Don’t Touch My Child!

Photo Credit vegeta the saiyan, Reddit.com

Hi Medical Mama fans and followers. I want to talk about how easy it is to spread germs to a newborn/baby/young child. I think the number one thing I hear moms with new babies (not to be confused with first time moms) is that everyone seems to think it’s okay to touch a baby’s face, or put their fingers in the baby’s mouth. Gross!

Let’s Make a List:

Don’t touch a baby’s/child’s face.

Don’t touch a baby’s/child’s mouth.

Don’t put your hands or fingers near or in a baby’s/child’s mouth.

Don’t smoke around a baby/child.

Don’t cough or be around a baby/child if you’ve been under the weather at all.

It just amazes me how many people think it’s okay to do these things.

What Do Statistics Say?

I’m glad you asked. This is going to sound like beating a dead horse, but keep in mind you got vaccinated as a child. You are an adult, so your vaccinations have been completed. You are a fully functioning adult with semi good health. No history of diseases or viruses that could be prevented had you not been vaccinated because you were vaccinated completely as a baby (now give your mom a call and thank her). Babies (especially those before 1 year of age) are not able to fight off things that can be prevented from being vaccinated. They have not grown enough to have received all of their vaccinations or developed a fully functioning immune system yet. This is why it is so important that we 1) vaccinate our children, and 2) keep our hands/face/kisses/germs to ourselves.

Hand washing

hand washing
Photo Credit Gary Kibble, Perpetual Preparedness

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) hand washing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16% (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). That might not seem like a big number to you, but it is to me and anyone else who could potentially die from contracting a respiratory infection. I’ve seen what respiratory infections do to low immune system patients. Washing your hands can save a life.”Researchers in London estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, a million deaths a year could be prevented; More than 50% of healthy persons have Staphylococcus aureus living in or on their nasal passages, throat, hair, or skin; Trachoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide, is related to the lack of facial hygiene” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013).

We have had pediatric patients come in not being able to breathe and have to go to the hospital because of a respiratory infection. My daughter has asthma so badly enough that every time she gets sick any respiratory virus symptoms is exaggerated for her because of her asthma. I have had to take her in to the hospital in the middle of the night because she can’t inhale any air. She can only cough without taking a breath to keep air moving through her body.

baby intibated
Photo Credit Kristy Ramirez, Baby Gaga

If that were your child how would that make you feel if someone came up to your baby and stuck their hands in your child’s mouth? What if when your child got sick it was that bad every single time? You have nails and crevices in your hands and fingers. Think about all the bacteria being harbored there. The nails are the first place that get other people sick. They are hard to wash and keep clean. This is why nurses are required to keep their nails short. There isn’t as much space for the breeding ground of infections, viruses, bacteria, microbes, etc. Please think before you touch someone’s baby. Ask them. More than likely they will say “Yes.” They will not allow you to do things like touch their baby’s face or stick your fingers in the baby’s mouth.

Kissing the Baby

dont kiss the baby
Photo Credit Erin, Baby Memes

This is a huge one at the hospitals that families visiting immediately wants to do to your newborn baby. Don’t kiss the babies! Some huge issues with kissing babies include cold sores (Herpes Simplex Virus), RSV, food allergies, chemicals on clothes or body, Mono, stomach viruses, whooping cough, and hand foot mouth disease (Ramirez, K., Unknown). I highly encourage everyone to read this article. Let’s also not forget the flu and cold viruses you could be carrying on you (or in your finger nails that you you’ve been sticking in your mouth and touching your face with all day long). In case you were not already aware all of those things mentioned above does have the potential to kill a baby. Just because you don’t “feel sick,” or you don’t “look sick” doesn’t mean you aren’t carrying something. You could have the virus on you and it is not effecting you because you already have the antibodies to fight off this virus. A baby does not, by any means, have any way to fight off these viruses and infections. Their immune systems are not fully developed and functioning yet. They also are not big enough to get all their vaccinations at once.

Smoking Around a Baby

smoking around baby
Photo Credit Cardiff Student Media

I realize I am more than likely going to get some criticism from this, but let’s be real and talk about smoking. We don’t live in the era where we we’re not educated about smoking and it’s effects on ourselves and others. We live in 2018. We know what smoking does.

Let’s talk specifically about second-hand smoke. “Removing cigarette smoke from a home can reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 80%” (Vaping Daily, 2018). Are you willing to put a baby’s life at risk because you want to light up around baby?

second hand smoking
Photo Credit U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services

Not to mention all the harm it does to not only your lungs, but to baby’s lungs as well. Again, we know this. This has been researched and followed for decades. It’s not like this is a news flash. Please be considerate and put a baby first. Put their health first.

