Top 5 Baby Proofing Products Every Parent Needs

Welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting time. It’s also the most hectic, because before you know it, you’re little one will be crawling off across the floor faster than you can say “Paw Patrol.” Keeping your child safe once they are mobile is imperative. There are so many things that can cause curious little ones harm once they’re on the go. That’s why baby proofing your home is so important.

As with all things baby, there is no end to the products that are available devoted to helping you keep your child safe during these young and inquisitive years. It can be difficult as a new parent to determine which of these things are a must while others aren’t completely necessary.

Here, we’ve got the scoop on the 5 baby proofing products that every home needs.

  1. Outlet covers

No home with small children should ever be without outlet covers. Outlets are generally right on eye-level for babies and toddlers. Just like everything else, your child will be curious about the holes in the outlets. Covering them with those hard plastic outlet covers will keep your child safe even if they poke at them with prying fingers or hit them with toys. Plus, they are incredibly cheap too so they won’t break the bank.

  1. Furniture safety brackets

One of the leading causes of harm to babies and toddlers is furniture that can topple over. As your baby learns to walk, he will hold onto walls and any furniture he passes by to stabilize his balance. Top-heavy furniture should always be bracketed to the wall. If you have new furniture, a child safety bracket packet should be included. But for things you’ve had a while, bolt that furniture to the wall. Even the most vigilant of parents can turn around to find her child crawling into or onto something. Should your child decide to climb up the dresser in the nursery, you can breathe a huge sigh of relief when that piece of furniture is safely attached to the wall.

  1. Foam corner protectors

As mentioned before, small children will use whatever furniture they can to balance when they’re trying to walk. And even once they get the hang of walking on their own, low-lying tables and other sharp corners pose a big danger. Fitting them with foam corner protectors helps minimize the damage when they do bang their heads.

  1. Adjustable gates

You don’t need to have stairs in order for an adjustable gate to be your best friend in protecting your child. You can use them to keep your baby safe in the den or out of the kitchen too. Since they can be moved around to any doorway, some even adjusting for wider spaces, they are a versatile and helpful baby proofing product.

  1. Baby proof cabinet locks

Young mind must explore in order to develop. Leaving some cabinets accessible, like those with harmless pots for banging, are good for explorations. Cabinets and drawers that house more dangerous items like cleaning products or sharp knives, should be fitted with baby proof cabinet locks to avoid catastrophe.

There are many other baby proofing products you will find useful for your home, but every home with a small child can benefit from these 5 top baby proofing products no matter where they live!

Should You Splurge on Baby Products?

 Becoming a new parent means buying baby products. But long before that baby arrives, many new parents are busy preparing for the baby’s arrival. There are millions of baby products out there. Some are necessities while others are a luxury of extra convenience.

As you look at these items, you’ll find major discrepancies in regards to prices. Some brands will be cheaper than others and you’ll wonder if paying a higher price makes it a better item for your baby. You’ll also wonder what items really warrant the most budget.

A good rule of thumb is to stay within your budget and focus your expenses on the things that are absolutely essential for your baby’s healthy life. Here’s a quick guide to things you should splurge on and things you shouldn’t.

Splurge: Crib

Your baby will spend most of his time sleeping for the first few months of his life. So the crib you choose must be safe and free of recalls. While it’s tempting to buy a second-hand crib or accept an old one from a friend or family member, buying a new crib is the only way to ensure complete safety. Older cribs can lose screws very easily and even losing one can pose a serious danger. That doesn’t mean you need to spend thousands of dollars, but you should be prepared to invest in a proper crib.

Don’t splurge: Baby clothes

That adorable fancy dress will definitely look precious in photos. But one diaper blowout or spill of food or drink could destroy it forever. Is it worth $100? Not at all. You can find plenty of adorable clothes for your baby without spending more than you would on things you’ll wear for the next few years. Babies grow incredibly fast too. You may only get to dress your child in that fancy dress once before she’s too big, if you even get the chance at all. Many moms have spent a small fortune on baby clothes only to have those clothes be too small – even right after the birth! Another thing to remember is that some of these materials may not be comfortable for your baby. Choose soft, easy to wash fabrics instead.

 Splurge: Stroller

Buying a baby stroller is a lot like buying a car. You really need to test it out before you buy one. Depending on what your needs are, you’ll likely shell out quite a bit for a quality stroller that will last. Features you need are quick one-handed folding. Features you don’t? Loads of cup holders. Regardless, even a fairly simple stroller for a newborn will need to be of good quality.

Don’t splurge: Baby shoes

The average age for walking is somewhere around one. That being said, newborns don’t need shoes, and no child under 6 months should have hard-soled shoes. Socks are just fine for newborn babies.

Saving your money for what really counts will mean that you’ll have more money down the road for the things that really matter, like taking your child to the zoo or other memory-creating experiences. Plus, don’t forget the one thing money can’t buy, love, is the one thing your child needs the most.

The Absolute Must-Have Summer Baby Products

 Here comes summer! Cue the backyard barbecues, picnics at the park, and trips to the beach. Before the temperatures rise though, it’s time to make sure you’re prepared with summer baby products. And if you know baby products at all, you know there is no shortage of things for baby. That includes summer baby products too.

