Baby Tips

When it comes to Baby, we've been there, done that, now serving 106 tips in 15 categories ranging from Baby Bedding and Cribs to Sleep Time and Bath Time for Baby. Need more advice? Ask a Life Coach or take our Life Coach Directory for a spin.



Potty Training Incentives

Potty training can be a challenge when the child is not cooperative nor enthusiastic about potty training. However, there are ways to entice and encourage your child into successful potty training. Offering your child an appropriate incentive is a positive option for potty training. Potty training incentives can be material or non-material.

Material incentives include gifts and small items the child can have as a reward for potty training. These material items can be offered in the form of a treasure or reward box where the child can select an item after each successful potty visit. Parents should select appropriate and inexpensive gifts such as small story books, coloring books, little toys and even dollar store items.

Immaterial incentives can also be offered as a potty training reward. Immaterial incentives can include additional privileges, desserts, playtime and activities that are appealing and exciting to the child.

Potty training does not need to be a challenge or a hated step in your child’s upbringing. By using smart incentives and rewards, parents can entice their child to potty train without hassle and hardship.

   

What are the norms for breastfeeding?

By Jessica B

Since breastfeeding has only begun to increase in frequency over the past several years, misconceptions about what is normal still run rampant, even among some in the medical profession. Many women do not have mothers or grandmothers who breastfed to help them through the tough times or to offer advice, so here is some to get you started.

Is it supposed to hurt?
No, breastfeeding should not hurt. It is possible for your nipples to become dry from the use, especially in the early days, which can be a little painful. If you have that problem, try some lanolin cream on the nipple. If you are having persistent, intense pain while baby is eating looking into physical difficulties such as tongue tie, infections, or improper latch. A lactation consultant or a contact from your La Lache League should be able to help you.

My baby just ate! Why does he want to eat again?
Babies, especially newborns, have a tendency to cluster feed. This means they may pick a time of day, often the evening, where they want to eat nonstop. They can nurse continually for hours or nurse on and off every half hour. This does not mean you do not have adequate supply, it s completely normal. Remember also that breast milk is far easier on little tummies and is digested easier. Babies fed with human milk will need to eat more frequently than those fed with artificial milk. Frequent feeding is normal, but do not worry, it will only last a few weeks. During this time ask for some help, put your feet up, turn on the TV, and bond with your baby. Days will come quicker than you realize when it will be hard to get them to sit still and cuddle this long. This frequent feeding is also essential to establishing your milk supply, see below.

How does supply work?
The first forty days of breastfeeding are critical to establishing a good milk supply. Once this period has passed, it can be very difficult to increase the supply again. Feeding on demand, around the clock, lets the baby tell your body how much milk it will need. Milk is produced by supply and demand. When your milk first comes in, your body produces an abundance, which is why you can get so engorged (if you baby is a frequent nurser from day one and you have no issues, you may not notice this as much). As the baby eats, it is telling you body how much to continue making. The emptier the breast is, the quicker your body will make milk. As it becomes fuller, production will slow down. That is why it is important not to wait until you feel ‘full’ to nurse. You will actually make more milk if you let the baby nurse when he wants.

Scheduling feedings this young will not work. It will disrupt the natural relationship between your body and your baby. It can greatly reduce supply later on. You should also not give your baby anything aside from your milk to maintain your supply. He does not even need water for the first six months.

Is it possible that I do not have enough milk?
The possibility of you not having enough milk, assuming you are breastfeeding on demand, is extremely slim. A very small percentage of women do not produce adequate milk. Most women have completely normal lactation capabilities but run into one of the following situations:
- They assume inadequate milk because the baby wants to eat frequently. If that is the case, see the question above. Frequent eating is very normal.
- Their breasts feel ‘empty’. Even if the breasts do not feel full, the milk is there. When the baby is eating frequently, they do not give them a chance to fully ‘fill up’. This is ok, in fact it is great! Even if the breast feels ‘deflated’, let the baby latch back on and he will be able to get more milk.
- They have tried to schedule feedings. This can be very damaging to milk supply. If this is your problem, speak with a La Leche League consultant for help to see if it is possible to salvage the supply.

If your baby is pooping regularly and gaining weight, you are doing fantastic!

