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Oh

Baby!

A Waxahachie Media Group publication

2018

from

baby BUMP to

baby’s FIRST

Birthday

Everything planner the


Oh

Baby!

A Waxahachie Media Group publication

2018

6

Getting Ready for Pregnancy

8

Nutrition: Eating for the Health of Your Family

from

10

baby BUMP

Emotional Support: During Pregnancy and Postpartum

to

baby’s FIRST

Birthday

Oh

the Everything planner

Cover photo by Chaunva Le Compte Photography www.chaunva.com

12

Your Optimal Pregnancy

SALES: Tobi Allen Sharon Rexrode DESIGN & PRODUCTION: Christy Morrison For more information or to get a copy of Oh Baby! contact Scott Brooks at sbrooks@waxahachietx.com

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40

Introducing the Fur-Babies

42

Hiring a Professional Photographer

43

Dressing your Little One

Baby Nursery Design in 12 Easy Steps

Safety and Baby-Proofing Your Home

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45

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Essentials of Baby Shower Etiquette

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Proper Footwear for Children

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Read Aloud Every Day!

74

Baby’s Early Education

76

It’s Good for You! Making Your Own Baby Food

19

Your Baby Registry

20

Baby’s Nutrition: Learning the Dance of Breastfeeding

Getting your Body Back

51

Baby’s First Tooth

52

Baby’s Tooth Chart

54

Your Baby is Teething

55

Vaccine Tracker

56

Checkup Worksheets

Pregnancy Milestones Pregnancy Visits

27

Prenatal and Infant Care Chiropractic

28

Showing Off That Bump!

29

Preparing Children for Pregnancy and a New Baby

50

Infant Reflux Safe Sleep For Your Baby Planning Baby’s Birth

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83 84

85

30

Hospital Bag Checklist

32

What to Expect at the Hospital: A Guide to Labor and Delivery

Tracking Your Baby… Developmental Milestones

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Baby Milestones

Exercising During Pregnancy Birthstones: The Beauty... The Lore

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WAXAHACHIE DAILY LIGHT | MIDLOTHIAN MIRROR ELLIS COUNTY TRADING POST | THRIVEHIVE MARKETING

The Eco-Friendly Nursery Go Green Baby!

Pediatrician interviews

Finding the Perfect Name

Waxahachie Media grouP

39

Common Questions to Ask Your Pediatrician

Your Pregnancy Month by Month

64

Bonding with Baby

15

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PUBLISHER: Scott Brooks

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Choosing the Right Child Care

13

Ultrasounds & Sonograms

Risk Factors in Pregnancy

EDITOR: Robin Good

2017-2018

Choosing a Pediatrician

Identifying Warning Signs of Pregnancy Danger

Staff

Baby!

Popular Baby Names for 2017

36

Budgeting for Baby… Now and in the Future

How will I know when I’m in Labor?

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96

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Baby’s First Birthday

61

The End of Infancy: Tracking Your Toddler and Child

Labor Memories Your Baby’s Birth Story

62

Hand and Footprints

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Getting Ready for What most couples don’t realize when considering a baby is that it involves a lot of thought and planning. It’s not enough to be mentally ready – you have to be physically ready (fit), and healthy. This gives you a head start to having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

How to get Pregnant As many of you know, conception is not as easy as it seems. While a few get lucky and conceive quickly, for others it can take longer than anticipated - sometimes years. By making a few healthy choices and lifestyle compromises you can increase your odds of getting pregnant. From eating the right foods, to losing weight and cutting down on caffeine and alcohol, you can make a direct impact on your ability to conceive. If getting pregnant is high on your priority list, here is what you can do to increase your chances:

Eat Healthy There is nothing like a well-balanced diet to trigger your baby making process. Make sure to get ample doses of protein, zinc, iron, and Vitamin C to enhance your chances of conception.

Say no to Smoking Smoking affects fertility and also damages the ovaries. If you are considering pregnancy there is no better time to kick the habit!

Pregnancy

Avoid Stress High stress levels can wreak havoc on your hormonal system, thereby affecting ovulation and conception.

Fitness Matters Exercise regularly. Walk, swim, cycle, or hike. Anything that gets you up and moving will do the trick. Being underweight or overweight can make conception harder and affect your baby’s health.

Keep Away from Alcohol An occasional drink may not majorly impact fertility, but research has shown that alcohol impairs fertility and harms the developing fetus.

Frequency Have frequent sex to increase your chances of conception. Most fertility experts feel that infrequent sex at the best time of the cycle is one of the most common causes of infertility.

Get to Know your Ovulation Cycle Timing sex during ovulation is a great way to speed up your chances of getting pregnant. If you have a regular 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation is most likely to occur mid-cycle around day 14.


How do you know you’re ovulating? Clear indications are: • Your cervical mucus becomes clear and slippery toward your ovulation date. • There is a slight rise in body temperature after you have ovulated.

The Signs of Pregnancy One of the early positive signs of pregnancy is missing your period. This may differ from person to person. Here are more symptoms that could confirm your pregnancy: • Food Aversions • Frequent Urination • Mood Swings • Fatigue • High Basal Body Temperature • Tender, Swollen Breasts • Darkened Areola • Food Cravings • Morning Sickness • Positive Home Pregnancy Test

Stages of Pregnancy The nine-month pregnancy span is divided into three periods known as trimesters. During each of these trimesters, there are significant developments that occur.

First Trimester The baby grows quickly in this period. From being a tiny embryo, the fetus grows to the size of a kidney bean. It is continuously moving with its heart beating quickly and intestines forming. The earlobes, eyelids, mouth, and nose are also taking shape.

Second Trimester In the beginning of the second trimester, your baby is about 4 1/2 inches long and weighs about 45 grams from head to toe. The baby now has fingerprints! As the weeks go by the skeleton starts to form and the baby develops the ability to hear. You’re likely to feel the “butterfly kicks” as a fluttering sensation that begins between weeks 18 and 22.

Third Trimester In this final trimester your baby gains more weight. She/he can blink their eyes, and wrinkled skin starts to smooth. They also begin to grow fingernails, toenails, and real hair. At full term, the average baby is more than 19 inches long and weighs nearly 7 lbs. Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography


Finding an

Obstetrician How can I find an obstetrician to care for me during my pregnancy? If you’re seeing a gynecologist you like who practices obstetrics as well, you may want to ask him or her to care for you during your pregnancy - particularly if you like the hospital where the doctor attends births. If you need to find an obstetrician, ask one of your healthcare providers to recommend someone or talk to your friends or relatives who have recently had a baby or who work in healthcare in your area. Childbirth educators are also a good source for referrals and friends. If you don’t come up with any recommendations on your own, try calling the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in Washington, D.C., at (202) 638-5577. They can give you names of board-certified ob-gyns in your area. You can also visit the ACOG website (www.acog.org) to find a doctor in your zip code.

What criteria should I use to choose my obstetrician? Only you can decide which are the most important considerations for you – it’s a very personal decision. Keep in mind that you may be able to narrow your list of choices with a simple phone call. There’s no need to meet with a doctor who isn’t in your network of providers if that’s a requirement for your insurance coverage.

Here are some other things to consider: Your Health History

Finding a physician with whom you are comfortable is very important. The ability to relax and ask questions with your obstetrician is vital to maintaining a positive relationship and pregnancy. Remember - if you suspect you may be pregnant or if you have taken a positive pregnancy test, make an appointment with your doctor to ensure that you will have a happy and healthy nine months!

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Do you have any chronic illnesses - such as high blood pressure, epilepsy, heart disease, or diabetes - or previous complications that may require special care? If so, ask the doctors you’re considering what experience they have caring for patients with your circumstances, and consider whether you should be cared for by a perinatologist (a doctor who specializes in high-risk births). If you’ve previously had a c-section, would you like to try to have a vaginal birth this time? In that case, you’ll want to make sure that both the provider and the hospital are supportive of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).


The Doctor’s Outlook Find out the doctor’s attitude about issues that may be important to you, such as the routine use of interventions like IVs, continuous electronic fetal monitoring, and episiotomy. You can’t predict what your individual situation will require, but you can get an idea of the general approach your doctor has to your care…not to mention his or her practice patterns. You may also want to determine the doctor’s feelings about having a doula or other support person/people present at the birth besides (or in addition to) your partner. Is the doctor supportive of natural childbirth, if that is what you’re interested in? Is breastfeeding encouraged?

Compatibility Pregnancy and childbirth are exciting, but they can also be stressful. So the best healthcare partner is one you feel comfortable with and whom you can communicate easily.

The Anatomy of Prenatal Visits You will probably need to free up your schedule to allot ample time to clear your doubts and apprehensions during the initial stages of your pregnancy as well as what to expect over the next few months. If possible, it would also be advisable to invite your partner to the doctor’s consultation. During the first meeting, the doctor will be able to give you the expected delivery date of the baby. This estimation of the date is also important for careful evaluation of the monthly growth of the fetus. For women with irregular menstrual cycles, doctors usually recommend ultrasound scans to get a clearer picture of your delivery due date. Mothers-to-be will be asked to record their height, weight, and blood pressure to have a reliable assessment of health. In some cases, PAP tests may be required to screen for cervical cancer. On prenatal visits, blood tests are also conducted to screen for certain diseases such as:

Ask Yourself... How comfortable do you feel with your doctor? Do you find it easy to ask your doctor questions? Does the doctor explain things clearly and completely? Does the doctor seem like someone who will respect your wishes?

Questions for your Doctor... How many doctors are in the practice – will I have a primary and what are the chances that doctor will deliver my baby? What is the hospital affiliation? What is the cesarean rate? Does the doctor or the group practice perform episiotimies as a matter of course? What is the doctor’s attitude about patients having a birth plan with personal preferences? How does the doctor feel about pain medication during birth? If I happen to be a high-risk pregnancy – what is the doctor’s experience? How many babies do you deliver each year? • Mumps • HIV • Measles • Kidney Disorders • Rubella • Diabetes • Syphilis Apart from these tests, the doctor will ask you about your lifestyle and eating habits and may ask you to make the appropriate changes to accommodate your pregnancy.

What to Expect in Future Visits After your first prenatal visit, you may need to see your doctor every four weeks or so until the 28th week of pregnancy, after which you will need to see each other more often. In addition to these checkups, you may also want to take advantage of other screening methods to ensure normal development of the baby. The important key here is to discuss these options with your doctor – seek his advice and expertise. A sonogram or ultrasound will also be conducted. You will be advised to take multivitamins that contain iron and folate to ensure you are getting enough nutrients in your diet. If you have questions, be sure to list them so you can discuss with your doctor. You’ll both feel better when you understand each other – relax – it’s key.

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Eating for the Health of Your Family

Nutrition:

nant. It’s often hard to eat in the first trimester because of nausea. Focus on small and frequent snacks/meals that are protein rich (nuts and seeds, legumes, dairy, and lean animal) and always pair a carbohydrate with a healthy fat or lean protein. It is easy to mistake nausea with hunger and thirst. Try adding lemon, lime, mint, or ginger to your water or hot tea. These are natural ways to manage nausea. Adding magnesium rich foods can help as well: pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, and chocolate.

You’re pregnant! You’ve never had a better reason to eat healthy. A developing baby depends solely on the transfer of nutrients from the mother. These nutritional building blocks help maximize brain development, growth of all organs, and develop the integrity of your baby’s immune system The quality and the quantity of nutrition that you eat, the pollutants, drugs and infections that your body is exposed to during fetal development, and the stress level and state of mind that you adopt while pregnant are all factors that shape your baby, your life, the lives of your grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. That’s right, not only can you grow a healthy child, but you can also optimize the health of your family for three generations. Balance in your lifestyle choices can bring vital health to your pregnancy. FIRST TRIMESTER In the first trimester of pregnancy by week 6, your baby has a beating heart, and by the 10th week of pregnancy you will have created all of the organs your child will have for the rest of their lives. During the first 13 weeks, it is common to feel nauseous, fatigued, and moody. Don’t worry, all those symptoms are perfectly normal, and you will not have to eat more now than if you weren’t preg-

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SECOND TRIMESTER In the 2nd trimester your baby is laying down new bone. Bone building nutrients are a focus in the 2nd trimester. Most of us know the role that calcium plays in strong bones, but did you also know that bones rely on vitamins A, D, and K, as well as the minerals boron, molybdenum, manganese, and magnesium? Focus on colorful fruits and vegetables daily to consume all of these vitamins and minerals. The goal is at least 1 food from each color daily: blue/purple, red, orange, yellow, white/tan, and green. The easiest way to achieve this goal is to make a daily smoothie loaded with fruits and veggies. Spinach is the mildest green vegetable to hide in a smoothie. Try a couple big handfuls, you’ll never know it is there! THIRD TRIMESTER Did you know that your baby’s brain grows by 260% in the 3rd trimester alone? Now that’s brain power! Focus on brain building nutrients in weeks 28-40 to help maximize cerebral development: protein, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, and B vitamins. All your healthy eating is starting to pay off. Even if you can’t see your baby eating, they are swallowing amniotic fluid daily and with it comes all the flavors of the foods you have been eating. Recent studies show that you can influence the palette of your child starting in utero. By choosing foods that have strong and complex flavors such as herbs and spices, and colorful fruits and vegetables, you can prime your baby to enjoy diverse flavors before food introduction. TOP NUTRIENTS FOR PREGNANCY AND WHERE TO FIND THEM Protein—promotes cell growth and blood production. Protein is a long-lasting fuel source for your body as your energy requirements are in high demand. Found in lean


meat, fish, poultry, egg whites, legumes, nuts and seeds, tofu, and tempeh. Carbohydrates—your body’s #1 fuel source. Found in whole grains, non-starchy and starchy vegetables, fruits, legumes, and dairy/dairy alternatives. Fat—promotes healthy hair, skin, eye, nail, and membrane development and is a key part of your body’s energy stores. Found in olive oil, olives, avocado, coconut oil, sunflower oil, dark chocolate, nuts and seeds, seafood, and meat. Vitamin A—an antioxidant and fat-soluble vitamin that helps create skin, eye, brain, and bone health, and fights off viral infections. Found in carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, bell peppers, parsley, Swiss chard, and collard greens. Vitamin C—an antioxidant and water-soluble vitamin that works in harmony with iron in your body. Vitamin C is also a co-factor in the production of L-carnitine. Vitamin C helps with muscle cramps, constipation, and is the key in collagen—daily Vitamin C helps your stretching skin and decreases the risk of perineum tears at delivery. Found in red bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, parsley, broccoli, and citrus. Vitamin D—promotes a strong immune system, regulates insulin and blood sugar, lowers the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy, reduces the risk of asthma and wheezing in your baby, increases the birth weight for your baby, and decreases the risk of postpartum depression. Found from the SUN! 20 minutes of a pinking dose of sunshine daily yields 20,000 IUs of vitamin D. Food sources include: egg yolks, sardines, cod, shrimp, and dairy products. B Vitamins—B6, B12, and Folate—these water-soluble vitamins play their biggest role in cerebral development and decreasing the risk of neural tube defects. The neural tube opens and closes in the 1st 4 weeks of pregnancy. Taking B vitamins prior to conception is the best way to optimize cerebral health. B vitamins are energy producers, red blood cell formers, nervous system health regulators, mood improvers, and sleep givers. We like them. Found in nutritional yeast, bananas, pork, green leafy veggies, legumes, yellow fruits and veggies, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. L-Carnitine—an amino acid that plays a crucial role in decreasing the risk of gestational diabetes. It is a big energy giver as well. Focus on this nutrient especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Found in red meat and pork, avocado,

artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, garlic, and parsley. Calcium—strong bones and teeth, muscle contraction, and nerve function. Take calcium apart from iron as they bind in the body. Found in dark green leafy vegetables, rosemary, yogurt, kefir, milk, salmon, and sardines. Iron—crucial for red blood cell production, healthy brain health and myelin sheath (fatty coating on all neurons) formation, and energy production. Found in lean red meat, spinach, pumpkin seeds, kidney beans, tofu, Swiss chard, and edamame. Zinc—a mineral that helps balance blood sugar, is an immune system regulator, supports optimal sense of taste and smell, is crucial in wound healing, and helps you make prolactin: the hormone that helps you produce breastmilk. Found in crimini mushrooms, spinach, beef, lamb, summer squash, and calf’s liver. Probiotics—friendly bacteria that colonize in your gut to help boost your immune system health. 80% of your immune system comes from your gut lining. Probiotics help protect you and your child from infection, improve digestion and absorption of nutrients, and decrease the risk of allergies in your child. Found in kefir, yogurt, kimchi (fermented vegetables), sauerkraut, tempeh and natto (fermented soy beans), and miso (soy paste).

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Morning

Sickness... it Happens

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy are not uncommon and can be one of the first signs that you are pregnant. This nausea and vomiting is called morning sickness. More than 50% of all pregnant women will experience morning sickness during the first few months of pregnancy. The sad trick is that ‘morning’ sickness can occur throughout the day and even last all day in some cases. Morning Sickness usually starts at about 6 weeks of pregnancy and is at its worst at about 9 weeks, then usually stops at around 12 weeks . If you experience morning sickness – tell your doctor. No one is quite sure what causes nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, but it most certainly has much to do with physical changes taking place in your body. The fluctuations in estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin hCG), a new and enhanced sense of smell and sensitivity to odors, a sensitive stomach, and stress are also contributors. Many doctors think morning sickness is a good sign because it means the placenta is developing well. Morning sickness can affect anyone who is pregnant, but will be more likely if you currently experienc nausea and vomiting while not pregnant (motion sickness, migraines, triggers like smells or taste, among others); you’re pregnant with twins or multiples or a girl; you have a family history of morning sickness.

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To help alleviate morning sickness symptoms: • Soda crackers and dry toast when you first wake-up; • Eat small meals throughout the day; • Eat a small snack before bed; • Eat foods high in protein and complex carbohydrates – peanut butter on apple or celery, nuts, cheese, crackers, milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt; • Ginger products – ginger tea, ginger candy, ginger ale; • Avoid large meals – snack every 1 to 2 hours; • Drink plenty of fluids; avoid dehydration no matter the weather • Try acupressure wristbands; • Keep air conditioning on and air circulating; • Get plenty of rest – take naps – get a good night’s sleep; • Sniff lemons; • Salty chips can often settle your stomach; gelatin and broth – bland foods can also soothe an upset stomach; • Take your prenatal vitamins at night; increase vitamin B6 in your diet by eating whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. • Do not lie down after eating; do not skip meals; avoid spicy foods. A condition to watch out for is hyperemesis gravidarum. This is a condition that requires medical attention – call your doctor – see your doctor. Hyperemesis gravidarum is characterized by excessive and severe nausea, vomiting, pain or fever with vomiting, dizziness, a racing heart, blood in your vomit, and weight loss. A severe case of hyperemesis gravidarum can often require a stay in the hospital so the mom-to-be can receive intravenous fluids and nutrition.


