6 Rules for Safe Babywearing

We have already talked about baby wearing in the previous article, but we have barely scratched the surface back then – it makes sense, because I was just getting started on this whole parenting thing, and I knew so little.

Now, after a ton of research and personally wearing my baby safely and correctly, I have decided to write a new article about this important topic and also share with you the 6 rules for safe baby wearing.

Baby wearing is extremely important for the development of the babies and it also helps the mothers or daddies to do things like house chores or shopping a lot easier, knowing that their baby is safe there near their heart.

However, just getting the first baby wrap that’s available at a huge discount – or one that fits the color of your purse perfectly – isn’t the the right way of getting into baby wearing. Some would go as far as saying that this is a true art and it can really cause some damage to the baby if not done correctly.

You need to follow some rules when deciding what baby wrap or sling to purchase, and you also need to follow a few steps to make sure that the baby is safe in there. So here are the 6 rules for safe and correct babywearing:

1. The baby wrap or sling must hold the baby tight – make sure that all the knots and belts are safe and well fastened, you don’t want to risk dropping the baby!

2. You must always be able to see the baby: see them breathe, blink, drool.

3. The baby must be close enough so that you can kiss him or her, without you bending too much.

4. Baby’s chin must not touch their chest. If this happens, there’s a big risk of asphyxiation.

5. Make sure that his back is in a correct position and if the baby can’t hold his or her head, make sure it has support for that.

6. The correct shape of the legs should be like the letter M: the knees a bit elevated and touching your body.

These would be the rules, and there are also benefits when it comes to baby wearing, including stronger back and neck muscles and a faster development of the baby.

It is also believed that babies that are worn will be able to hold their head up sooner than the others, they won’t cry as much and will sleep better at night – basically because they keep felling the warmth of the body, have a similar position to that when they were in mommy’s tummy and hearing the heart beats also relaxes them a lot. There are a ton of other benefits too and you can read more in depth about these here.

So why did I love to baby wear? First of all, because it made my life a lot easier: I could cook, I could clean around the house and be active without worrying too much about the baby.

It was also extremely useful during the winter, when he was feeling extremely uncomfortable in the cold weather, no matter how many layers of clothes he had on.

But as soon as we started going out with him in the baby sling, he was instantly falling asleep when breathing the cold winter’s air, close to my chest and feeling the natural warmth of my body.

So I thought it was all pretty obvious: he was feeling so good and so relaxed that he instantly fell asleep. If we were to put him in the baby stroller, after just a few minutes he would start to cry and be completely uncomfortable.

So don’t be afraid about baby wearing: as long as you do it right – and now you know how – everything’s going to be just great!

What Is Baby Wearing and How to Do It Properly

Though baby wearing has been around for thousands of years in all different cultures, it has become increasingly popular in America in the last few years. Baby wearing started as the occasional use of a baby backpack when hiking, but has recently turned into parents wearing their babies in a sling or other device all throughout the day. This method of taking care of a baby comes highly recommended by those who use it. In this article, we’ll try to see if baby wearing is for you, and how to do it properly!

Attachment Parenting
Babywearing is considered a technique of the attachment parenting theory. According to the theory, keeping one’s baby close and held as much as possible is better for the baby for a variety of reasons.

People who prescribe to this theory claim that babies feel more secure and grow up to be more confident when they are not left on their own very often. Moms and dads will put the baby down rarely, usually only to sleep at night.

Benefits
Even if you do not agree with attachment parenting, there are other benefits to baby wearing. Babywearing allows parents to have their hands free more often. So even if you do not agree with holding a baby so much, the moments that you do hold them, you can also be doing other things.

This is very beneficial to parents of multiple children who cannot possibly get anything done while holding one of their children often. Also, for breastfeeding moms, most methods of babywearing allow for privacy by covering both baby and mom up.

Safety
Though baby wearing seems like a perfect solution to many parents, there are some safety concerns to be aware of and to avoid. First of all, make sure your baby is in the correct position and carrier. Some positions and carriers are not for newborns and some are not for older babies.

Second all of, be sure to always have the baby secured. When you are new at baby wearing, it’s not a bad idea to also hold baby in place in the carrier until confidence is built.

Third of all, watch what older babies can grab, especially if wearing in a back position. The last concern worth mentioning is to always be safe when baby wearing. Climbing ladders, jumping on a trampoline or even running is not recommended. Any activity which could potentially throw off your balance is never a good idea while baby wearing.

