There are all sorts of things expecting moms should know about when having a baby ... like fun baby shower games, buying breastmilk online, traveling with baby and more.
for showering the mom-to-be
Don’t just have a baby shower — have a fun one! Let laughter and joy flow with a few, silly games:
As guests arrive, place a sticker on their back naming one half of a famous couple with children. The guests need to figure out who they are by asking each other questions and then go find their mate.
Find the Binky
Fill a diaper bag with items you’d expect to find inside (and maybe a few things you wouldn’t!) like bottles, wipes, a diaper pad, jar food, blankets, etc. Hide a pacifier deep inside the bag. Challenge guests to find the pacifier the fastest while coaxing the other guests to wail like a baby. Fastest one wins! When the game is over, give the contents of the bag to the new mom.
Don’t Stick Baby!
Purchase cloth diapers, diaper pins, and pink or blue round balloons. Blow up the balloons and add baby faces with markers. Test the diapering skills of your guests by asking them to put a diaper on the “baby” — without sticking it and popping the balloon. This is harder than it looks.
Don’t Break Your Water
This outdoor game is for casual parties! Fill several water balloons and have your guests compete in a relay race, carrying water balloons between their knees and walking quickly from point A to point B without breaking your water. Team with the most filled water balloons wins!
Don’t Say Baby
Use ribbon and small baby pacifier charms to make necklaces. As guests arrive, give them a necklace and explain that the purpose of the game is to collect the most necklaces. Tell them they can’t say the word “baby,” or whoever hears them say it can take their necklace away. Let the game continue to the end of the shower! Order a pack of 100 multi-colored pacifier charms on Amazon for $7.50.
— Pam Molnar
Tips for Air Travel with Your Infant
You can be a cool, collected traveler with your infant on a plane with these easy tips:
RESERVATIONS: Make them early to get the bulkhead section so you have more room. Children 2 and younger fly for free as long as they’re on their parent’s lap, but your infant will still need a boarding verification document to get through security.
SPEAKING OF SECURITY: Car seats and all baby paraphernalia have to be scanned by security. Breast milk and infant formula are not limited to the 3.4 ounce rule. The Transportation Safety Administration states that parents may bring a “reasonable” amount with them through security, but it needs to be separate from other items and “declared” when you arrive. Do not put any kind of fluid for your baby through the X-ray machine.
EXTRA CLOTHES: Aside from all of your wipes, diapers and such, have at least two changes of clothes for your infant packed in case of messes — as well as a change for yourself in case of spit up. Also pack gallon-sized zip-lock bags for soiled items.
CHANGING BABY: There are teeny-weeny changing stations (albeit cramped) in the bathroom of most planes.
CRYING BABY: If your infant begins crying on the plane, know that it’s OK. Babies cry! Try to remain calm yourself. People who don’t understand, don’t get it.
YOU! If the going gets tough, remember the wisdom found in the words “Just smile and wave!”
Beware Online Breastmilk
New moms and dads can buy anything they want online, including human breast milk. And while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends against providing infants human milk from unscreened donors, some mothers are nevertheless buying it online.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), researchers recently tested 102 Internet samples of breastmilk and found 11 percent were contaminated with store-bought cow’s milk or milk-based formula powder. Of the positive samples, 10 were high enough to rule out incidental contamination.
Cow’s milk can be problematic in infants with a milk allergy or intolerance. Because buyers can’t test the milk they purchase online, the AAP says parents should be aware the milk they are buying might not be 100 percent human milk and use extreme caution.
Is A Doula for You?
You’re up all night, exhausted and you long for extra help. A doula — a mother’s helper — may be just what you need. Doulas provide in-home care for three to four hours a day to help your family (and especially you) adjust to life with your newborn. They provide what you need so you can focus on resting and bonding with your baby. Several options are in our area (for birth partnering, too).
To locate a doula near you, visit the Cincinnati Area Doula Society.
A Baby at 40?
Jan Watts remembers being 41 and pregnant with her second child.
“I was at our swim club with my 3-year-old and following him quickly around the pool’s edge,” she says. Her friend, dangling her toes in the water, laughed and said, “Glad it’s you and not me!”
“She didn’t mean any harm,” Watts says, “but I’ve never forgotten it, either.”
Having a baby at 40 — or in your 40s — is much more commonplace than it used to be, and the majority of older mothers have normal pregnancies. If you’re physically fit, eat well and don’t have pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, your overall risk of other pregnancy complications isn’t markedly higher than that of a woman in her 20s or 30s, says Aimee Rapp in her book, Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: Natural Ways to Improve Your Fertility Now and Into Your 40s (Demos Health; 2014).
“The main risk for pregnancy after age 40 is for fetal chromosome abnormalities such as Down syndrome,” says Rapp. Women who are pregnant after 40 also have a higher risk of gestational diabetes, hypertension and C-section delivery.
Pregnancy in your 40s is different depending upon whether it’s your first baby or your fourth, but if it’s your first, one thing makes a big difference for first-time older moms: the gap between you and the younger moms.
“I am definitely more emotionally mature than I was in my 30s,” says Watts. “But if there’s any drawback at all to being an older mom, it’s that I don’t have a lot of younger mom friends, so I have to really work at making them because I want my boys to have lots of friends his age — and we moms make that happen.”
But would she change her experience if she could?
“I wouldn’t change a thing,” she says. “I absolutely adore my little men and I am blessed to be their mommy!”