Of course, you don’t need everything but these items are the most basic must-have summer baby products to keep baby safe and comfortable outdoors.

Sunblock

The sun’s rays are stronger than ever. If you plan to be outside, make sure you slather little faces and limbs with a good sunblock for kids. Ideally, it should be waterproof should there be any chance of sitting in a kiddie pool or getting sprayed with water from older children. Make sure you reapply it throughout the day too. Most brands can last up to 80 minutes without reapplication. Read the label first.

Mosquito repellent

Summer days outdoors can be fun but they’re also buzzing with pests. Mosquitoes can carry and spread diseases. Keep your little ones safe from illness and be sure to spray them with mosquito repellent.

Stroller fan

Heat might be uncomfortable to us, but to babies it’s even worse because they are more sensitive to temperature. The best way to keep a little one cool while you’re outdoors is to use a portable stroller fan. Simply clip it to your stroller and let it create a refreshing wind for your child.

Waterproof diaper bag

The best kinds of diaper bags are the ones that are durable for all environments. It should be waterproof so spills, splashes, and rain are no big deal. Plus, it should have room to easily carry everything from your smartphone to your car keys and everything that your baby needs. Having one that is easy to tote too is a must, especially if you’ll be doing a lot of walking.

Mesh-enclosed play pen/crib

You’ll find a great variety of portable play pens that double as cribs and vice versa. These are amazing for keeping baby safe when you’re outdoors. You can enjoy the picnic and keep your baby nearby the picnic table under the shady trees. It provides a safe sleeping space as well as a self-contained play space that’s free of ants and keeps baby from crawling away. Many of them come with mesh enclosures which, while breathable, prevent insects from getting in. Some models are lightweight and fold up in seconds, making them easy to tote along anywhere you go.

Is there a summer baby product that you find an absolute necessity? Tell us about it!

The Importance of DHA and EPA for Your Newborn

 While pregnant, your doctor likely insisted you take a quality pre-natal vitamin. In those vitamins, whether you noticed it or not, there were substantial amounts of omega-3s. Those are fatty acids that your body needs even when not pregnant. But during pregnancy, they are essential not just for keeping you healthy but for your developing baby inside you.

Among the most important omega-3s to consume are marine-based DHA and EPA. Fatty fish are a huge source of both DHA and EPA. Fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and rainbow trout are all brimming with these important omega-3s which help your child’s brain develop. Consider food for your brain. It also helps the eyes develop in the womb.

When your baby is still growing in your uterus, she’ll get these nutrients passed from you through the placenta. But once she’s on the outside, how can you be sure you’re giving her the DHA and EPA levels she needs?

One of the best ways is to make sure you are getting enough yourself. Your doctor can recommend different vitamins and supplements to take that will ensure you’re giving your child the best nutrition. When you breastfeed your newborn, all those essential elements pass through your breast milk to your baby, giving her DHA and EPA and helping her brain grow. Even if you don’t breast feed though, baby formula is fortified with DHA and EPA.

Experts say you shouldn’t just rely on your vitamins to get the proper levels of DHA and EPA into your body. They recommend you also eat enough of these omega-rich fish in your diet. That’s great for people who love fish. But what if you don’t care for fish, or you’re vegetarian or vegan?

 For non-meat eaters or for those who cannot stand the taste or smell of fish, eating other foods can help ensure your naturally consuming plenty of DHA and EPA in your diet. ¼ cup of English walnuts contains 2,293 mg of omega-3s. One tablespoon of ground flax seeds will net you 1,597 mg. And 4 ounces of tofu can give you 300 mg.

When your child starts eating, you’ll want her to get 700 mg of omega-3s per day between the ages of 1 and 3. If you’re serving them to your child in the form of fatty fish, be sure to mash it carefully to ensure all bones have been removed before serving to your child.

For the best start in life, make sure your unborn child gets enough omega-3s from you to encourage healthy brain growth as well as cultivate strong eyes. Your baby’s healthy future depends on it!

Air Pollution: Should You Be Concerned?

 The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has declared that being exposed to too much smog is dangerous. And with the weather becoming warmer and warmer, the EPA has been urging everyone to use caution when exposing themselves to the polluted air outdoors.

While smog is most common in big cities, those in suburban areas should be aware of the dangers smog can pose. Ozone is a pollutant in smog, and when ozone levels are high, it can have hugely negative impacts on your body, particularly your lungs. Smog comes from things like industrial pollutants, cars and other vehicle emissions, incinerators, and burning items out in the open.

If you’re wondering why ozone is in smog and why it is harmful, that’s because it is a helpful gas when it is in the upper atmosphere where it belongs. However, in smog, it is closer to ground level where it becomes harmful.

 You should be very concerned about your health when it comes to smog. Some people brag they’ve never smoked a day in their life, but if they expose themselves to smog repeatedly, it will have the same effects as smoking does on the lungs over time.

In the short term though, smog can seriously affect your health. You may find you cough more frequently or have an irritated throat or chest. The ozone in smog agitates your respiratory system. While the effects may last for a few hours after exposure, once you think you’ve recovered, your body is still suffering from the ill effects of ozone.

