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Birthday Workout With Baby

A workout, a workout buddy and tasty beverage.

These are some of my favorite things, so it’s exactly how I wanted and what I wanted to celebrate my birthday with.

I figured the best way to celebrate another year on this planet is to do something that would be good for my mind, body and soul. And a workout—no matter the day—does exactly that.

Even though I really wanted to get a run in, I opted for a brisk walk with my little one—going the perfect speed to slightly work up a sweat while going up the many inclines in my neighborhood, while being slow enough to enjoy my favorite drink: an iced caramel latte with almond milk.

And of course I wanted to spend every second with my mini me.

During our 45 minutes outside, the fresh air seemed to intoxicate us both—baby swiftly drifting off, drunk with slumber; myself feeling rejuvenated and full of life with each inhale.

With exhales, I breathed out the toxins in the form of any stress that was built up.

I was mindful of my muscles, imaginary fingers from within pulling deeper into my belly to tighten my core as my lean legs made long strides up and down blocks lined with homes, but with no one home.

I reflected on all the many blessings I have, looking down on that adorable face. My heart smiled.

Life is truly good.

I am so grateful to be living, to be alive and to feel complete because of his existence. Here’s to another year of great health and more happiness.

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When Should I Start Putting Baby In Crib?

It may seem like a small thing, but getting your baby sleeping in their crib is a huge deal. And I’m talking not only as a milestone, but also for their health.

Once you have a newborn, there is probably countless times you rush over in a panic to make sure your baby is still breathing while asleep. This might mean placing a hand over their tummy’s to feel each breath because watching their chest go up and down just isn’t enough proof. Maybe you place a mirror in front of their mouth, or use an oxygen monitor like Owlet.

We all know that sleeping with you baby in your bed is the biggest mistake you could make. So you probably are using a bassinet placed next to your bed or a co-sleeper once your newborn comes home from the hospital.

And while you baby’s room has been finished for months, you probably haven’t used their crib for the time being.

But as your baby grows, you may start to wonder when it is the right time to get them in their crib. You do not want to the mommy or daddy who gets your baby in the habit of falling asleep with you and screams their lungs off when they are a few months old to sleep in their crib.

So when exactly should you start putting you baby in the crib?

Baby’s Weight

The first thing you need to know is how much weight your bassinet can hold. This may only be 15 pounds, which means it’s time to move them once they are too heavy for their current sleeping situation. Check your bassinet’s manual or Google the model to get this information. Most bassinets hold up to 10 to 20 pounds.

Baby’s Height

Similarly, you baby might be getting too tall for their bassinet. While it is the most convenient place for your little one to sleep in, being close to your bed for mid-night feedings, if they start to look too cramped it’s time to give him or her more space.

Rolling Over

The biggest sign that it’s time to move to their crib is when your baby starts to roll over. Babies typically reach this milestone around 4-6 months, although this could happen earlier.

If you baby rolls over, it’s absolutely time to put them in their crib. You don’t want them to not have the room to roll back over.

Do NOT swaddle them anymore at this point. You want them to have their hands free to be able to move around if they do get on their bellies.

Keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics just updated its policy on preventing SIDS. The AAP recommends that babies should sleep in the same room as their parents until they are 1-years-old, but at least up until they are 6 months.

Once you do make the transition to the crib, avoid leaving loose blankets, pillows or stuffed animals in there with your baby.

Some parents decide to put their babies into a crib right away. While this choice is up to each parent, at least they have one less thing to worry about know.

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Should I Give My Newborn A Pacifier? Mom Guilt And Reasons Why No Harm Will Be Done

Update October 2019: As a first-time mom, the world of parenting is a foreign one. But we all learn quickly. By the second baby, we feel like pros. This means a lot of the anxieties aren’t present. We learned from experience and have a clearer picture of how things will go.

One of the baby items I made sure to include on my registry this time around were pacifiers—and without any mom guilt.

When I was pregnant with my son I went to childbirth classes at the hospital I delivered at that had a zero pacifier policy. They firmly believed that newborns get confused with using one and instead need to get used to breastfeeding and feed on demand.

