Scares And Their Credibility

There are no small amount of health scares that persist in this day and age – as adults we see them ourselves in cases of epidemics and “epidemics”, some of which are credible and some which are, to be charitable, less than helpful. In the case of babies’ health there is no less controversy, and there have been more than a few scares that have been shown to be unfounded. This has the highly unfortunate and undesirable effect of making people naturally skeptical, which can cause harmful indecision in times of genuine illness. Pediatricians are understanding and well-trained, so if you have a cause for concern it is worth taking it up with them.

One example of scare mongering having a negative effect is one that happened in Britain, when a medical paper written collaboratively by several doctors included a single line that raised the possibility that the MMR vaccination that had been in circulation for quite some time may be linked to autism in children. Although this line was written by one doctor, who had not even definitively claimed that the link was real and provable, the national press picked up on it and made it into a huge story. Although the other doctors involved in the study distanced themselves from the claim and it emerged that no evidence existed for any such link, the press had their story, and many parents were understandably reluctant to have their child immunised with the vaccine. When it comes down to it, getting medical advice from the media is not advisable.

Organic Baby Food

Quite simply, organic baby food is that which is processed without the use of artificial pesticides and/or synthetic fertilizers. While many note organic food as being either store-bought, garden grown or gathered in the wild, the correct association is certified organic foods, which are produced and labeled according to strict regulatory standards. In a number of countries, including the United States, the use of the word ‘organic’ in the commercial market, without the proper certification, is prohibited by law.

Organic baby food is most commonly found in a supermarket and will be labeled accordingly. Because of it’s nature, organic baby food is more expensive than other types. Processed organic baby food typically includes only those ingredients that are organic and has no artificial food additives. While there seem to a number of benefits to using organic baby food, the most common reason for purchasing this type of product is the overall quality. Increased nutritional value, the absence of residues from artificial pesticides and better taste are all positive benefits of organic baby food.

Organic baby food, because it is believed to be fresher, often carries an improved taste over other baby foods. Because organic farms are small, their products are most commonly sold close to home. Therefore, organic baby food and other products feature a fresher taste simply because they are fresh.

By 2003, organic food products were available in 20,000 natural food stores and 73% of commercial grocery stores. While many believe that organic baby food is helpful, others are not as certain. Some believe that farming and organic fertilization may carry it’s own risks that may be passed along in organic baby food.

The main debate lies with the better approach to manufacturing organic food. Is it more healthy to use artificial and synthetic products in food processing or natural fertilizer and organic farming methods? There are both sides to any debate and the questions surrounding organic baby food is no different. There is legitimate concern over contamination and safety of organic food and products, but an exact determination as to which side of the table is right has yet to be decided.

The information in this article is to be used for informational purposes. It should not be considered as, or used in conjunction with, professional medical advice or recommended feeding for your infant, toddler or young child. Prior to beginning any food preparation involving the use of organic baby food, consult your child’s physician for additional information and/or a recommendation regarding the use of organic baby food as part of your child’s food intake.

Baby Safety Showers

If you’re looking for a creative and different way to honor new moms- and dads-to-be and help them get ready for their baby, consider throwing a baby safety shower instead of the usual “blankets and snugglies” shower.

Traditional baby showers are great fun and they offer new parents an opportunity to prepare their “nests” for the arrival of a new baby. Usually a baby shower is intended to give new parents a leg up in acquiring essential items like baby clothing, bath supplies, bottles or nursing equipment, toys and games, and special blankets or other treasures like silver cups. I’ve always viewed baby showers as one of the best ways that a community can come together around the birth of a new child. It reminds me of one of the best aspects of the “old days” when a town, village, or neighborhood considered the birth and caring for a new child its responsibility, too.

A baby safety shower is in keeping with these old communitarian traditions. It’s more than just fun and games, it’s really a learning experience for the whole community where all the activities revolve around baby and home safety. Parents and caregivers certainly have a great time, but they also leave with a higher awareness of ways to keep their new babies safe at home.

