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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Solids Debate...dun dun dun.

    I see SO many parents posting pictures of their wee ones laid back and sucking liquid substances off of spoons or asking how to get the baby to sleep better at night and given the "put cereal in the bottle" advice and I figured it was time to address my feelings over this topic. While I understand that "we" or "you" had all of this and survived "just fine", I am also very aware of the health of our society's adults as a whole. Yeah, you know, the obese ones, the ones with heart ailments, stomach issues....those people. And I wonder, those are the same adults that were fed artificial breastmilk substitute (because only poor folks nursed), the same ones fed this new baby food jar mess at a week or two old, then weaned onto processed foods and drinks....could these be connected to the health issues today?  Long ago, kids were nursed and possible fed foods early, but, those foods weren't processed ones. They were real foods probably grown in their garden. My other concern is this, if baby can't drink cows milk, how do you expect them to tolerate rice cereal or other foods at 2 and 3 months? I can't imagine they would be able to. I believe kids can show you their stomachs are prepared for food when they are old enough to sit up, grab a bite off your plate, out it in their own mouth and chew it up. That seems logical as a good indication they are ready, don't you think? That's why I really love and agree with the Baby Led Weaning/Solid Approach. You wait until baby shows the readiness signs, then, you give baby soft appropriate chunks of foods and let him feed himself the food. No purees, no spoon is in control of his food and how he eats it. You can give real, non-processed carrots, broccoli, avocado, mango...loads of foods.

   Another thing to note, if you are breastfeeding, baby may not be interested in solids until later. That is perfectly fine and baby can survive on breastmilk ALONE until 12 or even closer to 24 months. Seriously. The same way one would let baby lead the way in weaning, baby can also lead the way in solids.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Homeschooling Info for those getting started...

     I don't/haven't homeschooled my child, but, I had researched the possibility and know that others are searching for the same info. So, to the best of my is all of the info I could find.


Homeschooling Laws By State This is needed because every state has different recommendations and rules. Be sure you know the rules before you start so you can be prepared.

Now for the ins and out of beginning...

Figure out your child's learning style so you can best decide a course of action for their learning. Also, you need to decide your teaching style and how much you are willing to put into this process. There are several approaches to teaching and learning:

  • "Structured - Sometimes called school at home, it can also include those who just like to have a very organized, goal-oriented day: A Day-Timer® School!
  • Interest-initiated - Some call this approach "unschooling." These families learn from real life experiences. Kids pursue their interests with encouragement and resources provided by their parents. These families might have a monthly calendar with a few key events noted on it.
  • Learning-style - Learning materials and activities are chosen based onhow their children learn best.
  • Philosophical - These homeschools are structured around educationalphilosophies studied by the parents.
  • Accelerated - Resentful of being called "pushy," these parents feel theirgifted children have special talents that deserve intense, daily focus. The children may also have determined goals to reach.
  • Accommodating - Some families need to structure their homeschooling around the special needs of one or more people in their family.
  • Unit-based - AKA the unit study approach, all learning is focused on a particular topic for for a period of time, each child learning at their own level of understanding.
  • Community - Community activities:  religious involvementyouth organizations, volunteer work: group situations that they or others like them have organized. Families spend a significant portion of their time learning from involvement outside the home.
  • Eclectic - Any combination of the above! Families pick and choose from all the wonderful options available to them and alter their course as needed." From A to Z Home's Cool
Now, I won't say you need to dwell on these approaches or learning style, it is just a handy tool in starting out. And while one mom may choose to buy a complete curriculum with books, workbooks and worksheets, you may decide to utilize the library for free resources. Or maybe free printable worksheets from online sites.
It all depends on WHAT you want your child to learn, HOW you want to teach them and WHICH way they learn best.

Here is a list of good sites:
School Express
The Teacher's Corner
A to Z Kids Stuff

Plenty of games, lessons and worksheets.

