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Posts Tagged ‘baby’

Hygeia - The Only Breast Pump Company Endorsed by La Leche League International

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

By Daphne

Are you in the market for a breast pump? Have you heard of the Hygeia Enjoye-LBI? Now available at SmartMomma, the brand Hygeia is named after the Greek Goddess of health and wellness because breast milk brings health and wellness to moms and babies. The only pump brand endorsed by La Leche League International, all of its personal-use electric breast pumps are hospital-grade performance.

Hygeia Enjoye LBI

Hygeia Enjoye LBI

Having been a pumping and working mom myself, I was excited to learn that all Hyegia breast pumps have a closed system, meaning they can be rented and shared between mothers who use their own pumping sets. There is a barrier filter to prevent any cross-contamination between mothers, so you can ethically sell your pump to another new mom when you no longer need it, knowing you are not risking sharing any viruses or other germs with other moms and babies.

Another advantage of the closed system is that the flexibility of reuse allows Hygeia to be one of the “greenest” pumps on the market. Once you no longer need your pump and if you do not wish to sell it or share it with another person, you can return it to Hygeia for recycling or reuse.

A significant selling point to me is that Hygeia is WHO compliant. It supports the World Health Organization’s code on marketing of breast milk substitutes by not including pictures of babies on its packaging and not risking implying that a mother’s goal should be to pump milk over directly breastfeeding her baby. Hygeia makes it clear that breastfeeding is best for mother and baby and that the primary use of a breast pump is for when mother and baby are separated.

I frequently worry about what chemicals are exposed to my children, and I was glad to see that all Hygeia pump parts that come in contact with breast milk are BPA and DEHP-free! No dangerous chemicals will be seeping into your pumped liquid gold!

The Hygeia Enjoye-LBI and all of its accessories are now available at SmartMomma! If you’re planning to return to work after the birth of your baby, this is definitely one of the best pumps to consider. If I were shopping for a pump today, this would definitely be my choice!

Parenting Skills Begin in High School

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

By, Daphne

When I first met my newborn son, I initially felt that any parenting challenges would settle into a predicable routine. There is so much advice out there about soothing the young baby and disciplining the toddler. While some of the tips and suggestions from magazines, books, friends, family, and online communities have been helpful, I finally realized that some of my parenting difficulties could be helped by what I learned in high school.

The time between comforting a baby to sleep and quietly slipping out of the room can be the most stressful, fearful, and hopeful experience of a parent’s day. As you step away from the bed, you move as carefully as possible, making sure not to bump into a creaking place on the wall or step on a musical toy that might make the slightest or loudest sound. Movement must be precise yet purposeful to make it out of the room successfully. The lurking punishment of a crying baby keeps your fear alive, much like the fear of high school detention for getting caught without a hall pass. If you have any experience with sneaking down a restricted hallway during lunchtime in school, you’ve already fine-tuned a silent tread. In addition, the stress management skills you learned in each second of hallway fear will now help you keep calm when you hear the sounds of your baby possibly waking up, seeing you, and loudly requesting that you remain in the room for a longer period of time.

As your child grows somewhat older, you will enter a stage when you want to enjoy sweet foods and candies that you would prefer not to share with your exclusively organic fed little one. Some of us have better personal discipline than others, but I know I like to experience some type of sugary treat several times a day. The challenge is that children have a shockingly well-developed ear for candy wrappers at an early age. Complicating the task further is the fact that some toddlers can even smell scents such as chocolate on your breath after you’ve managed to successfully fulfill your sweet tooth’s needs. Luckily, those of us who spent years eating candy in class daily already know all the tricks for keeping our sugary secrets private. Unwrapping candy before school was the best strategy for removing the noise risk to eating candy during class. Now, the same concept can be applied by transferring all candy to cloth or zip-lock bags. While teachers weren’t checking the smell of anyone’s breath, they may have noticed the rhythmic movement of gum being chewed. Limit talking after sneaking any sweets to avoid having your toddler discover your secret.