The shower’s theme may focus on a variety of safety issues (see the Baby Safety Checklist below), including child-proofing one’s home, nutrition or health. Also, you can arrange a baby safety shower for as many people as you can fit in your party space. At bigger safety showers, all of the moms and dads in attendance–not just the couple being honored–can visit a variety of exhibits where safety-savvy parents illustrate home safety information with games, puzzles, songs, prizes, and other activities. At smaller showers, it might work better to have one person lead the group in discussions and safety games.

Usually baby showers involve a collection of family and friends of the new parents, but safety showers are also a good way to create and promote partnerships within the broader community. By offering, for example, to distribute baby products donated by local stores, or by providing information from local community health service providers, you can enhance your ties with the local business community and build your relationships with local health and social service organizations. All this creates goodwill in your community and it provides your invited parents with welcome information, products, and services.

Use your creativity to create a baby safety shower for your personal situation. The key to throwing a safety shower that will be rewarding for all involved is providing important safety information in a festive and inviting setting. So–have fun, and learn about the all-important matter of better safety practices for your household.

BABY SAFETY CHECKLIST

The guidelines below were developed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. It’s important to remember that, while these standards are based on sound principles, certain parents may disagree with some of them. For example, the bedroom guidelines state that a baby should never sleep in the same bed as an adult. However, from the Attachment Parenting perspective, sleeping with one’s baby is considered an important aspect of bonding and is even believed to possibly lower the incidence of SIDS. Therefore, I recommend using the following guidelines as just that, guidelines, which should be examined carefully in light of your own views and beliefs about baby care giving. Always consult your pediatrician if in doubt of the best way to proceed.

Baby Safety Checklist

In the bedroom:

Put your baby to sleep on her back in a crib with a firm, flat mattress and no soft bedding underneath her. Follow this advice to reduce the risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). To prevent suffocation, never put babies to sleep on adult beds.

Make sure your baby’s crib is sturdy and has no loose or missing hardware. This will prevent babies suffocating or strangling by becoming trapped between broken crib parts.

Never place your baby’s crib or furniture near window blind or curtain cords. This will prevent babies from strangling on the loop of the cord. To prevent falls, keep children away from windows.

In the bathroom:

Keep medicines and cleaning products in containers with safety caps and locked away from children. This will prevent children from being poisoned.

Always check bath water temperature with your wrist or elbow before putting your baby in to bathe. This will prevent burns to a baby’s delicate skin.

Never, ever, leave your child alone in the bathtub or near any water. This will prevent children from drowning. In addition, keep children away from all standing water, including water in toilets, 5-gallon buckets, and pools.

In the kitchen:

Don’t leave your baby alone in a highchair; always use all safety straps. This will prevent injuries and deaths from the baby climbing out, falling, or sliding under the tray. Be sure to use safety straps in strollers and baby swings.

Use your stove’s back burners and keep pot handles turned to the back of the stove. This will prevent deaths and injuries from burns. In addition, keep children away from tablecloths, so they can’t pull down hot foods or liquids on themselves.

Lock household cleaning products, knives, matches, and plastic bags away from children. This will prevent poisonings, bleeding injuries, burns, and suffocation.

In other living areas:

Install smoke detectors on each floor of your home, especially near sleeping areas; change the batteries each year. This will prevent deaths and injuries from fires.

Use safety gates to block stairways and safety plugs to cover electrical outlets. This will prevent injuries from falls and electric shocks.

Keep all small objects, including tiny toys and balloons, away from young children. This will prevent choking and possible death.

Additional Information and Resources

If you would like more information about baby safety or about how to organize a baby safety shower, including specific tips on planning, organizing, and coordinating one, please write to the Office of Information and Public Affairs, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207. The article above was adapted from a report prepared by the Product Safety Commission.

How to Choose a Stroller

There are several varieties of strollers. Some are designed for specific users, such as lightweight strollers and joggers, other strollers are intended for more everyday use. Irrespective of the type of stroller you are purchasing, here are some considerations to look at before you buy your new stroller.

