Learning

Changing Table Necessities

Changing-Table-Blog-2.png

With an infant comes the responsibility of changing a diaper. Whether you decide to use disposable or cloth diapering, a dedicated changing area can make the whole process much simpler. Our team of Postpartum Doulas and Newborn Care Specialists have changed more diapers than they can count, and have put together this list of essentials for your changing table to make changing baby a snap! The Changing Area Pick a space that is comfortable for both you and baby, that will remain comfortable until baby is out of diapers (Yay, potty training! We can talk about that later.) This should be a space that is free of breakables and allows baby and caregiver to bond. Some examples that we have worked with include: changing tables, a spare bed, a counter-top, and the floor. To keep baby safe, never leave them out of touch during a diaper change.

The Basics Every changing space should have three things. The baby. A diaper. Wipes.

The Extras To make diapering seamless, you can add in comfort measures for you and baby. These would include things like: -a diaper genie(goodbye stink!) -a waterproof changing mat or liner -diaper creams and lotion to add in some baby massage(we'll talk about this later too!) -a stockpile of diapers and wipes -at least two spare sets of clothing.

Let's get Real You and any other caregiver for your child will spend a fair amount of time diapering. It could even last for many years. Most children will be out of diapers by three. That is a ton of potential quality time that can be spent on the changing table. From the very beginning, taking the time during a diaper change to talk to your child and engage them can lead to huge benefits in their development down the line. Babies love to hear your voice. Even if you are talking nonsense, it is making a difference in their socialization, vocabulary, and emotional development.

Enjoying the Holidays with a New Baby

Holidays-1.png

It's the Holiday Season; you are making plans to visit friends and family, and they are making plans to see your new baby. Having a new baby during the holidays can be overwhelming. The struggle to please everyone while maintaining your sanity in the postpartum period can make it very difficult to enjoy the holiday season. Throw in going gift shopping with your infant when all you want is to enjoy your baby-moon, and you have a recipe for disaster. There is good news, though! Communication is so important when setting boundaries. Friends and family will not know where the boundaries are if you do not communicate your needs up front. Are you tired? Make it known. If you are hungry, ask for someone to bring you food. Do you need to hold your infant? Tell whoever is holding the baby that it is Mommy's turn. Communicate yours and your baby's needs to everyone in order to maintain your sanity and keep everyone happy! Utilize your resources. Have friends or family that live close by? Take them up on previous offers to help out, whether it be helping to decorate, going shopping with you (or even for you!), and, if you can bear it, let them babysit for some self-care.

 

Baby Wearing

Baby-Wearing-1.png

Baby wearing is an important part of parenting. There have been many studies on the benefits of baby wearing. These studies have found that babies who are "worn" cry less and are socialized earlier. This is due to being included in all the family's activities and being exposed to more language and social interaction, instead of laying in another room passively. Baby wearing is very practical in addition to the social impact on a child. In addition to less crying, wearing your baby increases portability with your infant. Simple tasks for parents are made easier and wearing your baby allows you to meet your own needs, such as eating, shopping, walking the dog, or even working. Using a quality carrier can ensure that parents or care providers can meet the needs of the child while still being able to get things finished.

When baby is happy, parents are happy. When baby is happy, parents are happy, and if there are older siblings, they are happy too. Baby wearing makes it easier to integrate a new baby into the family with older siblings as baby is less likely to wholly monopolize parents' time.

Carriers for baby wearing are an essential tool. As such, it is important to keeps things in mind while choosing which carrier is right for your family.

Things to keep in mind include:

  • What is the main purpose? Short carries or the long haul?
  • Comfort; for both baby and the wearer.
  • Style
  • Who will be the main wearer?
  • Does it need to be adjustable for multiple wearers?
  • Is it hands-free?
  • How much do you want to spend?
  • Is it washable?
  • Do you have more than one baby?

If you have questions about baby wearing, there are a multitude of resources available to parents. We suggest: asking your pospartum doula or newborn care specialist; joining a baby wearing group; renting a carrier to find what you like; and reaching out to other parents in your community.

Tackling Cold and Flu Season with your Infant

Copy-of-Blog-Header-Template.png

It's here. FALL! With the smell of cinnamon, the changing of the colors, and pumpkins everywhere; comes something not so pleasant. Cold and Flu Season! Cold and flu season does not have to be intimidating. There are many things you can do to prevent sickness from terrorizing your house.