Is it bad that I am nursing my baby to sleep?
Many people fear they are helping their babies develop 'bad habits', this is not true. Nursing is a great way to get babies to fall asleep! Think about it. The baby is warm, relaxed, comfortable, cuddled - is that not how we all like to fall asleep? If, as the baby gets older, you want to encourage the baby to fall asleep more on their own, focus on recreating the warmth and comfort they associate with nursing to help them fall asleep on their own.

   

Making Your Own Baby Food

By Jessica B

An increasing number of people are choosing to make their own baby food. Whether it is because they want their babies to adapt more to their personal diets, because they have concerns about the idea of feeding their baby food that is most likely months old, or because they think it is ridiculous to spend $1 per jar of food, it is a fad quickly catching on.

A batch of food to last for four or more meals can be made in less than ten minutes. It can be an excellent motivation to get the rest of your family to eat vegetables and fruits as well.

Making baby food is not difficult. You will need a steamer, water, and a blender. Some people choose to get specialized baby blenders for accurate servings, but if you make large enough batches a regular blender should be fine.

Start by choosing the food you want to introduce. If it is a hard food, such as carrots, steam them until they are extremely soft. Put them in the blender with a little water to make the mixture soft. The amount of water you need depends on how much water is naturally in the food and the age of your baby. When your baby is very young, you want to add a little more water to make it easier for the baby to swallow. As the baby gets older, adding less water can make it thicker and help get Baby ready for soft finger foods.

Once you have introduced a variety of foods to your baby, feel free to start making combinations such as carrots and peas or strawberries and banana. It can be a fun way to introduce your baby to your favorite foods and get them used to the flavors and textures they will eat as they grow up.

   

Transitioning to Table Food

Sometime between baby's 9th and 12th months she will start eating chunkier foods with more texture. At this time she can eat certain table foods, but they still need to be cut up into small pieces and be soft enough. Unless the baby has all her molars in, she won't be able to chew harder foods or big pieces yet. A good way to transition her to table foods is to give her soft foods you eat such as pasta, potatoes, well cooked vegetables and rice along with small pieces of fish, ground meat or easy to chew meat cuts.

Another good idea is to mix table foods with home made or jarred baby food. You can add a few cut up pieces of the fish you had for dinner, for example, to vegetable baby food and mix it up. You can do the same with different types of food, mixing cut up food with soft baby food gradually making the mix chunkier as your baby grows more teeth and learns how to chew well.

   

How Much Milk to Feed a Baby

For new moms it can be a little overwhelming to know how much is enough when it comes to feeding their new infants. Of course, the hospital and the baby's doctor will let you know how and when to feed the baby, but as babies are all different the amounts can vary greatly from one baby to the next.

For breastfeeding moms, the best way is to let the baby eat until he stops or falls asleep. Follow this trend and as long as the baby is thriving and growing normally then you are doing fine. During the first few months of life the doctor will check the baby quite frequently - every few weeks - so that if the baby is not gaining the right amount of weight the doctor will discuss what can be done to get more nutrition into the baby.

For formula feeding moms, it is easier to know how much the baby is eating since you can measure it in the bottles. Just follow the guidelines that are set for your baby's age and let the baby fine tune it by letting her drink until she is full.

You can also find lots of feeding advice information in baby magazines, baby online sites, pamphlets provided by different baby care companies and your doctor. So don't dispair and you will surely find a medium between what is suggested and what your baby's own appetite.

   

Choosing Baby Wipes

There are many brands and types of baby wipes in the market today. Each baby's skin can react differently to certain wipes, so it's important to try a few so you know which is best for the little one.

Some babies will be fine with any type of wipe, while others may get irritated with scented ones or with wipes that contain certain ingredients. The best wipes to try first are the unscented ones that have aloe, this are usually the most mild.

If you prefer wipes that have a soft scent, there are a few that are still mild and contain smells such as lavender, which also claim to help calm babies.

The best way to see which wipes will work best is to go and get a small package of 3 or 4 different wipes. Then, when you find the one that suits you and baby, buy them in bulk at places such as Diapers.com or wholesale warehouses such as BJ's and Costco. They are much cheaper when bought this way and you will soon realize that you can never have enough wipes!

   
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