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August 17, 2017

Before Baby’s First Word: How Baby Communicates

Even though babies do not usually say their first words until they are close to 1 year of age, they begin to communicate with us much earlier.

How do babies communicate before they start to talk?

By 2 months of age, most babies will:

  •       Look at you and make eye contact when you talk to them
  •       Laugh and coo
  •       Show interest in people
  •       Have different cries for different reasons

By 4 months of age, most babies will:

  •       Babble to themselves and others
  •       Make a variety of sounds such as coos, gurgles, and cries
  •       Copy sounds
  •       Laugh and smile in response to your laughs and smiles

By 6 months, most babies will:

  •       Make sounds to express pleasure and displeasure
  •       Make sounds back to you when you talk to them
  •       Respond to their own name
  •       Play with sounds when alone and with others
  •       Try to interact with others

At 6-12 months of age, most babies will:

  •       Make sounds, babble often, and try singing with you
  •       Copy your actions such as clapping and banging toys
  •       Copy your sounds such as coughing, kissing, and clicking your tongue
  •       Communicate with you by pointing, reaching, and making sounds
  •       Have fun repeating the sounds they make
  •       Shout or make noises to gain attention
  •       Shake their head for “no” (around 9 months of age)
  •       Wave hello/good-bye (around 11 months of age)

How can you help your baby to communicate?

  • Talk to your baby about what you are doing during the day even if it is something as simple as folding laundry, making lunch, or changing your baby’s diaper. Repetition and routine help babies attach meaning to what they see and do.
  • Copy the sounds, actions, and facial expressions that your baby makes. This will help them learn that what they say and do are important.
  • Give your baby time to copy your sounds and actions.  This teaches them simple turn-taking skills.
  • Play face-to-face.  Get down to your baby’s level and look into their eyes.  Look at what your child is looking at and talk about what they see and do.
  • Read with your baby. Do not worry about reading books word-for-word.  Instead, when your child is looking at or holding a book, talk about what they are doing and what they see on the pages.
  • Sing with your baby.  Singing helps with language development, memory and listening skills, imitation, and turn-taking.  It is okay if you do not know the words to songs – you can make them up or change them to be meaningful to your baby.

When should you be concerned?

Does your baby:

  • By 6 months, smile or show other warm, joyful expressions?
  • By 9 months, share sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions with you?
  • By 12 months, Babble and use gestures with an adult, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving?
  • By 16 months, say their first words?
  • By 24 months, combine two-words into phrases (e.g., “more milk”, “hi mom”)?

Contact your local *Speech-Language Pathologist if:

  •       You answered “no” to any of these questions
  •       You have concerns
  •       Your child shows any loss of speech, babbling, or social skills at any age
  •       Your child has a history of frequent ear infections
  •       You have questions or concerns about your baby’s feeding or communication skills
  •       You would like more ideas for interaction with your child

(*A Speech Language Pathologist, or SLP, works with people from all walks of life. SLPs help with all areas of communication including speech, language, voice, and fluency (or stuttering).   They can also help with feeding and swallowing difficulties in all age groups.)

Do you live in the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan area? In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, phone 306-655-2434.  In rural areas near Saskatoon, phone 306-655-4700.

 

If you live outside the Saskatoon area or would like more information on feeding, communication, or finding an SLP in your area visit: www.sac-oac.ca or www.hanen.org.

 


 

This guest post is written by Bonnie Quiring Gallen, MSLP, S-LP (C) on behalf of Saskatoon Health Region Population Public Health. Bonnie is a Speech Language Pathologist, and mother to two children, ages 2 and 7 years old.

 

 


 

1 comments

April 14, 2017

Breastfeeding – Getting Started

 A great start to breastfeeding begins during pregnancy. Knowing what is normal can help to smooth out some of the bumps you may encounter.

Before baby is born

If your baby has not yet arrived, download our FREE ebook and learn 5 things you can do NOW to make getting started with breastfeeding easier and less stressful. 5 Crucial Ways to Prepare for Breastfeeding. Download it here.

Baby’s first 24 hours

Once baby arrives, snuggle in close skin to skin contact for at least an hour after birth if possible.

Breastfeeding can take a bit of practice. Both you and baby will be recovering from birth. Babies are often in a quiet alert state for the first hour after birth. This is a great time for a first feeding attempt.

Once baby latches, try to limit distractions. This is a special time and you have waited a long time for this first introduction! Most procedures, such as a baby bath, can wait.

The colostrum your baby receives in early breastfeeding is important for baby and has been referred to as “baby’s first immunization!”

After the first quiet alert stage, your newborn will enter a state of deep sleep and will be difficult to wake to feed. This may be a better time for mom and baby to get some rest. When baby wakes from this deep sleep, try breastfeeding again.

Rooming in is important as you start to learn your newborn’s feeding cues. Cues your baby may be ready to feed include:

  • stirring and stretching
  • turning the head with an open mouth (“rooting”)
  • bringing hands to his mouth
  • making sucking motions

Crying is a late sign of hunger. If your newborn is already crying, try to calm baby prior to offering the breast by holding close, talking quietly, or rocking gently.

If your baby has not latched by 6 hours of age, hand expression will stimulate your body to begin the milk production process. Drops of colostrum expressed can be fed to baby on a spoon.