For those with asthma, being concerned about air pollution is a very big deal. Asthma symptoms can worsen over exposure to smog. This exposure can lead to more frequent and severe asthma attacks. Even for those without asthma, air pollution can cause difficulty breathing and damage the lungs. Do you like to run outdoors? Doing so while there is smog about can make it even harder to breathe while you exercise. Some people will suffer the negative effects more severely than others. However, experts caution that children, elderly, and anyone with asthma are at the most serious risk.

 Air pollution is something that affects us all and you should be prepared to protect yourself. The EPA has stated that most people should only concern themselves about high levels of ozone in smog. Staying informed is the best defense. Use the EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) to help you determine if the air is clear or polluted wherever you are. With the AQI, the air quality is rated from 0 to 300. If levels exceed 150, it is considered unhealthy. Over 200, it is regarded as very unhealthy.

While you can’t make air pollution go away, you can protect yourself. Keep your outdoor activities limited when ozone levels are rated unhealthy. And when you do go outdoors, wear a filtration mask to help keep you from inhaling the impurities. In this way, you’ll keep the smog from affecting you in the long term.

How Bad is Air Pollution in New York?

 New York City is known as the “City That Never Sleeps.” It’s known for Broadway plays, the best pizza in the country, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and much more. Despite all these golden highlights, New York is also known as a city with a great deal of air pollution.

Go to New York and you’ll be greeted with the smells of exhaust from trucks and witness plumes of smoke coming out of smokestacks. It’s not all glam and glitz here. Even though it has made massive improvements over the last 10 years, New York officials are still tasked with the environmental threats posed by the hazardous air quality in the city.

Thankfully, New York has created a strategy to unite the boroughs and help economically as well as environmentally. That strategy was aptly named OneNYC and its primary goal is to improve the lives of every New Yorker. According to its mission, this plan hopes to make New York the city with the cleanest air quality among all the other big US cities by 2030.

The fact of the matter is that most people don’t think about the air they breathe every day. Because breathing is something our bodies automatically do, it is very easy to forget the importance of this simple yet essential function. Air pollution is a very serious matter, especially in New York, where it is being treated as such.

With constant exposure to air pollution, particularly the kind of levels New Yorkers see every day, it can lead to asthma, heart disease, and lung cancer. By the city’s estimates, nearly 3,000 premature deaths each year may have been the result of the unclean air, which is greater than the current murder rate.

While ozone levels in the air are certainly cause for concern, another measure of air quality is related to the amount of fine particles that are found in it. These small particles make their way into the air thanks to fuel combustion, vehicle exhaust, and power plants, among notable sources. These particles are very dangerous for they can permeate deep into the lungs, causing chronic conditions like bronchitis and may even result in a hospital stay.

However, New Yorkers are some of the most enduring people on the planet. City officials have been working together with local as well as state organizations with a goal to pass regulations that reduce the pollutants found in the air. One example of this is the NYC Clean Heat program which was created in 2012 to encourage building owners to switch to fuels that burn cleaning. Thanks to this effort, pollution in New York City was reduced significantly. While it still may have a long way to go, it’s a motivating sign that this improvement can be brought to the attention of other places with severe smog, like Beijing for example, to fully help purify the planet.

Your Lungs are Suffering from Air Pollution

 According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), over 5.5 million people die every year due to air pollution. It’s a huge risk factor across the globe that contributes to the development of diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease.

Most people look at developing countries like India and China and point to them as a source of massive air pollution. While the effects of their growth are certainly impacting the world around them, they’re also hitting their own countries the hardest. Most of those 5.5 million people that die each year from effects related to air pollution come from those two countries.

But finger-pointing serves no purpose. Other countries are also ranked high for air pollution levels like Pakistan, Brazil, and even Japan. However, if we focus on what’s beyond our backyard, we will forget what’s in our own. Poor air quality is here in America too. And while it’s more common in larger cities like New York City and Los Angeles, it still should be a major concern for everyone in the country.

Particularly during summer when the weather is hotter, the pollution levels can become even more astounding and more dangerous for one’s health. The American Lung Association (ALA) points out that over 4 out of every 10 people live in a place where the air quality has earned the grade of “F” in 2017. They also liken the constant breathing of polluted air to getting a sunburn inside of your lungs.

For those that live near busy highways, your risk for inhaling more noxious fumes is greater. The traffic pollution these vehicles emit as they speed by can damage your lungs. While air pollution is something everyone should take seriously, it’s even more important for those with certain illnesses and conditions to limit their exposure. People with diabetes, asthma, and heart disease have more of a chance of dying early when surrounded by constant air impurities.

Additionally, areas in extreme drought are also subject to poor air quality. Rain helps keep the soil quenched, and when there isn’t enough rain, pollutants can more easily fly into the winds. Particularly, places like California and Florida get a lot of wind, and during a dry spell, wildfires are rampant. Thanks to the unpredictability of these fires, they send smoke into the air. This smoke causes irritation for eyes and lungs.

