Baby Dilemma- To vaccinate or not?

Vaccinating your child has been talked about a lot in the headlines as there have been many people pondering the dilemma as to whether or not to immunize their children. Vaccinations are used to deceased and eradicated many debilitating and deadly diseases. There has been a lot of talk about the safety of immunizations and the potential damage they may cause to your child, most notably causing autism (A disorder that has not been proven to be caused my vaccines). I can appreciate that the idea of a vaccine is scary, but I also know you always want to do what is best for your child, so it is my personal opinion that vaccinations are beneficial for the health of your baby, and society in general. By vaccinating your baby you are not only protecting him or her but everyone they come into contact with. Vaccines have been shown to be effective, safe, and can save your child’s life. Do your own research about each vaccine and discuss them with your healthcare provider, and make the safest decision for your baby.

Should you decide to vaccinate your child, you should expect to take your baby to the doctor for a vaccine shot when he or she is (based on living in Ontario, Canada):

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 12 months
  • 15 months
  • 18 months
  • 4-6 years old
  • 14-17 years old

(There are a few vaccines that children get in school when they are 12-13 years old)

**This schedule can change so speak with your doctor for the most up to date immunization recommendations and schedule where you live

In addition to annual vaccinations there is the flu shot, which is recommended for healthy children 6 months and over as they have an increased probability of becoming hospitalized if infected with influenza.

For more information about vaccinations visit your doctor or your local government website.

Parent Tip: What to pack in your hospital bag when you deliver

Is it almost that time now? Your due date is around the corner and everyone is telling you to pack your bags! Here is a list of “Must-haves” that should be packed with you when you head to the hospital to deliver your bundle of joy. Of course this list can be altered for personal taste, the items below are just recommendations.

  • Comfortable nightgown/pajama
    • It may be in your best interest to bring something without a tight waste band to prevent putting pressure on your abdomen (especially If you had you have a C-section)
    • Also a top that can button down the front will be very beneficial for breastfeeding
  • Slippers, socks, and/or flip flops
    • Something that is comfortable and are easy-on and easy-off
  • Bathrobe
    • To throw on when you need to go for a walk- we all know hospitals can be chilly
  • Ful bum underwear
    • Bring multiple pairs say 5, and maybe bring some pairs you do not mind throwing away
    • Think low-rise also if you planning on having a C-section
  • Sanitary napkins
    • Used after delivery to line your underwear
  • Toiletries
    • Hospitals may supply basic essentials but after delivery you may want your own products to make you feel like yourself again (ie. Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, lip Baum, hair elastics/clips, tooth brush, tooth paste)
  • Going home outfit
    • Something loose and comfortable is best, especially after a C-section
    • Flat shoes would also be the most practical
  • Baby clothes
    • This will be your baby’s first public appearance so bring one of your favorites
    • Do not forget to bring layers as you may not be able to predict the temperature
    • A swaddle blanket is also a must, along with a hat and socks
  • Diaper bag
    • Not all birthing units provide diapers and wipes after you deliver, so bring some of your own. The bag can also provide you with another carrier to bring items, such as gifts, home from the hospital
  • Nursing bras and breast feeding pillow
    • These may be bulky but you will be needing them especially with all the breastfeeding practice you will be doing after your baby arrives
  • Cell phone charger
    • You will be calling and texting so you want to make sure your phone is fully charged on the big day
  • Pen and note pad
    • To jot down the important information you learn and also to remember any questions you may have for the medical team while you are there and before you leave
  • Camera and/or video camera
    • It would be great to photograph this special day but if you forget the camera, I am sure someone can bring one for you. Also, in this day in age, every smartphone is will equipped with a good camera to capture to moment
  • Car Seat
    • This is a MUST!! You will not be allowed to leave a hospital without one!
  • Snacks
    • You may not be eating or drinking much during delivery but Dad might get hungry during the process so having snacks may be beneficial. Also, after all the hard work of delivering, you will have a hankering for your favorite food, so having it with you will be great!

If you realize you have forgotten anything, I am sure there is a friend or family member who will be able to bring you anything you may need!