I agree with this 100 percent, but I also now see no harm in giving a baby a pacifier once that feeding pattern is developed and working. It is a great way to teach babies to self-sooth which can lead to more sleep for mama.

And I feel like today there are many more options like the doodle & co pop pacifier and Ryan & Rose Cutie PAT that I wasn’t aware of three years ago.

There are few concerns regarding whether or not to use a pacifier. This includes dental health, nipple confusion, when to start and stop using, and choking hazards. These concerns are all highlighted in-depth on Mom Loves Best.

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The short answer is yes, pacifiers can impact the baby’s teeth to have an overbite. But this isn’t an issue if teething hasn’t started yet.

Pacifiers should have air vents so that the baby can breathe the sucking.

 And yes, when used early it can cause nipple confusion and cause breastfeeding rejection. So start breast or bottle feeding down first before introducing the pacifier. 

Wait until the baby is about one-month-old to start introducing the pacifier.

The following is my original post detailing my mom guilt and getting over it as a first-time mom. I will say that my son didn’t use the pacifier often. I am actually surprised when I see photos of him with one. 

It wasn’t used all the time or to become a serious habit or attachment. But mild use did seem to work for us.  

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Like a Gremlin my newborn turns into a monster in the latter part of the evening and cluster feeds some nights. It seems like nothing will satisfy his need to keep on sucking.

Last night we were going on hour three when my boobs felt depleted and saying I was sore is an understatement. Welcome to the cluster feeding stage.

It was after this long breastfeeding session when he wanted more and gulped down a 4 oz bottle of formula. But even after all that food, he was opening his mouth and fusing as a cue that he wanted more.

Let me make it clear that I have or am in no shape or form denying or depriving my child of nutrients. He has regular diapers and was gaining weight consistently. I also both breast and bottle-feed him and on-demand. If he wants to eat, he eats.

But he was chowing down so much that I knew we both (my son gets the bad case of hiccups) needed a small break to digest and relax, if even just for 15 minutes.

I also don’t want my baby screaming on the top of this lungs for 15 minutes.

So breaking down, I decided to give him a pacifier. Ugh, the mom guilt.

And the clouds opened up, the light was shining down on me and all was peaceful in the world—for about 5 minutes.

He adorably sucked, just enough time to get him a fresh onesie for bed, set up more bottles for when my husband takes over and go to the bathroom.

Looking at him in his bassinet, sucking away on a pacifier that was almost the size of his whole face, he looked like a little angel. Of course, this didn’t last long. By the time his mobile stop spinning and the music stopped, this kid spits the sucker out of his mouth, but he laid there content for a few more minutes like the good boy he is.

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But as I put my head on the pillow, I couldn’t help to feel a ping of guilt over even having to give him the pacifier. As if I did something wrong, when my husband first came into the room I blurted it out that I had used one as if it were a dirty secret and I just needed to confess it.

See, there are two types of parents out there: those who give their baby a pacifier and those who don’t. And it seems (at least within my inner circle) like those who do are judged for doing so.

But why should we feel guilty for giving our babies a binky? (This is what my family calls a pacifier.)

Despite the fact that I was giving a life supply of pacifiers at my baby shower, I have been hesitant to use them. For one, I gave birth at a “baby-friendly” hospital that teaches that pacifiers should not be given to a newborn for the first month. This is because breastfeeding mothers should feed on demand and giving them a pacifier could interfere with their intake of food. The theory is that giving them a binky means they will have missed out on getting the nutrients if you just gave them your breast.

The second main reason why I have been anti-pacifier is that my baby, for the most part, is a good baby in the sense that he doesn’t cry a lot. There simply just isn’t a reason to give one to him. As my family keeps reminding me, it’s one bad habit you won’t have to break later on while advising me not to give one to him.

However, the more I think about it, it isn’t the end of the world if he sucks on the damn thing.

Okay, so the “bad habit” logic aside, many babies including myself are (were) thumb suckers. So what really is the difference between the two?

