Sleeping, eating and going out with Baby — there’s lots to get the hang of!
There are many reasons why breastfeeding is good for you and Baby! Lactation consultant Dee Keith says that for moms, breastfeeding can reduce the risk of serious conditions like heart disease and breast cancer, and that it can also help new moms lose weight. For Baby, breastfeeding supplies plenty of good immune boosting benefits, but it also allows him to control his own appetite, and promotes normal jaw development and brain development, as well as saves you money.
Need more help? There is plenty of support in Ohio and Northern Kentucky, according to Keith. Start with your local La Leche League leader, found at lllohio.org/groups/cincinnati.html. And check out the new e-book that moms are sure to enjoy, I Make Milk, What’s YOUR Superpower: The Ultimate Breastfeeding Guide (Bookbaby; 2013), by Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant Jennifer Ritchie. She turns this hard-to-talk-about topic into something every mother can enjoy learning and talking about … making the whole breastfeeding idea easier to understand and do.
BEST AGE FOR CEREAL When and how?
Many parents believe that if you put a little cereal into Baby’s bottle, he’ll sleep better and longer. In fact, a 2010 study published in Journal Watch Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that feeding solid food to infants before four months of age can actually result in shorter sleep duration and more gastro discomforts. So, some parents may jump to infant cereal too soon. But, what IS the right age to start infants on cereal?
“We recommend infant cereal at around six months,” says John Furby, M.D. of Eastern Hills Pediatrics. He explains that some babies may be ready to start cereal earlier, around four months‚ but it depends on their ability to handle solid food. Furby says that infants will show clear signs such as holding the head upright. If Baby isn’t gaining weight properly, Furby says that infant cereal should wait and your baby should continue to receive breast milk or formula, both of which contain more calories.
Avoid putting infant cereal in a bottle. Rather, says Furby, start off with a spoon so that your little guy can get used to the sensations that come with a different feeding style. Plus, he adds, if it’s coming from a bottle, a big gulp might lead to a choking hazard. But if your tot is prone to reflux, adding rice starch to his formula may help — it goes down like a liquid, according to Furby, and will congeal in his belly. As always, talk to your pediatrician before introducing rice starch or infant cereal into your baby’s diet, as he will be able to evaluate your baby’s ability to handle it.
Running errands can sometimes be uncomfortable for moms and babies, but there’s no doubt that babies prefer the touch of their mother as opposed to the touch of a stroller. Keena Stricker, an educator at the Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center, says that there are benefits to wearing your baby. Aside from building a stronger bond with your little one, babies who are carried will cry less, thanks to positive stress hormones released by being near Mom’s heartbeat and breath. When worn chest to chest, babies also get the benefits of “tummy time,” like developing their neck muscles. Plus, it’s easier for you to get more things done with a pair of free hands!
Choosing the right carrier is also what helps with comfort. It all depends on how the carrier fits Mom as well as Baby. One of our favorites is the MOBY Wrap (mobywrap.com; $47.95 – $62.95; 8 – 35 pounds). These soft, comfortable wraps are easy to use and wrap around your own body for maximum comfort. They are 100 percent cotton, machine washable, free of harsh buckles or straps and conforms to Baby’s own personal shape. There are lots of styles to choose from including solid colors to floral designs to even MLB teams!
But, as Baby grows, you may want to switch over to the new MOBY GO (mobywrap.com; $79.95; 15 – 45 pounds). It features cross-shoulder design, wide shoulder straps, seat designed for correct support, padded leg openings, removable hood, easy to reach side buckles and a unique dual foam waist belt.
If you’re not certain what carrier is right for you, Stricker will host a Tummy to Tummy workshop at the Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center on April 27 to discusses the benefits of wearing your baby, as well as the different kinds of carriers available. “There are so many types of carriers now,” she says. “There really is something for everyone, there are so many choices to fit your lifestyle and personality.” RSVP at 513-591-2332 or theplaceforfamilies.com.
Additional content by Sherry Hang