Finding Your Stride As A First-Time Parent

Posted by Susan Brown on December 04, 2018 0 Comments

Finding Your Stride As A First-Time Parent

  As many as 2 in 5 new parents experience mental health issues. Like any major life transition, becoming a parent can wreak havoc on your confidence. Every day is a flood of new experiences with huge potential consequences and it’s easy to feel like you have no idea what you are doing. All new parents feel this way and in time you’ll find your stride. Until then, there are things you can do to smooth out the ride.

Practice self care to boost Self Esteem

Rooted in Buddhism, the notion that we must first take care of ourselves before we can take care of others is an idea that new parents would be wise to take to heart. Although taking time for yourself may seem like a ridiculous notion when you are taking care of a tiny human 24 hours a day, filling up your cup, even in the smallest ways, will have a big impact on how you feel and on your ability to persevere in the parenting game.

How will you find the time? Start with naps. While baby sleeps, get some rest, read a book, exercise, have an uninterrupted shower--whatever it is, do it for you and only you. Taking care of yourself not only leaves you more emotionally, physically, and mentally able to care for others, it increases your self-esteem. You become more sure of yourself as you encounter all those new parenting experiences.

Choosing carefully increases confidence

New parents are faced with innumerable choices. Each one, from what pediatrician will care for your baby to what bath products to use is an opportunity to grow your confidence as a parent. As you spend time carefully considering options you are adding to your parental knowledge base. Making selections based on your family’s needs and preferences is like laying another brick in a foundation of sound decisions. Each new choice makes the foundation, and your confidence, stronger.

Ask for advice but trust your gut

Without a doubt, there will be times when you seek the advice of others. Your tribe of fellow parents are a wealth of information and they may have some tricks or common experiences that can help. Knowing you aren’t the first to ever encounter a particular problem or question can be hugely comforting in itself. Just bear in mind that your child is unique and your parenting style is unique. What worked for them won’t necessarily work for you. If your gut tells you that something isn’t working, listen to it.

Experience is everything

A study of first time Danish mothers attempted to gauge confidence, mood, and stress at 2 months and 6 months postpartum. In every category, the new moms significantly improved at 6 months as compared to 2 months. Experience is everything. The first time you bathe your baby you will be nervous and unsure. By six months, you will be lathering and rinsing like a relaxed pro. Your confidence will increase with your experience.

Parenting is the most important job most of us ever do. We receive little training and the stakes are immeasurably high. With so much on the line, it’s no surprise that new parents often lack confidence. With lots of self-care, careful considerations, and time in the role, new parents will eventually find their stride.

 

 

 

 

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How to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly for the Entire Family

Posted by Susan Brown on September 21, 2018 0 Comments

Every year, 120,000 babies in America are affected by birth defects. Among the main causes are environmental factors such as chemicals and contaminants. In fact, chemicals in home cleaning and hygiene products are responsible for 10% of birth defects. On top of that, there are over 4 million chemicals found in work and home environments. So, what are the most common, yet harmful toxins in our environment?

You can find them being used during your daily routine, such as:

  • Arsenic and Cadmium: often found in agricultural areas with arsenic-containing fertilizers. Such toxin may cause a greater risk for stillbirth and miscarriage
  • Lead: resulting in skin tags, low birth weight, undescended testicles, shorted gestation, and developmental delays
  • Mercury: mercury found in fish and seafood may lead to adverse effects on the nervous system development
  • Pesticides: toxins found in pesticides are the most common as families may gain exposure to insect repellent, herbicides, and more. This may disrupt the endocrine system and increase the risk of health issues.

As a result, while most of these chemicals are not considered harmful, they may pose a threat to not only our lives but your children as well. Here’s how you can make your home eco-friendly for the entire family.

 

Create a Toxin-Free home

Whether we know it or not, toxins are everywhere in the home. They can be from the polyurethane to clean our foods to the sealant paint on our walls. Toxins can also be found in the products we use to clean our homes, feed our children, and for bathing. Thus, it is important to make the switch and choose non-toxic products that are fragrance-free and chlorine-free with natural properties.

 

Buy furniture that doesn’t contain formaldehyde

Unfortunately, pressed wood, fiberboard, and plywood are widely used in furniture today. However, they are also treated with formaldehyde. Not only is this harmful toxin a suspected carcinogen, it can release fumes for up to five years. Avoid mattresses that are made of polyurethane as well as any fabrics with polyvinyl chloride, polyester, and acrylic – all of which are toxic to the respiratory system.