Make absolutely sure the stroller comes with a proper, and effective, restraint system. At the minimum, look for a three-point restraint that wraps the waist and comes up between the legs. The latch should be comfortable up against your child. If you are purchasing a jogging stroller, make sure you get a five-point restraint system (shoulder straps) since jogging will lead to your child being jostled about. The shoulder straps must keep them in place well even when jogging.

Be sure the stroller has a brake. For most casual strollers, this will just be a parking brake. Make sure it works reliably and is easy to use. For jogging strollers, you should also insist on a brake that can be used to brake the stroller while jogging. Be certain that the brake is easy to use and that you can lock up the tire(s) without too much effort.

Just about every stroller has a mechanism that permits the stroller to be folded up for travel. Make sure that you can easily fold the stroller up by yourself; it’s not much fun to be standing in a parking lot in the foul weather desperately trying to fold your stroller. Even more critical than how easy the stroller is to fold, consider how secure it is when it is open. Be certain that when opened, there is a reliable locking mechanism that keeps the stroller from folding accidentally. If this happens when your child is in the stroller, serious injury can result.

Try out the stroller and see how comfortable it is to operate. You should be able to operate the stroller with one hand. Strollers with both front and rear swivel wheels will be easier to operate. Strollers with wheels that only move in one direction are usually more awkward to steer.

Check out the height of the handle. The stroller will be easier to operate if the handle is at waist level. For most averaged sized people, this will not be an issue. But if you are very tall or short, you should consider a stroller with a handle that can be adjusted.

Look for features that can make your child more comfortable when riding in the stroller. These include reclining seats (makes nappy time easier); comfortable padding; canopies to protect and against sun, rain, and wind; cup holders and bins for snacks.

Be sure that the stroller has plenty of storage space for things like diaper bags, bags used when shopping, changes of clothes, etc. The more storage you have, the happier you will be with your stroller.

All kids make messes. If your kids are especially prone to spilling, try to find a stroller with removable fabric covers over the seats. Removable or not, make sure that the fabric on the stroller can be cleaned with water and mild detergent. While a specially designed fabric may look great new, if it can’t be washed the shine will quickly fade.

Carefully check the frame of the stroller for sharp edges or things that can poke or snag. Also look for gaps that could trap small fingers and toes. Check the leg openings of the stroller; make certain that they are not wide enough for an infant to accidentally slip through them.

Before you buy a new stroller, or any other product for your child, check the product recall finder website (http://www.babycenter.com/product-recall-finder) to see if there is a recall against the product you are about to buy.

A Guide For A Mother Of A Newly Born Baby

Usually there is very little or no information known to most of the parents at the time of the arrival of their first baby. There are many new questions that come to the mind of the parents of a newly born baby like how to handle their babies first cold, how to make babies sleep, what kind of food is good for them till the age of 6-9 months, how to soothe babies teething pain, signs that tell if the baby is ready for the solid food and why the solid food is not good for them in the initial few months and so on. The list of such questions is endless.

We get a bunch of different advice and opinions on such questions from everyone we talk to and since babies don’t come with a “manual” – it’s hard to know what the right thing to do is. Thus, it is very important that the parents should educate themselves with the right tips or techniques to take care of their newly born babies.

As an example, we’ll talk about a common problem – “Potty Training”. There are seven stages of potty training. They begin with showing signs of potty training readiness and conclude with being able to use the toilet away from home.

Signs of Readiness – The first stage of potty training begins when your child shows the following signs of potty training readiness:

– Express the need to go potty (verbally or through body language)
– Expresses an interest in the potty
– Uncomfortable in wet diapers
– Able to dress and undress
– Imitates family members
– Stays dry for two hours
– Has regular bowel movements
– Interested in big kid underwear

Introduction to the Idea of Potty Training – When your child shows a majority of the signs of potty training readiness, it’s time to introduce him to the concept of using the potty. This can be done by reading a potty training book as a bedtime story or watching a potty training video or DVD together. Purchase a potty chair and let your child watch you use the potty. Children will often imitate family members.

Sit On the Potty – When your child has been introduced to the concept of potty training, he will probably imitate family member and sit on his potty chair while you use the bathroom. This is a good time to teach good hygiene such as wiping and washing hands after using the potty.

