The Secret To A Fussy Baby: Massage

infantmassageResearch has shown that baby massage can help ease teething pains, tummy troubles, boost muscle development, and soothe a fussy baby to sleep. Out of the five senses, touch is the one that is most developed at birth, which is why infant massage has tremendous benefits for supporting baby’s growth and development. Here’s an introduction to the art of baby massage.
Pick a Comfortable Ambiance
Make sure the room is at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit so baby doesn’t catch a chill, dim the lights, and play some relaxing music. You can massage baby on your bed, on their changing table, even on your couch. Just remember to put a towel underneath to avoid oil stains.
Unscented Massage Oils Are Best
If you’re going to use an oil so your hand glides more easily over baby’s body, we recommend going with something unscented and vegetable/fruit based. Good oil options are olive, grape seed, coconut, and avocado to name a few. These oils are easily absorbed into baby’s skin. We recommend staying away from nut oils because of potential allergies and mineral oil because they can clog pores. Here’s one of our favorite.
Read Your Baby’s Cues
Not all babies like being massaged all the time, they have to be in the mood. If as soon as you lay your hands on them they start to cry, save the massage session for a later time. And not every session needs to include a full-body massage. If your baby decides he’s had enough after you massaged his feet and legs, that’s fine as well.
The Importance of Baby Massage
What matters is that you try to turn baby massage into a daily routine. It sets aside a special time where you can bond with baby one-on-one and help them find their inner-zen, as well as yours. This is also a great opportunity for dads to get hands-on care time with baby, especially if they work and baby is breastfed. The important thing to remember, whether it be mom or dad, is that the warmth and stroke of your hands on baby releases a feel-good hormone that instantly soothes and helps them develop mentally, socially, and physically.
Don’t Miss Our Baby Massage Class on June 28th! Sign Up Hereinfant-massage-foot-
In this two hour class you will:
-Learn how to give your baby a basic full-body massage
– Learn protocols to relieve gas, constipation, colic and stress
– Learn songs and rhymes to accompany massage
– Learn through massage how to nourish your child’s well-being, enhancing brain development and emotional and physical health
– Bond with your baby
– Build confidence in caring for your child

Baby’s Summer Safety Checklist

Summer-Safety-Guide-for-BabiesThe sun’s out, the pool is glimmering, the barbecue’s a sizzling, but before you and baby enjoy it all, here is a quick checklist for summertime safety.

– No Sun for Baby. Babies under 6 months should never be exposed to direct rays. Pull out the sunhats, stroller umbrellas, and anything else that creates lots of shade. And don’t forget about the sunscreen! Here’s our favorite.
– Caution in Water. Keep children under 4 years within arms reach when in a pool. Once your child is 4, you can enroll him/her in a swim class for water survival skills. We strongly recommend taking a CPR class as well. Next class is July 20th
Hot Surfaces. Before you let your little one roam free at a playground, make sure there is no metal equipment (especially slides) that can heat up under the sun. Burned bums aren’t fun!
Beware of Bees. Keep your distance from areas that attract bees and other bugs, such as open foods and gardens. Also avoid putting on fragrances and wearing floral-patterned clothing.
Keep em’ Cool. Heat exhaustion is a major concern as temperatures rise. Symptoms include extreme thirst, muscle cramping, and fatigue. If you notice heat illness, spray them with cold water, fan them, and get them in the shade.

Do’s and Don’ts of Newborn Care

doula service babyTips for handling a newborn

  • Do: Wash your Hands (or use a sanitizer) before handling baby. Since Newborns are susceptible to infections because they do have not have a strong immune system, it is crucial that anyone who handles an infant wash their hands.
  • Do: Support both the neck and head when handling a newborn. Cradle the head when carrying your baby and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay your baby down.
  • Don’t: Place your newborn to sleep on their belly. Always place a baby on its back. This will help them maintain a good sleeping posture and is the best precaution against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Do: Practice Skin to Skin. Studies have shown there are important benefits of practicing skin to skin for babies and for mom (and dad!) after birth and in the weeks following. Find out more about skin to skin and baby wearing
  • Do: Join your local mom’s group.  Come to ours – Free!  Every Wednesday at 12:30.