Be patient. Most babies will eventually latch to the breast. It sometimes can take a bit of patience and practice!

24-48 hours after birth (Day 1-2)

During this stage you can expect your baby to have at least one wet and one dirty diaper. Baby will be passing black sticky stool called meconium (see photo here). You should start hearing the occasional swallow at the breast, a soft “cah” sound.

It is normal for nipples to feel “tender” as you get used to breastfeeding. If you would describe your nipples as “sore” or if you find yourself curling your toes with pain, please ask for help! The earlier you get help, the better for both you and baby.

48-72 hours after birth (Day 2-3)

adorable-22040_640On Day 2, baby’s feeding pattern changes and you may start to wonder if you have enough milk. Baby will want to be at the breast frequently, sometimes still rooting or chewing on hands after feeds. This may be tiring for you as you may feel like all you are doing is breastfeeding!

It is important to try to sleep when the baby does as baby may only have one longer stretch of sleep in 24 hours. The frequent feeding at this stage is a signal to your body to make more milk. When you express a drop of milk you may notice a change from the golden colostrum color to a whiter, watery appearance.

You may start to notice your breasts feeling heavier. As the breasts get heavier, your baby will begin to swallow more frequently during feeds. After a feed your baby will be content and relaxed and go to sleep. Your baby’s stools will enter the “transitional” stage (see photos here). You may notice a pinky orangy color resembling brick dust in the baby’s urine (see a photo here). It is normal at this stage. The urine should become colorless and free of brick dust in the next few days.

Day 3-5

During this time, your breasts may feel overly full and tender. This is normal. Your breasts will adjust to the amount your baby needs over the next few days. A few minutes of massage and warm compresses prior to feeding may help the milk to flow. Cool compresses after the feed may help with swelling.

If the areola (the brown area around the nipple) is too firm you may find your baby slips off the breast with latching attempts. Try moving the swelling away from the nipple and areola with counter pressure.

You will hear louder and more frequent swallows during this stage. After breastfeeding on the first side, burp baby and offer the second side. Do not be alarmed if your baby is not interested in the second side. Baby’s tummies can hold only a limited amount of milk. One side may be enough.

If your baby wants to eat an hour later, it does not mean that she did not get enough the first time. A full tummy of milk can be digested in 90 minutes or less!

Your baby’s weight will begin to increase. Newborns typically gain about 20-30 grams per day (almost 1 ounce). More than this is not a concern. A breastfed baby can never gain too much!

Baby’s stools will become watery, bright mustard yellow and curdy (see photo here).

If your breasts are heavier, the feeds are comfortable, and your baby is gaining, you are off to a great start! You have worked hard to get to this stage and are probably a bit sleep deprived. Sleep when the baby does, limit company and try to focus on caring for yourself.

If you are struggling with breastfeeding, seek help as soon as possible from a healthcare professional or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

Surrounding yourself with other breastfeeding mothers can be invaluable! Ask your community health nurse if there are mother’s groups that she can suggest.


Learn more about why breastfeeding is important in our free video course, Getting Ready to Breastfeed.

Learn even more in our online Simply Breastfeeding course (12 videos that teach you everything you need to know about breastfeeding).


How-To-Get-A-Great-Start-With-Breastfeeding

 

References and More Information:

  1. Average Weight Gain for Breastfed Babies.” KellyMom.com. 11 Apr. 2016. Web.
  2. Bonyata, Kelly. “Breastfeeding your newborn — what to expect in the early weeks.” KellyMom.com. 01 Mar. 2016. Web.
  3. Establishing Your Milk Supply.” lllc.ca, La Leche League Canada, 2010. Web.
  4. Holmes, Allison V., Angela Yerdon McLeod, and Maya Bunik. “ABM Clinical Protocol #5: Peripartum Breastfeeding Management for the Healthy Mother and Infant at Term, Revision 2013.” Breastfeeding Medicine 8.6 (2013): 469-73. Bfmed.org. Web.
  5. Newman, Jack, MD, FRCPC, and Edith Kernerman, IBCLC. “Breastfeeding – Starting Out Right”, 2009. Web.
  6. When will my milk come in?” KellyMom.com. 15 Mar. 2016. Web.
  7. Weight Gain and Knowing Baby Is Getting Enough Milk.” La Leche League Canada. N.p., n.d. Web.

 

Learn more about breastfeeding in these posts:


 

IMG_9687 4

Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.



 

 

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October 6, 2016

Baby It’s Cold Outside! How to Keep Baby Warm Outdoors

In our hometown, it’s cold outside in the winter. Temperatures can dip as low as -40 degrees. But you don’t need to stay indoors just because you have a baby. Getting outdoors is great therapy for the “winter blues”.  

5 Tips to Protect Your Baby from the Cold

1)  Plus one rule

As a general rule, your baby needs the same number of clothing layers as you, plus one more. You will be moving around which generates warmth. Your baby, on the other hand, will be stationary. Think about what you would wear if you would be sitting still and dress baby in that plus one extra layer .

2) Protect from the wind

Baby’s skin is tender and can easily become chapped or frostbitten by a cold wind. Use mitts and booties to protect baby’s hands and feet. A well fitting hat is critical; babies lose a lot of heat from their heads.

