Don’t make these common mistakes with your baby!

Don't

Ooh…click-bait-y. Sorry.

Some days, I feel like a broken record. There are so many things that have become so ingrained into our parenting culture that very few people question it any more. And I’ve written before about how some things seem very subjective, but when it comes to health and safety, the truth is pretty black or white. So, dear interwebs….it’s time to break some bad habits and burst some bubbles.

When you know better, you do better.

1) No baby should ever be fed 8 ounces of anything in a bottle.

This has nothing to do with formula or breastmilk. A baby’s stomach is only as big as his fist, which means that realistically speaking, a baby should really only be fed 2-4 ounces from a  bottle. Any more than that is overfeeding, plain and simple. And it turns out that it doesn’t matter if it’s breastmilk or formula in a bottle– overfeeding leads to obesity.

Here’s info on how much breastmilk a baby should be given via bottle.

Here’s some info on how much to feed a formula-fed baby.

2) Limit the amount of time your baby spends in “containers”

More than half of babies now have a flat head by age 1. And truth be told, I’m not shocked. I see too many flat heads when I’m around babies. While some of it may be caused by tight neck muscles (some times caused by a tongue tie), the use of too many baby containers is primarily to blame. Parents move their babies from a bouncy seat…to a swing…to one of those magical baby moving chairs….to a car seat…..and so on.

Limit the amount of time your baby spends in these containers. Do more “tummy time”. And find a way to carry your baby in a sling or wrap or other carrier that works for you and your budget. Babies who spend too much time in containers can also end up with under-developed stomach and back muscles, learn fewer words, and not have a chance to learn how to interact with other people.

When you need to start making meals, need to take a shower, etc, then the swing or seat for a short about of time is perfectly safe, though.

3) Car seats are for cars

Want to hear something staggering?

“An estimated 43,562 car seat–related injuries [EXCLUDING AUTO-CRASHES] were treated in emergency departments from 2003 to 2007.”

Stunning, yes? Over 40,000 babies ended up being injured from falls and other accidents while they were in a car seat that wasn’t in the car. I’m sure if a newer study was done they’d have similar findings. The rules for safe car seat use are black and white. Your baby is either safe or in danger.

  • Car seats should never be placed on top of shopping carts in the seat area. The basket is OK, but not in the small shopping carts (and see above).
  • Car seats should NEVER be placed on restaurant high chairs.
  • Car seats should not be placed on tables, chairs, beds, in cribs, in those sling things the restaurant was suckered into buying….your baby should NEVER be left in a car seat on an elevated surface.
  • If your baby is in the car seat that’s been placed in a compatible stroller, baby MUST be strapped in. Babies wiggle and fall out more than you want to know.
  • Behind falls, the other cause or injuries or worse is suffocation—which is why you should never leave a child of ANY age strapped into a car seat to sleep unattended.

4) It’s normal for breastfed babies to poop anywhere from more than 7 times a day or once every 7 days…or more.

Breastmilk does not cause constipation. Some times I forget to warn moms that it’s totally normal for exclusively breastfed babies to get super efficient about breastmilk digestion and just not poop very often. Hey, as a new mom I freaked out about it too….until I found my trusty breastfeeding book that told me it was totally normal. That experience inspired the phrase “fro-yo poo.”

I’m sure there’s more that I can think of….there’s always more. But 4 things is plenty for now, yes?

I hope this is helpful!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

You’re pregnant! Now what?

I_m pregnant

So both little lines turned pink. Yay! You’re pregnant. Now, after you pee on 3 more sticks just to make sure, sit down for a bit to wrap your head around all of it, call a few people (or not)….what do you do?

1) Don’t assume you need to run to the same OB you’ve been seeing since you were 15 ASAP. First of all, there’s really very little to do at that 4-8 week mark, medically speaking. Also….are you SURE you want that OB/ OB practice to take care of you during your pregnancy and birth? Some care providers treat every patient the same, without taking into consideration that every mom and baby are different. Where you give birth is one of the biggest predictors of your birth outcomeAsk questions. Get numbers. And don’t stop until you find someone that you feel 110% comfortable with….even if you’re changing at 41 weeks.

2) Don’t panic. If you are feeling scared or overwhelmed, though, reach out for help. Talk to your therapist, religious guide, family, friends, or your partner. It’s ok to take awhile to get used to the idea of parenthood, and making sure you have realistic expectations can make a difference in how you are prepared for the ongoing changes a child brings.

3) Realize you don’t need to figure everything out right away. Maybe 9 months doesn’t sound like long, but so much can change. New jobs, new cities….there is always a chance you’ll have new doors and windows open.

4) Start setting aside money for the two things that will make the most difference in your birth: hiring a doula and taking childbirth classes. Both are critical. Both allow you to be ready for the unexpected and can help you have a safer, healthier. And really—those two things will matter more to you in 50 years than a crazy-expensive crib or any other baby items.

5) Breathe. Eat well. Drink lots of water. Stay active. Yes, in a few months your waistline will expand, but both you and your baby will have better outcomes the healthier you are during your pregnancy.

I hope some of these things are helpful. If you have any other good tips on how best to handle those first couple of months of pregnancy, I’d love to hear them!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Adult Tongue Tie Release Redux

tongue tie release result

So, today I went back for a check in and follow up on my tongue tie revision. I’ve found it really interesting to go through this entire experience. It’s brought me worlds of understanding about what babies and kids are probably going through. I’ve also noticed additional physical changes since my last post. I’ve also had some thoughts about tongue ties that aren’t proven, but I think connect some dots about things we already knew about.