The most desperate moment for any parent can be when your child is frantically searching for a toy that you know for sure is never going to be found. It didn’t seem like it would be missed at the time, but this overlooked entertainment purchase from three years ago has suddenly become the only teddy bear that loved him or the only toy xylophone that will express the music of her heart. Once again, you must search through the high school compartment of your brain and now think of a time when you didn’t have an assignment turned in on time. It’s not that you lied about the reason for the lateness, but you did want your situation to be convincing to your teacher. Perhaps you embellished or even fabricated entire details about what occupied your time when you should have been working on the school project. Now, as your child looks at you with faith that you will solve the case of the missing, loved toy, you find those story-enhancing skills from years ago to be most helpful. Again, it’s not that you completely lie to your child – or maybe you do, but the goal is to keep everyone happy. True, you might not actually know a little girl who had no toys or if she received your child’s loved possession when you donated it to charity, but a personalized aspect about the destination of your preschooler’s now retired teddy bear or xylophone sure helps take the focus off of what she lost.

Parenting is difficult, and we all run into challenges regularly. Though it does seem that solutions to our adjustments to living with children are hidden behind days of research, sometimes the answers have always been with us. Just take a moment to reflect, and you will find some of your own problem-solving patterns from your past to apply to today.

What if my baby isn’t developing normally?

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

By, Daphne

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, like many, I found myself dreaming of how my dedicated mothering would result in a perfect child. I was careful to leave room for my imagined child’s own choices and interests and various other characteristics that would make him a unique person. My goal was not to control him but to give him the best start in life through love, attention, security, good nutrition, exposure to educational experiences, and unending patience. It’s easy to plan on meeting every need when the challenge of the live baby hasn’t yet arrived. Without realizing it, I linked his ability to develop into a well-adjusted individual to my ability to adequately mother him, and I hadn’t even met him yet.

Many of the usual tasks on the perfect baby checklist were tackled: balanced diet during pregnancy, natural

Andrew and Daphne just after he was diagnosed with autism - Crickett Photography

Andrew and Daphne just after he was diagnosed with autism - Crickett Photography

childbirth, breastfeeding, babywearing, lots of direct attention, and organic baby food. Despite my morning sickness resulting in the loss of 16 pounds, I did my best to eat healthy foods. Of course, the all-too-common story of a planned natural childbirth turning into a C-section happened to me. I not only had an epidural but general anesthesia as well. Luckily, my dedicated support system helped me through my breastfeeding challenges, allowing me to nurse my son well beyond the first year. I scheduled time into every day to play games and engage him with other activities that focused on his development, and by the time I started my son on solid foods, I was sure I had made up for his difficult birth with all the breastfeeding, babywearing and organic foods. Clearly, my careful mothering was, in fact, making my baby perfect!

It wasn’t until my son was close to three years old that I started to question if his little quirks were a sign of a larger developmental concern. Some of his unique interests during his first few years included an unusual fascination with wires, shoestrings, and any other string he discovered; staring at escalators for long periods of time; and an intense attraction to flowing water, such as drinking water fountains, running water hoses, the kitchen sink sprayer, and the larger water displays at malls. I know a lot of kids are attracted to water, but my son only wanted to stare at the running water rather than play with it, and he would shriek as if his life was being taken away if we either stopped the running water or took him away from it. I didn’t know that all of these interests fell under the category of visual stimulation.

Andrew just after he was diagnosed with autism - Crickett Photography

Andrew just after he was diagnosed with autism - Crickett Photography

Developmentally, just before my son turned three, I noticed that he didn’t seem to understand what I was saying as much as other kids. Still, he had a great vocabulary. I figured he was okay if he could talk. My pediatrician and his daycare providers also assured me that they had no concerns. After checking off all of his milestones on developmental checklists, I was certain he must be fine.

Finally, about a month after my son’s third birthday, I realized that there was a clear difference between his communication skills compared to his peers. I had to use specific phrases and vocabulary for him to understand me, and he just didn’t seem as aware as other kids. I took him to Project Enlightenment for a developmental screening, and then he was referred to the public school system. The school system met with my husband and me several times, observed my son, and finally completed a formal developmental evaluation. The whole process took six months, but at the end of it, we found out what was going on with our son: autism.

How did I feel? Devastated! I was trampled by the news of my obvious failure at mothering. With all of my hard work and effort, I was supposed to have a perfect child. If he had a diagnosis as horrifying as autism, I felt I must have missed some essential ingredient in my recipe for being the ideal mother. For years I had met other women who had kids with autism. Not knowing my situation, I had always felt so bad for those mothers; I admired how they appeared to have a positive perspective of life when their children faced so many challenges. Now I was one of those mothers, and I didn’t feel positive at all!