Photo by 3D 4Baby Ultrasound & Photography


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One Month

Your Pregnancy

Month by Month

Your baby is an embryo consisting of two layers of cells from which all her organs and body parts will develop.

Two Months Your baby is now about the size of a kidney bean and is constantly moving. He has distinct, slightly webbed fingers.

Three Months By now your baby is about 3 inches long and weighs nearly an ounce. Her tiny, unique fingerprints are now in place.

Four Months Your baby is now about 5 inches long and weighs 5 ounces. His skeleton is starting to harden from rubbery cartilage to bone.

Five Months Eyebrows and eyelids are now in place. Your baby would now be more than 10 inches long if you stretched out her legs.

Six Months Your baby weighs about a pound and a half. His wrinkled skin is starting to smooth out as he puts on baby fat.

Seven Months By now, your baby weighs about 3 pounds and is more than 15 inches long. She can open and close her eyes and follow a light.

Eight Months Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds. His layers of fat are filling him out, making him rounder, and his lungs are well developed.

Nine Months The average baby is more than 19 inches long and weighs nearly 7 pounds now, but babies vary widely in size at this stage

Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography


Risk Factors in Although many pregnancies are considered normal and only need standard prenatal care from an Obstetrics & Gynecology (OB-GYN) provider, there are certain circumstances that may require you or your baby to have additional testing, monitoring and treatment. Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists have the expertise and services to help manage high-risk pregnancies.

Pregnancy

• Heart or kidney disease • Hypertension (high blood pressure) • Gestational Diabetes • Multiple-birth pregnancy • Seizure disorders • Blood clotting disorders • Advanced maternal age • Preeclampsia (toxemia) • Infectious diseases • Repetitive pregnancy loss • Suspected abnormal fetal growth In some cases, a pregnancy may be considered high risk if the mother has a family history of the following diseases: • Cardiac disease • Renal disease • Gastrointestinal disease • Cystic fibrosis Maternal Fetal Medicine providers are experienced in a wide variety of complex high risk maternal fetal conditions and will partner with you to improve care for mom and baby/babies. By working with your OB-GYN provider, the specialist can help co-manage the high-risk pregnancy to ensure that you are closely monitored. Maternal Fetal Medicine Services Include: • Genetic counseling • Pre-conception counseling • First trimester screening • Second trimester screening • Evaluation of fetal anomalies and growth disorders • Non-invasive prenatal testing

Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists have advanced expertise in obstetric complications of pregnancy and their effects on the mother and baby. These providers are fully trained and qualified OB-GYN physicians who, upon completing a three-year fellowship, are certified as subspecialists by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). This additional training allows the providers to care for women with issues deemed to be high risk to the mother or baby; including, but not limited to:

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Some women with high-risk pregnancy symptoms may require a single consultation with a Maternal Fetal Medicine provider before or during pregnancy to help them prepare and to provide guidance to their obstetrician for managing their high-risk pregnancy. Other women may require ongoing specialist care throughout the pregnancy to help monitor the health of mother and baby by performing comprehensive fetal assessments with ultrasound and/or invasive evaluations. Following delivery, a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist may be consulted to diagnose or manage postpartum symptoms related to the high-risk pregnancy. Ask your OBGYN provider about the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists in your area.


Identifying Warning Signs of For many pregnant women and expectant parents, the whole pregnancy phase is fraught with physical and emotional changes. Pregnancy should be the time for women to be vigilant about their health. Pregnancy complications are not uncommon and while most problems may be relatively mild and can be immediately treated, in other cases, warning signs can carry some significant health risks to the child, mother and possibly both. Although it is generally advised for pregnant women to have frequent doctor visits, it is equally important to be aware of the possible danger signs to look for during pregnancy. These include the following signs:

Pregnancy Danger

Premature Labor

One of the most common problems of pregnancy is premature labor and delivery. Babies born prematurely run the high risk of having respiratory problems and underdeveloped lungs.

Hypertension Elevated blood pressures are a common complication that occurs in 3 percent of pregnancies. It can cause some adverse effects on the placenta as well as the fetus. Severe elevation of blood pressure can cause pain in the abdomen, fluid retention, seeing spots, and headaches.

• Vaginal bleeding • Sudden weight gain • Fever • Chills • Seeing spots • Persistent headache • Burning sensation when urinating • Vomiting • Blurred and/or double vision • Lower abdominal pain • Thigh pains • No baby movements for 12 hours • Premature cramping • Persistent lower back aches • Nausea

Miscarriage Bleeding during the first trimester can be a sign of possible miscarriage. According to statistics, about 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. These incidents usually occur when a woman is not aware that she is pregnant. Clots, bleeding and cramping are among the most common signs of miscarriage.

Ectopic Pregnancy There are some cases the fertilized egg may not reach its correct position in the uterus and the embryo grows on the fallopian tube. Since it grows in an abnormal location, it causes tears in the blood vessels and delicate structures. It is known to display the following symptoms: lower back pains, nausea, lower abdominal pain, and cramping. This can require surgery to remove the non-viable embryo. Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography

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Prenatal

Massage

Therapeutic massage has been used for centuries to improve overall health, reduce stress, and relieve muscle tension. Massage during pregnancy can offer the same benefits. Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce stress, reduce anxiety, relieve muscle and joint pain, and improve labor outcomes, and newborn health. Before getting a massage, check with your doctor to make sure he or she advocates a particular technique. You will find that most massage therapists avoid massage during the first trimester of pregnancy and will require that you get clearance from your doctor during this time. A pregnancy massage typically lasts an hour and often requires the use of a pregnancy massage table (a table designed to accommodate a woman’s pregnant belly) or specially designed pillows or bolsters to accommodate the belly or side-lying. Discuss with your therapist what feels most comfortable to you. Massage during pregnancy is not an indulgence, it can be an instrumental ingredient in a woman’s prenatal care. It is important to seek care from a certified prenatal massage therapist. These therapists have received training beyond the national standards and know how to address specific pregnancy needs. Further, they are aware of how to position you safely to prevent strain on the uterine ligaments and can watch for symptoms of blood clots and varicose veins. Pregnancy massage experts adapt their techniques to address the changes in a woman’s body. Blood volume increases dramatically – as much as 50% during pregnancy, yet blood flow to the legs can often be slow or sluggish as levels of anticoagulants in the blood naturally rise. These circulatory changes put pregnant women at risk of blood clots in the lower legs, so the massage therapist uses light, slow strokes and avoids deep massage and strong pressure on the legs – and all leg massage strokes should move toward the heart. Edema or swelling of the joints during pregnancy is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to reduce the collection of fluids in swollen joints. Later in pregnancy, as the uterus rests on the muscles of the pelvic floor, a

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pregnant woman experiences sciatic nerve pain. Massage addresses the inflamed nerves by releasing tension on nearby muscles. Swedish Massage is the recommended massage method during pregnancy because it addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts. Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered when massage therapy is introduced to a woman’s prenatal care. This leads to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health. If you have recently experienced bleeding, pre-term contractions, are a high risk pregnancy, have high blood pressure, pregnancy induced hypertension, preeclampsia, swelling, severe headaches, or have recently given birth should speak to their health care provider prior to receiving a massage. The benefits of massage can improve overall prenatal health for many pregnant women. Along with the guidance and advice of a prenatal care provider, massage therapy can be incorporated into routine prenatal care as an emotional and physical health supplement shown to improve pregnancy outcome and maternal health. Consult with your midwife or obstetrician before beginning any new therapeutic practice.


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Pregnancy

Milestones

Record these important milestones, along with your emotions at the time. They’ll make terrific entries in your little one’s book! First time I heard my baby’s heartbeat: __________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ First time it really sank in that I was going to be a mom: ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ First time a stranger asked me if I was pregnant: __________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ First time I experienced morning sickness: _______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ First time I bought a new-baby outfit: ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ First time I wore a maternity dress: _____________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ First time I couldn’t button my pants: ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ First time my parents found out I was having a baby: ______________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ First time I saw my baby on an ultrasound:_______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ First time I could not longer see my feet: ________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ First time I felt my baby hiccup: ________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ First time I felt the baby kick: __________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Ultrasound/Sonograms:

An essential part of Prenatal Care

For many Moms-to-be, a first ultrasound is a life-changing experience. As a medical procedure, it is one that patients look forward to. A fetal ultrasound or sonogram is an imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of a baby in the uterus. An ultrasound can help your doctor evaluate your baby’s growth and development as well as gauge the progress of your pregnancy. Your first ultrasound will typically be done between 18 and 20 weeks, but you may have one before 12 weeks to confirm your due date. You may also have an earlier ultrasound — or more than one — if yours is a high-risk pregnancy, if you have any pain or bleeding, if you have a history of having children with birth defects, or if another prenatal test or exam shows something abnormal. In addition, you’ll have additional ultrasounds if you have a chronic illness such as diabetes or a history of ovarian cysts or fibroids. A first trimester ultrasound exam is done to evaluate the presence, size, and location of your pregnancy. It also helps your doctor to evaluate any problems, screen for abnormalities, or confirm a diagnosis. If your baby’s health needs to be monitored more closely, additional ultrasounds will be recommended. What happens during an ultrasound? After you lay

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down on the exam table, a small amount of gel is applied to the skin of your abdomen. A device called a transducer is applied to your skin, sending highfrequency sound waves into your body that reflect off the internal structures. The echoes are received by the transducer and turned into a picture on the screen. All fetuses are approximately the same size in the early weeks of pregnancy, so a sonogram allows your doctor to approximate your due date. If you have your sonogram between 7 and 13 weeks, your doctor can set your due date within about 3 days! A mid-pregnancy ultrasound is done at around 20 weeks. This sonogram is also called the anatomy scan. Your doctor will listen to the baby’s heartbeat, check for physical abnormalities, check the organs, determine if there’s more than one baby (twins!), measure the amount of amniotic fluid, check the location of the placenta, and measure your baby to be sure he or she is the right size for his or her gestational age. And yes – determine the sex of your baby…This is the exam where you can catch a glimpse of your baby – and go home with a picture or two! When properly done, an abdominal ultrasound poses no risk to you or your baby. In fact, there are many benefits to checking on your baby’s development during pregnancy. It is generally advised that an ultrasound be performed only if medically indicated.


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Pregnancy

Visits

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Pregnancy

Visits

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Pregnancy

Visits

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Pregnancy

Visits

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Pregnancy

Visits

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Pregnancy

Visits

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Pregnancy

Visits

Date:_________________________________________________________________________________________ The week of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________________________ Weight:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Weight gained since the start of my pregnancy:_____________________________________________________ Blood pressure:________________________________________________________________________________ Fundal height:_________________________________________________________________________________ Baby’s heart rate:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other tests:___________________________________________________________________________________ Prescribed medications:_________________________________________________________________________ What I can expect before my next prenatal visit:____________________________________________________ Instructions from my doctor:_____________________________________________________________________ How much weight should I gain:_________________________________________________________________ Notes:________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Photo by 3D 4Baby Ultrasound & Photography


Budgeting for Baby…

Now and in the Future expense for your baby. Take time to research your options. Child care facilities offer many options, levels of care, hours, food, classes, and other benefits and options – things you want to know when considering who cares for your child. Which facility or caretaker best fits your budget and lifestyle? Where do you feel your baby will feel safe and comfortable?

Start Planning for the Future Once your baby’s social security number is in your hand, look in to special savings accounts for college. Encourage family and friends to make contributions to this fund in lieu of toys for special occasions. Parents do just fine showering their children with toys and love…so make each special occasion a time to prepare for the future and contribute to this very important fund.

Prepare a Will A new baby brings big financial changes and budgeting challenges…What does a baby cost? How do I plan financially for the arrival of my baby? What expenses will I incur before and after my child arrives? What plans should I be making to secure the future of my child? So many questions and concerns…and while some expenses are obvious – if you’re budgeting for baby, you have to plan for the unexpected. Government estimates suggest that you’ll spend about $10,000 on child-related expenses in the first 2 years of life. It is important to break down the one-time expenses – décor, equipment, gear; the monthly expenses – medical, food, clothing, toys, child care; and those unexpected expenses – life insurance, education savings.

Plan for Medical Expenses Did you know you’re already financially planning for your little one’s arrival? You are making financial arrangements with your doctor and the hospital as you progress through your pregnancy. It will be important for you to contact your insurer to see what additional medical expenses you could incur in case of complications. You’ll need to have your child on a health plan by the time he or she is 30 days old. Talk to the professionals – get the best coverage for your child and your family.

Find Child Care

Child care expenses can easily be the largest monthly

A will is a financial responsibility you have to your new family member. If something should happen to you, it is important to decide who will step in as their legal guardian. Who will protect them financially? If for no other reason – taking care of your child or children requires that you have a will. Without a will, you have no say as to how your assets are distributed after your death. Use a professional, ask questions, execute a will that covers every concern. Should you have life changes – more children, adoption, marriage or remarriage, change of executor, moving to another state with different laws – update the will.

Plan for the Unexpected - Life Insurance You have big plans for your kids and want to see them realize their hopes and dreams. It’s hard enough to make that happen the way it is. But what if you, your spouse, or both of you were to suddenly be out of the picture? From diapers to diplomas, would there be enough income to pay for day care, education, and everything in between? Your children are your greatest responsibility, and life insurance can help them grow up in an environment where they’re physically and financially secure – even if something should happen to you. In addition to coverage for mom and dad, protection for your child is also important. The benefit for children’s coverage includes providing a solid financial basis early in life, protection, and final expense coverage should the unthinkable happen. Simply put, let life insurance be a part of creating a bright future.

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Showing off that

Bump!

Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography

Pregnancy may change your figure, but the pounds you gain give you a different kind of beauty. It’s important to maintain your style – you’re still you – you’re just pregnant – it’s time to show off that baby bump! Yes, show off the bump in style!

#1 – Get the basics – a couple of pair of jeans that fit with your lifestyle — skinny, boyfriend, bootcut, jeggings – today’s pregnancy jeans are made by designers and that pregnancy panel comes in many cuts and sizes.

#2 – Get a couple of stretchy lycra dresses – yes, clinging lycra to show off your baby bump. This type of dress will carry you through any special occasion.

night with the change of a top…all while keeping you comfortable and in shape (yes, you can workout during pregnancy).

#5 – Get some jackets and cardigans – these will change your look from casual to dressy and look great with dresses, skirts, and leggings (not to mention, those jeans).

#6 – Get regular clothing in a size or two larger than your normal size…this way you stay true to your style.

#7 – Tanks and tees – these will be your lifesavers… pair with your jeans or leggings and a cardigan and you look pulled together.

#3 – Get a few maxi dresses – these dresses go casual, can be paired with a cardigan, sandals, boots, or flats – they dress up and they dress down.

#8 – Accessorize – scarves, jewelry, and shoes are important. They can also add a touch of color and style to an outfit.

#4 – Get some workout wear for your growing belly. You’ll find that athleisure-wear goes from day to

Whatever your style, stay with it, be comfortable, be YOU!

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Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography


Exercising during Pregnancy helps keep you

Healthy

Exercise During Pregnancy - Myth Broken It is a myth that exercising during pregnancy can be harmful to the unborn as well as the mother. In fact, exercising during pregnancy is beneficial for both the mother and the child. It reduces physical discomfort, and also reduces stress and labor length. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions with answers about exercise during pregnancy:

Is it safe to do workouts during pregnancy? Working out during pregnancy is not only safe, but healthy if you do not have any complications during the pregnancy period. It is recommended that you consult your doctor or midwives and get their approval.

Why is exercise necessary during pregnancy? Research tells us that working out or mild exercise during pregnancy helps in reducing backaches, swelling of ankles, and constipation - some of the most common problems faced by pregnant women. In addition, exercise gives you energy and makes you feel fresh.

Does exercise help during pregnancy? The answer is ‘Yes’. Exercising during pregnancy promotes muscles, strength, and endurance, thereby, helping the mother to carry the additional weight gained during pregnancy.

I do a rigorous workout. Is it safe during pregnancy? According to a study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, healthy, well-conditioned women who exercised before pregnancy may continue to do so throughout their pregnancy without compromising their baby’s health or development. Be particularly careful during the first trimester – don’t overdo.

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For how long should I exercise? The workout should be approximately 45 minutes long and should include a warm-up, the workout, and a cool down.

What precautions do I need to take while exercising during pregnancy, if I have never worked out before? You can engage yourself in mild exercises, like walking, swimming and yoga.

Immediately after the birth of my child, what exercises can I do to regain my shape? Once you are released by your doctor for regular activity and you feel ready to start with an exercise regimen, begin with stretching and firming exercises like yoga, pilates, and walking. Then gradually add in your regular fitness activities or sports you enjoy like tennis, soccer, skiing, rock climbing, jogging/running/hiking, etc.


Yoga for Pregnancy Training your Body to Prenatal yoga provides both mental and physical benefits during pregnancy. It is useful because it teaches you how to use breathing to calm your body and mind, factors that will definitely come in handy during childbirth. Learning how to master the postures taught in prenatal yoga will prime you for labor and childbirth. It facilitates childbirth by training your body to stay calm. The benefits of yoga for pregnant women are not only determined by your physical well-being, but yoga aids your mind and spirit too. Simply spending time in a positive and nurturing environment with others who are in the same situation (as you) will help give you an emotional boost right when you need it most. Sometimes it is hard to stay fit while pregnant. Yoga for pregnant women offers moms-to-be a great workout that is healthy for you and your unborn baby. Here is a guide on safe, basic yoga exercises and stretches to utilize during pregnancy. There are numerous yoga poses in particular that are beneficial to pregnancy – the Butterfly or Bound Angle Pose. These poses open up the pelvis. To do this pose you sit up straight against a wall with the soles of your feet touching one another, gently press your knees down and away from one another. Then try to stay in this pose for as long as you are comfortable. Another good prenatal yoga position is the pelvic tilt, or Cat/Cow Pose, which is a posture that helps to relieve back pain. To do this, get down on your hands and knees with your arms shoulder-width apart and your knees hipwidth apart. Make sure to keep your arms straight; then tighten in your abdominal muscles and tuck your buttocks under and round your back, breathing out while you do this. Now, relax your back into its relaxed position, and breathe in, repeating at your own pace.

Stay Calm

Another beneficial posture is the squatting position, or Garland Pose, which helps to open up the pelvis and to strengthen the upper legs. As you start to fill out during pregnancy, there are certain support props that you may use to support your body in this position, such as yoga blocks or a Blaster. Start by standing facing the back of a chair with your feet spread slightly apart, your toes pointed outward. Bring your tail bone toward the floor as though you were going to sit down on a chair, but rather than sitting you hold the position there. Take a deep breath in, and as you inhale, push your legs up and rise to a standing position as you feel comfortable. If you are wondering how you will possibly exercise while pregnant, consider trying yoga for pregnant women. Not only will you feel great, you’ll be accumulating lifelong benefits for you and your child. This natural exercise program will relieve tension, increase your flexibility, increase your sense of health and well-being. This practice can be used after pregnancy too.

