The Breastfeeding Mother’s Diet
By Erika Landau, M.D., and Abigail Brenner, M.D.,

As in pregnancy, a breastfeeding mother’s diet should be healthy and balanced. There is simply no need to “eat for two” (or more). The nursing mother needs an extra 500 calories a day, so this is definitely not the time to diet. Good nutrition will result in breast milk that will help the baby grow well. The mother should continue taking prenatal vitamins, because these nutrients will pass to the baby.

While you’re breastfeeding, it is advised not to eat raw fish, raw meat, deli meat, or unpasteurized dairy products. Some fish contain high amounts of methyl mercury. Steer clear of swordfish, shark, king mackerel, or tilefish. Tuna is okay (not solid albacore), as is shrimp, salmon (wild, if possible), or catfish once or twice a week.

Baby Steps: For daily updates on the safety of fish, visit www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish.

Everything the mother eats or drinks goes through the breast milk. Therefore, if the baby seems physically uncomfortable, it may be caused by something that the mother ate the day before. Eliminating the potentially upsetting food for a week usually takes care of it, then you may restart it after that, watching again for any discomfort. Every newborn is different and will react uniquely to different foods or spices.

Breast milk contains many different substances: lactose, milk fat, proteins, minerals, antiinflammatory substances, enzymes that aid in the baby’s digestion, and immunoglobulins that protect the baby against some infections. However, it is lower in fluoride as well as in vitamins D and K.

Although breastfeeding is considered the best nutrition for an infant, breast milk unfortunately doesn’t provide enough vitamin D-a vitamin essential for the development of strong bones and fighting a disease called rickets. If you’re breastfeeding, you can start giving vitamin D in the first month. In the United States, formulas have enough vitamin D added.

The sun helps the body make vitamin D naturally. But because of the risks of being in the sun (skin cancer), most of us use sunscreen. The sunscreen prevents vitamin D from being made in the body. Moreover, it’s not recommended for young infants to be out in direct sun.

All breastfed babies should be given vitamin D, which comes in the form of a solution and is given with a dropper directly into the baby’s mouth. Try to give it between feedings, just in case the baby doesn’t like it and spits it up. It won’t interfere with the rest of the feedings. Make sure you follow the instructions. It’s not a prescription vitamin. Your doctor will tell you when to change the vitamin as the baby grows.

Definition: Rickets is a disease of the bones when they aren’t mineralized and become soft. As a result, bones can easily break, or serious malformations can result. It happens because there is not enough vitamin D, calcium, and phosphate in the body. This is either because of poor diet (for example, breastfed babies who don’t get vitamin D, or because of certain diseases such as kidney and liver diseases, and celiac disease, among others). There are still many countries, unfortunately, where rickets is common.

If the mother is on any medication, she may continue taking it, in most cases. Always ask your obstetrician or pediatrician before starting or stopping a new medication. Smoking or drug use should be stopped while breastfeeding. Alcohol in moderation, such as one or two alcoholic drinks per week (with a lower alcohol level) may not be harmful. It takes 30-90 minutes for the alcohol level to peak and up to 13-16 hours to be eliminated completely. The stronger the alcohol level, the more time it takes to clear.

The breastfeeding mother needs to eat well and keep well hydrated with lots of water.

The above is an excerpt from the book The Essential Guide to Baby’s First Year by Erika Landau, M.D., and Abigail Brenner, M.D. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2011 Erika Landau, M.D., and Abigail Brenner, M.D., authors of The Essential Guide to Baby’s First Year.

Planet-friendly and practical, these 5 new baby must-haves for your newborn sweetheart are “Mom’s” latest favorites for outfitting a nursery.

Green Babies®
Just born! Green Babies™ body care products, including Baby Me Shampoo & Wash, Energizing Bubble Bath, Calming Bubble Bath, Smooth Me Detangler and Lotion Potion Moisturizer have now entered the world of fabulous eco-friendly care products for little ones. The new body care line is plant and fruit derived, vegan, hypo-allergenic and tear-free. Plus, everything smells delightful – leaving your baby smelling oh-so-sweet! Developed in the spirit that every baby is beautiful and deserves the best, safest and most irritant-free products that won’t break the budget, the products do not contain synthetic fragrances, dyes, sulfates, parabens or phthalates. The products are available at Whole Foods Markets throughout the Northeast, select specialty retail stores and online at www.greenbabies.com.

