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Kids cold and flu season tips from a pediatrician!
Baby, Parenting Tips, Toddler

Kids Cold and Flu Season Tips-From a Pediatrician!

Kids cold and flu season tips from a pediatrician!Am I the only one who feels like I have to re-Google anything and everything having to do with sick kids once cold and flu season starts? As soon as I sense the first sniffle or cough I’m brushing up on what meds are safe to take for each kid and when to know if a fever is a high fever or not. Even then, I always have a slight hesitation when I make any medical-related decisions with my kids. 

And I know I’m not alone, so earlier this fall I had pediatrician Stephanie Dekom as a guest speaker in my private Facebook group to chat with me and all my mammas about cold and flu season and how to deal with all of the grossness and uncertainty that comes with it. 

Stephanie addresses a lot of the common questions we all have as well as a few questions from the moms in my group so check out the video below for some amazing info!

And follow Dr. Dekom on Instagram because she is offering up great advice on all those tricky questions you have! You can ask her questions anytime and she is such an amazing resource to have in your corner.

And if you are looking for a new thermometer, check out my review of the TempTraq wearable thermometer! 

How To Avoid Flat Spots
Baby, Parenting Tips

What’s Up with My Baby’s Weird Shaped Head and How Do I Fix It?

I’m just going to say it…sometimes babies are born with some funky noggins. Whether it’s because of their positioning in the womb or the way they were birthed, sometimes a baby’s head comes out more alien-like than you would expect. The good news is it’s totally normal and should correct itself over time.

How To Avoid Flat Spots On Baby's HeadHowever, there’s always a concern for something a bit more serious, called positional plagiocephaly, to occur in some babies. This term refers to the flat spots that develop on the heads of some babies due to inactivity. This inactivity could be from the baby not being active enough or that the baby may be restricted in it’s movements more than is recommended.

One reason a baby may not be as active as it should could be due to a lack of muscle development in the womb. This is very common for multiples or those babies who felt a bit squished in a smaller womb. Another reason a flat spot may develop is the child’s preference to prefer a certain head direction, called infant Torticollis. You may notice signs of Torticollis if your child tips their head in one direction, prefers to look at you over the same shoulder instead of turning their head to follow you, prefers one breast over the other, or gets frustrated when unable to turn their head completely.

Another typical reason for flat spots to develop is the overuse of baby holding devices. It’s so easy to fall in to a routine as parents, ESPECIALLY if you find something that your child actually likes sitting/sleeping/existing in for more than five minutes. I mean, moms need a hot shower every now and then. BUT, sometimes we end up relying on these devices more than is recommended which can lead to those flat spots to develop.

For example, car seats should really just be used in the car. I mean, a quick Target run is one thing, but if you know you will be strolling outside at the park or an event, consider baby wearing to take the pressure off of the back of their head and allow that skull to shape properly.

Being a mom is hard AF

Here are some more tips to help avoid flat spots:

  1. Tummy time-You’ve probably heard of this one, as well as the general disdain most babies have for it. But allowing a few minutes of unrestricted movements on their tummy will do wonders to strengthen muscles and counter-act flat spots. A good recommendation I came across is to try and do just a couple of minutes of tummy time after each diaper change. That way you are getting enough time in without the tears and frustrations that longer sessions will have. 
  2. Change up the direction you have baby on the changing table. Those habits are hard to break, especially if you get in to a diaper changing groove, but babies love to look at mom and dad when getting their diaper changed. So adjusting their positioning will force babies to turn that head in both directions on a regular basis. 
  3. Speaking of habits, try to change of the positioning of how you are holding baby. If you find yourself favoring one cradle arm over the other, try changing it up.
  4. Change up the direction you lay your child in when they nap or sleep in their crib. Again, they will likely affix to something interesting on the wall or ceiling and simply changing their sleep direction will encourage head movements. 