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Finding the Perfect Choosing a name for your baby isn’t as easy as it seems. No regrets – take the time to choose a name with meaning, one that you and your child will be proud of, one that ‘fits’ your family. Consider the number of syllables, what nicknames can be derived from the chosen name, how you and your partner feel about the name (it’s nice to agree on the name). For some, finding a name can take their entire pregnancy and delivery without a decision. For others, they knew the name they would pick before they even became pregnant. Your baby will wear the name you choose for life, which is why it is so important to put a lot of thought into it. Your child will be known on the playground, in an interview, professionally, and to future generations by the name you choose.

Avoid names with initials that spell out words Would you name your baby Richard Alexander Thompson? Maybe, until you saw “RAT” on a monogrammed baby gift! Try to choose a name that doesn’t spell out an unexpected word with an unpleasant connotation.

Think about nicknames Are you prepared to hear your child called by a nickname? Andrew will inevitably become “Andy” some of the time, even if you insist on the formal name. Make sure you like the potential nicknames associated with the name you choose. But if you have strong feelings against them, think about choosing another name with nicknames you like better or consider names without commonly used nicknames like “John” or “Mary.”

Should you honor a family member? If you genuinely like the idea of naming your baby after a family member, then by all means go ahead. Just make sure you like the name. If you don’t like the name, use that name as the middle name. Remember – it is your decision.

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Name

Family names are unique and valued – they should be considered. For example, my mother’s last name was Clayson…it is now the name of my nephew. My cousin’s last name was Whitfield…it is now the name of her son. Search your family names – you might just come up with something unique…something special.

Go with your heart! There are so many things to consider! When your baby is born, you realize it’s all a matter of feeling, not logic. The feelings you and your partner share matters more than any opinion offered by friends and family. Stick with the name you genuinely love and welcome your child into the family with it.

Five tips on getting started: • Make a list of the names you favor most. • Consider the middle and last name as well. • Avoid names that remind you of people you dislike. • Think about the nicknames. • Most importantly, go with your heart!


Popular Baby Names for

2018

Here are the year’s most popular baby names for girls and boys. These baby name lists base popularity ranking on a single spelling of a name (Sophia and Sofia, for example, are considered two different names). 1

Oliver

12 Silas

23 Leo

34 Jackson

45 Charles

2

Theodore

13 Alexander

24 Landon

35 Connor

46 Aidan

3

Declan

14 Grayson

25 Elijah

36 Luke

47 Graham

4

Finn

15 Everett

26 Ethan

37 Milo

48 Harrison

5

Liam

16 Caleb

27 Atticus

38 Wyatt

49 Daniel

6

Henry

17 Felix

28 Lucas

39 Lincoln

50 Eli

7

Owen

18 Archer

29 August

40 Xander

51 Ronan

8

Levi

19 Hudson

30 Isaac

41 Adam

52 Cole

9

Benjamin

20 Gabriel

31 James

42 Gavin

53 Reese

10 William

21 Emmett

32 Jack

43 Atlas

54 Noah

11 Elliot

22 Sebastian

33 Jasper

44 Thomas

55 Nathaniel

1

Amelia

12 Nora

23 Eloise

34 Chloe

45 Hannah

2

Charlotte

13 Grace

24 Adeline

35 Stella

46 Sadie

3

Violet

14 Eleanor

25 Vivienne

36 Isabella

47 Rose

4

Aria

15 Luna

26 Claire

37 Cora

48 Gemma

5

Olivia

16 Lily

27 Adelaide

38 Harper

49 Arabella

6

Ava

17 Genevieve

28 Clara

39 Ruby

50 Lydia

7

Scarlett

18 Penelope

29 Lucy

40 Freya

51 Mia

8

Hazel

19 Abigail

30 Iris

41 Evelyn

52 Jospehine

9

Audrey

20 Elizabeth

31 Ella

42 Caroline

53 Lorelei

10 Aurora

21 Emma

32 Ivy

43 Mila

54 Alice

11 Ophia

22 Isla

33 Evangeline

44 Fiona

55 Quinn

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Name

Games

Choosing a baby’s name is a momentous decision for new parents. Are there any ethnic or religious traditions you or your partner would like to honor? Do you prefer traditional names? One-of-a-kind names? Names that start with a certain letter? Use these pages to keep track of the names you and your partner like.

Names From Your Side of the Family

Other names we like

Name:___________________________________________ Name:___________________________________________ Relation (grandparent, aunt, etc.):___________________ Meaning:_________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ Name:___________________________________________ Name:___________________________________________ Relation (grandparent, aunt, etc.):___________________ Meaning:_________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ Name:___________________________________________ Name:___________________________________________ Relation (grandparent, aunt, etc.):___________________ Meaning:_________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ Name:___________________________________________ Name:___________________________________________ Relation (grandparent, aunt, etc.):___________________ Meaning:_________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

Names From Your Partner’s Side of the Family Name:___________________________________________ Relation (grandparent, aunt, etc.):___________________ ________________________________________________ Name:___________________________________________ Relation (grandparent, aunt, etc.):___________________ ________________________________________________ Name:___________________________________________ Relation (grandparent, aunt, etc.):___________________

Name:___________________________________________ Meaning:_________________________________________ ________________________________________________ Name:___________________________________________ Meaning:_________________________________________ ________________________________________________ Name:___________________________________________ Meaning:_________________________________________ ________________________________________________

________________________________________________ Comments:_______________________________________ Name:___________________________________________ ________________________________________________ Relation (grandparent, aunt, etc.):___________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

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Physical Therapy

and Pregnancy

In a first pregnancy, 2/3 of women experience back pain, 1/5 experience pelvic pain, and over 40% experience urinary incontinence. Though these last for a relatively short amount of time, the pain can seem unbearable. Physical therapy can help.

The aim of physical therapy during pregnancy is to reduce discomfort, to prepare the body for delivery, and to speed-up recovery after childbirth. A physical therapist will assess the patient and build exercises that meet their individual needs. The exercises can include strengthening muscles, decreasing joint pain, correcting muscle imbalances, and increasing overall range of motion of the body. Urinary incontinence during pregnancy is due to pelvic floor weakness. Progesterone, the pregnancy hormone, relaxes the muscles of the pelvic floor and these muscles can weaken and strain during pregnancy (and childbirth), which leads to urinary incontinence. With physical therapy, those muscles can be strengthened.

Common Questions Women Ask When They Find Out They Are Pregnant: 1. What kind of exercise can I do?

Doctors agree that exercise during pregnancy is safe. It is beneficial for both the mother and her baby. Exercise increases blood flow and circulation increasing the amount of oxygen delivered to body tissues.

2. Is it ok to exercise even though I have never been active?

Even previously inactive women can benefit from adding some moderate physical activity to their daily routine. Gardening is a good activity for flexibility and strength, and walking is a perfect prenatal exercise as it is moderately intense and low impact. Walking outside helps you get your daily dose of vitamin D, which is vital during pregnancy.

3. What are the benefits of exercising while I am pregnant?

Exercise during pregnancy helps you to stay leaner, have better posture, reduces stress, and sleep better. You may experience less morning sickness, fatigue, and back and joint pain too.

4. What are the benefits to the baby of exercising _ while I am pregnant?

Benefits to your baby include better cardiovascular function and better sleeping.

5. What are the recommended guidelines for exercise while pregnant?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has guidelines for exercising while pregnant. The ACOG recommends always checking with your doctor prior to starting an exercise program. Once cleared by your doctor, it is recommended that you should engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity on most, if not all days of the week.

6. Are there certain things to avoid when exercising?

During the second and third trimesters, avoid standing motionless for long periods of time and exercising while lying on your back. Activities with a high risk of falling or abdominal trauma should be avoided including activities such as basketball, soccer, in-line skating, downhill skiing, horseback riding, ice hockey, gymnastics and vigorous racquet sports.

A physical therapist can effectively help with pre-natal and post-natal issues and ailments.

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Prenatal Care

Prenatal and Infant Care

Many soon-to-be mothers can agree that pregnancy can produce new aches and pains that can result in severe strain and discomfort. The average weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds, which can place increased stress on the body. The low back, legs, buttocks and sciatic nerve can all be affected. In fact, studies have shown that about half of all pregnant women will develop low back pain during pregnancy. Chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy can provide relief from aches and pains, and also ensure that your body is in the proper position to deliver your baby as naturally as possible. Chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy are safe and effective. The best part is that you can relieve discomfort and pain naturally, without the use of medications! Finally, in the eight weeks following delivery of your baby, the ligaments will begin to tighten up and some women experience additional discomfort from the new challenges of constant reaching, lifting, and nursing. Continuing chiropractic care will help ensure that your body heals faster and that your nervous system functions the best it can to help you in caring for your newest family member!

Infant Care

Baby’s first year has many developmental milestones. The developmental periods will continue through infancy, in to childhood, and beyond. Well documented research studies have shown why it is important to consider chiropractic care early in a child’s life. The natural birthing process exerts 40 to 50 pounds of pressure on the newborn’s head and spinal column. If there are complications, this can add health problems to the delicate balance and stability of the infants head and spine.

Problems with the head and spine can impact the infant in the following ways: • A misalignment of the spine during birth can cause respiratory problems which could cause further serious complications for the newborn. • Inability or difficulty with latching onto the mother’s

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Chiropractic

breast and difficulty with the suckling reflex. • Difficulty sleeping. • Constant crying. • Chronic colic and digestive problems. Chiropractic care can safely help the infant by making adjustments to the head and spine. The pressure for these adjustments is a ‘light pressure’, like the amount of pressure you would use to comfortably press on your eyelid without causing pain. In the first year of life, the baby’s spine increases in length by 50%. This is the time also when the spine starts to get its distinctive ‘S’ shape. These spinal curves are important and necessary for movement, balance, upright posture, protection, and shock absorption. The head and spine also house the central nervous system – important in the growth and development of the infant. The nervous system has a direct impact on the immune system. Getting regular chiropractic care aids in the healthy growth and development of the infant and promotes a healthy immune response.


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Preparing Children for Pregnancy and a Your child’s age will play an important factor in determining how your child or children will react to your new pregnancy. For example, a toddler might not understand the concept of pregnancy until they actually see and meet the new baby. Sharing the news with a pre-school aged child may be confusing because they may not understand why they have to wait so many months to meet their new baby brother or sister. The news of your pregnancy may make your child feel nervous, threatened, or unloved. It is important to talk to your child about how they will be a big brother or big sister, because the feelings that they are experiencing will be a normal reaction to your pregnancy. They’ll notice

New Baby

your changing shape and overhear conversations about pregnancy. So it is important to make time for your child or children and give them space when needed. It is also important to offer reassurance that you will provide enough love to be passed around to all of your children. Remember to wait until you are in your second trimester before spreading your news in the event of a miscarriage. Try to set a couple of nights aside right before the baby is born to spend some time alone with your child or children. Explain to them that while the new baby will take up a lot of your time, you still love them very much and will make special time for just the two of you.

Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography

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Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography

Oh BABY! | 43


Baby Nursery Design in

12 Easy Steps

Decorating a baby nursery can be a daunting prospect – especially for a first-time mom. There are so many decisions to make, and so little time…feeling stressed? Well that’s not good for the baby, so let us give you the basics for creating a haven for your little one… one step at a time…

Step 1: Baby safety is your first concern. Be sure to take this into account as you design your baby’s abode. Use a checklist for baby safety and plan accordingly. Step 2: Decide on a room style. Cute, modern, traditional, whimsical, ethnic, the choice is yours. This decision will affect your furniture, theme, and color choices.

Step 4: Find baby nursery furniture to complement the

crib. The dresser should match or mix well with the crib. The dresser can do double duty as the changing table (add a pad and safety straps and you’re set). Having said that – you can also get a changing table. If you use the dresser as the changing table, get one that is medium height – that allows you to lean over comfortably for needed supplies. The top drawer will hold all of your diaper-changing essentials – make sure the drawer is easy to get in and out of – it should glide/slide easily.

Step 5: Lighting is essential – and must be flexible. Sometimes you’ll want it bright and sometimes soft. You want to be sure your night lighting allows you to see in the middle of the night (but not so it stimulates the baby). Consider a dimmer switch for your lighting. Step 6: If you already have wall to wall carpet in the room – that’s fine – you’re not likely to make the change (or go to the expense) – just be aware that you need to keep it vacuumed to avoid allergens (and be prepared to spot clean – it’s inevitable). Other flooring options are hardwood, laminates, concrete – with the addition of a nice area rug or rug tiles. You can decorate a room around a rug – it can anchor your décor.

Step 7: After you’ve gotten the

Step 3: Select a crib. The crib will form the focal point or centerpiece of your baby’s room. Consider a convertible crib as this will save you money over time and will grow with the child (and everything will continue to match for years to come). When selecting, look for shape, style, finish or color, durability – do you like it? Very important.

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basics decided upon, it’s time to decorate the room. Do you have a theme? Is it about heirlooms? Colors? Style? Read decorating magazines, check out Pinterest, go shopping – you’ll see things you like and can build your baby’s room to perfection.

Step 8: The color you choose for the walls will be influenced by your ‘theme’. The things you can do with paint are amazing – stripes, murals, stencils, multi-colored walls – the background to your decorating vision.


Step 9: Now the accessories are added to your vision… pictures, art, lamps, bedding, wall hangings, storage, fabrics – as you go through the process, shop for things that please your eye. BUT, stay with your vision – see it through to perfection. You will get sidetracked along the way – just look for the items that go with what you have, that fulfill the look, and that are pleasing to the eye. This is the room your child will grow up in and it is a room you want to be happy with too. Step 10: Curtains, blinds, shades – stay with the vision. Also make sure that you can block light when needed. Make sure the crib is not near these things as children tend to climb and are attracted to anything within reach (keep any and all cords away from the baby).

Step 11: Equipment – you’ll need a few extras: a baby monitor, a mobile, safety gates, high chair, stroller, travel crib, diaper bags, playpen, white noise machine, humidifier, diaper pail, a car seat, a baby carrier, a rocker or glider, shelves and bins for toys, outlet covers. That’s a good start.

Step 12: You’re done. Now relax and wait for your baby to come and change your life forever.

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Baby Rooms If you have ever wandered through the infant’s section of a store, you know how much ‘stuff’ is out there for decorating a baby’s room. From wallpaper to furniture to bedding, you can find all kinds of products to decorate a baby’s bedroom. Sadly, if you don’t watch out, you can wind up spending a fortune. If you have just found out that you’re pregnant and you’re concerned about the cost of decorating your baby’s room, don’t despair. You can still create a wonderful room for your baby without breaking the bank. Paint is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to transform a room. If you have the skills, you can draw a mural on one or all four walls. If that’s not your style, you can use stencils, stamps and paint pens to create a happy room. You can paint the walls light yellow, for example, and add some happy faces with a paint pen or stamp on handprints in various colors. Numerous faux painting techniques are available that will allow you to create any number of textures and designs, from puffy clouds to paint splatters. While you’re working on the walls, don’t neglect the ceiling. Remember, this is area the baby will see the most in the beginning when they are lying on their backs. If you don’t like paint, you can try wallpaper. Keep in mind, though, that wallpaper will probably cost more than paint, and if you don’t apply it well, you may find your little one picking it off when they get older. If you go this route, select a wallpaper pattern that will grow with your child and make sure the wallpaper can be scrubbed for those inevitable sticky handprints, stray crayon marks, and more. For inexpensive wall hangings, you have numerous options. You can hang up special baby blankets or quilts that you receive, or shop around for inexpensive prints and frame them for instant art. If you have kids already, you can have them draw pictures for the baby that you can frame and hang up. If not, you can use kid’s place mats, baby cards, and even family photos for art. Inexpensive wooden shelves with old baby shoes and bottles are another idea. Whatever wall hangings you create, make sure you don’t hang anything above the baby’s crib. There’s too much of a risk that something you hang could fall on the baby or the baby could pull down on themselves when they get older.

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on a Budget

With floors and windows, you have several options. If you can afford it, you may want to put down stain-resistant carpeting or laminate flooring. Babies tend to spit up, and the older they get, the messier they are likely to be. Instead of traditional carpeting, consider putting down carpet tiles, which you can easily change out should they get terribly stained. If you already have carpet and can’t afford to replace it, consider adding an inexpensive rug to protect the carpet from stains, or make a floor cloth out of canvas. With window coverings, you can keep it simple and top inexpensive mini-blinds or shutters with a cornice board or valance, or you can go all out and purchase or make drapes. Whatever you do, keep in mind that the more light the window coverings block out, the better your baby may sleep. When choosing furniture for your baby’s room, think sturdy and try to buy pieces that will grow with your child. As your child learns to walk, they will start to climb and you do not want them climbing onto a rickety chair or table that could break and injure them. You also do not want a room full of furniture that you will have to change out within a few years. While your child may adore their white dresser with the heart-shaped mirror when they are little, they might not like it so well when they turn 5 or 6 and are into sports. Look for furniture pieces that will appeal to your child throughout their childhood. As for bedding, the choice is yours. You can buy or make a layette set, complete with bed ruffle and bumper pad, or you can pick up some inexpensive sheets and add a nice quilt. Whatever you select, keep in mind that it will be some time before your baby is actually old enough to use all of the bedding and enjoy it. Experts recommend that newborns be placed in a crib with as little bedding as possible to protect them from accidental suffocation. Remember, your baby will not be able to tell the difference between a rug that cost $50 or one that cost $500, so don’t sweat the price of the stuff you use to decorate their room. Stick to your budget and create a design that will appeal to your baby. A room filled with inexpensive tactile objects will appeal more to a baby than a room draped in silk and other expensive fabrics. Let your imagination run wild and have fun!


Keeping the Air Clean

for your New Baby more dangerous than for an adult body (obviously); and (no surprise here) babies often inhale more indoor air particulates because they spend more time closer to the ground where concentrations of these particles are much higher. When considering an air cleaner, ask the following questions: Do you want a whole home solution? How much maintenance does your chosen air cleaner require? How does it work in conjunction with your heating and air conditioning units? What is the noise level? There are several additional ways to improve the air quality in the nursery (and your home). Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter (and use it regularly). Wash bedding and baby’s clothing in hot water to cut down on dust mites. Dust frequently. Keep pets out of the baby’s room. Don’t smoke in the house (ever).

