Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Culprits of Diaper Rash


     I admit it I have been completely spoiled. My breastfed baby had not had a single bout with diaper rash his entire first year of life. However, now that he is entirely on solids I am noticing diaper rash issues more and more. Although ours are not in any way severe. Discussion of diaper rash with a lot of moms have come up and I have realized that many of you have no idea what some of the culprits of diaper rash are. So for the sake of all those little bottoms out there I just wanted to let you in on the Culprits of Diaper Rash in hopes that you can avoid them so the little bottom in your life is clean, dry and diaper rash free!

Culprits of Diaper Rash
1) Wetness- This is the obvious one. Even though diapers are expensive and we try to save every penny we can, it does not do any good to delay changing your child's diaper to save money if you then have to put a ton of ointments and medicines on your child's bottom. Even the most absorbent diapers leave some moisture on your child's skin. Be sure to change your child's diaper often. Take note that children who have frequent bowel movements or diarrhea are especially prone to diaper rash. If your child has sensitive skin you have to be extra careful. The fragrances of disposable diapers, detergents used on cloth diapers, lotions or powders you use can all irritate and cause diaper rash on a sensitive bottom.

2) New Foods- This has been our problem, so be careful when your child starts being on solids only. Introducing new foods in general gives your child more bowel movements so be diligent about changing their diapers. Also, certain foods cause diaper rash so feed them sparingly to your child. Any foods that are high in acidic value such as strawberries, tomatoes, oranges, and fruit juice can be especially troublesome.

3) Infection- This one I am sure most people are aware of, no matter how careful you are sometimes things just happen. Your child may just have an infection. The bottom is warm, dark and moist a premiere breeding ground for bacteria and yeast.

4) Antibiotics- Many women are aware that certain antibiotics give them yeast infections. This is also true with children in diapers. If they are on antibiotics be very diligent with diaper duty as a yeast infection is easy to come along if they are already taking antibiotics for something else.

What to Do
- You can usually take care of diaper rash on your own. You only need to take your child to the doctor if it is infected. Meaning you can see blisters, pus-filled pimples, oozing yellow patches, open sores or your child is also developing a fever.
- Change your child's diaper frequently no matter what kind you use. The ultra absorbent or even the cloth still needs to be changed frequently.
- Do not use wipes that contain alcohol or fragrances. If you child has a diaper rash try wiping with simple warm water instead.
- Pat skin dry, DO NOT RUB
- Use an ointment as a barrier. There are tons, Desitin, Butt Paste, Petroleum Jelly, you name it. Just put a barrier between your child's bottom and the diaper to help with the rash.
- Put the diaper on loosely. I know this is not ideal, but if you want to get rid of diaper rash it is a must!
- Try to leave your child's diaper off as long as possible. I am sure you are thinking "what?" but really this is the best way to heal it. Try letting them sleep on a waterproof mattress pad diaper free, or walk around outside for a few hours or in a tiled or easy to clean room for a few hours a day everyday and it will really make a difference!
     




Monday, April 29, 2013

The Conversation of Music


    Our transition from baby to toddler has been a little difficult. I have to admit my relationship with Xavier is always changing but for some reason this was not just a baby step but a big leap and I am afraid we are still trying to get a hold of each other. 
   I think one of the most difficult things with a toddler is lack of communication. They think they are communicating with you. They come up to you with an innocent face and tug on your pant leg and say " Mama, boo, goo, bah, bah, bobbla, gabbla goo". I smile and say "Oh Wow! That is great buddy!". He tugs and says something else "Baaa, goo, gabble, woo, woo, latto". I pick him up. He squirms to go down. He sighs and runs away. This then, gets repeated a few minutes later, I try, food, I try changing him, I try playing with him. Sure, you may buy yourself a few minutes, the time it takes for him to finish the crackers I gave him as a snack that he did not want but I thought he did and the few minutes of playtime that he enjoyed with me but was not what he wanted and then it's back to the frustration again.  It then finally leads to him crying and having a meltdown and me feeling the "mommy guilt" because I have no idea what he wants. 
      However, if you find yourself in a communication struggle with a toddler and you end up in a tantrum area and they are crying and you are about to or already have pulled your hair out, I have found a good tip. Turn on some music. Something your child likes. If you have no idea what your child likes I recommend a kiddie radio station. Yes, you heard me correctly. My son, has been listening to everything from the 50s to today, to classical, broadway, swing, big band, you name it and his favorite is kiddie radio, because it is songs that his mommy or daddy sing to him and songs from shows that he recognizes. Children love to be able to recognize things. You have to realize that they are in a world where everything is brand new to them it is rare that they recognize something so when they do they get very excited.
     Turning on music gives your child something to listen to, relax to, learn about and it gives you a common ground with your toddler. Now when Xavier and I are in meltdown time because we have no way to tell each other what we want, I turn on the music and scoop him up and we dance. Not just waving our hands back and forth I mean, I hold him close, and we dance around the room. He smiles and rests his little head on my shoulder and his arms around my neck or sometimes he even holds my hand like we are dancing and whatever our problem is we at least calm all the way down and it is easier to remember that we love each other and it is alright to get frustrated once in a while because we spend a lot of time together but in the end we still love and care about each other. Music and dance let's you say just that to your child. No verbal language needed. It is something that we just understand.
    Once I put him down, we still have the issue at hand but he is calm and happy and I am thinking more clearly to try to figure out what he wants and usually after a dance, I can figure it out a little better. Be sure to try to add a little music and dancing into your day!



