4 tips for choosing the right car seat
(Family Features) As a parent, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing an infant car seat. The process of purchasing and correctly installing a car seat can often feel like an overwhelming task.
To help give parents that extra layer of confidence they need before baby’s first car ride home from the hospital, the safety experts at Car Seats for the Littles offer these tips for proper car seat installation and car seat use.
Keep Children 2 Years and Younger Rear-Facing
Ensure Correct Car Seat Installation
Properly Position Newborns in Car Seats
Test for Proper Installation and Security
One of the most cautious drives you’ll ever take is the first one home from the hospital, but with the right infant car seat, proper research and installation practice, you can feel more confident from the moment you leave the hospital and every drive after.SOURCE:
How does your hospital stack up for maternity care?
(BPT) - As you get closer to your delivery date, many decisions lie ahead, all centered around care, maternity leave and even decorating the baby’s room. But one question may rise to the top: Where will you give birth?
If you are like most expectant mothers, you will be giving birth in a hospital. In spite of the rising popularity of home births, most moms choose hospitals to have their babies. The most recent statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that fewer than 2 percent of babies born in the U.S. are born in a home setting.
When you’re looking at where to give birth, expectant parents should consider the following while choosing a hospital, according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).
Where does your doctor go? The place to begin is with your doctor. Most women go to the hospital where their physician has admitting privileges. So when you choose your doctor, the hospital where your baby will be born is tied into that. Discuss your birth plan in detail with your physician and make sure you both are at an understanding. If you have specific preferences, ask your doctor if they can be accommodated. For example, if this is not your first child, and you want to try a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), have that discussion in detail with your physician. And while doctors are on call after office hours, it’s always a possibility that your doctor cannot attend your birth. Know who would take the place of your doctor if those circumstances arise.
What’s the rate of C-section? If you're proceeding along in a healthy pregnancy, you may be planning a vaginal delivery. But a cesarean section is something to be aware of because one third of U.S. births are delivered by C-section, according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Health of America Report. It turns out that the city you live in can have a big impact on how you give birth. Some cities see rates as high as 50 percent, however, cities like Albuquerque, New Mexico, have rates as low as 22 percent. It’s important for patients to be aware of this because C-sections raise complications for both babies and mothers, and experts say these should be used only when medically necessary. In addition, vaginal births cost $4,000 less than surgical births.
How does your hospital stack up? The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, an ongoing concern in the medical community. The program is meant to identify facilities that offer maternity care safely and affordably. The maternity programs also must offer family centered care, such as promotion of breastfeeding.
If you’re interested in a list of hospitals that deliver quality maternity care, visit bcbs.com/healthcare-partners/blue-distinction-for-providers/ and select “maternity care.”
Which amenities are available at the hospital? Not all hospitals are alike, so take time to review what it has to offer. Some maternity centers offer birthing tubs and fold-out couches. Knowing whether the hospital has a newborn intensive care unit may be a consideration, depending on the circumstances of your delivery and birth. If the hospital does not have a neonatal intensive care unit, ask your physician how these newborns are evaluated and transferred to other facilities. If you are interested in breastfeeding, ask if lactation consultants are available and how and when you can seek assistance.
(BPT) - Most parents, or soon-to-be parents, are often aware of the obvious baby proofing checklist items: baby gates, electrical outlet covers, cabinet locks, sharp furniture corners, etc. However, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are a surprising number of "hidden" hazards around the home. These hazards, such as window cords, hide in plain sight and should be on everyone's list of items to baby proof.
Corded window coverings are a strangulation hazard as infants and young children can accidentally become entangled in the cords. CPSC, the window covering industry and consumer safety advocates all agree that only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords should be used in homes with young children. The window covering industry's Best for Kids(TM) certification program makes it easy for parents and caregivers to identify the window covering products that are best suited for homes with young children.
According to the CPSC, corded window coverings are one of the top five hidden hazards in American homes. The Window Covering Safety Council urges parents and caregivers to watch for these potential hazards around the home and offers the following tips:
In addition to these top five hazards, parents and care givers should also be aware of the following potential hazards in their homes:
Learn more about how you can make your window coverings safer for children by visiting the Window Covering Safety Council.
Expert advice for infant first foods
(BPT) - Your cooing, curious, incredibly cute baby is now 6 months old and you've got the go-ahead from your pediatrician to start solid foods. You both are excited to begin this new adventure, but when you head to the store you are suddenly confused by a sea of options.