The second argument against them says that there are bad for the baby’s teeth and will make them grow improperly. But the pacifiers I have clearly state that they are orthodontic pacifiers, which are designed to contour into the baby’s mouth to prevent the misalignment of teeth.

However, once teeth do some in, even these can impact tooth placement.

There are also other benefits of using a binky. In my research on newborn hiccups, I found that sucking on a pacifier can actually help reduce the case of hiccups. This is because the sucking will help them relax their diaphragm to have the hiccups subside.

Studies have found that pacifier use actually prevents SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), the leading cause of death in babies and real fear for parents.

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Not only does it slightly help reduce SIDS, but one study published in the British Medical Journal in 2005, researchers found that it did so by 90 percent. While this reasoning behind this isn’t quite clear, it could do to the fact that the constant sucking means the baby doesn’t fall into a deep enough sleep, and also can’t bury their hands in blankets since the pacifier is in the way.

Pacifiers are often the only thing that can soothe a colicky baby or a teething baby who is looking for relief. So why are we made to feel guilty about using them?

Then again maybe it’s just me.

All parents out there should not feel guilty about the decisions they make that they feel are best for their child. Every child and their needs are different, and so are parents and parenting styles.

For me, I decided that there is nothing wrong with giving my son a pacifier if it’s the only thing that will soothe him for a few minutes. I just won’t be reaching for it all the time.

But when I do, I will now do so guilt-free.

Here are the benefits of using a pacifier:

  • Reduced risk of SIDs during naps and at night
  • Self-soothing teach technique 
  • Helps establish sucking reflex 
  • Might relieve colic 
  • Great distraction when the baby is fussy 

Things To Know About Pacifier Use:

  • Don’t use in the first month to encourage healthy feeding habits
  • Best used in babies younger than 6-month-old
  • Buy once piece pacifiers to prevent choking risk
  • Do no leave string on a pacifier at bedtime to prevent choking

Read all about Pacifier Pros, Cons & Safety Considerations from Mom Loves Best.

 

 

Photo: Maria Eklind | Flickr

 

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How To Get Rid Of Newborn Gas And Hiccups

As a first time parent, one of the most scary things is that inevitable day when your baby gets sick for the first time. And nothing is more scary than having a late fall/winter baby when flu season is in full swing.

While my little bundle of joy is healthy as can be, I have been faced with dealing with another health problem: severe gas.

Of course I would have an extremely gasy baby after suffering from severe heartburn and digestion issues (I will refrain from the TMI here). I am also pretty sure my son had the case of the hiccups a few times while still in the womb.

But I am not talking about my baby simply passing the occasional fart here and there. My son—I suppose as a typical boy— was letting them rip on the daily.

And if dealing with the farting wasn’t enough, he began suffering from the hiccups daily as well.

Now these symptoms were not seriously life threatening or any cause to call the pediatrician, but of course I felt bad that my bundle of joy was becoming a bundle of gas ready to explode after every meal.

After talking with the pediatrician at our doctor’s visit and doing some homework online, I was able to find out some ways to help get rid of the gas and cases of hiccups in order to help treat my newborn,

Let me also add that I continue to battle these gasy episodes, so these following ways I have found thus far are great ways to manage it, but they have not “cured” this issue.

*** DISCLAIMER: Before taking any advice, talk to your pediatrician first. I am not a medical professional, nor a baby expert. These tips are solely based on mine and my baby’s personal experience along with the professional advice given to me.*****

Burp Often

Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to avoid bad cases of hiccups. Since I am supplement feeding, I have found that he mostly gets the hiccups when drinking from the bottle. But breast or bottle, the first way to combat this to make sure you burp your baby often during feedings, and especially after they have finished. When bottle feeding, burp your baby every 2 to 3 ounces.

Hiccups are caused when the diaphragm muscle is irritated or stimulated from eating and when baby sucks in or swallows too much air. I found that my one type of my plastic bottles had more bubbles in it after shaking than my glass ones. Using the glass ones has helped tremulously, but either way just make sure you let the bottle sit for a few minutes to settle after shaking.

