Monthly Archives: December 2019

Inclined Baby Products are Proven Unsafe

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Safe Sleep in Car Seats

Inclined sleep products are proven unsafe for your baby.  On October 31, 2019 The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issues a warning to parents and caregivers about the dangers of popular inclined sleep products for infants.  The CPSC is basing this warning on a scientific study they conducted.  This study is part of a growing body of evidence showing that inclined sleepers do not provide a safe sleep environment for infants. 

Study Data on Safe Sleep in Inclined Sleep Products

The CPSC received reports of 1,108 incidents, including 73 infant deaths, related to infant inclined sleep products.  These incidents and deaths occurred from January 2005 through June 2019. CPSC hired independent expert Erin Mannen, Ph.D., a mechanical engineer specializing in biomechanics, to conduct the testing. Dr. Mannen measured infants’ muscle movements and oxygen saturation while in various products and positions.  These products include a flat crib, an inclined crib, and several inclined sleep products.  Dr. Mannen’s findings reveal none of the inclined sleep products her team tested are safe for infant sleep. Dr. Mannen’s report is conclusive that products with inclines 10 degrees or less, with flat and rigid surfaces, are likely safe for infant sleep. Dr. Mannen’s findings also reveal soft and plush-like sleep surfaces pose dangers to infants.

It is not surprising that Dr. Mannen’s study concludes infants should be placed to sleep on a firm, flat surface in a crib or bassinet. 

Car Seats and Safe Sleep

So, what is the American of Pediatrics’ (AAP) take on infant car seats?  Infant car seats puts infants in an inclined position.  We all know infants fall asleep in the car.

The AAP advises against letting babies sleep in car seats, strollers and other sitting devices.  In a recent article published in Reuters Health, Dr. Jeffrey D. Colvin of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine told Reuters Health. “Car seats are for cars, and they’re not a substitute for cribs or bassinets,” Most infant deaths in car-safety seats happen when the seat is being used as a napping spot, rather than for transportation.

Ben Hoffman, M.D., chairman of the AAP’s Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention Executive Committee, agrees. “All the data that we have on car seats indicate that there aren’t risks associated with babies sleeping in the car for short periods of time when they’re properly restrained in a car seat that’s been installed with appropriate positioning.”

Car Seat Safe Sleep Data

Colvin and his colleagues reviewed U.S. data on 11,779 infant sleep-related deaths in 2004-2014, of which three percent took place in a sitting device, such as a car seat, stroller or bouncer. Car safety seats accounted for nearly two-thirds of these deaths, and when the sitting devices are being used as directed, less than 10 percent of the time.

According to the study, most deaths occur while a child is at home or at a friend or relative’s home, and while a child is being supervised by a parent or guardian. Deaths in sitting devices are almost three times more likely to occur when a child is being supervised by a child-care provider rather than a parent and are twice as likely when a babysitter is watching the child.

In many cases, infants are not strapped into the seat properly, Colvin notes. “What we are seeing a lot as well, is the infant is being placed in the car seat in the house for hours and hours, and the parent who is supposed to be supervising the child goes to sleep.”

Car Seats are Not For Sleep

Because car seats are safety devices, and the safest place for babies to be while in a car, parents and caregivers may mistakenly believe that the seats are safe for sleep too. Low-income families are often forced to let their child sleep in a car seat because they can’t afford a crib or a bassinet at home.

“All parents, including me, have been guilty of taking a sleeping infant in a car seat out of the car and not wanting to risk waking them up,” Colvin said. “The safest thing to do for a sleeping infant outside of a car is to place them in a bassinet or a crib, but at an absolute minimum, that infant should be directly observed and fully strapped in.”

Safe Sleep for Infants

The AAP continues to emphasize that the best place for a baby to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet or play yard. Parents and caregivers should never add blankets, pillows or other items to an infant’s sleeping environment. Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs. 

According to the AAP;s 2016 Safe Sleep Technical report, air permeable surface may be preferable to air impermeable surfaces for infants who roll.  There are many safety features of a completely “breathe-through” crib mattress that the AAP recognizes as safe sleep for babies.