Being a Smoker and Holding a Baby

third hand smoking
Photo Credit newyou.com

This is considered third hand smoke. Just because you don’t smoke around a baby/child does not mean you are not hurting the baby/child. You have smoking residue on your clothes and on your breath. Did you know this will increase the risk of SIDS for that baby? It can be fatal. I am not saying you should change your lifestyle. I am saying though that the baby/child is not choosing to smoke. Change your clothes and take a shower. Wash your hands too. Make sure you scrub all the way down before touching/holding a baby. Don’t put your child in a smoker’s home where this could increase your baby’s risks. The smell also irritates the nasal passages. This makes breathing harder for baby. If the child has asthma that is an even bigger issue.

Please Stop and Think Before You Touch Someone’s Baby!

germs
Photo Credit Mayo Clinic Staff

If you are a family member, friend, distant relative, or you are a stranger who sees an adorable baby please stop and think before you just go touching someone’s child. Think about all the viruses, bacteria, microbes, GERMS you could be carrying on your body. Even if you wash your hands you still have some of those potentially harmful things on your skin. My advice to moms is just keep your baby at home as much as you can for a while. I understand that is not practical, but as a mom you have to do what you can still.

Good luck to all the moms with babies and who are having these issues with others touching their babies. It’s scary taking your baby in public. I understand. Hopefully sharing this article with others will help educate others on the potentially harmful things that people carry on them every day.

As always please share your story below in the comments section. This not only helps other moms, but it helps anyone who is thinking about children as well.

Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Hygiene Fast Facts. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/fast_facts.html

Ramirez, Kristy. (Unknown). 13 Horrific Reasons Not to Let People Kiss the Baby. Retrieved from https://www.babygaga.com/13-horrific-reasons-not-to-let-people-kiss-the-baby/

Vaping Daily. (2018). The Dangers of Tobacco Use: Daycare Staff and SIDS risk. Retrieved from https://vapingdaily.com/support/newborns-toddlers-health/

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Breast Feeding, Bottle Feeding, Formula Feeding: Which is the Right Choice for Me?

Photo Credit Disqus

I want to start off letting all the parents out there know that this article focuses on what is best for baby, and not what is necessarily the best choice overall. I am not bias one way or another. How you decide to feed your baby is a personal decision. It is the decision you make based upon what is right for you and your baby. Feeding your baby is more important than who is doing it the “right way” per other people’s perspectives. I hear so many moms shaming other moms because they don’t/didn’t breast feed. Did you know some moms can not breast feed? Some moms try to breast feed. They do everything they can to get their milk supply up. They don’t give up, but it just does not end up working out for them. Sometimes it doesn’t end up working out for baby either. There are so many factors in this.

My mother, with both her children, was able to breast feed. She would tell me she basically was a cow in the fact that she leaked milk constantly. She also has always been able to be at home doing something. She clearly is a great candidate for breast feeding her children. My sister and I did not have any issues latching on. We were fed a la breast.

Breast Feeding: Is This the Right Choice for Me?

Some of you may be reading this thinking “Of course this is the right choice. It’s the only choice.” Did you know this is not the only choice of feeding your baby? Breast feeding exclusively takes a lot of time and patience. It also takes dedication and willingness to offer your baby your breasts at every moment of the day. Every day. Working moms have a harder time with this. At-home-moms may have a hard time with this as well depending on their family’s needs, other children, etc.

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Just remember breast feeding is a personal decision. Do not let others sway you one way or the other. This decision is between you and your baby. Breast feeding has so many benefits for you and your baby.

 

 

Photo Credit Thayer Allyson Gowdy

*Breast Feeding: Benefits for Baby*

My personal reason for wanting to breast feed is that baby receives your antibodies from your breast milk. That is how baby stays healthy. If baby catches a virus that you already have had your body will have the antibodies for it and make it easier for baby to fight off the virus. Another great reason to breast feed is breast milk has the perfect amount of nutrients via what you put in your body. There’s fats, proteins, vitamins, etc. “Babies who are breast fed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea. They also have fewer hospitalizations and trips to the doctor.” (WebMD, 2005-2018).

mriPhoto Credit Telegraph Media Group Limited

The more interesting thing I have found though is that children who are breast fed seem to be smarter overall. They are more successful as adults and in their academics and careers. Some other great benefits I would like to highlight include the physical aspect of it for baby AND for mommy. The skin to skin/one on on for baby helps brain development. The touching stimulates the brain and helps it to grow. They have found babies who are interacted with have bigger brains and are smarter than babies who just lay in their cribs all day being ignored. Also, babies who are breast fed have a lower risk for SIDS.