Protect your lungs on days with bad air quality by staying informed of the air quality at all times. Should the levels exceed those which hare considered safe, stay indoors and limit your outdoor activities. Refrain from opening windows and opt for using your air conditioner instead. Consider using an air filter to ensure the air quality in your home is a better quality than what is just outside your door to keep your lungs as healthy as possible.

How Effective are Air Purifiers?

 We all know the dangers of air pollution outdoors. But what about in our own homes? The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends reducing the contaminants in your home by ridding the sources of that pollution. They advise increasing ventilation to rid your home of bad air.

Of course, opening windows is not an option when the air outside is ranked as dangerous. That’s where air purifiers come in. But how effective are they really? You’ll be glad to know that the EPA promotes the use of air purifiers to help keep you indoor air clean.

But there’s something you should know about air purifiers. You’ll need to keep the air clean in your home by properly ventilating it from your appliances, which can be tricky with more modern homes thanks to energy efficiency. So a combination of ventilation, opening windows, and running an air purifier combined are what is recommended.

Air purifiers may be responsible for helping to remove airborne particles including allergens. But a great many air purifiers aren’t qualified to remove gases, like ozone, wafting through your home. So while they can remove smaller particles from your home’s air, they often miss the larger ones. It’s all a matter for gravity which pulls these larger particles to the ground more rapidly, which prevents the purifier from getting a hold of it.

Despite this though, there are air purifiers that are helpful in improving your indoor air quality. So long as you find a high-quality air purifier, you’ll wind up with a more air-purified home. According to research, good quality air purifiers are capable of reducing the small particles in your air, like those from pet dander or dust mites, by up to 90%.

When it comes to mold, some air purifiers might be helpful in drawing mold particles out of the air. However, when it comes to mold spores, they are ineffective in killing them. It is possible to trap them, and in that case it’s recommended you change the filter outside your home to prevent spreading these trapped mold spores and particles back into your home’s air.

Air purifiers cannot do it all alone, however they are still extremely useful to help keep your home’s air as clean as is possible in your area. The quality of the air purifier along with proper use is how it will be most effective for you. When you use an air purifier, remember to use it along with other methods for keeping the air inside your home clean.

How To Keep Baby Food Safe

Babies and the young children have a sensitive digestive system compared to adults. They are at higher risk of dehydration if they get sick and get attacked with diarrhea from something that they’ve eaten. The reason why they’re sensitive is that their digestive system is still developing, which only makes them more vulnerable to toxic chemicals.

So it is important that you pay extra attention to how you prep the food, handle them and storing them. To keep the baby food free from harmful bacteria and many other pathogens in food that can cause illness,

Here are some safety guidelines.

Wash hands with soap and water before you prep the baby food. The same way should be done when you prepare baby formula or the bottles that you use to contain breast milk. This will keep your baby safe and at the same time protecting you from getting sick as well. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer when you take you, baby, to far away places where there is no access to soap and water. You can also carry along alcohol-based baby wipes to clean your hands before feeding.

You should also keep a good eye on expiration dates, too. If there is no expiration date written on the jar or the product, listen closely for any pop of the vacuum seals in jars. Avoid feeding your baby anything that has expired. Throw out the jars that have rusty lids or chipped glass or the ones that are missing a label or leaking.

Transporting filled bottles and food must be placed inside an insulated cooler that has ice packs when you travel.

If you store and freeze DIY baby food, place the mixture in a tray filled with ice cube covered with heavy duty plastic wrap. If you put the frozen food cubes in an airtight container or freezer bag, label it properly with the date.

Use fruit and vegetables stored in the fridge for 3 months. Fish, chicken, and meat should be consumed within 8 weeks. Use hot water, clean dishcloth and detergent in washing and rinsing all the utensils that have come into contact with the baby food. This also includes the can opener as well. Just wiping them off water paper towel is not enough to get it cleaned.

When your baby reaches the stage where they reach out for the food and eat it themselves, make sure that you cut them into tiny bite-sized pieces. Avoid giving your baby grapes, raisins, buts, grape tomatoes, cherry or even hotdogs as they are choking hazards for toddlers and infants. Always supervise your baby when they are eating.

Do not give him or her food when they’re in the car seat and you are driving. This is true especially when he or she is facing the rear/

Avoid putting uneaten portions of the baby food inside the refrigerator. Just get rid of them it has already gathered harmful bacteria coming from the baby’s mouth and it can multiply in jars. If you find your baby is not likely to consume the whole jar, spoon some food out and place them in a bowl and store back the rest of the jar in the fridge

What You Need To Know About Additives In Baby Food

Many parents these days are either reluctant to buy commercialized baby food or not. However, it doesn’t mean to say that commercialized baby food should not be consumed. Pediatricians and health nutrition experts even recommend them from time to time, especially from high quality brands.

However these days, it has become complicated in how to navigate through the baby-food aisle when you are shopping for your baby’s food. Here are some of the most common additives you will find that are marketed for parents of young children and babies.

Yogurt

This is specifically yogurt that has probiotics, which is usually promoted by food marketers. These are claimed to have beneficial bacteria working in the intestines to ease up the digestive worries and even strengthen the immune system.