You can check www.cpsc.gov often to see if your nursery products have been recalled.  If your product has been recalled, promptly follow the recall instructions to receive a refund, replacement, or repair. Consumers who register their nursery products with the manufacturer’s registration card (included with nursery items) can be contacted directly by the manufacturer if there is a recall.

5 Amazing Resources for New Moms

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These five amazing resources for new moms will be your favorite go-to’s. Becoming a mom is surely life-changing – they say when a baby is a born, so is a mom. I know that I completely changed as a woman after having my son. I felt a new found confidence and a feeling that I could do anything. Having a baby is not easy so once it’s done there’s an immense feeling of pride.

As a new mom I found these five amazing resources to be extremely helpful with tips, stories from moms, and just good reading to make motherhood fun. Let’s face it, even the basics for first-time moms is sometimes a hidden secret.

#1 Red Tricycle

With over a million mom readers each month, Red Tricycle will become one of your favorite basics for first-time moms.  Red Tricycle is an amazing website I love and frequent often.  The websites tagline says it best — “Find the coolest ideas for things to do, eat, see and make with your kids. Our mission is simple, help parents have more fun with their kids.”

I love reading the articles from their contributor network of moms too. Here’s an article that shares how to keep toddlers entertained at restaurants without using technology.

#2 Romper.com

With 82 million readers Romper.com is another guaranteed favorite for first-time moms. Their Instagram bio says it best:  “A new generation figuring out what motherhood means for us.”

They have really fabulous round-up articles like this one:  Winter Gear for Babies to Keep them Warm & Cozy

I also love their heartfelt stories like this article about honoring our little babies on World Preemie Day.

#3 Family Sleep Institute

As first time parents we learned the hard way about not letting our baby learn how to self-soothe back to sleep on his own. Instead he needed mommy to rock him back to sleep. So 16 weeks straight of our baby waking up every one to two hours all night long turned our world upside down.

We tried everything and nothing worked. You can learn more about what saved us and how to get baby to sleep in a crib all night long after JUST ONE NIGHT.

So this is why we chose The Family Sleep Institute (FSI) website as a top resource for new moms. They certify sleep consultants and their program is amazing. So any certified sleep consultant that comes from FSI you know will be amazing.

You can find a certified child sleep consultant anywhere in the US and it’s all done virtually so you do not need to be local to them.

#4 Faust Island

I adore this blogger and her articles are awesome. This website offers a ton of green living and family tips and some fun posts too.

Some of my favorites basics for first-time moms are:

#5 Baby-Chick.com

This is last on the list but certainly not least. It’s one of my favorite resources for first-time moms and most frequented websites.

This site is all about giving moms education, inspiration and a smile. With nearly 500k social media followers and growing fast, bookmark this website too – you won’t be disappointed.

Baby-Chick says it best, “We believe in celebrating this time in a woman’s life and supporting each mother through her parenting journey. Through our website and social media channels, we provide an empowering, educational and uplifting experience to expectant women and mothers by giving them helpful information so that they can make better informed decisions for themselves and their family.”

How awesome is this?!

My favorites (so many to choose from):

How we Potty Trained in One Day

5 Products that Celebrity Moms Love

As moms we are so busy, so it’s great to take time to read an article each day not only to learn from other moms and relate to our fellow mom superheroes.

Hiccups May Help Babies Regulate Breathing

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Scientists have discovered hiccups may help babies regulate their breathing.  Baby’s who can regulate their breathing are less likely to get in stressful situations while sleeping.

About the study:

In a study led by University College London (UCL), researchers monitored “13 newborn babies” and “found that hiccuping triggered a large wave of brain signals which could aid their development.” The study’s senior author Lorenzo Fabrizi said the observed brain activity might help babies “learn how to regulate their breathing muscles.” The study, which was published in Clinical Neurophysiology, suggests that hiccups “may play a crucial role in our development – by helping babies regulate their breathing.”

The highlights of the study reveal:

1)  Diaphragm contraction in newborns evoked a sequence of three event-related potentials.

2)  Hiccups can be encoded by the brain as early as ten weeks prior to average time of birth.