*Breast Feeding: Benefits for Mommy*

breasfeeding-benefits

Photo Credit greatbabytips.com

Now let’s talk about how breast feeding can help you as a mother. I am pretty excited about this section. There are so many wonderful benefits. My personal favorites include helping your body heal after deliver, keeping weight off (and who doesn’t love that benefit), and being able to consume more calories. Some other great benefits are it helps you save money because you’re not buying formula, bottles, nipples, etc. It also help reduce your risk for ovarian cancer. You also have a less likelihood of developing osteoporosis. How fantastic are those benefits as well?

breastfeeding-benefits-and-awareness-4-638Photo Credit Anu Minivannan

Okay, now let me go more in depth with this. After you have your baby your uterus is still going to be stretched out and swollen. “It releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth.” (WebMD, 2005-2018). When you are breast feeding you are also burning calories like crazy. That is why you are allowed to consume more calories, an extra 500 calories to be exact (Baby Center Medical Advisory Board, 2015). I don’t know about you, but when I’m not pregnant I count calories to stay in shape or lose weight, so if you are already in the calorie counting game this should be easy for you.

Bottle Feeding: Is This the Right Choice for Me?

Photo Credit Bundoo

bottle feeding baby

 

Bottle feeding can imply both formula and breast fed babies. If you choose to pump but use a bottle that is perfectly fine too. Just remember feeding your baby is more important than how you feed your baby.

bottle

Photo Credit Dr. Brian Palmer, DDS

Okay, let’s jump in to this. Make sure you do your research about nipples and bottles. I prefer the NUK brand. No, I am not getting any kind of benefits for saying that. I feel the nipples are more shaped like my nipple when it’s inside my baby’s mouth. They seem to be easier for babies to latch on to as well. Please be aware of nipple confusion though. You can learn more about it here. Nipple confusion is simply your baby has so many things to learn and latching on to a nipple should not be one of them. If you use more than one brand of nipples your baby will have a harder time latching and feeding. This can cause all sorts of problems as you can imagine.

nuk

 

 

Photo Credit NUK

* Bottle Feeding: Benefits*

Benefits to bottle feeding include the fact that dad or brother/sister can feed the baby. Anyone can feed the baby. This is more ideal when baby starts going to daycare, or if you’re lucky enough to be able to get a nanny. I recommend if you are going to bottle feed that you also need to do skin to skin like you would with your breast. Still take your shirt off and have skin to skin time with baby, but use your bottle instead of your breast if you are not able to breast feed. You don’t have to worry about what you put in your body if you are using formula in the bottle. You also don’t have to worry about having to offer your breast at every moment of every day whenever baby is hungry. Bottle feeding is also easier for baby to learn.

*Bottle Feeding: Disadvantages*

There are plenty of disadvantages to bottle feeding. When you are trying to monitor nutrient intake it is hard to make sure your baby is getting everything they need. Of course this applies to formula feeding. When you know what you consume and you offer breast milk in a bottle then you know exactly what nutrients they are receiving. It costs money to keep bottles and nipples for baby. Nipples have different flow rates. When baby gets older they will want a higher flow rate because they will be able to take in more at a time. If you use formula that costs money as well. I remember how expensive that was when my daughter was a baby. I felt like we were buying formula weekly at $25/container. Ouch! Warming up a bottle takes time to do. My nephew does not like to wait for his bottle. He gets very impatient, and your baby might too. When you go out in public you have to make sure you have bottles on you. If you formula feed as well you have to make sure you have formula with you on top of that.

There are so many factors with bottle feeding to consider. Again, this is a personal choice and you as the mother should be the only one making this choice for you and your baby.

Formula Feeding: Is This the Right Choice for Me?

Formula feeding has some great advantages and some great disadvantages; just like the bottle feeding option. It also is a great alternative when you are not able to breast feed, or you are having an emotional time with breast feeding. When it’s time to move on and give up breast feeding you will know. Being stressed out over it is not worth it. Trust me, I’ve been there. Your emotional/mental state of mind is more important than being depressed while trying to take care of a baby.

*Formula Feeding: Advantages for Mom and Baby*

When you formula feed it is so much easier to monitor ounces that baby took in. When your baby is not getting enough breast milk then formula feeding is great for supplemental. It is more important for baby to be fed, than how they are fed. I know so many lactation nurses who push for breast feeding. That is great. The only issue is that they tend to forget that feeding baby is more important than making you feel like crap because you are not able to feed your baby via breast.

My sister recently had a baby and had a lactation nurse tell her that she should not even be offering her son formula (even though he was losing weight from not being able to get enough breast milk) because that was a bad choice. She felt like a horrible mother for even considering supplementing with formula. When she took her son to the pediatrician he reassured her that feeding is the only option. There are no “better choices” when it comes to your baby’s health. She is now formula feeding only. My nephew started gaining weight, and is now a healthy, solid cutie pie.