Saturday, April 27, 2013

Social Media Buttons

Working on the weekend and adding some social media buttons! What do you think? They are "grape"! I think they are so pretty and my favorite color! They do not work on this post but they should be working on the sidebar! All of them except, Instagram are working. That will be up and running by next weekend! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!













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Friday, April 26, 2013

The Pout



    Xavier's pout is one of the many things that have made me fall in love with him. Not only is it incredibly adorable whenever I see it, but I also have the same pout (of course I used mine more when I was a child). It is something that we share. Xavier has never been a baby that cries very often. He would always pout. If he pouted long enough it would eventually lead to a cry, but pretty much we learned to count on the pout.
    It was adorably cute as a newborn to see his pout because he needed his diaper changed or because he was hungry. It was pretty cute when as a baby he would pout if he was getting tired and wanted a nap and it is ALARMINGLY cute when Xavier is a toddler and pouts after I yell at him.
   We have had the "no" discipline working for a while. He goes to touch something, we say "No" he stops and moves on. It actually has not been that bad. Except that now as a toddler he is getting sneaky. I notice he now tries to do things when he thinks I am not in the room. He will try to grab the television remote when I am in the kitchen. Of course he does not realize that mommy's eyes are everywhere and I can still say "No". So he will go back to his toys.
    The other day, he learned the power of the pout. He had the television remote (yes, my kid is obsessed with trying to obtain any type of electronics like remotes, cell phones, etc.even though we have never given them to him)  I firmly said "No", Xavier dropped it, I picked it up and put it on the top of the couch where I was sitting. He then proceeded to play and laugh. A few minutes later he came up to me and wanted me to pick him up. "Awe, he must want some mommy hugs" I thought, boy, was I wrong. He stood right up on the couch and grabbed the remote off the top of the couch. I firmly said "NO" and he let go of the remote and slowly turned his head to look at me and with a little glimmer in his eyes he pouted! It took everything I had to not bust out laughing at him, but I remained firm and repeated my "No" and put him on the floor to play with his toys. He walked away and I believe forgot about the whole incident in about ten seconds.
     I, on the other hand have not forgotten this incident. It is definitely one of the first times that he let me know he was very unhappy with my decision. I am only afraid when he decides to declare war on my decision making skills. I guess this is just the beginning of the independence of toddler hood. You never know what to expect.
  
  Wishing you all a wonderful and fun filled weekend!












Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Guest Post: Serving Up Magic

 You all read my guest post on the blog, Pebbles and Piggytails yesterday and today I am honored to have Lisa from Pebbles and Piggytails write a wonderful guest post for my blog today. I hope you all enjoy her posts as much as I do. 



Lisa runs an inspiring blog called Pebbles and Piggytails.  It’s all about the power of moms. Her blog will lift you during your downhearted  mommy moments and also help us all remember why we love being moms.  Lisa is passionate about finding joy in the journey.  She writes about fun with kids, crafts, recipes, and other thoughtful musings.

Serving Up Magic
Making Dinner Special Again

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     There was a time when mealtime at our house got really old.  It was BORING.  It was when I had babies and preschoolers at home with me all day.  My Man was very occupied with med school and sometimes would not be able to come home until 9:00 p.m.  So often it turned out that me and my little ones would be eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner together alone, day after day.
 This wasn’t so horrible, except that we had already spent the whole day together and so we didn’t have much to talk about.  Discussing how many times my kidlets pooped in the potty or what was new on Dora didn’t seem to make our meals enjoyable for me (especially because their vocab was still in-the-making).  Dinner was dull. I found that I would hog my food down because of the lack of conversation, and then dinner was done in 5 minutes.  And then what?
 So I finally came up with a solution.  I decided to read books to my children at dinnertime when My Man was gone.  It made dinnertime special again.  We would check out many fun books at the library and looked forward to reading them at dinner. 