3)  Hiccups – frequent in newborns – provide afferent input to the developing brain

Ectroencephalogram (EEG) activity

The CNN Health Study tested whether diaphragm contraction provides afferent input to the developing brain, as following limb muscle contraction. In 13 infants on the neonatal ward (30–42 weeks corrected gestational age), ectroencephalogram (EEG) activity were analyzed.  EEG is a test that detects electrical activity in the brain.   All bouts of hiccups of the infants occurred during wakefulness or active sleep.

Why Hiccups May Help babies regulate breathing:

The study confirms, Involuntary isolated body movements are prominent in pre-term and full-term infants.  Hiccups are involuntary contractions of respiratory muscles, primarily the diaphragm.  Hiccups, observed in newborns, provides nerve impulses to the brain to the developing sensory cortices in pre-term and full-term infants – helping babies regulate breathing

Further, Hiccups are frequent throughout the human perinatal period during active phases of the infant. The perinatal period starts at the 20th to 28th week of gestation and ends 1 to 4 weeks after birth.  Involuntary contraction of the diaphragm can be encoded by the brain from as early as ten weeks prior to the average time of birth.

The study’s senior author Lorenzo Fabrizi states, “When we are born, the circuits which process body sensations are not fully developed, so the establishment of such networks is a crucial developmental milestone for newborns.”  This leads to our theory that hiccups may help regulate breathing in babies.

See the full study on why hiccups may help babies regulate their breathing here 

Helping babies regulate their breathing is an important safeguard for infant safe sleep.

 

 

Safe Sleep Holiday Travel Reminder

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With the Holiday season fast approaching, many families will be traveling over the coming months to celebrate the holidays with friends and family. Make sure your baby has a safe place to sleep, for nap time and nighttime while away from home this Holiday Season.

Make sure to communicate Safe Sleep Protocol with the friends and family members who may be assisting with your baby’s care during travel.  You want to make sure everyone understands the safest place for you baby to sleep is in a crib, or bassinet.  Make sure the sleep surface is firm.  Remember to keep soft bedding and items out of the sleep area; this includes stuffed toys, mattress pads, bumper pads, and blankets.  These items have been found to cause strangulation deaths, and they are known to trap carbon dioxide. 

A Breathe-Through Crib Mattress or play yard is always your safest option since they protect your baby from rebreathing carbon dioxide.  Rebreathing carbon dioxide is believed to be the biggest risk factor in infant sleep related deaths and SIDS/SUDI.  The SafeSleep Breathe-Through products are the only products in the U.S. to pass the Australia/New Zealand firmness standard making them the perfect sleep environment to keep your baby safe.

Arrange for a safe sleep space at hotels and at your final destination. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a Safe to Sleep® Crib Information Center, which explains that federal crib standards.  Steer clear of inflatable air mattresses, as they pose a deadly danger.

For information on crib safety, contact the CPSC at 1-800-638-2772 or www.cpsc.gov.

Keep Baby & Toddler Safe at Home

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Keeping baby and toddler safe at home can sometimes produce high anxiety.  We try to watch our kids every moment and be there to catch them for every tumble.  Unfortunately we cannot be there 100% of the time. It’s very important that we prevent injuries to our little ones as best as possible.One way is to identify and know hidden hazards around the home.

#1 Hidden Hazards in the Crib 

Many parents are unaware of the risks that a traditional crib mattress poses. Fiber-fill crib mattresses trap carbon dioxide.  If baby rolls over and breathes face down, or even has an arm or hand up near their face, there is a high risk of trapping and rebreathing carbon dioxide.  Rebreathing carbon dioxide leads to hypoxia, a form of suffocation.  In many instances, rebreathing deaths are coded as SIDS. 

One way of keeping your baby and toddler safe from this hidden danger while sleeping, is to use a Breathe-Through Crib Mattress.  The Safe Sleep Breathe-Through Crib Mattress is the only crib mattress where babies can breathe normally even if face down all night. There’s no crib sheet, or fiber fill to cause the hidden danger of carbon dioxide rebreathing.  Instead, the air permeable topper sits over a hollowed airspace producing constant airflow.  Baby’s face down can breathe normally right through the mattress without trapping carbon dioxide. BONUS: it’s made from recycled and eco-friendly products!