Your Guide to Picking the Perfect Babysitter

babysitter-questions1. Determine Your and Your Child’s Needs By Age
Your child’s age is one of the most important factors when looking for a sitter. For infants, you should look for a sitter with experience in newborn care and who has taken an infant CPR class. As your child becomes older and more rambunctious, you should look for someone who is fun and energetic, but can also set boundaries.
2. Talk on the Phone First
This will give you a sense of the potential sitter’s personality and the opportunity to ask about availability and pay. If the sitter’s schedule does not meet yours or she charges too much, there is no point in meeting in person. If the pay sounds reasonable, ask for references in order to do some research.
3. Set Up a Time to Meet in Person
If you like what you hear from the references, invite the sitter over to meet you and your child. This is a good time to see how she handles your infant or how she and your child interact. This is also a good time to discuss expectations such as sleep time, food options, etc. Get to know her more by asking these type of questions:
  • Are you working with any other families at the moment? If so, please describe the family.
  • Do you know how to prepare food for children?
  • How would you deal with a child who is behaving badly?
  • What activities do you enjoy doing while babysitting?

4. Found a Match? What To Do Next:
Leave all your emergency telephone numbers and information in a central location such as the fridge or kitchen counter. When the sitter arrives, walk her through the house one more time and make her feel comfortable. Try your best not to linger  around too long or else your child may get confused or upset.

Traveling Sleep Tips By Age

Baby-Sleeping-Plane-800x350Shared by CB Sleep Expert Angelique Millette

0-4 months:
– Most newborns don’t have a sleep schedule and will sleep every few hours. For this reason, flying with a newborn may be a lot easier than flying with an active toddler.
– Since newborns are not eating solids, you can easily breastfeed or offer a bottle of pumped breastmilk or formula. A quick tip for heating a bottle on the plane: pour hot water into a clean barf bag.
– While on your trip, sleep and feed baby on demand/as needed.
– Most importantly, be sure to speak with your baby’s doctor about traveling with a baby under 4 mos and if necessary, speak with your baby’s doctor about necessary vaccinations pre-trip.
4-12 months:
– If needed, bring a sound machine. Curious and social babies four months or older may have more trouble sleeping if there are a lot of interesting new sounds.
– Babies may have a more consistent sleep-feed schedule starting around 3-6 months so when possible, try to plan feed and sleep times around travel times.
– If you are planning on making sleep changes or using “sleep training” try not to do it right before departing for a trip. Better to give your baby 1-2 wks or more before the trip. Or, after returning from a trip you may need to delay sleep training to adjust for time zone.
– Some toddlers may not do well with new surroundings and may resist going to sleep or may be scared by new surroundings and faces. Try to help your toddler get used to a new sleep space by spending time together in the new room before bedtime.
– Try spending an additional 10-15 min with your child at bedtime the first few nights. This will mean that you want to start bedtime a little earlier than you normally would at home.
– If you have not been bed-sharing at home but find yourself bed-sharing with an anxious or scared toddler while traveling, the first night home from your trip, plan on moving your child back to his bed.

Baby’s First Flight

Here are a few general tips for your baby’s first trip:
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) encourages parents to only travel with as much juice, breastmilk, formula, or baby food as needed to reach your destination. It may be helpful to store it in a separate “food bag” and tell the TSA agent about the food bag. You do not need to store it in a zip lock bag and it can be in quantities greater than 3.4 oz. It will make it easier for the TSA to inspect the contents in the food bag.
  • When flying, plan to offer the breast, bottle, or pacifier, for take off and landing. This will help to equalize the pressure in the middle ear which can cause a lot of pain for little one’s since they can’t “pop” their ears like we can.
  • “Lap babies” (ages 2 and under) fly for free however the FAA recommends that babies under 40 pounds be secured in car seats on airplanes but it is not required. Most airlines have special rates for infants so check with your airline ahead of time. Not all car seats are approved for use in airplanes so be sure to check your car seat beforehand.
  • If you decide not to purchase an airplane seat for your baby, plan on bringing a sling or baby carrier. However, baby carriers and slings are not approved by the FAA during take off and landing so be prepared to have a flight attendant ask you to remove baby or unhook a strap from the carrier.
  • Be prepared with the proper identification to verify that your “lap baby” is less than two years of age. Appropriate ID includes: passport, birth certificate, and some domestic flights will accept your child’s health insurance card.
  • If flying, take advantage of pre-boarding or family boarding. Check with your airline to find out specifics. Also, try to fly non-stop flights when possible since it will mean less travel time.
  • If flying, you can check your baby/child’s car seat and stroller at the gate. But, do check with your specific airline to find out about getting a gate check ticket before the flight.
  • Most importantly, give yourself a lot of time for packing, getting to the airport, driving to your destination. That way you will be prepared in case your toddler has a messy diaper or your baby is on a growth spurt and more hungry.

Is Your Baby Now A Toddler?