3) No thick outerwear in the car seat

It may seem counter intuitive but do not dress your baby in a snowsuit or thick jacket if you will be using your car seat. The car seat straps need to be snug against baby’s chest with no more than 1-2 fingers width between the strap and the baby. Puffy outerwear will compact in a collision, putting your baby at risk. Learn more about this issue from the car seat lady hereDress your baby in long pants and long sleeves, buckle him into the car seat then tuck blankets around him.

4)  Car seat cover

A car seat cover is a small blanket with elastic at the edges to hold it tightly over a car seat. Consider investing in one (or ask a talented friend to make one for you). Put the cover on before going outside to trap warm air inside. Your baby will not even know they are outside! Many have a flap in front of baby’s face; pull it down once the baby is in the car.

5)  Wear your baby

If you are going for a walk, consider wearing your baby. A baby will be much warmer held close than in a stroller.Wear a larger coat that can zip up over your baby in the carrier. (Learn more about baby wraps and carriers in this KellyMom article.

What other tips would you add to our list? 
how-to-keep-baby-warm-outdoors

Learn more about newborn care: How to Decrease Baby’s Pain During Immunizations and Tummy Time


thumbnail-cindy-and-janaCindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.



 

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September 24, 2016

Should Partners give a Bottle to Bond with Baby?

We know that breastfeeding is a wonderful way to bond with a newborn. On first thought, it may make sense that partners also should feed their baby to enjoy this special bond. But, giving a bottle in the first few weeks can interfere with breastfeeding.

Here are 3 reasons why we would caution against it.

Babies can get ‘hooked’.

Despite the clever marketing slogans on the packages, there is no bottle that resembles breastfeeding. (We have never seen a mother’s nipple that looks anything like a bottle nipple!) Milk begins to flow from a bottle immediately and continues to flow much faster than milk from a breast. Babies can get ‘hooked’; when put to the breast, they may search for something much firmer and longer than mom’s nipple with an immediate fast flow of milk. For some babies, this will happen after just one bottle, for others, after a few bottles. This has also been referred to as ‘nipple confusion’ (read more about it here).

It can affect mom’s milk supply.

In the first 6 weeks of breastfeeding, mom’s milk supply is becoming regulated. Removing milk from the breasts signals her body to produce more milk. The more often milk is removed the more milk is made.

When a bottle-feed replaces breastfeeding, mom’s body misses the signal to continue making milk. This can affect long-term milk supply. If at all possible, we recommend waiting at least 6 weeks before introducing a bottle.

It can alter baby’s protection from illness.

Breast milk contains healthy bacteria and infection-fighters that coat baby’s gut and jump-start baby’s immune system. This provides protection against common infections like Streptococcus,  Staphylococcus, E.coli, Rotavirus, and more.

Sometimes formula will be necessary for medical reasons. If, however, it is being given as a personal choice, families need to know it will affect the baby’s protective gut flora. Altering the gut flora affects baby’s protection from illness.

 

Feeding a baby is only one way to bond. There are many other ways to bond that will not impact breastfeeding.

  • Babies love being held skin to skin.
  • Burping a milk drunk baby against a bare chest is a wonderful way to bond.
  • Baby bath. Babies were in a liquid environment for 9 months and many love to be in a tub of warm water. An alternative is to shower with the baby snuggled to the chest.
  • Simply being there for baby, holding, talking or reading a book.

These are just a few of the ways partners can bond with their newborn while continuing to support breastfeeding. Do you have others you would add to the list?


Make sure you are ready for breastfeeding! Download our FREE ebook: 5 Crucial Ways to Prepare for Breastfeeding.


should-partners-give-a-bottle-to-bond-1

References and More Information:

  1. Bonyata, Kelly, BS, IBCLC. “How Does Milk Production Work?” KellyMom.com. 03 Apr. 2016. Web.
  2. Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants: Recommendations from Birth to Six Months.” hc-sc.gc.ca. Health Canada, 18 Aug. 2015. Web.
  3. Why Breastfeed?” HealthyChildren.org. American Academy of Pediatrics, 21 Nov. 2015. Web.

 

Keep learning with these posts: 7 Important Ways Dads can Help with Breastfeeding and Can You Spoil a Newborn?


thumbnail-cindy-and-jana

Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.



 

1 comments

August 30, 2016

Top 10 Things That Can Freak You Out When You Have a Newborn Baby

Caring for a newborn baby can be a bit overwhelming at first. Some things can be downright alarming! Many times, however, they are actually normal. Here are the top 10 alarming (but normal) things you may notice in your newborn baby.

 

1. “Blood” in diaper

 

It can be alarming to discover a reddish tinge in your newborn baby’s diaper. You may assume it is blood. But is it?

In baby’s first few days, the urine can be so concentrated that uric acid crystals show up as a color. We call this ‘brick dust’. It is pinky orange (almost salmon-like) in color and can be easily be mistaken for for blood.

poop-1-e1472585693600-150x150Although alarming, brick dust is temporary and will go away once baby is drinking larger volumes of milk. If the brick dust is still present after baby is 5 days old, contact your healthcare provider to make sure baby is drinking enough.