#2 Door Hinges

My son had a play date with his friend from school, and his mom had to cancel because he had a horrific injury happen. His middle finger was in the door hinge when someone closed the door and it cut the tip of the finger right off!

It is so sad to see our little friend sitting in the hospital with his cast.

After this happened. I was determined to prevent this hidden hazard.
I found some great solutions. They have many different door shield guards that are easy to install and protect against pinched fingers available on many e-commerce sites.

#3 Small Coins & Button Batteries can be Lethal Hidden Hazards

Always keep coins and button batteries far out of reach and tucked away where babies and toddlers cannot get to. According to poison control, “swallowed batteries burn through a child’s esophagus in just 2 hours, leading to surgery, months with feeding and breathing tubes, and even death.” SOURCE

If your child begins vomiting consistently for no apparent reason, chances are they swallowed  something that is lodged in the throat.  Many parents mistake this reaction as a food allergy.  Be sure to insist on a chest X-ray in the ER.  A chest X-ray can determine if your child did swallow something.

#4 Dressers, Bookshelves & TVs 

“In the U.S., a child dies every two weeks from furniture tipping over, and 42 percent of those fatalities occur in the bedroom.” (SOURCE)

We all probably remember that big IKEA recall due to the death of six children, but it’s not just IKEA furniture that poses a risk.

By securing all dressers, shelves, and TVs to the walls so if a child tries to climb up it, you can easily prevent this hidden danger.

#4 Things in the Crib

We have come a long way educating parents on safe sleep for babies, but we still have a ways to go because we see photos of babies sleeping in cribs packed full of stuff like pillows, blankets, bumpers, toys, and stuffed animals. NO. NO. NO. Please never have anything in the crib with your baby.These items all pose a hidden danger to your sleeping baby.

A SafeSleep Crib Mattress, the best breathe-through crib mattress for babies, and a wearable blanket on baby is all that should be in the crib EVER.

Get in the habit of not putting anything in the crib even during awake times. The crib is for sleeping and, babies can become confused if they play in the crib with toys.

#5 Crib Rail Covers

When babies start to teethe they chew on everything including the rails of the crib. Ingesting toxic chemicals and paint is a hidden hazard for baby, but there’s a simple solution.

KidKusion invented these amazing gummi crib rail covers that stick right on. Babies can now safely chew on their rails and get relief from the unique texture, but without ingesting anything toxic.

#6 Corners

When my little onestarted cruising around (holding onto furniture to “walk” around) anytime he was near a corner I would dash over to protect him. Kid Kusion has these awesome furniture edge and corner cushions to protect babies and toddlers from falling on sharp furniture.

#7 Eco Cleaners

Most parents lock up their cupboards so babies cannot get into cleaning products, but cleaning with toxic chemicals still harms your children.  Instead, make a swap for green cleaning products so that you and your family don’t have to be exposed to the hidden hazards in chemicals.

Favorite all time cleaners:

Let’s protect our little ones and make sure these hazards are not hidden anymore in your home. What other safety tips do you have?

 

Important Mom Decisions- Our Top 3!

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Important mom decisions you need to consider.  Having a baby has been the single best experience in my life – it’s indescribable. To watch our babies thrive and grow up is miraculous – I often look at my husband and say, “Look at this little human we made.”

As moms, we play the biggest part in our kids’ safety and well-being. There are many important mom decisions we must make as mothers, and these happen to be the top three most important mom decisions:

#1 Which Crib Mattress Will I Buy?

This important mom decision turned out to be a life saver.  I originally purchased an organic crib mattress for my baby.  Organic seemed like the way to go.  However, the morning I found my three month-old had rolled in the middle of the night, I quickly realized babies should only be sleeping on a Breathe-Through Crib Mattress – the SafeSleep crib mattress is the safest and most comfortable crib mattress for babies.