Which foods are safe for your new little eater? Which offer the most nutrition? How do you know what is the best for your baby? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone.
In research conducted by ORC International and Stonyfield, at least one-third of parents admit to feeding confusion during baby’s first months, and just over half (53 percent) feel overwhelmed by the varying opinions of early childhood nutrition.
Pediatrician Dr. Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP and mother of three, sees many parents who are unsure about best first foods for infants. To help guide parents and caregivers, she offers five important pieces of advice.
Seek safe dairy options for babies under 12 months.
You might think it’s safer to avoid dairy products until infants are at least 12 months old. However, dairy is packed with essential nutrients (such as calcium and vitamin D) for growing bodies, and can be an important part of baby’s diet.
The good news is babies as young as 6 months can begin eating yogurt, even if they’re breastfeeding. Not only is it a healthy option for their little bodies, you’ll find infants love yogurt. Choose a brand made with organic whole milk, like Stonyfield YoBaby yogurt, the No. 1 Pediatrician Recommended yogurt for babies between 6 months and 2 years old among refrigerated yogurts. (Source: IMS Health ProVoice Survey, 12/01/15 - 09/30/16)
Expose baby to healthy foods early.
Introducing baby’s first solids is a stressful time for parents. To keep it simple, reference a list of trusted foundation foods to ensure your baby is receiving the proper nutrients. Remember to check with your pediatrician before feeding your baby any new food groups and modify as needed to accommodate any food allergies.
Some great foundation foods are eggs, prunes, avocados, fish, yogurt, cheese, nut butters, chicken, beans, lentils, berries, citrus fruits, green vegetables, whole grains and water. Mix and match these foods as your baby becomes more comfortable with solids.
Protect baby’s gut health.
Did you know gut health is the foundation for overall good health? To help protect your baby’s gut health, you want to ensure they’re getting enough probiotics. While naturally found in breast milk, probiotics are also found in yogurt.
Stonyfield recently added the probiotic BB-12 (registered trademark of Chr. Hansen) to its YoBaby Yogurt. BB-12(R) has been shown to have a digestive health benefit when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle by promoting beneficial gut bacteria and regular, soft stools.
Understand natural sugar vs. added sugar.
Sugar is receiving a lot of attention in the news recently and many parents are looking more closely at labels when grocery shopping. In doing so, it's important to understand the difference between naturally occurring sugar and added sugar.
Wholesome foods like milk, yogurt and fruit have naturally occurring sugars that are part of a healthy diet. Many yogurts come in both plain and flavored varieties, and if you’re looking to control the amount of sweetness, you can purchase unsweetened yogurt to which you can add your own mashed fruits.
Get adventurous with finger foods.
Don’t be afraid to put down the spoon and let your little one try feeding themselves with some nutritious finger foods. Not only will baby explore new flavors and textures, but it's an excellent way to practice fine-motor skills.
A simple and nutrient-packed first finger food is berries cut into small pieces. The soft berries are easy for babies to pick up and they feel gentle against their gums.
Introducing first foods to your baby doesn't have to be a confusing process. By working with your pediatrician and keeping this information close at hand, you'll be ready to expose baby to a whole new world of flavors.
(Family Features) There are endless exciting firsts in your baby’s life, from the first smile and laugh, to the first time he or she sits up or speaks. It can be beautiful and exhilarating, but also uncertain and messy.
Introducing solid foods is no different – new and a time for celebration – but you also know that your walls, floors and clothes may never look the same. These suggestions from pediatric health expert Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP can help you decide what foods to introduce to your little one, followed by tips from Clorox on how to remove those inevitable stains that are sure to follow.
The next step is discerning how to remove those inevitable avocado and berry stains that resulted from another first in your baby’s life – a solo food fight. First, scrape away the excess stain and rinse with cool water. Next, apply a stain solution such as Clorox 2 Stain Remover and Color Booster to the stain and rub in. After 10 minutes, wash in hot water using detergent and more stain remover.
Some baby food stains are tough to remove; learn more at Clorox.com about how you can keep cherished baby clothes looking new – perhaps for future hand-me-downs.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Natural Baby Magazine
Blogging about Natural Childbirth, Natural Baby Bums, Natural Baby Feeding, Natural Baby Health, and Natural Baby Learning all in the first year of life.