The Benefits of Breastfeeding

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As a new mother, you may be battling between the choices of bottle-feeding and breastfeeding. While you’re weighing your options, you should know about all of the benefits that come from breastfeeding – from convenience to long-term health. You may be surprised by all of the advantages provided by Mother Nature.

Breast milk is more than just a form of food. It is actually made of living cells that can have huge benefits for your child’s health. One of the most crucial components of breast milk is colostrum. This substance is produced early in your baby’s life and is full of antibodies that help your baby’s immune system to develop in the first days of his life. By breastfeeding your baby, you provide this protection that can’t be matched by a commercial formula.

On top of the immune boost that breastfeeding provides, breast milk is also easier for your baby’s developing digestive system to process. Your baby will have fewer problems with constipation, diarrhea, and even have fewer food allergies.

Breastfeeding also helps your baby’s brain to develop because it’s rich in fatty acids that protect the cells of the brain. It also helps your baby to develop strong muscles because breast milk provides the perfect mix of proteins for building muscle tissue. Finally, in a time when obesity is a major health problem around the world, breastfeeding can be a great way to help your child maintain a healthy weight. Babies who are breast-fed have a smaller chance of becoming obese later in life.

While breastfeeding has a huge impact on your baby’s development, it can also have a dramatic effect on your body. If you choose to breast feed, you’ll open up a world of benefits for now and for the long-term. The immediate benefits of breastfeeding can be very powerful. After you give birth, breastfeeding actually stimulates the contractions that help you expel the placenta. It can help your body to recover more quickly and painlessly.

Breastfeeding also burns major calories! What better way to burn off the baby weight without having to hit the gym? It will also prevent your body from having a period for several months if you feed your baby exclusively breast milk. In addition, breastfeeding provides a natural method of contraception. In the long-term, breastfeeding can provide disease prevention power. Women who breastfeed their babies have a lower risk of developing breast and other cancers throughout their lives. They’re also less likely to have problems related to osteoporosis.

One of the best reasons for breastfeeding is a benefit for both mom and baby. When you breastfeed your baby, you help to develop the bond between the two of you. This provides comfort and improved mental health for both of you. When you’re weighing the decision of whether to bottle feed or breastfeed, make sure to consider the overall well being that comes from this natural process.

As always, we are BSideU for Life! Have questions? Concerned that something is working right? Call us. We can help.

Reduce Your Stress as a New Parent

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When you’re a new mom or dad, you want do everything right. However, the pressure to be perfect can cause you to feel anxious and upset. It’s important to take steps to reduce your stress as a new parent. You will be healthier and happier – and so will your baby!

A new baby brings a lot of joy – but also brings a lot of new experiences that can cause stress. You’re not sleeping as much, you don’t have the independence you’re used to, and you’re still getting to know how to meet the needs of your little one. At this time it’s critical to reduce your stress in any way you can.

When you’re in a stressful situation surrounding your new baby, you may feel guilty for your emotions. You may feel like you shouldn’t have any unhappy feelings about your baby.

However, it’s natural and normal to feel stressed out. In fact, you should be more worried if you have no stress. In order to reduce your stress you must let go of the guilt and deal with the problems that are causing those feelings.

When you’re trying to reduce your stress, it really helps to have a plan of action. The first thing you can do is make a list of all the things that are actually causing the stress.

For example, it could be that you’re only getting two hours of sleep at a time, that you haven’t been able to get out of the house as much as you’d like, or that you’re spending too much time trying to please friends and relatives.

Once you’ve identified the things that are triggering your stress, you can create a plan to reduce your stress. Take just one situation on the list and think of as many ways as possible to reduce the problem.

For example, if you’re not getting out of the house enough, you may be able to enlist the help of a friend or relative to baby sit or go with you so you can have an extra helping hand on an outing. This way you can have your needs met and reduce your stress.

Asking for help may be very difficult – especially if you’re used to being independent and taking care of everything on your own. However, to reduce your stress it’s critical that you allow others to help you whenever possible.

Prepare Your Baby to Walk with Ease

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One concern many parents have is teaching their baby to walk. It may seem like it just comes naturally – and to an extent it does! However, there are things you can do to prepare your baby to walk.

Babies don’t just wake up one day and start walking. There’s a natural progression from rolling over, to sitting up, to scooting, to crawling, to pulling up to walking. Teaching your baby to walk easily depends on mastering those first steps.

When your baby starts to become mobile, it’s important to make sure that your home is a safe environment. Inspect your home to prevent your child from getting hurt on sharp corners, ledges, and stairs while your teaching your baby to walk.