Bringing home a baby can be an apprehensive time for new parents. In addition to everything else, a new parent worries about things that might impact the health, comfort, and safety of their baby. A parent wants to ensure that their baby sleeps well and breathes easily so that their lungs and immune system have time to rest and rejuvenate. Investing in an air cleaner or purifier can remove up to 95% of the pathogens from your home’s air. The fact is, babies and children are vulnerable to both indoor and outdoor pollutants/ contaminants. The reasons aren’t surprising – infants and children have less developed immune, neurological, and respiratory systems; their small body mass and higher rates of respiration make the inhalation of air toxins

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Choosing a

If you already have a family doctor, you may not think you need a pediatrician. Although a general physician is licensed to care for children, they lack the training of a pediatrician. To become a pediatrician, a doctor has to have four years of medical school and three more years of residency working solely in pediatrics. Some are further specialized in a field like neonatalogy or cardiology. You should start looking for a pediatrician in the seventh month of pregnancy. Start compiling the list by asking family and friends if they have any recommendations. Check with your insurance company for eligible pediatricians and with your local hospitals to see if they have referral services. Ask your obstetrician or family doctor if they know of someone. Research. Ask yourself if you want a male or female doctor. There may be a point when your child gets older that they will feel more comfortable with a doctor of the same sex. Do you want an older or younger doctor? An older doctor will have more experience, but could be set in their ways and not open to new technology or methods. They might be thinking about retirement. A younger doctor, on the other hand, may be more open to new technology or methods, but lack the experience of an older doctor. Like choosing an obstetrician, do the work – find out what fits you and your lifestyle. You’ve narrowed your list of choices, now comes some investigative work. Before interviewing a pediatrician, check with the state medical board to see if any disciplinary action or professional peer reviews have been made against the pediatrician. Check out the books put out by the Director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. These list doctors who have been disciplined by a state or federal government. As you interview the candidates on your list, look for a pediatrician who is open-minded and compassionate to your feelings and thoughts. Make sure the pediatrician is covered by your insurance and will actually be seeing your child. Most pediatricians will do these interviews for free, but some will charge. If they charge, see if the fee can be applied to the first office visit. If a pediatrician won’t do an interview, be wary of them.

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Pediatrician

Once you have made your choice, there are no hard and fast rules that say you have to stick with it. If you ever become concerned with your child’s care, discuss the situation with the pediatrician. If the problem continues, find a new pediatrician. Choosing a pediatrician for your child may be the single-most important decision you make for their young years. Unfortunately, most people don’t spend enough time doing so. Next to parents, a pediatrician is one of the most important people in a child’s life, so choose wisely.


Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography

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Common Questions to Ask Your

Pediatrician

Before going in for the interview, check out the office. Is it clean and organized?

Can they be reached with questions, either routine or emergency?

Are there separate waiting rooms for sick and healthy?

Do they have specific call-in times?

Is the staff courteous? Do they listen to parents’ concerns?

Do they have a Website that will allow you to reach them by email?

What are the office hours?

In the event your child becomes ill, when would they refer your child to the emergency room?

Is there a lab on site?

What hospital do they use?

What doctor is recommended for work not done on site?

Who covers when they are away?

Do they do eye and hearing checks in the office?

Are there resident physicians, nurse practitioners, medical students and nurses on staff?

How easy is it to get through on the telephone?

How involved will they be in caring for your child?

Is the practice large or small?

What kind of time will they spend with your child at a typical visit?

Is there more than one office? How much time is spent at each office? When you interview the pediatrician, ask them about their educational background. How long have they been in practice? Are they board certified? How do they stay current on the latest medical developments? 50 | Oh BABY!

When do they prescribe medication? What kind of medication do they regularly prescribe? How do they handle a situation where you disagree with their treatment? If your family situation is nontraditional, how will the pediatrician and the office staff treat you?


Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography

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Pediatrician

Interviews

Pediatrician’s Name:_________________________________________________________________________________ Office Address:______________________________________________________________________________________ Office Hours:________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone Number:______________________________________________________________________________________ About the Pediatrician:_______________________________________________________________________________ Do you have weekend appointments?__________________________________________________________________ How are middle-of-the-night emergencies handled?______________________________________________________ Are same-day appointments available when my child is sick?_______________________________________________ Is my health insurance accepted by your practice?________________________________________________________ If so, does the office bill my insurance company, or do I have to pay up front and be reimbursed?_______________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is there someone on the staff who can help me with breast-feeding issues?__________________________________ To what hospitals do you admit patients?________________________________________________________________ Other Questions:____________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Pediatrician’s Name:_________________________________________________________________________________ Office Address:______________________________________________________________________________________ Office Hours:________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone Number:______________________________________________________________________________________ About the Pediatrician:_______________________________________________________________________________ Do you have weekend appointments?__________________________________________________________________ How are middle-of-the-night emergencies handled?______________________________________________________ Are same-day appointments available when my child is sick?_______________________________________________ Is my health insurance accepted by your practice?________________________________________________________ If so, does the office bill my insurance company, or do I have to pay up front and be reimbursed?_______________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is there someone on the staff who can help me with breast-feeding issues?__________________________________ To what hospitals do you admit patients?________________________________________________________________ Other Questions:____________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Photo by 3D 4Baby Ultrasound & Photography

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Choosing the Right While you would love to stay at home with your child, often it’s just not financially feasible. You’ll have to find the right child care. Where do you start? Instinct counts for much…but you have to visit the site to make sure the facility will support and enrich the development of your child physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. Here’s a very important list that will guide you in your choice. Will My Child Be Supervised? Are children watched at all times, even when napping? Are the teachers warm and welcoming? Do they pay each child individual attention? Are positive guidance techniques used? Are the staff-to-child ratios appropriate and do they follow guidelines set by the Department of Human Services (one caregiver per 4 infants/toddlers; one caregiver per 6 two year olds; one caregiver per 8 three year olds; one caregiver per 12 four year olds; and one caregiver per 15 school-age children). Is This A Safe And Healthy Place For My Child? Do the teachers and children wash their hands (before/ after eating, using the bathroom, changing diapers, touching bodily fluids, etc)? Are surfaces sanitized after each use? Are all children immunized? Are medicines labeled and kept out of children’s reach? Are the foods and beverages served to the children healthy and nutritious? Are cleaning supplies and other hazardous materials stored out of children’s reach? Is there a plan to follow if a child is injured, sick, or lost? Are first aid kits readily available? Is there a plan to respond to disasters? Has a thorough criminal and background check been done on all teachers? Is the outdoor play area safe for children to play and is it inspected daily for hazards and regularly for condition? Is the play are fenced in? Is the equipment on mulch, sand or rubber matting? Have The Adults Been Trained To Care For Children? Does the Director have a degree and experience caring for children? Do the lead teachers have a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, Associate’s, or Bachelor’s degree and experience in caring for children? Is there always someone present who has current CPR and First Aid Training? Have the teachers been trained on child abuse prevention and how to report a suspected case? Have the teachers received blood borne pathogens and disease prevention training? Is there ongoing education and training on the care of children?

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Child Care

Will My Child Be Able to Grow And Learn? Are the toys age and developmentally appropriate? Are there a variety of toys? Is the room arranged in easily identifiable play centers? Are there daily/weekly lesson plans? Do the teachers talk, converse, and question the children? Do the teachers read to the children often and are books readily available? Is The Program Set Up To Promote Quality? Are there written personnel policies and procedures? Are the parents and staff asked to evaluate the program? Are teachers evaluated each year – do they do self assessment? Is the program accredited by a national organization? Does The Program Work With Parents? Will I be welcome to visit the center any time my child is in their care? Is parent’s feedback sought and used in making improvements? Will I receive access to policies and procedures? Are there yearly conferences with parents? Are there any special parent events?


Safety and

Baby-Proofing Your Home

Your child’s safety is an important responsibility – your responsibility. The tips below should help you to keep your baby safe and out of harm’s way. For the first 2 months, don’t take your baby to large public places such as malls and grocery stores – avoid crowds (germs). Keep your well-baby doctor appointments as it is important to check your baby’s developmental milestones.

Smoking and Fire Safety – Do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby. Install a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Change the batteries on your smoke detector every 6 months. Have at least one fire extinguisher on every level of your home. If your home uses gas heat, install a carbon monoxide detector.

Safety in the Car – Always use a federally approved car seat. Read the instructions for installation. Car seats should face the rear of the vehicle for the for the first 2 years of the baby’s life. The safest location for the seat is the middle of the back seat. Never put the baby in the front seat or on your lap. Disengage the air bag if you are in a truck with no back seat. Leave your purse, briefcase, or cell phone in the back seat to avoid accidentally leaving the child in the car – this will get you in the habit of looking in the back seat. Preventing Falls – If you use an infant carrier, always place it on the floor – not on a counter or table – and make sure the baby is strapped in. Never leave the baby alone on a couch, changing table, or bed.

Preventing Baby Burns – Don’t hold hot liquids when holding your baby. Do not microwave the baby’s bottle – microwaves heat unevenly and can burn the baby’s mouth. Warm the bottle in a bowl of warm water – shake the bottle – test the temperature. Preventing Accidents – Keep sharp objects in secure places – out of baby’s reach. Don’t shake or throw the baby in the air (blindness and brain damage can occur). Secure lamps that have cords to the baseboards (try using electrical tape along the baseboards). Keep cleaning items and drugs out of your child’s reach.

only takes seconds for a baby to drown. Bathroom appliances (hair dryer, curling iron, radio) should be away from the water/tub. Make sure these appliances are unplugged when not in use.

Toy Safety – Inspect toys regularly for breaks, sharp edges, small parts – toys should be larger than your baby’s mouth. Toy chests need to be open (no lids) or with supports that keep it open in any position. Choking/Strangulation – Keep cords away from the baby’s crib – secure cords on blinds. Make sure clothing with buttons are secure and tight (the buttons). Don’t use baby items that have strings or cords. Put away small objects that can cause choking.

Safe Sleeping – The baby should have a separate sleeping space (crib, bassinette, or cradle). A firm mattress with a tight fitting sheet is best. No bumper pad, pillows, or fluffy blankets in the crib. Crib is away from cords/ blinds/electric outlets. Place your baby on his or her back for the first 4 months – no pillows. A one-piece sleeper is a good choice for sleeping. Don’t share a bed with your baby.

More Tips – Take a CPR class. Gather a list of emergency numbers and keep them by the phone (or in your mobile) – pediatrician, health care provider, family doctor, police department, fire department, and poison control. Have a will and name a guardian for your child in the event something should happen to you and your husband.

Bath Safety – Start bathing after the cord falls off using soap for sensitive skin. Always test the water to make sure it is not too hot (before setting your baby in the water). Dipping your elbow in the water is a good way to test. It’s a good idea to turn the hot water heater to 120 degrees F. Never leave the baby unattended or with a sibling – it

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Essentials of Baby Shower Throwing a baby shower is just like throwing any other party. Who do you invite, when do you have it, where do you have it, is there a theme, what time of day or night… be aware there are certain times of day when the mom-tobe feels her best – ask her – she’ll let you know.

Appropriate Time For A Baby Shower Baby showers can be held before the baby is born or after. Many choose to do it a couple of months before when the mom is really showing (and glowing), while others wait until afterward, giving the mom the perfect opportunity to show off her little one to several people at once. Your host should check with you and make sure of the date and time and the guest list.

Etiquette for a Second Child Shower (or third, or fourth, etc.) Every baby should be celebrated – right? In my view – yes. When it comes to a second pregnancy, people have differing opinions on shower etiquette – she’s got everything right? Well – maybe not, what if the child is a different gender? What if she’s having twins? What if she needs a few things? What if it’s been a few years since the first child? Have that shower and enjoy being together. Find out what the Mom needs, have a shower, and celebrate.

Etiquette

Sometimes they call a second baby shower a ‘sprinkle’… the entire celebration is less formal, low key, less expensive – it’s about celebrating.

Who Will Host the Party? According to ‘etiquette’ , anyone but the mom-to-be and her family can host a shower. This tradition is outdated and often disregarded – if you love the person – you’re related – are a best friend – are a close co-worker – host the shower. Consult with the guest of honor to determine the guest list. Consider having a couples shower – Dad’s need car seats too…a recent trend has been ‘Diaper Showers for Dads’…you’re going to need them (diapers and Dads), so you might as well get them (diapers).

Location Most showers are held at the host’s home, but they can be held at a restaurant, a party room, the office conference room, even at the home of the mom-to-be (it’s her most comfortable place). Whatever works.

Invitations The host may go casual and phone or email each invited guest (evites are very popular and so much quicker in this busy world)…some like a more formal invite and spend the money on this type of invitation (it is a memento and I prefer this kind of invite – they can be absolutely


charming – and set the tone or theme of the shower). Make sure all the details are on the invite (who, date, time, location, theme, where registered, list of needs, and RSVP information).

How Many Guests Should You Invite? There are no hard and fast rules on this subject. Having said that, the normal number should be about 20 guests. If over 25 guests, you might want to co-host the shower with another person to keep the costs in line. The host should know how many people will fit the venue (home, restaurant, etc.), so consider these things carefully.

Themes The theme of the shower will be determined by the host. People are getting more and more clever (thank you Pinterest) with themed showers and celebrations…for example, if the parents are Irish, the shower might be Luck O’ the Irish inspired (can you see the green and the shamrocks?)…check out the background of the parents and go from there…What you want to do is consider the parents and you’ll have your theme. Questions to ask are: Do you go co-ed? Do you go traditional? What is the venue – that can also determine your theme? What works best in your setting? What is appropriate at your shower location? Are you trying to match the baby’s nursery theme? These are just a few ways to set the theme of the shower.

Trends in Shower Themes • Nursery Rhymes • Travel • Monograms • Butterflies • Color Themes • Golden Book • Vintage • Baby Bling • Carnivals • Love you to the moon…

Gifts Though a gift is expected if a guest attends the shower, guests should only be invited to help celebrate the upcoming arrival (I’ve never seen a person come to a shower without a gift)…if you cannot attend, you are not

obligated to give a gift (though you might want to give a gift). Creating a registry at your favorite store or stores is a helpful way for guests to find the gifts that are needed. Registry information should be included with the invitation or provided when the guest sends their RSVP in the affirmative. If you are relatively well-equipped in the baby department, the shower host might consider themes that benefit the mom and/or dad…a night of babysitting, coupons for take-out meals, spa days, date night dinners, movie tickets.

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Your

The list of ‘gear’ needed for your new baby is quite large and baby showers are a wonderful way for your friends and family to shower your baby with gifts. But let’s be practical, you have specific needs and a gift registry lets your loved ones know what you really want and what you really need for your baby’s first year of life. So you create a registry.

Some Tips: - Research large items a little at a time; ask other Moms for advice and reviews on items they use and love; put as much as you want on your registry, better to have more than less; plan ahead – babies grow quickly – you’ll need larger size clothes and diapers; don’t forget safety items for the house and those required for your automobile.

Baby Registry Here is a list of items your baby will need during the first year of life: •Crib & Mattress, mattress pads, fitted sheets •Blankets – swaddles, heavy, receiving •Diapers – all sizes, wipes •Diaper Pail and Liners •Detergent (baby safe, dye free) •Sleep Gowns, Footies, Converter Gowns, Seasonally Appropriate Clothing •Baby Monitor •Travel Bed •Infant and Toddler Car Seat, seat protector •Back Seat Mirror •Stroller •Humidifier •Night Light

•Bottles, pacifiers •Drying Rack •Food Processor •High Chair, bibs, burp cloths •Breast Pump, storage bags, nipple cream, nursing bras, pads, tops, and cover •Diaper Bag with lots of pockets, changing pad •Bath Towels, grooming kit, soap, shampoo, lotion, diaper rash cream, sunscreen •First Aid Kit •Socks, mittens, onesies •Books, Toys •Floor Seat •Baby Carrier/Sling


Safe Sleep For Your

Baby SAFE SLEEP PRACTICES Always place babies to sleep on their backs during naps and at nighttime. Because babies sleeping on their sides are more likely to accidentally roll onto their stomach, the side position is just as dangerous as the stomach position. Avoid letting the baby get too hot. The baby could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and rapid breathing. Dress the baby lightly for sleep. Set the room temperature in a range that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. Consider using a pacifier at nap time and bed time. The pacifier should not have cords or clips that might be a strangulation risk.

WHO IS AT RISK FOR SIDS?

SAFE SLEEP ENVIRONMENT

SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants between 1 month and 12 months of age. SIDS is most common among infants that are 1-4 months old.

Place your baby on a firm mattress, covered by a fitted sheet that meets current safety standards. Place the crib in an area that is always smoke free. Don’t place babies to sleep on adult beds, chairs, sofas, waterbeds, pillows, or cushions. Toys and other soft bedding, including fluffy blankets, comforters, pillows, stuffed animals, bumper pads, and wedges should not be placed in the crib with the baby. Loose bedding, such as sheets and blankets, should not be used as these items can impair the infant’s ability to breathe if they are close to his face. Sleep clothing, such as sleepers, sleepsacks, and wearable blankets are better alternatives to blankets.

WHAT CAN I DO BEFORE MY BABY IS BORN TO REDUCE THE RISK OF SIDS? Take care of yourself during pregnancy and after the birth of your baby. During pregnancy, before you even give birth, you can reduce the risk of your baby dying from SIDS! Don’t smoke or expose yourself to others’ smoke while you are pregnant and after the baby is born. Alcohol and drug use can also increase your baby’s risk for SIDS. Be sure to visit a physician for regular prenatal checkups to reduce your risk of having a low birth weight or premature baby.

WHERE IS THE SAFEST PLACE FOR MY BABY TO SLEEP? The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the room where you sleep, but not in your bed. Place the baby’s crib or bassinet near your bed (within arm’s reach). This makes it easier to breastfeed and to bond with your baby. The crib or bassinet should be free from toys, soft bedding, blankets, and pillows.

IS IT EVER SAFE TO HAVE BABIES ON THEIR TUMMIES? Yes! You should talk to your child care provider about making tummy time a part of your baby’s daily activities. Your baby needs plenty of tummy time while supervised and awake to help build strong neck and shoulder muscles. Remember to make sure that your baby is having tummy time at home with you. RESOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics

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Baby’s Nutrition: Learning the Dance of

Breastfeeding

Your first dance with a new partner can be a bit awkward. With practice, you both learn how to move with one another gracefully. Learning to comfortably nurse your baby is very much like learning to dance. It may not be perfect at first, but with practice, it becomes effortless. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively through baby’s first six months and continuing to breastfeed as you add in other foods during the first months 6- 12. Even a small amount of breastmilk in the first few days after your baby’s birth makes a difference. Longer is better, but every ounce counts! Breastfeeding provides warmth and closeness. The physical contact helps create a special bond between you and your baby. Breast milk has many benefits – it is easier to digest, doesn’t need to be prepared, and it is always available. It has all the nutrients, calories, and fluids your baby needs to be healthy and growth factors that ensure best development of your baby’s organs. Breast milk also has many substances that formulas don’t have that help protect your baby from many diseases and infections. In fact, breastfed babies are less likely to have ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, wheezing, bronchiolitis, and other bacterial and viral infections. Breastfeeding is good for Mom too. It helps to release hormones in your body that promote mothering behavior and return your uterus to the size it was before pregnancy more quickly. It also burns calories, which may help in losing pregnancy weight. Breastfeeding will delay the return of your menstrual period to help keep iron in your body. It also keeps bones strong.