It took time to grieve the loss of the child I imagined, the child I thought I knew. Knowing that social skills are so closely tied to a fulfilling life, I wondered how my son could find a place in society with a diagnosed social disorder. Would he be the “weird” kid? Would he be bullied? I had always had the impression he was so smart, and now I was being told he was cognitively delayed. Would he always be delayed, struggling to keep up with his peers? People on the spectrum are known for having trouble understanding humor. Would I not be able to laugh and tell jokes with my son? He seemed to enjoy humor, but maybe it would go away? Would he be able to go to college? Get married? Have his own life?

Andrew and Daphne just after he was diagnosed with autism - Crickett Photography

Andrew and Daphne just after he was diagnosed with autism - Crickett Photography

My son, Andrew, was diagnosed with autism two-and-a-half years ago. How do I feel now? First, he is really funny – and in an annoying way like any other six-year-old, making his humor somewhat typical for his age.

He still struggles with some academics but manages to perform on grade-level. Though he’s in a special education kindergarten class, he is doing the same work as other kindergarteners in regular classes, and he will likely be in a regular 1st grade class next year. Andrew is smart, creative, skilled at art, good at solving real life problem. He has friends, enjoys going places, loves and protects his younger sister, voluntarily gives me hugs, and is very inquisitive. I enjoy spending time with him and am fascinated with who he is as a person.

We have been so lucky that all of his preschool teachers and his current teacher are absolutely awesome. Every teacher has taken the time to get to know him and find strategies to work around his challenges. I am so hopeful that he will continue to have such dedicated and talented educators throughout his future school years.

Andrew does have some challenges. The motivation is not always there when he has to complete tasks he does not like. Some concepts are difficult for him, and his fine motor skills are inconsistent. In addition, his stimulatory behavior involves making odd sounds while running around. If he starts to “stim” in public, people do look at him oddly, knowing something must be different about him. I am hopeful that he will be able to embrace more socially compatible outlets for stimulatory expression as he gets older.

I’m not going to say I wouldn’t change a thing about him, as I notice many other people say that about their disabled kids, but I also won’t say there’s nothing I would change about myself. I think it’s okay to admit we would like for things to be different while simultaneously working on accepting people and ourselves as we are. I do appreciate everything about my son: the good, the bad, and the lessons he and I learn from his challenges. We will both grow as people by working together.

Daphne's Son - Andrew

What do I recommend for parents who are worried about their babies or toddlers? We all constantly hear and read the message that babies develop differently. Developmental milestones have a wide window of time for when they should be mastered, and anytime in that window is acceptable. It’s good to find out exactly how late is okay for your baby to master a skill. With this knowledge, you are able to remain somewhat more calm if everyone else’s baby is sitting up at six months if you know your baby still has as couple more months to be on target for that milestone.

When I checked the lists for developmental red flags, my son never showed any of the major symptoms of autism. Now that I know more about child development, I realize that my son’s receptive language and problems with joint attention were clear indicators of his disorder by eighteen months of age. Receptive language is what your child understands. It is more common for people who have concerns about their child’s language will say their child understands everything but doesn’t say much. The child who understands most of what he hears likely does not have autism. However, if you worry that your child doesn’t understand as much as his peers, you may want to investigate further. Children demonstrate joint attention when they are having trouble with something and look up at you, hoping you will help. A child with autism who struggles with joint attention will continue to stare at the toy while crying, never looking for someone to help. Another form of joint attention is when a child sees something of interest and wants to share it with you by bringing it to you or by pointing at the object.  Children with autism aren’t as aware of you being a separate person and don’t realize you may not already see what they see. While it’s not necessarily a problem if your child doesn’t point right at twelve months of age, within a few months of her birthday, she should be clearly making an attempt to show you what she sees.

What would I do differently if I could start over with my son? My son has improved significantly since receiving intervention starting at three-and-a-half years of age, but earlier intervention is always better. Now I always tell people to follow their gut feeling and to not take too much of a wait and see approach if their child is showing signs of a delay. True, many children do catch up on their own, but testing and possibly some developmental therapy will only help. Both evaluations and therapy are designed to be fun for children; I do not know of any drawbacks to getting a child tested.

