Sunday, April 30, 2006

Day 69 - Good book for babies

Today's Tip - Zebra's Stripes by Gabby Goldsack is a great book for infants

It's got everything you could ask for - bright, contrasting colors, sturdy, carboard pages and a simple story with some unique dialogue that's easy for babies to pick up on and anticipate. And it's got a fuzzy front that babies love to touch. My son is in love with this book. We're going to buy the rest of the set.

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Day 68 - Rough it up

Today's tip - Keep active play smooth and controlled

Once your baby starts holding his head up more, he may enjoy getting tossed up in the air or bounced on a knee. This is fine, but keep the movements smooth and controlled and don't do anything that jostles his neck or causes sudden, abrupt movements. His neck is still developing, and a sudden change could damage his spinal cord. Also, sharp movements could also detach one of his retinas, causing blindness.

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Friday, April 28, 2006

Day 67 - You don't like it raw

Today's Tip - Don't consume undercooked meat while you're breastfeeding.

With the summer grilling season upon us, I took extra care making my wife's burger. She ususally doesn't like much pink in the center, but I had to make sure there wasn't any, because eating raw or undercooked meat can contaminate your breast milk.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Day 66 - The only thing you'll ever talk about is poop

Today's Tip - It's normal for bowel movements to slow down around 2 months old

As they get older, babies become more regular with age. Rather than pooping 5 or more times a day, they'll reduce their production to once a day or even two days. You're infant isn't constipated (unless they're acting as if they're in pain, in which case you should call your pediatrician.) Enjoy changing less diapers and having the topic of your conversation become something other than baby bowel movements.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Day 65 - Bad Sleep Habits

Today's Tip - Put your baby down when he's still awake to foster good sleep habits

It sounds nearly impossible if you have a baby that screams his head off when you put him down to bed without him being asleep already, but if you don't train them now, you're setting yourself up for a difficult time later. If you can avoid it, don't put them to sleep in the car, in your arms, while nursing, etc. Put them down, if they scream, let them cry it out for a few minutes, return to calm them down and assure them everything is ok. Put them back down still awake, and repeat. It may take a bit, but it'll be ten times easier now than it will be later.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Day 64 - Too much?

Today's Tip - If your baby throws up after eating, he may be getting too much food

The challending thing about babies is that you can never tell what they want or need, because they only have one method of communication. So they can never say "I'm full" when they've had too much to eat.

Sometimes, they keep on sucking even though they've had enough. And it doesn't take much milk to overfill their bellies. If you burp your baby and he throws up some of his food, try stopping every half ounce or so. If he doesn't latch back on to the nipple or just gums the rubber without really sucking, he may have had enough. If he's still hungry, he'll let you know soon enough.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Day 63 - Cry, Cry, Cry Again

Today's Tip - To help unclog a blocked tear duct, massage the side of your baby's nose with a clean finger

Our baby's eye is always goopy and filled with crust, and our pediatrician told us he has a blocked tear duct. Nothing too serious, but it could take up to 9 months to correct itself. To help, take a clean finger with short fingernails and rub towards the blocked duct along the side of his nose. Do this twice a day regularly and it should speed up the unclogging process.

There are also eyedrops your pediatrician can prescribe to help with the eye goop.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Day 62 - Touchy Feely

Today's Tip - Encourage your baby to touch and feel as many textures as possible

Now that he's getting older, your infant is probably grabbing on to things. Place fuzzy, slippery, smooth, rough, rattles, stuffed animals, etc. into his hands and let him try to grab on and play. It'll encourage gross and fine motor skills in his hands.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Day 61 - Sleeping through the night

Today's Tip - Choose a bedtime for your baby once he starts sleeping through the night

Up until this point, you might have had a floating bedtime for your infant, based on when he was hungry, if he needed changing, etc. Now that he sleeps for 8 or so hours, you can pick a bedtime, and you don't have to necessarily wake him up to feed him. If he's sleeping, let him lie.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Day 60 - Vaccinations

Today's Tip - Get your baby vaccinated at his two-month appointment

It's nearly time for the two month appointment. Along with checking your babies physical development (height, weight, head circumfrance), ears, throat, eyes, and overall health, your pediatrician should recommend vaccinations for your infant. He should be due for vaccines against:

  • Diptheria

  • Tetanus

  • Pertussis

  • Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib)

  • Polio

  • Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV7)

While he's getting the shots be sure to stay near, he'll need comforting. Afterwords, you should expect your baby to be more tired and fussy than usual, maybe for a day or two. A fever is also a possibility, but if he gets above 102.5, call your pediatrician. The injection site might also be red and irritated, but if it becomes bumped up, call your pediatrician.