If none of this sounds like what you are looking for, then perhaps UNschooling is what you need. You can teach your child through life experiences. They can make a grocery list and budget, plan meals for the week, cut coupons, search local ads for savings, find recipes, cook that experience, they are learning reading, math, economics, home skills, socializing...and much more. Planting a garden, raising animals, starting a small business, writing a blog...there are plenty ways to learn without learning at a desk with a teacher teaching up front. And if a child decides they ARE interested in learning more about any subject, you can help them find out everything there is to know about that subject. They would be learning, but, about things that interest them...making it more likely to be retained in their brains.

Keep in mind that you can use EVERY type of schooling and approaches while homeschooling.

A handy discipline technique for older kids.

If time-outs don't seem to work for your 3-6 year old, then perhaps this will...while also encouraging gross and fine motor skills. It seems to extinguish anger and hostility as well.

Directions for first time usage:
Have child stand at a low surface table.
Hand them a small cup(Like a Dixie cup)
Hand them a piece of construction paper
Have child tear paper into small pieces and place them in cup.

Now, I know you are all pish poshing this and saying how your kids would LOVE to tear paper. You believe this isn't proper punishment if they love it...
And you'd be right...the first time. However, after they have gone to tear paper about 3 is NO longer fun at all. They dread it. One mention and they will immediately cease their actions. LOL How do I know this? Well, I worked at a daycare for many years and this was implemented the first year I was there. We learned it at a workshop. This is still being used there many years later because of how well it works. :)

Now...the second + time you use it in a day:
Ditto all of the above actions.
Once they have torn it into small pieces and put them into the cup,
 have them pour those pieces out and tear them smaller.
Add another pouring and tearing per session.

They will not like tearing after this, they will have helped not only their gross but their fine motor skills and they will have been occupied so long that they will have forgotten about what they were getting into and ready to go play. This technique is really helpful if you have a hitter, biter or angry kid that needs calmed. It's an occupied time-out.

This paired with a soft, non breakable "Mad" spot also helps. Then, they have a place to go get mad and release anger. Because it is ok to get mad and be mad and hit a beanbag chair.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Something I noticed recently..

      I happened to notice something peculiar regarding "attachment" parents and how they deal with their children from birth through about age four and how it changes completely by about age six...compared to "typical" parents and their methods at the same ages...
Birth - 5
"Attachment" Parents                                
Hold their babies a lot                              
Co-Sleep/Bed Share                                
Wear their babies                                    
Respond immediately to cries                  
Baby is dependent on others                    

 "Typical" Parents
Feel baby would be spoiled by too much holding
Teaches baby to self-soothe alone in a crib
Teach their baby to play and occupy themselves
Wait a few minutes before reacting
Baby learns to adapt to their routine and knows crying won't bring a parent....


5-and up

"Attachment" Parents                                    
Kids are free to play without interference      
Allowed to try new things/Make mistakes      
Play further away from mom/down the street
Stay with friends                                          
Allowed to watch/know appropriate things    
Allowed some freedoms                                

"Typical" Parents
Parents direct the play/restrict play
Parents hover and warn before mistakes are made
Stay within direct view
Only friends over
G rated movies only until 7, PG until 14, so on..
Not allowed to do things alone

While this is only an observation of a tiny, select few I have noticed..I thought it was funny that the "Attachment" Parents I know "Baby" the baby and allow certain freedoms as the child ages. Creating independence and teaching responsibility. While the "Typical" Parents I know expect the baby to do more grown -up things than I think are possible and yet hold them back from any real independence as they age. I find that so strange. I just can't do that...I will always believe that the BABY should be..well, "Babied". And the older child should be allowed a more "Free-Range" approach as to acclimate to society.

Of course, I know not all people fit into these categories or labels or situations...this is just what I have seen personally.

For instance, I do not restrict/ban ANY movie, art, book or music. I do involve myself with my son and we discuss things openly and deeply. I think ALL things can be and should be used as learning tools. And these things offer a unique non-life threatening way to learn about life situations before one is old enough experience them in person. They can learn about, role-play and experience in the safety of their own home with a parent there to explain, answer questions and direct them in the way the parent sees fit. Well, before the child has to do it on their own.