Antibiotics and some gastrointestinal illnesses can activate diarrhea by eradicating or overwhelm the normal microbes of the body. With probiotics, it can aid against these effects. But due to the produce of this benefit, serving the probiotic yogurt must at least contain 90 billion live cultures. You can find baby cereals that contain probiotics. They are yogurts specially made for young children and babies.

The evidence provided with the claims of benefits with these probiotics in yogurt is not that definitive. Some studies show that they might only be modestly effective when it comes to treating diarrhea in children caused by antibiotics. There are also safety concerns regarding giving such drinks to children that have serious health problems, like the compromised immune system.

What this mean is that you have to give your baby healthy foods that has probiotics and that it can offer a couple of benefits. But before you feed them with those, you should talk with your baby’s pediatrician.

Whey Protein and Fiber

It is essential for everyone to have protein in the body, and this is not only reserved for the babies. Fiber is mostly added to aid regulating bowel movements of the digestive system. Some manufacturers have added extra protein and soluble fiber in their baby products. Some baby food and various infant cereal contain whey protein and oat bran. They even emphasize these words on their packaging.

If your baby is eating different kinds of food each day, they won’t be needing the extras. Again, make sure you check with your baby’s pediatrician to get more information.

Snacks

One thing you want to watch out is childhood obesity, and it has been increasing at an alarming rate these days. You want to avoid snacks that provide no calories or those that contain excessive salt, sugar and many other preservatives.

There are still healthy snacks that your toddler can consume on. These include dry cereal, fruit, rice cakes, grated or diced cheese, small amounts of peanut butter on crackers, frozen or fresh yogurt, pretzels, and crackers.

Stay away from sugary and sweet snacks like candy and cookies. You should also avoid salty processed snacks such as potato chips that come pre-packaged and even marketed as for children’s consumption.

Guide To Buying Baby Food In Jars

Commercial manufacturers of food made for babies contained in jars are usually divided into 3 stages namely beginner, intermediate and toddler. It also comes with organic and traditional variants. Some parents prefer to buy baby food in jars because they know how convenient it is to have them, especially when travelling.

The good thing about choosing baby food is that the product labels them with a guide into which one should be fed according to the age of the baby.

Below is a guide of baby food types that you should consider as your baby grows.

Stage 1

The foods belonging to this stage are mostly cereal. They are made specifically for babies that are just starting on the solid food. It is also a way to introduce them to it. They are usually made only with a single ingredient and pureed to make it easy for babies to swallow. With vegetables, it includes carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes and squash. Fruits include bananas, applesauce, prunes, pears, and peaches. This stage employs the plainest and simplest formulations.

You will find no additional flavorings or sauces. You can find it under the ingredients list, and you will only see a single ingredient there.

Stage 2

Baby foods under this stage usually come with a smooth texture, but not as finely pureed like stage 1 foods have. The intermediate stage usually is given to more experienced eaters, between the age 6 to 8 months. During this point, the choices get more interesting since ingredients or two or more are combined to enhance the taste and even provide new textures, like apples and chicken. Some products provide a picture of ingredients that are combined in the product.

It is not the flavor of the product, but the actual ingredients that are used in it. There is no need to open two jars just to mix them. Just don’t forget to continue providing fluids to your baby in the form of baby formula or breast milk. Avoid giving your baby citrus juice as this can upset their stomach. Just wait for the go-ahead signal from your pediatrician, which they usually do it when the infant reaches 6 months.

Stage 3

At this stage, the food is designed for children between 7 and 9 months old. These are babies that are learning to chew and grind their food using their early teeth and their gums. Larger portions and chunkier textures are introduced into the food, like a blend of chicken and vegetables, which will help those with growing appetites.

At the time when the child gets old enough at this stage, you might want to introduce to them table food that is already cut up or mashed so that it will be easy for them to chew and swallow. Infant juices can be consumed at this stage but should be limited to half a standard cup a day.

Stage 4

Companies also make foods ready to eat meals for toddlers at the age of 12 months and older, such as turkey or lasagna. They are designed for easy to chew and that it provides the necessary nutrients. They have more texture and are made for children that are comfortable using the spoon or fork.

Beyond Milk – Getting Your Baby Started With New Food

As your baby grows, they will expand their diet beyond their usual baby formula or breast milk, and this is evident when they reached the ninth month of their age. There are developmental markers that will tell you your baby is ready for other types of food such as able to sit up with support, holding their neck the proper way and having good control of their head.

Gaining weight is also another indicator that they are growing, too. You will also notice that when your baby reaches their 4th or 6th month, they are more interested in reaching and grabbing food that you are eating.

Since most of the babies lose their tongue-thrust reflex at 4 months, you will find it easier to spoon feed them. This process can take a while, since introducing a variety of solid food is done one step at a time. You also need a lot of patience, too.

During the baby’s first year, his menu still has the baby formula or breast milk before you make the switch to cow’s milk. According to experts, babies are to be breast-fed only for at least the first four months. They prefer 6 months and must be continued until your baby reaches 1 year old, even after you have already introduced them to solid foods. Make sure that you consult your baby’s pediatrician about the recommended food to be fed to your baby, when you need to introduce them and how you introduce them.