Are you wondering if your child might have a flat spot? Here’s a great post that goes over a really simple way to measure flat spots at home. But if you are still unsure, check with your doctor. And the sooner the better because treatment can be as easy as adjusting some lifestyle changes like those tips mentioned above. But if you wait too long, you may end up having to be fitted for a helmet that helps reshape baby’s head. So if you feel something is off, ask your doctor. And be your child’s advocate if your doctor takes the let’s wait and see approach. Keep close watch and if you feel things are not improving even after you’ve made changes at home, ask your doctor again to take another look.

One thing to remember, DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP over this. Flat spots can develop without you noticing because it’s not like you are in the habit of studying your child’s dome from all angles every day. You are doing great mama!

If you’re reading this than I’m sure you already know…but being a mom is hard AF! I’m trying to make it a little easier by creating a kick ass community of moms where I bring in expert speakers to give you the knowledge you need to keep your head above water. Come check it out!

27 tips about labor and delivery
Baby, Guest Posts, Parenting Tips

Guest Post: 27 Tips About Labor and Delivery That Every Expecting Mom Should Know

Today on the blog is a guest post by Tanya Khubchandani Vatsa of Mommy Diaries. She is a mom of two who made a whirlwind move to India right after having her first baby. I’ve been following Tanya on Instagram for a while now and she has one of the most in-depth blogs on parenting I’ve seen! She has a post about everything. For real, search it and you will find it! Enjoy!

 

27 tips about labor and delivery every mom should know!While pregnant, I found myself caught up in arguments with my husband about my how he envisioned my labor process. He saw it as a short and quick process wherein you go to the hospital when your water breaks, women fuss and sweat while guests are waiting outside, and the baby is out so quick that there’s even a risk of the delivery happening in the car. One of the times he was ranting about how he’s scared I will deliver in the car, I had to sit him down and go through what was in his head and realized that all of his ideas came from the television! Quite contrary to what was going on in my head. 

Ever since I found out how babies were born, the thought of me being in that position scared the living daylights out of me. However, while I was pregnant, I tried not to think about it for the majority of my pregnancy and focused on what was going on with my baby in the present. By the time I was closer I just so ready to be done. I had over time though formed an idea of what I wanted my labor to be like, who I wanted in the room, whether I wanted drugs or not, whether I wanted my husband to cut the cord and so forth. 

These are all individual decisions and I’m not going to tell you what’s right or wrong, as there is no right or wrong! However, I will give you some tips on things you should know – no matter what your decisions are, or will be.

(Note:  this will not be helpful to anyone who has an elective c-section coming up, but if you plan to try the normal labor route, please go ahead and continue reading.) 

 

27 Tips About Labor and Delivery that Every Expecting Mom Should Know: 

1. Ignore everything you have seen on TV (unless you make a habit of watching birthing videos). Seriously. 

2. Yes, the first baby tends to be late, and girls (because they are, on average, smaller, do too) but there is actually no way to tell if your going to be early, or late. It’s very circumstantial and depends on your pregnancy.  All you do know is that there is only a 9 percent chance that your baby will be born on its due date.

3. Even dilation and effacement doesn’t give you much of an indication as you can be dilating a couple centimeters for weeks before going into labor. 

4. Nor does your mucus plug. It’s a discharge that happens before you go into labor (thought it can also happen during labor). It can happen weeks before or minutes before. 

5. Effacement is how short your cervix is (in percentage, at 100 percent, your cervix is completely shortened), while dilation is how open your cervix is (in centimeters). 

6. You push when you’re at 10 centimeters dilated and contractions cause dilation. Join this judgement-free community of kick ass mammas!

7. There are three stages of labor – Early labor, active labor (defined as contractions every 5 minutes or more, and dilation of 4 cms or more), and pushing (when you are dialated and contractions are 2 centimeters apart.)

8. Be your own advocate or appoint one (probably easier if you’re screaming more than speaking).  Make sure they know your wishes and needs.