You may also be tempted to head to the store and purchase a walker. However, when you’re teaching your baby to walk it’s important not to use a walker. They can be dangerous and can cause accidents and injuries.

When you’re teaching your baby to walk, you may want to rush out and buy the perfect pair of shoes. However, recent research suggests that babies actually learn to walk better when they’re not wearing shoes.

So save your money and teach your baby to walk without the cute sandals or little tennis shoes. If you want your child to wear shoes, that’s okay, too. Just be aware that they won’t make it easier for your baby to walk.

If you’re going to buy shoes, follow a few simple rules of thumb. When you teach your baby to walk, you must make sure that his shoes are going to help instead of hurt. Look for shoes with flexible soles and flat bottoms. Pass up the high-tops and go for a shoe that allows your baby’s ankle to move. Also check your baby’s shoe size frequently to make sure he hasn’t outgrown them.

One of the most important things you can do to teach your baby to walk is encourage her to get a lot of exercise. Help her to develop coordination and balance by playing physical games and toys that promote dexterity.

How to Choose the Best Babysitter for Your Child

As a first-time parent, or even a seasoned one, leaving your baby alone for the first time can be very frightening. Will your baby be safe? Will she be happy?

When it’s time to choose the best babysitter for your child, it’s important that you do your homework and research. One of the first steps is to decide exactly what you need from a sitter. Are you looking for someone to work a regular schedule? Or are you in search of someone who can watch the kids for a couple of hours while you go out for a date night?

When you’re beginning your search for a babysitter, don’t overlook the obvious. Sometimes you can choose the best babysitter for your child by looking at the people you know and love the most. Parents, sisters, brothers, and friends can often be a great resource. Even if they can’t do the babysitting, they may be able to give you valuable references.

If you’ve exhausted the resources of your closest friends and relatives, there are still other outlets to help you choose the best babysitter for your child. You may want to look within your faith community, workplace, and any other type of organization to which you belong for resources.

Finally, if you simply can locate anyone by activating the grapevine, you may want to use your social network friends. Post a request for a recommendation and see who they send you.

Once you find some potential candidates, you’ll need to make sure to interview each one and check references. Ask for and call the references they give you – if they were referred by a friend, have a deeper conversation with your friend about who this person is, if they’ve ever been in trouble and why, if they have a temper, and most important…why did your friend refer them to you?

When you’ve narrowed your candidates down, you should introduce your child to the babysitter and watch them in action together. This will be an additional help as you choose the best babysitter for your child.

Once you think you have the perfect person for the job, make your first few outings short and sweet so that your child will feel secure. Even though you’ve done everything possible to choose the best babysitter for your child, you want to make a gradual transition. And if you like your sitter – treat him or her well! You don’t want to lose someone it took so much effort to find.

Prepare Your Home: Baby Proofing Basics

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One of the first things that goes through a new parent’s mind is the need for safety. Baby proofing your home is a major concern – and rightfully so. Many accidents that happen in the home can be prevented with a few safety precautions.

Before you spend a penny on baby proofing accessories, take an inventory throughout your home to look for trouble spots. Some examples of baby dangers are:

  • chemicals
  • open toilets
  • bathtub faucets
  • sharp edges on tables and other furniture
  • staircases
  • unprotected electrical outlets
  • heavy furniture such as bookcases and entertainment centers that could fall on baby
  • window blind cords
  • electrical appliances
  • sharp utensils
  • doors that lock on the inside
  • choking

As you’re going through your home making a baby-proofing inventory, make sure that you don’t stay on your feet. Don’t forget to get on your hands and knees and get a baby’s eye level view of your home.

When you look at the above list, you may begin to feel overwhelmed – but don’t panic! Baby proofing doesn’t have to be done all in one day – especially if you start early in your pregnancy and baby’s life.

You should begin thinking about baby proofing as soon as you decide to become a parent. However, even after your baby is born you have a little time to get the job done. At first, your baby won’t be able to move around the house at will and this gives you time to get your baby proofing done if you haven’t already completed it. Certainly, before your baby is crawling, you should have your baby proofing completed.

Many parents work hard at baby-proofing their home, but don’t take care of the hidden choking hazards that are lurking. An easy test to determine whether or not an object is a choking hazard is to see if it will fit through the hole in a toilet paper roll. If an object can easily slide through, it can easily be picked up by small hands and put in the mouth. Make sure that you don’t make a baby-proofing mistake by overlooking common objects in your home that could spell big danger.

Once you know what areas of your home need baby proofing, you can make some simple modifications to improve safety. Childproof latches, socket covers, and simply picking up dangerous objects can help make your home safer for your baby and improve your peace of mind.

As always, we are BsideU for Life! and encourage you to ask us questions every time you visit.