Posts tagged baby

It’s Almost Time For Football – Go Vols!

Football season is almost here so Baby Roku decided he wanted to model his new football jersey. He was born a Tennessee Vol and loves the color orange. He has many favorite teams, but The Vols are his favorite. We are going to Tennessee for a family reunion which happens to coincide with a UT Game! We hope that it will be on TV so that Baby Roku can watch a Vols game with the whole family.

Baby Roku is ready for football season

Baby Roku is ready for football season

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How to Help Your Baby Get a Good Night’s Sleep

How do I get my sleepy, crying baby to go to sleep? This is a question that many new moms would love to have answered. However, every baby is different so there is no one single answer. My husband and I found it helpful to read a few different books to get some ideas. We ended up pulling a few ideas from each along with some techniques of our own to determine what works best for little Baby Roku. And it is an evolving process! What worked for him at 1 month no longer works at 5 months! When he was a newborn, we would co-sleep. But after two weeks, he suddenly was not falling asleep in the bed with me…even after a full belly! That is when we read “The Baby Whisperer” and “Happiest Baby on the Block”. We found that a combination of swaddling, ‘shhh-ing’, rocking, and then placing him in his own baby crib was what worked best for him. I highly recommend researching techniques along with understanding your baby’s cues to find a technique that is best for him/her.

Baby Roku is 5.5 months old and loves being swaddled. We started swaddling him when he was about 2 months to help him sleep better and longer at the advice of one of the books that we read. It totally worked! To this day, swaddling calms him down before he goes to sleep in his crib. Which is great at his current stage because it seems when he is getting sleepy his arms and legs REALLY start moving. Swaddling also keeps him from scratching his face and eyes in the middle of the night.

We use the Kiddopotamus organic cotton swaddle (we have about 4 of them). I highly recommend this swaddle because the velcro attachments make it very easy to use. He occasionally ‘breaks out’ of the swaddle, but this does not seem to wake him up. I just swaddle him back after feeding and he lulls himself right back into a deep sleep. We joke that he will still want to be in a swaddle even after we send him off to college! However, I am sure that he will ‘let us know’ that he has grown out of the swaddle before then. : )

roku in his swaddle at 3 months

Baby Roku in his swaddle at 3 months

Baby Roku in his swaddle at 5.5 months

Baby Roku in his swaddle at 5.5 months

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Baby Roku goes to “My Gym”

Baby Roku had his second visit to My Gym this week! He loves being social with other babies and it is also great for me to meet some mom’s with kids his age. There were 3 other mom’s in his class with babies ranging in age from 3 months to 5.5 months. His favorite part of the experience was swinging in the baby swing. He almost fell asleep! He also really enjoyed the fish puppet show at the end. We did some ‘tummy time’ (Roku is NOT a huge fan) and some other baby exercises for stretching and strengthening. I learned from Zachary’s Mom, Michelle that Peg Perego makes a great highchair. We have not bought one for Baby Roku yet, so we will have to check it out!

Baby Roku loves the swing at My Gym

Baby Roku loves the swing at My Gym

Baby Roku almost falls asleep in baby swing at My Gym

Baby Roku almost falls asleep in baby swing at My Gym

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Roku’s Favorite Toys! Buying Organic and Safe Baby Toys

You’ve probably heard of the dangers of BPA (Bisphenol-A) and PVC that can be found in baby toys and teethers. These are dangerous chemicals that can be hazardous to the health of us and our children when ingested (and possibly even through frequent contact to our skin!). So how do we avoid these dangerous chemicals and buy safe toys? There are a few ways you can do this. You can go to the websites Safe Mama and Environmental Working Group where many toys are reviewed for their safety and chemical content. It also helps to avoid buying plastic toys and opt for wood and organic cloth toys instead.

I just ran across another website that rates toys and other items based on their impact to the environment, your health and society. They give you a rating for each of these three categories. And then for health, they go into detail what contaminants it contains, if any. Go to Good Guide and you will find out what contaminants are in specific toys by entering the toy or manufacturer’s name.

What are Baby Roku’s Favorite toys and teethers? He really likes Sassy’s Earth Brights line of wooden toys that he also uses as a teether. I think that his favorite toy right now is the toy called “Trix” by HABA. His buddy Thaddeus introduced this toy to him a few weeks ago. Hi likes this colorful, triangular grasping toy, however it appears that any toy from this brand would be great based on their name; The name HABA stands for high quality products, product reliability, age appropriate materials and environmental consciousness. He also loves his organic bunny that he got from his Aunt Sheila. He loves the floppy ears and arms for playing and chewing!

Where can you buy these toys? I happen to run across a great company on Amazon.com called Fat Brain Toys (www.FatBrainToys.com). They sell a lot of American Made toys (it seems like everything from Babies R Us is made in China!) and a wide variety of both indoor and outdoor toys. They have excellent customer service and seem to have a great corporate philosophy. I have only ordered one toy there, but it was a great experience.