* It helped the kidlets love reading.
* It made me slow down and enjoy my meal.
* It made dinner last longer and feel more special.
* It gave us something to talk about.

 So now that My Man is home more often, we don’t need this nightly ritual as much.  But when My Man is gone, I satisfactorily smile when my kidlets say, “Oh yes! If Daddy is gone for dinner can we please read a book?!?” 
 And that, my friends, is that power of motherhood.

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 Find more inspiration and positive-thinking about the power of moms at: http://www.pebblesandpiggytails.com/


Contact Lisa at:
PebblesandPiggytails 

 

Guest Post for Pebbles and Piggytails

   One of the many joys of being a blogger is getting to know other great bloggers. I have been very fortunate to get to know quite a few ladies who write wonderful and inspiring blogs. A very new and up and coming blogger I met recently is Lisa who runs the blog Pebbles and Piggytails. I am very fortunate in that she asked me to do a guest post for her blog.
       A lot of us bloggers like to do guest posts. We either write or have others write for us to increase our audience and to share our audience with other blogs we think they will like. Lisa's blog Pebbles and Piggytails is a very fun and inspiring blog and may be of interest to you especially if you have older children as so does she. So if you would like to read today's blog post from me, please check it out on the wonderful blog Pebbles and Piggytails. Just click on the link below!


PebblesandPiggytails

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Open and Shut



 I had heard that this was going to happen, but I must admit it was faster then I thought. Xavier pretty much has free range of our house. It is very well baby proofed. So for the most part he cannot get into much. When he does he will yell "mama". That's right, only when he is in trouble or upset is there a "mama". "Dada" is always called when Dada is around and Xavier is happy.
     So yesterday, Xavier and I were doing our usual. I was working on the computer and he was playing. I saw him go into his room and he was playing in there for a while. They suddenly I heard the "MOMMA!" and crying, I ran in there (I was only like four steps away but it felt so much farther) and the door was shut! Apparently, Xavier had figured out how to shut the door, but not open it. He cannot even reach the door knob, so that would not be possible. Of course he was perfectly fine for being behind the door for only maybe five seconds, but it definitely scared him enough that hopefully he will think twice before closing more doors. I am glad he knew how to call me when he really needed me, it does make a mom feel good.
       Needless to say I can see why they recommend door stops for baby proofing. We did not think they were necessary. I am now changing my mind on that.
   I guess we will be investing in some cheap pool noodles to cut up and put on the doors as door stops until he figures out how to open doors with a door knob and not shut himself in his room.
   It really does amaze me how fast he learns something. Everyday it is something different that he learned from the day before. He is constantly learning and picking up new things. I am glad that as he is learning to navigate through life he has learned to call for his Momma  when he needs help. Hopefully, he will always know that his Momma and Dada are here to help him no matter how many doors get shut in his face and no matter how many situations he has trouble getting out of.




Monday, April 22, 2013

One Silly Monkey


     As the story goes, one silly monkey jumping on the bed, he falls off and bumps his head, his momma calls  the doctor and the doctor says "no more monkeys jumping on the bed". The monkeys then move on to jumping on the couch. I am pretty sure that the person who wrote that story must have had boys. Somehow, someway, Xavier has taught himself that jumping, and climbing is a ton of fun! Especially on the couch but the bed is just as fun. 
    He now wants to come and sit on the couch with you. Which you think is so adorable. Except that after that first sweet hug and smile he will then roll over and stand up and start jumping, bouncing and slamming himself into the pillows. He does the same thing on beds. I have heard the horror stories of moms who say their child was jumping and fell and hit their head and had to get stitches. I know sooner or later that this is going to happen. That sooner or later I will have that heart wrenching moment when he hurt himself so bad we have to make that emergency trip to the hospital. I am hoping it happens later rather then sooner. So we are trying to teach Xavier no more bouncing on the furniture. It is a lot of patience and time. I put him up, let him sit and cuddle, then when bouncing starts, I say "NO" and down he goes. 
    I am pretty sure this is one of the exact reasons as to why parents have a lot of patience. It is for times like these when just patience and repetition finally will get through. Hopefully soon my silly little monkey will figure out to get his climbing frustrations out at the playground instead of the furniture. I have to admit I love seeing him learning things such as climbing and bouncing just not on my furniture. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dancing King


   

