Nightmares or Night Terrors?

Nightmare or Night Terror?

Nightmare or Night Terror?

Frances has been waking up in the night a few nights a week in a fit of tears. This is very unusual for her, and distressing for us, because she seems so sad! At first I thought it was night terrors, because I’ve heard that’s a thing for infants and toddlers, but now I’m not so sure.

Night terrors usually don’t start until a child is 18 months, and are different than nightmares in that the child cannot be awakened or comforted. Franci is only 13 months, and when we go to comfort her, she is awake and responds immediately to our attention.
(more…)

Are BPA-Free Plastics Safe?

Not Safe Enough?

Not Safe Enough?

I remember getting rid of my trusty Nalgene bottle when BPA-Free became the big thing.  I tried switching to stainless steel, but couldn’t stand the taste.  I’ve finally settled on glass, but it’s not always the most convenient.  Frances is still at the stage where every sippy cup gets tossed on the floor when she’s through with it, so unless I want to hold it for her it has to be plastic.

I figured as long as we stuck with BPA-Free sippy cups, I didn’t have to worry too much. Well, it turns out that recent studies are showing that other plastics are just as full of estrogenic activity as BPA when put through the same cell-based tests. Since the plastic industry isn’t required to test the chemicals that have replaced BPA unless there is proof that they are harmful, consumers have no idea whether or not these new plastics contain endocrine disruptors.
(more…)

Fluoridating Your Baby

Use Fluoride Toothpaste!

Use Fluoride Toothpaste!

Second to vaccinating, the hot-button issue with conscientious parents today is whether or not to give your child fluoride.

If you live in a municipality that has more than 400,000 people, your water is most likely fluoridated. There are also plenty of communities whose drinking supply naturally has fluoride, especially if you live in the west. The only way to know how much fluoride is in your water is to read the Consumer Confidence Report that the EPA requires each community water system to provide. (search “Consumer Confidence Report” and your town name to find your local report).
(more…)

Working Variety into a Baby’s Diet

Banana Again??

Banana Again??

Now that Frances is down to nursing three times a day, the amount of solid food she can consume at one sitting is quite impressive. I don’t know how her stomach can hold so much food!

I’ve been worrying, as only a mother can, about the variety in her diet. Since she’ll eat just about anything, I’ve been pureeing every vegetable I can think of into a thick paste with some sort of meat. I keep a fish version, a lamb version and a chicken version in the freezer and alternate which one she eats each day.
(more…)

Work At Home Moms

Work-At-Home-Mom

Work-At-Home-Mom

The Huffington Post reprinted a popular article on their blog recently that originally appeared on The Healthy Doctor blog, A Letter From a Working Mother to a Stay-At-Home Mother (and Vice Versa)

I think they left out an important percentage of the mom-population: Work-At-Home-Moms (WAHM). In my casual surfing of Facebook and Etsy, I’ve come to realize how large this group really is.

Perhaps we’re hard to categorize, because working hours aren’t always consistent. And while one WAHM may work 5 hours a week, another may work 40. And that could even be the same mom, just in a different week!
(more…)

Music for Babies

Playing along with Papa

Playing along with Papa

Frances loves music.  The minute you start to hum or whistle she starts nodding her head along with the sound, no matter how made-up or off-key the song is!

I think most babies have an innate love of music. I’m sure there are countless studies on the subject, but I can say for a fact that it’s true for Franci. When I play the piano or her dad plays guitar for her she stops what she’s doing and listens.

One thing I’ve noticed, is that she doesn’t care about the music if you aren’t directing it at her. Sometimes she hears music on the TV and will nod along, but she loses interest quickly. She also doesn’t seem to notice music when she’s riding in the car, which is unfortunate since she’s not crazy about going for a drive to begin with.
(more…)

Giving Childhood Back to Children

More than just for fun!

More than just for fun!

Peter Gray wrote an article, “Give childhood back to children: if we want our offspring to have happy, productive and moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not less“, that is making the rounds and I think it’s one that everyone should read, not just parents. I thought it was going to be about allowing kids more freedom – to run to the corner store to buy milk or to walk home from school unsupervised – but it was specifically about the importance of play.

Playtime is more than just a way to pass a few hours. Gray’s research asserts that play is essential in all mammals’ development, and the those that have the most to learn play the most. He makes great points about creativity and the fact that we have robots and computers to do many of the tasks that we used to do, so our focus now should be on solving problems and thinking towards the future.
(more…)

Vaccines vs. Antibiotics: which is worse?

Get well soon!

Get well soon!

I’ve posted about our decision to vaccinate Frances on an alternative vaccination schedule, and I’m still very interested about the vaccine debate, especially with the recent news about outbreaks of measles due to the lack of herd immunity in communities such as Brooklyn.

I usually just skim the titles, but one article recently caught my eye that is worth a read: Growing Up Unvaccinated. The author was not vaccinated as a child, but has chosen to vaccinate her own children. When faced between letting her child suffer through the measles and the consequences (such as infertility or the use of antibiotics) and vaccinating, it’s a no-brainer. I tend to agree with the author. A very sick child is heartbreaking, and is no fun for the parent either.
(more…)

Product Review: Gum Massagers

gum-massager-zo-li

Zo-li Gummy Stick

gum-massager-teethifier

KidGear The Teethifier II

 

It all started when I noticed Franci was more interested in rubbing her gums with the xylophone wand than using it to make music. I had suspected that her gums were starting to itch since she spent a lot of time with her fingers practically down her throat.

While she is more than welcome to use the wand in whatever way she desires, I thought it might be a good time to try out one of the gum massagers available.  There are lots of different choices, so I narrowed it down to cheap and easy to hold (and hard to swallow).
(more…)

Caring for Baby Teeth

Check out my pearly whites!

Check out my pearly whites!

So far I’ve heard varying advice on when to take your baby for his first dental check up, ranging from when the first tooth appears to when he turns two.  Frances has five teeth now, and it just occurred to me that we might need to start thinking about her dental health.

Taking her to the dentist now seems drastic, but it’s probably time to think about brushing. A quick Amazon search for Infant Toothbrush returns so many different types of teeth-cleaning devices, I don’t know where to begin. Do we start with a finger toothbrush? Or a silicone toothbrush? Or should we start right away with a toothbrush with bristles, since that’s what she’ll use eventually?
(more…)