If your baby is a girl, a  second possibility is ‘pseudomenstruation’. Babies are continuously exposed to mom’s hormones in the womb. The sudden withdrawal of the hormones at birth can cause baby girls to have a mini period (also known as pseudo menses). This is not a cause for concern; it will go away within a week or so.

When to consult your healthcare provider:

– If baby has brick dust after 5 days old

– If brick dust or pseudomenses doesn’t seem to fit with what you are seeing, particularly if your baby seems unwell.

2. Bumps on baby’s skin

Your beautiful newborn baby can develop bumps on the skin that can look rather alarming. Here are 2 conditions that are completely normal.

– A common newborn rash that can resemble teenage acne or bug bites. Newborn-rashYou will see small white dots surrounded by a reddened area. It can come and go on all parts of baby’s body.

– Small white bumps on a newborn’s nose, chin or forehead. These skin bumps, called milia, are caused by small flakes of skin getting trapped just below the surface of the skin.

The best treatment for both of these skin conditions is to do nothing! They will disappear on their own within a few weeks.

When to consult your healthcare provider:

– If baby seems unwell in addition to having a rash

3. Voracious appetite

Newborn babies eat often! 10, 12, 14, 16 or more times a day is normal. You may think “Surely my baby can’t be hungry, he just ate!” Well guess what? He is probably hungry.

Breast milk is so easy to digest that half of it can be gone after only 45 minutes. Breastfeeding mamas will spend 10 ½ – 12 hours a day feeding. Ask for help with other household tasks to free you to do this important job.


Are you ready for breastfeeding? Learn 5 things you can do now that will make breastfeeding easier. Download our FREE ebook: 5 Crucial Ways to Prepare for Breastfeeding.


When to consult your healthcare provider:

4. Frequent Sneezing

Newborn babies sneeze often. This can be alarming and you may wonder if your baby has developed a cold or allergies.

Sneezing is simply baby’s way of clearing his nose. Nasal passages are tiny and can easily be clogged with mucous. If your baby was born by caesarian section, he may have a bit more mucous as it was not “squeezed out” as he came through the birth canal.

When to consult your healthcare provider:

– If sneezing is accompanied by wheezing or other signs of illness such as a fever.

5. Bleeding Umbilical cord

After birth, your newborn baby’s umbilical cord will be clamped and cut, leaving a small stump at the base. As this piece of the cord dries, it begins to shrivel and darken.

As the cord starts to separate from the skin, you may notice a tiny stain of blood on baby’s sleeper or diaper. (The amount of blood should be similar to what is present when a scab falls off.) A little bleeding from the base of the cord is an indication that the cord is beginning to fall off. Learn more about caring for your baby’s cord in this post.

When to consult your healthcare provider:

– If the bleeding reappears as soon as you wipe it.

– If there is thick greenish foul smelling ‘pus’.

– If the skin near the umbilicus is reddened and warm-to-touch.

– If baby seems ill.

6. Whites of baby’s eyes appear yellow

Jaundice is a common newborn condition that causes baby’s skin and the white parts of the eyes to appear yellow. Most babies will have at least some jaundice in the first week after birth.

The first place jaundice is noticeable is on the baby’s nose; as jaundice increases, the yellow color becomes noticeable further down the body. Jaundice typically peaks on the third or fourth day of baby’s life and then begins to fade. The whites of the eyes are often the last to return to normal color. Read more about jaundice here.

When to consult your healthcare provider:

– If your newborn baby appears yellow in the first 24 hours of life.

– If baby is too sleepy to feed, despite using wake up techniques.

– Is baby is not having an adequate number of wet and dirty diapers. (Warning! There are photos of baby poop. Scroll down to see a chart of the number of diapers we would expect.)

10-Freaky-But-Normal-Things-About-A-Newborn-Baby

 

7. Diarrhea

Breast milk poop is watery and can even be explosive! You may worry your newborn baby has diarrhea. Loose poop, however, is normal for breastfed babies. It can range in color from yellow to brown to orange and will have some milk curds or ‘seeds’. Some babies will have a bowel movement with every feed.

We get a lot of questions about what is normal for baby’s poops. To answer, we wrote an entire post of the subject. Check it out here.

When to consult your healthcare provider:

  • If you notice blood in baby’s poop
  • Baby has green liquid poop that completely soaks into the diaper

8. Swollen Breasts

Newborn babies, both girls and boys, can have swollen breast tissue at birth. If you touch the area, you may feel a lump.

The swelling occurs because baby was exposed to mother’s hormones in the womb. The same hormones that prepare mom’s breasts for breastfeeding can cause baby’s breasts to swell as well. This is not a cause for alarm; the swelling will disappear on its own over the next few weeks.

When to consult your healthcare provider:

  • If the swollen breast tissue is reddened or baby has a fever.

9. Swollen Genitals

You may notice that your baby boy’s scrotum or your baby girl’s labia are quite a bit larger than you would expect for the first few days after birth. This is largely due to exposure to mom’s hormones while in the womb. The swelling goes away on its own within the first few days.

When to consult your healthcare provider:

– If your baby’s scrotum continues to be swollen beyond the first couple of weeks or if baby seems in pain.

10. Crossed eyes

It is normal for newborn babies to have brief periods when their eyes appear to “cross”. The muscles around their eyes are not yet strong. This should resolve by the time baby is about 3 months old.