Don’t get mixed up with “Breathable” versus “Breathe-Through.” There is a distinct difference when it comes to safety. 

Regular fiber-fill crib mattresses trap carbon dioxide which can be life threatening to your sleeping baby.  Rebreathing carbon dioxide has been linked to hypoxia, a form of suffocation, and SUDC/SIDS.

Parents have the good intention of putting baby to sleep on their backs but while mom and dad are sleeping, anything can happen. As I learned first hand, babies can roll in the night and become face down or even have a hand or arm that can slightly obstruct their breathing of fresh air.  On the SafeSleep Mattress, babies can breathe normally even if face straight-down all night long.  The SafeSleep Breathe-Through Mattress ensures that fresh air will flow to your sleeping baby.

This important mom decision was easy to make once I realized the unique designs requires no sheet,  instead there is an air permeable topper suspended over a hollow space of air below creating constant airflow for baby no matter which position they end up in.

Choosing a completely “Breathe-Through” crib mattress is the number one most important mom decision you can make – It could mean life or death for your baby. Unfortunately, we speak from experience and want no other family to go through the nightmare of finding their baby not breathing in the crib.

#2 Natural Remedies or Antibiotics?

Another important mom decision you will need to make is Natural or Antibiotics.  There is a choice.  We recommend always seeking the advice or a licensed pediatrician when it comes to your babies health and well being.  We were fortunate to team up with a qualified pediatrician whom had a lot of great advice on natural remedies instead of us constantly needing a prescription for medications.  

Our pediatrician’s motto is, “Your kitchen can often be your best pharmacy.”

We have learned so much from our doctor about this mom decision, and chose to use natural and homeopathic remedies when our son is sick. Many times he healed quickly and without medicines.

We don’t expect that your baby will never need medications.  For example, our baby had an ear infection that ruptured so the doctor advised antibiotics to reduce the risk of permanent damage if the infection was not treated quickly. 

We found natural solutions for this mom decision.   For our baby’s less sever aliments, we use things like Elderberry, vitamin D, Vitamin C (kiwis), lots of water, honey, and other natural foods.

We understand now that a fever is often a good thing. It means our baby’s immune system is working to heal the problem. Most parents (including us in the beginning) give babies and toddlers Motrin for a fever – but our pediatrician said that lowering a fever prevents the body from healing itself.  So, unless the fever is really high or prolonged, don’t use Motrin especially on the first day of being sick. Usually by morning, the fever breaks and the body begins to get better. 

Always seek the advice of your pediatrician for any important mom decisions that can affect the health or well-being of your baby!

#3 Should I Breastfeed?

Breastfeeding is one of the most important mom decisions you can make.  Most moms intend to breastfeed, but after running into complications switch to formula.

Deciding to PREPARE for breastfeeding is one of the most important mom decisions you can make because it’s easy to decide to breastfeed baby, but when the time comes, an unprepared mom can truly have trouble with it.

I speak from experience. I read up on articles and books and thought I was prepared but I ended up getting so engorged on the second day after I gave birth to my son that breastfeeding was very painful.  Breastfeeding was an important mom decision I had made, but not preparing was a big mistake!

Through the pain, I breastfed in the hospital because I knew the yellow colostrum had very important nutrients. However, when my baby was crying on night two,  and he lost a whole pound,  I knew that my milk was not enough. He was hungry.  The nurses had me sign a release so I could give him some formula. I remember feeding him through a tiny dropper. It helped. He was content and stopped crying.

I continued to pump and feed my baby breast milk via the bottle for 10 weeks and supplemented with organic, 99% lactose-free formula at night (I couldn’t pump enough to last all night).

Our son is a healthy, thriving toddler now so whether your important mom decision is to breastfeed or formula feed, it’s OKAY!  Don’t beat yourself up or feel guilty.  What expecting mothers who make the important mom decision to breastfeed should do is prepare in advance. Meet with a lactation consultant and have a plan in place so you are prepared as best as possible.  Be sure to  have support in place.

The International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) is a great place to find the qualified lactation consultant for new moms. Deciding to prepare for Breastfeeding is one of the most important mom decisions.  But, without preparation, a big percentage of moms run into complications and switch to formula.  