PLAN AHEAD Attend a breastfeeding class. It is important to learn how to latch the baby to the breast correctly so that you are comfortable and the baby is effective at getting milk. Check your local health department and area hospitals for breastfeeding classes. Ask friends and family members who breastfed for their support. You can get excellent and accurate information from www.womenshealth.gov. Include breastfeeding goals in your birth plan. Ask about skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth. Research shows it eases the baby’s transition into the world. Often referred to as ‘kangaroo care,’ this close contact helps stabilize baby’s breathing and heartbeat – and has been shown to increase milk supply.

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ESTABLISH A SUPPORT SYSTEM New Moms need support and reassurance. While you are pregnant, develop a list of ‘who to call’ in case you have questions or concerns. It can be a friend who had a successful breastfeeding experience or a lactation professional. Most hospitals have lactation professionals on staff and they will consult with you on the phone or in person. You can search ‘find a lactation consultant’ at www.ilca.org. The La Leche League offers support groups.

INTERVIEW PEDIATRICIANS When choosing a Pediatrician, be sure to ask if he or she has experience supporting breastfeeding Mothers and babies. Your baby’s doctor will be a valuable part of your support system. They are the best source of information about medications you may be prescribed during the postpartum period.

IF YOU ARE RETURNING TO WORK OR SCHOOL Let your employer know that you will need regular breaks to pump human milk for your infant and ask about a comfortable, private space. Your insurance may provide a double electric pump or you can buy or rent one. A good pump is critical. Ask a lactation counselor about the best models. Take a few weeks to practice pumping before you return to work. Work with your childcare provider to plan baby’s feeding around your schedule.


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Infant

Reflux

Infant reflux is the condition where the contents of the stomach are spit out, usually shortly after feeding. Spitting up (infant reflux) becomes less common as a baby gets older, and it’s unusual if it’s still occurring after 18 months of age. In a small number of cases, reflux can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), an allergy or a blockage.

Symptoms Spitting up and vomiting are the main symptoms of infant reflux. As long as your baby is healthy, content and growing well, the reflux is not a cause for concern. Your child will in all likelihood outgrow it. While your baby may act fussy or seem to be uncomfortable, it is very unusual for the stomach contents to be acidic enough to irritate the esophagus or throat, as happens with acid reflux.

Contact your baby’s doctor if your baby: • Isn’t gaining weight • Spits up forcefully, causing stomach contents to shoot out of his or her mouth (projectile vomiting) • Spits up green or yellow fluid • Spits up blood or a material that looks like coffee grounds • Refuses food

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• Has blood in his or her stool • Has difficulty breathing • Begins vomiting at age 6 months or older

Causes Infant reflux is related to a number of factors, often in combination with one another. In infants, the ring of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach — the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) — is not yet fully mature, allowing stomach contents to flow backward. Eventually, the LES will open only when baby swallows and will remain tightly closed the rest of the time, keeping stomach contents where they belong. Babies are lying flat most of the time, which makes reflux more likely. Moreover, their diet is completely liquid, also favoring infant reflux. Sometimes air bubbles in the stomach may push liquids backward. In other cases, your baby may simply drink too much, too fast. Although infant reflux most often occurs after a feeding, it can happen anytime your baby coughs, cries or strains. You can always check with your pediatrician if you are concerned about infant reflux. Your pediatrician will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding your baby’s health. The history a parent gives on their baby’s symptoms helps guide your pediatrician’s management.


Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography

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Planning Baby’s From the first positive pregnancy test, many momsto-be fret over labor. Writing a birth plan can help relieve your anxiety, and—like Kegels! —it’s a valuable predelivery exercise. A birth plan is a document that tells your medical team your preferences and desires for such things as how to manage labor pain. Most hospitals provide a birth plan worksheet or brochure that explains the hospital’s philosophy of childbirth – giving you options and guidelines. Much of your birth experience will be dictated by the setting you select and the caregivers assisting, so it’s important to learn your options before penning your preferences. In addition, it is impossible to completely control how your little one will make his or her grand entrance.

Things to Think About when Creating Your Birth Plan: Birth setting policies. You may want to chow down on hamburgers during labor, but many hospitals limit your consumption to ice chips. Get familiar with your delivery location’s policies ahead of time.

Procedures of your health care provider. Atmosphere. Do you want a high-energy ambiance with jazzy music or a quiet, softly lit setting for your baby’s big debut?

Preparatory procedures. In earlier eras, a woman arriving at the hospital to give birth was given an enema and a trim (down there). Ask if these are still routine procedures where you’ll be delivering. They likely won’t be, but it’s better to know so there’s no surprise on labor day! Pain management. Is your strategy “Get an epidural ASAP!” or do you want to avoid pain medications if possible? What pain management techniques will you use?

Monitoring. Many hospitals use constant electronic fetal monitoring, but if you don’t want to be bedridden, intermittent monitoring may be an option.

Episiotomies and assisted birth. If your baby is being bashful, your caregiver may wish to perform an episiotomy—an incision between the vagina and anus—or use forceps or vacuum extraction. Discuss the pros and cons of each in advance.

C-section. In what circumstances would you want a Cesarean to be performed? Does five hours of pushing grant

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Birth

a ticket to the OR or is your baby’s distress the only call for surgery? Discuss this with your physician.

Photos and videos. Do you wish to document every moment from the first twinge through baby’s first bath, or hold the flashbulbs until all are clean and content?

Crowning. Some non squeamish mothers request to have a mirror positioned so they can see the baby crown (when his head first appears) or even reach down and touch his tiny noggin.

Cutting the cord. Indicate when you’d like baby’s umbilical cord to be clamped, and specify whether daddy wants to take part in the snipping ritual.

Post Birth. “After a vaginal delivery, your delivery facility may practice placing baby immediately on your chest, known as skin-to-skin. This promotes bonding and successful breast feeding.” For a C-section, indicate who should bond with your baby while you recover.

Nursing. It is recommended to start breastfeeding right away; you can also ask the hospital staff not to offer baby a bottle or pacifier, which could interfere with nursing.

Additional info. Mention factors that may affect your delivery, like if you’re blind as a bat without glasses, have gestational diabetes, or wish to bank baby’s cord blood. Don’t forget. While creating a birth plan is a great idea, don’t get so attached to it that you won’t allow any flexibility in the delivery room. Birth is different for every woman, every time, so no matter how much you plan there’s a good chance things won’t go exactly the way you envisioned them. Remember to expect the unexpected!


Hospital Bag

Checklist

Reduce your stress by packing for your trip to the hospital a few weeks before your expected due date.

____ Bath Robe

For Mom

____ Lotion

____ Night Gown

____ Hair Ties and Pins

____ Pajamas

____ Pillow

____ Loose Comfy Clothing

____ Tennis Ball for Labor Massage

____ An Outfit to Leave In

____ Cell Phone and Charger

____ Slippers

____ Camera and Charger

____ Nursing Bras

____ Music Player/Laptop/Tablet

____ Several Pair of Comfortable Underwear

____ Snacks for Husband/Family

____ Socks

____ Coins for Vending Machine

____ Nursing Pads/ Nipple Cream

____ Birth Plan

____ Toiletries and Makeup

____ List of Family Contacts

____ Brush and Blow Dryer

____ Magazines/Books

____ Glasses/Contact Lenses

____ Identification

____ Chapstick

____ Insurance Card/Info

____ Going Home Outfit

For Baby

____ Baby Finger Nail Clippers

____ Onesie/Sleepers

____ Car Seat

____ Baby Socks

____ Receiving Blankets

____ Baby Mittens/Hat

____ Newborn Diapers and Baby Wipes

Call List ________________________________________________ _ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ _ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ _ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

________________________________________________

________________________________________________

________________________________________________

________________________________________________

________________________________________________

________________________________________________

________________________________________________

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What to Expect at the Hospital:

A Guide to Labor and Delivery

Photo by 3D 4Baby Ultrasound & Photography

Wow! You have made it! The big day has arrived! I’m sure by now that you are ready to sleep without bathroom breaks, fit in to your old clothes, and regain control of your own body functions. Lucky for you the hard part is over, or is it? If you haven’t been in labor before, the first time can be a little scary. You don’t know what to expect. You’re anxious and a little scared. It is not as bad as most (if not all) of the stories you’ve heard. So, what first? You will have to check in to the hospital once you have confirmed you are in labor. Most hospitals require you to either check in at the Emergency Room or with General Admissions. Once that is completed, you will be moved to Labor and Delivery where you will be asked to change into a hospital gown. Your Labor and Delivery nurse will assess you and the baby to make sure that everything is progressing normally. During this time an IV will be started and a baby heartbeat monitor, a contraction monitor – lots of equipment. Now – you just wait.

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Important to know. Stages of Labor: FIRST STAGE The first stage really consists of three phases:

Early Phase: This phase typically lasts up to 12 hours although it’s usually considerably shorter for second and subsequent babies. As labor progresses, the contractions get longer and stronger. Active Phase: Often this phase lasts up to six hours, although it can be a lot shorter. You should be in the hospital or birth center by now or en route. Contractions are much more intense, last about 40 to 60 seconds, and are spaced 3 to 5 minutes apart. Breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and coaching are all important now. Pain relief is usually administered in this phase.


Transition Phase: This phase can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Contractions last 60 to 90 seconds and come two or three minutes apart. SECOND STAGE The second stage can last from minutes to hours – the average is about an hour for a first-time pregnancy (longer if you’ve had an epidural) – and ends with a moment that’s made up in equal parts of relief and breathtaking beauty: The birth of your baby.

THIRD STAGE Delivery of the placenta. It’s not over yet! This stage, which begins immediately after the birth of your baby and ends with the delivery of the placenta five to 10 minutes later, is usually anticlimactic, but necessary. • During the course of your labor, you will be asked to make a lot of decisions. • Do you want pain medicine? • If so, will you want an epidural or general pain medication administered through the IV? • Episiotomy or no episiotomy? These questions are best answered before you are in labor. Once the pain has started you may not be capable of making the best decisions. Labor can sometimes last for several hours, but there are many techniques that can be used to make these hours pass by a little quicker and easier.

Utilize the water - Ever take a bath to relax? Humans have a natural draw toward water. Most women will report that upon entering a tub in labor, the contractions were much more tolerable. I can tell from personal experience that it definitely takes the edge off.

Surround yourself with people that love you and will encourage you - Utilize your partner. At this point they are feeling helpless and useless. Have someone feed you ice chips, fluff your pillow, or massage your feet.

Remove negative energy from the birthing space - If there are spectators in the room who are commenting negatively or making you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, they should leave the space. There is a lot of psychology in birth. If you don’t feel comfortable, the labor will take longer and may be harder.

Here are a few ways to make it more bearable: Labor at home as long as possible - You will typically be more comfortable in your own environment with the freedom to move as you need to, and the privacy to act on your instincts to make noise and adjust, no matter how strange the position. Create a comfortable birthing space - Even in a hospital, you can do small things to make your birthing space more welcoming. Dim lights, aromatherapy/scents you enjoy, pictures, your own blanket and pillow, and your own music can all help the space feel more comfortable. Wearing your own clothes is also something you can do to feel more comfortable. Move - I am well aware that sometimes in labor all you want to do is lie down, but that position isn’t always the best for encouraging the baby to move down, especially in early labor. In most cultures, women do not lie down to give birth. They stand, squat, hug a tree, basically anything that feels good to them. They don’t tend to spend their labors lying down.

Give in - So many women try to fight the contractions/ pressure waves/rushes in attempt to make them less painful. Give in to the sensations and try to see them more as a rush of energy. They are going to happen no matter what you do. When you give in and let them work, your labor will be more effective and typically quicker. Remember, at the end of this day you will have a tiny miracle in your hands. That alone will make this day worth every pain you felt!

Some things to have on hand after the baby is born – specifically for the new mom • Ice packs – in case of tearing during birth or swelling after; • 2-3 weeks supply of ultra-absorbent sanitary pads; • Panty liners; • Hemorrhoid wipes or cream (even if your pregnancy was trouble-free, these can be necessary after labor).

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How will I know when I’m in

Labor?

efface significantly or dilate as you get close to labor. This is the plug that has sealed your cervix canal during the last nine months. It can appear as discharge or in a lump. It might have pink, red, or brown blood. Your water breaks. When the fluid filled amniotic sac surrounding the baby ruptures, fluid leaks out from your vagina and this is the time to call the doctor. Most women have regular contractions prior to the water breaking (but sometimes the water breaks first).

In pre-labor or early labor (the latent phase), you may have: Every woman’s labor is different, so pinpointing when yours begins isn’t really possible. However, some specific changes take place in pre-labor, early labor and established (active) labor. Your body actually starts preparing for labor up to a month before you give birth. You may not recognize the changes at first, but there comes a time that you become aware of these new symptoms as your due date draws near. In the weeks and days before labor starts, your baby ‘drops’ – you may feel what’s known as ‘lightening’ a few weeks before labor starts. You breathe easier because the heaviness has shifted to your pelvis as opposed to just below your ribcage. You will have frequent and intense Braxton Hicks contractions signaling pre-labor. Your cervix ripens and you’re set for real labor. Some feel crampy (similar to when you had your period). Those Braxton Hicks contractions are tricky and can strike as often as every ten to twenty minutes. You wonder if you’re in real labor…but real labor contractions are most often longer, stronger, closer together, and cause your cervix to dilate. Your cervix starts to change – it softens and thins out. As your due date draws near, your doctor will do an exam checking to see if your cervix has started to change. You may pass your mucus plug if your cervix begins to

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• Persistent lower back pain or abdominal pain, with a premenstrual feeling and cramps. • Painful contractions that occur at regular and increasingly shorter intervals, and become longer and stronger in intensity. • Broken water. Your membranes may rupture with a gush or a trickle of amniotic fluid. Either way, call your maternity unit to let them know. • A brownish or blood-tinged mucus discharge (bloody show). If you pass the mucus plug that blocks the cervix, labor could be imminent, or it could be several days away. It’s a sign that things are moving along. • An upset tummy or loose bowels. • A period of feeling very emotional or moody. • Disrupted sleep.

How you will feel in the pre-labor or early labor phases depends on: • Whether you’ve had a baby before. • How you perceive and respond to pain. • How prepared you are for what going into labor may be like.

When should I call my doctor? You have probably talked to your doctor about what to do when you think you’re in active labor. But if you’re not sure whether or not the time has come, don’t be embarrassed to call. Doctors are used to getting calls from women who are uncertain if they’re in early labor or active


labor, and who need guidance. It’s part of their job. A doctor can tell a lot by the tone of your voice, so talking helps. She’ll want to know how close together your contractions are, whether you can talk through a contraction, and any other symptoms you may have. If she thinks you’re still in early labor, she is likely to encourage you to go home until you’re in stronger active labor. Her decision will depend on how you’re coping and whether you’ve got a birth partner to support you.

You should contact your doctor if: • Your waters break, or if you suspect you’re leaking amniotic fluid. • Your baby is moving less than usual. • You have vaginal bleeding (unless it’s just a small amount after a membrane sweep or the blood-tinged mucus of the show). • You have a fever, severe headaches, changes in your vision, along with abdominal pain.

What should I do early on in labor? This will depend on what time of day it is, what you like doing, and how you’re feeling. Keeping calm and relaxed will help your body to release the hormone oxytocin that you need for your labor to progress and will help you to cope with the contractions. Do whatever will help you to stay relaxed. This could mean watching your favorite film, going for a walk, puttering around at home, or asking a trusted friend or relative over to keep you company. You could alternate

between walking and resting, or try taking a warm bath or shower to ease any aches and pains. If you can, try to get some rest to prepare you for the work ahead. During early labor, you may feel hungry, so eat and drink if you feel like it. This will help to comfort you and may even help your labor to progress more smoothly.

Can I have contractions and not be in labor? Yes. You can have pre-labor contractions. These help your cervix to go through the changes it needs to before it starts to dilate. During dilation, your cervix moves from the back (posterior position) to the front (anterior position). It will also be shortening and thinning (softening and effacing). These changes may take place without you noticing over the last few weeks of your pregnancy. Or you may experience hours or days of cramps or contractions. These may be progressing the early changes in your cervix, even though they may not be dilating your cervix yet. A doctor can confirm whether cervical changes have started during an examination. If your baby has his head down but his back to your back, it can take longer for his head to engage and for labor to start. Your contractions may be erratic and low in intensity, and you may have backache. Your doctor will advise you about ways to cope at home until labor becomes stronger. Try a warm bath or massage to relieve the pain. If your baby is back-to-back, getting into an all-fours position, on your hands and knees, for half an hour or so now and again can help relieve backache.

Can I tell if labor is about to happen soon? Maybe. Signs of the approach of labor include: • Lightening, when your baby’s head begins to drop into position in your pelvis. You may be able to breathe more deeply and eat more, but you’ll also need to use the restroom more frequently, and walking may be more difficult. • Heavier and more mucus vaginal discharge. • More frequent and noticeably more intense Braxton Hicks contractions. • Mood swings and a surge of energy.

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Labor

Memories

My contractions started on (date/time):_________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ At first they felt like:__________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ They were this far apart:______________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ They lasted this long:_________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ The person I called first to tell:_________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ His/her reaction:_____________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Exciting Moments:____________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Your Baby’s Birth

Story

Birthplace:__________________________________________________________________________________________ Time:______________________________________________ Date:____________________________________________ Length:____________________________________________ Weight:__________________________________________ Eye Color:__________________________________________ Hair Color:________________________________________ Who held baby first?__________________________________________________________________________________ People who were there:______________________________________________________________________________ Exciting moments:____________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

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These Tiny Feet and Hands Tiptoe and Crawl into your Heart and

Stay Forever

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Left Hand

Right Hand

Left Foot

Right Foot


Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography

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Bonding with

Baby

Bonding is the intense attachment that develops between parents and their baby. It makes parents want to shower their baby with love and affection and to protect and nourish their little one. Bonding gets parents up in the middle of the night to feed their hungry baby and makes them attentive to the baby’s wide range of cries.

Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding are both natural times for bonding. When your baby is nestled against your chest, he can smell your scent and hear your heartbeat – all a part of the bonding process. As you focus on him with no distraction, you come to know his patterns, cries, quirks, needs, and style.

These strong ties between parent and child provide the baby’s first model for intimate relationships, gives them a sense of security, and positive self-esteem. A parents’ responsiveness to an infant’s signals can affect the child’s social and cognitive development. Affection stimulates your child to grow, learn, connect with others, and enjoy life.