When to consult your healthcare provider:

– If your baby’s eyes seem to be crossed all the time.

– If it persists beyond 6 months old.

Looking for more answers to your newborn questions? We would love to help you during this special time of your life.

– Answers for New Parents is an easy place to find answers to all sorts of questions about caring for your newborn, breastfeeding and your own recovery from birth.

– Our Simply Breastfeeding course will increase your confidence by answering questions such as “Is it normal for breastfeeding to hurt?” and “How can I know baby is getting enough?”

We want to help you relax and enjoy your baby instead of worrying!

 

References:

  1. O’Connor, Nina R., MD, Maura R. McLaughlin, MD, and Peter Ham, MD. “Newborn Skin: Part I. Common Rashes.” – American Family Physician. AAFP, 1 Jan. 2008. Web. 30 Aug. 2016.
  2. “Strabismus.” KidsHealth – the Web’s Most Visited Site about Children’s Health. The Nemours Foundation, Oct. 2013. Web.

 


thumbnail-cindy-and-janaCindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.



 

1 comments

August 15, 2016

How to Better Understand Baby Sleep

When I was pregnant with my first child, someone told me that having to pee often at night was God’s way of preparing me for the frequent night feedings to come! My fear of sleep deprivation and quest for a good night’s sleep began before my baby had even arrived.

My newborn did feed often. Especially at night. I am convinced he fed every 2 hours at night until he was well over a year old. While I enjoyed nursing my baby to sleep (and it seemed to be the best way to get him to sleep), I had the nagging feeling I was doing something wrong and that he would never learn to sleep on his own.

I know I am not alone. Sleep is a huge issue for new families. Parents of babies only two or three days old ask me if they have started a bad habit because the only way their baby will sleep is tucked into bed beside them.

Desperate for sleep, parents look for a baby sleep solution. I know I did. None, however, felt right to my parenting heart.

I love what IBCLC Meg Nagle (aka The Milk Meg) had to say about one of the common sleep training methods. She graciously allowed us to reprint her article below. We would love to hear your comments and learn what worked for you.

-Cindy   

How-to-Understand-Baby-Sleep

 

Why “Feed, Play, Sleep” routines make no sense for a breastfed baby…

 

*Just to clarify, I don’t think it makes sense for ANY baby, bottle or breastfed to be on this routine…however it makes even LESS sense for breastfed babies. Also, if you are doing this routine and it’s working for you then great! This article isn’t for you (although I’d love for you to keep reading anyway)! This is for the millions of women who are told they “should” be doing this routine but know it’s just not working for them and they are wondering why. Because the reality is that for most women who breastfeed on demand, it doesn’t work! Here’s why…

If you live in a western culture you will have definitely heard of the “Feed, play, sleep” routine. This is a well known and frequently suggested method of getting your baby into a little pattern of eating, playing and then yes, you guessed it…sleeping. Every day. Now as a exhausted pregnant woman (or new mother) how awesome does this sound?! Sounds great until the baby actually arrives and they are on and off the boob constantly.

We find ourselves reading these books and websites about this wonderful routine wondering, “What is WRONG with my baby?! He won’t sleep longer than 40 minutes and half that time my boob has to be in his mouth! He wants to breastfeed before waking, after waking, during his play time and then to fall asleep again! Why is my baby not fitting into this schedule?! What is wrong with me? Why is this happening?!”

I’ll tell you why this is happening…because your baby is normal. Your baby is born incredibly prematurely compared to other mammals. Your baby is an actual person. A person who cannot do anything for themselves. Your baby needs cuddles, breastfeeds, cuddles and breastfeeds. Breastfeeding is not meant to be scheduled. It’s makes no sense from a biological, cultural or evolutionary perspective.

 

Here is why this little routine does not make sense for breastfed babies…

  • Breastfed babies have virtually all of their needs met by breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is not just about “feeding” but is about comfort, hunger, thirst, pain relief, boredom buster, tantrum stopper and basically answer to everything elixir. You may not know what is wrong with your baby but chances are…boob will fix it. So throw out that book that’s telling you to stretch out the next breastfeed until it’s “time”. Just whip it out. “When in doubt…whip it out”!

  • Your baby is actually a person…not a cookiecutter clone.

This is something that gets my panties in a bunch…your little baby is a person. This little person is going through many changes. They’ve just gone from a nice warm womb to a cold, crazy world. Your little person is not going to follow a schedule…if they do then pat yourself on the back and do a happy dance that you have a little weirdo (and I mean in a good way) baby! But it’s definitely not the norm.

  • Your breastmilk is MADE to put your little one to sleep.

As I’ve mentioned in my book and in my blog countless times, your milk has components in it to help put your child to sleep! It’s amazing! Just pop them on and watch them fall asleep. Most babies do this. This is not a habit that needs to be broken. It is what they are meant to do. It is important. It is the biological norm.

  • A breastfed baby on a routine means less frequent draining of the breasts which means less milk production.

Breastmilk production is simple…supply and demand. The more well drained your breasts are…the more they will make. Trying to distract a baby to not breastfeed since it’s not “feeding time” can affect your supply and put you at risk for needing to supplement or pump. Even though these routines stress how you can be “flexible” with some of these times, books and websites state that at a certain age you can stick to these routines by the minute…try telling that to most breastfed babies or toddlers and they will respond with a cry asking to be breastfed!

