All Articles Tagged "babies"
When I was pregnant with both of my daughters, I had heartburn most hours of the day — straight-up torture. With my first, I could eat a piece of dry toast, turn to the side and feel a wave of acid rising from the pits of my stomach. It wasn’t normal. I was convinced. Family members insisted, “Ooh wee! That baby’s gonna have a headful of hair!” I groaned, living in the moment, as I was the one suffering with each morsel consumed. When she was born, I saw that maybe that was some truth to the myth, my little girl emerged from the womb plump and rosy-cheeked with thick, curly, dark brown hair.
“That baby looks Spanish,” her father quipped a few days after. I rolled my eyes at him, “Ma says I had hair like that as a newborn too.” In the following days, houseguests came through to poke and prod at our first daughter in amazement. She was born light-skinned, with little slits for eyes and all that hair sitting atop her head like a winter hat. She hated when I washed and combed through it. She still does nine years later, which I find hilarious.
I was still relaxing my hair then but I’d decided years before having kids that chemical straightening would be their choice once they got to high school. As for me, I read up on natural hair care and vowed to keep mineral oil and other no-no’s out of my baby’s scalp. Her hair kept that texture until she was closer to one-year-old, which is the norm I believe.
She’d browned up, closer to her natural skin tone, which pleased her dad most of all because he liked to half-joke that when they were out together alone, running errands, people tended to stare “like I kidnapped her or something.” Her hair had begun to kink-up which pleased me most of all because I could start with my haircare regimen for her and stick to it since it was unlikely that my baby’s hair texture was going to change again anytime soon.
My own mother was all about adding waxy hair grease to my baby’s head and pulling her hair up from the roots to make her more “presentable.” To who though? It was the Blue Ivy Treatment, from my own family. By the time our little girl was two-years-old, it seemed everyone in the world had a tip or a suggestion about what I should be doing to and using on her hair. It was like I had an entire comment section in my face at family gatherings. I was Bey and she was Blue. And all I wanted to do was holler, “Don’t y’all have your own damn kids?”
It didn’t happen the same way with our second daughter. She was a chunky one too out of the womb, darker, with a headful of hair but her’s was bone straight. It was amazing. They looked alike but the details were so different. Down to the difference in hair textures, even as newborns.
She’s four-years-old now and while her hair has curled up a little, it’s been years of her dad asking innocently, “When is her hair gonna change?” The little one takes her hair from her grandfather who has a soft, loose curl. Who can ever tell with Black kids? We’re all so mixed up in our heritage but I’m pretty sure it’s the fact that she’s so dark-skinned that makes most people doing her hair, raise an eyebrow. Others, without a filter, will ask if I relax her hair. “Why your first baby — the brown-skinned one — got kinkier hair?” I usually act like I don’t hear the question. I just take care of my little girls and the hair that grows out of their respective heads, accordingly.
When it comes to fertility myths, there are a lot of stories out there. Girlfriends, grandmothers, and well-meaning co-workers all seem to have something to say when it comes to the subject of pregnancy. They tried it, they think you should try it, and they believe that you should try it much sooner than later. You know, before it’s allegedly too late.
And sometimes, pregnancy myths stick around for so long that even doctors think that they’re true. So how are you supposed to separate the fact from the fiction? Oh, the struggle.
We’ve rounded up some of the most common fertility myths out there and gotten down to the truth of the matter. And even baby experts might be surprised at the pregnancy facts that we all thought were true but turned out not to be — at least not according to all of the research and findings on the subject.
UCI’s Conte Center on Brain Programming in Adolescent Vulnerabilities recently did a study on rodents (rodents are used as models in medical testing because their genetic, biological and behavior characteristics closely resemble those of humans. In fact, mice share 99% genetics with humans) and discovered that baby’s need consistent and predictable care. When they get ‘choppy care,’ which can come from interruptions and habitual interactions with cell phones, the brain’s dopamine-receptor circuits, which are responsible for pleasure and aren’t yet mature in newborns and infants, don’t develop properly. As a result, babies could grow into adolescence and seek extreme ways to find pleasure, such as fast car driving, drinking and drugs.
The connection was derived from rodents who showed a lack of interest in sweet foods and play with their peers when their mothers gave them ‘choppy maternal care,’ a direct contrast to the rodents who received consistent care. With rodents being so closely related to humans in behavior, it’s a very likely scenario that could play out in our kids. The scientists are currently testing humans to further their research.
The study is important because it serves as a warning for how we could be harming our babies. I mean, haven’t we all heard about the potential dangers of cell phone use on our own health? They tell us don’t sleep with the phone under our pillow because it could either set it on fire from overheating or the radio active waves could damage our brains. It’s an ongoing controversy, which some choose to dismiss, but isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? Just keep the phone away from your bed. If you use the phone as an alarm, like many people today, consider investing in an old school alarm clock.
