Three Tips to Tackle Teething Troubles

Babe's teething troubles causing adult temper tantrums? We get it. Baby whisperer, Jen Lovallo, MSN, APRN, CPNP, has some tips to put you both at ease. 

1. Think cold. Cold foods, cold washcloths, and cold toys can all help soothe your little one's teething woes. 


•    Cold  Foods: If you’ve already introduced solids, try cold foods like applesauce, yogurt, or your own homemade puree. Try a frozen fruit puree: there’s nothing like your kid’s first popsicle (especially if brings a peaceful break from all that wailing). 

•    Cold Washcloths: Keep a couple damp washcloths rolled up in the fridge or freezer. When the teething troubles start, let your little one gnaw away on the cloth, or use it gently apply pressure to his gums. (Tip: try soaking the washcloth in chamomile tea before chilling. Chamomile can naturally calm fussiness and help your little one catch some zzz’s.)

•    Cold Toys: Teething toys are everywhere. Our advice: keep it simple and stick to the classics. This silicone teether can be chilled in the fridge or freezer, and is BPA-, phthalate-, PVC- and latex-free. 

Sick of thinking the freezer looks like a toy box? Meet Sophie. She’s made of 100% natural rubber, phthalate and BPA free, and soft on baby’s gums and teeth. She’s been around for 50+ years, so she must be doing something right. 


2. Pressure. Press a clean finger, or a chilled spoon or washcloth into your little guy’s gums. The gentle pressure can alleviate teething pains.


3. Pain medications. If nothing seems to be working, your babe might need some medical relief. Always ask your pediatric primary care provider for the appropriate acetaminophen or ibuprofen dosage (remember: no ibuprofen before 6 months old).

 

Milk It: 6 Expert Tips to Increase Milk Supply

Any new mom knows what you mean when you use the term “supply”. We talked to one of New York City’s most sought-out lactation consultants, Leigh Anne O'Connor, IBCLC, about how to increase your breast milk supply. Below are 6 tips on how to get that supply established and keep it going strong.

1. One in, One out "The number one way to make milk is to remove it from your breasts. In most cases your baby is best at removing milk. The next best thing is to use a quality breast pump to remove your milk.  Word to the wise-a hospital grade pump almost always makes significantly more milk than a personal-use pump.”

2. What’s your frequency, Kenneth? “It is important to nurse frequently in the early days to establish your supply.  This early foundation is important to lay down a solid supply. Once you establish your milk supply it is easier to bring it back up if it begins to diminish.”

3. Hydrate “If you get dehydrated you may make less milk. Listen to your body – a lactating woman will feel thirsty before dehydration sets in!

 So drink up!  Keep a glass of water near by.”

4. Call in the reinforcements! If your supply is low there are galactogogues (say that three times fast) you can take to build up your supply. These are foods, herbs and drugs that can enhance your milk production. If this is the case it is important to work with a professional who is familiar with the right dosage and to evaluate your baby’s nursing and/or your pumping.  Some herbal galactagogues are malunggay, shatavari, Goat’s rue, blessed thistle. A popular and effective prescription is domperidone. 

5. Eat your Wheaties Well, actually, eat your oatmeal.  Oatmeal is a great food to make milk.  This may be tied to the release of oxytocin in the brain when oatmeal is consumed,  which stimulates milk production.

6. Good night moon, goodnight bra. “Don’t wear a bra to sleep.  It can compress the breast tissue and inhibit milk production or cause plugged ducts. During the day make sure your bra is not too tight for the same reasons.”

 

Papa's POV: The 5 Most Unexpected Things About Fatherhood

Lately, we've been talking a lot about expectations--of babies, breasts, bellies, birth--you name it. The MOM POV: We've got it squared away. Of course, this led us to ask: what about the papa pov?

We teamed up with Life of Dad cofounder and dad extraordinaire, Patrick Quinn, for a little help, Thankfully, he, along with some of his fabulous father friends, gave us the scoop.

(our question)

What are the five most unexpected things you've discovered on the highway to fatherhood? 