  • Breastfed babies need a breastfeed to help them work through feelings and to help calm themselves.

Breastfeeding is not just about “the milk”. Breastfeeding will happen at various times throughout the day and night that have NOTHING to do with hunger or the need for food.

  • Bottle fed babies find comfort through a pacifier…breasts ARE a breastfed baby’s pacifier.

This is one of the biggest differences in doing these routines with a breastfed baby compared to a bottle fed baby. A baby bottle feeds because they are hungry. When they are no longer hungry you can give them a pacifier and either rock them to sleep or put them down to sleep where they nod off by themselves. Cue the breastfed baby…this baby breastfeeds TO ACTUAL SLEEP because this is how they pacify themselves! They’ll breastfeed to wake up, breastfeed during their play time and then breastfeed back to sleep. They are calmed at the breast.

Here is the typical recommended schedule for people on how to do the “feed, play, sleep” routine…

When your baby wakes up:

  • Offer a feed.
  • Change your baby’s nappy.
  • Take time for talk and play.
  • Put your baby back down for a sleep.

And here is how it usually goes for a breastfed baby who is fed on demand and is with their mother 24/7…

When your baby wakes up:

  • Feed.
  • Change nappy.
  • Talk, Play, Feed
  • Carry around.
  • Feed.
  • Feed/sleep/feed.
  • Play/feed/play.
  • Feed.
  • Sleep.

Or to be more exact for the breastfeeding woman (because breastfeeding is not just about “FEEDING”…)

Now don’t think for one second that I don’t think routines are good ideas…Babies and children LOVE routines. They thrive on knowing what is going to happen when. However, I strongly believe that breastfeeding can happen before, during and after these rituals you do every day. Before sleep times you can read a book, sing them a song, give them a bath…all of this can happen while breastfeeding here there or everywhere in between these rituals you do. Remember your baby is a little human. A little person…and this little person needs frequent breastfeeds and frequent cuddles day and night. You are mothering through breastfeeding…not creating a soldier for the next graduating class of military cadets. Relax and just enjoy your baby.

xx

Meg

 

Learn more about newborns and sleep: 11 Ways to Cope with Sleep Deprivation and Baby’s “Days and Nights Mixed-Up”

 

Meg Nagle. The Milk Meg. Photo


About Meg:

In between breastfeeding her youngest boy, chasing after her oldest two boys, blogging and occasionally sleeping  …Meg Nagle works with women to help them reach their breastfeeding goals! Meg has also written a book, “Boobin’ All Day…Boobin’ All Night. A Gentle Approach To Sleep For Breastfeeding Mothers” which can be found HERE.

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August 8, 2016

Simply Breastfeeding Online Course

While the first weeks with a newborn can be amazing and filled with wonder, they can also be frustrating and filled with worry. Through years of working with new families, we have seen a pattern of common concerns.

 

Parents worry if their baby is getting enough milk.

They wonder if they are doing something wrong because their baby feeds often at night.  

Mom’s nipples are painful and they don’t know if it is normal.

 

When a new baby arrives, sleep deprivation and the steady stream of visitors make it difficult for new parents to learn what they need to know to feel confident.

 

We knew there must be a better way. What if parents could learn the answers to the most common breastfeeding questions BEFORE their baby was born? Once their newborn arrived, they could spend more snuggling instead of Googling.

 

As a first step to solving this problem, we began to teach a prenatal breastfeeding class in our hometown (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan). The feedback from families was very encouraging. Moms told us they felt more confident and prepared for baby’s arrival.

 

We began to get requests for an online version. These requests were from:

  • Families who lived too far away to drive to our in person class.
  • Mothers who prefered to learn at their own pace, in the comfort of their own home.
  • Women whose partners worked out of town and were unavailable to attend the in person class.

 

We got busy filming and created a 12 lesson online video prenatal breastfeeding course, Simply Breastfeeding. In addition to the videos, each lesson is accompanied by summary notes and bonus downloadable content.

 

Here are a few of the things we want every expectant parent to know!

 

Your breasts will be soft in the first few days after birth but you do have milk! It’s a thick golden milk, full of germ fighting properties that are important for your baby. (We explain more about colostrum in the ‘Baby’s Very First Feed’ lesson.)

You will experience baby’s “Ravenous Second Night”. Your baby will want to feed very very often and you won’t get much sleep. It will be tiring but it is normal; your baby is doing exactly what we expect. This frequent feeding will signal your body to begin to make a larger volume of milk. The following nights will be easier. (We explain more in the lesson ‘Time to Feed? Watch Your Baby, Not the Clock’.)

You will spend 10 to 12 hours a day breastfeeding. You will want to be comfortable! Watch our free preview lesson about breastfeeding positions here. (‘Breastfeeding Positions: Getting Mom and Baby Comfy’)

You don’t have to endure sore nipples. It is common for nipples to feel ‘tender’ in the first week or two but you should not have pain that makes you curl your toes and bring your shoulders up to your ears. Latching baby deeply to the breast can help you to avoid sore nipples. (We explore how to get a comfortable latch in the ‘The Deep Secret of Latching’ lesson.)