9. Make sure you know your own wishes and needs first! Would you like music, do you want to see yourself crowning in a mirror, would you like to be able to move around….the list is endless! Download a simple birth plan (from any website) and go through the questions. You don’t have to write it all down, just know what you will be comfortable with.

10. Then, decide how much of that you can let go, as it will never be as ideal as it is in your head. 

11. Keep in mind that you have to be flexible, and let your advocate know what you would like to be flexible about. I was admitted to the hospital because I felt that my son wasn’t moving as much and it turned out that his heart rate was fluctuating (he stabilized but the docs decided to watch me and if needed, get him out.) However, my plan of moving around during labor and not being stuck to a bed and monitors went totally out of the window. 

12.  When admitted, tell your nurse what you would like. Don’t give her an endless list or overwhelm her, just pick three things that are important to you, and let her know what they are. (Mine were – cord blood banking, an epidural and wanting both my husband and mom in the room. Keep in mind that I was two weeks early and my mom was on a flight from India to the U.S and I went into labor while she was unreachable!)

13. Trust your nurse. She is your best resource and has done this more times than you can imagine, and seen more than you (or atleast I) would want to know about. 

14. Pain and stress slows down the labor process and increases the chance that you will need a c-section. Try and keep as calm as possible and take things with you that will help like music, maybe certain aromas/ fragrances. You can’t use candles in a hospital (oxygen + flame = fire!!!), but you can take certain oils or scents. 

15. If you can, move around during labor. Lying on your back in a bed is not the most comfortable position. Holding onto a railing, bending over, squatting, even poop position or having your husband rub your back, may be more comfortable to you. 

16. Stay at home as long as possible. Given the time of day estimate how far you are from the hospital and try not to go in until you are closer to delivering. The rule of thumb is when your Contractions are 5  minutes apart, lasting for one full minute and have been in this state for an hour. 

17. Only in 10 percent of deliveries does your water break before your contractions start. It usually the other way around. If your water breaks, go to the hospital. They will not be able to do too many medical exams (internal) but will need to keep an eye on how quickly your labor is progressing as your child is now susceptible to infections. 

18. You actually can have a glass of wine while laboring at home. (As per medical professionals, not just me. This was all in my plan that went out the window.) 

19. I know there’s all this buzz about natural labor, but don’t feel forced, pressured or stressed to do anything you are not comfortable with. There’s no shame in wanting an epidural, or even other drugs during induction or while your labor is starting. You have grown a baby, you are already a hero. (Again, the more you stress or are in pain, the longer your labor and more likely you are to need an induction or c section due to the effect of stress hormones on the labor process.) 

20. I don’t believe in making your decisions for you but I can’t resist adding this – Home delivery, to me, is for pizza, not for babies. Get to a hospital, your child’s life is in question, as is your own, why would you not want to have licensed medical professionals around? 

21. Epidurals are given in the spine. I was more terrified about this than the entire process because I knew I was going to get one. But honestly, it’s given when you need it, and at that point the prick in your spine is really not as painful as the contractions. (My epidural was given by a resident because I was desperate, it was given 6 times because and I didn’t care much about the pain from the injection because I was so excited to finally be getting some relief about 18 hours of labor). No you will not be groggy it does not put you to sleep but it does help you get some rest while your body prepares for labor. And no, it will not make your baby sleepy, all newborns are sleepy at birth. 

22. Group B strep is a type of bacteria that lives in your birth canal. Most women do not have it but some do, just like yeast. You will be tested a few weeks before delivery, and if you are positive you will be given iv-penicillin (or another antibiotic if you are penicillin allergic) every 4 hours during labor, to protect your child. Take the meds for your baby but don’t stress about a positive diagnosis, and don’t google the crazy list of signs either. You will just get scared and you don’t need that right now. 