I think we spend TOO much time trying to childproof the world when we should be spending more time trying to worldproof our children.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Own Birth Story...'Young And Lucky"

     I figured it was about time to tell my own personal story of the birth of my son. At the time he was conceived, I was 18 and single. The only child of a lady that had a planned c-section and no knowledge outside of what doctors at the time told moms. There was no internet and I had no family that knew anything more than my mom.   Basically, I was as clueless as one could get. My only source of information was "What To Expect When You Are Expecting" and any of the random free parenting magazines mailed out to pregnant moms. I would also like to point out, I had no clue I was pregnant until I missed a fourth month of my cycle...I had never been regular and had missed three months in the past. Well, once I did find out, I knew three very sure things...1) I was not getting an epidural, 2) I was not having a c-section and 3) I was going to nurse.

     Time passed and it came the final appointment before my due date...I was 2cm dilated. I joked to my doctor that at that rate, I was going to go another eight weeks before I had him. He said , "No, I will do something about it next visit if you haven't gone by then." I had no clue about the dangers of inductions or the reason why or why not to have one. Luckily on the day of my next appointment, two days after my due date, at 12:00PM my back felt really weird. I called my mom to tell her about it and she asked questions and decided I might be in labor. She was already going to come and take me to the appointment, she came earlier than planned. LOL By the time we were on our way, I KNEW I was in labor.

     I showed up at their office and told the receptionist what was happening and a few minutes later, I was ushered back to check. He informed me that I was indeed in labor, at 4 to 5cm and told me to go to the labor floor of the hospital next door and get admitted. I showed up and was immediately put into a gown, put into bed on my back and given an I.V. Time passed and the OB/GYN came into check on me..he decided that not only was I not moving fast enough, that I needed Pitocin and to have my water broken. This was at 4:00PM...maybe, it could have been earlier. By 6:00PM a nurse asked if I was feeling any pressure, I told her I was and when she went to check me...she informed me the babies head was right there and she was getting the doctor.

     When the doctor arrived, so did multiple others and within seconds, my bed was broken down, my legs were on the stirrups and people were telling me to hold my breath and push for the count of 10. I was told I was doing it wrong and that I was not to make any grunting noises...just put my chin to my chest, hold my breath and push with all my might. So, I did...twice. Next thing I knew, I was told to STOP, that his head was out and he needed suctioned. Apparently, I also "needed" an episiotomy. Well, after that, a half of a push later and he was born at 7:01PM. His cord was immediately cut, he was put on the table and tested, wiped, wrapped and finally handed back to me while they were telling me they had to hurry and take him to test him and put him on the warmer.

     He was finally taken and I was cleaned up and moved to another room. I also got to eat and potty before he was brought back. I at some point nursed him for the first time...quite awhile after he was born. I fed him when he cried..I had no clue if that's how it was done or not. Some lady eventually came to ask how the feeding was going. She watched him feed and said he was doing fine. No other real advice though.

     That night, he slept in my arms in the bed with me...and got to have his temp taken every hour for 24hours after his birth. And the next day, he showed signs of jaundice, so, we got to stay another night. Finally, on day 2...we got to go home. Where I promptly quit breastfeeding at one month old because I didn't have a clue what I was doing...

     Even with all of that, I do consider myself lucky...I went into labor spontaneously, had him vaginally and did nurse him for at least a month. For what it's worth, my next kids will be born at home with a midwife and nursed until fully ripened at the breast(until the quit on their own).

                                                           Right before we left the hospital...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Some helpful advice for expectant moms:

Let's start with the basics:
EDD and inducing before 42 weeks
Unless your cycle is an exact 28 day cycle with ovulation on day 14 each and everytime and you only have sex once per cycle AND you can see the sperm enter the egg and implant, you CANNOT know when you will deliver. And consequently, even if you managed to fit the description above, you still CANNOT tell when you will deliver. Why? Because not all babies develop at the same rate and need to come out at the exact time. The whole 40 weeks is based on some old random scale anyway.