You may worry whether you have enough milk. Concern about milk supply is the most common reason women stop breastfeeding or begin to give formula. Although it may seem logical, pumping is NOT a good way to tell if you have enough milk. (We cover how to know baby is getting enough milk in the lesson: ‘Is Baby Getting Enough? How to Know for Sure’.)

You are going to get lots of advice about breastfeeding; not all of it will be good advice. In fact, some women are told to avoid chocolate and caffeine. Thankfully, this is not accurate advice! A cup or two of coffee or tea and moderate amounts of chocolate are not off limits for breastfeeding mothers! (We tackle this and other common questions in the ‘FAQ’ lesson.)

 

The Simply Breastfeeding course is for:

 

  • Expectant mothers who are trying to decide out whether or not they want to breastfeed
  • Expectant mothers who want to learn more about how to breastfeed their baby before giving birth
  • Mothers who recently gave birth but quickly realized they needed to learn more about breastfeeding

Let the Simply Breastfeeding course help you to make the first weeks with your newborn as relaxing and stress free as possible.

Breastfeeding-(3)


thumbnail-cindy-and-jana

Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.

 

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June 9, 2016

Sun Safety for Babies

Summer weather is here! There is no reason to stay inside. With a little planning, you and your baby can enjoy the outdoors.

 

Tips to make your outings safe and enjoyable:

 

  • Baby’s skin is delicate. Avoid direct sun exposure, especially during the peak heat hours (10am-2pm). Choose a well shaded area or use an umbrella. A wide brimmed hat will protect baby’s face and neck.

 

  • If your baby is less than 6 months old and you are not able to avoid the sun, use sunscreen on small areas such as your baby’s hands and feet. If your baby is over 6 months, you can apply sunscreen to all areas, but be careful when applying around the eyes.

 

  • Just like adults, babies are thirstier on hot days. Feed your baby frequently. Breast milk is 88% water making it an excellent choice for hot summer days. If you are formula feeding, take extra with you to help quench baby’s thirst. Water supplements are not recommended for babies under 6 months of age.

 

  • Your baby’s ability to regulate temperature is still developing. Protection from heat as well as the sun is important. Baby’s feet and hands may feel cool but if the back of your baby’s neck is sweaty, your baby is too warm. As a general guideline, your baby will need one more layer of clothing than you need. Choose lightweight, light-colored clothing.

 

  • Babies should never be left alone in a vehicle, even for a minute. Enclosed vehicles can quickly become dangerously hot.

 

  • A bug screen over your stroller or carrier is a chemical-free way to prevent insect bites. Insect repellent with DEET should not be used on infants less than six months of age.

 

Get out and enjoy the summer weather with your baby.

Updated June 9, 2016

SunSafetyforBabies

 

References and More Information:

  1. Guidelines for Offering Water to Breastfed Babies.” KellyMomcom, 31 Mar. 2016. Web.
  2. Insect Repellents: How to Protect Your Child from Insect Bites.” Caring for Kids. Canadian Paediatric Society, Mar. 2012. Web.
  3. Sun Safety: Information for Parents About Sunburn & Sunscreen.” HealthyChildren.org. American Academy of Pediatrics, 21 Nov. 2015. Web.

Related posts: Yes You Can! Outdoor Adventures with Baby and 7 Reasons You will Love Camping with Your Baby.

 


IMG_9687 4

About the authors:

Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.

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February 28, 2016

6 Tips for Surviving the Newborn Period

 

Settling in with a new baby is a time of HUGE adjustments. Moms are often sore as they recover from birth. Sleep deprivation and unsolicited advice are at an all time high. Older children and pets may be vying for attention.

 

Feeding a newborn requires at least 8 to 10 hours a day; diapering requires another 1 ½ – 2 hours. That doesn’t leave much time for self-care!

 

Here are 6 tips to make the newborn period more enjoyable and a lot less stressful.


Note: To help make feeding your baby less stressful, we’ve written a FREE ebook, 5 Crucial Ways to Prepare for Breastfeeding. Download it here.


6 tips for surviving

 

1. Limit visitors

 

Everyone loves a new baby! Visitors get caught up in the excitement and may forget that you have been up most of the night. Even short visits can interfere with an opportunity to nap.

When a friend or relative asks, “When can I drop by?” respond, “I’d love you to visit, but we need a few days (or a few weeks!) to get some rest”. Ask a trusted family member to be your ‘gate-keeper’, answering phone calls and the door, telling well-wishers you are not up to company just yet.

 

Tips from other parents:

  • Let others know your wishes well before the birth. “We know we will need time to settle in, so we won’t be having company for at least 2 weeks.”
  • Take your newborn to see others rather than having visitors at your house. That way, you can keep the visit short.
  • Consider changing your voicemail. “Our baby has arrived. 6 pounds, 3 ounces. We are doing well but we are very tired. We appreciate your message but we may not get back to you for a couple of weeks.”

 

2. Let go of the perfect home

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With 12 or more hours a day spent on baby care, it is impossible for your home to look the way it used to. Caring for a newborn takes a lot of energy.

Try to let go of your expectations. Concentrate on resting and getting to know your new baby.

 

Tips from other parents:

  • If a family member offers to help, say yes! Ask them to dust, do laundry or vacuum the floors.
  • Focus on keeping one room tidy; retreat to this sanctuary when you feel overwhelmed.
  • If there are tasks that cannot wait, use a wrap or a baby carrier and wear your baby while you accomplish the essentials.