I also want to let everyone know to compare formulas when buying formula. Not all brands and categories are the same when it comes to formula. My daughter did better with Enfamil than with Similac. This time around with baby #2 we are going to give Similac another shot. Look at all the nutritional facts on the back of the containers. How do they compare? Does your baby have special dietary needs? Mine does. Do you need something more cost effective so you are looking at the store brand formula? How does that store brand compare with other brands?

Some other things to consider when choosing formula include you can take medications without having to worry about passing that to the baby. You can also drink alcohol, a cup of coffee, etc without having to worry.

Feeding You Baby is a Personal Decision:

Just remember feeding your baby is a personal decision. It is your decision. It is not your mother’s decision, your mother-in-law’s decision, or even  your husband’s decision. It is a decision for you and your baby to decide upon. Do not feel shameful if you are not able to produce enough milk to feed your baby. It is okay to use formula to supplement, or feed exclusively. If you are able to breastfeed exclusively that is amazing too.

I would love to hear your personal stories. Please comment below.

 

 Resources:

WebMD. (2005-2018). Breastfeeding Overview. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/nursing-basics#1

Women’sHealth.gov. (2018). Making the Decision to Breastfeed. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/making-decision-breastfeed

Baby Center Medical Advisory Board. (2015). Diet for a Healthy Breastfeedng Mom. Retrieved from https://www.babycenter.com/0_diet-for-a-healthy-breastfeeding-mom_3565.bc

Murkoff, H. (2014). Nipple Confusion. Retrieved from https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/ask-heidi/nipple-confusion.aspx

 

REHASHING-Vaccinations and Your Child: What Should I Know?

polio

Photo Credit Unknown.

You asked for it. My readers want to know more about vaccinations. I was even told at one point by a reader they were waiting for me to lay some “knowledge bombs” on the topic.

I just want everyone to know that this article is not for vaccinations nor against. This is a fact based article based on real research.

Let’s jump right in.

vaccination
Photo Credit Dr. Vic, Advance Chiropractic. (2015).

What is a vaccination?

First, let’s talk about what a vaccination really is. It is completely normal to have questions about vaccinations. According to Google a vaccination is “treatment with a vaccine to produce immunity against a disease; inoculation” (Google., 2018).

When your child has a germ or bacteria that enters the body it can cause an infection. When a highly contagious infection (one that a simple shot would prevent) enters the body it causes an infection that spreads rampidly throughout the body. The immune system then fights off the infection. Afterwards, the body has these fighter cells that can fight off this infection later on in the future. With a vaccination your body is given a dead strain of the disease so your immune system has these cells to fight off this infection/disease in case your child contracts it in the future (CDC., (2018).

So what goes in to a vaccination?

“A vaccine is made from very small amounts of weak or dead germs that can cause diseases — for example, viruses, bacteria, or toxins. It prepares your body to fight the disease faster and more effectively so you won’t get sick” (vaccines.gov., 2017). Again, it’s a dead virus/germ/disease (whatever you want to call it) that helps your body fight it off in case you ever contract it. Without it your child’s body could not fight it off.

I have this theory that death is way worse than any disease my child could potentially contract from not getting a vaccination. That is just not a risk I am willing to take. I do not feel like burying my child because I didn’t want to give my child a simple shot that would make them feel icky for a few days.

Are They Really Safe to Use?

Safety

nurse bear
Photo Credit The Bub Hub Crew, the bub hub. (2013).

So much research goes in to vaccinations. Before a vaccination is approved it has to go through the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). “Parents should know that the risk of being harmed by a vaccine is significantly smaller than the risk of serious illness from infectious diseases says Marion Gruber, Ph.D., director of the Office of Vaccines Research and Review in CBER” (FDA, 2018).

I also would like to add that according to the FDA “Because of advances in science and manufacturing, it is easier than in the past to be sure that vaccines are highly pure. Vaccines represent only a minor stimulation of the infant immune system compared to the large number of potentially dangerous bacteria and viruses babies routinely encounter: starting immediately after a baby is born; thousands of different bacteria begin to live on the skin and the lining of the nose, throat, and intestines. The baby’s immune system rapidly launches immune responses to these bacteria that prevent them from invading the blood stream” (FDA, 2018).

cdc chart
Photo Credit CDC. (2018).

Personally, I prefer the ingredient chart here provided by the CDC. Some minor risks of giving a vaccination to your child include an interaction between children who have egg allergies. If you refer to the chart above it explains the ingredients. As you can see there is nothing in them that is a potential “safety concern”.