"The expected date of delivery (EDD) is 40 weeks counting from the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP), and birth usually occurs between 37 and 42 weeks.[13] The actual pregnancy duration is typically 38 weeks after conception. Though pregnancy begins at conception, it is more convenient to date from the first day of a woman's last menstrual period, or from the date of conception if known. Starting from one of these dates, the expected date of delivery can be calculated using the Naegele's rule for estimating date of delivery. A more accurate and sophisticated algorithm takes into account other variables, such as whether this is the first or subsequent child (i.e., pregnant woman is a primip or a multip, respectively), ethnicity, parental age, length of menstrual cycle, and menstrual regularity.
Pregnancy is considered "at term" when gestation attains 37 complete weeks but is less than 42 (between 259 and 294 days since LMP). Events before completion of 37 weeks (259 days) are considered preterm; from week 42 (294 days) events are considered postterm.[14]When a pregnancy exceeds 42 weeks (294 days), the risk of complications for both the woman and the fetus increases significantly.[13][15]As such, obstetricians usually prefer to induce labour, in an uncomplicated pregnancy, at some stage between 41 and 42 weeks.[16][17]Recent medical literature prefers the terminology preterm and postterm to premature and postmature. preterm and postterm are unambiguously defined as above, whereas premature and postmature have historical meaning and relate more to the infant's size and state of development rather than to the stage of pregnancy.[18][19]Fewer than 5% of births occur on the due date; 50% of births are within a week of the due date, and almost 90% within 2 weeks.[unreliable medical source?][20] It is much more useful and accurate, therefore, to consider a range of due dates, rather than one specific day, with some online due date calculators providing this information.Accurate dating of pregnancy is important, because it is used in calculating the results of various prenatal tests (for example, in the triple test). A decision may be made to induce labour if a fetus is perceived to be overdue. Furthermore, if LMP and ultrasound dating predict different respective due dates, with the latter being later, this might signify slowed fetal growth and therefore require closer review.The age of viability has been receding because of continued medical progress. Whereas it used to be 28 weeks, it has been brought back to as early as 23, or even 22 weeks in some countries."

Now I ask you...if even the WHO says that 42 weeks is still term and just fine and that only after that should you even consider induction if at all, why are doctors so happy to induce at exactly 40 weeks and sometimes earlier? What if your EDD was off by 2 weeks at least because you ovulated a little later that month? So, EDD off and doc thinks you should be induce because you are 39 weeks and haven't dilated? If your baby is born that day...he is then officially one week early, but, developmentally 4 weeks early. Chances are he will be small and need the NICU. I suggest you research and make an informed decision...ask for a NST(non-stress test) and determine how baby is handling everything and if uterus is working properly. If it is, then, let baby continue to develop as much as he needs.

These should be avoided at all cost..however, there are sometimes clear medical need for an induction. If you choose to have one take these things into consideration...
Cytotec is very dangerous and should NEVER be used. It clearly states so on the package insert.


Cervadil is a better choice if one must do it.

If you are given Pitocin, keep in mind that it creates stronger than normal contractions and may stress out baby. If that happens and doctor mentions heart decelerations, ask him to turn down your Pitocin dosage, it is too strong for baby. Do NOT let him scare you into a c-section by telling you he has to "save" the baby...try turning down the too high Pit first and see what happens. Same goes for if you have an epidural with the Pitocin. The epi causes the Pit to slow down some. The doctor then turns up the Pit to compensate. You feel more pain and therefore need more starts a vicious cycle. Baby will get distressed and his heart will decelerate and you will need "saved" by the skilled surgeon. Yeah, just ask him to turn it down some and let baby rest.

Breaking Your Waters Artificially

There is almost never a need for having your waters broken by the doctor. In fact, probably never a good reason. If you go in for an induction, NEVER let them break your water unless you are in active labor and a 10 already. Because once you do, there is no turning back, you are stuck in the hospital and will have baby withing 24 hours even if they have to cut it out. 
Babies can be born in their intact sac(in the caul). It is unheard of in todays water breaking happy doctors though. 
In fact, not breaking the water leads to less intense more manageable contractions and can cushion baby all the way out.