Delta Eco-Collection
Organize your child’s things in planet-friendly style! This unique nursery storage collection will help get rid of mommy guilt by helping the environment…and organizing the closets!

The Eco-Collection is the debut of Delta’s new storage/organization collection called S.O.S. (Store. Organize. Style). This eco-conscious collection uses 100% recycled cardboard and non-toxic inks, and is cute to boot! The 20 piece starter kit (available in pink, blue or green) retails for $40 and includes hangers, dividers, storage boxes and a hanging organizer. A true eco-mommy’s dream! Available at Wal-mart, making it a budget-conscious choice, as well.

Green to Grow®
Just the milk please; hold the chemicals! Green to Grow’s® range of BPA-free baby bottles includes bottles made from good, old fashioned glass and from PES plastic – a premium grade resin that has a denser molecular structure than other BPA-free plastics. PES outperforms other plastics because it is incredibly durable, heat resistant, and does not break down with repeated sterilization. With adorable designs on their bottles, sippy cups and stackables, this line is sure to be a family favorite!

Plus, Green to Grow® recently introduced Mellow™, which feature colic-relief nipples that are designed with an air vent built directly into the base of the nipple, allowing air to circulate into the bottle as baby feeds, equalizing pressure inside the bottle, and making it easier for baby to drink. With Mellow™, parents spend less time cleaning, assembling, (and even losing!) the many small pieces needed with other anti-colic systems, and more time loving and feeding their baby. The Mellow™ line is compatible with all Green to Grow® bottles for ease of use. Available online at www.greentogrow.com.

NurturMe

Bye-bye to heavy jars weighing down the diaper bag – hello to NurturMe! Convenient, healthy, and portable, NurturMe is the first and only certified-organic, all-natural, gluten-free baby food made from nutrient-rich, quick-dried fruits and vegetables. By quick-drying, rather than cooking, its ingredients, NurturMe preserves the vital nutrients and phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables, making it one of the most natural and nutritious baby foods available.

Each pouch of NurturMe may be mixed with breast milk, whole milk, formula or water in any amount or combination, enabling feedings to be customized completely to baby and mother’s needs. Designed for children from the age of four months to four years, NurturMe may also be sprinkled into grains, homemade purees, yogurts, apple sauce and macaroni & cheese to give them a delicious and nutritious boost. Available in four wholesome, baby-favorite flavors—Plump Peas, Scrumptious Squash, Crisp Apples and Hearty Sweet Potatoes, NurturMe products contain no added salts, sugars, colors or preservatives and all the fruits and vegetables used in NurturMe are sourced from certified-organic U.S. farms. NurturMe products are available at www.nurturme.com.

LifeNest Sleeping System
Safe sleep for baby, peace of mind for mom and dad! Created by renowned ear, nose and throat pediatric surgeon specialist, Dr. Jose Bensoussan, UBIMED’s patented LifeNest Sleeping System was specifically designed to ensure the highest level of comfort and safety for your infant while they rest.

The LifeNest’s curved mesh hammock cradles the baby’s head, maintaining the recommended baby-on-back sleeping position while allowing unrestricted movements. The elevated breathable hammock permits the free circulation of air via the venting channels to help prevent overheating and enables the baby to breathe freely even if they accidentally turn on their tummy. A second hammock is also built into the tight fitting mattress cover (available in a full line of fashionable colors to compliment any nursery), reinforcing strength and safety and prevents mattress cover entrapment and strangulation risks. Additionally, the mesh hammock of the LifeNest allows liquids and mucus to pass through it, helping to prevent against smothering.

Intended to be used for babies from birth to 5 months of age, the LifeNest fits securely on any standard crib, and comes with a convenient travel case, as it is easily portable making it ideal for parent’s on-the-go.

The LifeNest Sleeping System is available for purchase online at www.lifenest.com and at select retailers nationwide for $149.99.

*Companies mentioned above generously provided samples and images for this article.*

Mom” was recently introduced to Fei’d™, a new skin care line that is revolutionizing the skin care industry! Combining both Eastern Medicine & Western Science, Fei’d™ (pronounced “fade”) uses active botanicals rather than harsh chemicals to treat uneven skin tone, hyper pigmentation, and other skin imbalances by rebalancing the skin function as a whole.