Grab your copy of my MUST HAVVES for new(ish) moms

23. Do you believe in insurance? Cord blood banking is just that, it’s an insurance policy for your baby and actually, your entire family, against any potential issues your child or relative or sibling can have in the future. If you can afford it do it. All you have to do is send the umbilical cord and placenta (the nurses will do it for you entirely), which would otherwise be medical waste anyway. (Note, in some hospitals you can donate it if you are not banking it.) 

24. Delayed cord clamping is all the rage nowadays. But while it does increase the iron your baby has in their blood at birth it also increases your baby’s odds of getting jaundice as all that iron is hard on the baby’s liver. You can always do a minute clamp and not wait for the umbilical cord to be completely dead, as that is a healthy medium (and will leave your cord bankable.) 

25. Even if you do end up with a c-section, insist on skin to skin as soon as you are able. It calms down your baby immediately, it helps you bond, it helps you nurse, it’s been shown to be better for your baby’s health in the short and long term, and it helps them recognize you! 

26. I was terrified about the recovery and had a lot of stitches, I didn’t have an episiotomy (when the doctor has to cut, as that is no longer common practice  in the US but is practiced in most places), but I did tear. I must say, the doctors and nurses gave me great tips and meds (baby safe), and it was not as bad as I expected.

27. Breathe, breathe, breathe… Or don’t! I practiced breathing while holding cubes of ice for a minute at a time.. And yet, when the time comes it’s the last thing you want to do (unless you have superhero concentration) or be told to do. But until you get there… Breathe!!!! It will be there, and will be over before you know it. You will be left cuddling your bundle of happiness (and desperate to sleep). 

 

Crazy Skills Your Baby Learns While in the Womb
Baby, Guest Posts, Parenting Tips

Guest Post-Surprising Skills Your Baby Learns in the Womb

Marie Louise MaternityToday on the blog is a guest post by Marie Louise, a senior midwife in the U.K. At the age of 21 Marie was one of the youngest midwifes ever in the U.K.! Now, with almost a decade of experience, Marie shares her knowledge and expertise over on Marie Louise Maternity. She has also created an eco-friendly changing bag filled with all the necessities a new mom needs. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook for some amazing pregnancy tips and advice!

Early on in my Midwifery training, I was surprised to learn just how rich a learning environment your womb provides for your baby throughout pregnancy. Your baby’s health and wellbeing throughout life is crucially affected during your pregnancy. Your baby begins to learn about the outside world even before they are born. Even in the womb they are already being influenced by you and the particular world you live in.

As early as 16 weeks, your baby will learn the sound of your voice and is able to recognise this before anybody else’s voice.Want to know what your baby is learning while they are still in the womb? It's amazing! Other sounds need to go through your abdominal muscles, tissue and the amniotic fluid and will probably sound muted or muffled. Your voice and sound vibrations in general, are easier to hear due to the close proximity. And because your baby is with you all the time he/she will hear your voice a lot. Once your baby is born he/she will not only recognise, but prefer the sound of your voice over anyone else’s.

Credible experiments conducted confirm this by noting babies sucking motions. Babies will suck slower when they are interested in something and suck quickly if they are bored or uninterested and research showed new-borns show most interest in their mother’s voice. In 2010 a study illustrated that your baby will cry in your native language to communicate more effectively. French babies cry on a rising note and German babies cry on a falling note which imitates the language. From birth your baby will be communicating specifically with you and learning how to communicate in your native language. 

It doesn’t stop there, by 32 weeks your baby’s taste buds are fully developed and the flavours of what you eat find their way into the amniotic fluid which is swallowed by your baby. Research shows that babies up to 6 months prefer these tastes outside the womb. Your baby is being taught by you what is safe and good to eat and the culture your baby will be joining through food. 