The first solid food

Your baby’s very first solid food will probably be a mix of one tablespoon or 2 of dry rice cereal for babies combined with baby formula or breast milk. Assuming that your baby does not have any allergic reaction with cereals after 3 to 5 days, you can get the cereal into a thicker consistency. Once your baby gets used to rice cereal, you can then introduce him or her to other kinds of food one at a time. You can introduce him next to barley, wheat, and oatmeal, including pureed vegetables, meat and fruit that you bought in jars or the ones that you made yourself. You wait for 2 to 3 days before you add something new to their daily menu.

Once your baby reaches between 7th to 10th month old, you can then introduce them into other solid yet soft foods like well-cooked pasta, cheese, bread, avocado, meat and fruit. These should be cut up into smaller sizes so that your baby will have it easy when he or she chews. Do not leave your child alone when they eat. Small infants are advised against eating certain foods such as nuts, raisins, popcorn and other hard foods since they are choking hazards.

Your best source of advise is your pediatrician when it comes to what to feed the baby and when to feed them certain foods, including what you need to do when your baby refuses to eat some foods or when they start to eat less.

How To Take Care Of A Newborn

This may seem like a very common thing to happen to every parents, but even new parents are still asking the same thing over and over again – how to take care of their newborns.

By the time you give birth to your first baby, you will be given instructions by your doctor on how to take care of your baby. It will also be your responsibility on finding a pediatrician that will take a look after your baby’s health. But seeing that it is your first time with a baby, it is only natural that you’d be panicking on what to do.

The tips below will help you how to take care of your baby and eventually get confident about it.

Getting Help You Need

You should consider getting help at this time since it can be very overwhelming and hectic. It is because of this reason that you see a lot of new parents have their parents by their side, aiding their children on what it is to become a parent. While you are in the hospital, talk with the experts on what you should do. Most of the time the nurses and doctors will provide you all the information you need on how to take care of your newborn. You can also ask for a guide from the lactation consultants or the feeding specialists that can help you with bottle feeding or nurse your baby.

When you are already at home, since usually, you are only going to be at the hospital for 2 days, you might consider hiring a baby nurse or a neighborhood teenager that is responsible enough that will help you for a short period. The doctors and nurses at the hospitals can be good sources for finding information regarding in-home help. They might even be able to give you recommendations to health agencies.

This is an option in case that some of your friends, relatives or your parents can’t be around for some days or are too busy.

Handling your newborn

If you have not spent much time with the newborns, it can be quite intimidating in your part. Here are a couple of basics to take note of.

  • Wash your hands before you handle your baby. The baby’s immune system is still developing, so they are susceptible to infection and many other illnesses. Make sure that everyone that handles your baby should have a pair of clean hands.
  • Try to be extra careful when you support the baby’s neck and head. Cradle your baby’s head when you carry them and support the head when you carry them upright or when you lay the baby down.
  • Avoid shaking the newborn whether in frustration or Vigorous shaking can cause the baby’s brain to bleed or even death. If you want to wake up your baby, avoid shaking it. Just tickle the feet or gently blow on their cheek.

Try to make sure that they are securely fastened into a car seat, stroller or carrier. Limit the activity that could get too bouncy or rough on them.

Which Is Better Baby Food – Blender Or Jar?

This pertains to whether you should just buy baby food that is already packaged in jars or simply make one yourself. There is an ongoing debate as to which one is better for the baby. But if you ask the experts, both types of food have its set of advantages and disadvantages.

Baby food that is contained in jars is are portable and convenient, but some moms are worried about the following reasons:

  • Cost – it can be a bit more expensive when you buy baby food products instead of cooking and mashing fresh food.
  • Preservatives – this is one of the biggest concerns parents have, especially with the way food are getting televised these days. Pediatricians only recommend preservatives in jarred food to contain vitamin C and nothing else.
  • Processing – the process of making jarred foods also mean using excessive heat. While it can kill bacteria, it can also dull the nutrients.
  • Packaging – the only concern at this point is how the packaging is not eco-friendly like the reusable dishes.

There are more reasons as to why parents opt for the homemade route, but these are the most common ones. So they cook the food, mash it and store it in the fridge. This is less expensive but at the same time, more time-consuming. Other notes that you need to know about homemade is of the following:

  • Safety – it is this reason that some parents prefer the jarred product, since processed food follow very strict guidelines for safety, like the naturally occurring chemical nitrate. Homemade food doesn’t have any of this.
  • Texture – how do you know that lumpy is not too lumpy that your baby won’t consume it anymore? Food that is not mashed enough is a choking hazard. Picky eaters sometimes prefer the consistency of the processed food to a smoother one.
  • Storage – homemade food can’t be easily kept like the jarred food. Parents should be extra aware of thawing and refreezing leftovers because of the growth of bacteria.

There is nothing wrong with making your baby food, but they should do it safely. This also means that one is not better over the other. It all depends on which you prefer. Some parents combine the two for better options, especially when time is crucial and you have no other means to prepare than getting some from the jarred baby food.

