Monday, October 5, 2009

Getting Baby to Sleep Through the Night

The greatest lesson  learned by new moms: Absolutely nothing is predictable—except of course for a deficiency of a good night's sleep. It's a given that infants arise a lot during the first three months, and it's crucial to accept realistic expectations. You've  probably heard the basic tips for making those midnight wake-up calls a lot more bearable: You know to hold off on bright lights and to always feed your baby before you go to bed. So what else can you do? Here are some lesser-known nighttime survival strategies:

Make little eye contact.

You likely know to not play, sing, or laugh during those night time feedings, however you should also avoid staring into your infant's eyes late at night. When your baby locks eyes with you, it's almost as if she's drinking a cup of coffee-her pulse rate accelerates, her blood pressure ascends, and she becomes more alive. Do however, make plenty of eye contact during the daytime so she recognizes that  it's time to be awake and to thrive.

Control the temperature.

You know how you sleep best when the room's a bit cooler? Well, your baby is no different. Keep your infant's room a bit warmer during the day and cooler at nighttime. The optimum temperature for baby sleep is between 65 and 70 degrees. If you do not have a thermostat, you may  leave the window slightly ajar or use a fan at night. You want the room just a bit cool- not cold.

Use dimmers.

The brightness level is one way to regulate babies'  circadian rhythms--the body's inner clock. Plug your lamps into dimmer units ( usually available at hardware stores), and when the sun falls in the evening, lower the lights--even if your baby isn't going right  to sleep. To reinforce these rhythms, be sure your home is brightly lit during the day, even if your baby is taking a nap.

Don't give your child the silent treatment.

Astonishingly, the noises they heard  in the uterus were about twice as loud as a vacuum, so babies love and need strong rhythmic noise. Use a white-noise machine, a radio tuned to air static, or a nature-sounds CD .

Do the swing thing.

If you swaddle and use white noise and your baby's still awakening up every hour or two, add the swing to the mix. Put your swaddled baby in the reclined seat and buckle her in.  You may  stop using it slowly when she is better able to soothe herself.

So there you have it - unique ways to get your baby to sleep through the night. You might not have heard of each of these techniques, but they really do work extremely well.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weight Loss After Pregnancy: Lose the Weight After Birth

How quickly a mother can expect her old shape back after pregnancy can old be based on guidelines as there are no hard and fast rules. Of course anything up to 14 pounds will be lost within the first 14 days after birth which will include the weight of the baby and the afterbirth.

After the baby is born the uterus gradually reverts to its original size and hormone levels which have been elevated during the pregnancy will also gradually reduce so any additional weight also begin disappear and bear in mind that around 7 pounds of fat are added when a woman is pregnant. Energy is stored in this excess fat ready for breast feeding the baby but how quickly each woman loses weight is dependent on factors like genetics, the mother's health, how much exercise they get and the type of food they eat.

You should expect that it will take a little bit of time to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy because it did after all take you nine months to put that weight on although many women have successfully lost weight in just a few short months after a delivery. There are women who will not lose all the extra weight until they have finished breast feeding and this is in response to the needs of the baby but every woman is different and there are no hard and fast rules.

Fortunately our knowledge of nutrition has progressed and used properly with an exercise plan in place there shouldn't be any reason why the weight won't come off in time. Most women will be back to their pre-pregnancy weight within nine months of delivering if they follow a regular exercise program and eat healthily after delivery. Of course the annoying thing is when you see or hear about women that have regained their weight and shape in less than twelve weeks.

Many physical adjustments are made by each woman's body after birth which can hinder weight loss after pregnancy. This is one good reason if you want to achieve weight loss after pregnancy then you must take things steady and not try to rush, especially if you wish to stay healthy.

In addition, dieting right after pregnancy for a new mother who is breast feeding should probably be put on hold as a breast feeding new mother needs a significant amount of energy for the continual 24 hour care of her baby that may last for a year. It may take 6 months or more after a pregnancy for the average mother's weight loss to bring her body back to its usual metabolic rate along with the return of the normal amount of hormones that were present prior to conception but it is also important to remember that motherhood may produce some permanent changes.