Getting back to baby, the study makes sense at a basic level because what newborn needs a disconnected, multi-tasking mom? I remember my mother getting heated with me for talking on the phone while breastfeeding. She felt it was the baby’s time and it should be relaxed and used for bonding; and she was right. Not every call, text or email needs our urgent attention. People know we have a baby so their expectations aren’t even high.
Ironically, there was a study conducted last year that used an app to discover that the average person picks up their cell phone 85 times a day, which is twice as often as they initially thought.
I’m constantly picking up my phone, which leads me to facebook, then instagram, then email. And even though my kids are three and six-years-old, seeing me check my phone a zillion times throughout the day is definitely a form of choppy parenting, and I don’t need a study to tell me that it’s not good. It doesn’t even feel good when I’m doing it.
So what could be done?
How about make a phone a phone again, for ourselves and definitely when the babies and kids are around? Give designated times to check emails, text and phone messages. The world isn’t going to explode if we don’t get back to people right away. Put the phone in the other room to make it less accessible. How about getting some clocks on the wall-I have none- and watches back on our wrist? And, no, that doesn’t mean a Smart watch. Being more conscious over all of how much time we’re spending on the phone could make all the difference. Sometimes it’s baby steps.
The last thing we want to do is damage our kids health or pass down unhealthy habits down.
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Ever been curious about what’s going on in there? You know that the little ones love to move around (you can see it too!) and get their kick on. But they do a lot more than “kick” back and relax, waiting for you to pop them out. They’re quite active. They figure out what foods they like and don’t like early on, learn how to make faces, learn languages, freak out when you do, listen to the music you do (yes, the little ones jam out) and a whole lot more. They’re more advanced in the womb than you think. With that being said, get ready to be blown away by these surprising things babies do in the womb.
They Taste What You Eat
By 20 weeks, babies can “taste” what you eat through the amniotic fluid. And they have a sweet tooth! Babies swallow twice as fast after you eat something sweet and slower when you eat something sour.
Want to give your baby a head start? You might want to consider a gender-neutral name. Studies show that kids with one are more successful in competitive fields like law. Plus, they’ll have something in common with all the other babies with these gender-neutral names that have been seriously trending over the last few years.
Remember when we broke your guy’s heart when we told you that some of his favorite things, from eating bacon to watching TV, are harming his fertility? Well, we’re ready to talk more about his sperm—but this time we’re bringing you good news!
Just like his lifestyle can harm his sperm production, simple changes can also increase it. The most recent study even found that drinking a pint of beer a day doubles a man’s odds of becoming a father.
1. Drinking Beer, Daily
In a recent study, researchers from Boston studied 105 men whose wives and girlfriends were undergoing IVF, and there’s great news for beer lovers. The men who drank the most (meaning they knocked back under three units a day on average—a pint of Stella Artois has 2.7 units) had a 57 percent chance that a session of IVF would work. This was 2X the success rate of the men who drank the least. More reasons to get your butt to happy hour, fellas.
2. Eating Nuts
If your guy munches on trailmix, you’re in luck, ladies. Italian doctors at Azienda Ospedaliera Citta della Salute e della Scienza di Torino believe eating nuts, seven per day to be exact, will help improve his sperm count and quality since polyunsaturated fatty acids have been shown to have a number of effects that help, including reducing inflammation.
3. Eating Greens
Scientists say it’s not just women who need to pay attention to what they eat pre-conception. A new study published in the Nature Communications, suggests that lack of folic acid, which is form of vitamin B that is known to be key in the prevention of brain and spine defects, can make subtle changes to the chemistry of the sperm’s DNA. Researchers advise prospective fathers to cut back on junk food and load up on greens, which are good sources of folic acid. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, asparagus and peas can all improve sperm quality and reduce the risk of birth defects.
4. Eating Carrots
Did he finish all the carrots again? Even if he ate the entire bag just so he could dig into that amazing hummus you always by, the orange veggie makes a much better game day snack for your man than chips or buffalo wings. Aside from their nutritional value, the beta-carotene-rich food improves the swimming ability of sperm. A new study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility discovered that men who ate the most carrots had the best sperm motility.
Need some inspiration to keep him munching on the root veggie? Meet carrot aficionado @RealCarrotFacts, a Twitter user who posts about carrots daily, and someone who we suspect has ideal swimmers.
5. Eating Tomatoes
Throw it on his sandwiches, salads, maybe even with that hummus. There’s plenty reasons to keep those beefsteak, plum and heirlooms coming, but did you know better sperm morphology was one? According to the study, men with diets high in lycopene had lower levels of abnormally shaped sperm. In addition to tomatoes, lycopene can be found in other red fruit and vegetables, such as red bell peppers, watermelon and papayas. Go red or go home.