Use the Potty Sometimes – Be sure to give your child plenty of liquids and take him to the potty every 30 minutes. This will help build muscle memory. The first time your child uses the potty, make a big deal of his huge accomplishment. A hug, encouraging words, or a small reward can be good motivational tools and help your child feel proud of his or her accomplishment.

Use the Potty Alone – As your child gets more comfortable with the potty and his ability to control his bodily functions, he will go to the potty by himself. He will then come tell you about it. Again, this is a time for lots of praise and encouragement.

Transition to the Toilet – When your child is comfortable using his potty seat, it’s time to transition him to the toilet. Many children are afraid of falling in, so you may need to purchase a toilet seat adapter such as the Flip-N-Flush or the PRIMO’s Ducka toilet adapter. These devices reduce the size of the toilet hole, thereby making you child feel more secure.

Use Potty Away From Home – The last stage of potty training occurs when your child is able to use the potty away from home. Thankfully, there are many portable and disposable toilet seats available to keep your child from coming in contact with public toilet seats. Many public bathrooms have auto-flush toilets with electronic sensors. These sensors often fail to detect that a child is seated on the toilet and cause the toilet to flush repeatedly, scaring the child. Devices such as the Flush-Stopper prevent auto-flush toilets from flushing while your child is seated.

Some children breeze through the seven stages of potty training in a matter of weeks, while other children take several months to complete potty training. Your child’s progress depends on his or her stage of development, your potty training knowledge, and the potty training products you have available.

Planning a Baby Shower

Preparing for any special occasion takes a lot of forethought and organization. A baby shower planning guide is the ideal tool for keeping all of the details in order while working towards creating a very special event. This helpful party organizer should be the very first item you buy.

The host of the shower has a lot of responsibilities and a lot of decisions to make. Sometimes having too many ideas and options can be very confusing. In order to streamline the process, the party planner can use a baby shower planning guide to keep focus.

Without the party guide, the planner may find herself swirling around too many different ideas, each of which is equally appealing. However, this may lead to the even wandering off in to many directions. There are so many wonderful details to consider that it takes an organizational tool to keep things in line.

The first thing that the planner will request is a general theme. One problem that many party organizers face is having too many attractive options. For example, the theme of the party might be Precious Moments. This is a lovely theme for such an event but there are also distractions that may occur.

The Precious Moments theme is available in plates, napkins and other baby shower party supplies. An organizing tool can help you keep in line with this theme. Without one, you may find that you are drawn to a number of different party favors and decorations that are appealing but do not fit the general theme.

In addition to keeping with a theme, the baby shower planning guide will also help you make some very important decisions. Some showers are thrown a couple months before the baby arrives while some are given after the baby is born. There are benefits to each of these approaches and it is best to get a feel for what the mother-to-be prefers.

Of course, including in the organizational party book is the guest list. This can be a tricky undertaking especially if the celebration is going to be a surprise. Finding addresses and phone numbers can be time consuming. The organizing tool is ideal for keeping this information in order.

The organizer will also help you create a doable menu, choose party favors and work within a realistic timeframe. The very first step in planning this kind of special event is the purchase of a baby shower planning guide.

Home Safety And Your Baby

When you first have a newborn baby, you are very protective of it. You are always afraid of something happening to it. Well when you are at home you should not be afraid of anything happening to it because you are there and it should be safe. Keeping your baby safe at home is very important. First, prevent people from coming to your home that are going to smoke, or do any type of drugs, this is your first line of defense for your baby.

To be safe, when you are at home by yourself lock all the doors, this is vital if you live in a big city. Other than other people, to keep your baby from getting injured at home the best thing to do is a buy safety thing for all over the house. Prevention of problems will include the ability of the baby to walk away, or get to the swimming pool. Prevent problems in the home by locking doors, windows, cupboards and garages with locks that a baby or toddler can’t open.

You probably would not want to have animals like a dog or a cat around your baby until it gets older. A pet can maul a baby, or a toddler when the pet is not accustomed to being around children all the time. Avoid having a cat near the baby, so the cat doesn’t cuddle up on the face of the baby, which will then smoother the baby without your realizing what is happening.