Research
Before you start baby wearing, do your research. Find out which carrier is best for you and your baby. Read the instruction manual thoroughly. Talk with friends or family who have done babywearing and get tips that worked or didn’t work for them. Babywearing takes some time to get the hang of it, but if you research well in advance you will have a better shot at being successful than someone who bought a carrier on a whim and tried it out right away.

And since we’re talking about research, why not do some research and check out our recommended gifts for one year olds? They can always come in handy!

In the end, babywearing might not be right for you and your family. That is okay. However, there are so many people who truly enjoy it that it might be worth a try at least. So… tell us in the comment section for you if you are for or against baby wearing!

Birthday Gift Ideas for 1 Year Old Babies

Ah, I still remember that great feeling I had when my first baby (then the second) turned one. It’s an extremely exciting moment for us all and a reminder that time does fly once a new baby is born. And even though initially we thought that finding gifts for a one year old baby (who, let’s be honest, is not very picky) would be extremely easy, when we had to actually decide what to buy, things became more difficult. Are the toys safe? Can he use them for more than just a few days/weeks? Will the baby enjoy them? Oh, the stress!

If you’re facing the same problems, here are, after hours of intense research and discussions, some 1 year old birthday gift ideas that we approve and enjoy. They are a bit boy-oriented, but I still guess that all of them can still be offered as a great gift to baby girls too. So here are the best gifts for 1 year old babies:

VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

A 1 year old is still learning to walk and a learning walker seems to be the best choice. This particular one surely is, as thousands of happy customers placed it on Amazon’s #1 spot in the baby walkers category. Part of the Infant Learning series of toys, the Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker is a multi-activity device that your little one will absolutely love!

While using the activity panel with the walker, the panel is motion-activated to play melodies and sound effects as the child pushes the walker. The baby will learn shapes, sounds and animal noises while also exercising his walking and getting closer and closer to that moment when she’ll need no support and walk on her own! Check it out here.

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes

If there’s something that I learned about kids during this first year since my boy was born, is that they love music. This really cheap toy that they will really appreciate comes with 7 tunes ready to be taken anywhere thanks to its great design and especially the easy to grasp Caterpillar handle.

All the tunes are classical music tunes, proved to be highly enjoyed by the little ones. This is actually the best selling Baby product on Amazon at the moment of writing, and I am sure that says a ton about its quality. If not, the 4.5 (out of 5) rating it has after 2,800 customers who bought it rated it, certainly does. A brilliant product that’s really cheap. Check it out here.

Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag

We bought this for our baby and so far I seem to enjoy it more than he does – at least when it comes to using it for what it was made for: building. A 1 year old is too young to build anything, but the blocks are huge and safe and since they’re so brightly colored, he still enjoys playing with them and especially enjoys the cars and castles that I build for him (blasting them into pieces also seems to be a favorite).

So even though right now the building phase does not exist, I am sure that it will help him in the future and pretty soon he’ll start building too. But if you want something that’s instantly usable – and not just for chewing and throwing around – then this is the one for you! Available on Amazon.

Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy

Now this is an extremely useful product that the baby will enjoy instantly! Created by Fisher-Price and selling at an amazing price, this beautiful toy was an instant hit. Two interactive play modes introduce baby to A-B-Cs, 1-2-3’s, colors, and parts of the body, plus sing-along fun with favorite songs and games, including Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Pat-a-Cake, This Little Puppy Went to Market, and more.

Paws, tummy, ear and light-up heart respond to baby’s touch and they really love to explore and discover all the sounds and goodies that come with this product. By far my favorite on the list – make sure to look at it here.

And these are my personal recommendations for a 1 year old’s birthday gifts. Remember – the baby doesn’t need extremely fancy stuff, nor extremely expensive items, as they won’t be interesting enough for long enough to deserve spending so much money on.

Babies are happy with smaller, cutesy things – and if they can also be useful, as the products that we’ve chosen, it’s all for the best.

And if you want to make sure that your days – and especially nights – are safe and sound and you can easily rest without having to worry about your baby’s well being, make sure to put a baby monitor on that list! We’re listing the best of the best over at Baby Monitors Central – so if you don’t know which one is best for you, that’s the place to start your research!

When Should You Introduce Fast Food to Your Child?

