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Posts Tagged ‘wake forest’

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!

Finger-Painting with Toddlers: Life is More Fulfilling Outside the Lines

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

By, Daphne

Reflecting back to my own childhood, I have a distinct memory from my three-year-old preschool class. We were all given large letters to color, and on my page was the letter “R.” I chose the color red, and in my mind, my work was perfect; the edges of my letter were intact without the slightest stray scribble. I was completely content in my perfect expression of art until Brad, the kid next to me, took his brown crayon and make a huge mark that extended from inside my red letter, crossed the boundaries of the line, and finally violated the clean white space of the paper that was not meant for any coloring. It could be said that I overreacted, but I felt the only appropriate action to take was to grab a black crayon and destroy my beautiful, red “R.”

Further reflection about this memory could say quite a bit about my wish to control the environment around me, an indication that the budding creativity of my own children might challenge my comfort level. Perhaps the brown mark across my paper could have been developed into a beautiful tree over my letter? My creative vision at the time was limited, though, and I could only see that my work was destroyed.

Son, Andrew, fingerpainting

Son, Andrew, fingerpainting

Those who have seen my house can easily confirm that I am not a neat freak. Clutter is well nourished in my home; I tolerate scattered books and toys better than most. However, the story of the letter “R” revisits me when it comes to doing artwork with my children. With my son, the challenge has been that he would want help with coloring a picture, so I would help. I would choose my color, pick a section, and all would be well until I realized that I was supposed to be okay with him coloring on my, I mean his, artwork. Fortunately, as the years have passed, my son has become happy for us to each color pictures beside each other, allowing me to control the environment of my own artwork.

The medium of art expression that I have avoided the most is finger painting. Yes, children’s paint is washable, but somehow it will not only move beyond the boundaries of lines on the paper but also find a way to use children’s hands to hitchhike onto the table, clothes, hair, and sometimes even the floor and wall. Of course, the moment will come when my child wants help from me, and the risky feeling of paint on my fingers that could be transferred to anything else I touch gives me a greater awareness that even I, in a moment of distraction, might not be able to keep my own art inside the square corners of the paper.

For me to be able to help my child with finger-painting, I have to accept the reality that art is messy, it can be cleaned up, and that my child and I will recover no matter where the paint ends up residing. I almost forgot – it should be fun!

Daughter, Elaine, fingerpainting

Daughter, Elaine, fingerpainting

Today I finally opened up the finger paints I bought for my daughter months ago. I took the risk of letting her have fun, fully aware of the disorder that would result from her joy. At fist, she hesitated. Maybe she was also worried about a mess? Oh no, I didn’t want her to feel limited by a fear of paint going everywhere. I dipped my finer in the paint and demonstrated. She following my example and enjoyed herself by painting five pictures! By the time she was finished, the total damage was paint on her hands, my hands, her pajamas, and the table. That was it! We had fun creating art together, and all of the mess was easily cleaned up!

Perhaps not all mothers have as much difficulty with finger painting as I do, but I do think most mothers can relate to having their children push them outside of their level of comfort. Of course, there is a balance, and sometimes it’s important to maintain order. However, I’ve learned that the situations where our children push us just past our limits can be good lessons for how we view life. This can apply to our career choices, our social activities, and even our value system.

Perhaps the safe career isn’t the most rewarding? Perhaps the risk of starting a new activity and meeting new people will bring a greater depth and enjoyment to life? Perhaps one of the rules of life you have always followed should be reevaluated to determine if it still fits into your value system?

Since I gave birth to my first child, I have tackled all three of those questions. My career goals have changed, but I feel a much deeper sense of satisfaction with my new career direction. I have joined many new social groups and have only found more appreciation of life with getting to know more people. For my value system, I have learned to listen more closely to what is in my heart rather seeking out popular values that are not meaningful for me. Hopefully now that I have survived finger painting, I will be able to accept even more of the joys waiting for me outside the lines of the letter “R.”

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.

The Appeal of the Designer Diaper Bag

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

By, Daphne

While I’m planning a post for later in the week about steps to take during pregnancy to improve your early breastfeeding experience, I decided to go ahead and have fun writing about the diaper bags that call my name every time I’m in the store.

For most of my life, I have not been a person who chooses to carry bags. In college, I only carried a wallet and key combination, and I only reluctantly decided to carry a handbag after realizing that having my keys attached to my wallet and addressed license was probably not all that safe.