(their answers)

Disclaimer: Be prepared for a couple tears and some good laughs. NSFW status: Questionable.

Tim, A Geek Daddy Blog

1) Time begins moving in fast forward once you become a parent. Take time to slow down and cherish the moments; they fly by before you know it.

2) Your kids mirror your tone & temperament; being calm benefits both you and them.

3) Food allergies are a serious and dangerous problem that can be life threatening for kids; do some research and have an action plan ready when you start introducing your children to real food. Don't get caught off guard if trouble arises--not having anyone in your family with food allergies doesn't mean that your kids won't have them.

4) These days, what kids learn in kindergarten is much more advanced then when I was a kid. They need to know the alphabet and numbers before they get there.  Invest time in making sure they're up to speed with a good preschool learning regimen so they know the basics and don't start out behind as they begin their school years.

5) That first poop is one of the most disgusting things you'll ever experience in your life, but changing that diaper will be a lifelong memory.

Jeff, Out with the Kids:

1) Despite the genetic logicalness of it all, I didn't expect to actually be one day conversing with a four-foot-tall female version of myself.

2) I didn't expect to suddenly have a purpose, and that said purpose would unfold and evolve into equal parts advocate, champion, hand to hold, friend, and totalitarian dictator.

3) I never expected to find other dads I'd want to share stories with, and spend time with, with and without our kids.

4) I didn't expect in a million years that being a dad would come to define me, and that I'd be 100% happy about that.

5) Finally, in those early years, I didn't know there'd be so many damn dishes to do--all those breast pump pieces and bottles and nipples and everything!!

Chris, Dad of Divas:

1) I didn't know I would lose as much sleep as I did, especially as a new father, or that I could survive as a living zombie for as long as I did.

2) I knew that I would love my daughters, but not as deeply as I know now.

3) You constantly question your actions as a parent.

4) You will be tested, and tested, and tested yet again by your kids.

5) Getting on the floor and just playing with your child can be the most rewarding part of the day!

Beau, Lunchbox Dad:

1. Being covered in more bodily fluids than I could ever imagine.

2. The volume of toys to pick up and organize on a daily basis.

3. How much I would have to listen to the Frozen soundtrack in the car.

4. How much I can actually function on so little sleep.

5. How none of the above matters after looking into my baby's eyes and realizing what a blessing they are to me on a daily basis!

Chris, DadNCharge

1. Contrary to popular belief, babies, while fragile, are very resilient. Your lack of sleep will not be. You will NEVER recover those missed hours. The bags under my eyes are proof. One day they showed up and never went away.

2. Breastfeeding boobs are amazing but you will never, NEVER touch them. Admire them from afar while they are there, but know this: they aren't for you.

3. Don't force memories with your child, the bonding will happen. I learned this the hard way trying to make my son's experience with me special. Long story short, I had to be rescued by a speedboat. 

4. Your kids need to know you are human, and that you too, make mistakes. No one is perfect, though they may see you like that early in their lives. Make sure they find out that no one is infallible.

5. I never knew I would laugh or cry this much in my life. I've had tears of joy and sadness with all three of my kids for various reasons, but the laughter will always stick with me. 

Carl, Big Cheese Dad: 

1. Baby-making sex can be both beautifully satisfying and terribly frightening at the same time. 

2. I loved interacting with my baby before she was born by singing, talking and praying. She would often move more at the sound of my voice. 

3. Because I did the above, my baby knew my voice once she arrived. It blew me away when she whipped her head around at the sound of my voice moments after she was born and placed in my wife's arms. 

4. Each of my six children's births have been incredibly emotional experiences for me as a father. Bring tissues accordingly.  

5. Be prepared to play second fiddle in your wife's eyes. She will still love you but having a child changes your relationship, not necessarily in a bad way. 

Goldilocks' Guide to Feeding

New to life with a little one? They eat, a lot. All the time, really. Almost. You're probably a little envious...so are we.

Too much? Too little? Just right? 

Okay, Goldilocks. We've got you covered.  Here's our quick guide to feeding and hunger cues, put together by our resident baby lover, Jen Lovallo, MSN, APRN, CPNP.