Grab your copy of my MUST HAVVES for new(ish) moms

Your 9 month long process of moulding and shaping your baby ready for life outside the womb is complex. The daily tasks, food you eat, drinks you consume, air you breathe, chemicals you are exposed to and even the emotions you feel are shared in some way with your baby. Your baby treats these exposures as information and 

Join this judgement-free community of kick ass mammas!he/she process’ it. Your diet and stress levels provide important clues to your baby in preparation for life outside the womb. They tweak your baby’s brain and other organs giving us as humans the ability to thrive in anarray of environments from deserts to Iceland. Mother nature knows what she’s doing and so does your incredible body. 

Learning is one of life’s most essential activities and it begins during your pregnancy. You are the best teacher, you are the first teacher. Don’t forget it!

And since you are preparing yourself for the craziness of motherhood, let me make it just a little bit easier for you. I’ve put together the MUST HAVES for every new(ish) mom. One of them saved my sanity during the newborn years. 

Baby, Parenting Tips

5 Breastfeeding Tips for Working Moms

Heading back to work after having a baby? These 5 breastfeeding tips for working moms will help!Returning to work after having a baby isn’t easy. The decision to go back may be weighing heavily on you. Or you may be counting down the days until you have some adult interaction again and hot lunch to enjoy. No matter how you may feel about the transition, if you are breastfeeding it can be a challenge.

That black bag containing your tit torture device (ok, breast pump) will be attached to your hip for the foreseeable future. And there’s a lot that goes in to being a breastfeeding working mom. It takes dedication, grace, and some luck to manage it.

Here are 5 breastfeeding tips for working moms to help you out!
 

  1. Know your rights
    It may be a good idea to have a discussion with your employer about your rights as a breastfeeding mom before you leave to have your baby. The Break Time For Nursing Mothers law, passed in 2010, requires U.S. employers to provide a private place (that is not a bathroom) for a mother to pump breast milk during the day, for one year after the child’s birth. The law also requires providing moms with reasonable pumping time, recognizing that each mom pumps at a different pace and times may vary. The law does not require these breaks to be paid unless you are utilizing any paid breaks you already had during your day. This law covers nonexempt (hourly) employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
     
    Currently, salaried employees are not covered under this law but the Supporting Working Moms Act is hoping to expand the coverage. Your individual state may also have laws that cover you if you are a salaried employee. It’s always good to know your rights before coming back so everyone is on the same page and you feel comfortable pumping at work.
  2. Location, Location, Location
    As they say, location is everything. If you can, become familiar with the area you will be pumping in whenJoin this judgement-free community of kick ass mammas!
    you return to work. The type of room that employers dedicate to breastfeeding moms vary greatly. Some are amazing and pay special attention to the needs of working moms by providing a serene getaway. Others are pretty much a closet. Some places will have sinks readily available to wash your pumping parts out, others won’t. Some will have super comfy chairs perfect for pumping. Others won’t. Some will have fridges to store your milk. Other’s won’t.Getting to know the space you will be pumping in will help you figure out what you need to bring with you to be comfortable and efficient with your pumping sessions.
     
  3. Meeting reminder: Pump, Pump, Pump it up
    Can we just agree that numero uno on your list of things to avoid as a breastfeeding mom is engorged ta-tas? Nothing is more painful than the pulsing heat of rage that your boobs emit when you miss a feeding or pumping session. To avoid the pain (and tears) set a calendar reminder at the right intervals so you remember to pump. Once you get back in the swing of work duties you may forget that morning pumping session and then pay the price in the afternoon. Do yourself a favor and set a reminder! 
  4. Double bag it
    You’ve heard the term “liquid gold” in reference to pumped milk, right? That’s because you’ve worked your ASS off to express that boob juice and you don’t want to see a single drop go to waste. Here are some ways to ensure every bit of your hard work sees the bottom of your tiny human’s belly:
     
    Whether you store your expressed milk in bottles or bags while at work, ALWAYS put them in an extra ziploc bag during the day. No matter how well you seal the bottle or bag, inevitably you will get home one day and find that the breast milk spilled in your cooler. And you will cry. And moms everywhere will hear your tears and share your pain. Double bagging will ensure you have a back up plan.
     