 

Baby Sleep Tips for Creating an Amazing Sleeper

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These baby sleep tips will help any exhausted parent.

Sleep is truly the foundation to everything in your family and especially when you have kids. When babies are waking up often or not sleeping well everything becomes unbalanced – your health, your marriage/relationship, your child’s ability to thrive and develop, your work, and truly every aspect of your life.  These baby sleep tips are sure to help!

I’ve experienced severe sleep deprivation after having a baby and tried everything to help. I solicited baby sleeping advise from anyone who would listen. I even resorted to co-sleeping which is VERY SCARY – an extremely tired mom sleeping with a baby is a HUGE NO-NO. I knew it was wrong.  I felt so guilty, but at the time,  I thought it was the only way to get my baby to sleep.

I finally asked for baby sleep tips from the pros! 

After working with a certified child sleep consultant, I know there is a better way. Here are the best baby sleep tips to create an amazing sleeper.  Using this baby sleeping advise means you will have a harmonious household.

#1 Baby Sleep Tip – Cradles and Cribs

Have a plan on where baby will sleep from birth to 4 months.  Once they begin to roll, transition them to a crib with a breathe-through crib mattress.  After finding my baby face down on the mattress after rolling in the middle of the night, I panicked.  I asked my pediatrician what to do.  She recommended the SafeSleep Breathe-Through Crib Mattress.  I knew breathable crib mattresses existed, but I did not know a breathe-through crib mattress was an option.  The Breathe-through crib mattress is very different than a breathable crib mattress.  It is the best baby sleep tip I received.

Around the age of 4 months, baby’s circadian rhythm is fully developed, but still immature. It’s the perfect time to ensure your baby learns self-soothing and healthy sleep habits.  

#2 Baby Sleep Tip – Self-Soothing

A baby’s sleep cycle is about 40 minutes long when they are younger and then it goes up to about 60 minutes long as toddlers. This means babies wake up for a brief moment in between sleep cycles and self-soothe themselves back to sleep.

UNLESS, baby has learned a sleep crutch like mommy rocking them to sleep then babies will want the rocking to fall back asleep. This may seem like the easy way in the beginning – rock for a minute and baby is asleep again, but eventually this is not sustainable – rocking baby to sleep all night long means you waking up all night long – even after night feedings have ceased.  

Babies use many ways to self-soothe themselves. One way is to use a “hands over heart” swaddle like the Woombie. This is the best sleep tip for mom who want to swaddle – my son wore his Woombie in the hospital and all the way until 18 months old. (Woombie has a swaddle where the arms come out – after baby begins to roll. it’s crucial to transition to arms-free sleep for safety reasons).

  • Woombie gently cocoons baby – a recognizable environment just like the womb.
  • The 4-way stretch fabric allows baby to stretch naturally without feeling constricted – healthy for hip development too.
  • Baby’s hands are together over their heart so baby can use their hands to self-soothe.
  • The Woombie Soothie Sack option has a pacifier attached to it which helps baby self-soothe while keeping their paci within reach.

Another important baby sleep tip is to teach baby how to self-soothe.  You can accomplish this by placing them down to sleep while they are sleepy but NOT sleeping. This baby sleeping advise is very important.

#3 Baby Sleep Tip – Work with a Certified Child Sleep Consultant

This was the best baby sleep tip I received.  It changed our lives. Our son is now 3.5 and is still an amazing sleeper. Since day one of working with a sleep consultant, our then 9 month old baby, has slept all night long.  He sleeps 11 to 12 hours a night and still now takes 3 hour naps!

This baby sleep tip is a bit of an investment but not too expensive. It’s worth every penny to have your child sleep well – which means mom and dad sleep well too.

We recommend The Baby Sleep Whisperer.  You can find a list of certified child sleep consultants all over the US here.

Schedule is another crucial baby sleep tip . Sticking to a sleep schedule is and important part of creating an amazing sleeper – the sleep consultant will help with this.

Take a peek at our other article about baby waking up every hour all night long and how to help baby sleep all night.