If you brought something with you to your delivery that is not on this list that you couldn’t be without, I would love to know what it was so email me!

Baby Fact: When to start feeding your baby solid food

Like many parents out there, you are probably wondering when you can introduce solid food into your baby’s diet. It is safe to introduce solids to a baby between the ages of 4 to 6 months however, the World Health Organization recommends that infants should start eating solid food at 6 months of age. Until you start providing solid food to your baby, breast milk or formula provides all the nutrition and hydration your baby needs to grow and develop.

When your baby is ready to feed, they will start displaying cues to get your attention! You should be able to notice and observe:

  • Hand to mouth coordination
  • Chewing motion
  • Sitting well on their own with the ability to stabilize their head
  • Increased appetite
  • Interest in food, other than breast milk or formula

Once you see these signs displayed by your baby, you will know that they are ready to start trying some new food!

Solids, in a pureed form, may be introduced in the following order (provide food by teaspoon not in a bottle):

**Remember to introduce a new food every 3-5 days as change can be difficult for a baby and you want to ensure that there are no allergies to any food items**

4 – 6 months:

  • Cereal
    • Starting with rice is recommended but keep it mind it may constipate your baby, barley, or oatmeal
    • Begin with giving food twice daily, usually starting with 1-2 teaspoons per meal-time, for breakfast and dinner after you provide a milk meal

5-7 months:

  • Vegetables
    • Squash, beans, peas, sweet potato, carrots etc. given for lunch and dinner
  • Meat
    • Lamb, beef, chicken, veal etc.
    • Best to give daily with lunch
  • Fruit
    • Apple, pear, banana, peaches etc, given whenever the baby desires

At 6 months of age, water can be introduced into your baby’s diet. Tap water is preferred due to the fluoride content. Juice is not recommended. Also at this age the texture of the food may slowly be thickened from pureed to mashed to soft when and if your baby is tolerating.

**Do NOT give honey until your baby is 12 months of age due to infection issues

It is important to remember that your baby will still need breast milk or formula until the age of 1 year. After 1 year, homogenized milk is preferred, and once your child reaches 2 years of age, the fat content of the milk is your choice.

Enjoy this time! It is fun and exciting to see your child exploring, just remember to be patient because every child progresses at a different pace.

Discuss any feeding questions or issues you have with your doctor.

Gifts For the First-time or New Parent

You are not alone if you get stumped when it comes to buying the perfect gift for a first-time or new parent. Here are 6 of my favourite go-to items that every parent must-have!

 

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  1. Medela Calma Brestfeeding Set: Well-designed bottle which allows seamless transitions between breastfeeding and bottle feeding.
  2. Aden and Anais New Beginnings Gift Set: If it is good enough for the Duchess of Cambridge it is good enough for us! This set includes 2 swaddle blankets, 1 bib, 1 Musey Mate (Aden and Anais rendition of a plush security blanket), and 1 Aden and Anais swaddle love book.
  3. Sophie La Girafe: The must-have 100% natural rubber toy by Vulli. Product is designed to stimulate all 5 senses, and is known by many to be great for teething.
  4. Sleep Sheep: The cuddly sound machine by Cloudb that helps put a newborn to sleep with many sound options. Plus, it has a handy Velcro tab making it easy to attach to a crib or car seat.
  5. Boon Naked 2- Position Collapsible Bathtub: This bathtub can recline, expand, and collapse almost flat for storage. Perfect newborn bathtub for a growing baby.
  6. SleepBelt: The ultimate skin-to-skin belt used to help secure baby to a parents chest for the best hands-free cuddle.