It is amazing the order of things that we learn in the first year of life, sitting up, eating, talking, walking and apparently now, dancing! I am in no way shocked that Xavier is dancing. After all he comes from a long line of dancing and music loving families. It was only a matter of time before Xavier got his dancing feet and started boogieing.
   Now, many times a day he dances. Every time I turn the stereo on he dances. He will stand there and bounce up and down a bunch of times, and then run to me to pick him up and dance with him. He also dances for certain television shows. He will run to the tv and bounce up and down with the music. He even dances in his high chair while he is eating. He will sit there and bob his head with the music. I think the funniest is when it is quiet and he will turn on one of his toys that play a song and start dancing.
    He does it everywhere we go. We were out to eat the other day and he was dancing in the high chair to the music in the background.  I think it is so wonderful that he has picked up this dancing habit. It always makes him so happy to hear music and dance. If something is bugging him, like his teeth, I just turn on a little music and he dances away and it seems to really lift his spirits.
    Music and dance are very important to children, especially babies. They are very soothing and uplifting. They even have pregnant women play music on their bellies so the fetus' can hear it. It is a very powerful thing. I guess it is easy to see why it is an essential trait to learn as early in life as possible.
    We will be dancing more and more in this house and always listening to music and maybe one day even playing music. Simply because music and dance are good for our soul and just make us happy! You should be sure to add music and dance to your daily routine, it will definitely give your soul a little boost!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Teachings of Children





   Many people wonder why they should have children? Then, when they see parents, they wonder things such as; "was it an accident?", " what were they thinking starting a family now", "their lives are really going to change?"and a few positive thoughts as well, but are still ultimately wondering why have children? I have had my son for a year now and I know the answer to that popular question and so does every other parent. We have children because you are living AGAIN! When you have a child you start seeing everything through the eyes of them. It is like another childhood all over again. You start with your life and go through life, then you have a child and you go through their life and then, hopefully you have grandchildren and you go through their life. Life is a very endless cycle in so many ways.
   I find it fun to talk to different parents who are still with their first child. If you talk to parents on their first child and parents on their fifth child. You will see a huge difference. Neither way good or bad, just different. I do believe from my observations that the first child parents really tend to live in the future. They are imagining what their child will do and how he or she will end up in life. First child parents, have a high ideal for their children as to at least what they expect their kids' childhoods to be like. They already know what to do with their children. However, if you talk to the parents who are on their fifth child you will find a very different perspective. They tend to live in the present. They really just focus day to day. Just take everything one at a time and enjoy it when you can. If you have a really good day you should revel in it and carry it with you until the next one. However, you don't have time to think about the past or very much in the future as there are just too many kids and factors.
    I believe that parents are getting closer each day to finding out what life is really about. They can see it in their children's eyes; the wonderment in everything in the world, the capacity to really believe that you can do anything, and the ability to forget the past, live in the present and trust in the future. Your children know how to really make a mistake, learn from it, fix it and move on to bigger and better things. That is the secret to life. Parents know this secret because they figured it out while living vicariously through their children. They know how to take life steady as it comes and just trust that things will work out alright.  Children are amazing teachers if we just remember to stop and listen to them.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review: Cape Fear Serpentarium

  

     I am a country girl at heart. One of the things I love about having a boy are the fun "boy things" that we get to do. Last week my sister and her boys came to visit us. We thought it would be fun to surprise them with a trip to the Cape Fear Serpentarium. Even though Nick and I have lived in Wilmington for many years we have never visited the Serpentarium so I was excited to check it out.





     I love reptiles and yes, even snakes. My only fear of them in the wild is that I am not sure which ones are poisonous and which are not. Therefore, I tend to stay away from them. However, the Serpentarium has lots of information about poisonous snakes and what to do with snake bites. Each snake even had a rating system on their exhibit to show you how deadly the snake bite is.




   The Cape Fear Serpentarium is located in historic downtown Wilmington on Orange Street. It is a ten thousand square foot building that holds over 54 displays of different reptiles, many of which are snakes but there are also, alligators and other reptiles. There are over 150 different animals on display. What was nice was also how "awake" a lot of the snakes are. It was neat to see the snakes slithering around and some even come right up to the glass. It is nice to see some snakes in action. Of course the boys loved it! Xavier was a little young to really appreciate it but he loved looking at some of the animals especially the lizards that were moving so much.



   The Cape Fear Serpentarium is a great place to take your children. It is really good to let them see up close reptiles and different species and even learn about them through the different exhibits. It is very children friendly. When you go chances are you will see a lot of children wandering around with their families. It is stroller friendly, but I would recommend a baby carrier if you have it. As it is a little tight fitting a stroller and it is a very popular place. Also, remember that the Serpentarium is very warm. Reptiles need to be in a warm environment so be sure to dress in cool clothing as you will over heat very quickly.



    All our boys and even the adults enjoyed their time at the Cape Fear Serpentarium and I am excited to take Xavier back when he is a little older. The Cape Fear Serpentarium is definitely something we are going to add into our list of favorite Wilmington attractions.