Baby Roku plays with his favorite 'safe' toys

Baby Roku plays with his favorite 'safe' toys

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Johnson & Johnshon Baby Shampoo Contains Formaldehyde! Everyone needs to know this…

When I left the hospital with my beautiful newborn baby son on February 18, 2009 the hospital so graciously gave me samples of products to take home with me. Do you think they realized that the bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo that they gave me contained dangerous chemicals??? Probably not, but they should! As of the date of this article, Johnson & Johnson still contains more than 2 ingredients that have proven to be very harmful, especially when applied to our babies’ delicate, thin skin! The ingredients are 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde. So this makes you want to read the ingredients for skincare products that you use on your children…right?? Well, to make the situation worse, you won’t find these 2 ingredients on the list. That is because 1,4 dioxane is a biproduct that is produced when certain chemicals that actually are on the ingredient list (like sodium laureth sulfate) are made to be gentler (ironic…right???). So it is not on the ingredient list because it is a contaminant that is created in the process of making this popular baby shampoo. And what about formaldehyde? Sometimes it will be listed, but not always. Usually not on the list though because it is released from common preservatives. By the way, formaldehyde has been classified as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, not to mention a skin irritant. (Please see http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/risk/formaldehyde)

Okay, so now you know this info. What do you do now? Well you have taken the most important first step which is educating yourself on what is best for your little one (and YOU)! As an owner of a skincare business, I have done quite a bit of research on this topic. I do not make shampoo, but after reviewing many products my favorite line is California Baby. They don’t contain the chemicals listed above, nor do they contain other harmful ingredients such as pthalates, parabens, and fragrance (yes, fragrance is not good!) If California Baby’s products are scented, they are with organic essential oils. There are actually a lot of great product lines out there, but don’t just assume by the name that they are the best. For example, Burt’s Bees is a ‘natural’ product line, but their baby shampoo, lotion, etc contain fragrance. Many studies have been done that show ‘fragrance’ as being toxic (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=702512).

Now if you are like me, you probably scoured your bathroom to find which products contain these chemicals. It is very likely that almost all of them do! But don’t freak out…even small, gradual changes can make a huge difference. It is also so important to have a healthy diet to keep your immune system strong so gradual changes in that department are very helpful too!

Fortunately, there are many articles such as this emerging on the dangers of the products we use on ourselves and our children. So much so that even Johnson & Johnson is launching a ‘green’ campaign with a website dedicated to their efforts (http://www.activenaturalsinstitute.com/anri/) and have even hired a famous ‘health-minded’ mom as their spokesperson. But have they removed the toxic chemicals in their products? NO! Not yet anyway…

Okay, I hope I have not overwhelmed you with TMI. There is so much to know and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I will continue to post important topics such as these to make your adventure in motherhood easier and stress-free! In the meantime, a great resource to determine which products are safe is http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.org.

Roku loves California Baby and other TRULY Natural Skincare Products

Roku loves California Baby and other TRULY Natural Skincare Products

Take Johnson & Johnson off your grocery list until they clean up their act!

Take Johnson & Johnson off your grocery list until they clean up their act!

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Sweet Sunday! Raw ‘Chocolate Milk’

Today I had an odd craving for milk. I have only made raw nut milk a couple of times to pour over my granola, but this time I wanted something a little different…Chocolate milk! I did not have all of the ingredients, so I just kind of made this up. It turned out so delectable and sweet! since I was just using what I had in the pantry, it ended up being an almond and cashew milk combo. I usually use about 3 dates, but I only had one. So I used some raw agave nectar to sweeten it up a bit. Definitely a special weekend treat (in addition to our special chai smoothie which I will share with you later). And Neil and I deserved it after the ‘scare’ we had with Dylan this morning. We went to a new church and put Roku in their daycare. We knew he would not last the whole service and, sure enough, in an hour we were called back to the nursery (via a number that flashes on a screen in front of the church). We thought it was the typical ‘I’m ready to sleep’ cry, but he had actually had an accident! He was sitting up (which he is not very good at yet) and fell over onto a leggo! Poor baby has a big bump on his head. He doesn’t seem to notice it though. I just iced it a bit and it seems to be going down. This is his first bump and I am sure there will be MANY MANY more. I had to take a photo to document this first (below). Anyway, you have GOT to try this recipe! Here it is:

Raw ‘Chocolate Milk’
1 cup almonds (soaked and dehydrated)
1/4 cup cashews
1 Date
2 tablespoons raw carob powder
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3 cups water
5 ice cubes (I like it COLD)
Blend in vitamix just as you would a smoothie!
You can strain the milk in a nut bag or sieve, however I just drank it ‘as is’.

Raw "Chocolate Milk" Made with Raw Carob Powder

Baby Roku's first bump

Roku's first bump

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Roku Loves Baby Yoga!

I went with my new friends, Debra and Andrea, to baby yoga this week and it was so awesome! We attended the class at Amazing Births in Boca Raton. The class was a combination of exercises for moms and activities for our babies. We also massaged our babies and I learned from the instructor that wheat germ oil is very good to use for infant massage. There were 6 of us total in the class (12 including our babies) which I think was the perfect size for a class like this. The babies ages ranged from 3 months to 6 months. It was very comforting to be in an environment where we could feed and change our infants as their needs required. All of the babies were so calm throughout the class. Debra and I carpooled together and on the way home both of our sons were completely conked out! You can go to http://www.amazingbirths.com for more information on this class and others. They also teach prenatal yoga and have educational classes on things like immunizations and naturopathic care for newborns and infants.

Baby Yoga

Baby Yoga

Baby Massage

Baby Massage

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