Why use Fei’d™ Skin Care?

99% Natural
10 clinically proven key ingredients
Certified by the Natural Products Association
All natural fragrances
No harsh bleaches
No hydroquinone
No kojic acid
No mineral oil
Paraben free

According to Fei’d™ Skin Care, in traditional Eastern medicine, uneven skin tone is believed to be caused by a lack of qi (pronounced (“chi”) circulation to the skin. To treat uneven skin tone, traditional healers therefore actively target the meridians that govern the function of the skin. Namely the Lung (Fei), Spleen (Pi) and Liver (Gan) meridians, which regulate energy flow to and from the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.

Mom” has been in the sun quite a bit in her life, and has significant sun damage, so she was excited to try this new product! It glides on easily, like moisturizer, and just one pump of the dispenser was enough to cover her face, neck, and hands – all three areas that show the signs of sagging, aging, and wrinkles as people age. Fei’d™ does not tingle or burn, as some products for treating hyperpigmentation that are more chemical-laden do when placed on the skin, and “Mom” has already noticed a brightening effect on her skin, especially on the backs of her hands!

For postpartum mamas, Fei’d™ may also help to treat the dark melasma that can occur during and after pregnancy. It was these same dark spots that prompted Claire Gutschow, founder of Fei’d™ Skin Care, to develop the unique formulation using both Eastern Medicine and Western Science. To learn more about Claire, check out the interview with this eco-conscious entrepreneur.

If you are interested in trying out Fei’d™ on your own skin, you can enter the Fei’d™ Skin Care Giveaway on Tiny Green Mom through May 25th, 2011!

To learn more about Fei’d™ Skin Care, or to order online, visit www.feidskincare.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Mental Health Awareness Month: Pregnancy Might Not Always Be Glowing

By Nadia Mohamedi, OTIS Teratogen Information Specialist

May is a beautiful month. Flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping and BBQ’s are firing up. To Nadia Mohamedi, however, May is most beautiful as it is Mental Health Month. This month we celebrate the spreading of awareness of mental health conditions and wellness, an issue that is near and dear to her heart. Although one in four Americans has a clinically diagnosable and treatable mental illness, a lack of awareness and a strong stigma associated with having a mental illness deters more than half of these individuals from seeking treatment.

One of the most frequent counseling calls received through the toll-free help line at the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) are from women wondering about depression and antidepressant use in pregnancy. In fact, depression occurs in up to 15% of pregnant women and about 13% of women in the United States report using an antidepressant in a pregnancy. Although the research data on the safety of antidepressant use and the risk of untreated depression in pregnancy has grown immensely in the last five years, the results can be difficult to interpret, especially in light of recent lawsuits. In this blog, Nadia hopes to summarize the recent data so women and their health care providers can make the best-informed decisions about their treatment plans in pregnancy. She also hopes to increase awareness of this serious, but highly treatable, condition so that we can all support the mental well-being of our friends and family.

What is depression?

Now and then, everyone has the blues. When we lose a family member or experience a disappointment, it is normal to feel sad. When there is no specific reason for this sadness or it remains for too long, the cause could be depression. Experts feel that depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. Clinical depression is defined, by the DSM IV-TR, as at least a two week period in which a person experiences a decrease in previous functioning with either a depressed mood or loss of interest/pleasure in one’s normal activities most of the time. Other symptoms can include change of weight/appetite, sleeping too much or too little, restlessness from mental tension, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, inability to concentrate and thoughts of death. There is a wide range of severity that can occur with depression.

How does untreated depression affect a pregnancy and the development of the fetus?

Untreated depression can affect a pregnancy in different ways. One of those ways is the direct effect of depression on one’s behaviors. For example, a depressed pregnant woman is more likely to have poor nutrition, missed prenatal care appointments, or alcohol and drug use. These behaviors can be extremely detrimental for a developing fetus such as causing poor fetal growth, birth defects, preterm delivery, or neonatal withdrawal. Biological factors of depression like the irregularity of hormones can contribute to placental dysfunction or decreased uterine blood flow to the developing baby.