When you put your baby to sleep at night make sure that it falls asleep on it’s back because of crib death. Crib death is when a baby suffocates to death. Also, keep loose blankets out of the crib. The crib is a place for the baby to sleep, not to play. The crib should have bars that are close enough, so the baby can’t slip through, and the crib should have bars so that the head of the baby can’t slip through and get stuck. Avoid potential problems and situations where your baby could easily be hurt.

Once your baby starts to crawl, the best thing for you to get is a walker to let it learn how to walk. If you have steps in your home, the ‘thing to get’ is those child gates. They have them at most department stores if you don’t know where to purchase them. This will prevent your child from falling down the steps. You could even use them in doorways to rooms that you don’t want the child in without you. If you have animals, you could even use the gates to keep the animals away from the baby.

Once your child starts to walk you should keep things back away from the edge of the counters and the table. If you drink coffee, you should definitely keep that away so it is not reachable. You should not let any thing that is small laying around because if you do so this it will help so that your baby does not choke on anything. Just remember to lock all the doors when you are there by yourself. Any thing like this will help you keep your child safe at home.

Baby Gift Baskets

Babies are such bright and beautiful spirits who bless us with their presence and when they come into our world we are changed by their loving and beautiful spirit. So if it is that great time when you have some good news in your family or friends and you are in a state of confusion as what shall be the perfect gift for to be given to the parents or to show how much you care, baby gift basket would be a good idea indeed.

A gift basket shall always be appreciated whether it is going to be a baby boy or baby girl. You can either purchase a professional baby gift basket or you can also create one of your own. Mostly gift baskets in the market are very expensive that could cost you over $100 and therefore if you want to avoid spending much and also add a personal touch or care to your gift, you can surely go for a handmade or customized baby gift basket.

How to create a baby gift basket?

1. For creating a baby gift basket, you should determine the size of the basket and if you feel that you won’t be in a position to fill a large basket, you should preferably use a small basket. You need to buy one such basket, raffia or tissue paper for filling, baby blankets, straw or shredded grass that you will easily find in any craft stores.

2. Next consideration is whether the baby is a boy or girl and whether it has already taken birth so that you can arrive at a decision as what things will be required by the baby. Another thing is whether the baby is the first child or not because if it is not the first arrival at the home then the mother of the child will be having most of the necessary things already at home.

3. An imaginative idea would be the use of a small laundry basket that could sit upon a dresser or a baby bath tub or anything such as baby diaper bag instead of using a actual gift basket. If it is the first child in the home you can easily include most of the basic things such as baby toys, rattles, baby shampoos, lotions, wiping diapers, burp clothes, bibs, diaper rash ointments and various baby clothes.

4. If it is the case of second or third birth, you can create a smaller basket including items for the other children that will not let them feel left aside. You can fill with items such as coloring puzzles, toys or snacks. You can also gift a labor basket to a mother who is expecting with items that are needed at the hospital or relaxation tape or CD, slippers, magazines, candy, hair clip, bubble bath, disposable camera, calling card or gift certificates.

To know more log on to our recommended website customgiftbasket.info

Changing A Nappy

Congratulations! It’s a boy… or a girl… You’ve imagined those words throughout your nine magical months. But, what you probably have not thought about is the part where you need to put a fresh nappy on the little person!

Even after having two little girls I worried about changing my little boy’s nappy for the first time. For some reason I thought it was going to be really difficult. But actually it was easier!

So how do you change a baby’s nappy? Assuming you are using disposable nappies, as most mums do, at least in the beginning, here are some tips:

Lie your baby on a flat surface, preferably on a soft changing mat; this allows little accidents to be wiped up quickly. If you are placing your baby on a raised surface or a changing station, never leave him unattended for even the slightest moment. Babies can and do fall off raised surfaces, often with disastrous consequences.