It wasn’t until I was nine months pregnant and ready to redeem several Christmas gift cards when I finally decided to buy a designer handbag. No woman at 40 weeks wants to shop for new clothes, and I wanted to splurge on myself one last time before my baby arrived. Of course, once I experienced the quality and fashion experience of a designer handbag, I found a way, over time, to build a small collection!

When it came to diaper bags, I was originally certain that the basic, affordable bag would be sufficient. To be honest, my simple bag was all I needed. Actually, I now remember that I had to throw away the first one when a surprise poop during a diaper change spread across the bag, and the stains wouldn’t wipe clean. The strap on the second bag broke after a few months, but it still held all my baby boy’s diapers, clothing, and various other necessities. Four years later, I had a baby girl and still chose a conservatively priced bag that had a slightly feminine look to it. For some reason, I thought that the gender of my baby had to be reflected in the look of the bag that I carried rather seeing the bag as a reflection of my own style. It only occurred to me recently that if my handbag doesn’t need to be gender appropriate to my child, the diaper bag I carry doesn’t need to be boy or girl themed either. Unfortunately, my choice to switch to cloth diapers with my daughter resulted in a broken strap much more quickly. The bag didn’t have a designated hook for a wet bag, and the strap was not strong enough to support the weight of soiled cloth diapers.

Now that I’ve had some time to look at the higher quality diaper bags, I wish I would have made the investment sooner. First, some of these bags are actually machine washable. That would have changed the outcome of my first diaper storage tragedy. All of the bags that caught my interest have a hook that is strong enough to support the weight of a wet bag. Clearly, much more thought has gone into these baby supply accessories, as the options for storage appear to be endless. Every unzipped section reveals many smaller compartments to store unlimited child-related necessities. I know in the early days, I needed separate spaces for Lansinoh, burp cloths, diapers, wipes, extra baby clothes, sometimes an extra shirt for me - babies are messy, water and snacks for me, and anything that would have been in my handbag. Later I had to add snacks and drinks for my toddler. Finally, these baby supply totes hardly look like diaper bags at all. The designer understands that the diaper bag doubles as your handbag for a period of time as well. Beyond the diaper years, they can easily be carried as handbags or office bags on their own, completely independent of an accompanying baby. I like the style of the designer diaper bags so much that I want to buy one just for my personal school and office use!

Today I looked at three bags I have considered for purchase:

The Petunia Pickle Bottom Toffee Roll Boxy Backpack’s fabric caught my attention immediately. It’s

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack

absolutely beautiful! Exciting features include a built in changing pad that unfolds out of a zippered section on the side. I like the flexibility of carrying it as a backpack or as a shoulder bag. The backpack option would be most appreciated when trying to chase an excited toddler! My only disappointment with this bag is that Velcro holds the cover closed. This noise violation can be a hazard when trying to maintain a tranquil atmosphere around a sleeping baby. Fortunately, most of the other Boxy Backpacks have magnet closures.

Timi and Leslie Dawn Bag in Cloud Blue

Timi and Leslie Dawn Bag in Cloud Blue

The classiest style is the Timi & Leslie Dawn in Cloud Blue. A unique feature of this bag is a set of straps that attach it to a stroller, and I appreciate a smaller matching purse that comes with the bag that includes credit cards slots and a zippered pocket. This allows you to have a separate purse while knowing it can easily be stored inside the diaper bag. The best feature, however, is that no one would ever suspect you are carrying a baby accessory. It truly is a great fashion choice!

My absolute favorite choice is the Ju-Ju-Be Be All Bag in Coral Kiss! This bag has a fun, bright fabric, and it is machine washable! The interior antimicrobial lining is a light color to help with visibility of the contents, and the storage options are endless! The compartments on the sides for baby bottles are stretchy, easily

Ju-Ju-Be Be All Diaper Bag in Coral Kiss

Ju-Ju-Be Be All Diaper Bag in Coral Kiss

accommodating my water bottles, and the tags indicate that the bag is large enough for a laptop, allowing me to consider purchasing it to store my school needs. I could keep diapers and books in it at the same time!

Of course diaper bags are not at the top of the list for what you need most for your baby, and any bag will store your little one’s belongings. However, if you are in a position where you could spend more to tote around your baby supplies, go for it! The quality and advantages are worth the money. Have fun and be fashionable!

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