    If you freeze your expressed milk, store them in smaller quantities. This way, when you thaw them you will be sure that your child drinks all of it and you won’t end up wasting any during a feeding.
     
    Bring spare pumping parts to store in your desk at work. The last thing you need is to see your pumping reminder pop up and realize you forgot to bring the clean parts of your pump back in to your tote. Engorged boobs commence!
  5. Have boobs, will travel 
    Depending on the type of job you have, you may be required to travel while you are still breastfeeding. This presents a whole new set of challenges. One is finding a clean place to pump on the go. Airports are starting to implement dedicated pumping locations but they aren’t all quite there yet.Mamava is on a mission to help breastfeeding mamas on the go But one company is on a mission to give breastfeeding moms on the go more support.
     
    Mamava is an incredible company that has created freestanding lactation suites that can be placed in high traffic areas. Moms can take advantage of these suites while on the go at airports, convention centers, large events, universities, zoos, museums, community centers and more! 
     
    They have an app you can download that shows all of their suite locations to see if one is near where you will be. You can also unlock the suite right from your phone! These pods come equipped with an AC and USB power outlet so not only can you power your pump but you can charge your phone too! So if you are traveling for work, or are just out an about with your family and you need to make a breastfeeding or pumping stop, find your nearest Mamava! And if your employer’s version of a private pumping room totally sucks, tell them about buying a Mamava suite!

These tips will help transition you to a successful pumping campaign so your little one can keep benefitting from the awesome sauce nature has provided. It doesn’t matter if you pump for one year, or one day, you are a bad ass mom for taking on the pumping-at-work challenge! 

 

Pumping Must Haves for Working MomsIf you want to know about all the gear you will need while pumping at work, check out my guide to pumping at work where I share those MUST HAVES. It can be overwhelming to figure out what to shove in your tote each day so I’m breaking it down for you!

 

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What you really need to pack in your hospital bag
Baby, Parenting Tips

What You REALLY Need to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Not sure what to pack? Here's what you REALLY need to pack in your hospital bagIf you are a soon-to-be-mamma then you are probably wondering what the hell to pack in your hospital bag. Having a baby is no vacation, but there are some comforts of home you may want to bring with you. I remember scrolling through Pinterest and seeing these lists that were a mile long and thinking that seemed a little unrealistic. 

I’m pretty sure rolling in with two large pieces of luggage plus a carry-on would quickly put me in the high-maintenance mom club. Not how I wanted to start things off with my nurses who I wanted by my side from the get-go (I even brought them cookies!). For my first kid I overpacked slightly and for my second I had it down to a science. 

I want to share with you the 15 items you REALLY need to pack in your hospital bag so you don’t feel overwhelmed by those ‘ultimate checklists’ that have 50 items included. 

  1. Robe(s)-Hospital rooms are notorious for running hot and cold. So bring a robe that is comfy and opens easily in the front to help with the temperature changes. I would bring two because you may bleed through the first one. Yup, having a baby is awesome.
  2. Socks-Some like the hospital socks they give you, others not so much. 
  3. Nursing tanks OR nursing bra-You don’t need both. You are only there for a short time. So which ever one you are more comfortable in, roll with that. 
  4. Comfy pants/shorts-Bring some bottoms that are easy on and easy off. Lightweight and flow is what you are after here.
  5. Change-You never know if you may need some spare change for snacks or parking. Bring a ziplock bag with some quarters just in case.
  6. Phone/iPad/tablet/other-Anything you need to keep yourself entertained and to let others know when your bundle of joy arrives.
  7. Electronics Charger- Dead electronics are useless. Bring those chargers!Join this judgement-free community of kick ass mammas!
  8. Boppy-A nursing pillow is really helpful because you are recovering from a major health event. You want to be as comfortable as possible while holding and nursing your baby.
  9. Easy shoes-Bring flip flops or slippers. You may have some kankle action going on postpartum so you don’t want to try and squeeze your sausages in to normal shoes. 
  10. 2 outfits for baby-Don’t go overboard. You aren’t there for very long and a ton of your time with your baby will be spent skin to skin or bundled up in a blanket. Have a few outfits set aside and be done with it. All the other stuff for baby can stay home.
  11. Your own pillow-Catching some zzzzzs will be super important after having your baby. Being as comfortable as possible is key and bringing your own pillow will go a long way.
  12. Comfy going home outfit for you-If your weather allows, rock a maxi dress to head out. Otherwise set aside something comfy for you to head home in.
  13. Toiletries-This includes your makeup/brush/toothbrush/toothpaste/shampoo/dry shampoo/deoderant/hair tie/lip balm.
  14. Car seat-This may be a no-brainer but you would be surprised at how many new parents forget to bring the car seat!
  15. Snacks-Vending machines suck, so pack a few snack items to get you through the labor.