Since depression is a complex disorder, researchers have had difficulty discerning the specific causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with untreated depression. For example, untreated depression can adversely affect one’s stress level and social support. Nonetheless, many studies have shown that depression left untreated increases a woman’s risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth (delivering before 37 weeks), poor fetal growth, preeclampsia (a serious form of high blood pressure) and placental abnormalities. Moreover, women with depression who stop taking their medications are as much as five times more likely to have a relapse of symptoms compared to women who continue their medications in pregnancy.

Beyond the pregnancy, women who have a mental illness during their pregnancy are twice as likely to develop post-partum depression (PPD), depression following childbirth. PPD can adversely affect maternal bonding and the baby’s development and behavior.

Now that we have the risks of untreated depression, what are the risks associated with treatment for depression in pregnancy?

The most common treatment for depression is taking an antidepressant medication. Most antidepressant medications have not been linked to higher risks for birth defects. When some antidepressants are taken during the third trimester, there may be effects in the newborn. The baby may be jittery, irritable, and have difficulties with feeding, sleeping, breathing and heart rate. In most cases, these symptoms last a few days or less. Some antidepressant medications have been studied more thoroughly than others. You may call OTIS toll-free at 1-866-626-6847 to speak with a counselor about your specific treatments and possible risks to a pregnancy.

IMPORTANT: You should not stop taking your medication without first consulting your physician. If you and your doctor decide that you should come off the medication, it is recommended to slowly taper off the medication to avoid possible withdrawal effects. Although it is generally recommended to take a medication that has the best pregnancy data and the lowest dose possible to treat your condition, it is not recommended to switch to a more researched medication if you are unresponsive to it. There’s no point in exposing your baby to it if it doesn’t help you! Also, you may have to increase your dose in pregnancy due to weight gain and hormonal changes. Despite the potential risks in late pregnancy, your doctor may want you to stay on your medication to avoid a relapse or prevent post-partum depression.

Other treatment options with no known risk to the developing baby are psychotherapy, light therapy, and acupuncture for depression. For other ways to help improve your symptoms and “mentally pamper yourself”, you can read a recent OTIS article: http://www.otispregnancy.org/news-s13020#143073.

Seems like so much information. How can I decide what to do?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer for depression treatment in pregnancy. A long time ago, it was thought that having depression was impossible during pregnancy. Clearly, this is not the case. Mothers should feel neither guilty taking a medication that they need in order to maintain their normal functioning nor embarrassed that they are not feeling mentally well when everyone expects a pregnant woman to be glowing all over the place. In the end, no one knows your condition better than you and your physician. In general, a healthy mom is a healthy baby. So, this May, focus on YOU – your mental well-being, your treatment, your support, and your future family. And know that all over the United States, others will be spreading awareness and encouraging others to live well this Mental Health Month.

About the Author

Nadia Mohamedi is a teratogen information specialist and also serves as a research assistant/interviewer for OTIS studies in San Diego, CA. She holds a BA in neurobiology and a minor in psychology from Harvard College. In addition to her work with OTIS, Nadia has worked for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Program at McLean Hospital as well as served as a teacher’s assistant at a school for children with disabilities in Lima, Peru.

OTIS is a North American non-profit dedicated to providing accurate evidence-based information about exposures during pregnancy and lactation. Questions or concerns about anti-depressants during pregnancy or breastfeeding can be directed to OTIS counselors at (866) 626-OTIS (6847) or online at OTISPregnancy.org.**

References:

Bansil P, et al. 2010. Maternal and fetal outcomes among women with depression. J Women’s Health.19(2): 329-334.
Cooper WO, Pont ME, Ray WA. 2007. Increasing use of antidepressants in 2 pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gyneco.l 196:544e1.

Muzik M, et al. 2009. When depression complicates childbearing: guidelines for screening and treatment during antenatal and postpartum obstetric care. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 36:771-88.

Petersen I, et al. 2001. Pregnancy as a major determinant for discontinuation of antidepressants: an analysis of data from The Health Improvement Network. J Clin Psychiatry.

Five Stories about Parenting Gleaned from America’s Past

By Kate Kelly, America Comes Alive!

