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Dry baby with fewer outfits

Posted by Alina on Wednesday Aug 27, 2008 Under useful tips

Around 4 months of age, my son started to suck on his fingers almost incessantly. This seemed to generate a lot of saliva that was constantly dripping down his chin and onto his chest, soaking whatever he was wearing. In order to reduce the frequency of changing his outfits, I used some thick bibs, which helped immensely. It was much easier to change bibs than wrestle him out of wet and into dry shirts.

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Baby and sunscreen

Posted by Alina on Thursday Aug 21, 2008 Under baby safety

I was wondering if it was all right to bring my four month old son into a private outdoor pool. I was concerned with chlorine, because he sucks his hands all the time, and I didn’t know if it would be bad to get his hands wet and then put them in his mouth. When I asked his pediatrician, his main concern was exposure to the sun. He said that as long as he wore a swimming shirt, a wide brimmed hat, and the water was not too cold, it was totally fine to bring him into the water.


Here is the recommendation regarding sunscreen from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • For babies younger than 6 months. Use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face and the backs of the hands, if protective clothing and shade are not available.
  • For babies older than 6 months. Apply to all areas of the body, but be careful around the eyes. If your baby rubs sunscreen into her eyes, wipe the eyes and hands clean with a damp cloth. If the sunscreen irritates her skin, try a different brand or try a sunscreen stick or sunscreen or sunblock with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. If a rash develops, talk with your child’s doctor.”


Reference

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More thoughts on strollers

Posted by Alina on Sunday Aug 17, 2008 Under Baby Products
Graco Travel System

Graco Travel System

The Graco Travel Systems, which are available for around $200 are quite nice. The system consists of a relatively light weight (20 lbs), folding stroller and a car seat, which can be used with the the stroller or in the car. The stroller has a generously sized storage basket, a reclining seat, and a child’s tray. The system can be used from day one and up to 40lbs, or 4 yrs.

Another option to think about is getting a car seat stroller frame by Graco, Kolcraft, Baby Trend, or Combi. These typically run around $50-70. They can be used until your baby can sit up, at which point, you can consider a folding Maclaren or Chicco strollers, which start at $60, and are light-wieght (~11 lbs), great for traveling and don’t occupy too much space. They should last until the child is about 3 yrs old.

These are just a few suggestions in the big sea of strollers out there. Good luck finding the one that’s right for you and your little one.

Combi

Combi

Baby Trend

Baby Trend

Kolcraft Universal Car Seat Carrier

Kolcraft Universal Car Seat Carrier

Graco SnugRider

Graco SnugRider

Maclaren Triumph

Chicco C6

Chicco C6

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About Car Seats

Posted by Alina on Tuesday Aug 12, 2008 Under Baby Products, baby safety

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children have to be in appropriate seats in a car until age 6.

Graco Snugride

Graco Snugride

Child Restraint Law:

  • Rear-facing seat until 1yr or 20 lbs.
  • Forward facing child restraint until 5 yrs or 40 lbs.
  • Booster seat until age 6 yrs.

(Reference, Retrieved August 28, 2008)

I have recently discovered that my baby car seat, the Graco Snugride (the highest rated baby seat by Consumer Reports), which I thought was intended to last through a child’s whole first year, should actually only be used until the child is 22lbs or 29 inches long. My son is four months old, and is already 27 inches long, which means that I have to go shopping for the next car seat quite soon.

Britax Marathon

Britax Marathon

There are “convertible” car seats on the market which can be used from when a baby is 5lbs until he/she is 40-65 lbs, depending on the seat. After doing some research, I learned that Britax brand car seats have great safety ratings according to Consumer Reports. Britax car seats tend to be expensive ($230-$310), but they will last for years (4-6, depending on the seat), can be mounted to be rear-facing or forward-facing, all recline allowing your child can sleep comfortably.

Although at first glance, the convertible seat may seem like a money-saving, practical choice, it should be noted that Consumer Reports recommends starting with an infant seat before moving up to a convertible seat because it’s “more secure and compact for infants.”

Here is what Consumer Reprots recommends in regards to car seats:
“No matter which car seat you choose:

  • Try out the seat you buy. If it doesn’t fit securely in your car, return it for another.
  • To make sure your car seat is positioned correctly in your vehicle, consider getting a free car-seat inspection. For a site near you, go to www.nhtsa.gov.
  • Adjust the seat as your child grows.
  • Position your child in the center-rear seat of your car if the car seat can be securely fastened there.
  • Remember that any car seat is better than no car seat at all.”

(Reference, Retrieved on August 28, 2008.)

I found a great article from Consumer Reports about various types of car seats, installation advice, and  safety recommendations. Read the full article.

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Pacifiers

Posted by Alina on Friday Aug 8, 2008 Under Baby Products

Soothies

There are many theories on why a baby should or should not use a pacifier. I think it is hard to know what you’re going to do with your baby until he/she is finally here. I was not sure if I was going to use one or not, but when my son cried at the top of his lungs, in those first few weeks, and all his needs were met (he had a clean diaper, he was fed, and got enough sleep), a pacifier really helped to soothe him, and give my husband and I a little bit of peace in our sleep deprived state of being. If you ever walk down the isle of pacifiers in a baby store, there are tons to chose from. How do you pick? Well, I learned that in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in a large NYC hospitals, the premature babies get the green Soothies brand pacifiers because they are the closest thing to a nipple. I trust that they have done their research, and decided to try it.

At first I thought this pacifier looked a bit big and heavy, and it fell out of my son’s mouth after a few sucks. But after about a week, he would not take any other type of pacifier, and we used the Soothies one for several months. My husband and I seemed to have one stashed in every possible corner of our apartment, in his stroller, his crib, and by the changing table, so that we can always find one. Now at four months, he refuses any pacifier at all, including the Soothies, but I guess that’s not such a bad thing.

Aside from its shape, the Soothies pacifier is made of one piece of material. Most other pacifiers I have come across, such as the Gerber NUK, Avent, and MAM have a silicone mouthpiece which attaches to a plastic piece. When trying out the NUK, I noticed that some small residue was being trapped where these two pieces join, and it was very difficult to wash away. Also, I found that moisture and soap was getting trapped inside the silicone mouth piece of the MAM. Because the Soothies has no little “joints”, it is easier to wash and harder for bacteria to find a home.

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