6. Having Sex Frequently
Rejoice! Here’s one he’ll keep doing even without the science to persuade him. A lot of couples think “saving up” will help chances of conceiving, but researchers say it can actually have adverse effects on sperm count and motility.
For guys with low sperm counts, abstaining from even one day of sex can decrease their production even further, according to researchers at Soroka University Medical Centre in Israel. Abstaining from sex also causes sperm to change in shape, a sign that the sperm is going stale. Stale sperm? No thanks. Keep it going, folks.
7. Eating Fish
Listen, cod is no bacon — we all know that. But when it comes to increasing his chances of becoming a father, cod’s the winner. In a recent study where Harvard University researchers assessed men who ate a range of foods including processed meat, white meat, red meat, white fish and tuna or salmon, they discovered that guys who had white fish at least every other day had far better sperm quality than those who rarely ate it. White fish is rich in zinc, which is believed to boost fertility.
8. Trying A Different Lube
Use lube in the bedroom? With all that sex you’re having after seeing #3 above, the answer is probably yes. If you’re trying to get pregnant, use lubes that don’t have spermicidal agents or water-based lubricants, which can interfere with sperm movement. Instead, Mayo Clinic recommends using canola oil, safflower or peanut oil when you’re getting busy.
We all know it’s important to exercise, but for your guy, a more balanced, moderate lifestyle is best for his sperm. This may be good or bad news, depending on how much of a gym rat your dude is and what type of exercise he prefers. More active males have more sperm and more active ones, but according to Mayo Clinic, ultra-athletes, like runners, cyclists and swimmers, who put strain on their body on a regular basis can interfere with sperm production.
10. Taking Ginseng
Who needs Viagra when you have this magical herb? Not only does it enhance sexual desire, relax muscles and treat erectile dysfunction, but according to the National Institutes of Health, men who take Panax ginseng supplements have higher sperm counts and increased sperm motility.
Do you know any other tips for boosting fertility?
Reprinted with permission from YourTango.com
There’s no doubt about it – helping little ones sleep better, safer and for longer is the goal for most new parents. October is Infant Safe Sleep Month as well as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month, but it should be recognized every day. Here are a few items that help little ones sleep better.
The Bitta Kidda LovieSack™ makes sleep time easier. Made with super soft, snugly materials, the LovieSack safely provides comfort in the crib, enabling babies to soothe themselves back to sleep. Bitta Kidda also offers a portable Daytime Lovie that baby can bring with him wherever he goes.
nini & pumpkin has also created the moon cocoon, the first-of-its-kind, versatile sleep sack that grows with children from infant to toddler and beyond. The wearable duvet features a clever snap system has three size adjustments allowing the sleep sack to fit children from six months through three years.
Enjoy the simple pleasures of the last sleepy moments before bed with Thank You and Good Night. In this homage to classic bedtime stories, Patrick McDonnell (the author of Me… Jane, a Caldecott Honor Book) takes three animal pals—Clement, Jean and Alan Alexander—to a sweet sleepover where they dance, play and take a moment to say thank you for the day, the night and good friends. Children will love every precious detail in each illustration. And they’ll look forward to a new bedtime ritual of saying “thank you and good night.”
The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep – The groundbreaking #1 bestseller is sure to turn nightly bedtime battles into a loving and special end-of-day ritual. This child-tested, parent-approved story uses an innovative technique that brings a calm end to any child’s day. Do you struggle with getting your child to fall asleep? Join parents all over the world who have embraced The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep as their new nightly routine. When Roger can’t fall asleep, Mommy Rabbit takes him to see Uncle Yawn, who knows just what to do. Children will join Roger on his journey and be lulled to sleep alongside their new friend. Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin’s simple story uses a unique and distinct language pattern that will help your child relax and fall asleep—at bedtime or nap time. Reclaim bedtime today! Buy it here.
images and video: Johnson’s
Marla Brock is used to people doting over her baby, Monterey, because she’s the new face of Johnson’s Baby Wash.
Have you seen this delicious commercial? If not, click on it now, and you’ll see what we mean.
The first time Brock saw the commercial, she became emotional.
“I saw it late at night and everyone had gone to bed and there I was, you know, 10 o’clock at night and I just started crying,” she said.
Taped when she was just three months old (Monterey is now nine months old), it’s no surprise some of baby Monterey’s cutest moments were unscripted, but Brock said she still did her best to get her to move in certain ways.
“There was an infant massage coach actually stand offset adjacent to me telling me how to rub her feet,” she said. “There was moment in the commercial where the foot spreads and there’s a certain pressure point that I touched to make that happen.”
Kelly Gottfried helped lead the creative team for Johnson’s “So Much More” campaign and called Monterey “captivating” and “mesmerizing.”