In honor of Mother’s Day, here are some stories from America’s past to remind us all how much motherhood and parenting has changed throughout the years! Raising children “by the book” started early in the 20th century when sociologists began studying regular people and purporting that “science” could lead to many improvements—from better house cleaning methods to better ways of childrearing. Here are five stories to make you smile or shake your head:

  1. In 1933 Norman Rockwell provided the Saturday Evening Post with a cover illustration featuring a mother with a child over her knee and “child psychology” book in hand, reading the instructions on spanking.
  2. In 1936 an ad in Good Housekeeping for Lysol featured this headline above a photo of a sick child in bed:

“Madam, you are to blame!” The ad continues: “She’d have given her right hand to keep her baby well…yet that very hand may have caused the illness. The ad noted that the mother kept a clean house, but because she did not use Lysol, it was not “hospital clean.”

  1. The government stepped in to advise parents. Many states produced handouts with a recommended daily schedule. One handout produced by the Minnesota Department of Health recommended a “sun bath during the morning” and that the entire day should be spent outside—naps should be taken in the sun if the weather permitted. This was long before the invention of sun block!
  2. In 1945 a woman and her baby were released from a hospital in Los Angeles with very specific feeding instructions: “Feed the baby and burp her.” Upon arriving home, she gave the baby her first bottle and promptly brought up the anticipated air bubble. After a second bottle a little later, the mother patted, then pounded a little harder, and after 30 minutes, she called the doctor to ask how long she should burp the baby. The doctor asked, “How long have you been trying?” “Thirty minutes,” the mother replied. The doctor’s answer: “Stop and put that baby down. Use some common sense.”
  3. In her book, Perfect Motherhood, Rima D. Apple tells a wonderful story from Hollywood about a scene in a 1939 film Bachelor Mother, starring Ginger Rogers and David Niven. In a Hollywood-esque series of plot twists, Rogers, a single woman and sales clerk, becomes caretaker of an infant. David Niven is the son of the store owner and stops in to check on how Rogers, in whom he is interested romantically, is doing with the baby. When he arrives Rogers is feeding the baby, and Niven inquires how she knows she is doing it correctly. Rogers notes that it is not complicated. She puts the food on the spoon, puts the spoon in the baby’s mouth, and the baby swallows it. Niven grabs a childcare manual to verify that this is proper…he soon reads that the doctor “with twenty years experience” notes that Rogers is doing it wrong, that the food is to be rubbed into the child’s navel.

Reflecting the spirit of the day, Rogers is clearly torn: The experts should know—but on the other hand, the baby had been happily eating. She takes the book from Niven’s hands and reads the section herself—only to discover that several of the pages were stuck together, and the “rubbing into the navel” treatment actually involved warm oil and was a treatment for colic. She went back to her own method of feeding the baby.

As early as the 1920s, a young mother is quoted as saying, “I try to do just what you [parenting authorities of the day] say, but I am a nervous wreck just trying to be calm.”

The Arrival of Dr. Spock

Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903-1998) whose book, Baby and Child Care, was published in 1946 was particularly well-received because his message started with the idea that mothers should trust their instincts: “you know more than you think you do.”

While each generation has its parenting gurus (more recently, Penelope Leach and T. Berry Brazelton as well as numerous experts expounding on how to “raise a gifted child,” “help a child with ADD,” or “toilet train in seven days,” they are just part of a long line of experts that have been advising parents for at least the last 100 years.

As Amy Chua’s book, “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” climbs today’s best seller lists, it’s probably wise to remember Dr. Spock and his belief in parental instinct: “Don’t be afraid to love [your baby]. . . . Every baby needs to be smiled at, talked to, played with, fondled — gently and lovingly. . . . You may hear people say that you have to get your baby strictly regulated in his feeding, sleeping, bowel movements and other habits — but don’t believe this. He doesn’t have to be sternly trained. . . . Be natural and comfortable and enjoy your baby.”

The same could be applied to raising children of any age!

Happy Mother’s Day!

About the Author

To read more about America’s past, please visit www.americacomesalive.com, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericaComesAlive. Kate’s website is also a wonderful resource for parents and families, providing little-known stories of America’s past and information for sharing our rich heritage with children, so be sure to check it out! If you have thoughts on how parenting has changed, write to: kate@americacomesalive.com

Beginning a calming bedtime ritual and a morning wake-up routine right from infancy is made easier with the new Day & Night Soother from Tiny Love! Transitioning from one activity to the next can be challenging for little ones, and associating a particular sound or signal when a change is going to occur cues your child to know what to expect, meaning less fussiness (or at least that is the hope!).