Instead, aim to purchase wool or cotton fabrics rather than synthetic cushions. You can still use furniture that is eco-friendly without having to buy brand new. In fact, your local auction sites may even provide a better selection of eco-home living than the average department store.

 

Get rid of flame-retardant fabrics

Do you have a favorite baby carrier, or your child have a favorite pajama with a cool design or glow-in-the-dark features? For some families, flame-retardant clothing may cause allergies. Instead, know what to look for when choosing the right eco-friendly clothing. Avoid pajamas made of fabrics other than polyester or tight-fitted cotton.

 

Have a healthy perspective

As parents, the efforts to keep our homes free of toxins will come to no use if we do not encourage our children to become aware of their surrounds. While we will also be faced with choices on what to keep in our homes, we can keep our family and ourselves informed. Thus, this will lead to making healthier choices – creating homes that are less toxin and better of your family’s health in mind. 

 

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How Baby Carriers Can Reduce Crying In Babies

Posted by Susan Brown on July 20, 2018 0 Comments

Thirteen percent of mothers admit that they find it difficult soothing their crying baby, according to a study carried out by Mohebati. If you’re one of these moms, you’ll be pleased to know that baby carriers are making a comeback. Business Wire reports that the global baby carrier market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.49% over the next four years. What’s even better is that placing your baby in a carrier gives you the opportunity to care for your skin after pregnancy without hindering the bond between you and your baby.

 

 Constant comfort

  One pediatrician-led Montreal study found that over the course of a six week period the babies of parents who carried their babies in a carrier for at least three hours a day and were encouraged to use the carrier cried 43% less than babies who were infrequently carried. While many babies cry because they want something, such as food or a clean nappy, there are times when they’ll get upset due to feeling insecure. Having spent nine months nestled in your womb, listening to your heartbeat, the sound of your voice and getting used to your smell, to suddenly be left alone in a Moses basket can be daunting. However, the comfort of a sling ensures these sounds and smells are available to your baby at all times and will ensure he or she is content.

 Learning rather than crying

  When a baby cries their full attention is on being comforted. But, when a baby is happy, they’re learning. Researchers have found that babies who are carried have increased visual and auditory alertness, due to them being content and in a calm atmosphere, known as ‘quiet alertness’. When a baby is in this state they are taking in everything that’s going on in the world around them and are learning all the time. Your Amazing Newborn explains that during the ‘quiet alert’ state babies "can follow a red ball, gaze at a face, turn to a voice.” Therefore, when you’re looking for ways to comfort your baby and boost his or her development, opt for a high-quality sling which keeps them close at all times.

Fights boredom

Babies can get bored, according to child psychologist Penelope Leach who states that parents who fail to interact with their newborn may have a restless baby on their hands. Bath time is a great way to combat boredom as your child will love the feel of the bubbly water and a massage with some nourishing baby lotion afterward will provide a sense of calm. However, it may not be long before boredom sets in. Placing your newborn in a carrier during this time should provide amusement as your little one will have countless things to see and do which will trigger his or her interest as you go about your day to day skincare routine and clean the house. It might seem dull to you, but watching your facial movements as you clean the dishes or hang out the washing will keep your child entertained for hours and there’ll be no tears to contend with.

There is strong evidence to support the theory that carried babies cry significantly less than non-carried babies. No mom wants to see or hear their little one crying for hours on end, so be sure to cradle your newborn to prevent boredom from setting in, for comfort and to enhance his or her development.

 

 

 

 

 

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Summer Skin Care For Mom And Baby

Posted by Susan Brown on April 25, 2018 0 Comments

With summer just around the corner, you’re probably wondering how best to protect you and your baby’s skin during the scorching months. Shockingly, just 29.9% of women regularly protect their skin from UV rays by using sunscreen on a regular basis, according to a research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The skin is your body's largest organ and it deserves to be treated with care to prevent dryness and redness from the harmful rays of the sun. Here's how you can take care of you and your little one's skin this summer. 

Stay out of the sun

On hot, sunny days, it’s vital you do all you can to keep your baby out of the sun. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy the lovely weather, though. When outdoors, stay in cool, shady areas whenever possible and dress your youngster in loose, lightweight clothing. Remember to use a sunshade in the garden and on the side of your stroller. The US Food and Drug Administration and The Skin Cancer Foundation advise against putting sunscreen on babies under the age of six months. However, moms should always liberally apply sunscreen before heading out into the sun. If you are taking a medication you should check with your doctor to see if it makes you more sensitive to the sun. 