“She draws you into the camera, and she looks up and everyone can relate to her and immediately connects,” Gottfried said.
She said they’ve heard parents say it brought tears to their eyes.
“To me, it’s definitely resonating to parents,” she said.
Johnson’s auditioned nearly 200 babies and selected 14.
“It was like no other audition I’d ever seen before,” Brock said. “There were mothers everywhere. And they all had their tubs. We were instructed to bring our own plastic bathtub because we’d be washing the baby on camera.”
Gottfried said Monterey was “absolutely” a unanimous choice.
“One look and we knew immediately we loved her,” she said.
Two babies were chosen to represent each of the “So Much More” campaign’s seven global markets. Monterey appears in nearly each one — a broader appeal for America’s changing face.
Brock said her husband is from Canada, and white.
“And he has blonde hair, blue eyes, so she certainly picked up some of his features,” Brock said.
Monterey’s ethnicity is not immediately apparent and Brock said perhaps when people look at her, they see themselves.
“I think there’s something inherently beautiful about her because people can connect with her,” she said.
Comedy Central’s @Midnight does a Hashtag war every Tuesday night and well this one, #BabyRappers, has taken over Twitter and we must say it has to be one of our favorites trending. Not only is everyone talking about babies, but they are remixing them with some of the best in hip hop. We mean really, babies and rap could possibly be the best of two worlds when it comes to having a little creative fun on Twitter. It isn’t Throwback Thursday just yet, but some of the names the Twitter-verse has come up with are sure to send you back down memory lane.
If you are looking for a cute (hilarious) nickname for your little one (say… Ol’ Dirty Pampers) then you’ll want to check out this list of our favorites so far. Moms and dads across the country unite and share one thing they all have in common, babies! Oh, and apparently wit!
#BabyRappers: Our Top Baby Hip Hop Remixes
A funny thing happens to you when you’re pregnant with you’re first child and you only have a few weeks left in your third trimester–all patience goes out the window.
You think anything that happens to your body means you’re in labor. If you sneeze, that might mean you’ll go to the hospital that night. If you have gas, that means you’re having a contraction. If you fart, you look down to see if you have a baby.
The truth is – with the exception of a planned C-section – you never know when it may happen. Your grandmother will tell you that you’ll be early because all six of her kids were early, while your mom swears up and down you’ll be late like she was with you. No one knows. If they did, they’d be millionaires who’d travel the world to tell pregnant women exactly when they would have their babies.
Take me for instance: I was due September 19. Which was really special for us. Not only was it my father’s birthday, but it was also our fifth wedding anniversary. So we were really rooting for #Babyologie to get here ON TIME. You know how they say, “We make plans and God laughs”? Babies laugh at our plans, too. At least mine did. She laughed six days later when she decided to finally get here.
Oh, another thing: you know how in the movies when the pregnant lady goes into labor her water breaks and gushes everywhere and she + her posse frantically make their way to the hospital and she has her baby what seems like immediately? Totally doesn’t happen like that in real life.
My contractions lasted all day but finally became five minutes apart around 11:00 at night. When I arrived to the hospital, I didn’t see the doctor until an hour later because my contractions hadn’t gotten closer together. Finally when I did see her, my ultrasound revealed that my child was transverse. TRANSVERSE?! Yep. Instead of head down, she was laying sideways. Then my water finally broke. Only to find out that there was meconium leaking out with it, too. Long story short, my delivery had now become an emergency C-section.
Like any first mother who hopes for the best, I had skimmed over all the C-section parts in all the pregnancy books and blogs I read. Because I wasn’t gonna need a C-section. Nope. Not me. But actually, yes me. And I was terrified. I had never had any type of surgery or even broken a bone for that matter. So as I was in the most excruciating pain in my life, I was also scared like never before having to get prepped and pep talked by the doctor about what was going to occur during this C-section. But once I wiped away the tears and put my fears aside (thank goodness for morphine!) I had to put on my game face because I was leaving this hospital with my baby.
Twenty-two minutes into surgery, my baby girl was born. Her daddy saw her first because I was laying down and couldn’t see past the surgery curtain. But once I heard her cry, I cried, because my fear of having a C-section wilted in comparison to the love I have for her. Just hearing her paralyzed me with overwhelming emotion. And just like that, 41 weeks of pregnancy became more than worth it.
Because I had thee rather large fibroids, putting me “back together” took about 90 minutes. But I must say: I didn’t feel a thing – not even pressure – and my incision was non invasive and beautiful. (Thumbs up for Dermabond!)
As a first time mom, your delivery will never be what you expect. There’s no amount of reading or listening you can do to prepare you. Expect the unexpected and remember that the overall goal of your delivery – be it 37 weeks or 41 weeks – is that you’re healthy and more importantly, you get a healthy baby to take home with you.