Most women will put anywhere between 25 to 35 pounds or more during pregnancy although once they have given birth they will lose anything up to 14 pounds. Even though his immediate weight loss after pregnancy will help the condition, the remaining weight to be lost should not be rushed.

Bringing Baby Home

Your baby faces many trials after his birth. A newborn is often stressed out as he tries to accept his new surroundings, irrespective of what kind of birth he may have had. An infant often seems baffled in the first few weeks of his life. You both struggle to adjust to each other and all the others try their best to bring about some semblance of order. The change will be smooth if you manage not to get worked up.

Talk often to your baby: As he recognizes your voice as he has heard it before when he was inside you. Being able to identify with the tone of your voice, he finds it easy to accept things around him. The cadence of your voice as you tell a story or sing a song will work wonders for your baby.

Make eye contact: While babies do not have 20/20 vision at birth, they can see you. Your newborn will reciprocate to your method of communication if you are handling and talking to him in the right way.

Touch is important: Just stroking the arms, legs, back and head will create a marked difference in your bonding with him. Regularly massaging your newborn will give you the opportunity to have a prolonged physical contact with him. Massage relaxes and induces him to sleep well.

When you hold your baby, he not only feels comfortable but also secure. This keeps him happy. This and the warmth of your body quickly send him to sleep in the crook of your arms. Therefore carry your baby around the house in a sling and you can complete a few chores too as your hands are free.

So attend to him immediately. Do not give in to tears yourself and ignore him. Your infant needs to be hugged first and then his problem looked into. She will lose no time and respond to his need.

Worried that you'll spoil him? Don't be; meeting your baby's needs is not spoiling or harmful to him. Closeness will grow with your paying constant attention to him. It's not uncommon for moms to feel out of sync with their babies in the first few weeks. But communicating your love to him through all his senses goes a long way toward calming those delicate newborn nerves. Find more baby advice from our parent site:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Organic Baby : Raise an Earth Friendly Baby

These days raising your baby "green" is not a choice, but a necessity if you want your child to understand what is to be earth conscious. Getting back to natural ingredients and biodegradable cleaning items definitely lessens the environmental impact of raising a healthy child.  

Here is a list of earth friendly products that will help protect the environment while helping to protect baby too:

Counter-top wipes are extremely convenient, but these Sweet Pea Surface Wipes are also earth friendly! They are biodegradable and flushable, with mild yet effective cleansers made of vegetable proteins and odor-absorbing baking soda. These non-toxic wipes leave behind a delicious, natural fragrance of Geranium, Orange, Jasmine, Coriander, Rose and Bergamot.

Wipe down counter tops, baby messes , bathroom fixtures, then flush. great for household use and travel.

Formulated especially for sensitive babies' skin, Sweet Pea Laundry Detergent keeps your whites white and your brights bright while still being the gentle detergent you want for your little one. This specially formulated laundry liquid made of plant-derived surfactants is non-toxic, biodegradable and completely free of phosphates -- but what's more, it works!

Borax keeps clothes and linens looking their best, while essential oils give them a fresh scent that will linger for days.

The Complete Organic Pregnancy

This comprehensive guide teaches you how to avoid toxins and create a healthy environment for your baby, starting with pregnancy. By Deidre Dolan and Alexandra Zissu. This is a great buy for parents who want to cut down on many if the chemicals found in common household items.

Baby Moses Basket & Rocker Set (Made with organic cotton)
This sweet, lovely baby basket with coordinating rocker base makes a perfect gift for any expectant parent. The basket is lined with 100% organic cotton fleece and flannel with hypoallergenic fill, and includes a fitted sheet, bumper, blanket, and mattress. The matching base is made from unfinished maple hardwood and has adjustable straps to keep your basket and baby secure. It's a wonderful way to rock your little one off to sleep!

These are just a few of the everyday products that can be used on a daily basis to give mother earth a break. There are many other organic and earthfriendly items from

Recommending A Mother's Circle: An Essential Book

Recommending  A Mother's Circle.

Whether you're a new mom, an expectant mom, or even in the planning stages of pregnancy, this superb book from the Soho Parenting Center in New York City is one that you shouldn't be without.