The Day & Night Soother attaches easily to any crib, and features 6 different classical and nature tunes to relax and soothe baby – 3 for daytime, and 3 for nighttime. With 5 volume levels, each tune lasts 20 minutes long, and you can set the soother to play only music, or for stimulation, the music is combined with lights and motion. With cheerful, smiling animals on parade, the soother illuminates a glowing moon and stars when in nighttime mode, and a rising sun for daytime! It is just too cute, and the best part (which “Mom” loves!) – it is not bulky or big, meaning it can packed easily for trips to Grandma’s house or even on vacation, so that naptime or bedtime rituals can be kept relatively the same in different environments! For those with high-need or fussy babies, this is key!

Tiny Love’s Day & Night Soother retails for $39.99 and is available nationwide at Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, and Amazon.com. It makes an excellent and very appreciated baby shower gift, as well! For more information, visit www.TinyLove.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Healthy Eating Tips for New Moms

So you’ve just had a baby? Congratulations! Now the next thought on your mind might be what you’re going to do to fit back into your skinny jeans ASAP. Fortunately, by making a few small tweaks to your regular eating schedule, you can healthfully lose weight to care for yourself and your new baby at the same time.

  • Give into some of your cravings. After giving birth, you may still have some strong cravings that are difficult to deny. Listen to these cravings and indulge wisely so that you don’t risk binging and ruining your diet altogether. If you are dying for a sweet snack, you could try low-cal frozen yogurt or Greek yogurt with honey instead. Think smart about what you eat, and watch the pounds melt away!
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drinking water is good for women of all ages, whether you have a new baby or not. If you are breast-feeding, you may find that you are constantly thirsty. Make sure that you focus on water as your primary source of hydration so that you don’t get caught up in drinking empty calories in juice, soda, or other drinks.
  • Avoid packaged foods. If your plate is so full – so to speak – that you have a hard time counting calories, avoid all processed and packaged foods as a rule of thumb! Packaged foods are full of chemicals and additives that will drain you of your energy and pack on the pounds. Instead, focus on fresh and whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Even if you don’t have the time to count calories, you can trust that what you are eating is healthy and easily digested to boost your metabolism.
  • Plan your snacks throughout the day. There are quite a few healthy foods that you can buy to keep on hand, like fruit, precut vegetables, whole-grain crackers, and hard-boiled eggs. Take the time to plan out your snacks for the following day so that you don’t find yourself munching on chips and cookies when you are starved and pressed for time.

The truth is that your health is even more important just after giving birth. If you want to keep your energy levels high and protect your health for the future, then it is important to eat well and maintain a healthy weight after having a baby.

On top of that, when you keep these healthy habits up, you will be able to teach your new baby the best ways to eat right so that they don’t struggle with weight gain in the future!

About the Author

Bethany Ramos is an aesthetician that co-owns her own website, The Coffee Bump. For a great selection of the Bodum French Press Coffee Maker, check out Bethany Ramos’ website today!

Get Fit Quick Tips for Busy Moms

Motherhood is a joy, but not if you’re feeling overweight, rundown, and pressed for time to fit in a good workout several days a week. Sound familiar?

As a mother, it is your primary concern to take care of your children, but you also need to give back to yourself by focusing on your health. Exercising several times per week will not only help you to maintain a healthy weight so that you feel attractive, but it will give you more energy and protect your health for the future.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind to fit in a quick workout for a busy mom-on-the-go:

  1. Choose a gym that is kid-friendly. If you’re thinking about joining a gym in your area, make sure that it has a fun childcare center that will keep your kids entertained while you’re working out. Even if you just want to squeeze in 30 minutes of treadmill activity after work, it is important that your gym has a daycare that will take young children and keep them entertained with quality activities. By doing a little bit of homework, you can easily find a gym in your area with a reliable childcare center to ease the burden while you workout.
  2. Workout with your kids. What a novel idea! If you take your young children running, walking, or hiking with you, you are not only getting in a good workout yourself, but you’re teaching your kids the value of fitness. The childhood obesity epidemic is definitely on the rise, and you will be establishing wonderful habits for the future by teaching your children to get active every day. As an added bonus, you’ll be burning calories at the same time. Win-win!
  3. Invest in a jogging stroller. If you have a baby or an infant, a jogging stroller will allow you to take a jog or brisk walk while she is napping. If you time your workouts correctly, you could get in a good 45 minute walk while your baby takes her morning nap. On top of that, many moms find that the soothing motion of a jogging stroller helps lull their little bundle of joy to sleep…
  4. Try a dance game for the family. It’s no secret that your kids are probably addicted to video games, so why not turn it into a fun and interactive workout? Using a new game like the Kinect allows you to count the calories that you burn while you dance by sensing your body’s motions. Believe it or not, these dance games are fun and extremely challenging as you progress to the harder levels. You can also get your kids in on the action to have a family fun night that will work up a sweat at the same time…

About the Author

Bethany Ramos is an aesthetician that co-owns her own website, The Coffee Bump. For a great selection of Bunn Coffee Makers, check out Bethany Ramos’ website today!

5 Tips for Good Sleep Habits

By Megan Faure, founder of Baby Sense and author of The Babysense Secret

To set the stage for good sleep habits, you need to start early on with little habits and strategies that will improve your baby’s sleep from one week to the next.

  1. Don’t wake your baby for feeds – take his lead for waking at night. This allows your baby to establish natural sleep cycles. (Your pediatrician will tell you if you need to start waking your baby at night if he is not thriving) If your baby still needs night feeds (can be up to 6 months of age), feed in semi-darkness – use a dimmer or a passage light instead of the bright bedroom light.
  2. Keep night feeds strictly business affairs. Don’t smile or talk to your baby at night – keep these important happy interactions for daylight hours. Don’t change your baby’s diaper at night– buy the best diaper you can afford for nighttime and leave it on all night unless it is clearly dirty with poop or leaking. The new generation gel diapers are fine to leave on all night as they soak up all the urine and your baby’s bum remains dry.
  3. From about 3 months onwards, encourage your baby to self-sooth. Do not ‘pacify’ your baby with a pacifier in an attempt to decrease night feeds. Rather feed him when he wakes for feeds at night, if more than three hours have passed since the last feed.
  4. Maintain a consistent bedtime routine that incorporates soothing sensory strategies, such as a warm bath, a massage, lavender smells and gentle rocking.
  5. To establish good day sleep habits follow the awake times as set out in The Babysense Secret. This is the amount of time your baby can be happily awake before needing to be settled to sleep during the day. For instance a 6 week old can be awake for an hour before needing to be settled to sleep. By working with your baby’s natural alert periods, you will find a day sleep routine emerges naturally.

About the Author

Megan Faure, BSc, OT, OTR is the author of the new book from DK publishing, The BabySense Secret. She is an occupational therapist who has worked for more than a decade in the pediatrics field in several countries including the USA and South Africa. In addition to her best-selling parenting book Baby Sense, Faure has developed a collection of innovative Baby Sense products based on her Sensible Sensory Parenting principles outlined in her books.

In addition to the Baby Sense book series, Faure has authored several magazine articles in the field of child psychology, parenting and child development. She is also the founder and chairperson of the Infant Sensory Integration Training group which provides courses for therapists to equip them to treat, assess, and understand infant behavior. Faure regularly lectures to both professionals and parents on various baby and childcare issues. For more information on Baby Sense visit www.babysense.com. To purchase Baby Sense products in the U.S. visit www.kastelinternational.com.

Rather than baby teething on Mommy’s favorite necklace or bracelet, sonny & reed has designed fashionable yet functional teething jewelry for the mom on-the-move! When out and about with a little one, your baby can safely gnaw and drool all over this celeb-loved item! The adorable beads are smooth on one side, almost like beach glass, and feature nubby ends on the other side, perfect for soothing sore gums! They provide relief and a refreshing distraction while at the store, out to dinner, or just bouncing on Mom’s knee!

For the modern mom, sonny & reed has created the only designer teething necklace made in the USA from non-toxic, FDA-approved material that conforms to Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 16 CFR 1500. The beads will not pass through the choke tube, easing mom’s concerns!

To see all of sonny & reed’s styles, or to order, visit www.sonnyandreed.com.

*Company generously provided images and samples for this review.*