You can find out more about the Cape Fear Serpentarium on their website,
www.CapeFearSerpentarium.com
it is located on 20 Orange St. Wilmington, NC 28403
Their phone number is 910-762-1669
They are open weekdays from 11am-5pm and weekends from 11am-6pm
Admission is $8 per person and children under 2 years old are free

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Turkey Meatloaf




    I am not a big fan of meat loaf. In fact I cannot remember ever eating a meat loaf that I like. However, I found this recipe in my baby gourmet book called, Easy Gourmet Baby Food by Chef Jordan Wagman and Jill Hillhouse and it is the best meat loaf I have ever had. It was a big hit with Xavier and Nick and it is definitely a keeper in my family! I have been using this book a lot to make things that we as a family can eat together. This meatloaf has a lot of flavor and it is really easy for toddlers to eat. I hope you enjoy it!

Notes about this recipe:
- Please note that the recipe calls for a red bell pepper. In the pictures you will see I used a green bell pepper as I forgot to get the red. If possible the red bell pepper adds a sweeter flavor. However, if you only have a green bell pepper that works as well.

Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup diced whole wheat bread
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup of finely diced red bell pepper
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1/4 cup finely diced Brie cheese (rind on)
- 1 tbsp chopped basil leaves

Directions:
In a large bowl combine bread and milk; set aside until all the milk has soaked into the bread, 5 to 7 minutes.



In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sweet peppers and saute until all liquid from mushrooms has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with bread and let cool to room temperature.




Add turkey, Brie and basil to vegetable mixture and mix until combined. Pack into the loaf pan, ensuring there are no air pockets.



Bake in preheated oven at 300 degrees in a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan until the thermometer inserted into center registers 165 degrees, about 45 minutes. Cut up to desired size.


Monday, April 15, 2013

No More Boobie Juice


   I am not much of a goal oriented person. I tend to be more of a go on my instincts and do what feels right type of personality. However, you cannot help but when you are pregnant for nine long months to think of all the things you want to do after you have the baby. Some of your planning will never make it, some you will try and find out you were way wrong about that idea and some things you will love and accomplish as a goal.


   I did not have a lot of goals. We did not do the cloth diaper thing. I knew that that would be too much for me to figure out on our first kid. I did try the make your own baby food, but honestly, we got WIC which gave us free baby food, and on top of that Xavier does not seem to like baby food. He ate it for like a month and was straight on our food. So now he just eats smaller portions of what we eat. I was not even one of those moms who wanted a natural birth. I did not want a cesarean as this was my first baby and we would like to have more, but I was not opposed to drugs at all. In fact by the time I got my epidural after five long hours of "natural" labor I was more then happy with the drug decision. I thought our birth went well. However, my one goal that I really wanted to accomplish for my baby as well as myself was breastfeeding for the entire first year. I cannot say how proud of myself I am that I have accomplished that. I thank my husband, Nick immensely for his constant support in breastfeeding and I can see results from it already. In my child's first year of life, he has been sick only once, no ear infections, no gas issues, no reflux issues (and that runs in our family), no allergies, he eats everything, he does not have attachment or mouthing issues and he has always been at a healthy weight for his age.




   I know what you are thinking that I am a stay at home mom and it is much easier for me to be a breastfeeding mom. I am here to tell you that breastfeeding in itself is something to be proud of. If you breastfed your baby at all you should be proud. Any amount of breast milk is better then none. I am only frustrated with moms who do not even try it.  It is obviously the best and cheapest, why not at least try it? However, due to our expenses, me being a stay at home mom, and we are kind of a very natural/hippie type family it just fit the bill that I was going to breast feed. Here is the thing, I rarely allow things in our kitchen that have too many added "ingredients" (I put ingredients in quotes because I don't like to consider, dyes, additives and junk, ingredients).  You will not find Little Debbie, or soda's or much prepackaged food in our house. Unfortunately, in my opinion that is pretty close to what formula is and I had decided it was not for us. That is not to say I did not give it a fair try the week after Xavier was born due to me having a blood transfusion my milk was extremely late and we did supplement with formula. I gave it a fair try but honestly, it was not for me or my family. I broke out my breast pump. ( See Review: Ameda Purely Yours Breast pump). Then, after finally getting my milk to come in we found out that Xavier has a minor tongue tie. In fact so minor that we did not realize it was what was wrong with his latching. He would latch and drink but not be satisfied. Finally at around two months old he got the hang of it and so did I. We breastfed baby to breast and I also pumped to let Nick feed as well. We continued that until Xavier was around seven months old. He then got his teeth in and could sit up on his own and started eating solids. He was no longer interested in breastfeeding, so I let him wean himself. However, he still needed the nutrition so I exclusively pumped. For over a year I pumped from 8 times a day to 6 to 5, then 4, 3,2 ,1 and now I am done.