  • On a nice day, open up those windows and get the air moving.
  • Change your bedding and towels frequently to prevent germs from building up.
  • Wash your hands!
  • Eat a good diet with immunity boosting vitamins and minerals.
  • Don't share drinking glasses or utensils to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces, like doorknobs and light-switches.

Though we can try hard to prevent sickness, a well-stocked medicine cabinet is an essential tool to making it through cold and flu season.

  • Thermometer: A digital rectal thermometer is the most accurate for taking children's temperature. If your child is less than 6 months old and has a fever over 100.4, then it is important to call your pediatrician.
  • Tissues: Red and runny noses are no fun. Be prepared with plenty of tissues on hand that aren't abrasive on your or baby's skin.
  • Humidifier: Adding humidity to the air can be beneficial, especially if there is congestion.
  • Nasal aspirators and Saline drops: Especially for babies who haven't learned how to blow their nose, saline drops loosen up mucous and aspirators clear the nasal passages.
  • Pain Relievers: Infant Tylenol and Motrin can help a fussy baby with a fever, but always make sure to follow the dosing recommendations set forth by your provider.

Cold and flu season does not have to an insurmountable task for your family to accomplish, nor does it have to be stressful. It is something that can be managed with a little preparation in addition to lots and lots of rest. If you ever feel unsure in regards to your infant's illness, then a call to your pediatrician is always a good idea, and it is important to trust your intuition.

Carseat Buying Tips

Carseat-Buying-Tips.png

Carseat buying can be an overwhelming process. There are so many to choose from, yet they are all basically the same. So, where do we differentiate which one we should choose? Our tips focus on safety, comfort, and personal preference.

Safety

First and foremost, safety is the most important deciding factor when making a decision. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends rear-facing your child until the age of two or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. A rear-facing child restraint does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash. During an impact, a rear-facing seat distributes the force of the collision over the entire body.

Comfort

You want your child to be comfortable, but don’t forget that it is important for you to be comfortable too.Take time to read reviews on what other parents like or don’t like about a specific seat. Take all their advice into consideration when making a purchase. Some comfort measures can inhibit safety, so it is important that the comfort measures you desire are built into the carseat. Try and avoid aftermarket products that aren’t made specifically for your child’s seat.

Preference

Don’t forget to pick out something you like! Personal preference is important because you will most likely own this item for at least two years. That is a long time to hate the color or pattern on the carseat. When in doubt, stick with neutral colors and patterns.

Buying your child's first carseat doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. Just remember to focus on safety, comfort, and preference!  Be on the lookout soon for a more detailed summary of car seat safety. These blogs will include: proper installation of the carseat, buckling in your child, and extended rear-facing your child.

 

AAP: www.healthychildren.org/carseatguide

Infant Swim Classes

SFNC_InfantSwimClasses.png

Summer is now in full swing, and for many people, that means it is time to head to the local pool and lounge or swim. For parents of infants, taking their baby to the pool can be a concern as there are a variety of risks for them at the pool. Of those concerns, the biggest is often the danger of drowning which is of particular concern for families with pools at their home. Below you will find information on infant swim classes and how they can help to alleviate some these concerns.

What are Infant Swim Classes?

Infant swim classes are designed to help your child learn valuable water safety skills. Classes are typically designed for children six months and older. It is also required that your child can hold a sitting position and roll back to front as well as front to back. Most courses run five days a week for five to seven weeks. By frequently spending time in the pool and working on a specific curriculum, your child’s muscle memory will improve rapidly, and they have a higher success rate at learning the skills being taught.

What Will Your Child Learn?

While there are a variety of topics that may be covered in different infant swim classes, the central theme of these courses is on teaching your child to move in the water. For the youngest of students, these lessons will be focused on movements that can keep your child safe when in the water. One of the most valuable skills they will learn is the ability to turn from facedown to free floating on their back. A child with not only the capacity to float but also the instinct to turn onto their back is significantly less likely to drown should they find themselves in the water unsupervised. As your child gets older, the lessons will progress into teaching them to actually swim.