This captivating book is based on the experiences of one of the Soho Parenting Center's parenthood support groups, and it allows you to hear from regular women who are experiencing the joys, trials, and challenges that come with being new moms.

Honestly and artfully written by Sandra Kunhardt Basile (with Jean Kundhardt, M.A., and Lisa Spiegel, M.A.), A Mother's Circle is a reassuring look at the first year of motherhood. It is a gift to now that you are not alone in this beautiful baby raising world.

Actress and mom Sarah Jessica Parker writes, "This is the only book I've read that helped me both care for my baby and understand myself as a new mother."

A truly fulfilling read.

Find out more about A Mother's Circle...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What Every Child Should Know Before Entering Kindergarten

Why are we concerned with what a child should know before entering kindergarten? This blog is dedicated to new moms right? Well to answer this question, learning begins directly after birth, and many doctors and scientist believe it begins to happen before then. Preparing your child for school is a task that starts way before they make their way into a classroom.

Here are some of the basics that your child should know before entering the Kinder classroom, keeping in mind that each child develops at a different pace:

Math: Math knowledge in regards to a pre-kindergartner should consist of primary shapes (including the oval and diamond), basic colors (including white, brown, and black) and numbers up to 10. They should be able to identify the above concepts by sight and be able to recite them. It is not uncommon to see children writing 1-10 before they come into the Kindergarten classroom, although most teachers don’t see it as a “requirement”. They will be taught to write 1-20 during the kindergarten year.

Language: Children should be able to say their first and last names, and have a decent vocabulary built up. They should know basic nouns and verbs, and be able to speak in articulate, complete sentences.

Writing: A kindergarten-ready student should be able to write her first name, and last name, while knowing that they both start with a capital letter. They should not be forced to write out the entire alphabet if they are not ready to do so. But if they have been enrolled in pre-kinder programs, or have an at home study program, then they might indeed know how to write the alphabet in lowercase. If they don’t have this skill, they will be taught such things throughout the kindergarten year, so don’t panic.

Social Skills: If your child is an only child, or first child, make sure they are introduced to groups of children before they get into kindergarten, this is where pre-kindergarten classes really benefit a child. You don’t want the idea of a huge group of new kids to overwhelm them, and entering the kindergarten room shouldn’t be their first exposure to new kids.

Other Helpful Knowledge: Children should know their basic body parts, how to tie their shoes (if they don’t please double or triple tie them before class). Also, they should be aware of general clothing articles such as pants, short, dresses and shoes. They should know their phone number, and if possible their address –at least city and state.

As mentioned before, each child does develop differently, so take these words as a guide. It is an excellent idea to place your child in a pre-kindergarten (preschool) class. Also, we recommend the Genius Maker Program by as an enrichment program for your toddler-through-preschool aged child.  It really works wonders and will give your child a major head start in learning.

How to Wash Baby's Hair

Buying baby shampoo, delicious soaps, and fluffy bunny print washcloths is fun and exciting, and new mothers can't wait to use them on there babies. But when it come to washing your baby's hair, there is no need to over do it.

Your baby's hair only need to be washed two or three times a week. An infant's  skin is extremely sensitive, and would not react well to daily washing. In addition, the oils and dirt that older children get in their and  hair on their scalp is not an issue for infants.

Here are the steps to a successful washing:

  • Have all amterials ready for the bath/shampoo combo, including towels washcloths, and what ever else you deem neccessary.
  • Have the tub prefilled with only about 3 inches of warm water.
  • Holding your baby cradled with one arm, lower he or she gently into the water.
  • After bathing the rest of the body, put only a pea sized dab of baby shampoo (we recommend Noodle and Boo Extra Gentle Shampoo) work it in (gently with the pads of your fingers) for only about five to ten seconds or so. Then rinse gently with a wet washcloth or sponge. 
  • Wrap baby in the towel as soon as possible to avoid loss of heat.
We like to recommend  that shampooing be done after bathing the rest of your infants body because a wet heat will cool a baby's body down more quickly than any other part of the body.

So there you have it. Shampooing basics for your little one.