Delayed intervention is a loss of the most effective time to make dramatic improvement in a child. Though my son had an age-appropriate vocabulary, he did not talk as much as other children, and I made the mistake of assuming he was just a late talker. I was not aware of the many resources available for determining if he needed help.

Daphne's Son - Andrew

Daphne's Son - Andrew

What resources are available for parents who have developmental concerns about their children? If your child is under three years of age and in Wake County, it is best to contact the Children’s Developmental Services Agency (CDSA). You can call them about any concern you may have, whether your doctor agrees with you or not. Their evaluations are free, and they emphasize that it is better to call them sooner rather than wait and see if your child improves. I personally think it’s best to work with the CDSA before your child turns three because they work very quickly. They come to your house to evaluate and give you the results the same day. Then they arrange for any necessary therapies to take place in your home.

If your child is three years of age or older, the public school system is the only free option available for investigating questions about your child’s development. Though the entire process takes at least six months, if your child does have significant delays, he or she may qualify for free therapy and possibly specialized education through the school system. They have half day and whole day special education preschools.

You may wonder if you should check with your pediatrician before asking any of these services to evaluate your child. Yes, definitely bring up your concerns with your pediatrician; however, don’t wait for his or her permission to proceed if you are worried. Unfortunately, pediatricians’ knowledge and training is mostly focused on medical care, and many of them do not know how to properly address all developmental differences. It is common for pediatricians to miss problems when they could have been detected much sooner. Your child’s development is a place where you are the only expert until you meet with a developmental specialist.

Your Baby's Milestones

Your Baby's Milestones

What if I think my baby or toddler is doing great? Most children are developing normally. Just be sure to take the time to check off developmental milestones as they happen. So many parents share that their children meet developmental goals long before the indicated time on the chart. If your child shows all signs of rapidly growing into a social butterfly, enjoy her! Our children want us to have fun with them, and I definitely enjoy my son!

Chris Daughtry, Among Many, Expecting Twins!

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Chris and Deanna Daughtry, North Carolina natives, are expecting twins!  The happy news was just announced on May 17th.  The twins will join their other two children in November 2010.  You all know Chris as a final four contestant of American Idol in 2006.  He has been arguably the most successful American Idol contestant that did not win the contest since they started the show.  According to Wikepedia, the band that was formed, Daughtry, released their self-titled debut album which sold more than one million copies after just five weeks of release, becoming the fastest selling debut rock album in history.[2] In its ninth week of release, the album reached number one on the Billboard charts. Chris Daughtry is now the third most successful American Idol contestant in terms of record sales, behind only Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, who both won their respective seasons.

We are very happy for Chris and Deanna on their upcoming additions and wish them much happiness.  I also wanted to point out that there must be something in the water in North Carolina.  Many of our customers are also expecting twins, so the only logical conclusion is that the NC government is adding some sort of twin-producing hormone to our water.  How else can we explain the recent influx in twins?

All joking aside, having twins can be very exciting and overwhelming.  Choosing products for your twins is twice as hard, as now you have to figure out what the perfect “twins” product is, and it is more of a challenge, as there is not as much information out there on twin products.

So Chris and Deanna, some recommendations if you please…  You may look into these at your leisure.

-Bumbleride Indie Twin Stroller- Great for walking around the trails, the beach, your neighborhood, and great for running from the Paparazzi.

-Baby Jogger City Mini Double - Lightweight, easy to get in and out of the car in a quick pinch.  Still leaves room in the trunk for your band’s equipment.

-Baby Jogger City Select - If you go with one twin stroller, go with this one.  Multiple positions and reclines.  Babies can face parent, face each other, face the street.  You can put both your infant carriers right on the frame and the basket is extra large with great access.  Awesome canopies on this stroller as well.  Incredibly hard to get stroller right now due to popularity.  Give us a call Chris and Deanna!  We’ll save one for you!

-Chicco Car Seats - The best rated infant carriers out there.  Will go in both of the above strollers.

-Nap Nanny - Great product for feeding two at one time, or for lounging.  Also great for colic, reflux, and earaches.  VERY comfy for babies!

-Baby K-Tan Carrier - You can carry both babies at once in this thing!

-Sprout Shell Infant Car Seat Protector - Chosen just for you to shield babies from the flashing cameras that will come their way, and from prying hands.  Also acts as a nursing cover and shopping cart cover

-Skip Hop Duo Double Deluxe - Extra Large Twin Size Diaper Bag for Baby

To Chris, Deanna, and ALL parents of twins, good luck with your double blessings, and let us know how we can help.  Congratulations!