Where Can You Find More Information?

If you are interested in signing your baby up for infant swim classes, you can use the links below to find a class in your area.

https://www.infantswim.com/

https://blog.littlelane.com/baby-toddler-swim-class-sf/

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-swim-classes-in-san-francisco/

http://www.bayareaparent.com/Article/Best-Swim-Lessons-in-the-Bay-Area/

Our Favorite Board Books

SFNC_FavoriteBoardBooks.png

It’s never too early to start reading to your kids, but parents may be unaware of the many wonderful options available to them. No matter your personal tastes or subject matter you want to share with your baby. Perhaps it’s your love of a hobby, animals, or silly books that are also educational there is something for nearly everyone. Read on for some of our favorite board books.

No Matter What

A sweet tale about a mother’s unconditional love for her child, “No Matter What” is one of our favorite board books because of its excellent visuals and charming silliness. It is not uncommon for children to worry about whether or not their parents love them or if there is something they can do that would make their parents love them less. This book does a fantastic job of expressing this sentiment and is one you’ll want to keep reading to your baby until they’re all grown up.

Pout Pout Fish

With whimsical rhymes from a variety of undersea characters, “Pout Pout Fish” chronicles the many attempts of his friends to cheer him up. The loveable but sad Pout Pout Fish has grown to be a favorite among many families, and his unique adventure is part of the reason it made our list of favorite board books. Its popularity has spawned some sequels and a strong following among young children and their families.

Baby Loves to Rock

Who loves to rock? Baby loves to rock! This book is one of our favorite board books because it is filled with musical genres, instruments and their animal friends to play along. Baby loves to rock is a great book for musical instrument sounds recognition and can help introduce some new animals into your baby’s catalog of animal friends.

Dr. Seuss’s ABC’s

Auntie Anne’s alligator and Uncle Ubb’s underwear make this Dr. Seuss book full of fun alliterations for children of all ages and is a great read for parents and caregivers. Dr. Suess’s ABC’s also comes in a hard back cover for older children that is slightly longer and includes additional alliterations. Add this one of our favorite board books to your library today.

Music for Babies - San Francisco Music Classes

Baby-music-classes.jpg

Baby Music ClassesNumerous studies have shown that music supports brain development in babies and children. Singing aids with speech development and singing to your baby strengthens parent-child relationships. Dancing and instrument play help with motor skills and aural training builds listening and concentration skills. As a result, there are a variety of baby music classes that have developed to tap into these benefits. At SF Newborn Care, we understand that it can be time-consuming or difficult to sort through all the options. In today’s blog, we are talking about three highly rated baby music classes available in San Francisco.

San Francisco Music Together Music Together is a major operation in baby music classes with over 3500 center in 45 countries.  Their childhood music education is researched based and emphasizes the enjoyment of music over perfect performance. As a result, they focus on allowing your child’s musicality to develop naturally and understand that it may take time. San Francisco Music Together offers baby only (0-9 months) and mixed (0-5 years) classes that are 45 minutes in length. During classes, parents and child learn to sing on pitch and tap to a beat. There is no need for prior music experience and all adult caregivers are welcome to attend the class with baby. San Francisco Music Together also provides resources through parental education on ways to bring more music into your home.

Carmel Blue Carmel Blue offers a variety of pre- and postnatal classes as a resource to the San Francisco community. Their baby music classes are titled “Music Jiggle Jam” and are taught by teachers and early childhood educators.  Each 30-minute class incorporates movement and music through songs, games, and activities.  All of the things you and your child will do in this class are designed to help create a fun and developmental experience. They offer classes for all ages and the option to pay per class or to purchase a 6-month pass. Check out the link above for more information or to register for their next class.

Little Bears Music Little Bears music provides music classes for all ages and offers baby music classes through their Baby Bears classes.  In these classes, they use lap songs, finger-plays, sing-alongs, and other rhythm-based activities to teach music. Parents will learn to sing a variety of rhythms and melodies that can be used at home during playtime or for soothing. Baby Bears classes are designed for children 4-12 months, and each class is 45 minutes. You will be required to bring a blanket with you to class each time so keep that in mind. They have both eight week and 12-week classes available with multi-child discounts available. This is a great option for parents of multiples or those with older children.