Federal Breastfeeding Laws

Federal Breastfeeding Laws(link to article)

The following federal laws protect a mother and her child and their right to nurse anytime, anywhere on federal property. Federal property includes such things as museums, parks, courthouses, agencies, and other public places maintained by federal funds. State laws can be viewed in more detail here.

Library of Congress H.R.2490
Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2000
Public Law No: 106-58 (Sec. 647):

Authorizes a woman to breastfeed her child on Federal property if the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location.

Recently, an additional federal law was put into effect that impacts nursing mothers and their right to pump milk for their babies while at work. The issue we have with this law is that it only protects nursing mothers with babies up to the age of 12 months. This is simply not enough. The WHO and AAFP have both highlighted the fact that we find detrimental health outcomes when human babies are not provided human milk for their first 24 months of life, minimum. To reflect this, and be proactive in our nation's health care, we should protect nursing mothers' relationships with their children for at least the first 2 years of a baby's life.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following:

An employer shall provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), signed into law on March 23, 2010 (P.L. 111-148), amended Section 7 of the FLSA, to provide a break time requirement for nursing mothers.
Employers are required to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.
The FLSA requirement of break time for nursing mothers to express breast milk does not preempt State laws that provide greater protections to employees (for example, providing compensated break time, providing break time for exempt employees, or providing break time beyond 1 year after the child’s birth).
Employers are required to provide a reasonable amount of break time to express milk as frequently as needed by the nursing mother. The frequency of breaks needed to express milk as well as the duration of each break will likely vary.
A bathroom, even if private, is not a permissible location under the Act. The location provided must be functional as a space for expressing breast milk. If the space is not dedicated to the nursing mother’s use, it must be available when needed in order to meet the statutory requirement. A space temporarily created or converted into a space for expressing milk or made available when needed by the nursing mother is sufficient provided that the space is shielded from view, and free from any intrusion from co-workers and the public.
Only employees who are not exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements are entitled to breaks to express milk. While employers are not required under the FLSA to provide breaks to nursing mothers who are exempt from the overtime pay requirements of Section 7, they may be obligated to provide such breaks under State laws.
Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not subject to the FLSA break time requirement if compliance with the provision would impose an undue hardship. Whether compliance would be an undue hardship is determined by looking at the difficulty or expense of compliance for a specific employer in comparison to the size, financial resources, nature, and structure of the employer’s business. All employees who work for the covered employer, regardless of work site, are counted when determining whether this exemption may apply.
Employers are not required under the FLSA to compensate nursing mothers for breaks taken for the purpose of expressing milk. However, where employers already provide compensated breaks, an employee who uses that break time to express milk must be compensated in the same way that other employees are compensated for break time. In addition, the FLSA’s general requirement that the employee must be completely relieved from duty or else the time must be compensated as work time applies.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

LOVE THIS!!! Attachment parenting is not a "New" concept!!

The rest of the article...

Attachment parenting is not a new style of parenting. Attachment parenting is one of the oldest ways of caring for babies. In fact, it's the way that parents for centuries have taken care of babies, until childcare advisors came on the scene and led parents to follow books instead of their babies. Picture your family on a deserted island and you've just delivered a baby. There are no books, advisors, or in-laws around to shower you with child baby- tending advice. The baby B's of attachment parenting would come naturally to you as they have other cultures who have centuries more child-rearing experience and tradition than all of us have.

Love this paragraph...I hate when opposers refer to it as "New-Age" or something we "new" moms came up with. This way is how it was always done. Modern folks killed this way of doing it and we now are taking it back.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Interesting post on the science behind Attachment Parenting.

Link to article

"Attachment parenting, or AP, is an approach to child-rearing intended to forge strong, secure attachments between parents and children. 