I know some of you are thinking “Okay, but there’s formaldehyde in it!” There is such a TINY amount in there it is not dangerous. Some other things we consume daily that has formaldehyde in it include makeup, shampoos, and lotions. Did you know some fresh vegetables and fruits have it naturally occurring in it? “It’s also naturally occurring in many foods. Fruits like apples, bananas, grapes, and plums; vegetables like onions, carrots, and spinach; and even meats like seafood, beef, and poultry contain formaldehyde. Even humans produce it naturally, and it’s necessary for basic biological functions involved in metabolism like in the production of certain amino acids” (Guiden, K., 2016).

Some other things that your doctor should be aware of is a child who already has a disease. Some cognitive and developmental diseases would have a severe adverse reaction.

Is Autism really a thing?

Autism awarenessLet’s talk about autism. I know for the longest time so many people believed that vaccinations and autism were related. There was a study done by Andrew Wakefield in 1998 stating there was a link between autism and the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccination. That has now been discredited. They had to retract their article due to “poor methodology and inaccurate claims” (Fowler, S., 2015). “In 2010, Wakefield was found guilty of professional misconduct for his paper and was stripped of his medical license” (Fowler, S., 2015).

autism study
Photo Credit Naomi Imatone-Yun, heavy.com. (2014).

You can read more about the study here.

I love this website. It’s about other myths about vaccinations. It explains different concerns that parents might have about their children and vaccinations. It is definitely worth checking out.

 

Disease Not Controlled With Vaccinations

person dying
Photo Credit Cristobal Rojas. (1886).

The world was horrible without vaccinations! That is the only way to describe it. We are so lucky we no longer live in a world where people are dying from measles, pertussis, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, meningitis, tetanus, and tuberculosis. These are to only name a few.

 

polio
Photo Credit Unknown.

If you look at the rate of deaths before the vaccinations for various diseases came about the number of deaths was exceedingly high. When the vaccinations were patented and released the death rates decreased drastically. There are still rampid number of deaths, but only in areas of the world where there is no vaccinations.

Make sure you do all your research when deciding to vaccinate your child. Please check out the websites I provided throughout the article, as well as the resources sited below. These are very informative and very medically based.

 

Resources:

Vaccines.gov. (2017). Vaccine Basics. Retrieved from https://www.vaccines.gov/basics/index.html.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2018). Vaccines for Children – A Guide for Parents and Caregivers. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/biologicsbloodvaccines/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm345587.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). For Parents: Vaccines For Your Children. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/vaccine-decision/

Guiden, Kamilah. (2016). Chemicals in Food: Two That Aren’t as Scary as They Sound. Retrieved from http://www.foodinsight.org/chemicals-in-food-Acetaldehyde-Formaldehyde

Fowler, Susan. (2015). Vaccination. Retrieved from https://becker.wustl.edu/about/news/vaccination.

 

Cradle Cap: What is it? And How Do I Get Rid of it?

Photo Credit AWHonn Editorial Staff, Healthy Mom and Baby. (2014)

Cradle cap is a very common thing for babies to have. First, don’t freak out if your baby has cradle cap. Second, make sure you take them to their pediatrician to make sure there isn’t something more going on.

What The Heck is Cradle Cap? And Why Does My Baby Have it?

cradle cap
Photo Credit Mustella.com, nhs.uk. (2018)

According to dictionary.com cradle cap is “an inflammation of the scalp, occurring in infants and characterized by greasy, yellowish scales; seborrheic dermatitis of infants (Dictionary.com., 2018). It is basically infant dandruff. Still not alarming though.

What Does it Look Like

Cradle cap looks like dandruff, as I said earlier. It can be yellow and crusty. Sometimes it even oozes (yummy right?). It can also present as brown scaling and flaking. Surprisingly enough, cradle cap doesn’t just happen on the scalp. It can happen on other areas on baby’s body. It can be on their forehead, eyebrows and ears as well (Mustela., 2017).

sebaceous gland
Photo Credit Dreamstime.com. (2018)

Okay, so now that we’ve established what it is, and what it looks like let’s talk about why it’s there. How do babies get this? Everyone has sebaceous glands. These are the glands that help keep your skin and hair oily and well moisturized. Over oiling can lead to…you guessed it…dandruff. For babies their bodies are still trying to develop for the most part. This can be problematic for babies and their skin.

Just because a baby has cradle cap does NOT mean they are not being taken care of. It does NOT mean there’s something wrong with them. It means they have normal skin like you and me. We all get dandruff at some point in our life time. Some more than others. It doesn’t make them a dirty, unkempt person/baby.

How Do I Get Rid of Cradle Cap?