Give your baby infant tylenol before the appointment and it may make the shots easier to take. After the shots, give him the recommended dosage of infant tylenol every four hours if he develops a fever.

DIPHTHERIA - Diphtheria is a very serious disease. It can make a person unable to breathe or cause paralysis (unable to move parts of the body) or heart failure. About one in every 10 people who get diphtheria die from it.

TETANUS - Tetanus (lockjaw) can occur after a cut or wound lets the germ into the body. Tetanus makes the person unable to open his or her mouth or swallow,and causes serious muscle spasms. In the United States, tetanus kills three out of every 10 people who get the disease. Those who survive have long hospital stays.

PERTUSSIS - Pertussis (whooping cough) may be mild or serious and is easily passed from person to person. Pertussis can cause spells of coughing and choking that make it hard to eat, drink or breathe. The coughing can last for weeks. Pertussis is most dangerous to babies under one year old. Babies with pertussis are so sick that nearly half must go to the hospital. About one baby in 100 with pertussis either dies or is left with permanent brain injury. Serious illness is less likely in older children and adults.

HAEMOPHILUS INFLUENZAETYPE B (Hib) - Hib disease is caused by an infection spread by coughing, sneezing or close contact. Hib disease can cause a swelling of the brain that can lead to developmental disability, hearing loss, weakened sight, or speech problems. Before a Hib vaccine was available, Hib infected one of every 200 children before age five. It is most dangerous for babies under age one.

POLIO - Polio is a very dangerous disease. Some children and adults who get a serious case of polio become paralyzed (unable to move parts of their bodies). Sometimes polio may make it difficult to breathe without the help of a machine. In some cases, it can even cause death.

PNEUMOCOCCAL CONJUGATE(PCV7) - Pneumococcal disease is a serious illness that is responsible for about 200 deaths each year among children under five years old. Children under two years old are at highest risk for serious disease. It is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Day 59 - Can you do this?

Today's Tip - Track your baby's milestones to make sure they're developing correctly

Its important to make sure that your infant doesn't have any developmental problems, but if he or she seems slow in one area, don't worry about it too much unless they're way behind or your pediatrician seems concerned. Everyone loves to compare their accomplishments to others, but the fact is some babies are fast in verbal development, but slow in the physical department, or vice versa. If you're worried about it, ask your pediatrician. At two months old, your infant should be able to:

  • Smile in response to your smile

  • Follow an object in an arc about 6 inches above the face to the midline (straight ahead)

  • Respond to a bell or sound by startling, crying or quieting

  • Vocalize in ways other than crying

Probably will be able to:

  • Lift head 45 degrees on their stomach

  • Follow an object in an arc 6 inches above their face past the midline (straight ahead)

They might also be able to hold their head steady, push themselves up, roll over, grasp a rattle, pay attention to a small object, reach for an object, say a vowel consonant combination, smile spontaneously, bring both hands together, life head 90 degrees, laugh out loud, squeal in delight, follow an object from one side of the face to the other.

Taken from What to Expect the First Year

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Day 58 - Read the signs

Today's Tip - Start teaching your baby simple sign language hand signs as early as possible

Found a great article by the folks over at Ask Moxie about the benefits of signing to your baby at a young age. Babies are the most fertile for learning multiple languages at an early age, and anything that stimulates visual and motor communication at the same time as vocal communication seems like a good idea.

Read about early sign language success After reading it, I plan on teaching my son to sign as soon as possible.

These folks have put together a pretty useful resource if you want to know more about teaching your baby sign language. Signing Baby

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Readers of 365 Parenting Tips

Hey everyone! Apparently I need some tips on how to use blogger, because I was completely unaware of the comments that were out there. I've since set up the system to notify me of your comments, and I'll do a quick check back over previous posts to make sure I answer all of you personally. Thanks for the feedback and I can't wait to check out some of the resources I've already seen some of you post. Keep it coming!