Advances in technology allow us to keep the wet surface of the nappy away from the baby. Although this is great for your baby,it can make it difficult to tell if the nappy is wet. So how will you know if the nappy needs to be changed? A wet nappy will feel soft and squishy on the outside. It may also have increased in size. The moisture absorbing material within the nappy swells when it comes into contact with urine making it easy to tell if the nappy is wet.

Obviously, a soiled nappy is easier to detect as you can just peep inside; or, more often than not, you can smell it!

As your baby gets older he will become more wriggly at every nappy change. A good tip is to hang a mobile above his changing station or give him a different toy to keep his interest at changing time – making nappy changes much less tiring for mum!

Remove the old nappy. Wipe the baby’s bottom with some cotton wool pads soaked in warm water. You do not need to use soap or scented wipes on a newborn baby. Newborns have extremely soft, sensitive skin which is easily irritated. A so-called top and tail, or a warm bath once a day, is enough. When the baby is a few weeks old you can wash him with a warm soapy cloth or some sensitive baby wipes at each nappy change.

Wipe baby girls from front to back to avoid the risk of cross infection. With baby boys you will need to ensure you wipe around and under their little bits! However, never pull back the foreskin. You may cause damage and infection if you attempt to.

Creams and talc are unnecessary. Nappies today are so effective at keeping moisture away from the skin that creams are not required. In fact, creams can actually hinder the nappy’s performance, making irritation more likely.

If your baby has nappy rash, and you really feel that cream is required, apply it very thinly before putting on the fresh nappy. Also, let the air at your baby’s bottom. Let him lie on the changing mat on the floor for a while without a nappy. You may want to put an old towel or absorbant bed cloth under him so that he will not be lying in a puddle getting cold, if he does wet it.

Put the fresh nappy under the baby’s bottom, with the sticky seals at the back!

Lift the front of the nappy up over the baby’s bottom and fasten it closed. Do not fasten it too tightly as this will be uncomfortable. Allow the baby some room to breath!

Voila! All Done… until the next one!

Baby Slings Compared to Traditional Baby Carriers

When choosing a baby carrier you have two basic options. These two options include the standard baby carriers that often resemble a backpack (worn on either the back or front) or the baby sling. More often than not, a parent may select the traditional style baby carrier because they are not sure about the many benefits a baby sling can provide. Another drawback is that since many parents aren’t familiar with the baby sling, they may not feel it is secure enough to hold their baby. However, baby slings can be just as secure as a traditional baby carrier, yet hold many more benefits in the long run.

One of the main benefits of a baby sling is the way the baby is positioned close to their parent as opposed to the backpack style of carry that the typical baby carriers offer. The sling carry is more convenient for infants who need constant attention. Being close to mom or dad offers that special bonding time while allowing the parent to tend to her daily routines such as housework or taking care of older children in the home as well.

Another huge benefit of the baby sling is the way they help alleviate back pain for mom or dad. Parents know that carrying around their little one can wreak havoc on the back, causing back pain or irritating an already existing problem. Since the baby sling distributes the baby’s weight more evenly, you are less likely to position your lower back in uncomfortable positions to accommodate the weight of your baby. The traditional carriers often mean carrying your infant on your back and after a couple of hours, you will begin to feel the discomfort on your lower back. The baby sling will help reduce back discomfort enough to where it may not even be an issue.

The best benefit of all when it comes to the baby sling is the closeness you will have with your young one. Infants need the constant touch and attention from their mom or dad. Being close to your child at this early stage of their lives is not spoiling the child which is a common myth. This closeness and bonding is a critical time for both parent and baby. Rather then leaving your infant alone in their crib to fuss or cry while you do housework, you can spend that time bonding.

Other little benefits include the calming effect of being carried regularly. This can prove beneficial if your baby is colic and is extremely fussy and crying. You may find that carrying your baby in a baby sling actually decreases the amount of crying on a daily basis. Your baby will also benefit from being up and about, rather than lying in a crib all day. Your baby will be more alert, reacting to the things around you both such as interacting with others or noticing new sounds and colors.

A typical baby carrier cannot offer these types of benefits. While they are great for long treks around town, they cannot offer the same closeness and face to face interaction with your infant that a baby sling can.

Next Page »