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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Bathing Tips for Your New Baby

Posted by Susan Brown on March 19, 2018 0 Comments

Now that you are home from the hospital and starting your 4th Trimester...

You may have questions on how to bathe your little one. See our tips below:

How often to bathe your baby

In many families, a bath becomes the focus of a nightly bedtime routine. But from a cleanliness perspective, until your baby is crawling around and getting into messes, a bath isn't really necessary more than a few times a week. Just wash his face frequently, clean anywhere there are skin folds, and thoroughly clean his genital area after each diaper change.

Where to bathe your baby

It makes sense to use the kitchen sink or a small plastic baby tub. A standard bathtub requires you to kneel or lean awkwardly over your baby and gives you less control over his movements.

How to give your baby a bath

Here's how to do it and what you'll need to make baby-bathing easy. With any luck, bath time will become one of the most enjoyable parts of your days together:

1. Gather all necessary bath supplies, and lay out a towel, a clean diaper, and clothes. Make sure the room is comfortably warm so your baby doesn't get chilled.

2. Fill the tub with about 3 inches of water that feels warm but not hot to the inside of your wrist – about 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) or a few degrees warmer.

3. Bring your baby to the bath area and undress her completely.

4. Gradually slip your baby into the tub feet first, using one hand to support her neck and head. Pour cupfuls of bath water over her regularly during the bath so she doesn't get cold.

5. Use mild soap sparingly (too much dries out your baby's skin). Wash her with your hand or a washcloth from top to bottom, front and back. Start by washing her scalp with a wet, soapy cloth. Rinse the soap from the cloth and use it to gently clean her eyes and face. If dried mucus has collected in the corner of your baby's nostrils or eyes, dab it several times with a small section of a moistened washcloth to soften it before you wipe it out. As for your baby's genitals, a routine washing is all that's needed.

6. Rinse your baby thoroughly with cupfuls of clean water, and wipe her with a clean washcloth.

7. Wrap your baby in a hooded towel and pat her dry. If her skin is dry, or if she has a bit of diaper rash, you may want to apply a mild lotion after her bath.

 

Source: Pregnancy Center

 

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Can medications make you more sensitive to the sun?

Posted by Susan Brown on August 29, 2017 0 Comments

This summer's must-reads aren't romances or thrillers; they're the warning labels and package inserts for your drugs and supplements. As Consumer Reports on Health warned in a recent article, “[s]ome widely used medications can make you far more sensitive to summer’s sunlight and heat than you’d usually be.”

That sensitivity can mean anything from a reduced ability to sweat to an increase in the amount of fluid you lose through your urine. So it’s important to revisit whatever safety info you have, and to check in with your doctor, who can let you know about potential risks during the brightest, warmest time of year.

Here are some of the better-known substances that may allow summer's sun and heat to hit you harder:

Antibiotics

 

“Antibiotics can cause photosensitivity and phototoxic reactions, meaning that they’re going to worsen your sunburn,” Rech says. “The one that comes to mind right away is Bactrim, or sulfamethoxozole trimethoprim.” Bactrim is prescribed to treat everything from bronchitis to bladder infections. “That’s a big offender, and so are tetracyclines and fluoroqinolones.” That said, you should never, ever skip an antibiotic for the sake of sunbathing, warns Rech. Your doctor can help you juggle your plans and your meds. 

Allergy medications

 

Some users find that oral antihistamines like diphenydramine (found in products like Benadryl and Dramamine) reduce their ability to sweat. In extreme cases, as the Consumer Reports medical advisory board noted, the overheating that can result leads to cramps, exhaustion, and even heat stroke. If you find that your allergy meds make it difficult for you to cool down, plan outdoor activities for the morning and evening, and try to spend the hottest hours of the day indoors.

Antidepressants

 

Tricyclic antidepressants may cause problems in hot weather because they "prevent the area in your brain that regulates heat response from knowing you’re overheating,” Rech explains. “They can also decrease sweating, which leads to a decrease in heat loss.”

When you’re taking a drug that increases the likelihood of overheating, stay alert for warning signssuch as headaches, lightheadedness, nausea, and weakness. If you experience any of those symptoms, get out of the sun and reach for water or a sports drink with sodium (which will help your body retain fluid until balance is restored). In the event of a severe reaction such as confusion, fever, or fainting, contact your doctor or call 911.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

 

“The main non-steroidals that cause phototoxicity are probably not ones that we commonly use," Rech says. But still, caution should be used, especially if you're on other medications. "Any time you’re taking a non-steroidal and going out in the sun I would recommend barrier protection with sunscreen and avoidance if possible, because any of the non-steroidals can worsen [phototoxicity],” Rech explains.