Day 57 - Out of Control

Today's Tip - Stay on top of your baby's fits and they're bound to be less intense

The past few days our son has gotten himself worked up into some pretty hellish fits - his face turns beet red and he's crying so hard he can barely breath. Then I realized that we weren't attending to his needs quick enough. He'd get sort of upset, not come down from it, get a little more upset, and so on and so forth. Today I tried distracting him when he stuck out that bottom lip and making sure I was on top of the diaper/feeding/pacifier trifecta. I tried to make sure he never cried for more than a few seconds. By the time the height of his fit should have been hitting, he was napping like a log. Hopefully I've hit on something and I didn't just get lucky.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Day 56 - Worn Out

Todays Tip - Passing your child around, time in the sun and traveling will make your baby zonk out

Ours slept like a corpse after a full day of driving to across Michigan, playing outside in the sun for a but, and attending two family parties. Our usual routine includes a fussy period of about two hours right before bed, but instead he spent that so far into dreamland that we could barely wake him up for his nightime feeding. And, unfortunately, he woke up earlier than usual the next morning. We're definitely looking forward to getting him back on his usual schedule.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Day 55 - Reading is Fun

Todays Tip - Read with your infant when they're their "quietly alert"

Since attention spans are miniscule at this age, timing a little reading time with your baby is a challenge, but important. If you read to them when they're upset, they won't pay attention. If you read to them when they're tired, they won't pay attention. If you read to them when they're activly alert and bopping all over the place, they won't pay attention.

I had success today with my two-month old. I read to him right after he was fed and changed, I laid down on the floor with him on his back and held the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See above us. He was alert, but not thrashing around, and all his needs were immediately satisfied. And he rewarded me with a couple smiles as I flipped the brightly colored pages!

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Day 54 - First night alone

Today's Tip - Don't go crazy trying to recreate your home environment elsewhere

Tonight my paretns will be watching our baby while my wife and I go to a hockey game. Since they live almost two hours away and we forgot the noisemaker, our baby monitors, a stroller and his bedtime book, we figured he'd be fussing all night and waking up every hour.

He slept for 7 hours straight. As long as you don't get into any really bad habits like taking him for a ride in the car every night before he goes to bed, or picking him up the second he cries in bed, a loose interpretation of your home environment and bedtime routine should work great for your child.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Day 53 - Trips out of the House

Today's Tip - Try to time trips out of the house for the two-three hours in between feedings

There's nothing more frustrating than being stuck in a store with no where to change a screaming infant that's hungry or needs a diaper change. My wife and I plan our shopping trips to begin right after he's been fed and changed. Then, he falls asleep in the car ride, naps while we're in the store, and then hopefully he doesn't start crying until we get back to the house.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Day 52 - First Real Smile

Today's Tip - Make funny faces and noises to get a grin out of your baby

Our son had his first real smile today! My wife stuck her tongue out at him and he smiled from ear to ear. Pretty soon he figured out that if he stuck his tongue back out at us, we'd continue the game. He lost interest after a few minutes, but it was our first real interaction with him where he wasn't crying or pooping.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Day 51 - Traveling Man

Today's Tip - Keep blankets and covers off your baby in the car seat

Especially during the winter time. You've probably bundled him up quite a bit for the cold. Then, he gets put in the car, which heats up, and the covers usually stay on. Then, you're exposing your baby to overheating at worst, heavy sweating at best. A onesie and a jumper are usually more than enough to keep him warm in the car when the heat is cranking. Save the blankets for when you take him out into the elements.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Day 50 - Slung around your shoulder

Today's Tip - The Baby Bjorn Carrier is great if you like doing things

If you want to prepare food (don't cook), clean and do other activities standing up, but don't want to leave a fussy baby alone, get one of these carriers. My son loves riding around in it, and it lets you put him in facing forward or facing your body. Generally, it's good to keep them facing forward, otherwise all they'll see is your chest, which isn't good for brain and eye development.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Day 49 - Nothing is Too Obvious

Today's Tip - Remember to put a diaper on your baby when you take the old one off

Sounds obvious, but I forgot. My wife and I alternated nightime shifts, and I can be pretty groggy and out of it when I wake up. I must have still been half asleep when I changed our son, since my wife woke up to him going to the bathroom all over inside his jumper and crib. Oops!


