as the child adores both mother and father, if it's maintained for coming months and even years you can gain much and growing happiness always. Along with this, there are other important elements to be considered that revolve around feeding, health, cleanliness, warmth, hygiene, security, safety, and learning.
But, remember every thing you do for your new born's care must be wrapped with your extreme love as parents, which brings enduring happiness for all of you.

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