Change Your Baby’s Diet

Our pediatrician recommended switching formula to the “sensitive” kind since the mad case of hiccups and gas primarily occurs when drinking formula and not breast milk. This has also helped reduce the amount of gas he passes, although like I mentioned above, he is not shy about breaking wind.

Gripe Water

I picked up the Little Remedies New Parents Survival Kit from Babies R US, which comes with both gas relief drops and gripe water. Our pediatrician told us it was okay to give a dose of gripe water after a feeding to reduce gas and hiccups. My son is not fond of the gripe water, mostly spitting it out, but it works wonders for him. Within 5 minutes, his hiccups pass and I do not have to sit there rubbing his tummy or back with a breaking heart that I can’t do anything about it.

There is little evidence that this herbal supplement works, but it certainly eyes the discomfort for him. Talk to your baby’s doctor first before using this option.

Give Your Baby A Pacifier

I say this with warning. I am trying to not give my son a pacifier since he really doesn’t need one (not a fussy baby) and it’s one less habit to break down the line. However, I read that giving them one will help them to relax their diaphragm.

As a bonus, I also read that giving your baby a pacifier during the night helps prevent against SIDS (as does breastfeeding) because the constant sucking motion prevents the baby from falling into a deep, deep sleep.

Of course, parents can also choose to just leave their baby alone and let the hiccups pass naturally, which they will. As for the gas, if you are breastfeeding, try to avoid greens and dairy, which are main culprits.

Do you have any hiccups or gas remedies that work for you? Let me know in the comments!

 

Photo: a4gpa | Flickr

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How To Prevent Baby Boy From Peeing Through Diapers

When it comes to changing my newborn son, I am at two disadvantages: one, this is my first child so I am a new mom, and two, I come from a family of predominately girls. This means I had no clue how to even change a boys diaper until taking an infant prep class when I was 8 months pregnant.

While it’s not rocket science (although I am glad I learned how to properly clean and care for his privates), nothing could prepare me for the wet mess a 2-week-old can make.

Now just about 3 weeks in, I have yet to master preventing my son from peeing through his clothes.

Here’s the situation: every so often (once or twice a day), when I go to hold, change or feed the baby, my hand discovers a wet spot through his clothes in the back and to one side. This pee spot actually is a bit higher than the start of his diaper which makes me wonder how it even gets drenched there.

I do make sure to change him often because he doesn’t cry when wet so peeing through his pants is no problem for him. My husband and I have tried to aim his private downwards during a diaper change so that it is not up and leaning to a side where the accident will happen. We even exchanged all the Huggies for Pampers Swaddlers, which fit him better and reduced the amount of pee blowouts, yet it still occurs. (I am dreading the inevitable poop blowout that I will face one day.)

As much as I love putting my son in adorable outfits, changing his clothes multiple times a day when you are exhausted is precious time taken away from that one thing you enjoyed most in life, sleep.

So after doing some of my own research, here’s the best ways to prevent this from happening.

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1. The Right Size

The most important thing is to make sure your baby is wearing the appropriate size diaper based on their weight. You don’t want to put the diaper on too tight, but make sure its tight enough on the waist to prevent his penis from wiggling around everywhere.

Many women say going a size bigger helps tremulously. Although they might not outgrow a particular size, the absorbancy might not be up to par on the smaller size so try a bigger size and fold the top and secure it tightly to better fit.

Once your baby is about to outgrow a diaper size, that’s when leaks start to happen, I read. Make sure to at least use a size up for bedtime.

Just keep in mind, this might not work in all cases—especially when the baby isn’t ready for a bigger size, which means an even bigger mess will happen if the diaper is more loose.

2. The Right Brand

Like I did, try switching brands to find the best fit. Many mommys on discussion boards say that changing brands is a life changer. There are many who say Huggies are the best for them, others prefer Luvs or Pampers or even Target brand. Find the one that’s best for your baby when it comes to the size and fit.