   Now that Xavier is over a year old. He does not need breast milk or formula for nutrition. We are weaning him from bottles as he only has them as a comfort in the morning and before bed. He is finishing up the last of the breast milk in our freezer and we can put him on whole milk although it is not necessary if he stops the bottle before then. I did not mind exclusively pumping for a while as he needed the nutrition and I felt like I was still nourishing him, but as he does not need it for nutrition (not to say it hurts him, as it actually helps give him an extra nutrition boost and if he got it from me I would not have weaned him) I have decided to stop the pumping. I am glad for the new freedom to have my body exclusively mine and not have to have a breast pump on my bedside table anymore. I do miss it slightly, only because it brings on the realization that my baby is no longer a baby. He is a toddler. He has his own likes and dislikes, his own personality. It is just the first step of many in realizing that he doesn't need me anymore.



   It is funny how life works though. It is almost as if as soon as I am realizing he is no longer a baby and does not need me to nourish him, I think he feels it too. Every once in a while he will come up to me and just snuggle and wrap his little arms around me. He is showing me that he still does need me just in a different way, and thus, our relationship has changed again. Just when you feel you have a hang on things with your child, they change, and you change and your relationship changes together. I guess it is all in the mystery of life.
  Therefore, I just want all the moms out there to realize that you can accomplish your "mommy goals" of whatever it is. There will be naysayers but do not let them get to you. You do what you know in your heart is right for you and your family. I am so grateful and proud to have stuck with our goal of breastfeeding for the first year. It was an amazing experience and I plan on doing it again whenever we decide to have baby number two! I highly recommend breastfeeding to all new moms. If you need any support feel free to contact me or reach out to your local La Leche League in your area.


For further information on breastfeeding check out my blog post
Everything You Will Ever Need and Need to Know About Breastfeeding
There are also helpful links at the end of the post for breastfeeding support!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Toxic Chemicals In Your Home


  
  
    This is the last post from our Safety Week on my blog. Check these if you missed them, Safety Devices, Home Security Tips, Childproofing 101, and Infant Choking and CPR. Today's safety post is about Toxic Chemicals in your home. Often times you have a lot of different types of chemicals in your home for various reasons. Some are not good even for your health let alone your child's. Remember that children are extra sensitive to chemicals. They can develop many medical conditions just as a result of what they are exposed to. Here is a list of some common toxic chemicals that are in your home, the signs to look for if you or your child has been over exposed to them and things you can do to minimize the amount of toxic chemicals in your home. This information has been provided by The Children's Environmental Health Network. Please share this with your loved ones and especially caregivers and places your child spends a lot of time.

Toxic Chemicals In Your Home

Chemicals play a major role in our every day lives. They are part of what we eat, where we work, and how we live. Despite their prevalence in our lives, many chemicals are hazardous, or toxic. Toxic chemicals can be found in our soil, water, air, and bodies. This contamination has seriously effected the health of humans and wildlife everywhere.

Children are often more vulnerable than adults to the harmful effects of chemical pollutants because they are growing and developing rapidly. In addition, children’s behavior, including increased hand to mouth activity, a tendency to crawl and play in spaces that could be contaminated, and a lack of awareness about proper safety and sanitary habits, all put children at a higher risk. In some cases, childhood exposure to toxins can cause serious health damage to an individual later on in life.

Our built environments, including schools, residential areas, and places of work, can all be sites of hazardous chemical contamination. In fact, many toxic chemicals can be found right in your home.
  • Household products such as detergent, floor and furniture polish, paints, and various cleaning products for glass, wood, metal, ovens, toilets, and drains may contain hazardous chemicals such as ammonia, sulfuric and phosphoric acids, lye, chlorine, formaldehyde, and phenol. Air fresheners can also contain chemicals that are harmful to health. Art supplies, such as markers, paint, and glue, may also contain toxic materials. When not properly handled, these products can make the home environment a dangerous place, especially for kids.
  • Home furnishings, such as carpets, curtains, wall decorations, and some furniture, may be treated with chemicals and are potentially dangerous. It is important to note that a few days after installation, new carpets emit volatile organic compounds, which are chemicals associated with carpet manufacturing that can be harmful to humans and the environment. Gas and wood stoves and kerosene heaters may also release dangerous chemicals.
  • Building materials such as particle board, insulation, asbestos, and treated wood (used for decks and outdoor furniture), can also pose health threats. Some play sets and toys, as well as outdoor swing sets and play grounds, may also be treated with toxic chemicals, made from toxic plastics, or include hazardous materials. The more time that children spend playing in such an environment, the higher their exposure to toxic chemicals, and the greater a risk to their health.
Various health effects can result from toxic chemical exposure, including allergic reactions, asthma, migraines, dizziness, nausea, eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation, various forms of cancer, and even death. The health effects resulting from exposure depends upon many factors, including how toxic the chemical is and the degree of exposure.