Eat and drink well

When it’s hot, it’s easy to become dehydrated. Therefore, it’s essential to eat foods to keep your skin healthy and nourished. Some foods, such as those high in sugar and salt, can be dehydrating and make the skin appear lackluster, so you'll want to avoid these whenever possible. Ensure you drink plenty of water to keep your skin looking and feeling its best, too. A young baby won’t necessarily be able to communicate with you that they’re thirsty, so, you need to keep a close eye on them and ensure that breast milk or formula is readily available. As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies under six months of age should not be given supplements, including water, unless instructed by a physician.

Enjoy a bath

 At the end of a joyous day in the sunshine, be sure to take some time to care for your skin. Before you and your bundle of joy head to bed, both of you should have a bath and use a gentle shampoo and body wash to wash off any sunscreen, dirt, and sweat accumulated in the hair and on the body over the course of the day. Remember to apply a natural and soothing body lotion to both of your bodies too to restore moisture and to leave your skin feeling great.

Summer is a time for both mom and baby to get out and about and enjoy the good weather. To keep you and your baby’s skin protected and looking healthy, make sure you stay out of the sun as much as possible, eat well and stay hydrated, and enjoy a soak in the bath to restore you as you prepare to spend the rest of the summer with your little one.

 

 

 

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Caring for Your Child’s Multi-Ethnic Hair

Posted by Susan Brown on April 10, 2018 0 Comments

If your little toddler or child ever asks you why styling their curls is so much work, the answer should always be, “because multi-ethnic hair is beautiful!” Curls do take a little more work, but that bounce and volume is all worth it. The key to stylish locks for babies and children with curly hair is to keep it simple, use gentle products, embrace a chemical-free lifestyle, and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

 Shampooing Less Frequently

Dryness is the main reason why curls might bunch up and tangle, and one reason it can exist is because of frequent washing. Some moms of multi-ethnic babes swear that shampooing once a week is more than enough, with conditioner or even spraying warm water onto hair being more than enough on other days.

 Not all babies, toddlers or little kids are alike; older children may really be into sport and may sweat considerably, thus necessitating a good shampoo more than once a week. If so, use gentle products such as Susan Brown’s Baby’s Foaming Shampoo & Wash, which is free of phthalates, sodium laurel sulfate, and  parabens, and is tear-free and ph-balanced. It is surprising to note that many commercial brands still contain harmful ingredients such as sulfates, which have been linked to everything from skin irritation to cancer.

 Adding Moisture to Your Routine

When bathing your child or helping them shower, apply shampoo or conditioner gently onto wet hair, massaging into the scalp and ever-so-gently tugging at knotted areas to smooth out. Always start at the end of the hair, working your way up slowly towards the scalp. Rub the hair gently between your thumb, pointer and middle finger, to loosen up any tangles you find. This process is vital because afterwards, it will be much easier to comb hair.

 Add a few drops of oil (argan, coconut or jojoba are deeply moisturizing) and massage on to your child’s locks as well. This will lend hair a beautiful shine and will lead to more defined curls.

 Combing Hair Out

An important strategy for styling multi-ethnic hair is to use as wide-toothed a comb as possible, to ensure less tangling; the comb cannot be too wide, however, since children tend to have less volume than adults.

You will find that with the added moisture, combing will be a breeze. You can add a touch of detangling spray if necessary, or a tiny bit more natural oil for extra shine.

In the summer, let hair air dry and in the winter, consider performing this routine at night, or gently dry with a hair diffuser, which distributes heat evenly through the head. When hair is almost dry, ask your child to bend forward. Move the diffuser in a down-to-up motion, to shape curls and add a bit of bounce.

Once you comb out your child’s hair, you can also skip the drying and ponytail hair back or style into a plait; styling when hair is wet is the easiest way to do so, since there will be zero tangles at this stage

Styling multi-ethnic hair is easy whenever moisture takes center stage. As your child grows up, feel free to experiment with multi-ethnicity brands that have a wealth of products aimed at particular types of hair (e.g. kinky hair will need more moisture, while wavy hair will benefit from curl defining products). With a little practice and plenty of variety in the styles you choose, your children will undoubtedly love their curls and the many styles they can sport.

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