 

http://www.medela.com/ http://www.adenandanais.ca/ http://www.vulli.fr/ http://www.cloudb.com/www.booninc.com/ http://www.sleepbelt.ca

Celeb-belly: Blake Lively

I cannot get over the GORGEOUS pictures of Blake Lively on the red carpet of L’Oréal Paris’s Ninth annual Women of Worth Awards on Tuesday December 2, 2014 in New York. She is pregnant and proud, showing off her beautiful belly in a tight, black, backless gown. She should be an inspiration to every pregnant woman out there! A lot of women hide their baby bump when they are pregnant because they are not comfortable with their new look, but I believe that every woman should embrace this magical time and display their growing miracle! Fashion does not take a break when you are pregnant, and Blake Lively displayed that with such poise. Think pregnant and sexy! Try it out!222685

Baby Dilemma: Choosing a Stroller

There are so many strollers on the market now that it can be extremely overwhelming when it comes to picking one out. I am going to give you five thoughts to keep in mind when starting your hunt.

  1. Pick a budget: Stroller prices range from approximately $100.00 for a light weight, easy folding frame that allows your to pop your infants car seat in and out at your leisure, to over $1,000.00 for the top end, trendy, convertible stroller which tends to grow with your baby from infant to toddler.
  2. Lifestyle: Strollers are now being made to be lifestyle specific, so think about how you live, the terrain you frequent, and your daily activities and the easiest way to integrate your baby into your day. There are small lightweight strollers, running strollers, full-sized strollers, travel strollers, and convertible strollers. Will you need a larger stroller that is easy to fold down into a compact size to throw in the trunk of your car, or do you use public transit and require a smaller sized stroller that is easier to maneuver and takes up less space when being used?
  3. Child count: You might already have a child at home (or be planning for a big family!) so maybe getting a double stroller would be best for you-again these come in many forms side-by-side, one behind another, or a stroller with a sibling solution- the ability to add another seat to the stroller. Also, some strollers have attachable wheel/rider boards that attach onto the back of the stroller that older children can stand on.
  4. Positions: It is important to most parents to have the ability to position their baby different ways- especially rear facing so you can be face-to-face with your sweetie! So look into the different positions you will be able to seat your baby in before you buy!
  5. Storage and accessories: Depending on the size of the stroller and company the available carrying storage varies. So if you plan to use your stroller as a bag-on-wheels for many goodies, look into the size of the basket under the seat and make sure it suits your needs. Additionally, if you are one to want many accessories for your stroller like a cup holder for your coffee or an extra attachable umbrella for your baby, look into the available accessories that each stroller company offers that you many want.

Go to some stores, try them out, and see what works best for you and your family.

Diaper Cake

Ever wanted to make a practical and unique gift for a baby shower? Check out this diaper cake I made for a friend for her baby shower! It was super easy and lots of fun to make! You can use any diaper brand and add any décor or baby products you like!

How I made it:

1) I rolled the diapers up individually and secured them with a clear elastic band.

2) I then secured the diapers together by layer with one large ribbon. Each layer is fully made from diapers.

3) I secured the layers together with wooden dowels so that the cake would not topple over (Ensure the dowel goes INBETWEEN the diapers and not through them) and placed the cake on a piece of foam bristle board so that I could carry it.

4) Decorate! You can put on whatever products or small gifts you would like (ie. Pacifiers, baby cream, socks, bibs, stuffed animals etc.) Drug stores and some grocery stores sell travel sized products, which are great to use. It is a good idea to choose an attractive topper to finish off the look.

5) I then wrapped the entire cake in clear cellophane and tied it together with ribbon.

The cake can be made as large or as small as you wish depending on how many diapers you use. You can make it gender neutral or give it a theme. Try it out and get creative! See what you come up with!

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Welcome to Beloved Babyhood!

Hey! Welcome to Beloved Babyhood! My name is Kelly and I live in Toronto, Canada. I am a Registered Nurse specializing in paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care nursing, and a Lactation Consultant in the making. I have started Beloved Babyhood because I am passionate and enthusiastic about bellies, babies, and everything in between! On my blog I will be posting about anything and everything that has to do with maternity, including baby gear or products that I like, trends that I enjoy, and tips that I find helpful. This is my outlet to share what I have learned and to help you explore the magical and inspiring world of Babyhood. All my posts are written from my personal perspective and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Whether you are having your first child or are experienced with Babyhood already, I hope you read, enjoy, and learn from my posts. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!