You can help protect children from the hazards of toxic chemicals at home and in school.


Make an effort to use nontoxic products. Use natural products for cleaning agents such as baking soda, soda ash, vinegar, and cream of tarter. A variety of nontoxic products can be found in health food stores and some supermarkets. Make sure to check labels carefully and keep all hazardous products well-marked and away from children. Check to see if various school and household appliances, toys, and learning materials are hazardous. Keep living, playing, and learning areas, especially the kitchen and bathroom, clean and safe.

Educate yourself! Learn more about toxic chemicals by visiting informational websites. Become active with groups working to promote policies designed to protect children from toxic chemicals.

Toxic Chemical Information Resources
  • www.epa.gov/epahome/topics.html - website for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which can be searched for a variety of information about toxic chemicals and pollutants and US regulations regarding such materials
  • www.epa.gov/kidshometour - part of EPA’s website geared toward children information and a tour of toxic chemicals in the home
  • www.atsdr.org - website for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a government agency that provides information about hazardous substances, the health effects of hazardous substances, and relevant news updates
  • www.nrdc.org/health/default.asp - website for the Natural Resources Defense Council which contains a variety of information including an article about toxic chemicals and health
  • www.childproofing.org - the website for Childproofing our Communities Campaign, a locally based, grassroots effort coordinated by the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice (CHEJ), a national environmental organization dedicated to making the indoor and outdoor environment more safe for children. This site also provides many useful links to other organizations.
  • www.igc.org/psr/ihw.htm - a document by Physicians for Social Responsibility about various toxic threats to child development and information linking developmental disorders and toxic chemicals
  • www.greenhome.com/learn - an on line department store and information resource that sells environmentally friendly products from home appliances to apparel. It also contains various informational articles, including one on how to make non-toxic cleaners for your home which can be found at www.greenhome.com/learn/make/cleaners.shtml (Note: these products have not been officially tested by CEHN, nor are they officially endorsed by the Network)
  • www.eohsi.rutgers.edu/rc - the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute provides educational material about toxics, including ToxRAP material for classroom lessons
  • www.cehn.org - website for the Children’s Environmental Health Network, a non-profit organization that works to protect children from environmental hazards and to promote a healthy environment, with a useful resource guide to other organizations and links to other resources

For more information check out The Children's Environmental Health Network website at
www.cehn.org. Thank you so much for reading my Safety Week's blogs. Be sure to spread them to friends and family to make sure that they are aware of all the safety guidelines. There are many accidents that can be prevented be sure that your child is protected where ever they are. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Infant Choking and CPR

  Today is the fourth day of our Safety Week here on my blog. Here's the topics we have discussed so far this week, Safety Devices, Home Security Tips and Childproofing 101. When you become a parent you are offered many different types of parenting classes. One you should seriously consider taking is a CPR class. It is important to know how to deal with choking hazards as that is very common since babies put everything in their mouths as well as infant CPR. You never know who's life you may need to save. Here are some safety tips for infant CPR and first aid for choking. Please share them with all your friends and family.




Choking

Step 1: Assess the situation quickly.