HUNGER CUES
•    Rooting, sucking, hand movements
•    Hand-to-mouth movements
•    Lip smacking
•    Smiling and cooing towards caregiver during feeding
•    Fast/excited arm and leg movements
•    Opening mouth  and moving towards close objects
•    Crying (late sign)

“I’M FULL!” CUES
•    Turning away from nipple, bottle, or spoon
•    Refusing nipple, bottle, or spoon
•    Slowing pace of eating
•    Becoming fussy during feeding
•    Falling asleep during feeding
•    Spitting up

FREQUENCY
(Remember: It’s most important to base feeding off recognizing cues, not numbers.)
•    Breastfed infants: 8-12 times in 24 hours (a lot!)
•    Formula-fed infants: about 2 ounces every 2-3 hours
•    Birth to 2 months old: about 20 ounces/day, range: 16-24 ounces/day
•    2 months and up: 4-6 ounces per feeding, about 31 ounces/day, range: 26 to 36 ounces 

 

 

SLEEP: THE BASICS

You'd like some. Any. We know.

Let's face it. You've heard endless opinions about sleep, from the when and where, to a dozen differing methods of how to 'train' your little one to do it. You already have enough things preventing your shut-eye; worrying about sleep shouldn't be one of them.

Here are a few things to remember:

1. Babies don't need to be 'trained' to sleep. Sleep is a deeply natural process. It's something even the tiniest humans are programmed to do from the start.

2. Healthy sleep habits are something we develop over time. You can certainly help your baby develop her own through establishing a routine and calming measures...just remember everything worth learning takes time. There's no insta-fix, boot camp, or one-size-fits-all solution that'll make your little girl the sleep champion of the baby universe. Be patient and figure out what works best for you both.

3. Keep in mind, the ultimate goal is to help her learn how to self-soothe. No doubt, there will be some wailing nights when all you want to do is go in there and pick her up right now. It's hard. Really hard. Just remember: you're both learning. She just might cry more than you through the process (or maybe not...and that's okay, too). Either way, you'll get through it. We promise. We'll even help supply the tissues.

4. Always put your baby to sleep on her back. 'Back to sleep' reduces the risk of SIDS.  More on sleep safety coming soon. 

5. Infants can sleep up to 18 hours a day, divided between morning and night. From 3 to 12 months, babies need about 14 hours a day, split between a long stretch at night, and 2-3 afternoon naps.

6. (And for you) Sleep. Do it whenever you can. Remember, the dishes can wait. And, don't be afraid to ask for help. After all, that's why we're all here at preconceive. We're in this together. 

 

 

 

SWADDLING 101: THE QUICK & EASY ON THE BABY BURRITO

A little baby burrito! How cute! 

You think: That's sweet, truly. You clearly haven't met my child. He hasn't stopped wiggling since the moment he came dancing out of the womb. There's absolutely no way that's happening. 

We think: Amen! We've been there. The mere idea of said tiny human holding still for ten seconds sounds like a thing of beauty. Here's how to make it happen (and why we do it): 

THE QUICK AND EASY HOW-TO

1. Lay a large blanket on the floor or a flat surface. Fold one corner over to make a large triangle flap, like the top of an envelope. 

2. Lay the head (the baby's, not yours. Yes, we know. It's tempting) at the top of the fold. 

3. Holding wiggle-monster in place, bring one corner of the blanket over the top, keeping the arm tucked alongside. Tuck the corner under baby's body. 

4. Fold the bottom corner up, leaving a little room for the feet to do the macarena or whatever. 

5. Holding baby in place, bring the last corner up across the body and tuck underneath. Tada! Congratulations, you've just made your first baby burrito. 

WHY WE DO IT

You know that feeling when you're walking to work in subzero temperatures and all you want to do is run back home, change into flannel pajamas, and dive under the covers? So does your baby: your womb was his flannel PJ's. So, help a little guy out. Bundle that little burrito and he'll feel safe, secure, and comfy, and he'll probably sleep a little better (and longer). Cheers to that.