Most Popular Baby Names of 2009…

Monday, May 10th, 2010

According to the Social Security Administration, the 10 most popular girls’ names, in order, are: Isabella, Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Ava, Emily, Madison, Abigail, Chloe and Mia.

The 10 most popular boys’ name, also in order, are: Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, William, Joshua, Daniel, Jayden, Noah and Anthony.

What are you going to name your baby?  Let us know!

Keep Your Baby Safe with These Great Tips from JPMA

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is a national trade organization representing 95% of the prenatal to preschool industry. Today, JPMA represents 250 companies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico who manufacture, import and/or distribute infant products such as cribs, car seats, strollers, bedding, and a wide range of accessories and decorative items.

The JPMA is a great resource for parents to ensure their baby items are safe, and they have recently updated their website to make it easy and user-friendly for parents.

The consumer side of their site is called The Parenthood and is a great place to find safety tips, recall information, and information about innovative products for you and your baby.  Here are some great safety tips right from their site for you.  Please visit the JPMA site at:

http://jpma.org/content/parents/the-parenthood

JPMA Helps Keep Baby Safe

JPMA Helps Keep Baby Safe

Safety Tips from JPMA Safety House

Bedroom

  • Look for bassinets and cradles with a sturdy bottom and a wide, stable base.
  • Swinging cradles should have a way to keep them from swinging once a baby is asleep.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the appropriate weight and size of babies who can safely use the bassinet or cradle.
  • If a product has legs that fold for storage, make sure that effective locks are provided to ensure that the legs do not accidentally fold while in use.
  • Decorative bows and ribbons should be trimmed short and stitched securely to prevent strangulation.
  • Infants should ALWAYS sleep in a crib, which meets current Federal and ASTM standards.
  • The crib mattress should fit snugly with no more than two fingers width, one-inch, between the edge of the mattress and the crib side. Otherwise, the baby can get trapped between the mattress and the side of the crib.
  • Remember to ALWAYS keep the drop side up when the baby is in the crib.
  • NEVER place the crib near windows, draperies, blinds,or wall mounted decorative accessories with long cords.
  • Make sure there are no missing, loose, broken, or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or the mattress support.
  • Crib slats or spindles should be spaced no more than 2 3/8” apart, and none should be loose or missing.
  • Never use a crib with corner posts over 1/16 of an inch above the end panels (unless they’re over 16” high for a canopy). Babies can strangle if their clothes become caught on corner posts. These should be unscrewed or sawed off, and the remaining end panel should be sanded smooth.
  • No cutout areas on the headboard or footboard so baby’s head cannot get trapped.
  • ALWAYS use a crib sheet that fits securely on the mattress, wraps around the mattress corners and stays securely on the mattress corners.
  • Use bumper pads only until the child can pull up to a standing position. Then remove them so baby cannot use the pads to climb out of the crib.
  • Mobiles should also be removed when baby can pull himself or herself up.
  • NEVER place infants to sleep on pillows, sofa cushions, adult beds, waterbeds, beanbags, or any other surface not specifically designed for infant sleep.
  • Bed rails are not designed for infant use so do not use in place of a crib.
  • Some beds have built-in bed rails but a portable bed rail is for use only with an adult mattress and box spring. Portable bed rails are not for use with bunk beds, water mattresses, or inflatable mattresses.
  • Use a bed rail only with a standard innerspring mattress and box spring.
  • Do not use a bed rail on a bunk bed, water mattress, or bed without a box spring.
  • Be sure to keep the bed rail firmly against the mattress when in use to prevent dangerous gaps.
  • For toddler beds, place headboard against wall rather than the side of the bed so that the child can’t become trapped between wall and bed.

For Babies Under 12 Months…

  • Normal, healthy infants should ALWAYS sleep on their backs unless otherwise advised by a pediatrician.
  • Only a fitted sheet, mattress pad, and/or waterproof pad should be used under baby.
  • Cover baby with a thin covering, such as a crib blanket, receiving blanket or other blankets specifically designed for infants, only reaching as far as baby’s chest, and tuck the covering around the crib mattress. For newborns, consider swaddling.
  • Do not overdress your baby. Consider using a sleeper, sleep sack, or other sleep clothing as an alternative to any covering
  • ALWAYS use restraint system to restrain baby when the changing table is in use.
  • ALWAYS keep one hand on the baby on the changing table. Be sure any baby products you need, such as diapers or wipes, are easily accessible.