How to Bond:

Most infants are ready to bond right away and many parents feel an intense attachment right away, while others take a bit longer. Bonding is a process and for many parents the day to day care of their child creates that bond. You’re overcome with joy and filled with love that your child has just smiled at you…bonding. The more time a mother spends with their baby early on, the quicker mom and baby get to know each other.

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Respond when your baby cries. Try to understand what he or she is saying to you. You can’t “spoil” babies with too much attention—they need and benefit from a parent’s loving care, even when they seem inconsolable. Hold and touch your baby as much as possible. You can keep him or her close with baby slings, pouches, or backpacks (for older babies). Use feeding and diapering times to look into your baby’s eyes, smile, and talk to your baby. Read, sing, and play peek-a-boo. Babies love to hear human voices and will try to imitate your voice and the sounds you make.


Hiring a Professional Photographer:

For the Milestones (and everything in between!) Newborn: If there’s one session that we recommend you invest in, it’s the newborn session. Once that new baby is welcomed into the world, they change so quickly. When looking for a professional newborn photographer, look for someone who fits your personal style and who will take extreme care of your delicate newborn. Additionally, the right newborn photographer will be able to provide the poses and props you want for these most memorable photos. Schedule this session as early into your pregnancy as possible (using your due date – a photographer will understand the timing and make adjustments). If you can get a newborn at 1 to 2 weeks – this age makes posing easier and disturbs the baby less.

There are many moments that can be captured at home with the click of the iPhone – we are blessed in this age of technology! But then again, there are photos that should really be left to the professional. Many new moms wonder, ‘When are the times that I should invest in a photographer and how far ahead should I book them?’ • Maternity – 32-36 weeks • Newborn – 1-2 weeks old (use your due date) • Milestones – 4 months and 8 months • Baby’s First Birthday Maternity: One of the most exciting times during pregnancy is to watch your growing belly. A professional will capture the special, cherished moments as you and/or your partner bond with your growing belly. Many professional photographers provide gorgeous maternity gowns as well as hair and makeup, to make the process easy and enjoyable. It’s important to look for a photographer who makes you feel comfortable and beautiful, so that you are able to focus on your beautiful bump! Our professionals recommend scheduling your session between 32-36 weeks of pregnancy. ‘At this point, you are looking very pregnant and your belly will truly shine. However, it is still early enough that you’re still able to move around comfortably.’

Milestones & Baby’s First Birthday: The 4 Month Milestone - At this point, your baby has learned to smile and laugh, is probably rolling and is becoming an expert at tummy time. This is a great age to have captured professionally. Having someone who understands the importance of each milestone and spends the time getting to know your baby and asking the right questions can make a world of difference when it comes to putting something beautiful and stunning on your wall. 8 Months Milestone - At 8 months, your little one is now crawling and sitting up! This is a fun milestone to have captured by a professional. A professional will capture the physical growth and the big personality changes. A great photographer will pay close attention to the shifting details and may ask you or your partner to step in to capture how your little one reacts to their entire universe (YOU!). Baby’s First Birthday - The way your baby has changed from a newborn in just one short year will blow your mind! The one year milestone is fun to capture as you’ve moved from those little milestones into this big personality. Scheduling milestones with a professional photographer will assure that those milestones don’t slip by…

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Introducing the Meeting The Family Pooch For years, your dog has been the one and only ‘baby’ in the family. Now, there’s a new baby in town! It’s absolutely normal (and smart) to be concerned about your pet’s reaction to the baby. What you need to know is that the best way to introduce the new baby to the old ‘baby’ (the family pet) is to start preparing the old ‘baby’ almost as soon as you become pregnant. This can be done effectively no matter the age of the dog-yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks! The best place to start is by understanding your dog’s way of thinking. Dogs are pack animals and interact with their family in the same way they would interact with a dog pack. The most important thing in a dog’s life is pack structure. For a dog to feel that there is proper structure in its life, they need to have a distinct pack leader that keeps the order in the family or pack. We like to think of our dogs as our children, but their needs are much different than the needs of a human baby. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you are providing the proper structure that the dog

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Fur-Babies

needs before you introduce the new baby to your pet. This is best done with the advice of a professional trainer that has experience in pack structure training. It is best to make sure your dog knows basic obedience commands like sit, stay, down, leash walking, and coming when called. If your dog doesn’t know these commands, a visit with a professional trainer is in order. When the dog has mastered the obedience commands, use them while doing things you will be doing when the baby comes. Wrap up a doll like a baby and rock it, feed it, and walk around with it. During these practices, periodically reward the dog with treats so that it associates baby activities with something positive. Babies make strange sounds, so help the dog get accustomed to the noises by playing recordings. Set up a ‘safe’ area for the dog to retreat to when the baby is crying or there’s additional baby commotion. This could be the laundry room, an office, or any other room that will allow the dog to escape and relax. Have water, a crate, sleeping pads, and anything that makes the dog feel


secure in the ‘safe’ area. Dogs are naturally denning animals, so they like small spaces such as crates to retreat to when they are scared or stressed. Make sure the dog’s routine is kept as normal as possible, both when you are in the hospital and when you return home with the new baby. This routine should consist of a feeding schedule (never feed the dog around the baby), a walking schedule, and brief play times without the new baby. Prior to bringing the baby home, have someone bring home something that has the baby’s smell on it, like a blanket or clothing, so the dog can become familiar with the baby’s odor. Be sure to devote the same amount of attention to the dog as before. If you go for a walk with the baby, take the dog. Acclimate your dog to the baby stroller before walking your dog next to it with the baby in it. If you can’t handle the dog and the stroller together, have someone go with you to walk the dog. The dog can be allowed the same household freedom as before, with the exception of the baby’s room, as long as it doesn’t cause any unwanted behavior. Use a gate to prevent the dog from entering the baby’s room without you. There are no set guidelines as to when a dog will get used to a baby. It could take a few days or a few weeks. It

should take less time with proper preparation and good management. If, after several weeks, there has been no sign of unwanted behavior, it unlikely that anything serious will happen. It is good to remember that dogs are still animals so their behavior can never be fully guaranteed. All experts agree that you should never leave a dog unattended with a baby under any circumstances. The sudden movement of a baby could startle the dog and cause unwanted behavior such as biting. Most dogs will adjust to a new baby without incident. Observe the dog’s behavior for any signs of unwanted behavior or aggression. That way, you can avoid problems and accidents. If you do observe any behavior that is concerning, call a trainer so the problem can be remedied. When introduced properly, with proper preparation, you can have a smooth introduction of your new baby to your old ‘baby’.

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Dressing

Your Little One

Photo by 3D 4Baby Ultrasound & Photography


Dressing your Comfy and cute are the two ‘C’s every parent should learn when welcoming the little one. You want your baby to get the attention they deserve, that’s a no- brainer for parents; but you also want them to be relaxed and comfortable while enjoying the spotlight. Do babies need all the layers of clothes, big bows, cowboy boots, or even hair fixed to a “tee”? Do babies like it? Is there any way to be “comfy & cute”? Yes – keep it light and keep it casual.

Making Baby Comfy Cotton is the number one choice for happy babies. An absorbent and breathable fabric, it keeps any baby comfortable. It is one of the most common fabrics for baby clothes. Cotton fabrics are available in organic versions, but make sure you buy two sizes bigger when going organic as organic cotton is typically not preshrunk (it will shrink about 10% after the first wash). Other options are Cotton/ Polyester blends & Cotton/Spandex blends. Prewashed clothing is soft, comfortable, and has gone through the shrinking process. Fleece is another great choice for parents. A good material for keeping babies warm, it’s often used for baby outerwear and comes in various layers and weights. Fleece is good for the in-between seasons, the fabric isn’t as heavy as most people would think. It’s easy to wash and there are a variety of colors and styles. Look for clothing with easy snap closures at leg inseams. This makes your work go quickly. Slip on pants, shirts with snap closures, and coveralls.

Little One

Try to avoid metal zippers and rough edges on snaps. Avoid any possible choking hazards (buttons, sequins, etc.) when picking out clothes for your little fashionista.

Looking Cute Cuteness can come with comfort. Put your baby in the best fabric choice, (including bows, shoes, or anything else) and the smile of a happy baby says it all! Remember, not all fabric is suitable for the skin of an infant. With the right material, you can dress your baby in endless colors, patterns and designs.

TRENDS • Look for modern updates on classic styles – this can mean colors beyond the imagination or the norm for babies; • Go Green – clothing made from organic or recycled materials; consider all-natural bamboo clothing as it will adjust to your baby’s temperature and is great for layering; • Designer Clothing – if you’re going that route, it’s fabulously chic and babies are a market that designers are going for…keep in mind that the outfit will be fleeting – most newborns triple their body weight in a year – outgrowing that chic outfit.

Clothing to Avoid When buying clothes for your infant make sure seams are smooth and lie flat. Avoid buying clothes with seams that poke out or can easily scratch or irritate the skin. Another obstacle you want to look out for are tight elastic bands at the arms, legs, neck, and waist. They can constrict your baby, irritate your baby’s skin, and cut off circulation – not good. Check the elastic before purchasing and see how much it gives. Does it stretch enough? If your baby has no room to grow, keep looking! Make sure you go by weight and not by age. Avoid buttons – they are time consuming and if they come off and can end up in the baby’s mouth.

Photo by 3D 4Baby Ultrasound & Photography

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Babywearing

What it is and how it works

Babywearing is the practice of keeping your baby close and connected to you as you engage in your daily activities. Babywearing has been an essential part of child rearing in many cultures for centuries. It is now growing in popularity in Western cultures. For infants, baby carriers make the transition from the womb to the outside world – easier. Close contact keeps your baby near your beating heart and continues the constant motion they experienced in the womb. Babywearning gives you and your little one a special connection while you go about your daily activities. Babywearing can be practiced by all caregivers – Mom, Dad, grandparents, siblings, nannies, nurses, doulas – anyone who cares for your newborn. There are plenty of options when selecting a carrier. You have the option of using wraps, ring slings, pouch slings, mei tais, or the buckle carrier. You’ll find the one that works best for you and provides comfort for you and the baby.

The Benefits of Babywearing: • • • • • • •

Promotes bonding Supports breastfeeding Can aid in postpartum depression Makes caregiving easier Promotes sleep Promotes a paternal bond Parental rhythms (walking, heartbeat, etc.) can have a soothing effect on infants, making them calmer • Reduces crying • Allows the wearer to have 2 free hands to do daily tasks • An upright position is great for babies with reflux

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Read Aloud When children are read to by people they love, children learn to love books!

It’s never too early to start - Babies love to be held and to hear your voice. Cuddle up together and look at board books.

A few minutes is okay – young children may sit still for only a few minutes. They will listen longer as they grow.

Let your child turn the pages – Babies and toddlers need help to turn board book pages. A 3-year old likes to turn paper pages without help. Read favorite stories over and over – Children love to hear the same stories again and again. This is how they learn. Ask your child questions about the story – Where is the moon? What do you think will happen next? Be sure to give your child time to answer.

Read anywhere and anytime – Read at playtime, bedtime, and naptime. Read any place you have to wait. Read at the playground, in the park, in the car.

Every Day!

books they can handle and carry • Books that show children doing familiar things – sleeping, eating, playing • Goodnight books for bedtime • Books about saying goodbye and hello • Books with only a few words on the page • Books with simple rhymes or predictable text OLDER TODDLERS (24-36 months) • Books with pictures and names of many different things • Books with board pages – but also books with paper pages • Silly books and funny books • Books with rhyme and rhythm, and repeated text they can learn by heart • Books about children and families • Books about food, animals, trucks, and other favorite objects PRESCHOOLERS (3-5 years) • Books that tell stories • Books about kids who look like and live like them – and also books about different places and different ways of living • Books about going to school or daycare • Books about making friends • Books with simple text they can memorize • Counting books, alphabet books, search and find books.

Go to your local library to get more books – Your local library has lots of free books. Let your child choose which ones to bring home.

What Children Like in Books A simple guide to the kinds of books most suitable for children at different ages. INFANTS (6-12 months) • Board books with photos of babies • Sturdy, brightly colored board books to touch and taste • Books with pictures of things they see every day – balls, bottles, chairs, dogs • Small books sized for small hands YOUNGER TODDLERS (12-24 months) • Sturdy board

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It’s Good for You!

Making your own Baby Food Making your own baby food is easier than you think. It’s also less expensive than buying it pre-made. The reality is you’ll more than likely buy and make your own baby food. If you’re a person who likes to cook – you’ll love making baby food. You can be confident you’re giving the baby the best and healthiest ingredients available. Before you get started, there are some things that you will need. A steamer basket (either a stand-alone or microwave model) will ensure that you keep the nutrients in the food and not in the water. When your baby first begins eating solid food, you will want to puree their food to a fine consistency. It can be a little coarser when they get older. To puree food, you will need a blender or a food mill. Other things you will need are ice cube trays, plastic wrap and food containers or storage bags. When preparing the food, be sure to wash your hands and use clean utensils. Give all fruit and vegetables a thorough washing to remove dirt and pesticides. In the beginning, you will want the food to be mushy, so steam or boil fruit and vegetables. Then, puree the food in a food processor or food mill until you get the consistency you want. To remove any peels, strain the food. Put the pureed food into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap and put them into the freezer. After the food is frozen, put it into a storage bag or food container. Label what each food is and make sure it’s dated. Frozen baby food can be left in the freezer for two months.

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Take as many cubes as you want out of the freezer and either thaw them in the microwave or put them in a cup in a pan of boiling water with a lid on. Use fresh fruits and vegetables when making homemade baby food as much as possible. If you can’t use fresh, frozen vegetables are better than canned and canned fruit can be used when fresh fruit is out of season. Don’t use a lot of additives like salt or sugar, especially in applesauce because the apples are sweet enough on their own (buy the right apples). Lemon juice has been known to cause allergic reactions in some babies, so skip it. Bananas and kiwis don’t need to be steamed or cooked. They are soft enough already.


Popular fruit and vegetable choices to start with include: apples, pears, peaches, bananas, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, green beans and apricots. When starting meat, do so slowly. Either broil or boil the meat and mix it in a blender with some milk and cream of rice or a banana, so you can get the right consistency. A good meat to start with is chicken. As you introduce solids into your baby’s diet, start with one food at a time. This includes blending two foods together. That way, if your baby has any allergies, they can be detected easily. As you determine what they are not allergic to, you can start blending food together. Follow your doctor’s recommendations and be patient with your baby. After all, this is a whole new experience for them.

Apple Puree

Peel and core 10 large apples and cut in to slices; place in a pan and just ab out cover the apples with water; cover the pan and bring to a boil; w atch the water in the pan as it will boil down. After 10 -15 min utes, check the consistency - you want them soft so they puree easily. Plac e in blender, blen d and cool. Serve to baby. Try this recipe with peaches or pears!

Sweet Potato Puree

4oz of Sweet Potato 1 Cup of Water

bring tato and in a pot, Dice sweet po a boil; eces and water to the sweet potato pi s your minutes or until it ha cook for about 12 der, - transfer to a blen desired consistency e to baby. blend, let cool, serv carrots, e same thing with You can do th inutes, cook them for 20 m but peel them and d serve to baby. then blend, cool, an

Pea Puree

3 Cups of Peas

(organic frozen has the least amount of salt)

2 Tablespoons of W ater

Steam frozen pe as for 3 minutes; plac e the peas and 2 tablespo ons of water in a bl ender. PUree for 2 minutes - or until the textur e is smooth and cream y (you can add mor e water to get the desir ed consistency). Co ol and serve to baby.

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Chicken P

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oil, add p another 6 astina, co to 7 minu ok for te s ( w a cooked). tc h th at pastina Serve warm is .

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Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography

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Getting your Body Dedication, patience, and perseverance are what every mom needs to get that pre-baby body back! If you want it, go for it, but get it back the healthy way!

Here’s a few things every “new mom” needs to know about getting back into shape after baby. Forget about the celebrities who look like they were never pregnant just weeks after the baby! Let’s just say it’s not realistic, nor is it healthy – ask any expert. Celebrities statistically do not gain as much weight during their pregnancies as average women, they have resources the average women doesn’t have, and many of them go on crazy diets (wrong!). The worst thing you can do is try to do too much too soon. So, for the first six weeks after birth – DO NOT go on a diet – especially if you are breast-feeding. Your baby needs the nutrients and you need the energy. “You should be eating at least 1,800-2,000 calories a day while breastfeeding, and if you eat less you will not only be shortchanging yourself, you’ll be shortchanging your baby. You can’t produce quality milk if you are not eating enough,” says nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy. “If you can lose a couple of pounds before then, that’s OK, but you really don’t want to cut your food intake dramatically during these early weeks. You need the energy, and you need the calories for breastfeeding,” she says. Awesome news: Breastfeeding burns calories! It can help mothers lose extra weight gained during pregnancy and if you’re not breastfeeding, Somer says, it’s OK to watch your caloric intake, but never aim to lose more than a pound a week. “Pregnancy is not unlike running a marathon every day for nine months. You have put your body through the wringer. So even if you ate well, several nutrients are still likely to be compromised. You need this postpartum time to restore your nutritional status and your energy,” she says. Exercise is highly recommended, it can not only help you whip into shape but also increase energy and may even reduce risks of postpartum depression.) Exercise is a key factor in the health of new moms, but before you start your exercise please ask your doctor if you’re ready (if you had a difficult pregnancy and/or complicated delivery especially) Most doctors will say start whenever you feel ready and work up your activity, if you can’t keep up with any program you do decide to start, you’re probably not ready

Back

or the program could be too extreme. Walking is a great recommendation, go on some stroller routes and the baby would love it too, you’ll get that one on one time with your little one, while getting exercise so it’s a win-win!

Tip: If you didn’t have a C-Section you could also focus on core workouts!

Don’t be in such a hurry to lose baby fat, be cautious about any exercise that puts major stress on your joints- examples like jogging, jumping, running. You could end up on the sideline for months with serious injuries. As exercising pay close attention to these warning signs and seek medical attention if they appear: Excessive bleeding, pelvic or abdominal pain, extreme shortness of breath, exhaustion even after mild exercise, muscle soreness that does not go away in a day or two. Besides that have fun, eat good and love your momma body!