First of all, this is what my tongue looked like this morning:

photo of tongue tie

 

 

Notice something that we didn’t see before? There are three attachments that you didn’t see before. As my tongue healed, they became more and more noticeable. Also, starting at the end of last week (2 1/2 weeks after the initial revision), I started to feel the tension that I had before, but on the right side of my body. It’s also interesting to note that the attachment on the right side of my tongue was the least prominent of the 3. I had severe scalp pain on Sunday. too.

There are a few things I’ve observed that I really want parents AND providers to know about:

  • First of all, these additional attachments came forward on their own as my body resettled and all of my bones and muscles shifted post-revision. So if you see attachments after a revision is healed, do not assume the professional who did the revision didn’t do a complete job. Furthermore, professionals who do revisions SHOULD do additional revisions at no extra fee, or figure out a way to make such an arrangement work.
  • There was some tissue that did almost look like it reattached, but that tissue did not affect the function of my tongue.
  • As the new attachments came forward, especially the center attachment, stretching my tongue became painful. It was very clear that this was tissue that had never been stretched like that before.
  • Post-revision body work is essential. I’ve been going in for adjustments to my head and shoulders (knees and toes) right after the revisions and then even a couple of times in between the revisions. Don’t skip this!
  • The pain afterwards has been manageable. Eating hasn’t been too bad. However, if your baby was revised and you’re breastfeeding, keep your baby skin to skin a lot that first day and nurse a lot. Breastfeeding reduces pain.
  • In addition to the stretches, rinsing with salt water and applying coconut oil to the underside of my tongue has been really helpful in the healing process.

I’ll follow up in a couple of days with additional thoughts that I have as things heal from this last revision. In the meantime, I leave you with this thought:

Tongue ties have been revised for hundreds if not thousands of years. There is already some really interesting research that’s starting to point towards the short term and long term impact of revision (or not revising).  However…there are some assumptions that are being made that really need to stop. No, Cranial Sacral Therapy isn’t the only way to do bodywork prior to and after revision, just like not assuming ENTs or any other discipline know how to properly assess what we see. Also, I like being able to measure things just as much as the next person, but I’d strongly caution anyone who wants to ONLY revise according to very rigid standards. There can be a lot of different ways these ties can exist. As I keep saying over and over, providers need to listen to parents and be willing to learn from them and each other. I’ve learned SO MUCH just by talking to parents, kids, and other adults, and some of my biggest revelations have come from consulting with other specialties. I encourage others to do the same.

I’ll check in again soon.

Warmly,

Veronica

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

5 things that $800 stroller can’t do

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photo credit: stobor via photopin cc

OK, so I have a confession: I’m sure he’s  REALLY nice guy, but….I’m not a fan of The Baby Guy. The baby gear industry racks up 50 BILLION dollars worth of sales every single year. Fifty BILLION dollars. As the NYT times review on this book about the baby gear industry points out, this is an industry that preys on parents fears and anxieties, with ever-skyrocketing prices that all sell the illusion that the right products are NECESSARY to make it through pregnancy and postpartum.

I’m not trying to shame anyone. Hey, any industry that makes billions of dollars is really hard for anyone to compete with. And like I said, Jamie Grayson is, I’m sure, a perfectly nice guy, but you have to stop for a moment and wonder what exactly you’re hoping to get from his advice. What specific things do you hope to gain from only having the priciest gear piling up in the nursery? Beyond the gorgeous articles and glowing reviews telling you that you MUST HAVE THIS STROLLER AND THESE VIEWS, there are a few things I want to point out:

1) The $800 stroller can’t help you learn how to have a safe and healthy birth and help you find a care provider and birth place you are happy with

2) The $800 stroller can’t support you at home during early labor

3) The $800 stroller can’t help you with breastfeeding

4) The $800 stroller can’t help you recognize the signs of postpartum depression or anxiety and then refer you to qualified help

5) The $800 stroller can’t come over to your house, make meals for you, clean your house, and answer your questions about how to take care of your baby

So, I invite you think about where you put your dollars. How much will you actually gain from those items you scan in the baby store onto your registry? I’ve been there too–with baby #1, I made sure we had all the STUFF (though 9 years ago there wasn’t as much stuff as there is now); by baby #2, I went and got a couple of not-pink sheets, maybe a new changing table cover, a few lap pads–and that was it. Everything else was unnecessary.

What DOES help with the fear, the anxiety, and the uncertainty?

1) Take evidence-based childbirth classes

2) Hire a birth doula (remember, a doula isn’t a substitute for childbirth education)

3) Take breastfeeding classes and find a breastfeeding support group

4) Make sure to be open with a loved one or friend if you feel like you’re experiencing anxiety and depression, and know help is out there

5) Consider hiring a postpartum doula

You know, believe it or not, you can put THOSE things on your baby registry. Ask for money to pay for doulas and classes. I’m sure Pinterest has some ideas for cute things people can do to gift you these services.  And while the expensive stroller looks impressive, navigating pregnancy, birth, and beyond takes more than things– it takes actual support.

If you want to see a sensible list of what you should put on your baby registry, head on over here and find my FREE checklist.  It’ll get the piles of presents under control.

Thoughts? Comments? Leave them below!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.