Bathroom

  • Bath seats and bath rings should be used with children who are capable of sitting upright unassisted. Discontinue use when a child can pull to a standing position.
  • NEVER leave baby unattended. If you need to leave the bathroom, take the baby with you. Do not rely on older children to watch the baby for you.
  • Collect all bathing materials before bringing baby into the bathroom.
  • Never use a bath seat on textured or non-skid tub surfaces unless the manufacturer’s instructions specifically state the seat is intended for such surfaces.
  • Place the bath seat in the tub so baby cannot reach the faucet or spout.
  • After running a minimum amount of warm water in the tub, carefully place baby into the bath seat.
  • If bath seat moves or tips while your child is in it, discontinue use.
  • Good practice to keep bathroom doors closed and toilet seats closed and locked. It is possible for baby to drown in as little as two inches of water.
  • Small appliances, including blow dryers and irons, should be unplugged when not in use and kept out of baby’s reach.

Garage

  • Check for adjustments on a stroller that reduces the size of seat openings in the front to prevent your baby from falling out when seat back is reclined into the flat position.
  • Choose a carriage or stroller that has a base wide enough to prevent tipping, even when your baby leans over the side.
  • If the stroller seat adjusts to a reclining position, make sure the carriage or stroller doesn’t tip backwards when the child lies down.
  • ALWAYS secure the baby by using the restraint straps.
  • Don’t hang pocketbooks or shopping bags over the handles of the carriage or stroller. If your stroller has a shopping basket for carrying packages, it should be low on the back of the stroller or directly over the rear wheels.
  • Use the locking device on any stroller to prevent accidental folding.
  • Apply the brakes to limit rotation of the wheels when stroller is stationary.
  • When you fold or unfold the stroller, keep the baby’s hands away from the areas that could pinch tiny fingers.
  • The back seat is the safest place to ride.
  • Infants must ride rear facing or in a car bed.
  • Always anchor the car seat/booster seat to the car using the seat belt exactly as directed by the car seat/booster seat manufacturer.
  • NEVER use a car seat/booster seat in a seating location with an airbag.
  • Always check that the car seat/booster seat is securely installed. A locking clip may be necessary. Read the vehicle owner’s manual for information on other belt accessories that may be required.
  • Do not use a car seat/booster seat more than six years old.
  • Do not use a car seat/booster seat that has ever been involved in a crash.
  • Do not use a car seat/booster seat missing the manufacturer’s label showing the name of the manufacturer, model number and date of manufacture.
  • Booster seats are recommended for children over 30 lbs., but consider height and maturity level as well. Some children are mature enough to handle a booster seat, while others are too immature to keep the shoulder belt properly positioned.
  • Set a good example and make sure the entire family buckles up.
  • NEVER buy a used car seat or booster seat.