The concerns are not that serious that you rule one out of either type of food. Paediatricians recommend a combination – make homemade baby food for dining in and at the same time buying jar food if you bring your baby out since the unopened jar food needs no refrigeration.

It is no longer that much of an issue when it comes to the quality of the processed baby food. What matters here is the level of quality that you are going to choose. You will find a lot of natural and high quality foods that are available on store shelves now.

How Long Do Newborns Sleep?

Here is one thing that parents have to face with their first newborn – babies and their sleeping pattern. Unlike young children and adults that follow a sleeping pattern, newborn babies don’t have a sense of what is night and what is the day. They sleep almost all round the clock.

And since their small stomachs can’t hold enough baby formula or breast milk to keep them full for long, they often wake just to eat, and it doesn’t matter what time it is, whether it is night or day.

According to National Sleep Foundation, newborns should at least get between 14 to 17 hours worth of sleep within the 24 hour period. Some newborns may even sleep up to 18 or 19 hours per day.

Every couple of hours, newborns wake up to eat. Babies that are breastfed feed often, usually 8 times to 12 times per day. Babies fed with baby formula usually eats less often, usually every 3 or 4 hours.

Newborns that sleep longer stretches must be awakened to get fed. Every 3 to 4 hours, your baby must eat so you need to wake them up until he or she shows great weight gain, which commonly happens within the first few weeks. After that, it is okay to let your baby sleep for longer periods of time at night.

In the first months of your baby’s life, expect your life to be the most challenging. Expect to get up a lot of times during the night to tend to your baby. Every baby has their sleeping patterns. Some begin to sleep all through the night, around five to six hours at one time, and this continues from 2 to 3 months of their age. However, some have a different sleeping pattern.

How Should Your Baby Sleep?

At first few weeks of your baby’s life, it is best to do a room-share. This means that you place the crib of your baby in your own bedroom rather than place them in a different room or nursery. This will keep your baby nearby and you can easily help with the comforting, feeding and monitoring during the night.

Avoid bed-sharing with your infant as this may lead to some unwanted accidents. One of the things that experts want to avoid is the risk of SIDS or referred to as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and many other deaths related to sleeping.

To keep a safe sleeping environment for your baby, here are some pointers to follow:

  • Keep your baby on her or his back when sleeping, not on the side or the stomach. The rate of death in relation to sleeping has decreased when an established organization shared this recommendation back in 1992.
  • Utilize a firm sleeping surface for your baby. Cover your bed’s mattress with a sheet that fits just about right. Try to make sure the crib, play yard or bassinet meets up with the current standards of safety.
  • Avoid putting anything else in the bassinet or crib. Keep the blankets, pillows, plush toys, comforters, bumper pads, sheepskins, quilts, and unfitted sheets out of the sleeping area of your baby.

Super mums are taking modafinil to cope with baby and house

 

Being a parent and a mother can be exhausting. You can be sleep deprived and get fatigued from the lack of sleep. This can cause problems with focus, concentration and staying alert. Modafinil is a medication typically used to promote wakefulness and is used to help with excessive daytime sleepiness in such conditions as sleep apnea and narcolepsy. While promoting alertness it doesn’t have issues with euphoria, tolerance development, addiction or recovery sleep after use. Modafinil has been researched to help with wakefulness and alertness in a number of professions and is a benefit to the average healthy person. Due to its use in markets that involve sleep deprivation, long shifts and sustaining concentration new and existing mothers have found it beneficial to help combat sleep deprivation and fatigue so they can take care of their baby and house.

Sleep debt begins with pregnancy and then continues post-partum. A study found the first week after the baby is born mothers get 1.5 hours less sleep and split into three or more sleep episodes during the day. The study also found there is a great deal of day to day variability in the quality of that sleep. Another study showed that women lose 41 minutes of sleep time and fathers 18 minutes. Women also get sleep fragmentation with both parents showing daytime fatigue levels. Other studies indicate fatigue levels for both parents as well. Lack of sleep can affect cognitive function and mood regulation among other things. Lifestyle factors would affect sleep debt as well such as working and being a parent and being a single parent as well as other children and their ages. Regardless, being a mother and doing it all can come at the cost of sleep. Having a newborn and coping with the sleep debt can cause a lot of stress as well.

Effects of sleep debt:

  • Weight gain
  • More impulsive
  • Moody
  • Memory problems
  • Problems making decisions
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Lowered immune system
  • Micro-sleeps which can lead to accidents

 

Without sleep debt, modafinil shows some pretty impressive all around benefits in healthy individuals. We know for example it helps with fatigue levels. There was a study done in 2004 on 300mg of modafinil in which the results indicated on non-sleep deprived individuals there was an improvement in fatigue, motivation, vigilance and reaction time. All of which one does suffer from with sleep deprivation and being overworked so we can see the benefits to people who buy modafinil online at startup pharmacies like Duckdose. More research in this area reviewed modafinil as a cognitive enhancer on healthy individuals. It showed significant improvement in certain cognitive performance areas but also modafinil made individuals more attentive, energetic and alert. Other research has mentioned the alerting effects of modafinil as well. So even without sleep debt, parents would receive the benefit of anti-fatigue, alertness, and improvements to cognitive performance. Certainly when parents work as well improvements to fatigue and alertness can be a benefit in our lives.