Fast food companies are starting to make their kids’ meals healthier. That being said, even adding apple slices to a meal does not cancel out the other unhealthy food that comes along. Things like French fries offer very little nutritional value, especially to a kid who depends on all the nutrients and vitamins for a normal development. Let’s be realistic though, very few kids are going to make it to adulthood without ever having fast food. It’s convenient, it’s easy, and kids love the little toys that almost always accompany their fast food meals. No child is going to perish with the occasional fast food.

But when should you introduce your kid do fast food?

NOT Too Early!

Any time before a year old is too early to introduce fast food to a kid. Before 12 months, they need little more than fruits, vegetables, and formula/breast milk. The risk of allergies is very high when introducing certain foods before the first birthday as well. Lastly, children under the age of 1 do not usually possess the teeth nor the skill to thoroughly chew any foods served at fast food restaurants. Sure, you could break up French fries tiny enough, but why? There is no reason to feed any child under the age of one anything from a fast food restaurant.

What does “too early” mean, though? Personally, I would say “keep the kids away from fast food forever”. We all know that it’s not going to happen, so let’s be a bit more realistic: no fast food before the age of three. Kids so young need vitamins and minerals, not a ton of calories and fat and salt to have their kidneys work like factories. Remember, most likely you haven’t eaten any hamburgers and fries until you were three either and not because people were stupid back then!

Toys

After the first year, it might be a little more acceptable to allow children to have fast food (by some). Their teeth and chewing skills are further along, they need more variety, etc. However, remember that even the toys they give along with the kids’ meals are rarely for any child under the age of three. Parents are urged to ask for special toys for children under the age of three. This should make a statement. Fast food companies cater to children and try to rope them in by adding a toy to meals. But even they do not want to cater to those under the age of three.

Keep in Mind

Keep in mind when deciding when to introduce your kid to fast food that all the experts agree that healthy eating habits are formed early on. Allowing fast food as an occasional treat can turn into a regularly served meal very quickly. After a few times, your child will start begging for French fries or chicken nuggets or burgers on a regular basis. It is up to you to say no, but once they really get a taste for this food, it will be hard to enforce healthy food anymore. If they don’t know how good it tastes (because of the extra salt and sugar and fat that are NOT BENEFICIAL to the kid’s health), they won’t ask for it!

Put it off

Obviously this is an individual parent’s decision. Some will introduce early and some will introduce later. Kids can do perfectly fine with the occasional fast food meal. In the end though, it is highly recommended to put off introducing for as long as possible. Your kids truly need to let those good, healthy eating habits get into place before they should be allowed anything else as a treat. Once they are in the habit of eating lots of fresh food, vegetables, and fruits, then they will be better able to handle occasionally having something unhealthy. Good luck!

Baby Screams and Cries When Changing Diapers – What to Do?

If your little wonder is anything like my son, whenever you try to change diapers, baby will scream and cry as if you’re torturing the little fellow. This was heart breaking at first, but it got old pretty fast and I started to wonder: what do I do to stop baby from screaming and crying and acting so crazy when I change his diapers? Especially since it’s starting to turn into a similar thing when I change his clothes.

The truth is that my baby (and yours) are not the only ones who don’t like to get their diapers changed. Most of the babies I know have the same problem: as soon as you put them on their back, ready to change diapers, they start screaming and crying. It’s even worse when trying to change a poopy diaper when they try to turn around and run away. It’s frustrating and discouraging, but you shouldn’t let this get to you as there are some methods to work this around!

How to stop baby from crying when changing diapers

Apparently, their biggest problem is that with having to lay on their back. All babies seem to hate that and until they outgrow it (mine is 13 months old and still hates it), we have to find some ways to distract them.

So the best way in my case – and I am sure it will help in yours – when you are getting ready to change the diaper is to give baby something to hold. Regular things won’t work that well: make sure it’s something that they’re not usually allowed to hold (like the remote control, a bottle of shampoo or anything that they haven’t seen yet and they might enjoy holding). This works like a charm and it will keep the baby busy long enough for you to change the diapers. But you still have to be very fast!

This means that in order to reduce the crying and fighting when changing diapers, you should first make sure that you have everything in order and ready to use: the wet wipes, the diaper itself and any cream that you’re using on your baby’s bottom. Then, as soon as you place the little one on their back, hand them the wonder object and be as fast as you can.

Another method that some mothers have tried and had partial or complete luck with was to start getting the baby used with laying on their backs. Every day, when baby is not fussy, just place them on their back for a while. Do it while playing with them or while they hold objects they are interested in and slowly increase the duration. In a week or two they could learn and accept to lay on their back for a couple of minutes, more than enough to change the diaper.