Although it is a skin flaking rash, it does not normally bother baby. It can feel itchy sometimes though. Cradle cap is so common, so there is a lot you can do to help your baby and relieve their symptoms. It should go away by baby’s first birthday. But if you can’t wait there are things you can do. They actually make body washes specifically for cradle cap. Make sure you brush baby’s scalp with a soft bristled brush after you wash them. You can also use baby oil.

Remember to be patient. Cradle cap will go away on it’s own. Give it time (a lot of time). Don’t try these products a couple times and decide they’re not working. You have to give your baby’s body time to react to the treatment(s).

 

My favorite product for getting rid of dry, irritated, flaky skin is the Aveeno Baby Eczema Collection. We have had really good luck with that brand and collection. My daughter has eczema, along with some food allergies. When she is having a flare up, especially with the cold weather, we always pull out the trusty Aveeno Baby wash and cream. I love their oatmeal bath as well. She usually notices a difference after just 1 wash of the Aveeno Baby oatmeal bath. Aveeno Baby is completely safe for babies of all ages as well. My sister swears by the Aveeno Baby balm. She loves it for her little one. She notices a difference with just one use as well. I’m pretty sure I have her hooked on the oatmeal bath for her little one as well. My nephew’s skin cleared up after one soak in the Aveeno Baby oatmeal bath.

Some other brands I trust completely include Cetaphil Baby. They have the same type of products as Aveeno. You can buy lotion, body wash, body butter, and moisturizing cream. I have not personally used the Cetaphil Baby collection products. I use the “regular” kind for myself, and I like the results. It’s very moisturizing for dry skin. My mom loves Cetaphil too for her dry, older skin.

Things to be on the Look Our For: When Should I Call the Pediatrician?

call pediatrician
Photo Credit Cafepress.com (2018)

Even though cradle cap is very common there are some signs that it is time to contact the pediatrician. If your baby’s cradle cap starts to look infected (red and/or swollen) or inflamed it is definitely time to call your pediatrician. If it becomes red and warm to the touch, if there is any bleeding, or it develops a smell then it’s time to call the pediatrician. Another thing to be on the look out for is if it spreads to an out of control state (BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board., 2015).

While cradle cap is very common among new babies it is important to talk to your doctor if you suspect it is more than just cradle cap.

 

 

Resources:

Kids Health. (2018). Cradle Cap (Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis). Retrieved from https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cradle-cap.html

BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board. (2015). Cradle Cap (Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis). Retrieved from https://www.babycenter.com/0_cradle-cap-infantile-seborrheic-dermatitis_80.bc

WebMd.com. (2018). Cradle Cap-Topic Overview. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/tc/cradle-cap-topic-overview

Mustela. (2017). The 6 Best Ways to Prevent & Treat Cradle Cap. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/tc/cradle-cap-topic-overview

 

Breastfeeding: The Struggle is Real

Photo Credit Kristie, themomlifechronnicles.com. (2017)

I want to start this article off by saying it doesn’t matter how you feed your baby, as long as you feed your baby. I support breastfeeding, formula feeding, and supplemental feeding.

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Photo Credit Cafe Press, cafepress.com. (1999-2018)

There’s so much that goes in to breastfeeding. Commitment, time, dedication, and practice are all just a few of the things that go in to it. You constantly have to feed every 1-2 hours to keep your supply up. Supply and demand at it’s finest! You also have to get over the notion of “This is going to be easy.” It’s not. I know there are moms that leak like cows when it comes to pumping and breastfeeding. It didn’t come over night for them though. They worked for it and their bodies allowed it. I am so happy for you that you are able to do that. There are so many moms out there that can’t.

first time mom
Photo Credit Duck Duck Goose, duckduckgoosesale.com. (2010)

We all go in to pregnancy thinking “I am going to breastfeed. That’s what I’m doing and I’m not even going to consider the possibility that I can’t do it.” Those moms are the ones who refuse to buy bottles, nipples, formula, formula accessories, etc. News flash first time moms: It doesn’t work that way. No, I am not mom shaming. I love first time moms, and there is NOTHING wrong with being a first time mom. They have no idea yet what parenting really feels like, and they have so much joy to spread. You get to be excited with them. I was a first time mom at one point too. Don’t forget that. I love that you have the mentality to go forward with such hope and positivity. It will hopefully get you where you want to go. I know so many women who go in to that mentality (I was definitely one of them) and then were not able to produce the milk like they wanted. Don’t think just because you say you are going to that you are actually going to be able to. Your body decides. Not your brain.

Did you know your full milk supply doesn’t come in until a few days AFTER your delivery? So you won’t be able to pump that full bottle (if your body allows you to) until after you leave the hospital. They work with you so much at the hospital to help you have the tools for when you go home to be able to breastfeed your baby. They try to set you up for success. Not failure.