It is interesting to note the research on modafinil for stress alone because that is one benefit that mothers can certainly use. The research was done on rodents in 2006 and 2002 who were induced with stress to demonstrate modafinil lowered corticosterone levels in the rodents. In fact, it was shown the medication was more beneficial when the mice were stressed than when they were not. The studies indicate it could be beneficial in reducing cortisol in stressed humans although there has been no specific research looking into this.

We do know that modafinil is well documented for its use in sleep deprivation, promoting wakefulness and helping sustain function while doing so. For prolonged periods of wakefulness, there was a study done in 2004 looking at sleep deprivation for 85 hours with 400mgs of modafinil. They found it restored psychomotor function and objective alertness as well as some sustained performance on various cognitive tasks. However, that is for long term sleep deprivation.

Other studies have looked at shorter term sleep deprivation and sustained performance. Sleep deprivation not only affects your fatigue levels and alertness but also your mood and decision-making skills. These are things that would be important for a parent to want to sustain when they buy modafinil online. One study we can review was a 2005 one in military aviation on pilots in flight simulators during 37 hours of wakefulness. They received three separate doses of modafinil at 100mgs. Their performance was reduced by around 15-30% compared to those without the medication at 60-100% reduced performance. It decreased their rate of anger and depression and increased rates of confidence, alertness, and vigor. So while emotional reactivity is affected by sleep deprivation this study would suggest modafinil moderated that while at the same time improving alertness. There was a study done in 2012 on doctors with one night of sleep deprivation. They received 200mg of modafinil. The results showed that the modafinil helped with working memory, planning problems, were less impulsive in decision making and were have flexibility in attention. This suggests that cognitive skills are preserved when one takes modafinil but also it helps moderate impulsivity in decision making and planning that happens with sleep deprivation. When sleep deprived a mother would want to have that moderation in mood reactivity and impulsivity.

Being a new parent can be hectic and exhausting especially when it comes with some initial sleep debt in there causing symptoms of sleep deprivation and stress. Modafinil may actually have a benefit of lowering our cortisol in the brain to help us cope with stress. Research has shown it to promote alertness and energize us whether we are sleep deprived or not. It certainly helps with sleep deprivation in many ways. It promotes wakefulness in short term and long term cases of sleep debt. It helps moderate emotional reactivity and impulsivity caused by sleep deprivation. It helps us maintain our cognitive performance from sleep deprivation and our ability to plan and make decisions. It also helps us maintain motor function which suffers from a lack of sleep. There are a lot of areas that suffer when we lack the proper amount of sleep and modafinil helps us cope with that. Having a new baby in the house can typically cause a sleep disruption in mothers, and in fathers as well, which modafinil can help people cope with.

Tips On Making Your Baby Food

Most parents would prefer to buy ready made baby food because they have no idea how to make one that is safe for their consumption. You’d be surprised that it is easy like making your meal, too. Homemade food for your baby can start with just peeling a simple banana or slicing up a ripe avocado. Making food for your baby is not that complicated. All you need to do is just turn them into something that that will be easy for them to eat. The best forms to use is by doing some puree or smoothies out of the solid food, but you also want to introduce into them lumpier textures when they reach 9 months.

Wash properly

While there is no need to sterilize, you do need to keep the counters and all the tools in the kitchen spotless. Always make it a habit to wash your hands all the time before you start any tasks in the kitchen. Keep the cloths, sponges, and towels clean as well.

Raw meat, fish, and chicken can contaminate the other foods. Make sure that you place them separately when you store them in the fridge. Don’t forget to wash your hands, cutting board, counters, utensils and the plates that have come into contact with raw juices. You must cook the fish, eggs, chicken and meat thoroughly.

Germs also breed in tepid temperature in between hot and cold. So keep your cold foods always cold and hot foods always hot. Never leave the baby food out of the room temperature for over two hours. Throw out any food that has surpassed this limit.

When your baby doesn’t finish their food, throw the leftovers. Once the spoon has gone into their mouth and then back into the remaining food, it will grow bacteria.

You should also steer clear from expired products, especially when you are freezing up baby food. Homemade food for babies can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days while freezer for up to three months. Throw out every expired food.

Various recipes

For no-cook purees, mash up papaya, avocado, and banana using a fork. You can also puree mango, melon, and cucumbers, or you can cut them into bit size pieces so that your baby can easily gnaw on them.

As with poultry or meat, brown them up in a frying pan with little canola oil until they are no longer pink. Cook them for at least 7 minutes. If there is any fat, drain them. Transfer the cooked meat to a blender and add one cup water or low sodium stock in every 250 grams raw poultry or meat. Pureed the mixture up to your desired consistency.

As with fish, steam 250 grams skinless and boneless fish filet in a steamer and let it steam between 5 to 10 minutes or up to the point that the fish meat flakes easily. Always double-check for any bones and then mash them up using a fork or puree them in a blender with added steaming hot water.