If a baby is suddenly unable to cry or cough, something is probably blocking her airway, and you'll need to help her get it out. She may make odd noises or no sound at all while opening her mouth. Her skin may turn bright red or blue.
If she's coughing or gagging, it means her airway is only partially blocked. If that's the case, let her continue to cough. Coughing is the most effective way to dislodge a blockage.
If the baby isn't able to cough up the object, ask someone to call 911 or the local emergency number while you begin back blows and chest thrusts (see step 2, below).
If you're alone with the baby, give two minutes of care, then call 911.
On the other hand, if you suspect that the baby's airway is closed because her throat has swollen shut, call 911 immediately. She may be having an allergic reaction – to food or to an insect bite, for example – or she may have an illness, such as croup.
Also call 911 right away if the baby is at high risk for heart problems.
Step 2: Try to dislodge the object with back blows and chest thrusts.
First do back blows
If a baby is conscious but can't cough, cry, or breathe and you believe something is trapped in his airway, carefully position him faceup on one forearm, cradling the back of his head with that hand.
Place the other hand and forearm on his front. He is now sandwiched between your forearms.
Use your thumb and fingers to hold his jaw and turn him over so that he's facedown along the other forearm. Lower your arm onto your thigh so that the baby's head is lower than his chest.
Using the heel of your hand, deliver five firm and distinct back blows between the baby's shoulder blades to try to dislodge the object. Maintain support of his head and neck by firmly holding his jaw between your thumb and forefinger.
Next, place your free hand (the one that had been delivering the back blows) on the back of the baby's head with your arm along his spine. Carefully turn him over while keeping your other hand and forearm on his front.
Then do chest thrusts
Use your thumb and fingers to hold his jaw while sandwiching him between your forearms to support his head and neck. Lower your arm that is supporting his back onto your opposite thigh, still keeping the baby's head lower than the rest of his body.
Place the pads of two or three fingers in the center of the baby's chest, just below an imaginary line running between his nipples. To do a chest thrust, push straight down on the chest about 1 1/2 inches. Then allow the chest to come back to its normal position.
Do five chest thrusts. Keep your fingers in contact with the baby's breastbone. The chest thrusts should be smooth, not jerky.
Repeat back blows and chest thrusts
Continue alternating five back blows and five chest thrusts until the object is forced out or the baby starts to cough forcefully, cry, or breathe on his own. If he's coughing, let him try to cough up the object.
If the baby becomes unconscious
If a baby who is choking on something becomes unconscious, you'll need to do what's called modified CPR. Here's how to do modified CPR on a baby:
Open his mouth and look for an object. If you can see an object, remove it with your little finger.
Give him two rescue breaths. If the air doesn't go in (you don't see his chest rise), tilt his head and try two rescue breaths again.

If his chest still doesn't rise, do 30 chest compressions.
Look in his mouth and remove the object if you see it. Give him two more rescue breaths.
Repeat the chest compressions and so on, until help arrives.



Information provided by BabyCenter.com and the Red Cross website.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Childproofing 101


   Today is our third day of Safety Week here on my blog. If you missed the other posts you can click here for Safety Devices and click here for Home Security Tips.  When you have a baby it is now pretty common knowledge that you need to "babyproof" your house. Truth is you really have to worry about it when your child starts crawling. The idea is to let them get into things that cannot hurt them such as your pots and pans and perhaps book collection, but not get into things that can harm them such as your medicine cabinet, etc.
   Childproofing was not used much in older times because it was not as necessary. Many of the furniture that we consider antiques today are very heavy duty. A child cannot open a dresser drawer or cabinet because they were made with such heavy materials it took some muscle to get things opened. However, now furniture is made of lighter woods and materials making things easy to swing open. Also, we have lighter and more electronics that come with wires and go into sockets so it is important to make sure you childproof your home when they start crawling to be sure to keep your little one safe. Here are a few basic childproofing tips to be sure your house is ready for your little one's mobility.

Basic Childproofing
- Be sure to use door knob locks on all important doors that your child can open. These are especially good on doors that do NOT lock. Doors to consider using this on, food pantry, cellar way doors, doors to a garage or attic, closet doors, other rooms, such as older siblings or office doors.



- Be sure to tie up all dangling strings, such as from blinds, clothing and wires.
- Use cabinet locks on cabinets in kitchen, bathrooms and garage or storage areas. There are different types of cabinet locks choose which ones work best for you and your family. Some cabinet locks double as drawer locks as well.




- If you have guns in your house be sure to keep them unloaded, with the safety on, and in a locked cupboard or drawer. By the time your child is three years old you should review with them what to do if they encounter a gun. Tell them if they find one lying around to leave the area, and find and adult at once to notify. They are never to touch the gun.
- Secure big items and appliances. Many appliances have their own locks, such as dishwashers and stoves. Be sure to check yours, some large refrigerators do not need locks but your standard refrigerator does.
- Secure your television. Since the invention of the flat screen television, televisions are now much lighter and easier to fall now. Be sure to get a childproofing kit to secure your television to the stand or to the wall. Some televisions even come with some when you buy them.



- Be sure you secure your toilet seat. Not only can your child drown while playing in there but you will find that their favorite thing is to throw things in the toilet and see if it flushes down. You can save yourself a plumbing headache by using a toilet seat lock.




- Use baby gates when necessary. You can buy gates to secure your child in a safe area or you can buy just specific gates to gate off an area. Try a mixture of both as your gating needs may change as your child gets more and more mobile.




- Cover all outlets and keep wires tied and out of your child's reach.

The best way to child proof your home is to get on their level. Crawl around on your hands and knees and see all the things they can encounter. When your child first starts crawling and walking watch them very closely and see if they get into anything that you may have missed proofing. Also, if you are a caretaker for a child either babysitter, nanny or grandparent be sure your home is safe and childproof as well! It is inevitable that sooner or later your child will have an accident but be sure to prevent as many as you can. Check back tomorrow for more on Safety Week!

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