I highly encourage those who are struggling to try to go to the lactation classes. Try everything you can. If you are not able to don’t stress it! Stress is bad for you and recovery. Plus baby feels that anxiety and in turn starts responding to that. Both are not healthy choices. Don’t get discouraged just because you have to use formula. If you are able to breast feed (give it a few months before you quit completely) then that is fantastic! That is great for you and your healing, plus it’s great for baby too.

fenugreek

As a first time/new mom I was struggling to feed my baby. I kept on the breastfeeding bandwagon from day one. I went to all the lactation classes. I met with a lactation nurse several times a week to try to get my milk supply up. I started taking Fenugreek as well to help increase my milk production naturally. I pumped constantly. Nothing worked. I was starting to feel like a failure as a mother. I felt like “I am supposed to be able to feed my baby and I can’t. What kind of mother am I?”

got milk

Did you ever feel like that while trying to breastfeed?

When we got home from the hospital with our first born we had to go to the store immediately to buy formula to supplement feeding for her. My milk production had not come in yet. I had to make sure my baby was getting fed via breast and formula. Again, there is nothing wrong with how you feed your baby. Just please feed your baby.

10 Ways to Boost Your Child’s Speech at Home

I feel very passionate about this article today. Are you wondering where your child should be with their speech? How many words should they be saying at their age? I know how you feel. I’ve been there. I was not aware for a long time that my child had a speech issue. I just went by what everyone else was telling me. Other people were saying their kid was only saying so many words as well, so I thought it was perfectly normal. Parenting 101 says don’t compare your child to other people’s children. Just don’t.

We ended up having to work with a SLP (speech language pathologist). My daughter had a hearing issue that lead to speech issues to this day. She’s 5 years old, and still is working with SLPs in school. When she was little the SLP would come in to our home weekly to work with our daughter, and help us as parents learn to help our daughter at home. I want to share more information with you about that.

Also, Indiana residents please see my links below for speech help in your area.

How Many Words Should My Child Be Saying?

I’m glad you asked! If you click here you will find a fantastic handout about each year’s milestones. This link here is another great article about how to help and gauge your child’s speech at each age. Also, I would like to say even if you suspect a little issue with your child’s speech seek help. Call your pediatrician. Delaying this process will only hinder their future. Set your child up for success, not failure to be made fun of or set back. Please check out both links!

Okay time to jump right in to this:

1)No Baby Talk

baby talk
Photo Credit Cloud Mom

Talking in a “coochie-coochie-coo” voice is not good for baby, let alone a toddler. As your baby grows she/he is not learning to enunciate these words, or even speak them properly because you are not showing your baby how to say them properly. Studies have shown that parents who enunciate to their babies early on have a bigger vocabulary by the age of two (Bonoguore, T. 2017). Avoid the cutesy nonsense words with your children.

I know this is a little easier said than done. Grandma and Grandpa come over and want to indulge in baby’s…well…”baby talk.” As a parent you need to help them realize this is not helping their grandchild in the grand scheme of things. You want your baby to grow up to be smart and have a larger vocabulary than little Timmy down the road. This helps set your child up for success.

 2)Enunciate When You Speak to Your Child

Picture-for-Enunciate
Photo Credit wordpandit.com

Enunciating to your child is very important. It’s a very important thing to posses in life at any age honestly. Teaching your child to have this quality is a must as well. Speak clearly. Put emphasis on your consonants. If your child is trying to talk and slurring their words try breaking the words in to syllables by clapping. Make sure they enunciate each syllable.

An example would be if your child says “sh” sound in place of their “s” sound. Try to repeat back to them the correct way to say that word. They say “shnack.” You say “sssnack” and really put emphasis on the “s.”

3)Make Your Child Ask For Things: No Whining/Grunting and Then Pointing

I know a lot of parents that just let their child grunt and point to what they want instead of making them ask for what they want. If you start making them use their big girl/boy words they will naturally develop better speaking skills. Letting them do this is hindering their development. If they say something slurred or did not pronounce a word properly repeat it to them. Then ask them to repeat it too.

Another one I see a lot is the pacifier in the mouth and they just grunt and point at things. I think all kids should be able to have a pacifier if they want one. My daughter was about 3 before we decided it was probably time to start weening. No, I am not proud of that, but my daughter was very dependent on her pacifier. Please make your child take out their pacifier and speak to you. If not then they are not able to form those sounds properly with their mouth when they are practicing saying them in every day speech.

