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How to keep your children safe online
Guest Posts

Guest Post-How To Keep Your Children Safe Online

This is a guest post written and sponsored by AnchorFree.

How to keep your children safe onlineYou Can’t Keep Your Children From The Internet

In today’s internet era, keeping your children off of the internet simply isn’t possible. Your children are going to be exposed to the internet by their friends, at school, and whenever they watch television and see a commercial for the latest smartphone app. Although it isn’t possible to shield your child from the internet, it is possible to make sure that your child gets the lessons in online safety that they deserve. Children aren’t born knowing how to navigate the web, and their are cyber bullies, online predators, identity thieves, and other types of threats that lurk in the shadows. Your job as a parent is to prepare your child to avoid these types of threats so that they can have a safe online experience. 

Do Your Children Know How To Stay Safe Online?

You must make sure that your children understand how to stay safe when they use the internet. The first step is to let your child know what types of sites are safe online and which types of sites are not. Your child should learn what kind of information is off-limits (such as phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, and social security numbers). Your child also should learn not to converse with strangers online, and if they feel uncomfortable, they should know to contact an adult that they trust, like a teacher or a family relative.

Identifying Online Threats

It is important that you learn to identify new online threats. Malicious software installed on websites and email phishing schemes are just a few types of the well-known online threats. But identity thieves, online predators, and cyber bullies are also threats. Make sure that your child knows to stay away from dangerous sites, and keep tabs on their general whereabouts online. Parents must learn about new risks, and teach their children how to stay safe from rising threats.

Helping Children Learn Their Way Around The Web

Parents around the world are using VPNs, or virtual private networks, in order to help their children stay safe. VPNs like Hotspot Shield work by creating a tunnel between a device connecting to the web and a server located somewhere else around the world. All of the data that travels through this tunnel is encrypted, meaning hackers, identity thieves, ISPs, and government actors are locked out. For children, that means they can access the web safely in public spaces without the fear of a hacker getting into their public Wi-Fi connection and stealing personal data.

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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. 

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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. 

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.  

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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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Guest Posts

GUEST POST- The Perfect Mom?

Guest Post by Chaos with CookiesThis is a guest post by Jennifer Pesano, the creator of Chaos with Cookies, a Lifestyle Blog for the Everyday Girl.

Let’s be real, the perfect mom sounds like some type of phantom that we are all chasing. It’s like Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, and if we could we would purchase that ticket, just like Veruca Salt’s Dad basically did for her…if only it were that easy right? 

While I don’t believe motherhood is simple, I do believe being the perfect mom is simple. The simple antidote to this phantom: LOVE. Gosh, that sounds super ridiculous when you say it aloud doesn’t it? Could that four letter word really be the answer to the super status we all want so badly to achieve? I think so; hear me out.

Have you ever heard from young adults or adults that they’ve felt abandoned from their parents, or that they have distanced themselves from their parents, because their parents loved them? No. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s because they weren’t loved enough, or they weren’t shown enough attention. 

Have you heard young adults or adults say they no longer speak to their parents because they used a dresser Join a community of kick ass moms!drawer as a bassinet instead of a dock-a-tot? Nope. Pretty sure my grandma still loves her mom just as much as I love my mom, and she was in a dresser drawer, while I was in a bassinet. 

What about because of a birthday party gone wrong, or a certain toy they never got during their childhood? (Well maybe I’ve complained about a few toys…but not enough to make me think any less of my mom). 

So then what is it exactly? It’s LOVE! Children remember the love! They remember the loud music, accompanied by dancing on the hardwood floors, in your socks, after you’ve pledged those floors, so you fly around like you’re ice skating. They remember playing Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and Rudolph, with you and their dog during Christmas! They remember falling asleep on the car ride home, only to be picked up and carried to bed. They remember the way you are there every time they fall down whether it be physically or personally. They remember the way you cried dropping them off for college, or on their wedding day. They remember the way you look at their new child…with LOVE in your eyes! 

All of these things are love. So the next time you beat yourself up about not being a perfect m om, or worrying if you should breastfeed or bottle feed, buy new Nike or second-hand, allow them to go to the party or not, just stop. Instead go to your child, no matter how old they are, say “I love you” and then do something fun with that love that they will remember and cherish for a lifetime. 

So that’s it momma’s, love is all it takes to be the perfect mom ❤️

Jennifer Pesano is the creator of Chaos with Cookies, a Lifestyle Blog for the Everyday Girl. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram for more!

If you want more amazing tips/strategies/humor delivered straight to you inbox, then sign up for my weekly newsletter! It’s for kick ass moms only and you get a free copy of my MUST HAVES for new(ish) moms.

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