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Day 48 - Under the Sun

Today's Tip - Always shield your baby's eyes in the sun

Though you might like taking your infant out on a sunny day, the bright light can harm his eyes quite a bit. Especially since he doesn't know to not look directly into the sun. The sunshine can even attract their attention and make matters worse. Try to keep their face away from the big yellow globe in the sky and keep their face covered if you're going to be changing the way they face (on a walk, carrying them around in a park, etc.)

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Day 47 - A Clean House is a Quiet House

Today's Tip - Turn on the vacuum to settle down your baby

Got a screaming infant who won't stop being fussy? Turn on the vacuum. Ours settles right down when we start cleaning, and usually he falls right to sleep too. It seems to work where all our other tricks won't, and if he doesn't stop crying right away, the sound makes the crying a little more bearable.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Day 46 - In Hot Water

Today's Tip - Test the bath water with your elbow, not your hand

We were quickly told today by our baby that the bath water was too hot by his high pitched wail and kicking feet, even though it felt fine to the touch when we stuck our hands in it. Water temperature will feel more like what your baby feels on your elbow, in the same way that testing formula temperature on the inside of your forearm is a good gauge.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Day 45 - Reduce Air Intake

Today's Tip - When bottle feeding, feed your baby upright rather than on his back

Holding your baby at a 45 degree angle rather than flat on his back will help reduce the amount of air he takes in when he feeds. Whether or not this decreases the chance of colic is debatable. However, having a little gas does tend to make babies more fussy than usual. Plus, if you're feeding your baby his pre-bedtime meal, you want him as happy as possible when you try to put him down for the night.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Day 44 - Getting through the night

Today's tip - Split up night time duty

My son gets up three times at night, so my wife and I started splitting up duty so that we both could get more uninterrupted sleep. She pumps enough breastmilk so that I have a bottle for his 3 a.m. feeding, and she takes him at 1:00 a.m. and then gets up with him at 7:00 a.m. for the day. It's worked out well so far, and we both know that the other person is more than willing to get up and help if things go sour.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Day 43 - Getting back into the swing of things

Today's Tip - Waiting six weeks before exercising is a good rule of thumb for women who had a C-section

You should check with the doctor that performed your surgery before you head off and begin training for the olypmics, but six weeks after your surgery is a good grace period to let the scar and body heal. Take it slow once you get back into exercise. Chances are the last three months of pregnancy were pretty laid back. Treat your return to action as if you had taken half a year off from all activity.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Day 42 - Listen in on your Baby

Today's Tip - The Summer Infant 2.4 gHz baby monitor is great for listening to your infant

While you may sleep whenever the baby sleeps initially, there will come a day where he's down in his crib and you need to be elsewhere. We bought The Summer Infant 2.4 gHz baby monitor and we absolutely love it. It switches to a clear channel automatically, which is nice since the first monitor we had picked up our neighbors as clear as day. And it's powerful, I can go anywhere in my yard and still get reception.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Day 41 - A Feast for the Senses

Today's Tip - Make the first year of life a feast for the senses.

The more you introduce your baby to, the better his senses will develop. Play with brightly colored, high contrast toys. Read. Sing, talk and imitate your baby's sounds. Let your baby touch and grab on to many textures. Vary your diet and your child's diet once he's on semi-solid foods. Encourage exploration. Take your baby outside often. Teach him how to swim. In short, let him experience as much of life as possible.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Day 40 - Crusty eyes

Today's Tip - Clean your infant's eyes with a Q-tip or with a washcloth during bathtime

90% of infants have tear duct blockages, and that usually results in a goopy discharge coming out of one, if not both eyes. It's perfectly normal, so just keep your baby's eye clear with a moist Q-tip. During bathime, clear the eyes first with water fresh from the tap.

You can also help to clear their tear duct by gently pushing your finger up the outside of their nose towards the tear duct. Make sure your fingers are clean and you don't have long nails, your baby will thank you for it.

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