4)Reading

reading to child
Photo Credit Becca Eisenberg

Reading to your child is a great way to not only engage in an activity with them, but reading increases your vocabulary naturally. You learn new words when you read. Baby will learn new words too. Reading rhyming books is what I want to talk about here. Rhyming words to a child promotes them to listen to the different beginning sounds on each word. Our SLP told us to read a lot of Dr. Seuss books. Those books are great for making you have to listen to what you are saying. Have your child practice saying those words with you as well. Repetition and rhyming is so fantastic for a child learning to speak.

5)Clapping Syllables

syllables
Photo Credit Learning Press Inc.

Clapping syllables is a great way to get your child engaged not only with their speech, but with their listening skills as well. When they clap a word they have to hear it and pronounce it. It’s a great way for them to associate that each word has several consonants that need enunciated properly. You can learn more about syllables and early learning here.

Not only is clapping a great way for children to learn syllables, but so is jumping the syllables. Plus, jumping helps the child get out some energy from all the learning they’ve been doing. I think you should do whatever is best suited for your child. Some other techniques are humming, and talking like a robot to differentiate each syllable.

6)Repetition in Play and at Home

clapping
Photo Credit Carey Hope/Getty Images

This one kind of goes right along with reading at home and clapping out syllables. Repetition in play is great for getting the child to repeat a word over and over. That is fantastic practice skills. I remember our SLP would repeat things over and over while she played with our 2 year old daughter. My daughter would naturally repeat it back to her. It was like a conversation between the two of them that only they understood.

An example of this would be when they were playing Barbie. Barbie would be cooking and the SLP would say “Coo-King.” She really pronounced the hard sounds to her. Then my daughter would say cooking. Then the SLP would say it again to her.

7)Play With Word/Picture Cards

playing cards
Photo Credit Tetra Images/Getty Images

I remember there was a set of cards the SLP brought to our house one day for us to practice with my daughter. It had two cards that showed what would happen with the different sounds at the beginning of each word. An example is the words “sack” and “shack.” My daughter had issues with her “s” sounds which I why I keep referring back to that. However, this is still a great idea. If you are able to show your child that different sounds on the beginning or ending of a word actually changes the meaning of the word then they will have a better idea of why pronouncing sounds is so important. Plus it helps with cognitive development as well since they have to process that information.

8)Ask Questions

questions
Photo Credit Steven Telio/uservoice.com

This may seem simple, but this goes along side with having them pull the pacifier out of their mouth and with playing with your child. Ask them questions. Have them be engaged so they have to use their words. If your child asks you for something like “Want juice.” Respond by asking “Which juice? Do you want the red juice? Or do you want the orange juice?” If you are playing with your child and he says “Car drive.” Follow up with “Where does the car drive? What color is the car?”

9)Talk About the Things Around You

things around you
Photo Credit Shiksha

Okay this one might seem like a no brainer as well. However, just talk about textures, colors, patterns, shapes, gestures, emotions, etc. Anything you can talk about with your child do it. It encourages them to think outside the box and speak. I always call it “Using  your good words.” Make sure if they use the “sh” sound in place of the “s” sound you ask them to say it again and use their good word sounds.

10)Make it Fun

Little ones get wore out quickly. If you push too much with the repetition and making them say things back too much they will quickly shut down. I found the even balance was just using these techniques in every day things. This goes right along with #9. Children need breaks. They need a snack and a nap. They need to know they don’t have an issue and they are not the ones with the issue. Keep your activities lights. Keep them fun. Make sure your little one is enjoying themselves while they are practicing their good words.

If you suspect an issue (even a small one) please contact your pediatrician. Ask the right questions. You can also contact your local school system and ask them about speech therapy. Another great resource is to get on your state’s website and see what they offer in your area for speech. It is the law for them to offer special services for things like this.

Resources:

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2018). Pediatric Patient Education: All Handouts. Retrieved from https://patiented.solutions.aap.org/handouts.aspx

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2018) Activities to Encourage Speech and Language Development. Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/Parent-Stim-Activities.htm

Bonoguore, Tenille. (2017). Baby Talk: Bad for Your Toddler’s Language Developement? Retrieved from https://www.todaysparent.com/toddler/toddler-development/baby-talk-bad-for-toddler-development/

Loveandreilly.com. (2015). Syllables. Retrieved from http://www.pelicantalk.com/resources/LITVITSYLL.pdf

Rippel, Marie. (2018). Fun Ways to Count Syllables. Retrieved from https://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/count-syllables/

DiProperzio, Linda. (2018). Language Development Milestones: Ages 1-4. Retrieved from https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/language/language-development-milestones-ages-1-to-4/

Indiana Residents:

Indiana First Steps: http://www.indianafirststeps.org/

G.L.A.S.S.: https://glassspecialed.org/