 

3. Plan simple meals

 

This is not the time for gourmet food. Keep meals simple and nutritious. Yogurt, fresh fruit and pre-cut veggies are excellent snacks. Nuts are a quick and easy source of protein. Keep snacks and a glass of water within reach.

When people offer to help, suggest they make a meal. If eggs and toast or peanut butter sandwiches are appealing, go ahead and make it for supper 3 nights in a row.

 

Tips from other parents:

  • Ordering takeout can be a lifesaver.
  • Keep protein bars on hand.
  • Make meals that can be eaten with one hand (e.g. wraps).

 

4. Ignore unsolicited advice

 

 

false-98375_640New parents get a lot of advice and it can be very overwhelming. Many times, the advice will be contradictory. Your aunt may advise, “Never wake a sleeping baby” but the nurse tells you “Feed your baby at least every 3 hours.” (Note: we wrote a post on this topic here.)

Please trust your instincts. No two babies are the same. What works for one family will not necessarily work for others.

 

Tips from other parents:

  • Say “Thank you for that idea. I will discuss it with my partner. “
  • Simply smile and say ‘Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind.”
  • Pretend to be preoccupied with your baby. Ignore the advice and change the subject.

 

5. Mom’s bath is more important than baby’s

 

To keep stitches clean and to speed healing, moms that delivered vaginally should have a tub soak at least twice a day. C-section moms should shower daily to keep their incision clean. In the busy days with a newborn, this can be challenging.

We encourage mothers to prioritize their own bath rather than their baby’s. A baby doesn’t need a complete bath every day. Instead, concentrate on washing baby’s face and neck daily and baby’s bottom with every diaper change. (You can learn more about infant bathing here.)

 

6. Make resting a priority

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Newborns feed at least 8 to 12 times a day. It’s no wonder that new parents feel sleep deprived! It may be difficult to ignore the laundry and the undone dishes but try to make resting your first priority.

Some women find it difficult to sleep in the daytime. Try to lie down and rest even if you are unable to sleep. You could read a book or listen to music. Rest is important as you heal from the birth.

 

Tips from other parents:

  • Keeping your bedroom blind closed will help you fall asleep when you have the chance.
  • Live in clothes that are comfortable for napping.
  • Put your phone on silent.
  • Ask your husband, a friend or a relative to take the baby for an hour or two so you can rest.

 

The newborn period is a short window in a lifetime. Shifting your priorities to facilitate rest will make this time less stressful and more enjoyable.

Other posts you may find helpful: Days and Nights Mixed Up and Newborn Period, A – Z.


thumbnail-cindy-and-janaCindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.



 

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December 18, 2015

Meconium to Breast Milk Poops: What’s normal and when to worry

From meconium to transitional to yellow curdy… baby’s poops go through a lot of changes in the first few days of life. We will walk you through what to expect and when to worry through each of the stages.

 

 

MeconiumTransitionalNewbornPoopsWhat'sNormal-

1) meconium

 

The very first poop a baby passes is called ‘meconium’. It is black, sticky and looks like tar. (See a photo of meconium poop here.) You can expect that your baby will pass several of these hard-to-wipe-off stools.

Meconium contains everything your baby swallowed while still in the womb. When baby passes the first meconium stool, we know his bowels are hooked up and working the way they should.

Sometimes babies stool before they are born, staining the amniotic fluid a yellow or greenish color. If this should happen, your doctor or midwife will check baby carefully at birth to be sure none of it has entered baby’s lungs.

 

Check with your healthcare provider if:

  • You newborn has never pooped.
  • Your newborn has not pooped for more than 24 hours.
  • Your baby continues to have meconium poops after 4 days old.

 

2) transitional poop

 

Once your baby has cleared out the meconium from his digestive tract, his poop will change to a browny green color, possibly containing whitish curds. It is not as sticky, making it much easier to wipe away on baby’s bottom. We call this stage ‘transitional’ poop. This type of poop usually begins sometime after baby’s first 24 hours. It will gradually transition to the third type of poop.

 

3) yellow breast milk poops

 

By the time baby is 3 days old, you should begin to see yellow “seedy” poops. Breast milk poops are very loose and full of curds. The consistency will be much like mustard! Some parents mistake this type of poop for diarrhea because it is so liquid. Breastfed babies tend to poop very often, sometimes every time they eat!

Formula fed baby poop will differ slightly. It has more of a “pasty” consistency, much like peanut butter. Babies fed formula may not stool as often as breastfed babies. When they do stool, it tends to be a larger volume and have more of an odor.

Babies who are fed both breast milk and formula will have some combination of the above.

 

Check with your healthcare provider if:

  • Your baby is less than 3 weeks old and has not pooped for over 24 hours. (This can be normal but it is best to make sure baby is drinking enough milk.)
  • There is blood in baby’s stool.
  • Baby passes stools that are hard and dry.

 

To see photos of newborn baby poops, click here. (Warning! the photos are graphic.)

 

Want to learn more about newborn care?

The Simplest Way to Care for Baby’s Cord

How to Bathe a Baby

 

 


thumbnail cindy and janaAbout the authors:

Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.

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