Vitamins and herbs

 

“A lot of over-the-counter herbal medications [can have phototoxic effects]—for example, St. John’s Wort is a big inducer of photosensitivity, and that medication in particular has a number of drug interactions. Anyone [interested in taking it] should ask their doctor or pharmacist first,” says Rech. Another pill that might put you at risk: Niacin, a form of Vitamin B3 that’s used to treat high cholesterol. It can cause skin reactions, Rech says, "so it could potentially cause [sun sensitivity].”


Topical medications

 

Significant sun exposure can amplify the effect of transdermal patches (such as Fentanyl, a powerful pain reliever, or Clonidine, which lowers blood pressure) that deliver medication directly through the skin. When you get a sunburn, the blood vessels in the surface of your skin dilate, explains Rech, and that can lead to increased absorption of your meds. So if you’re wearing a patch, it's a good idea to consider long sleeves.

Source: http://www.health.com/family/heat-sun-sensitivity-medication

 

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Keeping Baby Toys Clean Without Chemicals

Posted by Susan Brown on June 01, 2017 0 Comments

So, you've made it through the newborn stage - congrats, now the fun can really begin!  Once your baby gets to three to four months old, they'll start to be able to interact more with you and the world around them, which is a great time to introduce some bright, colorful (and possibly noisy!) baby toys. 

When you first get them out of the box they're lovely and clean, but what happens when they've been dropped on the floor a few times? Or been licked by the dog?  Babies often explore new things by putting them in their mouths, so you definitely want to make sure that they are cleaned regularly. But by the same token you also don't want them trying to eat something that you've just covered in a chemical cleaner! Some of the ill effects of using modern cleaning products can be poisoning, allergies, eczema, eye damage and other health effects. 

 

This article gives some great tips on the best ways to keep baby toys clean and how regularly to do so. 

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SHOPPING LIKE A MOM

Posted by Susan Brown on July 18, 2016 0 Comments

    

     I'm waiting outside Marshall's Home Goods at 10:48am on a Sunday morning. I didn't even know the store didn't open until 11:00am but that's fine. I'll relax outside on the bench because today...today I don't have my two kids with me. If I did, I would have to create a quick contingency plan. 12 minutes?! Ok, I have 12 minutes. I can't sit in the car because my 2-year-old son screams and cries if I park the car and we don't immediately get out and head to our destination. These 12 minutes can be critical in setting the stage for the whole experience. If my kids were with me. Today, though, I bask in the relaxation and get about 15 texts done in five minutes flat. Sometimes, with the kids one text can take three and a half hours. And then I forget to hit send because (insert Mom interruption 10,462 of the day). 

 

Here are some of the highlights of shopping without kids that I completely took for granted before children. 

 

    • My purse gets to ride shotgun! My handbag collection is kind of like the family dog after the first child is born...it doesn't get nearly as much attention as it once did and loses the cushy spot in the bed for a swaddled newborn.

    • I get to peruse every section and some twice! When shopping with kids, you never know when you may just need to abandon the cart and get out while you can. Seeing a tantrum coming on is sort of like watching a slow-motion scene in an action movie…you see the pin coming out of the grenade and the hand cocking back to get ready to launch and you know that grenade is coming right at you.

    • I’m not a walking 7-11 when I shop alone. Snacks? Check. Water sippies? Check. Gum, wipes, Kleenex? Do you need a hair clip or an organic granola bar? Boys size 3T undies? I’ve got it all in my purse. Shopping with kids can also be compared to camping in the deep woods for three days. If you are not prepared, bears can eat you.

    • While in the fitting room, I don’t have to constantly say things like, “please don’t open the door, Mommy’s not dressed” or “I’m almost done, and just give me one more minute, please”. I don’t have to listen to Dora on the Kindle or answer questions about why I have dimples on my legs. It’s pretty quiet in there on a Sunday morning.

    • I’ve made it to the check out and since I’m not shopping with kids I get in line, make some small talk with the cashier and I’m on my merry way. Otherwise, I spend that time talking my kids out of all the things they “need” while snaking through the rate maze prior to approaching the cashier.


    Shopping today was glorious! I should definitely do this more often. Said every Mom on the planet.

     

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