Here are the 5 Signs :

1. Mobility
Your baby is now more mobile and with mobility comes bruises from all the falls and tumbles they take with their steps toward independence.
2. Communication
Baby is now babbling with greater diversity, making new sound combinations and intonations. You may also notice baby trying to imitate your speech, putting consonants and vowels together.
3. Surprising Behaviors
Your baby is now doing things like hiding your keys, phone, and remotes. Or refusing food, biting, and other behaviors you have never experienced with them before.
4. Whining
You will notice that your baby’s cry is now less frequent and more specific. Let’s not forget louder. Welcome to the world of whining!
5. More Assertive
Now that baby can move, they are able to get the things they want, but previously couldn’t get to. This makes them more assertive in claiming “mine”. 

Communications At Every Age

babytalkGood Communication is fundamental to the health of any relationship – and it is definitely true as you embark on your journey as a parent communicating with your child during pregnancy.

Here are some tips for communicating through the ages:
In Utero – Don’t skip this one!  While still in Utero your baby hears and absorbs all the sounds and voices around them.  This is a great time for them to get to know the voices of both Mom and Dad: read to them, play them music, strum the guitar etc.  Dads – talk to the bump!  Your baby will recognize you all the better once they are born.

Infants – Your baby will be curious about noises, but none more so than the spoken voice. Talk to your baby whenever you have the chance (narrate what you are doing if you have run out of things to say…..). Even though your baby doesn’t seem to understand what you are saying, your calm, reassuring voice conveys safety.
Communicating with newborns is a matter of meeting their needs. Always respond to your newborn’s cries – babies cannot be spoiled with too much verbal attention. Indeed, prompt responses to babies’ cries lets them know that they’re important and worthy of attention.

Babies – Introduce Baby Sign Language.  This gives children the opportunity to communicate long before they can verbalize their wants and needs and the confidence that they are understood.  Research studies show that signing with babies accelerates language acquisition, reduces frustration, enhances a child’s self esteem, and  deepens the bond between parent and child.  Take one of our intro classes or play series to learn more.

Toddlers – This time of development is huge in terms of speech and language development. It can also be a challenging time, however, because often times toddlers understand much more than they can say and therefore they can become frustrated sometimes…which can lead to tantrums and tears. It is challenging for them and even more challenging to us as parents – the way we respond to them can make a huge difference in how their behavior and emotional intelligence take shape.  Learn how to respond in “real time” with our Toddler play and learn series. 

Is Your Baby Ready For Solids?

If your baby is ready to move beyond liquid-only nourishment, here are the cues to look out for:

Head Control and Sitting WellBaby-Eating
Your baby is able to keep his head in a steady, upright position and is able to sit well when supported. Even if baby is not quite ready for a highchair, sitting upright is crucial to swallowing well.

Chewing Motions
Your baby’s mouth and tongue develop in sync with their digestive system. They should lose their extrusion reflex of pushing food out of their mouth with their tongue. To start solids, they should be able to move food to the back of their mouth and swallow.

Significant Weight Gain
If your baby is double their birth weight, or reach about 15 pounds, and at least 4 months old.

Growing Appetite
Even with 8 to 10 feedings of breast milk or formula a day, they still seem hungry.

Food Curious
If you catch your baby eyeing your meals or even reaching for it as you bring the fork to your mouth, your baby is ready to be introduced to solids.

The Truth Behind Teething

Your baby’s first tooth will appear between the ages of 3 and 7 months, although some babies get their tooth a bit earlier and others a bit later. All 20 baby teeth will be present when your child is around 2 1/2 years old. When your baby starts drooling, they are most likely starting the teething process. Other symptoms include puffy or swollen gums, putting fingers in mouth, and fussiness.

What Causes the Pain?
Not the teeth cutting through the gums; this is a common misconception. Baby’s teeth do not cut through the flesh of the gums. Biologically, special chemicals are released that cause the cells in the gum to separate and recede, allowing new teeth to come through. This process is not painful. Think about when you were 7 years old and had an adult tooth come in after you lost your baby tooth. Did that hurt?

Pain is in the Bacteria.
Pain during teething is generally a result of infection or inflammation of the gum tissue, which is generally caused by bacteria and food deposits getting caught in tiny gum flaps around the emerging tooth.

Preventing the Pain:
Dentists recommend beginning dental care before the first baby tooth even appears. Clean baby’s gums everyday to reduce bacteria and food build-up by using a clean gauze and cooled, boiled water or baby Dental Wipes. To relieve the current pain, take a look at our teething guide below for other great products that help.