3. Cloth Diapers

Many parents also recommend using cloth diapers to avoid this problem. Somehow they don’t have this problem when ditching disposable for cloth. Then again, many might not want to deal with the cleanup on this option.

4. Change Often

This might be obvious, but change your baby’s diaper often so it’s not soaked with urine. Make sure to also change before the baby goes to sleep and before you go to sleep.

5. Overnight Diapers

Brands like Huggies and Pampers sell overnight diapers that are more absorbent for preventing overnight leaks. They are a bit more expensive, but could be worth every penny if it means you aren’t changing clothes and crib sheets in the middle of the night. Plus these are only used at nighttime so a box should last longer than day time diapers.

Have you faced this problem? Let me know how you prevent leaky diapers.

Photo: Personal Creations | Flickr

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Bouncing Back Post Baby: Beginners Luck

I need to start off saying that my intentions in this post is not to brag. We have all seen those insanely fit women on Instagram who still mange to hold onto their six pack and toned arms while preggo, while we all wish that could be us.

I was in fairly decent shape before getting pregnant, having a slim figure that wore nicely on my tall frame. I was running and weight lifting often, although this was not as often as I was in the past.

When I found out the news, I continued to go for jogs up until I was 8 months and even managed to do some weights early on, despite this only happening twice.

I also made to sure to eat a healthy diet, full of things I love to eat like spinach salads and cantaloupe. A vegetarian (or rather pesccatarian—but fish consumption was a rare occurrence) for two years before baby, I then began eating steak, beef tacos and the occasional chicken (which was a major turn off).

Of course I indulged in all my cravings like ice cream shakes and by month 9 Burger King and McDonald’s, but with all this said I was fortunate enough to be all belly— and it be a small belly at that.

Part of me always hoped that I would be like those rock star women running half marathons with a baby bump, but part of me also wanted to actually look like I was in my third trimester. While having a big ole belly was something I missed out on, many people told me to be careful what I wished for. I certainly didn’t look like those fit women on Instagram carry who still look like Wonder Woman, but it seems like I really did luck out.

Despite gaining 32 pounds during my pregnancy, bouncing back thus far (am currently 15 days postpartum) has been relatively easy.

Even as the doctors put this not so Humpty Dumpty back together again on the table after my c-section, I was told that my stomach looked so flat. Visiting my doc for my post-op visit todays ago resulted in him telling me that I don’t even look like I had a baby.

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At this point in time, I lost 12 pounds, which sounds like a lot to drop right away but not so much considering that my son was born 6 lbs. 8 oz, plus the placenta and extra blood and water weight from the IV.

Sure my tummy is a bit squishy, but I surely did luck out again when it comes to bouncing back. Thank you very much breastfeeding. This just goes to show how much it paid off to be healthy and fit before baby and maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout. Then again, there are plenty of women who do just that and feel like they blowed up during pregnancy and struggle with losing the weight after.

The fact of the matter is every body is different. What matters is getting back in the swing of things again and get active, even though we are  sleep deprived zombies half the time.

Now that my little man has arrived all I want to do is go for a jog or do some kind of workout. Then again, since I can’t for a few more weeks this might just be all talk right now.

While I am currently feeling motivated to tone back up, remembering to watch out when reaching for junk food as been a struggle. I have been living off of microwaveable meals for the sake of convenience and when I do cook it’s just heating up some frozen dish on the stove. I am still reaching for the occasional chips and dip or chocolate snack, but hey, all in moderation right?

Interestingly enough, because my son has been a bit gasy our pediatrician advised me to cut green vegetables from my diet. Cut greens?!! I try to eat as much greens as possible, so this has been a struggle. While I scale back, I do realize that this news might be music to some people’s ears. However, a healthy mommy means she will be able to care for baby, so it’s my goal to stay on track to living a healthy lifestyle as much as I can.

For me, bouncing back thus far has been relatively easy due to luck, my good genes, pre-baby health, or whatever factors the gods blessed me with this time around. But that doesn’t mean I won’t have to work at getting to where I want to be. No matter how much you gained during pregnancy and no matter how you look now, we can all start today kick our health back into gear by setting healthy habits now.