For many parents, this approach feels intuitive. And anthropological research suggests that some attachment parenting practices—-such as baby-wearing and co-sleeping—-have deep roots in our evolutionary past (Konner 2005).
But does AP really make a difference?
Not surprisingly, it depends on how you define your terms.
Here I ignore politics, the "attachment parenting movement," and various romantic or religious notions about "natural" parenting.
Instead, I review the scientific research that supports physical closeness, sensitivity, and responsiveness in parents."

This a good start to make the case for it, but, I still feel it is nature to do this and shouldn't need a scientific study to prove that it is better. hopefully more mom's can go with gut instincts instead of what some relatives or books tell them.

Most kids today are taught through Skill based learning, but, according to this study, maybe we need to add more Play based learning to the mix as well.

Link to the article.

"Every day where we work, we see our young students struggling with the transition from home to school. They're all wonderful kids, but some can't share easily or listen in a group.
Some have impulse control problems and have trouble keeping their hands to themselves; others don't always see that actions have consequences; a few suffer terribly from separation anxiety.
We're not talking about preschool children. These are Harvard undergraduate students whom we teach and advise. They all know how to work, but some of them haven't learned how to play.
Parents, educators, psychologists, neuroscientists, and politicians generally fall into one of two camps when it comes to preparing very young children for school: play-based or skills-based."
So, How do you feel about it? Are we lacking?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Breastfeeding myths most people take as the truth.

Read more by clicking here.

When mothers hear that colostrum is measurable in teaspoons rather than ounces, they often wonder if that can really be enough for their babies. The short answer is that colostrum is the only food healthy, full-term babies need. The following is an explanation:

A 1 day old baby's stomach capacity is about 5-7 ml, or about the size of a marble. Interestingly, researchers have found that the day-old newborn's stomach does not stretch to hold more. Since the walls of the newborn's stomach stays firm, extra milk is most often expelled (spit up). Your colostrum is just the right amount for your baby's first feedings!

By day 3, the newborn's stomach capacity has grown to about 0.75-1 oz, or about the size of a "shooter" marble. Small, frequent feedings assure that your baby takes in all the milk he needs.

Around day 7, the newborn's stomach capacity is now about 1.5-2 oz, or about the size of a ping-pong ball. Continued frequent feeding will assure that your baby takes in all the milk he needs, and your milk production meets his demands.

The Dangers of Baby Orajel

I DID NOT WRITE is not from my opinion. It was pulled from the FDA site directly. So,it wasn't posted simply because I *THINK* it's bad, it was posted because the FDA even knows it's bad. So, if you choose to use it anyway with your under 2(or any age) so with caution and at your own risk. Like I always say, just because your family has used something by the gallons for the entire history of man with no complications...doesn't mean there can never, ever be any at anytime anywhere else. Take heed to studies, research and warnings. Know that most of the time it doesn't come from pure opinion, it has a prompt. Someone got hurt. TM:I

How Safe is Your Baby’s Teething Medicine?

Last month, the FDA warned doctors, patients, and parents about the potential for a rare but deadly blood disorder associated with benzocaine.  Benzocaine is a drug found in many popular over the counter anesthetics and a drug that can result in a blood disorder known as methemoglobinemia.
While anyone can develop methemoglobinemia babies under age 2 have an elevated risk of developing the condition.  Benzocaine is found in popular teething remedies such as Baby Orajel and Anbesol.  The FDA is now warning that Orajel and Anbesol should not be used on children under age 2 unless directed by a physician.
Methemoglobinemia interferes with the body’s ability to carry oxygen into bodily tissue.  If you, or your child, experience:
  • pale, gray or blue skin, lips or nails;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • fatigue;
  • confusion;
  • lightheadedness;
  • headache; or
  • Rapid heart rate
while on a benzocaine product then it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
Many over the counter benzocaine medications do not yet carry a warning about methemoglobinemia.
If you, or your child, have suffered from methemoglobinemia while taking or shortly after taking a benzocaine product, please file an adverse report with the FDA and consult with a defective drug lawyer for information about your legal rights.