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Baby

Milestones

Slept Through the Night:_____________________________________________________________________________ Smiled:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Rolled onto Tummy:_________________________________________________________________________________ Rolled onto Back:___________________________________________________________________________________ Laughed:__________________________________________________________________________________________ Blew a Kiss:_________________________________________________________________________________________ Sat & Played with toy:________________________________________________________________________________ Waved Bye-Bye:_____________________________________________________________________________________ Held a Bottle:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Held a Cup:________________________________________________________________________________________ Ate Baby Food:_____________________________________________________________________________________ Held a Toy:_________________________________________________________________________________________ Crawled:___________________________________________________________________________________________ Danced:___________________________________________________________________________________________ Had a Haircut:______________________________________________________________________________________ Clapped Hands:_____________________________________________________________________________________ Made a Sound:_____________________________________________________________________________________ Walked:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Went on an Outing:_________________________________________________________________________________ Played Peek-a-Boo:__________________________________________________________________________________ Stood Alone:_______________________________________________________________________________________ Spoke Your First Word:_______________________________________________________________________________ Other Unforgettable Moments:________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Baby’s Early Talk, talk, talk to your baby every day. Your baby would rather hear your voice and look at your face above anything else. Mommy’s voice is his or her absolute favorite sound because your baby associates it with warmth, food, and comfort. By talking to your baby he/she will learn the importance of speech long before he/she comprehends or speaks himself. In just a matter of weeks if not days, he/ she will recognize your voice whether he/she can see you or not. Talking to him/her will calm him when he/she is distressed or give him/her joy. When he/she responds to you with a smile, a gurgle or a coo and he/she sees your reactions, he/she is learning that talk is a two-way process. Early conversation will teach your baby many rules of communication as well as social skills. Although we are all guilty, try not to “baby talk” with your baby all the time; mix in adult language and eventually stop the baby talk all together. You should start reading to your baby immediately even though you don’t think he/she can comprehend. Use different voices and faces while reading and show the baby the pictures. Point to objects in the book and tell your baby what it is. By reading to your baby from the beginning, you open many doors of imagination and learning for him/her. From the moment your baby is born, he/she is learning about the world around him. By 4 months, your baby will entertain himself/herself by babbling and making all kinds of new sounds. His/Her memory and attention span will increase and your baby will begin to apply all the information they’ve absorbed to day-to-day activities. At this time, your baby will be able to sense your mood by the tone in your voice, as well as learn the concept of cause and effect. He/She will more than likely stumble upon this discovery by accident, for example realizing when he/she kicks his feet, the crib shakes or when he/she shakes a rattle it makes noise. When your baby discovers that he/she can cause these reactions, he/she will begin to experiment in a number of ways to make things happen. Your baby will also discover that he/she can cause a reaction from you or an audience. It is important for your baby’s development, to participate in this type of play with him/her in order to help him/her learn their personal ability to influence the baby environment. Close to 7 months, your baby will discover that objects still exist even when they are out of sight. This is a principle called object permanence. Prior to this point in your baby’s life, he/she assumed that the world consisted

Education

of only things he/she could see. For instance, when you left the room, he/she assumed you had vanished or if you hid a toy under a blanket, he/she thought it was gone forever and saw no reason to look for it. But now your baby is realizing that you are the same person that puts him down to bed at night, that his ball on the floor is the same ball that was in his crib the night before. Your baby knows that when playing Peek-A-Boo, your face did not really vanish never to be seen again when you put your hands over your face. Playing these types of games with your baby will help him/her continue to learn about object permanence for many months to come. Screen time (such as cell phones, tablets and TV) for children under the age of 2 is controversial and some professionals suggest no “screen” time at all before the age of 2 years. It’s said that certain applications and movies could be beneficial, but suggest no more than 30-60 minutes a day. It’s never been proven that it’s bad or good - talk to your pediatrician on this subject and decide what you both think is best for your child.

Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography

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Your Child’s First

The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry say that the first dental visit should occur within six months after the baby’s first tooth appears and no later than the child’s first birthday. The first dental visit is designed to allow your child to get acquainted with the dental setting. Your dentist and dental assistants will gently brush and floss the teeth and do a dental exam. Your dentist will show you how to clean your child’s teeth, will discuss your child’d diet, and fluoride needs.

You can help to make your child’s visit a positive experience by: • Schedule your child’s first visit between the arrival of the first tooth and his/her first birthday • Schedule a morning appointment when your child is well rested and cooperative • Keep your anxiety to yourself – stay positive • Role play with your child prior to the dental visit • Bring your child to the dentist every 3 to 6 months so they become comfortable in the dental setting

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Dental Visit

• Read positive books about going to the dentist • Speak positively about the dental visit and avoid inciting fear • Bring a comfort item like a favorite stuffed animal or blanket • Inform your dentist of any special concerns that you or your child may have Keep in mind that crying at the first few dental visits is normal as this is a new experience for your child. Each child has different oral health needs – preventive care can save time, money, and teeth.


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Know the signs of a

Speech or Language Disorder Know the Signs of a Speech or Language Disorder Speech disorders refer to conditions in which a child has problems creating or forming speech sounds needed to communicate with others. With early detection and intervention, many communication disorders can be identified, treated, reversed, or prevented. The first step is to stay aware and attuned to your child – as a parent, if you notice a behavior or get a feeling that something is off or unusual – pay attention, don’t doubt yourself. The fact is, early intervention can prevent or reverse a communication disorder. Get a correct diagnosis. A speech and language therapist is critical in the treatment of language disorders. They educate parents by helping them to identify problems early on. The therapist will spend one on one time with your child in language and therapy sessions. The therapist will also work with parents to help them include spoken language into daily activities and play.

Signs of a Speech and Language Disorder • Does not smile or interact with others (birth and older) • Does not babble (4-7 months) • Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7-12 months) • Does not follow or understand what you or other say (7 months-2 years) • Says only a few sounds, words, or gestures (12-18 months) • Says less than 50 words (2 years) when the average is 50 to 300 words • Words are not easily understood (18 months-2 years) • Does not combine or put words together to make sentences (1.5-3 years) • Has trouble playing and talking with other children (2-3 years) • Has trouble with early reading and writing skills (2.5-3 years) • Says p, b, m, h, and w incorrectly in words (1-2 years) • Says k, g, f, t, d, and n incorrectly in words (2-3 years) • Produces speech that is unclear (2-3 years) • Struggles to say sounds or words (3-4 years) 90 | Oh BABY!


Your Baby’s

Soon after birth, your doctor will briefly examine your infant’s eyes to rule out signs of serious neonatal eye problems. After that, you’ll watch for milestones or markers that will indicate your baby’s vision is progressing normally. The first few years of a child’s life are critical in the development of good vision. Interestingly, it takes several months for your child’s vision to fully develop. Nerve cells in their retina and brain are not developed and they don’t have the ability to focus on nearby objects. Don’t be alarmed – it just takes time. During the first 4 months your baby sees a blurred world, yet he will begin to follow moving objects with the eyes and will reach out for things – this is the time that hand-eye coordination begins to develop. Early in this time (at one month) your baby’s eyes are not sensitive to light, so you can leave lights on in the nursery and this will not disturb their sleep. At 4 to 6 months, as the baby begins moving she will develop eye/body coordination skills and will begin playing patty-cake or other similar games. At 6 to 8 months both eyes should focus equally and your child will mimic others, explore, and notice more details. A child should have his or her first eye exam between 6 and 12 months. Not surprisingly, an infant eye exam differs greatly from what the average person experiences (‘better 1 or better 2?’). By using different lights, lenses, shapes/ pictures, and techniques the doctor can determine if there are any vision issues present. After that first exam, if there are no concerns, it is recommended that your child have a yearly eye exam to track the growth and development

Vision

of your child’s vision system. Doctors will check to make sure your child can see well, have proper eye movements, depth perception, and eye coordination. These make a difference when it comes to reading and learning. At 6 to 8 months your baby will use both eyes to judge distances, will grasp items (throw items) with greater precision. Don’t be concerned if your infant’s eyes are beginning to change color as most babies are born with blue eyes because darker pigments in the iris aren’t completely developed at birth. Over time, dark pigment is produced in the iris and your child’s eyes may turn to brown, green, gray, or a mixture of colors. Watch for symptoms that may indicate a need for a professional – eye turning inward, outward, upward, or downward for long periods of time; favoring one eye over the other; bumping into objects on one side; red eyes or lids; excessive tearing; encrusted eyelids or frequent styes. A white or frosty pupil in photos can indicate a congenital cataract or other growth blocking the retina. In these cases, always call a professional to schedule an examination.

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Baby’s First Your baby’s primary teeth (baby teeth) are quite important. Decay and/or loss of these teeth can jeopardize the proper development of the permanent teeth. It is recommended that you take your child to the dentist for his first dental examination, cleaning, and topical fluoride treatment at his first birthday. For most babies, that first tooth starts coming in between 4 and 8 months. Girls tend to get teeth faster than boys. Occasionally, some newborns are born with teeth. These are usually extra and should be examined by a children’s dentist. The dentist may remove these teeth in order to prevent problems with feeding and damage to the newborn’s tongue. Babies get teeth at different rates. Baby teeth generally come in pairs, and as long as your baby starts to get teeth before 18 months, you probably don’t need to worry. When teeth come in, most babies experience pain and can be cranky and fussy. Common signs of teething include sore, tender, and swollen gums; excessive drool; loss of appetite; difficulty sleeping; and a low-grade fever. Babies may be clingy and chew on their fingers and toys. They may break out in a rash or their face, neck, and chest due to the excessive drool. When Teeth Come In: Central incisors – 6 to 8 months. Lateral incisors – 7 to 9 months. Cuspids – 16 to 18 months. First molars – 12 to 14 months. Second molars – 20 to 24 months. After your baby’s teeth begin to come in, you’ll need to take care of them. Use a piece of wet gauze to wipe them off or a toothbrush if necessary – do this twice per day. Don’t use toothpaste until they are older.

Tooth If your baby does not have teeth at 18 months, talk to your physician. There may be an underlying problem, such as hypopituitarism or hypothyroidism that is causing the delay and these need to be addressed. By the time they turn 4 years of age, your child should have a full mouth of baby teeth – 20 to be exact. As guides for permanent teeth, baby teeth are important and should be taken care of – brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist. Breast-Feeding and Bottle Feeding Whether to breast-feed or bottle feed is an important concern of the new mother. Consultation with your pediatrician will result in the decision that is best for you and your baby. If the bottle is used, the type of nipple will have no significant effect on your baby’s bite. However, after the eruption of the first tooth (4 to 8 months), allowing the infant to nurse from the breast or the bottle for extended periods of time can have destructive effects on the teeth. Most children will complete their nutritional requirements at mealtime. Children who continue to bottle feed while napping, sleeping, or in-between meals past 6 months of age, run the risk of developing extensive tooth decay. Even breast milk can cause infant tooth decay. The most damaging bottle contents are fruit juices like apple or grape, citrus juices like orange or lemon, and sweetened beverages. Carbonated drinks and sugar or syrup-sweetened water are also dangerous. Sleeping with a bottle should never be allowed to start. If the child must sleep with a bottle, then it should contain water only. If your child has been sleeping with a bottle or does have a daytime bottle habit, you should arrange for a pediatric dental examination as soon as hospital. Pacifiers It is recommended that the baby be weaned from the bottle or breast at about one year of age. If the baby still has a continued need to suck, a pacifier may be used. The most important consideration in selecting a pacifier is safety. It should be one with a large handle which will not separate. Thumbsucking Thumbsucking at an early age is very common and while continued thumbsucking can lead to deformation of the upper front part of the mouth, it is not advisable for parents to attempt to terminate the habit. Bribes and threats will do little to correct the habit and often enhance Continued on page 95


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Baby’s Tooth

Chart

Date of Eruption

Date of Eruption

Date of Eruption

Date of Eruption

B A

Date of Eruption

D

C

Date of Eruption

D

UPPER

UPPER

E

E

E D

LOWER C

B

A

A

Date of Eruption

E

LOWER

Date of Eruption

Date of Eruption

Date of Eruption

B

C

Date of Eruption

Date of Eruption

A

Date of Eruption

D

B

C

Date of Eruption

Date of Eruption

Date of Eruption

Date of Eruption

Date of Eruption

Date of Eruption

Date of Eruption

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B. Lateral Incisor

C. Cuspid

D. First Molar

E. Second Molar


the anxiety and guilt your child may have. Some children will discontinue thumbsucking by themselves, often when they start pre-school or kindergarten. For those who do not, most habits can be successfully corrected with the help of the pediatric dentist when, and only when, the child indicates a desire to stop. Teething The first tooth will usually erupt between the ages of 4 to 8 months. Teething can be a most disturbing time for new parents, but this is a normal process in the child’s development. Although often the subject of debate between physicians, pedodontists, and parents, there is some evidence to suggest that certain other findings, such as a rise in temperature, diarrhea, increased salivation/ drooling, rashes, and changes in the bowel habits, can occur in conjunction with teething. The use of teething rings, aspirin or Tylenol, and topical anesthetics or numbing agents can be helpful. If there is a doubt or concern do not hesitate to consult your pediatrician or family physician. Nutrition Children should have few problems with their teeth if they eat a well-balanced diet high in the major food groups (dairy, meats, breads and cereals, and fruits and vegetables), and low in sugars. All children will eat sweetened foods from time to time. The cavity causing effects of these sweetened foods can be reduced by the following: limit sweets to mealtime and avoid sweets for snacks. Encourage liquid sweets instead of sticky, retentive sweets. Group sweets together instead of spreading them out over the day. Remember, each time sweetened foods contact the bacteria (plaque) in our mouths, these bacteria produce tooth destroying acid for approximately 30 minutes. Keep acid products down by reducing the frequency of sugar intake.

Tooth Cleaning The best time to start routine cleaning of your baby’s mouth is shortly after birth. The gums should be gently wiped with a soft wet washcloth or gauze. This routine activity will get your baby adjusted to having his mouth touched by your fingers. When his first tooth erupts into his mouth, continue cleaning in the same manner. At about one year, it is recommended that your child be given his first toothbrush; it should be small with soft bristles. At this age, your child will not be able to adequately clean his own teeth and you will have to assist. By introducing the toothbrush at this early age, the child will develop a lifetime habit of oral hygiene. At about age 2 ½ , after the eruption of the second primary molars, flossing should be introduced. Parents will have to assume the responsibility of flossing until the age of 6 or 7. The toothpaste selected should be one with fluoride. Avoid brands which claim to ‘whiten’ or ‘brighten’ teeth. These are usually quite abrasive which can be damaging when used over an extended period of time. If a child younger than 3 years has a cavity or any dark suspicious spot on a tooth or suffers from trauma to his teeth, he should be taken to the pedodontist immediately. Good habits begin early…so do healthy smiles…

Fluoride Supplementation The intake of optimal amounts of fluoride is beneficial to developing permanent teeth. Fluoride actually becomes incorporated into the enamel of the developing tooth making it stronger and more resistant to future decay. Your pediatrician or pediatric dentist can prescribe these for you. Fluoride supplements are recommended from birth through about age 8. Topical fluorides are applied directly to the teeth. They are most effective soon after eruption of the teeth because the teeth are porous (not fully mineralized) when they first erupt. Complete mineralization actually takes several years and thus topical fluorides are recommended at least until adulthood.

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Your Baby

is Teething...

Teething occurs when your baby’s teeth erupt through the gums. It can be a trying time for parents because your baby is fussy, unsettled, and uncomfortable – and who wants that? Teething usually begins around 6 months of age. The teeth break through the gums one at a time over a period of months. The bottom teeth first, then the two middle ones, and then the ones along the side and back. Signs of teething vary from child to child, but in general your child will be irritable, they may bite or gnaw, they’ll drool, cough, rub their ears, face, and gums, they can develop a facial or chin rash, have a loss of appetite, have a low-grade fever, stay awake (as in not sleep well), and can develop cold-like symptoms.

What can you do for your teething child? •Give your child something to chew on, like a firm rubber teething ring or cold washcloth (chill the washcloth in the refrigerator). •Rub a clean finger gently but firmly over your baby’s sore gums to temporarily ease the pain. •Give your child a cold bottle of water •If your baby is old enough to eat solids, there may be some relief from cold foods like yogurt, applesauce, or pureed peaches. •Give your child a hard, unsweetened teething biscuit to gnaw on. •Ask your doctor if you should use a pain reliever like infant acetaminophen – your doctor will know the correct dosage for your child. •Topicals that are applied to the gums can also provide relief – ask your doctor before using.

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Caring for your child’s new teeth: •Once your baby’s teeth arrive, you’ll want to keep them clean. Gently wipe the gums with a clean, damp gauze once a day; make it a fun part of the baby’s bedtime routine. You can also use a soft brush after feeding. •Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle as it can lead to tooth decay.


Infants, Children, Children are naturally drawn to water and let’s face it, most of us have pools or hot tubs, live near lakes, rivers, or streams, and often vacation near the ocean. While you don’t necessarily want to know this fact – but perhaps you should: Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children 5 and under. Teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury; it is a necessity. You may want to wait until your baby can hold up her head on her own (usually by 4 or 5 months) before taking her swimming in a pool or lake. It is a good idea to take an infant/child CPR class. First things First: Teaching your child to feel comfortable in the water is important if you have a pool or are near any body of water. Early on, you want to introduce your child to the water – play in the pool together, join a MommyBaby class, hold your child as you bob around, splash, sing songs, and play gentle games together that make your child feel safe. Keep your baby in your arms at all times. Remember you’re still bonding with your infant and trust is key. You want a teacher whose skills are positive and not forceful (no distress for the child). Feeling comfortable leads to confidence and ultimately competence in the water. Floating: Once your child feels comfortable in the water, an instructor can teach a 6-12 month old to hold their breath in the water. In addition, your instructor will teach your child to roll from a face-down position to a face-up back float position, while staying relaxed – and until an adult can come to their rescue. Further training (1 to 6 years) can teach your child to flip on to their tummy to continue swimming to the steps, ladder, or parent. Your child will also master the ability to turn over on their back to breathe, then turn over again to continue their swim to safety. All of this will be taught in swim gear and finally, in their clothing.

and Swimming

Safety Tips and Rules: • Have an adult watch all water activities - always; • Make it a rule that your child must ask and have permission before entering the water area – any body of water; • Life jackets should be worn by children who cannot swim; • Enforce the no horseplay rules – no running on the pool deck or swimming area; • Always jump in feet first; • No diving unless an adult is present and watching and the water is deep; • If hosting a pool party, think about hiring a lifeguard whose only job is to watch the pool and those who enter the pool; • Don’t leave toys in or around the pool – an inquisitive child may want to reach that toy when you’re not looking; • Pools must be fully fenced and enclosed; • Make sure the drain in your pool or hot tub has an antientrapment cover or other drain safety system; • Have swim buddies; • No dunking – ever… • Bring your cell phone with you to the pool – don’t be on it – it’s for emergencies; • Be extra vigilant at the beach or a lake – a child’s swimming skills in a pool don’t necessarily translate to open water; • Always make your child wear a life jacket when boating or waterskiing – even if he can swim – everyone should wear life jackets; • Instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards – constant supervision is key; • If a child goes missing – check the pool first – time is most important – check the entire pool – bottom, surface, and surrounding area; • Keep rescue equipment by the pool. There’s simply no substitute for adult supervision when it comes to pool and water safety. But, teaching water safety early makes sure your child is familiar with the basics of safety, floating, and swimming. It’s true that even children who aren’t talking yet are able to understand a lot more than they can say. So having your child float and swim allows you and your child to be empowered – safety and survival.