Here are my current habits to health:

  1. Drink more water— I keep a 32 oz water bottle on my nightstand to stay hydrated all day long (which is also key for establishing a milk supply when breastfeeding).
  2. Get enough sleep— This has been a struggle, but since we are supplement feeding, my husband takes over bottle duty in the evening so I can nap before my mommy overnight shift of breastfeeding.
  3. Go for a walk— My doctor just cleared me for going for a short walk. I have yet to do this, but will start next week going around the block for a stroll.

What are your current heathy habits you set in place immediately after giving birth?

 

Photo: Joe Shlabotnik

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New beginnings

There is nothing like fleshing out ideas as words appear on a blank page. Words that show action, emotion and describe to tell stories.

There is also nothing better than a fresh start.

And a new beginning can be applied to just about any aspect of your life. Maybe you are coping with a loss or a breakup. Maybe you are about to get married or have a baby. Maybe you are starting a new job or moving to a new city. But starting over doesn’t have to be in relation to some major life changing event. It could be applied to some smaller aspect of your life that ultimately lets you change for the better. For example, getting back to healthy eating habits after a few days of poor choices. Or getting back to exercising after taking some time off.

Many of the things described above can apply personally to me, and this got the wheels in my head turning. A new beginning also applies very much so to this blog, which has been my baby for years now. Unfortunately, I became so consumed in other ventures (namely, my day job) to show it the love it needed and over time put it on the back burner.

But now with new experiences serving as a driving force of inspiration, I have found my way back home.

I am so happy to return to running this site, and will continue to share my life experiences, give health and fitness advice (from just an ordinary woman figuring it all out like the rest of you), but also want to expand my scope to include more topics like parenting, relationships, beauty, etc.

And with this new direction, I decided it’s time to rebrand and change the name of this blog to better suit its new debut. No longer will this be NY Life Supply, and instead this is Bouncing Back…to LIFE.

Whether it’s bouncing back from a baby, a breakup, a wild weekend, or getting back on track with a diet or fitness plan, Bouncing Back has the tips to help, the stories to inspire you, the news to keep you informed and the trends to keep you in-the-know.

I welcome you all on this new adventure with me!

-Lauren

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Feel Good Stretches




// By Jennifer Kelly Geddes for Discover and Play

The kids, your job, endless laundry — and even up in the air Valentine’s Day plans can conspire to ratchet up the tension in your body, leaving behind a tangle of aches and pains. Of course, a trip to a day spa or even a quickie massage would work wonders, but finding the time (and money!) is a problem in itself. Take matters into your own hands, literally, and smooth out the kinks with a few simple moves. Stretching is important for good health because it increases blood flow and improves circulation. The following exercises can be done almost anywhere and take just minutes. So what are you waiting for? Get stretching!

Knotty Neck
Cradling a phone or a baby — or both at the same time — can strain your neck and give you a headache. To relax this area, lift your left hand over your head and place it on your right temple. Gently ease your head to the left and hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Do the same move on the opposite side and then repeat.

Stressed Shoulders
Tension settles into the shoulder area and can take root, spreading to your neck and back. Work out these sore spots by doing a series of shrugs: scrunch up your shoulders, hold them for a few seconds and then slowly release them down. Repeat several times, rolling your shoulders back and forth each time.

Creaky Chest
Leaning over a computer all day can result in a hunched back, which tends to curve the chest inward. Open this area up by clasping your hands behind you and then lifting them up as high as you can while pulling your shoulders back. Hold this position, breathe deeply and then repeat.

Bad Back
Carrying groceries, pushing a vacuum and toting kids on your hip can contribute to back strain. This can be fixed with an easy bending move, which serves to relax your entire upper body. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and gently lean forward and roll down, allowing your arms and head to hang loosely. Slowly nod your head “yes,” and then shake it “no” as you breathe into the stretch.

Jennifer Kelly Geddes is a New York-based writer and editor who has written for Parenting, iVillage.com and Time Out New York Kids. She frequently contributes to Go Vibrant.