Living Room

  • Choose a play yard with mesh holes no larger than 1/4”. Slats on a wooden play yard should be no more than 2 3/8” apart.
  • The play yard, including side rails, should be fully erected prior to use.
  • Do not add padding or other objects inside the play yard, which permit your child to climb out.
  • Make sure all latching features of the play yard are in place and secure.
  • Always provide the supervision necessary for the continued safety of your child. When used for playing, never leave child unattended.
  • Infants can suffocate in gaps between a mattress too small or too thick and the sides, or on soft bedding.
  • NEVER leave a baby in a mesh play yard if its drop side is in the down position. The baby could roll into the space between the pad and loose mesh, causing suffocation.
  • NEVER place the play yard near windows, draperies, blinds, or wall mounted decorative accessories with long cords.
  • Never suspend strings over play yards or attach strings to toys.
  • Check vinyl or fabric-covered rails frequently for holes and tears.
  • Don’t tie items across the top of the play yard as they can entangle a baby and cause strangulation.
  • Some gates are not appropriate for use at the top of a stairway. Check the product use recommendations.
  • Gates with expanding pressure bars should be installed with the adjustment bar or lock side away from the baby.
  • Anchor the gate securely in the doorway or stairway.
  • Always close the gate when you leave the room and never leave the baby unattended.
  • Many new “accordion style” gates meet the current performance standards. Older models could be hazardous.
  • Never leave your baby alone in the activity center.
  • Keep activity centers away from stairs, doors, windows, plants, lamps, the TV, fireplace, heaters, or coffee table.
  • Keep curtains and blind cords out of reach.
  • Bouncer seats are for in-home use only. Many have bouncing action, soothing vibration, and/or toys for play.
  • NEVER place infant bouncer seats on beds, sofas, or other soft surfaces. Infant seats or bouncer can roll over and suffocate a baby.
  • ALWAYS secure the restraining straps on bouncers and never leave a baby in the seat when straps are loose or undone.
  • Baby’s movements can slide an infant seat, so be sure not to place the infant seat near the edges of counter tops, tables or other elevated surfaces.
  • Select a walker with a wheelbase longer and wider than the frame of the walker itself to ensure stability.
  • Coil springs and hinges of walker must have protective coverings.
  • NEVER leave a baby unattended in a walker.
  • Only use a walker on smooth surfaces.
  • Remove all throw rugs when a baby is in walker.
  • Keep doors closed.
  • Keep child away from appliances or items that could cause injury such as ironing boards ranges, radiators, and fireplaces.
  • NEVER carry walker with a child in it.
  • Electrical outlets, appliances and cords can be baby safety hazards. Be sure to cover unused electrical outlets with safety caps and replace broken or missing receptacle cover plates.

Kitchen

  • High chairs should have a waist strap and crotch strap.
  • Some high chairs recline for use with younger infants or are height adjustable.
  • Use waist and crotch restraint every time you place a child in the high chair to prevent falls from standing up or sliding out.
  • Never depend on the feeding tray to restrain or protect baby. Instead, secure restraint straps.
  • Prevent tip over – Keep high chair far enough from the table, counter or wall so the baby can’t push off from it.
  • Secure the safety latch on a folding high chair each time you unfold it for use.
  • NEVER leave a baby unattended.
  • Never use a bouncer seat on an elevated surface like countertops.
  • Portable hook-on chairs should have a strong clamp-on device, which keeps the seat level, making it impossible for a baby to kick off.
  • Do not use on portable hook-on chairs on glass or loose tabletop, or on a table with a single pedestal, leaf, tablecloth or placemat.
  • Check stability and sturdiness of table before seating a child.
  • Do not place an ordinary chair under the portable hook-on chair.
  • Always secure the waist and crotch straps around baby.
  • Before removing baby from chair, make sure baby’s legs are free from chair straps.
  • When feeding baby, first test all warmed foods for a comfortable eating temperature before serving.
  • Heating baby food in a microwave is convenient, but be sure to check the temperature very carefully. Use microwave-safe dishes and stir food from the center out after heating to ensure the temperature is even.
  • When baby begins to eat solid foods, do not give the child small, hard foods. Check with your pediatrician for a list of appropriate foods.
  • Baby should always eat and drink in an upright position.
  • Bleaches, oven and drain cleaners should always be kept out of baby’s reach. Childproof safety locks for cabinets can be helpful.
  • Keep the number of the poison control center near your phone so you can call for emergency first-aid advice.

Dillon’s First Day of Kindergarten

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Well.  Today was the day.  The first day of Kindergarten at Leesville Elementary School for my first-born baby Dillon.  I drove him to his “big boy school” and took him to his brightly decorated classroom. He showed me the class pet hamster, the art area, kitchen and dolls, cars and legos and blocks (i’m sure his favorite area), his table, and to his great delight he was cubby #1.  He says, “Mom, I’m Number 1!  See?  I’m Number 1!”

Mom & Dillon Age 1

I felt a small sadness as I walked down the hall back to my car.  I wish I could be a fly on the wall, to see if he made friends, if he was happy all day, and if he was listening to the teacher of course.  All in all, it was a good experience and I hope that he enjoys his first year of school.  Looking back on the past 5 years, it has gone so quickly, and it seems like yesterday he was toddling around with his sippie cup.

Dillon, age 5

It’s funny.  When he was born I remember hanging with the neighbors, with their Kindergartners, and thinking, they are so different than me.  I couldn’t even imagine being the parent of school aged children, yet here I am already.  Planning on football practices, PTA meetings, homework, and class parties.  How fast our children grow; and how fast our lives change and we grow as parents.

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