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Vaccine

Tracker

Hepatitis B Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis Haemophilus Influenza Type B Inactivated Poliovirus Measles, Mumps, Rubella Varicella Meningococcal Pneumococcal Influenza Hepatitis A Rotavirus HPV

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yearly

11-12 yrs

4-6 yrs.

24 mos.

18 mos.

15 mos.

12 mos.

6 mos.

4 mos.

2 mos.

1 mo.

Vaccine

Birth

This immunization schedule is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If You’d like to try a modified schedule, speak with your pediatrician.


The

Vaccinations

Hepatitis B Caused when a virus attacks the liver causing serious infection that can lead to liver failure. The Hep B vaccine is given in a 3 dose series over an 18 month period starting at birth and is over 95% effective in prevening this disease. DTAP 5 doses are given between the ages of 2 months and six years. The vaccine given to protect from 3 potentially deadly diseases. Diptheria and Whooping cough are spread through cough/sneezing. Tetanus enters the body through an open would, cut, or scratch. The deadly effets of whooping cough are mostly seen in the infant population. It is recommended that caretakers of newborns be vaccinated for pertussis as well. HIB This vaccine is given to prevent infection caused by a bacteria known as Haemophilus Influenza B. This bacteria is responsible for diseases like meningitis and the highest infection rates is in unvaccinated children under the age of 5. This is a 3 vaccine series given between the ages of 2 and 6 months. IPV Polio is a disease caused by viruses and spread through contact with feces or through cough/sneeze. Previous to development of the Polio vaccine, annual epidemics often left thousands of people, mostly children, in braces, crutches, wheelchairs, and iron lungs. The vaccine is a four dose series given between the ages of 2 months and six years. Studies show the vaccine produces immunity 90% - 100% of the time. MMR Measles, Mumps, and Rubella are viruses that are easily spread through coughing and/or sneezing. The viruses cause rash, high fever, and swelling of the salivary glands which could affect a child’s swallowing ability. The vaccine is given as a 2 dose series between the ages of 12 months – 6 years. Pneumonia A lung disease that can infect the upper respiratory tract and can spread to the lungs, middle ear, or nervous system. The PCV vaccine is given as a 3 dose series and has been successful in preventing Pneumonia in approximately 8 of 10 vaccinated infants.

Influenza The Flu is a very contagious infectious respiratory disease. Influenza viruses infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Symptoms and complications can be serious and severe, especialy in the very young or old. Flu vaccine components are changed yearly as the virus changes – so it is important you get a vaccine yearly. Hep A A liver disease caused by a virus and is spread easily in areas with poor sanitation and water sources. Because of vaccination and our access to clean water, there has been a 90% decrease in Hep A cases in the US. HPV The leading cause of cervical cancer and the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US. This vaccine is given to both males and females in early adolescence to prevent the spread of this cancer causing STD.


1 Month

Checkup

You can expect your baby’s doctor to:

Weigh and measure your baby to make sure she’s growing at a healthy rate. Do a complete physical. Probably give your baby a hepatitis B shot. Recommend vitamin D drops for breastfed babies. Address any other concerns. How is your baby sleeping? What position does she sleep in?______________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ How often is your baby eating?________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ What are your baby’s bowel movements like?____________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does she quiet down, at least briefly, at the sound of your voice?___________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is your baby awake for longer periods of time?___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does she make soft cooing noises when content and alert?________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Have you noticed anything unusual about your baby’s eyes or the way she looks at things?_____________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is she a little fussier at the end of the day?_______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Are you giving your baby tummy time when she’s awake?__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does your baby hold her head up when she’s placed on her tummy?________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ How are you doing?__________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

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2 Month

Checkup

You can expect your baby’s doctor to:

Weigh and measure your baby to make sure she’s growing at a healthy rate. Do a complete physical. Probably give your baby a hepatitis B shot. Recommend vitamin D drops for breastfed babies. Address any other concerns. How is your baby sleeping? What position does she sleep in?______________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ How often is your baby eating?________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ What are your baby’s bowel movements like?____________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does she quiet down, at least briefly, at the sound of your voice?___________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is your baby awake for longer periods of time?___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does she make soft cooing noises when content and alert?________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Have you noticed anything unusual about your baby’s eyes or the way she looks at things?_____________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is she a little fussier at the end of the day?_______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Are you giving your baby tummy time when she’s awake?__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does your baby hold her head up when she’s placed on her tummy?________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ How are you doing?__________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

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4 Month

Checkup

You can expect your baby’s doctor to:

Weigh and measure your baby to make sure she’s growing at a healthy rate. Do a complete physical. Probably give your baby a hepatitis B shot. Recommend vitamin D drops for breastfed babies. Address any other concerns. How is your baby sleeping? What position does she sleep in?______________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ How often is your baby eating?________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ What are your baby’s bowel movements like?____________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does she quiet down, at least briefly, at the sound of your voice?___________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is your baby awake for longer periods of time?___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does she make soft cooing noises when content and alert?________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Have you noticed anything unusual about your baby’s eyes or the way she looks at things?_____________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is she a little fussier at the end of the day?_______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Are you giving your baby tummy time when she’s awake?__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does your baby hold her head up when she’s placed on her tummy?________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ How are you doing?__________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

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6 Month

Checkup

You can expect your baby’s doctor to:

Weigh and measure your baby to make sure she’s growing at a healthy rate. Do a complete physical. Probably give your baby a hepatitis B shot. Recommend vitamin D drops for breastfed babies. Address any other concerns. How is your baby sleeping? What position does she sleep in?______________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ How often is your baby eating?________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ What are your baby’s bowel movements like?____________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does she quiet down, at least briefly, at the sound of your voice?___________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is your baby awake for longer periods of time?___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does she make soft cooing noises when content and alert?________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Have you noticed anything unusual about your baby’s eyes or the way she looks at things?_____________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is she a little fussier at the end of the day?_______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Are you giving your baby tummy time when she’s awake?__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does your baby hold her head up when she’s placed on her tummy?________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ How are you doing?__________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

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9 Month

Checkup

You can expect your baby’s doctor to:

Weigh and measure your baby to make sure she’s growing at a healthy rate. Do a complete physical. Probably give your baby a hepatitis B shot. Recommend vitamin D drops for breastfed babies. Address any other concerns. How is your baby sleeping? What position does she sleep in?______________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ How often is your baby eating?________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ What are your baby’s bowel movements like?____________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does she quiet down, at least briefly, at the sound of your voice?___________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is your baby awake for longer periods of time?___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does she make soft cooing noises when content and alert?________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Have you noticed anything unusual about your baby’s eyes or the way she looks at things?_____________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is she a little fussier at the end of the day?_______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Are you giving your baby tummy time when she’s awake?__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does your baby hold her head up when she’s placed on her tummy?________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ How are you doing?__________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

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12 Month

Checkup

You can expect your baby’s doctor to:

Weigh and measure your baby to make sure she’s growing at a healthy rate. Do a complete physical. Probably give your baby a hepatitis B shot. Recommend vitamin D drops for breastfed babies. Address any other concerns. How is your baby sleeping? What position does she sleep in?______________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ How often is your baby eating?________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ What are your baby’s bowel movements like?____________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does she quiet down, at least briefly, at the sound of your voice?___________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is your baby awake for longer periods of time?___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does she make soft cooing noises when content and alert?________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Have you noticed anything unusual about your baby’s eyes or the way she looks at things?_____________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Is she a little fussier at the end of the day?_______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Are you giving your baby tummy time when she’s awake?__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Does your baby hold her head up when she’s placed on her tummy?________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ How are you doing?__________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Notes:______________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Tracking Your Baby… The First Month:

Developmental Milestones

•Can lift head momentarily •Turns head from side to side when lying on back •Hands stay clenched •Strong grasp reflex present •Looks and follows object moving in front of them in range of 45 degrees •Sees black and white patterns •Quiets when a voice is heard •Cries to express displeasure •Makes throaty sounds •Looks intently at parents when they talk to him/her

The Second Month: •Lifts head almost 45 degrees when lying on stomach •Head bobs forward when held in sitting position •Grasp reflex decreases •Follows dangling objects with eyes •Visually searches for sounds •Makes noises other than crying •Cries become distinctive (wet, hungry, etc.) •Vocalizes to familiar voices •Social smile demonstrated in response to various stimuli

Red flags: Each child develops at her own pace, but talk to your baby’s doctor if your 1-month-old: •Feeds slowly or doesn’t suck well •Doesn’t seem to focus her eyes or watch things moving nearby •Doesn’t react to bright lights •Seems especially stiff or floppy •Doesn’t respond to loud sounds

The Third Month: •Begins to bear partial weight on both legs when held in a standing position •Able to hold head up when sitting but still bobs forward •When lying on stomach can raise head and shoulders between 45 and 90 degrees •Bears weight on forearms •Grasp reflex absent •Holds objects but does not reach for them •Clutches own hands and pulls at blankets and clothes •Follows objects 180 degrees •Locates sound by turning head and looking in the same direction •Squeals, coos, babbles, and chuckles •“Talks” when spoken to •Recognizes faces, voices, and objects •Smiles when he/she sees familiar people, and engages in play with them •Shows awareness to strange situations

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Red flags

Each child develops at his own pace, but talk to your child’s doctor if your 3-month-old: •Can’t support his head well •Can’t grasp objects •Can’t focus on moving objects •Doesn’t smile •Doesn’t react to loud sounds •Ignores new faces •Seems upset by unfamiliar people or surroundings

The Fourth Month: •Drooling begins •Good head control •Sits with support •Bears some weight on legs when held upright •Raises head and chest off surface to a 90 degree angle •Rolls from back to side •Explores and plays with hands •Tries to reach for objects but overshoots •Grasps objects with both hands •Eye-hand coordination begins •Makes consonant sounds •Laughs •Enjoys being rocked, bounced or swung

The Fifth Month: •Signs of teething begin •Holds head up when sitting •Rolls from stomach to back •When lying on back puts feet to mouth •Voluntarily grasps and holds objects •Plays with toes •Takes objects directly to mouth •Watches objects that are dropped •Says “ah-goo” or similar vowel-consonant combinations •Smiles at mirror image •Gets upset if you take a toy away •Can tell family and strangers apart •Begins to discover parts of his/her body

The Sixth Month: •Chewing and biting occur •When on stomach, can lift chest and part of stomach off the surface, bearing weight on hands •Lifts head when pulled to a sitting position •Rolls from back to stomach •Bears majority of weight when being held in a standing position •Grasps and controls small objects •Holds bottle •Grabs feet and pulls to mouth


•Adjusts body to see an object •Turns head from side to side and then looks up or down •Prefers more complex visual stimuli •Says one syllable sounds like “ma”, “mu”, “da”, and “di” •Recognizes parents

Red flags: Each child develops at her own pace, but talk to your child’s doctor if your baby: •Seems very stiff or floppy •Can’t hold her head steady •Can’t sit on her own •Doesn’t respond to noises or smiles •Isn’t affectionate with those closest to her •Doesn’t reach for objects

The Seventh Month: •Sits without support, may lean forward on both hands •Bears full weight on feet •Bounces when held in standing position •Bears weight on one hand when lying on stomach •Transfers objects from one hand to another •Bangs objects on surfaces •Able to fixate on small objects •Responds to name •Awareness of depth and space begin •Has taste preferences •“Talks” when others are talking

•Comprehends the word “no” •Increased interest in pleasing parents •Puts arms in front of face to avoid having it washed

The Tenth Month: •Goes from stomach to sitting position •Sits by falling down •Recovers balance easily while sitting •Lifts one foot to take a step while standing •Comprehends “bye-bye” •Says “dada” or “mama” with meaning •Says one other word beside “mama” and “dada” (hi, bye, no, go) •Waves bye-bye •Object permanence begins to develop •Repeats actions that attract attention •Plays interactive games such a “pat-a-cake” •Enjoys being read to and follows pictures in books

The Eleventh Month: •Walks holding on to furniture or other objects •Places one object after another into a container •Reaches back to pick up an object when sitting •Explores objects more thoroughly •Able to manipulate objects out of tight fitting spaces •Rolls a ball when asked •Becomes excited when a task is mastered •Acts frustrated when restricted •Shakes head for “no”

Red flags:

The Twelfth Month:

•Seems very stiff or floppy •Can’t hold her head steady •Can’t sit on her own •Doesn’t respond to noises or smiles •Isn’t affectionate with those closest to her •Doesn’t reach for objects

•Walks with one hand held •May stand alone and attempt first steps alone •Sits down from standing position without help •Attempts to build two block tower but may fail •Turns pages in a book •Follows rapidly moving objects •Says three or more words other than “mama” or “dada” •Comprehends the meaning of several words •Repeats the same words over & over again •Imitates sounds, such as the sounds dogs and cats make •Recognizes objects by name •Understands simple verbal commands •Shows affection •Shows independence in familiar surroundings •Clings to parents in strange situation •Searches for object where it was last seen

The Eight Month: •Sits well without support •Bears weight on legs and may stand holding on to furniture •Adjusts posture to reach an object •Picks up objects using index, fourth, and fifth finger against thumb •Able to release objects •Pulls string to obtain object •Reaches for toys that are out of reach •Listens selectively to familiar words •Begins combining syllables like “mama” and “dada” but does not attach a meaning •Understands the word no (but does not always obey it)! •Dislikes having diaper changed and being dressed

The Ninth Month: •Begins crawling •Pulls up to standing position from sitting •Sits for a prolonged time (10minutes) •May develop a preference for use of one hand •Uses thumb and index finger to pick up objects •Responds to simple verbal commands

Red flags: •Doesn’t crawl •Seems to drag one side while he’s crawling for a month or more •Can’t stand with support •Doesn’t try to find objects you’ve hidden in front of him •Doesn’t say any words •Doesn’t use gestures, such as shaking his head “no” and pointing

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Baby’s First

Birthday DO schedule the birthday party for a time when your baby is less likely to be tired and cranky. If he/ she usually takes an early afternoon nap, then a late afternoon party is best.

DON’T invite too many people. A room full of strangers crowding around your little one can be overwhelming. Choose close friends and relatives to share this special day. DO have the party at home, if possible. This is the place your baby feels most secure. There will be a lot of activity that day that he/she doesn’t quite understand. So, it’s important for him/her to feel comfortable and safe in the midst of all the strange birthday festivities.

DO keep your eyes open for potential dangers. If a balloon pops, make sure you put it in the trash immediately, because it could become a choking hazard.

DON’T serve food that is challenging to eat. Finger foods are best for little ones. And adults like them too!

DO have a birthday cake or cupcakes. It is fun for everyone to watch your 1 year old eat his first birthday cake, and a great photo opportunity. Just watch out for your baby and the lit candle. Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography

Your baby is turning 1 and that’s worth celebrating! Of course, you want to have a first birthday party in honor of his special day. But how do you plan for such an important occasion? How do you make sure that your baby’s first birthday is a wonderful time for both you and him? These top twelve do’s and don’ts will point you in the right direction.

DO keep the birthday party simple. Your baby won’t really comprehend what all the fuss is about. This day is for you to enjoy and to celebrate the amazing child that has transformed your life. Just don’t overcomplicate anything this allows you to be free to relish every moment.

DON’T struggle over finding the perfect theme for the party. Your 1 year old won’t notice. Next year, he/she may be begging you for Cinderella, Elsa, Wonder Pets, Dora the Explorer, Thomas the Train theme, but this year you can do whatever makes sense for you. DO make the party short. An hour or so is enough excitement for a 1 year old. Any longer than 2 hours and he/she might go into celebration overload.

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Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography


Photo by Chaunva LeCompte Photography

DO consider invitations and favors that are personalized with your child’s photo. Most of your guests for this birthday party will be adults who have loved and supported you and your baby through the first year. Grandmothers, aunts, and other friends and loved ones will be thrilled with a keepsake featuring a picture or pictures of the birthday boy or girl.

DON’T forget to charge the camera batteries or take tons of photos. You may be busy and preoccupied with the celebration, but your 1 year old won’t remember the party, so you’ll want to make sure you document every moment – assign someone this task. A nice tip is to send out photo thank you notes after the party. DO create a first birthday memory book after the party. This is a great future gift you can give to your child. Take photos of the cake, decorations, guests, and of course, him/ her. You can put these photos in a photo album or make a scrapbook, complete with journaling your thoughts about his special day. Include a page where each guest writes something special to your 1 year old. Simplify, relax and enjoy this special day. Your baby’s first birthday party is a milestone that comes along only once in his/her life, so cherish every wonderful moment.

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Tracking Your Toddler and Child

The End of Infancy: Your child is 18 months old, it’s the end of infancy. In their second year, your child walks independently, drinks from a cup, uses 15 words, and can identify body parts. At 2 years, your child runs and jumps, is confident on his feet, kicks a ball, speaks in two-word sentences, continually increases their vocabulary, begins to understand the rules of grammar and syntax, follows simple instructions, and begins to play make-believe. At 3 years, your child climbs, speaks in multiword sentences, and sorts objects by color and shape. At 4 years, your child can converse in adult-like sentences, gets along with people outside the immediate family, draws circles and squares, and can ride a bike/trike. At 5 years, your child can tell their name and address, has a grasp of the rules of grammar and meaning, hops, skips, and jumps, gets dressed on their own, and counts a large number of objects.

As a parent, your role is to ask questions and answer his, talk about books you read together, teach letters and numbers, put feelings in to words. As your child speaks, make sure you rephrase if they use words incorrectly, teach your child body parts and familiar objects, foster his verbal needs by prompting him to ask for an item he wishes to use. Encourage him to feed himself with utensils and drink from a cup, play pretend, ask your child to sort and clean up after play. Get outside and explore, take walks, have conversations. Reinforce good behavior with attention and praise. Set rules and limits – follow through with consequences – be consistent. Give your child options, allow him to make choices. Be patient and positive.

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Each child will develop at their own pace watch for these Red Flags: • Not walking by 18 months • Doesn’t understand the use of familiar, everyday objects • Doesn’t have at least 6 words by 18 months • Isn’t speaking in 2-word sentences by 24 months • Doesn’t imitate words and actions • Doesn’t follow simple instructions • Seems to lose skills he previously had.


What Do My Parents Think Today?

Say it in a sentence... Say it in a word...

Year 1:______________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 2:______________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 3:______________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 4:______________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 5:______________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 6:______________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 7:______________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 8:______________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 9:______________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 10:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 11:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 12:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 13:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 14:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 15:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 16:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 17:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Year 18:____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Oh baby 2017 waxahachie final (1)  
Oh baby 2017 waxahachie final (1)