So worry no more, as you are not the only one having this problem, and the distraction method works like a charm. now we can only hope that they will outgrow this very soon and all the fighting and crying will soon become nothing but a bad memory.

Do you have any other tricks that you use for stopping the baby from crying? Let us know by commenting below

Does a Baby REALLY Need a Pacifier? NO!

TV shows, cartoons, commercials, your mother and your next door neighbor – they all tell you the same thing: your baby needs a Pacifier. The Pacifier is good. You “must” give your baby the pacifier, there’s no other way to do it.

But does your baby really need a pacifier? Certainly not, and even though I am not going to quote any studies or anything else than my personal opinion and a bit of common sense and knowledge, I will hopefully make you understand that indeed Pacifiers are not a must for your baby and they might actually cause more trouble than solve problems.

The general consensus is that Pacifiers help babies relax. They keep on sucking on those plastic bits and they seem so calm. No more screaming, no more shouting, no more temper tantrums… just silence and serenity. The babies love them, why shouldn’t you give yours one?

Well, because babies don’t love them, in the first place! No baby that I know – or parents that I have talked to – just gave the pacifier to their baby and they joyfully accepted it. Not, it was a long and difficult process of getting them used with them as all babies will initially spit them out, refuse them and even cry when you try to give it to them. Tricks to make them accept them faster are varied and usually unhealthy: from the kind-of-acceptable “put it in milk before giving it to the baby” method to strange ones like soaking them in syrup, honey or other foods, these are nothing but tricks that we use to get the babies used with the pacifiers.

Why are we doing this and we’re basically lying to ourselves that it’s a good thing? We do it to shut the baby up. Really, that’s the only real use of the pacifier, in my opinion.

Is the baby crying without a reason? Give them the pacifier! Is the baby screaming? The pacifier will fix that. Do you want to watch your favorite show? The pacifier’s the answer.

Just like with feeding the bottle to the baby, the pacifier is the easy way out. Less stress for you, a silenced baby, everybody’s happy. Or is it?

Using a pacifier comes with a bunch of possible problems related to it, like:

– teeth problems
– nipple confusion (aka just like most men nowadays, they start to prefer plastic to the real thing)
– long lasting bad habit

It might be difficult to get the baby used with the pacifier, but it’s a lot more difficult to have them stop using it. My parents joyfully told me that when I was little I had no intention of giving my pacifier away so they had to sprinkle hot paprika powder on it to make me stop using it. This is absolutely outrageous and just shows how difficult it is for a baby to stop using this little demon.

Based on my own experience with my little wonder who is now 14 months old – and was never given a pacifier – there are no reasons for me to wish to turn back time and get him used with it. People said that he will instead suck his fingers and that’s an even worse habit, but it didn’t happen. It had a couple of months when he indeed sucked on his thumb and we were worried that it’ll turn into a habit, but it’s been months now since he did that, so we can cut this off the list.

We were also told that he will scream and cry way more without a pacifier. I don’t really know how things would’ve been otherwise, but I am still here, sane and stress free as my baby didn’t seem to cry more than your regular kid. On the contrary, since his mouth wasn’t always full, he is laughing a lot, talking a lot and, at 14 months old, he already knows to replicate some animal sounds, has a dozen or so words that he constantly uses and and always talks the baby gibberish that my wife and I absolutely love.

In other words, I see no reasons why a baby would actually need a pacifier. We did just great without one and I am sure we’re not alone here. So don’t take the easy route and choose the pacifier to silence your baby – that’s not why you had him or her!

A Man’s Take on Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding in public seems to be a delicate subject nowadays and a topic that’s getting more taboo than it should. Even more, for some strange reason, there is an increasing number of people that are completely against breastfeeding in public, from moms to dads, from strangers to doctors, from relatives to a couple aliens I chatted last night. And except for the aliens who have no idea how humans works, all the others who are against breastfeeding should take a deep breath, think about it for a second and understand that this time they are awfully wrong.

I guess that this intro makes it pretty obvious what’s this dad’s take on breastfeeding. I am completely for breastfeeding your little fellow and a big supporter of all the mothers worldwide who have the power to ignore an ever-growing mob that’s against this natural, normal, humanly thing to do.

First of all, a starting message for those who are against breastfeeding: if you’re 30 and over, then you have most likely been breastfed when you were little. For one year. Maybe two. Maybe more. Think about it!