BONUS ITEM: Treats for the nurses go a long way. They love a little pick me up so bringing them something unexpected is a nice thing to do. Don’t go crazy, but cookies or sweet treats will start your stay off right. A little bribery never hurt anyone! Plus, they deserve it after putting up with the crazy lady during labor. 

Grab your copy of my MUST HAVVES for new(ish) moms

Here are some items that you don’t need to bring with you.

  1. Underwear-ok ladies, if I’m the first to drop this bomb on you I’m sorry. But you will not be leaving the hospital in your own cute undies. You’ll be leaving in mesh netting granny panties complete with a massive pad. Yup, you’ll basically be in an adult diaper when you roll out of the hospital. In fact, you should stock up on as many pairs of the mesh undies as you can grab while in the hospital. They are awesome. Unsightly, but awesome.
  2. Diapers/wipes/pacifiers-The hospital will provide you plenty of diapers for your little one. No need to bring your own.
  3. Breast pump-Your milk will not have come in enough to start pumping yet. And the hospital may provide one for you anyway! Check with your hospital to see.

Alright ladies, what did I leave off? What are some of your must haves that didn’t make the cut??

And since you are preparing yourself for the craziness of motherhood, let me make it just a little bit easier for you. I’ve put together the MUST HAVES for every new(ish) mom. One of them saved my sanity during the newborn years. 

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5 Tips to Transition Your Baby Beyond Breastfeeding by Pediatrician Stephanie Dekom
Baby, Guest Posts, Parenting Tips

5 Tips for Transitioning Your Baby Beyond Breastfeeding

Today on the blog pediatrician Stephanie Dekom of @mommyhotline is sharing her tips for transitioning your baby from the breast.

5 Tips to Transition Your Baby Beyond Breastfeeding from a pediatrician!One question that often comes up in the office is the idea of transitioning baby from the breast. To begin, I want to make it clear—mommy decides when she is ready to wean her baby from the breast. The timing of this transition will be different for each mother and her child, and that is perfectly alright.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast feeding until six months of age, and, ideally, continuation for a year and beyond depending on maternal wishes. Any period of breast-feeding is useful; the milk is not only incredibly nutritious, but functions in some ways like a medication. By six months, most babies are developmentally coordinated enough to begin eating solid foods. 

Here are 5 tips for transitioning your baby beyond breastfeeding:

  • Start the introduction of a sippy cup for drinking at about 6 months of age. Plan to have baby weaned from the bottle to a regular open lid cup by 12 to 14 months.  Drinking from a bottle beyond this age will affect tooth development and positioning.  
  • Your baby should not have water until six months of age.  However, even beyond six months of age and up to one year, water should be used to supplement your infant’s hydration only during hot weather.  Water is nutrition-less, and your baby needs to be taking in calories that are essential to growth and development.  Join a judgement-free community of kick ass moms!
  • You can introduce your baby to cow’s milk after his or her first birthday.  Cow’s milk prior to the first birthday may lead to the development of milk protein allergy.  Some moms want to use soy milk or goat’s milk, which are acceptable alternatives, but mommies should be aware that goat’s milk has minimal vitamin B12 and soy milk must be fortified with vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin A.  
  • I want to touch on fruit juice. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises no fruit juice before age one. My professional opinion regarding fruit juices is that they should be avoided by all age groups. They are calorically dense with carbohydrates and sugars and provide little nutritional value. I would much prefer my pediatric patients (and their mommies) eat fruit and have a separate liquid for hydration.  
  • Finally, the transition to solid food means your baby also has teeth. It is very important to start wiping or brushing baby’s teeth in the morning and night. Good oral hygiene starts very early, and cavities can begin to form as soon as teeth break through the gums.  

Parenthood can be daunting.  Your life changes in a flash.  Suddenly, you are responsible for another life—a life you cherish, in many ways, more than your own.  The challenges of parenthood can seem overwhelming.  As a pediatrician, I understand that and want to help make the process easier.  

Grab your copy of my MUST HAVVES for new(ish) moms

That’s why I started my Instagram account, @mommyhotline.  My goal is to create an online resource for parents.  I will be posting a tip or two a day regarding general pediatric care.  Additionally, I hope to grow followers and eventually engage and take questions.  My aim is not only to provide general pediatric knowledge, but to also address those burning questions you have that you are too afraid to ask in the office.

Guest Post from Pediatrician Stephanie DekomStephanie Dekom, MD is a board-certified pediatrician located in Los Angeles.  She studied in Washington, DC at The George Washington University School of Medicine.  During medical school, Stephanie took a one year leave of absence after she won the title of Miss District of Columbia 2010, and subsequently competed in the Miss America Pageant.  After obtaining her medical degree in 2013, she subsequently went on to train in General Pediatrics at UCLA.  She is currently a fellow at Los Angeles County & University of Southern California medical center and The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles when she is further subspecializing in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. 

Being a new(ish) mom is hard AF, but I’m going to make it a little bit easier for you! Grab your copy of my MUST HAVES that will save your sanity! (one item I still use every day!)

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How I Got my Babies to Sleep Through The Night
Baby, Parenting Tips

How I Got My Babies to Sleep Through The Night

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. What the hell does that mean? It means that if you click one of the product links below and purchase something, I am eligible for compensation. Carry on.

Before you start reading this post, I want to make a few things absolutely clear. I AM NOT A BABY SLEEP EXPERT. The tips I’m dishing out will not work for everyone and every baby. Because we are all different. We have different priorities, different extenuating circumstances, different health considerations and different parenting styles. But, if even just some of my tips help you and your baby get some much needed sleep then it was worth it! Good luck mamas!
Get Your Baby To Sleep Through the NightWhen I was pregnant I kept hearing similar advice along the lines of ‘sleep now, because when the baby comes you won’t get any!’. And after the millionth time of hearing that my eyes glazed over and I started to tune it out. I didn’t think it could be THAT bad. I mean, anyone who has ever had a kid has made it through to the other side eventually, right?

And then I had my first baby and I instantly understood. The term ‘Mombie’ is probably the most accurate description of what my state of mind was in from the day each of my kids were born til the day they started sleeping through the night. You are in mom-mode 24/7, but the lack of sleep makes you more zombie than human. 

I remember with my first thinking that my body would surely give out on me at some point. And I had some amazing support from my husband and family to boot, but even with their help, it was only a few days in as a mom and I was already looking forward to the day my baby would sleep through the night.

As most new moms do, I read up on what this new phase of my life was going to be all about. And one of the books that caught my attention was Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. I enjoyed this book because it gave me a view into a version of parenting that was, dare I say, not the typical American way of smothering children. Maybe it was the millennial in me that wants to raise my children to be everything our stereotypes say we are (but we really aren’t). But French parenting really made sense.  Continue Reading