And if you don’t think about it, here’s why this dad’s take on Breastfeeding is: “Go for it! Anywhere!”

When my son was born 15 months ago, I knew nothing about breastfeeding. I had no opinion about this, I didn’t even think about it too much. I had no idea that there are implications, diehard supporters and people who are against breastfeeding (usually in public) and I didn’t care.

But now, as a parent and even more, as a parent that kept learning and reading because he wants his son to get the best in life, now I have a strong opinion regarding breastfeeding. Now, after my wife – who’s obviously a pro-breastfeeding person too – took classes and became a little breastfeeding expert, now I understand that this is probably the biggest early mistake that we do regarding our children: not feeding them the ONLY thing that has been created by nature (or God, whatever your take is on this) specifically for the babies.

It’s not the formula, it’s not the veggies, it’s not the fruits or the meat, the water or the synthetic vitamins, the supplements and pills, it’s nothing else in this whole world. The only thing that has been and is being created naturally, exclusively and specifically for the feeding of a baby is their mother’s milk.

You can read a million things regarding the mother’s milk, you can easily find out why it’s so great, how incredible it is – changing in nutritional value based on the baby’s age and needs, but I will tell you one thing: I was surprised to find out how insanely beneficial it is to a kid’s health. And I will use my baby boy as an example:

Ever since he was born, he was breastfed. 15 months later he is still snacking on the delicious mother milk and we both hope he’ll continue to do so for the month to come. Last winter, when the little fellow was just several months old, I caught a terrible cold. That type of cold that keeps you in the bed for a few days. I was terrified that if my adult body was so weak, it will be even worse for my son. And it did happen: my wife had caught the cold and we both passed it to our son. Guess who had the easiest possible form? The little fellow that was being breastfed, getting the antibodies from the mother and getting the early advantage on the nasty virus.

If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believed it. And that was the moment for me when I realized that this is the way to do it. This is the way to feed your baby: by using the natural mother’s milk.

There are interests worth billions of dollars that try to trick you into believing that you can’t feed your baby. That you will “lose” your milk (which is silly, because you only lose that milk if you stop giving it to your baby). That the formula is easier, it’s safer, it’s got everything your baby needs. Well, guess what? It doesn’t! It’s a mixture of chemicals, created in a lab. It’s something that you would no eat. It’s something that you would not order in a restaurant: if you were to choose from a tasty, succulent steak and a puree of chemicals, with a bland taste and a terrible smell, what would you choose?

Breastfeeding in public

Interests aside, breastfeeding is not such a big problem as long as mothers do it away from the eyes of the public. You can’t really criticize what you don’t know is happening. And then your little fellow gets hungry when you’re at the mall and you decide to do the natural thing: breastfeed. And that’s when all hell breaks loose.

Why? Because people are stupid.

Because people are uneducated. Because people are so bored in our society that they love to complain. And, of course, because people are stupid.

People are complaining that breastfeeding in public is disgusting. Do you know what’s disgusting? A 300 pounds bearded man eating chicken nuggets, licking his short, greasy fingers, with a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup in his beard, dripping in his diet Coke that he’ll slurp instantly before burping.

People are complaining that breastfeeding in public is too sexual and is hurting the bigger kids. Do you know what’s sexual? That chick in front of you at the line, with her g-string visible above her four inches skirt, wearing a revealing top that’s three sizes smaller. Or maybe that huge billboard ad promoting the latest bikini model. Most of the music videos that your kids are watching. The internet.

When a mother is breastfeeding, she won’t take off her clothes, reveal everything and scream dirty words to the passers-by. No, if you have ever seen a mother breastfeeding, you have certainly seen… nothing! Just that tiny head positioned right where you know the boob would be. You see minimal skin (way less that you would normally see from a generic cleavage or your regular see-through dress) and if you get aroused by looking at that, you have a problem.

And do you know what’s the easiest way to deal with this? If you really hate breastfeeding in public, there’s one single thing you can do to solve the problem: DON’T LOOK! Problem solved!

And to all the mothers out there who breastfeed their kids, kudos to you all! You have my complete appreciation and I am not the only one. But this shouldn’t matter at all. What should matter – and should be the only thing that matters to all mothers – is that you’re doing exactly what’s best for your baby. And when you know that, nothing else matters. Let the people scream, let the people fight, let the people be stupid. All that matters in this world is your baby. And you’re doing it right. Congratulations!